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WoWApr 15, 2020 1:30 pm CT

Everything we know about the Necrolord Covenant in WoW Shadowlands

In Shadowlands, the Necrolord Covenant is considered the military might of the Shadowlands and protects it against external forces that wage war against the enemies of Death. They are one of four Covenants that we can ally with at max level and each Covenant oversees a different part of the afterlife for Azeroth’s souls.

The Necrolord Covenant resides in Maldraxxus and is responsible for the determined and the powerful. Powerful souls — physically, emotionally, and even mentally — are valued here as military guardians to aid in the fight.


Who are the Necrolords?

The Necrolords value power above all — those determined and willing to serve the Covenant, who are ruthless, unyielding, unrelenting. Their eternal role sees them as the military guardians of the Shadowlands to protect it from those who would upend the cycle. Here, survival of the fittest reigns supreme. The aesthetic borrows heavily from necromancers and their laboratories — skulls and bones, the undead, rampant fungal growths — think Eastern Plaguelands on steroids. That’s Maldraxxus, and the Necrolords tap into this deadly energy to weed out anyone they deem not worthy.

In Shadowlands, the leader of the Necrolords has vanished mysteriously and in his absence, five Necrolords are vying to take over the vacant position. Each Lord is building an army from the souls brought to Maldraxxus, but no one knows whether these armies will defend the Shadowlands or attack each other. What happens to the defenses of the Shadowlands if their squabbling becomes an all-out war?

We know of one powerful soul who will be present in Maldraxxus — Draka, Thrall’s mother.

What are the Necrolord abilities?

When you join a Covenant, you get access to its Signature Ability. This is available to every single class and spec, similar to the Garrison/Zone Abilities in Warlords of Draenor. In Maldraxxus, that takes the form of harnessing the power of death into a protective shield. There are also further upgrades that change how the Signature Ability works. Many of the upgraded spells are available through the Soulbind talent tree, and it’s likely that more could be obtained through activities such as the Torghast system or the Legendary system.

Necrolord Signature AbilityFleshcraft: Form a shield of flesh and bone that prevents damage equal to a portion of your maximum health. Standing near the corpse of a defeated enemy when the ability is cast will create a larger shield.

In addition to the Signature Ability, you receive a unique ability for your class. The class abilities also have possible upgrades that change how the class abilities work, though we don’t know yet how or where you’ll acquire them.

