Friday, 24 May 2024

An In-Depth Look At Middle-earth: Shadow Of War’s Skill Tree

In Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the protagonist, Talion, grows stronger as the story progresses. With each level-up, players unlock a skill point, which can also be earned through side missions, challenges, and collectibles. With around 120 skill points available, there are plenty of choices to be made when exploring the skill tree.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Customizing Talion’s Abilities

Talion’s skills can be upgraded by choosing from two or three unique options. For example, one skill can be augmented to grant more health and wrath when draining an enemy, or to regain elf-shot ammunition. Each perk can only have one upgrade at a time, allowing players to craft their version of Talion to suit their playstyle.

The Skills in Detail

Here is a list of some of the skills you can choose from when upgrading Talion. Please note that a few skills are being kept secret to avoid spoilers.

Combat Skills

Execution: When might is full, execute enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Grim Resolve – Gain might when damaged in combat.
  • Upgrade 2: Secret Might – Gain might for each undetected kill.
  • Upgrade 3: Fatal Might – Successful sword strikes gain additional might.

Perfect Counter: Well-timed counters knock down enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Rain of Arrows – Well-timed counters replenish Elf-shot.
  • Upgrade 2: Mighty Reversal – Gain might from each counter.
  • Upgrade 3: Fatal Counter – Well-timed counters instantly kill grunts, not effective against Captains and beasts.

Critical Strike: Melee attacks have a chance of causing critical hits.

  • Upgrade 1: Reprisal – Critical strike chance increases as health is reduced.
  • Upgrade 2: Unstoppable – Critical strike chance increases with a hit streak above 20.
  • Upgrade 3: Elven Precision – Timing button press on strike landing increases chances of critical strike.

Ground Finisher: Decrease time to perform ground executions.

  • Upgrade 1: Fury – Gain might on each hit during ground executions.
  • Upgrade 2: Wraith Shield – Wraith can counter enemies during ground executions.
  • Upgrade 3: Ground Drain – Dominate or drain knocked down enemies.

Brutal Aggression: Double-charge might for Brutal Executions.

  • Upgrade 1: Wraith Execution – Chain executions to additional enemies.
  • Upgrade 2: Ceaseless Might – Skills requiring might no longer fully deplete might.

Retaliation: Perfect Last Chance success instantly kills the enemy targeting you.

  • Upgrade 1: Adamant – Gain an additional Last Chance attempt.
  • Upgrade 2: Vengeful Drain – Retaliation dominates or drains your attacker.
  • Upgrade 3: Burst of Might – Gain full might on a perfect Last Chance.

Predator Skills

Elven Agility: Burst of speed when leaping, landing, or climbing.

  • Upgrade 1: Spectral Dash – Cross short distances instantly while in stealth. Consumes focus.
  • Upgrade 2: Silent Runner – Sprint without creating sound.

Brutalize: Terrifying stealth kill causing nearby enemies to flee.

  • Upgrade 1: Unyielding Ferocity – Brutalize gives a bonus to might and hit streak.
  • Upgrade 2: Reckless Hate – More enemies flee from Brutalize.

Poison Tendril: Poison grog barrels from afar.

  • Upgrade 1: Bursting Toxin – Grunts who drink from poisoned barrels explode, poisoning others.
  • Upgrade 2: Contagion – Enemies who drink from poisoned barrels go berserk and attack nearby foes, spreading the poison.
  • Upgrade 3: Proximity Trigger – Prime traps to trigger when an enemy approaches.

Wraith Chain: Target an additional enemy during stealth kill.

  • Upgrade 1: Monster Hunter – Stealth kills can be used against beasts.
  • Upgrade 2: Shadow Blade – First chained stealth kill consumes no focus.

Deadly Spectre: Leave behind a Wraith to kill your target.

  • Upgrade 1: Terrifying Presence – Wraith brutalizes its target.
  • Upgrade 2: Spirit Drain – Wraith dominates or drains its target.

Ranged Skills

Detonate: Shadow Strike into a firepit, detonating it and lighting nearby enemies on fire.

