Guide to the Lore-master
Lore-masters are seekers of knowledge and sentinels of wisdom. Through study of bygone Ages, they learn ancient secrets that allow them to hinder foes and protect allies; they may even call on elemental forces to damage their enemies. Lore-masters will need to hone their knowledge further than ever before, with the dark return of the Enemy. Lore-masters direct their animal companion to attack, defend, or remain passive; this ability is difficult to master, because Lore-masters must also invoke their own skills at the same time. When mastered, however, Lore-masters triumph in solo combat. In groups, Lore-masters aid allies primarily by use of skills that hinder one or more enemies' ability to move and damage.
The primary role of a Lore-master is to support his allies and weaken his enemies to gain the advantage on the battlefield:
- He is the undisputed master of crowd-control, with abilities to stun, daze and root opponents.
- The Lore-master also possesses a wide variety of ways to debuff enemies, even in large numbers.
- He can also supply his allies with large amounts of Power replenishment, and provide excellent curing support along with some moderate healing.
- The Lore-master's many different pets help by debuffing, tanking, and helping allies.
- Finally, a Lore-master traited in the Nature's Fury (red) tree provides very strong damage, especially AoE damage, and can fulfill a Damage / DPS role in groups.
First of all, pets are very important allies of a Lore-master. They engage enemies and make sure their master won't have to enter close-combat and can focus on debuffing, AoE and/or DPS. Each pet has different abilities and strengths, so it is useful to choose your pet according to the situation (see the Pets page for a detailed list of all the different animals a Lore-master can call to their side).
The skills you'll be using depend on your current role in the fellowship: CC and debuff or damage. Therefore, I will discuss two different examples of rotations you could use in both situations. This guide is not meant to be strictly followed, since a Lore-master possesses a lot of different skills which are more useful in specific situations than in others (e.g. Sign of Power: Righteousness is not very useful if you are fighting normal mobs, but it is when fighting bosses that use stuns).
Note: Contrary to other classes, Lore-masters sometimes have to use Morale in addition to Power to perform attacks. It is therefore necessary to keep track of both counters.
For a complete list of skills, see Lore-master Skills.
There are three trait trees to choose from:
- Keeper of Animals (blue): Animal companions ensure their keeper's survival, using bonuses and pet-master interactions to help both thrive in battle
- Master of Nature's Fury (red): A build focused on dealing significant burst damage from a distance. Skills interact to maximize damage to one or multiple targets
- The Ancient Master (yellow): A build with a wide range of crowd-control, debuffs and Power-restoring abilities to support group play. Chains of harmful skills enhance the debuffs
For all traits and set bonuses, see Lore-master Traits.
Debuffing, CC and support
In raid scenarios, this will be your most common role: take out one or two mobs with a daze or root while weakening the others. You will normally be traited in yellow line (The Ancient Master) for this, since it provides you with better debuffs and bit more healing. Note that some debuff skills aggro the foe when applied and others don't. Therefore, you could start like this:
- the tank, giving it a protective shield.
- (or the improved version, which works as an AoE) and .
- and (make sure the enemies are pulled into the area of both skills).
- to daze an enemy. This aggroes all mobs nearby the dazed target and thus starts combat.
- or on a single target, depending on the type of mob (warrior-like doing melee damage or sorcerer-like doing tactical damage)
- to spread the debuffs to enemies surrounding the mob (with the traits Wild Fire and Chill Wind).
Then you can start using to apply a DoT (damage over time) and a slow (more about this skill further on this page), your debuffing pet skills and watch your fellows if they need curing with or an emergency heal with or . If an ally's Power is running low, can also be used.
Another way you could go is use , rooting a group of enemies in place (avoid using an AoE attack on this group, since it could break the root) or use to apply Fire-lore or Frost-lore on a group of enemies at once. When fighting a mob that is heavily armoured, using is a good idea. Before combat, can give some information about the stats of the mob and reduces the resist chance of the target, lowering the ability of the group's attacks to miss on that enemy.
Finally, remember to keep an eye on the daze of Blinding Flash and renew if necessary (thanks to the 30s duration and 15s cooldown, you could even permanently daze two targets). Consider installing the BuffBars plugin, a handy tool which tracks your buffs and effects and their durations. It can also be configured so that it tracks all debuffs, dazes, stuns and roots you applied on enemies. For this, you will also need to install CombatAnalysis. More information about plugins can be found on http://www.lotrointerface.com.
