Tuesday, 21 August 2012

LOTRO: Lore-master legendary items

Recently, H asked me for advice on how to customize his lore-master's legendary items (LI's). Since I get this question more often, and that particular thread is starting to get a bit lengthy, I thought it best to give the subject the space it deserves and write a post.

First off, I don't consider myself "the expert on LI's" or something, I'll just go with what I found to be effective myself. I should also tell you that I built my lore-master mainly for PvE (and specifically for raiding), and my LI's reflect this. My optimal choice might not be the best for you if you have a different playstyle (EM comes to mind).

Warning: nerdy content follows! I assume that you to know how the legendary item system in LotRO works. If you don't, it might be an idea to read an external guide like Legendary Items 101 first. You'll probably be bored to death by this post anyway.

My setup

I use five different LI's while playing. Five?! But I thought you can only equip two at a time? That's correct, but I like going for maximum efficiency, and there simply were more legacies than would fit on two items. I also like to get crazy and swap staves and books mid-fight. That doesn't mean you can't get away with a (slightly less efficient) build of just one staff and one book, don't worry. And while I do recommend at least a separate raiding book if you're serious about raiding, you certainly don't have to swap LI's mid-fight.

Lore-master books

I have three of these, mainly because I'm crazy and the legacies I wanted didn't fit on two. To the left my support book, to the right my DPS book.


Support book
Tactical healing rating maxed out
Signs of power durations
Healing from Beacon of Hope
Target resistance (debuffing skills)
DPS book
+5% fire skill damage title
Fire damage over time
Pulses legacies
Target resistance (damaging/fire skills)

While the Target resistance legacies are no more than an extra bunch of skill type specific finesse, lore-masters don't get that much finesse from gear, so I do recommend to take those legacies if you can. For raids, it is important to have so much finesse that your debuffs never get resisted.

A common misunderstanding  is the the thought that the legacy Signs of Power durations only prolongs the duration of your stun immunity. However, it prolongs the duration of all Signs of Power buffs. The main reason why this legacy is absolutely vital on a raid book is because it allows you to keep up Sign of Power: See All Ends on the target 100% of the time (in combination with Force of Will, the Ancient Master capstone). A must for every serious raiding lore-master.

My third book is a pet book ("Creatures of Middle-earth"), which I use to to apply a Sign of the Wild to my pet. When I equip either my support or DPS book, the improved buff on the pet stays. I also swap it in if I need to use Bane Flare.

Tips: if you're making a separate DPS and support book, you don't have to spend any points in tactical healing rating on your DPS book (= more points to spend on legacies). If you have the luxury of a first age symbol that you don't need to spend on something else (I would spend one on a staff first), your book will get an extra amount of tactical damage (1-5%) as a passive. Otherwise the age doesn't matter apart from the available amount of points to spend. If you have a second age symbol available, I would prioritize a second age book for your support book over that of your DPS book, as second age books (and first age books) have a higher outgoing healing rating than third age books. Tactical healing rating affects your healing (including Beacon of Hope and Share the Power) more than any legacy. 

Lore-master staves

I have two staves: a support staff (left) and a DPS staff (right). As there's only one legacy important for a support staff, you can combine it all on one staff as well, if you wish to do so (but you'll have less points to spend on DPS).


Support staff
Share the Power Increase
Nice passives
DPS staff
Damage title (e.g. Beleriand)
Tactical Skills Direct Damage
Fire Skills Critical Multiplier
Burning Embers Initial Damage

Sometimes someone comes to me and says something along the lines of: Hey, look at my new legendary item, it's great! It got Ents go to War and Lightning Storm all maxed out. Uhm, yeah. Thing is, Ents and Lightning Storm are great burst damage skills, but they got long cooldowns. If you want to increase your sustained DPS, and arguably even your burst DPS (because often, these skills will be on cooldown), you're better off with the other legacies I've posted above. Another thing to remember, is that your fire damage gets insane buffs from both the Master of Nature's Fury traits line and legacies. Since the vast majority of lore-master damaging skills consists of fire skills with short cooldowns, it rewards your DPS to focus your legacies on these. That's why I like buffing fire skills through legacies more than, say, taking Light of the Rising Dawn damage (light damage doesn't get many buffs, reasonably long cooldown, mostly useful for the stun) or Storm-lore damage (lightning damage doesn't get many buffs, long cooldown, weak damage).

