PvP Viability of Covenants
Ancient aftershock’s knockdown / DoT for rage generation/damage seemed viable until it was changed. No one with a brain will stand in a circle for 12 seconds now creating almost a dead ability other than an extremely long CD interrupt. Warlock felguard worked in PvP in Legion only with a massive about of CC investment to keep them there, because the demon did obnoxious damage and it was worth it. Aftershock does not, and it’s design was to create CC itself. No longer reasonable to use in PvP at all sadly. Loved this one before the change as you could benefit from the rage gain as well as create some spread pressure when you caught players grouped up. #pleaserevert
Soulshape- Mobility = Useful. Run Without Tiring allows this ability to also heal us the longer we stay in the form, but I don’t see it being overly practical compared to the other option of just having it available more often; Stay on the Move. Wild Hunt’s Charge however turns this into a 5 second charge stun if used from out of combat, hello cross CC.
Extra Soulbind Stuff-
Niya - Niya’s Tools: Burs seems cool, but a 6s 20% slow + small damage proc that enemies have to walk over of their own volition seems lackluster compared to Niya’s Tools: Poison, which adds a large 30 second dot on successful interrupts. It would be fun to swap these two based on if you’re playing against caster comps or not, but with Blizzards current plans we probably just wont use one or the other, and I don’t believe the third option will ever proc on a warrior, could be viable if theres an interaction I’m not thinking of. Swift Patrol might see a lot use in RBGs to finish mopping up and enemy team, and might further incentivize killing pets in arena when available. Niya’s final ability Grove Invigoration adds a damage and max health component to Aftershock that may help make up for everyone walking out of your ability and I probably should have added it above.
Dreamweaver - Field of Blossoms seems trash, again its PvP and were moving around so we won’t get much benefit from 5% haste while standing still for the most likely 1.5 second knockdown. Social Butterfly could definitely be cool, 5% vers is no joke but it’s too niche within melee cleave RBG comps that aren’t splitting targets to compete on its row. Soothing Voice adds a 90% and rapidly decreasing slow to Charge, Storm Bolt if you’re specced for it, and maybe a few more racials the could aid in winning the kite-and-chase game. Somnambulist could be amazing if it stays on after you enter a PvP instance, but I highly doubt that will be the case. With the final ability being a killable cheat death mechanic that players will learn to kill quickly. I doubt this Soulbind will ever see use by PvP seeking warriors in its current state.
Korayn - This is the homie providing the 5 second charge stun. Face Your Foes could be a nice 2% damage reduction while you’re out of CC and attacking DPS. First Strike could be very decent depending on how frequent the interactions are allowed to occur/reset, if it resets only on combat drop not so much. Hold the Line feels like it could be cool, but 10% physical damage reduction against most melee that are trying to run to hit you the back means “Standing Still” would have to be defined as “spinning in place” for this to benefit you at all, and only against melee teams that are training you rather than cleaving you for longer than 5 seconds. Get in formation might help in the slightest possible way, but 3% mount speed is 3% mount speed, maybe on large RBG maps it might work for a matter of seconds, but I don’t 3% of probably less than 45 seconds is going to help your team when other Soulbinds and class abilities will grant them much more speed. The final Wild Hunt Tactics granting 10% damage and 10% movement speed when damaging targets above 75% hp is very useful in all forms of warrior PvP.
Conqueror’s Banner feels rough to use as it suffers from the same issue as Aftershock, but in potentially a worse way. The chances of being able to have an enemy stand in a 15 yard area that’s clearly marked on the ground for enough time that you’d gain a meaningful amount of critical strike(crit damage already diminished in PvP combat) when you walk away are abysmal. We are warriors, players are trying to kite us(including other melee at a high level) so we are constantly on the move. I think Deonto’s suggestion of the banner being on our back is the only real solution here(and it would still feel bad). The previous version of Conqueror’s Banner felt much better for PvP even if only for the 10% movement speed and shorter CD. The extra health component looks like maybe it could save someone(Rally fills this niche already) except it doesn’t actually provide temporary HP like Rally does so it’s essentially useless. It feels like a cheap addition to try to help Protection pretend this was going to be helpful, but Prot already has Last Stand and Rallying Cry itself . The only useful situation I can see for this would be if your healer was about to eat a long CC chain and you somehow pre drop this and your healer heals you and your ally to full hp while you stand in this thing, the enemies don’t notice and commit to CCing your healer and doing their “go” on you anyways and maybe that 20% extra health pool in a 20 second window saves one of you. Not ever going to happen, and who wants their damage, 3 minute CD covenant class ability to be used like that.
Fleshcraft - In Arena this is going to see extremely limited use, maybe VS a full stealth team where your healer might be CCd at the start. Once in combat a 4 second channel for only 20% absorb(maybe it works on dead pets for a higher shield?) isn’t going to help a warrior much. You won’t be able to stop incoming damage with your abilities and it doesn’t seem like you can even dodge parry or block during the channel. Some of the soulbinds make this one a bit more useful, one makes the player immune to CC during it, so some high skill gameplay could use this similarly to Bladestorm is used currently. Another makes it usable while moving, and one even adds AoE damage and healing allies component to it, potentially giving us an ability to help save an ally in a pinch. Baseline I could see this getting more use in a BG setting where there might be corpses around to consume for the extra absorb.