The use of pets and their debuffs can be found further on this page under Pets.
When soloing or doing easy content, you can change your role to deal more damage. The red line (Master of Nature's Fury) is most often used for this, increasing your damage from fire and lightning skills.
Your most important skill for this is due to short cooldown and induction, slow and reasonable DoT (which stacks up to three times). Using Gust of Wind on the foe will upgrade the effect into Improved Searing Embers, a more powerful DoT. Try to keep this up on an enemy as often as possible!
Other damaging skills include:
- : has a chance to cash out all stacks of Burning or Searing Embers, dealing high single target damage
- : can cash out Burning Embers as well, but deals more damage than Lightning Strike and to multiple enemies
- : AoE skill with reasonable damage, roots enemies in place for 30s after a 3s delay
- : AoE skill that sets the ground on fire, dealing high fire damage over time
- : single target Light damage with a stun
- : AoE skill that deals Fire damage over time and debuffs enemy Parry/Evade/Block rating
Each pet has its own specialities and is useful in different situations. You can summon these pets with corresponding skills, unlocked while you level (except for the Eagle, for which you have to invest points in the Keeper of Animals tree). While a pet is summoned, you may use its skills and order it to attack or stay back. More information about these skills can be found under Pets.
During combat, your pets has a chance to flank the enemy. This event interacts with a number of your skills, which in turn consume this event:
- , an immediate damage skill with no cooldown or induction and a long range, gives you a small heal when used on a flanked target
- , an AoE melee skill, restores Power over time
- , a single target melee skill, deals bonus damage
Your pets possess three different skills. When your role is to debuff, a good idea is to start combat with the Raven summoned. Its auto miss chance debuff Dizzy comes for free, while Benediction of the Raven (-10% Fire mitigation) and Distraction (-50% ranged damage and +10% miss chance) are often used to increase the damage of the hunters in your fellowship (when they are using fire-oil) and rune-keepers, and temporarily take out an enemy archer.
In combat, you can also swap pets to utilise other debuffs as well. The Bear's Shatter Arms increases the melee and ranged damage of you and your fellows and the Bog-guardian's Root Strike increases the ranged critical chance, which is also useful for hunters.
When fulfilling a DPS role, these debuffs can also prove to be useful, since the damage of your pets is rather low. If you do not want to constantly change pets because you're too busy chaining your other damaging skills, the Bog-guardian and Lynx do reasonable damage (with the lynx's high damage opening attack in Surprise strike), while the Sabertooth Cat is the only pet that does AoE damage. Finally, the bear can be used as a tank since it possesses a force attack in Roaring Challenge and has the highest flank rate, providing you with more heals from Wizard's Fire.
The Lore-master also possesses some emergency skills:
- instantly heals you for 50% of your Morale and provides you with a chance to reflect and negate damage for 1m, but has a cooldown of 5m.
- has a shorter cooldown of only 1m with an induction of 1s and dazes 5 targets around you for 15s, providing you with some time to heal, cure, resummon a pet, renew some debuffs or just run away. Thanks to the 4s grace period, you can also use this as an offensive skill. Throwing Sticky Gourd at them in the first seconds will not break the daze!
- is a quick but short AoE stun for a small group of enemies, with a long cooldown of 2m.
- instantly resets the cooldown of some of your skills and makes you immune to induction setback from damage and interrupts.
- provides the Lore-master with an out of combat Revive.
A Lore-master can only wear Light Armour and use staves as a weapon (at level 40 you gain access to a sword). From level 20 on, you can carry a Book of lore in your class slot and a brooch in your ranged item slot.
When choosing your equipment, you can focus on better survivability or better damage, depending whether soloing or playing in a larger fellowship. For more survivability, you are looking for:
- Morale, gained through Vitality
- Physical Mitigation, gained through Armour or Virtues
- Tactical Mitigation, gained through Will or Virtues
- Resistance, gained through Vitality or Virtues
For more damage, you are looking for:
Choosing a Vocation
- Cook: can make Pet Food and all sorts of other Food
- Jeweller: crafts brooches and talismans, but also rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and Edhelharn Tokens
- Scholar: makes books and parables for Lore-masters and scrolls of Battle Lore, and potions that can be used by all classes
- Tailor: manufactures Light Armour and class-specific items for some other classes
- Woodworker: can make staves and a lot of other weapons and class-specific items for other classes