  • Upgrade 1: Spider Song – Detonate a firepit and cause spiders to swarm the area.
  • Upgrade 2: Bursting Arrow – Detonate firepits without Shadow Striking.
  • Upgrade 3: Matron’s Scent – Detonate a firepit and cause ghûls to swarm the area.

Freeze Pin: Shooting an enemy’s foot freezes them in place.

  • Upgrade 1: Brutal Cold – Freeze pin causes nearby enemies to flee.
  • Upgrade 2: Savage Ice – Freeze pin affects Olog-hai and beasts.
  • Upgrade 3: Deep Freeze – Freeze pin duration is doubled.

Bird of Prey: Slower consumption of focus while in the air.

  • Upgrade 1: Eagle Sight – Slower focus consumption while in the air.
  • Upgrade 2: Talon Strike – Aim at the ground while falling to strike with a blast that stuns nearby enemies. Consumes Elf-shot.

Mighty Shot: Fire an explosive shot with full might.

  • Upgrade 1: Firestorm – Mighty Shot causes a fire explosion.
  • Upgrade 2: Freeze Blast – Mighty Shot causes a frost explosion.
  • Upgrade 3: Venom – Mighty Shot causes a poison explosion.

Shadow Strike: Instantly reach and kill or stun an enemy. Consumes Elf-shot.

  • Upgrade 1: Chain of Shadows – Chain to additional enemies from a Shadow Strike. Consumes focus.
  • Upgrade 2: Shadow Strike Pull – Pull a targeted enemy to you and kill or stun them.
  • Upgrade 3: Shadow Dominate – Unlocked by completing Eltariel quests. Reach and dominate an enemy instantly while aiming.

Wraith Skills

Brace of Daggers: Quick-throw a dagger that damages and staggers enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Serrated Edge – Thrown daggers have a chance of causing critical strikes.
  • Upgrade 2: Swift Barrage – Rapidly throw three daggers.
  • Upgrade 3: Rain of Blades – Throw five daggers simultaneously.

Elven Light: Blast when might is full, stunning and blinding enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Cleansing Blaze – Elven Light sets enemies on fire.
  • Upgrade 2: Winter’s Breath – Elven Light freezes enemies.
  • Upgrade 3: Poison Blast – Elven Light poisons enemies.

Ice Storm: Freeze enemies, followed by a flurry of sword strikes.

  • Upgrade 1: Shower of Ice – Freeze all enemies in the area. Increased area with higher hit streak.
  • Upgrade 2: Frostbite – Ice Storm finishers cause critical strikes.
  • Upgrade 3: Shattering Blow – Ice Storm finisher shatters target, causing nearby enemies to flee.

Consume: Dominate and drain an enemy quickly when might is full.

  • Upgrade 1: Chain of Souls – Dominate or drain additional enemies during Consume. Consumes focus.
  • Upgrade 2: Lord of Wrath – Consume increases Wrath.
  • Upgrade 3: Olog Lord – Consume works against Ologs.

Treasure Hunter: Automatically collect loot from defeated enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Discerning Eye – Increase chance of high-quality gear drops.
  • Upgrade 2: Mind Breaker – Increases Domination speed.
  • Upgrade 3: Prospector – Increase chance of receiving higher-quality Gems.

Mounted Skills

Caragor Rider: Dominate and ride a broken caragor.

  • Upgrade 1: Pounce – Devouring enemies while in stealth restores more caragor health.
  • Upgrade 2: Bestial Rage – Perform execution or howl to summon additional caragors. Consumes mount’s health.

Graug Rider: Dominate and ride a broken graug.

  • Upgrade 1: Devouring Force – Graug executions restore more graug health.
  • Upgrade 2: Enduring Fury – Graug basic attacks gain more Might.

Call Mount: Summon a dominated caragor to attack enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Dire Caragor – Summon a Dire Caragor.
  • Upgrade 2: Graug Call – Summon a graug.
  • Upgrade 3: Dragon Song – Unlocked by completing the Carnán quests. Summon a drake.

