Warden Class Guide (U19.3)

Click here to go to the previous page – Character Building – Virtue/Racial Traits, Gearing, Character Enhancements, Etc.


In this part, we take a break from building our character, since that is actually done… We go way back to getting to the point where you want to start worry about building your Warden… Leveling up and getting to the cap!

The leveling process as a Warden is just like most the other classes (Beorning being the only notable exception). Of course, there are some differences. The differences you’ll notice is overall strength, when you get skills, and some other things.

The leveling part of this guide will go over various things like:

  • When/How You Get Skills
  • Gearing
  • Traits
    • Class
    • Race
    • Virtue
  • Class Quests
  • Level Sections
    • Low
    • Low-Mid
    • Mid
    • Mid-High
    • High-Cap
    • Cap

This part of the guide is definitely not meant as a replacement for everything else if you are a new Warden wanting to level. This just covers some leveling specific topics. If you are new and need more information, check back earlier in the guide!

When/How You Get Skills

Like other classes, you get your “regular skills” while leveling. Gambits? Yes, you get those while leveling, but you probably want a bit more information.

How It Used To Be

You used to get all your 2-gambit skills, then 3-gambit, 4, 5. You would occasionally get an earlier one if it had a more unique effect (132 comes to mind).

How It Is Now

Now, you get them less systematically, at least in that sense. You periodically get some seemingly random gambits, and occasionally a whole line almost at once. I remember while leveling my most recent Warden, I often had to check what gambits I had since it was less organized before.

This seems like it is a lot worse now. But to the contrary, it lets leveling be smoother and you have your more powerful gambits ready at much lower levels!

Notable lines include the strong ones we have gone over in previous parts:

  • 21-21212 (much stronger in blue line and later levels)
  • 32-32323 (starts fairly strong)
  • 31-3131 (starts fairly strong)
  • 123-12312 (not as strong as previous two)

Assailment has the same idea, with its notable lines being:

  • 12-1212 (starts fairly strong)
  • 13-1313 (13, 131 start at similar strength)

You also get your various Muster skills as you reach the approximate appropriate level for that place. Many are also gained from bartering for the skill when you get appropriate reputation with that place’s respective reputation group. This becomes especially true later on (Moria+).

That is all we have to cover on what you get and when! Next, we will go over gearing as you level up.


Gearing as you level up is pretty simple. We follow these priorities:

  1. Equip the best piece of gear you have.

That’s it! But, do have to choose between what is best. I find balancing these will have the best results:

  • “Defensive” stats
  • “Damage” stats

Defensive includes anything that will help you not die and stay alive longer without using any of your heals. Damage includes anything that will help you kill quicker. If you end up focused on one, you may have a more frustrating time leveling due to slow kill speeds or dying a lot.

Gear has a natural balance of these stats as you level! This is important because it means you do not really have to pay too much attention if a large upgrade is worth it because of stat balancing. But, if two pieces of gear are similar in overall power, but one is more defensive while other more offensive, you have to choose, still.

We go into detail on the stat priority in its proper section of the guide, but we can still cover the leveling priority here:

  1. Agility/Vitality
  2. Vitality/Agility
  3. Might
    1. Is a weaker agility
  4. Fate – Avoid
  5. Will – Avoid

The first two are interchangeable based on if you need defensive stats or not.

Optimal Pieces

The best pieces while leveling have Agility, Vitality, and Might. This allows Wardens to achieve stats not usually seen by other classes since they do not have two stats that greatly affect their damage. It actually used to be worse better because Might gave the full 8 Physical Mastery that Agility also gives. Might even used to be our only main stat before Agility as a main stat was introduced. A little tangent, but they (Standing Stone Games, formerly Turbine at the time) did this because they wanted all medium armour classes to have Agility. Then came the Beorning with a main stat of… Might! Yeah, anyway…

Our best pieces while leveling have those three stats, among others.

