Rise to War Guide: Pros and Cons of Gondor

Minas Tirith
Faction Bonus Construction Time -5.0%
Faction Special Unit Swan Knight
Faction Commander(s) Faramir, Dwalin
Faction Capital Minas Tirith

Gondor is a Good alignment Faction with an excellent defensive position and access to powerful neutral units. With a heavy presence in the books and movies, Gondor is a popular choice for tacticians of all Seasons and is a frequent contender for the ring in many servers. Read on to discover the pros and cons of choosing Gondor as a starting Faction.

Table of Contents
Gondor Banner

Swan Knight

Swan Knights are highly defensive units that can protect allies from Normal attacks for the first three rounds of battle. They counter Physical Damage dealing units and are still effective against units that deal non-Physical Damage.

Are Swan Knights Useful?

Why should tacticians spend considerably more resources and time to conscript a unit that’s basically a glorified Mountain Troll? Despite being more expensive, Swan Knights still have three major advantages over Mountain Trolls:

  • Swan Knights are Mounted Units from the race of Men. There are significantly more pieces of equipment and structures that specifically boost these types of units (sometimes at the same time).
  • Swan Knights benefit from stat boosts due to their increased number of units per command. An [Army] HP +3 boost improves one command of Swan Knight’s health by 150 whereas it would only improve one command of Mountain Troll’s health by 12.
  • Swan Knights are significantly faster than Mountain Trolls and have the advantage of marching speed. This enables them to out-maneuver other armies that use more conventional tank units (ex. Guardians, Mountain Trolls).

Swan Knights are highly useful in most situations as a tank unit and greatly outperform all other tank-like options available to non-Gondor tacticians. They are an excellent benefit to Gondor and a pivotal unit in winning PVP battles.


Faramir is a Tip Master and Balanced commander. He has the same Guide title as Haldir but it is placed on his R3 tree. This makes him somewhat unusable until his R3 tree is unlocked. His Rangers of Ithilien tree provides a decent amount of commander damage and his R5 tree boosts the durability and damage of specifically Men units.

Faramir is somewhat useless which makes him a very difficult commander to start with. Especially for F2P player’s who are not able to improve his Respect level quickly. Luckily, Gondor tacticians also start with Dwalin (who is a very decent PVP commander).

A meme.

R0 Top Skills

Rangers of Ithilien

R0 Bottom Skills

Last Steward

R3 Skills

Armed Escort

R5 Skills



Strategically Defensive Starting Point.

Gondor has the advantage of being protected by Ered Nimrais, the mountain range to the north of the Bay of Belfalas, and the series of crossings that connect Lebennin and Harondor. These regions are easy to defend and Gondor has the strategic advantage in Season 3 with the use of Seafarers.

Additionally, this allows Gondor to expand and increase resource production in vast regions while largely unimpeded by rivalling Factions. Andrast, Nan Lefnui, Langstrand, Paths of the Dead, Lamedon, Belfalas, Dor-en-Ernil, Lebennin, and Anórien are usually always claimed by Gondor first.

Close Proximity to Multiple High-Level Keeps.

Gondor has multiple high-level keeps in close proximity to their starting region. For example, Osgiliath,  Pelargir, and Dol-Amroth are all Tier 12 keeps and give excellent Faction bonuses when captured (in Season 2 and above). These provide an advantage over other Factions for Season Progression and certain events (ex. Seize Control season chapter).

Additionally, these keeps are well protected by rivers and crossings and cannot be approached on all sides like the Tier 12 keeps that surround Dol Guldur. No other Faction (aside from Mordor) has this advantage.

Quick Access to Oathbreakers and Mûmakil.

Oathbreakers and Mûmakil are highly important units for PVP and farming. They are easily accessible due to their close proximity to Gondor’s starting region and can be held exclusively by Gondor for the whole season if strategically defended.

Mûmakil paired with high-skill-damage commanders (i.e., glass cannons) can stomp almost any army. Their combination of commander skill damage and unit skill damage is enough to out-damage most armies and can turn the tides of war when used properly.

Oathbreakers are great counters against Physical Damage dealing armies (ex. Théoden, Éowyn) and are cheap to conscript. Additionally, they are excellent for farming commander experience because of their weakness to Focus, Burn, and Poison damage.


Faction Construction bonus is useless.

The Construction Time -5.0% bonus is completely useless and can be supplemented by using a Structure Speed+ boost. Additionally, once all important structures are built, the Construction bonus becomes obsolete.

Restricted Access to Bree Riders and Eagles (and more).

Bree Riders and Eagles are situated in the northern parts of Middle-Earth and are very difficult to get to when playing in Gondor. These two neutral units are very useful in PVP because Bree Riders provide an alternative conscription source of Mounted Units and Eagles are the best pathers in-game.

Additionally, Gondor must fight through Rohan and Lothlórien to acquire access to Ent EXP farming and has relatively no access to Hobbit EXP farming when it is still useful in the early stages of the game.

Restricted Access to Dol Guldur.

The three most important regions next to Dol Guldur are Southern Anduin Vale (SAV), Central Mirkwood, and The Undeeps. However, SAV and Central Mirkwood are usually claimed by other Factions so Gondor must fight, typically against Rohan and Mordor, for The Undeeps Keep. Without one of these three regions, most Factions don’t stand a chance at claiming Dol Guldur.


In summary, Gondor has high strategic value due to its placement and proximity to high tier keeps. Additionally, Gondor has its fair share of powerful neutral units and an excellent special unit (Swan Knight). However, starting in Gondor at Season 1 may not be the best choice because of the poor quality starting commander (Faramir) and the lack of Structure Bonuses. In later seasons, Gondor can be a very good Faction to start in.

Thank you for reading!


Leave a Reply