What Are Best Abilities in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor?

In an action-RPG like Shadow of Mordor, how you build your character and the kind of abilities you choose to utilize in battle is essential to your success.

For this very reason, the abilities become an essential part of your gameplay, and combining multiple ones to unleash your wrath (or should I say wraith?) upon the Uruks and other demons of Mordor is the most satisfying part of SoM.

For more help on Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, read our Easter Eggs, Upgrades and Hunting Challenges Guide.

Best Abilities in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor splits the ability and character development into two trees: a conventional combat-related Ranger tree, and an unconventional but powerful Wraith tree. The Ranger tree is associated with Talion, whereas the Wraith tree represents Celebrimbor’s skills.

Both the trees are divided into 5 tiers, with each tier being unlocked by using a certain number of Power points. Ability Points on the other hand are used to unlock the individual abilities in the tiers.

Below is the list of abilities in the game, followed by the recommended and best abilities out of the lot, which should gain priority when it comes to spending your Ability points.

Ranger Abilities

Tier 1

When your Hit Streak is charged, press (triangle+circle) to execute your target. Hit Streak is charged when your hit counter goes to 8x and your sword starts to glow.

Countered enemies will be knocked backwards, knocked down, or stunned.

Strike From Above
Aerial takedowns on unaware targets will become lethal.

Tier 2

Critical Strike
This ability will double the Hit Streak gains on well-timed attacks.

Lash Chance Finisher
Grants you the ability to deal a lethal finisher in a last chance struggle.

You can poison grog barrels with the ability. Unlocked by playing missions.

Throwing Daggers
Allows you throw daggers that deal light damage and stagger enemies.

A powerful stealth kill that causes other nearby enemies to flee. Builds Hit Streak.

Tier 3

Swift Finisher
Reduces time required to perform a ground execution against a downed enemy.

Vault Stun
Vaulting over an enemy will make it stunned.

Brace of Daggers
Instead of throwing a single dagger, you can throw 3 in quick succession, which can be lethal against fleeing enemies.

Shoulder Charge
Upgrade Dash Attacks to damage wooden shields and knock enemies on the ground.

Tier 4

Blade Master
Reduces the Hit Streak threshold from 8 to 5 consecutive hits. This includes Execution, Wraith Flash, Combat Drain, Wraith Burn, and Fire Arrow.

Grants you the ability to absorb one hit without the Hit Streak counter resetting.

Death Threat
Issue a Death Threat to a captain through interrogation. This will improve the odds of Epic rune drops from Warchiefs and add a 40% chance for Captain to drop them as well. Your target will increase in Power and acquire a gang.

Tier 5

Critical Strike 2
Triples Hit Streak gains on well-timed attacks.

Flame of Vengeance
Your sword does double the damage when it glows.

Double Charge
When your Hit Streak is charged, you can perform two special attacks instead of one.

Wraith Abilities

Tier 1

Elven Swiftness
Time your landings when mantling over obstacles to gain a temporary speed boost and +1 to your Hit Streak.

Shoot fires or barrels and cause them to explode.

Wraith Stun
Stun Enemies, then follow up with a flurry of sword strikes.

Ride Caragors
You can now mount on Caragors. Once mounted, you can ride, climb, and fight with them.

Tier 2

Shadow Strike
Instantly teleport to a target’s location and knock it down. Unlocked by playing main missions.

Pin in Place
Bow attacks on an Uruk’s leg will pin it to that place.

Wraith Flash
When your Hit Streak is charged, you can perform a blast that will damage and stun enemies. Unlocked by playing main missions.

Stealth Drain
Drain from enemies while in stealth

Caragor Hunter
Gain the ability to counter Caragor attacks. Caragors that are countered can be mounted. Also grants a deadly attack in last chance struggles against Caragors.

Tier 3

Lethal Shadow Strike
A more lethal version of the Ranger’s Shadow Strike.

Wraith Finisher
Victims of Drain Flurry Kil will explode causing nearby enemies to recoil in terror.

Combat Drain
Drain an Uruk when your Hit Streak is up. This will recover Elf-shot and terrify the target.

Graug Hunter
You can now stun and mount Graugs.

Tier 4

Fire Arrow
When your Hit Streak is charged you can unleash a fire arrow, which cause explosions when used on campfires and barrels.

Wraith Blast
Upgrade Wraith Stun to hit enemies in a cone in front of you.

All Drain moves now Brand the target. Branded enemies will automatically fight by your side in combat.

Shadow Mount
Instantly mount a Graug or Caragor with a Shadow Strike

Tier 5

Shadow Strike Chain
Chain together multiple Shadow Strike attacks.

Quick Draw
Greatly reduce the time taken to charge up an arrow.

Wraith Burn
When your Hit Streak is charged, you can now instantly kill all enemies who are knocked down or stunned, while the rest will flee in terror.

Instantly kill all Branded enemies.

Best Abilities


Brutalize – This is a brilliant stealth takedown skill to initiate most fights, and gives you an advantage as most enemies will get intimidated and flee. You can even combine it with Brace of Daggers to take down fleeing targets and make the battle easier before it even starts.

Brace of Daggers – Excellent for taking out fleeing enemies and combines well with Brutalize, Wraith Flash, and Wraith Burn.

Shoulder Charge – While it’s a relatively simple ability, Shoulder Charge can put you in a better position against more tanky Uruks and allow you to unleash a flurry of powerful strikes.

Blade Master – Amazing utility skill which reduces the Hit Streak threshold from 8 to 5. While a difference of 3 may not seem much, it is mighty useful when fighting large packs of enemies.

Resilience – You’ll love this ability as it will allow you to carry on building your Hit Streak even after you’ve taken a hit.

Double Charge – Instead of having to build up your Hit Streak all over again, you’ll be able to use a combination of two special attacks at the cost of one threshold accumulation of Hit Streak. The only downside to the ability is how late you acquire it.


Pin in Place – A god-sent ability when you have to fight those nasty Uruks that will merge into the crowd or attempt to keep their distance.

Wraith Stun – A cool looking attack that does plenty of damage to single targets, and is mighty useful against Captains and Chiefs.

Wraith Flash – This powerful blast will stun enemies and deal an insane amount of damage, and can be followed up by other powerful Ranger attacks to finish off enemies quickly.

Shadow Mount – The quickest and most efficient way to mount Caragors and Graugs is to Shadow Strike them.

Shadow Strike Chain – Shadow Strike is a pretty awesome ability on its own, be it for catching up, evading, or initiating, but SSC takes it to another level thanks to the chaining.

Wraith Burn – Stunned plenty of enemies but having a difficult time finishing them all off quickly? No problem; Wraith Burn is there to help.

Dubai bound, Middle-east Editor @SegmentNext, socially inactive, tech savvy, Android fanboy, game freak; mostly random.