Shadow Mount: Instantly mount a broken graug, caragor, or drake (Dragon Rider skill must be unlocked) with Shadow Strike.

  • Upgrade 1: Caragor Breaker – Shadow Mount unbroken caragors.
  • Upgrade 2: Packmaster – Shadow Mounting a broken caragor also dominates nearby caragors.

Dragon Rider: Dominate and ride a broken drake.

  • Upgrade 1: Soaring Rage – Drake can shoot fireballs without full might. Consumes mount’s health.
  • Upgrade 2: Scales of Iron – Drake takes less damage from attacks.

Story Skills

Drain: Recover health by draining life from orcs or dominating orcs and beasts.

  • Upgrade 1: Domination – Drained enemies are also dominated.
  • Upgrade 2: Quiver of Souls – Draining an enemy replenishes Elf-shot.
  • Upgrade 3: Bright Lord’s Wrath – Draining or dominating an enemy fully recovers health and gains wrath.

Spectral Glaive: Initiate a heavy sweeping attack.

  • Upgrade 1: Mighty Swing – Charged attack generates might for each hit enemy.
  • Upgrade 2: Deadly Striker – Double-charge your glaive for more follow-up attacks.

Elven Rage: Kill to gain wrath energy. Full wrath slows time, making each melee strike lethal and enabling unlimited executions.

  • Upgrade 1: Final Blaze – Fiery blast detonates when Elven Rage ends.
  • Upgrade 2: Freezing Burst – Freezing blast detonates when Elven Rage ends.
  • Upgrade 3: Poisonous Wrath – Poisonous blast detonates when Elven Rage ends.

Shadow Strider: Double jump while leaping, allowing wider gaps coverage or changing direction between jumps.

  • Upgrade 1: Hammer of Eregion – Vault over an Uruk and freeze them.
  • Upgrade 2: Waters of Lórien – Upgrade dodge to instantly pass enemies. Consumes focus.
  • Upgrade 3: Eagle’s Eyrie – Leap off an enemy’s head while vaulting and perform a double jump. Unlocks Bird of Prey during the jump if unlocked.

Call Followers: Summon warriors to fight alongside you and command them to attack targeted enemies.

  • Upgrade 1: Bodyguard – Assign a Captain as your bodyguard.
  • Upgrade 2: Cluster of Spiders – Unlocked by finding all Shelob memories. Summon a cluster of spiders, exploiting weaknesses of Captains or higher-ranked orcs.
  • Upgrade 3: Iron Guard – Unlocked by completing all Gondor quests. Summoned warriors are tougher.

Dominate Captain: Dominate a Captain with a broken will. Cannot recruit Captains higher level than you.

  • Upgrade 1: Destroy Followers – Explode nearby followers’ heads, causing enemies to flee.
  • Upgrade 2: Lifeblood – Heal nearby followers by consuming health.
  • Upgrade 3: Enrage Followers – Enrage nearby friendly Captains. Consumes wrath.


  1. How do I unlock the Shadow Dominate skill?
    To unlock the Shadow Dominate skill, you need to complete the Eltariel quests.

  2. Can I recruit Captains who are higher level than me?
    No, you cannot recruit Captains who are higher level than you. However, you can dominate them and make them fight for you.

  3. How can I collect higher-quality gear?
    By upgrading the Prospector skill, you increase your chances of receiving higher-quality Gems from defeated enemies.

  4. Are there any secret skills in the game?
    Yes, there are a few secret skills kept hidden to avoid spoiling the game.


Middle-earth: Shadow of War offers a deep and customizable skill tree, allowing players to shape Talion’s abilities to suit their preferred playstyle. With a wide range of combat, predator, ranged, wraith, mounted, and story skills to choose from, players can create a unique and powerful character to take on the challenges that await in Middle-earth.

If you want to find out more about Middle-earth: Shadow of War and its skill tree, visit Wqaindia for exclusive content and updates.

(Note: The information provided in this article is based on the Middle-earth: Shadow of War skill tree at the time of writing and may be subject to changes or updates in the game.)