TBM's Guide To: The Guardian

Disclaimer: This guide is my personal opinion on how to optimize and run Guardian's in U21. This by no means is indicative of the best possible methods and I am certain people will have better suggestions than I. Feel free to post in comments and I will review and update accordingly.

This is my Guardian, Batcher:

My Physical and Tactical Mitigation is capped, I have 100k+ health, 77k Crit Defence and 55k, 35k Block and Parry Rating Respectively. Let's talk about how to accomplish that.

1) Class Traits

If you are going to be endgame tanking, you want to mix blue and yellow with 5 points into red's skills damage + rating. I am missing 2 trait points, this will go into completing 3/3 Follow Through and then 1 extra point into anything.

If you are soloing or leveling, however, you are going to want to instead focus on combining blue and red to form a really sturdy and durable solo build:

Why do you spec into blue instead of red for soloing?

In Mordor...things are hard. very hard. I found that using a 2h weapon and going full red made things take way too long to kill and as such I died more quickly. By investing some points into blue but still managing to unlock the majority of redline's abilities and instead using a sword and shield, you become a sturdy soloer and can take on most of what Mordor has to pit against you.

2) Virtues

Your virtues will depend on the gear/essences you have. Ideally, however, you want your virtues to fill out your tactical mitigation as your gear will naturally cap physical mit and you want to slot vit/finesse/crit defense over anything else.

I use Fidelity, Loyalty, Mercy, Honour, and Tolerance.

3) Legendary Items

As soon as you are level 100, you want to get a first-age legendary weapon and belt. If you cannot afford it, a second age is relatively cheap and easy to come by.

I run:
  • Turn the Tables CD, 
  • Guardian Bleed Damage, 
  • Bash Damage, 
  • AoE Damage, 
  • Shield-swipe Crit, 
  • Bleed Crit, 
  • Stamp CD 
I socket the following relics:

  • Last Alliance Setting of Resistance
  • Last Alliance Gem of Vitality
  • Last Alliance Rune of Force
I use the "Keeper of Elder Days III" scroll. You can get this from Dol Amarth Rep or Pelargir Rep.

on my legendary weapon. It maximizes my threat output for shield related skills while also giving me faster access to two of the most important abilities; Stamp and Turn the Tables. Some people may choose to run Warrior's Heart Max Morale, that's fine but I choose against that.

For my belt i run:
  • Shield Damage
  • Light Damage
  • Guardian's Pledge Magnitude / Shield Swipe Damage
  • Adaptability Block and Parry
  • Force Taunt Duration / Shield Blow Damage
  • Catch a Breath CD
  • Guardian's Ward Damage
I slot the same relics I do on my weapon.

I use the "Enduring Support III" scroll. You can get this from Dol Amarth Rep or Pelargir Rep.

I plan on replacing Light Damage with Shield Smash Damage, just haven't gotten another imbuementscroll yet. Again, I focus strongly on maximizing my shield-skill damage output.

4) How to gear fresh at 115

The following items can be acquired by simply leveling through Mordor and completing your first allegiance quests. so make sure you don't replace them:

For shields, you want to do the Fushaum Bal repeatable quest  "A Small Act of Kindness" (which MUST be done while you have the quest Fushaum Resolution)

For a bow, there is no good quest option, so search the AH for 115 bows/crossbows any with might/defense stats is good.

The rest of your gear can come from 3 sources:

  • Crafting/AH
  • Ashes of Gorgoroth
  • Tokens of Service
If you have a doomfold metalsmith and/or jeweler at your disposal, they are able to craft 326/328 items, so take those one. Gear may be too expensive to buy from AH, but feel free to check

Otherwise, you can use your Ashes of Gorgoroth and Tokens of service you have acquired throughout your leveling journey at quartermasters in your Allegiance hall. They both sell the exact same gear, so mix and match until you have at least 130 Light of Earendil

5) Hotbars

This is completely subjective and up to you, but I wanted to share how I set up my hotbars for those that really don't know how to proceed:

I keep my single target skills on buttons 1-8 and my AoE skills from Alt+1-8 so I stay organized. My buffs, cooldowns, and support actions are kept in 1 neat row next to the AoE skills.

