Warden Class Guide (U19.3)


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Gambits

 



Welcome to the very lengthy gambit guide for Wardens! This contains a large bulk of the guide and is the key to mastering your Warden. For a large portion on gambits, we will assume you are in melee (In the Fray) stance. We will touch the ranged stance, Assailment, later on. It is crucial to learn most things about gambits before we go into that. This sections is also split into multiple parts. Here is the layout of the Gambit guide:

  1. Introduction to the Gambit System and Basic Gambits
  2. The Gambits, Gambit Lines and Chains
  3. Masteries, Recoveries, Preparation, and Memory
  4. Assailment/Ranged Stance
  5. Detailed Look at Gambits, Gambit Lines & Chains, and Their Effectiveness (Multiple Sections)

If you are familiar with the gambit system and the gambits, I recommend and suggest skipping to part 5 (on the next page)! If you are familiar with the system, but not sure on the gambits, part 2 would be a good place to start. Otherwise, feel free to start anywhere, like part 1!




Gambits Part 1

 

The gambit system is based around using a combination of skills for a more powerful skill. These more powerful skills are called gambits. The skills that build up for the gambits are called gambit builders. There are three gambit builders: Spear, Shield, and Fist. A gambit can then be used when you perform a combination of the gambit builders. The skill ‘Gambit Default’ will be replaced by whatever gambit you build. Gambits can take up to 5 of these gambit builders, but must have a minimum of 2. Here are two infographics that contain almost (doesn’t have 2 of them) all gambits:

 

That seems very overwhelming! Good thing this guide is here to go over all of that! You may have noticed that I am not specced into any trait tree or traits for that image. That means, those are all the base gambits and when you going into a trait line (like red) it may alter some gambits in a way that increases their effectiveness in addition to what is already there. In blue line, for example, you gain more gambits from your trait tree. Those are also not shown. The first image covers In the Fray gambits, while the second covers Assailment. As stated in the beginning of this section, we will start with covering the ones in the first image.

You have a skill for each gambit builder. These skills do a small amount of damage and have additional effects (more on these in part 5). Gambits are then built while using these skills and have more powerful effects. This is the main idea around most of the Warden’s skills. (You do not have to have a spear to use the Spear gambit builder). Here are the three gambit builders.

Looking in your skill page, Wardens have a special tab called ‘Gambits’. This is where all of the gambits you have learned go. Like other classes, you get these as you level up and some special ones for certain specializations. Here, along with the tooltip in each gambit, you can see what sequence of gambit builders needs to be used to build a particular gambit.

When you play more, you may not remember gambit names. This is okay. Usually gambits are referred to how they are built or what they do. The ‘universal’ and simple method for this is listing each gambit builder as a number:

  • 1 –  Spear
  • 2 –  Shield
  • 3 –  Fist

Whenever a Gambit is built, its icon will replace the skill Gambit Default:

Take a Gambit from above, for example, Boar’s Rush. That require 1 spear – 1 fist – 1 spear – 1 fist gambit builders. When I use Quick Thrust (1) and Warden’s Taunt (3), the icon will be replaced by Offensive Strike:

However, since I wanted to build Boar’s Rush, I’d keep going. I would use 1 again. This would put Combination Strike into Gambit Default (replace Offensive Strike). Since I do not want that Gambit either, I use 3 again so that I have used these gambit builders: 1313. At this point, Gambit Default is replaced by Boar’s Rush. I can then cast Boar’s Rush as a regular skill. Once I cast it, the gambit is cleared and it returns to Gambit Default.

You can also use Gambit Default if there is no gambit present from the gambit builders you use. There are only 3 possible gambit builder combinations for this to happen: Just 1, 2, or 3.

There is one more case we need to look at. What if you are building a gambit, then use a wrong builder that adds nothing new? If I was planning on doing Boar’s Rush like before, but used 2 at the end instead, I would have 1312. That, however, is not a gambit. So, if I cast the “Gambit Default” skill, it would use the earliest possible built. Since the 2 in 1312 added nothing new, we look at the second to last builder. That gives 131, which is a gambit! The Gambit Default skill will stay as Combination Strike when you use the last builder if it adds nothing new.

Now that we know about the gambit system, we will work on the gambits, the ones in the image above. Let’s have another look at that image and go into a bit more detail.

You may notice a certain organization among the gambits. The ones on the left all start with 1 (spear). The middle with 2 (shield). And the right, 3 (fist). This gives a general idea of what you can expect from gambits. Each gambit has type based on what builder it starts with. Spear, Shield, and Fist (as seen above). Let’s start with investigating what each gambit type does.

  • Spear, 1 – Every Spear gambit deals melee damage. They also have some additional effects, usually related to damage.
  • Shield, 2 – Most Shield gambits deal damage and all provide some sort of defensive boost – whether it increases defenses or just heals you.
  • Fist, 3 – Most Fist gambits (all but 2) have a damage over time effect. Some also deal melee damage, others increase defenses, and some effectively heal. Most are also area of effect.

While looking at the gambits and from the description of them from above, we can get a general idea of the theme of the gambit types. Spear gambits are your melee damaging gambits. Shield gambits are your defensive gambits. Fist gambits have a mix with some additional utility and versatility. No gambit type is better or worse than another. They are just different. In general, we will find out that gambit types do not actually matter much. They just help identify what a gambit does. There are some traits and legendary item legacies that affect a certain gambit type, though.