Other Stats We Want

  • Physical Mastery
    • Increases damage
    • “Damage”
  • Maximum Morale
    • Increases max morale
    • “Defensive”
  • Finesse
    • Decreases enemy BPE/R
    • Not worth seeking out
    • “Damage”
  • Critical Rating
    • Increases crit chance
    • Not worth seeking out
    • “Damage”
  • Mitigation
    • Decreases damage taken
    • “Defensive”
    • Rare to find while leveling, but strong
    • Physical
      • Main one for lower levels
    • Tactical
      • Least of the two we’d want while leveling

That is it for our stats while leveling! In the next part we will go over traits.


  1. Class
  2. Race
  3. Virtue
Class Traits

You can follow the priority gone over in the builds portion of this guide to know when to get which traits and what builds are good to follow. Otherwise, I have made (and am making more) a leveling build video for the red line.

Now, what line to use while leveling?

Red if you can handle the content as it will go faster.

Blue if the content is harder and this allows for soloing harder, sometimes group content.

Yellow if the content is extremely easy (it allows for quicker killing from range, like a hunter or yellow RK) or you just want to be ranged!

That’s all for class traiting… Here is the link, again, for the specs part of the guide, if you missed it!


Race traits applies the same idea as class traits. Slot whatever is most useful. I find travel ones to be useful, and of course any weapon type damage increase that you may use.


Virtues make a big difference, especially the lower your level! Be sure to use them!

The general rule for leveling is equip what gives you the most. But what if you have a bunch that give about the same, or just seem really useless? We have this priority, for leveling:

  1. Physical Mitigation
  2. Morale
  3. Agility
  4. Vitality
  5. Might
  6. Resistance/Tactical Mitigation

At max level it is slightly different. For leveling, resistance and tactical mitigation are much less beneficial.

Class Quests

Like the other classes, we got our class quests. They follow these levels:

  1. 15
  2. 30
  3. 45
  4. 58

Class quests usually offer decent gear. Crafting gear is still better, usually. Quest gear is often worse. Instance/Skirmish gear is sometimes better, sometimes worse.

Level Sections

These are the different “sections” of levels, that I consider.

  1. Low – 1-20 – When you aren’t close to optimized yet. Other classes have comparable damage and you don’t kill really fast yet.
  2. Low-mid – 20-40 – When you start getting stronger gambits and have extremely high damage for your level. Survivability still isn’t fully optimized, but isn’t bad!
  3. Mid – 40-60 – By the end of this, you have most of your skills and your main upgrades from here on will be traits. At the start, you are still working on getting the rest of your skills. Your self-sustainability goes way up in this period.
  4. Mid-high – 60-75 – You’ll notice a slow in progression. There will still be some early on, especially with LIs. Later on, gear starts to become much more important in your overall power. At the end of this, you are optimized as if you were at the cap.
  5. High – 75-95 – Here is where you are in a seemingly dull period of just getting trait points. Not much feels different gameplay-wise.
  6. High-cap – 95-104 – You are nearing the cap! At 100-104 you might as well be at the cap with a number difference, power level wise (assuming you follow gear priorities given here). Except that can make a large difference against higher level mobs with deflection, and other stats boosted.
  7. Cap – No more leveling! (Not covered in this part of the guide)


That is it on leveling a Warden! At the end of leveling, you will be ready for some more gearing, builds, and related stuff in this guide.

That is also it on the guide, so far! The rest will consist of a FAQ and catalog.

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 – FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


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

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


  • February 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    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

      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

    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…


  • February 27, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    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

      Sorry for the confusion, I have fixed that part and made it correct. Here is what the list was meant to be:


      Agility is definitely better than vitality in this context.

  • March 22, 2017 at 3:49 am

    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

      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

      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

    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

      The Agility crafted relics are only if you are not able to get the better ones.

      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

        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

          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

    You mentioned, I’m not sure where, that we want to use our longest gambits ASAP.  Also, your USE priorities reinforce this, for example:





    ….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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