  • Death KnightAbomination Limb: Sprout an additional limb for a limited time, dealing Shadow damage to nearby enemies. If an enemy is farther away from you, they are pulled to your location.
  • Demon Hunter — Fodder to the Flame: Commission a duel to the death against a Condemned Demon from the Theater of Pain. Vanquishing your foe releases its demon soul and creates a pool of demon blood. Fighting within the pool increases your attack speed and reduces the damage that enemies deal to you. Fleshcraft treats the Condemned Demon as a powerful enemy.
  • Druid — Adaptive Swarm: Command a swarm that heals or deals Shadow damage to a target and increases the effectiveness of your periodic effects on them. Upon expiration, travels to a new target within range, alternating between friend and foe up to a set number of times.
  • Hunter — Death Chakram: Throw a deadly chakram at your current target which will rapidly deal additional Shadow damage. Each time the chakram damages a different target, its damage is increased, and you generate additional Focus.
  • MageDeathborne: Transform into a powerful Skeletal Mage for a period of time. While in the form of a Skeletal Mage, your Frostbolt, Fireball, and Arcane Blast are greatly enhanced, and your spell damage is increased.
  • MonkBonedust Brew: Hurl a brew created from the bones of your enemies at the ground, coating all targets with Bonedust Brew for a period of time. Your abilities have a chance to affect the target a second time at a lowered effectiveness as Shadow damage or healing.
    • BrewmasterTiger Palm and Keg Smash reduces the cooldown of your brews by additional time when striking enemies with your Bonedust Brew active.
    • MistweaverGust of Mists heals targets with your Bonedust Brew active for an additional amount.
    • WindwalkerSpinning Crane Kick refunds Chi when striking enemies with your Bonedust Brew active.
  • PaladinVanquisher’s Hammer: Throws a hammer at your target dealing Shadow damage, and empowering your next Word of Glory or Templar’s Verdict.
  • Priest — Unholy Nova: An explosion of dark energy heals nearby allies and infects nearby enemies with Unholy Transfusion. Unholy Transfusion deals Shadow damage over time. Enemies who damage this target receive healing.
  • RogueSerrated Bone Spike: Embed a bone spike in the target, dealing Physical damage over time until they die. Attacking with Serrated Bone Spike causes all of your active bone spikes to fracture and strike your current target, increasing initial damage by a percentage per spike.
  • Shaman — Primordial Wave: Blast your target with a Primordial Wave, dealing Shadow damage and apply Flame Shock to an enemy, or heal an ally and apply Riptide to them (Restoration). Your next Lava Burst (Elemental) / Lightning Bolt (Enhancement) / Healing Wave (Restoration) will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock (Elemental), Riptide (Enhancement/Restoration).
  • Warlock — Decimating Bolt: Hurl a bolt of shadow magic at your target, dealing Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next Incinerates, Drain Souls, or Shadow Bolts. Decimation Bolt’s damage, and the bonus to Incinerate, Drain Soul, or Shadow Bolt both increase as your target’s health decreases.
  • Warrior — Conqueror’s Banner: Brandish the banner of the Necrolords, increasing your movement speed and causing Mortal Strike (Arms), Raging Blow (Fury), and Shield Slam (Protection) to grant you Glory. Killing an enemy grants additional stacks of Glory. Reactivating this ability plants the banner in the ground, granting an increased amount of maximum health and additional attack speed to you and your allies within range of the banner. Lasts additional time per Glory, up to a maximum amount.

What are the Necrolord Soulbinds?

When you choose your Covenant, you receive the option to bind yourself to a powerful member. This grants you access to their power and also powerful bonuses. Soulbinding will work similarly to previous systems like Artifact Weapons in Legion and the Heart of Azeroth in Battle for Azeroth. The progression system will allow you to unlock different tiers of power as you progress through the tree and even swap Soulbinds for different activities.

Souldbinds incorporate “sockets,” referred to as Conduits, in three types — Throughput, Survival, and Utility. These give you customization for your character’s power and will likely work similarly to Essences or Artifact Relics.

Bonesmith Heirmir (Soulbind Calculator)

Enemi (Soulbind Calculator)

Plague Deviser Marileth (Soulbind Calculator)

What are the Necrolord rewards?

Those who are fans of Eastern Plaguelands — and really the plague/Scourge aesthetic as a whole — will love the Necrolord cosmetic options. Each armor type — cloth, leather, mail, plate — will have a full armor set styled to their Covenant. The Necrolord armor incorporates the bones and rot of death to create powerful skeletal sets.

One feature highlighted with Shadowlands was more “cloak” options, to offer players unique transmogs in the back slot that aren’t just rectangles of fabric. The Covenant cloak transmogs are upgradeable with three different tiers. For the Necrolords, the Covenant cloak starts out as a skeletal spine shield, then hefty bone wings, and finally plague-filled crystals.

Last but not least, Covenant followers will be able to get a Covenant-specific mount and battle pet. The mount will have different color options and later you’ll be able to upgrade it, similar to Artifact skins in Legion. The battle pet will have a unique ability depending on which zone you’re in, allowing it to interact with the world around them. The Blizzard devs mentioned a “slime pet in Maldraxus [that] eats up slime pools and gets you items.” There is currently no information on what the Necrolord mount will entail.

None of this is set in stone, as information can change rapidly in the testing cycle on alpha and beta, but it should give you a good idea of what we’ll encounter in WoW Shadowlands.

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