Middle-earth: Shadow of War Wiki
Talion collecting epic rune

Talion collecting an epic rune.

Runes are items in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor that add powerful buffs to the three main weapons, Azkâr, Acharn, and Urfael. These runes can be obtained by vanquishing Nemeses. Exploiting the weaknesses of an enemy will influence the type of runes they drop, and combining different runes will increase the power of Talion's weapons in different ways.

Obtaining Runes[]

Whenever Talion slays an Uruk Nemesis, they drop a rune which Talion can use to upgrade his weapons. Every Nemesis has certain weaknesses, such as a vulnerability to attacks from mounts or stealth takedowns, that can be exploited to obtain specific runes. For instance, if the player kills a Captain that has a weakness to stealth using a stealth takedown, the player will receive a stealth related rune.

Rune levels are based on the level of the Nemesis, though can be a higher level if certain actions occur:

+2 for War Chief

+1 for Knowing Weakness/Strengths (Intel)

+1 for Death Threat (Issue a Death Threat - Tier 3) *EPIC rune is NOT guaranteed for Warchief (though is a high percentage), or this could be when one kills a Warchief and having his living/ present bodyguard promoted, then killed before he escapes!

+1 for Exploiting Fear / Hatred (fire, flies, beasts, pain, etc.)

+1 for Revenge (having been killed by them before)

Example of MAX Level 26 rune: Level 20 (+20) + Warchief (+2) + Threatened (+1) + Knowing Traits (+1) + Exploiting Traits (+1) + Revenge (+1)

It should be noted however that a level 26 rune is only very slightly different from a level 25 rune.

Epic Runes[]

Epic runes are extremely powerful runes that can be obtained from Uruk Warchiefs or Captains. To obtain these epic runes from Captains, Talion must first dominate a Uruk, who must then be forced to deliver a death threat to a Captain. This Captain will learn that Talion is coming after him, and will prepare himself accordingly by surrounding himself with bodyguards. The Captain will drop an epic rune by chance upon death. This also applies for Warchiefs, the only difference is that to threaten them, you have to use a Captain. It is possible, but rare, to obtain epic runes without using death threats, the higher level a Captain or Warchief is, the better chance they have to drop an epic rune, however Warchiefs are more likely to drop an epic rune than a Captain. Vengeance on a Captain or Warchief that has previously killed Talion also increases the odds. The Story mode is also known to give Talion epic runes on certain occasions. There are also some exclusive epic runes which are only obtained through pre ordering the game, completing DLC Orc Warband missions, having a WBID account or buying the Steam Game of the Year edition which includes almost all exclusive runes listed (see below for exclusive runes).

Applying Runes[]

The player is able to add runes to Talion's weapons through the weapon upgrade menu. Every weapon can be upgraded with several runes, and these runes can be combined to make Talion's weapons even more legendary.

List of Runes[]

Acharn (Dagger runes)[]

Icon Name Effect
Balefire Balefire Recover +2 Elf-shot for a head explosion kill
Bane of Mordor Bane of Mordor Increases the duration of the Shadow of Acharn by +10 seconds.
Bare as Bones Bare as Bones (25+level)% Chance to get an automatic Critical Strike on the first hit in a Hit Streak chain.
Breath of Light Breath of Light Recover (10+level)% Health on a stealth kill.
Bright Fury Bright Fury 10% Chance to stun enemies near a Throwning Daggers or Brace of Daggers hit.
Chill Soul Chill Soul (25+level*3)% Chance to recover +50 Focus on a head explosion kill.
Choking Horror Choking Horror (25+level*3)% Chance to terrify more than two Uruks on a Brutalize kill.
Favor of the Lady Favor of the Lady Recover (10+level)% Health when completing a Drain or Brand.
Fell Voices Fell Voices Recover all Focus and all Health for killing a Captain or Warchief.
Forge of War Forge of War Recover +4 Elf-shot for each Drain or Brand.
Harbinger of Doom Harbinger of Doom (25+level*3)% Chance to recover +50 Health for each Drain from above or Brand from above.
Heart of Mearas Heart of the Mearas Doubles Elven Swiftness speed burst duration.
Hunters Instinct Hunter's Instinct Increases the range of Attract.
Light of the Valar Light of the Valar 15% Chance Uruks, Ghûls or Caragors can ignite when hit by Throwing Daggers or Brace of Daggers.
Lure of Power Lure of Power 33% Chance that any enemy near a Stealth Brand target will also be branded.
One With Nature One with Nature Immune to Poison.
Reckless Hate Reckless Hate Recover +4 Elf-shot for Combat Brand.
Rule Through Fear Rule Through Fear Recover (25+level*3)% Focus on stealth kill.
Spell of Ruin Spell of Ruin Recover +1 Elf-shot on Wraith Burn or Dispatch kills.
Sylvan Doom Sylvan Doom (10+level)% Chance to recover +5 Elf-shot from a Brutalize kill.
The Wolf's Head The Wolf's Head Increased knockdown chance on Throwing Daggers or Brace of Daggers.
To the Death To the Death Recover (25+level*3)% Focus for grab shank kills.
Voice of Power Voice of Power Recover +10 Health when you Stealth Drain or Stealth Brand.
Worm's Tooth Worm's Tooth (25+level*3)% Chance to recover +25 Health on a head explosion kill.
Oathbreaker Oathbreaker A Stealth Kill recharges the Shadow of Acharn at double the normal rate.

