Warden Class Guide (U19.3)

Click here to go to the previous page – The Warden Class

Basics to the Warden

This part is very much oriented towards both newer players and newer Wardens! It is most helpful if you are completely unfamiliar with the class and how it works.

To start, we will go over the basics of the Warden class. Then, before we get far into the guide, we should cover Warden terminology and some definitions first. Of course, each part will cover whatever relates to it, but this part will cover everything in one place! We’ll start with some of the basics on the class.


  • Medium armour – Wardens use medium armour as their best. (Wardens can use light armour, but it is an inferior choice)
  • One-handed main-hand melee weapons – Wardens can use a variety of weapons for their main-hand. Thematically, this is usually a spear. Swords are also a popular choice.
  • Javelin – A ranged weapon that only Wardens can use. There are many ranged Javelin skills that can utilize this weapon.
  • Warden’s Shield – It isn’t as light as a light shield, nor as heavy as a heavy shield. It is the medium armor shields! Only Wardens can use them. These go in the off-hand slot. Like armour, you may use a light shield, but it is much weaker. No weapon can go here.
  • Warden Carvings – These are our class items. Like other class items, they have different stats and sometimes unique effects. They go in the class slot and have three types:
    • Spear
    • Shield
    • Fist
  • Legendary Items (LI) – Every class gets two. Here are the Warden’s.
    • Main-hand melee weapon – Usually a spear or sword, but other weapons are available.
    • Javelin – Our ranged weapon is our second LI.

Basic Concepts

  • Stats – Like other classes, Wardens want stats! The general primary stat priority is:
    • Agility – High – Our main stat
    • Vitality – High-medium – Higher for tanking
    • Might – Low-medium – Similar to Agility, but half as effective.
    • Secondary stats you usually want at or near the caps. Stats will be covered in more detail in the stats section.
    • While leveling you may find gear with both Agility and Might. This is good for Wardens since both increase damage, and is especially relevant while leveling. High level and end-game gear is unlikely to have both Agility and Might.
  • Stances – There are two different stances you can go in. These skills are toggled on and remain permanent until you use the other.
    •  In the Fray – Melee
    •  Assailment – Ranged
  • Musters – Also known as ports. Well, self ports – unlike hunters, these only work for you. You can travel to different areas with these.
Gambit System

Wardens skills are largely based around the unique Gambit System. Here are the basics to this system:

  • Gambits – Powerful skills made up of a combination of gambit builders
  • Gambit builders – three different skills that “build” up gambits.
    •  Spear – Also known as “1
    •  Shield – Also known as “2
    •  Fist – Also known as “3
  • Find a lot more information about gambits and the introduction to gambits and concepts in the Gambit part of this guide (here–link)
Skill Themes

Here are some of the main themes of Warden skills:

  • Damage over time – Like other classes, Wardens have skills that put a debuff on the enemy that causes damage over time. This is shortened to DOT.
  • Heal over time – Also like other classes, heals you over a period of time. Similarly, this is shortened to HOT.
  • Morale Taps – Unique to Wardens, these skills cause mob(s) to lose morale and you to gain morale. Some of these are over time like DOTs and HOTs. These are shortened to MT for morale tap and MTOT for Morale Tap over time.
  • Bleeds – A thematic core for Wardens. Bleeds apply a damage over time effect on the enemy, as well as dealing immediate damage. Spears, a typical weapon used by Wardens, also have a chance to apply bleeds to the enemy.
  • Light Damage – Not to be confused with weak damage! Light damage, being a type of damage, is now a core part of Wardens. Typically these also apply damage over time effects.
  • Buffing/Debuffing – While not as significant for Wardens as other classes, they do have some buffs and debuffs in their arsenal. Sometimes buffs will apply to the whole fellowship, but usually just the Warden. Debuffs are applied to enemies – DOTs are damaging debuffs.
  • Area of effect – Many Warden skills apply to multiple enemies, thus the effect being over an area. This is shortened to AOE.
  • Javelin – “Regular skills”. You have a few of these to use and can be used at range.
  • Tiers – Many warden buffs (HoTs) and debuffs (DoTs) have different tiers. This includes most of our main damaging skills as well as some heals and MTs.

