A Guide for the Student on the Ways and Means of the Warg and the Stalking of Prey

Video: The Lessons of Hyrakras

I watch a lot of warg videos in doing research for this blog. Most of them are at best mediocre and at worst completely awful. Occasionally I chance upon one that is really good and even rarer are the times I chance upon one that is truly sublime. This video fits into that last category.

It’s not a flashy video with lots of dazzling effects nor does it contain amazing staged set pieces. What it does have though is a brutally awesome simplicity to it and some really useful lessons for wargs looking to push themselves. For those reasons I’m going to spend a little longer than normal discussing this video.


It’s quite a long video at over 7 minutes, and some of it you can skip through to be honest, but nestled within it are some real gems. Before we get to those though let me just say something about the soundtrack as I am want to do with these videos. I really love the choice of music in this video; it’s very simple and the hand clapping builds a crescendo during some of the fights that has you rooting for our warg brother even more than normal.

Now as to the action itself there are a few key moments in the video and each one demonstrates a different lesson that we, as wargs, can use to improve our gameplay. I’m going to break each one down and give an overview of the lesson involved.

Fight 1 – Rune-keeper & Minstrel 0.00

This is the first fight in the video and it’s a great one. Now a warg going up against both a Rune-keeper and a Minstrel may sound like suicide at first glance, but not so for this warg! Not only does he kick the crap out of the Rune-keeper he then turns around and rips the Minstrel’s balls off. It’s a beautiful little fight and demonstrates some really key lessons to playing a warg.

First of all it demonstrates the success that can be had from taking risks. Normally going up against two freeps alone isn’t something a warg would be encouraged to do. However, here we see our brother taking a risk and it pays off big time. It won’t always pay off, but then it is never going to pay off if you don’t even try.

This is a really important piece of advice for wargs because we are, at heart, opportunists, and opportunists have to take risks from time to time. Don’t be afraid of death because sometimes death is on your side.

Fight 2 – Burger & Hunter 2:51

This is good fight to watch because it really underscores the opportunistic nature of wargs. The fight begins with our brother attacking a Burger and going at it for a bit until suddenly the familiar crosshairs of a heartseeker appear from nowhere. Now at this point our brother has two choices: fight or flight. He chooses the former.

Activating Disappear allows him to get close to the Hunter and engage in him melee combat. The Burger is still around, but that’s not going to stop the warg from getting a kill out of this! Here we see a great example of turning adversity into opportunity. That Hunter probably rode up thinking he was getting an easy kill because he figured the warg would continue with the Burger whilst he could burn him down fast. Our warg brother saw something different here though; he saw a target easier than the Burger he was fighting.

Now you might say that none of this matters because another Burger came along and killed the warg. That misses the point though. When that Hunter showed up the odds were suddenly stacked against the warg and yet he not only ignored those odds, he actually got a kill from it!

The lesson here is simple; see opportunity in everything and everything as an opportunity.

Fight 3 – Two Burgers & Friend 4:04

This is a great fight, not so much for the action, but for the strategy because it helps to flesh out the lesson from Fight 1. The fight goes as follows: the warg attacks a Burger and proceeds to start wearing him down. Another Burger shows up and engages the warg whilst the first Burger uses HiPs. The warg then proceeds to pound the second Burger into the ground despite his weakened state. Once the second Burger is dead the first Burger then re-appears and the warg re-engages him. The warg almost has the first Burger down when another freep shows up and finishes off the warg.

Ok so you might be thinking at this point that the lesson is the same as in Fight 2, the warg saw another target and went for that to try and salvage something from a bad situation. Wrong. That isn’t what you should take away from this fight at all. In fact the warg killing the second Burger isn’t what you should be focusing on here. Rather you should be looking at what happens after that second Burger dies.

By that stage in the fight the warg is very close to death and yet he does not run away. The first Burger is back and with considerably more morale than our warg brother. Why not just flee? Because the warg sees an opportunity even then. Look at how it plays out, the first Burger, even with the warg close to death, is trying to RUN from the warg! In fact the warg almost killed the first Burger!

This makes no sense on the face of it and yet it makes perfect sense when you stop to think about it. Why was that Burger running from a warg that was about to keel over dead? Two possibilities: the Burger either knew the third freep was coming and was trying to save the warg for his friend or the Burger was completely out of his depth and didn’t know how to respond to another player that would headlong charge into him when he wasn’t at full fighting strength.

Whichever it was isn’t important, all that was important was that the Burger was not fighting back. That gave our warg brother an opportunity for another kill. Now it didn’t work out in this case, but look how close he got. A lucky crit might have done the job.

The lesson here is tenacity. Don’t give up no matter how hopeless the situation seems. If you resign yourself to defeat when things look bad then you hand your opponent victory. It won’t always work out, but sometimes it will. Fortune smiles on the bold, ships named Enterprise and wargs.

Fight 4 – Rune-keeper & Friends 5:16

This fight is just awesomeness incarnate. It’s a very simple premise: the warg charges a Rune-kepper in the middle of a crowd of freeps. The freeps run around clueless for a few seconds before responding. The warg uses Disappear and then re-attacks the Rune-keeper and kills him before leisurely jogging off.

In a word: brilliant.

There are two really important things to take away from this fight: the element of surprise and audacity.

Notice that when our brother first attacks the Rune-keeper it takes several seconds for any of the other freeps to actually do anything. Watch the warg’s morale bar, it doesn’t move for the first several seconds despite being surrounded by freeps. Why? The answer is very simple, they were caught off guard. Because they weren’t expecting a lone warg to attack someone in the middle of their group they were stupified for a few seconds before they could respond.

Let’s look at how this attack actually came about though because that’s the real key to the fight. On paper it looks like a really stupid thing to do: charge into a group of freeps by yourself and try to get a kill. Yet that is what this warg did and it worked! We can follow tried and tested methods of course, and they do work, hence why they are tried and tested. That’s all very well and good, but convention is there to be flaunted.

The warg had focus here: he wanted a kill. Everything else is then unimportant if you put it in such simple terms. He did what he had to do to get that kill and it simply didn’t matter that there were other freeps around. The sheer gaul of it all only serves to make his victory all the sweeter.

In the words of Steve Jobs: stay hungry, stay foolish.

4 responses

  1. beissfest

    At least on my server (Morthond) these kind of fights don’t make any sense any more since especially the tactical damage is so over the top, there is no point in fighting. A (well equipped) hunter one-hitted a r13 reaver. The same hunter hit me for 10k flat (heart-seaker) while I was using every buff available in the game (perks, etc.). A ministral typically does 10-15k in 3s. A runekeeper hit me for 1.5k, 1.5k, 3k and 8k within 2-3 seconds. I don’t even want to talk about burglers or champs which we can’t even take down unless 3-5:1. Where is the point in fighting anymore?

    08/01/2012 at 7:02 pm

  2. I think that’s in large part due to the mitigation bug.It is really bad at the moment with that. To be honest it’s bordering on unplayable in my opinion.

    08/01/2012 at 7:54 pm

  3. beissfest

    I agree. Hopefully you are right with your assumption that it is mostly about the mit bug.

    I very much enjoy your blog by the way 🙂

    09/01/2012 at 7:29 pm

  4. Garofin

    Wow this Warg is the most awesome and amazing Warg i’ve ever seen and i’m really happy to be with him in the same tribe.

    We’re also plannig to create a Hyrakras Fanboy T-Shirt available in LotRo-Store for 995 TP.

    Nice blog btw.

    13/01/2012 at 1:37 pm

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