Warden Class Guide (U19.3)


Click here to go to the previous page – Specs/Class Traits (Trait Lines & Trees) and Roles (Tank/M,R DPS/Support)


Rotation

A lot of the content in here uses information from the previous parts of the guide. It is assumed you know the gambit system and gambits and their effects well by now. In the latter half, it will also assume you are familiar with the specs and their roles.

As we’ve gone over in previous parts, our “rotation” is actually a skill priority. Due to how we’ve learned that Wardens work, it is nearly impossible to create a rotation that can fit most encounters. Although, we still have many skills that have preferred use over others. This created a skill priority that also works on maintenance.

Maintenance Skills – Buffs/Debuffs, including DoTs, that need to be kept up. The skills usually have a priority within themselves of which are better to keep up if you you have to choose. A lot of classes have similar skills. For example, as a Guardian tank, I am always looking to keep Guardian’s Ward up. Similarly, as a Captain healer, I want to maintain healing buffs. Many classes also have DoTs, but most are also unlike Wardens, where you refresh based on a skill CD or the DoTs stack (Cunning Attack as a Burglar). For Wardens, we need to prioritize which buffs, DoTs, and other debuffs we want to keep up and when we want the to be kept up.

The first part of our rotation guide will work without a spec, while the second targeted to a specific spec. While specs may slightly modify your priority and other things, this will allow for something you can generally follow with all specs, and will be easier to manage. There are also different priorities for single target and area-of-effect. When we get to the specific spec priorities, they will reference the non-spec (role) priorities when needed as they will serve as an alternate priority based on situations where you aren’t in the spec.

Final rotations will be at the end of each section.


Skills Used no Matter What Situation:

Potency system

  • Battle memory
  • Potency gambits

From what we’ve learned about the potency system, it is best to use longer-built gambits, gambits for burst, or gambits for a pseudo-cleave effect. Which one do you want most? It is entirely situational. We can still take a look at some priorities.

33 is the typical potency gambit used. If the gambit mastery to build 33 is on CD, 22 is better. So, we have this priority for ITF:

  1. 33
  2. 22 if GM 33 is on CD
  3. 11 if neither 33 or 22 can be used

Assailment works differently…

  1. R11
  2. 33 if in melee range or if GM R11 is on CD
  3. 22 if in melee range and neither R11 or 33 can be used

In typical rotation, we want to use the longest-built gambit possible. Thus our general priority for gambit length is:

  1. 5 gambit builders
  2. 4 gambit builders
  3. 3 gambit builders
  4. 2 gambit builders
  5. 1 gambit builder

If there is deviation from this, it will be covered when needed.

The rest of our skill priority can only be applied to the roles we look at.

The layout of this follows this order:

  1. Non-spec priorities (“Role” priorities) – priorities based on not being in a spec – or being in a spec that does not fit that role
  2. Spec-specific priorities – the priorities you want to look for based on your spec. We will use the role priorities for situations where you are performing a role not based on that spec (ranged DPS as red line)


Melee Damage

Our melee DPS priorities largely focus on maintenance of DoTs. Single Target and Area of Effect are fairly different and will be covered separately.

Single Target

Potency

Potency Gambits:

  1. 33
  2. 22

Gambits:

  1. 12312
  2. 3131
  3. 32323
  4. 3232

Skill Priority

You want to maintain DoTs in the following order:

  1. 3131
  2. 3232
  3. 12312
  4. 32323
  5. 313
  6. 1231
  7. 323
  8. 123
  9. 31

You most often will not reach past 8.

There are other priorities we need to follow…

Burst priority

  1. 3131>3232>313 are our three strongest burst gambits. You can use these near the end of a fight or end of a phase for more burst than usual. This should be done if the DoTs won’t have time to tick most of the way.
    1. Potency priority:
      1. 22 becomes strongest Potency gambit.
      2. 3131 is strongest to store in BM
      3. 3232 is next strongest
      4. 313 should be avoided with storing in BM
    2. Due to 3131 and 313 using the same gambit builders (thus GMs) and 3232 using mostly separate GMs and some different builders,
      1. 3232 is the most often used gambit. It should be used when the GMs are available for a maximum of 3 builders/GMs used
      2. 3131 is used the next most often. It should be used when you can use 2 GMs and 1 builder.
      3. 313 is used when 3131 cannot be built by those conditions and you only use 2 builders to build this gambit
      4. If none of those conditions are met, you can build 3131 in a longer way.
  2. Due to the short nature of the burst phase, you usually have 0-20 seconds to sort this out and perform it!

 

Area of Effect

Similar to single target, this has a priority of DoTs you want to maintain:

3+ Targets

  1. 3232
  2. 32323
  3. 323
  4. 32
  5. 33
  6. 31232
  7. 3131

2 Targets

  1. 3232
  2. 32323
  3. 323
  4. 3131
  5. 12312
  6. 313
  7. 1231
  8. 123

Again, you rarely get to the bottom of the priority list. With 3+ targets, I often only use AoEs. With 2 targets, I rarely get to 7 & 8.

