Mercenary Guide

    • Blackwood wrote:

      You should tag the mercenaries you have, even if they're pending a chance for a write-up, so that onlookers can see which ones you're still missing. :whistling:
      Oh, good idea, I'll do that right now.

      SlayerStronghold wrote:

      Brosi is really easy to build - all infusion devices and curios and daarmak, mind games, the other 5 shard card and some ruby sapphire prismatic cards (best draw) - you have a good chances to combo out on turn 3-4 going infinite with one daarmak.

      CoSVII wrote:

      I agree Brosi is super easy with the three 5 shard cards and Daarmak is MVP win Con.
      Alas, I don't have Daarmak, and I was trying to avoid suggesting specific cards (Unless they're something you can attain from singleplayer events). I'll try your advice on aiming for multishard cards and see how that goes for me though!
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Okie dokie, guide has been updated with four new Mercenaries (Brosi-Buk, Mother Beatrice, Scabtongue and Xarhrax). Wanted to thank @SlayerStronghold and @CoSVII for their advice regarding that little Fae hero.

      I won't update the list until after the weekend (I'm busy Saturday, and I'm pretty sure my spouse will kill me if I neglect her for the third day in a row), but I'm hoping to start up at least three new Mercs on Sunday.

      Just a reminder, if anyone wants a Boingo (That sounded like a euphamism), just let me know!
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Well, unfortunately the damn character limit means I'm already out of space for these new ones. I managed to squeeze Lillyth in to the third post, but the others are all going here (Unless a mod/admin can give me more space/posts to write in up top).

      Luther Rumbleblitz
      Thanks Fred for this mini-mechanic. Definitely a niche Mercenary to start: His ability will give one of your troops Flight, Rage 1 and will let them destroy an opposing artifact - but only for the turn. If your opponent doesn't have an artifact in play, it's basically just an option to quickly sneak in a single shot worth of damage (Assuming they don't have any Skyguard/Flight troops in play). Plus when he has five troops in a crypt, he'll void them and put a crank rocket in play. When upgraded, however, he deals one damage for artifact of yours that dies. If you've seen the obvious method of use, congrats, because it took me a little while: Dreadlings. Summon as many of the little buggers as you can. They'll rush in, do a single point of damage, and then die. This guarantees a minimum of one damage to the champion for ever Dreadling that pops up, plus after five of them die, you can basically annihilate any troop that troubles you.s.

      Nogg Nogg
      Thanks Fred for this weird dog. Nogg Nogg is a very odd feeling Mercenary. Her ability is very pricey, at five charges, and gives Gladiator 5. This can let Swiftstriking troops just erase enemies on the offensive turn, while allowing Lethal troops to defend against anything defensively. She also comes back to life with 13 health the first time she would die (Which also provides three drawn cards when upgraded). Please note, that only refers to dying by health damage - if you're milled, you'll still lose. Obviously, troops that can take advantage of Gladiator play extremely well with Nogg Nogg, as do the aforementioned Swiftstrike and Lethal traits. The deck only allows for three Ruby and Wild troops (Please see: Gnolls), and two Blood and Shardless. You can't have any Diamond, Sapphire or Quick Actions. This last one hurts, because Ruby Aura would be a fantastic pairing with her.

      Slamvolt
      Thanks to Fred for this angry robot. Using Slamvolt was an odd experience for me, but one that was really fun once I figured him out. His charge ability is totally free to use, and has a 50/50 shot of reducing your charge amount one level. Using it also exhausts the troop it hits, which can be awesome for abusing Diligence and "When this readies" effects (Of which Dwarves have several cards). The other trait to keep an eye out of is Lifedrain, because having his charge level at three or four can get you a bonus card draw, but it'll cost you health. There's also a minor benefit in cards that take advantage of charge-gain. All in all, he can be a little random to use because he will gain a charge randomly when a troop comes out, and lose a charge randomly from his ability, but using him intelligently can minimize that randomness somewhat. In deckbuilding, he can use two of any shard, but cannot use Elementals (Unfortunately, since they have several charge-based abilities).

