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Mordor vs. Isengard BT2DC

By Merc Vices - 6th June 2007 - 03:21 AM

With this guide you will be able to master a match up that many people struggle with: Mordor vs. Isengard. Find out the keys to winning with an in-depth analysis of units, heroes, build orders, and strategy.

Mordor Units



Anarion's words for Mordor's units: "Mordor's units, though lacking in sheer strength, are a potent force none the less, often being the most mixed, diverse, and numerous, they are most definitely a near unstoppable force, in the right hands."


Orcs

Cost: 50
Orc Pit(Rank 1)

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The Orc Warrior is not fierce when by itself- players prefer to spam them all over the map or use them as a meat shield for deadlier allies. They lose to any other unit in the game 1v1, but are very capable when it comes to unit-locking. Orcs can be used to block the enemies' units from slaying your archers or block pikes that are pursuing your attack trolls. Even though Orcs deal extremely low damage, when they are clumped on enemy resource buildings your $50 Orc can achieve the same task as his $300 Uruk and destroy that resource building.



Orc Archers

Cost: 350
Orc Pit (Rank 1)

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Orc Archers are the bread and butter in this match up for a solid Mordor early game. Use them to destroy the opponent's swordsmen and crossbows, while allowing corsairs or other units to destroy the more powerful pikes. Keep your Orc Archers on aggressive at all times to ensure that they are attacking with their maximum damage. When mixed with an army they can be invulnerable to retaliation, provided you have a meat shield of Orcs and Easterlings.


Easterlings

Cost: 350
Haradrim Palace

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Although not as strong or as fast as Uruk Pikemen, Easterlings are not too far behind in terms of their stats. Your mid/late game army should consist of several battalions of these, even if you have Orcs on the field. They are strong versus production buildings, so it's often a good idea to send a few in with the sole purpose of halting his spam. Also, they are the infantry answer to Wargs and also beserkers, so they are very important in this match up. Easterlings can also be used to creep if there is a creep on the map.


Haradrim

Cost: 500
Haradrim Palace (Rank 2)

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Haradrim are Mordor's finest archers, for they are recruited from a tier two Haradrim palace. Although they have a snazzy look, these archers have few uses. For $500 they are too pricey to be used very often, but they are good in certain situations. For instance, they are strong against monsters and tier 1 archers, which makes dealing with Beserkers more easily. They cannot be armed with fire arrows, but can be equipped with barbed arrows, which is researched at a Tavern. Barbed Arrows knockback units and they have a fast recharge time. This is both a blessing and a curse, as the preferred upgrade of Gire arrows would do wonders to their mediocre strength. However, barbed arrows are particularly effective against cavalry, and can knockback the Wargs that are rapidly approaching your archers and allow for Easterlings to finish them off.


Corsairs

Cost: 400- Become 40 cheaper for each additional Tavern built, to a minimum cost of 280
Tavern (Rank 1)

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Speed is the of the most important strategic advantages one can have, and corsairs are certainly not lacking in this category. They move faster than Uruks, almost as fast as Wargs, and can outrun any hero, even when it is in aggressive. In addition to being a better sword option than Orcs, they have a firebomb ability, which can be used to burn up buildings and clumped units. Of course, you can be hurt by your own fire as well, so keep it sensible. Save level 2 Corsairs to heal, for they are NOT cheap, and having a few battalions harassing will pay off. Corsairs can be used to finish off fleeing heroes, cut pikes to shreds, and burn up buildings. Do not to forget to equip corsairs with forged blades, which dramatically improves their damage output.


Mountain Troll

Cost: 600
Troll Pit (Rank 1)

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Mountain trolls are very fast, very strong, and can be used to sneak about in the same manner as Isengard's Beserkers. If a Mountain Troll can be sneaked into the opponent's base, by the time the opponent notices it will have been too late. They don't have a huge weakness to pikes or swords, but archers REALLY hurt them. Cross-bows can tear them to shreds so make sure to stay far away. They get into red health after just one volley, and are dead after the next. Mountain Trolls have some unique abilities that can be used. These are switching between melee and rock modes, picking up a tree, and eating an Orc for health. Even though the trees are useful for killing units, when in melee mode they deal double the damage to buildings and can also eat an Orc for health. Mountain Trolls are fairly quick for their large size, and can even trample enemy units, just do NOT trample pikes. They are overshadowed by their older brother, the Attack Troll, so they don't get much use and are vastly underestimated.



