Blizzard posted a preview today of the new Soulbinds system with descriptions on each character you’ll be able to Soulbind with. Soulbinds grant some really cool new powers and bonuses for your characters, and act as a secondary talent tree to augment your power and customize your gameplay. You’ll also be able to add Conduits to your Soulbind. Conduits are class specific items that allow further customization of your playstyle and kit.
During your travels in the Shadowlands, you’ll meet key members from each Covenant—Kyrian, Necrolord, Night Fae, and Venthyr—and, if you choose to walk in their path, you’ll be able to Soulbind with them. Soulbinding allows you to gain access to traits that provide bonuses or enhance your skills so you can effectively combat all who stand in your way.
After hitting max level, you’ll be able to choose to pledge yourself to a Covenant and forge a deep bond with some of their key members, who’ll lend their powers to use as your own. In practice, each Covenant will allow you to form this link with one of three Soulbinds. The first two Soulbinds are available as soon as you join a Covenant and do a little bit of questing—no other activity or currency required. The third Soulbind is unlocked when you complete the Covenant Campaign quest line.You can unlock new rows of power for your Soulbinds as you increase your trust with your Covenant through the Renown system . For example, if you join the Night Fae, reaching Renown Level 5 will unlock Niya’s third row of traits, and Renown Level 6 will unlock Dreamweaver’s third row. Similarly, a player who joins the Necrolords would get Marileth’s third row at Renown 5, and Emeni’s third row at Renown 6 as well. For the full list of current abilities Soulbinds have to offer, check out the Kyrian, Necrolord, Night Fae, and Venthyr Covenant previews.
CONNECT YOUR SOULS
The noble kyrian you befriended in Bastion will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they can bestow upon you.
Pelagos trains diligently for ascension even in the face of challenge and adversity. Along with Kleia, his other soulbind, Pelagos is quick to befriend you as you seek an audience with the Archon and confront the Forsworn threat. Despite the trials he faces, Pelagos pushes ever forward, steadfast and optimistic.
Bond of Friendship: Defeating enemies slightly reduces the cooldown on your Steward’s non-Phial services per enemy defeated.
Combat Meditation: Using your Kyrian class spell or ability increases your Mastery slightly for a moderate amount of time and occasionally expels Sorrowful Memories. Walking through Sorrowful Memories extends this effect by a short time.
Kleia met you while she was still an aspirant. She demonstrated to her soulbound companion Pelagos and the rest of the kyrian that she wants to push forward and best any trials they faced. A caring mentor to Pelagos and you, she will do whatever she can to protect her friends and Bastion.
Ascendant Phial: Phial of Serenity renders you immune to Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects for several seconds.
Valiant Strikes: You and your nearby allies’ critical strikes grant you stacks of Valiant Strikes. Once you maximize your stacks, you heal nearby allies for 5% of their maximum health over 10 seconds.
Forgelite Prime Mikanikos, a steward of Bastion, showed promise from his earliest days and quickly rose to the rank of Forgelite Prime. He was the primary inventor of many of Bastion’s most iconic creations. Recognizing the potential of the Maw Walker, he became a formidable ally to help you solve the anima drought and other threats.
Charged Additive: Phial of Serenity also knocks nearby enemies away from you.
Bron’s Call to Action: After using a significant amount of spells and abilities, your next spell or ability summons Bron, who attacks and heals your targets.
The warforged necrolords you befriended in Maldraxxus will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they can bestow upon you.
Plague Deviser Marileth is as eccentric as he is brilliant, he created some of the most efficacious potions in all of Maldraxxus. When the House of Plagues was destroyed, Marileth was driven mad in the aftermath. Marileth’s creative solutions prove vital to the war effort… despite the occasional side effect.
Travel with Bloop: While standing still, you slowly build stacks of Bloop’s Wanderlust. At maximum stacks, your movement speed is increased for a couple of minutes.
Ultimate Form: Fleshcraft renders you immune to crowd control.
Emeni, the Slaughter Daughter was assembled in the stitchyards of Maldraxxus. In life, she was a powerful noble who slaughtered hundreds of her siblings to claim the throne. She respects your strength and prowess as you work together to exterminate their mutual enemies. A legend in her own right, her notoriety rises even higher as she binds her soul to the Maw Walker’s.
Emeni’s Magnificent Skin: When you use your Necrolord class ability or spell, gain a stack of Emeni’s Magnficent Skin. Using Fleshcraft consumes your Emeni’s Magnificent Skin to slightly increase your maximum health per stack for a significant duration.
Runescribed Bone: Each enemy you defeat grants you one stack of Runescribed Bone, slightly reducing magic damage taken per stack. At max stacks, your Soulbind traits are empowered for a moderate amount of time.
Emeni’s Magnificent Skin: Releasing stacks deals some Shadow damage to nearby enemies, slightly increased per stack.
Cartilaginous Legs: Shield amount doubled.
Hearth Kidneystone: Cooldown reduction doubled.
Gristled Toes: Movement speed now slightly to moderately increased.
Gnashing Chompers: Haste increase doubled.
Sulfuric Emission: Fear duration increased for a couple of seconds.
Bonesmith Heirmir is the Primus’s apprentice and among the oldest mortal souls in Maldraxxus. With eons of training and practice, she is the foremost expert on forging weapons and armor made of bone and steel. The arsenals she creates keep the House of the Chosen and you fully equipped to face the enemies that surround them.
Resourceful Fleshcrafting: Defeating an enemy slightly reduces Fleshcraft’s cooldown.
