Playstyle & Rotation
The Raiding and Mythic+ rotations can be quite different. Please keep in mind that these are very likely to change, as there are various builds circulating, and testing is still being done on evoker to determine the final builds to play in various PVE content.
There are a few key decisions that need to be made to heal effectively in a raid. When in a spiritbloom build, you will be pressing Echo as much as possible and Temporal Anomaly when you can followed by Spiritbloom, that way you can spread your 2pc HoT to as many players as possible.
If you are instead playing an emerald blossom build, you will be trying to cast emerald blossom as much as possible as well as generating as many essence burst procs as possible through Living Flame in downtime, that way you can send out more emerald blossoms and proc more Cycle of Life.
One of the most common mistakes that players will make is forgetting to use Fire Breath. While the damage is obviously nice, this ability can be used to proc the 4pc tier bonus which is extremely important towards generating essence bursts. More essence bursts just means more healing and more mana, there is never a downside to this so you will want to make sure you are constantly keeping fire breath on cooldown as well as your other empower abilities.
SpiritBloom, is quite simple to use and should really be cast as much as possible with full empowerment. Unlike Dream Breath, it doesn’t benefit from finishing the cast at a shorter empower, meaning that it is almost always the best decision to fully empower it for max healing. As with Fire Breath, you will want to cast this ability frequently.
Speaking of Dream Breath, this is one of the less intuiting decisions that you will need to make. It is often thought that longer empower = more healing, but that isn’t the case with Dream Breath. This ability always does the same healing no matter if it is rank 1 or rank 3. What changes depending on empower rank is how much of that healing is upfront vs. how much of it is placed into a heal over time effect. At rank 1, the ability does the least upfront healing but leaves a very long HoT on targets hit, at rank 2 it's a bit more balanced, and at rank 3 it's a very short HoT with a very high upfront healing. The problem with fully empowering is that in most cases, you don’t need the healing provided by the upfront bonus. In nearly every situation, you will get more value out of the spell in a HoT form than what you would upfront healing.
Because of this, you will mainly want to cast Rank 1 empower Dream Breaths to maximize the HoT healing. Rank 2 is okay when a bit more upfront healing is needed and the HoT isn’t useful, but you will mainly avoid casting Rank 3 beyond circumstances where the raid is at 10% and in danger of dying without the upfront healing. Even then, you still have other healers and unless they are dead, their classes may be better suited to heal people up quickly.
Temporal Anomaly is a very strong ability and can do a lot of healing, but it has a heavy mana cost attached to it. It is extremely important that you manage the casts well and only use it a couple times per minute on longer fights. This will allow you to better space out your mana consumption and be able to finish the fight rather than going out of mana quickly. When facing heavy rot fights, or situations where you are taking constant damage, it can be beneficial to press it as much as possible, just keep an eye out for your mana and make sure that you have enough to reach the end of the fight. If you are struggling with mana and are using Energy Loop, make sure you are using disintegrate when possible to regenerate mana.
Beyond just the mana cost of temporal anomaly, its choice node Resonating Sphere also can add a bit of decision making. This passive causes temporal anomaly to apply a weaker level echo to targets it hits. In most cases, spiritbloom will be your best choice as to what you spend the echos on as it provides a decent amount of passive healing in the form of a HoT, but also gives a lot of strong burst healing. If you don’t have the tier set, casting spiritbloom is not very strong and your best choice would be combining it with powerful abilities such as Dream Breath or even Verdant Embrace for some quick burst healing.
While we want to make use of echo a lot to get spiritbloom HoTs out, we take ouroboros as it turns Emerald Blossom into an extremely powerful ability due to its redesign. Whenever you find yourself with high stacks, you will want to throw out an emerald blossom as its healing is greatly increased. Ideally when you have an essence burst.
When playing emerald blossom builds, you aren’t feeding as much into the echo playstyle so there can be better uses of the Resonating Sphere`s echos such as replicating Dream Breath.
Finally, we have Emerald Communion and Lifebind. Regardless of what build you are playing, you will want to play around your Emerald Communion cooldown to make it a very powerful healing increase. You can accomplish this by sending out a temporal anomaly, spamming echoes, and either sending out another TA once its off cooldown, or reactivating a stasis with TA inside of it.
