The Test of the Ring
is one of the Trials of War
, accessible from the main menu (Play -> Trials of War -> Test of the Ring). To complete the Test of the Ring you must kill 5 War Chiefs and 12 Captains. To earn the "Lord of the Ring" achievement you must also complete all 3 optional objectives:
1. Have 8 branded War Chiefs or Captains
2. Brand 50 grunts
3. Finish in under 60 minutes
The first objective is a running tally--if one of your branded Captains or War Chiefs dies you will lose one point toward this objective. The second objective is a cumulative total--you must simply brand 50 or more regular Uruks during the course of the Trial. It's very likely you will meet this objective without really trying just from charging the One Ring. The third objective is the most challenging requirement to meet. This solution will focus on a strategy to help meet that time objective.General Tips
First, if you have not played the main story and Bright Lord campaign, do so before attempting this achievement. All character abilities and upgrades you earn will carry over to the Test of the Ring, and the practice you get from playing the Bright Lord campaign will be invaluable.
In Test of the Ring your character plays like a hybrid of Talion from the main story and Celebrimbor from The Bright Lord campaign. You will have access to Double Charge (2x special moves when charged) and Shadow Brand (
to brand from afar). Wraith Flash (
) will brand Uruks, helping to charge The One Ring power; you'll want to make extensive use of this move! Your bow will behave like Celebrimbor's--no Focus, but shots are instantly charged. You can summon 5 branded Uruks to fight for you with
. Use Dispatch (
) to kill off branded enemies and heal.
Using the One Ring power wisely is crucial, especially against Captains or War Chiefs with the Combat Master
ability. You charge The One Ring by branding Uruks, and that's also one of the objectives for this achievement, so you'll want to orient your fighting style toward branding as many enemies as possible as quickly as possible. Be sure to set up any Runes that you think may help you with this. For example, one that I found particularly useful was:Dagger
: "Balefire (Epic)
" - Recover +2 Elf-shot for a head explosion kill
The above Rune in combination with Dispatch was a great way to top off my Elf-shot, giving me access to Shadow Brand, which you can chain with
to brand several enemies in a crowd. Using Dispatch after branding enemies will frighten off some Uruks, quickly thinning crowds around Captains or War Chiefs so you can focus on them, uncontested.
My main crowd-thinning technique was to quickly build up a combo, then use 2 back-to-back Wraith Flashes to brand nearby Uruks, then immediately dispatch them. Just a couple more hits will recharge the special, allowing more Wraith Flashes. Rinse and repeat.
If you need some quick health, just summon some Uruks with
and then immediately Dispatch them. I used this with my Rune to recharge Elf-shot, too.Basic Strategy
You will not have access to Riots in Test of the Ring, so drawing out War Chiefs requires completing their challenges (e.g., defeat 20 Uruks without taking damage). We want to minimize the number of War Chief challenges we do, because they simply eat up too much time. Therefore, we will save War Chiefs for last.
We'll start by killing off 12 Captains by eating them with a Graug. This eliminates one of the 2 main requirements to complete Test of the Ring, leaving only War Chiefs to deal with.
Second, we will brand all remaining captains, using them to gather Intel on War Chiefs.
Last, we'll focus on getting the 5 War Chief kills while maintaining at least 8 branded Captains / War Chiefs.
Following the strategy outlined here I was able to complete The Test of the Ring and earn this achievement in just under 45 minutes. If you make good use of the time-saving measures here there should be lots of room for error.Step 1: Setup
To kick things off right, you want to make sure you have a Beast Hunt
event available from the start of the game. We will be using this event to obtain a Graug and eat 12 Captains.
As soon as you begin Test of the Ring, open the map and look at the 3 events. If one of them is not a Beast Hunt
, either use
to pass time so that new events spawn or exit and restart Test of the Ring. Don't bother passing time more than once or twice because it wastes time on the game clock.
Once you have a good start with a Beast Hunt
available, you'll need to know where all the Captains are hiding. For that, don't even leave your Forge Tower--just summon Uruks with
, dominate them, and collect Intel on all 20 Captains. You will not be able to collect Intel on War Chiefs, but we'll get to that later.
If you're quick, you should have all 20 Captains identified and a Beast Hunt
available with only about 4 minutes off the clock.Alternate Strategy from Rufus Gufus
: You don't necessarily need the beast hunt mission. I was having a horrid time getting it to spawn so rather than keep restarting I would fast travel to and from the middle tower and wraith search each time I was at the middle tower location as there is a graug spawn in close proximity to that tower. I would estimate this method probably added a min or to two my total time, but nowhere near enough to prevent easily clearing in under 60 min.Step 2: Eat 12 Captains With a Graug
Now that you know where to find captains, head to the Beast Hunt
event to fetch your Graug. As soon as the event starts, use Shadow Mount (
) to claim the Graug, then run over and eat your first Captain.
When the event ends, use the Sauron's Army page to locate the closest Captain to your current location. Take your time--the game clock pauses while you're viewing this page. Use
to mark the nearest target, then use the mini-map in game to navigate to the region of the map where your target is hiding. As you get close, use Wraith Vision (
) to scan for any Captains, and
to mark them. Now just run up to them, position them just in front of your Graug's left hand, and use
to eat them.
