Hearthstone Mercenaries: All details for the new mode!

Prepare for Mercenaries—Coming October 12!


Welcome, recruits!

Hearthstone Mercenaries is the new game mode where you collect iconic Mercenaries, assembling Parties to take down procedurally-generated Bounties. It is an entirely new way to play Hearthstone, combining RPG and roguelike elements with some of your favorite Hearthstone characters. There’s a lot to take in, so we created a series of blog posts to help you jump right into Mercenaries when it launches on October 12!

This post will give you an Overview of the new Mercenaries game mode.

* Mercenaries is still in development and all stats and effects are subject to change. The Card Library will be updated when Mercenaries launches on October 12 to represent any updated versions.

The Mercenaries Village

The Village is the main hub for Mercenaries. It's made up of several buildings, which each have a function in the mode. Check out the village blog also published today for a detailed breakdown of each building.The Village is your central hub for all things Mercenaries! In the Village, you can manage your collection, collect task rewards, head directly to the Mercenaries shop, set off on Bounties, and so much more! The Village is also itself a gameplay and progression system because you can build and upgrade buildings in your Village to unlock more content and make them more effective.

Picking Fights

A picture of the Travel Point from the village. It's a tiny horse!

What is being a Mercenary if not collecting Bounties? From the Village, you can use the Travel Point to go to the Bounty Board. The Bounty Board is where you can choose which Bounty you want to go after—which can be thought of as choosing what “mission” or “level” to tackle. Seeking Bounties is a major part of the Mercenaries experience, and is critical for leveling up your Mercenaries, even if you plan to focus on PVP play.

Each Bounty has a suggested level, and a designated Bounty Boss at the end, so you have an idea of what you’re getting into. There are several Bounties to go after, and each one includes procedurally-generated encounters leading up to the Bounty Boss, to keep play interesting. As you play longer, additional difficulty levels can be unlocked, too, for even greater challenges!

The bounty board, featuring 6 bounties of increasing difficulty.

Selecting a Bounty will bring up the Party selection menu. In Mercenaries, you control a Party of up to 6 Mercenaries, instead of a deck of cards. In combat, you will pick 3 of your 6 Mercenaries to fight at a time, with reinforcements coming off your Bench if one of your Mercenaries falls or uses a special Ability to swap out.

All experience you earn during your run sticks with you—even if that Mercenary rides the Bench or if they don’t make it out of the Bounty alive. After you claim a Bounty, you can move on to the next one, or keep coming back to ones you’ve already beaten to collect more loot and level up your team. Each Bounty has a different type of loot it can drop, so keep coming back to the same Bounty if you’re looking to focus on a specific reward!

It's a tiny picture of the fighting pit, one of the buildings from the village (used for PVP!) check out the village blog for more about the fighting pit.

After you’ve claimed a few Bounties, your Party might be ready to head to the Fighting Pit! In the Fighting Pit, you always be paired against a similarly-powerful opponent, even when trying out a new Mercenary. Compete in the Fighting Pit to complete achievements, earn rewards, and even push for a spot on the leaderboard!

Get This Party Started!

Try out Mercenaries when it launches on October 12 and get eight Mercenaries (pictured below) just for completing the prologue and introductory missions! That’s enough to put together a Party and immediately start chasing Bounties. Keep playing to continue growing your collection!

Rokara is an fighter
Tyrande is a fighter
Tyrande Whisperwind
Samuro is a fighter.
Blademaster Samuro
Xyrella is a caster.
Millhouse Manastorm is a caster.
Millhouse Manastorm
Cariel Roame is a protector
Cariel Roame
Cornelius Roame is a protector.
Cornelius Roame
Grommash is a protector
Grommash Hellscream

The More the Merrier

Sarge is coming to WoW as a mount! Pictured with a gnome riding it in WoW.

Sarge pictured, Sarge has a little Hearthstone bag with him! Sarge is a mouse, not a rat. Don't listen to anyone who tells you Sarge is a rat because Sarge is definitely a mouse.

Start up a new Bounty after the introductory missions and you will also receive the adorable new Sarge mount for World of Warcraft! Learn more. 

WoW and Hearthstone fans have even more to celebrate! Purchase a 6-month WoW Subscription between now and October 19, or have a current subscription set to renew at a later date, and you will receive the Tavern Pass and Battlegrounds Perks for this and the next expansion, 15 packs from United in Stormwind, 15 packs from Hearthstone’s next expansion, and 30 total Mercenaries Packs across your subscription period! Additional details and restrictions apply.

Diablo Comes to Mercenaries!