Drummer Troll

Cost: 400
Troll Pit (Rank 2)

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Drummer trolls drum out a tune to give your units high level leadership, gaining 50% armor, making them the equivalent of a mobile tainted land. While this seems like a good concept, it really is not, for land can be used just as effectively for the same effect, and drummer trolls can be killed while tainted land cannot. Attack Trolls are much more useful, and Drummer Trolls are usually passed over entirely for the more powerful trolls. They can also swat at enemies with their mallets, but they deal very poor damage. Drummer trolls also have the ability to Roar, causing the opposing units to flee in a hurry, which is very similar to a Fellbeast's screech. If you want to increase your Orc spam strength, these will do the trick. But land is a more efficient choice for the same result, and these trolls should be passed over for Attack Trolls.




Attack Troll

Cost: 1100
Troll Pit (Rank 3)

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Attack trolls are the king of all the trolls. They deal huge damage over a decent radius and can also knockback units. Most battalions are torn to shreds by these monsters, and one will take down a fort in no time. A very good tactic is to distract your opponents forces with your army and sneak in an Attack Troll to his base. Since they are monsters, attack trolls have a weakness to tier 2 archers, which Isengard lacks! However Isengard's pikes certainly pack a punch against them, so do not waste these strong units by trying to solo pikes. Mix them in armies if you intend to fight units with them. The unit lock caused by your Orcs will prevent them from being targeted. Attack Trolls also have the Dominate Troll ability, which is nearly useless in this matchup, unless you encounter a troll at a creep which you can take control of and then destroy the creep to get the money.



Mumakil

Cost: 1500
Mumakil Pen (Rank 1)

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These guys are awesome against just about anything that doesn't do fire damage or flies, so all you have to worry about is an upgraded fort, Saruman's fireball, and upgraded crossbows. Pikes can slow them down, but do little damage as long as you don't trample them. Instead, make it stop by pressing 's' and then melee the pikes. Mumakil swipe pikes, swords, and cavalry away like an insolent child flings away his toys. They have a very strong knockback as well. Mumakil are yet another option Mordor has at its disposal to destroy the opponent's fort, provided that he does not have Fire Arrows. They have a charge ability which can target a unit or hero, and the Mumakil does what the ability suggests: charges very fast to destroy whatever it has targeted, as well as anything in the way. Again, make sure there are no pikes in the way, for they will take out a large chunk of the Mumakil's health. This ability is a hero killer, and sometimes, multiple heroes can be caught in one trample (I've seen Aragorn and Boromir killed at the same time). Mumakil can also trample by walking, but this is much easier to dodge. Just as pikes are a hard counter to cavalry, fire is the hard counter for the mumakil. If one happens to ignite, it will sometimes freak out and run wildly at trampling speed, creating a large swathe across the battlefield. Unfortunately, your fun may be cut short by Saruman's fireball, which one hits a mumakil, so try and trample him before he gets it off. Haradrim lancers ride on the backs of a leveled mumakil, or one that is produced from a leveled Mumakil pen. They can be dismounted if the need ever arises, and this should be done right before the Mumakil dies, for they go down with the ship. Also note that tier 2 archers still do pretty high damage to the Mumakil, but they are not present in this matchup.



Battering Ram

Cost: 450
Siege Works (Rank 1)

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A battering ram is basically a log carried by a team of Orcs. It is very strong against structures, and cannot target any other type of unit. Rams are mainly used to sneak into the opponent's base or to finish an isolated fort. They can destroy it within 4-5 hits. When using a ram, try to make a meat shield of units around it to prevent enemies from attacking your ram. One strategy used with rams is to divert the opponent's attention to another point on the battlefield, and then attempting to wipe out his fort while he is focusing elsewhere. If you plan on trying to sneak a ram into the opponent's base, the earlier you do it the better, for it will become near impossible as the game progresses.




