Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ – The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense

Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ – The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 12 - steamlists.com
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ – The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 12 - steamlists.com

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Tired of players steam-rolling your orcs in Online Conquest sieges? This guide will help you understand the basics and the advanced techniques of what makes a truly defensible fortress.


Understanding Online Fortress Defense

Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

The one thing you have to understand foremost is that Talion in the hands of capable players is nearly unstoppable.

Players who know what they are doing know how to switch skills and armor around during battle to overcome any obstacle that stands in their way and are true masters of the combat system. 
Many players also bring in their own powerful assault forces to storm fortresses even faster. 
If you expect to have an invincible fortress, unfortunately, you will find that this is impossible. 


That does not mean you can’t create a truly challenging fortress full of surprisingly strong orcs! 
With these strategies you can make players pay for every inch of the fortress they try to take from you! The following sections of this guide will focus on giving you the knowledge you need to create better defenses against online player assaults. 
So let’s begin with the basics. 

Choosing the Right Orc for the Job

Choosing the right orcs are an essential part of fortress defense. As obvious as this concept sounds there are actually key details that tend to get overlooked when choosing good defending orcs, and we’re going to go through them all below. 
The following sections will teach you what distinguishes simply finding a good orc from finding a perfect Warchief or Overlord; 

  • Weaknesses 
  • Dazes and Fears 
  • Epic Traits 
  • Rage Traits 
  • Advanced Classes

While these sections will teach you about proper placement and utilization of orcs in the most optimal and strategic manner; 

  • Proper Placement 
  • Fortress Points and Defenses 
  • Overlord’s Throne Room

If you’re here looking for something specific, feel free to jump to that point instead. 
Let’s begin with the basics of what to avoid in a Bodyguard, Warchief, and Overlord. 

(1) – Weaknesses

Orc Weaknesses can be managed by a smart player, but if you’re looking for Warchief or Overlord material you should know what to avoid. 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

You should always avoid the Big Three:

Weak To Arrows | Weak to Executions | Weak to Fire 
Avoid Susceptible to Frost as a bonus. If an orc is missing one or two of these weaknesses they are viable to use as a Bodyguard. If you find an orc without any of these weaknesses, make them a Warchief. 
These weaknesses are some of the most common and the most routinely abused by players. 
Should your orc have any of them they will be easily slain, so it’s important to avoid them if you’re looking for a Warchief, and especially for Overlords. 
Soft Target, Clumsy, and Flammable are extremely detrimental vulnerabilities and you should get rid of any orcs with them. 
If an Olog in your army does not have the Arrow Proof trait be aware that players can stun them with a fully-charged shot and be able to mount them repeatedly. This is a strategy not many players are aware of but keep in mind that experienced players will certainly know how to abuse this! 
If an orc in your army has mortal weaknesses or lack at least three Immunities, dump them, they aren’t worth the hassle even as Warchief Bodyguards. 

There are exceptions to these however!

‘Craven’ is the only acceptable Mortal Weakness as long as the orc is level 80 and used exclusively in fortress defense. This weakness will only come into effect with enemy orcs who are at least five levels higher than them. Orcs during sieges only gain one level per enemy orc slain, so it is very unlikely they will ever encounter an orc five levels higher than they are. 
‘Intimidated’ can be easily solved by killing the orc they are Terrified of or by separating them. 
If they are ‘Enraged by Executions’, ‘Enraged by Fire’ or ‘Enraged by Frost’, then it usually compensates having the respective weakness. 
‘Sickly’, ‘Vulnerable to Stealth’, and ‘Vulnerable to Execution’ can all be manageable depending on placement and Epic or Rage Traits. 
‘Beast Fodder’ can be easily managed if the orc also has the ‘Beast Slayer’ trait. 
Aside from knowing which Weaknesses to avoid, there are a minefield of different Fears and Dazes you should equally be aware of as well! 