Now, let’s get onto the gambits! Instead of working on each gambit type, we should start from the beginning. The left most gambits in each area have the fewest gambit builders. These are the starting gambits. We will start with the ones on top, the most basic gambits…

They use the same gambit builder twice in a row. Deft Strike, or 11, uses 2 spear gambit builders. Once you cast those two spear builders, you may use the gambit default skill and it will cast Deft Strike. 22 (Defensive Strike) uses two shield builders in row. The same goes for 33 (Goad), two fist gambits in a row. We will cover these gambits in greater detail in later parts, but they are a bit special. From the image, you can see there are no other gambits like them and they have a unique “Potency” effect. You may notice the effects on these also help show their gambit type identity:

  • 11 – Melee damage
  • 22 – Melee damage and boosts defenses
  • 33 – Area of effect damage over time

Those 3 gambits are also called 2-gambit skills. Why? They only take 2 gambit builders to use. For the rest of the 2-gambit skills, you can use every combination possible. With the limited number of gambit builders, it is not many –

  • 12, 13
  • 21, 23
  • 31, 32

This is where most of the gambits build off of. A specific sequence of gambits performed in order are called a gambit chain. The gambits required to make a chain are called gambit lines. Not every gambit line has a gambit chain effect, though. The building blocks from above are the start to gambit lines. From the image above, there is a pattern from the grouped gambits that shows gambit lines.

So, we have the basics to the gambit system covered now. What gambits are, how you build them, and the starting gambits to the gambit lines. Now, what do these basic gambits do? This will list the basics of what these do. Speccing into a certain trait line may add or boost effects.

  • 12 – Small damage, interrupt
  • 13 – Damages twice, puts a Morale Tap Over Time (MToT) on the enemy
  • 21 – Small damage, boosts defenses, gives a heal over time (HoT) effect to you
  • 23 – Small damage, deals small damage over time (DoT), boosts defenses
  • 31 – Damage, deals Light DoT
  • 32 – Small damage, deals area of effect Light (AoE) DoT

From just these six gambits, you can see the themes of the Warden mentioned earlier.

Here’s a look at just the nine 2-gambit skills.

 

Again, the bottom six are all the start to gambit lines. Some of them are recognizable by the 2-gambit used, others you have to have a 3-gambit skill to know what line it is. Here are the 3-gambit skills that have a specific line to them (you may recognize a pattern from the 2-gambit skills). There a more 3-gambit skills, but each gambit in them has a unique effect, so they aren’t part of a gambit line. Here is also an image of all the 3-gambit skills.

 

  • 123 – Bleed DoT
  • 121 – Hits 3 times, interrupt
  • 212 – HoT, boosts defenses
  • 232 – Boosts defenses
  • 312 – AoE MTOT (Morale Tap Over Time)
  • 313 – Light DoT
  • 323 – AoE Light DoT

For some of these, there is that recognizable pattern I was talking about (you can also see these gambits together in the images from before).

  • 12, 121 – Interrupt
  • 21, 212 – HOT, defense boost
  • 23, 232 – Defense boost
  • 31, 313 – Light DoT
  • 32, 323 – AoE Light DoT

We also had some new gambits appear. Notice the ones just above have the same 3rd gambit as the 1st. In the new gambits, the 3rd one was different. 123 and 312. This is where these gambit lines begin. All gambit lines begin by the 3rd gambit, and most the 2nd.

Here the other 3-gambit skills (also shown above) that may have a following pattern, but the gambits have no association with each other.

  • 132 – Removes corruption
  • 131 – Deals damage (attacks twice) – This one follows 13, but has a different effect and different uses

That is it! Those are all the 3-gambit skills. We now know everything to build up to the rest of the gambits. Gambits also get more powerful the more builders used. 3-gambit skills will be stronger than 2-gambit skills. We know what each gambit line does and picked up patterns on how these gambit lines build. At the end of this part, let’s review all the definitions we know, as well:

Gambits – Powerful skills made up of a certain combination of the three gambit builders

Gambit builders – Skills that build up to a gambit

Spear = 1

Shield = 2

Fist = 3

Gambit lines – a line of gambits that start off with the same base of gambit builders

Gambit chain – Performing all the gambits in a gambit line for a “chain effect” that adds a bonus to sequential gambits

And, here are all the Gambits we covered in this part:

Next, we will work on how to build the rest of the gambits as well as continue with gambit lines, what they are called, what they do, and their gambit chains. Later on, we will work on different gambits skills and take more in depth look at gambits and their lines and chains.

 




Gambits Part 2

 

In the last part, we started with the very basics of the gambit system, we then went over how to build some gambits, some more gambits, and how these gambits relate to each other. Then we picked up some gambit lines and finished the start of all the gambit lines. Now, we still have quite a bit to go over. In this part, we will pick up where we left off and cover:

  • 4-gambit skills
  • 5-gambit skills
  • Gambit lines (continuation)
  • Gambit chains
  • Finishers

We will work on the 4-gambit skills now. Remembering back to Part 1, we started all of the gambit lines. Some of them started with 2-gambit skills and some were 3-gambit. For the gambit lines that started with 2-gambit skills, the 4-gambit skills follojw the same pattern of alternating gambit builders.

  • 1212
  • 2121
  • 2323
  • 3131
  • 3232

Each of those do nearly the same thing as the previous gambits in their line, except usually stronger. For the the gambit lines that started with 3-gambit skills, the fourth gambit builder is always the same as the first. So, they look like:

  • 1231
  • 3123

This is where all the gambit lines continue. To list out all the 4-gambit skills and what they do:

  • 1212 – 3 attack interrupt
  • 2121 – HOT, boosts defenses
  • 2323 – Boosts defenses
  • 3131 – Light DoT
  • 3232 – AoE Light DoT
  • 1231 – Bleed DoT
  • 3123 – AoE Morale Tap (not over time)

There are three more gambits that are not part of a line. With these, there may be a pattern with previous and following gambits, but have no actual association with them.

