• Blitz's Guide to Burglars

    Iíve entertained the idea of writing a burglar guide for some time now. By no means do I consider myself to be the best burglar, or even an expert burglarÖbut I keep trying to improve my skills and save Middle Earth while Iím at it.

    What is a burglar?
    So I am going to start out by defining what a burglar is within the game of LOTRO. As the burglar currently sits they can perform top tier single target dps, debuffs, crowd control and of course fellowship maneuvers.

    Advantages and Disadvantages
    For a burglar, as with any class the key to being effective is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and making sure that you maximize the strengths while hiding your weaknesses. For a burglar your biggest strength is stealth, you get to pick which fights you want and which you donít want. Your biggest weakness is little to no AoE damage skills, which means you will be stuck killing one target at time.
    Maximizing Strengths
    Pick your fights, whether you are leveling or playing in the moors, as a burglar for the most part you get to pick your fights. Whether that means letting that Rare Elite 4 levels over you walk on by or getting out of the way of a Rank 11 Black Arrow, as long as you're careful you can choose whether they find you or not.
    Stealth, Stealth, Stealth, start every fight you can from stealth
    Debuffs, donít gimp yourself, gimp the poor schmuck in front of your daggers, never forgot to apply debuffs
    HIPS or Hide in Plain Sight, when the going gets tough, the burglars make like a bat out of hell towards the nearest friendly NPC. In PvE land this will drop all aggro from you leaving you a chance to escape to greener pasturesÖin the Moors, it will only piss the creeps off, but it might give you a chance to sneak back in for a killing blow or get the hell out of dodge if the rest of the freeps you were running with just got smeared across STAB(South TA Bridge) The important thing to remember with HIPS is you have 10 seconds where your stealth canít be broken, so that means if you donít clear any dotís on you at the end of that 10 seconds you will be naked as a jail bird once that 10 seconds expires.

    Hiding Weaknesses
    You donít have AOE, so you need to pick one fight at time, this means you use whatever CC skills are available to you at the time, these will change based on your level and/or your cool down restraints, but the important thing to remember is you have lots of tools at your disposal to help you fight one mob at a time.
    Scout, this applies to both PvMP and leveling, sneak in, watch the mobs/monster players. When leveling if there is a patroller make sure you strike when he is at his maximum distance from your target. When in the Ettenmoors make sure that lonely reaver doesnít have friends too close by.

    Trait Lines
    The 3 burglar trait lines break down like this. The Quiet Knife, The Mischief Maker, and The Gambler One important caveat to remember; As with most other classes, just because you are traited down one line or another doesnít mean you have to use that stance. You will be most effective in the stance you are currently traited for however, sometimes switching stances for a certain pull can help your fellowship/raid to get the job done without another trip to a bard.

    The Quiet Knife(Red)-This is the sexy secret agent style assassin line of LOTRO. It is all about making stuff die and making it die as fast as possible.
    The Mischief Maker(Yellow)-This is your crowd control/debuff line. Whether your preferred trait line is Blue or Red, you can expect to throw in a couple from this yellow line when you are grouping.
    The Gambler(Blue) The gambler is truly a interesting trait line, while it doesnít allow the burglar to put out as much damage as the QK line, and you canít CC as well as in the MM line, you can do a mixture of both with gambler stance. You can use your tricks to and the removal of them to apply a variety of debuffs, stuns, mezzes, dots, and even 1 person random mini Fellowship maneuvers.

    Any grammar mistakes found within this guide I am blaming on my Texanness. If you could be so kind as to point them out to me so that I can fix them and be less of a embarrassment to my state.

    This is just my little starter/teaser version. If some of you found this useful or interesting or both, and would like me to make it more in depth I will be happy to do that.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Blitz's Guide to Burglars started by Blitz View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. MisterTea's Avatar
      MisterTea -
      I like the intro. I'm particularly intrigued by the some of the differentiation between landscape/instance play and Moors play, because they are very different animals.
    1. Rymorro's Avatar
      Rymorro -
      This is great for me, just learning to play my burg.
      Looking forward to further installments, especially of legacies.

