The original thread, along with the feedback it received at the time, can be found here: http://www.hellgateaus.info/forum/london-2038/alpha-mini-guides-evoker/
Disclaimer: As 2038 progresses, much of the info in these guides is very likely to, or even bound to, not apply in the future. The purpose of these guides is to highlight how classes differ from their Global/SP counterparts, so as to provide leveling testers with more efficient ways to test later content.
Disclaimer #2: The builds outlined below are most often functional after lv30, as they do often use lv25-30 skills. It is noteworthy that not all such builds will be easy to start from lv1 with, either due to high gear dependency (ie Shrapnel) or a significant lack of AoE that would assist in leveling. Therefore, in such cases it is highly advised that testers either
- deviate from such builds in favor of more AoE-oriented ones early on, and later reskill to them, or
- account for the relative lack of AoE through the use of early/mid-game weapons that assist in that front, either by themselves or by providing AoE skills.
What’s the Evoker now?
Naturally, Global had Evokers excel at dealing damage. While this remains true for 2038, a striking difference can be identified in the ways Evokers currently deal damage, and the amount of targets they can deal damage to.
In contrast to Global’s “crit-or-bust” route, Evokers now have options when raining fire on their enemies. Though crit builds are still magnificent (more on this below), Nova builds are now a decent contender in terms of dealing raw damage, and elemental builds are actually viable for encounters that require elemental effects (most notably Dessicator).
Lastly, the existence of Glyphshards (formerly Glyph-Cages) with added +radius bonuses (such as The Keel Brand and Galactic Conquest) makes AoE-oriented builds easier, unlike Global, where AoEs would often become secondary to single-target, mid-range spells.
Key differences with Global (details in spoiler tags)
While outlined above, many differences need to be highlighted.
Demonspine is much weaker.The spell currently fires 1 projectile instead of 4, severely limiting its damage potential.
Flameshards are similarly weaker.The spell currently has a wider spread and a fuse timer, instead of exploding on impact. Combined with the above point, Global's Demonspine/Flameshards spam is much, much less potent.
Arcane Shield is much weaker (but still viable)In compliance with TCv4's reduced shields for Cabalists, Arcane Shield provides much fewer shields than it did. While still a decent panic button, maxing it may no longer be preferred.
Tempest works. Terrifyingly so.Unlike its unthreatening Global counterpart, 2038's Tempest is stellar. It crits, attack frequency and base damage are both higher, +damage on gear affects it, and it even reliably inflicts any elemental effects one's foci provide, partly due to its increased attack frequency.
Spectral Serpents work.Similarly to the above point, Serpents are much more viable than their Global counterpart.
Crit builds are actually easier, while still being very efficient.The combined existence of the Feral armor line (inherent crit chance on all pieces on all grades) and Ripshards (formerly Claws of Morax, 25% inherent crit) allows Evokers to very easily reach 40-50% base crit. While CCM caps have been halved, an Evoker will typically need 100-150% caste CCM to be critcapped against said caste. Between augments and the Ripshards' 3 max mod slots, this is a very realistic number to achieve. Lastly, the modest feeds leave much room for free stats that can be safely invested into ACC.
Novas work.Possibly the most basic difference with Global, in 2038 Shrapnel and Exploding Spikes currently* work terrifyingly well. Evokers can make great use of Novas through constant spells such as Arc Legion, Spectral Lash and Drain Life/Power, and even spells such as Firestorm, Skullsplitter and Tempest, due to their attack frequency and/or number of hits per use.
- This is an aspect of the game that is very likely to change in the future. But currently, it’s a very efficient leveling/farming option.
Gear (details in spoiler tags)
The most distinct difference in gear for Evokers comes in the form of the Feral armor line. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this armor line is by far the superior choice for any direct damage-dealers, the only exception being elemental effect-focused Evokers. Namely, it provides:
18% inherent base critIn total, all 7 pieces provide a sum of 18% base crit. Thus, a full set combined with Ripshards would provide 1 (base) + 18 (set) + 25 (Ripshards) + 4 (Surgical Precision expertise) = 48% base crit. Swapping the Feral belt (1%) with Balbi's Ring (3%) would bump this up to 50%, before any added crit bonuses through relics and foci affixes.
In turn, this allows Evokers to only need 100% caste CCM per caste for critcapping against it.
Note, CCM augments roughly cap at 50, while mod CCM roughly caps at 35. I’m using 30 for the latter for these calculations, as the average mods will likely be closer to it than the cap.
