LOTRO Warden Tanking Guide

LOTRO Warden Tanking Guide by legofreak11

**Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form the best Warden out there. I just wanted to share some insight in to the world of the tanking Warden, and hope that you can find at least one helpful piece of information in here.**


1) What is tanking? Tanking is keeping your squishy companions safe by maintaining Aggro through high levels of Threat on the enemies.

2) What is Threat? Threat is a value that represents how threatening you are to a mob based on how much damage/healing you have done. The more Threat, the more likely the mob is to attack you.

3) What is Aggro? Aggro is when you have the most Threat on a mob and the mob attacks you. It is the most basic representation of the Threat system and only shows who’s number 1 on the Threat list.

Now that we have a few basic concepts laid out, we can go more in-depth about how to tank as a Warden.


For starters, as a tank you should be in the Determination (blue) line.

How you trait is up to you, and should fit your own playstyle, however, a few of the traits that I view as essential are as follows:

-Warden’s Challenge + Defiance – These two traits combined, not only give you your only Force-Taunt as a warden, but also give you your most powerful defensive cooldown.
-Counter-Attack – this trait is borderline OP, giving you a full reset on the cooldowns of your masteries upon evade, and you’ll be evading a ton.
-Lasting Hope – An extra 3 HoT pulses is amazing for self healing, a single Restoration can replenish nearly all of my morale, allowing me to focus on more than just heal gambits.
-Never Surrender – Never Surrender on a 5 minute cooldown is amazing.
-Fellowship Protector – This trait is essential for my build, but could easily be skipped if you cap your mits from essences instead.

Your virtues are a great way to boost some of the less common stats like resistance and tactical mitigation without wasting precious essence slots on them. The virtues that I recommend running are: Innocence, Tolerance, Honour, Charity, and Fidelity. This setup focuses on lots of Tactical Mitigation and Resistance.


I don’t recommend using anything but the Nadhin Essence gear or the Osgiliath Essence gear if you happen to have a piece of it.

i am going to work off the assumption that you have a full set of the Nadhin 4-Slot gear as that seems to be fairly common these days.

6 Pieces of 4 slot gear gives you 24 slots to work with. The stats that I would prioritize as a Warden Tank are Mitigations, Resistance, Critical Defense, Incoming Healing, and Morale.

As a medium armor class, Wardens cap their mitigations at 50% with 18,750 Rating required to get there.

Your Physical Mitigation should be capped from the base armor rating, virtues, and buff scrolls so that’s not an issue.

Tactical Mitigation can be boosted first through relics, buff scrolls, and your carving. The “Westemnet Device of Protection” crafted relic gives a nice mit boost, and I also use the “Westemnet Heart of the Shield Carving” to boost my Tac Mit as high as possible.

Even with all these boosts however, your Tac Mit will still be around 8k shy of cap. This can be easily taken care of in 2 ways.

1) The Class Trait Fellowship Protector will give you around 6k tac Mit when fully stacked, and the Shield Tactics gambit can be used to cover the last 1,000 or so.


2)The “easier” way to do it is to simply use 3 Tac Mit Essences to cap it out.

Resistance is a very important stat in the new instances, but you can easily get it to a very nice level through just virtues, buff food, and hope tokens so it doesn’t really need an essece unless you wanna go with a super high resist build.

Critical Defense is an invaluable stat that should be around 70% for a true tank. This can be reached easily with an essence or 2 if you use a cloak that gives crit d (the best one dropping in Osgiliath instances, and a nice back up option dropping in BfE) and any teal level 100 tank focused warden shield.

Incoming Healing should only get an essence or 2 as it’s not that important, but should still be fairly decent.

The rest of your slots should just go straight to morale as that’s the most effective way to take more damage.

So in review, of the 24 slots you should use:

-1-3 Tactical Mitigation Essences
-2 Critical Defense Essences
-2 Incoming Healing Essences
-17-19 Morale Essences

As For Jewelry, I recommend using the Gold Big Battle Tanking Sets with the non-set pieces being the 3 slot Bracelet from the Osgiliath Epic Book filled with morales, The “Elite Scout’s Sturdy Ring” from Pelargir with a morale essence, and the gold dps earring for some finesse.