Extra Soulbind Stuff-
Plague Deviser Marileth Volatile Solvent is going to help about as much as Fleshcraft already is, and depends on what sort of PvP interactions we get. Killing a hunter’s pet gives 2% strength, a frost mage elemental gives 2% magic damage(>.>), demons give 5% stamina, players at the moment don’t give anything but I’m assuming if this is working correctly they will give 2% mastery, and totems don’t leave a corpse so that’s a no go on the big 5% haste buff. These do last for 6 minutes though so it’s at least something if you manage to pull an absorb off. Travel with Bloop seems pretty strong, a potential passive 10% movement speed isn’t something to scoff at. Ooz’s Frictionless Coating seems extremely strong at the moment as it appears to have no CD on the proc effect, meaning if you’re healed back above 50% during the absord(likely) you’ll gain another 10% absorb as soon as you fall below again. Plaguey’s Preemptive Strike seems like it needs to go in the PvE bin compared to the other two options on this row. His third row is dead and his final row gives the CC immunity during Fleshcraft I spoke of earlier.
Emeni - The Magnificent Skin is going to do slim to nothing for us given it lasts 30 seconds and the warrior class ability is on a 3 minute CD, but the Ambulatory Flesh is the channel Fleshcraft while moving ability that might make the channel something you can slip in here and there while wobbling to your target without a mobility ability. I would love to see it give a movement speed gain on top. Sulfuric Emission’s fear seems like a lifesaver, and Gristled Toes could be a solid little bit of movement speed, but Gnashing Chompers is near nothing at all in PvP. I spoke of Emeni’s final ability Embody the Construct, the aoe damage and heal addition to fleshcraft earlier so I wont again here.
Bonesmith Heirmir - Serrated Spaulders seems like a great bit of added damage when players attack you, not sure if its enough to discourage a warrior being targeted but its nice. Resourceful Fleshcrafting isn’t relevant in comparison give the low amount of kills in rated PvP. Ravenous Pendant suffers from the same problem, lack of kills. Gorestompers could be cool, but 5 seconds seems like it wont line up where need it to most of the time. Marrowed Gemstone seems like the only real choice on this row as its at least a relevant damage increase. Runeforged Spurs could help start combat on a ranged target without wasting a mobility CD, but its not much speed and probably won’t if someone actually wanted to peel you. Max benefit would be a fraction of a second less free damage taken while you’re moving to your ranged target out of LoS. Forgeborne Reveries sounds super fun, but I don’t think its close to standing up to the final ability of the other soulbinds in actual usefulness.
Spear of Bastion- 25 instant rage regardless of target count, a lot of damage, a 4 second root that’s not going to break on damage dealt, seemingly unlimited target capacity for CC and only diminishing damage above 5, with a shorter CD than Ancient Aftershock. This seems way too much stronger than Ancient Aftershock, yet alone the other 2. Can be used to peel, kite, or hold someone in place for you and your teammates to deal damage. All the covenant abilities should strive to be this useful.
Phial of Serenity Also super strong. Lesser lock rocks all the time that also remove all diseases poisons curses and bleeds? Yes please. Add in a little soulbind love and this thing turns into a monster. Healing up to 35% overtime or making you immune to the ailments it cures for 15 seconds. You’re also able to set it to auto proc below 35% (unsure if this bypasses the 3min CD or not atm) or function as a knockback on use(fun).
Extra Soulbind Stuff-
Pelagos - Let Go of the Past- 5% basically passive Vers? Yeah Kyrian continues to be strong. His next row, due to the lack of kills in rated PvP, really only leaves the 35% 10s HoT Phial alteration as an option. The next row is dead for PvP. The final row gives a nice bit of mastery tied with each Spear use, more damage on a damage CD+PvP=nice, I doubt moving off target to grab a memory for 3 seconds more of 5% mastery will ever be worth though so the fun packman aspect is out the window.
Kleia -First row really only has one choice that makes sense in my eyes, I don’t think your teammates would like losing 5% of their healthpool every time you drop below 90%, and that immunity is too strong in comparison. The second row could some choice or just be forced into picking stats. Resonant Accolades could help your healers be the tiniest bit more mana efficient with good gameplay, Bearer’s Pursuit seems solid but I haven’t tested if the slow stacks with other slows, so it also has the potential to be almost useless, while Pointed Courage is relatively large amount of dynamic crit percent and I’m not sure you can go too wrong with that. Cleansing Rights is basically automatically using the Signature ability for the Necrolords without having to stand still everytime you’re out of combat, could be more useful than the 10% mount speed option but theres an actual choice to be made on this row if you’re an RBG player. Valiant Strikes seems amazing, especially given you can gain a lot of passive crit in this tree. Then again crit is usually not a stat players strive for in PvP so who knows.
