style="width: 630px; height: 200px;" alt="LotRO Guardian Guide"

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


href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 400px; float: left;"
alt="A 2nd Age Guardian Belt"

very fine example of how to inspire envy among one's peers.

Guardians get a good selection of Legendary Items (LIs for short).
They are restricted to one type of class item - a belt - but
for weapons they have a much wider variety. They can use
almost any melee weapon type in the game - the one exception being
halberds, which are for captains only. But because the
fighting styles are different for one-handers than they are for
two-handers, and because tanking requires different strategies than
soloing, it will benefit the well-rounded Guardian to have paired sets
of LIs for different tasks. In other words, a one-hander and
belt for tanking, a two-hander and belt for Overpower soloing, and
possibly a third set for PvMP, skirmishes or some other specific

Finding a great LI set is a fine art for Guardians, made more
challenging because of the randomness and lack of control players have
over what legacies their LIs get.

The way it works is, when you
first find an unidentified LI
and get it ID'ed at a Forge Master, a random number of randomly
selected legacies of random tiers will be selected from Pool A.
Second Age LIs have a higher chance of having higher-tier
legacies than Third Ages, and First Ages have a higher chance than
Second Ages, but they all draw from the same legacy pool.
When you slot that item and get it to level 10, 20 and 30,
you are given the choice of one of two new randomly-tiered legacies,
randomly selected from Pool B. At levels 40, 50 and 60 (and
70 if you use a Scroll of Delving), you pick one of two
randomly-selected legacies to upgrade, making them cheaper to level and
thus leaving you more points to spend elsewhere.

Two-handers will probably offer the easiest choices to make.
Legacies for two-handers should generally increase damage
done in Overpower, increase the number of melee targets and generally
improve upon skills the individual Guardian uses most often while
wielding a two-hander. This will vary from player to player,
but the core of it is to increase damage output. Two-handers
with less-desirable legacies can be upgraded with Legacy of Might and
Legacy of Vitality scrolls, which will increase DPS, block and parry,
and morale totals. When slotting relics on two-handers, look
for those that increase melee critical ratings, might and vitality.
Two-handers will have additional bonuses that do not rank up,
listed at the top of the tooltip - these are to compensate for the fact
that the Guardian will not be using a shield while wielding a
two-hander, and will not benefit from a shield's item legacies.
These non-upgradeable legacies will vary from weapon to
weapon, and it's a good idea to get one that has static legacies that
complement or are at least as useful as the upgradeable ones.

One-handers are paired with a shield and so do not have static
legacies. Legacies to look for in a one-hander will affect
bleeds, number of melee targets, and sword-and-shield skill damage.

One- and two-handers have separate pools for Pool A legacies,
but Pool B legacies are common to both. Generally, Pool B
legacies are good on either one-handers or two-handers, regardless of
application. Targeted Melee Skills Range and Stamp Cooldown are both
excellent legacies to have, as are Guardian Bleed Damage and Guardian
Bleed Pulses. There are few particularly poor Pool B legacies
for Guardians, unlike some other classes, and as long as a weapon has a
good set of Pool A legacies when it is identified at a forge-master, it
will not likely get any worse with subsequent reforges. On the other
hand, aspiring for a particular set of legacies to match specific needs
is perfectly acceptable. It may require a great deal of
patience to find just the right combination of legacies, but in the
long run it is probably worth it.

Finding a good belt is much more exacting, as there are more
legacies that are considered less desirable. For a tanking
belt, look for one that initially offers defense and aggro boosts:
Skill Threat Up, Catch a Breath Cooldown/Morale Restore, Challenge
Targets. For a DPS/Overpower belt, look for one that
initially has damage-output modifiers: Sting Damage, Guardian's Ward
Damage, and perhaps Guardian's Ward Parry Rating and Cry Resist Chance.
During reforges, keep these same goals in mind. For
a tanking belt, there are a number of good morale- and power-restore
Pool B legacies, and for an Overpower belt there are 3 good ones for

More information on LI legacies
can be found on the href="">Lorebook.

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

style="width: 630px; height: 200px;" alt="LotRO Guardian Guide"

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


href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 325px; float: left;"
alt="Guardian trait line"

is the color of threat.

divided into 3 sets, 8 traits in each set. Each set has a
"capstone" legendary skill that can only be traited
by slotting 5
traits in that line. Slotting multiple traits from the same
set confers other accumulative bonuses. These sets, or "trait
lines," allow the character to really specialize in a particular aspect
of that class. The three Guardian lines focus on raw DPS
(the Keen Blade line, red), increased defense (Fighter of Shadow line,
yellow) and threat generation (Defender of the Free line, blue).

