Yellow Captain

Yellow Captain Tank ‘Leader’ Build

By Araphorn – Updated for Yondershire, U33

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Yellow Captain 97

Table of Contents


Welcome, here you will find a good build for Captain Tank, which can be used for all End-game Instances/Raids without an issue.

Captain is one of the best tanks in LOTRO, as they have the pretty good survival and offer some of the best group utility when compared to other tanks. As for aggro control, they don’t have the best AoE aggro control, but that’s usually not an issue for raids, but they do have great Single-target control (which is a bit tricky when compared to Guards, but I’ll explain that in rotation section).

Captain tank brings +10% group wide morale, a double mark for the group (either Telling or Revealing), an extra Banner, some extra useful heals/HoTs, fellowhip To Arms, and a double Rez.

Stat Goals

These goals are kept with Essence & Gear planning in mind, as to which Essences are to be prioritized over others. These goals can also be used when picking Virtues.

Tactical Mitigation > Physical Mitigation > Vitality

After Mits are capped or near capped, then Vitality essences can be used. Generally, only Tactical Mitigation essences will be needed, as Physical Mitigation gets capped with just cap-level Gear and Virtues. At the beginning of expansion, Essence slots are really limited, this gets easier as better items become available later down the line.

* Before planning Essences, slot the right Virtues (more on that down below). This way you can plan your setup better, and utilize Essences perfectly, and you can dump the remaining Essence slots in Vitality, Finesse, or other Stat of your choice after meeting Stat goals mentioned above.


With new Raid released, new gear for Tanking Yellow Captain is published in the tables down below. Yellow Captains will build for the 7-piece Yellow Set from the new raid. Alternatively, a 3-piece set of Blue line can be used as well for some healing support, but there will be some loss of crucial tanking stats if gone down that route.

There are 2 published Builds, one for Endgame and one for Starters.

End-game Build

Armour Pieces

Gear Slot Set Piece Location
Helm Hiddenhoard Raid
Chest Hiddenhoard Raid
Shoulders Hiddenhoard Raid
Gloves Hiddenhoard Raid
Legs Hiddenhoard Raid
Boots Hiddenhoard Raid
Cloak Hiddenhoard Raid
Off-hand Hiddenhoard Raid
Class Item Crafted, Tailor

Jewelry Pieces

Gear Slot Set Piece Location
Earring 1 Hiddenhoard Raid
Earring 2 Hiddenhoard Raid
Necklace Hiddenhoard Raid
Pocket Hiddenhoard Raid
Bracelet 1 Storvagun Winter Festival
Bracelet 2 Storvagun Winter Festival
Ring 1 Hiddenhoard Raid
Ring 2 Hiddenhoard Raid

Starter Build

The 140 Level Gear from this Build can be acquired by playing the 3 and 6 man instances, higher difficulty will award better loot. Having this gear will allow to progress level capped Raids. As for Essences, you can use the ones you get from Questing or Crafting (whichever Tier is fine), and try to follow the Stat Goals above and Slot the ones which are needed by your Class.

Armour Pieces

Gear Slot Set Piece Location
Helm Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Chest Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Shoulders Gundabad 3-Man Instance
Gloves Gundabad 3-Man Instance
Legs Gundabad 3-Man Instance
Boots Gundabad 3-Man Instance
Cloak Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Off-hand Embers Box
Class Item Crafted, Tailor

Jewelry Pieces

Gear Slot Set Piece Location
Earring 1 Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Earring 2 Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Necklace Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Pocket Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Bracelet 1 Storvagun Winter Festival
Bracelet 2 Storvagun Winter Festival
Ring 1 Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Ring 2 Gundabad 6-Man Instance


Essence Name Essence Note
Use these to reach
Tactical Mitgation
cap, or near cap.
Vitality Use these to
fill Slots safter
Mits are capped.
Finesse Use some of
these if there’s room.
Tank Mitigation
Trigger 1
Use 1 of these
if there’s room.
Tank Mitigation
Trigger 2
Use 1 of these
if there’s room.