      Tafford the Tireless
      Thanks to Fred for this tired-looking human (Ironic). Know what you haven't seen several times already in this list? A constant-themed Mercenary! Tafford is yet another one of these, and like the other two, benefits from having several cheap constants in his deck. His ability will pull a random troop directly in to play (Thank god) whose cost is equal to the number of constants you control. As a result, having multiple cheaper constants is better than one expensive one. On top of that, ensuring that you have lifegain happening each turn can win the game on its own, as both champions will lose two health each turn that they have three troops in a Crypt. While he can have four diamond cards, or two of every other shard, constants bypass this limitation. In general, most of the constant we want are diamond anyways, but it leaves you the option for a second shard if that helps round out your deck. When upgraded, he can absolutely punish opposing action-based deck

      The Transcended
      Thanks to Fred for this Dr Manhattan cosplayer. The Transcended has shot up to one of my favourite Mercenaries in the game. His ability is a commitment - once you hit it, you begin meditating, but take any damage, and it gets wasted. After two turns of meditating, you get get a random "Enlightened" card, which are excessively powerful actions that can basically win you the game when played (One doubles the damage of all your troops, for example). Making this easier is the fact you can see the opponent's hand when meditating. The downside to him is that you can't have any rare or legendary cards at all, which complicates deckbuilding. In general, aim for cards that will dissuade the opponent from attacking - Lethal and Swiftstrike can be wonderful for that. Armor can also help.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Firellius wrote:

      In regards to the Transcended: The Ruby Enlightenment stacks multiplicatively. So the first will give you x2 damage, the next bumps that to x4, then x8, and so on.
      That's awesome! I haven't had it go that far yet, since it's usually game over by the time you get the first one out, and I haven't had a game go longer than two Enlightened cards yet.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Lobo, Reader of Streams
      Thanks Fred for this ghosty mutt. Much like others, this guy is your default Coyotle MercenaryTM architype. His ability will void all troops currently in play (boo), but then puts them all right back in to play (hooray). As a Coyotle player, this means getting extra super prophesied troops out as the game goes on. His upgraded trait makes this obscenely powerful, allowing you to play troops right off the top of your deck, while his default trait will let you know when either Champion has a troop on top of their deck. This makes him fairly consistent for planning around. He can't have Shin'Hare in his deck (Not that you were going to anyways), while he can have four of any Coyotle, up from three Diamond, Sapphire or Wild cards he can normally use. Obvious Coyotle tie in to his deck well, but so too do Deploy, Rabid and other one-time abilities - experiment with what you have.


      Thulgrund
      Thanks to Fred for this Orc who's proud of their rock. Thulgrund is almost a perfect match of Zurxathil above, only Ardent. Like Zurxathil, he's based on getting out at least one of each race (Though Ardent in this case), in exchange for copies of their groups "default bonus" - Valor here, as opposed to Dreadlings. Exactly as before, cards that take advantage of this can be a HUGE boon, because you'll be getting a boatload of them, and once you have all four races on the board, you will see a noticeable shift in power. As before, Recruiter (Obviously substituting Underworld for Ardent) makes a big difference, so you should almost certainly be using them. The other way to use him is identical to Zurxathil: As a Conscript-focused Mercenary, treating the trait as a "bonus option" rather than the main focus. As before, this will be handled the opposite way as the former strategy: You want expensive troops, not cheap ones. For deckbuilding, he'll need at least two differently named troops from each Ardent race, and leans primarily towards Diamond and Ruby shards.


