Shadow of War army building explained – how to dominate, recruit, level up your orcs and build the best orc army

Building an army in Shadow of War is, along with your story-based missions, one of the main points of focus you will have in the game.

Dominating orcs is the way to go, but there are different rules for different types of enemies and a variety of other factors to take into account when deciding who to dominate and what to do with them once you’ve done so.

Below we’ll explain everything you need to know to build your excellent team of Orcy followers, while you can head over to our main Shadow of War guide and walkthrough hub for plenty more guides and tips on the game in general. .

Digital Foundry takes a look at Shadow of War.

How to Master Orcs in Shadow of War: Follower Recruitment Explained

Mastering the orcs is quite simple. You’ll be able to do this after the Ring of Power story quest at the start of Act 2, so to be clear, that means you won’t have to create followers or master captains in Act 1.

Once the skill is unlocked in your skill tree, you can master and therefore recruit any broken enemy captain you encounter who is not an Overlord, with another caveat: you must be at least the same level as the orc. What are you. trying to dominate.

If the orc outranks you, you will have to use the “Shame” option among the options that appear when you try to overpower them. This weakens them a few levels; What’s annoying is that if you’re only one level below them, for example, it could take them a good four or five levels below you.

When should you start building your army?

This is really the key question, as you will of course increase your level significantly by playing the game. Orcs you encounter at a low level will not level up with you, while orcs you encounter for the first time will level up to your level.

That means you can recruit the Captain at level 12, which seemed cool at the time, but will be pretty useless when you’re at level 40 and all the enemies you encounter are at a similar level.

So should you wait to master captains? Well, not necessarily. Firstly, you will need to master enough to overthrow The Etten early on, as it is a necessary quest to advance part of the story. Secondly, there is a way to level up your orcs as you progress, and we’ll delve into that just below.

How to level up orcs and build the best army in Shadow of War

To build the best army, you’ll basically have to keep an eye out for enemy captains and warchiefs with desirable traits, master them, and then level them up.

For desirable traits, look for combat-based immunities and resistances, with as few weaknesses as possible (mortal or not). The orcs you recruit will mostly fight in close-range, densely populated encounters, either during fortress sieges and late-game Shadow Wars, or in Fight Pits, so it’s combat capability in all the time.

There are two ways to level up your overpowered orc captains and warchiefs in Shadow of War:

  • Send them on missions: Select the follower in question in the Army menu and from there you can send them on some types of missions, either one on one against other enemy captains or on ambush missions accompanied by other allied captains. You can interfere with these missions or let them resolve themselves, like any other Nemesis mission on the map. In our experience, followers gained a level if they were successful, so this can be a bit complicated.
  • Send them to Fight Pits: The highest risk and highest reward option is to send them to Fight Pits. If you have a lot of followers and are happy to see some go to waste, the best option here is to have two followers fight each other. You will lose whoever dies, but you will get loot from his body and the winner will gain one to five levels.

Alternatively, you can risk them in Maggot, Warrior and Champion level battles against enemy captains (their level is higher as you progress through the levels). If they lose, at least you can jump in and dominate the winner, and if they win they will go up several levels. This is also a decent way to beat Mirian, but keep in mind that you must capture a region’s stronghold to gain access to their respective Fight Pits.

Do you need more help? Our Shadow of War guide and walkthrough gives you an overview of everything you need, but if you need anything in particular, we have pages on Shadow of War Fortress Sieges, how to earn Mirian in Shadow of War, a guide on how to import your Nemesis and Follower to Shadow of War, collectible guides such as how to get all Shadow of War legendary weapon and armor sets, a list of lost artifacts and Web of Fate locations, and Ithildin Door and Shadows of the Past poem solutions, plus how to get XP in Shadow of War to overcome the complicated ending of Shadow Wars and get the true ending. Finally, Shadow of War army building and the best skills and how to earn skill points are explained.

In fact, you can level up orcs by letting them kill. you if they are also an enemy. They’ll go up a few levels and potentially even gain a new trait or two in the process, and this is probably a quicker and easier way to do it than mastering them first, as long as you can handle the humiliation!

Also, keep in mind that they will have to deal the killing blow to kill you; otherwise some random player might get the promotion. Meanwhile, if you engage them in a pre-arranged Nemesis quest, running away and letting them win has a similar effect, as if you had rigged the Nemesis quest so they win anyway; You can also just kill his opponent and make him win. Mission Nemesis and level up that way too.

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