Skirmishing 101: The Protector


Pinesong and Pineshield

I was once tanking the final boss in Trouble in Tuckborough and a protector latched on the boss and grabbed his attention. Now what was I going to do? I didn’t dare get into a threat fight with the protector, since the last thing you want to do in Tuck is to burn the boss down too fast during a raid.

The raid leader decided that I should switch to the lieutenants and let the protector tank the boss. What other skirmish soldier could tank a boss during a raid? I suspect none.

The protector is, pure and simple, a tank. Their job is to grab the attention of the enemy and take a pounding.


Pros: Heavy armor and good taunts.

Cons: They are melee soldiers.

Group Sizes: I most appreciate the protector in the smaller group sizes (duo and small fellowship). In solo runs, an herbalist may be able to tank sufficiently well if you need healing more than you need a bit more damage. In larger runs, you will likely have a player tank or two in the fellowship, thus making the protector redundant (well, maybe the protector can pick up a straggler or two).

Classes: I only recommend protectors for the ranged/tactical classes. They are harder to coordinate with melee classes since the protector stands so far ahead of you. All too often, I see a protector doing nothing because they are positioned where they cannot see the battle (and unless the soldier or their player is hit, a soldier will only join the battle if they see the enemy).

Skirmishes: The protector can be handy in skirmishes where you have to fight multiple mobs, such as Dannenglor or the Moria skirmishes. Just take care if you are in a skirmish where it’s easy to gain the attention to way too many opponents (such as Tuckborough).

Armor: Heavy

Damage: Melee

Special: Taunts.


The protector’s skills are centered on tanking. The ultimate skills determines whether your protector is better at tanking a group of mobs or a boss.

Taunting Strike – low melee with high threat

This is the basic tanking skill that doesn’t do much damage but it does get the attention of the enemy, which is the main point of using a protector.

Whirl of Fury – Low area damage with low threat

While this skill doesn’t do much threat, it generates it over several opponents. If you use a great deal of crowd control, you may want to avoid using this skill since it inflicts area damage (and can thus break any active CC).

Threatening Shout – High area threat

This skill is a nice at the start of the battle where the protector gains the attention of as many mobs as possible.

Threatening Riposte – Buff for reactive threat

This buff is nice because it causes you to generate threat on any enemy that hits you. Therefore, the more they attack your protector, the more they will want to continue fighting that protector.

Self-Reliance (Barter – Level 45) – Medium heal for protector

The one problem of getting everyone’s attention is that you may need a little bit of healing. This skill heals the protector, which makes it useful if you don’t have any healers in the group (or the healers are preoccupied with healing the player characters). Note that this skill only heals the protector.

Defender’s Strike (Barter – Level 55) – High melee damage

If you want a little extra damage, this skill can be useful. This best time to equip this skill is if the protector is your only trained soldier and you are running a skirmish with player tanks in the group.

Ultimate: Defender of All (Barter – 50) –Area forced taunt with low threat

This skill gets the attention of a full crowd. This is useful in group runs with high mob densities.

Ultimate: Solitary Defender (Barter – 60) – Single-target forced taunt and Ultimate threat

This is an excellent taunt for a single target. This skill is more useful in a boss fight, though you will have to give up the Defender of All skill to use this.


The following traits are trainable by protectors (in addition to those that are trainable by all soldiers):

Heavy Armor Training – Improves armor value of those that wear heavy armor. The armor skill is more important for the protector than it is for any other soldier role.

Shield Training – The protector is the only soldier that can use a shield. It’s good for bolstering survivability if there aren’t many healers about.

Physical Potency – Improves damage for melee attacks.

Tactical Potency – This is used to improve the protector’s taunts. It will also help the healing generated with Self-reliance. Therefore, this is generally a better fit for a protector than Physical Potency.


I rarely use a protector myself. When there is one in a fellowship run, I find myself yelling at them half the time and cheering them at the other half. They’re wont to get into trouble but they can also save your healer by keeping the attention of the enemy. Therefore, I recommend this soldier only for someone with a bit of patience (of course, if you were impatient,  you’d be wanting a soldier that dishes out more damage).

Next time, we will look at the Sage.

May your shield protect you and your spear never break,

Pineleaf Needles


  1. Andang /

    The protector can be good if you are a ranged class.

  2. Kaleigh Starshine /

    Very informative, thank you!

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