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  1. #1

    Overview

    Zon’s Guardian Guide

    Authors:
    Zonflux
    * Want to become a co-author? Make a contribution to the Guardian Guide on GitHub and if approved you will be listed as a co-author. All images must be provided as links.

    Credits:
    Arathaert, mattspencer, dwarfThar, SpicyMacHaggis, commdorvis, balmy_balmy, siipperi, Unglorvien, Proudcdn, Rakanor


    Welcome to my Guardian Guide! While primarily written for level capped Guardians there are still strategical components and class trait builds that will still be useful as you level; for levelling and everything else Guardian related I recommend reading Arathaert's and Dadi's Guardian guides.

    My goal with this guide was first and foremost to create a guide where everything listed in the guide is attainable without being forced to group (it's an MMO so group if you can, but like me you may have your reasons to mostly solo).

    Second is to inspire and motivate people to feel limitless in their possibilities. I want you to feel that epicness is within your reach, and I want you to achieve feats of greatness after learning from my guide.

    Third is the final component of my guide which goes beyond what is achievable solo, your true endgame fellowship/raiding Guardian, a level of epicness where legends are not just born, they are made.

    I have divided the guide into the first several posts of this thread.

    Without further ado, enjoy reading my guide!


    Table of Contents


    1. Virtues
    2. Essence Tips
    3. Key Class Trait Tree Builds while Levelling
    4. Guardian Video Guide
    5. Builds
      1. Tanking
        1. Tanking Strategies
        2. U17 Tank | U18 Tank
        3. U17 Threat Tank | U18 Threat Tank
      2. U17 DPS | U18 DPS
      3. U17 Solo Survivalist | U18 Solo Survivalist
      4. U17 PvMP | U18 PvMP
    6. U17 Legendary Items | U18 Legendary Items



    [-= 1. Virtues =-]


    A list of Virtues that I use with their important stats shown:

    • Zeal(19) - 517 Morale, 923 Physical Mitigation
    • Valour(19) - 517 Morale, 57 Might
    • Discipline(19) - 171 Might, 1638 Resistance, 513 Physical Mitigation
    • Fidelity(19) - 1539 Tactical Mitigation, 76 Vitality
    • Tolerance(19) - 1539 Tactical Mitigation, 114 Agility, 107 iCMR
    • Confidence(19) - 3278 Resistance, 77 iCPR
    • Honour(19) - 3278 Resistance, 923 Tactical Mitigation, 38 Vitality
    • Charity(19) - 3278 Resistance, 923 Physical Mitigation
    • Loyalty(19) - 114 Vitality
    • Innocence(19) - 1539 Physical Mitigation, 1638 Resistance, 513 Tactical Mitigation
    • Justice(19) - 214 iCMR, 259 Morale

    Morale + Tactical Mitigations:
    Zeal, Valour, Discipline, Fidelity, Tolerance
    * Useful when you don't want to use additional essences of Tactical Mitigation.

    Resistance:
    Valour, Discipline, Honour, Charity, Confidence
    * If your Tactical Mitigation is already high then the huge amount of Resistances offered by these virtues is well worth the investment.

    Morale:
    Zeal, Valour, Loyalty, Fidelity, Justice
    * When Morale is important. Personally I feel as though Resistance trumps Morale.



    [-= 2. Essence Tips =-]


    As someone who has wasted countless scroll of essence reclamation the biggest advice that I can give you is to group essences of the same type together on a single gear or jewellery piece.

    If you have say tanking and DPS builds then by having two gloves, one with all Morale and the other with all Physical Mastery, you can easily swap your gloves out depending on your build.

    By having your essences grouped together it also allows you to park or finalize that essence piece so that you never have to touch it again. There will still be some straggler essences such as Tactical Mitigation, Finesse and Critical Rating that you can then group together on a single essence piece.

    Speaking of Critical Rating, sometimes you can get away with using legendary item relics that have Critical Rating on them to save having to use an essence on them. The Setting of Endings, the Gem of Endurance are just a couple relics with high Critical Rating on them.

    This strategy has worked out the best for me when it comes to planning out my essence gear and jewellery as well as the ease of making modifications to my essence configuration.



    [-= 3. Key Class Trait Tree Builds while Levelling =-]


    • 28 Points ~ Morale+Power on Crit, ST Skills, Pledge
    • 43 Points ~ Prey on the Weak
    • 59 Points ~ Cap spread and refresh of bleeds, Warchant
    • 67 Points ~ Honourable Combat, buffed Ignore the Pain, Thrill of Danger



    [-= 4. Guardian Video Guide =-]


    Currently my Guardian Video Guide is made for Update 15. Once I update the video guide for Update 17 I will add it to here as well.

    Playlist
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...v2N3Azvq_Oqvve

    Table of Contents




    [-= 5. Builds =-]


    Everything you need to know about each build including target stats, gear, jewellery, legendary items and class trait tree builds.

    * All stats are now reflective of Rank 14 stat tomes.
    * To further on the use of stat tomes.. it's nigh impossible to build a guide that accounts for different levels of stat tomes, as such I have opted for max stat tomes. Grind is part of the game.


    Ultimately treat the following builds as guides for you to reference and create your own hybrid build personally catered to your own Guardian.

    All Recruit and Veteran build gear can either be bartered through the Skirmish Camp or instance farmed from the following loot table (it's for Update 12 but just remember that this loot scales so it is good for level cap as well).
    https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-Instance-Loot
    Last edited by thatabguy; Mar 28 2016 at 12:43 PM. Reason: revisions to text

  2. #2

    Tanking Strategies

    [5. Builds > a. Tanking]


    By definition a Guardian is one whom protects or defends something.

    Your play style and how well you understand the mechanics, mobs and bosses of each instance will largely dictate how you decide to tank.


    [5. Builds > a. Tanking > i. Tanking Strategies]


    Positional Tanking:
    One of the fundamental aspects of tanking is reducing the amount of incoming damage taken by maximizing the amount of blocks, parries and evades that you receive. If your back is facing the enemy then you cannot block or parry, you can only evade. Now I'm not sure to what extent this classifies; for instance if you have a large mob are you able to block and parry monsters to the side or ones that are even just slightly behind but still to the side of you? The answer is a bit grey, not black and white. Regardless, there is no excuse for not practising positional tanking other than you are being lazy so square your front to the mob and love those block, parry and evade responses.

    Threat and Aggro:
    There are various ways to generate threat and grab aggro. When you generate threat on a target you will see a red swirly icon appear above their head. The more threat you generate the more pronounced or vivid the icon will be. You can generate threat on a target even though it may be aggroed on someone else. All shield skills will generate additional threat along with any threat generated through damage. One way to visually see this is to compare Shield-taunt with Shield-smash as threat generated through Shield-smash, especially when it crits or devs, should have a much more vivid red swirly threat icon over the target's head.

    Positional Tanking also plays an important role in your ability to generate threat. We only have 2 skills for generating threat 360° around us, Whirling Retaliation and Shield-taunt. Our other AoE skills only generate threat in a frontal arc. Of our AoE skills only Shield-smash requires you to have a target selected, so it is possible when using your other AoE skills that you could completely miss hitting targets; either you are not frontally facing them or you're standing too far away from them. As a general rule of thumb if you are not able to use Shield-smash then it is possible that your other AoE skills such as Sweeping Cut, Whirling Retaliation and Vexing Blow may not be hitting all of their intended targets. So we have 2 things learned; face your front to the mob and stand close enough to all targets within the mob so that your AoE skills are most effective.

    Finesse and Forced Taunts:
    Finesse allows you to bypass an enemy's Block, Parry or Evade. Any melee skills that generate threat or grab aggro (Engage) can be blocked, parried or evaded if your Finesse is not high enough. Tanks with low or no Finesse tend to rely on pole-vaulting their aggro lead through forced taunts; a forced taunt (Engage, Fray the Edge, Challenge) will give you 100% of the aggro plus a 20% lead in aggro threat.