      Obliteron Kor
      Thanks to Fred for this Sharky Eye of Sauron. Obliteron Kor is all about those multishard cards. Multishard actions get one less cost to play (Awesome) and your Multishard troops get +1A/+1D while in play (Handy). Plus when you reach a whopping six charges you'll summon a random Terminus (Which typically tend to be powerful as heck). While the super obvious thing to say here is "play a bunch of multishard cards", there's also something to be said for having a few socketed cards within, as they can take advantage of all the prismatic cards in play, and you won't be quite as beholden to getting the "right" resources out all the time. Which brings me to the difficult part of Obliteron Kor: Deckbuilding. He can only take one copy of any non-prismatic card (Though four prismatic copies), and making sure you have enough resources in play to take advantage of those prismatic cards can be a nightmare. Unlike other Mercenaries, rushing to get all five shards ASAP isn't particularly viable, as it'll negatively impact your ability to play prismatic cards if your deck is full of artifacts to gain thresholds. Perhaps moreso than any other Mercenary I've tried so far, Obliteron Kor requires the most experimentation to get "right", and they'll also be one that gets revisited often as your card inventory grows.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • SaintVicarious wrote:

      Obliteron Kor
      Thanks to Fred for this Sharky Eye of Sauron. Obliteron Kor is all about those multishard cards. Multishard actions get one less cost to play (Awesome) and your Multishard troops get +1A/+1D while in play (Handy). Plus when you reach a whopping six charges you'll summon a random Terminus (Which typically tend to be powerful as heck). While the super obvious thing to say here is "play a bunch of multishard cards", there's also something to be said for having a few socketed cards within, as they can take advantage of all the prismatic cards in play, and you won't be quite as beholden to getting the "right" resources out all the time. Which brings me to the difficult part of Obliteron Kor: Deckbuilding. He can only take one copy of any non-prismatic card (Though four prismatic copies), and making sure you have enough resources in play to take advantage of those prismatic cards can be a nightmare. Unlike other Mercenaries, rushing to get all five shards ASAP isn't particularly viable, as it'll negatively impact your ability to play prismatic cards if your deck is full of artifacts to gain thresholds. Perhaps moreso than any other Mercenary I've tried so far, Obliteron Kor requires the most experimentation to get "right", and they'll also be one that gets revisited often as your card inventory grows.

      So fun tip about Obliteron Kor, just focus on two or three colors if you can. It makes the deck A LOT more consistent.

      For example, a [DIAMOND] [SAPPHIRE] deck of fliers works really well with Kor.

      But one of my favorites is a [RUBY] [WILD] deck:
      hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/deck=337430

      There are a lot of silly interactions, such as Dogpile (which is AMAZING with obliteron. It only costs three and then will create 2/2 creatures if there is extra damage) + Pack Plower (with equipment). With Dogpile creating Gnolls and then Pack Plower giving +3/+3 per Gnoll, you get a HUGE army.

      And of course, Periwinkle is also which can duplicate several cards in the deck, including the reduced cost Ballroom Blitz. Kor's cost reduction only applies to cards in hand, so when you play Ballroom Blitz, it will get duplicated by Perri, and with equipment, that means a 4/4 will get created because the copy will see the original card in the crypt when it resolves.


      Kor is currently one of my favorite mercenaries; I've built a deck of each color pair and loads of fun with all of them.
    • Mstrauss wrote:

      Only a two or three color deck is a good idea and it adds many possibilities.

      But the resource of choice is allways Brewed Ambrosia! I know its expensive, but it lets you play prismatic 2 cost cards on turn 1, which is always fun! :D
      I specifically shied away from suggesting any specific cards that couldn't be gained exclusively through playing. If someone wants to build a deck using that, they totally can! I just don't want them to look at a Mercenary and think "I need to invest in order to even justify that Mercenary". On top of that, I truly believe deckbuilding is one of the most fun parts of the game, I wouldn't want to deprive someone of that.

      I usually build two-shard decks, however when it comes to prismatic cards, there's not a lot you get through singleplayer (With the sole exception of Hardshell troops and each race's "special" troop), which usually ends up meaning having to draw from a larger pool of shard types.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Transience wrote:

      Brewed Ambrosia is a FRA drop though, you can get it just by playing.

