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Middle-earth: Shadow of War Mounted Skill Tree Guide - the best skills for dragon riding and beyond

Look, this one lets you ride a dragon. Need I say more?

Shadow of War features some of the iconic beasts and wildlife you'd expect in Mordor, and one of the game's major RPG skill trees is devoted to mastering control of these beasts in order to better travel the world and slay your rivals. But that's a pretty niche skill tree - so how good is it, which skills are worthwhile, and what should you prioritise?

After sinking many hours into the game, we've got some ideas to that end - so let's take a look at Shadow of War's Mounted skills.


Shadow of War: Mounted Skill Tree

Talion's ability to get atop enemy beasts in Shadow of War and turn them to his own needs always looks pretty cool, but it'a also an easy skill set to overlook. After all, if you give someone the choice between extra sword and execution skills, awesome stealth movements or riding around an ugly swine-like beast, the choice seems clear, and some of those other Shadow of War Skills are very tempting indeed, yes. But-- Mounted skills can actually be far more useful and far more powerful than you might think, as we detail here...

Which Mounted skills are the best in Shadow of War?

So, as we say above - Mounted Skills are actually better than they seem. Yes, this skill tree culimnates in the ability to ride a dragon - something which anyone in their right mind will want to do - but the ability to use Caragor and Graug beasts properly can give you a serious edge in combat, too. Here are the skills we feel stand out:

  • You should grab the three domination abilities - Caragor Rider, Graug Rider and Dragon Rider - as soon as you can. These will unlock the ability to ride these beasts in the first place, so they're a must have.
  • Call Mount is super useful and can really make a difference in combat. Calling in a Caragor might not seem like the biggest deal, but they can turn into amazing allies that can hold enemies off, and they can be mounted and ridden away for a quick escape if things go south. When you can, upgrade this skill to summon other creatures instead.
  • Shadow Mount and its two upgrades are my particular favorites of this skill tree. Caragor Breaker saves you an awful lot of time, while Packmaster can turn a nasty combat encounter into a breeze.


Caragor Rider Skill

Caragor can be an absolute nightmare to deal with in combat situations unless you're properly prepared or just a bit of an expert at taking them down, but this ability will let you turn them to your side, riding them and thus able to use them as a weapon of sorts. It's pretty damn handy. The upgrades will make you even more deadly while mounted, too.

  • Caragor Rider Skill Upgrades
    • Pounce: If you kill an enemy in stealth on a Caragor you can have it eat the enemy whole with R2 / RT and Square / X. With this upgrade, doing this restores health to the beast. Level 8+
    • Bestial Rage: This upgrade is for Talion from Level 16 and up, and allows you to perform execution or howl moves without your might being full - but doing so will hurt your Caragor.

Graug Rider Skill

Graug are even larger, giant-like humanoid enemies, and they too can be ridden and used to smash your enemies to pieces. They're absolutely deadly, but you'll need this skill to be able to initiate riding them once they're broken. As with the Caragor, the upgrades adjust the Graug's abilities when mounted to make it more deadly.

  • Graug Rider Skill Upgrades
    • Devouring Force: For Level 15 and up, this upgrade makes it so that executions restore even more of your health when mounted on a Graug.
    • Enduring Fury: This is a simple upgrade, though it isn't available until level 20: it increases the might gained from basic attacks that land.

Call Mount Skill

This is a super cool skill, and if nothing else it can make travelling the world a little quicker - it lets you summon a Caragor. Press left on the d-pad to summon, tap it to direct it to attack enemies and hold it to dismiss. You need to have dominated a Caragor first, though. The upgrades let you summon other beasts instead.

  • Call Mount Skill Upgrades
    • Dire Caragor: This is a level 20 upgrade, and lets Talion summon a more powerful Dire Caragor instead.
    • Graug Call: A high-end level 30 skill upgrade, this does what you'd expect - it lets Talion summon a Graug again.
    • Dragon Song: This is the one you want - it lets you summon a drake, a dragon. You can fly around. It's super cool. It's tied to a side quest line - you need to complete the Carnan quests to unlock this.

Shadow Mount Skill

Shadow Mount is a neat skill where you can point your bow at a broken creature and instantly dominate it with a press of circle, allowing you to teleport to and dominate a beast from afar. It works on Caragor, Graug and Drake as long as you've unlocked the requisite skill.

  • Shadow Mount Skill Upgrades
    • Caragor Breaker: Instantly break Caragor with this ability even if they're untouched and unbroken. Level 14 and up.
    • Packmaster: Packmaster is a brilliant skill that makes it so that when you Shadow Mount an already-broken Caragor nearby packmates will also be instantly dominated. It's for level 21 and higher.

Dragon Rider Skill

Dragon Rider is the dream skill, obviously - it lets you dominate and ride broken drake creatures, giving you a dragon of your very own to ride around. You need this skill to use the dragon upgrade for the Call Mount skill.

  • Dragon Rider Skill Upgrades
    • Scales of Iron: Level 24+. This makes it so that when your Drake is under attack you take quite a bit less damage.
    • Soaring Rage: The Drake has an amazing fireball-based attack when you hold L2 / LT and press R1 / RB - but you need might to do it. This means you can do so without using a full might meter, but at cost of your drake's health.

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