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Goldilocks the LOTRO Minstrel
With three choices in which to focus your Class Trait selections, lets start by finding out which one is Just Right. Each area is made up of Class Traits of a certain theme, and the more Traits you slot from that group, the more other buffs you unlock.
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The War-Speech skills were a great way to give the Minstrel some more DPS for soloing, but the Warrior Skald hasn’t really impressed. The first buff, a 3s shorter cooldown on Herald’s Strike, isn’t really that useful. First off, you don’t use Herald’s Strike that much, particularly at higher levels. And when you do, it’s usually in conjunction with Noble Cause, which wipes the cooldown out entirely.
The second buff you get, from slotting a third Warrior-Skald Class Trait, makes it harder for targets to resist your Ballads, which is far more useful. It also, however, adds -15% from your heals when War-Speech is on. War-Speech already takes away 50% so that’s a big hit.
Adding a fourth Trait will get you more buffs, and another 15% healing penalty. An 80% heal penalty means you can forget about having War-Speech on when healing. The Legendary Trait this allows, a massive crit buff, will make you an agro magnet if used in a group, so you will be healing like mad if you use it.
So Warrior-Skald is out for groups, how about soloing? The thing is, the heal penalty from having War-Speech is so bad you turn it off a lot, and would do more damage with different Traits and War-Speech on more often. The Warrior Skald is just too hot too handle.
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The Watcher of Resolve
This one starts off pretty good. Two slotted Traits gets you a 5% Power discount on all your Heals. But slotting another Trait gets you a 10% improvement to Chord of Salvation. It’s a handy skill, but with a 30s cooldown, it’s kind of a minor emergency Skill that only gets used here and there.
Your fourth will get you a threat reduction from Anthem of Compasion, which is nice. But again, not really great. If you are able to work through your Ballads to be able to play an Anthem, agro probably isn’t a major issue. The Legendary you get for five Traits is a buff to your HoT, Soliloquy of Spirit, which is nothing to write home about.
Though nothing is really wrong with it, and having two Traits in here to get the Healing Power discount is good, that’s about as far as I would go with Watcher of Reslove. The later buffs deserve a cool reception.
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The Protector of Song
Ok, the first buff, from having two Traits slotted, is kind of lame: a cooldown reduction on Call to Greatness. But add a third and the effects from your Ballads last an extra ten seconds. Think about all the Ballads you have and buffs they give.
Four traits gets your Improved Tales. Since you should always have a Tale running, having better ones to choose from is great. And the Legendary Trait it opens is beautiful. It combines your four existing, improved Tales into two. The new combo Tales (of Warding and Heroism and of Frost and Flame’s Battle) give you the full buffs from both of their constituent Tales, for just an extra point of Power per second.
You’ll need to finish Book 2.6.7 to earn the Legendary, but anyone who groups with you will think it’s worth getting you the Tales so they can have the buffs.
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The Protector of Song is Jusssst Right
There you have it, you want to max out your Protector Class Traits and get that Legendary. Take your other two from the Watcher of Resolve for the Healing Power discount. But which should you choose?
That, my fellow Minstrels, is up next.
Want to know what Traits are the best for your Minstrel? Especially with the Class Trait Lines introduced in Mines of Moria, choosing the right Traits and Virtues makes all the difference.