Diablo is coming to Mercenaries!

Last, but certainly not least, the Lord of Terror is coming to help celebrate the launch of Mercenaries! Diablo is available as part of one of three pre-purchase bundles, each including an iconic Blizzard character!

the Lich king bundle includes the lich king Merc and 50 packs, the Diablo bundle includes the Diablo Merc and 50 packs, the sylvanas bundle includes the Sylvanas Merc and 30 packs.

The Diablo Mercenaries Pre-Purchase Bundle includes a Diamond Legendary Diablo Mercenary Card and 50 Mercenaries Packs; the Lich King Mercenaries Pre-Purchase Bundle includes a Diamond Legendary Lich King Mercenary Card and 50 Mercenaries Packs; and the Sylvanas Mercenaries Bundle includes a Golden Legendary Sylvanas Mercenary Card and 30 Mercenaries Packs.

Sylvanas is a Fighter.
Arthas is a Protector
The Lich King
Diablo is a Fighter.

The Diablo, Lich King, and Sylvanas Mercenaries are all also obtainable in-game, without purchasing these bundles, from Mercenaries Packs or the crafting system.


Tour the Mercenaries Village and Collection

When you enter the new Mercenaries mode, you will be taken to the Village. The Village is the central hub to all things Mercenaries, the place where you can manage your Mercenaries, prepare for Bounties, check the Task Board, and so much more. Here you can learn more about the Village, how to upgrade your Mercenaries, and what Mercenaries will be available at launch!

A Tour of the Village

First, let’s take a look at the sights in the Village.

The Village resembles a pop-up book, with cheery Hearthstone aesthetic. Read on for more on each part of the village.


Workshop looks like work desk. It has a protractor and a candle on it.

The Workshop will be your first stop in the Village. Actually, when you first enter the Village, it will be the only stop! At the Workshop, you can build out and upgrade all the other locations in the Village. Upgrading locations gives them a new look and improves their functionality. Some upgrades unlock additional features, whereas others allow for more efficiency. All Village upgrades are persistent, so you’ll be able to watch your Village grow and flourish as you play.


The Tavern is shaped like a barrel on its side, only it has windows and a front door. It also has wheels.

The Tavern is where your Mercenaries rest and relax when they’re not out chasing a Bounty. Think of it like your Mercenaries Collection Manager. From the Tavern, you can craft Mercenaries, browse your collection of Mercenaries, select from any cosmetic options for them, upgrade their Abilities and Equipment, or throw them together to form a Party!

Travel Point

The Travel Point is a stabled horse with a food trough next to it.

The Travel Point is your access to Bounties across Azeroth for Mercenaries PVE gameplay. From here, you can pick a Zone and then a Bounty to hunt within that Zone. The Bounties unlock sequentially within a Zone and each has a suggested level and predetermined Bounty Boss, so you have some idea what you’re getting yourself into. After you upgrade your Travel Point, you will also be able to unlock the Heroic difficulty, which will make Bounties much more challenging! We also have plans to continue adding to the Travel Point in future updates for even more challenges.

Fighting Pit

The Fighting pit is just that, a pit! It's got red rope around it.

Once you’ve collected a few Bounties, you can head to the Fighting Pit for a different kind of combat! In the Fighting Pit, you are always paired against a similarly-powerful team of Mercenaries, even when trying out one of your new, under-leveled Mercenaries. Gameplay is also a little different in the Fighting Pit than it is while hunting Bounties because you can’t see what moves your opponent is locking in. Compete in the Fighting Pits to complete achievements, get rewards, and even push for a spot on the leaderboard!

Merchant Cart

The Merch Cart has a little flag with a bag of gold on it. It's wooden, with wheels and some handles for pushing. Looks like it's full of packages and loot!

The Merchant Cart is your shortcut to the Mercenaries-specific part of the in-game shop. From there, you can get Mercenaries Packs, Mercenaries Coins, and any seasonal or personal offers that might be available to you. Mercenaries Packs are a great way to grow your collection! Each Mercenaries Pack offers five Mercenaries items, which can include new Mercenary Cards, Mercenary Coins, or Mercenary Portraits.


The Mailbox is where you will receive in-game announcements about Hearthstone’s Mercenaries mode. Check in regularly to see what kinds of special events and offers you can take advantage of!

Mailbox is purple and resembles those from World of Warcraft.


The campfire has a few wooden logs in the middle and a task board behind those.