Catapult

Cost: 500
Siege Works (Rank 2)

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Catapults are often underestimated, for they have a large miss ratio, which makes them inaccurate at times. However, they only cost $400 each, which makes them the cheapest ranged siege unit in the game, so spam a few before trying to take a well defended fort. Catapults are also unique in that they are the only ranged siege unit that comes fully upgraded and is already equipped with fire stones. If you want to scare enemy units use the launch skulls option, which can also make the ground flammable. Tell one of the catapults to use skulls, and the rest of them fireballs. If they hit the same region that the skulls were used on, the ground will ignite. Always protect these units with a healthy meat shield so that they cannot be easily targeted.


Siege Tower

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Siege towers are a bygone unit that managed to squeak its way from BFME1 through the developers and into the game, but just barely. These units are only seen if you are playing on Minas Tirith, Helms Deep, or a custom map. If you enjoy playing those kind of maps, then this guide will not save you. If you need help understanding how the Siege Tower works this guide will not save you. Just kidding, read it anyways. But seriously.


Isengard Heroes




Lurtz

Cost: 1100

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Lurtz is seen in nearly every game involving an Isengard player, and for good reason. He has all the right qualities of a great hero--strength, speed, and ownage powers. On level 2 he gets Carnage, which gives an amazing damage bonus, an armor bonus, splash damage, and makes him turn a wicked red color. Note that when using carnage, his splash damage PWNs clumped units. I have once killed 5, count 'em, 5 Dwarven guardians coming out of a mine with Lurtz+carnage. At level four he gets Cripple and becomes a real pain for Mordor to face. Cripple can only be used while in bow mode, and it stops any hero (non-flying) in its tracks. Lurtz will then activate Carnage, run up to your hero, and allow you to listen to the dead hero playback. At level 5 he gains damage leadership, and at level 6 he gives cash to Isengard for every unit/building killed around him, similar to Scavenger. Make sure to keep your Nazgul away whenever you see Lurtz, and only go near him when you have a decent sized army around for protection or some other Nazgul or heroes.


Wormtongue

Cost: 2000

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Wormtongue is a very weak hero in the stats department, but he was intended to stay hidden and level up for strong powers. He is a support hero rather than a tank. He is usually not seen, but if you do see him, expect him to use "escape" at level 3, so that you cannot kill him when he is low in health. He also has a debuffing ability at a low level, that can decrease the armor and speed of units. At level 6 he gains his Backstab ability, which does decent damage to any hero and slowly degenerates their health over time. Later on, if your enemy manages to level him up to level 10, which actually occurs quite rapidly, he gains his most useful power, Corrode Allegiance: the ability to capture heroes temporarily. But, like I said, you usually won't see him on the battlefield, especially against Mordor.


Sharku

Cost: 2000

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Sharku is a cavalry hero, for he rides a Warg, and he is the only mounted hero Isengard has access to. Sharku is rarely seen, only in the occasional instance where the Isengard player is spamming Wargs. He has had many different changes over the patches, but none seem to make him used any more often than the previous one. He gives good leadership to Wargs, but, more often than not, it's better to save the CP and money and not get him, so don't expect much trouble from him if you see him. He can however be a decent harasser, but if you have 3 nazgul and the Mouth of Sauron he shouldn't be a problem.

Saruman

Cost: 3000

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For only $3000, or one devastation use and a bit more, your opponent can have a very deadly hero on his side. Here's why: his first power is like Gandalf's, a blast from his staff, which is able to kill large battalions. This power usually gets him to level 2, where he gets his second power, fireball, which does huge damage, especially to clumped units, and leaves a pool of flames on the ground. This power can one-hit a Mumakil, which is very depressing (trust me!). Level 4 is Speech Craft, which can bring experience to the selected troops and is useful in making that jump to level 2, allowing the units to heal. At level 6, Saruman gains the ability to take control of your units for a short time, which is VERY frustrating. At level 10 he gains a deadly lightening attack, similar to the one he may get from wizard tower on an upgraded Isengard fort. Saruman is a very deadly enemy, who can knockback your Nazgul, destroy armies, and is a huge threat to every clumped unit on the field. He also has high level leadership from level 1, which increases the stats of all units around him.


