Let me begin by warning that for the rest of the piece I will be relaxing our usual rules regarding bad language. I am doing so to tell you that Mozû the Blight is a motherfucker. I first meet this orc captain, and absolute scumbag, as part of the Arena quest in Minas Ithril. Mozû is the final opponent, and from his dialogue I think he’s actually an undefeated nemesis enemy imported from my Shadow of Mordor save file, which would at least explain his insane smorgasboard of resistances and abilities. These are what makes Mozû such an asshole to fight.
He’s immune to arrows, fire, ice, quickly adapts to being vaulted over, and regularly emits disorientating howls—but that’s definitely not the full list. Consequently, landing any sort of blow on the bastard is a nightmare. He also has a metric ton of health, which I swear at one point was regenerating. The only thing that reliably hurts him is poison, which is how I eventually beat him (after multiple failures) thanks to figuring out I have a lower level weapon that randomly inflicts poison on crits.
Making a monster
A few hours later, Mozû is back. This isn’t unusual for Shadow of War’s captains, as those with the ‘Death Defying’ perk will keep coming at you, much like talkative boomerangs. Due to his previous poisoning, Mozû’s face now looks like the aftermath of a fire in a chemistry lab, but otherwise he’s in good spirits. I naively forget about his annoying combination of abilities and enter the fight on autopilot, treating him like the other captains I’ve been dispatching. Big mistake. More than a dozen orc grunts swarm around us, I can’t get his health low enough, and eventually I lose.
Only you don’t just lose to Mozû. Instead of getting a quick-time prompt for a saving parry when you’re weak, instead you get ‘Humiliated’, which is another of his infuriating abilities. The upshot of being humiliated is that you get to keep your life, but you don’t get the health boost from a successfully blocked death strike. Instead you’re thrown back into the fray with a sliver of health, which in my case usually leads to another loss.
Okay, fine. Next time I’ll go in better prepared, use the surroundings to my advantage, maybe blow some stuff up… But if anything it goes even worse next time. Mozû chalks up another win, and I have to listen to him bang on about how great he is and how much I suck, all while his cronies chant “Mo-Zu! Mo-Zu!” Also bear in mind that each time we battle Mozû runs his smug mouth during the intro, whenever he humiliates me, and at the end of the fight. So with all that goading, it doesn’t take long before I am, in Hearthstone terms, completely on tilt.
I keep queuing up the nemesis mission to challenge Mozû, keep playing more recklessly, and keep losing. After each fight he levels up and I don’t, further decreasing my odds of beating him. It doesn’t help that Mozû starts reacting with disbelief that I’m still coming back for more. And, I am ashamed to type it now, but the truth is I probably lose half-a-dozen times in a row before taking a break.
At that point I decide to take the mature approach, leaving Mozû alone for the time being so I can come back once I’m overleveled. In a rare act of patience, I actually complete an entire other region, after which I feel like a confident, independent ranger. It turns out these feelings are misplaced. I return to Minas Ithril only to find that Mozû has leveled up in lockstep with me. No matter. I’ve learned so much on my travels, and unlocked crucial new skills, which should make for a fairer fight.
Mozû has also learned new tricks. In a bitter irony, despite the fact his sole fear is being poisoned, Mozû has seemingly taken a crash course in poison bomb making at Mordor University and these almost one-shot me. I try a few more times, face flushed with increasing fury, at the end of which Mozû has reached level 31, is laughing harder than ever, and I’m still marooned at level 24. I feel actual shame as I depart for another region.
Once there, it’s probably only five minutes before the prick turns up. “Ranger! Didn’t think you could escape, did you? I’ve followed you for miles…” Holy shit, this guy. Let me enjoy my videogame! I go to bed livid, wondering if Mozû is out there online terrorizing anyone else as part of the game’s vendetta missions. Perhaps we could form a support society.
Two things will happen in the next 48 hours. Either 1) I work out a way to finally overcome Mozû. I refuse to recruit him into my army, because of the embarrassment of having him help me, and I certainly won’t send a follower to assassinate him, not that I have any powerful enough ones. Or 2) I delete Shadow of War and go back to complaining about card games. Note that this article will be updated accordingly. Meanwhile, feel free to suggest advice in the comments below (on the assumption that I already know I need to git gud). More practical advice is desperately needed. Mozû must die.