    The longer a fight goes on the larger the +20% aggro threat lead will become. So when using forced taunts you generally want to rely first on damage threat skills and then use your forced taunt, or wait until DPS classes use their big damage skills or until after Oathbreakers has been used. Using a forced taunt too early means that your +20% aggro threat lead could evaporate very quickly since it will not be as large.

    If your Finesse is good then I prefer to use Engage for single-target, Fray the Edge for ranged or on targets that peel away and Challenge as my mob aggro skill. If your Finesse is low then you may have to rely on Fray instead of Engage for single-target aggro.

    The downside to relying on forced taunts is that number one you are relying on cooldowns, and number two you are less capable of dealing with peelers. For this reason I personally recommend having at least 20% Finesse and even as much as 25% Finesse so that all of your melee skills can be used reliably. This is easy to notice when using Smashing Stab to trigger a fellowship manoeuvre since you are paying attention and will notice a BPE and the despair that follows when you could have really used that fellowship manoeuvre.

    Skills not dependant on Finesse are; Shield-taunt, War-chant, Fray the Edge and Challenge. Some components such as damage or bleeds applied can still be resisted, but the taunt component cannot be resisted.

    Crowd Control:
    Bash and Shield-smash and excellent shield skills to use not only for damage and threat but also as a source of crowd-control through stuns and interrupts. These stuns will also give you an opportunity to apply your Stagger debuff by quickly running behind the enemy for positional 100% stagger debuff. When you combine your stuns, Stagger and War-chant debuffs you should notice that you are taking less damage. If you are trying to apply your Stagger debuff positionally be careful that you do not turn your back to any mobs still active since you will not be able to block or parry their attacks, sometimes it is smarter or safer to simply focus on your positional tanking.

    Sources of crowd control include;
    • Smashing Stab - fellowship manoeuvre stun
    • Bash - interrupt and stun
    • Shield-smash - interrupt and AoE stun
    • Stomp - interrupt
    • Cataclysmic Shout - AoE stun
    • Turn the Tables - interrupt and fellowship manoeuvre stun
      • *Note that when you Turn the Tables you can selectively choose which target you want to apply the FM stun on.

    Juggernaut versus Bring on the Pain:
    Juggernaut is accessible while only in the Blue trait tree, while Bring on the Pain is accessible while being in either the Blue or Yellow trait trees; note that you will not have enough class trait points to have both at the same time.

    Juggernaut increases your Block chance to 100%, essentially making you invincible except from tactical damage and non-avoidable skills such as some special frontal AoE attacks. Additionally each Block will proc a block heal so it will both heal you as well as generate heal threat while the skill is active.

    Bring on the Pain works by healing you a small amount every time you take any damage. Pain can be triggered more often than Juggernaut to as low as a 30 second cooldown, but since Pain relies on you taking damage it is better suited towards trash mobs that hit you for little damage. If you are often getting hit for say over 3K damage then you may end up still taking more damage then you will heal for. So while Pain can be very useful it is also situational, where Juggernaut is still considered the superior emergency skill.

    Speaking of Blocks, Parries, Evades and Stuns... don't use Juggernaut followed by an AoE stun such as Shield-smash because you just removed all sources of incoming blocks for a few seconds. Without any active mobs Juggernaut cannot provide blocks to heal you.

    Attack Rotations:
    Every Guardian eventually develops an attack rotation to tag enemies with when starting a battle.

    1. Sweeping > War-chant > Shield-swipe > Shield-taunt > Shield-smash
    2. Stagger > Whirling or Sting > Shield-swipe > Bash > Shield-smash
    3. repeat...

    If you're planning on rounding up mobs then you will be relying more on Sweeping, War-chant and Shield-taunt and you have everything grouped together.

    Try to save Challenge until your 3rd or 4th rotation, but if you don't have aggro by your 2nd rotation you may be forced to use it.

    If all that you are doing is running into a single mob then you could even swap quickly into the Red trait tree, active Brutal Charge, swap back into the Blue or Yellow trait tree and then when you run into the mob and do a Sweeping Cut you will stun the mob.

    If however you are rounding up multiple mobs it is better to tag enemies as you run around to avoid them peeling off towards the healers and Captains in the group.

    When traited for Relentless Assault Sting is a great cheap and fast skill to use that has a chance to open up your Block and Parry responses. If you are not having Power issues then consider investing points into Relentless Assault instead of Tireless Defender.

    Slows and Debuffs:
    If you are in Yellow and have marked and fully debuffed your target then you can spread your marked target's debuffs to the 5 closest targets surrounding it by using Cataclysmic Shout.

    Redirect is an excellent way to mitigate damage along with generating a small amount of threat since the redirected damage will count as damage threat.

    Yellow Tanks can slow bosses, such as the troll boss Dagron in Sunken Labyrinth, to the point where fellowship members can safely run away from them when necessary. All Yellow tank debuffs are also more potent.

    Shield-wall:
    Shield-wall is one of the most overpowered skills in the game, but it also comes with its own dangers. Through its use you can protect an ally from any damage, however that ally will not be able to block, parry or evade meaning that they will be taking more damage than usual, which then gets absorbed by you. This can work great since all that the healer has to do is keep you alive but here-in lies the danger.. if the mob is aggro'd on your ally instead of you then not only can the ally not BPE but they are likely a Light or Medium armour class which means they will not mitigate as much damage as you would, thus meaning you will not only be taking damage more often but also more of it. Even with fulltime healing sometimes the incoming absorbed damaged is too much to heal through. You can get around this by continually trying to grab aggro off of your ally. One last danger is that if you are stunned then your Shield-wall will turn off and you will need to wait for the cooldown before putting it back on your ally.

    Power Conservation:
    If you have low Fate such that perhaps you have little or no Fate tomes applied then it is possible that you may run into Power issues while tanking. Without increasing your Fate there are ways to help conserve your Power.

    Avoid using the following power hungry skills unless either necessary or you have lots of Power;
    • Sweeping Cut — this is still a great skill to use but avoid when low on Power
    • Ignore the Pain — rule of thumb is pot first then Pain, or use Pain if removing multiple effects
    • Force Opening — low priority, really all that you're getting is Whirling Retaliation, better to wait in my opinion for a parry response
    • Shield-blow — ideally you should already be receiving plenty of block responses but it is important to keep your block chain open so use as needed


    Earlier I mentioned that when traited for Relentless Assault that Sting can be used to open up your block and parry chains. If you are traited this way then this is an excellent and cheap method for opening up both of your chains.

    Use Power Pots and Thrill of Danger early and often. YOLO, you only live once, don't be stingy cheap, use what you got.

    Equip the Guardian Class Essence of the Elusive Defender. On any block, parry or evade there is a 10% chance to restore 10% of your Power. Yes, you have to waste an essence slot but just one essence slot could solve all of your Power issues for good. It is definitely worth a look.

    I keep losing aggro, HELP!:
    Once upon a time I would've said let the over-zealous DPS'r die but now there is seldom any reason for a DPS'r to hold back past letting you initially establish aggro at the beginning of a fight.

    Who is the Target Assist? If the DPS'r is the TA then try to go off their target as much as possible and save your forced taunts (engage, fray, challenge) for their target(s). If you are the TA then ask the DPS'r to attack off of your target. If possible save Challenge as your last forced taunt.

    Honestly, Forced Taunts are the solution here. Eventually you will acquire a large enough +20% aggro threat lead that the DPS'r should not be able to pull targets off of you.
    Last edited by thatabguy; Nov 10 2015 at 04:06 PM. Reason: revisions to text

  3. #3

    Blue Tank

    [5. Builds > a. Tanking > ii. Tank]


    I call this The Tank Build simply because this build is one of the most effective and widely used builds among raid-ready tanks (wait for it... somebody will correct me). This build is the staple bread 'n butter of the Guardian tanking repertoire. At your disposal are a number of forced taunts, taunt skills, melee skills that not only generate large amounts of threat but also stun and can debuff the enemy mob so they do less damage. You will be able to absorb large amounts of spike damage and take solace in knowing that you are building towards the gold standard of raid-ready tanking.

