Mordor 21.1: Best available gear



Gearing up in Mordor is a little bit difficult when you’re doing it for the first time, because the gear comes from several different sources and you can’t even access them all right away to eventually plan it. So in the hopes that this clears some things up for you, I’ll just introduce (if we can call it an introduction at this point in the game) a few pieces of gear and their sources.




Questing will usually give you some gear to get by while questing and leveling, but the rewards aren’t really worth much, other than the Light of Earendil that prevents the shadow debuff.

Where questing does give you the best items is near the end of the regions Talath Urui and Agarnaith. These will give you 2 pieces each – chest and legs. For some reason, and this is likely not a bug, light armour classes get the same armour twice, while medium and heavy have dps and tanking versions.




While questing you may come across some rewards you do not like or need – you can turn those to Ash. You will be getting drops from enemies and these may not be for your class even – you can turn those to Ash. This is a decent system which allows you to clean your bags on the go by using the Flame of Ancalmir, but it has some downsides. These would be that the Ash is not that easy to get unless you’re in the Ash farms and buying a lot of keys to open lootboxes. The green, purple and teal items will give you 5, 10 or 20 ash respectively, but the same items from lootboxes will give double the ash, so 10, 20 or 40 Ash.

From Ash you can get earrings, bracelets and boots.

You will need 2525 for a “regular” build without the Ash gold rings, which makes it 5050 for two builds.  With the two gold rings the number goes up to 8025 or 16050 if you want to go for four of those rings, but you can also make them work in both builds by slotting some essence that will be universal to both or, as I suggested, keep the Allegiance build for tanking and healing.




Best items from the Allegiance system will depend on the fact what class you have and how you play it. But let’s say that you are not getting ready for dps, then the Allegiance will provide you with best rings on chapter 4 (rank 15 Allegiance) and best cloak on chapter 7 (rank 30 Allegiance). 

Which would mean that if you are gearing for one role, let’s say tanking or healing, then you would need to get one Allegiance to rank 30 and another to rank 15. If you are making 2 builds for your character, then you will be bringing two Allegiances to ranks 30 and another two (3 and 4) to rank 15, so you would have two cloaks and four rings. And I do suggest to go with Allegiance rings and hope the gold ones drop from a box one day, rather than spending almost 3000 Ash for something that is clearly inferior from the lootbox rings. There is no content right now that says that you NEED those now anyway.

The best gloves are also from Allegiance. Unlike the rings and cloak, these are not a quest reward, these are a barter item from an NPC for the tokens you claim while leveling up an Allegiance. This would be your Allegiance Quartermaster. The gloves will cost you 75 Tokens of Service or 150 for both versions.




Crafting is now back and for now is a source of several best in slot items. You will be able to craft the best helmet, pocket, necklace and essences. Sadly, by design, bug or just forgetting about it, we have no new crafted relics and the current ones in comparison look so miniscule that you could even unequip them and not feel any difference. Hopefully we’ll get some of those soon too.

The recipes for these are bartered by the tokens that you get from questing, but the recipes are not bound to character and you can send them to any of your crafters.

Some of the items, like captain standards and Lore-Master brooches, are level 323 on regular crafting and as a critical success also, so I’m guessing this is a bug and should be fixed some time in the future, so the Doomfold captain standard should then be the go to item at least for tanking. But this is pale in comparison with scholar and cook not being able to make any essences.

The necklace will cost you 90 silver signets of the Thandrim. Pocket will cost you 30. Helmet will cost you another 90 signets. So, this brings us to 210 signets for gear. The essences are one shot recipes with no chance for better ones and depending on your build you will need different number of essences. Without the gold rings it’s 14 essences. One essence recipe will cost you 15 signets, which is another 210 and we get to 420. You still need to get the new relics. For some classes the relics that reduce speed will still be the best most likely, but let’s say you’re changing all – one relic costs 50 signets – 150 signets per LI makes it 300 in total for a single build. Total signets needed for one build 720. This number is very easily obtainable just by finishing all the quests and continuing doing the dailies, etc. And I’d say it’s a great start to barter for the return to Udun foothold at the start and with that skill we get to 730 signets. 1450 in total with a full second build.




Landscape has a chance to drop off-hand weapons and shoulders. It can drop some other things, but those are covered. Usually, the level of the shoulders and off-hands is 309, it can drop a level 310, which is a little bit more rare and a very rare 315. Some of these off-hands are good, but for some you may want to run some of the scaled instances and get what you need. You can get some other shoulder pieces in Mordor, but these are purple versions with one slot less for the essence.

Also take good note what drops stay in your pending loot. Landscape has a rare chance of dropping the best essence – Shadowed essence.


Gorgoroth Steel-Bound Lootbox


I didn’t mention the gold rings before with Ash, because this is where they are best in slot. The same actually goes for shoulders. The lootbox has a chance to drop items which are much higher in level than the ones we have available. The gold rings obtainable with Ash are level 326. For some time I have tought that the highest level from the lootbox was 329, then I have been told that there was also a 330 and recently on the forum someone posted an item level 331. Given how SSG handles informing the players about the content they put out, we can only assume that it can go even higher. But the lootbox also has a chance to drop other items of a higher level than what is available to you.

