Preservation Evoker – 10.0.7 FAQ
10.0.7 is a fairly minor patch that adds some nice world content, a new ring, a single talent revamp, and some fairly brutal Preservation nerfs. We’ll discuss whether they were warranted, what builds are looking good now, and we’ll also take a quick look at the new Onyx Annulet. Note that there was no content to properly test the nerfs on, so this article is a little more theoretical than normal. We’ll be able to test the changes now that they are live and I’ll make any necessary updates over the next few days.
So, what changed?
- Major Nerf: When Lifebind and Golden Hour are applied through a lower value Echo via Resonating Sphere, their healing value is reduced to match the value of the Echo.
- Major Nerf: Temporal Anomaly shield reduced by 20%. Resonating Sphere now hits 4 players (was 6).
- Major Buff: Ouroboros remade. Echo hard casts now increase the healing of your next Emerald Blossom.
- Minor Buff: Draconic Legacy increased to +3% stamina per point (was +2).
- Minor Buff: Ancient Flame remade. Now reduces the cast time of Living Flame after casting Emerald Blossom or Verdant Embrace.
- Minor Buff: Foci of Life remade. Now causes damage you take to be healed over 4 seconds instead of 8.
Our two most common play patterns this tier have been Temporal Anomaly into Reversion and Temporal Anomaly into Verdant Embrace for Lifebind combos. The Temporal Anomaly target change affects both, but the Lifebind combos are much more heavily impacted. This also means that the nerf affects our healing more on some bosses than others. Giving a specific percentage is often difficult, but expect somewhere in the range of 8-15% depending on how much you were lifebinding on a given fight. You’re likely to find Broodkeeper Diurna and intermission of Razageth to the most heavily hit and in the case of the latter you might need your other healers to contribute more to healing through the absorbs. On fights like Kurog, Terros and particularly Dathea you’ll do less healing but still contribute roughly the same amount. Emerald Communion + Stasis is still a powerful raid cooldown. This nerf hits regular, non-EC Lifebind combos significantly more.
In Mythic+ the impact is somewhat less, but in an environment that we were less far ahead in. We’ll discuss that in the next section. You are still able to counter the most difficult portions of each dungeon through Echo -> Lifebind combos though it’s going to require a much bigger investment in GCDs. Part of Temporal Anomaly’s power was in how efficient it made healing. Golden Hour also made up a decent amount of our Mythic+ healing and is similarly cut down in power.
Were the nerfs appropriate?
Preservation as a spec has undeniably been gamebreakingly strong so far this expansion and the power of Resonating Sphere was a big reason why. This was the correct way to nerf the spec and there are no arguments that a heavy reduction in power was appropriate. That said, for a minor patch these seem slightly unreasonable. With Lifebind and Golden Hour now being correctly reduced by weaker Echoes I do wonder if there was a world where a 5 target Temporal Anomaly was better than the 4 they went with. Further nerfs could have been handled in 10.1 when this tier was over.
The nerfs also hit Mythic+ where Preservation has been the number 1 spec, but not by a lot. Resto Druids are close, and a few other specs are not miles away. This is a competitive environment right now.
The timing on these is suspect, and while the spec is still in excellent shape there are some good reasons to question the size of these at this time. A 15% nerf during the business end of the season is probably not something Blizzard will want to make a habit of. In any case there is no reason to reroll and these shouldn’t greatly impact your progression through the raid – though you might play some fights differently than you did before the patch.
The nerfs combined with the Ouroboros rework does open up a lot more choice when it comes to our build. Previously Lifebind and Resonating Sphere were so ridiculous that it was tough to make a strong case for alternatives outside of gameplay preference. Now if you want to play Emerald Blossom you can, and if you don’t like it then you can opt to cast it less – though in raid it’ll be on your bars regardless of build. In mythic+ you’ll change much less, though there are a few previously niche talents that will need some in-game experimentation. We also have the option to opt into more healing if we need it.
“Unlimited HoTs V2”
Recommended for most bosses.
This will play very similarly to how you are currently playing. Your only real difference is that your hard cast Echoes will build up Ouroboros stacks and that’ll give you another powerful button to press. Aim to press it whenever you’re at 5 stacks, or whenever you have an Essence Burst proc during dangerous AoE damage. You shouldn’t need to fixate too hard on hitting 5 people with your blossom – on most fights this will happen almost by default.
You’ll still cast Temporal Anomaly a lot and you’ll still spend your echoes on Reversion or Lifebind. You’ll probably lean more heavily into Reversion than you did before the patch but you can still use Lifebind for burst damage and whenever you want to combine it with Emerald Communion – you’re likely going to need Stasis to hit most of the raid with this. Note that Reversion becomes significantly worse in 10.1 when we lose our current set bonus but we’ll talk about that more in the 10.1 FAQ.
Echo also applies to Ouroboros which is rare for this type of buff. Echo / Emerald Blossom interactions have been a bit buggy in the past so we’ll test this properly on live servers and then put some numbers together on viability.
Note: For Dathea specifically you can keep the point in Grace Period if you’d like to focus on main platform healing and Ouroboros if you want to improve your side platform healing.
Building out the future – Areas of research
Now that Emerald Blossom has become a more prominent part of our healing breakdown there is room to take it one step further into a hybrid build. You can trade poor value tier 2 points like Flow State for Fluttering Seedlings and Field of Dreams. This increased Emerald Blossom value means that we can lean into it even more by casting it whenever we have Essence Burst procs. With Spark of Insight this can actually be quite often. This is good on paper but difficult to play. We’ll see how it performs.
If you’d like to give this a try, drop a point in Flow State, Dreamwalker and Spiritual Clarity from the above. Get into a habit of playing into Spark of Insight, and spending procs on Emerald Blossom. It’s mana efficient.
Strong when the raid is stacked for long periods of time. Competitive if you enjoy it more.
The more classic blossom build focuses less on adding Echo casts and invests more heavily in big Cycle of Life windows. This is very similar to how you would have played a Blossom build in 10.0.5 and you shouldn’t need to make many playstyle changes. It excels in stacked burst healing scenarios but loses a bit of flexibility compared to Unlimited HoTs V2.
The new Ancient Flame fits the Emerald Blossom build quite well but you’re more likely to invest in it after our current tier set goes away.
This is notably unchanged from before the patch. Ouroboros might be worthy of some experimentation. Mythic+ was not available for testing on the PTR so it might take a few days to firm up the best build.
The Onyx Annulet
Full Article: Onyx Annulet / Primordial Gems
The Onyx Annulet is a new ring available in 10.0.7. It has no secondary stats on it, but has three special effect sockets that you can put 3 of 24 special Primordial gems in. Unfortunately it isn’t very good for healing right now and will be relegated to a Mythic+ offensive option only.
Do I have to reroll?
No. The spec is still very strong, but you will find every spec goes through times where it is overpowered and times when it’s a bit more middling. If you enjoy the spec, don’t let these fluctuations lead you elsewhere. Very very few people are playing at a level where it’s worth consideration.