Hey folks, about a week ago I was asked by some friends of mine which spec they should play in Shadowlands, and they were primarily unsure due to the confusing nature of the covenant system. Some thought a specific covenant looked cool, but weren’t sure if picking it for a specific spec would make them unviable. In order to help them, I put together the following spreadsheet, which is primarily sourced by information on the various class discords or from feedback posts on the WoW forums:
Initially, I expected things to end here. My friends enjoyed the spreadsheet and it helped them make more informed decisions on what they wanted to play. I also decided to send it to a few people on beta who were asking in trade chat, since I figured it would be a useful guide for them. This seemingly led to the spreadsheet spreading heavily through word of mouth, and this morning I woke up to find over 90 active users and people discussing it in multiple class discords.
While I think should be obvious, and I mention it in the notes on the spreadsheet, I want to establish that all of the rankings presented here are SUBJECT TO CHANGE! It’s still beta, and depending on tuning, a covenant that is now labeled as bad could be your best one.
With that being said, we’re 2 months away from Shadowlands, and countless people have expressed their concern with the state of covenants. I’ve consulted experienced players of most specializations at this point, and I believe that the spreadsheet is as accurate as it can possibly be. This is troubling, because a cursory glance at the spreadsheet makes it very clear that MANY specs are left with few options to choose from, and there are still a few covenant abilities that are flat out broken (such as the Hunter Night Fae ability). Additionally, many covenant abilities are exceptionally strong for a certain type of content, such as Prot/Ret Paladin’s Divine Toll in Mythic+, but very weak in single target, which is what a majority of raid bosses will likely be.
I was hesitant to share this on Reddit at first, largely because I figured that anyone who really wanted to find the spreadsheet would be able to do so by now. However, the overwhelming amount of feedback I received from people wasn’t about the spreadsheet itself, but rather how bad the disparity between different covenant abilities was for numerous specs, and how surprised they were to see that. While there has been quite a lot of discussion on here and other forums about the problematic nature of the covenant system, it becomes much more real when you see the current power rankings firsthand. I now hope that this post can serve as a way to raise awareness about the current state of covenant abilities. With any luck, Blizzard will actually listen this time and make it easy to swap between covenants. Personally, I think it will make Shadowlands far more accessible to the average player, and therefore make it a much more successful expansion.
My discord tag is Harldan#2316, if you have any feedback on the spreadsheet or the covenant system itself I would love to hear your opinion!