Guardian

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Guardian-icon.png
The Guardian is a protector of the weak and defender of those in need. He is capable of withstanding mighty blows and retaliating in kind. The true Guardian stands to the forefront of battle, shielding his allies from the blows of their enemies.


Available to Races: Dwarf, Elf, Hobbit, Man


A male Dwarf Guardian
Beorning-icon.png Burglar-icon.png Captain-icon.png Champion-icon.png Guardian-icon.png Hunter-icon.png Lore-master-icon.png Minstrel-icon.png Rune-keeper-icon.png Warden-icon.png
Classes Be Bu Ca Ch Gu Hu Lm Mi Rk Wd
Skills Be Bu Ca Ch Gu Hu Lm Mi Rk Wd
Traits Be Bu Ca Ch Gu Hu Lm Mi Rk Wd
Deeds Be Bu Ca Ch Gu Hu Lm Mi Rk Wd

Role: Tank

The Guardian's ability to wear Heavy Armour, use a Heavy Shield and the highly defensive skills available to the class enable him to face creatures that would make other heroes' morale fail. He also has the ability to draw the foes' attention away from his allies and to himself.

In terms of other MMORPGs, the Guardian fulfills the role of Heavy Tank, with lower overall damage output in exchange for improved survivability. It is one of the hardiest classes, with high morale (health) and a number of abilities which mitigate damage taken.

Fellowship: As a tank, the Guardian is at the front line directly taking the wrath of the enemies and keeping the enemies' attention (aggro) focused on him/herself. This allows the other fellowship members the freedom to carry out their jobs without taking hits that would be devastating to them. The Guardian also has reactive abilities that can only be used after blocking or parrying incoming attacks.

Aggro management with the Guardian benefits from substantial class-specific attributes (i.e. threat-boost stance, a variety of 'shouts' to regain aggro, etc.) but unlike other traditional MMORPGs with the same class mechanics, aggro in LotRO needs to be carefully built up. For this purpose, the Guardian must not only focus on +Morale/Vitality gear and traits but also on +Might, since this will increase his/her damage output (which will therefore boost his/her threat) as well as his/her blocking ability.

Solo: The Guardian is a good soloing class, with superior defense but lower damage output, meaning enemies may take longer to defeat compared to some other classes. Guardians who want improved offense can switch to the Overpower stance (see below for the levels at which skills are obtained) and equip a two-hand weapon. Overpower stance increases damage dealt but also increases damage received. Overpower Guardians can then use a few stance-specific moves and also retain important parry advantages.

Skills

Default Skills

These skills are granted automatically as you gain levels. The effects of many of these skills are improved in various ways by your choice of specialization and how you spend your trait points. Some skills may also be replaced by an improved version of the same skill as you increase in level.

Active Skills Category Cooldown Range Source
Guardian's Ward-icon.png Guardian's Ward Melee + Buff 3s 2.5m Level: 1
Sting-icon.png Sting Melee 3s 2.5m Level: 1
Retaliation-icon.png Retaliation Melee 5s 2.5m Level: 2
Shield-swipe-icon.png Shield-swipe Melee 5s 2.5m Level: 2
Sweeping Cut-icon.png Sweeping Cut Melee + AoE 9s 5m Level: 4
Whirling Retaliation-icon.png Whirling Retaliation Melee + AoE 5s 5m Level: 6
Let Fly-icon.png Let Fly Ranged 9s 30m Level: 8
Vexing Blow-icon.png Vexing Blow Melee + AoE 4s 5.2m Level: 10
Charge-icon.png Charge Buff 1m 30s Self Level: 14
Challenge-icon.png Challenge Forced Attack 30s 7m Level: 16
Ignore the Pain-icon.png Ignore the Pain Remove Effect 5s Self Level: 18
Turn the Tables-icon.png Turn the Tables Melee + Fellowship Manoeuvre 1m 30s 2.5m Level: 20
Bash-icon.png Bash Melee + Interrupt/Stun 5s 2.5m Level: 22
Fray the Edge-icon.png Fray the Edge Forced Attack + Fellowship Manoeuvre 10s 25m Level: 24
Shield-blow-icon.png Shield-blow Melee 10s 2.5m Level: 26
Stagger-icon.png Stagger Melee + Debuff 5s 2.5m Level: 28
Catch a Breath-icon.png Catch a Breath Self-heal 45s Self Level: 30
Warrior's Heart-icon.png Warrior's Heart Buff + Self-heal 2m Self Level: 32
Stamp-icon.png Stamp Melee + Interrupt 20s 2.5m Level: 34
Guardian's Promise-icon.png Guardian's Promise Utility 15s Self Level: 36
Engage-icon.png Engage Forced Attack + Debuff 30s 3m Level: 38
Sting-icon.png Improved Sting Melee 3s 2.5m Level: 50