(2) – Dazes and Fears

Dazes are a bane on orcs and when in effect allow them to be hurt by methods they are normally invulnerable to. For example, an Arrow-Proof orc while Dazed will be harmed by arrows. Below we’re going to go over the Dazes and Fears you should avoid when looking for defensive orcs. 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

Below are a list of Deal-Breaker Dazes:

Fear of Execution 
Fear of Brutality 
Fear of Pinning 
Fear of Burning 
Fear of Poison 
Fear of Spiders
An orc with any of these traits above should never be a Warchief. If they have these traits they will either be killed quickly by the player and their army, or stand around without contributing to the fight. 
An orc with any ‘Terrified’ traits should not be a Warchief or Overlord. When Terrified, orcs will flee from battle and in this state they can be instantly Dominated by players. This will even happen in the Throne Room, though they won’t have anywhere to actually run. 
‘Shaken’ or ‘Hysterical’ Masters should avoid being assigned Bodyguards or avoid being Warchiefs all together. These are traits that only visibly show up on orcs after being assigned a Bodyguard. Not every orc has them, but it’s good to double check which do before settling on your Warchiefs. 

Just like last time, there are exceptions to these as well!

‘Weak Master’ can be much more easily managed than Shaken or Hysterical, as the Daze doesn’t last long if the orc has other rage traits or Bodyguards to back them up. 
‘Fear of Caragors’ and ‘Fear of Graugs’ can be managed depending on the surrounding orcs as well. But these should typically not be Warchiefs either. Players can easily summon these beasts to the battefield, Dazing your orc almost instantly. 
‘Terrified of Morgai Flies’ is manageable if you place the orc in the Throne Room or on the back points where there are no Morgai Fly nests. We’ll cover orc placement more in-depth a bit later. 
‘Exhaustion’ is another disappointing trait, but manageable. Make sure the orc has other easy rage traits that can trigger to compensate for it. 
The same goes for orcs that get ‘Battle Dazed’. The easy solution is to surround them with Bodyguards that will keep the player moving and dodging long enough for it to wear off. 

(3) – Epic Traits

We’ve covered traits you definitely want to avoid when searching for the perfect Warchiefs and Overlords, so now we’re going to cover the ones that are essential! 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

Below is a list of all the beneficial traits you should look for:

Any Immunities – Players won’t be able to damage them with these abilities. 
Any Warders – Players deal significantly less elemental damage to them and their Bodyguards. 
Any Masters – Orcs around them do more elemental damage to the player. 
No Chance – Will kill the player instantly if they are downed. 
Slayer Counter – Prevents a player from Executing them from the front. 
Vault-Breaker – Prevents the player from jumping over them. 
Beast-Slayer – Instantly slays a beast attempting to attack them. 
Quick Shot (Archer Exclusive) – Rapid deadly fire of bolts with high damage to players. 
Sniper Shot (Archer exclusive) – Can spot and Snipe the player from very long distances. 
Tremor (Olog exclusive) – Slams the ground and creates a much larger shockwave than normal. 
Fire-Thrower (Olog exclusive) – A high-damage flamethrower with decent range. 

There are also rarer and more conditional traits you may want to consider.

‘Drake Lure’ is a rare trait that will summon a wild Drake to the battlefield. These can be a hindrance to player armies and a distraction to the player themselves. Beware that a player can easily tame or kill one. Do not rely on this Trait alone for a good Warchief! Does not work in Throne Rooms. 
‘Spider Summoner’ an especially useful rare trait for Throne Rooms, as it will fill the area with hostile spiders. They can easily stun and break an assaulting player’s combat flow and drain their Wrath with the extra poison damage. 
‘Necromancer’ is an exceedingly rare trait. Orcs with this trait are best utilized in the Throne Room. If you’re not going to make an orc with necromancy a Warchief, at the least strongly consider making them a Bodyguard or storing them in the garrison. Killing them would be a waste of luck. 
‘Tunnel Rat’ is an amusing trait to find but is unnecessary in combat. An orc will dig underground suddenly and begin burrowing towards the player. It may startle players with the loud noise but is relatively easy to deal with. 
‘Den Mother’ is a similarly unnecessary trait unless you want an orc that can summon Ghuls. 

