WoW Shadowlands: Changing Your Covenant
What’s involved? What exactly do you lose, when you decide to change your Covenant? Is it difficult to ‘recover’ from the switch? Some of these questions are well answered by other guides. Both the likes of Wowhead and Icy Veins will run you through the mechanics of the switch but at least at the time I was considering the change of Covenant the rest was still pretty murky.
In my case, I was driven mostly by the fact I wanted to open the spec options on my mage from Frost only (Venthyr) to also allow for Fire and maybe a bit of Arcane on the side (Night Fae).
Welp… I did it. I made the plunge and threw away my Venthyr allegiance and jumped over to a Night Fae life.
As mentioned, the ‘how’ of the switch is already well covered. But just in brief, if that’s the information you’re after:
- Head back to Oribos, to the area with Bolvar and the Shadowlands campaign table. The representatives from each faction will still be hanging around here.
- Talk to your desired new faction leader and confirm (many, many times) that you’re up for making the switch. There are confirmations both in separate pop-ups and within the chat window to click through.
- Side note: I do wish Blizzard would make it more explicit in this conversation what the implications of making this switch are — but ah well; here we go.
Life in the New Covenant: What Did You Just Lose?
The TLDR advice I would give? Don’t attempt to do this right before a raid or other form of progression content. You are going to need some time to recover some of your lost power — your Renown and therefore your available Soulbind/Conduit powers will be zilch until you work through some things with your new Covenant.
Our guild put a week-long pause on raiding over Christmas which is the gap I used to switch my Covenant. As it turned out; this long was by no means necessary. Catching up is fairly easy and isn’t overly timegated. But there was certainly a few days of catch-up required and that was with fairly high play-availability given I’m off work until the New Year.
So just be aware of this.
Otherwise though, here we go, in bullet point form. Here’s what I noted happened in my switch over from Venthyr to Night Fae:
- Renown Level: You will have your Renown reset. Which in turn means you will lose access to the range of Soulbinds and Conduit levels you might be used to. I’ll talk more about Renown after this list.
- Covenant Hall Upgrades: You will enter your new hall with no upgrades done. No transport network, no war table – nothing.
- Side note re: Anima Channeling device — any pips you had earned toward reinforcing a location actually come over with you. This makes the worst time to change covenant right after reinforcing a location, and the best immediately before you’re able to reinforce a new location… If you care about this.
- Anima: All anima stored in your covenant hall will be lost. Any anima items not yet deposited will still be with you. So you might want to consider hoarding some anima items before making the switch if you’re looking for a quick start.
- Redeemed Souls: No stored souls (used in upgrading your Covenant Hall) will come over with you. However! Bolvar did give me an initial ‘freebie’ five soul quest. Didn’t have to go collect them again even, just a pick-up and hand-in. This ensures that you can do some upgrades to your hall within the first week of switching.
- Covenant Campaign Progress (and by extension, your Covenant Powers): You will start from ground zero in terms of campaign completion — you will need to go through the quest chain to join your new Covenant and unlock their Covenant powers.
- Wartable Companions: I add a small asterisk to this. Non-faction specific companions (e.g., Meatball) will come over with you. But otherwise you’ll need to collect the new set for your new Faction.
The biggest impact by far of course is going to be the Renown level reset. This is Shadowlands’ primary gating mechanic, even above and beyond reputation levels.
The good news here is almost anything you do for the Covenant will result in a renown level upgrade until you’re caught up to the current cap — after which you’ll be back to the three possible renown level gains per week like everyone else.
The main advice I have to offer here is that your Emissary dailies (I forget what they’re called for Shadowlands… Callings? Yes! Callings) offer probably the easiest source of Renown increase to feed you further levels between chapters of the campaign being available to you.
If you stack-up three days of available Callings before you make the switch (don’t worry- they’ll be available to you again as soon as you finish the intro campaign quests for your new Covenant) you can take a flying headstart into unlocks of Renown.
So store them up, do your intro campaign story, and then blat through the three Callings and bingo-bango, that alongside the campaign unlocks, the typical 1000 anima quest etc, you’ll be motoring along.
But Was it Worth It?
The answer to that is really going to depend on you and what you’re doing it for…
Yeah. It was worth it. I don’t miss Venthyr at all — I was with them as the best single-target Frost Mage option rather than any thematic pull.
I’m more on the fence about the Frost -> Fire spec change itself, or at least, I was initially but as I grow in familiarity with the ebbs and flows of Fire I’m enjoying it more and more. I still have a good number of kinks to iron out e.g.; initially I was woefully under-utilising Scorch in the execute range, now I find myself over correcting at times and casting too early. But I’ll get there and I see the potential to be sure.
And frankly; the Night Fae Mage abilities are just more fun to me.
Add to that the Night Fae story has some returning characters that I actually know and care about — something Venthyr had until the parts I’d seen at least, had been woefully missing — and yep. Overall package, the switch was worth it.
But it will still take a few days to a week to full catch-up for most people’s play time, I would imagine.
During which, you might feel less powerful than you did previously.
So you just need to decide why you’re changing and if you can tolerate that gap in power for a short time.