    The basic criteria for being a tank;
    1. Lots of Morale
    2. Finesse: 10K (approx 20-25%)
    3. Capped Mitigations: 60%

    Optional criteria include;
    • Block 20-25%, Parry 20-25%, Evade 15-20%
    • Physical Mitigation 23-24K
    • Tactical Mitigation 16-20K
    • Critical Defence >= 50%
    • Incoming Healing >= 15%
    • Partial Mitigations

    The optional criteria while valuable is just that, optional in this build though you really should try to achieve these stats as well since they will increase your survivability.

    :: GEAR AND STATS ::

    My Legendary Item legacies are tailored to my tanking playstyle which is more of an avoidance / threat tank. Below are some alternate legacy choices;

    • Tank Belt { from: 'Light Damage', to: 'Catch a Breadth Cooldown' }
    • Regarding Pledge Magnitude, I feel as though this is a bit of a troll legacy, I dunno...
    • 1H Weapon { from: 'Bleed Damage', to: 'Sweeping Cut damage or Whirling damage' }

    Fresh to level cap you are likely to only have armour and jewellery farmed through instances with quite possibly little or no essences or even gold. Below are some good starter gear and stats for you to aim for as a taunt tank.

    Tank Recruit:
    * You are new to level 100, a fresh recruit. You want to start tanking and the fastest way may well be a stop to the Skirmish Camp.
    screenshot of build, mostly all skirmish camp armour and jewellery, ALL PURPLE!!!
    28,587 Morale
    7,843 Power
    20.1% Critical Rating
    15,386 (27.9%) Finesse
    38,849 (%) Physical Mastery
    22.3% Resistance
    48.7% Critical Defence
    12.5% Incoming Healing
    25.4 / 12.5 / 17.5 % Block
    24.5 / 8.2 / 15.0 % Parry
    11.1 / 3.6 / 11.1 % Evade
    20,580 (60/31.0%) Physical Mitigation
    9,559 (44.5%) Tactical Mitigation

    Pretty nice stats for a Guardian looking to prove themselves.

    Tank Veteran:
    * First off congratulations on your promotion to Tank Veteran! Now that your gear is a little bit better let's see how your stats have improved.
    screenshot of build, mostly farmed gear from instances such as the great barrows, annuminas and skirmishes
    31,422 Morale
    7,088 Power
    19.1% Critical Rating
    10,777 (21.4)% Finesse
    42,611 (%) Physical Mastery
    24.4% Resistance
    63.6% Critical Defence
    12.5% Incoming Healing
    25.9 / 12.5 / 17.5 % Block
    26.0 / 10.0 / 15.0 % Parry
    15.7 / 5.5 / 15.0 % Evade
    22,914 (60.0 / 32.9%) Physical Mitigation
    9,662 (44.8%) Tactical Mitigation

    Overall a very nice improvement. In fact, as long as you don't have to worry about Tactical Damage then you should be safe to tackle some Tier 2 content. Your Morale may be a little bit low but your other stats will help to make you feel a bit more solid and survivable.

    As an established level cap Guardian you have been around long enough to be able to barter for essence gear and accumulate a stash of essences and gold. Below are various barter gear and jewellery that anyone can get solo, accompanied by stats.

    Raid-ready Tank:
    * I salute you brother! You can now call yourself a Raid-ready Tank. This build is capable of taking on any content in the game. Spoiler Alert: there are more crazy builds below!
    screenshot of build, Dol Amroth 4-slot essence armour and Helm Hammerhand non-essence jewellery
    44,056 Morale
    8,351 Power
    18.2% Critical Rating
    10,416 (20.8%) Finesse
    38,631 (%) Physical Mastery
    22.1% Resistance
    63.6% Critical Defence
    21.4% Incoming Healing
    25.4 / 12.5 / 17.5 % Block
    25.6 / 9.7 / 15.0 % Parry
    14.4 / 4.8 / 14.4 % Evade
    23,717 (60/35.6%) Physical Mitigation
    15,275 (57.6%) Tactical Mitigation

    This build uses all Helm Hammerhand jewellery and the Dol Amroth 4-slot essence armour. Since the only essences are in your armour that is 24 essences. Overall this is the cheapest raid-ready tanking build to make in the game. If you have this exact build and somebody says that you're not raid-ready then they're either elitist or don't know what they're talking about.

    When battles come down to a hanging thread, this build can create stories of legend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHM9CQKAn14), hey I *only* had 13 The Black Blade debuffs on me! =P

    Crafted Essence Tank:
    screenshot of build, all Anórien crafted essence jewellery/armour.
    56,378 Morale
    9,216 Power
    18.1 / 6.7 / 24.1% Critical Rating
    9,947 (24.1%) Finesse
    25,505 (%) Physical Mastery
    16.5% Resistance
    62.9% Critical Defence
    17.5% Incoming Healing
    23.4 / 10.6 / 17.5 % Block
    23.6 / 7.1 / 15.0 % Parry
    14.9 / 5.0 / 14.9 % Evade
    24,186 (60.0 / 36.0%) Physical Mitigation
    15,943 (58.8%) Tactical Mitigation

    An all essence build; you lose a lot of Vitality, Might and other passive stats that were on your jewellery which causes many of your stats to drop. You have the choice to make up your lost stats with essences, or you can beef up other stats as you see fit. I chose to bump up my Morale at the cost of my Physical Mastery and Resistance. I feel as though overall these stats are still fairly solid. Depending on your playstyle you could juggle 7-12K worth of Morale essences for Physical Mastery essences, this would be your personal preference.

    Barter Essence Tank:
    screenshot of build, Minas Tirith barter essence armour and jewellery
    49,173 Morale
    8,832 Power
    22.4% Critical Rating
    9,947 (20.0%) Finesse
    33,561 (%) Physical Mastery
    15.9% Resistance
    61.9% Critical Defence
    17.5% Incoming Healing
    24.8 / 12.5 / 17.5 % Block
    24.6 / 8.4 / 15.0 % Parry
    14.9 / 5.0 / 14.9 % Evade
    24,341 (60.0 / 36.1%) Physical Mitigation
    15,434 (57.9%) Tactical Mitigation

    Hmmm... interesting, though not surprising. The Minas Tirith Barter Essence armour & jewellery is similar but sacrifices Morale for Physical Mastery. 7K Morale for 8K Physical Mastery. Here's the thing, the crafted essence items have 3 slots instead of 2 and more Morale as a passive. If I had the essences I'd probably choose the crafted essence items over the barter items. This then also sets you up nicely for the endgame 5-slot essence build essence-wise.

    Endgame Tank:
    screenshot of build, 5-slot essence armour and 3-slot crafted jewellery
    53,509 Morale
    7,788 Power
    16.7 / 5.9 / 21.9% Critical Rating
    25.7% Finesse
    24,953 (%) Physical Mastery
    26.1% Resistance
    75.7% Critical Defence
    12.5% Incoming Healing
    24.0 / 11.4 / 37.5 % Block
    24.0 / 7.7 / 55.0 % Parry
    18.2 / 8.0 / 35.0 % Evade
    24,048 (60.0 / 35.5%) Physical Mitigation
    16,144 (59.1%) Tactical Mitigation

    There you have it people, my vision of an endgame tanking Guardian (remember to check out my damage threat tank). As with any endgame build there will be stats that people don't agree on, so I'll try to defend some of my selections. Also remember that there is still a much better gold essence cloak that I don't have in this build.

    In this build;
    • I bumped up my Finesse to 25.7% because I want all of my stuns and fellowship maneuvers to hit successfully every single time.
    • I slotted Partial Mitigation relics in my LI's instead of Morale because I felt that I had enough and thought survivability at this point was more important.
    • I bumped up my Evasion for two reason, 1) to take less damage and 2) because I'm using partial mitigation relics now.
    • I bumped up my Critical Defence a lot. Yes I know you only need 50% to negate critical damage but as an endgame build I wanted to go a step further and negate a large chunk of the devastate damage as well.


