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  1. #1

    Post Arathaert's Guardian Guide

    Arathaert's Guardian Guide
    Current through Update 19

    I have been playing a Guardian for over four years. I wrote this as a basic intro guide to get new guards up and running with what they need to know, so it's supposed to be read from that standpoint. That being said, if I missed anything or something's incorrect, let me know and I'll update it. Thanks, and enjoy!


    BASIC INTRO


    What is a Guardian? Here's what you need to know:


    1. Guardians are awesome.
    2. Guardians live to protect others.
    3. See #1.


    But seriously, let's run down the basics of what makes a Guardian.

    First off, guards are a heavy armor, melee tank class. A tank is the person in a group that takes all the hits to free up other folks to do their jobs. Anyone who plays a healer knows it's far easier to keep one person healed than it is to keep 6 healed while you're being interrupted left and right.

    Same if you play a damage class - lots easier to just unleash on mobs (enemies) if you don't have to worry about staying alive.

    Guardians can dish out respectable damage in red line. However, it doesn't compare to, say, a champion's damage, especially against a single target.

    And well it shouldn't. Guardians are first and foremost protectors and tanks. Basically, if the idea of wading in to the thick of a fight and having ten, twenty, thirty? mobs whaling away on you (and only you) doesn't appeal to you, then don't play a Guardian.

    If it does, then read on!

    BEFORE WE GET STARTED….

    Read your skill tooltips. Please. Just … do it. You’ll understand your skills and be a better player for it. A lot of what I’m gonna tell you will make more sense if you take the time to learn what your skills do. Your fellowship staying alive is dependent on you knowing what you’re doing. Only way to do that is to read your skill tooltips!


    Table of Contents:

    Basic Gear/Stat Questions
    Guardian Philosophy, Movement and Threat
    Tanking
    Red line DPS
    Mounted Combat
    Legendary Items & Imbuement / Gearing Up at Cap
    Essences and Essence Gear
    PvMP (not current, but still might be useful)
    Last edited by Arathaert; Jan 26 2018 at 12:40 AM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  2. #2

    Basic Gear/Stat Questions

    Quick note about armor. You always want to be wearing heavy armor. I've occasionally run into guards wearing medium armor. Don't! The only non-heavy armor you should be wearing is your cloak. A new exception to this is if you're morale stacking at endgame and are going with the medium flower power set ... but for now, don't!

    Two-handed weapon or "sword and board"? Answer: it depends.

    If you're running solo, a two-handed weapon (2h) is going to kill things much quicker. You most likely won't run into landscape mobs that pose a huge threat to your existence, but keep a 1h weapon and a shield on your quickslots so you can swap into them easily if you need the extra defense.

    If you're tanking, it depends on what trait line you're running (more about those later). If you're blue, go sword and board. If you're yellow, 2h (or sword and board if you're using yellow for T2 tanking).

    That being said, many guards I know like to run red line in sword and board. They prefer to keep with the tank feel all the time, and take the slight damage reduction for the pure indestructibility of having a shield. "Common knowledge" says to go sword and board until lvl 30, then switch to a 2h after that.

    Bottom line: it's up to you.

    WHAT STATS SHOULD I FOCUS ON?

    The short answer is might, vitality and fate (for critical rating), in that order.

    Might contributes to your block/parry/evade ratings, which let you use your skills and skill chains that unlock on those responses. It also adds to your physical mastery, which increases your damage.

    Vitality contributes to morale and resistance. Basically you stay alive longer.

    Fate contributes most importantly to critical rating. Lots of your survivability in red line especially (not to mention damage) comes from critical hits. It also contributes to in-combat power regen, which comes in handy as you level. That being said, if you're in blue line, fate doesn't help you much other than helping you not run out of power in a really long fight.

    The long answer is that you want to be looking more for stat ratings more than those larger-scope stats. So things like block and parry ratings, critical rating, critical defence... that's what you're actually trying to get. You don't want to think "oh let me slot this piece with +50 vitality because vitality = yay!" and then you toss out a piece with +400 morale. Open your character panel and hover over the stat numbers and read what the tooltip says to familiarize yourself with what stats do what. As you approach cap and start gearing up, you'll be focusing more and more on those raw stats (morale, physical mastery, parry, critical rating, etc.). But for leveling purposes: might -> vitality -> fate (crit rating).


    VIRTUES


    Use your virtues to fill in gaps depending on what you're doing. At lower levels, physical mitigation and vitality virtues will help, but as you level, you'll cap physical mitigation and won't need the points there anymore. Many guards tend to slot tactical mitigation virtues at higher levels. At cap, I'm running Discipline, Honour, Innocence, Fidelity and Tolerance. For tanking, I'd swap out Discipline for a mitigation or resistance virtue. For T2 instances, I know some guards use resistance virtues and use the blue trait to make up the difference in tactical mitigation, but that completely depends on the instance they're running.

    Also, I highly suggest working on several different virtues and swapping them out to complement your current situation.
    Last edited by Arathaert; Nov 24 2016 at 12:22 PM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  3. #3

    Guardian Philosophy, Movement and Threat

    GUARDIAN PHILOSOPHY

    The whole idea behind being a guard is that you protect your fellowship. Ideally, at the end of an instance, you want to be the only one with a repair bill.

    You really are one of the most vital pieces of a fellowship, along with the healer. The dps (damage) classes are there to make the fight go faster and the support and CC (crowd control) classes are there to make the fight easier. But without a tank (and usually a healer) the fight won't go well at all.

    Your thought should be that you want 100% of the mobs on you, 100% of the time. Adds come in? You want them on you. Just a trash pull? You want them on you. See someone running for your healer? You want that on you!

    There are rare exceptions when you'll have an off-tank, but 99.99% of the time, your mindset should be "Ain't nobody touching my hobbits!!"


    MOVEMENT

    A very important thing you should get used to now is mouse turning and using your keyboard to fire off your skills. Why is this? Two reasons.

    First, you can turn much faster and move more precisely with your mouse than you can with the keyboard. In a fight where seconds matter, you need to be on top of positioning yourself and the mobs (more on this in a bit), and mouse turning makes that easier.

    Second, in a big fight it's easy to lose where your mouse cursor is. Worst feeling in the world as a clicker is really needing to pop a force taunt NOW and not finding your mouse and the skill until it's too late. Several folks have made plugins that highlight the mouse to help solve the problem. But Shift-1 is in the same spot every time and will make your life much, much easier.

    I started as a keyboard turner and skill clicker, and I know it's tough to change, but as a tank it's well worth it.

    THREAT MECHANICS

    There is a basic game mechanic called threat (people also call it aggro - same thing). Think of it like a list that a mob has of who it sees as most threatening, or who it's most pissed off at. :P Whoever's at the top of the list is who the mob will attack.

    What are things that increase threat and move someone to the top of that list? Damage, healing and taunts.

    Say you do 100 damage to a mob, but I do 150. I'm at the top of that aggro list, so the mob will attack me.

    Then let's say our healer pops a 200 morale heal on me (the mob's target). That bumps the healer up to the top of the list.

    Make sense? Cool.

    Now's where it gets tricky. As guardians, we have a number of skills called "Force Taunts". Some are single-target (like Fray the Edge or Engage) while others are multiple-target (like Challenge, which can go up to 13 targets... told you guards rock!). What these skills do is force the mob to attack you for a certain amount of time. They also function as a "threat copy," which means they look at the number of the top person on the threat list, and automatically move you above that, plus a little buffer.