In theory, an Evoker with 2 Ripshards with 3 slots each should thus be able to be critcapped against
- 1 out of 4 castes (augged 50 + 30 + 30), with 4 relic slots still free for CDB or other desirable properties, OR
- 2 out of 4 castes (augged 50 + 30 + 30 per caste) with 2 relic slots still free,
or distribute CCM more evenly across all castes in a manner like 50 + 30 (caste 1), 50 + 30 (caste 2), 30 + 30 (caste 3), 30 + 30 (caste 4), for a non-critcapped result that still yields 80%+ crit against all enemies.
33% added damageIn total, all 7 pieces provide a sum of 33% damage through the "Adds x% damage" property. While notable on its own, Mythic Feral pieces can also have the "heavenly" property, for a very decent extra 10-15% damage per piece. All builds will see a massive, visible boost to their damage, crit builds even more so.
-33% power point penaltyThis is currently a negative property that comes with all Feral pieces, much like Double-Edged items. While this certainly puts a strain on one's power pool, the current modest feeds, a few +AA/+WILL/+power properties on gear, the Expertises, Drain Power and Powerpacks can all very efficiently counter this.
The Feral armor line aside, previously secondary properties on gear that may now be of much more use include:
Shrapnel.The mother of all damage-dealing, this property currently works terribly well. Any constant spell such as Arc Legion, Spectral Lash and Drain Life/Power, and even spells such as Firestorm, Skullsplitter, Tempest and others can truly abuse Shrapnel.
+Damage against caste/+damage/increases damage.These are also previously overlooked properties that currently seem to work much better than they did. +Damage against caste roughly capping at 50% allows the player to stock up on it, in a similar way to how they would on +caste cdb.
+Elemental damage and +elemental strength.Global had little use for this property, but currently using a Mythic set of armor that grants a decent sum of +elemental strengths can be very efficient. +Ignite strength is now more likely to actually help ignite a boss, and the Dessicator calls for massive +poison strength.
+AA/+WILL/+ACCWhile always being sought properties, they may actually be of even more use in 2038 than they were in Global. Much more modest feeds and Mythic +stat properties allow one to accumulate much more massive amounts of ACC than before, thus also boosting CDB tremendously. +AA/+WILL assist one's power pool, even more so as a counter to the Ferals' penalty. +AA/+ACC help cover the ACC feeds of Ripshards, and then massively assist crit builds in building up CDB.
Evokers that choose to wield Bloodshards may also find use in +STR to cover their inherent feeds, and +STA is always welcome towards boosting one’s HP pool.
+power/+power regenerationThese properties help alleviate the Feral line's power penalty.
Foci (details in spoiler tags)
Contrary to Global, 2038’s Evokers have 3 notable options for foci, each designed for specific purposes. Of course, all foci can equally benefit from Novas, but Glyphshards’ 2 max slots make them the least suited ones for this approach.
As discussed above, Ripshards currently have a massive inherent 25% base crit, which is a massive boon to crit builds.
The most notable Unique variant of this foci is Black Angel, which provides points in Blink, increased damage, movement speed and CDB vs Demons.
Formerly Glyph-Cages, Glyphshards currently have a unique disadvantage over the other 2 endgame foci, in the form of 2 max relic slots instead of 3. However, they also come with massive +range and +radius bonuses depending on their level, up to 20% radius and 40% range.
Notable Unique variants include The Keel Brand (which grants early access to Spectral Curse and a unique ~30-50% increased duration of curse skills) and Galactic Conquest (which grants points in Hellfire, Swarm and Lightning Field, spectral damage, power points and increased damage).
Exclusive to the TC, these foci provide an actually useful auto-attack (see here for footage) and massive inherent poison attack strength. Combined with +poison attack strength relics and possibly the respective Mythic weapon property, Bloodshards are the ideal foci to inflict poison on such bosses as the Dessicator. Evokers can make particular use of this foci through Swarm, which provides a massive poison strength multiplier.
The most notable Unique variant of this foci for Evokers is Tuskull, which provides points in Drain Life and Brom’s Curse, and has +phase strength.
Builds (details in spoiler tags)
Given the factors discussed above, here are the rough outlines of two builds that can work sufficiently.
Note, both builds take for granted a +1 to All Skills helmet. This is much easier to augment compared to Global, and it’s generally not a rare augment by any means.
Such gear as Tuskull, Balbi’s Ring, Night Striders and other +AS/+skill weapons and rings can also provide room to expand on these builds. They are not accounted for in either build, to ensure gear dependancy is kept at a bare minimum.
Skills3/10 Firestorm, 3/10 Flameshards, 1/10 Hellfire
Firestorm is a prerequisite for advancing in the tree, but it can also provide decent synergy with Novas in one’s foci.