If you run across Captains that are scared of your Graug and begin to flee, consider using Shadow Strike or Shadow Brand to dismount your Graug and instantly catch up to the scared Captain. Grab him, dominate him and collect Intel on a War Chief. It's not worth letting your Graug die to do this, but it's an easy way to get a nearly-free branded Captain, and it's probably faster than chasing the Captain across half the map, trying to get the Graug swipe to snatch him up as he runs away.
Repeat the process of finding nearby Captains, tracking them and eating them until you've killed off 12. If a Beastmaster Captain kills off your Graug, you should probably restart unless you have at least 10 Captains killed. It takes considerably longer to locate and kill Captains any other way.
When you've killed your 12th Captain it's time to start branding. Locate the closest Captain or event and run there with your Graug, then dispatch it using
In my fast run I was somewhere around 16 minutes into the game at this point. Anything up to about 20 ought to be good.Step 3: Brand All Remaining Captains
Use the Sauron's Army page to locate Captains, travelling to nearby Forge Towers as necessary to cut down on travel time. Now go get 'em!
Use the techniques described in the General Tips
section to charge The One Ring and quickly clear crowds away from your target Captain. Eliminate all other Uruks so you can grab and dominate the Captain without being interrupted by attacks.
If you're dealing with just one Captain, try stunning him (
or jump over him with
to Vault Stun), followed by a flurry attack (mash
), then wrap up with two Execution moves (
If you're facing two Captains, if your Captain is a Combat Master (Executions do not work), or if you're having trouble clearing the crowd, use your One Ring power and hit your target Captain with Executions until he turns green, then grab and dominate him. Get Intel on a War Chief, or dismiss him if you have already identified all the War Chiefs. You should have time to dominate two Captains during a single use of the One Ring if you've done all of the One Ring missions in the Bright Lord campaign and have earned:
Note that if a Captain is close to death, Flash Brand (
) can claim him. This may be useful, for example, if you have other branded Captains beating on your target Captain and you're concerned he may die before you can grab him.
Repeat until all remaining Captains are branded. Don't worry if one or two of them die. We can (and will) fix that.Step 4: Die. No, Really.
Let a regular Uruk kill you. This will promote him to Captain, pass time so that War Chiefs get bodyguards and will give you at least one Captain on the board for whom you don't have Intel.
Even if you lost more than one Captain during the branding step, only die once. You don't want new Captains challenging and killing off your branded Captains.Step 5: Kill the First 4 War Chiefs
At this point you will have 12 Captains dead, up to 8 more branded, and Intel on all 5 War Chiefs. Go to Sauron's Army page and look at each of the 5 War Chiefs. Check their weaknesses, and look at their missions to see what challenges you need to meet to draw them out. More importantly, look for War Chiefs who have bodyguards.
If a War Chief has your newly-created Captain as a bodyguard and his mission doesn't look too bad, choose him. Otherwise, find one with bodyguards and a reasonably fast mission. Do the mission and call out your first War Chief.
Now, the idea here is that you want to kill off the War Chief and only the War Chief as quickly as possible. After he is dead and his mission ends one of his followers will be promoted to War Chief. Before the new War Chief has a chance to run off, target and kill him! This will net you 2 (or possibly more) War Chiefs for the price of 1 War Chief mission!
The upside of killing off the new un-branded Captain is that it won't cost you any of your branded Captains. The upside of killing a War Chief with at least one of your branded Captains as bodyguards is that the new War Chief will be one of your branded Captains and he won't run off after you kill the previous War Chief, so he'll be easier to kill off.
It's entirely possible you can kill off all 4 War Chiefs in quick succession if you target a War Chief with 3 followers. If that doesn't work out, though, you have 2 options:
1. Locate and target another War Chief with a quick misison.
2. Pass time so that one of your branded captains becomes War Chief and a Beck and Call
mission is available.
Note that killing your branded War Chief can take some time. If you have any Captains on the board without Intel, then just dominate your War Chief, collect Intel on the Captain, then Kill your War Chief with
rather than dismiss him. Otherwise, use the Stun-Flurry-Double Execution maneuver described in Step 3.
Whatever you do, don't kill the 5th War Chief until you're certain you have enough branded Captains!Step 6: Brand Additional Captains as Needed
At this point you should have 12 dead Captains, 4 dead War Chiefs and some number of branded Captains.
Repeat the process of letting a random Uruk kill you, then locating and branding him after he is promoted to Captain until you have at least 8 branded Captains and War Chiefs. If none of the remaining unbranded War Chiefs has a reasonably fast mission, then brand a 9th Captain so you can kill off one of your branded War Chiefs.Step 7: Kill the Last War Chief
Killing off one of your branded War Chiefs will save you the time of doing another War Chief's mission to call him out, but may cost you time to brand a 9th Captain. Make the call.
For this final kill, try to have The One Ring charged. Even if you haven't cleared all the other enemies around the final War Chief, you can use the Stealth Kill (
) move with the One Ring activated to do massive damage to the War Chief. If time is coming down to the wire, this might help you to squeeze in the final kill before time elapses.
Don't be discouraged if you require some trial runs before all of this falls into place. The time-saving techniques in this solution are the most streamlined method I found to finish The Test of the Ring, but there is still plenty that can go wrong and cost you enough time to eventually blow a run. If that happens, regroup and try again. And, by all means, if you find any other techniques I haven't mentioned please share them in the Comments so that others can benefit from your tips and tricks.