- Nemeses (singular: Nemesis), also known as Sauron's Army, are the Uruk and Olog-Hai leaders that are generated uniquely with each playthrough of the game. Each Nemesis has their own personality and will rise or fall within their respective social structure as the game progresses. They are profoundly affected by Talion's actions, and each will react differently to Talion's incursion into Mordor, be it fight, flight, or other reactions. By defeating these notable enemies, Talion is rewarded Runes to increase the power of his weapons.
Nemeses are defined by many different factors:
- Names and Titles- Each Nemesis has their own unique name and title.
- Visuals - They are generated uniquely by multiple body types and parts, hairstyles, behaviors, voices, animations, etc. The personality of the Nemesis can be figured out by his visuals. This is further expanded every time an Uruk advances in the Hierarchy. When a Soldier becomes a Captain, he gains better looking weapons and armor befitting his personality. This is further enhanced when the Nemesis becomes a Warchief, where he will wear even better armor befitting his status.
- Relationships - Some of the Nemeses may have some kind of relation to other Nemeses. This usually involves a rivalry between two Nemeses, and Talion will constantly find these two doing missions against each other until one of them dies. Several Captain Nemeses can serve as bodyguards to the Warchiefs of the region. When the Warchief appears to face Talion, all his bodyguards will always be present, although the inverse is not always the case; the bodyguards can be found alone.
- Power Levels - This determines the base strength of the Nemesis. The higher the number, the more powerful the Nemesis in battle. In terms of Traits that the Nemesis possesses, low Power Levels will have more Weaknesses and fewer Strengths, while high Power Levels result in fewer Weaknesses and more Strengths. A Nemesis' list of Traits will change (generally losing Weaknesses and gaining Strengths) as he increases in level. The Power Level also affects their general toughness and damage-dealing ability. The maximum Power Level is 20 in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
- Traits - Nemesis Traits are various strengths and weaknesses that the Nemesis has. This makes each Nemesis very unique and require various tactics to defeat.
- Location - This states the location of the Nemesis in the region. If the Nemesis is not on the map, at least the mission that will draw him out will still be located on the map. If Talion dominates that Nemesis and is fighting enemies in that area, the Nemesis will join in the battle in defense of Talion.
- Hierarchy - Hierarchy refers to the Uruks and Ologs' militaristic chain of command, which includes Overlords, Warchiefs, Captains, and Soldiers.
- Overlords - Introduced in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, these Uruks and Olog-hai are the top of the hierarchy, rule a region in Mordor from a fortress they control, and with the Warchiefs who serve them. These Nemeses are shown to be much stronger than Warchiefs.
- Warchiefs - Originally the highest rank in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. These Uruks and Olog-hai are the second only to the Overlords and have the absolute loyalty of the Captains that make up their bodyguards. These Nemeses are much tougher than Captains. Unlike Captains, however, Warchiefs are not on the map initially. They must be drawn out by having a dominated Nemesis bring one out or complete a mission that will attract the Warchief's attention. They can be given a Death Threat, by Captains only, and will respond by increasing their bodyguard count.
- Captains - These Uruks and Olog-hai are the most common Nemeses that Talion will encounter. They are much more powerful than the regular Uruk since they have access to traits that gives them increased power, while also giving them specific weaknesses to exploit. These Uruk are sometimes in the service of a Warchief, being their loyal Bodyguard, and will join with them when they appear in the region. These Uruk are the most dynamic as they are the ones who fight and complete missions to increase their power if left unaccounted. These Nemeses can also be Death Threatened, by soldiers or other Captains, which increases the chance of Epic Runes upon death, but also surrounds them with more guards, instead of Captains.
Soldiers - The most common Uruks ,Goblin and Olog-hai that Talion meets in the land of Mordor. If one accomplishes some great feat, such as killing Talion, killing a captain (can be used to make a pre-branded captain), or is an opportunist, i.e. taking up the empty position of a recently deceased Captain, they will enter the System as a Captain. Any Soldier is capable of becoming a Captain, so this may be useful for players to exploit if they need new Captains to dominate by getting killed by regular Soldiers.
- Ranks - The longer the Nemesis stays in the Nemesis system, the more events he will complete successfully and the more experience he will gain. This is indicated by the prefix of his rank.