Some Epic Traits can be given to orcs through the Garrison.

When upgrading an orc to Epic or Legendary, some Epic Traits can be given randomly to them that you otherwise couldn’t give to an orc through Training Orders. 
These include traits such as; 
Epic Rage (Berserker Exclusive) 
Epic Determination (Tank Exclusive) 
Fanatical Gang (Commander Exclusive) 
Epic Bombs (Destroyer Exclusive) 
Epic Quick Shot (Archer Exclusive) 
Epic Throwing Knives (Assassin Exclusive) 
Epic Decoys (Trickster Exclusive) 
Epic Trapper (Tracker Exclusive) 
All of these traits can also be found on orcs randomly, but most are always helpful for defending fortresses. 

Managing an Orc’s Epic Traits with their Vulnerabilities and Immunities in mind is essential.

Sometimes an orc in your army will have a weakness you don’t know how to compensate for properly. Instead of throwing them out entirely, consider the example below; 
Giving an orc with the‘Sickly’vulnerability the‘Poison Warder’trait to significantly reduce the damage they would otherwise take. 
In other situations you may be unsure whether an orc’s class or race will be beneficial to your defenses. Again, instead of throwing them out, consider the following; 
Ologs have a tendency to be easily killed by experienced players who can loop them into the same attack animations repeatedly. It’s even more helpful for Ologs to have Immunities to Frost and Execution, as well as helpful abilities like Bombs or Tremor for this reason. 
Now in both of these examples you won’t always be able to give the orc in question those traits, but it’s the concept you should familiarize yourself with more than anything; 
Sometimes orcs have great potential depending on the Traits they are given or found with.  
What looks straightforward on paper is very different on the battlefield- so always make sure to test out your own defenses to see what works in action! 
Utilizing these concepts to the fullest will keep players from being able to charge in and cut down your orcs mindlessly in their assaults. 

(4) – Rage Traits

Rage Traits are essential in finding great Warchiefs and Overlords. Experienced players will already be very familiar with these concepts in battle. However, it’s a different story when you’re orchestrating the fights yourself! Below you’ll be able to read about the helpful traits that make solid defensive orcs. 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

Below is a list of the most beneficial rage traits an orc can have:

Enraged by Injury – Infuriated by simply being hurt. 
Enraged by Pinning – Infuriated when pinned with an arrow by a player. 
Enraged by Executions – Infuriated when the player performs an execution on them. 
Enraged by Acrobatics – Infuriated when a player jumps over or under them. 
Enraged by Frost – Infuriated when frozen. (Does not break them out of being Frozen.) 
Enraged by Burning – Infuriated when set on fire by explosions, orcs, Drake breath, or the player. 
Enraged by Poison – Infuriated when poisoned by explosions, other orcs, Spiders, or a player. 
Enraged by Undead – Infuriated at the sight of the Undead. 
Enraged by Graugs – Infuriated at the sight of Graugs. 
Last Stand – Infuriated when facing the player alone. 
Brutal Frenzy – Infuriated after witnessing Brutal attacks or Shaming from a player. 
Haunted – Infuriated at the sight of a player’s Shadow Strike ability. 
Vengeful – Infuriated when witnessing the death of an ally captain. 
Devoted Master – Infuriated when pet or gang is killed. 
Possessive Master – Infuriated when Bodyguard is attacked. (Doesn’t have to be by the player.) 
Vengeful Master – Infuriated when a Bodyguard is killed. (Doesn’t have to be by the player.) 

