LotRO - Guardian Class Guide Skills Overview

style="width: 630px; height: 200px;" alt="LotRO Guardian Guide"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89449/">


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/overview">OVERVIEW
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/solo">SOLO
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/group">GROUP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/pvmp">PvMP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/endgame">LEGENDARY
ITEMS | href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/2">TRAITS
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/3">VIRTUES
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/skills">SKILLS


GUARDIAN SKILLS OVERVIEW

Guardians are a rather complex class, with different roles
defined by different circumstances. Soloing will require a
different rotation of skills than running an instance with a full
fellowship, for example, and running a 12-man raid will require
modifications from the 6-man fellowship setup.  


Threat-Building Skills

These
are the "tanking" skills, the ones that specifically generate threat.
Using these skills will make the Guardian the preferred
target - as it should be.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89459"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 400px; float: left;"
alt="A Dwarf Guardian"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89459">

"This..
is my BOOM STICK!"

  • Vexing Blow - A quick swipe that does
    moderate damage. Can be improved with a class trait to affect
    multiple targets in a frontal arc.

  • Sheild-Blow - A solid shove with the
    shield, effective against a single target. This attack does
    good damage, and can be improved with the use of shield spikes.
    An Improved version at level 54 does more damage and
    generates more threat. This skill is only available when a
    shield is equipped.

  • Engage - Does no damage, but applies a
    slowing debuff and forces aggro - the recipient will target the
    Guardian immediately regardless of how much threat he has built up.
    When the effect expires, the mob will attack whoever has the highest
    threat rating.

  • Fray the Edge - A non-damaging shout
    that generates threat and applies a debuff, making the target slightly
    more likely to fall vitcim to a random conjunction. This
    debuff stacks, increasing the likelihood of triggering a random
    conjunction with each use, and can be improved with traits to stack up
    to a 30% chance to trigger a random FM.

  • Challenge - A non-damaging, area-effect shout that forces aggro on up to 3 enemies. This has a fairly small radius at 7 meters, but is often enough to yank troublesome mobs off the healer in a pinch.

  • Block
    Response Chain
    - When an enemy blow is blocked by the
    Guardian's shield, a reaction chain opens up. These skills
    are only available when a shield is equipped. All of the
    block reaction skills generate threat.

    • Shield-Swipe - A brutal double-whammy
      attack with shield
      and weapon. This affects a single target, and the shield
      attack can be improved with the use of shield spikes. Using
      this skill negates the use of Litany of Defiance and Catch a Breath
      until another blow is blocked.

    • Bash - The Guardian charges up and
      hurls all of his
      bodyweight against the target. This attack does good damage
      and stuns the recipient. This skill is only available after
      using Shield-Swipe.

    • Shield-Taunt - A non-damaging,
      area-effect skill.
      The Guardian bashes his weapon against his shield and
      presumably says rotten things about the targets' mothers. This
      skill is only available after using Shield-Swipe.

    • Shield Smash - This is a legendary
      skill that can be
      acquired at level 39 and up, and can only be used after Bash or Shield
      Taunt. This one does very good damage.

    • Litany of Defiance - An area-effect
      shout that generates
      threat over time and affects up to 5 targets. The Defender of
      the Free capstone legacy improves this skill, allowing it to affect 5
      more targets. Using this skill negates the use of
      Shield-Swipe and Catch a Breath until another blow is blocked.


  • Whirling Retaliation - An attack
    from the Parry response chain, this is an area-effect attack attack
    that does moderate damage to up to 5 enemies within a 5-meter radius.
    This attack does not generate extra threat, but siphons off
    some of the threat from any fellowship members within 10 meters and
    transfers it to the Guardian. Can only be used after
    Retaliation.

  • Challenge the Darkness - This is a
    legendary trait that can
    be acquired at level 39 and up. This is an area-effect,
    non-damaging skill that forces aggro and applies the same defensive
    buff as Guardian's Ward.



General Damage-Dealing

The "other guys." These skills do not generate extra threat but have a number of other practical uses.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89453"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 400px; float: left;"
alt="A Man Guardian"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89453">

A
Guardian preparing to lay some smack down.

  • Guardian's Ward -This skill does decent
    damage and adds a defensive buff, increasing Block and Parry ratings,
    Partial Block and Parry chance, and decreasing armor wear.

  • Sting
    - A quick attack that does moderate damage.
    This gets improved at level 52 to Improved Sting, which adds
    a bleed for 10 seconds and removes one corruption upon expiration.

  • Sweeping Cut
    - An area-effect double attack that hits up to
    3 targets in a frontal arc. This skill does moderate damage
    per swipe.

  • Stamp
    - A downward front kick that does modest damage and
    interrupts inductions.

  • Salt the Wound
    - On its own, this skill does moderate
    damage against a single target. When used in conjunction with Thrust
    from the Parry response chain, it increases the bleed damage.

  • Parry
    Response Chain
    - When an enemy blow is parried by the
    Guardian's weapon, this reaction chain opens up. This chain
    does not require a shield to be equipped and can be used in conjunction
    with Overpower stance.