    I did all of this while keeping the Morale inline with the Crafted and Barter Essence Tank builds. This is, in my personal opinion, The Endgame Tank.

    :: CLASS TRAIT TREES ::

    Blue Tank #1
    Emergency: Pledge, Juggernaut
    Power Restore: Thrill of Danger, Tireless Defender
    Threat Management: Fray the Edge range to help pick up peelers.
    Survivability: Block heals, +10% Armour, +10% Critical Defense, +10% Mitigations, Block %, Parry %, Turn the Tables cooldown, Thrill of Battle to help restore Morale on critical hits from your Block and Parry skills. Radiate to spread Stagger and War-chant to debuff the enemy mob allowing you to take less damage.
    Special Skills: AoE Shield-smash, Smashing Stab

    Blue Tank #2
    Emergency: Pledge, Bring on the Pain (restores Morale on any damage taken)
    Power Restore: Thrill of Danger, Tireless Defender
    Threat Management: War-chant range and extra targets
    Survivability: Block heals, +10% Armour, +10% Critical Defense, +10% Mitigations, Block %, Parry %, Inc. Healing % and Turn the Tables cooldown. Insult to Injury and Radiate when combined with Stagger and War-chant will debuff the enemy mob allowing you to take less damage.
    Special Skills: Shield-smash, Smashing Stab

    Yellow Tank
    Emergency: Pledge, Bring on the Pain (restores Morale on any damage taken)
    Power Restore: Thrill of Danger, Tireless Defender
    Threat Management: War-chant range and extra targets
    Survivability: Yellow-line debuffs, slows, Block %, Parry %, Inc. Healing % and Turn the Tables cooldown. Insult to Injury and Radiate when combined with Stagger and War-chant will debuff the enemy mob allowing you to take less damage.
    Special Skills: Shield-smash, Smashing Stab

    Blue versus Yellow tank builds...

    Blue has self heals from Blocks and takes less damage since a Blue Guardian gains +10% Armour as well as +10% Mitigations. Blue also has access to the coveted Juggernaut.

    Yellow will initially take more damage than Blue but can reduce that damage for both themselves and the rest of the group through debuffs. Yellow also has the potential to generate more damage threat than Blue. Yellow will require more healing than Blue but has Bring on the Pain as a source of emergency healing. Yellow also has slows which can be very effective in some boss fights.

    Both Blue and Yellow are viable tanking builds.
    Last edited by thatabguy; Dec 31 2015 at 04:12 PM. Reason: text and links

  4. #4

    Damage Threat Tank

    [5. Builds > a. Tanking > iii. Threat Tank]

    I wanted to create the Threat Tank with a similar kind of beefiness as The Tank build while being able to contribute a respectable amount of DPS for the group. The Threat Tank build may also be easier for Guardian's to build for if they already have a good DPS build without having to invest in a bunch of expensive Morale essences. An endgame Guardian DPS will have around 60K or more Physical Mastery so this is mostly trading Physical Mastery for Morale so that you can still absorb damage.

    :: GEAR AND STATS ::

    Endgame Threat Tank:
    screenshot of build, 5-slot essence armour and 3-slot crafted jewellery
    44,199 Morale
    7,556 Power
    17.2 / 6.2 / 22.7 % Critical Rating
    11,822 (23%) Finesse
    50,294 (%) Physical Mastery
    14.8% Resistance
    54.9% Critical Defence
    5% Incoming Healing
    24.0 / 11.5 / 37.5 % Block
    23.9 / 7.6 / 55.0 % Parry
    15.7 / 5.5 / 35.0 % Evade
    23,702 (60/34.2%) Physical Mitigation
    15,403 (57.8%) Tactical Mitigation



    :: CLASS TRAIT TREES ::

    Blue Threat Tank
    ; Pledge, Juggernaut, AoE Shield-smash, Thrill of Battle, Invigorating Parry, War-chant

    Red Threat Tank
    ; Shield-smash, Thrill of Battle, Sweeping, Invigorating Parry, Radiate, Insult, War-chant

    Yellow Threat Tank w/ Shield-smash
    Last edited by thatabguy; Dec 31 2015 at 04:24 PM. Reason: text and links

  5. #5

    DPS

    [5. Builds > b. DPS]

    While our primary role may be that of a tank Guardians also can excel in sustained AoE DPS, though suffering in the single-target department (when there is only one target to attack). Unlike other DPS classes Guardians do not have consumables such as devastate pots nor do we have class trait skills to invest in that increase our devastate magnitude. That said, one of the things that sets Guardians apart from other DPS classes is our survivability and ability to self-heal while functioning as a DPS role.

    For Guardians with low Physical Mastery, probably below 30-40K (?), the bulk of our DPS will come from two skills, Prey on the Weak and Guardian's Bleed - 10.

    For Guardians with mid-high Physical Mastery this changes as our bleeds and skills scale with our mastery rating, often causing your tier 10 guardian bleeds to be by far your top damage dealer followed by Sweeping Cut and Whirling Retaliation. Tier 10 Bleeds with high Physical Mastery.

    Will insert a MUCH LARGER description later this week as soon as I get a chance to...

    :: GEAR AND STATS ::

    Fresh to level cap you are likely to only have armour and jewellery farmed through instances with quite possibly little or no essences or even gold. Below are some good starter gear and stats for you to aim for as a DPS Guardian.

    DPS Recruit:
    * You are new to level 100, a fresh recruit. You want to start DPS'ing and the fastest way may well be a stop to the Skirmish Camp.
    screenshot of build, skirmish camp armour and jewellery, ALL PURPLE!!!
    26,661 Morale
    6,471 Power
    23.0 / 9.8 / 32.5 % Critical Rating
    17,260 (30.3%) Finesse
    40,330 (%) Physical Mastery
    21.6% Resistance
    14.7% Critical Defence
    5.0% Incoming Healing
    23.3 / 10.5 / 17.5 % Parry
    8.0 / 2.5 / 8.0 % Evade
    13,420 (53.9/22.6%) Physical Mitigation
    8,223 (40.4%) Tactical Mitigation

    Decent starting stats.

    DPS Veteran:
    * First off congratulations on your promotion to DPS Veteran! Now that your gear is a little bit better let's see how your stats have improved.
    screenshot of build, mostly farmed gear from instances such as the great barrows, annuminas and skirmishes
    29,098 Morale
    22.4 / 9.4 / 31.6% Critical Rating
    27.4% Finesse
    48,017 (%) Physical Mastery
    23.1% Resistance
    30.5% Critical Defence
    5.0% Incoming Healing
    26.1 / 11.6 / 17.5 % Parry
    8.7 / 2.8 / 8.7 % Evade
    17,743 (60/38.0%) Physical Mitigation
    9,815 (45.2%) Tactical Mitigation

    Not bad, but I feel as though this build could benefit with essence armour.

    As an established level cap Guardian you have been around long enough to be able to barter for essence gear and accumulate a stash of essences and gold. Below are various barter gear and jewellery that anyone can get solo, accompanied by stats.

    Raid-ready DPS:
    * I salute you brother! You can now consider yourself to be Raid-ready DPS.
    screenshot of build, Dol Amroth 4-slot essence armour with non-essence helm hammerhand jewellery.
    31,530 Morale
    6,014 Power
    23.9 / 10.0 / 34.1% Critical Rating
    22.9% Finesse
    59,047 (%) Physical Mastery
    19.9% Resistance
    31.0% Critical Defence
    5.0% Incoming Healing
    25.6 / 10.9 / 17.5 % Parry
    8.0 / 2.5 / 8.0 % Evade
    14,923 (56.9 / 26.8%)
    13,504 (54.1%) Tactical Mitigation

    A definite huge improvement from the DPS Veteran build! It's not perfect and there is room for improvement but very nice indeed. This build uses all Helm Hammerhand jewellery and the Dol Amroth 4-slot essence armour. Since the only essences are in your armour that is 24 essences. Overall this is the cheapest raid-ready DPS build to make in the game. With proper skill rotations there is no reason why this build is not capable of parses between 12-25K DPS so there is no reason for people to say that you are not capable of DPS.

