[Top 10] Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War Best Builds

Shadow Of War, Shadow Of Mordor, Lord Of The Rings

Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War gives a lot of freedom to customize and configure Talion’s abilities to your playstyle. There’s a whole lot of different gear and skills that you can swap between depending on what situation you’re going to find yourself in.

Some builds work wonders in sieges, some are better in hand-to-hand combat and all of them are fun. The great thing about Shadow Of War is that you’re not locked to one build and can always switch up your loadout when you need something different.

Each build should be customized to your preference. I encourage you to look even more into what each part of your gear does and to always choose the upgrades for skills that you think synergize with the build.

10.Enraging Build

The Outlaw legendary set focuses on inflicting random status ailments while in combat. While partially wearing the set, you will have 25% chance to inflict either Fire, Frost, Poison or Curse on hit. Wearing the whole set gives the same ability to your followers with 20% chance.

Now, you have high chances to enrage your target since a lot of Captains are enraged by at least 1 status effect. That’s why all of the Outlaw set pieces allow you to deal a lot more damage to enraged enemies. That’s why your strategy with this build will be to hope the opponent gets Enraged, and then deal a lot of damage to him.

You can use elemental upgrades to your skills like Cleansing Blaze and Poison Blast to be able to deal damage to grunts around you and your target at the same time.

Use The Enraging Build If:

  • You like getting effects at random.
  • You like doing constant damage to enemies around you.
  • You like fighting enraged enemies.

Build Example:

  • Blackguard Sword
  • Blackguard Dagger
  • Blackguard Bow
  • Blackguard Armor
  • Blackguard Cloak
  • Blackguard Rune
  • Cleansing Blaze


This is another set that is quite fun, but not entirely useful. While partially wearing the Feral set, you will be able to Shadow Mount unbroken Graugs, and the full set lets you Shadow Mount unbroken Drakes. 

It can be quite fun using beasts in combat and having the ability to instantly mount any beast that comes into the battlefield, but that’s not going to help much against Captains with Beast-Proof or Bestial Frenzy. And in my experience a lot of Captains are able to deal with beasts easily, but the build can still sometimes be useful, letting you fight with an army of beasts around you.

You have a lot of good Upgrades in your Skill Tree that give you a boost to controlling beasts. The most notable things are the Dire Caragor upgrade, since you will be stronger and look way cooler once you do, and Packmaster - which can turn the odds in your favor in a combat where there are a lot of Caragors.

Use Beastmaster Build If:

  • You like letting your army do the fighting.
  • You like riding beasts in combat.
  • Your target is weak to beasts.

Build Example:

  • Threshing Sword
  • Dagger Of Beasts
  • Bow Of Beasts
  • Threshing Armor (Threshing parts give you a chance to deal explosive damage to enemies for bonus damage in melee combat)
  • Cloak Of Beasts
  • Rune Of Beasts
  • Packmaster, Dragon Song, Soaring Rage and similar Upgrades

8.The Moneymaker

The Marauder set gives you higher chances to get Mirian and utilizes Mirian to give you extra damage and health. Partially wearing the set gives you 2% damage for 20 seconds per Mirian picked up, and wearing the full heals you for 2 health per a Mirian coin picked up.

Receiving more Mirian is useful in and of itself, but this build will also give you a steady boost of damage and health while in combat. If you encounter a treasure Olog you will get +2000% damage while wearing this set which is a neat interaction. 

The Marauder set gives increased chance for enemies to drop Mirian when killed. The Treasure Hunter Skill which lets you collect Mirian and Treasures in combat by running through them instead of having to manually collect. This is how the build actually becomes functional and gives you steady damage and health.

Use The Moneymaker If:

  • You need to get more Mirian.
  • You like a steady boost to your base combat.
  • You want to feel invincible for 20 seconds.

Build Example:

  • Raider’s Sword
  • Raider’s Dagger
  • Raider’s Bow
  • Raider’s Armor
  • Raider’s Cloak
  • Raider’s Rune
  • Treasure Hunter Skill

7.The Fire Lord

Warmonger is a set built for players who like to play with fire.. literally. Partially wearing the set lets the player recover 50 health when killing an enemy that’s on fire and wearing the entire set will have you periodically explode flames while being on fire.

