The Orcs of Mordor come in all shapes and sizes, and in Shadow of War, you may find yourself fighting a lowly Captain who’s afraid of everything under the sun, or an extremely difficult legendary Overlord who’s immune to all the attacks that don’t already make him mad as hell. However, even the toughest Orcs and Ologs that are a higher level than you can be beat if you know how the Nemesis System works, and how to play it to your advantage. We’ve compiled several expert tips from our Shadow of War Wiki on how to beat even the strongest Orcs.
Go up against any strong Captain, Warchief, or Overlord – and chances are he’s immune to something: Arrows, executions, fire – all the stuff you love to kill Orcs with. This can be a real pain, especially when you start finding even stronger enemies who are immune to multiple types of attacks – which can severely limit your options… but it doesn’t have to.
Orcs and Ologs who have immunities can also have two things that negate their powerful defenses: fear and terror. Even if a captain has “Immune to Execution”, you can temporarily disable that perk by capitalizing on their Mortal Weaknesses, and things they are dazed by. If said captain happens to have a fear of Morgai Flies, or a fear of burning, exposing him to either will cause him to stumble about, and lower his immunities long enough for you to get in the attacks that were once useless.
You can also outright terrify an orc by finding certain things that cause him to flee the battlefield in terror. These range from attack types, other captains getting killed, or even a particular rival (that you can bend to your will just to scare your target with). Once terrified, your enemy will run away as fast as he can – and can be grabbed, dominated, or otherwise gutted regardless of his health. Of course, as you become more powerful yourself, it’s likely that most of your opponents won’t have too many mortal weaknesses – or even things that will daze them.
There’s always a few enemies you come up against who are the definition of bad luck: Lots of strengths and immunities – and very few weaknesses. At that point, it’s good to remind yourself on your options: If he’s tough to attack head-on, build up Might by fighting his entourage until you can execute him. If he’s immune to that, pepper him with arrows from afar or Shadow Strike into him. Immune to arrows too? Look for nearby beast bait, cages, or nests you can disturb to bring in Caragors, Graugs, Ghuls, and Drakes. You can also summon them at will with skills if you’re fighting in an isolated area.
If physical attacks and beasts aren’t working – remember you have elemental options too. Not only can you detonate grog barrels to great effect, but you can upgrade both Mighty Shot and Elven Light to deal fire, frost, or poison damage that you can swap between as needed. Don’t be afraid to pause combat to go back and swap upgrades if the battle isn’t going your way, or retreat to re-evaluate and identify targets.
Lots of captains and warchiefs have a few things that will cause them to become enraged – and more powerful orcs sometimes have lots of things that make them mad. Sometimes, literally anything can get an Orc riled up. When enraged, Orcs deal unblockable and increased damage faster, are harder to kill, and cannot be dominated or sometimes even stopped at all. Take note of what ticks them off so you can avoid this, otherwise you may want to retreat for a bit, or at least put a bunch of orcs between you and your enraged foe so they can start attacking whatever is close.
You should also take what bonuses and class traits an orc brings to the table. Each class behaves differently, so study each of the advanced classes so you aren’t caught off guard when a marksman peppers you with explosive shots, or an Assassin denies you a Last Chance attempt (fight those guys VERY carefully).
Epic and legendary enemies also bring advanced Epic Traits to the mix (epic adversaries bring 1, while legendary ones bring 2). While this doesn’t always make them that much tougher, these perks do have a chance to ruin your day with increased health regeneration or increased elemental weapon damage.
It’s easy to keep equipping every new piece of armor or weapon you find as long as the stats look better than the last, but you should pay attention to the bonuses gear can bring. Maybe the new sword you got from an epic Orc doesn’t deal as much damage, but it’s critical strikes have a good chance to curse the captain you’re up against – who just happens to be vulnerable to curse damage.
Sometimes it’s worth taking a hit to overall damage output if you can make up for it with special effects. You can even stack similar bonuses from armor and weapons to increase the chance your targets will suffer this extra damage, or mix it up with legendary gear set bonuses – like the Mystic Set that can give your dominated grunts cursed weaponry to compliment your own.
Keep in mind these are just some of the ways to take down the toughest orcs in Mordor. As long as you can assess what an enemy is weak to, and how to get around a particularly difficult strength or immunity by exploiting a weakness – there’s no foe you can’t best with the right skills. Have any surefire methods that work for you? Let us know in the comments!
For more game help, be sure to visit these wiki pages:
Brendan Graeber is an Editor at IGN who had a really fun time fighting an Orc named Rash the Mad, who kept screaming about willow trees that say “Oink”. Follow him on Twitter at @Ragga_Fragga.