    Crafted Essence DPS:
    screenshot of build, all Anórien crafted essence jewellery/armour.
    30,652 Morale
    5,437 Power
    24.9 / 10.0 / 35.8% Critical Rating
    24.9% Finesse
    59,789 (%) Physical Mastery
    14.4% Resistance
    45.5% Critical Defence
    5.0% Incoming Healing
    23.8 / 8.7 / 17.5 % Parry
    8.0 / 2.5 / 8.0 % Evade
    15,349 (57.7 / 27.2%)
    14,180 (55.5%) Tactical Mitigation

    This build is very heavy on essencess (expensive) and the issue with this craftable armour is that it has Fate instead of Might making it better suited towards a tanking setup. Also make note that if you skip BB-Hammerhand jewellery altogether than you lose out on the +10% Bleed Damage set bonus.

    Barter Essence DPS:
    screenshot of build, Minas Tirith barter essence armour and jewellery
    29,875 Morale
    5,437 Power
    25.0 / 10.0 / 36.5% Critical Rating
    26.8% Finesse
    59,184 (%) Physical Mastery
    17.8% Resistance
    51.6% Critical Defence
    5.0% Incoming Healing
    25.4 / 10.7 / 17.5 % Parry
    8.0 / 2.5 / 8.0 % Evade
    15,490 (58.0 / 27.3%)
    13,651 (54.4%) Tactical Mitigation

    Fairly solid. Adding some of the Big Battle jewellery back into the mix helped compared to all craftable armour and jewellery. Considering that I would not consider this to be an endgame build it is pretty decent. Because the crafted essence gear is more suited towards tanking and since the stats are comparable I would probably opt for the barter essence gear. Maybe actually do barter essence armour and crafted essence jewellery.

    Endgame DPS:
    screenshot of build, 5-slot essence armour and 3-slot crafted jewellery
    26,271 Morale
    5,537 Power
    24.2 / 10.0 / 34.6% Critical Rating
    21.4% Finesse
    68,080 (%) Physical Mastery
    17.7% Resistance
    44.3% Critical Defence
    5.0% Incoming Healing
    24.7 / 9.8 / 17.5 % Parry
    8.0 / 2.5 / 8.0 % Evade
    15,695 (58.3 / 28.7%)
    16,372 (59.5%) Tactical Mitigation

    68K Mastery in a Balanced DPS build that is still survivable like a tank, and if a person wants they can trade some Mastery for Morale.

    Solo DPS parse from first big pull in Helegrod Spider Wing.

    Endgame Glass Cannon DPS Guardian.

    Well, I tried various setups for an endgame Glass Cannon build with 80K Mastery but nothing ended up being worth the trade-off for that extra 10K Mastery when compared to my endgame Balanced DPS build. I even tried way over-capping my Critical Rating and adding Critical Rating legacies and I found the gains to be minimal. So much so that I'm actually choosing to omit an endgame glass cannon build from my guide.

    :: CLASS TRAIT TREES ::

    Red Max AoE w/ Strong Bursts, War-chant and Pain

    Red AoE w/ War-chant, Pain and Pledge

    Red w/ Overwhelm, War-chant and Pain

    Red w/ Pledge, Overwhelm, Hammer-down and Honourable Combat
    Last edited by thatabguy; Dec 31 2015 at 05:27 PM. Reason: revisions to text

  6. #6

    Solo Survivalist

    [4. Builds > d. Solo Survivalist]

    Will insert a HUGE DESCRIPTION once I get a chance to later this week...

    :: GEAR AND STATS ::

    Fresh to level cap you are likely to only have gear and jewellery farmed through instances with quite possibly little or no essences or even gold. Below are some good starter gear and stats for you to aim for as a soloist.

    Solo Recruit:
    * You are new to level 100, a fresh recruit. Your first stop may be to the Skirmish Camp.
    screenshot of build, mostly all skirmish camp armour and jewellery, ALL PURPLE!!!
    Morale
    Power
    / / % Critical Rating
    (%) Finesse
    (%) Physical Mastery
    % Resistance
    % Critical Defence
    % Incoming Healing
    / / % Block
    / / % Parry
    / / % Evade
    (/%) Physical Mitigation
    (%) Tactical Mitigation



    Solo Veteran:
    * First off congratulations on your promotion to Solo Veteran! Now that your gear is a little bit better let's see how your stats have improved.
    screenshot of build, mostly farmed gear from instances such as the great barrows, annuminas and skirmishes
    Morale
    Power
    / / % Critical Rating
    (%) Finesse
    (%) Physical Mastery
    % Resistance
    % Critical Defence
    % Incoming Healing
    / / % Block
    / / % Parry
    / / % Evade
    (/%) Physical Mitigation
    (%) Tactical Mitigation



    As an established level cap Guardian you have been around long enough to be able to barter for essence gear and accumulate a stash of essences and gold. Below are various barter gear and jewellery that anyone can get solo, accompanied by stats.

    Soloist of Legend:
    * I salute you brother! Tales of your feats have spread far and wide across the land. Your accomplishments are that of legend.
    screenshot of build, Dol Amroth 4-slot essence armour and Helm Hammerhand non-essence jewellery
    Morale
    Power
    / / % Critical Rating
    (%) Finesse
    (%) Physical Mastery
    % Resistance
    % Critical Defence
    % Incoming Healing
    / / % Block
    / / % Parry
    / / % Evade
    (/%) Physical Mitigation
    (%) Tactical Mitigation



    Crafted Essence Soloist:
    screenshot of build, all Anórien crafted essence jewellery/armour.
    Morale
    Power
    / / % Critical Rating
    (%) Finesse
    (%) Physical Mastery
    % Resistance
    % Critical Defence
    % Incoming Healing
    / / % Block
    / / % Parry
    / / % Evade
    (/%) Physical Mitigation
    (%) Tactical Mitigation



    Barter Essence Soloist:
    screenshot of build, Minas Tirith barter essence armour and jewellery
    Morale
    Power
    / / % Critical Rating
    (%) Finesse
    (%) Physical Mastery
    % Resistance
    % Critical Defence
    % Incoming Healing
    / / % Block
    / / % Parry
    / / % Evade
    (/%) Physical Mitigation
    (%) Tactical Mitigation



    Solo God: (god in the mythical literal sense, no religous underscores)
    * The solo Guardians of legend have accomplished a great deal many feats, but above them are a group of solo Guardians whose feats are so incredible that their tales have become that of myth. Feats that surpass that of legend, feats that some may consider to be only capable from that of a Solo God.
    screenshot of build, 5-slot essence armour and 3-slot crafted jewellery
    Morale
    Power
    / / % Critical Rating
    (%) Finesse
    (%) Physical Mastery
    % Resistance
    % Critical Defence
    % Incoming Healing
    / / % Block
    / / % Parry
    / / % Evade
    (/%) Physical Mitigation
    (%) Tactical Mitigation



    :: CLASS TRAIT TREES ::

    Red w/ Pledge and Honourable Combat

    Red w/ Pledge and Pain
    Last edited by thatabguy; Oct 18 2015 at 04:16 PM. Reason: revisions to text

  7. #7

    PvMP and Legendary Items

    [5. Builds > d. PvMP]

    I feel as though writing this section opens up a pandora's box of PvMP trolls, but whatever, I am writing this for the community.

    * All stats listed below are shown with Rank 12 stat tomes, not the current max of Rank 14.

    PvMP on a Guardian to me is just like when I build for my solo survivalist challenges. It's not just about creating a super durable build, you also need to learn about and watch for incoming debuffs. I don't know the debuffs all by name but I know their symbols and promptly remove them as they are applied to me. Allowing these debuffs to remain on your during a fight can mean the difference between life and death.