Here are the other priorities we need to follow:

Burst Priority

  1. Potency
    1. 33 to build
    2. 3231 highest priority if 3232 DoT is present
    3. 3232 if not possible
  2.  3232
    1. If quickest to use
    2. If DoT not present
  3. 3231
    1. If quickest to use
    2. If 3232 DoT is present
  4. If two targets
    1. 3131 may be used only with potency for pseudo-cleave on the two targets

Ranged Damage

Ranged damage priorities are unlike melee priorities. We only have one primary maintenance skill, and it is partially coincidental that it is here just due to its damage. Instead of maintenance, ranged damage focuses on big hits!

Potency:

  1. R1212
  2. R12131 (strongest if you are somewhat low on power)
  3. R13213

 

Our priority is as follows. Know that your actual skill usage is based on your available gambit masteries! You will see some unique things for ranged due to us having two primary gambit lines we follow…

ST

  1. R1212
  2. R13-R131
    1. if you have available GMs for quick casts on both gambits within a short time period
      1. (can use R13->R1212->R131, for example)
      2. (do not go R13->5 other gambits->R131, for the chain, unless it follows the rest of the priority to do so)
  3. R121
  4. R131
  5. R12131
  6. R13213
    1. Maintain
    2. Do not prioritize maintenance of this skill above the gambits that come before
    3. Do not cast if you have the buff
  7. R3231
    1. Maintain
    2. Do not prioritize maintenance of this skill above the gambits that come before
    3. Do not cast if the DoT is present
  8. R13
    1. When not chained with R131
    2. Usually chained, so not often.

AoE

  1. 4+ targets
    1. Spam R3231
  2. 3- targets
    1. Follow ST, with R3231 being the top skill
      1. Maintain

Tanking/Survival/Defensive

Before we get to the tanking priorities, know that tanking is naturally reactive. You will have to often deviate from the priority given a situation. This applies to all classes, not only Wardens. An addition to Wardens is that gambits can take a lot longer to finally go off than a regular skill than other classes. You need to always be prepared to immediately stop something to do another thing.

Based on what we have seen in the guide so far, here is the general survival/defense (/tanking) priority. All skills are maintenance!

Single Target Area of Effect
  1. 21212
  2. 2121
  3. 212
  4. 21
  5. 32323
  6. 23232
  7. 2323
  8. 31232
  9. 312
  10. 12
  11. ST DPS Priority
 

  1. 31232
  2. 312
  3. 32323
  4. ST Priority
  5. AoE DPS Priority
21212->BM followed by 21-21212 (ending on BM cast) in chain for strong heal 3123 if you need immediate effect
2312 to gain stun immunity
Closing

Remember all the bold points gone over! This can be considered a situational priority due to you only needing it so often. Often a single 31232 cast is enough to stay alive a whole fight, while other times you need to spam 3123 and maintain 312 and 31232 to stay alive! Other times a boss may hit you hard and you can recover with 21-212-21212, or if you were prepared, you already had those HoTs on you and you can either top them off or carry on! Or, maybe you took aggro from the tank and need to act like a tank and not die! Anyway, it is very situational…



That is all of our non-spec priorities!

[ReminderRemember Warden priorities are generally built off of strength. Your usage should be based on available gambit masteries and what situation you are in. For example, even if 32323 is stronger than 313, I may cast 313 because I have the GMs for it (in ST). Same goes for 3131 and 3232 (in ST).  Also, remember that these are general priorities thought of with no spec in mind (so, melee damage perfectly applies to tanking and ranged spec, while survival applies to the damage specs, etc.). Although, melee damage can be applied to red line, etc., the rotations more tuned for specs will be covered in the next part of the guide which is on specs! That part will reference here a lot where we derived what was strongest, and even with specs and traits, the differences will be mostly minimal.

Onto our spec priorities!



Spec Priorities

These are the priorities that you will generally want to follow. So, why did we go through all that before if we use these? This part will often reference that and use information from it. In addition to that, we actually will still need to use those. To show how, if you are in red line and need to focus on increasing defenses to not die, you will want the “non-spec” priority for defenses since you are not in the blue line. The same goes for damage, if you are yellow line and can’t use ranged damage, you will want the non-spec melee damage priority. Anyway, let’s get into the priorities:


Red Line (Melee DPS)

Here is our “old” melee damage priority:

Single Target Area of Effect
  1. 3131
  2. 3232
  3. 32323
  4. 12312
  5. 313
  6. 1231
  7. 323
  8. 123
  9. 31
  1. 3232
  2. 32323
  3. 323
  4. 32
  5. 33
  6. 31232
  7. 3131

So, how does the new one compare? Turns out, not much different. We gain more Light damage than we do Bleed damage from traits. But, we gain more benefits towards bleed damage, so it about evens out. From our traits, we gain a significant boost to the 31-3131 line for damage. We get a chance to apply the DoT “twice” (adds a new DoT of equal strength that cannot stack). There are also plenty of traits that affect “spear” gambit damage, so gambits that begin with 1. This is not enough to make various spear lines worth using over what we have in the priority. There is also a significant buff to using 123-12312 in chain. In addition to the other boosts, 123-12312 gets additional damage upon expiration. The 32-32323 line gains the smallest benefit from the red line. Depending on your build, MTs may gain a damage increase. We gain a lot of other passive damage that will not alter the priority. Our priority is split into multiple parts:

  • Non-gambit skills
  • Gambit Builders
  • Potency
  • Battle preparation
  • Single Target
  • Area of Effect
Non-Gambit Skills

Recklessness – Use on CD. Also used during focus damage parts and burst parts.

