105 Essence Gear Primer (update 20!)

The Basics

This is intended to point out resources and activity patterns to people who haven't been playing for a while.  This is not intended to duplicate info on guides like (Dadi does an awesome job on his site):

I keep getting into discussions about 105 gear with people who are hitting that level.  There seems to be a fair amount of returning players who weren't on Lotro for the last few updates.  So, rather than having the same conversations over and over, I thought I'd put up a wiki page (which will then age gracefully, just like the Legendary Items page I put up some time ago (and then didn't update with imbuement changes).
Ok, so you hit 105, and you need gear, preferably decent gear.  How do you get this?

Easy.  Steps are:
  1. Get armour
  2. Get jewelry
  3. Slot essences into armour and jewelry
  4. Wear armour and jewelry
  5. Profit
Yes, that easy.  It's only a small bit of work to get the armour and jewelry and essences.

The Armour

At this time, there are 4 sets of socketed 105 armour.  These are :

The armour progression used to be whatever->FI -> PI -> TotDT, leveraging each armour set into the next instance.  At this time, FI armour should just be ignored, as the NI armour set is easily obtainable.  This puts the flow to be : whatever->NI->PI->TotDT.

Armour Comparison

Featured instance set

Pelennor Instance set

North Ithilien set

  • trade at North Ithilien herbalists, using North Ithilien Flora
  • 4 slots with no set bonus
  • light/medium/heavy sets, ie, not class specific

Throne of the Dread Terror set

The Jewelry

Jewelry Comparison

This is similar to the armour set, with these notes:

The Cloaks

Cloaks with 1 slot come as a reward from epic quests and from deed completion.  At 105, these are:

The Offhands

The Essences

First, this page, Essence, is really useful, and especially interesting is Essence notes: Update 19.2.

There are three types of 105 essences:

Not all essences are on all tiers.  At this time there are no Ithilien essences for

  • block
  • parry
  • evasion
  • critical defence : don't bother slotting this
  • incoming healing rate (no t8, must use 100 essence) : farm big battles for this teal/gold drop
  • power (no t8, must use 100 essence) : really, why do these exist?
  • resistance (no t8, must use 100 essence)

Also, it's better again to use stat essences rather than physical/tactical mastery essences.  The stat essences provide more.

Fast/Best/Optimal Paths For The Good Stuff!


  1. Read this page: The Wastes
  2. Review Stat_caps.  Start relearning math; you'll need it to balance those numbers against gear and essence counts.
  3. Let your old gear go, whatever it is, go.  Yes, you put a bunch of effort into it.  It's now substandard.  When you let it go, you get better stuff.  When you don't let it go, you don't get better stuff.
  4. Don't do much essence/gear balancing until you get 4 slot 105 armour and 3 slot 105 jewelry.

Armour and Teal Bracelets and Gold Rings from March of the Kings

Things you could do:

  1. Buy 105 nadhin armour on the AH, if it's cheap enough
  2. Get some friends to carry you through pelennor instances.  A lot of people are well geared, and 3 man instances can be farmed easily.
  3. Farm flora - pick up flowers.  Suck it up, buttercup.  I mean, pick up those buttercups!  Do this while you...
  4. Work through North Ithilien quest lines and epic quests - these help advance rep for the deed for the cloak and also earn some essence boxes
  5. Do the herbalism dailies - as you progress through these, a total of 10 repeatable herbalism dailies will become available.  Doing these dailies will yield a Forager's Basket each, as well as an 4 quest completion reward Pouch of Ithilien Essence Fragments.
  6. Trade in extra phials for lots of Forager's Basket
  7. Be completionist.  Get one character geared up first rather than splitting across multiple ones.

Further Suggestions...

I suggest to do the following:

  • farm the 1000 common flora needed to buy 2 rings and buy these
  • farm the rest needed for the armour
  • trade-in for Forager's Basket

Gold Earrings, Pocket Item, and Offhand from The Wastes

These items are reputation gated.  You need to get kindred rep with Host of the West faction for access to the gold items.  However, you also need these items to barter for pieces.

Getting Kindred With Host of the West Factions

Things you could do:

  1. Get 3 x 43 Small Reputation Acceleration Tomes, and use these.  It takes 85000 (42500 accelerated) reputation to go from zero to max kindred rep, and you'll need to get max kindred rep three times.
    1. Farm Thorog for marks.
    2. Be rich and buy them on auction
  2. Craft the daily and single-use reputation recipes.  The most accessible crafting materials are from ore and wood nodes, which are easier for armourers, woodworkers, jewelers, and weaponsmiths professions.
  3. Use single-use reputation recipes to craft the 500 rep items to push reputation.  Save the 100 rep items for trade-ins.
  4. Set aside 80 small and 20 large reputation tokens for each gold item.
  5. Farm flowers in the The Wastes to trade for the necessary crafting journals
  6. Run Skoironk Resource Dungeon quests.  There are quest turn-ins which are a single 500 rep item, but, the mobs drop large and small reputation items.
  7. Run featured instances.  The daily rewards can include War Materials.

Gold Offhand

  1. Run the fellowship Skoironk Resource Dungeon quests to get 3 Tarnished Sigil of Gondor to trade in for the offhands.


Things you could do:

  1. Re-use teal/gold T7s, until these can be rotated out.
  2. Use teal and gold T8s, until these can be rotated out.  This does use 2 solvents, which can be pricey though.
  3. Run featured instances.  These also give long-lost coins which are needed to buy the recipes for 2.  Occasionally, there is a drop of North Ithilien Essence Box.
  4. Run the quests that give a reward of North Ithilien Essence Box.
  5. Do the herbalism daily for the Pouch of Ithilien Essence Fragments.
  6. Do the solo Skoironk Resource Dungeon quests : tip - run to the end, turn in the box, and then die.  The most time-costly is farming phials for lockpicks.
  7. Do the fellowship Skoironk Resource Dungeon quests.  Learn the runs, do these quickly.  Skoironk can take 20 minutes, and Teeth can take 12 minutes.
  8. Be rich and buy wisps and wild essences on the AH.
  9. Do quests and epics for North Ithilien Essence Box and Ithilien-infused Essence Box rewards.
  10. Push faction rep for any of your 105s (and push near 105s to 105), and farm the Ithilien-infused Essence Box rewards from reputation deeds.
  11. Be completionist.  Consider stripping essences from alts to get one character "finished", especially to get one character "raid ready".

Some More Suggestions

Things you can do:
  1. Get a lot Essence Reclamation Scroll. You'll need these for balancing, tweaking, and replacing armour.  Token trade-in, skirmish camp, auction hall, etc.
  2. Get at least 2 armour pieces from the pelennor instance cluster, for the 10% DPS bonus.
  3. For medium/agility classes, get all armour pieces from the pelennor instance cluster.  These have agility and will drive DPS.

Slotting Essences for Optimal Builds

Ok, so you have all the armour and plenty of essences.  How do you slot for different builds?  I use the following patterns for a standard DPS build, based on Stat_caps :

  1. slot mitigations until T1 caps
  2. slot critical rating until T1 caps (for agility based classes, you can hit cap without needed critical rating essences)
  3. slot 2 (T1) or 3 (T2) finesse essences
  4. slot morale until reasonably sturdy
  5. slot DPS stat

For tank, heal, or support builds, point 5. changes, taking into account the specific need:

  1. heal - outgoing healing is capped at 70%, so a lot of will isn't useful.  In this case, put on more morale and maybe evasion
  2. tank - these builds need a lot more BPE and morale
  3. support - depends on class, but generally more morale, less DPS stat

Any suggestions or comments?  Send a mail to Grimmerthan on Brandywine.