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This article is about the expansion itself. For the region, see Shadowlands.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (shortened shadow, shado, or sl) is the upcoming eighth expansion for World of Warcraft. Set primarily in the eponymous region of the Shadowlands, the story will deal with the return of Sylvanas Windrunner breaking the barrier between Azeroth and the Shadowlands. The expansion was officially announced on November 1, 2019, at BlizzCon 2019.

Shadowlands logo.png
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Blizzard Entertainment


Late 2020

Latest release
Latest beta build

Expansion pack



Expansion packs chronology

Battle for Azeroth

The expansion was initially planned to be released on October 26/27, 2020.[1][2] However, in an update on October 1, the release date was pushed back to later in the year. The new release date has not yet been decided.[3][4]

In the weeks leading up to the expansion's release, a new Scourge invasion--Death Rising--will begin as the masterless undead will maraud across Azeroth.[5]



Official site

Brave The Beyond

The veil between life and death is no more.

With a single act of destruction, Sylvanas Windrunner has ripped open the way to the afterlife. Azeroth's staunchest defenders have been dragged into all-consuming darkness. An ancient force of death threatens to break its bonds and unravel reality.

Hidden realms of wonder and horror await any who would pass to the other side. The Shadowlands is home to an entire realm of the departed; it is a world between worlds whose delicate balance preserves life and death itself.

As one of Azeroth's greatest champions, you have been granted the power to cross over in body and soul. Now you must investigate a conspiracy to unmake the cosmos, and help Warcraft legends journey back... or fulfill their ultimate destiny.[6]

Pre-order pitch

Explore Azeroth's Afterlife

The Shadowlands are home to an entire universe of the departed. Journey through hidden realms of wonders and horrors that await any who pass to the other side.

Choose Your Covenant

Align yourself with one of the Shadowlands' four Covenants—otherworldly shepherds of the dead, each with their own ambitions, motives, and incredible powers to claim as your own.

Storm the Eternal Prison

Test your limits as you ascend Torghast, Tower of the Damned, a highly replayable ever-changing dungeon in the dark heart of the Maw, where the vilest souls are locked away forever.[7]

Press release

Sylvanas Windrunner, fallen leader of the Horde, has pierced the veil between Azeroth and the realm of the dead, setting in motion a series of events that threatens to upset the cosmic balance between life and death. World of Warcraft players entering the fabled Shadowlands will find the realms of the dead in upheaval. Under the normal order, departed souls were delivered to a realm appropriate to the lives they led, but now, all souls are being funneled into the Maw, where the most wicked are damned to suffer for eternity. As they seek to right the cycle and uncover the extent of Sylvanas' designs, players will forge bonds with the Covenants who hold domain over different planes within the Shadowlands.[8]


A host of new features and activities await players in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. When they cross into the realm-between-realms, players will be able to:

  • Explore the Realm of the Dead: for the first time ever in World of Warcraft, players will cross into the Shadowlands and experience the wonders and horrors of the afterlife across five new zones—the gleaming fields of Bastion, the scarred battlefields of Maldraxxus, the eternal twilight of Ardenweald, the opulent keeps of Revendreth, and the horrific Maw.
  • Claim a covenant's power: players will be called upon to forge a bond with one of four covenants that rule Shadowlands' new zones, setting the tone for their journey through the expansion with a full covenant campaign. As they level up, they'll get new abilities based on their choice, including class-specific abilities for each Covenant—as well as developing soulbinds with specific covenant members, which grant them access to that character's specific traits and bonuses.
  • Ascend the Tower of the Damned: at the heart of the Maw lies Torghast, Tower of the Damned, a cursed otherworldly prison where the wickedest souls in the universe are locked away. Highly replayable and inspired by roguelike games, heroes are invited to explore its ever-changing halls and chambers and do battle with the minions of the Jailer, Torghast's vile ruler. Those who brave its trials can claim legendary treasures and help free the heroic spirits wrongfully trapped within.
  • Every level is meaningful: Shadowlands will introduce a new leveling system, meant to provide a meaningful sense of advancement with every level achieved. Current max-level characters will begin Shadowlands at level 50 and work toward the new level cap of 60.
  • A new army of the dead rises: to combat Sylvanas' assault on Icecrown, Bolvar Fordragon— the revered former paladin who took on the mantle of Lich King to keep the Scourge at bay—has raised heroes from among all the peoples of Azeroth to bolster the Death Knights of Acherus. With Shadowlands, pandaren and all allied races will now be able to become death knights.
  • Improved character customization options: a host of new appearance options for all races will be made available to players when they create new World of Warcraft characters (or alter existing ones at the in-game barber shop).[8]