Never Surrender – Maintain (allows two uses of it, assuming CD finishes by time you need it again), otherwise when you are about to die.

First Aid – Use when needed, if not crucial, check if it is worth using the power for.

Defiant Challenge – Only use when you can safely take aggro. It is always worth using if you can, on CD.

Gambit Building

Gambit building does not change with the red line. Your priority is:

  1. Gambit Mastery
  2. Gambit Builder
    1. Unless there are no gambits that require available GMs, avoid using these

Which one depends on what gambit we want to cast. What gambit we want to cast partially depends on the GMs that are not on CD. This does not change the priority, it just alters which GM to use.

Potency

Potency Gambits we want to use:

  1. 33
  2. 22
  3. 11

33 should be used whenever possible. We only want to use what has an available GM to use for it. If GM33 is on CD, I use GM22 for 22, instead of 3->3, then 33.

Potency follows the priority of:

  1. Longest gambit
  2. Shortest gambit

Single Target:

  1. 3131
  2. 12312

Other gambits are not worth storing in BM.

AoE:

  1. 3232
  2. 32323

Other gambits are not worth storing in BM. 32323 is better if you can easily build 3232 later (hard to predict, so I generally store 32323 if I know I will use it, if not 3232 ends up often being stored).

Battle Preparation

We want the strongest possible gambits for pre-cast…

ST: 3131

AoE: 32323

AoE uses 32323 since 3232 is quicker to build in combat. ST uses 3131 since 12312 is preferred to be used in chain.

Single Target

The start of our “real” priorities… This priority list is based of gambit strength and your actual use will depend on available GMs to build the gambits as discussed earlier.

  1. 3131
  2. 3232
  3. 32323
    1. Good to store in BM (assuming you have available GMs to cast it and 3232 is present)
  4. 313
  5. 123->1231->12312
    1. Only used when you can perform all 3 within a short amount of time of each other
    2. You can use a single gambit in between these gambits
    3. 12312 is good to store in BM during and for this
      1. Coincides with 33 CD
  6. 12312
  7. 1231
  8. 323
  9. 123
  10. 3131 as a filler
  11. 3232 as a filler
  12. 121/1212 as a filler
    1. Only used when the builders for previous 2 are on CD and everything before is refreshed

1-5 are used most often. Refresh top priority gambits over using new gambits of lower priority. Fillers should only be used when everything in the priority is executed and no DoTs are about to expire. 123-12312 is much stronger in line and should rarely be considered for use out of line. Usually if you get ‘past’ 5, you go to 8, then start with fillers or refreshing.

Area of Effect

At 2 targets, consider using the ST priority with 3232, 32323 shifted up to the top and 323 shifted above 123-12312. At 3+ targets we want the full AoE priority. At significantly large amounts of targets, priorities shift slightly, as well. We will go over that at the end.

  1. 3232
  2. 32323
  3. 323
  4. 3232 as a filler
    1. Strong with potency as filler

At 7+ targets, consider using 31232 as maintenance behind 323. This priority is simple!

Closing

That is our red line “rotation”… It primarily consists of maintenance, and no gambit skills. Speaking of, in these situations…

Ranged – Follow ranged damage priority from above.

Need Defense! – Follow defense priority from above.

Next, we will cover tanking…


Blue Line

As stated before, the blue line focuses on tanking. Tanking is very reactive in nature. This will cover some reactive parts and some proactive parts. Using reactive skills over proactive skills is a must for a good tank. Always be ready to quit the rotation to heal, pull aggro, etc. For more general tank specific information, check the roles part of the guide!

Let’s look at our old priority for defense:

Proactive Priority
  1. 21212
  2. 2121
  3. 212
  4. 21
  5. 32323
  6. 23232
  7. 2323
  8. 31232
  9. 312
  10. 12

So what changes with the blue line? Well, first, our aggro is significantly altered to be much larger. This essentially is what makes our ability to tank. Without speccing in the blue line, aggro would be much harder to acquire and tanking wouldn’t be viable. There are also many various defense boosts from our traits. On top of that, healing boosts. As we saw, there are also two new gambits we get from the blue line! The first major change in skills we use is the increased effectiveness of 3232 and 32323. These skills weren’t used much before because of their insignificant effects. These are much more considerable when in the blue line. The 21-2121 also got defensive buffs, while 21-212 and 21212 got healing buffs. This line, while already strong for proactive use, also gets a boost. 2323 and 23232 get utility/defensive boosts that make them more considerable for non-damage reasons. Along with all our other boosts, morale tap effectiveness is greatly increased.

Like the Red Line guide, we will follow a layout:

  • Potency
  • Battle Preparation
  • Non-gambit skills
    • “The Best Skill”
  • Aggro
  • Healing
  • Defensive buffs/debuffs
  • What to prioritize
Potency

Our potency gambit priority is:

  1. 33
  2. 22
  3. 11

We have a wide variety of gambits for BM to use based on the given situation…

  • 21212 – Need heals
  • 31232 – Need AoE MToT
  • 3123 – Need immediate heals in AoE situation
  • 3232, 32323 – Need aggro/damage

None is prioritized over the other. They are all situational.