    My advice is to install the LUA plugin BuffBars. Once loaded your screen will quickly become full of various buffs and debuffs. Having a screen full of these is useless. What you need to do is right-click on the undesired ones and left-click Blacklist. Your goal is to only show important things there, notably you want debuffs to catch your eye.

    Do I know whether this build is capable in PvMP? Considering that I don't do 1v1 Circle, I don't raid and I don't shuffle... ie; I only solo roam or join kinnies in 2-6 man groups then yeah, this build is capable in PvMP.
    • Dec 28: 16190 renown, 50 killing blows
    • Dec 29: 23818 renown, 78 killing blows
    • Dec 30: 6409 renown, 26 killing blows
    * no renown accelorators

    That's enough for me to say it is good.

    :: vs. Class Strategies ::

    vs. all classes:

    In general...

    Against most creeps you may find yourself either handily winning or in fair fights, but my descriptions below for each class are tailored towards creeps that are good with their class and may have most or all of the high ranked skills.

    Creep heals...

    Creeps have two Morale pots that they can use that while each are on a 2 minute cooldown they do not share the same cooldown timer. Once is a 35% heal and the other a 15% heal. A good creep will stagger these pots a minute apart so that they always get a sizable heal at a frequent interval.

    Outgoing Debuffs...

    If you've followed my DPS and Solo Survivability guides then you are well aware about applying debuffs to the enemy and how important they are.

    If you have your Brutal Charge stored then you can Fray and follow-up with a positional Stagger and War-chant to fully debuff the enemy.

    If you don't have a stun handy then your first attack should always be Engage for the -25% run speed debuff followed by War-chant. Afterwards you can try a Stagger, but to me it is extremely important to get the movement speed debuff active. Against Reavers and Wargs this is not as big of an issue, but against ranged and tactical classes you need that slow.

    Reaver:

    The first thing you will notice will fighting a good Reaver is that when you first start attacking them for the first probably 10-20 seconds it feels as though you are not doing much damage against them. This is because they have a corruption trait that makes them more durable the more Morale they have, as their Morale gets lower they become more squishy but at the same time their outgoing damage increases.

    I'll follow the above note with Devastating Strike, where when you are below half Morale Reavers have an attack that does increased damage to you. If you know you are fighting a good Reaver that is going to take you a while to get their Morale low enough that your attacks do the damage you expect them to then don't hesitate to blow cooldowns to keep your Morale above half.

    On to incoming debuffs...

    Blinding Dust, it's an icon that look like a white square. You absolutely need to remove this debuff as quickly as possible. This debuff is like a 25% or 35% miss chance, something high that will affect your bleed heals enough for you to notice.

    My rule of thumb with debuffs is pot first, and only use Ignore the Pain as a last resort. ItP uses a substantial amount of Power, it's a great overpowered skill but when poorly abused this single skill can and will kill you.

    Power pot early and often if you need to.

    There is a debuff / attack combination that I don't understand but I what I have felt and know is that when Savage Wound tiers up, to a maximum of 3, a Reaver does much more damage. Just like Blinding Dust this bleed must go ASAP. If both Savage Wound and Blinding Dust are active then go ahead and use Ignore the Pain, otherwise follow the rule of thumb and pot first.

    In summary...

    • Keep the debuffs off you.
    • Keep the enemy debuffed.
    • Don't cashout your bleeds unless you are desparate and are hoping for an emergency stun.
    • Once the Reaver is below say 10K Morale start considering cashing out your bleeds with an Overwhelm. Even if you don't kill the Reaver you still have a 25% chance to stun the Reaver which is easily enough of an advantage to land the killing blow.


    On a final note I would probably say that good Reavers are probably smarter and more skilled than other creeps out there. Asides from good Reavers the only other class to stop attacking when Pain is active are a few rare Wargs, other than that all of the other creep classes keep attacking blindly into Pain.

    Oh, and lastly a Reaver has a melee skill that can heal them (???) so having your Stagger debuff on them for the 15% miss chance is very important.

    Warg:

    This is a class that when compared to Updates 15 and 16 appears to feel much more.. I cannot ignore you, in Update 17. Against a good Warg that initial pounce and burst attacks can deal enough damage to make you feel some good hurt. You can pop Pain but it's a gamble if no bleeds are active on you as a skilled Warg will be watching for the Pain icon, ankle tap and kite you or hips and come out of stealth after Pain is done and, yeah, re-pounce you.

    Likewise, Wargs are very picky eaters.. if they feel that the fight wasn't fair (doesn't matter what you consider fair) they will hips and deny you a kill. You can chase down and kill all the other classes but against Wargs, if you *really* want the kill then force yourself not to use Heart, Pledge or Pain. That said I think many of you probably feel like yelling F and U when you get pounced and are expected to simply absorb that damage and not use skills else they'll hips.

    Judge it by ear, every Warg is different. I've fought quite a few Wargs that will fight to the death. In fact, I've had some Wargs use hips and then come right back out of stealth, treating it as a skill for extra damage rather then as an escape measure.. if I see a Warg do this, I treat them with the utmost respect, you don't want to piss them off and have them not fight you to the death in your next fight with them. Don't be afraid to lose against these Wargs, it's well worth the risk of dying.

    Defiler:

    Ughh.. was that the first word in your head? Fighting in their yellow puddle is not optional, but try not to chase them in and out of it, rather try to stay within the outskirts of the puddle so that you only have 1 Blight (think that's what it is called) rather then 3. If you get 3 quickly then I guess Ignore the Pain but if you're sloppy like that you're going to drain your Power fast.

    There's 2 or 3 notable disease debuffs from a Defiler that you need to remove. I don't know what they do but I think they are important enough to prioritize over Blight which is more of a nuisance.

    Defilers have a swarm of flies, again I'm not sure what these flies do but my advice is to use them to spread your bleeds and then cash them out on the Defiler. Keep doing this until the flies die from bleeds. Never attack the flies. While they do something bad, try to make the Defiler regret summoning them by spamming Overwhelm on them.

    Power Pot early and often and try to avoid using Ignore the Pain.

    To be honest, against a good Defiler or Warleader the best you can hope for is a draw unless they cut back on healing and opt for more DPS.

    Warleader:

    Another healing class, and draw spar. Expect to fight in the banner. Expect lots of melee stuns. There is a fear debuff, I think Bleeding Ears that you can remove, though I don't know what the debuff does.

    Power Pot early and often and try to avoid using Ignore the Pain.

    Blackarrow:

    If you're wandering around and a BA suprises you then you're at a huge disadvantage due to you being so far away and not knowing where the attack came from.

    If however the two of you are reasonably close to each other or you at least know where the BA is then your odds improve greatly.

    Landing a slow, either the Stagger or Engage debuff on the BA is crucial to victory, without this slow movement debuff your chances of winning are greatly decreased.

    I think there is one slow debuff that you can pot from the BA, otherwise it's a fairly straightforward fight.

    A good BA will be difficult to win against, but I find this spar is more frustrating with the slows and stuns than anything.

    One thing to watch for is when they pop their Evade skill, it's impossible to miss. Once they do this hit Brutal Charge and stun them with Fray the Edge. If your stun is on cooldown then use Bring on the Pain if you are concerned about your Morale.

    Weaver:

    I feel as though in Update 17 some Weavers are able to spam a screen full of poisons in a matter of seconds, it's crazy, and my first QQ of this section.

    The use of Ignore the Pain is unavoidable against a Weaver. Tainted Kiss and Virulent Poison are the big baddy poisons that you want to prioritize removing. Oftentimes there will be more poisons than ItP can remove, but with some luck a Poison pot will remove one of the two poisons that we care about.

    Weavers also have a bunch of weird poison debuffs that not only debuff but can also buff the Weaver when you remove them (I think?).

    Weavers also have a nasty Reflect that I don't understand how it works at all. It's not too bad but it still sucks. I don't know if it is on always, or is similar to the Brutes in Sammath Gul, or if you can remove it via a Fellowship Manoeuvre but I just expect it to be on.

