The Covenants in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands are one of the most integral mechanics of the expansion. Throughout the story, players get to know the Kyrian, Necrolords, Night Fae, and Venthyr intimately before being given the choice to join one of the factions as a mortal champion.
There’s a lot that would draw someone into a specific Covenant, whether it’s liking the zone more than others or preferring the aesthetics and rewards of a faction. But if you’re someone who focuses on performance, it’s likely the Covenant abilities and Class abilities each offers that you’ll focus on.
Each Covenant has their own unique ability that every member gets, as well as another ability specific to the class of the player. Since the moment this was announced, players were hesitant to see how things would work out, certain that most would go for the strongest.
Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but one things for sure – these powers are strong, and as time goes on they seem to be getting stronger. Recently, players discovered something about the Phial of Serenity from the Kyrian Covenant that makes it even more appealing.
If you run Mythic+ dungeons, you’re familiar with the affixes that alter the difficulty with special conditions and effects that affect the run. One of these, Necrotic, provides a stacking debuff that deals damage and reduces the healing the target takes.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) December 31, 2020
Needless to say, tanks that get hit repeatedly so that others don’t struggle with this immensely. Not only are they taking heavy damage from Necrotic, they can’t be healed because of the debuff, forcing them to kite until the stacks drop.
If you’re in the Kyrian Covenant, though, it was recently discovered that the Phial of Serenity removes the Necrotic affix, effectively negating it for harder pulls. Its 3-minute cooldown means you won’t be using it every time you have Necrotic stacks, but certainly for the more troublesome encounters.
The Phial works to remove the Necrotic stacks because the Necrotic stacks are categorized as a bleed. This effect can also be removed by the bubble of a Paladin, as well as by the Stoneform of a Dwarf player. So if you’re a Dwarf Paladin Kyrian tank, don’t expect much trouble this week!
This is certainly the best Covenant power for dealing with Necrotic, and given that Kyrian was already seen as the best Covenant choice for tanks, it’s unlikely we’ll see that removed as the meta anytime soon. Blizzard would need to radically rework the powers to make one of the Covenant powers better for tanks than the Phial.
Still, if you aren’t Kyrian, don’t feel like you aren’t viable. All four abilities are effective for negating Necrotic, whether it’s the movement of the Venthyr and Night Fae to kite or the increased tankiness of the Necrolord shield.