Lore-mastery: Lore-master legendary items in Isengard
A while back, in fact quite a long while back as it was before update 2, I wrote a guide to lore-master LI legacies on the official forum. While the info in there still stacks up fairly well, with Isengard and various patches, there’s been enough changes to the LI system and to class mechanics that I think it’s worth putting together an updated guide to lore-master legacies. And while I’m here, I’ll also cover some of the basic information on when and why to upgrade your LIs, because there’s been some confusion about this on the forums recently.
When and why to upgrade your LIs
If you’ve been playing around with the LI system for a while but still don’t feel you quite understand the benefit of higher equip level or better age (3rd vs 2nd vs 1st) on your LIs, I highly recommend you read over mmorsel’s excellent overview. In short, though, there’s two reasons why you really need to upgrade from level 65 legendary items by the time you hit level 75:
- Default legacy. Every LI has a default legacy. For lore-masters this is tactical damage rating on staves and heal rating on books. As items increase in equip level, the default legacy rank jumps up significantly. For a 10 level gap from 65-75, the difference in damage and healing (which includes share the power) is very significant, in the order of 40-50%. You can equip the worst possible level 75 3rd age staff with no legacies ranked up except the tactical damage legacy and no relics on it and it will do far more damage than the very best level 65 first age staff.
- ‘Rating’ legacies. Any legacy that is expressed as a rating (eg. fire skills crit rating, -debuffing skills resist rating) will have a greater potency at higher equip levels. I haven’t seen the exact numbers, but apparently they max out at about 30% higher on level 75 compared to level 65 items.
From my testing, it seems that at least by the time you get to about level 70 the gap is such that you really should grab a new staff, throw some random tier 4 relics on it and replace your level 65 staff – and then do a proper upgrade at level 75. Books aren’t as important while levelling, although higher -damage and fire skils resist rating will increase your dps somewhat, but certainly if you want to be running any group content you will want to upgrade to a level 75 3rd age book.
What legacies to ‘choose’
The biggest changes to the LI system since my last guide is that you now get a guaranteed 3 legacies on ID and you can now pick your own legacies with legacy scrolls, albeit at a cost of being stuck with a tier 2 legacy that will make your points run out very quickly (until you grind out scrolls of greater empowerment). The great majority of LIs you get will now have 3 majors and 3 minors by the time they’re levelled up, all of which are customisable. You do have a chance of getting extra major legacies at each of the first three reforge levels, but it’s such a low chance (appx 5% each reforge) that you should consider a 4-major item a bonus – by default you should be thinking that your LIs will have 3 and only 3 major legacies.
This section will discuss what your typical LI for various roles should look like.
+ tactical damage rating
– staff strike cooldown
+ burning embers initial damage OR + fire skills critical multiplier
any 3 of:
+ sticky gourd direct damage
+ ents go to war damage
+ cracked earth damage
+ burning embers range
True setting of ages (the L70 remarkable setting of begginings is not nearly as good)
True gem of the encircling seas (again, the level 75 gem of fortune can’t compete)
Remarkable rune of power or true rune of the two trees
Symbol of Tactics
The first two major legacies there are pretty much non-negotiable. Tactical damage rating is a good increase to your tactical damage and -staff strike cooldown is a big increase to your melee damage. With some of the new skills in Isengard, I’m finding myself much less likely to hit staff strike every 5 seconds; i think you can quite easily get away with only levelling that up to -4 or even just -3 seconds. It’s still a wortwhile boost to one of your core skills though. The third major legacy is a much more difficult choice. Previously it was pretty clear that burning embers initial damage was the winner, simply because LMs didn’t have any way of boosting their crit chance up very much so the consistent damage boost from a key skill was better than a crit multiplier boost (it was about a 2% vs 1% DPS increase). However, with improved staff sweep giving us a big boost to crit chance, especially in AOE situations, it becomes a bit of a closer call. Given the number of variables now, the maths is basically impossible to calculate. My guess is that +crit multiplier is better in AOE situations and +burning embers is better in single target fights. Personally I’d say that if you already have one of those legacies on the staff you’re using then don’t replace it with the other one, but if you do have to use a legacy scroll to get one then go for burning embers. And if you get a 4th major then take both!