    So let's say in our example where the healer just popped off a 200 morale heal that you hit Fray the Edge to get the mob back on you (cause you're the tank and it shouldn't be touching your healer!). Right away, the mob attacks you. You're also bumped to the top of the threat list, plus a bit of a cushion, so now your threat number is 240.

    Make sense? Cool.

    It is a bit simplified, but basically that's how threat works in the game. It's important to have at least a basic understanding of it, since you're essentially in charge of it.


    HOW GUARDIANS MANAGE THREAT

    When you're tanking and in either blue or yellow line, you automatically get 300% threat. So when you do 100 damage, the mob sees that as 300 instead. That fact alone makes managing threat much, much easier than it used to be. In fact, you could probably just go blue or yellow and button mash and tank most things just fine. But if you wanted to do that you wouldn't be reading this guide now would you?

    So how do we manage threat even better? It's a combination of damage (with that 300% boost), well-timed force taunts and, in blue line, shield response skills.

    Speaking of trait lines...
    Last edited by Arathaert; Jul 08 2015 at 11:27 PM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  4. #4

    Tanking

    BLUE OR YELLOW?

    For tanking purposes, you have two options for traiting: blue and yellow.

    Blue line is the traditional sword and board tank build. You become a heavily defensive rock, basically, and shrug off hits while using various shield skills and taunts to keep the mobs all focused on you.

    Yellow line takes a different approach. Instead of increasing your defense, you decrease (debuff) the mobs' offensive capabilities instead. You use a 2h weapon and hold aggro with your damage and that handy 300%. This trait line is handy for fights with distributed damage or random aggro bosses - when stuff does hit your hobbits, it'll hit them for less.

    The choice is ultimately up to you for most things. Heavy-duty T2 stuff, though, almost always requires blue line, with rare exceptions.

    But before we get into trait builds, I want to touch on three tanking basics. Like we said, you ideally want to be the only one taking damage. That means you need to be aware of three things:


    1. Positioning
    2. Your surroundings
    3. Leadership


    Positioning is, at it's most simple, turning the mobs so they're facing away from everyone else. Ideally, the fight should look like a sandwich. With one or two raid fights' mechanics, this isn't true and you want everyone stacked up, but just go with it for now and you'll rarely be wrong.

    You -> mob(s) <- Everyone else.

    Surroundings. Once you get the hang of it and practice, you'll find yourself not having to look at your skill bar while you fight, except for a quick glance to check cooldowns. Keep your eyes up and on the mobs you're fighting. If one starts an induction, use stamp if you can to interrupt it. If you see an add peel off toward your healer or another squishy, target it and reel it back with a quick Fray the Edge. It's a good idea to get used to moving the view around while you fight (left mouse click) to get a better view.

    Leadership. As the tank, more often than not you'll be the de facto leader of the fellowship. You'll need to be calling targets, letting folks know of adds, telling people where to stand and initiating pulls. If that sounds like a big responsibility that's cause it is, but it's okay. It's easier than it sounds and remember you're playing with people just like you. It's a person, not a toon. That being said, take it seriously - if you're unfamiliar with an instance, take the time to learn about it. I guarantee there's videos or guides floating around on the Internet somewhere that will give you a rundown of what the battle will look like. The more you know, the better you can tank.

    On to tanking!

    TANKING

    Okay, to be fair, I prefer to tank in blue and mostly just use yellow to debuff creep raids in the 'Moors or for specialized fights with distributed damage. I find it more interesting to manage threat that way than to just hit Take to Heart, War-chant, Stagger, Engage and then whatever damage skills are off cooldown. So the blue line tanking bit is going to naturally be more detailed cause I know more about it.

    BLUE LINE TANKING

    Tanking in blue line depends on using shield skills to generate threat and boost your defenses. Most of these are gated behind getting a block response. Once you get one, you start the chain of skills that unlock each other. Here are the skills you’ll need to know about:

    Shield-blow: This skill will give you a block response. If your block rating is high enough, you shouldn't need to use this too often - it does cost a good amount of power. That being said, if don't have a block response, and your block chain is ready and waiting to get going ... use it.

    Shield-swipe: This is the skill that opens up your block response chain. Use it when you get a block. Simple, eh?

    Shield-taunt: This involves you banging on your shield and yelling. It's awesome if you're a dwarf. It's adorable if you're a hobbit. The skill doesn’t do any damage, but it increases your aggro on multiple mobs. Use this after Shield-swipe if it’s up and you’re tanking multiple mobs - you'll see red squiggly lines over their heads and boom you've got aggro. If you’re on a single mob, use…

    Bash: Handy skill, this (read the tooltip!). Use it when Shield-taunt is on cooldown or if you’re tanking a single mob. On a single-target, the 300% damage from Bash will generate more threat for you than Shield-taunt will, especially if you've got a decent amount of physical mastery. Even if it didn't, the 3s stun is very, very handy.

    Shield-smash: Hehehe. Fun skill. Multiple-target stun. Massive crits. Heals you on crits if you take the red-line trait for it (If you're going solo, trait it. If you have a healer, it's often better to put the points into something else, since they'll take care of healing for you.). Massive threat. Use it.

    Pledge: Basically 15 seconds of demigodmode. Sets your block, parry and evade ratings to +50%, more if you've got the legacy. And you also heal on the blocks. It’s a wonderful little oh #### skill that does more than just save your skin.

    Juggernaut: Basically 15 seconds of full godmode. Your block chance is set to 100% (you block everything that comes your way), each block damages the attacker and heals you. And it has a great animation. Just a note – try to resist stunning things with Shield-smash with all those great blocks you’re getting. They’ll stop hitting you, which means less healing for you! Resist the urge, then pop Shield-smash once Juggernaut wears off.

    Litany of Defiance: Yet another epic guardian skill. The tooltip is confusing, but what it does is cashes in your fortification stacks - at 5, you gain 20% mitigations and you intercept damage your fellowship is taking. If you run through your shield skills quickly, you can be right back up to 5 fortification soon after it wears off. I used to never use this because I misunderstood how it worked. Now I'm working it into my regular rotation for tanking.

    Warrior's Heart: This is your big heal you have in all lines. But in blue you can buff it - you can add a bubble and defensive stat boosts. If you use it, those stat boosts will stay on you for the duration of the fight. (Random tip for a tough solo pull: I know some folks will flip to blue, pop Warrior's Heart, go back to red and round up a big pull, enjoying the extra morale, bubble and defensive stats).

    Shield Wall: Shield Wall is yet another great skill you can use when stuff goes south. It basically takes all the damage your fellowship-mate is taking and puts it on you. It can save a fellowship, but be careful how you use it. When that damage is transferred, it'll bypass your mitigations and removes their ability to block, parry or evade. You'll take a lot of damage, very quickly. Use it only as an oh #### skill when you know your healer can keep up with the damage you're about to take. That being said, it can save a group from a wipe if the healer's in trouble. It can buy them the precious few seconds to pop off some of their large heals while you force taunt everything back on you. Just a note though: this won't save a dps player from reflect spike damage, so don't bother shield walling someone who's actively killing themselves.

    For your other skills, focus on AoE attacks (multiple targets), especially if you’re tanking multiple targets, which you almost always will be. You should be hitting Whirling Retaliation on a parry response. Also, try not to waste a block response on hitting Catch a Breath. Wait for a parry response instead. Use block responses to run through your line and generate threat and keep all the mobs on you.


    FORTIFICATION

    Fortification is a bit tricky to understand. Basically, using your shield skills gives you a stacking boost to mitigations. You can cash them out with Litany of Defiance or you can just keep them there. I tend to keep them stacked at 5 unless my fellowship-mates are taking damage or if I know adds are incoming that might aggro to them for a hit or two before I can grab them. In that case, I use Litany and then build fortifications back up again asap.


