Welcome to our Beorning class guide for Lord of the Rings Online! This guide will cover the basics of playing a Beorning, the best virtues, crafting professions, and gameplay tips.
Beornings are a unique race and class combination introduced to LOTRO with the Gondor Aflame update in 2014. They start their journey with a special starting area at Grimbeorn’s Lodge, located in the Vales of Anduin.
I’ve played a Beorning for two years and find it an enjoyable class with a lot of mobility and freedom to play or change roles. Keep reading for all the details about playing this class, starting with the backstory.
Lore of the Beornings
Beorn was a skin-changer, capable of switching from Man to Bear. He rescued Thorin Oakenshield in the Battle of Five Armies and was the “Great Chief” of the Vales of Anduin. He came from an ancient line of Men, and his people were also skin-changers. His descendants became known as the Beornings and helped to defend Thranduil’s elven realm of northern Mirkwood.
Beornings have a special connection with animals, treating them as friends instead of pets and allowing them to live within their homes. They don’t eat meat and prefer cream or honey from the nearby groves of Bees or vegetables from their gardens.
Beornings begin their adventure at Grimbeorn’s home, Beorninghús, located in Meadhollow in the Vales of Anduin.
How To Unlock The Beorning Class
The Beorning class is available and FREE for everyone as of Update 33 in April of 2022.
Beorning Class Basics
The Beorning is a unique class that can only be the race of Beorning. You can shapeshift from a Man into a Bear interchangeably. The class offers three role specializations, making them a jack-of-all-trades type of character as a Tank, Healer, or DPS, depending on which specialization you choose to focus on.
Beornings are masters of leading the group with The Hide specialization, taking on the role of the Tank. The Beorning has great defense while de-buffing enemies.
The Roar specialization offers heals, crowd-control, and debuffs if you enjoy protecting your allies with healing spells, and playing a support role.
Beornings also have the option of DPS with The Claw specialization, where their Man and Bear forms focus is to deal powerful damage to enemies.
Wrath Empowers You
Beornings use a resource called Wrath to fuel their abilities. Skills that require Wrath will have a cost associated on their spell tooltip. Wrath is also used to maintain Bear form. You can see how much Wrath you have at any time under your Character portrait below the health bar.
Wrath slowly builds up in combat through the use of your skills. Many of your Man form skills will build Wrath, allowing you to skin-change into a Bear. In Bear form, you gain access to more powerful skills.
Shapeshifting and Skills
Skills you gain requiring bear form will slot on bar 1. Skills usable in both bear and human form will slot in your main quickslot bar. Upon assuming the form of a bear, your bar 1 and main quickslot bar will swap placed for the duration of your bear form. You can disable this feature via the Quickslot Options and arrange the skills how you like.
Stats & Equipment for Beornings
The Beorning can equip all armor types but favors Heavy armor. Their primary stats are Might for damage or healing output and Vitality for a good Morale pool to survive attacks. Read below for more information on Virtues and stats based on your role.
Weapons & Legendary Items
Beornings can equip many weapons: Two-Handed Clubs, Two-Handed Axes, and Spears. They can also dual wield One-Handed Axes, One-Handed Clubs, and Daggers. Bows and Crossbows can be equipped as ranged weapons.
Each class in LOTRO has a Class Slot on your character panel; for Beornings, this slot is equipped with a Carving. You can buy them from your Class Trainer, and they can be crafted by a Woodworker and traded or sold in the Auction House.
When you reach level 45, you can begin the level 50 Epic quest for your first Legendary Weapon. During the quest, Beornings can choose from 6 different weapons. You can not dual-wield two legendary one-handed weapons.
- Beorning’s Axe of Legends
- Beorning’s Club of Legends
- Beorning’s Dagger of Legends
- Beorning’s Great Axe of Legends
- Beorning’s Spear of Legends
- Beorning’s Great Club of Legends
Continue the story to get your second item, a Beorning’s Carving. These items are the most powerful weapons you can equip in the game and they will level with you as you advance. While you start with one weapon, the other weapon Legendaries can be collected later.
📜 Visit your class trainer at level 15, 30, 50, and 58 to complete the quests offered, these quests reward items, titles, and trait points.
Beornings Best Crafting Vocations
The most helpful crafting professions for a Beorning are the Armorer or Tinker vocations.
The Armorer vocation specializes in the Metalsmith, Prospector, and Tailor. The Metalsmith can make Heavy armor, allowing you to craft good quality armor, especially while leveling.
Tinkers are Jewelers, Prospectors, and Cooks. The Jeweler can make functional jewelry for any class and all levels of content.
If you want an overview of all the Vocations, check out our LOTRO Crafting Guide.
Beorning Virtues – Which Are Best?
Virtues offer stat bonuses for your character, you can slot 5 Virtues at a time and all available slots will be unlocked by level 23. The following virtues are most helpful for the Beorning class:
Tanks should focus on stats that provide Tactical Mitigation, Physical Mitigation, and Vitality.
DPS wants to focus on Critical Rating, Physical Mastery, and Tactical Mitigation.
Healing Beornings want Critical Rating, Outgoing Healing, and Vitality.
Tips for Playing a Beorning
Beornings are considered a moderate-to-learn class in LOTRO. Their versatility of play style, tanking, damage dealer, and healing makes them a valuable class to play in solo or group content. Here are some tips for playing the Beorning and what you can expect from the class.
- Beornings skills operate in three ways those that can be used in Man form, Bear form, or either, check your skill tool-tip to determine which.
- At level 15, Beornings learn the Wanderlust skills allowing them to use Bear-form to travel at +62% movement speed, which is the equivalent of the regular speed you know from Riding Skill.