In other words, you will spend 15+ seconds ramping by getting out as many echos as you can. Once this is done and your Temporal Anomaly has expired, you will verdant embrace a target without an echo (or yourself in a situation where you can’t move), causing every player with an echo to gain the lifebind buff, you will then channel Emerald Communion which will heal a massive amount. This can be a bit tricky at first but once you get the hang of sending out echo it can get quite simple. It’s important that you never accidentally consume the echos during the ramp, this means casting Living Flame on the boss until you are ready to verdant embrace. It’s also important that you Emerald Communion the second after you proc your lifebinds. The duration of lifebind is so short that you won’t have time to wait and must Emerald Communion instantly.
echo excels in situations where you need to heal a small amount of people, or just want to add a bit of extra healing. Using it to apply reversions to multiple people in 1 cast will often be your go to cast sequence. This allows you to get grace period buffs across your entire party and adds a bit of passive healing. When healing is concentrated on 1/2/3 targets who are all very spread from each other, echo can be used in combination with verdant embrace for a very strong burst heal. You can also use echo in combination with other abilities such as Dream Breath and Spirit bloom for extra healing. The rotation involves attempting to apply reversions before damage comes out and in moments where nothing is happening, and then using echos again during large damage in combination with other spells, or simply casting the larger empower spells by themselves without echos as they often are strong enough by themselves.
When playing temporal anomaly, it is important that you are pressing it very frequently to get more echos out, making healing a bit more easier. That being said, overusing it can result in you running out of mana very quickly so you may need to drink frequently between pulls or after a boss to ensure that you have enough mana to keep going. If this is a big concern, you can consider playing Energy Loop build to regenerate more mana, however it consumes essence so you need to consider this as it may make healing more difficult.
Thinking about empowers, how they are used in Mythic+ is quite different from raid. In the raid rotational section, we talked about dream breath being a button you only want to empower to rank 1 or 2, in Mythic+ rank 1 and 2 are still fine to use, but in a lost of cases you will want to prioritize the higher rank 2 and 3s for more upfront burst healing. It is okay to apply a rank 1 hot in low damage windows, but you will mainly want to use dream breath for burst healing when you know that damage is upcoming. Similar to reversion, rank 1 comes into account when damage is low and you just want a bit of extra passive healing. Those situations are when it’s okay to use globals on a rank 1 Dream Breath.
Spiritbloom is your other main empower ability and its usage is pretty simple. This ability doesn’t need to be channeled to its full empower to be effective either. It does a very large amount of healing and however long you channel it determines how many targets it hits. Most of your best uses will come when 2 targets are in need of a lot of healing and the rest of your party is full health, it becomes extremely effective in this case to just cast a rank 2 spiritbloom and heal them quickly. This goes the same for 1 target. Don’t think that Spiritbloom is bad on a max empower, it is still just as useful this time healing 3 targets instead or even 4 with Font of Magic. You simply need to not be afraid to use it based on the number of targets who need healing, and not whatever creates the most total healing.
Dealing damage as evoker is extremely simple, you only have a few abilities at your disposal. Fire Breath, Living Flame, Disintegrate, and Deep Breath are the dps buttons available to Preservation. Unravel is another damage dealing ability but it is a talent choice and also requires an enemy to be shielded, making it not very viable to spend a point into unless it is an extremely niche situation.
The highest priority button in your DPS rotation is Fire Breath. This ability hits incredibly hard and also procs Leaping Flames, turning Living Flame into a massive AoE ability. You can empower Fire Breath to fit the situation, as the higher the empowerment, the more upfront damage and if you are using Leaping Flames, you will gain more stacks the higher you empower the ability. In raid you can often rank 1 Fire Breath as a long duration dot on the boss. You will always want to cast this ability on cooldown and it is by far your most important dps button. In many cases, pressing this on cooldown and not any other dps abilities will still end with you dealing high damage. If you aren’t comfortable fully dpsing on Evoker yet, casting Fire Breath on cooldown and nothing else is a great place to start.
Similar to Fire Breath, Deep Breath is a 2-minute cooldown that allows you to fly over enemies, dealing a large amount of damage. It also follows the same rules as Fire Breath, you will want to use this as often as possible while prioritizing having it up for large pulls where it can deal even more damage. The ability does put you in the air for a few seconds, making you unable to heal during that time which must be considered when using it, but if you can get it off safely then it will add a lot of damage to your overall.