Also, buy/craft and use these. super important!

5) All set! Now what?

Now you try to maximize your gear until the next update! The following is a compiled list of, in my opion, the best available gear at this time.

This requires absolutely no dungeons/group whatsoever. Just dailies and gold. The alternatives are present in the featured instances and can sometimes be much better than what is listed above. My experience is still limited to that, so I will update this guide as I get more information.

Good luck, Guardians!


  1. Great Article. Just wanted to add there is a teal bow drop in Mordor with 10 Light of Earendil. Dont remember what it is called though.

  2. As a Guardian with experience in T2C raiding I have to advise people to ignore this guide.

    The tanking build is quite poorly done: There is no reason to spec Tireless Defender in blue, you do not have power problems as a guardian in instances. Improved shield spikes can be a decent trait but it absolutely should not be on your tank spec, better off using a second traitline with it that you swap to when you apply shield spikes. Stoic is pretty awful, the bubble is tiny and not worth the 6 points invested. Break the Ranks should never, EVER be traited as it cashes out your 10% bonus mits in exchange for a rather small damage buff to a tank class that doesn't deal much damage.

    Heavy weapons training is not worth taking from redline, damage is not your primary method of holding aggro: Forced taunts and threat modifiers on skills like warchant and shield taunt are.

    In yellow you should not trait Bolster; Guardians should have enough critical defence from gear alone to completely nullify critical magnitude on incoming attacks and more importantly bolster can bug sting and make it possible to resist it. You really, really should be maxing out warchant targets as warchant is the strongest skill for grabbing initial aggro on fresh mob spawns.

    This is stronger and just a modified version of what I used in Throne: http://www.lotrottp.lotrostatus.com/l.php?c=7Lp (Drop final points gained from Mordor into Warriors Fortitude in blue, vicious rebuttal in yellow and bring on the pain in yellow.)

    1. I will admit that I do not have experience in throne t2c, I have only done throne t1 and silent street t2c, however I do agree with your statements

  3. I find your choice of legacies very questionable. I'm pretty sure bleeds are bugged so they don't/rarely crit, thus making bleed crit damage utterly useless. If you only have 1 set of LIs, I would suggest making them as tanky as possible so you can do instances better and do them sooner (as a guardian will always be the tank or off-tank). Then, when you have time/money you can make a second set of LIs with legacies for damage. Crit rating I think isn't worth much, as when using a proper dps build you will have high crit rating anyway, so it won't do much - if anything. And when using a tank build, you don't care as much about things critting. Catch a breath is also useless, so that legacy doesn't do much. If you use it for the power, grab the class essence from gondor that gives power from b/p/e. You will never run out of power ever again. Ward damage is also not great, especially for tanking.

    My tanking LI legacies are:


    Guard pledge cooldown
    Turn tables cooldown
    Stamp cooldown
    Aoe dmg
    Warrior's heart max morale


    Cry resist
    Shield dmg
    Adaptability rating
    Ward block rating
    Force taunt duration
    Guard pledge magnitude
    Warrior's heart heal

    I would say this is pretty close to ideal, although I want to change a few out, like might/vit for sweeping cut dmg and maybe bash/bleed dmg, not sure yet but don't have the scrolls yet anyhow. Also I think shield smash dmg is good so I might swap it in for ward block rating, I have the dwarf block rating bonus anyway.

  4. I find your choice of legacies very questionable. I'm pretty sure bleeds are bugged so they don't/rarely crit, thus making bleed crit damage utterly useless. If you only have 1 set of LIs,


  5. Great stuff! Just curious as to what UI addon are you using? I enjoy the sword and shield on the bottom bar and other pics you have. Thx!

  6. Thanks for this - the bit that gives me solace is that ZEAL isn't in your list. I was effectively banned from a kinship for stating Zeal at higher levels isn't so useful to a Guardian - on Vilya. He obviously had not experimented and at low levels ZEAL is essential. Wasn't even the kin leader - lots of folks have VERY fixed views on ZEAL but higher levels (even over about 70, some say higher) it's obsolete.


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