Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant
Within war-torn Maldraxxus, might—of all kinds—makes right. Here, in the birthplace of necromantic magic, those who master the powers of death turn legions of ambitious souls into relentless immortal armies.
Welcome to Maldraxxus
Chaos has erupted in the Shadowlands. In the midst of fighting the Forsworn, the kyrian were ambushed by the very forces charged with defending the infinite realms of the Shadowlands: the militant Maldraxxi. The Archon of the Kyrian Covenant has sent you on a special mission to Maldraxxus to discover who ordered the attack—and demand answers.
It quickly becomes apparent that not all is well with the Necrolords. Two of the five ruling houses lie in ruins, and their collective leader, the Primus, is nowhere to be found. With order in freefall, the remaining three houses ruthlessly fight and sabotage one another by any means necessary to claim the Seat of the Primus—for whoever holds this ancient fortress commands the armies of the Shadowlands.
The Primus was a master strategist and tactician, nigh unbeatable on the field of battle. Long absent from his impenetrable sanctum, he left behind cryptic messages and prophecies pointing to the coming of one who could embody the might of Maldraxxus and save the realm from itself.
Meet the denizens of Maldraxxus.
The corpses of the slain are brought to the House of Constructs, where the finest pieces of flesh and bone are skillfully assembled into a new form. These reanimated monstrosities are given new purpose in a body that is greater than the sum of its once separate parts.
The most powerful warriors and champions become gladiators within the ranks of the House of the Chosen. These peerless battlefield tacticians tirelessly train with a variety of rune-forged weapons and are unmatched in martial combat.
Practicing their craft in the House of Rituals, liches are scheming skeletal sorcerers who use anima to fuel their potent magic.
Plague House Remnant
After the destruction of the House of Plagues, some of the most wretched experiments congealed into animated creatures that now mindlessly wander the plains and crags of Maldraxxus.
Should outsiders be foolish enough to invade Maldraxxus, they will find themselves cowering in fear before these behemoths. Amalgamations of countless fallen warriors, these monolithic guardians make the earth beneath them tremble with every step they take during their patrols.
Once master assassins and scouts of the fallen House of Eyes, aranakk now find themselves bannerless nomads. While their necropolis lies in ruins, they still retain their sense of purpose and are willing to share the secrets they’ve unraveled from the tangled webs of truth—for a price.
These are but a few of the entities you’ll encounter in Maldraxxus. While adventuring, it's best to stay vigilant—you might even cross paths with long-passed heroes of Azeroth who now wander this realm.
When players reach maximum level and have explored the first four zones, they’ll be able to pledge themselves to a Covenant, like the Necrolords. Each Covenant offers its champions abilities, along with other powers and cosmetic rewards that can be unlocked through a Covenant Campaign—an epic storyline unique to the faction. This alliance also gives the player access to a Covenant Sanctum, a hall only open to players who have forged a pact with its rulers.
Power of the Necrolords
If you choose to join the Necrolord Covenant, you’ll gain two unique abilities—one class ability used in combat, as well as a signature ability that all members of the Covenant share.
Here is the signature ability that the Necrolords bestow upon their champions:
Fleshcraft: 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.
To give you an idea of what to expect, you can view a list of the Covenant signature and class abilities. Please keep in mind that all these are a work in progress and may have additional changes during the course of development and testing, so all abilities shown are subject to change.
When you join a Covenant, you’ll be able to undergo an ancient rite to bind your soul to some of its most powerful members. By doing so, your character harnesses their power, gaining access to powerful bonuses. Over time, you can unlock new tiers of power and even switch Soulbinds when strategy demands it.
Necrolord Covenant Spoils
For your contributions to the Necrolord Covenant’s cause, you’ll be rewarded with several cosmetic rewards including: a mount, a pet, Necrolord-forged armor, and back attachments that will make your comrades respect you as part of their ranks.
Don specially crafted armor forged within the fires of Maldraxxus.
The House of Plagues was once part of the immortal armies of Maldraxxus, unleashing devasting blight and suffering upon the enemies of the Shadowlands. In the aftermath of the house's not-so-accidental demise, outside forces scramble to claim its toxic secrets. . . before they find themselves consumed by them.
Difficulties: Normal, Heroic, Mythic
Level: 50+ (One of four level-up dungeons*)
The exact nature of the plagues and oozes disgorged by the fall of the House of Plagues may never be deciphered, but the collection of slimes and flesh that became Globgrob will guard this treasure fanatically.
The destruction of the House of Plagues and the slime eruptions left in its wake will not stop the presumed genius of Doctor Ickus and his deranged experiments.
Domina Venomblade believes the instrument of her revenge for the fall of the House of Eyes rests with Plaguefall. No one, not even her former allies, will keep her from gaining the weapon hidden in these ruins.
*Plaguefall is a 5-player dungeon in Maldraxxus.
We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview prepares you for Maldraxxus and perhaps selecting the Necrolord Covenant!
Will you be joining the Necrolord Covenant? Join the discussion on the forums.
Rewards and abilities are still in development and subject to change, so be sure check back for periodic updates on worldofwarcraft.com as we approach the release of Shadowlands.