The Defender of the Free

These skills are acquired by spending trait points in the The Defender of the Free (blue) trait tree. You can only obtain the Set skills if you specialize in this tree.

Active Skills Category Cooldown Range Source
Shield-taunt-icon.png Shield-taunt Taunt 10s 10m Set: Initial Skill
Litany of Defiance-icon.png Litany of Defiance Buff + Debuff 1m 30s 7m Set: Initial Skill
Shield Wall-icon.png Shield Wall Buff 20s 15m Set: Shield Wall (Trait)-icon.png Shield Wall
Guardian's Pledge-icon.png Guardian's Pledge Buff 3s Self Trait: Guardian's Pledge (Trait)-icon.png Guardian's Pledge
Shield-smash-icon.png Shield-smash Melee 5s 2.5m Trait: Shield-smash (Trait)-icon.png Shield-smash
Smashing Stab (Trait)-icon.png Smashing Stab Melee 30s 2.5m Trait: Smashing Stab (Trait)-icon.png Smashing Stab
Juggernaut-icon.png Juggernaut Melee + Buff 3m Self Trait Juggernaut-icon.png Juggernaut



The Keen Blade

These skills are only acquired by specializing in the The Keen Blade (red) trait tree and spending trait points. Note that points spent outside the red trait tree will still advance The Keen Blade if you are specialized in it, but at a slower rate.

Active Skills Category Cooldown Range Source
Force Opening-icon.png Force Opening Melee 10s 2.5m Set: Initial Skill
Overwhelm-icon.png Overwhelm Melee + Stun 10s 2.5m Set: Initial Skill
Protection by the Sword-icon.png Protection by the Sword Buff 10s 25m Set: Protection by the Sword (Trait)-icon.png Protection by the Sword
Thrust-icon.png Thrust Melee + Bleed 5s 2.5m Trait: Thrust-icon.png Thrust
Brutal Assault-icon.png Brutal Assault Melee + Bleed 15s 2.5m Trait: Brutal Assault-icon.png Brutal Assault
To The King-icon.png To The King Melee + Buff + Fellowship Manoeuvre 5s 2.5m Trait: To The King-icon.png To The King
Hammer Down-icon.png Hammer Down Melee + Buff 1m 2.5m Trait: Hammer Down (Trait)-icon.png Hammer Down
Honourable Combat-icon.png Honourable Combat Melee + Heal 45s 2.5m Trait: Honourable Combat-icon.png Honourable Combat



The Fighter of Shadow

These skills are acquired by spending trait points in the The Fighter of Shadow (yellow) trait tree. You can only obtain the Set skills if you specialize in this tree.

Active Skills Category Cooldown Range Source
Force Opening-icon.png Force Opening Melee 10s 2.5m Set: Initial Skill
Take to Heart-icon.png Take to Heart Debuff None 40m Set: Initial Skill
Protection-icon.png Protection Buff 10s 25m Set: Protection (Trait)-icon.png Protection
War-chant-icon.png War-chant Debuff 10s 10.2m Trait: War-chant (Trait)-icon.png War-chant
Thrill of Danger-icon.png Thrill of Danger Self-heal 1m 10.2m Trait: Thrill of Danger (Trait)-icon.png Thrill of Danger
Redirect-icon.png Redirect Melee + Buff 30s 2.5m Trait: Redirect-icon.png Redirect
Cataclysmic Shout-icon.png Cataclysmic Shout Melee + AoE + Debuff 2m 7.2m Trait: Cataclysmic Shout-icon.png Cataclysmic Shout



Mounted Combat Skills

These skills can be used only while riding a war-steed, and only while in the regions of East Rohan, Wildermore, and West Rohan. Passive skills which improve the war-steed's defensive capabilities remain effective even in other regions, but serve only to prevent forced dismount due to enemy attacks.