Flameshards is only taken for access to Hellfire.
Hellfire is chosen due to its decent performance as an AoE spell and its decent ignite strength.
More points can be invested in Hellfire, but also see “notes” below.
3/10 Lightning Field, 10/10 Tempest, 1/10 Arc Legion
Lightning Field is a requirement for Tempest, but it also works as a decent AoE spell on its own.
Tempest is an absolute must due to its stellar performance, both as a player-independant source of damage and as a means of applying poison/other elemental effects.
1 point is invested in Arc Legion due to its notable use in PvE, and its great synergy with any Novas in one’s foci.
More points can be invested in Lightning Field, but also see “notes” below.
3/10 Venomus Spirit, 3/10 Venom Armor, 10/10 Swarm
Venomus Spirit and Venom Armor are both only taken for access to Swarm.
Swarm is a core skill for this build. It is a decent AoE spell in itself, but maxing it allows one to make full use of its amazing poison strength multiplier. +poison strength on mods and Mythic armor/foci can truly shine through Swarm, even more so in combination with Elemental Drain.
More points can be invested in Venom Armor depending on one’s preference, but also see “notes” below regarding Swarm.
1/7 Dual Focus
Contrary to Global’s norm, this skill doesn’t need to be maxed due to the much more manageable feeds.
More points can be invested in it, of course, as extra WILL from it can be invested in ACC instead, for a CDB boost.
2/7 Drain Power/Drain Life, 5/5 Elemental Drain
Both Drain Power and Drain Life are taken for access to Elemental Drain, although both can also be used if one wishes. Being constant spells, both synergize with Novas in one’s foci, and Drain Power in particular is essentially a power cost-free way to utilize Novas.
Elemental Drain is maxed to ensure the target’s elemental defenses are reduced as much as possible, as a core aspect of this build is inflicting elemental effects.
6/10 Arcane Shield, 2/10 Blink
Both intended to be panic buttons, Blink suffices at 2 (1 + 1 from AS) and Arcane Shield doesn’t really provide considerably more shields if maxed.
Arcane Shield can still be maxed, of course.
Notes on this build.
This build is meant to ultilize AoE spells and inflict elemental effects.
Thus, Glyphshards are probably the ideal foci for focusing on the AoE element, while Bloodshards can provide a massive boost to Swarm’s poison strength.
This Unique Glyphshard is amazing for an AoE-focused build that is willing to sacrifice the Bloodshards’ poison bonus. As it provides up to 3 points in all 3 AoE spells used here, one could theoretically get 7 points in all 3 (3 + 3 + 1 AS) before investing any skill points in them.
This introduces heavy gear dependancy, of course, but such AoE-heavy builds will most probably function best with Glyphshards anyway.
Skills3/10 Lightning Field, 10/10 Tempest, 1/10 Arc Legion
Lightning Field is a requirement for Tempest, and isn’t really beneficial as a standalone skill here.
Tempest is an absolute must due to its stellar performance, both as a player-independant source of damage and as a means of triggering Novas.
1 point is invested in Arc Legion due to its notable use in PvE, and its great synergy with any Novas in one’s foci.
10/10 Spectral Serpents
Note: I have invested points in the Spectral tree for access to this skill, as it’s the last skill on it.
Spectral Lash can still be used due to its synergy with Novas, but Arc Legion is superior in all regards.
Similarly to Tempest, Serpents are a great player-independant source of damage. They and Tempest can be the only 2 skills one uses against bosses to decent effect, while conserving power.
10/10 Spectral Curse
A very decent AoE debuff for any situation, it is maxed for maximum effect.
This skill can even be skipped entirely if it doesn’t suit one’s preferences.
1/7 Dual Focus
Again, this skill doesn’t need to be maxed here due to the much more manageable feeds.
More points can be invested in it, of course, for an indirect CDB boost.
2/7 Drain Power
A personal choice, Drain Power assists with replenishing power, while being a free spell that decently synergizes with Novas.
It can be skipped rather safely.
10/10 Arcane Shield, 2/10 Blink
Again, both intended to be panic buttons. Blink suffices at 2 (1 + 1 from AS) and Arcane Shield is maxed due to lack of better options with the left points.
Arcane Shield can be kept at lower levels for more options.
Notes on this build.
Ripshards are essential for this build.
Being a crit build, Ripshards are by far the superior option for it. It can still work without them, but the loss is very visible.
Novas are optional, but pay off.
This can be used as a strictly crit build, but Shrapnel synergizes with it with minimal effort. If a player has room for it, it’s an excellent property to keep in mind.
See here for footage of a combination of the two builds above, specifically designed for the Wilds.