The Champion's Guide to Playing a Guardian
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How to Stop Being Defeated When AFK
Why isn't this in the Guardian Forum?
As we all know, Guardians have no sense of humor. This is why they don't think the changes for the Guardian over the past few years were as funny as the rest of us did. Also, this is a guide for Champions. Guardians don't need any encouragement to play Guardians, because they are already Guardians and, umm, oh look: a shiny sword!
Why a Guardian?
To paraphrase a wise customer of Daisy Sandyman, I will have it known that the Champion is the most delicious class in all Middle-earth. That might have lost something in paraphrase. The point is, if you want to really have fun in Middle-earth, you should play a Champion. If for some reason – insanity, perhaps – you decide to play another class, the Guardian can be a good choice. It has lots of red skills, which we know are good, and several useful green and yellow skills, which aren't always bad. Also it is really hard to be defeated as a Guardian. Defeat, as we all know, is the enemy of DPS. By simple mathematics, we can tell that Guardians have some of the highest continuous DPS because when everyone else is defeated, the Guardian will still be plinking away at a rate low enough to allow the mobs to regenerate morale faster than the Guardian can remove it. This means that if you allow enough time, Guardians have infinity damage. It's not really the best for situations where burst damage is called for, or really anytime you need to kill something, but it's great for times when you can't be bothered to be at the keyboard.
What is a Guardian?
The Guardian is a support class. It supports the Champion by keeping aggro off the Champion and the other support classes (like the healers, and debuffers, and those guys in bathrobes.) In order to do this, the Guardian has a number of skills that increase or decrease threat (depending on stance,) some nicely animated, but weak attack skills, several shouts, a bunch of weak shield skills, and enough morale to make three Champions. They also get to wear shiny heavy armour and they can carry around heavy shields which apparently causes lots of anger issues with enemies. Why is this, you ask? Probably because the minions of the enemy hate peek-a-boo. As do we all, right?
What Skills Should I Get?
Many Guardians who have never played a Champion make serious mistakes every time they go to the class trainer. They think that they should buy all of the skills, but that's not actually what they should do at all. The best skills are the red skills – they have a red background and a sword or other weapon on them (or sometimes some other depiction of how to harm an enemy.) Here are a few of the skills you should get:
- Sword Swish – This is one of the first attack skills you get. You can tell from the picture that it has lots of swishiness which seems pretty good, and it's an attack and it can hit lots of enemies at once, so you should definitely get it. Later you can get Sword Swish with Bleeding. As we all know, bleeding = good.
Big Slanty Eyebrows – You can get this skill at level 6. Even though it doesn't have a sword on it, this is actually a good attack. If you use it enough, you can get a trait that lets you hit 3 targets at once with your eyebrows. Eyebrow Attack! I think it's pretty easy to see how that would cause additional threat.
Sword Chopsticks and Super Sword Chopsticks – You get these skills at 8 and 14 and they are great because they unlock other skills when used. Super Sword Chopsticks is also an AoE skill, which is nice. The pictures for these are nearly the same, but Super Sword Chopsticks has some nifty whirlwind action going on.
Hammer Time – This has a hammer and a shield on it, so you might think it is a crafting skill, but it is actually an attack. You can get it at level 8, but Improved Hammer Time, which you don't get till later, is better. (That's why it is called 'Improved.') The best part about this skill is the animation though, because like all Guardian skills, the actual damage is like when a Champion equips a fish or a flower as a joke but then still kills things just by being a Champion and being awesome.
Fat Sword – This skill and its big brother, Same Fat Sword but at Level 83 Prices, are lame, but they are red and we like red, precious. The same goes for Sword in the Armpit, which you think would be pretty awesome based on its icon and name, but is actually pretty weak.
Shield Slice and Blurry Shield Slice – Shield Slice is available at level 30 and even though it's less damaging than hitting someone with a stuffed wolverine, it opens up some of your other red skills, so you should get it anyway. Blurry Shield Slice is awesome (relatively) and not even related to Shield Slice, but you can't get it until level 56. Like all Guardian skills, it has an icon that does not match what it does, but that's because everyone gets bored waiting for Guardian's skills to fire, even the game artists.
Legendary Clip Art Jumble – No one really knows what the image on this icon is, but it's the only Legendary skill you really need. You get it by equipping Legendary Clip Art the Trait and five other red class traits. It does actual damage – to enemies, even! So that's pretty good. (Be sure not to confuse this skill with the green Prancing About with a Sword and Shield Skill that you gain access to with the Legendary trait: Legendary Not So Cluttered Clip Art. Seriously, did they not pay the icon artist during the month of the Guardian?)
What About Non Attacks?
Ignore those, they are just going to confuse you later when you try to attack something.
How Should I Trait?
Red. Why did you even ask?
What About Equipment?
Wear the same stuff that you would wear as a Champion and you will be fine. You can also wear a shield, just like Ye Olde Champion, but with less extra traits required.
What is the Best Rotation?
- Turn on Stab the Shield on the Ground. (That's the green toggle skill that makes all your attacks better.)
Start with the red skills and then hit all the other red skills.
Knit a sweater or pot holder.
Wait for mob to die of boredom.
What if I die?
Well, it was your fault for jumping off that cliff, wasn't it? Try to avoid horses and cliffs in the future.
Any Other Tips?
Be sure to turn on Guard Voice when you tank. It's not as damaging as Champ Voice, but it can make a serious difference in your ability to get threat. This is largely because of the high-pitched whiny quality it has. It may not get threat of mobs, but your kin-mates will be all over you.
In conclusion, playing a Guardian is easy and fun and every Champion can play one because it's exactly the same. Except without DPS. And SHING-SHING. And, defeat. Okay, maybe it's not exactly the same, but you do get to keep the shield, which is great for sledding during Yule-fest.
Look for my next guide: The Complete Minstrel's Guide to Keeping a Champion Alive (coming soon) or check out my old, soon to be obsolete, What Every Class Should Know About Tanking Champions (https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...king-Champions) on the official forums.