Living Flame is your core filler ability, when you have nothing to do or are just trying to push out more damage, you will be spamming this ability. It also generates essence burst thanks to the spec tree, making it much less punishing to spam given that you will have more essence to spend on healing when the time comes.
Disintegrate finds itself in a very weird position. With no talents selected, this ability is undertuned and deals a very poor amount of damage. When you do add its necessary talents, it is barely more damage than Living Flame but it has some massive downsides. It cannot proc essence burst, it costs essence to deal the damage, and it requires talent points that could be better spent elsewhere. There is an argument to be made that comparing two players, one using only Living Flame, and one using Disintegrate as much as possible, the dps will end roughly the same as the Living Flame player will have an easier time healing as they always have resources available and ready to react to damage, giving them more time to deal damage. For these reasons, it’s recommended to try staying away from Disintegrate and its talents, but if you do find yourself talenting into it, then it is the theoretical higher dps option when you don’t have tierset procs and scarlet adaptation. Only issue is that those situations are rare which makes just spamming Living Flame and ignoring Disintegrate talents to be the easiest option.
While evoker has quite a few weaknesses, it does have very strong cooldowns to help balance out the kit. Rewind, Zephyr, Tip the Scales, Stasis, and Dreamflight are all cooldown abilities that can make healing much easier and they are important to understand in order to be truly successful. Below, we will take a look at all the cooldowns available to preservation evoker and how to use them effectively.
Rewind causes you to heal damage you have taken in the last 5 seconds. This means after taking a very large hit, or a lot of damage in a few seconds, you can use this ability to heal everyone back up. It is extremely powerful and in most cases it will be very hard for your party or raid to actually die during its effects. Any time you didn’t expect damage or weren't prepared for it, you should make use of it. One of the biggest mistakes you can do is trying to save this ability for a damage window that might never happen. If you have an opportunity to save your party you should use Rewind and not overthink it.
Zephyr is a bit tricky as it isn’t a straight damage reduction. It only reduces damage taken from AoE spells, not every damage window is considered AoE damage but most of the hard hitting ones will fall into this category. For this reason, you should try to use it preemptively before taking a large AoE hit, to make healing easier after the damage goes out.
Tip the Scales
Tip the Scales can be thought of quite similar to Rewind. It is a reactionary cooldown that you can use whenever you didn’t anticipate damage or need to heal the party quickly. Pressing this and combining it with Dream Breath or Spiritbloom will allow you to do a lot of healing extremely quickly and not have to go through the full empower duration to get the healing out. This is helpful during high movement as well, when you can’t stand and cast.
Dream Flight is quite simple, it is a strong amount of healing but requires players to be stacked or in a nice line. In most cases you should position with this in mind but also consider that the position you select to land in might not be safe after the animation of the ability ends. You need to be very mindful of where you cast it from and where you will land.
Stasis is quite possibly the most complicated cooldown available to Evoker. This ability allows you to store 3 healing spells for later use. In Mythic+, you don’t need to overthink the ability, you should try to fit in 1 full empower ability such as spirit bloom or dream breath (even both in some cases but it isn’t mandatory). With your last 1-2 abilities that you can store, they can be fairly low value but I prefer to store Emerald Blossoms.
Once you have stored 3 abilities, you can reactivate the ability sometime in the next 30 seconds for the abilities to all come out at once, allowing you to top off your party very quickly. You can delay the 30 seconds starting by not using a 3rd healing ability if there is downtime. In the end if you have at least 1 fully channeled empower ability in the Stasis, it would be more than fine to just put even 2 reversions in the Stasis, this will be enough healing to make difficult situations more manageable. Obviously the more you put into it the better it will be, but casting an emerald blossom, dream breath, and spirit bloom aren’t always the most realistic options. That is why it’s important to aim for at least one of dream breath or spirit bloom and fill with what you can.
This cooldown requires a lot of planning and thinking but it isn’t that difficult to use in the end. As long as you make sure you have at least one strong ability in it, you will get all the value you could hope for in Mythic+. In raid, using Stasis is much simpler. You can aim to fill your stasis starting with Verdant Embrace to proc Call of Ysera, followed by a Rank 1 Dream breath, and finally a temporal anomaly. In most situations, this will be the best way to use stasis and it also is uncomplicated, making it very easy to replicate each pull. With the 10.0.7 changes, TA is a strong ability to put into stasis as it provides shields and echos to the raid even after nerfs, however, putting empowered spells into your stasis can be just as valuable.