And last, but certainly not least, the Campfire. The Campfire is where your Mercenaries can sit, relax, and trade stories about glorious Bounties you’ve claimed with them. Functionally, the Campfire houses the Task Board. The Task Board is similar to your Quest Log or Achievements tab in the Journal. Once a day, Mercenaries will come sit by the Campfire and put up a new task for you to complete. Once you have completed the task, return to the Campfire to claim your reward. Those rewards can include Mercenary Coins, Mercenaries Packs, or Equipment for a particular Mercenary. Even after you’ve completed your dailies, there will be ways to get more tasks in your Village, so check back often to make sure you don’t miss anything!

After completing a task at the campfire, come back and claim it for the reward!

Managing Your Collection

Now that you’ve taken a tour of the Village, let’s head back to the Tavern for a more in-depth look at the Mercenaries collection system.

When you first enter the Tavern, you’ll notice that your Mercenaries are organized into three sections, called Roles, each with a corresponding color. Red Mercenaries are called Protectors; green Mercenaries are called Fighters; and blue Mercenaries are called Casters. Each tends to have different strengths and weaknesses and play a different role in your Parties.

You’ll also notice your existing Mercenaries Parties and a button to create a new Party on the right side—similar to your decks and deck slots in the Collection Manager. If you create a new Party, or select an existing Party, you can edit it by dragging Mercenaries to or from the collection, just like building a deck.

You can learn more about what each of the Roles entail, and strategies for building a good Party, in the Gameplay Blog.

Selecting a particular Mercenary will also give you lots of information and options for that Mercenary, like their stats, Abilities, Equipment, and Portraits (alternate cosmetic art options) you’ve obtained.

You can upgrade your Mercs in the Tavern, shown here. It closely resembles the Hearthstone Collection Manager for constructed.

* Mercenaries is still in development and all stats and effects are subject to change. The Card Library will be updated when Mercenaries launches on October 12 to represent any updated versions.

Abilities unlock automatically as you level up the Mercenary; Equipment is unlocked by completing Achievements and tasks related to that Mercenary; and Mercenary Portraits can be obtained from Mercenaries Packs. A Mercenary has access to all their earned Abilities each fight, but has to choose one piece of Equipment to wear. You can set your Mercenary’s Portrait and Equipment from this screen.

Finally, from here you can spend Mercenary Coins to upgrade any Abilities or Equipment you have. Within the Tavern, you can also use Mercenary Coins to craft Mercenaries you don’t already own.

Growing Your Roster

Mercenaries will launch with over 50 Mercenaries! To start out with, all players will receive 8 Mercenaries just for completing the Mercenaries prologue missions. In completing your early adventures, you will also amass some Mercenary Coins and some Mercenaries Packs. These are the two main in-game methods for receiving new mercenaries.

Mercenary Coins are earned throughout the Mercenaries mode, including from completing tasks and Bounties. Each Mercenary Coin is specific to that particular Mercenary and can then be redeemed in the Tavern to craft that Mercenary if you don’t own it, or upgrade their Abilities or Equipment if you do. Mercenaries Packs can also be earned or purchased, and include 5 Mercenaries items, which can include new Mercenary Cards, Mercenary Coins, or Mercenary Portraits. Each Mercenaries Pack includes at least one new Mercenary Card until you own all Mercenaries of that rarity tier. You can learn more about the details of Mercenaries Packs here.

Mercenaries Packs can contain coins for all kind of Mercs! This one also included Mercenary Tamsin!

From time to time, there will also be various offers in the in-game store. These can include standalone Mercenary purchases, deals on packs, options for Coins, and bundles combining a few Mercenaries items. There are also three exciting pre-purchase options that are available from now until Mercenaries launches!**

Diablo, The Lich King, and Sylvanas each have their own special pre-purchase bundles if you want to kickstart your Mercenaries collection. These bundles will give you a huge swath of Mercenaries to play with right out the gate! Don’t worry if you can’t get all three, Diablo, Sylvanas, and the Lich King are here to stay and will be obtainable in-game through packs and crafting after launch.

the Lich King bundle comes with the Lich King Merc and 50 pack. The Diablo Bundle comes with the Diablo Merc and 50 packs, the Sylvanas bundle comes with the Sylvanas Merc and 30 packs.


Mercenaries Gameplay Spotlight

So, you’ve selected a Bounty and are preparing to head out, but you’re not quite sure how you plan to get your target? It starts with a good team and strong fundamentals, then the rest is up to you and your Mercenaries! If you’re not ready yet, you can check out our Overview blog first. Come back here when you’re ready to start your first Bounty.

Mercenary Roles

Immediately after selecting a Bounty, you will be taken to a Party select screen similar to selecting a deck in Play Mode. From there, you can select a Party you’ve already created, or you can make a new one. Picking which 6 Mercenaries to put in your Party is one of the most important parts of taking on any Bounty.