Active Skills Category Cooldown Range Source
Discipline Red Dawn-icon.png Discipline: Red Dawn Stance 1s - Quest: Devastation in the North
Discipline Riddermark-icon.png Discipline: Riddermark Stance 1s - Quest: Devastation in the North
Discipline Rohirrim-icon.png Discipline: Rohirrim Stance 1s - Quest: Devastation in the North
Clash of Arms-icon.png Clash of Arms Melee + Debuff 30s 4.2m Quest: Vol. III, Book 8, Ch. 1
Driving Slash-icon.png Driving Slash Melee + Debuff 3s 4.2m Quest: Vol. III, Book 8, Ch. 1
Pledge to Rohan-icon.png Pledge to Rohan Buff 24s Self Quest: Vol. III, Book 8, Ch. 1
Rohan's Edge-icon.png Rohan's Edge Melee + Buff 15s 4.2m Quest: Vol. III, Book 8, Ch. 1
Serrated Edge-icon.png Serrated Edge Melee + Bleed 16s 4.2m Quest: Vol. III, Book 8, Ch. 1
Staggering Slash-icon.png Staggering Slash Melee + Debuff 8s 4.2m Quest: Vol. III, Book 8, Ch. 1


Passive Skills

Weapon Proficiencies Source
Daggers-icon.png Daggers Level: 1
One-handed Axes-icon.png One-handed Axes Level: 1
One-handed Clubs-icon.png One-handed Clubs Level: 1
One-handed Hammers-icon.png One-handed Hammers Level: 1
One-handed Maces-icon.png One-handed Maces Level: 1
One-handed Swords-icon.png One-handed Swords Level: 1
Spear-icon.png Spear Level: 1
Two-handed Axes-icon.png Two-handed Axes Level: 1
Two-handed Clubs-icon.png Two-handed Clubs Level: 1
Two-handed Hammers-icon.png Two-handed Hammers Level: 1
Two-handed Swords-icon.png Two-handed Swords Level: 1
Bows-icon.png Bows Level: 7
Crossbows-icon.png Crossbows Level: 7

Armour Proficiencies Source
Light Armour-icon.png Light Armour Level: 1
Medium Armour-icon.png Medium Armour Level: 1
Heavy Armour-icon.png Heavy Armour Level: 1
Shields-icon.png Shields Level: 1
Heavy Shields-icon.png Heavy Shields Level: 1

Other Passive Skills Source
Specialized Equipment-icon.png Specialized Equipment Level: 1
Horn Use-icon.png Horn Use Level: 1
Lute Use-icon.png Lute Use Level: 1
Shield Spike Use-icon.png Shield Spike Use Level: 1
Critical Defence-icon.png Critical Defence Level: 20


Specialization Sets & Traits

The Defender of the Free

(Placeholder description for the purpose / strengths of this spec and trait tree)


Specialization in this trait tree provides an unnamed Inherent Buff which provides the following effects: "Your shield skills have a 25% chance to apply a fortification effect that will increase your mitigations by 1%. This effect may stack up to five times."

Set Traits Description Source
Guardian's Defence-icon.png Guardian's Defence Buff Set: 5+ total ranks
Adaptability-icon.png Adaptability Buff Set: 10+ total ranks
Shield Wall (Trait)-icon.png Shield Wall Gain skill Shield Wall Set: 15+ total ranks
Challenge the Darkness-icon.png Challenge the Darkness Improves skill Challenge Set: 20+ total ranks
Strengthen the Bulwark (Trait)-icon.png Strengthen the Bulwark Improves the Inherent Buff Set: 25+ total ranks
Bolstering Blocks-icon.png Bolstering Blocks Self-heal Set: 30+ total ranks
Shield the People (Trait)-icon.png Shield the People Improves the Inherent Buff Set: 35+ total ranks


