Once every 2-3 years I’m tasked with one of the toughest decisions in my life. Choosing a main character for a new World of Warcraft expansion is extremely difficult. It’s hard to turn away from previous mains that you’ve put thousands of hours of game time into. But there are so many other cool and interesting classes and specs to choose from. The game changes so drastically with each expansion, playing your current favorite class and spec might turn into something extremely boring. With the expansion release date only a few days away I think I’m finally done choosing a main for Shadowlands.
After hours of reading reviews and guides on Wowhead and Icy-Veins, I think I can make an educated choice and choose a main that will be enjoyable and effective throughout the expansion. Countless YouTube guides also helped me make this difficult decision. I went over many different factors while choosing a main for Shadowlands.
All my previous main characters in World of Warcraft
While I wasn’t around for launch, I started playing WOW about 1 year into the original game. Since then I’ve been an on and off player and will randomly unsubscribe when I’m bored. I never leave for long and always come back for ever expansion release date. Over the eight previous versions of the game I’ve only played four classes as my main character. I am an altaholic though and have almost every class at max level on Horde.
World Of Warcraft (2004)
I started the game as a warrior and had no idea I was supposed to tank. It was a wild ride and everything about the game was interesting, confusing, and exciting. My experience as a tank didn’t last long.
Burning Crusade (2007):
Tanking was not my cup of tea and near the end of Classic WOW, I rolled a mage. This completely changed my idea of the game and drastically boosted my fun. I loved blasting things with fireballs. My mage was my first experience with raiding.
Wrath of the Lich King (2008)
I continued using a mage as my main for the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion. While most players will rate WOTL their favorite expansion, I quickly bored of it and rarely played during this WOW Expansion.
During Cata, I decided to try melee DPS and switched to a frost death knight. This was one of the first characters that I had great success with and completed all of the raids during the current expansion.
Mists of Pandaria (2012)
I continued using my death knight for much of MOP. I didn’t play much of this expansion but came back near the end and decided to give healing a try and switch to discipline priest. The shear OPness of PW:Shield made this class unstoppable and it was a blast to play.
Warlords of Draenor until Now
Ever since those first raids in MOP, I’ve been playing discipline priest. I absolutely love the modern gameplay style. It is a spec that allows me to do everything solo as well. As a disc healer, I’ve been able to complete all content for WOD, and Legion. During BFA, I decided to travel the world so haven’t completed the raids for the expansion. I still max out most of my ALTs and often play frost death knight, paladin, or destruction warlock for fun.
What factors are determining my choice of main for Shadowlands
Due to recent Covid restrictions, my world traveling has been put on hold and I have more free time to play video games. I’ve never missed an expansion release so I’m extremely excited to get back into the game and start killing mobs. While choosing a main, I focused on a few key factors.
- What roles can the class play?
- Do I enjoy the visual aesthetic of the class?
- Can I use the class with the covenants I like?
- Is it fun?
- Is playing the class stressful?
- Is it casual-friendly?
Roles in Shadowlands
If you’ve been reading the article, you’ve seen that I prefer to heal and DPS. Tanking is just too much responsibility and stress for me. I don’t have time to research every pull in this game. I have the most experience healing in WOW. Healing gives me a good mix of fun and stress. Ranged DPS is my second favorite role to play. Melee DPS can be fun to solo, but I don’t enjoy it in raids or dungeons. So I’ve decided to play a healer or ranged DPS. I could just end the article now since the priest class has 2 specs that meet these needs. But, I’ve been playing disc and shadow priest for 3 1/2 expansions.
Covenant Choices in Shadowlands
Choosing a covenant might be more important than choosing a class for Shadowlands. Covenants are the new major system in Shadowlands. There are four to choose from. Each has a unique visual aesthetic and a set of covenant powers. It will be extremely difficult to switch between covenants so choosing the right one from the start is important. Do you want to find out what covenant is BIS for your class? Wowhead has an in-depth article for you.
Here’s a Covenant overview from Wowhead.
- The Kyrian Covenant of Bastion governs over souls that served a life of service, offering them a chance to look over their past deeds and seek ascension to become a Kyrian themselves.
- The Venthyr of Revendreth take over souls that were flawed or prideful in life, but can still obtain redemption. The Venthyr punish those who lived a life of sin, determining whether they are worthy of redemption in the Shadowlands.
- The Necrolords of Maldraxxus governs over battle-hardened souls and rewards strength, while weaker souls become fuel for Maldraxxus’ cosmic weapons. Those who are deemed determined, quickly rise to positions of power.
- The Night Fae of Ardenweald accepts those with a deep connection to nature, using of the Anima in the Shadowlands to infuse slumbering spirits with the knowledge of old, and preparing them for rebirth.
While I will eventually level up an alt for each covenant, I enjoy the aesthetic of the Venthyr and Necrolords the best. One of these two covenants will be my main character’s covenant.
Each covenant also comes with their own unique abilities. Depending on your class and spec, some of the covenants are best in slot (BIS). Luckily as a casual player, I’m not a min/maxer and will choose my covenant on its style.
Fun, Casual Friendly Gameplay in Shadowlands
This is the most important factor for me. I want a fun, relaxing experience while playing. I’m not pushing for world firsts and rushing to get my main character to mythic+. The start of an expansion can be much harder for certain specs and classes. I always struggle with mana playing a freshly maxed discipline priest. This can make the go go go mentality of PUGs annoying and stressful. Living in Cambodia, I also need a class that can play with random lag spikes and poor internet connections. Due to these problems, I’ve considered setting aside my favorite disc priest for the start of the expansion.
Finally Choosing a Main for Shadowlands
With only 3 days to go before launch, I think I’ve finally done choosing a main for Shadowlands. We’re down to 3 specs.
The new shadow priest is a blast to play. It is a major upgrade in fun compared to BFA. Playing a shadow priest as a main allows me to also steadily improve my discipline priest. Neither of my favorite covenants are BIS for shadow priest, but it is a fun, stress-free, and engaging spec.
Being one of the toughest specs to play at the start of an expansion, I might put the disc priest on hold until the first patch. Discipline’s BIS slot is my favorite covenant (Venthyr) and I’d get their sweet loot faster by playing discipline priest
Affliction or Destruction Warlock
I’ve recently been really enjoying playing both affliction and destruction warlock. There is just something so satisfying at destroying something with a chaos belt or laying out DOTs on rooms full of enemies. Unfortunately the BIS for both specs is the Kyrian Covenant.
What are my other options for main characters?
I do have a few other ALTs that are max level and could become mains. I enjoy playing frost dk and all paladin specs but I don’t want to start Shadowlands with a melee spec.
The Verdict? Shadow Priest is my new Main for Shadowlands
It looks like shadow priest has everything I need to enjoy the release of Shadowlands. While they’re the BIS covenant is Kyrian, I won’t lose too much power by choosing Venthyr or Necrolord. Shadow priest gives an extremely effective and fun ranged DPS and I’ll be able to continue to use the same priest I’ve been using since MOP. I’ll also be able to heal with disc or holy when I’m more experienced in the new dungeons. I also won’t have to worry about my poor internet connection as much playing a DPS spec. Disconnects won’t mean the group is left with no healer!
Did you choose your main for Shadowlands yet?
With only a few days before release, I hope you’ve had time to make your own decision. What factors were most important in your choice of main? We’d love to hear from you. Want to join up and run some instances? I play on US-Dentarg and my main’s name is Lazershark. I’m looking forward to the launch of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands on November 23rd.