- No prefix - Has either not succeeded in any missions or just entered the system.
- Veteran - Has done a few successful missions.
- Elite - Has done a good number of missions.
- Legendary - Has done many missions.
- Classes - Class refers to the militaristic fighting style.
- Warrior - Most frequently encountered type of Uruk soldier. They vary from scrawny sized to large, and everything in between. They carry a one-handed weapon, typically a sword or club of some kind. They also posses throwing weapons that they can use against targets some distance away. Generally the most common type of fighter that can be dealt with easily using basic combat tactics.
- Archer (crossbow) - Basic ranged Uruk. They are more scrawny than the other Uruks. Usually found on higher ground, to be safe from attackers as well as having a better vantage point to shoot from, otherwise are found usually alone on higher ground or behind melee Uruks. Arrows cannot be countered but can be dodged. As they have lower toughness than other melee-oriented Uruks, they are easily dealt with once Talion engages them, or they can be eliminated from a distance with the bow Azkâr.
- Savage - Originally known as Berserkers in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and similar to warriors, but wield two weapons instead of one. Always the larger of the Uruks with faces smeared in warpaint. Deal much more damage and are capable of throwing their weapons. Can be countered like Warriors, although they sometimes perform a whirlwind attack that cannot be countered but can be dodged, which will flash a red warning marker on the screen before the attack starts. Cannot be attacked head on with low-streak sword attacks, since they will counter the attack, though can be attacked freely from the back. If chosen to be attacked head on, the Savages must be Wraith Stunned before any attacks can land on them. However, when Talion has a Hit Counter of 15x or greater, his sword attacks have greater speed and force, and he can perform sword attacks on Savages normally from the front, without being countered.
- Defender - Uruks that are able to block frontal attacks with their massive shields and carry huge spears that are slow, but have good reach. They are usually the largest of the Uruks encountered, since they wield massive shields and spears. Their attacks cannot be countered but can be dodged, and show a red warning marker to indicate they are uncounterable. Jumping over them and attacking them from behind is the best tactic. The ghostly arrows from Azkar also pass straight through their shields. These shields can also be destroyed after sustaining enough damage, after which they will also drop their spears, draw a sword, and become regular Warriors (though of the bigger variety). When Talion's Hit Counter is at 15x or greater, his sword attacks are more forceful, and will smash a Defender's shield in one hit.
- Hunter - Hunters throw spears at their targets, and deal extra damage to beasts. These Uruks are smaller compared to the other classes, but can look threatening with all the spears and javelins they carry on their back. They tend to stand at range, behind other melee Uruks, strafing to get a better shot at their target. Like Archers, they can't take near as much punishment as melee-oriented fighters.
- Sapper - Goblin like to take the role of sappers. As they developed the new blasting powder , they decided to make a bomb with it ,which they carried on their backs. They would carry a torch with them and on signal , blow themselves up along the gate ,wall and nearby enemies.
- Olog-Hai - a race of goblin-looking troll , the Olog Hai is seen using a club and is part of the warrior class .
- Tribes -
- Class Traits -
Talion can interact with and manipulate the Nemesis System in various ways to achieve certain goals.
- Gathering Intel - When a new Nemesis enter the Nemesis System and had no interaction with Talion, they will be represented by a silhouette in the System with no information about them. Talion can Dominate any Uruk to get information on these unknown Nemeses. However, Talion does not get the traits of a Nemesis from interrogating regular soldiers who only provides the name, power level, and location of the Nemesis. Talion can only get the trait information from a Captain, an intel drop, a saved outcast that can be spoken to, or a Worm. Talion can only get intel on a Warchief from Captains or Worms.
- Interference - The Nemeses will sometimes go off to do missions on their own and Talion can go to their locations to interfere with these tasks. It is up to Talion if he wants to prevent, or allow the Nemesis to succeed these missions. Usually, if the Nemesis succeeded in their mission, they grow in power and if they fail, they either die or flee. This can prove to be a great way of influencing the growth or downfall of certain Nemeses.
- Death Threat - After obtaining the Death Threat skill, Talion can dominate any Uruk, and have him deliver a Death Threat to a Nemesis. Death Threats to Warchiefs may only be made through a Captain. This will make the threatened Nemesis stronger and lead him to surround himself with more gang members, but also increases Talion's chances to gain epic runes for defeating him, which for Captains is otherwise impossible.
