Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – All The Skills And Upgrades


Power of the Gravewalker

Like its predecessor, Middle-earth: Shadow of War allows you to upgrade Talion’s skills and abilities in a variety of ways. Aside from a handful of skills from the first game, the sequel features plenty of new ones to experiment with, such as Freeze Pin, which allows you to shoot a frosty projectile that can temporarily hinder a foe’s movement. In addition, there are a variety of upgrades you can unlock for each skill that enhance your abilities even further. Click ahead for a closer look at all the skills you can obtain in Shadow of War.

Be sure to check back often as we update this gallery further with more information on each skill’s various upgrades.

Shadow of War was originally slated to launch in August, only for it to be pushed back. It’s now scheduled for release on October 10. Those who have played Shadow of Mordor will be able to import certain data from that game, including their top nemesis. When we tried the game out at E3, we found it to be much more challenging than Shadow of Mordor.


When your Might is full, aim at an enemy with the control stick and press Y + B to Execute him.

  • Grim Resolve: Gain Might each time you are damaged in combat.
  • Secret Might: Gain Might for each kill while remaining undetected.
  • Fatal Might: Successful sword strikes gain much more Might. Might will reset after taking damage, missing an attack or exiting combat.

Skill Tree Category — Combat

Perfect Counter

Well-timed Counters knock down enemies. (Press Y when the prompt flashes blue.)

  • Rain of Arrows: A well-timed counter will replenish one Elf-shot.
  • Mighty Reversal: Gain Might from each Counter.
  • Fatal Counter: Well-timed Counters instantly kill enemy grunts (but not Captains and Beasts).

Skill Tree Category — Combat

Critical Strike

Melee attacks have a chance of causing Critical hits for additional damage.

  • Reprisal: Melee attacks have a chance of causing Critical Hits for additional damage.
  • Unstoppable: Your Critical Strike chance increases significantly as long as your Hitstreak is above 30.
  • Elven Precision: Perform another Strike as a Strike is about to land to greatly increases your chance of a Critical Strike.

Skill Tree Category — Combat

Ground Finisher

Decrease the amount of time it takes to perform Ground Executions on downed enemies using RT + X.

  • Fury: Decrease the amount of time it takes to perform a Ground Execution on downed enemies.
  • Wraith Shield: The Wraith can counter enemies while you complete a Ground Execution.
  • Ground Drain: Press the indicated buttons to drain enemies who have been knocked down.

Skill Tree Category — Combat

Brutal Aggression

Might can be double-charged, enabling Brutal Executions (performed by Y + B) which cause nearby enemies to flee in terror.

  • Wraith Execution: Might can be double-charged, enabling Brutal Executions which cause nearby enemies to flee in terror.
  • Ceaseless Might: Skills that require Might no longer fully deplete Might.

Skill Tree Category — Combat


Time your Last Chance success perfectly to instantly kill the enemy targeting you.

Does not apply to Captains, graugs, or drakes.

  • Adamant: Time your Last Chance success perfectly to instantly kill the enemy targeting you.
  • Vengeful Drain: Retaliation drains the attacker.
  • Burst of Might: Gain full Might on a perfect Last Chance.

Skill Tree Category — Combat

Elven Agility

Hold A for a burst of speed when leaping over objects, landing, or climbing.

Press A at the top of a climb to vault up over the ledge.

  • Silent Runner: TBA
  • Spectral Dash: Press A while in stealth to cross short distances or reach nearby enemies instantaneously. Consumes Focus.

Skill Tree Category — Predator


Hold RT + Y to perform a terrifying stealth kill, causing nearby enemies to flee while increasing both your Might and your Hitstreak.

  • Unyielding Ferocity: TBA
  • Reckless Hate: Brutalize causes more enemies to flee.

Skill Tree Category — Predator

Poison Tendril

Aim at a grog barrel and press Y to poison it from afar.

