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Rise of the Witch King

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Useless Turned Useful: Powers

The third big part of changes 2.02 brought was to powers. Basically, the 2.01 power trees offered one great path with useful powers, whereas other paths were underpowered. 2.02, fortunately, has taken care of this problem. In this guide, I'm going to list all the useless powers in the official patch, as well as explain how 2.02 has made them actually useful.

These Powers No Longer Suck:

Lone Tower Summon

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In 2.01, this power summoned a simple, non-garrisonable tower that had a weak attack and could be destroyed really fast. A free tower doesn't sound bad at first, but as you could not garrison it with units and the recharge time was really long, it was extremely inferior to all the other powers Men and Dwarven power trees offered.

What has 2.02 done to change this? Well, it has made the tower garrisonable and decreased the recharge time, so now you can actually regularly summon a tower in front of your enemy's base and send some archers in. Believe me, this is useful and definitely worth 10 PP.


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Unlike the other powers discussed in this guide, Farsight was actually used fairly often, considering that it lead to Tom Bombadil and Ent Summon. So perhaps it's a bit wrong of us to include it in a "useless powers" guide. However, the power itself was really weak. It had a very small radius, and the duration was only a fraction of the recharge time, meaning that you could not use it as a permanent scout.

In 2.02, the radius was greatly increased, as well as the duration, so you will now be able to permanently watch the enemy base.


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Undermine was useless as well, because it cost 15 power points, which was way too much. In 2.02, it's now a 10 power point power and is directly located after Rallying Call, so it comes a lot earlier and allows you to do devastating sneak attacks on the enemy base early on. Also, unlike in 2.01, Undermine now damages units that it is summoned under, so you should usually summon it on an enemy army before exiting your troops.

Summon Citadel

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Summon Citadel allows you to basically summon a Fortress anywhere on the map. This sounds like a great power, but there is one problem: it was at the end of a very bad power point path, behind Undermine and Cloud Break. Therefore, it was only used extremely late in the game.

In 2.02, that has changed. You can now buy Flaming Munitions for any Catapult expansions, which makes the Fortress much more powerful. It takes care of any building really fast, and with the improved defense (you can now build catapult and tower expansions, just like with a normal fortress), this power shines like few. To compensate, it has less health than before, and the catapult on top of the tower has been replaced with a Mighty Catapult so that you can only fire it once, rather than use it to besiege an enemy base. But it's still a very cool power, probably better than Earthquake.

Vision of the Palantir

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There's no detailed explanation necessary: Palantir has a much larger vision radius, and it lasts longer so that the power is recharged by the time your vision ends. Note that it's now the only way to get to Industry, making it a really good starting power.

Summon Dragon

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One more power that wasn't worth the 25 PP cost. 2.02 has greatly increased its attack speed, slightly increased its health, made it many times more resistant to pikemen, and increased its lifetime, so it's now almost as good as a Balrog.

Summon Barricade

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Whereas the other tower summons are now garrisonable, Mordor's Barricade just got a great health and damage increase. It's a really good assistance in battles and pretty hard to destroy. If you summon it right next to your Fortress, it will get Fire Arrows when you purchase them on your Fortress.

Untamed Allegiance

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Untamed Allegiance still works the same as it did in 2.01. It allows you to take control of a lair and recruit units from there. However, in 2.01, the lair monsters were really weak and expensive, so it wasn't even worth taking over a Fire Drake Lair. In 2.02, you can also recruit actually useful units from the creeps, like Warg Packs and Spiderling Hordes, rather than useless individual units. Plus, Fire Drakes are stronger and much cheaper, so using Untamed Allegiance on a Drake Lair is really useful.

Summon Wyrm

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Impossible to be controlled and really weak in 2.01, the Wyrm got a few great improvements. It can now be controlled and repositioned, which makes it a lot handier to use. It also got a big health boost and some armor changes, making it much stronger against archers. It does take more damage from structures' Arrow Towers than before, however.


I have decided to make a separate section for the Angmar PP Tree, because it was the worst in 2.01 and got the greatest changes and improvements.

Here's how the power trees look.


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and... 2.02

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As you can see, Blight was moved and now costs 15 power points. Wait... Blight was the most useless power ever! It wasn't even worth 5 power points, so why is it now tier three? Well, let's take a look at the Blight changes.

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2.01 Blight reduced the production of one resource building by 50%. That's extremely useless, and therefore this power was never purchased. 2.02 found a way to improve it: It's now like a great Well of Souls, turning anything that dies on the affected area into a Wight. Blight in 2.02 is one of the greatest tier three powers.

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So... Snowbind was moved to 5 power points. Was it nerfed? No! Snowbind was useful in some situations, but, to be honest, it was really expensive. 2.02 Snowbind can only affect one building, but that's OK, because as a 5 power point power it's much easier to get, so you can buy it whenever you have to save an important building, like your Fortress.

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Alright, Summon Wights is now 10PP? Yes. In 2.01, Wights were really lousy, and by no means worth a tier three power. Now, with Wights being stronger in general, it's definitely useful and a challenge to Gundabad Summon.

One last thing...


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The damage output of Avalanche in 2.01 was really poor. However, that has changed, and now it's worth 25PP, being able to kill any units in a great radius.

Aren't these changes themselves enough reason to play 2.02? Together with all the units and heroes turned useful, these articles show many good reasons to download and play the more balanced and fun patch!

Return to "Why Play 2.02?"