- Initiation - Talion can get a Captain to become a bodyguard for a Warchief by making the Captain do an initiation rite to prove his worthiness to the Warchief. The mission type is Trial by Ordeal and Talion can interfere with the initiation to ensure or prevent the Captain from joining the bodyguard of the Warchief.
- Dominating Soldiers - By dominating soldiers and allowing them to live, they might enter the Nemesis System already under your control. If the System has an open Captain position and time is advanced either through death or Forge Tower, an unknown Captain immediately reveals himself under Talion's control. If a player wants to have new Captains under Talion's control with minimal effort, consider this tactic.
- Mission Creation - After Dominating a Nemesis, Talion can order the Nemesis to start up a Mission against another Nemesis at any time. Talion can then focus on increasing his dominated Nemesis' power level, by helping the Nemesis complete these Missions. The Dominated Nemesis can also draw out Warchiefs, if prompted to, but only if that Nemesis is a member of the Warchief's bodyguard (thus an Initiation must be performed first).
- Dying - Talion could purposely fall to his enemies to quickly raise the power of the killer within the Nemesis System. He can continually die to a particular Nemesis to consolidate how powerful that certain Uruk gets. This way, Talion can either Dominate him for a powerful servant or kill him for a powerful rune.
Missions and Events
Also known as Power Struggles, these are the random missions and events that revolve around the Uruks dynamic heirarchy positions. These are triggered by interacting with the mission marker on the Main Map. As long as the mission's objective is completed, Uruks will gain Power levels, even if Talion is the one who manipulated the outcome.
- Promotion - An Uruk Soldier enters the Nemesis System to become a Captain. After occupying a space on the bottom row of the Sauron's Army screen, either by killing the previous Captain, or taking up the unoccupied space, he gains a title and new armor. From there, the Captain will attempt to go up into higher roles by either occupying an empty space on a higher row, or fight another Captain for that spot. Usually newer Captains are much weaker than those who have experience in the System, yet may be useful for easy domination or easy fodder for other Captains to level up on.
- Duel (Riot, in the case one or both of the Nemeses is a Warchief) - One Nemesis battles another Nemesis in an attempt to gain more power. The Nemeses goes one on one with their followers cheering them on. If one or both of the Nemeses is a Warchief, their applicable bodyguards will also be present to battle as well. The losing Nemesis may flee the battle if not killed, by either the other Nemesis or Talion, which allows him to continue in the System. The victor of the battle will gain a power level. If Talion decides to join in on the fight and kills off one of the Nemeses, the survivor still gets the power level. The more cowardly Uruks might not die from this because they fled the battle. These can be useful for drawing out Warchiefs because they appear on the map if this is prompted, without needing to complete a mission to lure the Warchief out. Also note that if the player wishes their branded Warchief to win a Riot, it is important to press the button that commands all nearby Branded Uruks to aggressively attack (specific button dependent on gaming platform), otherwise on occasion the player's Warchief will be attacked aggressively, outnumbered, and killed by multiple enemies (including the target), while the player's Dominated soldiers may sometimes stand by idly.
- Betrayal - A Warchief's bodyguard betrays the Warchief in attempt to take his rank. This can only be accomplished through domination, as bodyguards are loyal to the very end. The betrayer and his followers will fight all of the Warchief's, including any "loyal" bodyguard Nemeses. There is a good chance that the betrayer will die if he fights multiple Nemeses without help. If Talion decides to interfere and kills the Warchief, then the initial betrayer will gain a power level and become the new Warchief immediately. If the betrayer dies, the Warchief becomes stronger and gains a power level. Ordering a dominated bodyguard to perform a Betrayal is a much quicker tactic for drawing out a Warchief than doing the actual Warchief mission. If all of the Warchief's bodyguards are dominated, then the betrayal mission will take place out in the wild instead of in a Stronghold, between only the Warchief and his traitorous bodyguards.
