Dwarf Traits

Red Line DPS Hunter
'Bowmaster' Build

By Marenzo1 – Updated for Before The Shadows, U34



Welcome to LHQs Red Hunter ‘Bowmaster’ build!

This guide covers everything that you need to become a powerful Hunter. Make sure you take the time to go over the information in the guide and visit the Lotro Wiki links highlighted in the guide for more information about certain skills, ability or items. You are also more than welcome to ask questions on the LHQ Discord.
Red Hunter provide excellent high DPS via long-range stationary attacks.

Hunters have always been the safe choice for raids, because raid mechanics do not usually interfere with them. A Red Hunter performs the safest, high-burst capacity, and great sustainable damage from range, making them quite ideal for progression groups and for pretty much all types of content. With an extra trait tree for AoE, they can dish out some really good AoE damage as well, which is beneficial for trash pulls.

The only downside to bringing Hunter DPS into raids is the fact that it requires quite a lot of additional support from willing Lore-masters (namely Fire debuffs) and that’s something which is quite irritating, but very doable.


Stat Goals

Critical Rating (25%) > Phyiscal Mastery (200%) > Tactical Mitigation > Vitality

The basic stat cap for Critical Rating is 25% and the cap for Phsyical Mastery is 200%. But with the traits for Shoot To Kill and Critical Eye the values go up to 30% for Critical Rating and up to 210% for Ranged Attacks. Keep this in mind when slotting your essences!

Keep in mind that you should try to get as close as possible to the stat cap for Critical Rating and Physical Mastery without going over! You only have a limited amount of essence slots and being slightly below cap isn’t an issue, considering that your consumables (Trail Food , Battle Lore & Warding Lore) provide stat increases that should always be kept up during an instance/raid anyway. And when you have classes such as a Red Captain you can benefit from their buffs that further increase your stats during battle.

Save some room for Trigger essences once your Critical Rating and Tactical Mastery are near their cap. The recommended essences are covered further down in the guide, but while the trigger essence may give a lesser stat value the trigger will provide you with a worthwhile percentage increase that will boost your damage considerably.

Before you plan your essence or start slotting them make sure you have the right Virtues equipped!

End-Game Build (Raiding)

Best in slot gear and jewelry for Red line Hunters.

Armour Pieces

Jewelry Pieces


You should be using these essences whenever possible!
Make sure to read the Stat Goals section to find more information regarding the essences.

Trait Trees

There are two trait trees required for Red Hunter, one is for Single-target DPS and the other is for AoE.


Take best out of both lines in this tree, and it is pretty much the perfect setup for Single-target PvE Hunter, and also has a little AoE capacity from some Split-shots and Rain of Arrows (though not maxed).

Next, is the AoE tree, which contains maxed out Rain of Arrows and Split-shot, without losing much crucial Single-target DPS capacity.




These are the virtues to reach the Stat Goals. Using mostly Offensive options, but if need be, some of them can be switched to more Defensive options as well, depending on the type of fight. More explained down below.


Here are the Virtues which go along with the Stat Goals:

  1. Determination (Great for Mastery and Critical Rating)
  2. Valour (Great for Mastery, Finesse and Critical Rating)
  3. Confidence (Great for Critical Rating and Finesse)
  4. Wit (Great for Finesse, Mastery and Critical Rating)
  5. Loyalty (Great for Vitality and survival)
    • If you need extra Survivability, swap Witt with Fidelity

If you don’t have these virtues, here are some alternatives:

  • Fidelity (Great for Vitality + Tactical Mit)
  • Tolerance (Gives great amount of Tactical Mit, decent Physical Mit and Resistance)
  • Innocence (Gives great amount of Physical Mit, decent Tactical Mit Mit and Resistance)

Legendary Items

Legendary Item Traceries


With LIs recently revamped, the new system has simplified a lot of Hunter’s gameplay. Weapon swapping in combat is now disabled, and with that in mind, Hunter’s LIs can be built accordingly.

For Min-Max gameplay, a Hunter needs 3 LIs in total, which are:

  1. Hunter’s Bow: This will keep all the general Traceries.
  2. Hunter’s Sword for Single-target: This will keep all Single-target Traceries and Damage over Time ‘Words of Power’.
  3. Hunter’s Sword for AoE: This will keep Rain of Arrows Damage, and AoE ‘Words of Power’ Traceries.

