Once you've completed the main campaign of Shadow of War, you'll come to the Shadow Wars endgame mode. In this section of the game, Sauron is launching all his forces against your Fortresses in every region, one by one. It's up to you to repel all these attacks, and if necessary, retake the Fortresses should you fall in battle. In this Shadow of War Shadow Wars guide, we'll be walking you through how to repel every attack on your strongholds, as well as how to complete the mode as quickly as possible.
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 The Shadow Wars Guide
You'll come to the Shadow Wars section of Shadow of War, after you've completed The Bright Lord mission, bringing a temporary close to the events of the main plot. Since we'll be dealing with the Shadow of War endgame, consider this your spoiler warning for the story of the game.
But how do the Shadow Wars actually play in Shadow of War? As soon as you begin the mode, which kicks off the second you complete the Bright Lord mission, you'll receive a notification that Cirith Ungol in under siege. We should note that these Siege Missions aren't actually timed, so you begin them whenever you wish. Therefore, you should definitely make sure you take all the time you need to prepare to defend your Fortress.
Head to the starting point of a Shadow of War Siege Mission outside your Fortress, and you'll kick off the Shadow Wars mission. Here, you'll have to defend your Fortress against waves of Orcs and Captains, all arriving in groups to attacks your Fortress. Each wave of enemy Orcs will attempt to breach the walls of your Fortress, so we'd actually recommend heading out and meeting them head on, taking out as many of them as you can before they reach the Fortress walls.
You'll notice that only two Captains arrive in the initial wave, and this is because the rest of them are laying in wait in the other two waves that are set to arrive. At this point you're on a timer, as additional waves of Captains can arrive before you've had the chance to kill the initial two, so you basically need to take out the Captains as soon as possible, leaving their troops to be dealt with by your own Captains and Orcs.
Once Talion has killed every Captain attacking the Fortress, the Siege Mission will end, and the attack will have been successfully repelled. However, should Talion die during the assault, then the attacking Dark Lord's forces will be victorious, and your Fortress will fall under enemy control. Now you'll have to undertake your own Fortress Assault mission in order to reclaim your Fortress, before you can move onto the next stage in the Shadow Wars.
Should this happen to you, then we'd recommend picking off the Warchiefs one by one, instead of charging headlong into battle in a Fortress Assault with every Warchief still alive and guarding the Fortress. Try and seek out the Warchief's bodyguards in the region, and try and recruit them, as this will force them to betray the Warchief when you eventually face off with them.
Shadow Wars Tips and Tricks Guide - Shadow of War Guide
Now, we'll run down a few tips and tricks you need to ensure Talion's success in repelling the Dark Lord's attacks in the Shadow Wars:
- You'll want to always ensure you've got a good amount of Mirian on hand when you prepare to defend a Fortress, as you'll want to purchase plenty of upgrades to fortify your defences.
- Speaking of, you can see if one Fortress upgrade perk is better than another, based on how much Mirian the two cost. The Iron Walls upgrade costs far more than the Stone Walls upgrade, this indicating the former will be far more powerful.
- Remember that you can take on a Fortress Siege Mission any time you want, so don't feel as though you have to complete them ASAP.
- If there are Captains in your army that are more powerful than your Warchiefs, you can switch them around in the siege upgrades screen, this increasing your overall Fortress defense power.
- When you go to start the Fortress defense mission, are the enemy Captains more powerful than your own? If so, why not head out into the region and find some higher level Captains to recruit?
- Don't think you'll get away with merely having to defend a Fortress once, as Shadow Wars makes you return to defend the Fortress roughly three times before it's all said and done. Therefore, we'd recommend maybe saving some Captains for later fights.
- At the beginning of the Siege Mission, we'd recommend targeting the enemy Siege Beasts with a few Elf Shot arrows, and then dominating them from afar, laying down a few volleys onto the enemy army with their own weapon.
- Similarly, keep an eye on the skies, particularly as you venture deeper into the Shadow Wars mode, as the enemy army will start bringing Drakes to the fight, and you'll want to take them out as soon as you see them in the skies.
Shadow of War Best Fortress Upgrades
Since we're mainly dealing with defending Fortresses in this Shadow Wars guide, it'd be appropriate if we ran down the very best Fortress upgrades that you can buy.
- Metal Walls - This upgrade provides your Shadow Wars Fortress with the very best outer walls possible. These walls nearly guarantee that you can go the entire siege without letting your enemies break down the Fortress Walls.
- Iron Gates - It might seem the weakest in its upgrade group, but Iron Gates coupled with Metal Walls means you're attackers are going to be stranded outside the Fortress for a very long time.
- Defender Host - The Defender Host upgrade means that should your walls be breached, you've got a strong line of defense against your points inside the Fortress being captured.
- Fiery Siege Beasts - We'd recommend Fiery Siege Beasts over the other two upgrades, mainly because they can thin out the hordes outside your Fortress while your Metal Walls keep them out.
- Hellfire - The Hellfire upgrade means that while your upgraded Iron Gates are keeping the enemy army outside, the Drake can light them up while they're attempting to break down the gate.
- Spiked Walls - If you've got the Metal Walls upgrade, then pairing it with the Spiked Walls upgrade means no attackers are going to able to go over the Fortress walls, forcing them to go through the impossibly tough outer walls instead.
- Poison Mines - Go with Poison Mines over the Fire variant, mainly due to the fact that Captains on the whole are generally more susceptible to poison than they are fire.
The Shadow Wars endgame mode of Shadow of War is a long haul, and you're going to have to play well over ten rounds of Fortress defense before you're through to the very end of the game.
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