The SSG executive producer has also said on the forum that lootboxes aren’t intended to have the items with best stats exclusively.

There will never be a design that has loot from lootboxes that is statistically better than what you can gain someplace or somehow in game. Finding that loot in game might be hard, but it will be possible. Our overall design philosophy is that loot boxes are not required to reach the best gearing. If players do find some piece of gear that is best in slot and can only be gained through loot boxes then 1.) it is a bug or 2.) it is an oversight and will be fixed or 3.) there was some release timing issue and the loot will be available someplace in game soon.

In this case the intent is that those rings can be purchased from the Ash vendor for an appropriately large amount of Ash.


The discrepancy in item levels has been noticed right away and reported and there have been hotfixes, patches and updates, but this still happens.

This makes this system, especially after buying the Mordor expansion for no small amount of money, the biggest pay to win in this game. Gorgoroth boxes are dropping like crazy, yet the keys are very limited. And we only recently find out from Cordovan that the “bugged” dailies that didn’t have the key are working as intended and that we should only have 3 keys per week, with no chance for a landscape drop.

This is working as intended. Not every daily offers a Black Steel Key. They are also limited to three Keys per week.

So, if we want to prepare for instances and min-max the gear, we are not only pushed to buy the keys, but also inventory (which is on sale right now) and the vault space and maybe shared storage to keep the huge amount of boxes that are dropping.

Untill recently I was using the PvMP plug-in only to not miss a lootbox in the pending loot, now I just don’t care if it gets deleted and timed out.

Personally, I do not think that we wanted to pay for the expansion so we would have the privilege to be milked for keys with a massive RNG – some get it on the first box or don’t get it on 100th. Do we have to do it? Of course not, but the fact that it is “optional” does not diminish the recent business decisions, lack of information about the game or misinformation. 3 keys intended per week with this amount of boxes? Who are we kidding? Is one key per day going to make or break someones bank?


Tactical classes


We still do not have any information if the tactical classes are working as intended. The dps has dropped significantly and the heals have too. The only buff we have had is from leveled legacies. We have spent star-lits only to then notice that nothing has moved at all in terms of dps or healing rating. Which brings me to the conclusion that it can’t be intended. How does someone spend something to upgrade only to stay in place? I don’t mind a slight nerf to RK dps or mini heals, but with the damage mobs are putting out or group taking and not being able to cap certain needed stats, this should have been done better than just letting us use star-lits, but not advancing. There could have been some cap to reach and not pass, but not moving at all is too much and broken. This is not only bad for grouping, but has also made questing in Mordor considerably harder than on physical classes.


Conclusion to the gearing


Obviously, you do not need to build your characters for t2 right away, but I did. I do not like to have too many swaps or change the gear all the time for t1, for landscape, for this or that. So, all I’m running with at all times is t2 gear. Below are my builds for warden and minstrel. Soon I’ll be able to add captain too. Please disregard the yellow letters and percentage, as the plug-in is outdated and doesn’t show the correct caps. But as a reference I’m providing you with my numbers on the builds. These can and will be further tweaked, but for now this would be it.



  1. What plugin is this showing all the stats on the very bottom of this page?

  2. Squad Member /

    It would be great to see your minstrel’s full build, something to aspire to!

    What equipment and essences are you using? What traits are you running with?

    • Arred /

      Thank you very much.
      I don’t want to assert things to people. I am a t2 content player, raider and a completionist. My minstrel has 88 trait points even though he doesn’t realistically need them, had raid gear, etc.
      But I guess I could do something if people are interested and say what they’d like to see.

      I’m basically using the equipment and essences described in the article. Not 100% the same, but at least 90%.

      • Bombollo /

        What essences do you slot on mini? Cos your morale seems lower than many but with your healing, etc capped

      • If you check out the new build in the last article, the morale is even lower.
        I use shadowed essences most of the time, vitality, critical rating and mits. But the minis build is a bit more characteristic than the others.

  3. Louni /

    Nice to see this here! I was waiting for someone to give us a primer for gear! Thank you very much.

  4. baldwinp /

    Thank you for posting this. I still haven’t bought Mordor, but it sounds like gearing is a hot mess both because of bugs? and by design. $40 is quite a lot for the privilege of buying a new type of loot boxes. Is the Mordor content fun? When Book 8 of the epic dropped me off at the gates of Mordor nothing in particular was calling me to enter so I have just been running North Ithilien quests to level and for the final deed horse.

    • Arred /

      Not so much because of bugs, but there are some. For people gearing up the first time it’s harder because there is no one NPC where you can see all your gear.
      Content isn’t bad. There are 5 areas. Some aren’t the best. Udun is annoying for questing, for example. But not horrible.

  5. Very useful guide for gear, thank you!

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