In this guide to the LOTRO Champion class, you will learn what it’s like to play the Champion, which virtues to slot, which vocations are useful, build suggestions, and more.
I have a Champion on both regular and legendary servers. I find the class satisfying to play, with a straightforward type of combat reminiscent of a battle-hardened warrior. Let’s jump right into the class basics and what this class offers.
Story of the Champions
The Champion class in LOTRO was inspired by Gimli, son of Glóin, a descendant of Durin the Deathless of the first house of the Dwarven people. He volunteered to accompany the Fellowship to Mordor in the quest to destroy the One Ring. Gimli was said to be a mighty warrior and capable axe wielder who carried the weight of his armor like it was nothing. He fought and survived many battles with Sauron’s forces.
Champion Play Style
If you’re interested in playing the warrior role, the Champion is that class in Lord of the Rings Online. The Champion is for players who like to take on multiple foes with ease in up-close melee combat, having the ability to rip through their enemies with great speed using single-target, double attacks, and AOE abilities.
In a group, the Champion is a force to be reckoned with as a Berserker (red line) or Deadly Storm (yellow line), as their task is to deal single-target damage and AOE attacks to enemies while assisting the party to stun and interrupt targets as needed. The Champion can also take on the role of an off-tank to soak up damage and play more defensively with the Martial (blue line) specialization.
The Champion operates on Fervour, a resource built up in combat using your builder skills, and is consumed to unleash more powerful skills. You can track the amount of Fervour you have on the combat gauge. Fervour is capped out at 5 “pips” active, so learning your rotation and when to use Fervour will be part of the challenge with this class.
Skills on your action bar that are grayed out will become active when you have enough Fervour to use them.
Best Race for Champion
The best race for a Champion regarding damage output and overall utility will be Man or Dwarf. While these are excellent choices for this class, I always recommend choosing the race you like most. Champions can be every race except for Beorning. Yes, even Hobbits with Update 33.2.
The race of Man offers the passive Strong Men gaining +15 Might. Man Sword-damage Bonus gives +5% to one and two-hand swords. Easily Inspired passively gives +5% Incoming Healing, and Gift of Men gives +15 Fate which helps with regen and increases Finesse reducing your enemy’s resistance to your attacks.
Dwarf brings Sturdiness +15 to your primary stat Might, +10 Vitality, and +1% Common Mitigation. Dwarf-Endurance boosts your Vitality, and Endurance of Stone is a skill that reduces the damage you take by -50% melee/ranged/tactical.
Important Champion Stats
The Champion can equip all armor types and will want to focus on Heavy armor with Might and Vitality stats for the best possible damage output while having a good pool of health to survive attacks. At higher levels, you want to add Physical Mastery and Critical Rating. Physical Mastery increases your melee damage, and Critical Rating increases your chance of landing a critical hit and the magnitude of a devastating hit for your attacks.
Champion Weapons & Equipment
The Champion is a master of arms and can wield multiple weapons, dual-wielding one-hand daggers, swords, axes, maces, and clubs. They can also wield two-handed weapons like swords, axes, and hammers. For ranged pulls, they can utilize a bow or crossbow.
Each class in LOTRO has a Class Slot on your character panel; for Champions, this slot is equipped with Champion Runes.
To get your Legendary Items, you will begin the quest line at level 45 with Volume II, Book 1, and speak with Ráthwald, who is located at the Sirannon Gate in Eregion. These quests will ultimately lead you to the Mines of Moria and award you with your two legendary items, a weapon and class slot item that will grow in strength with you as you level to end-game.
Crafting Vocation for Champions
Below are some crafting suggestions that offer the most valuable items for the Champion class.
The Armorer can make Heavy armor for your Champion. Depending on your goal, this armor will be helpful while leveling and even at the end-game. The Armorer can collect ore with Prospector and craft armor with Metalsmith.
Tinkers can make Jewelry that is useful for every level, and they can also make Champion Runes.
Armsman vocation offers the Weaponsmith and Prospector, which can benefit Champion at low levels. However, once you are level 45-50, you will gain Legendary Items, the best weapons you can equip.
Our LOTRO Crafting Guide explains how Vocations work and their usefulness in more detail.