Azkâr (Bow runes)[]

Icon Name Effect
Ascendant Ascendant Reduces the Focus depletion rate by 50%.
Aura of Dismay Aura of Dismay (25+level)% Chance unaware Uruks near a headshot kill will flee.
Bow Master Bow Master Increases bow damage by 50%.
Broken Mind Broken Mind (25+level)% Chance to recover +4 Elf-shot on a Drain or Brand.
Explosive Demise Explosive Demise 20% Chance an area blast will happen around a charged bow headshot on Uruks or Ghûls.
Fell Handed Fell Handed A headshot kill recharges the flame of Azkâr at double the normal rate.
Fire Storm Fire Storm Adds a powerful blast to Fire Arrows.
Foresight Foresight Increases the bow distract range by 50%.
Howling Storm Howling Storm All weapon damage increased by (25+level)% while riding a monster.
Keen Eyed Keen Eyed Recover (25+level)% Focus for killing with the bow from stealth.
Knight of Eregion Knight of Eregion Recover +1 Elf-shot on Shadow Strike kills.
Nature's Wrath Nature's Wrath (10+level)% Chance to recover +2 Elf-shot on any kill while riding a monster.
Renewed Renewed (25+level)% Chance to recover +5 Health on bow kills.
River of Arrows River of Arrows (level)% Chance to recover one Elf-shot after firing the bow.
Sylvan Arrow Sylvan Arrow (25+level)% Chance to recover +30 Focus for a headshot kill.
Unbreakable Bond Unbreakable Bond Recover (25+level*3)% Focus after immobilizing an enemy with Pin in Place ability.
Wrath of the Eldar Wrath of Eldar Increases the duration of the Flame of Azkâr by +10 seconds.
Will of the West Will of the West (25+level)% Chance to recover +10 Health on a headshot kill.
Wind Rider Wind Rider Recover (25+level)% Focus on any Shadow Strike move.
Stand Fast Stand Fast Increases all bow damage by 100% when Talion's Health is below 25%.

Urfael (Sword runes)[]

