Evoker is a fast paced mage like class that is limited by global cooldown (and not mana on max level). Compared to other mmo’s, evokers do not need to stay back and kite every monster in order to cheat death. They deal good AoE, currently mediocre * single target damage and are quite tanky compared to other classes. This is going to be a very basic guide for new players with an overview of the performance of the current arsenal. I will try to update and restructure this guide as often as I find the time, especially when important new information is revealed.
*(this may be different with very hard to get BiS gear)
Skills (in order of DPE):_______________________________________________________________
DPE or damage per execution is a means to describe the performance of a skill similar to DPS (damage per second). However, the evoker is basically limited by the amount of global cooldowns (about one spell per second – with no mana issues), so the evoker has to carefully choose which skill to use if he wants to maximize damage. Against a single enemy (ST) the order of DPE would basically be a conventional list of skill priority. Whenever I talk about frames in the following, I am referring to a case of 60fps where every frame is 16.67ms of real time or 1/3 server ticks (server is running tick 20; 1 tick = 3 frames or 50ms).
Tempest: Upon casting you create a cloud that continuously hits enemies in the area (15m) with a chance to shock them. This skill hits around 86 times and is the skill with the highest DPE by default. The duration is 900 frames or 15 secs, but can be recast at least every 8 seconds (faster with “increase userate of evoker skills”). More skill points = higher hit count/damage
Spectral Serpents: Summon a stationary serpent with three heads that randomly attacks nearby enemies with a chance to phase. Usually takes 2-3 seconds to do anything. Additionally, every head has its own RNG – sometimes waiting for a second before attacking for no reason. This skill hits about 24 times with the highest hit count I have ever seen at 27 times (RNG). It scales with the equipped focus’ power, elemental damage, increased damage and minion damage (inc+MD should be the same multiplier), but has its own crit chance and crit damage. It is probably the most interesting skill in the evoker’s arsenal, because of its high damage potential if geared towards. The skill is somewhat a hybrid between a summoner minion and an evoker spell. If wearing summoner BiS gear (500-600% minion damage) in conjucture with lots of elemental damage, this skill could hit as hard as tempest making it very potent single target damage choice. More skill points = longer duration = higher hit count/damage
Boneshards: A very high AoE (10m) damage skill that uses no global cooldown, so it can be used quickly before a different spell without losing time making it the best damage skill (from a theoretical standpoint). It also does not scale with skill points making it a one-point wonder. After the initial hit, the skill ticks for additional 23 times. More points = higher stun multiplier
Skullsplitter: Throw a ball of bones that shatters after a certain distance and explodes into 30 fragments. This is technically an AoE spell, but all fragments can be used against a single target if you manage to let the ball explode within or super close to the hitbox of the desired enemy. This might not work with small hitboxes but it does with most bosses making this a strong contender for single target damage. Sadly, this skill has a cooldown (3 secs) which really hurts its potential, as it is already unreliable. Removing the cooldown via patch would make this a valid choice for skilled evokers who know how to place the ball correctly. More points = more fragments/damage
Fire Elemental: Summons a fire elemental that fights for you until it dies. Quite tanky (even more so with TC-set pants and boots/ Minion Health+Armor respectively) and always worth one skill point. Has a decent chance to ignite, however this can only be said about the 10/10 skill point version as it gains additional projectiles. Damage is fairly low and it only scales with minion damage on gear (same as generic summoner elementals). More points = more projectiles/damage/ignite
Spectral Bolt: Currently the best spamable single target spell. Throws 8 seeking orbs at rank 10 and has a good chance to phase. Good synergy with evoker TC boots “Night Striders” because of the inherent 50 to 250 phase attack strength. More points = more projectiles, higher phase chance
Lightning Field: Currently the highest damaging AoE field out of this, swam and hellfire (ignoring SFX damage). Can shock enemies and every additional skill points enhances its radius. The initial orb hit does the most damage, about 10 ticks worth of damage or 1/3 of the total damage. After being thrown, the field ticks 19 times every 15 frames for almost 5 seconds. More points = +radius
Swarm: Swarm leaves a cloud of bees on the ground that continuously damage foes who stand inside it with a chance to poison. There is no initial hit: the field ticks 19 times every 15 frames (almost 5 seconds). The animation of the field is 1-2 seconds longer than it is actually doing damage. More skill points = poison multiplier and longer poison duration (not the field itself!).