  • 1313 – Stun
  • 1321 – Reduces attack duration (increased attack speed)
  • 3231 – Ranged AoE damage

And these two require you to be in a specific specialization:

2312 – Tank/Blue – Boosts defenses (relatively long duration) and provides stun immunity

3123 – Tank/Blue – Boosts defense (relatively long duration)

As you can see there are some differences in the gambits used in the same lines. We were also introduced to two new gambits exclusive to the Blue (tank) trait line. By time you get to the 4-gambit skill in each line, you can see what the line will do.

5-gambit skills… While they continue like the 4-gambit skills, they are a bit special. To start, I will just list them out:

  • 12312 – Bleed DoT
  • 21212 – HOT
  • 23232 – Fellowship buff – HOT, boosts defenses
  • 32323 – AoE Light DoT, Debuff
  • 31232 – AoE MTOT
  • 13212 (not part of a line) – Damage buff
  • 12131 (not part of a line) – Restores power

And here is an image of these gambits.

Notice how these lines don’t have a 5-gambit skill in their line:

  • 12, 121, 1212
  • 31, 313, 3131

Now we know every (In the Fray) gambit… It is a lot! Here is a quick list.

  • 12, 121, 1212 – Interrupt line
  • 123, 1231, 12312 – Bleed DoT line
  • 21, 212, 2121, 21212 – HoT, defense boost line
  • 23, 232, 2323, 23232 – Defense boost+ line
  • 31, 313, 3131 – Light DoT line
  • 312, 3123, 31232 – Morale Tap line
  • 32, 323, 3232, 32323 – AoE Light DoT line
  • 13, 131, 1313, 132, 1321, 13212, 12131, 2132, 2312, 3132 – Unique, miscellaneous effects (no line, some require specific spec)

That comes to a total of 34 gambits… Remember, these gambits are only in the melee stance, In the Fray. There are even more gambits in Assailment (ranged stance). Once we cover the rest that we need to know about the gambit system we will go back to Assailment gambits (and we will learn why it comes so late). Remember the image from earlier with all those (except the spec) gambits? Well, let’s look at it again.

With our new information on the gambits and the system as a whole, we now know a lot more about this image. We can see they are grouped by their gambit lines. Some are also just grouped by their pattern of gambit builders. Others aren’t at all like other gambits and are… well, just there. We still don’t know everything in the image at this point. For the rest of this part, we will go back a bit and learn more about gambit lines.

Earlier in this part, I mentioned 5-gambit skills were a bit special. We will get to that later because we need to what leads to them being special, first. We will be getting into gambit chains now. Recall that gambit chains are multiple gambits performed in a row. So, we have…

  • Gambits are made up of different gambit builders used
  • Gambit lines are multiple gambits that start the same with different number of gambit builders and have similar effects
  • Gambit chains are multiple gambits performed together in a row

Gambit chains are one reason gambit lines are important. A gambit chain starts from the smallest gambit in a line to the 4- or 5-gambit skill, or the 3rd or 4th gambit. Some gambit chains end only on the 5-gambit skills, while others have the option of using either the 4- or 5- gambit. Gambit chains that only end on the 5-gambit skill, the 3rd gambit, start with a 3-gambit skill. Now, why are gambit chains important? Completing gambits in a chain offer an improvement of functionality and often buff the gambits used. Like the name suggests, gambit chains will have a chain effect in the gambits that build off each other. Not all gambits lines have gambit chains, either. But we will start with a simple gambit chain for now.

For this part of this part, I would like to proceed without showing the gambit images. It is good to recognize gambits by their “name” (numbers).  If you still want the images, that is alright… Here is a direct link to the gambit image (you can also scroll up). 

21, 212, 2121, 21212 – The HOT line. This gambit chain can end on either the 4- or 5-gambit skill. Again, gambit chains go from the first gambit to the last, so you would start with 21. Then, you go to 212. Then either 2121 or 21212. At this point you would use whichever you need. For this gambit line in particular, I usually use 21212 for the bigger heal. 2121 provides a stronger buff, though. In a single target situation where I am low on health or may be getting low, I would use this gambit chain starting from the beginning to ensure I get full the full benefit possible. Later in the guide with a cross-part on combat and rotations, I will go into more detail on situations like this.

So that seems simple, and it really is. You just follow the gambit line in order to do the gambit chain. Let’s go over another example, but one starting with a 3-gambit skill.

123, 1231, 12312 – The Bleed DoT line. This one acts a little different, but is functionally the same as other gambit chains. Instead of putting a buff on you that effects the next gambit in the line, it puts a debuff on the enemy that empowers the next gambit in the line. So, it works the same overall only if you hit the same target. Anyway, this one is really simple after that. Hit 123 and bleed the enemy. Add a 1 at the end – 1231 and bleed again. Finally, bleed one last time with 12312. But, what this gambit chain does is it lets the next bleed in the line do more damage. The debuff will read “Vulnerable to: [Unnering Strike]” as an example. (Unnering Strike being 12312).

That one is pretty straight forward. Just using your bleeds in order to effectively make them stronger. We will skip a bit on the next one…

31, 313, 3131 – The Light DoT line. This one has no gambit chain. There are no bonus effects for using them in order – 31 then 313 then 3131. So, in this one, there is no chain-related reason to not start at 3131, the strongest of all of them. Now, there is reason to not just keep using 3131 over and over again. We will get into that later when we take a detailed look at all the gambits and other class mechanics (it has to do with tiers mentioned earlier!).

Well, that line was different – it doesn’t have a chain! Let’s keep going through each gambit line to find out what they do, and then I’ll list all the ones with and without chains out.

12, 121, 1212 – The interrupt line. There is no gambit chain for this line. Each ability just interrupts with an occasional bonus. 12 sometimes stuns, 1212 adds a defensive buff. But, performing them in order adds nothing.

23, 232, 2323, 23232 – The defense boosting line. This one does have a gambit chain! Using them in order adds to the potency of the buffs, especially for 2323 and 23232. Since this one has 4 total gambits in it, like the HOT line, you can end either on the 4th or 5th gambit. Since the buffs on 2323, and 23232 are different, it is situational on which to use. Both give mitigation buffs. There will be more on this later, but I usually don’t do this gambit chain and just use specific gambits within the line.

