I'm been hankering to level one of these Mage types up. I played them before, but both suffered the problem of long cast times, or simply felt "slow". I played a Mage pre-BB and an Evan roughly when they came out, and deleted both since I wasn't having fun sloshing through the early levels. Seeing some RED videos of MountLag and Bleve showed that they've come a long way and can really spam it up and cast incredibly fast compared to before.
However, I'm not sure which to go for more. Explorer Mage obviously has the advantage of sharing my pet and 3 possible mage archetypes that I can switch between if I don't like one style. On the other hand, Evan seems very well rounded, and seem like a hardier mage type thanks to their numerous HP% buffs and their Hyper giving great status resistance for a little over 1/2 of the time. It's also the fact he controls a dragon and there's no need to pay NX anymore for their skills books which was another reason I deleted my old Evan.