• Very, Very Brief Warden Guide

    Thoughts on the Warden as it pertains to grouping as to give you all an idea of what we can and can't do. I would highly encourage questions so we may learn as much as we can.

    After reading a few posts on our board I thought that it would be good to give a rundown on the strengths and weaknesses of wardens as far as grouping goes in the “end-game” content from what I have observed.

    General Overview:

    In general wardens are a different animal, as far as tanking is concerned, from a guardian. Guardians are the proverbial meatshield, they can soak up tons of damage, wear heavy armor and heavy shields and can stand toe to toe with most baddies. (disclaimer, I have not had a guardian past lvl 20 so this is based purely on observation.) Wardens on the other hand utilize medium armor and a “medium” shield. They do not benefit from the extra damage mitigation that heavy armor gives, but make up for it with amazing self-heal capabilities and increased to their block, evade, and parry (B/E/P).

    A warden can use all one handed weapons, though their weapons of choice are usually spear, sword, and club. This is due to the great benefits they get from passive skills when using these weapons. At level 1 they get Club Training (+10% club damage), Sword Training (+10% sword damage), and Spear Training (+15% spear damage). These are further upgraded at level 15 to Expert Club Training (+10% club damage, 4 seconds increase to inherent club attack speed debuff), Expert Sword Training (+10% sword damage, +1% inherent sword to hit modifier), and Expert Spear Training (+15% spear damage, Damage from intrinsic spear bleed is now 5x). And then again at level 30 with Master Club Training (+10% club damage, 4 seconds increase to inherent club attack speed debuff, debuff happens more often), Master Sword Training (+10% sword damage, +2% inherent sword to hit modifier), and Master Spear Training (+15% spear damage, Damige from intrinsic spear bleed is now 5x, bleed happens more often). And if that is not enough, they get the legendary Grand Master Weapons Training (+5% spear damage, +5% sword damage, +5% club damage, spear bleed happens more often, spear bleed damage is greatly increased, club attack speed debuff happens more often, +1% sword to hit modifier). The warden also has 4 different stances they can enter. These stances help with the flow of battle and can either grant you victory from the jaws of death or grant you death from the jaws of victory. The 4 stances are, Determination (+ level dependent ICMR [mine is high 800’s]), Conservation (+ lvl dependent ICPR [mine is high 400’s], +lvl dependent evade and block ratings[ again mine is in high 400’s]), Recklessness (-10% attack duration, +5% melee damage, -lvl dependent evade and block ratings [mine is in the high 400’s]), and The Way of the Warden legendary which encompasses all three into one, though it is limited to in-combat and has a cooldown of 15 minutes(-10% attack speed, +5% melee damage, +lvl dependent block and evade ratings [again mine is in the high 400’s]).
    Their trait-lines are divided up into Master of the Spear, Master of the Fist, and Master of the Shield.

    Master of the Spear: [DoTs and culminating gambit]
    This trait-line is considered the DPS line. This line is kind of split up into two unofficial subsets. The melee and the ranged. In the melee there are traits that increase critical chance and damage this line also has two bleed dots which help add to DPS. By equipping 2 spear skills you get -5% Spear Gambits Power Cost, 3 equipped you get +15% Spear Gambits Critical Multiplier, 4 equipped you get +5% Spear Gambits Damage. The culminating gambit for this line is Warden’s Triumph. This is a hard hitting spear attack which adds a 10% melee damage buff for 20 seconds.

    There are two Spear legendaries, Way of the Spear and Javelin of Deadly Force. The Spear capstone skill is Way of the Spear, which increases melee damage by 5% and increases both the duration of Warden’s Triumph by 10 seconds and increased the damage Triumph by 30%. The ranged there are traits that increase ranged damage and decrease javelin skill cooldowns. There is a ranged legendary called Javelin of Deadly Force which is an aoe high damage attack.

    Summary: Speaking from personal experience I have not delved too much into this trait-line aside from trying the javelin path out in the moors. I really did not notice much of a damage increase overall by going Spear, however, I do think I need to play around with it more.

    Master of the Fist: [DoTs and culminating gambit]
    This trait-line is considered the THREAT line. Fist gambits are primarily used to generate threat or threat over time. The Fist line also has the most DoT skills. This line also includes three of the most useful gambits, Fierce Resolve, Resolution, and Exultation of Battle. Fierce Resolve, and its big brother Exultation of battle, are the moral leech skills. These are the skills that keep you alive when taking one massive amounts of mobs (5-10). I can get around 110 moral every three seconds from each mob. So if facing 5 mobs that’s 550 moral every three seconds. Both last for 16 seconds. Exultation of Battle also increases threat over time which is great for tanking. Resolution is the warden’s “Oh, shit!” gambit. This gambit gives you an instant value of moral (dependent on your level, at 60 I get about 160) from each target. So in a pinch you could heal at max about 1600 morale every 5-6 seconds. The culminating fist gambit is Desolation. Desolation is an AoE DoT with a max of 3 targets. It also has a 25% chance to apply fear. This does come in very handy when trying to manage mobs. The set bonuses from fist line are, 2 equipped +10% Bonus to threat generation, 3 equipped +1 Fist Gambit DoT pulses, 4 equipped +5% Fist DoT Damage.

    There are two Fist legendaries, Way of the Fist and Defiant Challenge. Way of the Fist gives you +10% perceived threat increase, +25% for Desolation to apply fear, and +3 max targets for Desolation. Defiant Challenge is the warden’s closest thing to a force taunt. It forces all mobs within range (up to 10 max) to attack the warden for up to 5 seconds. It also applies a buff to the warden for 30 seconds whenever he takes common, fire, or shadow damage a level dependence amount of damage (for me about 44-50) get reflected. It also increases threat.

    Summary: This trait-line seems to generate more DPS for me that by going spear. This could also be due to the dot stacking which makes up most of our DPS capabilities. Fist has 4 DoTs as spear has only 2. This trait-line is fun for tanking en masse, not so good for trying to take on hard hitting bosses.

    Master of the Shield:
    This line is mostly considered the tanking/solo line and with very good reason. This line increases the self-healing durations as well as buffs B/E/P. Benefits of this line are, 2 equipped + lvl dependent block rating (440ish for me), 3 equipped +lvl dependent evade rating (440ish for me), 4 equipped +10% healing over time skills. Wardens have 6 HoTs, one of them being a fellowship HoT. All of which are stackable with each other. The fellowship HoT gambit is considered to be the culminating skill of the shield line. Conviction is a HoT that heals the entire fellowship and also transfers a percentage of aggro/threat from everyone in the fellowship to the warden. It is also one of two threat transfer skills available to the warden. The capstone legendary Way of the Shield gives +2 pules to HoTs, increases morale healed by HoTs by 10% and increases Conviction healing by 30%. This makes Conviction at 60 heal 120-240 moral every 3 seconds for 12 seconds on the entire fellowship.
    Summary: This is the trait-line I run mostly due to its versatility for tank/off-tank and support role. I love this one.

    For more information on skills and gambits, I’d suggest rolling a warden yourself, but for those who do not http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Warden is a good rundown.

    I will be posting tactics that I have found useful in raids soon.

    [Work in Progress.. I will add skill descriptions to try and un-clutter the text when I can.]
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