    WHEN TO USE FORCE TAUNTS

    This is pretty simple – at the beginning and when stuff goes wrong. An easy way to start a pull is with Challenge or Fray the Edge. In fact, I used to always do that. At cap, though, you can't always get away with it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    When you have to pull a pack of mobs, it's not necessarily a good idea to start straight with Challenge. Good champions, wardens or hunters will put out more AoE dps than you can generate threat with tanking gear (at least in blue line) so it might be smart to actually wait as much as possible before using Challenge. The idea is to make use of the threat copy and passive threat bonuses from Guardian's legendary Belts.

    Usually when I have a pull to make, I run through to turn the mobs back towards my group/raid, use Sweeping Cut to have a bit a threat and use Shield Swipe to open the block chain. By then damage dealers will be going all out (they love to strain me !) and as soon as one foe tuns from me, I will fire Challenge. At this point I will copy the higher threat on all mobs, plus the small bonus and multiply it by the bonus given by the belt wich should give me a better lead that starting with Challenge. Immediatly after Challenge, I will go through Shield Taunt, Shield Smash, Whirling Retaliation and then Vexing Blow/Sweeping Cut.

    If you can generate more threat than your damage dealers can, then yeah start with Challenge. In end-game raiding however it should not be the case.
    For exemple for Durin's Bane (Ost Dunoth) 3 thrash pulls, Champions, Hunters and Wardens are constantly dealing between 20k and 30k DPS. No way you can match that in blue line.
    I tend to start pulls with War-chant now, since it hits a lot of mobs in a large area and has a threat component to it.

    For single-target tanking, just keep Fray the Edge up all the time. It'll make your life easier and the mob will stick on you even if you're feared or stunned.

    There's a bug (unfortunately, because it makes tanking dreadfully dull) where if you taunt something once it's below 90% morale it'll stick on you until it dies, assuming someone else doesn't do anything threat-related. Sounds unbelievable, but it's true - feel free to test it yourself. Yet another reason to save your taunts for a little ways into the fight!

    Just for reference, here's what my blue/yellow line AoE tanking skill bar looks like:




    Regular skills and debuffs along the main row, block response chain tied to the alt keys. Survival skills on the ctrl line, and taunts and fellowship skills (like Shield Wall and Litany of Defiance) along the top.

    Note on people pulling stuff: Your primary duty is to keep your healer alive. If a hunter or runekeeper (or any other dps class, really) keeps pulling things, let them die. Seriously. It’s better for them to die and have to wait for a rez than for you to keep having to rescue them and possibly accidentally lose aggro on something that’ll go target your healer. For the most part, champions and captains won’t pull aggro from you. If they do, they can survive and if they don't they deserve to die. :P Same with wardens – don’t worry about them. Just keep your healer alive and the mobs sandwiched between you and you’ll do just fine.

    COORDINATING YOUR COOLDOWNS

    So you've got all these epic skills - how do you coordinate them? How do you know which big skill to pop when? Here's a bit of epic info from Ringomond that was linked to me by Eldalleth (assuming you've got the Pledge legacies for CD and Magnitude Up):

    Quote Originally Posted by Ringomond
    Now let me break down for you 3 minutes of combat time during which I keep myself buffed as often as possible:

    0:01-0:15 – I open with juggernaut and my block is at 100%. During this time I am also building fortification.

    0:16-0:30 – When juggernaut wears off I hit Litany of Defiance and now have 80% mits.

    0:31-0:45 – When Litany expires my mitigations are back to 60%. I hit Warrior’s Heart and gain a damage bubble and an incoming healing debuff. I also start building those fortifications back up.

    0:46-1:00 – The damage bubble may not have lasted all the way to the minute mark, but I know hit Guardian’s Pledge and have 85% block and parry and 73% evade.

    1:01-1:45 – 45 seconds with all skills on cool-down but I do have fortification buffs up and my mitigations are at 70%

    1:46-2:00 – Litany of Defiance is back off cool-down and I cash it in for those sweet 80% mitigations.

    2:01-2:30 – The next 30 seconds are the most dangerous. I have no cool-down skills, and I start with no fortification buffs. It does not take long, however, to get those fortification buffs back up.

    2:31-2:45 – Warrior’s Heart is back off cool-down and I might need to heal after 30 seconds without cool-downs. My fortifications should be built back up.

    2:46-3:00 – Guardian’s Pledge is back off cool-down and I pop it for 80% block and parry and 73% Evade.

    At the end of 3 minutes Juggernaut is back up, Litany has 15 seconds left on cool-down. I can do it all again, although some of the skills would be timed a bit differently. That coupled with everybody else watching my health (because they don’t want my job) and I should be just fine.
    If you want more info on tanking T2 content, you can find the rest of Ringomond's guide here.

    TANKING TRAIT LINES


    In Update 19 there are a couple ways you can trait for tanking. One is to go almost all blue, dipping into yellow for the power restore and into red for a bit of parry rating. This works for just about anything that needs tanking, but it's best for single-target fights. Somethin' like this:



    When I eventually get around to getting that last trait point, I'll be dropping it into Bolster - yay extra Crit Defence!

    The other way of traiting works well for AoE tanking, and it's what I use for virtually everything - trait blue but put more points into yellow, dipping deep enough to get Bring on the Pain (1m cd heal - read the tooltip! :P). The increase in War-chant targets means you do more damage, and the heal works very well when you’re facing multiple mobs. Test it out and see what you think (thanks to Zonflux for the idea). It might look something like this:





    YELLOW LINE TANKING

    To be fair, I don’t often play in yellow line, as I prefer the feel of blue line tanking more. That being said, I’ll do my best…

    Yellow line tanking revolves around debuffing your targets. The trait line does a lot of the work, to be honest. Be sure to toggle on Take to Heart at the beginning and use War-chant to get its debuff up. Stun with Cataclysmic Shout early on and get behind a mob to get Stagger on it for its debuff. Be sure to apply Engage too for its slow. After that, just AoE everything to death with all the damaging skills at your disposal. Simple, really. If something stops attacking you once it started, it’ll be snared – a prime reason to start pulls with a force taunt if you're running yellow line – but be sure to get it back on you anyway. Finally, be sure to time your Sting use well. If you hold off using it until after Bolster and/or Tenderize are at full strength, you’ll apply the bonus effect. Basically, just use it to remove corruptions.

    Here's what my yellow line trait tree looks like (keeping in mind I'm no expert and I rarely use it!):


    A stupendous discussion on Yellow vs. Blue tanking, full of math and everything, can be found here: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...lue-comparison
    Last edited by Arathaert; Nov 24 2016 at 01:09 PM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  5. #5

    Red Line DPS

    So far, we've talked a lot about tanking. Now it's time to talk about a solo guard, or a guard functioning as dps in a group.

    Side note: Guards are really not the best DPS class. If you're all about killing things, and lots of things, fast, go with a different class. Recent changes have drastically lowered Guard DPS, which is kind of a major bummer. To quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by EdgeCase View Post

    1. The Guardian is not an AOE DPS class.
    So don't get your hopes up too high! Lots of videos on the interwebz are older and since U18, you won't be able to match numbers like that. But don't get discouraged! Guardian soloing and DPS is still pretty fun, though you'll find it harder to get into groups as a DPS class nowadays.

    The key to dishing out great damage as a guard lies in the bleed system.

    When you trait red line, you get access to a specific, stacking bleed. When you trait down red line you can tier that bleed up to ten times, and it increases in damage as you tier it up.

    How do you tier it up? One of three ways: using Sweeping Cut (traited for it), using Thrust, and landing a critical hit on any skill.