It's a different story in the Ettenmoors (PvP), were the fights are short and burst damage is great. This article is aimed at a PvE reader public.

Tip: if you're making a separate support staff, it doesn't matter what age it is, because you don't have to spend many points, nor will do DPS with it. You can see that I even kept my level 65 third age staff, because it doesn't matter that much (apart from not being able to use good relics if it's really low level) and I haven't been able to find a level 75 one with equal passives so far. For your DPS staff, though, you do want the earliest age you can afford of the maximum available level, because these have a higher DPS rating, plus more points to spend. Just like with the books, the DPS rating pretty much affects your damage output more than any legacy.


There are different needs to be served depending on if you provide support or if you DPS. In hard (T2) raids, everyone will take damage, and it will often be tactical. That's why I look for tactical mitigation (tip: title on your book), in-combat power regen and morale on my support relics. In normal group content, the lore-master is usually the lowest on the threat list, so you don't need to stack loads of morale. That's why I go for crit and tactical mastery on my DPS items. If you suddenly do need morale while DPS'ing (e.g. soloing), you can always slot mitigation and morale virtues and swap in jewellery with more morale - all much easier than swapping your relics.

DPS lore-master tip: I like the Settings of Ending: it's the only thing that increases your devastate magnitude, and crit is pretty good for a DPS lore-master.  


I've looked at the upcoming lore-master changes with Riders of Rohan and don't expect many changes on how to build your lore-master legendary items - apart from that we'll have to get them up to level 85, of course. I might keep this post up to date with my new LI's when the time is there.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or did I do it all wrong, feel free to write below and I'll try to answer. Let's talk lore-master!


  1. thanks for posting this! very timely as my lore-master is currently rocketing through Dunland (now lvl 64 :O) and I was about to start researching LIs :)

  2. Oh very nice post. I'm sure Loremasters are going to enjoy this one. :) I love the LI names!

    You mention the use of a level 65 staff... in addition to not having some of the better relics available to slot on it, the "Stat Legacies" act differently also. Those +22s for each stat on a level 65 3rd Age will be +41s for a level 75 2nd Age (it happens automatically when stat legacies are applied to higher level LIs).

    It is a minor-ish thing, but as you know, coupled with the lesser relics and possibly lesser LI titles, it will start to feel outdated at higher levels.

    Are some of the other legacies, like book's "target resistance" different for different levels also? (I notice that RK's Finesse and Shocking Touch legacies have very different modifiers for lvl 65 vs 75.)

    Exiciting times, full speed ahead!

    1. Of course a level capped staff would be better, but the difference in stats on the relics and legacies is small and besides, it would be a waste to spend loads of scrolls of empowerment on those stats legacies, which is needed to make it worth it (especially since I was drowning in the level 65 scrolls from medallions of the North-men and could max those on out on this weapon). I also haven't been able to find a level 75 staff with such awesome passives! So for me this was the right call, and I think it proves that age and level is less important for a support staff (to a certain extent). Remember that will/tact mastery stats aren't as important for a support lore-master compared to a rune-keeper (lore-masters basically only use two skills in raids that are affected by it).

      Indeed, all rating based legacies scale with level (and age, btw), regardless of for which class they are. I have tried to collect some of these values and search for a pattern, if you're interested (very nerdy stuff, though):

      If you have some missing values, feel free to add them! :)

  3. You do things quite similar to me.. though I don't have a support staff (I'm a loremaster who is always trying to do damage in between everything else.. Saruman T2 phase 5 is a different story though :P) or a pet book. I also go for the morale settings. They really do add up.

    You got quite lucky with your staff passives and also 4 majors on your 1st ager! Nice. :)

    1. Cool to hear! I'm also like you in that regard: I deal damage in raids at the moments I don't have any support to do, but then I just swap to my DPS staff for those skills mid-fight. The majority of the time, I will still benefit from the extra defence of my support gear.