- Recruitment - A Nemesis and a few of his followers attempt to gain new followers by killing several resistant groups of Uruks. After the few who resisted are killed, the remainder joins up with the Nemesis. The Nemesis and his new followers then move on to the next group where they repeat the process. Each of these fights will involve the Nemesis fighting alone against the belligerent Uruk soldiers. If the Nemesis successfully does this three times in a row, they gain a power level. If Talion intends to defeat and Brand or kill a strong Nemesis performing a Recruitment, it is advisable to wait till the second or third fight, where the Nemesis may already be wounded; however, this also means he will also have a larger number of followers present in the form of fresh recruits.
- Execution - A Nemesis might decide to execute another Nemesis and his followers. The executioner will line up the victim with 3 of his followers, on their knees, and execute them one by one, the victim being the last one. The followers of the executioner will watch from a short distance away cheering their leader on. If Talion decides to kill the executioner, the surviving Nemesis powers up instead. If the execution is successful, then the executioner gains a power level. It is possible for there to be no Nemesis to execute, in which the executioner Nemesis will simply put four common soldiers to the sword. When Commanding a high-level Branded Captain to murder an enemy Captain of a significantly lower Power Level, this most often results in an Execution instead of a Duel (with the higher level Captain performing the role of executioner). A Nemesis who is the victim of an Execution event will be stationary on his knees, with very low health, which means that if the executioner and his troops are already friendly, this makes it possible for Talion to immediately effortlessly grab the enemy Nemesis and either kill or dominate them if so desired.
- Feast - A Nemesis is in the midst of celebration with his followers, which means there will be a lot of grog barrels placed throughout the feasting area, making this a great window for taking down a Nemesis through explosions or grog poisoning. There are a good number of enemies in the area, but they are mainly in groups. It is perfect for well placed fire arrow explosion shots, or quick draw archers, to take them out quickly. If the feast goes by uninterrupted, the hosting Nemesis gains a power level.
- Trial by Ordeal - The Nemesis is pitted against a beast of Mordor to show off his power to the other Uruk. He will fight alone against a Caragor with his followers watching from a distance. If he is successful in the kill, he gains a power level. If unsuccessful, he will either die or survive and perhaps gain a fear of the creature. Talion can get involved by either killing the beast to let the Nemesis gain the power level, or kill the Nemesis while he is distracted by the fight. If the nemesis is under Talion's control, Talion can dominate the beast, causing both refuse to fight each other; in this case, no harmful or beneficial traits are gained, and no change in Power Level occurs.
- Beast Hunt - Similar to a Trial by Ordeal, only instead the Nemesis battles a pack of Caragors/Ghuls or a single Graug with some of his followers. Success brings power. Failure brings death, or emotional trauma.
- Ambush - A Nemesis fights another Nemesis, similar to a Duel, however one Nemesis and several of his followers will face waves of opposing Uruk. After the second wave of Uruk, either a much larger wave of Uruks or the opposing Nemesis will appear with the wave. Typically, the ambushing Nemesis will win, but if Talion gets involved that might change. If the ambushed Nemesis survives or does not flee, he will gain a power level. It is possible for the ambush to have no attacking Nemesis, and the defending Nemesis has to fight off a few waves of common Uruk soldiers to succeed. If Talion brands the ambushed Uruk Captain, and the Uruk Captain who initiated the ambush is already branded, then the ambush will immediately end the moment the branded captain shows up. Talion will be forced to defend the newly branded captain until the ambushing captain shows, and previously branded uruk soldiers that are attacking the previously unbranded captain will now be marked as targets.
- Survived - If a Nemesis survives an encounter with Talion (even if they don't fight), the Nemesis gains a power level.
- Death - What happens to a Nemesis after he "dies" in the System is mainly dependent on the way he was killed. If the Nemesis retains his head after "dying", there is a chance that he might have actually survived, and return unexpectedly with scars, sackcloth bag and strings wrapped around his head, metal plates on his skull, or some combinations of thereof. He can return multiple times as long as his head was not cut off. If the head is cut off, most effectively by Wraith Finisher or Lethal Shadow Strike, that particular Nemesis will never return, and he is represented in the Nemesis System as a severed head on a spike (instead of a corpse), serving as an indicator that Talion has permanently eliminated that particular Nemesis.