    The secret of guardian dps lies in getting that bleed to 10 as quickly as possible and keeping it there and refreshing it as often as possible.

    Let's take a quick side trip to check out the main skills you get in red line:

    Retaliation/Whirling Retaliation: Same thing, basically. They unlock when you get a parry response, and you use them to start your parry chain. Whirling Retaliation is for multiple targets, Retaliation for a single target.

    Overwhelm: This unlocks after Whirling Retaliation/Retaliation. It does damage, more with bleeds on the target, and usually removes the bleeds. Use it only as a finishing move, or if you have bleeds on the surrounding targets and can reapply the bleed immediately on your target because you have Radiate traited (more on that later, don’t worry). It also unlocks To the King.

    Thrust: Your best friend in the parry chain. This unlocks with Retaliation/Whirling Retaliation and applies your bleed . It also unlocks To the King.

    To the King: Handy skill, this. It unlocks with Thrust and Overwhelm. When traited, it buffs your attack speed and run speed. Well worth hitting whenever it’s up!

    Protection by the Sword: If you’re running around with someone else (even your skirm soldier!) put this on them. Whenever you put it on someone and they parry an attack, you’ll also get a parry response. It also gives a fellowship-wide damage boost. This is great for situations where you’re in red line and someone else is tanking.

    Brutal Assault: This is a high-damage, single-target skill with a 50% chance to apply your guard bleed. It's a sweet skill, but it has a long animation. I've found that using sting+stagger combined takes about the same time and does more damage, so I actually rarely use Brutal Assault. I often have it traited, of course, because the +bleed damage% is gated by it. But it's not in my regular rotation.

    So your parry chain looks something like this:

    (Parry response) -> Retaliation/Whirling Retaliation -> Thrust -or- Overwhelm -> To the King

    Simple, eh?

    A few notes on the parry chain.


    • As soon as you get a parry, start the chain. You want to get that thrust in asap.
    • Don't use Overwhelm except as a finishing move. You'll do more damage if you keep the bleed ticking instead. That being said, if you've got a bunch of mobs together, cash out with Overwhelm and then reapply the bleed with an AoE skill (assuming you've traited Radiate and Insult to Injury - more on that in a sec)
    • Use Whirling Retaliation vs multiple mobs, and Retaliation on single mobs. Whirling Retaliation does more damage and is AoE, but the single-target Retaliation is faster and costs less power.


    Arguably the most important trait you'll get in red line is Prey on the Weak. (Note: to be reasonably effective as a guardian, you need to have your traits unlocked down the side. Spend tp or go VIP for a month. Your choice, but it's an essential.) What Prey on the Weak does is twofold. First, it gives you more free damage. Actually, Prey on the Weak damage will be a huge chunk of the damage that you do, especially if you have under ~50k physical mastery. The second thing is that you have a chance to get a free heal if you have your bleed on the target. The higher the bleed, the bigger the chance you have to heal. Moral of the story: tier up your bleeds ASAP.

    Critical hits come in handy when you're tiering up your bleeds too. Like I said before, crits will tier up the bleed. So when you're getting started you want to be getting as many skills off as quickly as you can. It's possible if you're lucky to get a bleed up to 10 within the space of 3-5 seconds or so. That's why critical rating is so important in building your guard. The higher your crit rating, the faster your bleeds will tier up, the more damage you do and the more heals you get. Max out your crit rating!

    Note: You might notice the Thrill of Battle trait in red line and see critical hit and see heal and think it's a good trait. It used to be! Not anymore though, since it can only proc once every 20 seconds, a change introduced in U18. Now the trait is virtually useless - you can spend points elsewhere with much greater effect.

    Note about attack speeds: you'll see two skills that are immediate: Ignore the Pain and Stamp. You can actually hit one if those skills right after a long-animation skill like Sweeping Cut or Whirling Retaliation and it'll cut that animation off, letting you use your next skill quicker. Give it a try and you'll see - hit stamp right after the green line flashes around sweeping cut. Cool, eh? Getting the Stamp cooldown reduction legacy is a great idea. I generally don't tend to use Ignore the Pain for interrupting skills because it's got a long animation itself and it costs a hefty amount of power, but it's certainly possible.

    Here's what my straight red line skillbar looks like:



    Similar to the block response chain - regular skills along the bottom. My parry chain mostly lives in 4-7. Survival skills are on the ctrl line, with AoE skills on the alt line. I have Stamp next to Sweeping Cut to interrupt the animation - I often start with that, followed by War-chant and then go down my main line of skills. I have my 1h and shield in there for if I need to swap into them for survival purposes (like if I'm stunned). I have the basic block chain on the shift line if I need to swap to sword and board and want a stun.

    Remember: focus on getting your bleeds tiered up as quickly as you can!

    MIXING IN YELLOW

    Oddly enough, some of the most important traits you can get in red line are actually from yellow line! I'm talking about Radiate and Insult to Injury.

    Radiate copies bleeds and debuffs to surrounding targets. If you get tier ten bleed up on something and hit, say, Sweeping Cut, you'll notice that the mob next to it suddenly has that same tier 10 bleed happily ticking away on it. It also works for spreading the Stagger and War-chant debuffs.

    Insult to Injury will dramatically increase your damage. The tooltip says "Your damaging attacks have a chance to renew all debuffs on your target." That counts toward bleeds too! Look at it like this - you get a bleed going and it's counting down and doing damage. 10, 9, 8, 7... but with Insult to Injury traited, that counter goes back to 10 on basically every other time you hit the mob. So the countdown goes more like 10, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 10... etc. And the best part is that it doesn't even have to wait a whole second. Instead of getting one bleed tick every 2 seconds, you could get one every skill hit. So more like one every 2 seconds and sometimes two or even three every 2 seconds. Great, eh?

    Even better, it works for your debuffs. So you can put Stagger and War-chant on one target and it'll basically never expire. Add in the effect of Radiate and you'll be spreading around that debuff too.

    NOTE:
    Since U18, the chances for these to apply were dramatically reduced, making them far less useful traits than they were before. That being said, they're still good to put points into, since they'll still increase your damage a bit.

    DPS TRAIT BUILDS

    In my testing, I've found it more effective to choose The Keen Blade line, but dip heavily into yellow line for extra War-chant and AoE damage, so here's what I usually run around with for DPS and questing:



    I'll probably drop the last couple points into the Warrior's Fortitude when I get around to deeding for it, but for now, I've found the Strong Bursts trait to be a pretty strong choice. Like I said earlier, I don't use Brutal Assault cause it's really slow and Sting + Stagger gets off a bit more damage in about the same amount of time, and with a capped crit chance, it usually tiers up the bleed too. Also, as noted earlier, I and many others have not traited Thrill of Battle since the U18 nerf. If you're comfy with your survivability you could take the points out of the incoming healing and drop those into red line stuff, but I like the teeny boost in heals and most landscape stuff doesn't live long enough to get to an overwhelm anyway.

    For single-target damage, I run a more pure red-line build, since most of the benefit of yellow line lies in its AoE capabilities. Here's what I use for single-target fights:

    Just because I trait this way for most stuff doesn't mean it's the best! There are countless ways to trait - folks are even talking of going for dps relying on shield skills in blue line, dipping into yellow for War-chant goodness. You might find that you like the feel of one thing better than another - feel free to experiment!
    Last edited by Arathaert; Nov 25 2016 at 01:26 PM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  6. #6

    Mounted Combat

    Since there are three steeds available for you, you can go three routes with mounted combat. In all honesty, I've never tried medium to any extent, but I can speak to both heavy and light.

