Hey all, for those who don’t know me – Urailas, level 65 LM of the Misfits of Middle Earth. I used to blog quite a lot on my.lotro and decided to move those posts over here to GKA! Below is the start of one of my blog discussions on loremasters – hope you enjoy!
I was recently asked, in one word, what makes a good lore-master….my reply….Patience!
To many, the lore-master is considered one of the most difficult classes to play, and play well, in LoTRO.
A number of reasons for this include; the misconception of “squishiness”, the wide variety of skills at the disposal of a lore-master, and having to control a pet.
These are exactly the reasons why I have loved playing Urailas for over two years.
I thought it might be fun to put to paper how I tend to approach playing a lore-master. In this installment I intend to look at how I play solo.
I break it down into Solo encounters versus one normal mob, Elite/Sig mob, and multipe mobs.
First, let me state that I am not writing this to show the “right” way or the “only” way to play a lore-master as I believe there is no absolute when playing a lore-master and it comes down to a persons preferences. I am merely showing how I tend to approach situations in hopes that others may find something useful that they can apply to their playstyle.
I am very open to suggestions on how to better myself as well to make me more effective so please if you disagree with anything I say or have any suggestions feel free to comment.
First things, first, I will discuss my solo/small group build.
Urailas is a 65 lore-master with maxed traits (Valour, Justice, Honesty, Idealism, and Loyalty) I will swap some traits in and out (e.g., Fidelity, Innocence, and Wisdom) depending on what I am doing but these five are typical for everyday stuff.
The rest of his gear you can see by inspecting on my.lotro, except his staff as I equip a cosmetic staff – for combat he runs with a lvl 65 3rd Age staff and a lvl 60 2nd Age Book (it is what I consider a near perfect book and will be hard pressed to replace!).
For traits, I equip five traits in the Master of Nature’s Fury line – Awareness of Body, Harmony with Nature, Flame of Anor, Knowledge of the Past, and Master of the Staff.
I fill the other two slots typically with Proofs Against All Ills and Healer or Fast Loader.
For legendary traits – Improved Sticky Gourd (ISG), Sword and Staff, and March of the Ents.
I highly recommend looking on the forums or under the lorebook for a complete discussion on a lore-masters traits as I do not have the time nor the patience to do it here!
Solo vs. Single Mob
This is the most straight forward fight in the game, a 1 vs. 1 with an on-level “normal” mob.
In any fight I will always start with the debuff, Sign of Power: Command.
Typically when running landscape I will use my lynx for the nice burst DPS out of stealth and will send the lynx in for a stealth attack while I apply the debuff (the debuff is applied prior to the stealth as the lynx is moving in to engage).
Once the lynx has initiated the fight I will move into melee.
My next move depends on how quickly I want to dispatch of the mob and move on.
If I intend to pull other mobs in the same area after or while fighting the current mob, I will put down Sticky Tar, followed by, in sequence, Burning Embers, Sign of Battle: Wizardy or Wizards Fire, and ISG.
If the mob is still standing at this point I have likely gotten his attention and will cast Light of the Rising Dawn (LoTRD) to stun him followed by an Improved Staff Strike (ISS).
If still standing, Burning Embers again followed by ISS (note, my ISS is on 5 second cooldown from legacy), Cracked Earth (for no other reason then to burn down the mob), ISS, and LoTRD.
Because I move into melee range there will also be auto-attacks mixed in with my spells which can decrease the amount of time needed to finish a mob – Cstat parse have shown 50% of a lore-masters damage can be done by auto-attacks alone.
Urailas – 1, Normal mob – 0………that is how I tend to approach a 1 vs. 1, I will also throw in a Wind-Lore if I’m dealing with a ranged mob.
Solo vs. Signature or Elite Mob
As yes, soloing elite mobs like the Foundation Stone Trolls or the Drake from the bounties can be a challenge for any class or player.
There is a common misconception that because lore-masters wear light armour they are “squishy”.
While this tends to be true at the lower levels when we don’t have our full suite of debuffs or CC abilities, at level 50 and above, a lore-master is more then capable of downing Signature and Elite mobs.
Now, there are two kinds of Sig/Elites that you can encounter; those that are immune to CC, and those that are not.
If you can use CC on them this fight is a lot easier so I will start with Sig/Elites that can be CC’d.
