Yellow Rune-keeper

Lightning Rune-keeper ‘Thunder’ Build

By Araphorn – Updated for Blood of Azog, U30.2

Table of Contents


Welcome, here you will find an excellent build for Lightning RK, tuned specifically for Endgame Raids and Instances.

Lightning RK was one of the top specs since MM expansion released, but they got a few nerfs around Update 26. They are now not what they once were, and their rotation is severely crippled with the addition of a cooldown on Ceaseless Argument. I would say now that they are 60-70% of what they once were. They were nerfed around wrongly, there was no need to add cooldowns to skills and break their rotation, they just needed a base damage reduction nerf to an appropriate level.

When Lightning RKs do get a spot in Raids, they can still provide DNFs to group, which are valuable, and have decent (not great) DPS if they play it right. Ranged DPS still necessary for some fights.

Stat Goals

*This applies to all levels, from 1 to 130.

The best stats for Lightning RKs are Critical Rating, Tactical Mastery and Finesse. After that, then Vitality should be worked on to an acceptable level.

Tactical Mastery > Critical Rating > Finesse > Vitality

(These stats are acquired from Essences, Virtues, LIs, etc.)

With Endgame gear and correct placement of Essences, Virtues and so on, self buffed stats should be around:

Critical Rating~600,000+
Tactical Mastery~800,000+
Finesse30% for T3 | 40% for T4+
Morale~350,000 – 400,000+

* While you are gearing up, first remove all Essences from your current Gear. Then slot the right Virtues (more down on that down below) and then slot Essences as per the Stat goals. This way you can plan your setup better, and utilize Essences perfectly, and can dump the remaining Essences in Vitality or other Stat of your choice after meeting Stat goals mentioned above.


The new Armour Set for RKs from Remmorchant Raid called ‘Sudden Thunder’ is a good set for Lightning RKs. It gives Static Surge another 10% chance to proc, which makes it overall a 20% chance with the passive trait. This results in Surge to proc on a very decent rate, which helps with rotation gaps due to Ceaseless Argument cooldown, not to mention Static Surge’s great damage potential. So 4x of Remmorchant Set, which can be paired with 3x of new FoKD Raid set, which gives lots of additional stats.

As for the Jewels, the Best in Slots are from different content, please refer to the tables below.

*NEW: Builds now include a Starter setup, which contains gear from no raids/instances, a beginner friendly setup which can be acquired just from Landscape/Daily questing, such as from U28 Missions and U26 Wilderland Dailies. This Build can be found below the End-game Builds.

End-game Build

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmRemmorchant Raid Barter
ChestRemmorchant Raid Barter
Shoulders Remmorchant Raid Barter
GlovesFoKD Raid Barter
LegsRemmorchant Raid Barter
BootsFoKD Raid Barter
CloakFoKD Raid Barter
Off-handN/A – Uses a 2-Hander Stone
Class ItemCrafted, Metalsmith

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Shadowed King T4/T5
Earring 2Shadowed King T4/T5
Necklace AD Raid T4/T5
PocketMissions/AD Raid T4/T5
Bracelet 1Remmorchant Raid T5
Bracelet 2Remmorchant Raid T5
Bracelets AlternativeAD Raid. Use 2
of these if no
Remmo Bracelets
Ring 1AD Raid T4/T5
Ring 2 AD Raid T4/T5

Starter Build

This Build is intended for those who just want to play solo and do not wish to participate in Instances, Raids and Lootboxes. The 130 Level Gear from this Build can be acquired just by doing Solo dailies (and some Crafting) from different late-game Zones, such as from Wilderland and Elderslade. As for Essences, you can drag/drop ones you get from Questing or Crafting (whichever Tier is fine), just try to follow the Stat Goals above and Slot the ones which are needed by your Class.