  • Bursting Toxin: TBA
  • Contagion: Poisoned enemies go berserk and attack anyone nearby, spreading the poison.
  • Proximity Trigger: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Predator

Wraith Chain

Press X to target an additional enemy during a stealth kill. Each additional target consumes Focus.

  • Monster Hunter: TBA
  • Shadow Blade: Your first chained stealth kill consumes no Focus.

Skill Tree Category — Predator

Deadly Spectre

Hold down Y while using Attract (performed by RT + Y) to leave behind a Wraith that will kill your target.

  • Terrifying Presence: TBA
  • Spirit Drain: Your Wraith will Drain its target.

Skill Tree Category — Predator

Death Threat

Use a Worm to deliver a message to a specified Captain, letting him know that you are coming for him. This improves your chances of forging high-quality gear after killing the threatened enemy.

  • Worse than Death: TBA
  • Vow of Violence: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Predator


Press LT + X to Shadow Strike into a firepit, detonating it and lighting nearby enemies on Fire.

  • Bursting Arrows: TBA
  • Spider Song: Detonate a firepit and cause spiders to swarm the area.
  • Matron’s Scent: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Ranged

Freeze Pin

Shooting an enemy’s foot freezes them in place.

  • Brutal Cold: TBA
  • Savage Ice: Freeze Pin affects Olog-hai and Beasts.
  • Deep Freeze: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Ranged

Bird of Prey

Hold LT to slow time and aim while in the air. This consume Focus.

Press down on left stick to quickly turn around during Bird of Prey.

  • Eagle Sight: TBA
  • Talon Strike: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Ranged

Mighty Shot

When your Might is full, press RB to fire an explosive shot.

  • Firestorm: TBA
  • Freeze Blast: Mighty Shot causes a Frost explosion.
  • Venom: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Ranged

Shadow Strike

Instantaneously reach an enemy by aiming at them and press LT + X to kill them or LT + Y to stun them. Consumes Elf-shot.

  • Chain of Shadows: TBA
  • Shadow Strike Pull: Pull a targeted enemy to you and kill (Hold X) or Stun (Hold Y) them.
  • Shadow Dominate: While aiming at an enemy, press LT + B to reach them instantaneously and Dominate them.

Skill Tree Category — Ranged

Brace of Daggers

Press LT to quickly throw a dagger that damages and staggers enemies.

  • Serrated Edge: Thrown daggers have a chance of inflicting Critical Strikes.
  • Swift Barrage: You can rapidly throw three daggers.
  • Rain of Blades: Throw five daggers at once to hit multiple foes.

Skill Tree Category — Wraith

Elven Light

Unleash a powerful blast by pressing X + A when your Might is full, stunning and temporarily blinding nearby enemies.

  • Cleansing Blaze: Elven Light sets enemies on fire.
  • Winter’s Breath: Elven Light freezes enemies.
  • Poison Blast: Elven Light poisons enemies.

Skill Tree Category — Wraith

Ice Storm

Freeze enemies by pressing B, then follow with a flurry of sword strikes by repeatedly tapping X.

  • Shower of Ice: Freeze all enemies in an area in front of you. The higher your Hitstreak, the larger the area of effect.
  • Frostbite: Ice Storm Finishers cause a Critical Strike.
  • Shattering Blow: An Ice Storm Finisher shatters an enemy, causing nearby enemies to flee in terror.

Skill Tree Category — Wraith


When your Might is full, press A + B to Drain an enemy during combat.

  • Chain of Souls: Aim at other foes during Consume to continue your Drain chain. Consumes Focus for each additional target.
  • Lord of Wrath: Consume increases Wrath.
  • Olog Lord: Consume works against Ologs.

Skill Tree Category — Wraith

Treasure Hunter

Automatically collect loot from defeated enemies.

  • Discerning Eye: Increase chances of high-quality gear drops from Captains or higher ranked Orcs.
  • Mind Breaker: Increases Domination speed.
  • Prospector: Increase chances of higher quality Gems.