Forgelite Prime Mikanikos - Phial knockback or auto-proc, a nice choice for PvP exists here for a change, 35% health seems like too high of a proc threshold though, 20% would be better for PvP players. Hammer of Genesis seems more useful for RBG than arena, but doesn’t compete well with the rest of the row. Sparkling Driftglobe core has the same concept as Sulfuric Emission but instead of 20% its 35%, and instead of a fear it’s a stun; it seems stronger in terms of frequency and usefulness, but it could mess with diminishing returns in a bad way if you have an unfortunate proc more so than a fear would. Off the DR would be ridiculous. Soulsteel Clamps don’t sound terribly useful outside a rogue opener or being CCd out of a root, as the buff only lasts 5 seconds after you start moving, a thing warriors do a lot in PvP. The next row is dead, unless you could some how viably abuse jumping off heights in BGs and the more vertical arena. Don’t really have any comments on Bron’s Call to Action, just wondering if you can heal friends by targeting them while using focus macros to attack other players.
Condemn- Seems good. The damage reduction aspect is a nice touch. This will probably be the most useful for swaps and spread pressure/quick swaps in the hands of a Fury or Prot warrior, because at the end of the day Mortal Strike is applying a bleed, our Mastery, and healing reduction as Arms. This ability seems to be focused on more sustained damage compared to the other class abilities, in a situation where a healer is probably healing above 80% frequently even Arms could gain a slight damage boost then and there. In deep dampening arena, this adds a bit of survivability to yourself as well as creates a higher threat execute(one soulbind also adds 10% Vers for 10 seconds on use). It sadly does not interact with the Death Sentence honor talent. I would say this was the go-to damage dealing covenant if Kyrian wasn’t so dang strong.
Door of Shadows - I want this to be useful at its basic level, but I can’t see it. Maybe you could port behind a pillar to get to someone circling it to avoid you, but at a 1.5 second cast with a telegraphed port location this would only work on bad players that probably wouldn’t be hard to juke change directions on in the first place. Perhaps in an arena setting it’ll be faster than running back up a ramp to a higher location if heroic leap is on CD(or to save the CD) after several knockbacks off a ledge or failing at teleport trickery. HOWEVER, the soulbinds turn this ability into something very viable, potentially a 6 second AoE disorient on a 1 minute CD (stronger than Blind??), a 40% movement speed for 6 second buff could potentially make this viable for mobility, another get out of roots and snares card is not to be undervalued even with a cast time, and a 15% absorb shield for 8 seconds on use that’s kinda meh in comparison but still a nice boon to trying to escape alive.
Extra Soulbind Stuff-
Nadja the Mistblade - First row has some of the best competing row options out there for PvP imo, not sure why all can’t be like this. Friends in Low Places doesn’t affect PvP at all from my understanding. The third row of options are pretty great, minus Exacting Preparation really not coming fully into play in PvP so probably out of the running by default. Familiar Predicaments 25% reduced snare and roots are solid and seems like the intended PvP choice, but I’m not sure turning down 4% flat damage to the target of your choosing for something most of the warrior specs can already either get out of via class abilities or be dispelled of is worth it, without even factoring in 2% less damage taken. All the warrior specs are in dire need of haste right now, so the final ability periodically giving 20% haste for 10 seconds sounds great. The more damage spikes the better.
Theotar the Mad Duke - 2 charges of a mostly useless casted teleport, or being able to get out of roots and snares to make the teleport useful, choice seems like it just depends on the type of content you do, eww. Refinied Palate does nothing since we cant use potions in PvP, Soothing Shade suffers from the “we have to move to hit things, we’re warriors” problem many of the covenant abilities grossly overlook for PvP, but you could play around this one more so than others, 350 mastery for 12s every minute can’t be right. Token of Appreciation really pushes the rest of the options off the table though unless you’re looking for purely selfish damage and the mastery levels on Soothing Shade stays where it is. Second to final row is dead. Wasteland Propriety seems very nice, 10% vers and 4% to your allies with so many opportunities to use Codemn adds a lot of fun target choosing / buff management gameplay.
General Draven - First row seems dead unless Expedition leader stays in PvP instances, minor and annoying to use if it does(limiting what you can do between queues). Built for War seems strong outside of deep dampening arena, but even then maybe that 5% helped burn through enemy CDs and mana earlier in the game. Big fan of Superior Tactics, the old glyph for damage increase on successful interrupts has been sorely missed and encourages good gameplay(or fights with your teammates…) Warriors don’t really heal, enough that 4% for standing still is going to outweigh the rest. Enduring Glooms usefulness I briefly mentioned before, but depending on your team comp, Move As One could be amazing. Service In Stone death mechanic seems pretty fun for your teammates to play around, and the 10% damage reduction when below 40% is incentive enough alone to value this ability.