One of the big showcase pieces for Shadow of War before release was the Balrog boss fight, as Monolith showed off Talion taking to the skies on a Drake to take down the massive beast. In the Carnan's Bane mission, you'll get the opportunity to come face to face with the Balrog, and this Balrog boss fight guide will walk you through all you need to know in order to topple the creature. How to beat the Balrog in Shadow of War.
If you need anything else on Shadow of War, including how to understand the Nemesis System, on top of all the general tips and tricks you need to know, make sure to check out our Shadow of War guides walkthrough hub.
Shadow of War Balrog Boss Guide
At the outset of the Carnan's Bane mission, you're tasked with killing 10 Orcs that are in the process of summoning Tar Goroth Balrog. To start with, get to the top of any of the four towers scattered around the arena, and kill the four Orcs that are atop the towers. If you don't have the Shadow Strike ability yet, then you'll have to climb between each tower, but if you have unlocked the ability, then simply aim at one Orc after another and press X/Square to kill each of them one by one.
Now, it's a case of taking down as many summoning Orcs on the ground as quickly a possible, without getting noticed by the Captain. Start with the outermost Orc and proceed inwards, using any stealth abilities you've unlocked to make this easier on yourself. As soon as you eventually get spotted by the Captain, take out any remaining summoning Orcs as quickly as possible with your Elf Shot arrows, and then shoot the explosive barrels behind the Captain.
Reinforcements will now arrive in the form of Caragors and infantry, so deal with the Captain as soon as you can by detonating the campfire near to him, and take him out through combat executions and ground executions while he's down. As soon as you've dealt with him, jump down into the pit, and you'll witness the rise of the Tar Goroth Balrog.
As soon as the cutscene ends and Carnan joins you in the Balrog boss fight, you'll have to position Talion so he can get an angle on the back of the Balrog. You want to aim with your Elf Shot arrows, charged up, at the very centre of the back of the Balrog, as demonstrated in the picture just below. The region you want to aim for will be lit up in a shade of light blue, so you don't have to worry about aiming at the wrong area.
Once you've hit the back of the Balrog once, debris will begin falling from above, crashing down in areas marked by a red outline. You want to avoid these areas at all costs by dodging with the A/Cross button, and they're generally not too hard to avoid, since Shadow of War gives you a good few seconds before the debris actually lands.
Once you've hit the Balrog in the back roughly five times, the next phase of the Balrog boss fight will begin, and you'll have to approach Carnan in the form of the Graug, and press the right shoulder button to mount it. Hold down A/Cross to run towards and climb the wooden beams on the side of the arena, and keep climbing until you're on the same level as the Balrog.
Now you'll need to follow the button prompts on screen, these being Y/Triangle to dodge the basic attack from the Balrog, A/Cross to dodge the whip attack, or B/Circle to stop the Balrog from striking you. In between any of these prompts, you'll want to repeatedly hit the X/Square button to lay into the Balrog with quick attacks from the Graug, until you're given another one of the aforementioned button prompts. It's not an overly difficult section, although the Balrog does have a large health bar.
To bring a conclusion to the Shadow of War Balrog boss fight, all you now need to do once the Balrog flees is to mount the Graug once again, and climb up the wooden sides of the arena once again, until you reach ground level, and the mission concludes.
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