Hey what's going on guys it's Jack, back again to talk about the state of preservation of evoker and really just kind of ask the age-old question should you main evoker when it comes out, they just announced the pre-patch coming up next week and then two weeks after that or three weeks after that you’ll actually be able to level your evoker and actually get it in your hands to see how it plays for yourself.
I wanted to make this video to summarize and put together some of my thoughts from evoker now that I've had a chance to do raid testing fully now that I've had a chance to be able to do a lot of M Plus testing I wanted to be able to give a lot more fleshed out thoughts than previously had in other videos.
First and foremost let's start talking about the tier set that we have then we're gonna go over how the spec plays in a rating environment then how it goes over in an plus environment and then my recommendation as well as to where I think some people will enjoy the spec and where I don't think that it might bias favorable for you to be able to pick it okay so check out all of the descriptions and everything like that all the chapters are right below.
Tier Set Bonuses
First and foremost are set bonuses, preservation has a lot of them surprisingly around reversion uh you’re healing over a Time effect which extends its own duration whenever it critical strikes your two-piece your Empower spells increased versions chance to critically heal by 25 for six seconds which allows you to have longer lasting reversions which is kind of neat, you’re already using your power spells anyway right so yay more aversions longer lasting that was kind of the first thing people thought about when they saw this ability is yeah be able to have endless reversions going out but in order to really maximize the effectiveness of reversion you have to really build heavily into it from a class tree perspective that means a lot of times you're kind of building into like bronze spells, Echo spells things like that to uh start replicating those reversions all the time and to do that is kind of complicated.
in a lot of cases you have to build a hard to the right side of the trees that you're able to have like multiple charges of reversion so you're going to be able to have you know increased Echo output Anda lot of things like that would stay away from how you kind of use a lot of your essence in a lot of ways you’re consuming a lot of your essence for example into act into Echo but you could also build into something like temporal anomaly which instead of making you use your essence on Echoes instead you’re kind of just spreading around a lot of Echoes by burning down your Mana pretty heavily so both ways really make you Flex very heavily into like a talent build which I don't think that you often would run or I don't think you would often use Echoes to put out more reversions because you're not really a hot healer, if anything preservation evoker is a lot more of like a burst Healer with a couple of hot effects tied to it and a couple of like passive hoTs that are sort of tied to it in that regard so very weird from that uh sort of Empower stance.
Also you like to use a lot of your Empower abilities together in a rating environment you'll sort of like build up a spirit Bloom for example and you know damage is going to becoming out that way it'll hit right as the damage happens and then you can like tip the scales which allows you to hit your Empower ability your next Empower ability instantly for full strength then you can like Empower a dream breath and just hit everybody really quickly or something like that and then you're gonna be doing back to back big Punchy healing spells with stacking them together then that would also kind of go against your reversion benefit because then you wouldn't be spreading them out so you're constantly maintaining the reversion uh Critical Strike buff as well so a couple complications in terms of how the gameplay Works.
Your 4-set is that reversion healing is a chance to cause your next living flame to be instant cast and deal 20 increased healing or damage which also Stacks up twice, this is pretty awesome as well right I would say this is very awesome and I think it's a lot better than the two piece for one being able to actually have instant casts living Flames that’ll allow you to very quickly and more easily top somebody would be wonderful because the specs spot healing is quite weak point, it would be nice if it was free because I think it's very easy tube able to burn down your Mana very quickly when you have to just dump living Flames into like a priority Target for example.
If you don't have like your virgin Embrace which is kind of like your Leaf your uh rush they called it rescue but now they've changed the name in case you missed it but when you don't have that on hand or there's a lot of ground effects which make it risky to do it having instant cast and buffed up living Flames feels very good.
You can also use this with the leaping Flames the class Talent so that after you hit a big fire breath you can cast multiple living Flames at once that Buffs everything from the fourth piece bonus which is also very very good, the issue at hand on this one is that again you’re not really building a lot around reversion because there's so many other Talent options and so many other builds that you're able to really utilize Sothis set bonus in general is on the weaker side for the healers it's very passive like everybody else's which is no surprise but I feel like it doesn’t already lean into the strengths of what evoker is and what a evoker does it kind of just finds this Niche that was just like a little flavorful thing of how the ability works and then it really like commits super hard to it so I don’t think of evoker is going to really build specifically around it but you know it’s passive increase and we're not going to have our creation Catalyst for a bit so it may not be the end of the world if you don't get your set bonus, it's not one of those bonuses that just like makes or breaks the spec by any means
When it comes to a raiding environment there’s a number of different builds a number of different ways that people are playing around with evoker and in my frustration it's it almost looks like the talent tree is kind of similar to like a holy paladins where oh you could build this way and there's a this Caster build for Holy paladins and then there’s this melee build for Holy paladins and there’s all these kind of like flavorful abilities that are kind of this kind of that and it kind of like splits down the middle in terms of how you actually play right and it seems like that is how preservation evoker should be you have the bronze spells you have the green spells and you can choose which one you want to play with and huzzah you have a Essence spender that's a green you have an Essence spender that's a bronze go nuts right but in my experience and in my conversations with other people my research looking at other builds there are different builds but they play so similarly it's kind of disgusting.