Skill Tree Category — Wraith

Caragor Rider

Hold B to Dominate and ride a Broken Caragor.

  • Pounce: TBA
  • Bestial Rage: You can perform an Execution (Y + B) or Howl to summon additional Caragors (X + A) even when your Might is not full. Instead, your action consumes some of your mount’s Health.

Skill Tree Category — Mounted

Graug Rider

Hold B to Dominate and ride a Broken Graug.

  • Devouring Force: TBA
  • Enduring Fury: Graug basic attacks gain more Might.

Skill Tree Category — Mounted

Call Mount

Press D-Pad Left to summon a Dominated Caragor.

Press D-Pad Left again to command your Caragor to attack targeted enemies.

Hold D-Pad Left to dismiss the Caragor.

  • Dire Caragor: TBA
  • Graug Call: You can summon a Graug.
  • Dragon Song: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Mounted

Shadow Mount

Instantly mount a Broken Graug, Caragor, or Drake (Dragon Rider skill must be unlocked) with Shadow Strike (performed by hold LT + B).

  • Caragor Breaker: TBA
  • Packmaster: When Shadow Mounting a Broken Caragor, other nearby Caragors are Dominated.

Skill Tree Category — Mounted

Dragon Rider

Hold B to Dominate and ride a Broken Drake.

  • Scales of Iron: Your Drake takes far less damage from attacks.
  • Soaring Rage: A Drake’s fireball attacks may be performed at any time by consuming health when you have no Might.

Skill Tree Category — Mounted


Hold B to recover Health by draining life from Orcs.

  • Domination: Drained enemies are also Dominated and will fight for you. Hold B to Dominate. Use RT + B to Stealth Dominate. Press D-Pad Down to Activate.
  • Quiver of Souls: Draining an enemy replenishes Elf-shot.
  • Bright Lord’s Wrath: Draining or Dominating an enemy fully recovers health and gains Wrath.

Skill Tree Category — Story

Spectral Glaive

Hold and release X after your Glaive appears to initiate a heavy sweeping attack.

  • Mighty Swing: TBA
  • Deadly Striker: Double-charge your Glaive for more follow-up attacks. (Tap X repeatedly after charging.)

Skill Tree Category — Story

Elven Rage

Each kill gives Wrath energy. When your Wrath is full, press both left and right control sticks to slow time, making every melee strike lethal and enabling you to unleash unlimited executions.

  • Final Blaze: TBA
  • Freezing Burst: When Elven Rage ends, a freezing blast is detonated.
  • Poisonous Wrath: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Story

Shadow Strider

Press A while leaping to double jump. Allows you to cover wider gaps or change direction between jumps.

  • Hammer of Eregion: TBA
  • Waters of Lorien: Upgrade dodge (Press A) to instantly flash past enemies. Consumes Focus.
  • Eagle’s Eyrie: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Story

Call Followers

Summon a group of warriors to fight alongside you by pressing D-Pad Right.

Press D-Pad Right to command your warriors to attack targeted enemies.

Hold D-Pad Right to dismiss them.

  • Bodyguard: Assign a Captain to be your Bodyguard in the Army menu. You can summon the Bodyguard by pressing D-Pad Right. Press D-Pad Right again to command your Bodyguard to attack targeted enemies. Hold D-Pad Right to Dismiss your Bodyguard.
  • Cluster of Spiders: Summon a cluster of spiders by pressing D-Pad Right. Spiders have poison attacks which can exploit the weakness of a Captain or Higher Ranked Orc.
  • Iron Guard: Summoned warriors are tougher.

Skill Tree Category — Story

Dominate Captain

Dominate a Captain whose will has been Broken.

Orc Captains who are higher level than you cannot be Recruited.

  • Destroy Followers: TBA
  • Lifeblood: TBA
  • Enrage Followers: TBA

Skill Tree Category — Story

Source | Credits



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