- Skills that skin-change you are: Bear-form and Man-form. Using Thrash will turn Man-form into a Bear, and Slash switches to Man when used in Bear-form.
- Bear Up is your revive skill that brings a target back to life. Spending points into the Overbearing trait in The Roar specialization will turn Bear Up into Overbearing, allowing the revive to be cast during combat on a 3-minute cooldown.
- All Beorning’s, regardless of spec, learn the heal skill Hearten. This skill heals you or an ally initially with a heal over time on a 20-second cooldown.
- Get to know your Utility skills:
- Shake Free allows you to break free from CC effects.
- Cleanse removes up to 3 Diseases, Wounds, Fear, and Poison from the target.
- Vigilant Roar is a taunt.
- Grisly Cry causes enemies to run in fear.
- Viscous Claws is your interrupt.
- Nature’s Vengeance removes corruption from the target.
- The Sacrifice skill, when activated, 60% of all incoming damage is redirected to the source of this effect for 20 seconds on a 1-minute cooldown. In addition, this skill can be traited in each of the specializations to tailor it to the player’s role.
- The Hide can also transfer threat and mitigate damage.
- The Roar can negate redirected damage if used on the target with the Mark of Grimbeorn.
- The Claw can reduce the amount of damage that is redirected and gain up to 5 Wrath each time the target is hit.
- Rush is a movement speed buff that can be cast in any form. The Stampede trait in The Roar spec applies this speed to your fellowship. The Lumber trait in The Claw spec will change the skill to allow a knockdown of your target.
- Bake A Honey-Cake is a Racial skill that can be slotted to make your own food without needing Cooking or Ingredients—Beorn’s Honey-cake. You can unlock this skill by completing the Enmity of Goblins racial deed.
- Return to Grimbeorn’s Lodge is another racial skill that can be used to travel quickly back to Vale of Anduin. This skill is unlocked by defeating 100 Goblins with the Enmity of the Goblins II deed.
🧙 Need help choosing a class? Check out our guide to selecting a class in LOTRO.
Beorning Traits Explained
There are three Class Trait specializations that Beorning can choose from. Each of those builds can be customized to the players liking in several ways. Below is an overview of each spec and some suggestions to consider when creating your build.
The Hide – Defense Tank
The Hide or Blue Beorning fills the role of a Tank in group content and specializes in the durability of the Bear-form, bolstering defenses while weakening the enemy. Skills learned right away with this spec are:
Counter enters a reactive stance, increasing your ability to dodge attacks for a period of time. If an attack is dodged, you seize that opportunity to counterattack. This skill increases your Evade chance.
Counterattack becomes active when you successfully Evade an attack while under the effect of Counter, it allows you to freely strike your target.
Claw Swipe is your go-to AOE skill, with decent damage and applies a debuff to the targets. With your claws out, you swing across a group of enemies, lowering their offense for a brief moment. Adding the Rake trait adds a damage over time, bleed effect.
Blue Line Build Suggestions
For the Beorning Tank spec, try to fill out everything you can in the Blue line, then work into the Yellow line all the way to Piercing Roar picking up Stampede, Take Down, and Debilitating Bees.
The Claw – Damage Dealer
The Claw or Red Line Beorning is the Damage Dealer specialization. It uses Wrath to deal crushing damage to its foes. These traits empower Man and Bear forms with Bleeds (damage over time) and hard-hitting abilities. The skills learned right away with this spec are listed below:
Bash: A devastating attack with all your might that knocks your target back and leaves them bleeding.
Expose: Seeing a weakness in the enemy’s defenses, you exploit it, increasing your target’s vulnerability to damage. More effective against tactical damage in Man-form and melee damage while in Bear.
Bestial Fury: Whenever you Critically Hit with skills you gain Wrath.
Red Line Build Suggestions
For a Beorning Red Line build, you want to pick up key damage traits, building up your Thrash Damage, Critical Chance, Bleed Damage, Lumber, Melee Damage, Crippling Stings, and Call To Wild. Then pick up some defensives from the blue line to increase your Vitality with Vitality Increase, then grab Hardened Heart and stop at Rending Blows for the extra interrupt. In the yellow line, you could go all the way down to Debilitating Bees picking up Shake Free, Stampede, and Takedown along the way.
The Roar – Healing/Support
The Roar or Yellow Line Beorning fills the Healing role in a group and provides heals, debuffs, and crowd control. Skills learned right away with this spec are:
Encouraging Roar consumes a portion of your Wrath to restore a large amount of Morale on a target.
Mark of Grimbeorn is a mark that can be placed on an ally. This mark will interact with various skills, altering or increasing their potency. When the Beorning casts these skills they are improved:
- Hearten refunds its wrath cost with the trait Grimbeorn’s Strength.
- Shake Free applies a health shield and removes all combat states.
- The cooldown of Cleanse is reduced by 15 seconds.
- Encouraging Roar also adds a Heal Over Time to the marked target.
- Vicious Claws (with the trait Raging Blow) adds a damage buff to the marked target.
Grimbeorn’s Spirit can be tiered up to 5 times on a Mark of Grimbeorn target when the Beorning casts any healing skill, this increases the amount of Incoming Healing the target received by 1% per rank.
Yellow Line Build Suggestions
When considering which traits to pick up with the Roar spec, you can never go wrong placing as many points as possible into the yellow line, and pick up Crit from the red line, then add some defensive’s to the blue line.
That concludes our look at the Beorning class, I hope you found this guide to be useful in learning the ropes for your new Beorning. If you’re interested in other classes, we have a guide for selecting a class in LOTRO.