I actually rotate between a Protector and a Bannerguard depending on the size of the group I'm in. In small groups, Protectors can actually make an admirable substitute for a Guardian (I remember once doing Assaulting the Ringwraith's Lair with another Minstrel and a Runekeeper, and they were impressed how survivable my protector was). But in larger groups where you don't want to annoy your Guardian/Warden, I switch out to my Bannerguard (and do not use her threat-generating skill)
My minstrel has a protector for soloing and an herbalist for large group skirmishes.
It may seem odd for a healer to have a healer as a soldier. However, I've optimized my herbalist for group power replenishment rather than morale -- that way I can concentrate on healing (which I do far better than any herbalist) while pretty much ignoring any power issues. Another factor in favor of the herbalist is that in many group skirmish boss fights, all soldiers except herbalists are often dismissed in order to control pulls. Offensive soldiers are notorious for running off on their own, which can wreak havoc on a raid leader's carefully planned approach to a fight.
A fully developed protector can contest with a top-end guardian on threat generation, though cannot hold a candle to a guardian in survivability. As a solo skirmish companion, the protector makes a nice meat-shield, but I have to play a more balanced minstrel. Alternatively, I am finding that I can handle most skimishes just as well when accompanied by my herbalist; in a full dps build, I kill very quickly and leave the power and morale to my herbalist.
Herbalist no question. With my ability to dish out far more damage than any skirm soldier and heal myself, the additional healing and power restore of an Herbalist makes solo skirms faster and group skirms easier to heal.
March is national target forward healing month! do your part!
Between my self-heals and the soldiers heals, I find it very difficult to die. The power restore is also very helpful. The aoe nature of many of our attack skills allows us to hold aggro very well. In groups, it also helps heal, allowing me to focus on anthems more since I trait yellow.
How do you all manage that most irritating creature who runs so far out ahead of you that they draw aggro before you are ready for the fight?
I slot the Protector on my Mini on the advice of many folk but absolutely hate it.
Sid is lvl 43 and I don't solo, I generally run in a duo group with a Guardian.
I have seen other Minis having the same problem of rogue Protectors so why should I keep it and if I change out what would be a good substitute?
If you're rolling with a Guardian then a Protector doesn't make sense for you. You already have a tank there to draw aggro, one that's much better than any skirmish soldier would be. Try a soldier that complements your duo. So if you're going DPS, you might want an herbalist to toss out heals. If the Guardian already has an herbalist, try out an Archer for some single target DPS.
Personally I wouldn't use a Protector with a Mini. Mini attacks don't have inductions, so it's not a big deal if you take the occasional crack on the jaw. You're better off with some extra damage or healing.
I have an archer with my mini but I made that choice long ago before I had even tried a sage. However, the sage is about perfect for a minstrel. You're going to be smashing the mobs with AoE and single target between the two of you and nothing lasts long.
A warrior is probably a decent choice as well although I've never been fans of them at all.
I used a max level herbalist from level 50 to 75. Most useful choice for groups, people tend to prefer if you can bring one extra healer. For solo skirmish i find the herbalist good as well. Mostly because you can go full out burst-dmg without having to worry about power or morale running low. I never really had any problems doing any solo skirm traited red, warspeech and using a herbalist.
Also been looking into leveling a sage. Seems like the best choice at higher levels when you get good enough gear to take some dmg. The extra tactical mastery will probably make the instance go pretty fast.
I tried warrior before but didn't really like it. It kept drawing aggroing and running into things. It died a lot and in the end i had to solo everything anyway. In terms of dps the minstrel is superior any skirmish solider, so kinda pointless wasting your powers on healing. To be fair i haven't tried a max leveled warrior yet, maybe they become better?
I have tried:
The bannerguard: Didn't hold aggro that well and not very high on DPS.
Protector: Held aggro, but took a while to finish skirmishes and I am not that patient.
Warrior: Good DPS but always ran ahead and pulled early and had to be directed too often.
I ended up using the Sage for solo skirmishes. The AOE Tactical and debuffs are awesome. The roots come in when needed to let you heal up.(I am thinking of the dannenglor skirmish with the fire boss encounter) Overall the best skirmisher I have used. I have never had any problem with finishing any of the skirmishes with her. When I raid up I usually ask whether I am healing. If I am then I bring my herbalist along to make sure things go smoothly.