*Note: Finesse and Trigger Essences for Tanks are optional/situational. Use only if you have room for them, although the Tank Trigger essences can be quite nice for harder group content.

Trait Trees

There are multiple trees needed for Yellow Line Captain, with each having their own purpose. Which tree to use depends on the type of content you are doing and what the group leader wants from you. There’s a build for Double Rez and extra healing support while tanking. Then there’s another build which includes traiting for maxed out Red banner which allows your raid to have 2 Red Banners, which is very nice to have for DPS incentive fights.

Here is the Yellow-Blue tree. Generally use this tree for all content, 3/6-mans, Raids, Main Tanking and such.

yellow healing 1

Yellow-Blue tree.

This tree gives all the important stuff, just no Red banner, but you have the Yellow Banner here, which is extremely good for heals. It is not worth traiting for Strength in Numbers as that skill didn’t scale properly after 105, it’s a waste of points. Noble Mark also got badly nerfed, so not worth traiting for that either. Traiting for 5% block chance is only nice for trash mobs, but since those are not an issue, it’s not worth wasting 5 points for that, cause you can’t use that on bosses.

Here is the Yellow-Red tree, it’s just good for the extra Red Banner. Use this tree if there is no Red Captain in the group.

yellow red

Yellow-Red Tree

That is the setup for Yellow-Red, it’s generally same stuff in Yellow as compared to previous one, it’s just lesser stuff from Blue (No Double-Rez) and more in Red for Red Banner.

35 Trait Points Build for Legendary Servers

capt yellow 35

35 Points Build

60 Trait Points Build for Beginners

capt yellow 60

60 Points Build


These are the virtues I use to reach the Stat Goals. I use these 5 virtues on all my tanks as I find these exact ones to be the best for tanks.

virtues tank 5

Virtues for Tanking

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

  1. Loyalty (Great for Vitality)
  2. Fidelity (Great for Vitality + Tactical Mit)
  3. Charity (Gives great amount of Resistance, decent Vitality and Physical Mit)
  4. Tolerance (Gives great amount of Tactical Mit, decent Physical Mit and Resistance)
  5. Innocence (Gives great amount of Physical Mit, decent Tactical Mit Mit and Resistance)
    • If you are over Physical Mitigation cap, swap Innocence with Honour

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

  • Honour (Gives decent Tactical Mit, Morale and Critical Defence)
  • Fortitude (Gives decent Morale, Resistance and Critical Defence)
  • Compassion (Gives great Physical Mit, decent Tactical Mit and Armour Value)

Legendary Items

Captain tanks require 2 LIs dedicated to tanking alone. They are pretty straight-forward and these are the legacies you need:

*Note: Please use Word of Craft Traceries as per Stat Goals.

1-Hander Weapon

Type Sockets
Heraldic Tracery Heraldry of the Ox
Word of Power Base Morale Multiplier
Word of Power Incoming Heal Bonus
Word of Mastery Battle-hardened Incoming Damage
Word of Mastery Battle-hardened Outgoing Healing Buff
Word of Mastery Last Stand Heal
Word of Mastery Melee Skill Healing
Word of Mastery Rallying Cry Healing
Word of Mastery Vocal Skill Healing
Word of Craft Grand Willpower
Word of Craft Grand Willpower

Captain’s Emblem (Class Item)

Type Sockets
Heraldic Tracery Heraldry of the Ox
Word of Power Area Effect Target Count
Word of Power Incoming Damage Reduction
Word of Power Incoming Damage Reduction
Word of Mastery Make Haste Duration
Word of Mastery Muster Courage Fear Resist
Word of Mastery Pressing Attack and
Devastating Blow Critical Rating
Word of Mastery Shield of the Dunedain Duration
Word of Mastery Shield of the Dunedain Incoming Healing
Word of Mastery Words of Courage Healing
Word of Craft Grand Armour
Word of Craft Grand Armour


Here is what I do on Captain Tank, but before I begin, I will go through all of the Captain Taunts, as there a lot now.