    A NOTE ON BRIDLES

    Mounted combat all depends on getting a good bridle. Without one, it basically sucks. With one it's a breeze and actually pretty fun. I'll provide a couple bridle ideas below. But just a note: don't get a lvl 100 bridle!! Get yourself a lvl 95. As you can see from the screenshot, even with a lvl 95, you’ll still cap the fury bonus and it costs far less to rank up legacies for it. You don't even need to spend a single point into the Fury Bonus Rating to have it capped.


    Your end result is basically the same, but you’ll spend far less time and effort getting there. Getting good relics is a huge part of pleasant warsteeding, so invest the time and relics and shards in it.

    HEAVY STEEDS

    For some reference on this build, check out Oaceen's Guide to Trampling Your Foes in Mounted Combat. Basically, it relies on massive crits. Riding a heavy steed is a bit lumbering, but you can trample things and knock ‘em halfway across the map, which is probably the single most fun thing to do on horseback. Also, the high armour and morale mean you can survive some things that you can't on a light steed. If I wanna take a shortcut ride through Tarlang’s Crown, for instance, I’d be on my heavy steed. For reference, here's the basic trait build that the guide recommends - you primarily run this build in Riddermark stance for the damage and health boosts and power restore:


    I don’t have a screenie of a tricked-out heavy bridle, but the legacies would be something like this:
    Conservative Combatant Power Cost (Heavy Steed)
    Rider Armour Value
    Riddermark Skill Power Cost
    Riddermark Skill Direct Damage
    Riddermark Skill Healing
    Maximum War-Steed Endurance
    War-Steed Agility

    LIGHT STEED

    This is what I'm running with now, for two reasons. First, you go faster. Handy for travel! Second, maneuverability. With stuff traited up correctly, I can ride around a town no problem at full speed - it handles almost like a regular mount. You don't have as much survivability, but you make up for it somewhat by being able to heal yourself pretty handily in Rohirrim stance. I tend to start with my heavy-hitting skills and then hit the lighter ones til the big ones come back off cooldown. Others like to use their skills in order of shortest cooldown to longest. To each their own!

    Here's the trait line I'm using and having success with right now:



    And this is the bridle I’m using:



    I’ll eventually be adding on a Setting of Aggression and a Gem of Acumen, but I’ve been prioritizing my tanking LI’s relics recently. Much thanks and credit to ChromiteSwiftpaw for his thoughts on the light steed build. You can see his bridle here - it's very similar to mine but with those relics added to it.

    A FEW NOTES ON MOUNTED COMBAT PLAY

    Mounted combat on a guard will never be as epic as mounted combat on a hunter - get used to it :P But it still can be fun! It involves literally riding in circles around the enemy and plunking it to death with single-target skills. Aim to get hits from behind to start, since you’ve a better chance of it landing. And for at least your first hit, try to have full fury built up.

    Pay attention to what stance you’re in - Red Dawn, Rohirrim or Riddermark. Read the tooltips for each and understand what they do. After you crit on Rohan’s Edge, you’ll get a lil effect that unlocks. The next skill you use will apply a different effect, depending on what line you’re in, so pay attention to your needs.


    • In Red Dawn, you and your fellowship get a damage bonus.
    • In Riddermark you and your fellowship get some power back.
    • In Rohirrim you and your fellowship get a 10% heal.


    Adapt your stance to fit the situation and READ YOUR TOOLTIPS!!
    Last edited by Arathaert; Nov 24 2016 at 01:12 PM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  7. #7

    Legendary Items & Imbuement / Gearing Up at Cap

    LEGENDARY ITEMS and IMBUEMENT

    You’ve just reached lvl 100 and you want to get a sweet imbued LI. Not so fast. First go read Dadi’s Guide to Imbuement. It’s really helpful for understanding what it’s all about. Can’t recommend it highly enough. But here’s the basics of what you’ll want to do:


    1. Get a First Age LI
    2. Apply an Anfalas Scroll of Delving and level it all the way up to 70
    3. Make sure it has all the legacies you want on it (some change after imbuement!).
    4. THEN imbue.


    Some weapons you might not want to imbue. Most folks have imbued their LIs, even tanking ones, because the damage increase and other increases from 59 legacy levels have outpaced the benefits of not imbuing (more targets). Some guardians I know keep an unimbued swap sword for tanking pulls, so they can hit more targets early on in the fight to establish aggro, then swap to their normal tanking sword. I don't bother, partially cause I'm not that coordinated, but so far my imbued tanking LIs seem to be working just fine.

    There’s some slight debate about what legacies are the best, but here’s what I’ve found to be very, very effective:

    TANKING





    DPS

    (AoE sword on the left, single-target sword on the right)



    You’ll notice I have no +critical rating skill legacies and there’s good reason. In dps mode, my crit rating is at cap or slightly over. Using that crit legacy would overcap my rating for that skill, which is almost entirely useless - that slot would be better spent elsewhere. In tank mode, my concern isn’t dps and big hits - it’s holding aggro and surviving. Yes, big hits help me hold aggro. But there are better legacies that will help me survive more than adding a percentage point or two on one skill’s crit chance.

    My LIs aren't finished yet (obviously!), and I've spent more time on the tanking ones, since those are more important as a guard, in my opinion. Are the legacies and relics best? Dunno. But for right now, this is what I’m using, and it works. The point isn’t to show perfection - I’m a work in progress too!

    GEARING UP AT CAP

    A lot of gearing depends on what you want to do. Some folks are all ‘bout dat dps. Others wanna get out in the moors. Others just wanna tank T2 instances and do nothing else. To make your life easier, here are some beginning stats to shoot for for those situations - I’ve only listed the most important ones to focus on to make it easier: (partial credit to Zonflux, I believe)

    DPS
    Morale: 22k+
    Phys Mastery: 50k+
    Critical Rating: 16800 (25%) <- important!! This is how you proc heals which will keep you alive.
    Parry: 24%
    Critical Defence: not as important - 8-10k will help keep you alive if you’re having issues
    Physical Mitigation: 55%
    Tactical Mitigation: 45%

    PvMP - note, might change in U16.2
    Morale: 25k+ (this will increase with rank, ideally to 30k+)
    Phys Mastery: 45-50k+
    Parry: 25%
    Critical Rating: 25% <- ditto on the importanto
    Critical Defence: 50%+
    Resistance: 25%
    Finesse: 25%
    Physical Mitigation: overcapped enough to get your Orc-craft/Fellwrought mitigations over 60%
    Tactical Mitigation: 60%

    T2 TANKING
    Morale: 40k+
    Block/Partial Block/Mitigations: 18%/30%/60%
    Parry/Partial Parry/Mitigations: 19%/25%/45%
    Evade/Partial Evade/Mitigations: 13%/28%/50%
    Critical Rating: not terribly important - defences are your primary concern here
    Finesse: effectiveness still under debate, but you can't go wrong with 15-20%
    Critical Defence: 50-60% (without the blue line buff or bolster)
    Incoming Healing: 18-20%
    Resistance: 18-30%
    Physical Mitigation: 60% - Note: According to this thread's findings, it would seem that the "hidden cap" for T2 content is about 23500, so overcap it to that rating.
    Tactical Mitigation: 60% - same as above

    Note: you won't necessarily need all these at these levels for every instance. Some instances don't require tact mits but do require resistance - swap armour pieces or virtues to meet the stats as needed.

    Now, to get to those stats you gotta start somewheres, right? There are three components to your gear: LIs, jewelry and armour. This is important: tweak them in that order. It's much easier to adjust things on armour than it is on jewelry, and both are easier than adjusting your LIs.