Isengard Units




Uruk-Hai

Cost: 300
Uruk Pit (Rank 1)

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Uruks are arguably the best swordsman in the game, possessing great speed and strength. Only Guardians can boast that they can take on Uruks, but Uruks are much faster. Needless to say our Orcs can do very little to take these monsters down. However, they cost $300, which prevents them from being spammed to the point that they are unmanageable to a Mordor player. Be careful though, if you let one run free, its high damage and speed will wreck your economy. In the recent patch, Orc Archers have gained a boost in damage against them (the Uruk rush, if done correctly, took out two resource buildings easy vs. Mordor). This buff allows one archer to pick off a good amount, and two to decimate them. Use a Nazgul to trample down these raiders. Do not send Corsairs to 1v1 them, for they survive two hits from them, due to the low damage the corsairs give against Uruks, especially when equipped with armor. They can go into Shield Wall formation, which increases their armor but decreases their speed, to become a meatshield for archers.


Uruk Cross-bows

Cost: 350
Uruk Pit (Rank 1)

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Think of these units as melee archers, or as shotgun bearing Uruks if you can bear the simile. The range they have is despicably small, but they have high damage output. With a Uruk meat shield they can ruin most melee units with ease, and can be equipped with Heavy Armor to make them more suited to the task of running right up to the enemy and shooting them down. Though they have relatively high damage, they die one vs one against your archers, even if you don't manage to shoot them at farthest possible range. Nazgul and the Mouth of Sauron eat them for breakfast, and their low range helps make Fellbeasts a good option in this match up. Crossbows also have a large attack delay, which means that their first volley of arrows comes very late. This allows your orc archers to get an extra hit in on their crossbows. They are often put behind Uruks in shield wall to destroy units attacking the Uruks.


Pikemen

Cost: 450
Uruk Pit (Rank 1)

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Few words describe the ownage that Uruk Pikes unleash. This unit is the best pike-man in the game, and these suckers will make quick work of your Nazgul and Mouth of Sauron. They even do irreparable damage to your trolls if it wanders to close to the battalion. Speed is the enemy here--don't let one battalion reach your base, for the pikes can easily destroy production buildings. Other than anti-cavalry, monsters, or production building roles, pikes can also be used to creep. If you can see one running out of the pit as the first unit, beware: he is getting the 400-600 bonus from a creep, and has a very, very tough pike that might be heading towards your orc pits. Watch out when these units are fully upgraded, for they will be able to deal massive amounts of damage while still having excellent armor. Counter pikes with corsairs or archers with a meat shield.


Beserkers

Cost: 300
Uruk Pit (Rank 2)

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Beserkers are the elite unit of Isengard, and rightfully so. They will kill droves of your Orcs without going down, and have a good defense against arrows. Isengard loves Beserker sneaks: he will get your attention with a diversion and drop a few by your fort. As few as 2 or 3 will do the job quickly, so watch your mini-map! Always have a back-up plan--Easterlings standing by is ok, but they can't handle 2-3, for the Beserkers are too fast. Having a Nazgul feasibly close can save your fort... since the Beserkers can be trampled down. This is the best way to take them out: knock down, attack, knock down, attack. Fellbeasts work well too. Taking them on in any other way is very hard, especially when they are mixed in with some pikes. The best way to beat them, is when they can't stand. Beserkers are very fast, so be extra careful if you see them running around.


Warg Riders

Cost: 500
Warg Pit (Rank 1)

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Wargs are not the best cavalry, but they are still deadly. Their howl ability grants them +60% damage, which will wreck your taverns, Orc Pits, Haradrim Palace, and just about everything else. They deal cavalry damage that is good against production buildings, and they can trample infantry decently. Easterlings are the pikemen for the job against Wargs, so keep a few near targets of opportunity (archers, upgraded tavern). Other counters that work are mounted heroes--Nazgul rip apart Wargs, and if they try to clump, Mouth of Sauron will one hit most of them. If you are still experiencing problems with them after you have Nazgul, get a Fellbeast and see just how quickly the Warg spam stops.


Battering Ram

Cost: 450
Siege Works (Rank 1)

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The result of a game is often highly in favor of, or highly against an Isengard player. If your opponent is being tightly pressed, be wary of one of these sneaking in to destroy your fort. The ram does exactly what it's name says: it rams! In 4-5 hits you will lose your fort. If one is headed to your fort, get heroes or pikes on it as soon as possible. It can't get unit locked, so get a head start on it, or place some pikes in front. A ram comes from a level 1 Siege Works, so it can show up early or mid-game. Rams can be killed by almost everything except Orcs.