312, 3123, 31232 – The AoE MT line. This one does not have a chain effect. Like the others without, there is no bonus for using them in order. So, with this line there is also no reason to use them in order instead of an as-needed or on rotation basis.

32, 323, 3232, 32323 – The AoE Light DoT line. Unlike its nearby single-target version, this line does have a gambit chain effect. Unfortunately, it does not affect the damage done like the bleed line. Using the gambit line in order for the chain effect only provides a boosted defensive boost. Although, this is not totally useless. Again like the others of this style with 4 gambits, you can finish on either 3232 or 32323.

None of the gambits without lines have gambit chains either (otherwise they would be in a line). So, let’s list them out quickly of which lines do chain and which do not:

Chain

  • 123, 1231, 12312 – Bleed
  • 21, 212, 2121, 21212 – HOT
  • 23, 232, 2323, 23232 – Defensive
  • 32, 323, 3232, 32323 – AoE Light DoT

Do not chain

  • 12, 121, 1212 – Interrupt
  • 31, 313, 3131 – Light DoT
  • 312, 3123, 31232 – AoE MT

This brings us almost to the end of this part. We still haven’t gone over why the 5-gambit skills are special! In relation, the 4-gambit skills are special, too. In the gambit lines that do chain and have 4 gambits, you can use either the 4-gambit skill or 5-gambit skill last. But why not 4-gambit, then 5-gambit? The 4 and 5-gambit skills in these lines are finishers. That means, like it sounds, they finish the gambit line. Usually the gambit chain effects have the strongest effect on these so they have more a ‘finishing’ feel. I think a good example to start with is the HoT line…

And, here, we return to some images!

21-21212… In this line, you can finish on 2121 or 21212. So, which one? 2121 provides a strong defensive buff. 21212 provides a strong initial and over-time heal. So, this one is relatively simple to decide – do you need morale or do you want to boost defenses so you lose less morale? Sometimes I could plan on using 21212, but 21 and 212 heal me enough I decide I’d rather a defensive boost for a while since the my heal was already covered. Other times I may plan on wanting to get my defenses boosted before adds come or I generally expect more incoming damage, but take a lot of damage by time I get there and end up needing the heal from 21212. This shows a scenario of how adaptable Wardens are. It is also a good case on decision making. There will be more like this and situations like this covered in more detail later on.

The Defensive line (23-23232) is pretty straight-forward. The buffs provided by the gambits become stronger. If you are looking for a strong bolster in defenses, doing this chain in order will work well. The decision of 2323 and 23232 is relatively simple, as well. 2323 is you want more defenses, much like 2121 and 23232 if you want a heal (or fellowship heal), like 21212. 23232 also does increase your defenses and is the one I usually use. This will also be covered in more detail later. But, the finisher effect in this line is ultimately stronger defenses.

 The AoE Light DoT line, 32-32323. This one is mostly a nice utility boost for doing the gambit chain. Doing the gambit chain boosts their bonus effects. By bonus effects, I mean the ones that aren’t the main damage and DoT part. This means increased defensive buff provided by them, like the other 2 gambit chains gone over. Finishing on 3232 will increase the evade rating buff. Finishing on 32323 will increase the miss chance debuff.

The Bleed line, 123-12312… So, why all the gambits shown? This line actually has no finisher, even though it has a chain. Why not? There are only 3 gambits in the line and the chain effect applies similarly as you go through the chain. This means that 12312, Unerring Strike, has no extra “finisher boost” that other chain’s finishers have. While its boost for using it in line is stronger than 1231, it is just a natural amount for being more gambits and further in the line. Although, while this line has no finisher, you can still think of 12312 as the finisher since it is last. Using 123 and 1231 without 12312 is largely inferior to completing the chain.

Those are all the chains and what they do. Later on, in part 5, we will go into more detail on the usage of these chains. But for now, we have the information on them! That also wraps this part up. We have finished all the gambits, finally. All their lines and chains, too… So, it seems like we should be done, but not yet. There is still a lot to cover, and next up goes back to building gambits and more detail on the gambit system. And to end this part, here is the image from earlier with all the gambits, now that we are familiar with them!

 




Gambits Part 3

 

In the past two parts (especially the last one), we have covered a lot of information. At this point, it is best we actually go back a bit. Now that we know about all the gambits, lines, chains, etc., we need to cover the rest of the gambit system before we get much further.

Remember, we have three gambit builders:

  • 1 – Spear
  • 2 – Shield
  • 3 – Fist

Those are your basic gambit builders. Using them will add that builder to your gambit and then you cast your gambit when ready. Using 1, then 2, then 3 will allow me to use Mighty Blow, or 123 (of the bleed line). There is actually a way to build gambits faster, these are called gambit masteries. This ends up being the main way gambits are built. Remember back when we did some of the first gambits – the 2-gambit skills, these are what gambit masteries build. A gambit mastery (GM – not to be confused with game master) will quickly build 2 gambit builders and have no other effect. They also have a longer cooldown than the three basic gambit builders. The cooldown prevents you from using one over and over again to build the same gambit or gambit line at high speeds.

Like the 2-gambit skills, gambit masteries build every possible 2-gambit combination:

  • 11, 22, 33
  • 12, 13
  • 21, 23
  • 31, 32

Here are images of all of them:

 

There are 9 total gambit masteries you have to memorize and organize. Since most of your effectiveness comes from gambits and not gambit builders, these skills are a very important part of the Warden core. Whenever you build a gambit, your highest priority of what to build with should be gambit masteries. If I want to work on the 32, AoE Light DoT, line, for example, I would do something like this:

  • 32 GM to cast the 32 gambit
  • 3 gambit builder then 23 GM to cast the 323 gambit
  • Assuming I want to use 3232, start building with the basic builders. If I see a gambit mastery come off cooldown or its cooldown is reset (more on this later on how the cooldown may reset), I will use a proper GM to continue building the gambit.