The first thing you will notice when selecting Mercenaries for your Party is that they are separated into three Roles:

  • Fighters have green frames. They tend to use aggressive Abilities to deal major damage to your enemies.
  • Casters have blue frames. Casters tend to cast spells for powerful effects—sometimes supporting your Party, sometimes blowing the other Party up—but they tend to have less Attack, which can make them softer targets for your enemies.
  • Protectors have red frames. They tend to be your tanks and supports. They often have a lot of Health and tend to utilize effects like Taunt and buffs to control the flow of battle. Some of them are pretty good at hand-to-hand combat, but do not have many ranged options and tend to be a bit slower than the other Roles.

You can build a team with any combination of Mercenaries, but neglecting one Role or another might expose your Party’s weaknesses. While on offense, Fighters deal double damage to Casters, Casters deal double damage to Protectors, and Protectors deal double damage to Fighters. You’ll want to keep these weaknesses in mind when building your Party.

Fighters deal double damage to Casters, Casters deal double damage to Protectors, and Protectors deal double damage to Fighters. The circle of life!

As you play through the prologue and introductory missions, you’ll gather 8 Mercenaries to start with—enough for a Party with two Mercenaries of each Role and a couple alternates. That balanced spread is a good place to start as you learn how to build your own Parties.

Abilities & Equipment

When you select a Mercenary in the Tavern, you will notice that each Mercenary has slots for Abilities and Equipment. These are another way to find synergies between your Mercenaries! At level 1, each Mercenary only has one Ability, but you unlock a second at level 5 and a third at level 15. As you continue to progress, you can upgrade those basic Abilities to more powerful versions with Mercenary Coins!

Collection Screen shown, where you can upgrade abilities and equipment. You can access this from the Tavern within the Mercs village.

* Mercenaries is still in development and all stats and effects are subject to change. The Card Library will be updated when Mercenaries launches on October 12 to represent any updated versions.

Mercenaries start without any Equipment. As you play, you will unlock Equipment for your Mercenaries by completing Achievements and Task Board tasks—up to three pieces of Equipment each. Like Abilities, Equipment can be upgraded with Mercenary Coins. Unlike Abilities, you can select only one piece of Equipment per Mercenary at a time.

Chasing Your Bounty

Once you’ve selected your Party, you’re off to the hunt! Each Bounty includes a procedurally-generated series of encounters before culminating in the Bounty Boss. Those encounters include fights, the Spirit Healer, and random point of interest nodes that can either help or hurt your Party through universal Boons, additional characters, or a rule change for that Bounty.

Fights make up most encounters on any given Bounty. After each fight, you will gain experience for all Mercenaries in your Party, regardless of whether they participated in the fight, sat on the Bench, or even died. You will also gain one Treasure per fight for one of your surviving Mercenaries. Treasures can come in the form of stats boosts, passive effects, or exciting and powerful new Abilities! While most progression in Mercenaries is permanent across the mode, Treasures only last for that Bounty, similar to picking up a Treasure during a Dungeon Run.

Selecting treasures, which only stay with you for the remainder of the run - treasures are not permanent.

Some fights—marked with a dragon frame around that node—are extra tough. In these “Elite” encounters, you will go up against an extra enemy, and will likely lose a Mercenary or two. But, if your Party survives, you’ll get more experience and even better Treasures than normal!

The Spirit Healer revives your fallen Mercs!

After each fight, all surviving Mercenaries will have their health restored, but any Mercenaries that did not make it out of the fight can’t be used for the rest of the run. Unless you get to a Spirit Healer, that is. The Spirit Healer node randomly revives one of your fallen Mercenaries. If your team is weak after the long road or a tough encounter, you might want to choose a path in the Spirit Healer’s direction. Conversely, if you see a Spirit Healer ahead, you might feel a bit more confident about taking on that Elite encounter. You can see the map at the start of a run, so you can use that information while planning out which path to take to the Bounty Boss!

Combat Planning

You’ve taken up a Bounty, selected your Party, and chosen your path. The time for planning is over; it’s time for action! There are three main components to Mercenaries combat: placing your Mercenaries, choosing your Abilities for the turn (the “Command Phase”), and watching the Abilities play out automatically (the “Combat Phase”). Let’s take a look at each.