    Weavers always have a hatchling pet which they can consume for a big heal. Use the hatchling to spread bleeds and then cashout on the Weaver, though sometimes I just kill the darn things to prevent that big heal.

    Burrow... how we love burrow. Expect it, and expect to be called out. That is life.

    Never fight Weavers near freep NPCs elsewise you give the Weaver a great source of heals; I am guessing this is similar to how a Warg howls on defeat effects for a big heal.

    Just like a Blackarrow you need to get a slow debuff on a Weaver to stand a chance of winning. I consider a Weaver to be much more difficult to fight than a Blackarrow. I find a good Weaver has awesome crowd-control skills and also is able to drain your Power.

    :: GEAR AND STATS ::

    * Note that these builds are my current live builds that I am actively using, they are not Bullroarer capped builds.

    * As you will notice I am using quite a few Greater Essences and even some Tier 6 Essences. There is still room for growth in these builds.


    Targets in Ettenmoors with 2 Outposts:

    Morale: 30-35K prioritize over Physical Mastery
    Physical Mastery: 60K
    Critical Rating: 20-25%
    Finesse: 30-35%
    Physical Mitigation: 26-28K
    Tactical Mitigation: 16-20K

    These are the most important stats. I intentionally left out Parry and Evade from the target stats as against good creeps I somehow appear to have 0% avoidances anyway.

    I almost feel as though the target stats are more important than the stats from my PvMP build that I am actively using.

    Also, with the target stats, this is more for solo roaming or small groups. If you plan on doing shuffles then you could probably increase your target Morale to 40-50K by sacrificing Physical Mastery.

    These stats are what I feel comfortable playing with; if you feel you need more Morale then by all means get your Morale up.

    Outside of PvMP:

    26,877 Morale
    5,152 Power
    24.1 / 10.0 / 34.5 % Critical Rating
    18,484 (31.8%) Finesse
    50,461 (131.5%) Physical Mastery
    26.4% Resistance
    63.9% Critical Defence
    10.0% Incoming Healing
    19.7 / 9.7 / 17.5 % Parry
    5.2 / 1.6 / 5.2 % Evade
    26,612 (60/59.3%) Physical Mitigation
    17,666 (60%) Tactical Mitigation

    In the Ettenmoors with 2 Outposts, 25 Audacity and Rank 11:

    Gear Build

    29,747 Morale
    5,873 Power
    24.1 / 10.0 / 34.5 % Critical Rating
    18,484 (31.8%) Finesse
    60,165 (193.2%) Physical Mastery
    26.4% Resistance
    63.9% Critical Defence
    10.0% Incoming Healing
    19.7 / 9.7 / 17.5 % Parry
    5.2 / 1.6 / 5.2 % Evade
    26,612 (60/59.3%) Physical Mitigation
    17,666 (60%) Tactical Mitigation

    If you have a Cook and Jeweller then I say go ahead and refresh trail food, coffee and regen food along with a Hope token for added stats to your Morale, Mastery regen and combat movement speed.

    You'll notice that I haven't met my target morale of even 30K, but with food and a token I am over 32K, which I can keep on constantly even if I die due to the short cooldowns. Additionally once every 10 minutes I can use Duty Bound to bring my Morale to 34K. With trail food and a token that also brings my mastery up to 61,317 (196.3%).

    Same as above but here I have either been ganked or am fighting a craid so I swap in a shield and my tanking belt. I'll probably still die but I'm going to make them work for it and with any luck I'll steal a few kills before I go down.

    Gear Build

    29,025 Morale
    5,873 Power
    20.7 / 8.2 / 28.5 % Critical Rating
    18,484 (31.8%) Finesse
    57,021 (184.0%) Physical Mastery
    26.8% Resistance
    69.2% Critical Defence
    10.0% Incoming Healing
    20.0 / 10.0 / 35.0 % Block
    19.1 / 10.4 / 57.5 % Parry
    9.1 / 2.9 / 29.1 % Evade
    34,394 (60/60%) Physical Mitigation
    20,560 (60%) Tactical Mitigation

    :: CLASS TRAIT TREES ::

    I use two builds in the moors, both specialized in the Red tree.

    Red w/ Overwhelm, War-chant and Pain
    This build gives your Overwhelm cashouts a chance to keep the bleeds on your target and an emergency skill of Bring on the Pain (also incredibly useful if you are ganked).
    Similar to above but slightly adjusted to include Hammer-down

    Red AoE w/ War-chant, Pain and Pledge
    In this build your Overwhelm cashouts will always remove your bleeds but now you have two emergency skills of Guardian's Pledge and Bring on the Pain.

    If you plan on using Guardian's Pledge and often then you may wish to consider slotting the Guardian's Pledge Cooldown legacy on your legendary weapon.

    [6. Legendary Items]




    Zon's Guardian Guide | Zon’s Guide on Survivability and DPS
    Zon's List of Solo Accomplishments | Zon's Viewer Request
    YouTube Channel | Twitch.tv | Twitter
    Last edited by thatabguy; Jan 22 2016 at 10:55 PM. Reason: revisions to text

  8. #8
    As I write this, the guide's not yet been finished and half the posts are still placeholders. I'll respond properly when it's completed lol.

    But to my fellow guardians: STUDY THIS.

    Zon's dedicated himself to being the greatest guardian to play the class, and danged if he's not right up there. Is he the best? Dunno. I do know he's spent countless hours tweaking and improving and testing - most likely more time than the next couple people put together. He started this guide so long ago it was gonna be a U16 guide

    From the whole guardian community: thank you, Zon, for all your work and dedication to the class. You've literally made the game better and challenged your fellow guardians to do things they didn't think were possible. Onward to ever more Guardian greatness! *cheers*
    lvl 105 Guardian | 105 Mini | 64 Hunter | 48 Warden | Lukiluk - r10 Warg | r6 Defiler | r6 WL

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

  9. #9
    Thanks @Arathaert!

    As mentioned it is still heavily a work-in-progress. I plan on adding more detailed strategies to existing sections that already have strategy texts, and then of course I need to create descriptions and strategies for sections that I have yet to add ones to. Bullroarer is closed today so I was left high 'n dry but decided instead to post what I have in a very Alpha kind of written form. Over the next couple of weeks the guide will begin to transition to a more complete phase, followed by revisions where it will finally look more polished.

  10. #10
    I just want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude and thanks!

    I've been a player since day one and took longer breaks here and there and recently just returned to the game. I was always considered one of the better tanks on my server, and with this guide (and the previous one ofc) I have definately improved my tanking. Thank you very much for all the hard work you put into this guide. For all the countless hours of testing, exploring and experimenting. It is truly appreciated. Especially knowing you are a husband and father (like myself).

    *bows

    PS: Pardon my English, it's my 2nd foreign language.
    Original Challenger of the Abyss

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    4 Chalk Road, Nettlevale
    Posts
    2,054

    Thumbs up

    Thank you Zon, for this and all!

    Landroval: Kibilturg (Watchers of Elendil); Taurunion, Erohtar (Taters and Traders)
    Crickhollow: Kibilturg (Tarciryan Knights); Zigilturg (Forever Notorious); Nuncle (Casual Wanderers)

  12. #12
    Real beautiful guide, Zon! It's really awesome that you're taking the time to put this together.
    I'll certainly be using it once I get my Guardian to 100.
    Heya! My name is Bruce; I've been playing since right before Helm's Deep came out. Hope to keep playing for many ages to come!

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Wow. This is amazing work. Thank you Zon. Thank you so much.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    951
    Hi,

    I am truly amazed on how much time you spend (and time is the most precious thing we have!) on helping the community.

    Well written, well explained, well structured and informative. I also really like how you incorperate tips for those not having max-gear/all trait-points already.

    I always enjoy reading your tips and guides, and I don't even play a Guardian...

