Preservation Evoker: Dungeon Healing Deep-Dive with the New Dragonflight Healer
27/08/2022 a las 19:00
With nearly all the Dragonflight Dungeons available on Alpha, one of our resident healer guide writers, Voulk, has spent the last few weeks dungeon diving on Preservation Evoker to see how it fares in the latest 5-man content. We break down all aspects of Preservation Evoker in dungeons including talents, skill combos, damage dealing, and utility. Join in as we discuss the all things Preservation and dungeons!
Dungeon Healing on Preservation Evoker
Preservation Evoker has a lot of potential as a strong Mythic+ / dungeon spec. I spent a few weeks dungeon diving to get a better handle on how the spec plays, how it performs, and what to expect when the expansion goes live. As always with Alpha content, Preservation is still getting frequent changes but we’ll keep you updated through the Alpha / Beta cycle. The changes Preservation has received so far through Alpha have all been quite positive.
We’ll get to the fun gameplay stuff soon, but first a look at our talents.
Specialization Talent Tree
Our choices in the spec tree are somewhat more fixed than they are in raid since
is weaker in small group content and
is difficult to get maximum value from. We do still get a bit of choice, but they’re smaller in impact.
Notable Spec Talents
- By far the strongest capstone talent in Mythic+ and indeed the only one we’re interested in taking.
lets us set up huge combos when we’re expecting heavy damage. It can be used as both an AoE healing tool, a single target healing tool, or even a general setup tool to cover the party in
Fuente de magia
- I played a lot of builds with this, and a lot of builds without it, and found it was worth taking for the
Aliento de Fuego
burst damage alone. It also makes our
an extremely good AoE healing tool.
Class Talent Tree
Our class talents are actually very interesting in dungeon content because we get to make some interesting choices between damage, healing and utility. It’s quite likely that there won’t be just one build and that you’ll change quite a few talents around on a dungeon-by-dungeon basis.
Notable Class Talents
- Turning healing into damage is often strong and this is no exception. The cap is quite low, so you’ll have to
often to stop it capping out but overall value through a dungeon is high – particularly when combined with
Inclinar la balanza
- Evoker doesn’t have a lot of “emergency recovery” if you didn’t expect and prepare for the damage.
is exceptional on a single target (or multiple with
Inclinar la balanza
is your big “everything is on fire” AoE response if you need the healing immediately.
- This is a long cooldown for an interrupt, but in most dungeons there’s enough to interrupt that I found this an essential pickup. It also leads into several other key talents, so this is likely to be something you always pick rather than being situational.
- This is a high key specialty. A 30% max health absorb for you and a friend is an incredible defensive tool to have access to – particularly when one shots come into play.
- In the same vein as
, a 20% reduction to area of effect damage is going to be really nice in some high keys. It’s also on a pretty short cooldown and has an extra upside in an AoE movement speed increase.
- We’ll cover this in more detail in the combo section below but this is a killer talent that offers massive AoE damage when combined with
, or a strong AoE heal if used defensively.
Sample Talent Build
There are definitely a few points here that are very arguable and others we can’t really be sure of until we have some more difficult content to test on but this should be a good general purpose build for now.
Easy Optional Exchanges
. Minor damage loss for situational CC improvement.
Ensalmador de fuerza de vida
. Minor damage increase in exchange for decent burst healing loss.
Llamarada de renovación
R2. Defensive loss for green healing increase (note that a lot of our healing in dungeons is bronze).
You're mostly just playing with how much healing you want to give up for small damage increases. This is likely to depend on dungeon tuning.
Healing in Dungeons as Preservation Evoker
Preservation has an extremely fun rotation in dungeons. You’ll throw up big combos, twist damage and healing spells (often as part of the same sequence) and alter your rotation based on current circumstances.
