Should I Play Devastation or Preservation Evoker in Dragonflight?

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

With the introduction of the Evoker class in World of Warcraft, we have all been asking the same question – should I play Devastation or Preservation Evoker in Dragonflight?

To make the decision, it’s important to consider a lot of factors with both specializations. Are they fun to play? Are they strong in PVP? Are they good in dungeons or raids? How do they compare to other classes and specs? Both specs have their advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll look at in this article.

It is hard to learn a brand new class in World of Warcraft, but it’s worth the effort. It can also help you to become a better player to learn more about the classes even if you don’t have any intentions of playing them.

Here’s a cohesive comparison of the Devastation and Preservation Evoker specializations in Dragonflight.

General Evoker Class

Let’s take a look at the Evoker class before getting into the specializations.

The Evoker class is incredibly mobile. Some of the movement abilities aren’t usable in battle, like Soar or even Glide on some occasions.

However, they have so many movement abilities that they are probably the most mobile class in World of Warcraft Dragonflight. They certainly give Monks and Demon Hunters a run for their money.

They have a raid or class buff that reduces the cooldown of movement abilities of the player.

Evokers also have Rescue, which can help players get to safety. For example, if a mob fears someone on your team, you have the ability to get to them and take them back to the safety of the group. It’s also useful when people are standing in fire.

In general, Evoker has decent burst damage. Even the Healing spec, Preservation Evoker, has good burst damage because of the combination of Tip the Scales and Fire Breath.

Evoker’s mechanics rely on Essences, which is a fun mechanic to learn. They also have empowered versions of skills that require the player to hold down a button to essentially charge it up before releasing.

Preservation Evoker

Preservation is the Healer specialization of the Evoker class.

StrengthsWeaknesses
A lot of useful utility spells (mostly from the standard Evoker class tree)Long casts
Great AoE healing with tons of cooldowns for burst healingLow range for a Healer
Great mobility with Glide and Hover (allows casting while moving)It involves some randomness for an insane burst of healing without using cooldowns
Great healing efficiency with regard to mana reservationMost healing spells require good positioning. Combining Verdant Embrace for Dream Breath with the Call of Ysera buff will be difficult
Verdant Embrace and Dream Flight are good heals but reposition you. Some raid mechanics might disallow you to use these abilities

The Preservation Evoker has a ton of notable skills.

Healers don’t usually have rotations and go with the flow, but there are combinations you can use to maximize your healing.

Here are the general things you need to know when healing.

  • Keep Reversion on the Tank for constant healing over time
  • Use Echo to buff your next heal for a stronger burst. It does consume an Essence, so use it wisely. If you are casually running dungeons, you can just opt to spam Spiritbloom with your Essences
  • Going for max-empowered Dream Breaths isn’t always the best option
  • Maximize buffing your Spiritbloom for good AoE healing
  • Using Verdant Embrace before using Dream Breath will buff the AoE heal
  • Precasting Living Flame on targets before taking damage while nothing else is happening can prevent dangerous situations, especially when it comes to the Tank
  • Use Rewind instantly in a big raid or party damage. It gives a big initial burst of healing and buffs your healing power on dungeon runs (not raids)
  • Use Time Dilation on targets that will be taking significant damage (raid or dungeon mechanics with unavoidable big single-target damage)
  • Cast Temporal Anomaly (talent skill) to reduce pressure on initial bursts of damage. It does cost a ton of mana, so precast it on pulls that you know will be a hard pull or fight

We won’t really go into deeper details for the class in this article. We are just here to help you choose between which specialization to choose when playing an Evoker.

Preservation Evokers have a unique playstyle compared to other Healers in the game. However, they are one of the best, if not the best, Healers for M+ dungeons.

Their kit helps them with a lot of mechanics in M+ dungeons, but what makes them great is their ability to do burst healing with short cooldowns, as well as having the best off-DPS Healer class in World of Warcraft Dragonflight.

The Preservation Evoker is also good for PVP because of all the utility abilities like Rescue. They also have a lot of defensive abilities, and can do a ton of damage and burst healing.