Battle Preparation

This is a lot more complex than the red line… We want to use these before any combat, in this order:

  1. 2132
  2. 2323
  3. 23232

At pull, we want to use these (situational, again)

  • 31232 – AoE, strong for aggro and in general
  • 2323, 23232 – AoE, stronger for damage, good for aggro

31232>23-gambits if you need any more healing

23-gambits>31232 if you need more damage

31232 gives more aggro if you get more healing out of it. Otherwise 23-gambits give more aggro.

Non-Gambit Skills

Defiant Challenge (DC): Our best tanking skill. In normal combat, use is simple. On pull, it is more complicated…

Normal: 

  1. Use on CD
  2. Hold if you expect more mobs

Pull:

  1. Use your BP gambits from before.
  2. Build an additional AoE “aggro” gambit, quickly, and cast it.
    1. 31232 BP
    2. 2323(2)
    3. Is really strong combo here for this
  3. Assume other fellows have used some skills.
  4. Use this.
  5. If solo/small group, use immediately

Never Surrender: Use on CD, maintain buff, use when needed. If you use it, keep the buff, and the CD is off, you can effectively use it twice in a row! Note: This skill was recently nerfed, or rather, the text was fixed. It used to say you couldn’t die, but you still did sometimes (on rare occasion). Now it does not read that, and has the same essential use. It is still very rare to die with it! Until after the effect goes off, at least.

First Aid: Use when you need to remove a debuff. Preferably use whenever needed. Be ready to use 12131 for power the more you use this!

For the Free Peoples: Use when you expect large (relatively, can be “moderate”, too) damage incoming among the fellowship (including you!).

Steadfast: Use to (slowly) get out of a stun (quicker than you would have, somehow).

Warning Shot: Use only if you are at range, and have nothing else to do. Decent for pull, better with one mob/boss. Use Marked Target after this if there is nothing else to do (stance hopping counts as something else to do).

Other (non-gambit) skills typically aren’t worth using.

Aggro

For more detail on aggro in general, check out the roles part of this guide!

When you spec in the blue line, aggro becomes much more automatic. You generate a lot more threat.

Defiant Challenge – This skill forces nearby enemies to attack you, adds a mitigation buff per enemy hit, and makes you reflect damage. It is our only reactive aggro skill. As stated before, it is best used slightly after pull and on CD for aggro. Let’s cover some additional aggro-related things this skill does:

  • Transfers all threat present on mobs hit to you
  • Forces the enemies to attack you
  • Causes you to reflect damage whenever hit

Once you use this at the start of the fight, you shouldn’t lose aggro! During the ‘force taunt’ duration, you should build proactive aggro skills up (and don’t worry, some are great for survival/defense, too!). Here are our strongest over time skills based on aggro:

AoE

  1. 31232
  2. 3232
  3. 32323
  4. 312
  5. 323
  6. 33
  7. 32

ST

  1. 31232
  2. 3131
  3. 3232
  4. 32323
  5. 13
  6. 313
  7. 323

and so on…

As you can see most of our (non-DC) aggro is based on strong DoT effects, with an extra emphasis on Morale Taps. MTs are particularly strong due to the healing+damage effect, generating more threat. Otherwise more damage => more threat. The same holds true for healing, more healing => more threat. But, it is much less and damage is always better than self-healing for aggro. Speaking of self-healing, how about fellowship healing?

With 23232, we can heal the fellowship and generate okay threat. It is nothing that will significantly alter your threat level, but it does build it up some! Since, as we will see, this skill is used during defense focus, it can be a nice addition to our aggro arsenal.

3123 is another candidate for an aggro gambit. It is an instant, relatively strong, MT. However, it is, in usual scenarios, not worth using over 3232, for example. But! It is worth using if you need the morale. The threat just being a side-benefit at that point.

Now for actual tanking, what should we do? We have gone over what is best for aggro, but should we always focus on what is best? Well, hitting the mobs with a quick 32 followed by a 3232 is much more effective than slowly building 32323, then 3232. Similarly, 31232-33-3232-32-312-323-BM>31232-3232-32323-312-323-32. The first example took use of the potency system and would be much more effective at getting the aggro to begin with. Following the examples (respectively):

  1. Starts with a strong MT, preferably used in BP. Follows up with a quick “rapid fire” of gambits to get some aggro. Then, continues with stronger gambits and finally ending back on our strongest, 3232. From here it could build 31232 again and, assuming you had ‘full’ aggro by then, continue with damage. This is assuming you are not in danger of dying…
  2. Also starts strong with a MT (BP preferred). Slowly follows up with our two strongest gambits. But, by time you cast them, you lost aggro! Maybe they would be enough to get aggro back, but it is much less of a safe play than the previous. It continues to trail off with weaker gambits after that, finally ending in a weak 32. From here you could using potency and 3232 to get some strength back. Then, like the other, continue with 31232 and hope you have full aggro by then.

In reality you would use DC and keep aggro in either situation… But if it is a new pull and DC is on CD, this all applies. The general idea applies, as well, on how getting initial aggro is very important!