Minor damage can usually be covered by dropping
on damaged targets throughout the pull. You’ll want one running on the tank at most times. If damage gets a little higher then include
to either get more
s out on the group, or to get two at once on the tank. This is all fairly little healing, but it does the job of maintenance healing well and maximizes the number of GCDs you can spend on damage. When damage gets higher, check out the combo section below to see how our spells combine to do massive healing.
Tank healing is not a Preservation Evoker strength. We can handle low to moderate damage quite well with
(when off cooldown). If damage gets higher than that, then we start to run into a bit of trouble. Though
is an amazing single target heal, the moderate cooldown and repositioning can leave us open to a lot of risk. We simply don’t have anything we can spam during a rough pull.
, is weak for common consistent damage scenarios since it tends to just shift the damage and can even make it worse. It needs to be combined with heavy tank defensives or big single target healing (which we can’t really offer). We do, however, have some decent tools to help the tank kite through AoE slows, movement speed increases and even
Preservation Evoker mostly plays as a pre-emptive healing spec. You’ll prepare for damage in advance and then you have extremely strong tools to handle it as it hits. There are many many ways to combine your spells, but we’ll go through a few here so that you can get a feeling for the spec. Most of these are only 2-3 spell sequences, but you’ll be combining spells in these ways a lot. Our empowered spells do quite a lot alone but the rest of the kit is on the weak side until combined.
Aliento de Fuego
Big fire breath DoT on all targets followed by 5 target
. You can also start the
Aliento de Fuego
cast before the tank pulls in a lot of cases to save time on the empowered cast.
Sometimes you know the party is about to get knocked down to 10% and will need healing fast. You’ll set this up by spending
charges on three people to prepare, then hitting
as the damage hits.
is an extremely potent heal by itself and duplicating it to three other people might already be enough. If it isn’t then you can take advantage of either
Llamada de Ysera
) to significantly buff your next cast. This is so much healing that no current dungeon content in game deals enough damage to get through it.
Less healing than the Burst Ramp in a lot of cases but delivers it’s healing over a longer time period. I found it quite useful on fights like Raging Tempest where damage is very consistent.
Dealing Damage in Dungeons as Preservation Evoker
Healing as a Preservation Evoker is comfortable, but those pushing higher keys might be more interested in how well it deals damage. A lot of Evoker’s strength is going to come down to tuning, so I’ll focus instead on what damage tools we have and how they feel to use in dungeons. At current tuning the spec deals very good damage, though our single target rotation is maybe a little light on complexity. We also don’t have a single target DPS cooldown.
You’ll open most trash pulls with a full
Aliento de Fuego
into a five target
. This is extremely high AoE damage, particularly if you have a decent amount of charge on
which you frequently will from the pull before. This is effectively a double strength, five target
on enemies already burning from
Aliento de Fuego
After opening, you’ll use
as a spammable AoE cast or
if there’s a priority target. If there’s also quite a bit of healing to be done, then you’ll weave in heals alongside offensive
s to take advantage of
Overall this is a fun rotation in AoE, however, a little simplistic for AoE. Dungeon trash is particularly fun when you’re also trying to heal for a lot since there are some DPS -> Heal conversions in
Llama de otorgavida
to the point where the best healing choice could be a damage spell – in a similar way to Mistweaver or Disc Priest.
Positionally you shouldn’t find you need to make many changes to actively DPS. You just have to be a little aware of where
will take you to make sure it’s not pushing you out of range of ranged DPS during a key healing moment (or into the nearest trash pack).
Damage Dealing Improvements
There are two major changes I’d like to see:
could use a small damage buff. Choosing to spend 3 Essence on a damage spell is an interesting choice to have but right now it has so little a damage advantage (about 25%) over just casting
that you’ll only use it in scenarios where there is no incoming damage whatsoever, or sometimes during Essence Burst procs. There should be a larger reward for deciding to spend resource on it.
makes it a bit better but you’re spending a few talent points just to make a key essence spender playable.
Next, the spec has some interesting AoE interactions but very little for single target. When you’re actively healing and don’t want to spend Essence on
you quickly become a one button spec with only brief reprieve when
Aliento de Fuego
comes off cooldown. The spec could maybe use an extra button.