* Note: If you don’t want an AoE setup (it can be quite useful for 3-mans and trash fights in Raids), you can skip the AoE Sword and just stick with a Single-target Sword. The difference will only be felt in Trash fights, and not in Boss Fights, as in Boss Fights, you will use the Single-target Sword anyway. If you do end up making an AoE Sword, don’t forget to swap to the Red AoE Trait Tree also (found above).



Here is what I do on Red Hunter:

    1. Let’s start first with traps, and a Burst rotation, and then move to Normal rotation.

    1. If you have an extra trait line available, I would really recommend to have a Yellow Line Swap, so you can put traps down before the fight starts. Think of it like how Minstrels swap to Yellow to put anthems.

    1. There are 5 traps you can put down and I recommend to start putting them down at least 15s before the fight starts.

    1. Start with Triple Trap – Tripwire – The One Trap – Piercing Trap – Deadly Decoy. These all put nice little debuffs on target, such as +15% incoming damage, some DoTs (damage over time), a little morale absorb and +10% incoming critical chance. These debuffs last for a small duration but its a nice boost for you and your group.

    1. Now traps are placed and you have a few seconds left before your Tank engages the boss. So, go in Camouflage (stealth), this gives you +50% critical chance on your first hit against target.

    1. After in Camouflage, use Burn Hot, and then Improved Focus, which gives you another +25% Critical chance.

    1. Now the boss has started, use Heartseeker first for a nice big crit/dev, and follow it up with quick Penetrating Shot for the debuff, and follow that with an Upshot. Follow the Upshot with a Swift Bow, then Blood Arrow, then Exsanguinate (for the Dot), and finish it up with a Barbed Arrow. That concludes the Burst rotation.

Now the normal rotation:

    1. Here are a few tips before a rotation can be discussed.

    1. Hunter has a debuff and a few DoTs to maintain on cooldown, it helps to track those via a plugin so you can have good uptimes.

    1. First is Penetrating Shot debuff, it puts a -4% mitigation debuff on target and +10% ranged critical chance for 10s. So this is a skill you need to use every 8 seconds or so.

    1. Next up is the Barbed Arrow, it’s a strong DoT, use this skill once every 10 seconds or so.

    1. Next is the Exsanguinate dot, which lasts for 20s and has a cooldown of 20s. You open this skill from using Blood Arrow, which has a cooldown of 15s. Don’t use Blood Arrow on cooldown as sometimes you might not be apply to reapply Exsanguinate dot as it times out. So, ideally use Blood Arrow every 20s, so you can place the Exsanguinate dot.

    1. That’s your bleeds and debuff covered. Next is the usage of Upshot and Heartseeker, your key skills on DPS contribution. As mentioned earlier, your Crits/Devs will reduce the cooldown of those skills by 1-2s, and you want to keep both of those skills on cooldown as much as you can. Try to maintain Upshot usage with Max Focus for best DPS results. So, keep Upshot (ideally with Max Focus spent on it) and Heartseeker on cooldown.

    1. Next up is Swift Bow, which is again a good contributor to your overall DPS. Use this skill when Heartseeker and Upshot are on cooldown. If you have the proc from Quickshot which makes this skill instant, even better. If you don’t have the proc, it’s fine, use it regardless when HS/Upshot are on cooldown.

    1. Next, Quick shot, your best Focus generator skill, this should always be used when you need Focus and if your big spenders (such as Upshot/Blood Arrow) are on cooldown.

    1. Use Blindside whenever it’s up and you need Focus.

    1. Keep Merciful Shot on cooldown when the target meets the health requirements for the skill, use this skill to fill in gaps when Upshot, Heartseeker and Swift Bow are on cooldown.

    1. To conclude, there is no strict Static Rotation for sustained Red Line DPS. You should focus on keeping:
        • Your DoTs active (Barbed Arrow and Exsanguinate)

        • Penetrating Shot debuff

        • Heartseeker and Upshot on cooldown

        • Using Swift Bow when HS/Upshot are on cooldown.

        • Using Quick shot to fill in gaps and getting Proc for Swift Bow

        • Use Blindside on cooldown, gap filler and focus generator.

        • Using Merciful Shot when HS/Upshot/SB are on cooldown.



Information regarding consumables, why, which types, differences, etc.

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