    So as you get to cap, here's what you'll need to do to get geared up:


    1. Run Epic Battles. They can be a pain but there are two trait points to be had, as well as some jewelry and other nice things.
    2. Be running the Featured Instance daily - this is helpful for armour, jewelry and essences, depending on your goals.
    3. Do some regular instances and things that drop relics.
    4. If you’re a guilded crafter, make crafted relics. You’ll slot some into your LIs and the rest you’ll decon for shards.
    5. Again, depending on what your goals are, the Dol Amroth daily training instance is a good choice.


    The process will take a whiles, but that's okay! I've been playing my guard for over four years now, and I'm still not "done" with it.

    NOTE: For more info on gearing at cap and for other awesome Guardian-at-cap stuff, check out Zonflux's guide here.

    Next section: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?557663-Arathaert-s-Guardian-Guide&p=7399721#post7399721
    Last edited by Arathaert; Nov 24 2016 at 01:37 PM.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    Guardians can dish out respectable damage in red line. However, it doesn't compare to, say, a champion's damage, especially against a single target.
    Guardian DPS is not about burst damage but rather sustained damage. Also, the role that we play as a dps class differs from other dps classes.
    Combined with the heals that proc from Prey on the Weak and our higher mitigation cap of 60% and avoidances we offer a different form of dps to the fellowship. What we offer most importantly as a dps class is the ability to output respectable sustained AoE dps while not being squishy and also self-healing ourselves so that the healer in the group can focus on other people. We are also able to pick up ads and stragglers that break off easily due to our bleeds, and Fray the Edge, and are also able to serve as an off-tank if need be at a moments notice.

    If someone is looking for huge crits or burst dps that is not a Guardian.
    With good gear single-target you can expect 3000-6000 dps, and for AoE you can expect 8000-13000, depending on the size of the mob you can push your dps over 16000. Both figures are respectable in my opinion. For mob size it doesn't really matter as our AoE's will spread bleeds throughout the entire mob.

    For large mobs or elite master mobs you may find it useful to initially don a shield until you can tier up your bleeds a little with two or three swings. This is useful if you are either solo or tanking a group while still being completely spec'd and geared for dps.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by thatabguy View Post
    Guardian DPS is not about burst damage but rather sustained damage. Also, the role that we play as a dps class differs from other dps classes.
    Combined with the heals that proc from Prey on the Weak and our higher mitigation cap of 60% and avoidances we offer a different form of dps to the fellowship. What we offer most importantly as a dps class is the ability to output respectable sustained AoE dps while not being squishy and also self-healing ourselves so that the healer in the group can focus on other people. We are also able to pick up ads and stragglers that break off easily due to our bleeds, and Fray the Edge, and are also able to serve as an off-tank if need be at a moments notice.

    If someone is looking for huge crits or burst dps that is not a Guardian.
    With good gear single-target you can expect 3000-6000 dps, and for AoE you can expect 8000-13000, depending on the size of the mob you can push your dps over 16000. Both figures are respectable in my opinion. For mob size it doesn't really matter as our AoE's will spread bleeds throughout the entire mob.

    For large mobs or elite master mobs you may find it useful to initially don a shield until you can tier up your bleeds a little with two or three swings. This is useful if you are either solo or tanking a group while still being completely spec'd and geared for dps.
    Completely agree! Though I still haven't yet gotten numbers like that XD I expect a lot of that will come with time and gearing.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post


    VIRTUES


    Use your virtues to fill in gaps depending on what you're doing. At lower levels, physical mitigation and vitality virtues will help, but as you level, you'll cap physical mitigation and won't need the points there anymore. Many guards tend to slot tactical mitigation virtues at higher levels.
    I use these five for both tanking and dps.

    Discipline - Might, Resistance, Physical Mitigation
    Tolerance - Tactical Mitigation, Agility, In-Combat Morale Regen
    Fidelity - Tactical Mitigation, Vitality, Power
    Honour - Resistance, Tactical Mitigation, Vitality
    Innocence - Physical Mitigation, Resistance, Tactical Mitigation

    If you want even more Resistance you can slot Charity.

    I find though that these virtues offer plenty of Tactical Mitigation and Resistance.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    Some important legacies you can get are:

    - Challenge Targets
    - Guardian Area Effect Targets
    - Force Taunt Duration
    - Stamp Cooldown
    - Shield Damage
    - Catch a Breath Cooldown
    - Guardian Bleed Damage
    - Any AoE attack +damage%

    - Arathaert
    The Stamp Cooldown legacy is nice, but for those of you that can multi-task well during combat may I suggest keeping both the Stamp Cooldown and Charge Duration legacies on a third age that you can quickly swap to and use. This will free up valuable LI points on your second or first age.

    One legacy that I feel you forgot is the Shield Smash legacy. I have this traited to hit something like 9+ targets and when this baby devastates it can hit upwards of 13,000 damage on multiple targets.

    The bleed damage I feel is more relevant towards the Red and Yellow trait lines. For Blue I don't really care about bleeds and focus on raw damage.

    Another nice-to-have legacy is the Targeted Melee Skills Range legacy. The increase in range is subtle but it will add an extra 1.7m to your reactive Block skills. So I'm using this legacy essentially just for Shield-Smash.

    I'm also going to suggest the +% Warrior's Heart / Fortitude legacy. Healing 35% of your maximum morale is huge. You could optionally have this on a third age with morale relics and vitality legacy to increase the potency of the 35% max morale heal.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by thatabguy View Post
    I use these five for both tanking and dps.

    Discipline - Might, Resistance, Physical Mitigation
    Tolerance - Tactical Mitigation, Agility, In-Combat Morale Regen
    Fidelity - Tactical Mitigation, Vitality, Power
    Honour - Resistance, Tactical Mitigation, Vitality
    Innocence - Physical Mitigation, Resistance, Tactical Mitigation

    If you want even more Resistance you can slot Charity.

    I find though that these virtues offer plenty of Tactical Mitigation and Resistance.
    Haha that's almost identical to what I've been using! My innocence is a little low though...
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by thatabguy View Post
    The Stamp Cooldown legacy is nice, but for those of you that can multi-task well during combat may I suggest keeping both the Stamp Cooldown and Charge Duration legacies on a third age that you can quickly swap to and use. This will free up valuable LI points on your second or first age.

    One legacy that I feel you forgot is the Shield Smash legacy. I have this traited to hit something like 9+ targets and when this baby devastates it can hit upwards of 13,000 damage on multiple targets.

    The bleed damage I feel is more relevant towards the Red and Yellow trait lines. For Blue I don't really care about bleeds and focus on raw damage.

    Another nice-to-have legacy is the Targeted Melee Skills Range legacy. The increase in range is subtle but it will add an extra 1.7m to your reactive Block skills. So I'm using this legacy essentially just for Shield-Smash.

    I'm also going to suggest the +% Warrior's Heart / Fortitude legacy. Healing 35% of your maximum morale is huge. You could optionally have this on a third age with morale relics and vitality legacy to increase the potency of the 35% max morale heal.
    Ooo good points all. Changes made - I wrote almost the whole thing from memory on a couple work lunch breaks, so there's bound to be some mistakes. :P Thanks!
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  14. #14
    A funny thing that I just noticed about a couple of screenshots in your thread. In the two screenshots of your quickslot bars I noticed that your main quickslot bar does not have any important skills in that far-right, that += key next to your backspace key.

    I am going to guess you ran into a similar issue that I was having where you go to mouse-click that skill slot and instead accidentally hit those stupid up/down arrows that toggle between on-foot and mounted combat. I don't understand why those are even there.