  • Focus on class identity first over specialization identity. This means moving back some of the class abilities to all specializations that may have been moved into one spec or even restoring some abilities.
  • Death knight class available for pandaren and the allied races.
  • New class-specific abilities, and covenant Soulbinds that unlock talent trees.



Four Covenants

  • Four Covenants
    • The steadfast Kyrian of Bastion, whose discipline and duty compels them to safeguard souls from the mortal realm as they pass into the Shadowlands.
    • The mysterious Night Fae of Ardenweald, who fiercely defend the spirits of nature from those who would deprive them of rebirth.
    • The cunning Venthyr of Revendreth, who feast on the souls of the prideful and vain in a gothic realm of opulence and torment.
    • The warlike Necrolords of Maldraxxus, who forge the undead armies that serve as the first line of defense for the Shadowlands and honor those who seek power and glory in battle.[8]
  • Covenant Sanctums will be the Shadowlands equivalent of the Order Halls.
  •   [Covenant Campaign], a high-end storyline similar to the War Campaign in Battle for Azeroth.


New character customization

Each playable race will have its own unique options available to them whether it's their tattoos, hairstyles, skin color, or even eye color. The undead will also be able to choose whether they show bones or not.



Infinite dungeon


Leveled-up leveling

The expansion will smooth out the leveling experience and better prepare new adventurers for what's to come. Players will level up to 50 before heading to the Shadowlands (new level cap: 60).

The experience curve is adjusted to make it faster than ever to prepare for the newest challenges, and each level along the way will provide more meaningful increases in progress and power. All expansion zones are getting more flexible, too; they'll be able* to scale to you and your friends while you level to 50, so it's easy to try a zone you've never played.

  • You can still outlevel dungeons and crush them for transmogs or fulfillment.

Levels 1-10

A New Journey for New Players

New characters will embark on an introductory voyage to learn about everything there is to do in Azeroth, including your first mini-dungeon.

Levels 10-50

Main article: Timewalking Campaigns
Pick Your Era

Play the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, or follow Chromie back in time and tackle any other expansion you choose, with challenges that scale to characters level 10–50.

Levels 50-60

Enter the Shadowlands

Step into Azeroth's afterlife, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with legends of the past as you fight to preserve the universe.

System and rewards

Prominent figures

New creatures

Pre-order options

Base option

Main article: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Base Edition
  • The Shadowlands, a new world containing 5 new zones and the city of Oribos
  • 4 Covenants to join, each with a unique Sanctum
  • New class-specific abilities, and covenant Soulbinds that unlock talent trees
  • All-new dungeons and raids

Heroic edition

Main article: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Heroic Edition

Epic edition

Main article: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Epic Edition

Collector's edition

Main article: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Collector's Edition
  • A limited-edition boxed set with everything in the Epic Edition, plus physical goodies:
    • Covenant Sigils – Four-Pin Collector's Set
    • Art of the Shadowlands
    • Shattered Sky Mousepad
    • Collector's Edition Digital Soundtrack Key

System requirements

Main article: System requirements

Tie-in literature


Cinematic stills

Concept art



See also


External links