Among the necrolords, strength is rewarded and weakness cast aside. The souls of the ambitious and contentious are forged into an immortal army charged with the defense of the Shadowlands.
In the birthplace of necromantic magic, those who master the powers of death turn legions of ambitious souls into relentless armies. Should you join the Necrolords, you will take on the role of protector of the Shadowlands and carry the weight of a divided house upon your shoulders. But are you the one that prophecy has foretold?
If you’re a believer in the power of might? Then the Necrolords Covenant just may be where you place your loyalties within the Shadowlands.
The Necrolord Covenant Campaign finds famed warrior Draka and her forces outnumbered at the Seat of the Primus. Their tenuous control hangs in the balance as the combined forces of the House of Rituals, House of Constructs, and the House of the Chosen move against them. With your help, Draka undertakes a bold plan to bolster their forces. You’ll need to take steps to build alliances, steal a necropolis, and construct an army of abominations to face the true enemy behind all of the troubles that plague Maldraxxus.
As you’re put through your paces and prove your mettle to the Necrolords through their Covenant Campaign, you’ll build Renown. Increasing Renown will provide you access to unique rewards from your Covenant. Learn more about Renown in our Covenant Systems article.
In your pursuit to earn Renown, you’ll go into the Maw to recover wayward souls and bring them to your Covenant Sanctum; some will even embark on Adventures on your behalf.
Covenant Sanctum: The Seat of Primus
When you join the Necrolord Covenant, you’ll gain access to the Seat of Primus, a unique Sanctum available only to their members. As their seat of power, it’s here that you’ll meet with key figures, take on new quests, and store Anima. As you progress through the Necrolord campaign, you’ll also have opportunity to upgrade additional features within your Sanctum.
Each of the four Covenants have features that they share among them, but they also have a feature that is uniquely their own. For the Necrolord Covenant, it’s the Abomination Factory.
During the first weeks of the Necrolord Covenant Campaign, you’ll be introduced to Rathan and Emeni, who you will work with to establish a small community known as the Butchers Block. It’s here that various constructs loyal to the Seat of the Primus gather and where you’ll unlock a new crafting system—Abominable Stitching.
You’ll need to gather a variety of resources to begin your journey into mastering fleshwork and bringing a variety of constructs to life. Each of these constructs will become residents of the Butcher Block, adding their own unique personalities, quests, and (in some cases) companionship on your adventures.
We hope you’re not too squeamish, because there’s literal buckets of slime in your future if you choose to join the Necrolord Covenant. You’ll work with other players to convey buckets of colorful slime to a mixing pool, which will summon a repeatable boss event based on which colors you’ve coordinated.
The Necrolords have a truly unique method of traversing around Maldraxxus. With a little elbow grease and a few extra spare parts, you can utilize the Abomination Factory to create a friend to carry you wherever your adventures take you. Whether you want them to carry you on their shoulders (complete with their tiny top hat), or just want to tool around through the immaculately maintained fields of Bastion, you’ll travel in ultimate style.
If staying on the ground isn’t your thing, you may want to set your sights on the Necropolis high above. It makes a circuit around the zone and may inspire a little goblin ingenuity.
In Adventures, you’ll put your tactical skills to the test by sending your allies into the Shadowlands and lending aid to the Necrolords Covenant. While this feature is available to each Covenant, the allies you recruit and the missions you give them will be unique to the Covenant. You’ll need to get to know the strength and weaknesses of those you send out with the scouting map.
Players can enable additional content with their Covenant’s realm by investing Anima into specific areas in Maldraxxus. When you restore Anima to a location, it revitalizes the area, allowing you to access new quests, make it easier for you to unearth wondrous treasures, or lure out powerful foes to slay for rewards. Different areas are tied to different content unlocks.
House of the Chosen – Find a unique Covenant treasure.
House of Constructs – Fight an enemy champion.
House of Plagues – Access a Covenant World Quest.
House of Eyes – Access a set of Covenant daily quests.
House of Rituals – Get access to powerful necrolord enhancements.
Theater of Pain – Fight an elite enemy champion.
The Strongest of Soulbinds
Once you’ve proven your worth, you’ll unlock the ability to Soulbind with one of several select characters in the Covenant, who will share their distinctive powers with you in the form of a variety of traits and bonuses.
