LotRO Custom Build: The Fighting Minstrel

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LotRO Custom Build : The
Fighting Minstrel

By Darkgolem

Many players of Lord of The Rings Online (LOTRO) look at minstrels as
just party healers, without a lot of other function.  Certainly
the minstrel is the best healing class in game, but they also can shine
in combat, providing as much value to a fellowship in combat as a
healer, and be very capable when solo.  A minstrel is not ever
going to be as fast at melee as a champion or a hunter, but is much
more survivable and versatile in combat than your standard damage per
second (DPS) oriented class, and often because of this will survive
must longer than a DPS class.

About The Traits

The key to a minstrel being good at combat is trait selection,
especially class traits.  A minstrel will live or die based upon
having enough power, and the most important things for a minstrel to do
is extend how long the minstrel has power to use in combat, and to make
sure that the minstrel has killed any opponents before running out of


Virtues need to be balanced with the need for power regeneration in
combat, and other functions.  The best way to determine what
traits a fighting minstrel should get is through experience.  Pick
a good selection of virtues, and then “fiddle” with them by seeing what
areas one is lacking in.  Some great virtues are Idealism (which
adds fate), Discipline and Empathy (fate, armor, fear and melee
resistance), since this adds to your armor and to your regeneration of
power in combat.  Once you have enough fate to keep yourself
powered in combat, focus on combat and more traditional minstrel stats
such as will, agility or might.

href="http://lotro.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?full=1&set_albumName=album34&id=Fighting_Hobbit&op=modload&name=Gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php"> alt="Fighting Minstrel"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px; height: 173px;" align="left">Class

Class Traits are probably the most important of your choices for a
fighting minstrel, for most of your career.  The trick for combat
is to use your class traits to buff up certain key attacks, and having
these form the backbone of your fighting ability.  

Piercing Cry has an additional 25% chance of gaining a critical hit and
a 10 second reduction in reset time using war speech. Taking the
Unrelenting class trait, you will disrupt your opponents a lot in
addition to damaging them in combat.  

Herald’s Strike, when used with the Herald’s Hammer trait, gives you
double damage.  Using Noble Cause, you end up getting three free
resets of your Herald’s Strike, and heal each time you hit with your
Herald's Strike.

One of the most important class traits for a minstrel is the medium
armor trait.  This makes huge difference in how much damage you
take in combat, and that in turn speeds up how quickly you do damage,
since you are focused on healing less and damaging your opponent more.

Light in the Dark is a nice trait, increasing your damage for your tier
1 and 2 ballads, which can really increase your damage per second
(since you will have a few seconds for these between your Piercing Cry
and Herald’s Strike reset.

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Minstrel Trait Chart

Trait Name Trait Earned  (Examples)
Trait Benefit
of The Old Forest (Bree-Land)

History of The Dunedain (Bree-Land)

+ Fear Resistance

+ Will
Hendroval Slayer Advanced (Ered

Wolf Slayer Advanced (The Shire)

Sickle-Fly Slayer Advanced (Bree-Land)

+ Might

+ Disease Resistance

- Melee Vulnerability
of A Bounder Advanced (The Shire)

Bree-Land Adventurer (Bree Land)
Armor Value

+ Fate

+ Fear Resistance
Wolf-Slayer Advanced (Ered Luin)

Slug-Slayer Advanced (The Shire)

Barghest Slayer Advanced (Bree-Land)
+ Agility

+ in-Combat morale regen

+ Maximum Morale
of The Dwarves (Ered Luin)

Restoring the Quick Post (The Shire)

The Barrow Downs (Bree-Land)

The Ruins of Bree-Land (Bree-Land)
Non-Combat Power Regen

+ Wound Resistance

- Ranged Vulnerabilty
Medium Armor Proficiency
Complete Level 15 Class Quest
Medium Armor usage.