    • Retaliation
      - This is the "gate" skill that opens up the
      rest of the chain. Does good damage.

    • Overwhelm
      - Can only be used after Retaliation.
      This attack does a crushing downward blow, which stuns the
      target on a critical hit.

    • Thrust
      - Can only be used after Retaliation.
      This attack does moderate damage and applies a bleed.

    • To the King - A legendary skill that
      can be acquired at
      level 45 by completing both class quests. It can only be used
      after using Overwhelm or Thrust. Does very high damage and applies a
      run speed debuff, and has a chance of knocking the target to the
      ground, opening up a conjunction.


  • Let Fly - This one is not a
    melee attack,
    but the Guardian's sole ranged attack with a bow or crossbow.
    It does good damage. Best used for doing ranged
    pulls.

  • Take to Heart - A quick attack that
    drains power from the
    target and returns it twofold to the Guardian. This skill
    costs morale to use, and it does good damage.

  • Overpower - Guardians can use most of
    their melee skills
    while in Overpower stance,
    except those that require a shield. These skills can only be
    used in
    Overpower stance, and all do high damage.

    • Force Opening - A big hit that opens
      up the Parry response chain on a successful hit.

    • Stagger - When attacking from behind,
      or on a critical hit, this blow applies a debuff that slow the
      recipient's run and attack speeds.

    • Brutal Assault - A big, powerful hit
      that does very high damage and has an awesome death-metal-sounding name.



Stances

These are toggled skills that affect various aspects while active. Only one stance may be active at a time.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89458"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 450px; float: left;"
alt="A Hobbit Guardian"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89458">

This
Mountain-Drake is about to get Maddened.  Oh, wait....

  • Guardian's Defense - This one increases
    Block chance, Partial Block chance, and Partial Block mitigation, and
    reduces wear on the shield from blocks. Activate this
    defensive stance if you wish to open the Block response chain and use
    Catch a Breath more often. Since the Block response chain
    skills all generate additional threat, this is a good stance for
    lower-level tanking, or for Guardians who do not have the Guardian's
    Threat legendary skill slotted. This stance can be activated
    without a shield, but it is pointless to do so.

  • Guardian's
    Parry
    - This one increases Parry chance, Partial Parry
    chance, and Partial Parry mitigation, and reduces wear on the weapon
    from parrying. This stance can be used without a
    shield. Activate this stance to open up the Parry response
    chain more often. This is generally a better DPS stance than
    Guardian's Defense and may be more useful when threat-generation is not
    important, as none of the Parry response skills generate additional
    threat.

  • Guardian's Threat - A legendary skill
    that can be acquired at level 39 and up. This stance increases the
    amount of perceived threat a Guardian generates by 20%.  It
    also decreases armor wear from hits and increases Block and Parry
    ratings. It can be used with or without a shield.
     Activate this stance to generate more threat and hold aggro
    easier, or when grouped with Hunters and other aggro-magnets.
    Because it increases the rating for both Block and Parry,
    using this stance will open up both of those response chains more
    frequently than having no stance active.

  • Overpower -This stance requires a
    two-handed weapon to be equipped. Overpower increases damage
    output 15% and ramps up the power cost for skills by 30%. It
    lowers Evade chance, but also decreases wear on weapons from parries.
    This stance is useful for soloing and PvMP where big damage
    is needed and power consumption is generally not a big issue.
    Some Guardians will stay in Overpower while tanking for a
    group, forsaking the defense of a shield for brute offensive power.



href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/overview">OVERVIEW
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/solo">SOLO
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/group">GROUP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/pvmp">PvMP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/endgame">LEGENDARY
ITEMS | href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/2">TRAITS
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/3">VIRTUES
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/skills">SKILLS


style="width: 630px; height: 200px;" alt="LotRO Guardian Guide"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89449">


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/overview">OVERVIEW
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/solo">SOLO
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/group">GROUP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/pvmp">PvMP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/endgame">LEGENDARY
ITEMS | href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/2">TRAITS
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/3">VIRTUES
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/skills">SKILLS


Staying in the Fight

Guardians have lots of self-preservation skills which can keep them active and fighting longer.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89450"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 400px; float: left;"
alt="A Dwarf Guardian"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89450">

"No
way, I'm not falling for the old 'look behind you' trick again. Nice try!"

  • Catch a Breath - This reactive skill is
    unlocked when a blow is blocked by the Guardian's shield. It
    restores a small bit of morale, and it can be upgraded through traits
    and gear for bigger heals and added power restoration. Using
    this skill negates the use of Shield-Swipe and Litany of Defiance until
    another blow is blocked.

  • Guardian's Pledge - Increases Block,
    Parry and Evade ratings by
    50% each for 15 seconds. Using this skill will usually open
    lots of
    opportunities to use the Block and Parry response chain skills,
    particularly if used when fighting a group of mobs. If a
    fight is
    getting out of hand, this skill can buy a few precious seconds of lower
    incoming damage and enable the use of Catch A Breath to restore a bit
    of morale.