Other lines are more complex – take the bleed line.

  • 12 GM then 3 to cast 123 gambit
  • 1 then 23 GM then 1 to cast 1231 gambit
  • If no mastery available, start with 1 then 2, then 31 GM, then 22 GM to build 12312.

Now, why would I use 22 instead of just the shield builder, 2, at the end? Gambit masteries go off much quicker than the basic builders. The basic builders have to go through an animation which takes much longer than the quick gambit masteries. To provide more examples, here is an alternative to how I could have build that line.

  • 1 then 23 GM to cast 123
  • 12 GM then 31 GM to cast 1231
  • Use the basic builders until a mastery comes off cooldown, if a master comes of cooldown, for 12312. Again, here I would end on 22 instead of 2, if available, for a quicker gambit.

There is no real right or wrong way to use gambit masteries when building gambits and their lines. However, it is important to keep in mind that you may want to use a gambit mastery to build another gambit quickly instead of the one you are currently working on. A counterpoint to that is that you want to use gambit masteries as soon as possible so their cooldown is done sooner. Both have their merit. In general I would only hold on using a mastery to save for the next gambit if it is very important to your situation. For example, you need a big heal or you will die, or if you need large burst damage soon, but immediate damage is not important (for example, an add spawns that needs the burst).

Overall, gambit masteries are just a quicker way to build gambits. They take a lot of practice to get used to, but will greatly improve you as a Warden. They are a key part to rotation and general performance. There is one more thing to go over with gambit building…

What happens if you mess a gambit up or need to use a different one? Fortunately, we have 2 simple skills:

* Quick Recovery – Removes 1 gambit builder. The last one you cast/added to the gambit.

* Recovery – “Even Wardens can make mistakes.” – Removes all gambit builders in your current gambit. A fresh start!

That is it. Those skills are useful if you accidentally use an incorrect gambit builder and need to go back one. Why use Recovery over Gambit Default, though? Recovery is “fast”. Therefore, it goes off quicker and is more efficient since the damage of Gambit Default is negligible. Also if you need to use an entirely different gambit. Sometimes a mob with high reflect damage will pop up and you may not want to use your strong damaging gambit anymore, or maybe an add spawned that if damaged causes you to die. We will start on building a gambit before combat to use in combat now…

There is a skill called Battle Preparation that allows you to use all your gambit builders without cooldown while out of combat. It provides a buff that saves whatever gambit you have built and allows you to use it like all other gambits (in the gambit default skill). 

Some additional info on this skill:

  • Gambit builders, including masteries, have no cooldown and are available to use with no target and out of combat
  • Allows you to build any gambit, like regular
  • Effectively allows you to use gambits out of combat

The first two points we went over, but the third is important. This means you can use something like 23232 and heal outside of combat, while also providing a defensive buff. It does not mean you can use 21212 out of combat, as it requires a target. So, you can use any gambit that does not require a target. In tank spec, you can use 2132 which provides a minute long defensive buff before you pull so you don’t have to worry about it for a bit. If you expect a large AoE situation, you can also prepare a gambit like 31232 or 32323. 

There will be more on this later with rotation and general performance improvement, but there are certain gambits that are good to build with this before combat…

  • Buffs with long enough duration where the buff lasts in combat a bit
  • Strong stand-alone gambits that do not require a chain to be effective
  • Gambits that may be useful in the situation you will be in at the beginning of combat:
    • 3232 or 32323 for AoE damage
    • 3131 for single target damage
    • 21212 for heal
    • 31232 for AoE damage+heal
    • 3123 for an immediate large AoE heal and damage

As you can see these prepared gambits are nearly just as situational as the gambits you’d be using in combat anyways. Usually, though, I prepare on in the 32-line or 3131.

So far in this part we went over gambit masteries and Battle Preparation. For the last thing of this part, we will go over Battle Memory

Battle Memory I“. Okay, that is a bit different than I called it. It is also very misleading. The I that follows Battle Memory leads you (and at first, me) to believe that there are more Battle Memories. Unfortunately there are none, although it would definitely be neat to have more. In short, this is just Battle Memory, or BM (like GM, not to be confused with bad manners, or other stuff…). This acts similar to Gambit Default. When you get a gambit to go there, it will replace this skill. This skill in particular has some differences to gambit default:

  • Does not cost power
  • Cost 1% morale per gambit builder used

While up to 5% morale may seem significant, it is not to Wardens, even to tanks. It is much better to be taking advantage of Battle Memory than to not use it at all and worry about morale. For example, if the gambit is Resolution, or 3123, and you have multiple mobs attacking you, overall you will gain morale. 21, 212, and 21212 will heal more morale than lost, as well. 

Now that we know what this does and its relation to Gambit Default… How do we get a gambit there? Remember the first 3 gambits we went over? And how they had something special about them? Well, this is it!

Notice how when you use them, you gain the Potency effect. Potency was mentioned before and shown in the Battle Memory tooltip. This leads to these 3 gambits being called Potency Gambits (I have never heard them called PGs, but you can try using it!). This is the main use of the 11, 22, and 33 gambit masteries as well – to quickly build a Potency gambit.

To review, there are two parts of Battle Memory:

  1. Getting the potency buff
    • This is done by performing one of three 2-gambit skills
      • 11 – Deft Strike
      • 22 – Defensive Strike
      • 33 – Goad
  2. Performing the gambit you want to “memorize” while you have the potency buff

Once you do both these steps, in order, the gambit will be placed in Battle Memory. You can freely use non-gambit skills while in this process, though, like Javelin skills. The gambit masteries 11, 22, and 33 are most useful for the first step. Generally I use 33 most, but won’t hesitate to use 11 or 22 if I need. Also, I still use these to finish gambits quicker if I need. But, here is why I use 33 most often:

  • AoE
  • Light DoT
    • Light damage is generally strong as a Warden and often has increased damage (more on this later!)