Firestorm: A channelling skill that summons countless little fire projectiles that can ignite and have little range (10m max). Firestorm hits 10 times per second or every 6 frames as long as you hold down the button. This was once a very good skill to proc on hit novas from weapon mods, however since those have been nerfed to the ground, there’s no point in using Firestorm for that anymore. More points = more damage
Venom Spirit: Fires 4 spirits (enemy seeking projectiles) that can fear. Fear now reduces enemy armor by 10% and more skill points mean higher fear chance. However, feared mobs gain movement speed and run around like crazy, so you might end up losing damage in the process. More points = more damage, higher chance to fear (this skill was hotfixed in 1.5.2)
Spectral Lash: A channelling skill that targets a specific foe with a chance to phase and interrupts as soon as the foe dies or another foe appears in your crosshair (super annoying). It hits 10 times per second (every 6 frames). If you have learnt the skill spectral lash mastery, every enemy killed by spectral lash will burst into a nova (same as spectral curse’s on death explosion) and leave an AoE field that continues to tick 19 times every 15 frames (almost 5 seconds). Every tick does about 1/10 of the damage spectral lash would do per second for about 2 seconds worth of spectral lash damage for the full duration. More points = longer reach
Demon Spear: 4 spears fly towards your enemy that can stun enemies, but no longer pierce them (since 1.5). More points = more damage, higher chance to stun (this skill was hotfixed in 1.5.2)
Fireshards: 7 fire spears fly towards your enemy and explode upon impact. More skill points = ignite multiplier and damage (this skill was hotfixed in 1.5.2 to grant more damage)
Arc Legion: A channelling spell that can shock enemies and does not consume mana if you are not doing any damage to a foe. Can be held down and the spell will kind of auto target mobs within your point of view. Hits around 15 times a second or every 4 frames on average. More skill points = shock multiplier and shock duration
Hellfire: Summons a fire AoE field that can ignite enemies. The initial explosion deals about 10 ticks worth of damage. After that the field continues to tick 18 times for a duration of 5 seconds. More skill points = higher ignite multiplier.
Drain Life: Sucks life out of enemies, dealing low damage and restoring health scaling with the number of targets affected and your maximum health pool. Overshadowed by Brom’s Curse. Hit 10 times per second or every 6 frames. More skill points = more healing.
Spectral Curse: Similar to Brom’s Curse. Enemies are slowed down and explode upon death dealing miniscule damage with a chance to phase surrounding enemies. This skill is exactly what happens if a spectral lash kills an enemy, minus the AoE field. More skill points = better slow down, more enemies affected, longer duration.
Drain Mana: Same as Drain Life but with mana. Enemies do not lose mana but some health (around 40% of drain life channelling damage). More points = more mana gain.
Brom’s Curse: Curses nearby enemies so that you would gain health every time you damage them but only once per second per target. Good synergy with pets and thorns because enemies, who melee attack you, will trigger thorns damage and heal you every time. Essential for evoker if not playing in a party where someone else takes care of that. More skill points = more healing, more enemies affect, longer curse duration. Since 1.5 this spell has a synergy with elemental drain: For every skillpoint in elemental drain, enemies affected by this curse lose 3% elemental resistances.
Wall of Bones: Summons a Bonewall that has a health pool and can block enemies. Your attacks can go right through the wall, but you cannot walk through it or jump over it easily. Could have potential uses at some boss fights. However, the 10 seconds cooldown make it probably not even suited for such shenanigans. More points = higher health pool
Venom Armor: A great and, in my opinion, underrated skill. Grants bonus armor and is perfectly suited for switch sets (see below). Must have in hardcore. Enemies who attack you under the effect of venom armor get damage by bees. Affected by boost duration and cooldown reduction. More points = more armor and duration.
Word of Fear: Tries to fear surrounding enemies. Feared enemies take 10% more damage and run away. Barely works against high lvl monsters and can potentially lower your damage if they run out of range. More points = higher chance to fear.
Afterlife: Consumes nearby corpses in order to heal you. Could save you a health pack every once in a while, however not needed with Brom’s Curse. More points = lower cooldown.
Elemental Drain: After channelling this spell for a few seconds, the target enemy will receive a debuff to SFX resistances and you gain a buff to SFX resistances. I never felt like this made any different when trying to apply status effects, but with the overall difficulty changes in 1.5 this may come in handy when dealing with bosses, especially in parties. More points = better performance.
Dual Focus: Mandatory in order to use two foci. Every point after the first one is wasted. It would only grant 8 willpower that could be invested into accuracy granting you 4% crit damage per skill point, which is probably not worth it.
Arcane Shield: Refills your shields and grants you a little shield amount bonus. The long cooldown and the general uselessness of shields make this skill a no-go.