      One question: when soloing I usually just don't have the patience to stealth before every fight. I know I am losing some dps, but enough to worry about? It's only one extra damage situation, right? Or do you use hips in-combat to gain an extra stealth attack?
    1. 69.5's Avatar
      69.5 -
      Well, you are losing out on the first strike, which should be done from behind to take advantage of that DPS bonus, which is impossible if you are not stealthed. Also if I remember correctly there is a buff you can place on yourself (or a debuff for the target) from stealth that applies additional chance for a crit and/or a CC (Don't remember which). It's been a while since I have played on my Burg, but I am pretty sure attacking unstealthed is not helping you that much.
    1. Blitz's Avatar
      Blitz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rymorro View Post
      This is great for me, just learning to play my burg.
      Looking forward to further installments, especially of legacies.

      One question: when soloing I usually just don't have the patience to stealth before every fight. I know I am losing some dps, but enough to worry about? It's only one extra damage situation, right? Or do you use hips in-combat to gain an extra stealth attack?
      While leveling your initial Surprise Strike from stealth should reduce your targets health by 1/3 to 1/2. It is very worthwhile to attack from stealth every single time, unless you are fighting way underlevel mobs and then it really doesn't matter because you should be one shoting everything anyway. This would also depend on having the proper legacies and good on level daggers. I never really got around to finishing this guide and including the legacies stuff but it is something I should try to get back to. I will try to at least get legacies down in the next week or so.
    1. Rymorro's Avatar
      Rymorro -
      OK, maybe I should try stealthing more then. My surprise strike from stealth is certainly not doing that much damage though. Even a hit of 2800 doesn't take a level 85 mob down that far.

      Also, I was wondering about mounted combat for a burg ... any suggestions (especially regarding the stance?) I am just starting this part.
    1. Blitz's Avatar
      Blitz -
      If you have the + Surprise Strike Damage positional damage legacy maxed( which you should) its a 35% increase in damage, just make sure you are behind mobs when you make your initial strike. I would highly recommend the "Dust In The Eyes" trait for most all situations especially leveling. When encountering multiple mobs you can throw Dust then use Startling Twist for a 8 Second 3 Target AOE stun. Get behind mobs and go to work. You also want to be 5 deep in red at all times so that you can use the capstone skill to strike from stealth again. I also highly recommend the legacy to reduce that skill's CD down to 15 seconds.

      As far as Mounted Combat goes, it went against everything I loved about leveling/playing my burglar. To make the most of a bad situation I would recommend a light steed and riding in red dawn stance with the important things in the red tree maxed and just trying to kill stuff faster than it kills you.
    1. Jestan's Avatar
      Jestan -
      I've really enjoyed leveling my burglar lately - I've tended towards going Gambler stance while solo (I like the variety in debuffs, DoTs, and heals) but there too you always want to maximize the initial stealth attack. I use Diversion to always get a clear shot at their back - plus this has a pretty good chance of adding a debuffing gamble (when traited). Gambler's Strike is the blue capstone that upgrades any gamble to tier 6 (or if no gamble exists, adds a DoT gamble of tier 4-6). In other words, for the duration of most fights you have a pretty good chance of keeping your target debuffed down to +20% miss chance, +40% attack speed, -30% damage. This on top of an evade % of around 25%, and the debuffs from tricks like Dust (+15-20% miss). In the words of MC Hammer: U Can't Touch This.

      While debuffs are unnecessary if it's just going to die in five seconds anyway, I tend to be fighting mobs a few levels higher than me while leveling, so the extra survivability is nice. At cap I'll be looking more into going red line, but in the mean time - roll the dice!

      Mounted Combat was a pain until I got a few mount levels to work with. Mounted stealth is nice (nothing like riding across the landscape past a hundred orcs without drawing aggro). Here too, always attack from stealth for the skill bonuses. I also use Red Dawn/light steed, and just stab and stack bleeds until the fight's over. One twist worth mentioning is the ability to confuse a mob to fight on your side for a limited time. This is great when attacking warbands - use it on the leader, take out the minions, and once the confusion wears off and the leader attacks you again it'll likely be a one on one fight.

      Bonus tip for all mounted melee classes (especially those with positional damage effects): map a hotkey to 'follow target'. I have mine mapped to an extra button on my mouse to avoid cluttering the keyboard. Use it on enemies, and it'll keep you right behind them in melee range (on a light steed, anyway - your mileage may vary for medium or heavy).
    1. Rymorro's Avatar
      Rymorro -
      These are some great suggestions (Jestan & Blitz) I will def try em out. I need to get my warsteed up a few more levels, too. I didn't know you could set a key to "follow target" so that I will be doing for sure.
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