When I beginning a fight with Sig/Elite I will typically bring my Raven out for two reasons; 1) the fire debuff, and 2) increased Flanks.
Similar to any fight I will first apply Sign of Power: Command, but I will also add Sign of Power: See All Ends and lay down Sticky Tar, and depending on the creature, a Warding Circle before engaging.
Raven will apply fire debuff then go in and grab aggro.
I start with Fire-Lore, Wind-Lore, Gust of Wind, Burning Embers, Sign of Battle, Ancient Craft, and Lightning Storm.
This will typically grab aggro and as the mob enters the Sticky Tar; March of the Ents (for stun), ISG, and Cracked Earth (wait until the mob enters tar for this sequence as this will give the fire buff from the tar as well).
As the mob closes to melee I will kite through the tar until delayed root from Cracked Earth takes effect. Once rooted, Burning Embers, LoTRD, Cracked Earth and kite through tar until rooted.
On second root, ISG, Burning Embers, Mez or LoTRD (if off cooldown), Cracked Earth and kite through tar.
I continue cycling through the last two cycles of damage spells while reapplying debuffs as they wear off (apply these once root takes hold before using offensive skills or while kiting), using Sign of Battles when flanked and using March of Ents when off cooldown (only 2 minute in MoNF traitline).
For CC-immune Sig/Elites I use a similar rotation of kiting but remove the Cracked Earth as this becomes irrelevant.
The key to my plan with these kinds of Sig/Elites is ISG on the ground as much as possible and kiting through it while maintaning debuffs at ALL times as this substantially decrease the damage you are taking!
This is likely the hardest solo fight you will encounter (depending on morale of mob) and will typically take a lot of practice (and possibly retreats!) to master.
I found doing this in steps made it easier, for example, I would see how low on morale I could get a certain mob and aim to beat that the next time around until finally the goal was zero morale.
This can certainly lighten your pockets but, in my opinion, is very rewarding when you finally defeat said mob.
Solo vs. Multiple Mobs
In my opinion this is where a lore-master can really shine.
Our large arsenal of AOE CC and damage skills makes us very potent against a large number of mobs.
Typically while soloing a lore-master does not intend to pull more then a couple or three mobs at a time but due to pathing, inopportune use of an AOE, or respawning, two or three can quickly turn into six or seven! When I refer to multiple mobs, I mean typically three or more mobs, as two mobs I tend to use the same tactic as a single mob and burn them down fast while swinging my stick and sword! If I go into a fight intending to pull more then three mobs I will follow the same rotation as stated for a CC-able Sig/Elite.
The key to multiple mobs is keeping them away from you in order to cast your spells, otherwise you will be watching your induction bar reset while your morale bar drops!
A more difficult fight is when more mobs are accidentally pulled during a fight.
When I am attacking a single mob or even two mobs and all of a sudden I aggro more, the first thing I do is assess how many I’m dealing with, the second thing I do is cast Herb-lore and back out of melee!
This allows me to assess and formulate my tactics. If not already applied, I will cast Sticky Tar (it’s kiting time!) followed by March of Ents, ISG, Cracked Earth. Then I kite through the tar focusing on one target with Burning Embers, Cracked Earth and…kite! I will throw down ISG when ever off cooldown and LoTRD when mobs are rooted. Rinse and repeat until you can loot all the bodies!
Another note on multiple mobs, if one of them is a Sig/Elite I focus on the normal mobs first and leave the Sig/Elite until last.
Although he will hit harder, the more mobs hitting you, the harder it is to get an induction skill off! Since the normals are easier to kill I find it best to remove them quickly then focus on the Big Baddy!
Well, I think that about covers my approach to soloing with my lore-master.
An interesting note is my lack of use of Blinding Flash, which is only a 5s stun when in MoNF.
I realize my tactics are for a high-level lore-master but I think even a lower level lore-master can take these ideas and adjust to suit them.
Most people can handle single mobs with a /faceroll on the keyboard but having a good rotation lets you practice for when it comes for Sig/Elite or multiple mobs. Personally, staying out of melee during multiple mob fights is what I aim for to limit incoming damage and allow room for inductions.
However, I have been known to throw in an ISS on a Flank when my morale is high!
In my next post, (unless something distracts me!) I will go through my approach to grouping as a lore-master.
Until next time…..