One does not simply dance into Mordor!
The minstrel is the most potent support class in Lord of the Rings Online, and has surprisingly powerful solo capability as well. They use their songs and chants to raise the morale of their party, fully capable of raising the morale of all to full levels very quickly. The chief challenge of a skilled minstrel is to avoid being overwhelmed by enemies furious at them for healing their party. This makes the Hobbit ability, Hobbit-silence, a helpful additional skill to the minstrel ability Still as Death - both make the player appear dead to the enemy, and gets their enemies to lose interest in them. Minstrels can also inspire their fellowship and individuals to feats of courage, greatly increasing the effectiveness of their group.
The various ballads that they can play all add to different aspects of the party. For example, if you have many magic-users, you would use the ballad of resonance, which adds 10% to magical offensive damage. You start with a tier one ballad, and then move on to tier two and tier three ones to keep the effects all going at once. Once you have a tier three ballad going, you can let loose with a very powerful anthem that will then reset your song tier. Skilled minstrels need to weave their ballads in between heals for their fellowship, all while making sure that they don’t end up on the wrong end of an orcish spear. If you like multi-tasking, minstrels are a good class for you - you need to focus on your party’s health while making sure that you are keeping the music going to increase their effectiveness.
Soloing, minstrels have a number of discordant songs that they can use to damage their enemies directly, and some melee damage as well. They even have some light area of effect damage abilities that help bring enemies down to size. Abilities like Call to the Fellowship increase conjunction damage and healing, while Call to Greatness gives a single player a powerful buff that changes depending on their class. Multiple minstrels in a group can focus on different aspects of the class - one can focus on group-buffing ballads and debuffs, while another can heal, for example. They can also play different ballads to improve different aspects of their fellowship.
A good minstrel is never at a loss for friends - any fellowship can find a spot for one more of them. Their solo damage is surprisingly high as well, making it so that you can accomplish deeds on your own if you have trouble finding a fellowship for the quest that you want.
This post is part of the series: LOTRO Playable Characters
A guide to some of the playable characters in Lord of the Rings Online.