The warforged necrolords you assisted in Maldraxxus will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with a few example powers they can bestow upon you.
Plague Deviser Marileth is as eccentric as he is brilliant, and 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.
Might of the Necrolords
When you join the Necrolord Covenant, you’ll gain two new unique abilities—one signature ability and one class ability.
Signature abilities are available to all Covenant members regardless of class, race, or specialization.
Form a shield of flesh and bone that prevents damage equal to a portion of your maximum health. Standing near the corpse of a defeated enemy when the ability is cast will create a larger shield.
Covenant class abilities provide additional combat-oriented gameplay options that are tailored to the theme of that Covenant.
Sprout an additional limb for a limited time, dealing Shadow damage to nearby enemies. If an enemy is farther away from you, they are pulled to your location.
Demon Hunter: Fodder to the Flame
Commission a duel to the death against a Condemned Demon from the Theater of Pain. Vanquishing your foe releases its demon soul and creates a pool of demon blood. Fighting within the pool increases your attack speed by 20% and reduces the damage that enemies deal to you by 10%. Fleshcraft treats the Condemned Demon as a powerful enemy.
Druid: Adaptive Swarm
Command a swarm that heals or deals Shadow damage to a target and increases the effectiveness of your periodic effects on them.
Upon expiration, travels to a new target within range, alternating between friend and foe up to a set number of times.
Hunter: Death Chakram
Throw a deadly chakram at your current target which will rapidly deal additional Shadow damage.
Each time the chakram deals damage, its damage is increased and you generate a small amount of Focus.
Transform into a powerful Skeletal Mage for a period of time.
While in the form of a skeletal mage, your Frostbolt, Fireball, and Arcane Blast hit a few additional enemies near your target, and your spell damage is increased.
Monk: Bonedust Brew
Hurl a brew created from the bones of your enemies at the ground, coating all targets struck for 10 seconds. Your abilities have an additional 15% chance to affect the target a second time with 25% effectiveness as either Shadow damage or healing.
Brewmaster: Tiger Palm and Keg Smash reduces the cooldown of your brews by an additional 1 second when striking enemies affected by Bonedust Brew.
Windwalker: Spinning Crane Kick refunds 1 Chi when striking enemies affected by Bonedust Brew.
Mistweaver: Gust of Mist provides additional healing to allies affected by Bonedust Brew.
Paladin: Vanquisher’s Hammer
Throw a hammer at your target, dealing Shadow damage and empowering your next Word of Glory or Templar’s Verdict:
Holy: Word of Glory automatically triggers Light of Dawn.
Protection: Word of Glory automatically triggers Shield of the Righteous.
An explosion of dark energy heals nearby allies and infects nearby enemies with Unholy Transfusion.
Unholy Transfusion deals Shadow damage over time. Your allies who damage this target receive healing.
Rogue: Serrated Bone Spike
Embed a bone spike in the target, dealing Physical damage over time until they die. Deals additional damage and generates a Combo Point for each other active bone spike.
A charge of Serrated Bone Spike is refunded to you when the target dies or is healed to full.
Shaman: Primordial Wave
Blast your target with a Primordial Wave, healing an ally or dealing Shadow damage and applying Flame Shock to an enemy.
Elemental: Your next Lava Burst will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock.
Enhancement: Your next Lightning Bolt will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock.
Restoration: While an ally is targeted, Primordial Wave will cast Riptide. Your next Healing Wave will also hit all targets affected by your Riptide.
Warlock: Decimating Bolt
Hurl a bolt of shadow magic at your target, dealing Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next Incinerates, Drain Souls, or Shadow Bolts.
Decimation Bolt's damage and the bonus to Incinerate, Drain Soul, or Shadow Bolt both increase as your target's health decreases.
Warrior: Conqueror’s Banner
Brandish the banner of the Necrolords, increasing your movement speed and causing Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, and Shield Slam to grant you Glory. Killing an enemy grants additional stacks of Glory.
Reactivating this ability plants the banner in the ground, granting an increased amount of maximum health and additional attack speed to you and your allies within range of the banner. Lasts additional time per Glory, up to a maximum amount.
We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview gives you some insight on what the Necrolord Covenant has to offer—or what you can offer them. Learn more about Maldraxxus in our previously published article.
Rewards, mechanics, and abilities are still in development and subject to change.