In Lord of the Rings: Rise of War, there are several 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 perform together with your faction mates during any of the game’s seasons. In this LotR Rise to War Faction Guide, we take a closer look at Variags.
Variags is an “evil” faction that lies at the very southeastern corner of the game map, right next to Mordor and Rhun. It’s home to the evil men from the land of Khand, who much like the Easterlings of Rhun swore allegiance to Sauron and his army of darkness.
This guide will assist you in determining if Variags is the faction YOU should play. Keep reading this LotR Rise to War Variags Faction Guide for all the details on Variags buffs, troops, location, commanders, and some strategy tips.
Variags Faction Buff
The Variags faction buff is called “Furtive Mercenary” and it allows Variags players to gain 15% more exp and resources from killing neutral mobs on the world map compared to any other faction. This buff helps out a bunch at the early stages of leveling up your commanders in Rise to War. Because of the recent changes to the ring skill tree, “Mind Sharpener” (previously known as “Mock Battle”) is unlocked at ring level 30.
Prior to ring level 30, and the associated Mind Sharpener skill, gaining commander EXP can be a drawn-out process of NPC sweeping. This is due to the fact that up to that point strongholds captured by your faction do not generate ring power. Thus, this faction buff can really speed the process up until you reach this point.
15% more EXP generation from sweeping can easily give Variags an advantage over Mordor and Rhun if they are playing on a non-roleplay server where all evil factions work together. This makes them a big threat in the early and mid stages of the game. However, as soon as that phase is over, Variags will be pretty much even with all other factions but without any PVP buffs to help them out against their enemies.
That’s when “Mind Sharpen” becomes extremely useful, as it “automatically” trains your units while you can focus on more pressing matters such as sieging points of interest or defending your faction from invaders. Therefore, with the long game in mind, we believe that the Variags faction buff is mediocre at best compared to some of the more PVP-focused buffs in the game.
Location of Variags in Rise To War
Variags home is not something that was thoroughly explored in Tolkien’s stories and supplementary material. All we know of them is that they were men and served Sauron. However, the Rise to War developers crafted a very compelling narrative surrounding Variags with not much to work with.
They seem to be some kind of split-off, or maybe a different tribe, with a similar origin to the Easterlings of Rhun. They occupy lands beyond mount doom, which makes them very unique. Mordor and its surroundings were Uruk-hai territories, the chosen servants of Sauron himself. So it is very exciting to see men living in this barren, dark wasteland.
In-game, the Variags are located in the Southeastern corner of the map. Even further into the corner of the map than Mordor. This comes with privileges and downsides, as does any other position in the game, the most important being the neighbors.
Mordor to the West, Rhun to the North. Variags are very unique in regards to Mordor, as they spawn right up their rear, literally! I covered this in the Mordor faction guide, but lands of the dark are almost unconquerable due to two easily defensible access points. Except, for the eastern side of Mordor, the place where Variags spawn!
Thus, if you are playing on a non-roleplay server, where evil factions can fight each other, you can easily slide through Mordor’s backdoor and raise some hell. But this also translates into a serious issue with Variags. You will kinda need to do that if you want to reach Dol Guldur, the final goal of any game of Rise to War.
Why? Well, because they are pretty much landlocked in the corner between Rhun and Mordor, so you will need to fight through one of them. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that most hardcore Rhun players switched over to Variags since they are often viewed as an upgrade over Rhun.
The Unique Units of Variags
Variags much like Mordor and Rhun live on a barren desert. While there’s plenty of stone and ore to go around, you will find almost no 200+ power wood and grain tiles. Thus affecting your army production in a pretty significant way. At least until your faction starts expanding towards Gondor territories, which they likely will.
|Unit Name||Unit Size||Damage||HP||Defense||Speed||Siege Power|
That is a crazy amount of neutral units, and they happen to fulfill very different positions in your army too. Half-Trolls are a standard, all-rounder unit that you can hire into your army while not stuffing your conscription queues thanks to the separate “hire” queue for neutral units.
Great Beasts are a fine pick for sieging tiles and structures. They are a tier 3 unit, so their camp is a little bit easier to attack and capture, they are also obtainable fairly early in the game. However, they become obsolete as soon as you reach Mumakils as they are just better. Great for sieging and crushing your foes, and all around just a powerhouse with overtuned base stats.
In addition, Fellbeasts, much like Giant Eagles, are great hit-and-run assassination units for PVP tile-tag battles.
The Variags T4 unique unit is the Champion:
|Unit Name||Unit Size||Damage||HP||Defense||Speed||Siege Power|
The Champion units are pretty good with very respectable base stats. They have a good mix of HP, defense, damage, and a crazy amount of speed. Their main differentiator, however, is their unique skill which makes them target the highest tier unit in the enemy army first. This is great for focussing down the enemy’s main threats early in the battle.
Variags Starting Commander
The starting commander of Variags is Khaldoon and he is superb. He buffs “Evil men” units to a great extent, hits hard and is overall VERY strong for a tier 1 commander. You seriously do not need to upgrade him, unless you happen to pull a Witch King in the gacha minigame.
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