      At least that's what I'm told, 50+ FRA runs in after Brewed Ambrosia was patched in and I have yet to see one, but in theory..
      Sorry, I should've clarified my point, I apologize: When I say gained through playing, I mean guaranteed drops. I don't mind recommending something like "Deployment Orders" or "Gareth Kay", because a player will definitely get those just through playing. But I don't want to recommend something like Lady Devonshire, because although they could get her through playing, they aren't guaranteed (Hell, I've played through campaign well over a dozen times already, and I've only got one copy of her).
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Alright you lucky lads and lasses, I finally have a really small update (Just two Mercs today, the third I tried went too poorly for me to make recommendations):


      Spirit of the Triumvirate
      Thanks to Fred for this Lion head (Accidental rhyme). This might be one of the most confusing Mercenaries I've ever had to use, because they don't provide information about which tokens you have. This guy has two big things: He can put out a Dragon Guard Stalwart (0A/5D Human) for three charges. The other aspect is they gain a counter for playing three cards in one turn (The Dragon Guard doesn't count as played), gaining three health in one turn and for having three troops attack and survive in one turn. I've found having cheap Flight troops (Or using Inspire to make cheap Flight troops) with the default Adamanthian Scrivener you start with can help in both fronts. The Scrivener will allow you to get three health the very first time you play three troops, and the flying troops are typically better at hitting the opposing Champion and surviving compared to Crush troops. You don't have to do them all in one turn, once you've done one task, it stays done. Once you've done all three, you can turn in to the Triumvirate, whose charge power becomes "Draw One Card, then deal 1 Damage to the Opponent for each card in your head" for the same three charges. Chances are you're likely about to win anyways by the time you transform, but that ability basically guarantees it. For deckbuilding, I've found Diamond and Sapphire are your best picks (With Ruby and Shardless being the only other ones you can take), giving you options for Life Gain from Diamond, and easy ways to damage the opponent from Sapphire. In spite of the transformed ability, don't lean too heavily in big card draw, getting to that stage is a nightmare in itself. As an aside, Spirit-cat here can't take any Necrotics, but that's just fine with us.



      Naryip
      Thanks to Fred for this bipedal deer. I really wasn't excited about using Naryip at first, but they turned out to be a pleasant surprise. They really emphasize foresight - reaction becomes literally impossible with them, as they aren't allowed to take any quick cards when deckbuilding. Thankfully, they also help prevent the opponent from messing up your carefully laid plans by making their actions five cost more expensive (During your turn only, however). This can basically shut down action based decks. As for him, he is all about those troops - in fact he requires at least 25 of them in his deck. On top of that, he can take four Wild cards, four Beasts or four Gnolls but only two Ruby, Diamond or Shardless cards, and only one Blood or Sapphire card. Deckbuilding becomes remarkably easy for him - aim for Wild, and aim for powerful cards, because they're likely to survive. Gnolls ironically aren't overly useful in this deck - it's improbably that you'll have troops dying for them to take advantage of.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by SaintVicarious ().