      I'm so happy with my staff too! I haven't had our majors on any first age staff since Moria, so it was such a relief! From the stories I hear, I'll be using this staff faaar into Riders of Rohan - seems the DPS on LI's won't scale that much at all.

  4. The best LI post I've ever read! :)

    Plus, that last photo - wow - incredible!!

    1. Haha, the best... and only? ;-)

      I'm happy you like the last photo. Made it in an hour long photoshoot trying to hit worms in the most elegant way, and this was one turned out to be one of the best. :)

  5. I dig it. I'll keep this stuff in mind when I get my 61 LM to cap.

  6. I wonder, if your support book setup has changed to include +baneflare targets legacy?

    Also, Lightning Storm/Ents damage is very useful for PvMP, where burst damage is always in high demand.

    1. Thanks for reminding me that I should really update this post! :)

      Funnily enough, I haven't felt an urge to change my Bane Flare Targets legacy so far. I've been thinking about why this is, and I think the answer simply is that it isn't needed that frequently. It is incidentally useful in raids, and perhaps for soloing hard content (I haven't done this in a while). When I'm soloing, I'm always traited down the MoNF line, and it's less useful then. In my opinion, this is typically a legacy one will choose based on personal playstyle and preferences.

    2. Well, the content we have now is so easy that LM doesn`t really need a second book. :)
      But baneflare can still be very useful in Helegrod or that survival skirmish. Even in MoNF. Especially in MoNF, since LM doesn`t have much CC there, especially for 4+ targets.
      And with water-lore we don`t really need Inner Fire healing any more.

    3. In MoNF, I personally rather use Storm-lore (faster, stun instead of daze) and Cracked Earth as means of CC. Bane Flare can certainly be useful as well, but so far everything is already dead before I would have to resort to it. As I said, it's a choice of personal playstyle.

      I do agree that Inner Flame isn't such a useful skill (I never trait it either). It's situational, just like Bane Flare Targets. The reason it's on my book is because it profits from the higher Tactical Healing rating, while Bane Flare Targets does not.

      In this article, I tried to name priority legacies that I think everyone should aim for. The other, more situational legacies are debatable. I rather leave those for everyone to fill in themselves.

    4. Actually, baneflare daze is removed only 4 seconds after the damage - so, it works like 4-sec "stun" with no stun-immunity afterwards.
      And storm-lore only works on 3 targets - those spiders from Helegrod spider wing weren`t impressed by it at all. :)

      Inner flame I see as aggro-transfer skill that also happens to heal a little. :)

  7. Is that a 5 major 1st age book???

    1. It is. Level 65 though, am looking for something to replace it with. Getting a bit too behind now relic-wise.

  8. Haven't been lucky enough to get a hold of a symbol for a 1st ager. In fact, have only just managed to get a 2nd age staff and book, and that was through marks/medallions + crafting.

    The staff ended up being pretty damn good, with only one legacy replacement. Need to generate plenty more marks and do dailies so I can upgrade the legacies I do have to free up some points.

    The book, on the other hand would be good for AM traiting. Which is a pain, since I'm 5 red at present (one each blue/yellow). Good armour too, but heavy on the critical and light on finesse. Not that I have too many problems with that :)

    I seem to recall someone asking for a post about recommended armors and whatnot. That would be a good thing methinks. Hint hint :P

    1. Wow, that certainly is lucky on the staff, grats!

      I was already thinking about writing something about LM armour sets (inspired by Supergirl's RK armour set post), and now you mention it as well... this definitely will be something on my to-do list. Can't promise anything soon, can't reach LotRO at the moment and these sort of posts cost the most time to make, but thanks for the nudge. :)

  9. Oh, and btw, I've found that most of my higher end kinfolk very rarely run out of power now. Share the power is not used anywhere near as much as I used to...

    1. Very true. I've heard many minstrels panic about their decreased power pool, but with ICPR now also coming from Will there's no way they get out of power. On the very rare occasions that I need to share power it's with hunters or burglars. I haven't used the power pull even once since this raid cluster.

  10. And things have changed yet again with the fate tweak to ICMR...

  11. ...I meant ICPR... d'oh!


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