One of the most significant innovations of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is the Covenant system, which lets players choose one of four factions to work with throughout the expansion's endgame. Each has its cast of characters, zone, quests, and rewards, so choosing who to join can be hard. If you're a fan of Night Elves, Druids, or the Emerald Dream, you might want to consider the Night Fae.
Who are the Night Fae?
When loa, wild gods, nature spirits, and ancients die, their souls travel to Ardenweald, a beautiful twilight realm where they can be restored and reborn. They are tended to by the Night Fae under the watch of the Winter Queen, who draws power from the land itself. However, like all the realms of the Shadowlands, Ardenweald is experiencing a shortage of anima that is causing its groves to wither and die, weakening the Winter Queen and leaving her realm vulnerable to invasion.
To keep the cycle of reincarnation from breaking down, you'll need to work with some familiar faces. The shady loa of death Bwonsamdi can help you turn back an invasion by the Drust, twisted druids that would transform the realm in a blighted land of thorns. You'll also meet the green Dragon Aspect Ysera, who was slain in Legion after being corrupted and transformed into a creature of nightmare. Ysera's spirit now seeks to heal Ardenweald and help her old friend the Night Elf leader Tyrande Whisperwind before the dark power consumes her she imbued herself with when she swore vengeance after Sylvannas Windrunner, and the Horde burned down her home, Teldrassil.
Wild friends and enemies
Ardenweald is home to numerous fae creatures who nurture Wildseeds, which are used to return strength to ancient souls and prepare them for a new life. Faeries love performing, singing to great spirits to ease their pain. Those same strange songs can lure in lesser creatures, which the mischievous faeries kill and use to make poultices. They're fickle creatures that can be quick to anger and forgive.
The Winter Queen commands the Wild Hunt, a group of warriors primarily composed of the centaur-like Vorkai. They protect Ardenweald and have recently been forced to enforce the Queen's decision to let some of its groves die so that others will have enough anima to survive. Similar sacrifices are being made by the satyr-like Sylvar, who work to maintain the cycle of rebirth by creating tools and enchanted items.
The mysterious Tirnenn are the eldest members of the Winter Queen's court. They're typically patient and friendly, but when their groves are threatened, they will turn the very land against their enemies. While wandering the zone, you might also encounter the souls of druids, hunters, and other mortals strongly associated with nature, which have been found worthy of spending their eternity in the twilight gardens. They typically take the form of a celestial animal of their choice.
The primary antagonists in Archenweald are the Drust, an ancient enemy of the Night Fae native to the nightmare realm of Thros. They are growing their forces by binding the fae of Archenweald with dark magic and using the withered groves as a way to invade. You'll also be harassed by Spriggan, native fae who love unleashing chaos and destruction. They've gotten even more dangerous recently by serving the interests of Mueh'zala, Bwonsamdi's rival for the title of loa of death.
All characters that join the Night Fae will gain the power Soulshape, allowing them to turn into a Vulpin and increase their movement speed. Reactivating the power teleports you forward a bit. While the transformation wears off after a short duration when you're adventuring, you can keep it up indefinitely in rest areas, letting you zip around cities faster. As you proceed through the campaign, you'll collect other cosmetic forms.
Each character will also gain power based on their class and specialization:
- Death Knights replace Death and Decay with Death's Due, which lets them create a zone that does Shadow damage over time and causes enemies in the area to deal less damage to you while buffing your strength based on their power. While standing in the area, your Scourge Strike and Clawing Shadows will hit all enemies near your target, and Necrotic Strike and Heart Strike will also hit additional enemies.
- Demon Hunters can use The Hunt to charge an enemy, root them, deal Nature damage, and afflict them with a mark that gives you more Fury when you target them with Demon's Bite or Shear. Every 30 seconds, you can reactivate The Hunt to teleport behind the marked target, ignoring the line of sight restrictions.
- Druids cast Convoke the Spirits to cast 16 spells and abilities based on their Shapeshift form over four seconds that target everyone in the area.
- Hunters call on the energy of Wild Spirits to hit all enemies in the area with Wild Mark for 15 seconds. You'll do a bit more damage to the marked enemies and will summon a spirit beast to do additional nature damage every time you use an ability on them.
- Mages channel the Shifting Power of the land to reduce their ability cooldowns and deal Nature damage over time to nearby enemies.