Battle Memory is a very powerful tool for Wardens. It can allow you to perform gambit chains quicker and more efficiently, burst more damage, heal more, and have more utility. Let’s look at some cases where it is useful…

Want to do bleed chain, but want to stack Light DoTs first:

  1. 33 to DoT the enemy (or multiple enemies if they are there)
  2. 12312 to put in gambit memory and still provides the initial bleed
  3. Apply Light DoTs until finished or 12312 is about to wears off, whichever comes first
  4. 123 then 1231
  5. Use the Battle Memory skill (Unnering Strike/12312)

That would be it. By doing it, you saved time for not needing to build the gambit from scratch. You also saved a little bit of power. Here is another example. Large AoE combat situation where you are taking a lot of damage. You want to be sure you can have 3123 ready for a large heal whenever needed.

  1. 33 as it is an AoE situation and Light DoT
  2. 3123 to put in gambit memory while still performing the gambit
  3. Cast other stuff as see fit. Generally:
  4. 312 for weak MTOT
  5. 31232 for strong MTOT
  6. 32323 for AoE DoT/CC
  7. Whatever else is needed to “eat up time”
  8. The rest of the 32-32323 line is decent for this
  9. Cast BM
  10. Repeat – 33 -> 3123 -> Others -> BM when needed

Now we know some examples where this is useful. Let’s go over one more in a more DPS rotation based way (more rotation-type stuff in other parts)…

  1. 33
  2. 32323 – Now in BM
  3. 3131
  4. 313
  5. 3232
  6. 323
  7. 123
  8. 1231
  9. 12312
  10. If 32323’s DoT is off, use memory, if not:
  11. 33
  12. Prepare 3131 but do not cast the gambit
  13. Use memory
  14. Cast 3131 – Now in memory
  15. Work all DoTs back on or if on, refresh them all
  16. Apply gambits to memory as they come off

That is similar to what a rotation looks like for a Warden. I wanted to show how Battle Memory applies in this situation. There will be more details on the rotation later.

Before this part we saw gambit lines and chains and how they are useful. We also saw the first gambits and gambit builders. In this part, we added a lot of utility to what we already knew. Preparing gambits beforehand can be powerful. Memorizing gambits for later usage is a large part of the Warden. Lastly, a huge impact on the Warden and major role in every aspect, gambit masteries to build gambits up quickly.

This is everything on gambits! Do not be fooled, though, there is more to learn about gambits. But we now have full knowledge of the gambit system…

  • Gambits
  • Gambit builders
  • Gambit lines
  • Gambit chains
  • Gambit finishers
  • Gambit masteries
  • Gambit Recoveries
  • Battle Preparation
  • Battle Memory

In the next few parts we will be looking over Assailment, specs and their effects on gambits, and take a detailed look at the gambit system including an in depth look at each gambit and gambit line.

 




Gambits Part 4 – Assailment

 

It is time to get onto Assailment. At this point we have covered everything about the gambit system and went over all the (In the Fray) gambits. We have been avoiding Assailment (and you will soon finally find out why!). So, let’s get to it!

 

Assailment Overview

Assailment is a stance that modifies the gambit system so that the Warden can build and use gambits from range with their Javelin. Spear gambits and builders are replaced by Javelin gambits and builders. Gambits that did not have spear in them in In the Fray (ITF) remain unchanged.  All the gambits that change to range have different effects. Some new gambit lines and chains appear while old ones from ITF don’t work the same anymore. There are also some other general changes that are noticeable – mainly that new effects are more support based with buffs and debuffs.

Assailment is also the yellow trait line/specialization (specs are most commonly called by their color among all classes, so this is not as confusing at may first seem – this is just usually referred to as yellow, but also sometimes ranged/support). This part focuses on the Stance since it largely modifies the gambit system, while the spec acts similar to the others. But, they do share a name, so they must work together. This trait line focuses on using the Assailment stance and being a ranged-support/DPS Warden. We will cover the spec aspects of Assailment in a later part along with the other specs.

Terminology

Assailment is the stance we are dealing with, it is also called Ranged (since it makes you ranged). This leads to the gambits and builders to follow this. In In the Fraygambits and builders use 1 for spear, 2 for shield, and 3 for fist. Assailment follows those with an R in front. Here are those:

  • R1 –  Javelin
  • R2 (Ranged) Shield
  • R3 –  (Ranged) Fist

The Gambits masteries (GMs) follow that with an R in front of them, and here is the Assailment version of GMs:

  • RGM

Gambit lines follow this pattern as well with a single before all the gambits in the line

  • R13-1313 
    • (not R13-R1313 to make it quicker)

That is it, just R at the front to denote ranged! The last one:

  • R

Like before, simple used to denote ranged. Generally it is just shorthand for ranged and/or Assailment

Gambit Builders

  • R1 Javelin – Quick Toss
    • Small bleed chance
    • Ranged damage buff
    • Chance for fellowship buff
  • R2 Shield – Behind the Shield
    • Chance for debuff (cry resistance)
    • Chance to apply buff that reflects a small amount of damage
    • Ranged damage buff
  • R3 Fist – Warden’s Aim
    • Light DoT
    • Ranged damage buff
    • Chance to increase crit chance

These function just like In the Fray. They add the gambit builder to your build and allow you to use gambits that require that combination of builders. These also help show the theme of Assailment gambits and the yellow trait line called Assailment which happens to focus on Assailment. They have a mixture of buffs, debuffs, and chances at stronger buffs and debuffs, even for the fellowship. When we first talked about Warden themes and specs, it was mentioned that the yellow line is ranged/support. These help show that theme.