Tree Traits Description Source
Relentless Assault-icon.png Relentless Assault Improves skill Sting Trait: 0+ ranks
Tireless Defender-icon.png Tireless Defender Improves skill Guardian's Ward Trait: 0+ ranks
Defensive Expertise-icon.png Defensive Expertise Buff Trait: 0+ ranks
Guardian's Pledge (Trait)-icon.png Guardian's Pledge Gain skill Guardian's Pledge Trait: 5+ ranks
Guardian's Ward Tactics-icon.png Guardian's Ward: Tactics Improves skill Guardian's Ward Trait: 5+ ranks
Shield-smash (Trait)-icon.png Shield-smash Gain skill Shield-smash Trait: 10+ ranks
Reversal (Guardian)-icon.png Reversal Improves skill Turn the Tables Trait: 10+ ranks
Bellow (Trait)-icon.png Bellow Improves skills Challenge and Fray the Edge Trait: 10+ ranks
Follow Through-icon.png Follow Through Improves skill Shield-smash Trait: 15+ ranks, Shield-smash (1)
Smashing Stab (Trait)-icon.png Smashing Stab Gain skill Smashing Stab Trait: 15+ ranks
Improved Shield Spikes-icon.png Improved Shield Spikes Buff Trait: 20+ ranks
Disorientation-icon.png Disorientation Improves skills Shield-smash and Shield-blow Trait: 20+ ranks
Warrior's Fortitude (Defender)-icon.png Warrior's Fortitude Improves skill Warrior's Heart Trait: 25+ ranks
Stoic (Trait)-icon.png Stoic Improves skill Warrior's Heart Trait: 25+ ranks
Juggernaut-icon.png Juggernaut Gain skill Juggernaut Trait: 30+ ranks
Break Ranks-icon.png Break Ranks Improves skill Shield-swipe Trait: 30+ ranks


The Keen Blade

The Keen Blade is a Guardian class trait set that focusses on DPS. Specifically, The Keen Blade relies on bleed mechanics to inflict most of its damage, and is not known for being able to produce high burst damage against a single target. When traited with Thrill of Battle, it can also generate substantial self-healing, allowing red-line Guardians to handle a surprising amount of solo content easily.

The Keen Blade is often used by levelling Guardians, with many suggesting that 1H+Shield should be used until sufficient trait points have been gained to unlock the full power of the tree, around level 40, when you make the switch to 2H. This is dependant on playstyle and situation, of course: both 1H+Shield and 2H are very viable for a Keen Blade Guardian at all levels depending on the balance of survivability and DPS desired.

When reaching the capstone skill, Prey on the Weak, the true power of this trait line is unlocked, allowing for much greater damage and self-healing from high-tier bleeds. This is often enhanced with two first-tier The Fighter of Shadow (yellow) line skills:

Insult to Injury-icon.png Insult to Injury, which refreshes bleeds and causes them to re-tick and dramatically increase damage, and;

Radiate-icon.png Radiate, which, when fighting multiple mobs, ensures bleeds are spread rapidly to all enemies and refreshed back to your main target if the bleeds are cashed out with Overwhelm.

This Prey on the Weak, Insult to Injury, and Radiate mechanic makes higher level Guardians very difficult to kill when fighting many weaker enemies, and can lead to very high DPS when added up across all of them. Almost all Keen Blade builds include these two critical yellow-line skills.


Specialization in this trait tree provides an unnamed Inherent Buff which provides the following effects: "Your critical hits will apply a bleed to your enemies. This effect may stack up to five times."