Many Mobs: In situations with a lot of mobs, more than your AoE hits (10+ enemies), while quite rare, you can need to alter your plan. First, if you can pull:

  1. Hit every group with 32, 323, 312 or 33
  2. Use DC whenever you get a decent number (5-10) of mobs on you, then on CD
  3. Keep using those while pulling
  4. Try to weave in 31232
  5. Finish with typical rotation, with more potency
    1. Use 31232 (then 312) until most mobs have it on them
    2. Use 33-3232-22-3232(build no cast)-BM-3232-BM, for example

If you cannot decide on the pulls (bad DPS, other tanks, accidental aggro, bad healers, other accidents, etc.), you are going to have to work harder. If you can cleanly pull of the mob and it doesn’t have much threat on it, do so. This can be done with targeting it and building gambits on it, using AoEs, using a javelin skill, etc. If that doesn’t work, or doesn’t apply, you can try:

  1. DC, and when off CD
  2. 33
  3. 32
  4. 22
  5. 32 (build no cast)
  6. BM
  7. 32
  8. 312
  9. BM
  10. 32/323
  11. DC reminder
  12. 33
  13. 31232
  14. BM
  15. 312
  16. DC?
  17. etc..

It is a bit long-winded, but shows how aggro management can be difficult and is situational.

That is it on aggro, it is something that takes practice and playing the game as tank to get more comfortable with. Check out the roles part on tanking for more general tips!

Healing

Healing is one of the Warden’s biggest appeals as a tank. We can outheal nearly anything… Just don’t ask us to dedicated heal the fellowship or raid! We have healing in two forms

  1. HoTs
  2. MTs

Our HoTs are strongest in this order:

  1. 21212
  2. 212
  3. 23232
  4. 21

Our MToTs are strongest in this order:

  1. 31232
  2. 312=13

Other (MT):

  • 3123

Here is the overall morale restored effectiveness assuming one enemy:

  1. 21212
  2. 212
  3. 31232
  4. 23232
  5. 21
  6. 312=13
  7. 3123
  8. 13

Assuming, just two enemies:

  1. 21212
  2. 212
  3. 31232
  4. 312
  5. 23232
  6. 21
  7. 31232
  8. 13

And three:

  1. 21212
  2. 31232
  3. 312
  4. 212
  5. 3123
  6. so on…

And four:

  1. 31232
  2. 21212
  3. 312
  4. 212
  5. 3123

And five to ten:

  1. 31232
  2. 312
  3. 21212/3123
  4. 3123/21212

As you can see, as mob number goes up, our AoEs greatly increase it total morale healed rank. One important thing to note is the triple threat of morale taps…

  1. Healing
  2. Damage
  3. Aggro

Those three things make them very strong. So, for those, we cannot just look at healing (as we have discussed in many parts of this guide…).

21212 is very strong for self healing. It heals 15.5k with my (bad) gear, about half my total morale. It gets stronger with finishing on it in the chain, and speaking of…

21-21212‘s healing is better in chain. Going 21-212-21212 is most effective for healing. If you can simply… not die… it is better to go in that order, instead of starting on 21212. Although, 33-21212-21-212-BM when needed, for example, is definitely not a bad idea. As we went over, before, we also saw 21212 is a strong potency gambit.

3123 – While a bit out of flavor for most things, this can return a huge amount of morale… With my gear, it can return 24,730 at 10 targets. Another thing that makes it appealing is it is instant. This is our strongest instant heal… Which we will cover:

Instant vs Over Time

Most heals we have gone over have been over time. This makes them great for proactive healing, but what about reactive? We do not have very strong reactive skills (in most situations), but we do have strong reactive skills. As we saw, 3123 is strong and gets stronger as targets increase. 21212 is actually a decent instant heal. Giving about 3.5k morale with my gear. Our most effective instant morale rotation looks like this:

ST

  1. (Never Surrender!)
  2. 22/33 (if you have time)
  3. 21212
  4. 21
  5. 212
  6. BM
  7. ???

AoE

  1. (Never Surrender!)
  2. 33 (22 if needed) (if you have time)
  3. 3123
  4. BM
  5. Repeat
  6. When “good”,
  7. 31232
  8. 312

That covers all the healing priorities as tank. There aren’t many skills, but their uses are a bit spread out. Overall being proactive with healing is best, especially the newer to Warden/tanking you are.

Defensive Buffs/Debuffs

We have one more major part of our tanking skills to cover… Our buffs and debuffs!

23-2323: As we saw earlier, the 23-23232 line was fairly useless for buffing. But that was without a spec. 23 and 232 still aren’t worth using. 2323 and 23232 are situationally worth using. Their use is based on:

  • Need extra mitigation to survive large (and frequent) hits
  • Have nothing else tanking-priority wise to do

So, we will come back to this line, for now it is low on the list.

21-21212: 21212 does nothing here. 21 and 212 provide okay at best buffs. 2121 is much stronger. We have this priority for buffing with this line:

  1. 2121
  2. 212
  3. 21

However, it is much stronger to chain (similar to 21-212-21212 for healing!).

These were our main defensive buffs before. We do have some new ones. They are both situational, though. So, let’s look at their use:

  1. 2312 – Provides stun immunity. Lasts 10 seconds and leaves a debuff on you for 20 seconds where you cannot gain this benefit again. Also gives a small amount of tactical mitigation. Used to become immune to stuns!
  2. 2132 – Provides block and evade rating, and ranged evade rating. Used with battle preparation before a fight!

Both of their buffs are fairly weak and not worth using in regular rotation, but they do have their special uses.

2312 is worth using whenever you expect a stun/daze/knockdown/etc. Stuns are very bad for tanks, cause you to temporarily lose all aggro, can greatly increase the damage you take, and keep you from using skills.