    • Count Davian
      Thanks to Fred for this creepy old man. I figured in the spirit of Father's Day, I'd use the vampire's patriarch, Count Davian. I've actually been pretty excited about him, because his playstyle sounded really structured, and it is: Right out of the gates, you lose two health every turn, and you only start with 22, so you'll need to keep yourself alive long enough to survive long games. His ability allows you to have one of your troops battle a random opposing troop. I underline the random part, because it means you shouldn't be reliant on it for consistent results. His other passive means whenever you kill a non-artifact opposing troop, you'll either turn it in to a Vampire (Or Vampire Princess when upgraded) and take control of it (Which is awesome), or you'll void the troop (Niche use at best, generally irrelevant). It doesn't take a super genius to see there's two things Papa Bloodsucker here lines up with: Lifedrain and Vampires. Incidentally, he can take four Blood (See: Vampire) cards, Four Lifedrain cards, Three Wild and Two Diamond cards. And one of the most thematically appropriate restrictions: He can't take any card that has "Sun" in the title (Might be my favourite deck-note in the game). As said, investing heavily in to Vampires (Kismet's current offering are all Vampire-based) is one pretty awesome option, as you'll almost always end up with a plethora of Vampires on the board. The other consideration is of course, Lifedrain troops, just enough to keep him alive. Once upgraded, a third option opens up by playing cards that relate to actions, as the sheer quantity of Vampire Kisses you'll be playing can become absolutely nuts.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • Hoo'vis O'Shearskin
      Thanks to Fred for this crazy sheep. Hoo'vis seemed almost impossible to make competent when I first looked at him: Almost none of his stuff seems particularly good. His active is a three charge cost for a +1A per attacking troop, but only this turn. Which is weak. His first trait takes any damage, turns them in to Berserk Counters, and removes half (rounded up) each turn in exchange for one health each. Which is basically irrelevant. His last trait makes sure he can't gain health. Which is terrible. Then after all that, he can only take four Ruby, three Diamond and one Shardless, and cards with "Lifedrain" can't be taken (Not that you could use the effect anyways). The closest I came to competency was with a deck full of Orcs and Armor. Orcs will take advantage of the fact you take damage over multiple turns, and Armor will let you straight up ignore a lot of that damage. Unlike most Mercenaries, you should be willing to sacrifice any troop if needed, because even a small hit will permanently weaken you for that battle. Damage mitigation becomes his raison d'être as a result.

      Ho'ten To'ta
      Thanks to Fred for this tall scorpion. This guy/girl/arachnid is To'tally fun to use, being focused completely on being having the very best, like no one ever was had. If you have the troop with the most attack on the field, when you go to your combat phase, all of your troops gain Rage 1 for that phase. Which is absolutely hilarious when combined with Swiftstrike troops, who can rapidly spiral out of control. And if you find yourself about to go to combat and don't have the troop with the most attack, his/her/its ability will let you double the attack of a single troop for one turn, which will almost assuredly put you back on top. Obviously, troops that work well with him/her/it are troops with Rage, Swiftstrike and troops that get stronger every turn (Such as Chupacabra, which you get in Adventure Zone 2). Now, the hard part with To'ta is deckbuilding: You must have ten troops whose attack is higher than their cost. This is harder than it sounds, because you can't take any Diamond, Sapphire or Wild cards, are limited to two Common/Legendary Shardless (One Uncommon/Rare) and three Common/Uncommon Blood or Ruby (Two Rare/Legendary). Orcs tie in well here, but the big variable is going to be filling those ten mandatory glass cannons. I had to scrounge in order to make the minimum.

      Shamrock
      Thanks to Fred for this Irish midget. Shamrock is possibly one of the easiest Mercenaries in the game to use, because almost any kind of troop will work well with them. His default ability gives a troop Momentum 2, which is ridiculously powerful all on its own. But then he also has a default trait where any troop with Momentum generates a Lucky Coin when they damage an opponent. If/when you upgrade him, you'll also draw a card after playing a Lucky Coin (Which thanks to Fateweave is exceedingly easy to direct your card draw). On his own, he's pretty much impossible to use "wrong". However, there's a couple things you can do to turn him from "potent" to "broken". Troops with Unblockable, Feral, Flight or Crush can be used to basically guarantee damage to the opponent, which is a huge boon. Troops with Momentum also tie in to his trait, and can generate multiple coins per turn as a result. Cards that allow you to play more than one resource a turn can become hilarious with the sheer amount of coins you can play. The only real challenges to his deckbuilding are that he must take four Rare or Legendary Artifacts, but he can only ever take two of the same Shardless card (So no running four Adaptatrons). Regardless, you are guaranteed to be able to meet that criteria (You get multiple rare Artifacts through the course of the game as guaranteed drops), even if they aren't optimal picks. Apart from that, he cannot take any Blood or Sapphire cards, and is limited to two Ruby cards, but can take three Diamond or Wild cards. Really, there's no wrong way to deckbuild with him, so just have fun with it.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.