    As such I no longer place any important skills in that quickslot location. Such a waste. Very poor UI design change by Turbine.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by thatabguy View Post
    A funny thing that I just noticed about a couple of screenshots in your thread. In the two screenshots of your quickslot bars I noticed that your main quickslot bar does not have any important skills in that far-right, that += key next to your backspace key.

    I am going to guess you ran into a similar issue that I was having where you go to mouse-click that skill slot and instead accidentally hit those stupid up/down arrows that toggle between on-foot and mounted combat. I don't understand why those are even there.

    As such I no longer place any important skills in that quickslot location. Such a waste. Very poor UI design change by Turbine.
    Actually no. But good observation lol. I keep my important skills on the left (1-7) cause I use keybinding to fire them off (mouseturning and keyboard for skills). Alt-7 is about as far as my left hand can comfortably reach without looking (alt with the thumb).

    I actually used those multiple bars extensively for different trait setups. But in a recent updates only the sword one saved when you changed trait lines, so it became useless.
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  16. #16
    Hey there, overall it's a nice guide and a lot of true stuff. Yet I feel like a few things are worth talking about ! I will only discuss tanking as I have not dabbled that much in guardian dps.




    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    Quick note about armor. You always want to be wearing heavy armor. I've occasionally run into guards wearing medium armor. Don't! The only non-heavy armor you should be wearing is your cloak.
    If you gear with essences this is true as the medium piece will offer no advantage. However since guardians largely overcap Physical Mitigation and armour rating influence Tactical Mitigation only with a 20% ratio, having one (or two) medium armour piece is not necesseraly bad if the stats on it are better that what you have available on other gear.

    Which takes us to your advices on stats to look for :

    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    WHAT STATS SHOULD I FOCUS ON?


    Might, vitality and fate (for critical rating).


    Might contributes to your block/parry/evade ratings, which let you use your skills and skill chains that unlock on those responses.


    Vitality contributes to morale and resistance. Basically you stay alive longer.


    Fate contributes most importantly to critical rating. Lots of your survivability in red line especially (not to mention damage) comes from critical hits. It also contributes to in-combat power regen, which comes in handy as you level.
    This is tricky. In fact you should not focus on "main stats" (vitality, might, agility, etc) but on ratings (block, parry, evade, incoming healing, mitigations, etc).
    However it's important to know what stat contributes to which rating to make your choice.

    What you said is definitely not stupid and a good first glance at what is usefull, however :
    - Vitality does contribute to Morale and Resistance. However, the amount of vitality you get through jewelry (you don't really get a say in that ^^) will get high enough Resistance (about 18-19%) that additional Vitality will not make much of a difference. Since Vitality essences give luch less Morale than raw Morale essences, you should focus on the later.
    - Might is nice, but the 119 Might you'll have by default on each of your essence pieces in addition to what you will have on a good part of your jewelry will already contribute a lot and there is no need to specifically gear for it IMO.
    - Fate is pointless for tanking. Critical chance is nice both for threat generation and to build or rebuild your Fortifications (which procs automatically on shield skills critical hits) but for that it's better to use crafted Shield Spikes (+11% shield critical chance) and raw critical rating (especially on some LI relics, like the setting that gives morale/critical rating/incoming healing).



    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    When you're tanking and in either blue or yellow line, you automatically get 300% threat. So when you do 100 damage, the mob sees that as 300 instead.
    If I remember correctly in beta it was written "+300% threat generation", wich would mean you get 400% threat (100 from your hit +300 from the bonus). I have not tested this again so I am not completely sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    Bash: Handy skill, this (read the tooltip!). Use it when Shield-taunt is on cooldown or if you’re tanking a single mob. On a single-target, the 300% damage from Bash will generate more threat for you than Shield-taunt will.
    Are you sure about Bash generating more threat than Shield-Taunt ? I know that even single-target it was not true at lvl85 before the class revamp, but now with the passive bonus to threat generation through damage, I don't know because I have not taken the time to do the test.
    Any chance you have, or is it just your instinct talking ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    Shield-smash: Hehehe. Fun skill. Multiple-target stun. Massive crits. Heals you on crits (if you take the red-line trait for it, which you should). Massive threat. Use it.
    Most of the time, heal on response skill critical hit is not worth traiting. You will most probably have a minstrel pouring several thousand HPS on you at all times and a 2.5% max moral heal (so about 900 healing per crit) once in a while is really not going to make a difference. It's a different story for solo/questing play (especially with Whirling Retaliation), but for group or raid tanking I just don't think it's worth the points it costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post

    Shield Wall: Shield Wall [...] When that damage is transferred, it'll bypass both of your mitigations.
    That's actually wrong. The damage you will take will ignore your mitigations, but not the target's mitigations. It does strip them of their ability to block/parry/evade however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    WHEN TO USE FORCE TAUNTS


    This is pretty simple – at the beginning and when stuff goes wrong. You can start a pull without a force taunt, but why would you? Your life is so much easier when you know you have the mob(s) on you for the first 10-15 seconds, giving you block responses so you can build more threat. Start pulls by running through and hitting Challenge or pull with Fray the Edge.
    When you have to pull a pack of mobs, it's not necessarily a good idea to start straight with Challenge. Good champions, wardens or hunters will put out more AoE dps than you can generate threat with tanking gear (at least in blue line) so it might be smart to actually wait as much as possible before using Challenge. The idea is to make use of the threat copy and passive threat bonuses from Guardian's legendary Belts.
    Usually when I have a pull to make, I run through to turn the mobs back towards my group/raid, use Sweeping Cut to have a bit a threat and use Shield Swipe to open the block chain. By then damage dealers will be going all out (they love to strain me !) and as soon as one foe tuns from me, I will fire Challenge. At this point I will copy the higher threat on all mobs, plus the small bonus and multiply it by the bonus given by the belt wich should give me a better lead that starting with Challenge. Immediatly after Challenge, I will go through Shield Taunt, Shield Smash, Whirling Retaliation and then Vexing Blow/Sweeping Cut.
    If you can generate more threat than your damage dealers can, then yeah start with Challenge. In end-game raiding however it should not be the case.
    For exemple for Durin's Bane (Ost Dunoth) 3 thrash pulls, Champions, Hunters and Wardens are constantly dealing between 20k and 30k DPS. No way you can match that in blue line.
    Gabrediel, Original Challenger of Sarouman | Gabramir, Original Challenger of Gothmog

    Unquale - Sirannon [FR]

  17. #17
    Thanks! Lots of good points there and I'll be updating the guide to reflect some of them - thanks for the input!

    Quick note: like I said - I'm only lvl 86, so I have no experience in essence armour. This guide is geared more at "younger" guards getting started and being either lost or not realizing the actual complexity of the class. My goal was to get them up and running with what they need to know to be a good guardian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    If you gear with essences this is true as the medium piece will offer no advantage. However since guardians largely overcap Physical Mitigation and armour rating influence Tactical Mitigation only with a 20% ratio, having one (or two) medium armour piece is not necesseraly bad if the stats on it are better that what you have available on other gear.
    Very true... at level cap. :P But up until then, heavy armour pieces are nearly always better. The stats on them are geared more toward what leveling guards will need, in my experience. That being said, yeah, take the better piece. I've just seen quite a few low-level guards not know they should be slotting heavy most of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    This is tricky. In fact you should not focus on "main stats" (vitality, might, agility, etc) but on ratings (block, parry, evade, incoming healing, mitigations, etc).
    However it's important to know what stat contributes to which rating to make your choice.