Ballista

Cost: 500
Siege Works (Rank 2)

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Ballistas are the only siege without a miss ratio, but they are still rarely seen, except in the instance of a well defended base or campers. A Fellbeast one-hits a ballista, and heroes can't be locked by uruks protecting it, so if you need to hit them fast, use heroes. Ballistas are rarely seen in competitive play, but if they are, they should be around during the late-game as a last resort from level 2 Siege Works.


Mine

Cost:500
Siege Works (Rank 3)

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There is an infinitesimally small chance that you will see a mine in any competitive game, but they can be very devastating. A mine can destroy a fort, kill all of its expansions, and also any buildings on that entire side. However, don't you worry, because you can easily destroy the mine before it is armed or even reaches your base. If you are too late, don't shoot fire at it or let Saruman and his fireball near, because this will detonate it. Beserkers with lit torch also do the trick, so take them down. However, given the time, effort, and odds that a mine can be used successfully, they are very rarely seen, so don't worry about them too much. However, if you see that your opponent is making mines, get an Orc Archer with fire and head for his base, for you may be able to watch the mine blow up in your opponent's face.


Mordor Heroes



Nazgul (3)

Cost: 1100

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Nazgul have very low health and attack, but respect them! They are your cavalry, and they have ridiculous trample and great speed. For 1100 each, they more than make up for their price. I HIGHLY recommend getting one at some point (preferably early) in every matchup. They own Wargs, and can trample non-pike harassers into the dust. They have a debuff at level 2, which is a must against the leadership of Lurtz and Saruman. Nazgul are good against Uruks and Cross-bows when mounted, and pikes when unmounted. At level six they can cripple enemy heroes and units with Morgul Blades, and if a unit dies to this attack it becomes a wraith, which is nearly impossible to kill without heroes or archers because they heal when they attack any unit or building. The only thing about using a wraith is to target an enemy when using them, for they move twice as fast this way than when using attack move. At level 10 a nazgul gains the Screech ability, which will make enemy units run in terror. This power is rarely seen in competitive play. Nazgul can harass weak Furnaces with ease, especially when you have more than one.


Mouth of Sauron

Cost: 2000

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The Mouth of Sauron is an amazing hero. He has good damage, armor, and health, which makes him a tank on the battlefield. He also has a good mix of powers: debuff, a damaging eye power that is good against heroes, and the incredible dissent (acquired at level 10 though). He has a splash attack for clumped units and can mount and dismount. He can 1v1 a lot of heroes, and rides at a decent speed so he can pick them off as they flee. Use him riding alongside your Nazgul, for if you micro him correctly, he will be your best friend. Keep him alive and safe--failure to do so leaves a big gap in your army; he is very hard to replace.


Fellbeast (2)

Cost: 3000

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Fellbeasts are good flying heroes that are used to fend off harassers or pick away undefended melee units. The screech ability, acquired at level 1, provides an escape route for your Fellbeast, and all enemy units will flee in terror. If you want to get somewhere fast I recommend attacking a unit- their pursuing speed is much greater than their normal speed. Fellbeasts are very good against Isengard because they have no real counter due to the poor range of crossbows. Fellbeasts can knockback Lurtz even when using carnage, but watch out for Saruman's Fireball, for it takes out a decent chunk of health, but not too much.


WitchKing

Cost: 5000

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The Witch King is a very strong hero, but he had better be for $5000! He can wipe out whole battalions in one swing due to his large splash damage radius, which throws units around the screen. He is fairly fast on foot, and can also ride his flying steed. Lurtz is knocked back with every swing of your mighty mace, so the Witch King takes away a lot of problems right there. Level 2 he gains debuff, Level 6, a screech that will make enemies flee, and at level 10, the "Hour of the Witchking" which is rarely seen, but resets ALL power timers of an opposing hero. This is huge during any period of the game, and is quite useful against Lurtz or Saruman. Be careful with the Witchking, for he heals slowly and takes a long while to get back in the fight. Also watch out for upgraded units, they are your only real threat.