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmCrafted, requires
Ithiligalad Boxes
ChestWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
Shoulders War of the Three
Peaks Missions
GlovesWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
LegsWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
BootsWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
CloakWilderland Dailies
Off-handN/A – Uses a 2-Hander Stone
Class ItemCrafted, Metalsmith

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Wilderland Dailies
Earring 2Wilderland Dailies
Necklace Wilderland Dailies
PocketWilderland Dailies
Bracelet 1Wilderland Dailies
Bracelet 2Wilderland Dailies
Ring 1Wilderland Dailies
Ring 2 Wilderland Dailies


Essence NameEssenceNote
Critical RatingUse these to reach
~600,000+ Critical Rating.
Tactical MasteryUse these to reach
~800,000 Tactical Mastery.
FinesseUse these to reach
~300,000 Finesse for T3+.

~400,000+ Finesse for
VitalityUse these to reach
~400,000+ Morale.
Tactical Mastery TriggerUse 1 of these.
Critical Rating Trigger 1Use 1 of these.
Critical Rating Trigger 2Use 1 of these.
Frost TriggerUse 1 of these if there’s room.
Fire TriggerUse 1 of these if there’s room.

*Note: If you do not have the resources/solvents for Slade-wrought (Tier 6) Essences, then you can use Tier 4 or Tier 5 Essences, and they are still good enough for all content!

Trait Trees

Here is how I trait my Lightning RK:

Lightning RK tree.

You get everything important here, the extra Will from Blue line, extra Mits and instant Self Motivation from Red line, and everything you need from Yellow line to DPS.


These are the virtues I use to reach the Stat Goals. You can play around with these to get the numbers you want, but I would not recommend using any Mits virtues (apart from Fidelity) as you don’t gain much from them.

Virtues for RK.

By using these Virtues, I reach my Stat Goals, while still maintaining a good Morale pool.

  1. Honesty (Great for extra Outgoing Healing (through Tactical Mastery) and Critical Rating)
  2. Wisdom (Great for Will/Mastery boost along with some Finesse)
  3. Confidence (Great for extra Critical and some Finesse)
  4. Wit (Excellent for Finesse, and good for extra Mastery/Critical) (I swap this to Fidelity for tougher fights)
  5. Loyalty (Number 1 virtue for Morale, for any class)

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

  • Tolerance
  • Fidelity

Legendary Items

These are pretty straight-forward for Lightning RKs, there’s no weapon swapping at all. However, if you can swap Rune-stones for Flurry of Words debuff (if no one in your group is doing it that is), that can comes in pretty nice.

Rune-stone (Weapon)

TypePost-Imbued Legacy
MajorFire-type Damage
MajorFury of Storm Damage
MajorWrath of Flame Damage Over Time
MinorSustaining Bolt Damage
MinorDistracting Flame Cooldown
and Combustion Damage
MinorFury of Storm Critical Damage
MinorVivid Imagery Targets


Rune-keeper’s Rune-satchel (Class Item)

TypePost-Imbued Legacy
MajorScribe’s Spark Damage
MajorSelf Motivation Cooldown
and Runestone Healing/Damage
MajorShocking Words Damage
MinorCeaseless Argument Damage
MinorEpic Conclusion Damage
MinorLegacy of Vitality
MinorDo Not Fall This Day Cooldown
and Rousing Words Healing


Swap Legendary Items

There are a few swaps needed for DPS RKs. One Swap is needed for extra Flurry of Words duration and another Two swaps are needed for the skill called: Do Not Fall This Day (DNFs).

Here’s the swap for Flurry of Words:

Non-Imbued Rune-stone Swap

TypeNon-Imbued Legacy
MinorChill of Winter Debuff Duration
(Rest 5 legacies can be random)

This Rune-stone is used as a swap for the following skill:

  • Flurry of Words. It makes the skill’s duration last for 25 seconds and its cooldown is 25 seconds also, which makes the debuff a 100% uptime. Pretty nice to swap to this for the debuff.

Here are the swaps needed for the skill Do Not Fall This Day (DNF):

(Use the Healing LIs to swap for DNF)

Swap Rune-stone & Bag
  1. Rune-stone is needed for the Healing Attuned Skill Power Cost Legacy, it has a 2nd legacy on imbuement which increases the Morale return on RK Revives (DNFs) by up to 90%+, which is very important for those who take DNFs.
  2. Bag is used as a swap for DNFs as well. It reduces DNF cooldown by half, allowing the RK to place it on 2 people per 5 minutes. Pretty important to swap for this (Don’t forget to swap back).