A better, but much harder to acquire option for jewelry is to use 2 of the essence bracelets and the essence necklace from Osgiliath while using the big battle gold and blue tanking earrings and rings along with the gold tanking pocket to keep all of your set bonuses. (credit to
Sheilyn for pointing out)


The majority of Warden Legacies are trash, but there are a few diamonds in the rough.

Sword Legacies:
-Persevere Block Rating – this legacy is great for boosting your block as block is your lowest avoidance.
-Gambit Lifetap Damage – Makes your EoBs and Resolutions heal you for more.
-Light Damage and Surety of Death Dmage over Time – These legacies are great for boosting your Threat through damage.

Javelin Legacies:
-Defiant Challenge Damage Return – This legacy boosts your already OP cooldown to enable maximum afkmidfightability.
-Shiled Mastery Block Rating – This legacy is also excellent for boosting your block, and together with the Persever legacy, I can boost my block by 10k with just 2 gambits.
-Heal Bonus for Conviction and Shield Gambit Line Healing – These legacies boost your Threat through healing and also your overall survivability.

The rest of the Legacy slots I use for stat legacies as the other ones are all trash.

The relics I use on both of my tanking weapons are:
-True Setting of the North – 330 Morale, 1293 Critical Rating, 1616 Incoming Healing Rating
-Westemnet Gem of Faith – 10% Partial Block and Parry Mitigation, 727 Block Rating, 35 Might
-Westemnet rune of courage – 10% Partial Evade and Parry Mitigation, 35 Agility, 727 Parry rating
-Westemnet Device of Protection – 370 Critical Defense, 740 Physical Mitigation, 740 tactical Mitigation

These relics give you a solid boost to your defenses as well as the partial avoidance mitigation boosts, which can’t be found anywhere else in the game.


The basic idea behind tanking is to generate more Threat than the rest of your group so that you can maintain Aggro. The major mechanic behind being able to do this is that all of the tank specializations (Warden Blue Line, Guardian Blue and yellow Lines, Captain yellow Line, Beorning Blue Line, and Champion Blue Line) get 300% boosts to the Threat they generate from Damage and Healing. So if a Hunter deals 1000 damage with an attack, and you only deal 300 damage with an attack, you will still have Aggro because 300×4 is 1200 equivalent Threat.

Another mechanic behind generating threat lies in Force Taunts. Force Taunts immediately make your threat equal to 120% of whatever the previous highest Threat value was on a monster. In addition to this, a Force Taunt will give you around 5 seconds of guaranteed Aggro, even if you don’t have the most Threat. Force Taunts are great for using to widen the Threat lead if you use it while you’re the number 1 guy, or to catch back up after falling behind whether it was due to dying, or an Aggro reset, etc…

The general strategy that I use while tanking is to maintain as many key buffs as possible while never losing Aggro. Simple right? Well actually it is. The most important buff for my build is keeping 10 stacks of Fellowship Protector since I use that to cap my mits rather than slot Mitigation Essences. Luckily, however, this is done by spamming Conviction, one of our most powerful Threat generation Gambits. The other buffs that I personally try to maintain are Dance of War (for phys mits), Shield Mastery (for general avoidances), persevere->safeguard->celebration of skill (for block, incoming healing and some heals).

The rotation i tend to stick to is as follows:

1) Stack up fellowship protector to 10 by battle prepping conviction
2) battle prep shield mastery
3) conviction as i run in
4) dance of war
5) persevere chain
6) repeat from step 2 but without battle prep

Obviously there are other gambits that will be needed situationally, like The Boot, Reversal, EoB, or DBtD that can be fit in the rotation as needed.

Popping Defiant Challenge in your opener can be great for getting some snap Aggro and giving you some breathing room as the fight goes on, however, there are a few fights where it is beneficial to wait a little bit to get the most out of it. A few situations where waiting is better would be if the boss spawns adds a few seconds into the fight, you will be able to immediately pull them to you, rather than them showing up while your only Force Taunt is on cooldown and you have to sit there waiting for the cooldown before you are truly in control again. Once you start to learn the fights better, you can start learning when popping defiant challenge for the extra mits will benefit you the most.

The main thing about tanking as a warden though, is that you have to be proactive and know what will happen next so you can have the gambit built and ready to counter the problem. So go out and try things out for yourself and grow as a player!

Other Lord of the Rings Online Articles

One Response to “LOTRO Warden Tanking Guide”

  1. Tx for the information. Helpt me a bit to get up to speed with my warden

Leave a Reply