Some of the builds that I've seen are things like temporal anomaly which shoots forward this slow moving ball which will apply Shields to targets or apply Echoes or Echoes to targets as well if you Talent into it and it costs a lot of mana and has a short cooldown, now this is a way that people have found that you could have like a ramp build for a preservation evoker so you could apply all these Echoes and then replicate AOE heels and boom do tons of healing woo right but you can also play like a blossom build where you're casting multiple multiple blossoms these green spells to pump pump up all these Health pools and then you're spending your essence instead of spending a lot of the Mana where you're still you're still spending Essence and Mana with the blossoms but they’re costing both of them rather than temporal anomaly just costing pure Mana.
There's a number of these different builds there's other Buffs to you know your fire breath to make that heal, there’s other ways to be able to have your blossoms increase the healing of your Echo with things like ouroboros but a lot of times in my experience a lot of these different builds kind of boil down to the same strengths the similar Playstyles similar setups and similar things that the spec is good at it's that you want people to be relatively stacked or in a line together so that they're going to be able to be hit by these abilities, your ability to heal spread targets is very diminished if people are starting to get behind you for example it can be a lot harder to be able to do that.
Your mobility is honestly a lot worse than I was hoping for there's times where your good spot Heal Your Efficient spot heal invert and embrace where you can jump to the Target and you can heal them uh is impossible or very dangerous to be able to do because you have to know that your Target’s low, you have to know where they are you have to know where you're going you have to know the next mechanics that are coming out you have to watch for any sort of ground effects that might come across your path as you do so you have your strafe run in dream flight where you’re just strafing across the entire raid doing a ton of healing on a pretty significant cooldown but it sort of locks you in and commits you to Casting that ability your Empower spells.
Similarly like dream breath for example really want to make sure everybody's in the cone Spirit Bloom wants to make sure targets are nearby and you have to standstill while you're casting these things making it so that evoker while it wants to be a very mobile healer or it can be when it needs to be really isn't because there's so many Empower spells that you have that you are frequently using because they're so efficient and so powerful but you can’t cast them while you're hovering and there’s a ton of these hover synergistic spells that you have on hand that I always thought oh hey this is going to be great but it kind of boils down to well you can use it to cast disintegrate if you played some build around that which still feels unsatisfying to cast that's your ice channel that consumes essence.
You can Talent into it to actually have it give you Mana back, I’ve seen some people play around with that in a like temporal anomaly build so technically you can move while channeling that you can cast living flame echo on the move things like temporal anomaly you could potentially be casting on the move but in a lot of cases it doesn't feel like those are spells you’re just constantly chewing through when in a lot of cases your Empower spells are efficient enough that you want to be using them and often kind of stacking them together very closely that it ends up when big damage is happening when big events are happening you're pretty much just always standing still you're not this healer that is just flying all over the place and is so hyper mobile and it's dodging mechanics while healing and doing all this great stuff, you are like rooted in place while these events are going down and as I mentioned there's a couple different builds and I've seen a number of different ways that preservation evoker can do lots of healing which is great but it doesn't feel like there is a benefit on hand specifically when players are spread apart.
Now in terms of how evoker does throughout our normal testing and throughout the vaults of the incarnates it is very important to note that you can get people pretty closely stacked together without a lot of penalty I think daffier was the primary encounter where it felt like people naturally started spreading apart and that could be a very annoying fight for the preservation evoker to deal with.
On the positive side though there's not a lot of penalties for being fairly close together there's a couple of like lightning marks that you're putting out that’ll cause some players to have a decent spread to them, but they’re usually not just scattered to.
The Four Winds in this instance so you can kind of like hunt people down or you can like make it work in an environment like that a lot of the other boss rooms they will be like large scale but there's a lot of different like ground effects and different sort of like movements impeding effects that are going out on.
The council fight you’ll have lots of like rock pillars going out and fire puddles that'll diminish whenever a player stands in them so in those instances you're having everyone kind of bunch up together or bunched up decently close together so that you are able to heal everybody so what that means I would say for the vaults of the incarnates raid is that preservation evoker kind of locks out they thankfully they luckily are able to find multiple ways to be able to keep everyone close together and whenever there is a lot of damage you are able to have that sort of delayed output out of emerald Blossom mix with the ability to stack together a lot of Empower spells and time the Empower spells so you can Burst when you need to so.