32-32323: This is the other buff line we saw earlier. It is also used in aggro and ITF damage priorities. It contains our primary debuff, 32323. Here is their priority:

  1. 32323 – Provides strong debuff
  2. 3232 – Provides decent buff
  3. 323 – Not worth using for buff
  4. 32 – Not worth using for buff

If we look at only buffing, only 3232 is worth using. 32323 is worth using for debuffing providing a stronger effect than 3232.

Let’s look at our overall buff/debuff strength:

  1. 32323
  2. 3232
  3. 21-212-2121 in chain
  4. 2121
  5. 212
  6. 21
  7. 23232
  8. 2323
  9. 2132
  10. 2312

As you can see, many of these skills we have in the priority for things we already covered. So, we will summarize their overall use in the next part. For buffing purposes, though, you are best off focusing on that priority. Also, for buffing purposes, you do not want to use these gambits while you are already under their effect.

What to Prioritize

So we have our priorities, so what is the priority of them? Well, that is what the closing of the tank rotation part is for! It will bring everything up until now together and answer these questions:

  • What should I focus on as tank?
  • When I have nothing reactive to do, what should I do?
  • How do I balance these priorities?
  • What is strongest as a Warden tank?

… and maybe some more! I do have another reminder I want to begin with…

[Reminder] Tanking is very reactive! As much as this part brings what we have covered together, you need to know what you need in what situation! This guide helps with those situations, but I cannot guide you on if you need to focus on healing yourself or if your healer can heal you well enough. But, I can guide you on what to do if your healing is healing you well, or if your healing isn’t healing you well. Just not the factors that are controlled by randomness, other players, RNG, and other in-game factors that differentiate encounters. We also have to consider available GMs for reactive and proactive gambits for what can be done.

Now, in general we follow the priority:

  1. Staying Alive (healing)
  2. Aggro (keeping fellows alive!)
  3. Keeping defenses up
  4. Keeping DoTs up
  5. “Melee Damage” priorities
  6. “Ranged Damage” priorities – very much IF needed. Try to avoid!

Basically, we want to prioritize staying alive above all else, then leave your fellows you are protecting as a second priority.

Before we go into more detail, I want to get this out of the way… Focusing on staying alive does not mean you will lose aggro, it is just a priority to not die over possibly losing aggro. Same with keeping DoTs up. You often keep those up anyway for aggro, and the side effect of buffs/healing (MTs).

Our skills often do multiple things. 31232 is wonderful at aggro and staying alive. So is Defiant Challenge. 32323 provides a debuff and damage for aggro. We will cover these more later on…

We have a couple situations to cover as well:

If you trust your healer: Focus on aggro and damage, then defenses and healing. Usually this still involves DC on CD and 31232, at least.

If you don’t have a healer (or just don’t trust your healer)Keep the above priority in mind. Stay alive>aggro>etc.

If you don’t need defense (easy content): Ignore the buffs part of our priority. Use more damage in general.

 

For GMs, you can largely vary what you focus on. You can use 31232 using the three GMs to build is (31-23-22), then use 32, for aggro, for example. You can also go GM33-33-GM21-GM22-Gambit Recovery-GM12-21212. Then, GM23 and GM32 are free to use on 32-32323, 3123(2), etc. After using those, you can resume 21-212-BM for big heal. This allows use to execute gambits quicker and be versatile in what we focus on for the “gambit cast” time frame. This is just another thing to keep in mind as we move forward in building our “overall” tanking priority.

 

Before we get far into gambits, let’s look at two non-gambit skills.

Defiant Challenge – Works for Defense, Damage, Aggro, Force Taunt (4)

Never Surrender – Works as “can’t die”, Healing (2)

Now, we have a lot gambits that have multiple effects. Let’s go over our strongest “multi” effect skills:

  1. 312-31232 – Healing, Damage, Threat, AoE (4)
  2. 32-32323 – Damage, Threat, Buffs/Debuffs, AoE (4)
  3. 23232 – Healing, Buff, Fellowship-wide Effect (2.5)
  4. 21-21212 – Strong Healing, Buffs, (minor damage) (2)
  5. 13 – Healing, Damage, (minor threat) (2)
  6. 2323 – Buff (1)

Taking all that into account, we can assemble a general “total skill effectiveness” list:

  1. DC/31232
  2. 31232/DC
  3. 32323
  4. 3232
  5. 312
  6. 21212
  7. 23232
  8. 212
  9. 21
  10. 323
  11. 32/13
  12. 13/32
  13. Warning Shot
  14. 2323

Never Surrender is too situational to list here! It is a last minute skill (except for when holding the buff) to not die.

[ReminderThis is not something to follow as a rotation for tanking! We also have to think about GMs when tanking!

Let’s look at a new table looking at overall Proactive Strength for tanking. This assumes you don’t have to necessarily focus on healing, aggro, etc. It is just an overall list on which gambits are best.