Arcane Resilience: Lower the time it takes for your shields to start recharging again. Most evoker do not have much shields to begin with, making this fairly useless. Stacking shields is also no recommended, because Brom’s Curse and Venom Armor make you almost immortal and armor only affects health not shield.
Concentrate Damage: The tooltip says “increases your damage by 84%” at max rank. This usually refers to skill damage (because it is a skill) and therefore shares one multiplier with crit damage and the inherent (invisible) skill damage multiplier of the spells themselves. But that should also mean, you could technically use this in conjuncture with “increased damage” on gear without seeing much diminishing return in value. However, there is a chance this works like increased damage, which you result in lots of wasted damage in conjuncture with weapons and gear that have increased damage on them. This would be similar to the 1.5 updated Crusader’s Wrath of the Blademaster that additionally shares the same multiplier with strength, making it fairly useless.
Damage comparison chart: (This is no longer 100% accurate, demonspine, venom spirit and flame shards now get 10% skill damage per skillpoint, so they will be equal to spectral bolts at max lvl)
There are probably as many builds as there are evokers. This should be especially true after the recent patch, where the omnipresent hellfire was nerfed and lots of skills were tweaked.
A build should utilize high DPE skills such as tempest, boneshards and spectral serpents (if geared towards minion damage); At least 1 point into fire elemental to help you tank and sometimes ignite; 3 points into Venom Armor if you can utilize a switch set that isn’t too hard to come by and of course Brom’s Curse for sustain. Since evoker is naturally tanky thanks to amazing utility skills, you could try to max out concentrate damage. This skill works with all damaging skills minus fire elemental. Skills also snapshot its effect, so you could technically drop a tempest while under the effect and simply break it if you desire to move again. The tempest will keep the damage buff.
Playstyle (both builds): Use a switch set to maintain Venom Armor. Run around and keep using Brom’s Curse so that incoming attacks are no issue. Depending on the mob type that is present you want to gather a horde of melee mobs (or at least mobs that follow you) to kill in one go. You can drop a tempest and run in a circle to group up monsters that already follow you, then use boneshards (takes no frames to cast) and immediately drop a lightning field/Swarm. For single target you want to use tempest on cooldown, followed by boneshards (make sure to immediately follow up with another spell – usually serpent) and then use filler skills every global cooldown. Mana is usually no issue and for longer bossfights there are mana/hybrid packs. You should always try to make use of every global cooldown and think about the skill priority.
|Accuracy||Grants 0.5 crit damage has therefore some importance in crit focused builds (not as much as it used to be). All remaining points should go in here if running a crit build. However, the nerf of accuracy also had a big impact on the overall performance of AA and other stat augments.|
|Strength||Grants 1% melee damage per point. Useless for Evoker unless you have weapon mods with SFX that require strength (for example mythic double ele + SFX) or mythic gear that require strength to wield. Comes naturally with AA on gear, so there is probably no need to ever invest a point into it.|
|Stamina||Grants 5 health per point. Invest enough to be able to wear your armor + weapon. If running a non crit build, this is probably the best available stat as long as you have no big mana issues.|
|Willpower||Grants 2 mana per point. Invest enough to be able to wear your armor + weapon.|
Early game (leveling):
Crit is not of importance and hardly achievable, therefore try to find armor and with “increased damage”. You probably want one armor piece with thorns damage, as it procs Brom’s Curse.
As for weapons:
- “increased damage”, especially mythic (double-edge), also legendary augments
- “increased evocation damage”
- high “caste damage” (e.g. 40% to demons)
- nerfed “double elemental” mythic (double-edge) is still decent
Try not to put points into strength. Also, there is a low level unique belt called Balbi’s Ring that is BiS for a non-minion damage focused build. If you manage to find it, you can probably skip all belt suggestions (one drop location for me was “the mind of 314, normal mode).
Upon reaching lvl 50 you want to look for some (fairly easy to get) TC-set pieces (there is no set bonus) which drop from the various abyss bosses, such as Squadro (blue rift), dreadnaught (white rift) and Fulcrum (red rift). Also, all of these uniques are feral gear that comes with inherent crit chance which is why you should start with a crit focused build until you get the desired mythic items.