Set Traits Description Source
Overpower-icon.png Overpower Buff Set: 5+ total ranks
Reactive Parry-icon.png Reactive Parry Buff Set: 10+ total ranks
Protection by the Sword (Trait)-icon.png Protection by the Sword Gain skill Protection by the Sword Set: 15+ total ranks
Bleed Them Dry (Trait)-icon.png Bleed Them Dry Improves the Inherent Buff Set: 20+ total ranks
Brutal Charge (Trait)-icon.png Brutal Charge Skill Charge becomes skill Brutal Charge Set: 25+ total ranks
Heavy Blows-icon.png Heavy Blows Improves the Inherent Buff Set: 30+ total ranks
Prey on the Weak-icon.png Prey on the Weak Buff + Self-heal Set: 35+ total ranks


Tree Traits Description Source
Thrill of Battle (Trait)-icon.png Thrill of Battle Self-heal Trait: 0+ ranks
Skilled Deflection-icon.png Skilled Deflection Buff Trait: 0+ ranks
Heavy Weapons Training-icon.png Heavy Weapons Training Buff Trait: 0+ ranks
Broad Strokes-icon.png Broad Strokes Improves skill Sweeping Cut Trait: 5+ ranks
Thrust-icon.png Thrust Gain skill Thrust Trait: 5+ ranks
Brutal Assault-icon.png Brutal Assault Gain skill Brutal Assault Trait: 10+ ranks
Tireless Blows-icon.png Tireless Blows Improves skill Brutal Assault Trait: 10+ ranks, Brutal Assault (1)
Invigourating Parry-icon.png Invigourating Parry Self-power restore Trait: 10+ ranks
Thrust (Trait)-icon.png Raw Power Improves skill Overwhelm Trait: 15+ ranks, Thrust (1)
To The King-icon.png To The King Gain skill To The King Trait: 15+ ranks
Haemorrhage-icon.png Haemorrhage Buff, Improves skill Brutal Assault Trait: 20+ ranks, Brutal Assault (1)
To the Rescue (Trait)-icon.png To The Rescue Improves skills Charge and Brutal Charge Trait: 20+ ranks
Warrior's Fortitude (Keen Blade)-icon.png Warrior's Fortitude Improves skill Warrior's Heart Trait: 25+ ranks
Blind Rage-icon.png Blind Rage Improves skill To The King Trait: 25+ ranks, To The King (1)
Hammer Down (Trait)-icon.png Hammer Down Gain skill Hammer Down Trait: 30+ ranks
Honourable Combat-icon.png Honourable Combat Gain skill Honourable Combat Trait: 30+ ranks


The Fighter of Shadow

(Placeholder description for the purpose / strengths of this spec and trait tree)



Specialization in this trait tree provides an unnamed Inherent Buff which provides the following effects: "Your attacks against your marked target have a 5% chance to restore 10% of your max morale." To mark a target, use this spec's skill Take to Heart.

Set Traits Description Source
Light-touched-icon.png Light-touched Buff + can Block using Two-Handed weapons Set: 5+ total ranks
Disabling Strikes-icon.png Disabling Strikes Improves Debuff effects on skills Set: 10+ total ranks
Protection (Trait)-icon.png Protection Gain skill Protection Set: 15+ total ranks
Flash of Light-icon.png Flash of Light Improves the Inherent Buff Set: 20+ total ranks
Mark of Permanence (Trait)-icon.png Mark of Permanence Improves the Inherent Buff Set: 25+ total ranks
Manifested Ire-icon.png Manifested Ire Debuff to enemies Set: 30+ total ranks
Incapacitation-icon.png Incapacitation Improves Debuff effects on skills Set: 35+ total ranks


Tree Traits Description Source
Insult to Injury-icon.png Insult to Injury Buff Trait: 0+ ranks
Radiate-icon.png Radiate Buff Trait: 0+ ranks
High-spirited-icon.png High-spirited Buff Trait: 0+ ranks
War-chant (Trait)-icon.png War-chant Gain skill War-chant Trait: 5+ ranks
Numbed Senses-icon.png Numbed Senses Improves skill Ignore the Pain Trait: 5+ ranks
Bolster (Trait)-icon.png Bolster Buff, Improves skill Sting Trait: 10+ ranks
Thrill of Danger (Trait)-icon.png Thrill of Danger Gain skill Thrill of Danger Trait: 10+ ranks
Tenderize (Guardian)-icon.png Tenderize Buff, Improves skill Sting Trait: 10+ ranks
Demoralizing Anthem-icon.png Demoralizing Anthem Improves skill War-chant Trait: 15+ ranks, War-chant (1)
Redirect-icon.png Redirect Gain skill Redirect Trait: 15+ ranks
Strong Bursts (Trait).png Strong Bursts Buff Trait: 20+ ranks
Bring on the Pain (Trait)-icon.png Bring on the Pain Improves skill Thrill of Danger Trait: 20+ ranks, Thrill of Danger (1)
Warrior's Fortitude (Fighter of Shadow)-icon.png Warrior's Fortitude Improves skill Warrior's Heart Trait: 25+ ranks
Vicious Rebuttal-icon.png Vicious Rebuttal Improves skill Redirect Trait: 25+ ranks, Redirect (1)
Singular Focus (Trait)-icon.png Singular Focus Improves Parry Response skills Trait: 30+ ranks
Cataclysmic Shout-icon.png Cataclysmic Shout Gain skill Cataclysmic Shout Trait: 30+ ranks


