LotRO - Hunter Class Guide Skills Overview

Updated Mon, Apr 04, 2011 by gunky

LotRO Hunter Guide





Hunters are perhaps the most straightforward class in the game. Their role in solo or group play is fairly narrowly-defined: ranged single-target damage-per-second. They have almost no buffs and a very limited capacity for self-heals, so their only real option is to do as much damage as possible in the least amount of time.


RANGED ATTACKS - This is the primary arsenal of the Hunter. Many Hunters work out a number of standard shot rotations for different situations.

Hunter Attacking with Ranged Skills

"This is what happens to people who say my cloak clashes with my outfit!"

  • Swift Bow - Two shots in rapid succession. This is a heavy hitter that adds +2 to your Focus. At higher levels, this becomes Improved Swift Bow and does three shots. This skill has a lengthy induction.

  • Barbed Arrow - An induction shot that does moderate damage and applies a bleeding wound. Adds +1 to Focus.

  • Quick Shot - This shot does slightly more damage than an auto-attack and has a short induction. Depending on stance, it can apply a slowing debuff, has a high crit chance or lowers threat. Adds +1 to Focus.

  • Penetrating Shot - An instant, powerful shot that bypasses armor mitigation. This one burns 3 pips of Focus - you can build up to this with 1 Swift Bow and 1 Quick Shot. When traited, it can cost fewer Focus points and negate even more armor mitigation, thus doing more damage.

  • Merciful Shot - An instant shot that costs 6 pips of Focus and can only be used on mobs at half health or lower. It is quite powerful, and when improved at higher levels removes corruptions.

  • Rain of Arrows - An instant area-effect shot that costs 3 pips of Focus. This one hits several enemies (up to 5) and does good damage, and it has a very high threat rating.

  • Heart-seeker - A very powerful shot with a long-ish induction. It does not cost or build Focus. It adds a large target reticle to the intended recipient, which lasts the duration of the induction. When traited, it will remove the bleed from Barbed Arrow to deal significantly more damage. 

  • Blood Arrow - This instant shot costs 3 pips of Focus, but costs morale instead of power. It does damage comparable to Penetrating Shot on a regular hit, but closer to Merciful Shot on a critical. Useful for long fights when power is an issue and morale is not.

Shot Rotation - Generally, Hunters will want to work out a standard pattern of shots for different situations. This will be different in groups than it will be for soloing. While soloing, it pays to open with a powerful shot like Swift Bow, followed by Penetrating Shot. In a group, where threat is a constant issue, it is generally wiser to open with a string of Quick Shots and save the heavy hitters for later on.


MELEE ATTACKS - "Plan B." With power at a premium for Hunters, melee attacks offer poor returns for the investment of power. On the other hand, they are instant, and some of them have additional uses besides raw DPS.

Hunter Attacking with Melee Skills

Showing the steps for the deadly dance of blades.

  • Swift Stroke - A basic melee attack gained at character creation. Hit with both weapons for slightly more damage than an auto-attack. Adds a small buff to defenses.

  • Scourging Blow - Almost the same as above, but if the target is affected by Barbed Arrow it does more damage and removes the bleed.

  • Low Cut - Frontal area-effect swipe that can hit multiple targets, affecting them with a slowing debuff. It can also apply a bleed when used with certain LI legacies.

  • Blindside - A decently-powerful melee attack with a long animation. Stab with an arrow, then a quick point-blank shot, just like Legolas. This one adds 2 pips of Focus and interrupts enemy inductions.

  • Agile Rejoinder - A reactive skill, only available when a melee blow is parried. It has a small chance of applying a small self-heal.


STANCES - These are toggled skills that affect how your ranged skills work while active.

Hunter Using Percision Stance

Precision stance allows for called shots. At least, that's what this hobbit thinks.

  • Strength - This is the first stance you get. Shots do more damage, generate more threat and consume more power. Quick Shot applies a slowing debuff in this stance. Strength stance is most useful for soloing, less so in a group. However, when applied judiciously, it can actually help to use Strength stance in a group fight - e.g. if the Minstrel is getting attacked and the tank is unable to pull the mobs off, the Hunter can temporarily switch to Strength stance and fire off a Rain of Arrows. The mobs will leave the Minnie and focus on the Hunter, allowing the healer to heal more effectively and keep everyone standing.

  • Precision - Shots do the same amount of damage as they would without an active stance, but are less likely to miss their intended targets, resulting in higher DPS overall. Quick Shot has a significantly-increased critical chance in this stance. Precision stance works well in groups with solid tanks, and it works just fine for soloing, too, as it is much less power-hungry than Strength stance.

  • Endurance - When power consumption and aggro management are critical, Endurance stance is your friend. Shots do less damage than they would with no active stance, but consume less power and generate significantly less threat. Quick Shot is basically threat- and power-neutral while in Endurance stance. This stance allows the hunter to unleash the big hitters without drawing a lot of unwanted attention from the mobs, and is best used in groups with "iffy" tanks.


FIGHTING SMARTER - These skills serve to make you a more effective combatant. They allow you to use more powerful skills faster, and keep you actively participating in the fight for longer.

Hunter Using Intent Concentration

You don't want to be the mob he's pointing at after you see the glaring red butterfly over his head. Trust me.

  • Intent Concentration - Instantly fill your Focus meter. Usable in combat.

  • Focus - Fills your focus meter with a short induction. Not usable in combat.

  • Needful Haste - Inductions are significantly reduced and attacks execute quicker for 30 seconds. Costs 3 Focus.

  • Beneath Notice - Drops a huge amount of threat instantly. At very high levels, this skill changes to Beneath Care, and restores some power over time in addition to dumping aggro.

  • Purge Poison - The only buff Hunters have that can be used to assist other people. This skill removes poisons and adds a buff to poison resistance for 15 seconds. This skill is instant (no cooldown) and single-target when used normally, but when traited in the Trapper of Foes line, it has a brief cooldown and can affect the whole fellowship.

  • Strength of the Earth - In-combat power regeneration. Stop fighting for a few precious seconds, watch the fighting, eat some nachos, cheer for the home team, then get back in there fully powered up.

  • Press Onward - A legendary skill attainable at level 39. After a 5 second induction, instantly recover a big chunk of morale and power. Not usable in combat, but it can be improved by traiting at least 4 Huntsman line class traits, making it usable in combat when the Hunter is not being attacked.

  • Fleetness - The old stance no one used ever got overhauled and is now actually useful! This is now a 15-second buff instead of a stance, which reduces moving miss chance by 60%, increases run speed by 10% and prevents Focus loss from movement. It costs 6 Focus to use this skill, which completely drains the Hunter's Focus meter, but can be followed up with Intent Concentration or a quickly-chugged Potion of Focus to rebuild. The legendary capstone for the Huntsman line, Improved Fleetness, doubles the duration of this stance, reduces Focus cost of Focus-based attacks and reduces attack duration, making induction-based attacks execute quicker.




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