  • Warrior's
    Heart
    - A good self-heal that also increases maximum
    morale for 1 minute. This skill receives an upgrade at level
    64, becoming Warrior's Fortitude, which adds a further buff based on
    the Guardian's current stance: Guardian's Defense adds Block and
    Partial Block chance, Guardian's Parry adds Parry and Partial Parry
    chance, Guardian's Threat decreases incoming melee, ranged and tactical
    damage, and Overpower increases melee critical chance.

  • Thrill of Danger - Only useable
    in-combat. This skill will restore the Guardian's power,
    drawing it from enemies within 10 meters. The more enemies in
    the area (up to 3), the more power is restored.

  • Deep Breath - This skill resets the
    cooldowns on Catch a Breath, Guardian's Pledge, Warrior's Heart and
    Thrill of Danger.

  • Turn the Tables - A reactive skill.
    When the Guardian is stunned (including stuns from
    conjunctions) or dazed, using this skill will end the stun and turn it
    back on the stunner, triggering a conjunction.

  • Ignore the Pain - This skill shrugs off
    up to 3 bleeds and
    wounds. It is effective against wounds up to 5 levels over the
    Guardian's current level.



A Friend Indeed

The Guardian stands between his fellows and the forces of darkness in more ways than just the literal sense. His keen sense of duty allows him to swiftly travel wherever the need is great, and to selectively protect particularly vulnerable companions with his great defensive skill.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89454"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 400px; float: left;"
alt="A Man Guardian"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89454">

A
Guardian shield-walling a helpless noob

  • Guardian's Promise - A physical token of
    fealty and an oath sworn. The Guardian carves an acorn and
    gives it to a companion, who may later use that acorn to summon the
    Guardian to his side.  Players may only have one such token in
    their inventory at one time, and these items only function when in a
    fellowship with the Guardian. They can be traded or mailed.

  • Protection - Affects one ally, boosting
    his Block, Parry and Evade ratings. If the ally is within 10
    meters, the Guardian can react to blocked or parried blows as though he
    had blocked them himself. Requires a shield to be equipped.
    This is a toggled skill and remains in effect as long as the
    ally is within range, and until it is toggled off. It can be
    improved through traits to make the target less threatening to enemies.

  • Shield Wall - Affects one ally,
    transfering all incoming damage from that ally to the Guardian.
    The ally cannot block, parry or evade while being protected
    in this manner, but takes no damage from attacks. The
    Guardian is slowed while this effect is active.  It is a
    toggled skill that costs a bit of power every second, and may be
    dangerous to use in situations where power consumption is an issue.

  • Charge - A 7-second burst of speed which
    allows the Guardian to quickly move to the front lines of a battle, or
    to reach a companion in need. This is improved at level 62,
    providing an increase to melee damage in addition to the boosted run
    speed.

  • Summon Tinker - The Guardian can call
    Macgyver, AKA Patrick
    Potpatcher, who is an old camping buddy from 'way back and an expert at
    repairing broken gear using gum wrappers and paperclips. This skill can
    be used at any campsite in Middle-Earth, and the vendor can be used by
    any character to repair damaged gear or buy shield-spikes and
    shield-spike recipes. Unfortunately, the vendor cannot be
    used to pawn vendor trash trophies - for that, you need a Burglar.



Class Tools

All classes have a few specialized tools that only they can use. Guardians have only a few, and they are not all specialized.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89452"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 240px; height: 450px; float: left;"
alt="A Hobbit Guardian"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89452">

Shield-spikes
vs. Rockworm-spikes.

  • Heavy Shield
    - Though the Guardian is not the only class that can use them, they are
    the class that puts them to the best use. Heavy shields can
    be crafted by armorsmiths, earned as quest rewards, dropped by mobs or
    found in chests as boss loot. Heavy shields typically have
    very high armor ratings, lower Evade chance and increase other
    defenses, and good ones boost a number of base stats. At
    lower levels, the Guardian will want the highest-level shield he can
    use, and at higher levels will pay more attention to bonuses and armor
    rating. Guardians can also use light and medium shields, but
    these generally provide markedly less defense than heavy shields.

  • Shield Spikes - These can be made by
    weaponsmiths and come in a variety of flavors. Some types
    will increase the crit chance from shield skills, some will add
    specific damage types to shield attacks (Westernesse, Beleriand,
    Ancient Dwarf-make, etc). These bonuses last from 5 - 25
    minutes, depending on type, and can be removed if needed by a
    shield-spike removal kit, obtainable from Guardian class trainers.

  • Guardian Belt - Belts are only available
    at high levels when players are able to use Legendary Items.
    These go in the class slot on the character journal panel.
    The base stat increases Shield Use Rank, making the Guardian
    more effective with a shield. Advanced belts (2nd & 1st age)
    also increase perceived threat. More information about these
    can be found on the Legendary Items page.



href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/overview">OVERVIEW
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/solo">SOLO
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/group">GROUP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/pvmp">PvMP
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/endgame">LEGENDARY
ITEMS | href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/2">TRAITS
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/89468/page/3">VIRTUES
| href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro/guides/classes/guard/skills">SKILLS



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