|Dark Visage||Best choice for crit focused builds: Inherent (max CD); +1evoker; stats; minion damage; increase userate of evoker skills if possible?|
|Veiled Threat||Best choice for non-crit focused builds: Inherent; +1evoker; stats; minion damage; increase userate of evoker skills if possible?|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Not really an option, but for non-crit maybe something unrealistic like: Increased damage+1evo+AA|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Domination (MD); minion damage; +1evoker; stats|
|Pit Pauldrons||Inherent; stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Increased damage; stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Domination (MD); minion damage; stats|
|Heart of Darkness||BiS for all builds because of 20% spectral damage. Synergy with Night Strider Boots.|
|Hellion Hasp||BiS serpent builds; Inherent; minion damage; stats|
|Balbi’s Ring||BiS for non serpent builds (crit and non-crit); Inherent + skill of your choice; stats|
|Mythic (feral) belt||Increased damage; stats; minion damage|
|Legion Guards||Mediocre piece in general; Inherent; stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Increased damage; stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Domination (MD); minion damage; stats|
|Night Striders||Probably BiS for all builds due to phase attack strength and other useful affixes; Inherent (250 phase); movement speed; stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Increased damage; movement speed; stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Domination (MD); movement speed; minion damage; stats|
|Gehenna Grasps||Inherent (7% physical damage); stats; minion damage|
|Mythic (feral) piece||Increased damage; stats; minion damage|
At the point of writing this guide, almost no updated 1.5 weapon have been dropped, therefore it is difficult to make a suggestion based on evidence. Let me evaluate some of the current unique weapons:
|Harlequin Ablaze||Gives 30% elemental damage, power points and minion damage for serpents and fire elemental. Certainly the way to go for serpent focused builds.|
|Slipnaught||Has 4 sockets to compensate the inherent 20% more mana cost. Looks like the weapon to go for critless builds. Probably underrated in the current patch with 4 decent relics.|
|Black Angel||Easily outdamaged by mythic and even legendary ripshards, but comes with movement speed.|
|Galactic Conquest||Similar to HA, but without the minion damage. Has more AoE skills on it and splash radius. Obviously better than HA if running no serpents.|
|Ironbound Valley||Pretty high survivability boost, but evoker shouldn’t have much trouble with that anyways. Solid choice for hardcore chars.|
|Tuskull||Saves some skillpoints and comes with 20% elemental damage and up to massive 400 phase attack strength. Very promising.|
Ever since the nerf of elemental damage on mods, a lot of different types have become viable. You could technically go with SFX such as ignite for sturdy mobs, but without an inherent ignite multiplier (e.g. fireshards or hellfire) igniting these enemies is easier said than done – also you would need added fire damage for non-fire based spells. Elemental damage is still decent, so is crit chance or crit damage. If “increased damage” mods are still dropping in a range of ~22%, they are also an option to consider, however they come as “divine” and “sacred” versions of which sacred is supposed to work similar to elemental damage as an overall multiplier. Could lose lots of value if running increased damage on gear or weapon (diminishing return). The most interesting kinds of mods are the mythic ones, especially with an additional affix (e.g. double ele + phase). Even if running a serpent focused build, you should not use minion damage mods, but rather elemental damage because of the separate multiplier.
Weapon Switch Sets:
Switch sets were commonly used in games such as Diablo 2. You switch to a different set of weapons to cast a specific skill that would benefit from the newly equipped weapons. There are at least four possible switch sets for evoker. (I will talk about “foci” even though most skills are also found on 1h and 2handed guns for cabalists, making foci not the only choice):
This is by far the most useful one. Foci with +3 Venom Armor can be equipped in both hands granting Venom Armor 6 or 7 (+1head) for free. I tend to skill into VA for 3 points, so I have 9/10 with a switch set (100% uptime, high bonus armor) and 10/10 if running +1 Dark Visage (rare). There is a strong possibility that you can augment a slipnaught that inherently comes with up to +3 VA with another VA augment. If you happen to get your hands on at least one, you could remove all skill points from VA and skill get 10/10 via switch set and +1head.
Brom’s Curse/Spectral Curse:
Kind of unconventional, but possible thanks to the unique weapon The Keel Brand. It also enhances the duration of these skills by up to 60%. However, making frequent use of Brom’s Curse is essential to the evoker’s survival so this isn’t for everyone. Can technically lead to more damage in fights where you need high Brom’s Curse uptime because the enhanced duration frees up global cooldowns for other spells.
Less unconventional is a set with +skill points to fire elemental, because you would only need to switch to it once your fire elemental dies. The best weapon for this would be Harlequin Ablaze because of the inherent minion damage, augmented with +fire elemental and minion damage mods (very unlikely to get). You can just go with any +FE weapon and put MD mods into the slots.
This switch set is easy to get, because Elemental Drain maxes out at 5 points. This would be used against bosses to reduce their SFX resistances.
Dye sets & rings: (WIP)