Shadow of Mordor Upgrades Guide – Abilities, Attributes, Weapon Runes

By   /   Oct 2, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has an extensive upgrade system. Talion, the main protagonist of the game contains Abilities, Attributes, and Weapon Runes; all of which enhance his skills in combat and free-roaming sessions. Fully upgrading all of these is definitely recommended, but it is not an easy task.

For more help on Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, read our Hunting Challenges, Epic Runes and How to Earn Mirian.

Shadow of Mordor Upgrades

To unlock and upgrade new Abilities, Talion requires a stat known as Power, denoted by ‘P’ in the game. To unlock and upgrade Attributes, Talion requires an in-game currency called Mirian.

Abilities

Abilities in the game are divided across two categories: Ranger Abilities and Wraith Abilities. Both of these Abilities are then further divided across Tier #1 to Tier #5. Also note that some of the Abilities in the game require certain pre-requisites. Both of Talion’s Abilities as a Ranger and as a Wraith can be found below:

Ranger Abilities

Tier #1 Ranger Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities are unlocked by default.

Execution
This ability allows Talion to kill a single enemy in one strike with a Hit Streak.

Impact
This allows Talion to stun or knock back countered enemies.

Strike From Above
All of the Talion’s aerial takedowns on unaware targets will become lethal.

Tier #2 Ranger Abilities
How to Unlock: You will need 160 Power to unlock these abilities.

Critical Strike
With this ability, Talion’s doubles Hit Streak will receive well-timed attacks.

Last Chance Finisher
This will allow Talion to initiate an execution on a successful Last Chance Struggle.

Poison
Poisoned enemies will start attacking each other and will eventually die.

Throwing Daggers
Throw a dagger will receive light damage and will stagger enemies.

Brutalize
Enemies will be frightened to see stealth kills.

Tier #3 Ranger Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities unlock at 300 Power.

Swift Finisher
This ability decreases the time to perform Ground Executions.

Vault Stun
Whenever Talion will vault over an enemy, he will stun his enemy.

Brace of Daggers
With this, Talion will throw three daggers at the same time.

Shoulder Charge
With this, Talion’s dash attacks will break shields and knock down enemies.

Tier #4 Ranger Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities unlock at 500 Power.

Blade Master
With this ability, special moves threshold is reduced to five.

Resilience
Talion will be able to absorb one hit without breaking the combo.

Death Threat
Talion will be able to threaten Uruk Captains or Warchiefs with this ability.

Tier #5 Ranger Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities unlock at 700 Power.

Critical Strike 2
Perfectly timed attacks will net Talion 3x Hit Streaks.

Flame of Vengeance
Charge Talion’s Hit Streak and strike enemies for increased damage.

Double Charge
Charged Hit Streaks will execute two special moves.

Wraith Abilities

Tier #1 Wraith Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities are unlocked by default.

Detonate
Talion will become immune to fire and will be able to fire barrels to make them explode.

Elven Swiftness
Perfectly vaulting over obstacles will net Talion a temporary speed boost and Hit Streak point.

Ride Caragors
With this ability, Talion will be able to ride Caragors.

Wraith Stun
Stun enemies and then attack with sword strikes.

Tier #2 Wraith Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities unlock at 160 Power.

Caragor Hunter
This will give Talion the ability to counter, stun, and mount a Caragor.

Pin in Place
Shoot arrows in the legs of Uruk to immobilize him.

Shadow Strike
Invest 2 Elf-Shots and Talion will be teleported to a targeted enemy.

Stealth Drain
Talion will get drain from stealth attacks.

Wraith Flash
An area will stun all enemies nearby, but is only available with a Hit Streak.

Tier #3 Wraith Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities unlock at 300 Power.

Combat Drain
Instantly drain and terrorize an Uruk with a Hit Streak.

Graug Hunter
With this, Talion will be able to mount Gragu.

Lethal Shadow Strike
This will allow Talion to teleport and kill an enemy.

Wraith Finisher
With this ability, Drains and Flurry Attacks will make enemies explode.

Tier #4 Wraith Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities require 700 Power

Brand
Mind control ordinary enemies to fight for Talion.

Fire Arrow
When charged with Hit Streak, arrows will catch fire in the air.

Shadow Mount
With this ability, Talion will be able to instantly mount a Graug or Caragor using Shadow Strike.

Wraith Blast
Wraith Blast is upgraded and everyone in the highlighted area will get damage.

Tier #5 Wraith Abilities
How to Unlock: These abilities unlock at 500 Power.

Dispatch
This will allow Talion to kill all branded Uruks.

Quick Draw
This ability greatly increases Elf-Shot charge speed.

Shadow Strike Chain
This ability allows Talion to chain together Shadow Strike attacks.

Wraith Burn
A charged Hit Streak allows Talion to create a circle of Wraith Fire which will kill the downed and stunned enemies.

Attributes

Attribute is another thing at Talion’s disposal which allows him to increase his total amount of HP, the number of Elf-Shot he can carry, and the number of weapon runes he can add to a particular weapon.

In order to unlock these Attributes, Talion must gather an in-game currency called Mirian. Earning Mirian will also allow Talion to unlock Ultimate Abilities for every weapon at his disposal.