Your healing output overall is very good on the utility and survival livability side however you have now like three defensives I should say you’re obsidian scales which reduces magic damage taken gives you armor you’ve got your renewing flame you’re renewing Blaze which you have to preemptively pop before damage happens take the damage and survive it and then you heal back that damage over like a 14 or 15 second period which is honestly quite a while that it takes to top you off, they made Zephyr which was reducing AOE damage it was kind of like giving you avoidance instead of it being party based it's now proximity based which takes your actual utility and kind of destroys it.
I would argue when you don’t have a hard control over who specifically you're giving damage reduction to around you yeah you can like Vern Embrace to a hunter and then make sure like one extra person gets it but if you want to guarantee that like the priests and the hunters and the evokers were all together in a raiding environment before damage happens that you can reduce it for everyone, it becomes a lot harder because raiding in a lot of cases is like hurting cats so Zephyr I would argue is also just another personal that you’re able to utilize so you have a lot of these but they have to be used very heavily in advance.
The rescue absorb effect is also a very small duration so you have to again sort of like grab a hunter right before damage happens and thankfully you're not gonna like interrupt anybody's spells which is good but it's also just an awkward ability to be able to utilize so I would say in a raiding environment you could definitely make a evoker work I don't think we’re actually going to see any preservation evokers in the race to world first at present unless just something crazy happens with it and they do suddenly just gobs more healing output than everyone else but I would say at the moment preservation evoker does not look to be in a great spot for the vaulting incarnates raid.
Mythic Plus Environment
When it comes to an M plus environment however I actually am super excited about how evoker plays I think that when it comes to their ability to sort of deal damage and heal and kind of jump around to the Allies evoker does actually feel pretty good partially because you don't really have to wind up and channel your Empower spells as much as you would in a raiding environment for example like dream breath you don’t really have to do a whole lot of AOE healing when it comes to five man’s and when you do you can often kind of plan around it when you need to but when there’s an emergency you can for ego extra cooldown reduction out of something like dream breath just hit one stack empowerment and be fine.
When it comes to things like Spirit Bloom you can similarly adjust up and down how much you want to channel based off how many targets you want to hit which again feels like the point of Empower spells but you never really get that in raiding environment because it seems like the opportunity cost is just very high, I would say the ability to sort of deal damage and flex into your fire breath to delay a wee damage everybody and then be able to have like the cleaving living Flames feel was very good but it's also very feast or famine from the evoker point of view where you will have your Empower spells and you will feel powerful and you'll deal all this damage and then you'll cleave all your living flames and then you don't really have much else to follow up.
From like a priest’s perspective you'll have you know your holy nova’s you could just start spamming all the time you know from a Mist Weaver you know you'll be able to have your face stomp down and you'll be able to alternate between like Rising Sun kicks and then palm and then blackout kick and then Rising Sun kick again you have that sort of flow there's a million targets you can spinning crane kick you have this sort of balance between okay based off the number of targets I can optimize my gameplay.
Evoker seems like it's just kind of missing abilities and they're almost afraid to add too many abilities to the table because after they nerfed downlike as your strike that doesn't feel very good to be able to spam cast or be able to utilize, it feels like living flame spam is also going to have to be costing you quite a bit of Mana that you have to be worrying about as well so you have to kind of manage how much damage and how much you're going to utilize that for additional pressure versus hey I need to be Mana conscious and then not do that.
When it comes to actually dumping a lot of living Flames into single Target it’s not great but tanks feel very very powerful at the moment on beta I just don’t know if that's something that’s going to last because if you played in shadowlands at the beginning of the expansion Mythic plus mobs were kind of obliterating Tanks so finding whatever sort of power level they want tanks to be at and also the difference between like some of the Fortified and tyrannical weeks and how heavily they're going to ruin a tank's day could also be very significant.
The Thundering affix that comes out it's also important to note makes more ground effects and it makes it so that you know you don't want to be able to combine the uh varied Buffs until it's about to fall off but if you’re zipping and flying all over the place you might just reduce your DPS for your party because you're naturally clearing it a little bit too quickly or something along those lines so there are a couple of like odd downsides that you have on hand but I would say the upsides is that your ability to use in power spells to just really quickly reverse incoming damage to use things like the multiple charges of rewind to quickly like start topping everybody off or give you enough of an assist to be able to heal everybody is extremely powerful and extremely helpful.