Champion Virtues – Which Are The Best?
Here are some of the best Virtues for your Champion for damage output and survival. You can slot 5 Virtues at a time and all Virtue slots will be unlocked by level 23.
Zeal adds Might, Physical Mastery Rating, and Critical Rating, the Champions most important stats for offensive damage. It also adds Passive bonuses for Physical Mastery Rating and Tactical Mastery Rating. Boosting morale recovery and increasing morale.
Confidence offers Critical Rating, Finesse Rating, Evade Rating and passive bonuses for Physical Mastery Rating and Tactical Mastery Rating.
Wit provides Finesse Rating, Critical Rating, Physical and Tactical Master Rating.
Valour for Physical Mastery Rating, Finesse Rating, Critical Rating and passive bonuses for Physical Mastery Rating and Tactical Mastery Rating.
Loyalty gives Vitality, Armour Value, Incoming Healing Rating and the passive bonus of Maximum Morale. Vitality and Max Morale provides more health to the Champion, Armour Value increases it’s toughness, and Incoming Healing Rating allows for more healing.
If you will be an Off Tank as a Champion, these Virtues will be helpful: Loyalty, Honour, Fidelity, Compassion, and Fortitude.
Champion Build Suggestions
The Champion class can choose from three separate Class Trait specializations. Below are some straightforward suggestions to consider when creating your Champion build.
Berserker (Red Line)
The Berserker is a single-target damage specialization with a focus on landing critical strikes. This is a hard hitting, burst damage dealer and is great for solo or group content with good survival and some self-heals.
Champion Build – Single Target Damage
A red line Champion build will want to go deep into this specialization filling out all 53 points when possible to pick up all your passives and Athletic, Killing Spree, Weapon’s Master, and A Champions Duel. Then spend at least 21 points in the yellow line, Deadly Storm, to get Battle Frenzy, Might Increase, Broad Sweep, Raging Blade, Ardent Rage, Mighty Blast, and Great Cleave.
Key Berserker Skills
Some of the skills and buffs you can learn when in the red line specialization are:
Devastating Strike single target attack the increases damage enemies take for a short duration.
Remorseless Strike deals massive damage if a critical strike lands.
Brutal Strikes makes 3 strikes that are hard to parry or evade.
Ferocious Strikes makes 3 strikes and can not be missed, parried, or blocked by an on level target.
Controlled Burn increases damage, power, regen, and attack speed briefly.
Athletic reduces the cooldown of Sprint.
Killing Spree after each kill restore health up to 10%.
Weapons Master increases damage, parry with one-hand weapon and wielding a single weapon increases critical rating and reduces attack duration.
Champions Duel reduces target run speed and outgoing damage, also applies a buff to you increasing damage every 3 seconds, expires when out of combat for 9 seconds.
The Deadly Storm (Yellow Line)
The Deadly Storm specialization focuses on area-of-effect sustaining damage. The yellow-line is better to manage and has more survival after you’ve had some time to level and gain more trait points, around levels 40+.
Champion Build – AOE Damage
In the yellow line Champion, I spend at least 42 points and the remaining in the Berserker, red line to go for Controlled Burn and Killing Spree. You can also reduce the number of points spent in yellow line to pick up Athletic, reducing the cooldown on Sprint. Adjust to your play style.
Key Deadly Storm Skills
With the Deadly Storm, yellow line, here are some of the essential skills you gain in this spec:
Blade Storm is a full AOE attack hitting a max of 5 targets.
Rend makes a full AOE attack causing damage over time to the targets.
Exchange of Blows reflects damage to your attacker when hit.
Born for Combat is an AOE attack that is usable after being struck by an enemy 10 times.
Battle Frenzy instantly increases your Fervour every 3 seconds for 45 seconds, really helpful for burst damage.
Raging Blade is a heavy damage AOE attack that can hit a max of 8 targets and never misses on level enemies.
Great Cleave reduces the cost of all AOE attacks by 1 Fervour Pip.
Fury of Blades is a frontal AOE damage skill that is increased by per pip consumed.
That wraps up the Champion class for Lord of the Rings Online, check out our guide on selecting a class in LOTRO if you’re curious about the other classes.