Unfortunately this build is weak to Captains that have an immunity to fire, or even worse, if they are enraged by it. They will nullify most of your build, but you can still constantly heal yourself and dodge around, to counter those foes. This build’s biggest strength is how much you can heal yourself if you kill enemies that you ablaze.

Cleansing Blaze,Firestorm, Flaming Weapons for your Revenants or Grunts are just some upgrades that you can take to aid you to set the enemies around you on fire so that you can heal up on them. 

Use The Fire Lord Build If:

  • You like fiery combat.
  • You want to have an option to heal yourself.
  • You want to quickly take care of grunts.

Build Example:

  • Sword Of War
  • Dagger Of Vengeance
  • Bow Of War
  • Armor Of War
  • Cloak Of War
  • Rune Of Vengeance (Just for some more flexibility to use your Might attacks if you need them, since you can heal up easily)
  • Cleansing Blaze, Firestorm…


Vendetta set is probably the easiest set to get, hence this build can be used in lower levels as well, since you can do Vendetta missions pretty early in the game. This set lets you use your health as a resource. Partially wearing the set lets you perform Might attacks for 40% of your Max HP, while fully wearing the set lets you perform ranged attacks for 25% of your health when you’re out of Elf-Shot.

40% of Max HP is not a little by any means. You’ll always be risking death, especially on higher difficulties. If you’re planning on this build, you should manage your skills to get as much healing as possible, and you’ll constantly be using your Drain to stay alive in combat. By finding a way to consistently stay alive in combat, this set will let you use Might attacks way more than other sets.

You will definitely want to use the Reprisal upgrade to gain more Critical Chance when you’re low on HP, since you’ll often be low, due to the nature of the build. Since most of this build is focused on hand-to-hand combat, most of the skills depend on how you like to play in combat. Consider upgrades for Drain like Ground Drain and Bright Lord’s Wrath to increase your survivability when things get tough.

Use The Vendetta Build If:

  • You like high risk - high reward gameplay.
  • You like to play aggressively.
  • You want to use your Might attacks often.

Build Example:

  • Sword Of Vengeance
  • Dagger Of Vengeance
  • Bow Of Vengeance
  • Armor Of Vengeance
  • Cloak Of Vengeance
  • Rune Of Vengeance 
  • Reprisal, Ground Drain, Bright Lord’s Wrath

5.The Siege Leader

The Siege Leader Build buffs your dominated grunts, thus working wonders in sieges. Partially wearing the Mystic set has your grunts take 50% reduced damage and wearing the full set gives them cursed weapons as well.

It’s a simple set that gives more power to players that like to use their grunts in combat. It’s also a good build to whip out just for sieges, since in sieges there’s a whole lot of grunts running around.

You’ll definitely want to use the Ringwraith Might Skill so that you increase the number of grunts you have around you. And by getting all of the Upgrades for your grunts in the skill tree, you will have an unstoppable army.

Use The Siege Leader If You:

  • Like using your grunts in combat.
  • Want to go into a siege.
  • Want to feel like the leader of an army.

Build Example:

  • Arcane Sword
  • Arcane Dagger
  • Arcane Bow
  • Arcane Armor
  • Mask Of The High King
  • Arcane Rune
  • Ringwraith Skill

4.Terror Build

The Terror set gives you a lot of crowd control in fights. Partially wearing the set will let you instantly kill fleeing grunts with Quick Throw. And wearing the full set gives you 100 HP each time you kill fleeing grunts.

You’ll want to build your skills around making the enemies flee from you, and Brutalize stealth kills will be your best friend for quickly wiping out a small army of grunts. If played correctly this build can rather easily wipe out the grunts around the captain, letting you 1v1 him properly.

Best skills to aid you are Destroy Followers and Reckless Hate. Those are the only skills that can help you make enemies flee. But still, destroying your followers in combat can help you a lot with this build, since it causes a few enemies to flee around the killed follower.