It is very good to swap both, Rune-stone and Bag before placing a DNF, this way it ensures your target revives with 90%+ Morale pool and gets your DNF cooldown to 2m30s.


Here is what I do on Lightning RK:

But before I begin, I will clarify how Writ of Lightning works if there are multiple RKs in group.

  • Tier 1 : Writs can override each other in this tier between RKs. First RK’s Writ T1 will be replaced with second RK’s Writ T1 and will not upgrade to T2!
  • Tier 2-3: Writs do NOT override each other between RKs. Whoever has the Tier 2-3 writ on the mob has the full control, any other RK’s writ will do nothing (will not upgrade, will not refresh duration will do just nothing)
  • CnR Writ: CnR Writ is the exception, overrides any writ regardless of tier.
  • So, if there are multiple Lightning RKs in group, you need to assign 1 person for Writs as usual and first 3-4 seconds no other RK should use writ. As soon as Writ RK upgraded his writ to T2, others then can use writs freely.

DPS Rotation, assuming it’s a boss fight:

  1. Place down Flurry of Words on where boss is supposed to be moved/tanked at.
  2. Place down Lightning and Fire rock for attunement boost, so Concession & Rebuttal (CnR) skill can be used 1-2s before getting into combat.
  3. If you are the Writ RK, then use Writ now, to get a T3 Writ debuff on boss. If you are not, then don’t do this.
  4. Use Ceaseless Argument (CA) next and always keep it on cooldown, prioritize this skill the most, only exception is Static Surge (SS), use SS first even if CA is off cooldown.
  5. After CA is on cooldown, use Scribe’s Spark, then Essence of Storm, then Vivid Imagery and cut that animation with Final Words skill.
  6. After you have done that, refresh Writ (if you are the RK assigned for it), and watch for a buff called ‘Closing Remarks’. It can help a lot if you use a plugin to track this buff. I use BuffMonitor to track this buff and ‘Charged’ buff.
  7. If you have the Closing Remarks buff, use Epic Conclusion (EC) now, this is the only time you will use EC for the next 3 minutes till your CnR skill is back. Ideal time to use EC is when you have CnR up on yourself, you have Closing Remarks also, and there is an Oathbreakers on the boss. That’s the one time EC and its DoT will do the most damage. Never use EC without those things.
  8. Never use Shocking Words unless you want to stun a mob desperately, because it removes all your attunement, meaning you will lose out on 9% critical chance and 27% damage until you bring your attunement back. Never use EC also as mentioned above, unless you have CnR/Closing Remarks buff and Oathbreakers on boss to compensate.
  9. This brings us to the last Lightning skill, called Sustaining Bolt. Use this skill only when you have the ‘Charged’ buff. Track this via a plugin, I use BuffMonitor. If you use this skill without the Charged buff, then you lose all attunement and it’s a DPS loss.
  10. To summarize, here’s how the rotation looks:
  11. Writ – CA – Scribe’s Spark – Essence of Storm – Vivid Imagery – Final Words
    Static Surge (used whenever proc, drop every other skill in favor) – Sustaining Bolt (used whenever Charged buff proc) – Epic Conclusion (used with CnR/Closing Remarks and Oathbreakers).
  12. Track ‘Charged’ and ‘Closing Remarks’ via BuffMonitor plugin, it really makes life easy. Track Writ of Lightning debuff using Debuff Vitals plugin, which also makes life super easy. Both plugins are easy to setup and get working.
  13. When there is a rotation gap, use Flurry of Words. Also, you can use Steady Hands – Words of Exaltation on tanks/people taking heavy damage to give them a nice morale bubble.
  14. Refresh DNFs every 2m30s.


There are the consumables I use on RK:

  1. This Enamel I use for a Dev. boost when there are Oathbreakers on the target.

And this is the food I use:

Updated as of U30.