Captain Layout

Captain quickslot layout

So firstly heres my Captain’s quickslot bar, as with Champion a bewildering array of buttons and skills, all of which do get used- well maybe not withdraw. The greyed out ones on Captain require one of four things, a previous skill to be executed, an enemy to be defeated, a shield brother to be selected, and finally an in- combat ressurection for an ally, the majority of them the first two. I always put pots and salves on my top bar for all my characters as for me it is an obvious and readily available place. As with champion I tend to build a shorter fatter block of skills, with things like ports/horses/emotes/etc on thinner strips hidden to the sides. This leaves the main block for combat and within a quick mouse movement away.

Skill Function Layout

As before I’ll look at layout out my skills into some kind of thematic groups as to what they do. This to me is the most logical way, but as is often the case the usefullness of the skill, and/or its place in a rotation will effect and often mess this up a little bit. So again here is an exploded view of my quickslots showing skill locations. I have skirmish buttons tucked in spare places on the second row, but I have toyed with the idea of moving the 4 shield brother skills on the right side of the third row, down a whole row, and the below 4 skills up onto the third row. *Update* I have now done this, where my skirmish soldier skills, oathbreakers and withdraw sits on this image I now have; shield brother, inspire, to arms, and lend will. On the top four slots, following on from in defence of middle-earth are now; oathbreakers, withdraw, and the two skirmish skills. With the Captain I lay out the skills as thin horizontal strips.

Firstly, I’ll mention pre-combat and intro fight skills. I’ll always buff my group up before the fight with my specialist buffing sword with legacies for this (legacy post to follow!). As these skills last 30 minuites the only one I’ll need to rebuff regularly is In Defence of Middle Earth Legendary skill (+50 of every stat). I’ll usually also begin by dropping a banner as close to the fighting area as possible so the group enters the fight with maxed morale (or power, or stat buffs depending on banner), and maybe drop another if we move a little more.  So as you can see these are near the top out of the way for most ‘combat’ situations. The next are my target marking skills, at the upper left. These get placed on the inital mob to be pulled as appropriate- additonal damage, light DOT/threat, or health return, and will be added to additional mobs as and when they first mob is defeated (IF I remember… come on we’ve all done it, just like forgetting the banner! :D)

To the bottom left we have the captains main dps chain, started by battle shout, then either pressing attack or devastating blow, then blade of Elendil finally. To the right of this, defensive strike, one I always try to add is as it gives a great short armour buff, and has a short CD. Next to this is Kick– your interrupt, and cutting attack– a bleed, and grave wound– a high DPS attack that if the target is suffering from cutting attack will remove it for added threat. To the top right I have my shield brother skills, but as I said earlier, I am not sure on the location of these, but so far it is only really inspire that I have to work into a rotation regularly so this is not incovenient for me.

In the middle left I have time of need (the defeat response initiation skill with a morale cost) and the 4 captains defeat responses, ending in rallying cry– a heal, which moving along that bar into the middle leads us nicely to the captains heals, and muster courage, which I have traited to provide a self HOT as well as the usual fear removal.

The bottom right are my problem buttons- in harms way, last stand, in-combat res, and out-of-combat res. They are not something that works its way into most rotations, but situationally or in a problematic moment absolutely lifesaving.  Finally in the middle right we have oathbreakers shame and withdraw, because… there is a space there… sorry, kinda lost it there a the end! *see update above for new locations*

Skill Rotation Grouping

Here I look at my attacks and skills and their location in relation to my rotations and access for use. As I have mentioned before It is very difficult to talk about standard rotations as they vary according to my role and how a fight works. Again players who have reached cap should have a reasonable idea how their class works and when to use a specific skill. However there are some skills which always make it into any group rotation. Assuming I have planted a banner, added a mark, nominated a shield brother, and stuck lend will on them then it may go:

  • Battle shout
  • Defensive strike
  • Pressing attack/Devastating blow
  • Inspire
  • Blade of Elendil
  • Cutting attack
  • Defensive strike

Its rare I get this far without having either a defeat response from a mob dying, wanting to interrup a mob, or top up heal someone, so situationally these get added in as and when. Often War Cry is a priority defeat response skill if group health is high to speed the groups attacks up, followed by routing cry or shadows lament for dps. If health is dropping, or the healer is dpsing/ballad building (depending on healer type), or even if I just want to keep everything running smooth; I’ll use rallying cry. Sometimes in a long fight I’ll get this fired off early to allow the traited power over time to keep the group topped up.

For a Solo it is very similar, just without the shield brother skills:

  • Battle shout
  • Defensive strike
  • Pressing attack/Devastating blow
  • Cutting attack
  • Blade of Elendil
  • Defensive strike

If I am main healing, I’ll often opt for a simpler conservative approach: revealing mark, banner of hope, lend will followed by:

  • Inspire
  • Defensive strike
  • Words of Courage
  • To Arms
  • Inspire
  • Rallying Cry when available
  • Valiant Strike for a group top up
  • and possibly begin to throw in a dps chain if things are very easy

This plan shows the core 5 for most non-main healer rotations coloured as ‘primary rotation’. The Battle shout chain running left to right. My main ‘mouse hovering’ centre is defensive strike on the 5th button on the bottom row, so I have built the skills to be close to there when I really need them. Kick therefore is very close in as a situational button- again interrupts can be key. The other situational buttons- time of need, oathbreakers shame, and the harms way/last stand/res set are a tad further out as they get used much less, but are conveniently grouped if needed. It is rare I’ll pop in harms way without having to pop last stand (traited) shortly after, if not immediately.  The heal and defeat response skills are conveniently located just above to the left and right of defensive strike, for use as and when.

The secondary roation is fairly short, and to my mind really only consists of cutting attack, grave wound, and to arms, which get tossed into the roations in fights of a longer duration, or cutting attack followed by  grave wound if I am aggro building.

Marks and banners are all grouped top left as they are usually fairly long refresh cycles, and even though it seems a little inconvenient the shield brother group all up on the top right, again it is only really inspire that works into rotations more than every few minuites, but I am still considering moving them a little closer in *as if you see the updates above I have now moved these*.

The buffs are all along the top row, but In defence of middle earth is the only one that need refreshing with any regularity.

Lastly we have threatening shout at top left used for pulling mobs or agro building only, and on the middle right next to oathbreakers shame is withdraw… I’m not sure I have ever pressed it to be honest, but this damn OCD layout problem I seem to have makes me find a space for these skills anyway!


You seem to have reached the end, again well done! As with the champion post this set up works for me, but it is a work in progress. I may well tinker with the shield brother skills (probably tonight as now its bugging me) and I’ll be sure to update here if I do. It strikes me that my captains layout is far more thematic based than rotation, and I have found this varies from class to class. Some it is all about rotation convenience, but some; such as my minstrel, lore master, and runekeeper, I am very tied to keeping skills types together. This seems to be related to the compelxity of class skills and the need to arrange them into readily identifyable groups in my head.

I’d sure love to hear from any other captains out there, and how they work things!

Thanks for reading


  1. Adam-
    I found your site by doing a google search for Champ bar layouts – then realized you were hooked into one of my favorite sites – A Casual Stroll To Mordor – Woot!

    I am leveling a Champ (mid 20’s level right now) and I have found your layout interesting and useful. I really like it when folks post their UI layout and the how/why they made the choices they did. I have posted on my site my Minstrel and Captain layout but not to the level of detail that you have here. I am thinking I need to go back and beef it up some!

    One question about your Champion bar layout – I seem at mid 20’s to have some skill icons that you do not have on your bar – I am assuming that maybe the icons have changed their graphics since you posted?

    Great posts – enjoy them thoroughly and thought the Champ Roundtable was sweet


    • Hey mate,
      thanks a lot for the kind words and comment! I have a few more class quicklslot posts, and some updating of these to do since F2P. Probably my champ ones are updated graphics, certainly: relentless, savage strikes, cleave and a few others get upgraded and new or tweaked graphics! The only skill I can think of for champ I do not have slotted is ‘Fight On’ a level 39 legendary book skill.

      My cappy though is defiantely missing a skill or two since F2P which I have worked in, but not yet screenied and posted!

      Yours looks like a great site, I’ll add you to our links this week, and have a good nosey round to see If I can steal any good ideas!

  1. Pingback: Captain Quickslot Organisation page done « TheKhazadGuard's Blog

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