Minor legacies are much less important, and if you’re only using a 3rd age staff you won’t have any points to spend on them anyway. If you do have the good fortune to have a 2nd age staff, but it doesn’t have 4 majors, you might have some spare points to put into one or two minors. Personally I find +burning embers range to be a great quality of life legacy, especially when soloing. Other than that, either boost an AOE skill or improve one of your stats.
+share the power increase
+ cracked earth range
Remarkable Setting of Beginnings OR True Setting of the Ages
Remarkable gem of charity (provided it actually does give more +outgoing healing than the extraordinary gem, contrary to what’s in the lorebook at the moment)
True Rune of the Two Trees
Symbol of Vigor
In a raiding situation where you’re really not contributing much by way of direct damage, it’s not a bad idea to build up a basic 3rd age staff with share the power increase and some extra stats. It’s not a bad idea to look for passives that are relevant to raiding on this staff either, particularly +tactical resist rating and +ICPR. Another big difference between this staff and your normal DPS staff should be your relics; build for +ICPR, +outgoing healing and + tactical defence (eg. gem of charity) instead of +tac offence and +tac crit. There’s not much to help raiding lore-masters out in the way of staff legacies (cracked earth range might be mildly useful if you’re doing delayed roots), but you can build quite a useful raiding staff if you’re willing to put some work into extra relics and finding a basic 3rd age staff with good passives.
- Damaging skills resist rating
– Fire skills resist rating
+ burning embers pulses
Bonus (if you get 4): + fire skills critical rating or + wizard’s fire pulses
+ fire damage over time
+ stat scrolls
(relics as per DPS staff)
The big change here is the + burning embers pulses legacy which, with (L75) improved burning embers DoTs stacking, now becomes a key DPS legacy. You won’t want to max this out because it becomes very expensive, but at least a couple of points here is a great idea. Given the increased spam-ability of sob:wf in multi-target situations, i’d also consider the pulses legacy for that skill if you happen to get a 4th legacy. And don’t forget the + fire damage over time legacy which not only increases your stacking burning embers DoTs, it now seems to increase the damage from your sticky gourd DoT which it didn’t pre-Isengard.
- Debuffing skills resist rating
+ non-damaging signs of power duration
– Damaging skills resist rating OR + beacon of hope healing
+ inner flame healing
+ bane flare targets
+ ancient craft targets OR stat scroll
(relics as per support staff)
While the first two majors here are quite clear (sop durations primarily to get permanent sop:see all ends; if you don’t have points to max it out, remember you only need +15s to get full uptime while traited yellow) there’s still a tough choice to make for the third major legacy on a support book. Clearly if you have 4 then take both -damaging skills resist rating and beacon of hope healing, but I’ve long been a fan of having – damaging skills resist rating on a support book simply because many of our damaging skills also function as support skills, with stuns, debuffs (gust of wind) and roots. Plus, we can meaningfully contribute to a group’s DPS, especially in smaller group content or during burst damage phases, and not having the resist legacy can hurt at those times. Having said that, stacking finesse may be another option here so perhaps the legacy isn’t as important and you can just beef up your beacon heal.
And for the first time ever, I think lore-masters should be taking a look at the inner flame healing legacy. The new trait improved inner flame turns this into a channeled group heal and the legacy can boost it by a spectacular 50%. I haven’t had a chance to play around with the new trait much, but with the legacy and appropriate gear/relics it looks like you’ll be able to get inner flame up to about 120-150/tick which is a pretty decent full fellowship heal. So it’s definitely worth considering, even if you’re only in a support healing role.
I hope that’s a good general overview to lore-master legendary items, please let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts or questions. Also, I know a lot of people don’t like “grinding” legendary items (personally I find the customisation aspect pretty fun and because most of the upgrade items are earned through group content that I want to do anyway, it’s not a real drag for me) and want to hold on to their old ones, but with the possible exception of a support staff and a DPS book, you really do lose out on a whole lot by not upgrading to at least level 75 3rd age items so go ahead and upgrade, even if you just use basic relics instead of the fully optimised ones.
Up next week: I’ve been a bit sick this week so haven’t yet been able to level to 75, but I should have by next week and so will share my thoughts on how the new skills and combat mechanics play out at the new end game.