- Kills a Caragor/Graug - When a Nemesis slays a Caragor or Graug, even when he is not involved in a Power Struggle, he will gain a Power level for each one he slays. Be wary of this, as this can be a good way of making a Nemesis powerful quickly.
- Killed You - Talion was dealt a killing blow by a Nemesis, or soon-to-be Nemesis (common soldier), which increases their power level. Other Nemeses that survived the encounter with Talion will also gain power levels when this happens as well. If the killing blow was done by a soldier, he enters the Nemesis System as a newly-minted Captain.
- Fought You - Occasionally, a soldier will be promoted to Captain whose identity is already known, in which case they will be given new armor and/or weapons, with only their new traits unknown. The same can also occur for branded soldiers, adding unexpected new allies to Talion's army.
List of Names and Titles
Nemeses are randomly named and given a title appropriate to their appearance, traits or past actions. Any of the names listed below can be combined with any title. Titles can be useful as they may tell the Nemesis' habits and behavior. Their first names can be chanted by drawing the Warchief out. (This list is not yet complete)
|Archer Trainer||Ash-Skin||Bag-Head||Barrel-Scraper||Beast Slayer|
|Black-Blade||Black-Heart||Blade Master||Blade Sharpener||Blood-Lover|
|Cannibal||Caragor Slayer||Cave Rat||Corpse-Eater||Death-Blade|
|Evil Eye||Fat Head||Fire-Brander||Flesh-Render||Foul-Spawn|
|Frog-Blood||Giggles||Graug Catcher||Graug Slayer||Grog-Burner|
|Hot Tongs||Jaws/Jitters||Learned Scribe||Life-Drinker||Limp-Leg|
|Literate One||Long-Tooth||Lucky Shot||Mad-Eye||Maggot-Nest|
|of Lithlad||of the Black Gate||of the Spiders||One-Eye||Pit Fighter|
|Plague-Bringer||Pot-Licker||Quick-Blades||Rabble Rouser||Raid Leader|
|Scar-Artist||Shaman||Shield Master||Skull Bow||Skull-Cracker|
|Slashface||Slave Lover||Slave Taskmaster||Storm-Bringer||Sword Master|
|the Advisor||the Amputator||the Assassin||the Beheader||the Biter|
|the Black||the Bleeder||the Bloated||the Bone Collector||the Bowmaster|
|the Brander||the Brave||the Breaker||the Brewer||the Brother|
|the Brown||the Catcher||the Choker||the Chunky||the Claw|
|the Clever||the Cook||the Corruptor||the Coward||the Crazy|
|the Cruel||the Dark||the Defender||the Defiler||the Destroyer|
|the Devourer||the Diseased||the Disgusting||the Drunk||the Dung Collector|
|the Elder||the Endless||the Executioner||the Fanatical||the Flesh Glutton|
|the Fool||the Foul||the Friendly||the Funny One||the Gentle|
|the Gorger||the Grinder||the Hacker||the Handsome||the Hell-Hawk|
|the Humiliator||the Hungry||the Immovable||the Infernal||the Judge|
|the Killer||the Kin-Slayer||the Knife||the Legend||the Loaded|
|the Lookout||the Mad||the Man-Eater||the Meat Hoarder||the Merciful|
|the Messenger||the Mindless||the Mountain||the Other Twin (unique)||the Painted|
|the Proud||the Puny||the Rash||the Rat||the Raven|
|the Red||the Relentless||the Ruinous||the Runner||the Runt|
|the Savage||the Scholar||the Screamer||the Serpent||the Shadow|
|the Shield||the Skinless||the Slasher||the Slaughterer||the Small|
|the Smasher||the Spike||the Stinger||the Stout||the Surgeon|
|the Swift||the Tongue||the Trainer||the Twin (unique)||the Unkillable|
|the Vile||the Wanderer||the Watcher||the Weak||the Whiner|
|the Wise||the Wrestler||Thin Bones||Thunderhead||Tree-Killer|
|Troll Slayer||Troll-Born||Ugly Face||Who Flees||Lice-Head|
Lists of Strengths and Weaknesses
- If an Uruk fought or killed Talion the most, he will appear in Lord of Mordor as Talion's main nemesis who rallies Uruks to fight against Talion and his 5 branded warchiefs.
Sauron's Army • Uruks, the Great Orcs