There are also a few other helpful rage traits though rare and conditional:

‘Enraged by the Gravewalker’ is an exceptionally rare rage trait. This trait will enrage an orc that simply spots the player. An orc with this trait should preferably be in the Overlord’s throne room or surrounded by Assassin orcs. 
‘Enraged by Dwarves’ can also be used in this manner if the orc in question is Deranged or a Maniac, as they will always mistake the player as a ‘dwarf’ in their madness. 
‘Enraged by Everything’ is exceptionally helpful for Berserkers or Slayers, as long as they are left alone or placed on the first points. They will otherwise kill their fellow orcs over time, depending on how long the player takes to reach them. 
‘Enraged by Betrayal’ is especially useful if you have multiple orcs on a single defense point and the player manages to convert one of them. 
‘Enraged by Boss Defeat’ is also helpful when you assign the orc as a Bodyguard to a Warchief that will likely die in battle. It’s another simple method of throwing off assaulting players. 
There are still many other rage traits, but these are some of the most helpful to keep in mind when selecting Warchiefs and Overlords for fortress defense. 

Utilizing rage in smart ways is essential for building an army.

One important thing to keep in mind is that not every orc should be so easily enraged. You can easily upset the balance in your own defenses if every orc you have starts fighting and killing one another before the player even reaches the point. This is why it’s important to plan ahead and test out your own defenses, making sure the orcs you place work well with each other. 
Be mindful of your management and placement of orcs with these traits and you can easily succeed against players who don’t pay enough attention. 
For example; If you were to place an orc that is Enraged by Burning on the first point next to siege Graugs, it will create an unspoken benefit for you. 
When an assaulting player initially begins a conquest, they will typically shoot immediately for the siege Graugs and Dominate them. The next step is usually to launch the Graug’s projectiles at the first point within reach. If you have the ‘Firey Siege Beast’ upgrade to your defenses and a player launches a firey projectile at your orc, who is Enraged by Burning, they will become enraged and engage the player immediately as they come down to fight them at the point. 
This is a smaller example, but there are various combinations with rage a defending player can learn to utilize well with a concept known as ‘synergy’. Creating chain-effects like these are a wonderful way defensive players can mess with unsuspecting or inexperienced assault players. 

(5) – Advanced Classes

There are a variety of orcs in Shadow of War, so it can make deciding on a Warchief or Overlord even more of an arduous process for indecisive players. Aside from looks though, an orc’s Advanced Class effects their combat style immensely and you’re definitely going to want to choose some over others. Below will be information and examples on which are the most helpful for defenses! 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

The Various Helpful Advanced Classes of Mordor

Tanks are indisputably some of the best advanced classes you will find for defending Warchiefs and Overlords. They have the exceptional abilities of Determination (health regeneration) as well as the ‘Death Defying’ second wind ability! Players can wail at them with their entire Wrath bars and usually it still won’t be enough to kill them with the right traits and abilities! 
Commanders are terrific advanced classes for distracting and taking out assaulting players. When utilized to the fullest, they can summon aggressive troops that will ruin combat flow almost immediately for a player until their banners are dealt with. Even on a Commander’s death, the troops they summoned will continue to attack the player aggressively, which is a chance at knocking a player out of your fortress posthumously! 
Destroyers are an exceptional advanced class for fortress defense and make excellent Overlord Bodyguards. They usually come armed with various bombs or explosive spears that will force the player to move quickly or risk taking heavy damage. Wherever they are assigned they have mines placed on and around the point and this even extends to the Throne Room! Giving the assaulting player many more hazards to deal with and avoid will distract them from doing heavy damage to your orcs and fortress. 
Assassins are the best chances you have at knocking assaulting players out of your fortress. Their‘No-Chance’ability is unparalleled in danger, and will usually force players to deal with them first. You should always have them around as Overlord or Warchief Bodyguards when you can. The reason you want to avoid making them Overlords or Warchiefs themselves however, is that they tend to flee when they are reduced to about half their health. 
These are the most optimal defending advanced classes, however, you can still utilize the others well with enough understanding of proper orc placement. 