Character Attributes

Health
This attribute is divided across five tiers and each tier increases the total health of Talion by +20. Here’s a quick rundown of the costs of these tiers:

  • Tier #1 – 100 Mirian
  • Tier #2 – 320 Mirian
  • Tier #3 – 640 Mirian
  • Tier #4 – 1050 Mirian
  • Tier #5 – 2100 Mirian

Elf-Shot
Similar to Talion’s HP, Elf-Shot is also divided across five tiers and each tier adds +2 Elf-Shots. You can check the cost of each tier below:

  • Tier #1 – 130 Mirian
  • Tier #2 – 370 Mirian
  • Tier #3 – 870 Mirian
  • Tier #4 – 1750 Mirian
  • Tier #5 – 2100 Mirian

Focus
The last character attribute is Focus and it works similar to Talion’s HP. Focus is divided across five tiers with each tier adding +20 Focus to the total amount. The cost of every tier is provided below:

  • Tier #1 – 100 Mirian
  • Tier #2 – 320 Mirian
  • Tier #3 – 640 Mirian
  • Tier #4 – 1050 Mirian
  • Tier #5 – 2100 Mirian

Weapon Attributes

There are a total of four runes that can be added to each weapon in the game. All of these weapons have similar costs which are provided below:

Weapons Runes Costs for Sword, Bow, and Dagger

  • Rune #1 – 60 Mirian
  • Rune #2 – 80 Mirian
  • Rune #3 – 380 Mirian
  • Rune #4 – 800 Mirian

Ultimate Weapon Powers
These weapon powers are exceedingly powerful and cost to fortune. Once purchased, you will come across a Charge Meter at the bottom of your screen. Once this meter fills up, you will be able to unleash the devastating attacks on your opponents:

Storm of Urafel
Cost: 2500 Mirian
This specialized weapon power allows Talion to continue on executing enemies for about twenty seconds. You can also increase the duration of this effect by using a weapon rune called Ruination.

Flame of Azkar
Cost: 2500 Mirian
You will see the Charging Meter for this after Talion draws out his Bow. When activated, this power will allow Talion to have unlimited access to Elf-Shots for fifteen seconds. Not only this, but Talion will also receive unlimited access to Focus and Fire Arrows. Once again, you will be able to increase the duration of this one by Wrath of the Eldar rune.

Shadow of Acharn
Cost: 2500 Mirian
You will see the Charging Meter for this once Talion enters the stealth mode. This specialized power allows Talion to become invisible for twenty seconds. This will consequently allow him to perform unlimited stealth kills within that time. Like with the other powers, you can increase the duration of invisibility by using Oathbreaker.

Weapon Runes

Weapon Runes can be considered as upgrades to all the weapons at Talion’s disposal. These are collected by fallen Captains and Warchiefs. Talion can upgrade each weapon to hold maximum of four Weapon Runes. Weapons Runes are further divided into two categories: Normal Runes and Epic Runes.

One important thing to note about Normal Runes is that their effectiveness is determined by the level of Captain or Warchief who dropped the particular rune. A Normal Rune dropped from a high-level Captain or Warchief will have increased effectiveness and vice versa.

Coming to Epic Runes, the effectiveness of these Runes do not depend on the level of the Captains and Warchiefs. These have pre-set effects regardless of the enemy level, but are quite hard to obtain.

We have compiled a separate guide on all the Epic Runes that Talion can find in the game along with tips on how to farm these Runes. Check out our Epic Runes Farming Guide for more information!

Weapon Runes – Bow

Aura of Dismay
This will allow Talion a chance of making Uruks flee near a headshot

Broken Mind
This will give Talion a chance to recover 4 Elf-shot from a Drain or Brand.

Holwing Storm
All weapon damage increased while riding a monster.

Keen Eyed
Bow stealth kills will grant Talion focus.

River of Arrows
Talion will have a chance of recovering Elf-Shot by bow kills.

Sylvan Arrow
Headshot kills may give Talion +30 Focus.

Unbreakable Bond
Use Pin in Place and Talion may recover Focus.

Weapon Runes – Dagger

Bare as Bones
Talion will have a chance of executing a Critical Hit on first hit of a Hit Streak.

Breath of Light
Recover health with a stealth kill.

Chill Soul
Talion will recover 50 Focus with a head explosion kill.

Choking Horror
Talion will have a chance to terrify more than two Uruks with a Brutalize kill.

Favor of the Lady
With Drain or Brand, Talion will recover his HP.

Harbinger of Doom
With Drain and Brand from above, Talion will recover his HP.

Rule through Fear
Talion will recover Focus with each stealth kill.

Sylvan Doom
Brutalize kills will let Talion recover five Elf-Shots.

To the Death
Grab kills will net Talion focus boost.

Worm’s Tooth
With this Weapon Rune, head explosion kills will net Talion extra HP.

Weapon Runes – Sword

Betrayer
Hitting an enemy from the back will increase all swords damage.

Blade Master
As soon as Hit Streak reaches 30, Talion will be able to recover HP.

For Vengeance
After the Hit Streak of 30, Talion will get increased melee damage.

Grim Resolve
Talion will receive increased defence against ranged attacks.

Know No Pain
Talion will have a chance of recovering +5 HP with each kill.

Power of Earth
Ground Executions will net Talion additional Focus Boost.

Quick to Anger
With each Critical Strike, Talion will receive HP recovery.

Savage Onslaught
Between 15-29 Hit Streak, Talion will start recovering HP.

Smite
Flurry Kills will grant Talion Focus Boost.

Strength from Courage
Flurry Kills will grant Talion HP recovery.

Found anything missing or confusing, let us know in the comments below!