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The bulwark of any fellowship.
Guardians are strong warriors that favor the sword and shield. They encourage their fellowship members to get behind them while they protect the party, drawing the attention of their enemies with a number of clever and powerful tactics. The guardian also benefits from higher morale than other classes, and the ability to better use their heavy armor and shield than any other. They can also restore their own morale to a certain degree, helping to reduce their dependence on other healers while drawing additional enemy attention onto themselves. They're capable of intercepting blows targeted at their fellows, helping to save their lives with regularity. They have many special abilities that only activate after they block or parry an attack, enabling them to take advantage of the mistakes of their enemies. This makes it a very active class to play - you need to pay attention at all times to make the most out of your guardian.
They have a chain of attacks that opens after performing a parry that can completely devastate an entire group of monsters, bringing the wrath of the survivors down on the guardian in question. Guardians can also use two handed weapons, a good choice for when they are soloing and have no need of the threat-enhancing abilities that the shield activates. Their many damage over time effects are also quite useful when facing more than one creature. The soloing experience as a guardian is one of slow and steady killing. Few creatures can best a guardian in battle, but it takes the guardian time to fell a creature. They favor exhausting their enemies fully before dispatching them.
Some of their useful utility abilities include a whistle that summons party members to the guardian, and the ability to summon a tinker to a campsite that will repair the party's armor and weapons. Their special traits tend to focus on increasing their damage mitigation abilities so that they can better survive incoming attacks. Guardians can be any race, and each has particular useful abilities - hobbits have more vitality, men have more might, and elves and dwarves have special traits that render them highly resistant to incoming damage for a short period of time.
As the best tank in the game, guardians are high in demand for difficult instances and raids. While they might be a bit slower for soloing, the fact that they will almost always be in demand makes this an attractive choice for players who prefer to spend their time in game with others.
A guide to some of the playable characters in Lord of the Rings Online.