Utilizing Class Synergy to the Fullest

When you take into consideration an orc’s Basic Class, (Defenders, Hunters, Savages, Marksman) and Tribe (Dark, Feral, Mystic, Marauder, Machine, Slaughter, Outlaw, Warmonger, Terror) there are a ton of different deadly possibilities. 
Finding an orc such as a Mystic Hunter Assassin for example is a fairly strong combination of Tribe, Basic and Advanced Class. An orc Hunter will be able to launch spears from afar and keep their distance, while the Mystic Tribe additionally will allow them to suddenly close the gap and teleport towards a player with a knife. Being an Assassin will also make the orc agile and difficult to strike. With the right Epic Traits like Epic Throwing Knives and the class traits like No-Chance a player is going to have to target this orc first or else struggle throughout a fight. 
Finding a bulky Feral Defender Destroyer is also a pretty great combination. They will engage the player in close combat because of their Basic Shield Class, utilize their Tribe abilities to get in closer, and the surrounding mines and bombs from their Advanced Class to make it even harder for a player to engage them head-on. Add to this traits like Arrow-Proof, Immune to Execution, or Frost-Proof, and you start to see just how deadly and effective a good Warchief can be! 
There are countless combinations that work this way to make up the bulk of good Warchiefs and Overlords as well as fortress defending orcs. Try to see what you can find and experiment with them by testing out your own defenses in a Friendly Conquest! 
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Advanced Classes, it’s finally time to move on to Proper Placement in the next section below! 

(6) – Proper Placement

Now we’re finally moving on to the technical aspects of fortress defense in this guide. It’s one thing to have strong and intimidating orcs with beneficial traits and few weaknesses, it’s another to know exactly where they should all go! Below is some insight into proper orc placement, or ‘synergy’. 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

Keeping Track of Your Orcs

The fortress pillars in this game are admittedly strange in design. Players are often confused by the order of their orcs, as there is no in-game marker for the points. When assigning Warchiefs it’s important to keep this alphabetical order in mind, as it is the same for all fortresses: 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 
The ‘outer walls’ of the fortresses are the lower letters A, B, C and D. Points 1, 2, 3, and 4 in order. 
While the upper letters A and B are part of the inner fortress, and are the last two points of defense before a player will reach your Overlord. 
Assaulting players will usually advance in this order as well, as they hop from the closest point to the next, though they can pick any of them to begin with. 
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that all Warchiefs and Overlords can only have TWO Bodyguards at maximum during online conquest. The game will allow you to assign them more, but only two will appear during the siege. 
All Trickster clones will also not appear during sieges, regardless if they are Warchiefs or Overlords. This is another odd feature, but it’s something we all have to live with. 
Also be mindful that you never place an orc with another Rival orc on the same point. They will focus on killing each other exclusively. 

Breaking Combat Flow

Always keep in mind the flow of player combat. An Olog Tank, an Uruk Defender, and an Assassin, is a good example of combat flow that will keep the player constantly dodging and moving to survive. If the player is downed by the heavier Olog or Defender, they can be killed instantly by an Assassin with ‘No Chance’. They synergize well with each other by extension. 
Whereas a point with three Ologs by comparison will be a mess, as they will constantly bump or hit and interrupt each other instead of hitting the player or their army. 
Combat Flow is also greatly influenced by an orc’s personal abilities and traits. 
For example: Orcs with ‘Fire Weapons’ should have an Immunity to Fire, and should be placed on points with other orcs that have Fire Immunities, or traits like ‘Fire Warder’ or ‘Fire Master’. This is the best possible way to utilize an orc’s Elemental Immunity and Damage. 
When you keep combat flow in mind for all of your points and defensive orc placements, you will find a lot of personal improvement in getting more lethal results! 

Utilizing Proper Placement to the Fullest

When deciding where to put your Warchiefs exactly, try to keep the following points in mind. This will help you understand proper orc placement a little better as well; 
Assassins should always be utilized on the first outer and inner wall points ( A, A ) and especially in the Throne room. These points will have little to no assistance from the player’s assault forces because they have to tear down the walls first before reaching them. It gives them a reasonable amount of time to down and ‘No-Chance’ the player out of your fortress! 
If you want to utilize aggressive or easily enraged orcs in your defenses, make sure not to place them together with other orcs unless they are on the first outer and inner wall points, otherwise they will attack and kill each other before the player even reaches them. This extends to Berserkers as well. 
Despite what some people may say Ologs actually do have a lot of utility as Warchiefs and Bodyguards, especially the Tank and Berserker variants. Usually only one should be on a point at a time to avoid them bodying each other or their Bodyguards. 

The best possible thing you can do is to test your own defenses.

You can fight your own fortress through Friendly Online Conquests repeatedly without losing any of your defending orcs! Though you will lose ones you bring to assault your fortress with, so be careful! 
Now that we’ve covered Proper Placement for Warchiefs and orcs, it’s time to address the fortress points themselves and the impact that upgrades have on assaulting players! 

(7) – Fortress Points and Defenses

Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

Understanding Point Placement Priority

There are varying ways to defend a fortress with your army, but what you really want to focus on is not giving the enemy player the tools to destroy you. An experienced player will try to recruit every orc in your fortress during an assault, so they can quickly take every point after that much faster. 
How do you prevent this? The answer is pretty simple; 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 
Spread your orcs out evenly, putting the weaker ones on the first three points ( A, B, and C ) and the hardened ones on points ( D and upper A and B respectively ). This prevents them from grabbing a bunch of powerful Berserkers, Tanks, or Defender orcs that they can use to punch a hole through the rest of your fortress. 
This also gives your orcs a chance to kill orcs the player grabbed and brought with them. Plan for this and you’ll have more successful defenses! 
You can certainly make your own variations of this as well, but keep the strategy in mind! 
Don’t put powerful orcs in the very beginning, so they won’t work against your army in the later points! This doesn’t mean to put generally weak orcs on points- but instead to make sure the ones on your crucial points are much stronger than them to make up for it. 

The Most Crucial Points to Defend

On every crucial point you want to assign three orcs (the maximum) that work very well with each other. Usually Assassins should go on the first point, to attempt to ensure the assaulting player has a spot of bad luck and gets killed instantly. This is obviously effective but not the only strategy you can use. As long as your orcs synergize well with each other the player will usually struggle and waste precious time trying to kill them. 
The First point is one of the most crucial you need to defend in your fortress. An assaulting player’s orc army will have to take time to break down your wall and defenses before being able to assist them. In this small time gap you can knock them out of your fortress swiftly with the right orc placement. 
The second most crucial point is D, the point right before the inner fortress gate and before the final two points. Putting a strong group of orcs here will ensure they at least cut through some of the weaker orcs a player recruited in your fortress. 
The third most crucial point is inner wall A, the point directly after D. Placing strong orcs and Assassins here will be crucial. It’s helpful to put strong orcs here because the assaulting player’s army will once again have to break down another wall first before assisting them. This gives you the same time gap strategy to work with as the first point. Use a similar strategy to have a chance to knock the assaulting player out of your fortress! 
The last and more obvious crucial point is the Throne Room, which is covered in the last section of this guide. The final point before it isn’t as important, as all the assaulting player’s army will have broken through the wall, and they will probably have recruited all the orcs on your last point as well. The good news is their army can’t follow them into the Throne Room, which means you get to be a little creative! 

Fortress Siege Defenses

Now most players will have these down to their own discretion, but if you want some advice in utility this guide can provide it for you! 
Always choose the Metal Wall upgrade in your Siege Defenses! This takes the most time for an army to break down, and there are no actual benefits for choosing one of the lesser walls. 
Iron Gates are incredibly helpful for keeping a player’s army out for just a little longer. You may be tempted to choose the fire or poison spouts, but keep in mind not every orc has a Weakness to Fire or Poison, and an experienced assault player will make sure not to bring any orcs with those weaknesses! With the gates at least you have a guarantee an assaulting player will have to engage your orcs for a few minutes before their army can help them! 
This Host Upgrade is completely up to you. All three of these upgrades have uses in giving assault players headaches with breaking combat flow, but keep in mind that Defenders will hold your control points for a little bit longer. 
Siege Beasts should be picked according to the orcs you have defending points A and D! Why? Because otherwise your orcs will be damaged by your own Graugs! Especially if a player takes a while to reach point D. Putting an orc that has no Poison immunity on point D with Poisonous Siege Beasts will eventually kill it before the player even arrives! Keep these things in mind and carefully choose your Siege Beasts accordingly with your Warchiefs! 
The Drake upgrade is a pretty good distraction against assaulting players, who will almost always attack and free it from its cage. They’re much more effective on Point D, where usually a player’s forces will reach it before them and be set alight. The player will then have to climb the wall just to avoid their troops dying or taking damage themselves. War Beasts again should be picked according to the Warchiefs you have guarding your points. Don’t pick Caragors to roam your fortress if your defending orcs have a fear of Caragors! This will make them immediately useless! 
Spiked Walls are perfect for giving an assaulting player and their army no chance to climb over the walls normally. This is an essential upgrade for every good fortress. A player will be forced to scale the towers or Shadow-Strike/Dominate archers or Siege Beasts instead with this upgrade active. Again, keeping the player’s army out for small openings is a huge priority in the above strategy. 
Finally the Mine Upgrades can once again be at your own discretion. Choose whatever flows well with your current Siege upgrades and Warchiefs. 

One last thing about fortresses to keep in mind!

When you chose an Overlord as well as the changes to the outside appearance of a fortress that are made, there are actually minor interactions within the fortress that change based on the Overlord’s Tribe as well! 
For example: If your Overlord is a part of the Marauder Tribe, loot caches will be scattered around your fortress and landscape that you and other players can grab for quick cash! Or if your Overlord is a part of the Machine Tribe, on certain points there will be a furnace that a player can shoot an arrow into to cause a firey explosion! These environmental hazards can affect your own defending orcs too! Make sure to keep that in mind when choosing an Overlord. 

(8) – Overlord’s Throne Room

So you’ve made it to the end, just as the assaulting players will eventually make it to your Overlord! It’s not ever a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ as I mentioned before, experienced players are nearly unstoppable. All the more reason you have to make sure your Throne Room is the most lethal and challenging point in your entire fortress! Below we’ll go over some concepts on what can make the Throne Room the absolute most effective and deadly point against players! 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 