The biggest problem would be the lack of crowd-control abilities, which is a big deal in PvP, especially in the arena.

In raids, you will have a hard time healing a big group if they don’t stack up well. The versatility isn’t there, but it is decent enough. There are a lot of classes that can outshine the Preservation Evoker in raids, but they definitely have their benefits.

Preservation Evoker Tier List

M+ Dungeon – S Tier

Raids – A Tier

Rated BGs – A Tier

Arenas – B Tier

Devastation Evoker

Devastation is the DPS specialization of the Evoker class.

StrengthsWeaknesses
A lot of useful utility spells (mostly from the standard Evoker class tree)Low range for a range caster
Great AoE and has the ability to burst targets on new targets as a ranged casterLow damage against separated targets
Great mobility with Glide and Hover (allows casting while moving)Forced to move/change location to use a DPS cooldown like Deep Breath
Fantastic off-healing as a DPS, on par with DruidsA lot of cooldowns to think about, which makes min-maxing DPS hard. Not beginner-friendly
Talents like Renewing Blaze help survivability, as well as Obsidian Scales
It has great dispels for a DPS (cures poisons, bleeds, curses, and diseases)

Here is an optimal rotation for the Devastation Evoker, but bear in mind that it can still vary depending on what type of content you’re doing and how you like to play. If this is your type of gameplay or style, it might be the right spec for you.

  • Precasting Fire Breath (max empower)
  • Shattering Star to increase damage taken by the target
  • Eternity Surge (max empower) or level 1 if for single-target fights
  • Wait for Essence Burst stacks and combine your Disintegrate with the debuff from Shattering Star
  • Spam Living Flame until you have enough to repeat the rotation

Rotations can vary depending on the target, but you get a general idea of how you will be playing the spec as a DPS.

The problem here is that some of these max-empowered abilities require you to stand for a long time to cast them.

Even if you are using one of the most mobile classes in the game, it is hard to cast max-empowered abilities if you are forced to move.

You can use Hover to allow casting while moving, but you need to know that you have to move beforehand to prepare for these situations.

For offensive cooldowns, use Deep Breath on multiple targets and at the shortest distance covered to hit all enemies. The longer the distance, the more DPS you will lose.

Maximize Tip the Scales with Eternity Surge. Use Dragonrage in less hectic situations, preferably with Bloodlust or Heroism.

You also want to maximize the cooldown of Dragonrage, where you can use it at least 2 or 3 times in a raid fight. Take all these tips into consideration when playing.

M+ dungeons are great for Devastation Evokers due to their ability to have two dispels as a DPS and the way they can immediately switch targets and deal consistently good damage.

Most ranged casters take a while to build up their damage output when switching targets, but Devastation Evokers shine with this.

However, cooldowns like Deep Breath can be hard to min-max in runs because some pulls might require the group to get a lot more mobs.

In PvP, it does have the same problem as the Preservation Evoker, where the spec lacks more crowd-control abilities.

However, since Hover does allow you to cast while moving, it does help a lot as a ranged caster. The overall burst from the Devastation Evoker is below average compared to other ranged casters.

Single-target damage isn’t that good for Devastation Evokers, but it isn’t that bad either. A lot of the raid mechanics that force you to move a lot can destroy your rotation just because of the max empowered cast times.

There are definitely fights that can make Devastation Evokers shine, but these are very niche.

Devastation Evoker Tier List

M+ Dungeon – A Tier

Raids – C Tier

Rated BGs – B Tier

Arenas – B Tier

If you are looking to create an Evoker, you will start with a character at level 58, and upon finishing the class campaign/tutorial, you will eventually get 60 with a few experience points left over to 61 before starting Dragonflight.

It will be a lot easier to level fast in Dragonflight as an Evoker because you can just focus on the campaign quests with that head start.

If you are still unsure of which specialization to choose, you can try both anyway. You can easily change specializations at any time.

What is great about the Evoker class is that both specializations have Intellect as their main stat. The only major gear changes you need are your healing and DPS trinkets.

If you want to min-max builds, there are some secondary stats that can be more beneficial to your healing spec or vice versa. However, the difference is not that big, which makes spec changes a lot easier.