These are all of the acronyms we have used so far:

  • OT – Over Time
  • DOT – Damage over time
  • HOT – Heal over time
  • MT/MTOT – Morale tap/Morale tap over time
  • AOE – Area of effect

So, if you like to do a lot of AoE damage, making enemies bleed, draining their morale to make it yours, and healing yourself sufficiently, the Warden is a great class for you! Wardens can even go into ranged combat, while not as strong as melee, though.


We’ll go over tiers in more detail now. Skills that will deal with these tiers will be gambits. We will cover this in great detail in the Gambit section of the guide. It is also important to note that some skills are not actually tiers but function the same and are used in the same way. As you get higher tiers, their effects are stronger and do more damage and/or heal more. Right now, we will cover the general idea:

  • Tier 0 (T0) – Initial tier. You can have multiple T0 DoTs on enemies.
  • Tier 1 (T1) – Generally, you can only have 1 T1 effect. This applies to DoTs and HoTs, and some other buffs and debuffs.
  • Tier 2 (T2) – These can only be applied once to each enemy. In other words, you may not stack the same effect in T2. This applies to DoTs and HoTs, and some other buffs and debuffs.
  • Tier 3 (T3) – These function the same as T2. You can only have one T3 effect present (per enemy). This applies to DoTs and HoTs, and some other buffs and debuffs.
  • Tier 4 (T4) – The final tier. This functions like the previous two tiers, but is less common. You cannot stack the same T4 effect multiple times. This applies to DoTs and HoTs, and some other buffs and debuffs, as well. Again, we will cover tiers in greater detail when they apply. This will be done in the gambits sections, as well as DoTs/HoTs/MToTs.

It is important to note that some skills will not work with this generalization of the tier system. For now, this is enough to get comfortable with how it generally works. We will go over the exceptions when they come up later.


So, let’s list out what we now know about the Warden…

  • Have 3 unique gear pieces
    • Javelin
    • Warden’s Shield
    • Warden Carving
  • Have a melee and a ranged stance
  • Based around the gambit system
  • Have the following themes:
    • DoTs
    • HoTs
    • MTs/MTOTs
    • Bleeds (which are DoTs)
    • Light Damage (usually DoTs)
    • Buffs/Debuffs
    • AoE
    • Ranged, regular, Javelin skills
    • Tiers

Specializations and Roles

Here are the Warden’s roles when in a group, or even solo:

  • DPS – Focus on dealing damage and getting the enemy to die. Mainly uses offensive melee skills to deal higher damage.
  • Tank – Focus on taking control of the fight. You want the mobs to be attacking you and not anyone else. Uses more defensive skills to stay alive.
  • Support/DPS – Focuses on dealing damage from range, while having the bonus of buffs and debuffs to support your fellows. Primarily uses offensive javelin skills.

Each of these roles are associated with a specific trait line, or specialization (spec)…

  • RedRecklessness – DPS
  • BlueDetermination – Tank
  • YellowAssailment – Ranged support/DPS

Here is an image of each spec in-game:

We will cover the specs and traits in more detail in later sections, including gambits and specializations.

To end this part, we will quickly go over where a Warden is strong and weak.

  • Can solo very well
    • Multiple mobs at once
    • Single “bosses”
    • Some instances and group content
  • Many heals to stay alive alone
  • Very high damage
  • Single target (ST)
  • AoE
  • Versatile
  • Utility
  • Medium armor class (instead of heavy). This is only significant in certain end-game content. Basically, it means they take more damage than heavy armor classes and tanks.
  • “Advanced” difficulty class to play and difficult to master.
    • Very rewarding if you do play well (the intentions of this guide will help you there…)
  • Very different from all other classes
  • Requires a lot of active attention

Some of the weaknesses can be considered good, though. They usually end up with “more difficulty”, but that may be welcome by some players!

That is all the basics on the Warden. In later parts we will go into a lot more detail of everything touched here. In the next part we will go over basic skills, after that we will get into Gambits.

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 – Regular, Basic Skills


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?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: