This is my captain guide that I wrote and published on the forums a while ago. In a separate guide I’m going to be sorting through all of the feedback I got on this guide as an “Alternatives” guide. That guide will probably have more of a raiding focus as my build/style I don’t think is very raid intensive.
Disclaimer: This guide showcases my opinions and what has worked for me, results may vary.
I do not claim to be the best captain or anything. I feel I do a well enough job in groups and decided to write an overview of the things I do to accomplish the captain’s role.
A captain’s role is to support their fellowship. Captain’s do this in two ways: buffs and heals.
The captain is equipped with a range of buffs to help the other fellowship members tank better, heal better and DPS more.
The captain is also equipped to boost the morale of others when in need. It is entirely possible for captains to main heal. Captains do not heal like minstrels however and we must remember this. A key to Captain healing is the shield-brother. You should chose for your shield-brother the person who will be taking the most damage.
Note that this is with all my cappy buffs on and my hope banner out. As a captain, I don’t think taking base stats (without buffs) is useful because I am always buffed up (because I am a captain, duh).
Mostly I am posting this so that you get a feel for what I put emphasis on.
My reasoning for the high crit rates and thus higher Agility is that it gives me more opportunities to heal. As you know, critting one of those two attacks will also trigger your on-defeat skills, including Rallying Cry.
So, more crits = more Rallying Cry.
Here is my quickslot layout on my captain. Although you can’t see it so much in this picture, the UI I am using is Azure Glass – Mirkwood.
A note on my set up: I use the number pad to activate skills.
I have all of my main, damage dealing skills on plain old 1-9.
All of my healing skills are attached to Alt as that is the easiest of the three modifying keys for me to hit.
Most of my (what I categorize as) ‘in-combat’ buffs/debuffs are on Ctrl. The Tactics, IDOME, and Motivating Speech do not have keys attached because I mouse click them, hitting the appropriate F key for whichever fellow I’m buffing and then mouse clicking the skill.
My general rule for tactics buffs is always use Relentless Attack unless the person asks for something else. Mostly, this is because my RA buff is the best one I have and Focus and On Guard are lack-luster. But this is also a good buff, even for healers, as the tactical crit will up their chance to crit on heals. Everyone loves crit heals!
If someone asks me for a specific buff, I will give it to them, regardless of whether I think it is a good buff or not.
When grouping with other captains, always coordinate! Check to see whose buffs are better and buff accordingly. Don’t get upset if someone else’s buff is better than yours. Its for the betterment of the group to go with the better buffs.
A key to Captain healing is the shield-brother. You should chose for your shield-brother the person who will be taking the most damage. Use Inspire frequently because it has a very short cooldown. Use Words of Courage as often as you are able as well. It is a nice small heal with a pretty healthy heal-over-time attatched.
And of course, the end-all be-all Captain healing skill is Rallying Cry. Use it!!
Determination — More morale for a captain is always good. I may not stack Vitality like some do, but I do enjoy having a high morale, especially because some of our healing skills take away our morale to give it to our fellows.
Justice — Again, more morale!
Valour — More morale, also a little might is good and helps to bring up our DPS a little bit.
Idealism — I trait this for the power regen that the +30 (maxed out) Fate gives. Captains can get pretty power hungry sometimes unless you are careful.
Loyalty — This one is great because it gives not just max morale, but Vitality as well. Also some nice added armour value to make us even more sturdy.
Strength of Morale — Works well in conjunction with Last Stand as an Emergency Skill combo
Man of the Fourth Age — +Will is good!
Tactics and Might Bonus — especially good for Captains, as Stallion’s Spirit (More commonly refereed to as ‘Blue’) heals power
Return to Bree — pretty self explanatory…
Man Sword-Damage Bonus — This is my personal choice as I prefer the aesthetics of the 2h swords. Most people however use halberds, as we get a + 3% halberd damage bonus I think.
Strength from Within — Muster courage now heals as well as cures fear
Now For Wrath — Rallying Cry heals some power as well
Subtle Command – Less threat from healing
Fear No Darkness — More healing from Words of Courage
Relentless Optimism — Crit heals heal 10% more
Captain’s Hope — Banners provide more morale
Expert Attacks — + Devastating/Pressing Attack crit rating
For having the Hands of Healing set, you get these bonuses, as well.
In Defence of Middle-Earth — Must have for all captains. You are not complete without this!
Hands of Healing — Who can argue with +10% to all healing?
Oathbreaker’s Shame — This is a good one to use in conjunction with To Arms. Really great to help burn down a boss.
Here is the full list of possible weapon legacies (I think…):
- Telling Mark Damage
- Melee Skill Power Cost
- To Arms Duration
- Kick Cooldown
- Blade of Elendil Damage
- Cry Power Cost
- Defensive Strike Armour Buff
- Devastating Blow Critical Rating
- Pressing Attack Critical Rating
- Cutting Attack Bleed Damage
- Routing Cry Damage
- Tactics: Relentless Attack Critical Buff
- Tactics: On Guard Parry Buff
And possible emblem legacies:
1. Rallying Cry Cooldown
2. Healing from Rallying Cry
3. Vocal Skills Healing
4. Melee Skills Healing
5. Words of Courage Morale Cost
6. Words of Courage Power Cost
7. Captain’s Escape from Darkness Cooldown
8. Valiant Strike Power Cost
9. Healing from Strength of Will
10. Tactics: Focus’ in-Combat Power Regen Buff
11. Time of Need Cooldown
12. War Cry Buff Duration
13. Shadow’s Lament Cooldown
14. Threatening Shout Cooldown
15. Grave Wound Cooldown
16. Threat from Healing
17. Battle Shout Target Resist Rating
Desirable Weapon Legacies
I am always looking for ones with buffs to
- Motivating Speech
- Relentless Attack
- Telling Mark Damage
- Devastating Blow Critical Buff
To be honest, I don’t get into LIs as much as some people do, and I don’t get super picky about things. But those are the legacies I most like to have. Many people have a specific fighting weapon and then a separate ‘Buff Stick” with all their buffing legacies on it. I also use to do this, but I have a really great 2h sword right now that has the following:
- Tier 4 Telling Mark Damage
- Tier 5 Cry Power Cost
- Tier 5 Tactics: Relentless Attack Critical Buff
- Tier 5 Vitality
- Tier 3 To Arms Duration
So far it’s been working really great for me, so I’m not complaining
Desirable Emblem Legacies
Really, most emblem legacies are great. I always seem to get really good luck with emblems and always get great healing emblems. So instead, I’ll just post what I have now on my emblem:
- Tier 3 Escape From Darkness Cooldown (Good if you are the only person in the group who can rez)
- Tier 4 Defence of Middle-Earth Duration (When maxed out, this can add over 3 minutes to your IDOME duration)
- Tier 3 Melee Skills Healing
- Tier 2 Words of Courage Power and Morale Cost
- Tier 5 Healing From Rallying Cry
Yes it would be nice if I had the Rallying Cry Cooldown on there, but getting bigger heals out of the skill is pretty good too. Vocal Skills healing is also a great legacy you’ll want to look out for.
My Skirmish equipped traits panel:
Soldier and Skill Choice
Many captains (including myself) go for the Archer skirmish soldier. We pick this because the one area (I feel anyway) that captains lack is DPS, and the archer provides. If you use your archer herald, you may want to pick something else, however I don’t know many captains that use any kind of herald, archer or otherwise.
Although many complain about their skirmish soldiers, the archer has never let me down. Always stays a bit behind me so as not to aggro everything. He can usually take on a few normals by himself, or even a lone lieutenant. He is very sturdy in the upper ranks and does a good bit of DPS.
The skills I chose for my archer are these:
The personal skirmish traits I have picked are: