Path of the Mischief-Maker

October 11, 2012

Class Guides

Capture 1.1

Every class seems to have a trait line that few use and in the case of Burglars, this is the abandoned one.

The Mischief-maker was made to give burglars the tools to be more of a support class and the traits seem to reflect that. However, the general consensus is that the debuff/support they can give under this trait line is too weak compared to what Quiet Knife or even a Gambler traited burglar can do.

Nonetheless for those aspiring to take the less used burglar build, here is my impression of the benefits this line provides, let’s take a look at it.


The first and most important aspect of a Mischievous Burglar is its ability to increase the power of their Crowd Control (CC) skills; from increasing the duration and efficiency of Riddle, to enhancing the strength of your tricks.

The focus of traiting deep into Mischief is really to enhance your tricks and trick removals by increasing their durations and reducing their cool-downs. Tricks and Reveal Weakness will have no cool-down while Mischievous Glee and Startling Twist will get a -5 second cool-down. As with any trait line, there is a buff you will get after you score a devastating attack.  On this boat you will be receiving an increase on your trick removals.  In other words Mischievous Glee will heal 15% more, Startling Twist will stun for 1 extra second, and Clever Retort will either Heal you for 15% more (power or morale) or inflict 15% more damage (direct or over time damage).

Quite a Snag

Capture 1.2

Just like with the other trait lines, for those who decide to slot the capstone (Little Annoyances)they receive an improved skill.  For the Mischief trait line, A Small Snag becomes Quite a Snag. It reduces the cool-down by 4 minutes as well as improving its debuffs and root duration.  It also removes the requirement of a crit response to use it. So you will be doing a 30 second root, putting a 15% attack duration, and a 3% incoming damage on the target. If you have the corresponding legacy on your weapon maxed out you can be using this every 15 seconds.

This is pretty much it for the Mischief-maker.  I wish I could talk more about the advantages of making a build of this type, but not only are they weak compared to the other options some of them can only be obtained by slotting only 2 traits of the line.  I will talk about these later.

However, just for the sake of playing with numbers and tinkering with tools I am going to suggest a trait build as well as Legendary Item Legacies for the rare burglar that decides to be mischievous.

Legendary Items


  • Small/Quite a Snag Cooldown: Like every other trait line this is the skill that will get empowered by the respective capstone. Bring its cool-down down to 15 seconds.
  • Critical Response Skill Damage: Add some DPS to your rotation even if this is not your main role with this build.
  • Subtle Stab Damage Multiplier: Probably the best option of all the dps legacies for this set of traits, but pick any other that fits you well.  This is my suggestion, though.
  • Tricks Range: Definitely a MUST considering how much you’ll be using  your tricks.
  • Provoke Threat: I am assuming that this build is being used for groups since you may be giving support to the tank’s aggro with the Provoke’s trait.  You can really increase its power with this legacy.
  • Subtle Stab Critical Multiplier: Even if you don’t get the Damage Multiplier Legacy, this legacy is still very powerful.

Capture 1.3


  • Addle Cool-down: Cuts off animation of certain skills allowing you to put up more dps
  • Off-Hand Critical Chance: Increase your crits with your off-hand attacks.
  • Positional Damage: More damage when behind your target
  • Skills Critical Multiplier: Make those big numbers from critical attacks even bigger
  • Addle Induction Multiplier: Very useful for any mob that does induction skills
  • Agility Legacy: While you can use anything that may fit your combat style I would increase my main stat without using many points on my LI, but it’s up to you.

Capture 1.4


  • Perplexing Riddle: Turns your riddle into an initial 5 second stun (although it looks like a daze) where you can damage your target without breaking the mez  followed by its 30 second daze.
  • Trickster: Excellent for fighting multiple enemies as it turns your Dust in the Eyes into an AoE of 3 target maximum.
  • Opportunist: By far the best Trick for increasing the incoming damage done to your target; reducing its BPE (Block, Parry, and Evade) and making it even more susceptible to critical hits.
  • Complicated Terms: Since you are using Riddle more often, don’t get resisted would ya? This trait reduces the chance of getting your Riddle resisted.
  • Appraising Eye: Adds an extra 2% increase damage to Reveal Weakness. Like we say, every little bit helps and on a boss with 1.5 million morale that’s over 30,000 damage (since it’s also increasing critical yields and so forth) just for having it traited.

For the last 2 traits I would go for more debuffs/support so it’s your choice which of the following to use:

  • Cruel Odds: To get a chance to further debuff the target for Melee Crits.
  • Honed Wit: Reducing 30 seconds of Clever Retort’s cool-down.

Capture 1.5

This will allow you to use Clever Retort a lot more for what is worth, and since you have 2 traits from the gambler’s line, you have a small chance (25%) to apply a debuffing gamble on the target every time you use the skill.

But if you want to give support to a tank you can switch Honed Wit with:

Capture 1.6

This way you are almost guaranteeing that the tank will maintain aggro by keeping Provoke in your rotation.

Mischief in the Ettenmoors?

Capture 1.7

While it may sound fun to go PvMP with this build the reality is that the strength of the line is in debuffs and some CC.  Therefore you wont be able to cripple your opponent as you think.  In fact you may be missing one huge component of a burglar in the Ettenmoors:  your stealth. And no less important is your damage which will also suffer a great loss when traited in this line.

So while it’s not a bad idea if you’re bored and want to try something different and mess around with rooting Creeps every so often and so forth; but in my opinion to spend time investing in a set of Legendary Items just to PvMP this way doesn’t appeal to me.

Other Thoughts

I have been missing my old ability to tank on my Burglar in certain 3-man’s ever since the last expansion.  Currently, this is not even close to possible. While I don’t remotely think it’s needed I’ve dreamed about the possibility of Turbine utilizing the Mischief-maker line for this purpose. After all, you lose a lot of dps and gain some CC and fight control. It’s just something to think about, eh?


The Mischief path is the less wandered and it’s no wonder why. It makes the Burglar lose too much efficiency and in the current state of end game content it seems completely useless. But this is not to say that the traits here are not worth using.  In fact, I’ve used 7 of them for raids in the past and continue to use many of those for current raids. They are great to use as complementary for the last 2 traits in any build and very useful I might add.

We will discuss more about this complementary use in the next part, Quiet Knife!

-Lieutenant Anodhelm

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Avatar of Gabo

16 Responses to “Path of the Mischief-Maker”

  1. Cosmetic Lotro Says:

    This traitline sounds like fun but then it isn’t. I can’t live without my stealth. And I don’t even hang out in the Moors!
    But then the outfit, the outfit is awesome!! /bow to the one who made it!


  2. Canin Says:

    Though going 3 deep in MM can be useful on some raid clears, I haven’t traited any more than that in years. The dps/utility loss is just to great


  3. Crell of Riddermark, Vanguard Says:

    Your information on Perplexing Riddle is wrong. There’s no stun. It’s a 35s Daze with a 100% break on damage after 5s.

    Have you played with this since Isengard?


    • neo Says:

      Technically he’s not wrong. If for the first 5 seconds there is 0% chance to break the target out of the daze, then TECHNICALLY, it’s acting as a stun for the first 5 seconds followed by a regular daze for an additional 30 seconds.


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      As Neo pointed out it’s considered a stun in CC slang, if you will, as it allows for damage and not break the daze.

      Thanks for reading!


      • Crell of Riddermark, Vanguard Says:

        CC interruption by damage break is an important concept in itself.
        If it were a stun, it’d apply the stun-adaptation. =)

        Thanks for your efforts!


  4. Adam Says:

    I always have gone 3/4 or 4/3 in Quiet Knife and Mischief lines since post moria. Having a champ as my original main, stealth didn’t interest me much, and I tended to find myself blundering into mob groups solo, and the Mischief line and stance makes this easier, and lets you do it more often. I think most the burgs I know use the gambler line least. Wonder if there is much difference in this server to server


  5. Knify-Riddermark Says:

    Also the Quite a snag tool tip says 10% attack duration but below you wrote 15%


    • Avatar of Gabo
      Gabo Says:

      You are right! It’s only 10% instead of 15%. I blame lotro-wiki as I was using their information as I was writing and they have an old tooltip perhaps?

      Thanks for the correction!


  6. tule Says:

    My burglar has almost always been Mischief Maker. First, I think I have 3 of the traits at least as “must have”. This build seems the most like what the original conception of a burglar would be, more like Bilbo who didn’t rely on high DPS but on his wits. I never got the hang of Gambler either and it just felt wrong to me. I always felt that making the burglar a high damage dealer who uses stealth a lot was just a copy of other MMO’s rogue classes.

    In a group I feel this has the most to offer but sad to say too many people seem to think that only DPS matters. If you like support classes then Mischief Maker gives a lot of utility, best crowd control (arguably), best debuffs, best able to take a poorly performing pick-up-group and make it work better.

    Part of my choice is that I do not particularly like retraiting between soloing and joining a group. Thus I like to solo with traits that are useful if I join a group at a moment’s notice. Quiet Knife is good when soloing but less flexible in a group, as there are many classes to take if all you want is a basic damage dealer.

    On the other hand, now that they’ve changed Burglar above level 75 there’s a lot of temptation to move away from it especially when soloing. Riddle while stealthed changed a bit of tactics, plus at level 70 you automatically crit your Surprise Strike if you’re stealthed (save that Aim cooldown). Trait with Quiet Knife and that adds a lot of reasons to play as a stealthy burglar.

    I am a bit disappointed that Turbine leaves this stance and trait line so neglected even though they have boosted the other two lines more than once.


  7. Thurinphir Says:

    think the buglar dev diary said Quite a Snag will allow the activation of Mischief stance, doesn’t this give you your stealth? :D


  8. Isilwren Says:

    My burg runs in Mischief with a smidge of Quiet Knife on the side. I love playing this way because it allows me to fight equally well if I stealth or if I don’t stealth. With Mischief there seems to be a lot more options open for tricks too.


  9. Mosby Says:

    > Addle Cool-down: Cuts off animation of certain skills allowing you to put up more dps

    Really? That’s how you describe the best interrupt skill in the game? MM is much better than you analysis would seem to indicate.


  10. Rivenor Says:

    When I started Burg and received Mischief, this is the way I always played all the way up to 50. Then I started playing with QK more, but specifically to earn QK traits. I still favor Mischief over QK because it is more fun to me and I can CC very well. QK is alright if you just want DPS.

    Further in Mischief, you can always use HIPs to do some QK/sneak attacks during a fight if you still wish to.



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