Gambit Masteries

Like the builders, these function just like In the Fray masteries. They add two gambit builders quickly and should be highest priority to use for gambits. All the masteries with Spear (1) from in the Fray are replaced by Javelin (R1).

All the other gambit masteries remain the same (GM – 22, 23, 32, 33).


Gambits

Gambits in Assailment work differently than In the Fray. Assailment gambits sometimes have different effects and are ranged. Gambits are modified to be a new gambit (most often with a new name) that use the same builders, except their ranged/Assailment version, as ITF. Here is one of the images from the start of the Gambits part of the guide, of Assailment gambits; followed by an overview of the gambit changes!

  • All gambits that had a spear builder in ITF now have a Javelin builder. All these gambits have new ranged versions
  • The 23-23232 and 32-32323 lines do not have ranged versions
  • Some of the new gambit effects are vastly different from ITF
    • Most new effects are support-based
      • These come in buff and debuff form
      • These are greatly improved by being specced into the yellow line (Assailment)
    • Generally R gambits have higher damage per hit than ITF
      • This does not mean more total damage!
  • There are new gambit lines from ITF patterns/gambits that didn’t have lines
  • Some ITF gambit patterns that did have a line no longer have a line
  • There are changes with what lines do and do not have chains
    • This is associated with the gambit line changes
  • Damage is based off your javelin and not main-hand weapon
  • Note: Javelin gambits do not benefit from Oils (Light or Fire)

That is just an overview of the gambit changes. We are just about to (finally) get into how the gambits actually change. Since we already have a working knowledge of the gambit system and how gambits work from the previous parts, we will be going over these gambits quickly. Remember the next part goes into a lot more detail on these (along with ITF) gambits!

To start off, one thing you likely notice is quite a few gambits have a similar or identical effect when compared to their ITF version. Some have entirely different effects. Some are modifications of the ITF gambit’s effect. Unlike the In the Fray part of this guide, we will cover these more in the order shown in the image. These are also organized based on gambit type and how they relate to the other gambits (lines, chains, patterns, etc.). Usually, we will go over the gambit line or patterns and their entire effect. If any gambit has any different effect, we will go over that separately.

It really helps at this point to be comfortable with the Gambit System. Not necessarily all the gambits, but just how they work and everything.

Same as In the Fray

23-23232

This gambit line is the exact same as In the Fray.

32-32323

This gambit lines is also the exact same as ITF.

22, 33

These Potency gambits are the exact same as ITF.

“Potency” Gambits

In the previous part on gambits, we covered what potency gambits were. Well, we have our own potency gambits for Assailment!

R11

This is our single potency gambit just for Assailment. We can use the other two, but they are not ranged and are generally less effective.

22

Still a potency gambit we have.

33

Also, we still have it.

“Javelin” Gambits (start with R1)

R13-1313

Features:

  • Line
  • Chains
  • All give outgoing damage debuff

Chain Effect – Works like 123-12312. You have to use these in order to get the chain effect. It also applies a debuff like the bleed line.

R1313 – Deals less damage, provides stronger debuff, and dazes the enemy when it crits.

ITF Comparison:

  • Chains
  • Debuff
  • More damage
  • R12 – no MT

R12-1212

Features:

  • Line
  • Interrupts

R12 – Little damage

R121 – A lot more damage

R1212 – Even more immediate damage

This is just a line, no chain effect. Excluding their effects, there is no reason to not just immediately use R1212 for the most damage instead of R12->R121->R1212.

ITF Comparison:

  • Single hits
  • A lot more damage
  • R1212 – No parry rating buff

R123-12312

Features:

  • Line
  • Hard to BPE

R13212 – “This skill applies an additional damage over time effect to the target.” Reading that, you would probably think, That applies a damage over time effect to the target. I would have thought that, too… But… R123212 applies no DoT effect!! (We will cover more about it in the detailed gambits part, soon)

ITF Comparison:

  • No chain
  • No Bleed
  • Much weaker

R132-13213

Features:

  • Pattern
  • Very similar to ITF

R132 – Removes corruption

R1321 – Provides an increased attack speed buff

R13213 – Proved an increase to ranged damage buff

ITF Comparison:

  • Same effects
    • R13213 is ranged instead of melee damage buff
  • Different damage amounts

R12131

Features:

  • Single gambit with no relation to others (except ITF version!)

Restores power

ITF Comparison:

  • Same effect
  • More damage
“Shield” Gambits (start with 2)

R21-21212

Features:

  • Line
  • HoT
    • Different strength, stronger for more builders

R21212 – “A finishing skill…” – It is not a finishing skill (for a chain) like the tooltip would suggest… Also the only skill in this line to not have “Ranged” in front of its name… Did they forget something or was it intentional?

ITF Comparison:

  • No chain
  • Weaker HoT
  • All have HoT (2121 doesn’t)
  • No other defensive buffs
“Fist” Gambits (start with 3)

R21-21212

Features:

  • Line
  • Crit defense debuff

R31 – Damage+Debuff

R313 – Damage+Light damage+Debuff

R3131 – Damage+Light damage+Debuff

ITF Comparison:

  • No DoT
  • Not as much damage
  • Not as much Light based damage

R213-21323

Features:

  • Line
  • Morale Taps
  • AoE

R312 – Weak MTOT

R3123 – Immediate MT

R31232 – Stronger MTOT

ITF Comparison:

  • Same effect
  • Not as strong
  • Require a target to cast

R3231

Features:

  • Single Gambit
    • No other Assailment gambits like it
  • AoE
  • Light DoT

 

Deals immediate Light damage then a Light DoT

ITF Comparison:

