Skill trees are one of the many new additions to Middle Earth: Shadow of War. It can be tricky navigating them and deciding which skills to upgrade, but fortunately, that’s what we are here for. The Predator skill tree focuses on all stealth maneuvers, and is one of the most valuable in the game. It’s my personal favorite, and has a ton of upside for those dedicated to stealth.
I play as a wizard in MMOs and stealth if available in RPGs. I find it takes more planning and strategy, and I loved experimenting with the options in Shadow of War. Our Nemesis guide provides insight into how to best approach the enemies as well. Combine that with one of our skill tree guides, and you should be in for a nice & easy time. There is also the Market available to help you.
Whether you fight with all out stealth, or simply use it to sneak into combat before saying “peekaboo,”, you’ll want to choose the skills you upgrade appropriately. You have 19 options available to you in the Predator stealth skill tree, and some are more valuable than others. Below, we walk you through which ones to get and when. After all, what better way to kill an enemy orc than to do so without even moving?
There are six main skills in the tree. Each of them has two upgrades, with the exception of the Poison skill which uses three. The decision between unlocking a new skill or upgrading a current one could make or break a battle. I love stealth gameplay, so I made sure to check this one out first. Some are better than others. So, let’s check out some of my favorites before we get into the entire tree.
MUST HAVE SKILLS
Elven Agility is the one you have to unlock first, including its upgrades. It allows stealthy, undetectable movement. Those players looking to infiltrate enemy camps the most efficient way possible will need these skills. The rest of the skills in the tree are pretty awesome themselves. I found it to be a hard time determining which one was my favorite, but the Poison skill was the one I used the most. Letting you kill enemies without even moving from your hiding spot was incredible, and I loved trying to experiment with the best way in performing the moves.
Overall, you should definitely upgrade the Elven Agility first – no question about it. Afterward, the ones you unlock will be determined on the type of stealth you enjoy more. Below is the full breakdown of the upgrades:
Skill One – Elvin Agility
This gives you a short burst of speed after falling or vaulting over an object. It returns from Shadow of Mordor, and it is incredibly efficient with letting you gain ground much quicker.
Upgrade 1 – Silent Runner – As it sounds, this lets you run without drawing enemy attention. Trying to infiltrate an enemy camp loaded with orcs is very difficult if they hear you coming. This allows full sprints to be undetectable.
Upgrade 2 – Spectral Dash – This allows a short burst of ground cover but without jumping or vaulting. You’ll use your wraith form, but are immune from detection while doing so. This is excellent when trying to approach an orc while in his field of vision. I used this mostly around open areas and combined it with the wraith chain kills in order to extend my combos in the best way possible.
Skill Two – Wraith Chain
Just as the name implies, this lets you perform multiple wraith kills in a row. You’ll lose focus as you do, so be sure to upgrade that when available too.
Upgrade 1 – Monster Hunter – This allows you to stealth kill monsters such as Caragors. Extremely useful when around multiple monsters as they attack faster than orcs
Upgrade 2 – Shadow Blade – This is a must have upgrade if you decide to focus on this skill. Your first attack won’t use any of your focus, essentially giving you a free wraith attack.
Skill Three – Poison Tendril
I loved this skill the most. Just as in Shadow of Mordor, you are able to poison grog with your bow and arrow. Unlike the first game, however, there are three pretty awesome upgrades for it.
Upgrade 1 – Bursting Toxin – Specific to the one orc who drinks the grog. Well, kind of. After drinking it, he will explode and damage any nearby enemies.
Upgrade 2 – Contagion – Just like the first game, any orc that becomes poisoned will start attacking his allies.
Upgrade 3 – Proximity Trigger – You can poison the fly traps and bait as well with your bow and arrow, making anyone who simply walks near them become poisoned by an area of effect trigger.
The poison ones were my favorite. In my style of stealth, I like to plan out but also be involved. These allowed me to combine the poisoned attacks with my wraith abilities. I would take down a handful of enemies with wraith chain attacks while the others were poisoned and fighting each other.
Skill Four – Deadly Spector Skill
Those who like extreme stealth are going to love this. I used it often, but I didn’t feel involved as much as I should have. You can lure enemies toward you in the game. So, if you are hanging off the edge of a cliff for example, you can bring them near you for a surprise attack. Rather than you doing the work, the Deadly Spector just lets a wraith do it for you while you chill in your hiding spot.
Upgrade 1 – Terrifying Presence– Rather than simply killing the orc, the wraith will use a Brutalize attack. These cause your enemies to become frightened, and are covered below.
Upgrade 2 – Spirit Drain – Not only does the wraith do all the dirty work for you, but you also get health replenishment.
Skill Five – Brutalize
I used this more in the standard combat version than the stealth version to be honest. This is just a straight up, brutal execution consisting of a lot of hits. When I wanted to use a stealth attack, I simply went with Wraith Chain and Spectral Dash. They are helpful in building up your hit count meter, however, so I recommend using at least the first skill.
Upgrade 1 – Unyielding Verocity – This adds more than the standard amount of hits to your hit counter and makes your combo higher.
Upgrade 2 – Reckless Hate – The surrounding enemies that see this will basically freak out and run away. It’s an upgraded version of the skill from the first game.
Skill Six – Death Threat
This isn’t really an unlockable skill, but instead, it’s earned through the story mode. This allows you to send grunts to threaten a Captain or Warchief before you fight them as we covered in our Nemesis System guide. This will make the fight harder as they now know you’re coming, but results in better loot drops.
Upgrade 1 – Worse than Death – You won’t have to worry about deciding between Recruiting or Shaming your enemy, because this upgrade automatically adds shame. It’s an extra bit of salt in the wound, as well as lowers the enemy’s level.
Upgrade 2 – Vow of Violence – If you pick a death threat option, you’ll get an extra bonus added to the mission. Completing it will obviously get you better rewards.
With Elven Agility offering mostly passive skills, I found I used Poison Tendril and Wraith Chain the most. Although I didn’t use Deadly Spector that often, it was still incredibly useful when I did. In fact, my favorite infiltration so far involved using it along with Poison Tendril and Wraith Chain. I poisoned a pile of grog and decided to lure over a straggling orc while waiting for another to drink the grog. I threw out the deadly spector to kill the straggler once he got close and then wraith chained an orc near the grog. I made sure he was far enough away, because by that time another orc had drank the grog and exploded. That took out another two orcs. I went five for five on orc kills in about 25 seconds. I very easily could have just attacked them all and won, but where’s the fun in that?
This is the beauty of Shadow of War. Even if you aren’t as big a stealth fan as I am, you can still have a lot of fun with the Predator skill tree. You can benefit a lot from it, especially in the later stages with groups of larger enemies. You may still be able to defeat the groups without the stealth features, but it will definitely take longer. Just one hit causes you to stagger and lose your hit counter (barring upgrades), and you’re forced with taking on the full group up close & personal. Why bother that way?
I suggest using your points with Elven Agility, Wraith Chain and Poison Tendril first. Max out Elven Agility first, then pick and choose which you want between wraith and poison how you want. The Deadly Spector and Brutalize have their own benefits, but they aren’t as useful as the other three when they are combined. If you are a full on stealth player, you could swap out Poison Tendril with Deadly Spector. Just remember, these only impact one enemy at a time vs. a group as with poison. This involves more stealth on your part, but doesn’t necessarily reap more rewards.
The Predator skill tree is an excellent stealth system overall, and I definitely recommend it for all players.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War is available now on Xbox One from the Microsoft store. Check out the launch trailer below.