Positioning Around Preservation Evoker's 25yd Range
Thank you, AFK stranger.
Preservation Evoker has a 25 yard range on almost all spells (30 for
Aliento de Fuego
). In the dungeons accessible so far this wasn’t necessarily an issue, so long as the people in the group were aware of the limitation. No boss forced us to spread heavily, but in most pug groups I found DPS liked to spread around the room anyway.
I don’t see this being too big a problem after we’re a few weeks into the expansion. The playerbase will learn that they need to be a little closer and that shouldn’t be a problem on many bosses. You still won’t expect to fit everyone into every
, but we have more than enough healing tools that you can mostly just play without it. Experienced groups will bunch together even more. For the occasional pug that feels they must play at 40 yards on the complete other side of the boss you’ll be using
frequently to try and hit them with anything, though using
to reposition them somewhere smarter is also an interesting play.
Preservation Evoker Utility
Utility tends to take a backseat to damage in most dungeons unless the utility itself is a damage buff like
Infusión de poder
. Evoker falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to utility. There isn’t really anything that makes us stand out like PI and even our interrupt is on quite a long cooldown.
Knockbacks & Stuns
Terror de los cielos
(+3s Stun to
. A key AoE stun, though with an unwieldy windup that’ll make it annoying to try and use to stop specific casts.
Sacudida de alas
(Knockback & optional 70% slow)
. A little more challenging to use well, but it can be a very nice kiting tool if necessary.
Flagelo de cola
(Knock up & optional 70% slow)
. This is a nice AoE interrupt tool and feels fairly valuable on trash. Despite being a "tail swipe" it also hits enemies in front of you so it isn't very difficult to position for it.
Movement Speed Increases
(+30% AoE movement speed)
. Honestly I haven’t found that many occasions where AoE speed is particularly valuable and you’re more likely to use this for it’s defensive benefit.
. I might have used this to rescue Boomkins standing at 45 yards more than for any other purpose in Alpha so far but this is still pretty fun to play with.
(Next CC is +50% duration)
. It’s difficult to gauge how strong this will end up. In mostly pug Alpha dungeons it was barely worth taking since we don’t have a way to take enough advantage of the window ourselves, and party coordination is low. It has an optional node that also removes Enrage effects but this would be a very niche pick.
(Huge damage to absorb shields)
. Niche. There are some bosses with Absorb effects like Treemouth in Brackenhide Hollow and Melidrussa Chillworm in Ruby Life Pools (mythic only so untested). The only real downside to it is that it doesn’t deal that much damage considering how very conditional it is. Points in the class tree are also pretty valuable so there’s a real cost to taking this. It could use a 20-30% damage buff.
I've put together a quick video of a few of the Dragonflight dungeons so that you can see how it plays. Heroic is the only difficulty open right now so expect incoming damage to ramp up when Mythic and Mythic+ are available.
Preservation Evoker: Spec good? Quite Likely. Spec Fun? Definitely
It’s still too soon to give Preservation a dungeon rating given tuning is the dominant factor in each healer’s strength. We
say that the spec mostly plays well and that it’s a blast in dungeons. It has a strong mix of burst healing, pre-emptive ramp healing and AoE damage tools. It’s a little weaker in single target scenarios for both healing and damage but this could be fixed with tuning and possibly an extra spell. Even moderate buffs to
would leave the spec feeling great for single target damage, and I think they’ll be ok with single target healing being on a slightly weak side. We likely have enough tools to get by and it’s a defined weakness of the spec so overbuffing it might leave the spec overstuffed.
Overall, you will combine long but effective casts with
spreads, big damage spells and multiple mobility tools. You’ll reposition quickly to give yourself more time to cast, and better targets and you’ll learn a lot every dungeon because the spec has a lot of depth – at least from a healing perspective. This is a positive start to the spec in dungeon content.
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