    Regards and thanks!
    /T
    Dawarad HNT | Dawadan MIN | Dawfast CMP | Dawaran CPT | Dawmur GRD | Dawared WRD | Dawagrim RK | Dawaras LM | Daweric BRG | Dawagar MIN | Dawarar CMP | Dawnakh WRG | Dawbag BA | Dawgil WVR | Dawglob WL |

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,625
    What an amazing amount of effort you've put into this (and are still putting into it). Very nice of you to help others with this, Zon.
    Chromite/Grumbletocks/Grumbletunes/Schrade on Landroval, Chromite on Arkenstone, Appendage on Brandywine

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,671
    I have been really looking forward to spending some time pouring over this guide, thanks for all your contributions Zon!

    One quick initial reaction - Perhaps offer an alternative to your "Greenie DPS" build for a fresh level 100. Specifically in the Ring slot. The Ring of Berabhir represents a massive time investment in the epic, and while it is an awesome item I don't necessarily think it is all that accessible.
    Hurth, Warden
    Barst, Guardian
    Xiox, Reaver

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Murtanion View Post
    I have been really looking forward to spending some time pouring over this guide, thanks for all your contributions Zon!

    One quick initial reaction - Perhaps offer an alternative to your "Greenie DPS" build for a fresh level 100. Specifically in the Ring slot. The Ring of Berabhir represents a massive time investment in the epic, and while it is an awesome item I don't necessarily think it is all that accessible.
    Good point @Murtanion! I used the epic quest items because I have never powerlevelling any of my characters so those items were always available to me. The Greater Valourous Ring of Penetration is fairly decent which you can get from Glinghant Challenge and Warg Pens Tier 2 Challenge. The Band of Fury from the Moors is also nice but requires Rank 6; I actually still use the Band of Fury on LIVE server.

    The epic quest bracelet and earring can be replaced through big battle helm hammerhand jewellery gold and teal pieces.

    Also, as you may have noticed in the Greenie builds I am wearing all tear armour pieces. I did that because I felt purple and green gear was just a little bit too noobish to showcase for a fresh 100, albeit a fresh 100 would be wearing purple and green.. soooo maybe not completely fresh 100. I also want to have each build listed in this guide as a good viable build that anyone would be proud to use without the fear of being rejected from joining a fellowship because, oh no, you have a purple or green piece on. :P

    I'll add this link to the guide for the greenie gear; https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-Instance-Loot
    Last edited by thatabguy; Oct 14 2015 at 09:36 PM.

  18. #18
    Thank you for this guide. It's been years since I used my guard to tank and a lot has changed since then.

    One question though, why the light damage legacy on the tanking belt? Is it just to increase war chant damage? Would you not advise using the catch a breath cooldown or pledge magnitude legacies?
    You gotta chill to take it to the next level.

  19. #19
    Our class is lucky to have you playing it. One note I wanted to make... while Crit and Mastery have the same stat value on essences (1229), on LIs Crit tends to have double the value of Mastery (646 Mastery vs 1244 Crit on some of Zon's LIs). So if you're looking to Min/Max, I think LI relics are a better way to get crit than essences.
    Landroval: Tolvat (120 Guardian), Gelldir (115 Warden), Gloravon (115 Captain), Curwe (115 Champion), Glamdir (115 Rune-keeper)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyRogersMcFreely View Post
    Thank you for this guide. It's been years since I used my guard to tank and a lot has changed since then.

    One question though, why the light damage legacy on the tanking belt? Is it just to increase war chant damage? Would you not advise using the catch a breath cooldown or pledge magnitude legacies?
    hehe.. Unfortunately I have not gotten a chance to write about the legendary items and legacies yet. Probably this weekend I'll be adding green subheadings to each build going into detail about legendary items, imbued vs non-imbued, relics and legacies. I will then say what I would personally choose for each build type.

    The Light Damage legacy I only use for War-chant though it can also be beneficial in the Yellow trait line specialization. In fact, quite a few of my legacies are not ideally suited for something like a taunt tank.. remember that I have always been more of an avoidance and/or damage threat tank. I should make a note in my guide that the screenshots of my legendary items are custom tailored towards my own play style.

    For me I use War-chant often enough that I decided to gamble on Light Damage. Are there better legacies for staying alive? Oh most definitely, absolutely. Uhmm... if you're having Power issues the Catch a Breadth cooldown, otherwise Pledge magnitude, though Pledge is pretty OP as is.

    Quote Originally Posted by commdorvis View Post
    Our class is lucky to have you playing it. One note I wanted to make... while Crit and Mastery have the same stat value on essences (1229), on LIs Crit tends to have double the value of Mastery (646 Mastery vs 1244 Crit on some of Zon's LIs). So if you're looking to Min/Max, I think LI relics are a better way to get crit than essences.
    Thank-you kindly Yeah, you'd be right for DPS LI relics anyway. A taunt tank will likely want Morale relics and an avoidance tank will likely want partial mitigation relics. I would for sure do the swap myself and have a critical rating gem relic for a physical mastery essence. Thanks for pointing that out. I know what happened, I was like, "Eric, if I put that crit gem in my weapon then I will have too much crit" so instead I topped it up with mastery.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bank auf dem Balkon
    Posts
    161
    Again: thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us!
    I didn't expect your new guide to be online so soon and will have to come back to it some more times, I think.

    My guard is already very successful tanking the new instances (wouldn't be without you) and I'm looking forward to work out some improvements towards the old T2 instances like Erebor.

    To be honest: deep in my heart I will never love the guardian as much as you do. But your advice helped me to be a solid tank for my kin and I appreciate that very much *bows* And you challenged me to try School CM solo - still working on it *grins*

    Have a nice day!

    Mel
    (the small hobbit mini you duoed BG with)
    Alt-o-holic on two Worlds:
    Usually playing on Gwaihir and enjoying Landroval.
    HakunaMatata

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Findun View Post
    Thank you very much for all the hard work you put into this guide. For all the countless hours of testing, exploring and experimenting. It is truly appreciated. Especially knowing you are a husband and father (like myself).

    *bows
    I can only quote here! Thanks Zon, thanks a lot!

  23. #23
    Hi Zon, since I know you are a perfectionist, since this will be the ultimate guard guide for a lot of people here, and since we humbly want to help you in this big achievement, I just wanted to point out some little shortcomings I am noticing in analysing all your posted items so far. Take this as a comment, a fact checking, not at all as a critic, of course!

    I miss the pocket item in the following pictures:
    (maybe it's just me that did not see it or that did not read that you always use the same pocket or something like this, but the pocket is missed in the pics...)


    - under section 5.a.i (taunt tanking)

    Dol Amroth 4-slot essence gear and Helm Hammerhand non-essence jewellery:
    http://oi59.tinypic.com/v5ls0l.jpg


    - under section 5.b (DPS)

    Dol Amroth 4-slot essence gear with non-essence jewellery:
    http://oi58.tinypic.com/2806z52.jpg

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    8,354
    Quote Originally Posted by balmy_balmy View Post
    Hi Zon, since I know you are a perfectionist, since this will be the ultimate guard guide for a lot of people here, and since we humbly want to help you in this big achievement, I just wanted to point out some little shortcomings I am noticing in analysing all your posted items so far. Take this as a comment, a fact checking, not at all as a critic, of course!

    I miss the pocket item in the following pictures:
    (maybe it's just me that did not see it or that did not read that you always use the same pocket or something like this, but the pocket is missed in the pics...)


    - under section 5.a.i (taunt tanking)

    Dol Amroth 4-slot essence gear and Helm Hammerhand non-essence jewellery:
    http://oi59.tinypic.com/v5ls0l.jpg


    - under section 5.b (DPS)

    Dol Amroth 4-slot essence gear with non-essence jewellery:
    http://oi58.tinypic.com/2806z52.jpg
    He's wearing BB one, set bonuses show it.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    619
    Might be a personal opinion, but 5 points in the stoic trait for any blue line build seems like a waste of points.
    MacSwaggis (formerly MacHaggis) R12 HNT , HeavyHaggis R10 GRD, Scrubtain R7 CPT
    Haggisbash R8 RVR , Haggisgash R7 WL

 

 
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