Place Your Mercenaries

At the start of a fight, you will get to select three starting Mercenaries from your Party. Those three Mercenaries are placed on the board to fight while your remaining Mercenaries wait on the Bench. You can place your starting Mercenaries in whatever order you want, and rearrange them as you see fit, but once you’ve locked them in, they are stuck there—placement is not part of every turn’s turn progression. Though, if one of your Mercenaries falls in combat, you select an available replacement off your Bench at the start of the next turn, and can put that replacement wherever you want on your side of the board. Be careful! There are some Abilities in Mercenaries where positioning matters.

For the most part, Mercenaries on the Bench are unaffected by combat unless they have to tag-in for one of your Mercenaries who falls. However, as you progress in Mercenaries, you will find that there are also some effects that allow Mercenaries to interact with the Bench, from a tactical retreat Ability to Abilities that buff your Bench. Remember, Mercenaries gain the same experience even when just watching from the Bench, so don’t be afraid to let a Mercenary sit a fight out if they aren’t best suited for it.

Choose Your Abilities in the Command Phase

Once your Mercenaries are set, the fight can begin! In Mercenaries, each turn has two phases, and each phase happens for both sides, simultaneously.

The first phase is the Command Phase, when all commands are entered. For each of your Mercenaries, select an Ability to use and any appropriate targets. In PVE, you can also check on enemies to see some information about what Abilities they have queued up for the turn, and you can use that information to more effectively plan your turn.

The Speed icon is a wing

You will notice that each of your Abilities has a number under it. That number is the Ability’s Speed, which determines action order on each turn. Taking note of your Abilities’ Speeds is crucial for making the most of your Abilities. Some Abilities also have a cooldown number, which indicates how many turns you must wait before each use of that move. Those moves tend to be powerful tools that are worth the wait. With the Speed order in mind, you organize your commands to make a life-saving heal before an enemy attack, set up a combo, or focus all attacks on a slower enemy to kill it before it gets to act!

In Mercs, a bench takes up your deck slot where your Mercs not in play remain. Mercs themselves have attack and health like regular Hearthstone minions, but you select them and choose abilities to que instead. Once you're done selecting abilities you can hit the ready button to move from the command phase to the combat phase.

If you change your mind before all commands are locked in, you can select one of your Mercenaries to start over from there. Once you’re all set, hit the “Ready” button and your commands for the turn are locked in.

Watch it Unfold in the Combat Phase

After all commands have been input, the actions play out automatically, in order from lowest Speed number to highest Speed number. If multiple actions have the same Speed, one side will be randomly chosen to take their actions first. If a character goes down before their action, that action is skipped. If a target of an action goes down before that action, then the action will randomly re-target.

Combat resolves in order of ability speed.

Some Abilities include physically attacking an enemy. As you might guess, these types of Abilities are more common in Fighters and Protectors than in Casters. When a character attacks an enemy, they deal damage to each other equal to their Attack stats, just like in traditional Hearthstone. However, the damage that the defender deals back to the attacker does not get double damage based on the Mercenaries’ Roles. Spells and ranged attacks avoid taking any damage from the defender at all! You need to be mindful of not just enemy attacks, but also your own Abilities, when trying to figure out how to best preserve your Mercenaries.

Synergies & Strategies

There are a lot of synergies and strategies to Mercenaries. We already talked about the most basic of these: Roles. Your Party makeup can be adjusted to try to cover your bases or prey upon certain Roles. There are also some Role synergies that lie below the surface, like combining a powerful Protector’s Taunt Ability with a Caster’s powerful heals, or reducing an enemy’s Attack stat before your Mercenaries attack into it. As you play, you will learn more of these synergies.

Some Mercenaries also specialize in a particular Spell School, sometimes using effects that get stronger as you dig deeper into that Spell School. Those Mercenaries might give themselves bonuses based on their own continued use of a particular Spell School. Or, they might best in a team of like-minded Spell School enthusiasts, with keywords like Arcane Combo, which means that an additional effect happens if one of your other Mercenaries cast an Arcane spell earlier that turn.

Murlocs are an example of a minion-type synergy. Morgl the oracle, Mutanus, and old-Murk eye are shown as caster, protector, and fighter respectively (all stats shown on Mercs today are not final).

Finally, you’ll notice that each Mercenary has a minion type, including a bunch of minion types that don’t exist in the other game modes! Some Abilities are more powerful when used on, or in the presence of, another Mercenary of a particular minion type. Type synergies are yet another thing you can consider while building your Mercenaries Parties!


Tons of PVE Content, Rewards, and Challenges

The prize for a completed Bounty is a chest full of Mercenary Coins! Mercenary Coins are used to obtain a particular Mercenary, or to power up that Mercenary’s Abilities and Equipment if you already own it.

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