Forgeborne Reveries: Upon death, your armor continues to fight, allowing you to fight for an additional amount of time. During these seconds, your damage and healing done is reduced moderately and you cannot receive healing.
NIGHT FAE SOULBINDS
The cunning night fae you befriended in Ardenweald will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they bestow upon you.
Niya is a sylvar who was tasked with guarding and caring for the wildseeds in her grove. You met her in a time of tragedy as her grove was left to wither so that its anima could be reclaimed. As she journeyed with you, Niya learned the hard truths of survival admidst the drought. An expert hunter and tracker, her skills will aid resolving the drought, and the other threats to Ardenweald.
Sylvari Mantle: When Soulshape ends, you are concealed until you move.
Grove Invigoration: When you use your Night Fae class ability or spell, gain a moderate amount of Mastery, slowly fading over a few minutes.
Dreamweaver is a calm and serene faerie who’s adept at peering into the dreams of nature spirits who slumber within the forest’s wildseeds as they await their rebirth. Dreamweaver helped you form a bond with one particular wildseed whose sleeping spirit reached out. His healing powers provide support as Ardenweald is besieged by outside forces.
Field of Blossoms: When Soulshape ends, you increase the movement speed of nearby allies for a moderate amount of time.
Podtender: When you would take damage that would kill you, instead rejuvenate within a wildseed, regaining a moderate amount of your maximum health over a few seconds. If the pod takes more than a certain amount of damage during this time, you die. This effect may only occur once every several minutes.
Korayn, a huntress of the Wild Hunt, is a strong-willed leader and ferocious fighter. Tasked with protecting the forest from the most dangerous and elusive threats, she will not rest until her quarry is slain and Ardenweald’s safety is secured. When Hibernal Hollow came under attack, it is Korayn’s leadership and resolve that helped win the day.
Wild Hunt’s Charge: While out of combat, your Soulshape’s teleport becomes a charge, stunning your target for a few seconds and ending your Soulshape.
Final Moments: Your healing and damage to targets at low health is slightly increased. When an ally dies, this benefit is significantly increased for a moderate amount of time. This enhancement may only occur once every few minutes.
The proud venthyr you befriended in Revendreth will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they can bestow upon you.
Nadjia the Mistblade is the self-proclaimed greatest duelist to ever wield a blade, who rebels at stagnation and longs for the next new experience. Wherever there is trouble, you can expect to find Nadjia there at the heart of it. She is ready to turn her skills to the defense of Revendreth at your command, and her entertainment.
Agent of Chaos: Door of Shadows disorients all nearby enemies at the target location for a few seconds when you appear.
Thrill Seeker: While in combat, you gain a stack of Thrill Seeker every couple of seconds, or some stacks on killing an enemy. When stacks reach their limit Thrill Seeker is consumed to grant you Euphoria, speeding up everything you do moderately for several seconds. Thrill Seeker decays rapidly while you are not in combat.
General Draven served Revendreth for eons as commander of the Stone Legion. He is on the frontline of any battlefield, will fight with honor to the very end, and never leaves a soldier behind.
Enduring Gloom: Door of Shadows grants you a shield that absorbs damage equal to 15% of your maximum health. Lasts 8 seconds.
Call to Action: Using your Venthyr class ability or spell grants some Versatility to you, and your nearby allies for a moderate duration of time.
Theotar the Mad Duke knows all too well that insanity is no excuse for bad manners! Exiled from traditional aristocratic circles so he formed his own court of outcasts to gossip with. Whether weaving powerful magic through his favorite teapot or animating dredgers to carry his umbrella for him, Theotar wields the incredible power of Revendreth in his own, eccentric way.
Watch the Shoes!: Door of Shadows frees you from roots and snares.
Soothing Shade: Your spells and abilities have a chance to call Tubbins and Gubbins to your side for a moderate amount of time, parasol in hand. Standing in the shaded area grants you some Mastery.
The Forge of Bonds also allows you to augment your Soulbinds with Conduits, socketed passives that enhance your Class and Covenant Abilities. Here are examples of Conduits for Warriors.
Warrior (all specs): Execute increases the critical strike chance of subsequent Executes for a moderate amount of time, stacking substantially.
Warrior (Kyrian, all specs): Spear of Bastion’s instant damage and Rage generation are significantly increased.
Warrior (Necrolord, all specs): Brandishing the Conqueror’s Banner (Covenant Ability) immediately grants you a moderate amount of Glory (used to prolong the duration of your banner), and while the banner is planted your Strength is moderately increased.
Warrior (Night Fae, all specs): Ancient Aftershock’s damage and Rage generation are significantly increased against the first target struck.
Warrior (Venthyr, all specs): Condemn’s damage dealt and prevented are moderately increased for each nearby enemy.
Warrior (Arms): Overpower has a chance to apply Colossus Smash for a few seconds.
Warrior (Fury): Recklessness now last moderately longer.
Warrior (Protection): Last Stand significantly increases your Rage generation.
Conduits are still in development and subject to change.
You can choose between Soulbinds in rested areas or with a Tome of the Clear Mind or Codex of the Clear Mind to vary your play style for the battle ahead. Soulbind traits and Conduits can only be changed at the Forge of Bonds, located inside your Covenant Sanctum.
We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview excites you for the Soulbinds.
Soulbinds, Conduits, and Renown Levels are still in development and subject to change, so be sure to check back for periodic updates on worldofwarcraft.com as we approach the release of Shadowlands.