Use The Terror Build If:

  • You want to feel like you’re hunting Orcs.
  • You want to fight the captain 1v1.
  • You don’t want the grunts troubling you.

Build Example:

  • Sword Of Horrors
  • Dagger Of Horrors
  • Bow Of Horrors
  • Armor Of Horrors
  • Dark Embrace
  • Rune Of Horrors
  • Destroy Followers, Reckless Hate

3.Lord of Poisons

Using the Dark set will give you more options for using your poison, and also let you gain might whenever you poison enemies. Partially wearing the set gives you 1 Might whenever enemies take damage from your poison and fully wearing the set gives you 15% chance to inflict explosive poison whenever you deal damage. 

Your goal with this build is to deal as much poison damage to as many enemies as possible, and get might that way. You can use might in a variety of ways to help you out in combat, which makes this build have a lot of versatility which is surely a thing you’d want in combat.

You can take upgrades like Poison Blast to help you poison enemies around you easily, and Fatal Might if you wish to fight in close quarters combat gain EVEN MORE might.

Use The Lord Of Poisons Build If:

  • Your target is weak to poison.
  • You like using your Might attacks often.
  • You want to do a lot of damage over time.

Build Example:

  • Darkest Sword
  • Darkest Dagger
  • Darkest Bow
  • Darkest Armor
  • Darkest Cloak
  • Darkest Rune
  • Poison Blast

2.The Bright Lord Build

The Bright Lord set when partially worn gives you a 50% increase to your might gain but cuts the time of Elven Rage in half. Fully wearing the set lets you replenish all of your Elf-Shots when you kill an enemy in Elven Rage.

This build is busted in most situations. If you like to shoot often while in combat (which you should since headshotting a grunt is an insta kill), you’ll find this build enjoyable. Using arrows to pick-off grunts and gain might, and then focusing all of your Elven Rage on the Captain is a good strategy that rarely fails. Of course, after Elven Rage ends if you’ve killed an enemy, you can continue to pick off grunts with arrows.

The skills you take can help you build Might even faster. Fatal Might pairs well with the abilites of your gear pieces, to let you get enough might to spam out Elven Rages in combat.

Use The Bright Lord Build If:

  • You like chaotic over-the-top combat.
  • Like shooting Orcs amid the chaos.
  • Want to feel like Celebrimbor.

Build Example:

  • Bright Lord’s Sword
  • Bright Lord’s Dagger
  • Bright Lord’s Bow
  • Bright Lord’s Armor
  • Bright Lord’s Cloak
  • Bright Lord’s Rune
  • Winter’s Breath, Frostbite…


Partially wearing the Ringwraith set lets your Call Followers and Iron Guard summon revenants instead. Fully wearing the set heals you for 20 HP every time an undead follower dies near you.

Besides being the arguably best looking set in the game, it demolishes sieges if you manage to swarm the fort with undead grunts (which you should be able to do easily with Raise Dead). Added bonus is that there are 5 masks, which you gain when you complete Shadow Wars, which are all part of the Ringwraith set. They all have insane bonuses that can make you even stronger while wearing the Ringwraith set. Plus it’s cool as hell to play Talion as a corrupted necromancer.

In my opinion the most fun mask to play around is the Mask Of The High King which lets you summon Gondorian Wights instead of your followers. It’s the most lore-accurate mask for Talion to wear, and it looks very epic.

Use The Ringwraith Build If:

  • You like feeling like a necromancer.
  • You use your followers a lot.

Build Example:

  • Urfael
  • Acharn
  • Helm’s Hammer
  • Servant’s Blackened Armor
  • Mask Of The High King
  • Isildur’s Ring
  • Ringwraith, Undying Loyalty…

You may also be interested in:

More on this topic:

As a young lad from Serbia, David chose to sustain his sanity and nutritional needs by playing games and reading books. He wishes to share his experiences by writing about his favorite games.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Top 3 Favorite Games:Sleeping Dogs, Shovel Knight, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

More Top Stories