“Best” – Gambits are analyzed as best based on the following:

  • Gambit length (shorter being better)
  • Gambit strength in ST or AoE (based on previous list)
  • Effectiveness within its category of what it is used for

 

Single Target Area of Effect
  1. 21212
  2. 21-2121 in chain
  3. 31232/DC
  4. DC/31232
  5. 3232
  6. 32323
  7. 13 if GM13 is used and nothing better is available
  8. 2121
  9. 212
  10. 13
  11. 21
  12. 3131
  13. Warning Shot
  14. 23232
  15. 2323
  16. “Melee Damage” Priorities
  1. DC
  2. 31232
  3. 312
  4. 3232
  5. 32323
  6. 21212
  7. 21-212-2121 in chain
  8. 323
  9. 32
  10. 2121
  11. 212
  12. 21
  13. Warning Shot on strongest/longest lasting mob
  14. 13
  15. 23232
  16. 2323
  17. “Melee Damage” Priorities

Situational

  • Never Surrender – Second chance
  • 3123 – Strong AoE heal and okay-not good damage
  • For the Free Peoples – Fellowship buff that builds mitigation (usually only matters if they aren’t mit capped)
  • First Aid – Remove debuffs
  • 12131 – Restore Power
  • Steadfast – Get out of stun
  • 2312 – Prevent stun temporarily
  • 2132 – Pre-combat buff, otherwise unused
  • 12-1212 – Interrupt enemy

There you go! Tanking priorities covered in a 3-part table!

Closing

(Remember the reminders) That is all on tanking. Once again, tanking is reactive and takes practice. A lot of content is easy and you can tank nearly mindlessly. Other content is not that easy and does require thinking. Aggro is maintained fairly well without going out of your way, the gambits that build good aggro are already strong. MTs are generally our strongest gambits, especially in AoE. Our buffs are mostly lackluster, but are often in gambits we use anyway. We also have an array of situational skills we need to pay attention to when to use them.


Yellow Line

 

Single Target Area of Effect
  1. R1212
  2. R13-R131
    1. if you have available GMs for quick casts on both gambits within a short time period
      1. (can use R13->R1212->R131, for example)
      2. (do not go R13->5 other gambits->R131, for the chain, unless it follows the rest of the priority to do so)
  3. R121
  4. R131
  5. R12131
  6. R13213
    1. Maintain
    2. Do not prioritize maintenance of this skill above the gambits that come before
    3. Do not cast if you have the buff
  7. R3231
    1. Maintain
    2. Do not prioritize maintenance of this skill above the gambits that come before
    3. Do not cast if the DoT is present
  8. R13
    1. When not chained with R131
    2. Usually chained, so not often.
  1. 4+ targets
    1. Spam R3231
  2. 3- targets
    1. Follow ST, with R3231 being the top skill
      1. Maintain

While that seems long, it is only 8 skills with a simple pattern.

That is our old ranged damage priority. The yellow line actually does not change the gambit damage priority… at all. That is, for damage. For the minimal amount of extra support from the yellow line that comes from gambits not used in the priority, there is a little boost for those. R1321 gets a situational fellowship buff that reduces cast time. There are also other inherent buffs and debuffs that do not change gambit priority. The biggest change that comes with yellow line, in our priority, is that GMs often reset and have no CD. This is important since we can spam gambits much more effectively and have much larger burst. So, we will have two parts to cover:

  • Spam “Sieze the Moment”
  • Regular Rotation

In addition to those, we have other things to cover… But, we will go in this order:

  • Non-gambit, non-Javelin Skills
  • Javelin Skills
  • Gambit Builders
  • Potency
  • Battle Preparation
  • Area of Effect
  • Single Target

The priorities focus on a maintained balance of DPS and Support. Most support affects your DPS and ends up being prioritized properly, anyway.

Non-Gambit and Non-Javelin Skills

Unlike the other lines, we have to worry about Javelin skills separately. These skills are also usually situational.

Fire at Will – Use on CD/when preparing for burst phase.

Never Surrender – Use on CD for bank the buff, or use as needed to not die.

Steadfast – Use to remove stuns/etc.

First Aid – Use when needed to remove debuff. If you can easily go without removing debuff, do so, as this consumes a large amount of power. If it is at all helpful to use this, use it, as power is also easy to restore and as ranged.

Careful Step – Situationally used after Battle Preparation and before pull. Only applies if you need the CC from Ambush.

Those are all the off-skills we need to worry about. There is no priority for them since they are situational.

Javelin Skills

We have two types of Javelin skills:

  • “Snap Shot”
  • Regular

Snap Shot are ones that proc and allow use of a copy (Snap Shot) of the regular ones. Any is available, has no induction, and causes no CD to the regular one. Before we do those, let’s cover our regular ones:

ST:

  1. Diminished Target
  2. Wages of Fear – If behind the enemy
  3. Marked Target
  4. Javelin of Deadly Force
  5. Wages of Fear (if not behind)
  6. Hampering Javelin
  7. Ambush (has induction)

AoE:

  1. Javelin of Deadly Force
  2. Diminished Target
  3. Marked Target
  4. Wages of Fear (no matter what position)
  5. Hampering Javelin
  6. Ambush

Note that this is very more rotation based than anything else in the guide. You want to follow the first three in the list if you go by just javelin skills. We will bring it together in our ST and AoE priorities, later on. This is also a greatly improved opener with Light Oil!

And let’s look at our Snap Shot priority (we can only use one here!)