One of the more difficult aspects of playing a Guardian is
deciding which seven traits one wants to limit oneself to; there are so
many very useful ones that it can be difficult to choose only seven.
With some other classes, the line bonuses are generally
better than the actual traits one needs to slot in order to get them,
and someone wanting to get those bonuses has to sort through a list of
ho-hum traits and pick the least useless among them to get the desired
set bonus. With Guardians, there are few wasted
traits, and line bonuses are more like "bonuses" rather than

The Keen Blade line is all about Overpower. The
associated class traits make skills hit harder or cool down faster, and
affect the Parry response skill chain and the parry stat in various
ways. As for set bonuses, these are more straightforward than
most other classes: they all boost Overpower stance. The
capstone legendary trait, Haemorrhage, adds a bleed to Brutal Assault -
this skill can be purchased from the Iron Garrison Guards when the
Guardian has kindred reputation with them.

The Fighter of Shadow line traits affect power and morale
regeneration and blocking power and effectiveness, with a few that
affect threat output. For set bonuses, critical defense is
jacked up, power restoration is increased and Shield Wall is improved.
The capstone legendary trait, Heart of Fire, is earned by
completing the first six books in Volume II in Moria, and affects the
skill Take to Heart, decreasing the morale cost and reducing the
cooldown to make it usable more often.

Defender of the Free line traits generally affect
threat-generating and some emergency and recovery skills, making them
more effective.  The set bonuses increase threat generation
from various skills, apply a bleed damage to Whirling Retaliation on a
critical hit, and reduce the cooldown for Stamp, allowing more frequent
interrupts. The capstone legendary, Litany Master, is earned
by completing the quest line in Moria that finishes in Dark Delving;
this trait increases the number of targets for Litany of Defiance by 5.

As with many other classes, a combination of different trait
lines often provides the best bet for set bonuses. As
impressive as the capstone legendary traits may seem at first glance,
in practical terms it is often too great a compromise to bother with
traiting for them. For example, to get Litany Master (5
additional targets for Litany of Defense), the Guardian must slot 5
traits from Defender of the Free, leaving only 2 slots open.
This means  he wouldn't get the critical defense
boosts from the Fighter of Shadow line, or the Overpower damage
increase from the Keen Blade line. At most, he would get the
improved power restoration bonuses from 2 Fighter of Shadow, or the
slightly reduced power cost for Overpower from the Keen Blade, and none
of the other bonuses that make these lines really good.
Because of this, it is recommended that the Guardian mix
thing up a bit and roll combos.

Group-play Guardians can combine Fighter of Shadow and
Defender of the Free traits to greatly enhance threat generation while
bolstering their already-considerable defenses. Going with 4
Defender of the Free and 3 Fighter of Shadow traits confers a
phenomenal suite of tanking bonuses - increased threat, critical
defense, power regeneration for long battles, and additional damage
from shield attacks and the bleed from Whirling Retaliation.
Going with 4 Fighter and 3 Defender loses a bit of threat
generation and loses the Stamp cooldown improvement, but confers more
critical defense and improves Shield Wall, making it equally viable for
tanking in a group. For soloing or PvMP Guardians, mixing
Keen Blade and Fighter of Shadow traits will provide a good balance
of Overpower DPS and self-sustainability, offense and

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

style="width: 630px; height: 200px;" alt="LotRO Guardian Guide"

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


href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 340px; float: left;"
alt="Guardian Virtues"

virtues: Zealous much?

Guardian virtues typically emphasize and bolster their rugged
durability, increase morale and power and allow them to better resist
debilitating effects that cause damage over time.

A good place to start is boosting melee defense, since the
Guardian spends so much time engaged in melee combat.
Discipline, Innocence and Zeal all add melee defense, and
when ranked to 10 and combined, the total combined rating just from
these three traits is 2000. Now, the actual formula to
convert that number into something meaningful is rather complicated and
beyond the scope of this guide, but in the very simplest of terms,
"bigger is better." There is a conversion formula href="">here
that can give you exact numbers if you really want them, but suffice it
to say that 2000 melee defense without gear is pretty darn good.

the other hand, the Guardian's melee defense rating will already be
fairly decent at endgame from gear, and he may want to boost ranged
defense instead to be more of a meat-shield-of-all-trades. In
that case, Compassion, Charity and Patience all contribute to ranged
defense, with capped values totalling 2000.

Alternately, one
could forego melee and ranged defense in favor of something more
topical: fear, shadow, wound, poison or disease. As a general
rule of thumb, Guardians will want to have an assortment of "X
Defense" virtues available to them for better survivability in specific
situations. The player can prepare for specific encounters in
advance, swapping in relevant virtues at a bard before heading to the
instance where he will need them.

Other good areas to focus on
are increasing Might (Discipline, Fortitude, Valour; increase DPS and
block chance), Vitality (Fidelity, Honour, Loyalty; increase morale and
resistances), Agility (Determination, Mercy, Tolerance; increase parry
and crit chance), base morale (Determination, Justice, Valour) or power
(Fidelity, Honesty, Loyalty), or morale and power regeneration,
in-combat and non-combat. Again, there is no one "best" set
virtues for Guardians, and different players will slot different
things, but a common theme among the high-level pros is to further
increase defense to last longer in fights.  

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

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016