Reversion feels very powerful when you have it on hand it feels good to be able to rescue targets like a tank and bring them into the next packs that absorb gets sort of instant value right when they enter and engage with the pack though again like I said it’s sort of feast or famine because when you're using your essence Echo to like spread reversions feels a little bit awkward uh using Essence to spread around a lot of emerald blossoms feels kind of awkward if you have you know ranged and you have melee on hand so it’s never really hitting all of the targets so finding that sort of like Optimal build feels just a little bit weird.
There's a number of talents I would argue in the evoker tree that all sorts of do the same things finding uh that perfect build that actually does feel good is a little bit odd and a little bit awkward to be able to deal with personally I didn't really like playing around with like reversion and heavy Echo as I got into higher level five mans I did find that blossom still felt pretty good but there were a lot of times where I just need to do like a lot of single Target healing and I just wasn't really well suited to be able to do that.
When there was group wide damage and I could expect it and anticipate it felt great but definitely that weak spot that keeps oncoming up whether it's raids whether it’s M plus is that reliable spot healing and single Target healing that you can't really Flex into from any of the talents at present because even uncertain talents like ouroboros like where your Blossom healing is increasing your Echo spot healing after playing with it for a while it just didn't seem to be able to fill that sort of Niche enough and it feels almost like the evoker class designer and everything like that just wasn’t properly taking the time to figure out all these different scenarios and figure out how each of the talents sort of fit into different scenarios to be able to work properly and I think that’s probably the biggest frustration that I have with the spec at present is the flexibility of these different Talent builds and how they're supposed to work.
Maining an Evoker
So to the question of do you want to actually main an evoker should you main an evoker, I would say if you're an M plus Focus player that there's a lot to offer from the evoker respect even though there are going to be some weird scenarios where you're not going to be able to have something to be able to kind of bail you out of it I do think that evoker is very well suited to an M plus environment but you have to be very very conscious of your cooldowns for your power spells for you know your rewind and especially running rewind charges seem to be incredibly helpful so that you're able to sort of space out these different cooldowns and it’s almost like a doomfist if you played Overwatch sort of uh spec for the game that you're very like cool down Punch almost and that you sort of need to space out these really powerful cooldowns to be able to do all of the healing that is required and if you do that then you can be immensely successful when it comes to healing and if you are not really planning them and not sort of like spacing them out properly then you could get caught out any scenarios where you just don't have a button to be able to assist you inhaling and then things just start to go wrong.
When it comes to a raiding environment I honestly am not a huge fan of evoker, I thought this was going to be one of the specs that I would push to like pseudo main or it'd be like my second or third character that I'd play like a lot but now I'm starting to question it specifically because of the raiding environment stacking in power spells feels pretty good but no matter what different build that I kind of put together or some that I watch bods of or look at other gameplay around it it all seems to revolve around just having players stack together and not really a whole lot else that goes on the different possibilities of abilities of things like stasis and Echo never really seem to be able to plant to pan out and have good ways to be able to heal players that are spread out over vast distances that Echo Spirit Bloom interaction to spread around almost multiple chain heals got destroyed very early on and then there didn't really seem to be any sort of updated uh iterations upon the spec even when you know more feedback and more information gets put into the forums talking about the different areas that the spec can struggle I know when I play.
You know even like a disc priest or a holy priest I can start adjusting my talent trees for different scenarios four different Specialties you know disc and red is still going to have its ramps and everything like that but I'm able to flex into better spot healing support or I’m able to flex into you know utilizing more Shadow spells and adjusting the damage and everything like that and it causes you to actually think about how you play in different ways but I feel like evoker is just finding different ways to accomplish almost the same goals.
For me I probably will have it as like my third or fourth character that I’ll level up going into dragonflight but when it comes to something that I could main I don't think I'm really going to be touching preservation evoker that heavily, I'll probably be messing around with it if it gets some more updates and I hope I really really do hope that there's going to be some more adjustments to it and but I know that it's mainly going to have to be in adjusting talents and actually updating talents to offer just more flexible gameplay than what is presently offered because too much of what's presently offered is just different ways to accomplish the same ends and that is not super fun to me.
Let me know what you guys think if you have any other questions or anything about evoker I’ll link some of the builds that I was playing around with down in the description below but for me I'm hoping if evoker gets a bit more and since our last video we have not gotten any other new adjustments and now we're kind of entering into pre-patch season where they're just going to be working on tuning I do think it’ll be a totally fine healer to bring to the table if you just aren't in some super hardcore environment but I would not expect to see a preservation evoker the race the world first and for a brand new healer makes me kind of sad, thank you for watching guys hope you all enjoyed it I'll catch y'all next time!