+65 Maximum Power
with Herald's Hammer 700 times
Strike deals double damage.  +50 Maximum Morale
Land Peircing Cry as a critical
hit 100 times
Piercing Cry stuns when it
scores a critical hit.  Piercing Cry gains a 25% bonus to a chance
for a critical hit.  +50 Maximum Morale
Cry of The Chorous 125 Times
Tounge: All of your songs recover 20% faster. 2% Fear resistance.
Light in the Dark
Use Ballad of Resonance 1000
Your Tier 1 and 2 Ballads do
more damage.  +10% Ballad Damage.  _+50 Maximu Morale.

The Fighting Minstrel’s Tactics

The tactics of a fighting minstrel have some variations from standard
combat tactics for a minstrel.  The goal of a fighting minstrel is
to get combat set up to go quickly when it starts, and then focus on
damaging an opponent as soon as possible.

Starting combat, you should have war speech and tales of battle
activated.  This costs you a little power, but you regenerate
power faster too.

Starting combat, you will want to use three powers in quick
succession.  These are Chorus of The Oathbreakers,  Call of
The Elder King and Piercing Cry.  

Piercing Cry is the longest ranged, so you often can start combat with
piercing cry, but since often it stuns opponents, it usually is better
to start with Chorus of The Oathbreakers, the Call of The Elder King
and finally Piercing Cry.  

Chorus of the Oathbreakers is more or less fire and forget, and reduces
further song and cry resistance.  Then Call of The Elder King does
damage and reduces damage mitigation (setting up opponents for further
combat) and finally Piercing Cry damages (and sometimes stuns)

At this point opponents take extra light damage and resists songs and
cries poorly (due to the songs to this point).  The fighting
minstrel now uses Herald’s Strike, then triggers Noble Cause (which
resets Herald’s Strike three times instantly).  Therefore a
minstrel can “front-load” damage by triggering the (double damage)
Herald’s strike, healing with each hit, four times total.

Once this is complete, Piercing Cry is reset, and can be reused. 
For longer combats, simply work up the tiers of songs (remember that
you do more damage with Light in the Dark trait, and Call of the Elder
King reducing damage) and use Ballad of War followed by Anthems of the
Free People (bringing up your melee damage and then in combat power and
morale regen).

This basic combat debuffs opponents, buffs the minstrel, and allows
fast short term and solid long term survival in combat.

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Minstrel Combat Order

War Speech and Tales of Battle Activated
Call of The Elder King, Chorus of the Oathbreakers, Increases Damage
1.  Call of the Elder King
Reduce Damage Mitigation
Chorus of the Oathbeakers
+ Song Resistance reduction
3. Piercing Cry Stuns (25% Chance)
Herald's Strike
5. Noble Cause
Reset's Herald's Strike
- 8. Herald's Strike
+ Heals Self
9. Piercing Cry
Stuns (25% Chance)
Tier 1 Damage Song
Opens Up Tier 2 Song
11. Tier 2 Damage Song
Damage, Opens Up Tier 3 Song
Ballad of War
Damage Amount
13. Anthem of the Free People
Raise In - Combat Regen fast
Repeat 1. - 13.

Other Points

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style="border: 2px solid ; width: 250px; height: 173px;" align="right">It
is important to remember that you should turn off war speech and become
a healer when in a fellowship with effective fighting types.  You
might consider changing your traits at the same time, toward a more
healing friendly build.  It can be very difficult to heal
successfully unless you (at least) turn off your war-speech when your
thinking about the healing of others.

Another point to remember when being a successful fighting minstrel is
to have the best equipment.  It is a very hard standard to avoid
being hit in combat when you are wearing medium armor, and so you need
to invest in the best medium armor you can arrange while you are a
fighting minstrel.  It might be wise to take a vocation with the
tailoring profession, allowing a minstrel to make mastery medium armors
to wear.

More than most classes, it is important to have a good rhythm to using
attacks on opponents, and a good plan for starting combat. 
Pushing attacks as they pop up is inefficient, and primary to combat is
having enough power to keep fighting, meaning attacking with the right
attacks and setting up opponents with the correct debuffs.  By
doing this, a minstrel can turn from a simple healer to a fighting
minstrel to be reckoned with.

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