- Monks use Faeline Stomp to expose a faeline, which is presumably like a leyline, for 30 seconds, dealing Nature damage. Brewmasters will also hit enemies on the faeline with Breath of Fire, Mistweavers will heal allies on the faeline with Essence Font, and Windwalkers will pull Chi and Energy Spheres out of enemies on the faeline. Fighting on the faeline gives you a 10% chance to recharge Faeline Stomp every time you use an ability.
- Paladins receive a power called Blessing of the Seasons, which is currently being revised based on player feedback.
- Priests receive Fae Blessings, summoning helpful sprites that add a kicker to their next ten spells. Power Word: Shield will restore 2% of the target's mana or 20% of any other resource. Up to five allies targeted with Void Bolt, Prayer of Healing, or Power Word: Radiance will have the cooldowns of their primary abilities reduced by three seconds. Allies will take 10% less damage for 15 seconds after being targeted by Shadow Mend, Mind Blast, Flash Heal, or Heal.
- Rogues can infect enemies with Sepsis, causing 10 seconds of sustained Nature damage plus more damage if they survive the duration. Rogues Vanish when the duration runs out, but have Sepsis' cooldown reduced by a minute if it doesn't.
- Shamans use Fae Transfusion to deal Nature damage every half a second for three seconds to up to four enemies in the area. Using the ability a second time within 20 seconds will heal up to eight nearby enemies for 25% of the damage dealt.
- Warlocks consume some of their own health to afflict their target and up to three other nearby enemies with Soul Rot, dealing Nature damage for eight seconds. Anyone affected by Soul Rot will also be targeted when the Warlock casts Drain Life.
- Warriors produce an Ancient Aftershock by hitting the ground with their weapon, stunning up to five enemies for 1.5 seconds and dealing Nature damage to them every two seconds for 12 seconds. They'll also gain six Rage.
A secret garden
If you join the Night Fae, your base of operations will be the Queen's Conservatory, a garden where you'll help restore ancient spirits and prepare them for rebirth. You'll have access to both Wildseed pods and plots of land where you can plant catalysts that will strengthen the Wildseeds. When you finish restoring a soul, you will receive a reward, which could be resources or cosmetic items like pets or mounts. You'll need to learn how to best manage the catalysts and Wildseeds to improve the garden's efficiency, finding ways to reduce the incubation times or improve your rewards.
Additionally, you'll be able to help repair Marasmius, an ancient member of the Court of Night, who will give you access to a network of Fae Circles you can use to travel throughout the zone quickly. You'll start by being able to move through mushrooms to the Heart of the Forest, Stillglade, The Stalks, Forest's Edge, and The Ring. When you've increased your Renown enough, you'll also be able to get to Banks of Life, Elder Stand, Gormhives, and some caves within Ardenweald. Level three of the network gives you access to Crumbled Ridge, Eventide Grove, Tirna Scithe, and some islands near the zone.
You can also spend anima in various areas of Bastion to enable new content based on your priorities. Here are the benefits of restoring each location:
- Claw's Edge gives you access to powerful Kyrian enhancements.
- Dreamsong Fenn lets you battle an enemy champion.
- Glitterfall Basin lets you find a unique treasure.
- Hibernal Hollow unlocks a set of daily quests for your Covenant.
- Tirna Scithe lets you fight an elite enemy champion.
- Tirna Vaal unlocks a world quest.
Grow your relationships
Your choice of Covenant also determines which denizens of the Shadowlands will Soulbind with you, granting you special abilities based on how much Renown you've earned within the faction. These are the three Night Fae you can Soulbind with and their powers:
- Niya is a sylvar forced to abandon her grove due to the anima drought who uses her hunting and tracking skills to help you deal with threats to Ardenweald. She'll enhance your Soulshape so that you're concealed when it ends and give you a moderate amount of Mastery whenever you use your Night Fae class ability or spell.
- Dreamweaver is a faerie with healing powers who will help you bond with the slumbering spirit within a Wildseed by watching their dreams. He'll give you the ability to heal within a Wildseed for a few seconds when you would die, though if the seed takes enough damage during this time, you'll still be killed. The effect has a several minute cooldown. He'll also enhance Soulshape so that you increase the movement speed of nearby allies for a moderate duration after the spell ends.
- Korayn is one of the leaders of the Wild Hunt, and she'll turn your Soulshape into a charge that you can use to stun a target. When your health is low, your healing and damage will slightly increase, though the amount will be significantly boosted for a moderate amount of time after an ally dies. The enhancement only happens every few minutes.
Keep checking back for more information on the Venthyr and other Covenants and let us know who you plan on joining in Shadowlands!
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