  • Both ranged
  • Both Light damage
  • Deals DoT
  • Stronger

That is all our Assailment gambits! Here is a summary of the gambits/lines/chains/etc.:

  • R11, 22, 33 – Potency gambits
  • R13-1313 – Chain, debuff (outgoing damage)
  • R12-1212 – Line, interrupt (last two do large damage)
  • R123-12312 – Line, hard to BPE
  • R132-13232 – Pattern, various effects
    • Remove corruption
    • Increase attack speed
    • Damage buff
  • R21-21212 – Line, HoT
  • R31-3131 – Line, debuff (crit defense)
  • R12-R31232 – Line, MTs
  • R12131, R3231 – No line or pattern, various effects
    • Restore power
    • AoE Light DoT
  • 23-23232 – Same as ITF, AoE Light DoT
  • 32-32323 – Same as ITF, Defensive buffs

And, here is the image with all gambits one last time to go with the summary:

 






 

Closing

Now we know about all the gambits, the gambit system, and all that goes with them… In the next part we will go into detail on these gambits to find more about them and how much they are used, and when to use them. After that, we will take a closer look at our specs and possible builds, and then we will be ready to build our rotation (rather, skill priority)!


If you would like to support Dadi’s LOTRO Guides, or maybe just buy him a beer, click the donate button below 🙂


Click here to go to the next page – Gambits Part 5


Louey7

Here is a bit about me: I started LOTRO near the end of Siege of Mirkwood and shortly before F2P came into existence. I started a YouTube channel for LOTRO, which back then often had miscellaneous videos involving my Warden. Eventually my channel strayed away from mainly Warden as it grew. Currently I am enjoying end-game content on my characters while leveling some others. My main “LOTRO presence” (not in-game) is on YouTube. I am also active on the LOTRO subreddit (and soon to be an author here!).

15 thoughts on “Warden Class Guide (U19.3)

  • February 23, 2017 at 6:32 pm
    Permalink

    Awesome stuff I am going to camp on it a while. Thanks for posting

     

  • February 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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    Noob question When you say the Javelin skills  (hampering target et al) “Generally this skill is not used.”  do you mean at all, or just for the buff or debuff, I find marked target has a longer cool time I use them

    • February 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm
      Permalink

      If you are not playing as yellow line, it is only used on pull (while running up to mob/boss), when you have to be ranged for some reason (like a ground effect in melee range will kill you, or something similar), or when you want to target a ranged mob.

      So in general combat (again, not in yellow line), it is generally not used. Those cases are pretty rare, most commonly I use it will running up to a mob/boss.

  • February 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm
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    Thanks for a great guide!

    Please clarify what are the top virtue traits for a warden.  You start by saying that Honour and Innocence are ideal, while Zeal and Fidelity are great.

    But then you say:

    So, the final virtues are…

    Zeal
    Fidelity
    Charity
    Determination
    Discipline

  • February 27, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    Permalink

    Thinking more about virtue traits I have another question for you:

    If General Virtue Priority is listed as:
    1    Resistance
    2    Mitigations
    3    Main Stat
    4    Vitality
    5    Max Morale
    6    Secondary Stat

    Why is Fidelity classified as ‘great’ – having     +76 vitality (4th on list)
    +56 power (Not on list)
    +1539 TMi (2nd on list)
    while Tolerance is entirely skipped – having    +1539 TMi (2nd on list)
    +114 agility (3rd on list)
    +107 ICMR (not on list)
    They have equal TMi, and forgetting not so important power and ICMR, I’d have thought that +114 agility beats +76 vitality?

    Just trying to understand how this works.

    • March 4, 2017 at 3:27 pm
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      Sorry for the confusion, I have fixed that part and made it correct. Here is what the list was meant to be:

      Honour
      Charity
      Determination
      Discipline
      Loyalty

      Agility is definitely better than vitality in this context.

  • March 22, 2017 at 3:49 am
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    I know this is not relevant to the Warden Class, but I just saw all these beautiful guides and I’m really impressed.

    I’m searching for a complete guide for the Captain but I struggle to find a complete one: on Youtube there are only very old videos, on the official forum only few post very contraddictory and not well reviewed. On Reddit I found some info, but scattered and not complete.

    In the future, can I hope for a Captain guide amazing like these one? 😀

    Thanks so much!

    • March 22, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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      I intend to have guides for every class. I have a lower level Captain, so I am not qualified to write a guide on them. I am still searching for the right person to author it.

    • April 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm
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      I have some experience with the Captain (not enough to write a guide at the moment), but if you need help anything specific, I may be able to help.

  • May 1, 2017 at 9:48 am
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    I appreciate greatly this website and the guides you provide. My Warden 105 is my “main alt” and so I need guidance from others how best to gear. Follow up -> why +agility crafted relics rather than the more popular +agility +physical mastery +critical?

    • May 1, 2017 at 10:39 am
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      The Agility crafted relics are only if you are not able to get the better ones.

      Crafted
      Sealed Westemnet Device of Accuracy if you can craft it.
      If you can’t, Sealed Westemnet Device of Agility

      • August 9, 2017 at 11:46 pm
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        Hello there,

         

        first i want to say: amazing guide. i have been gone quite a while and this guide eased my way back into the game. the warden IS a complicated class afterall.

         

        i wonder wether you will update this guide with the Mordor Expansion one day? The additional levels, new relics and such and gear. would be great!

         

        Keep up the good work!

        • August 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm
          Permalink

          We will definitely look to get it (and the other class guides) updated to reflect the changes in Mordor.

  • March 15, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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    You mentioned, I’m not sure where, that we want to use our longest gambits ASAP.  Also, your USE priorities reinforce this, for example:

    21212

    2121

    212

    21

    ….but it would seem that the class is designed to go the other way in chains, or are you saying that the chain-buffs aren’t worth chasing in most cases?

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