9. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Trials of war / Challenge mode

Challenge mode

Trials of war, also known as Challenge mode, is the ultimate skill proof for the fans in this game, featuring different objectives and situations to test your ability to score higher points in global leaderboard.

Since only 2 of these challenges are achievement related, I will explain with maximum details my strategy in these two only, in the end of this page, to help you finish this game, the others I will only list the objectives necessary to reach Elite Leaderboards, if you want.

Most of the people leave these two challenges for the end of their list so I will do my best to explain what I use and add some tips that can be useful too, hopefully you will use and earn this hard achievements.

Test of Speed

Main Objective - Kill any 1 Warchief plus any 5 Captains.

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Earn 4000 points;
  • Complete in 15 minutes (awards 1000 points);
  • Complete with 3 or fewer deaths (awards 1000 points).

Test of Wisdom

Main Objective - Kill all 5 Warchiefs plus all 20 Captains.

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Earn 22000 points;
  • Complete in 50 minutes (awards 1000 points);
  • Complete with 1 or fewer deaths (awards 1000 points).

Endless Challenge

Main Objective - Kill all 5 Warchiefs plus all 20 Captains (No starting Intel, plus all Uruks are random).

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Earn 25000 points;
  • Complete in 50 minutes (awards 1000 points);
  • Complete with 1 or fewer deaths (awards 1000 points).

Test of Defiance

Main Objective - Kill 6 Warchiefs plus 15 Captains.

  • Lithariel has only one life. Death results in Failure (permadeath);
  • Lithariel does more melee damage, but has less armor;
  • You cannot Save during this challenge. Quitting results in failure.

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Do not Brand or Dominate enemies (using any Abilities);
  • Gain Elf-shot only from Ammo pickups (not Brand or Drain);
  • Earn 14000 points;
  • Finish with no warchiefs in power.

Test of Power

Main Objective - Kill any 3 Warchiefs plus any 10 Captains.

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Earn 8000 points;
  • Complete in 30 minutes (awards 1000 points);
  • Complete with 2 or fewer deaths (awards 1000 points).

Test of the Wild

Main Objective - Kill 5 Warchiefs plus 20 Captains.

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Earn 13000 points;
  • Kill 10 captains with monsters;
  • Complete in 40 minutes (awards 1000 points).

You don't have too much time for error in this trial so be quick, I earned the achievement only in my 5th attempt, so here's my strategy:

Around the place that you start will be many Uruks, always use Shadow Strike (cn_LT + cn_A) from long distance and cn_B in short distance to stun your enemies and try get intel from at least 11 or 12 captains that are freeroam the map, you will probably get the locations of some captains involved in Power Struggles, ignore for now, but try to get at least 10 in the map for killing all of them with your Graug.

After this you probably have 5 or 6 minutes, hopefully less in the clock, shoot the graug bait, in the bridge in front of the Tower that you start the challenge, shadow mount on your graug and use your map to help locate the closest captains of your area. When you see a captain run at him and press cn_Y with your Graug to eat him, if you done correctly he will eat quickly the captain, and you will avoid the animation that appears when a captain see and talk to you before the battle.

After eating all 10 captains press cn_RT + cn_B to kill your Graug and earn some points in the process. After this you probably have less than 18 minutes on the clock, hopefully less than 15 minutes. Now is a good time to make a backup of your save, if you have a pendrive.

Remember that I said to gather intel to find 11 or 12 captains that are freeroaming in the map? You need to find these 1 or 2 captains to gather intel for Warchiefs now. Your primary objective is to find Zûgor Beast Butcher, a masked Uruk with the crossbow that shoots fire arrows, this Warchief is the best option to kill others Warchiefs quickly! He is a monster with their fire arrows. If you don't find him as the first Warchief that you gather intel try to find Ûgakûga Graug Rider. If you don't find any of them I recommend that you use your backup and try again, or find another captain or a Worm in the map to gather intel for more Warchiefs.

After this part you need to brand this Warchief, at this moment you have at least 12 captains killed, 10 with monsters, and less than 20 minutes on the clock. Do the mission and brand your Warchief, after this grab him and press cn_A and cn_Y to send him to a riot against others Warchiefs. Do this for the other 4 Warchiefs, always help in the battle to finish quickly as possible.

Important: after each battle that your Warchief wins grab him, send to another riot and after you see the icon for your Warchief disappears immediately press cn_down to kill all branded Uruks around and help you earn more points towards the 13.000 required.

After killing all 4 Warchiefs you probably have passed the 30 minute mark, so try to be quickly as possible now. You need only to kill the remaining captains doing more riots with your Warchief, in my experience I killed 6 captains in less than 60 seconds each, because they are too weak and my Warchief have these insane fire arrows.

Now you still have some seconds or minutes to spare, if you still have time and have less than 11.000 points grab some Caragors or Graugs and kill them to earn some points, by holding cn_RT and pressing cn_B. After this press cn_down to kill your Warchief and all Uruks around to finish the challenge.

You will earn 1.000 points for completing the bonus objectives and 1,000 points for completing the test in less than 40 minutes, so your total will pass or at least be equal to 13.000. In my 3rd try I finished inside the 40 minute mark but with 12.600 points, so you need to always look for your points and try planning to have at least 11k by the end of the challenge.

It is not easy but is doable with much persistence, skill to doing kills quickly and never die to anyone (seriously, do not die in this challenge) and a bit of luck to find the captains close to each other.