    What you said is definitely not stupid and a good first glance at what is usefull, however :
    - Vitality does contribute to Morale and Resistance. However, the amount of vitality you get through jewelry (you don't really get a say in that ^^) will get high enough Resistance (about 18-19%) that additional Vitality will not make much of a difference. Since Vitality essences give luch less Morale than raw Morale essences, you should focus on the later.
    - Might is nice, but the 119 Might you'll have by default on each of your essence pieces in addition to what you will have on a good part of your jewelry will already contribute a lot and there is no need to specifically gear for it IMO.
    - Fate is pointless for tanking. Critical chance is nice both for threat generation and to build or rebuild your Fortifications (which procs automatically on shield skills critical hits) but for that it's better to use crafted Shield Spikes (+11% shield critical chance) and raw critical rating (especially on some LI relics, like the setting that gives morale/critical rating/incoming healing).
    Again, until you get to cap and essence armour, the jewelry won't provide enough of these. Absolutely Morale essences are better than Vitality essences. But the guide is aimed toward folks reading it from a "idk what I'm doing help pls" standpoint. :P That being said - absolutely the ratings are more important. Fate is important, especially at lower levels, and not just for crit rating (vital in overpower). You run out of power a lot faster at lower levels than you do at cap and having a bit of fate helps. The reason I went with the stats instead of the ratings is 'cause that's what's on most armour at lower levels. I wanted to answer the question of someone seeing 3 armour pieces and not knowing how to tell which is better. I'll definitely edit the guide here though with more info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    If I remember correctly in beta it was written "+300% threat generation", wich would mean you get 400% threat (100 from your hit +300 from the bonus). I have not tested this again so I am not completely sure.
    I'm 99% sure it is actually a +200% now, for a total of 300%. Doesn't say anywhere in-game though. :/

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    Are you sure about Bash generating more threat than Shield-Taunt ? I know that even single-target it was not true at lvl85 before the class revamp, but now with the passive bonus to threat generation through damage, I don't know because I have not taken the time to do the test.
    Any chance you have, or is it just your instinct talking ?
    I'm positive. Before the revamp, Taunt was basically always better. Since then, there was a ton of testing (whole thread on the forums somewheres), and from my own experience Bash is better single target because of the passive threat bonus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    Most of the time, heal on response skill critical hit is not worth traiting. You will most probably have a minstrel pouring several thousand HPS on you at all times and a 2.5% max moral heal (so about 900 healing per crit) once in a while is really not going to make a difference. It's a different story for solo/questing play (especially with Whirling Retaliation), but for group or raid tanking I just don't think it's worth the points it costs.
    Ooo very true and a good point. I tend to do things solo a lot and tank when I can, rather than vice versa, and I often run with folks just learning to heal so I like the extra boost every now and then. But I'll definitely update the guide on that... thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    That's actually wrong. The damage you will take will ignore your mitigations, but not the target's mitigations. It does strip them of their ability to block/parry/evade however.
    Oops. You're absolutely right. I wrote most of this from memory on lunch breaks at work, so there's bound to be more than a few mistakes. Thanks for catching it! I'll update asap...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabli View Post
    When you have to pull a pack of mobs, it's not necessarily a good idea to start straight with Challenge. Good champions, wardens or hunters will put out more AoE dps than you can generate threat with tanking gear (at least in blue line) so it might be smart to actually wait as much as possible before using Challenge. The idea is to make use of the threat copy and passive threat bonuses from Guardian's legendary Belts.
    Usually when I have a pull to make, I run through to turn the mobs back towards my group/raid, use Sweeping Cut to have a bit a threat and use Shield Swipe to open the block chain. By then damage dealers will be going all out (they love to strain me !) and as soon as one foe tuns from me, I will fire Challenge. At this point I will copy the higher threat on all mobs, plus the small bonus and multiply it by the bonus given by the belt wich should give me a better lead that starting with Challenge. Immediatly after Challenge, I will go through Shield Taunt, Shield Smash, Whirling Retaliation and then Vexing Blow/Sweeping Cut.
    If you can generate more threat than your damage dealers can, then yeah start with Challenge. In end-game raiding however it should not be the case.
    For exemple for Durin's Bane (Ost Dunoth) 3 thrash pulls, Champions, Hunters and Wardens are constantly dealing between 20k and 30k DPS. No way you can match that in blue line.
    Very, very good point. At 86 I haven't yet encountered anyone who does enough damage for me to lose mobs. :P I'm sure it'll change as I level though. I'll certainly update the guide on this...

    Thanks again for all the feedback!
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  18. #18
    Updated a couple things (finally! :P)
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    3,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Arathaert View Post
    MOVEMENT
    ...

    A very important thing you should get used to now is mouse turning and using your keyboard to fire off your skills. Why is this? Two reasons.


    First, you can turn much faster and move more precisely with your mouse than you can with the keyboard. In a fight where seconds matter, you need to be on top of positioning yourself and the mobs (more on this in a bit), and keyboard turning makes that easier.


    Second, in a big fight it's easy to lose where your mouse cursor is. Worst feeling in the world as a clicker is really needing to pop a force taunt NOW and not finding your mouse and the skill until it's too late. Shift-1 is in the same spot every time and will make your life much, much easier.


    I started as a keyboard turner and skill clicker, and I know it's tough to change, but as a tank it's well worth it.

    ...
    Ok, the directions for game is not the same as lotro. The classes don't match. The video is 7 years old. (yes 7 years old) The basics are the same. Clicking vs keybinds are the same. (/qbind is the command you can use in that game to bind a key to a command) This was designed for PvP in that game. It still holds. There is no part 4 cuz he stopped playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG_k83Yiy1A

    Yes, he is underwater during the boring previd credits. Most of this can be translated into LotRO. pm me if you want me to explain something. Or pm me if you got all nostalgic watching.
    ...
    Sig looked hideous so I sent it to its room. It can come back and
    show off after it has thought about what it did.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Xhiu View Post
    Ok, the directions for game is not the same as lotro. The classes don't match. The video is 7 years old. (yes 7 years old) The basics are the same. Clicking vs keybinds are the same. (/qbind is the command you can use in that game to bind a key to a command) This was designed for PvP in that game. It still holds. There is no part 4 cuz he stopped playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG_k83Yiy1A

    Yes, he is underwater during the boring previd credits. Most of this can be translated into LotRO. pm me if you want me to explain something. Or pm me if you got all nostalgic watching.
    Good video and explains stuff well! I've never actually played that game (LOTRO is my first mmo). Thanks for sharing!
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  21. #21
    I'll be updating this again soon with sections on mounted combat, legendary items (including imbuement) and information on essences, gearing at cap and pvp (though I'm far from an expert, I've picked up a lot of info!).

    Anything in particular you'd like to see touched on let me know!
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,780
    Don't trust this guide unless he shows his guardian in a chicken outfit dancing in front of 11 Sarumans in ToO t2c. =D
    LvL 100s: Beorning, Burglar, Captain, Champ, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-Master, Minstrel, Rune-Keeper
    LvL 85: Warden, Minstrel
    All my forum posts are my opinions and may not even be that. Also On Twitter: @leixicon

  23. #23
    LOL thanks Leixy :P Maybe I should write/make a chickening guide too?
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

  24. #24
    Arathaert's chicken is pretty easy to beat, but an ArathArmy of chickens is invincible. You need look no further than picking on a chicken in the Legend of Zelda. Below is one such video of me picking on Arathaert.


  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by thatabguy View Post
    Arathaert's chicken is pretty easy to beat, but an ArathArmy of chickens is invincible.
    Hahaha yessss.... terribly off-topic, but awesome
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

    Twitch.tv/Arathaert | Youtube.com/ArathaertTV | Guardian Guide

 

 
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