In Lord of the Rings: Rise of War, there are many unique factions to choose from. Each of them differs in starting units, location on the world map, and gameplay style. There are a lot of moving elements that will dictate how well you do during any of the game’s seasons. In this LotR Rise to War Faction Guide, we take a closer look at Isengard.
Isengard is an “evil” faction that lies in the southern part of the Misty Mountains, right next to Rohan and Lothlorien, protected/separated from them by an impassable mountainside. It’s home to the Uruk-hai overseen by Saruman the white, a powerful wizard lured to the evil side by the promise of forbidden spells and immense power.
This guide will assist you in determining if Isengard is the faction YOU should play. Keep reading this LotR Rise to War Isengard Faction Guide for all the details on Isengard’s buffs, troops, location, commanders, and some strategy tips.
Isengard Faction Buff
Isengard’s faction buff is called “Ring of Iron” and it allows Isengard players to conscript or hire units at a 10% discount in resources compared to any other faction. This buff helps out a bunch at the early stages of the game in Rise to War. When your kingdom is being built it is extremely hard to have enough resources to constantly have structures building, while also constantly conscripting units.
A 10% discount in resources when conscripting is a BIG HELP during that stage of the game. Unfortunately, transitioning into the mid-game, and especially late-game, this buff becomes just plain useless. When you build up your kingdom and get the vital structures, you will then be swimming in resources you can blow on your army, knowing that before they recruit you will generate more.
Furthermore, this will not do much when you come face to face with Rohan or Lothlorien players, who have buffs they can easily use to gain the PvP advantage, while Isengard struggles in that regard with their own buff. This, therefore, makes the Isengard faction buff quite weak compared to most other factions in the game.
Location of Isengard in Rise To War
Isengard was once a land filled with fantastical flora and breathtaking sights. Inhabited by many wonderous creatures, such as the Ents. It was a peaceful valley that cuts through the Misty Mountains that separate the northern part of the continent.
This all changed when Saruman sided with Sauron, tempted by the power of the one ring. He then ordered his Uruk-hai to cut down all the trees, put a huge dam on the river that cuts through the land, and erect machinery of war and conquest all around the valley.
Isengard is located on the west side of the misty mountains. This places them directly west of the center of the map, not too far from it actually. This makes reaching the center and Dol Guldur, the final goal of the game, quite easy. Well, it would be at least if Isengard was not separated from Gol Guldur by the neighboring good factions of Rohan and Lothlorien.
The faction of Rohan is extremely close to your home, uncomfortably close even. South-east of Isengard’s capitol there is a river crossing that upon using puts you near Rohan’s capital! If either Rohan or Isengard is undermanned in any given season, and one cannot stop the other at the crossing, that faction is doomed. And sadly, Isengard is most of the time dramatically undermanned.
Then, to the Northwest yet another good-aligned faction finds its home. If Isengard is doing good, it will sooner or later have to deal with Arnor, because the two factions usually expand towards one another in early and mid-game. Additionally, in the later phases of the game, Arnor will be looking for passage towards Dol Guldur, which just so happens to go through Isengard.
This is a lot of faction vs faction action, and with no PvP-focused faction buff to boot, Isengard’s chances to claim the one ring DO NOT look good in the long run.
The Unique Units of Isengard
Isengard has access to some decent neutral camps, nothing that crazy. Isengard’s starting position grants them access to many different types of resources, with the downside that you might be competing with Rohan or Arnor. On that note, there’s a lot of empty land east of Isengard and between them and Arnor. This means that there are a lot of uncontested power-generating structures near this faction.
Here are some of the neutral units found on and around Isengard territory:
|Unit Name||Unit Size||Damage||HP||Defense||Speed||Siege Power|
That is a truly crazy amount of neutral units. Very versatile in their usefulness too! Dunlending Warriors are a great standard, all-rounder unit that you can stuff into your army while not stuffing your conscription queues thanks to the separate “hire” queue for neutral units.
Hill-trolls are GREAT for sieging tiles and structures. They are not vital for Isengard, since their starting quarters feature the alchemist unit, which is objectively already one of the best siegers in the entire game. However, I suppose you can capture a Hill-troll camp earlier than upgrading your quarters to level 8 to unlock them.
The werewolves are another great all-rounders. Sadly their “creature” race prevents you from buffing them with most commanders.
Isengard’s T4 unique unit is the Snaga Thrak:
|Unit Name||Unit Size||Damage||HP||Defense||Speed||Siege Power|
The Snaga Thrak units are certainly unique, but not in a necessarily good way. Their base stats are all fine. A good mix of HP, defense, speed, and siege. The real outliner is the damage dealt. As you can see, they can hit as low as 6, or as high as 66. Making them either monsters that destroy the enemy army… or the most useless T4 unit in the game. And it is all up to an invisible “dice roll”.
Since I’m not a betting man, I HATE that aspect of this unit. Their unique skill “Cool-headed” makes them completely resistant to madness. This is great on normal servers where the good side might use evil side commanders. However, on roleplay-type servers, this is quite useless due to pretty much only evil units and commanders being capable of inflicting this debuff.
In addition, “Cruelty” makes the Snaga Thrak hit their own ally units for 20% damage to increase their next attack against the enemy units by 100%. Again, you could “crit” your own units, and then do nothing to the enemy. Or it could be the other way around. Welcome to the Isengard casino.
Arnor Starting Commander
The starting commander of Isengard is Sharku. And he is quite alright. He is capable of dishing out some juicy burn damage, and his last title unlocked via respect level 5 empowers warg-type units in a pretty significant way.
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