Shadow of War – A Guide to Surviving Your Orc Harem

Most of you probably can’t wait to return to Middle Earth and create an orc army with Talion and Celebrimbor to fight the forces of Sauron or just know what it feels like to be Gandalf and fight a Balrog. But before you dive into the abyss that is Middle Earth: Shadow of War, here’s a few tips and tricks that might increase your odds of survival when facing off against your own harem (albeit an orcish one).

Take note that some of these tips are only applicable when you have reached Chapter II of the story mode since Chapter 1 for some plot reason doesn’t give you the ability to dominate orcs from the get go.

Purifying Towers

The 1st thing you need to do when you get to see the open map is look for towers that Sauron controls and purify them which would enable you to look for collectibles so that you don’t need to search every nook and cranny for them. It also helps that the towers become fast travel points and checkpoints for when you die.

Worm Hunting

Worms look like those run-of-the-mill orcs that you can find anywhere with the exception that they contain intel on the various orc captains, warchiefs, and even the overlord that are in the region. You can use them to learn the top orcs and trolls weaknesses or send them a death threat. They are surrounded by a lot of other orcs but they can be discerned by going into the wraith world which highlights them as green whereas regular orcs are red while captains and above are gold.

Side Quests & Collecting 4 Skillz

Doing Mordor’s sidequests especially re-enacting Celebrimbor’s past feats award Talion 1 skill point for each one completed provided you were able to at least do 1 additional objective. Collecting all the various historical artifacts and piecing together all of Shelob’s pictures in the region also give out 1 skill point to Talion. You are gonna need these skills as they will enable you different possible strategies to fight against those big, brawny orcs that hate (love) you.

Be an Environmentalist!

A true warrior can make use of his surroundings to give him an edge against his opponents. That is most certainly true when you’re in Mordor. Before going in and fighting off against the hordes of bloodthirsty orcs, take a breather and admire the beauty around you, especially the campfires, the morgul fly hives, the hanging meat, the barrel of explosive grog, and more. You can easily use these environmental hazards to clear the area of orcs like making them run away because they hate flies, summoning hungry caragors to feast on them, or making a campfire explode and killing them outright. Nature is on your side, both figuratively and literally.


Use the Elements

Make use of elements that are in your arsenal depending on your strategy. You could freeze orcs in place to give you a lot of space to kill captains, use poison to make your foes sick and gross, or burn them alive with fire. The orc leaders in particular have certain weaknesses or even fears to elements that you could use to your advantage. Shame really that the curse element is exclusive to the orcs… Hmmmph!

Beware of Trolls

The trolls (Olog-hai’s) are particularly more tricky to fight then regular orcs. They’re big, strong, and tough, so much so that it takes 2 stealth attacks to stealth kill one. You also need a specific skill in order to dominate them, you can’t vault over them, you can’t counter them but only evade them and if you learned how to use ice magic then sometimes you can freeze counter them but that just makes the button memorization a bit trickier.

Plant Spies

To easily remove a warchief from his lofty position, simply have one of your dominated captains become his bodyguard. If you managed to turn all of a warchief’s bodyguards and there being more than 1, you can set up a coup wherein the bodyguards would betray their master for the bright lord.

Orcs Love to be Touched By You

When facing off against a gang or a horde of orcs alone, the best course of action is either to run and shoot arrows or turn them against each other. If you picked the latter then instead of pulling off executions, use it to dominate orcs so that they will serve and defend you and at the same time you can also replenish your health. Besides, you can hear them being grateful that they are now serving you.

For Shame

There will be orcs who have levels higher than you and if you think you can dominate them like a rat then you’re out of luck since the game doesn’t allow you to recruit orcs beyond your level. So your only option if you still want them is to shame them to lower their level. Be careful though as sometimes shaming has the opposite effect and greatly raises their level at the cost of their sanity instead.

Junk for Mira

Let’s face it, going to war or at least a siege isn’t free. Some spending is required especially for what type of attack you’re going to be pulling off. So all the junk gear you get from killing captains and warchiefs can be destroyed and in return you get heavier pockets. So keep destroying and plan a grand siege or defense.

A Healthy Quiver is a Healthy Ranger

You’re basically a ranger so having a lot of arrows can ensure your survival. Arrows have so many practical uses in Mordor that it baffles me a bit why the limit for arrows in your quiver is very limited, but at least there’s a lot of sources around but it just makes things tedious when it shouldn’t be. Plus you can pull off some cool action scenes with it.

Don’t Forget Your Pets

Make sure to get the skill where you can summon mounts as it is quite useful for getting from point A to point B. It is also more helpful for places where the quick travel points aren’t nearby. You can also upgrade it to add the option of summoning a graug or a flying drake.

Don’t be Surprised by an Ambush

There will be times wherein you are just sneaking around when suddenly a captain comes up from behind you and spoils your fun. It is quite annoying and even something as small as riding a caragor is enough to suddenly summon one of them out of thin air.

Beware of Backstabbers

There are a few times when you just aren’t cut out for world domination. So some of your followers would turn their backs on you right in front of you and would then go on to try and kill you. And if you try to bring them back to their senses, they would gain a new ability to resist your domination.

Train Your Followers

Go into the fighting pits to see orcs prove to themselves who is the stronger orc and see how well your followers can grow or die. If you haven’t conquered the region yet then the fighting pits is how you can get your orcs to become bodyguards of warchiefs or get them to become warchiefs. Sometimes your followers would die but at the bright side, you have a new orc to dominate. You also can’t join the fray but watching it is quite fun, like your watching greenish gladiators fighting to the death.

Use the Buddy System

I can’t stress enough how useful keeping a bodyguard around is, especially an orc captain. Many times I would’ve died from a strong orc until my bodyguard who I didn’t even summon or just some random human soldier, would come out suddenly and kill my arch nemesis.

Don’t Bother with Traitors

Orcs that betray you have somehow developed a will of their own (lol) and can’t be recruited back into the fold. So it’s best to just say goodbye to those bastards and find a replacement.

And there you have it. The nemesis system is a lot harder now than ever especially when you’re playing the “nemesis” difficulty. But there’s a lot of fun to be had because once you go Mordor you don’t want to go to the back door (get it?). So have fun when hunting to create your dream orc harem.