  1. Threatening Shout: Single Target Taunt, 15 seconds cooldown. This is your best Taunt for Single-target.
  2. Elendil’s Roar: This is a new skill added with U27. It’s a massive AoE Taunt, which has 10 Targets and 30 seconds cooldown.
  3. Grave Wound: This is a Single Target Taunt, 15 seconds cooldown and is Melee. It’s a very unreliable Taunt, which gets B/P/E’d all the time, use this when you have no other option.
  4. Improved Blade of Elendil: Single Target Taunt, 4 seconds cooldown and is Melee. This is a very reliable Taunt, it never misses. However, it takes away your Battle-hardened State, which is important to be in while Tanking. Use this if you can instantly refresh your BH State.

For AoE aggro control:

  1. Aggro control is a bit tricky on Captain. You don’t have infinite AoE skills which generate aggro for you, unlike Guardian, and you don’t want to start your pull with the AoE Taunt (Elendil’s Roar) right away. What I do to counter this is with some healing (HPS).
  2. So what I do is, instead of picking and tanking mobs 1 by 1, I try to pick as much as I can, say around 10+, I run in and start with inspire (which puts a nice little HoT on all of my group), I ask my DPS people to not touch any mobs until I hoard them all in one place. While running with inspire and collecting mobs, I usually get defeat response from hits, which I use Rallying Cry first.
  3. Now I have collected all mobs in one place without using my AoE taunt, my HoTs from Inspire and Rallying Cry have done the work for me, and this is when I ask my DPS to start DPSing.
  4. Now I throw my Banner and To Arms, and Routing Cry when I get a defeat response. I still haven’t used AoE taunt. If I’m taking a heavy beating, I use Last Stand.
  5. Now it’s been a few seconds since I’ve stopped, the DPS has done some damage to mobs, now I use my AoE taunt (Elendil’s Roar). (Generally after 3+ seconds of stopping, after using Banner and To Arms). This copies all the threat and mobs remain mine. If I use the taunt too early, I will lose the aggro.
  6. That’s generally how AoE aggro is controlled on Captain, let your HoTs do the work, wait a bit and then use Taunt. You have Shield, Last Stand, Morale Pots and Pet Heal to keep you alive if you do big pulls. Can also use the Shield on your DPS people if their DPS is too high and they steal some mobs from you.

For Single-target aggro control:

  1. Single-target aggro control is generally very easy, you have a lot of Single-target Taunts to cycle through, and you have time to get a 2nd taunt in without losing aggro in between. However, in Raids, especially with top DPS players, you have to be very fast with double taunts or you will lose aggro and get people 1-shotted.
  2. For Raids, I would recommend to carry a Captain Tonic (crafted) Pot always. If you have Time of Need Traited, can use that instead too. Use it before starting the Boss encounter. Start the Boss with a Threatening Shout – Sure Strike – Devastating Blow – Blade of Elendil (That’s your Second Taunt). Use this rotation in rapid sequence to maintain aggro. After your Threatening Shout comes off cooldown, use it again and Boss is yours for at least 1-2 minutes.
  3. Refresh your taunts every 30 seconds to 1 minute for good practice.
  4. Now that the boss is under your control, it’s time to start to using self buffs. Throw your banner if you haven’t already pre-fight. Throw To Arms, use Routing Cry with defeat response.
  5. Every 15s refresh your Battle-hardened buff, it gives you -15% incoming damage, which is very important for you to have. Tracking this via a plugin helps. This buff is received after a hit of either Devastating Blow or Pressing Attack. However, don’t use those skills right after a Battle Shout. Use a Sure Strike before, so you get the extra 5% defence buff from there too.
  6. Maintain your Sure Strike buffs, maintain Battle-hardened buff, keep an eye on defeat responses, keep your Routing Cry buff on group, use Rally Cries if group already has Routing, and routinely re-taunt bosses to keep aggro.


There are the consumables to use on Captain:

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Yellow Captain 98

These are crafted pots for Captain. They come in useful for single-target taunts when required. Can quickly use these – Devastating Blow – Blade of Elendil.

This is the food to use:

food regen
Yellow Captain 99

food might
Yellow Captain 100

Updated as of U33.