Icon Name Effect
Betrayer Betrayer Increases all weapon damage by (10+level)% when hitting an enemy from behind.
Blade Master (Rune) Blade Master (Rune) (25+level*3)% Chance to recover full Health when Hit Streak reaches 30.
Blade of Gondolin Blade of Gondolin Combat finishers recharge the Storm of Urfael at double the normal rate.
Bones of the Earth Bones of the Earth Recover +3 Elf-shot on a Flurry Kill.
Burning Pitch Burning Pitch 15% Chance to ignite enemies on a Counter.
Cold as Stone Cold as Stone Increases stun and knockdown durations on Countered enemies by 50%
Dread Visage Dread Visage 33% Chance to cause an Uruk's Head to explode when they are killed by Wraith Flash or Wraith Burn.
Drive them Back Drive them Back Countering enemies restores +3 Health.
Elven Grace Elven Grace 50% Chance to reduce melee damage by 50%.
Evenstar Evenstar Recover full focus when Hit Streak becomes charged.
Foe Hammer Foe Hammer Recover +2 Elf-shot on combat Execution kills.
For Vengeance For Vengeance Increases melee damage by (10+level)% at high Hit Streak range (30+).
Gnawing Fear Gnawing Fear Increases the terror caused by execution kills
Glorious Charge Glorious Charge 20% Chance to deal 10x damage on a Shoulder Charge.
Grim Resolve Grim Resolve (level)% defense versus ranged attacks.
Know No Pain Know No Pain (10+level)% Chance to recover + 5 Health on any kill.
Hidden Power Hidden Power Increases duration of Last Chance.
Life for Death Life for Death Recover +10 Health on combat Execution kills.
Mighty Rage Mighty Rage Increases the stun and knockdown durations on melee attacks.
Power of the Earth Power of the Earth Recovers (25+level*3)% Focus on a ground execution.
Quick to Anger Quick to Anger (10+level)% chance to recover +5 Health on each Critical Strike.
Ruination Ruination Increases the Storm of Urfael duration by +10 seconds.
Savage Onslaught Savage Onslaught Increases melee damage by (10+level)% at mid Hit Streak ranges (15 to 29).
Smite Smite Recovers (25+level*3)% Focus on Combat Flurry kills.
Stand and Fight Stand and Fight Increases all sword damage by 100% when Talion's Health is below 25%.
Storm of Battle Storm of Battle Boosts all sword damage by 50%.
Strength from Courage Strength from Courage Recovers (level)% Health on a Flurry kill.
The Bright Host The Bright Host Recover +1 Elf-shot for each Wraith Flash kill.
The End Comes The End Comes Uruks' Heads will explode on Wraith Blast kills.
The Undying The Undying Recover all Focus and Elf-shot on any Last Chance success.
Tower of Defense Tower of Defense Increases Hit Streak Reset Time +10 Seconds.
Wrath and Ruin Wrath and Ruin Increases the stun and knockdown durations on Wraith Flash.

Exclusive Runes[]

Icon Name Effect For Weapon How to Obtain
Black Arrow Black Arrow Recover +5 health on headshot kills Azkâr Pre-order the game for PS4. Reward for defeating the "The Flesh Burners" in a PS4 exclusive "PlayStation Legion Edition" mission. Buy steam GOTY edition.
Deadly Archer Deadly Archer Increases headshot damage by 25 %. Azkâr Pre-order the game from Amazon.
Defiant to the End Defiant to the End Never surrender as you gain an additional Last Chance to Return to the fray in combat against Uruks. Urfael Download the "Power of Defiance" Content.
Flame of Anor Flame of Anor 20 % Chance Critical Hits with the sword will ignite enemies and the blade's flames grow orange. Urfael Pre-order the game from Best Buy.
Gravewalker Gravewalker Increases the morale effect on enemies when they witness a Captain die. Acharn Sign into your WBID account through Palantir.
Orc Slayer Hidden Blade Stealth kill and Ground Executions deal extra damage to Captains and Warchiefs. Acharn Pre-order the game from GameStop.
Orc Hunter Orc Hunter Brutalize kills cause additional terror. Acharn Sign up for a WBID for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Orc Slayer Orc Slayer Combat finishers do extra damage against Captains. Urfael Pre-order the game from Steam.
Rising Storm Rising Storm Grant access to the Storm of Urfael legendary weapon power. Urfael Pre-order the game from Walmart.
Stinging Blade Stinging Blade Recover +50 Health on stealth kill Acharn Pre-order the game for PS4. Reward for defeating the "The Blood Hunters" in a PS4 exclusive "PlayStation Legion Edition" mission.

Lord of the Hunt Runes[]

Icon Name Effect For Weapon
Burning Blood Burning Blood Significantly increases melee damage while you are poisoned. Urfael
Consuming Consuming Using Drain on your mount restores all Focus. Azkâr
Faint Steps Faint Steps Arrows deal significantly more damage to beasts. Acharn
Gorging Gorging

Mounted Caragors gain extra Health when killing with Bite attacks.

Renewed Dominion Renewed Dominion Using Drain on your mount for Elf-shot no longer damages the beast. Acharn