Note before using

We hope this guide will be useful to you. But 2023 is a year of class changes. Currently use this guide as a start point for your level 140 journey. 

Last update: April
Class update status:  Small ones over time. 2023 update unknown

If you have any other questions or are looking for a place to chat, feel free to join our discord server!

Red runekeeper


This guide covers everything that you need to become a powerful Rune-Keeper. 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 RK’s provide great sustained high DPS via long-range, induction-based attacks that deal damage-over-time.
Using their strong self-heals to stay alive in time of need they are able to provide the group with a great utility named Do Not Fall This Day (DNF). With the Do Not Fall This Day Cooldown tracery you are able to have 2 DNFs up at the same time, allowing you to revive up to 2 players every 5 minutes.

Red Rune-Keepers are also able to debuff the enemy’s defenses whilst they attack their target. Making your enemy more vulnerable to your attacks and that of your group. Decreasing their armour rating by 15% for 8 seconds on every Fire skill hit (Molten Flame) and having 30% chance per attack to apply a +5% incoming damage debuff (Mystifying Flames) that lasts for 20 seconds.

Rune-Keepers have been a strong class for a very long time and while they do not always score the highest DPS during a raid or instance, they are enabling your group by dealing high amounts of damage, debuffing the enemy and being able to prevent key group member from being taken out of the fight.

Other information sources available

Older guide, last updated for U34 –

Stat Goals

Critical Rating (25%) > Tactical Mastery (200%) > Finesse (30%+) > Vitality > Tactical Mitigation

The basic stat cap for Critical Rating is 25% and the cap for Tactical Mastery is 200%. But with the traits for Deliberate Address and Cutting Remarks the values go up to 30% for Critical Rating and up to 205% for Tactical Mastery. 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 Tactical 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.

After that you should focus on getting your finesse up to at least 25% but it is recommended to get to 30% for higher tier instances, as otherwise a your attacks may be resisted in T3 and higher content.

Once your Finesse target has been met you should focus on slotting Vitality essences and then Tactical Mitigation essences.

Trait Trees

Early raid build for U35 provided by Gwyns Discord –

red runekeeper gwyn


These virtues are the best choice for Red Line Rune-Keepers. Taking the best offensive virtues and adding the best defensive virtues for more survivability.

You’ll want to do your best to max out your virtues as soon as possible, as the stat boosts they provide are high and easily replace multiple essences.

Honesty: An excellent virtue providing the most Tactical Mastery out of all the virtues. It provides a high amount of Tactical Mastery Rating. A medium amount of Will (which further contributes to your Tactical Mastery) and a low amount of Critical Rating.

Wisdom: Another excellent virtue providing a large amount of Will, a medium amount of Tactical Mastery and a low amount of Finesse.

Confidence: A great virtue providing the most Critical Rating out of all virtues. A high amount of Critical Rating, a medium amount of Finesse and a low amount of Evade Rating.

Wit: Another great virtue that provides us with a high amount of Finesse, a medium amount of Critical Rating and a low amount of Tactical and Physical  Mastery.

Loyalty: A great defensive Virtue that provides us with a high amount of Vitality, a medium amount of Loyalty and a low amount of incoming healing.

Legendary Items

Runekeeper legendary weapons. Priority upgrades viewable in video. Produced by Gwyn. 
Mix yellow and red runestone with a red satchel

Rotations - outdated

There are a few different rotations depending on the circumstances of the fight, whether its a Boss pull, AoE situation or a Dummy parse.

This rotation is an example, Red RK rotation is very proc dependant and cannot be scripted but I will do my best to incorporate the Skill prioritisation for different situations, in summary for a beginner point of view, you want to use:


Essay of Fire -> Scathing Mockery -> Writ of Fire -> Smouldering Wrath -> Fiery Ridicule or Distracting Flame –> repeat.

Essay of Fire -> Essay of Flame -> Ceaseless Argument -> Writ of Fire -> Smouldering Wrath (important you use this off of CD for maximum DPS)

Fiery ridicule -> Scribe’s Spark -> Distracting Flame (track this skill and don’t use again until its about to expire) at this point your DoT’s are up, you now need to tier Writ of fire and Fiery Ridicule up to Tier 3 (assuming Closing Remarks has proc’d)

You can fit in another Essay of fire -> Essence of Flame -> Smouldering Wrath -> go back into Writ of Fire -> Fiery Ridicule -> Ceaseless spam.

Essay of Fire -> Scathing Mockery (Closing Remarks has 2 seconds left) -> use Epic Conclusion (gain Aftershock and EC DoT). Attunement is now neutral, so now use Attunement builders.

After builders -> Smouldering Wrath (if off CD), if not refresh tier 3 Dots -> weaving through Ceaseless Argument and Scribe spark as Closing remarks can be proc’d and applied again as soon as Aftershock has ended -> Smouldering Wrath -> refresh Distracting flame -> weave through Writ of Fire -> Fiery Ridicule -> (no Closing remarks proc) -> Essay of Fire -> simultaneous Scathing mockery and Combustion- (Attunement now neutral)- Vivid imagery -> Final word animation interrupt -> Attunement builders or re-apply Tier 3 DoTs.


In an AoE situation, I prioritize getting Writ of Fire to Tier 3, and alternating with Fiery Ridicule and Distracting Flame.

Then use Essay of Fire -> Scathing Mockery combined with Combustion to spread the Writ of Fire dot to multiple enemies

Slam down Runestones for full Attunement -> Essence of storm and then use Smouldering Wrath.


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