The Optimal Overlord

Of course we should start with the head of the fortress! It’s essential you pick out an orc or olog with specific defining traits to make absolutely certain a player can’t just rush in and slaughter them. 
Some absolutely essential Traits for an Overlord should be; 
Immune to Execution 
An Overlord can have any variety of these Immunities, but an optimal one will have several if not all of them. Like I mentioned earlier, these are the most common Weaknesses a player will exploit. 
Many assaulting players will also try to summon a Graug in your Throne Room. This can easily be countered with the Beast-Proof or Beast-Slayer traits for the Overlord or his Bodyguards. Enraged by Graugs is also an especially helpful trait to have here. 
Your Overlord equally should not have any Dazes or Fears, but ‘Terrified of Morgai Flies’, is acceptable as there is no way for a player to summon them in a Throne Room. And no, Cursed Damage does not ‘create’ Morgai flies, even though the visual effects are similar, just to clarify. 
If your Overlord is an Olog, you especially need Arrow-Proof and Immune to Execution if you want them to stand a real chance against an experienced player. Otherwise they can be stunned with a single fully-charged shot and be mounted immediately or a player can simply use their Wrath bar and spam executions until your Overlord is dead. Frost-Proof would be a healthy bonus, as this further keeps players from stunning your olog and forces them to be more creative with their attacks. 
Choosing a ‘Tank’ Advanced Class for your Overlord is almost always a good idea, as your Overlord will usually get a ‘Death-Defying’ second wind against the assaulting player. 
Rage Traits such as ‘Epic Rage’ or ‘Possessive and Vengeful Master’ are terrific for Overlords, as they work well with keeping the player constantly moving and equally work well with the Overlord’s Bodyguards. 
One last thing to mention is whatever elemental weapon your Overlord possesses will cause the floor spouts to erupt with the same element. So if your Overlord has a Weakness to Poison or gets Dazed by Burning, you shouldn’t give him a poison or fire weapon respectively. Plan around this accordingly as the Overlord’s Bodyguards will also be affected by this! 

Protecting the Throne

In a good Throne Room an Overlord should always be accompanied by two Bodyguards. Unlike Overlords these can always be a lot more lenient and flexible with their traits and abilities as well as their Weaknesses. 
Some amazing traits for Bodyguards include; 
Immune to Execution 
No Chance 
Sniper Shot 
Spider Summoner 
The best Advanced Classes you can use here will almost always be a Destroyer and an Assassin. One will cover the room in mines which serve as extra hazards for the player and keep them moving constantly. The other will be the easy way to knock the player out of your fortress and prevent the player from simply rushing your Overlord. 
It’s not optimal to have Bodyguards with many Weaknesses, as players can brush them aside rather easily, however certain Weaknesses and Fears like ‘Fear of Morgai Flies’ and ‘Craven’ can’t effect orcs in the Throne Room, so you should try to place orcs with these fears accordingly. 
This is also true with Rage Traits, as you have to make sure you don’t have orcs ‘Enraged by Everything’ otherwise they may help the player to kill your Overlord! 
Even Basic Classes like Hunters and Marksman should be taken into consideration, as they can easily shoot your Overlord during the fight with a player, and weaken them by accident significantly. 
It’s up to you how to design your Throne Room, but if you keep some of these things in mind and create dynamic orc combinations, you will see more players dead at your Overlord’s feet! 

The Final Takeaway

So what’s the most important thing to take away from this guide? 
At the very beginning I mentioned experienced players are nearly unstoppable. 
What I didn’t mention was that when you create fortresses like the ones described in this guide, you not only bring satisfaction to yourself, but also to other players as well. These assault players revel in the challenge of a good fight, and that’s what this guide is designed for; giving players a worthy challenge on both sides to undertake, as well as creating a fortress experience people can’t simply rush through without thinking or preparation. 
Some people may resort to cheating to get optimal orcs, but with this guide I think you’ll find that shouldn’t be necessary. There’s plenty of leeway for finding great orcs, you just need to know what to look for first. 
You may not see a huge increase in victories over assault player forces, even my some of my fortresses don’t see a lot of increase in rating, but you will have at least learned what makes an Optimal Fortress in Shadow of War, and probably understand the game and the orcs a lot better for it. 
Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ - The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense 
You’ve reached the end of the guide! I would like to apologize for it being so excessively wordy in some parts, but I have a hunch some people out there will appreciate how thorough it gets. 
Thank you for reading this far if you did, and if you enjoyed it please choose a rating! 
Please consider letting me know what you think, if you would add or change anything, or if this guide helped you in your fortress endeavors! Thank you again for your time and enjoy your day! 
(Thank you to ‘Oracle’ for an important tip about Ologs being stunned with charged shots.) 

Written by Sage

Hope you enjoy the Guide about Middle-earth™: Shadow of War™ – The Optimal Guide to Conquest Defense, if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!

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