ST:

  1. Marked Target if debuff not present
  2. Diminished Target if debuff not present
  3. Wages of Fear
  4. Ambush if you need the CC

AoE:

  1. Javelin of Deadly Force
  2. Diminished Target if debuff not present
  3. Marked Target if debuff not present

 

That is our Javelin skill priority. We will work these into the rotation based off overall strength and gambit comparison!

Gambit Builders

Like the other specs:

  1. Gambit Mastery
  2. Regular Builder
  • Regular Builder if “A Warden’s Cunning” is not T3
    • Only requires three builders to get to T3
    • Should be avoided to specifically use builders just for this. Consider using GMR12-R1-R121, for example, to get to T3.
    • Will be gotten naturally

Which GM/builder gets used is based on CD, availability and what gambit you want built.

Potency

Potency is a little more complex as ranged. Here, we have the potency gambit priority:

  1. 33 if it will hit 2+ targets (must be in melee range!)
  2. R11
  3. 22 – Should be avoided

For ST, we generally don’t follow the strongest. We follow what is best and what is best in the situation. Here are the priorities:

ST:

  1. R13232 – If needed for buff maintenance
  2. R12131 – If you need power
  3. R1212 – If you just need damage

AoE:

  1. R3231

R1212 ends up being the most frequent BM gambit due to being least situational and strongest for damage.

Seize the Moment:

  1. R1212 – ST
  2. R3132 – AoE

This will be covered later, as well.

Battle Preparation

[STWe want to cast R13213 in BP and have it ready to use at the start of the fight.

[AoEWe want to cast R3231 in BP and have it ready to use at the start of the fight.

Area of Effect

Our AoE priority is pretty simple. And, we do have an actual into rotation for it!

At the start of an AoE fight (Rotation):

  1. Javelin of Deadly Force
  2. Diminished Target
  3. Marked Target
  4. Use BP’d gambit R3231

Snap Shot:

  1. Javelin of Deadly Force

During Spam/Seize the Moment (Rotation)

  1. Javelin of Deadly Force
  2. Diminished Target
  3. Marked Target
  4. R11 (33 if in melee range)
  5. R3231
  6. R11 (33 if in melee range)
  7. Build R3231, but do not cast
  8. BM for R3231
  9. Cast R3231
  10. Repeat 6-9, prioritize 1-3, still

For the rest of an AoE fight:

  1. Snap Shot Priority
  2. Sieze the Moment Priority
  3. Javelin of Deadly Force
  4. Diminished Target
  5. Marked Target
  6. R3231 with Potency System used
  7. Melee Damage AoE priority if melee is needed

At 2 (or fewer) targets, use ST priority with this changed:

  1. AoE Snap Shot Priority
  2. Javelin of Deadly Force
  3. Diminished Target
  4. Marked Target
  5. Maintain R3231
  6. ST Priority

That is our AoE priority… Which actually does contain rotation!

Single Target

Here is where our priority and rotation gets a lot more complex. Like the last part, AoE, we will cover each part of our priority separately, then bring it together.

At the start of a fight (Rotation):

  1. Diminished Target
  2. Wages of Fear if behind enemy
  3. Javelin of Deadly Force
  4. Wages of Fear if not behind
  5. Marked Target
  6. BP’d R13213

Snap Shot:

  1. Marked Target if debuff not present
  2. Wages of Fear if behind enemy
  3. Diminished Target if debuff not present
  4. Javelin of Deadly Force

During Spam/Seize the Moment (Rotation):

  1. Marked Target
  2. Snap Shot Marked Target if debuff not present
  3. Snap Shot Wages of Fear if behind the enemy
  4. Maintain R13213
  5. R11
  6. R1212
  7. R11
  8. Build R1212, but do not cast
  9. BM for R1212
  10. Cast R1212
  11. Repeat 6-9, prioritize 1-2, still

For Rest of ST Fight

  1. Marked Target
  2. Snap Shot Marked Target if debuff is not present
  3. Wages of Fear if behind enemy
  4. Snap Shot Wages of Fear if behind enemy
  5. Seize the Moment Priority
  6. Diminished Target
  7. Javelin of Deadly Force
  8. Wages of Fear if not behind the enemy
  9. R1212
  10. R13213 – Maintain
    1. Avoid casting if buff is present
  11. R13-131 in chain
  12. R12131 (higher priority if you need power) (often used less frequently due to builders used and length)
  13. Other Javelin Skills that aren’t Ambush
  14. R121
  15. R131
  16. R3231
    1. Maintain
    2. Never cast if debuff is present
  17. R13

To put into perspective, I don’t think I’ve ever used “other javelin skill” part.

That is it for our ST priorities/rotations!

Closing

While there is more with yellow line than red, it is a bit more straightforward and less gambit/GM vs builder/about what is most efficient to build. AoE is also much more simple. The spec is also pretty fun and offers a nice alternative to how the other specs feel. There are two more quick things to cover:

Melee Damage – Follow melee damage priorities. Only used if you need to be in melee range and are in ITF. If melee range+Assailment, can ignore.

Defense!

  1. Use R21-21212/R312-31232 as you would use the melee counterparts
  2. Focus on “defense” priorities

This also concludes the three Warden spec line rotations!


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 – Stat Priority


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
    Permalink

    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
    Permalink

    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
      Permalink

      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
    Permalink

    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
      Permalink

      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
      Permalink

      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
    Permalink

    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
      Permalink

      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
        Permalink

        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
    Permalink

    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?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: