style="width: 640px; height: 200px;" alt="LotRO Captain Guide"

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| href="">SOLO
| href="">GROUP
| href="">PvMP
| href="">LEGENDARY
ITEMS | href="">TRAITS
| href="">SKILLS

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alt="A Captain in a group"

which one of us was the tank, the scrawny human or the stocky dwarves?"

Captains are usually wanted in groups for three reasons: heals
(including in-combat revives), buffs and Oathbreakers. While there is
much more to the class than just these 3 things, they are the most
obvious parts, and being good at them is the Captain's main job. In
other games, the Captain would be called a "paladin" or a "war priest"
or something similar - in groups, he is the heavily-armored buffer,
healer and off-tank. However, the Captain is not necessarily a holy
man, unless ass-kicking is considered a religion (which it is, by some).

Hands of Healing is the go-to trait line for group content. It
makes the Captain's main job - healing assistance - much
easier and more effective. This, combined with buffs like In Defense of
Middle-Earth and the slew of Tactics, is what makes a so-so group
perform as though they were awesome.

Healer support is what it is all about. Whether the main
healer is a Runekeeper or a Minstrel, the Captain stands at his side
(figuratively, at least) and supplements big burst heals and large
heals-over-time with heals from defeat events and bolstering cries.
Should the main healer draw aggro from mobs that escape the main tank's
notice, the Captain is there to engage those enemies and draw their

In addition to healer support, the Captain is an excellent
off-tank. He does this not by standing toe-to-toe and engaging the
enemies directly, but by drawing their aggro with shouts and heals and
running them around the room, keeping their attention focused on him
while his allies pick the kite-tailing mobs off one by one.
Particularly dangerous mobs can be tanked in this fashion by applying
Noble Mark at the start of combat - this applies a damage-over-time and
a growing threat-over-time effect, and it can be a challenge for allies
to pull aggro off the Captain once this is in effect. For multiple
mobs, spamming group heals is a great way to pull aggro. Once aggro is
established, maintaining it is as easy as throwing out heals to the
Captain's Shield-brother, tossing out Words of Courage to the main tank
and using Rallying Cry on defeat events.

While Captains are certainly capable combatants in their own
right, DPS is not anywhere near the top of their priority lists in a
group. That's what Champions, Hunters, DPS-spec Runekeepers, and
basically anyone else is for. The relatively high DPS of the Captain's
2-handed weapons is rather misleading: Captain DPS is a secondary
consideration. In 3-man instances with a Minstrel as main healer,
Captains can focus a little more heavily on damaging opponents, but in
6-man groups the task is better delegated to others.

Many Captains prefer to use standards rather than summoned
pets when running with a group. The standard has a number of advantages:

  • it can't run loose if untended and accidentally aggro
    groups of mobs
  • the buffs from standards are higher than the buffs from pets
  • standards can be dropped in-combat; pets must be summoned
    before a fight begins, and if they die during a fight cannot be
    resummoned until after
  • standards are "fire-and-forget," while pets must be
    monitored and directed to be effective

Conversely, summoned pets have a few advantages of their own:

  • they can positively contribute to the group's outgoing DPS
  • using the pet menu, the Captain has a small number of extra
    skills that can help in pitched battles
  • pets level with the Captain; standards are always a set
    level and do not advance in power, and the Captain must get new ones as
    his level rises. Summoned pets are always 2 levels lower than the

Ultimately, the choice to go with either a pet or a standard
is up to the individual player, and some will always prefer one over
the other for a variety of reasons. Suggesting that the Captain switch
from one to the other is a good way to start a heated argument.

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alt="A Captain using Oathbreaker's Shame"

Hunter must divert his eyes from the sheer awesomeness of the

Occasionally, the Captain will need to make tough decisions
during battle. The first is, which character should be designated as
Shield-brother? The Captain's Shield-brother is the recipient of a
number of beneficial effects - extra healing, increased DPS, increased
defenses. The obvious choice for this is the group's main tank, the guy
keeping everyone else free from harm while taking the most harm upon
himself, but this is not always the best choice. If the group's main
healer is doing a good job keeping everyone alive, using Shield-brother
on the tank is kind of pointless. If the group has a good healer,
Shield-brothers should be DPSers - Hunters, Champions and the like. A
Shield-brother Champion is a very dangerous opponent, with tank-like
defenses and massive DPS. On the other hand, if the group has a
less-than-stellar healer, by all means the main tank should be
designated Shield-brother. And if the group's main healer is really,
truly awful, the one-two combo punch of In Harm's Way/Last Stand can
give the group's healer enough time to get his act together and start
doing his job.

Another tough decision is, when should the Captain use
Oathbreaker's Shame? This powerful debuff has a short duration and a
long cooldown, but it increases all incoming damage on its target by
35%. This skill is typically reserved for tough boss fights, and can be
used specifically to push some bosses past tough, troublesome stages
and onto the next one quicker. For example, General Talug, the final
boss in Fil Ghashan, is a 3-stage fight, and the second stage can be
very tricky to coordinate - he is almost invulnerable to attacks during
this stage until he is first coated in oil from a slain Fire-fist (who
must be standing directly next to him when he dies) and then lured into
a trap dropped by the Fang-caster. When this happens, he is vulnerable
to attacks for a short duration, and then he becomes invulnerable
again. In this fight, the Captain's Oathbreaker's Shame can be used on
the General right after he falls into the trap, causing him to take
significantly more damage and possibly negating the need to repeat the
process. It can also be used if the oil-trap strategy fails - hgih-DPS
attacks will do more damage than he can absorb, and the group can take
him down through attrition rather than raw burst-DPS. Timing is
everything, and the Captain will do well to learn the intricacies of
particular fights beforehand so that he can be prepared.

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| href="">SOLO
| href="">GROUP
| href="">PvMP
| href="">LEGENDARY
ITEMS | href="">TRAITS
| href="">SKILLS

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016