Choosing between the War Mage and the Sorceress: A Comparison

Orcs Must Die 2 features two dynamic characters, the War Mage and the Sorceress. These characters have a few key differences that distinguish them from one another and make their play style unique. Matching character attributes to gameplay style should be considered when making your choice.

Let’s start with general descriptions:

War Mage: “Enjoys killing orcs. Sturdy and stupidly brave.” The War Mage is more of a fighter than a caster with unique weapons that are most effective when up-close and personal with orcs. He features extra health which allows him to take damage in battle without substantial consequence.

Sorceress: “Enjoys being in control. At her best when fighting at long range.” The Sorceress is a caster who excels at manipulating hordes and nuking them from a distance. Featuring extra mana, she is ideal for using specialized weapons and abilities, but is more susceptible to dying when face-to-face with her enemies.

Now on to the specifics…

Starting Items:

Each character starts Orcs Must Die 2 with a unique weapon

The War Mage starts with the Blunderbuss, essentially a shotgun that can blow orcs to bits up close, but lacks effectiveness at range. Its secondary attack shoots a grenade over a short distance that damages and throws enemies. The secondary attack uses mana. The Blunderbuss is useful early game for its ability to blow up hordes where few traps are available. However, it quickly becomes out-classed by other weaponry unlocked throughout OMD2.

The Sorceress starts with the Scepter of Domination. This weapon’s primary attack has high attack speed with low damage and can be charged to become a high damage AOE nuke. The secondary attack charms an enemy, causing it to attack other enemies around it for a short time. The Scepter of Domination is a very useful weapon, primarily for its charged primary attack and utility of its charm. This weapon maintains its usefulness throughout Story Mode and Endless Mode.

Starting Traps:

Each character starts with two unique traps.

The War Mage has Tar traps and Arrows Walls available at the beginning of Story Mode.

Tar trap (Click for Trap Info):
One of the most useful traps in the entire game (Check out 3 Reasons Why Tar is the Best Trap). Tar traps are cheap, always active, effective against an unlimited number of enemies, and have a powerful slow. Tar traps are one of the main reasons why War Mage is a great character to play.

Arrow Wall (Click for Trap Info):
Arrow Wall is a damaging trap that shoots arrows at enemies. It can hit multiple targets, but only hits enemies in a line. Additionally, arrows hit only single targets and volleys may, therefore, fail to hit enemies deep in its range. Damage is moderate, but its effectiveness is limited without other traps. With upgrades for setting enemies on fire or chilling enemies, Arrow Wall can be effective for building combos. An added bonus is a special upgrade allowing it to be placed on ceiling locations. Arrow Wall is a useful trap, but becomes less valuable as the game progresses.

The Sorceress has the Ice Vent and Acid Sprayer at the beginning of Story Mode.

Ice Vent (Click for Trap Info):
Ice Vent has the same functionality as Tar, but is generally less effective. Ice Vent freezes enemies and can be upgraded to apply an additional chill. While frozen, enemies take double damage. It is effective at controlling enemies, but has two major drawbacks. First, Ice Vent does not function constantly. This allows orcs to advance freely while the trap is inactive. Second, Freeze is not great for building combo scores as it removes many other applied trap effects. Ice Vent is sometimes useful for playing the Sorceress in Solo Mode, but is largely unnecessary for Coop.

Acid Sprayer (Click for Trap Info):
Acid Sprayer is the Sorceress version of Arrow wall, using slimy green acid instead of arrows. It can be upgraded to have a poison slow, but cannot be placed on the ceiling. The big advantage of the Acid Sprayer is an in-line attack that hits everything in its path. As with the Arrow Wall, the Acid Sprayer damage output is moderate and combo contribution is good, but is only effective in conjunction with other damaging traps. Slows from traps or weapons are necessary for the Acid Sprayer to hit enemies effectively. This trap is moderately useful throughout the game particularly for its applied slow.

Other Unique Items:

The War Mage and Sorceress unlock other unique items throughout the game.

The War Mage and Sorceress each unlock a unique Well which does no damage, but provides either health or mana to the player. The War Mage unlocks a Healing Well. The Sorceress unlocks a Mana Well. Both of these traps come with a high coin cost and are generally unneeded during Story Mode. Mana Wells are sometimes used in Endless where mana potions are limited.

The War Mage and Sorceress each unlock a unique weapon as well. The War Mage unlocks Dwarven Hammer, a melee weapon effective at blowing up groups of enemies with a spinning attack. This weapon has high damage, but has little utility. The Sorceress gets Polymorph Ring, a useful weapon that randomly transforms enemies. Polymorph Ring’s secondary attack transforms the Sorceress into an ogre, with an associated increase in health and damage. Polymorph ring is a powerful weapon throughout Orcs Must Die 2 Story Mode and is especially useful for Endless Mode.

Other Differences:

Character gameplay for the War Mage and Sorceress are very similar with one major exception, jumping. The War Mage unlocks a double jump (spacebar twice) and the Sorceress unlocks a gliding jump that allows her to cover vast distances from a single jump or leap from a ledge.

Character Skins:

You are going to look good!

There are significant differences in appearance between the War Mage and Sorceress. The War Mage is a well-built square-jawed Ryan Reynolds sort of character who has to fight off hopeful lovers as often as orcs. A decent selection of skins is available to fit your mood. The Sorceress is a well-endowed heartbreaker who can charm any man as effectively as any orc. If you are looking for some feminine eye candy reminiscent of Kim Kardashian, then the Sorceress is your girl.

Final Thoughts:

We’ve compared the unique items, gameplay styles, and characteristics of the War Mage and Sorceress. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and a little guess-and-check. Regardless of which Orcs Must Die 2 character you choose, you are going to have a fun time slaying orcs.

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2 comments on “Choosing between the War Mage and the Sorceress: A Comparison
  1. Michael says:

    if it wasnt for tar sorceress items are way better. But tar is f****ng amazing…
    i have a question: does polymorph ring also polymorph the hughe gray trolls and the biggest elementals ?

  2. Jim says:

    “well-built square-jawed Ryan Reynolds sort of character” you obviously have not seen Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness. I think the war mage is a copy of the main character, Ash, from those movies, not that it makes a difference.