More tips that I use and help me a lot during my tries:

  • Your time will pause while in the Sauron's Army, viewing the map or in any part or the menu (the same here applies to the next challenge, Test of the Ring)
  • If you can, backup your save in strategic times during your playthrough
  • In the first parts of the challenge always remember to use your Wraith Vision cn_LB, it is one of the most useful abilities for this challenge to find captains quickly
  • Use A LOT Shadow Strike cn_LT + cn_A and Shadow Kill cn_LT + cn_X in this challenge to shorter distances and avoid wasting time
  • If you still haven't come to the riot part, killed a captain and need to travel to another part of the map but can't right now because many Uruks are around you just Quit the game. The game saves after every time that a captain or Warchief is killed so don't worry, you will come back at the initial fast travel
  • Don't waste too much time to do the 10 monster kills, as soon as possible call a Graug and make these kills, to avoid problems with time in the future
  • Remember to always dodge with cn_B, counter with cn_Y and jump over the enemy with cn_A, these simple commands are very efficient in a battle with many Uruks
  • After each challenge completed, even if you fail to complete in time you will notice that the map will mantain the runes obtained by Warchiefs and Captains dead, use some of them to help you in the battle
  • To brand Zugor Beast Hunter first make sure you are full on elf-shot, use Shadow Kill 5 or 6 times or fire arrows until you brought him to his knees, keep looking to his health, I killed him unintentionally and need to use Ûgakûga but didn't work for me
  • Don't waste too much time hunting captains around the map, once you have your 10 monster kills plus your intel about one of the Warchiefs aforementioned just brand one of them and start doing the riots as soon as possible, by doing riots you will see that is much easier and quicker to kill the Warchiefs and Captains

If you manage to do all objectives in time you will earn the well deserved achievement below. Congrats!

The Hunt is my Mistress

Complete all objectives in the Test of the Wild.

The Hunt is my Mistress
9 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerTime/Date

A video that can help you, with other strategies follows, is for PS4 but the challenge is the same, credits to Harry Ellanki.

Test of the Ring

Main Objective - Kill 5 Warchiefs plus 12 Captains.

Bonus Objectives to qualify for the Elite Leaderboards:

  • Finish with 8 Captains or Warchiefs branded;
  • Brand at least 50 grunts;
  • Finish in 60 minutes.

This is the objectives that you need to complete to earn this achievement. Involves a good skill and a bit of luck, is hard but still easier than previous challenge, I earned the achievement in my 2nd attempt, here's my strategy:

It is good to notice that this is different from the DLC campaign in that this Trial you have all 5 slots available for each of your weapon to use a Rune, so you can use up to 15 runes in your weapons, that is extremely helpful, keep this in mind to change for better runes as soon you starts the challenge.

You need to count with a little of luck in the start of this challenge, because is pretty important that you have a Beast Hunt mission in your map as soon the challenge starts, or a Graug close to your area, because a Graug is the best and quickest way to cross your map, besides that you need a Graug to kill captains more easily and quickly, by using cn_Y to eat him. If you don't have a Beast Hunt mission or a Graug available from the start, restart the challenge, or try fast travel but I advise that you don't waste too much time with this, you can finish without the help of the Graug but will be more difficult.

As soon the challenge starts press cn_left to call 5 Uruks to your Forge Tower, press cn_RB to grab and press cn_A to gather intel and choose one captain in a black space in the Sauron's Army. Do this for all Uruks in your power, still in the Forge Tower. When you can call more Uruks and repeat the process until you discover the location of all 20 captains.

You still have less than 5 minutes on the clock, so let's start properly. Once you discover the location of all captains find the nearest captain of your location and go brand him. In my first attempt I try first kill 12 captains and after brand, but I have many problems and in the second attempt (in this attempt I earned the achievement with 55 minutes) I switch my order to this:

  • Go brand all 8 captains, when you brand 5 of them gather intel about all 5 Warchiefs and their respective locations
  • Go kill the Warchiefs, doing their specific missions, but DO NOT kill the 5th or the mission will finish
  • Try find a Graug to help you to move faster between the map and go kill all 12 captains, simply by eating them with cn_Y
  • Between these kills remember to always brand as much Uruks as possible, by using Wraith Flash (cn_A + cn_X)
  • Finally if you have completed all objectives go kill the final Warchief

Some tips that certainly will help you:

  • Remember to always charge your One Ring to help you defeat Uruks with Combat Master ability, by branding as many Uruks as possible, use Wraith Flash to help you. When your One Ring is charged just press [cn_L] + [cn_R] to activate, the time will slow and you have some seconds to kill your opponent.
  • Don't worry too much about branding Uruks because by branding only against some captains and Warchief you probably will reach the 50 required by the end of the challenge
  • Whenever you need some help and your One Ring still not fully charged remember to press cn_left to summon 5 Uruks to help you
  • Talking about summoning Uruks, if in a Warchief mission asks for you to defeat 20 enemies without taking damage you can summon 5 Uruks 4 times and each time press cn_down to kill the Uruks, and stills counts for the 20 kills, but you need to do this inside the green area to count
  • Have patience, in my first attempts I spend almost 60 minutes and don't complete all the objectives, so I decided to restart the challenge and in the second attempt I completed, so use your first attempts to see what you can do and to practice

If you manage to do all objectives in time you will earn the well deserved achievement below. Congrats!

Lord of the Ring

Complete all objectives in the Test of The Ring.

Lord of the Ring
7 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerTime/Date

For both challenges you need to be patient, it is not easy and you probably will not achieve the objectives in the first time inside the time limit, don't give up. I already tried so many times that I lost count, until I unlock this last two achievements.

A video that can help you, with other strategies follows, is for PS4 but the challenge is the same, credits to Harry Ellanki.

Good luck.

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