Trait Tree

The Defender of the Free
Uses mitigations and defence to protect allies.

The true tanking build, using both AoE and single-target taunts. The primary focus is protection and survival.

Shield-taunt-icon.png Shield-taunt
Litany of Defiance-icon.png Litany of Defiance
Your shield skills have a 25% chance to apply a fortification effect that will increase your mitigations by 1%. This effect may stack up to five times.

The Keen Blade
Uses bleeds and high-damage attacks to defeat foes.

Focuses on dealing damage. Skills have high base damage, bleeds, and powerful finishing skills.

Force Opening-icon.png Force Opening
Overwhelm-icon.png Overwhelm
Your critical hits will apply a bleed to your enemies. This effect may stack up to five times.

The Fighter of Shadow
Uses Light damage and two-handed tanking in combat.

Excels at debuffing enemies, gaining survivability by making their enemies weaker. Guardians may Tank with a 2-handed weapon to inflict higher damage.

Force Opening-icon.png Force Opening
Take to Heart-icon.png Take to Heart
Your attacks against your marked target have a 5% chance to restore 10% of your max morale.

Relentless Assault-icon.png
0/5
Tireless Defender-icon.png
0/3
Defensive Expertise-icon.png
0/5
Guardian's Pledge (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Guardian's Ward Tactics-icon.png
0/5
Shield-smash (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Reversal (Guardian)-icon.png
0/5
Bellow (Trait)-icon.png
0/5
↓ (1)
Follow Through-icon.png
0/3
Smashing Stab (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Improved Shield Spikes-icon.png
0/5
Disorientation-icon.png
0/5
Warrior's Fortitude (Defender)-icon.png
0/1
Stoic (Trait)-icon.png
0/6
Juggernaut-icon.png
0/1
Break Ranks-icon.png
0/1
Thrill of Battle (Trait)-icon.png
0/5
Skilled Deflection-icon.png
0/5
Heavy Weapons Training-icon.png
0/5
Broad Strokes-icon.png
0/2
Thrust-icon.png
0/1
Brutal Assault-icon.png
0/1
→ (1) Tireless Blows-icon.png
0/5
↓ (1) Invigourating Parry-icon.png
0/4
↓ (1)
Thrust (Trait)-icon.png
0/5
To The King-icon.png
0/1
Haemorrhage-icon.png
0/5
To the Rescue (Trait)-icon.png
0/6
↓ (1)
Warrior's Fortitude (Keen Blade)-icon.png
0/1
Blind Rage-icon.png
0/5
Hammer Down (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Honourable Combat-icon.png
0/1
Insult to Injury-icon.png
0/5
Radiate-icon.png
0/3
High-spirited-icon.png
0/5
War-chant (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Numbed Senses-icon.png
0/3
Bolster (Trait)-icon.png
0/5
↓ (1) Thrill of Danger (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Tenderize (Guardian)-icon.png
0/5
↓ (1)
Demoralizing Anthem-icon.png
0/5
Redirect-icon.png
0/1
Strong Bursts (Trait).png
0/6
Bring on the Pain (Trait)-icon.png
0/5
↓ (1)
Warrior's Fortitude (Fighter of Shadow)-icon.png
0/1
Vicious Rebuttal-icon.png
0/5
Singular Focus (Trait)-icon.png
0/1
Cataclysmic Shout-icon.png
0/1


See Also