How to play the Midgame of Hearthstone Mercenaries?

Hearthstone Mercenaries

So, you just finished the main story missions of Mercenaries. You completed all the story missions. You have a full team of level 30 mercs that you got for free and that carried you all the way from The Barrens to Blackrock Mountain. Now, you want to grow to take on the PvP pit and heroic bounties. You look to see what builds might be good, but they all use several mercenaries you don’t have. Most of the packs you opened gave you rares and portraits, so what do you do if you don’t want to buy more packs? Grind. But where do you go to do that? What’s the best way to get from where you are now to the cool builds the streamers and top players use? This is the Mercenaries midgame. It’s a confusing place to be. I know because I was there, too. With my help, you’ll be able to get out of that confusing space quickly and get to the collection you want to have without spending money.

Table of Contents

Task Farming

Let’s get the initial setup and expectations out of the way first. To follow along, you’re going to need a fully upgraded bonfire and travel point and some level 30 mercenaries you’re familiar with. The ones you used most throughout the story tasks are fine. Actually, they’re better than fine: they’re pretty good. You should also familiarise yourself with task farming. Until recently, the go-to method was to use the heroic air elemental. After all, that was the easiest way to get mysterious strangers to appear and offer additional tasks to members of your party. Now, however, the occurrence rate has been adjusted based on how your highest level merc compares to the recommended level of the bounty. This means that the best place to go is Corrupted Ancient or Lord Banehollow in Felwood. You will typically need 1-4 battles to reach the mystery spot, which should give you mysterious strangers pretty regularly.

Felwood Bounties - Lord Banehollow

With that out of the way, you will want to pick a team of exactly 4 mercenaries that you are going to be doing all the tasks for. You will also need to pick a heroic bounty that has both epic and legendary rewards that you’ll be happy to get. The bounty should be one that you are reliably able to beat using just the 4 mercenaries you picked. The other 2 slots on your team will be mercs that you might want to use in the future and that are there to get power leveled to level 30. This 4-2 team structure is very important because it guarantees that the mercs you want tasks for will always be offered tasks. It also maximizes space for new mercs to power level. I’ll give some examples of teams and potential farming spots for them to give you an idea. However, the mercs you pull in your packs can change what’s worth pursuing. I’ll limit the examples to at most 1 epic to give you some inspiration, but use your discretion: you know best what’s been working for you.

» Example 1

Bru’kan, Xyrella, Samuro, Cariel to farm Heroic Fallen Guardians – This roster gives you a lot of nature damage and removes the cooldown from chain lightning, making it bounce between the bosses. They’re casters, so Samuro does double damage to them while Xyrella lowers their attack value.

» Example 2

Grommash,Samuro, Carriel, and Xyrella to farm Yeti Hunter Rannel – You want to hit Rannel hard with your protectors, then either heal up with Xyrella or race him down with Samuro.

I’d suggest not going into the 2nd half of Winterspring or any of Blackrock Mountain on the first wave of this, as those areas may be too tough for the team you have right now. However, if you have a team you think can do well there, then go for it by all means. 

Mercenaries Task Overview

Before we go any further, let me make a quick digression to explain the structure of the tasks. Each mercenary has 18 tasks they will give you. All task lists follow a very similar structure, which means that it’s best to keep your 4 main mercs as even as possible. Keep in mind, though, that not all tasks are identical and that sometimes, a merc or two might fall behind the others. That’s fine. The basic layout of the tasks is as follows:

Hearthstone Mercenaries Task Overview

As you can see, there is a lot of currency just given away by these tasks. You’re going to be doing this for 4 mercenaries at once, so you’ll be getting a lot of random coins in addition to the bounties you collect. This is why we are focusing on tasks.

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Typical Mercenaries Run

Now that the essentials are out of the way, what does a typical run through look like using this strategy? To illustrate, I’ll refer to the first example team because it was the team I initially used while refining this method. I put together the 4 mercs mentioned above along with Grommash and Rokara to start. My first few runs used a full level 30 team because I wasn’t yet sure of the best way to go about efficiently farming tasks. I eventually heard of the heroic air elemental farming trick that has since been patched out. I realised that I was better off using a team of 4 so that I could always have at least one merc I am doing tasks for show up in the list given by the mysterious stranger. I initially tried to rotate through 5, but that didn’t work well. Rokara kept falling behind. Since nature abilities have no cooldowns in the boss fight I was farming, chain Lightning from Bru’kan became my go to strategy. I focused on making it as strong as possible. I also noticed that Samuro’s clones drop short fused bombs when they die, so I used his equipment that spawns an extra clone to do 80 damage twice at the end of the turn. I now had a consistent strategy of making Brukan spam chain lightning until the boss giving the big nature boost dies. That left an easy unit to clean up. Every time I finished a bounty and someone was without a task, I went to get more for them and swapped out any level 30 mercs that weren’t in the main 4 for other level 1 mercs. I kept at this until I got enough coins to craft Malfurion. That happened a little before I finished all my tasks for the first 4 mercs. The end result of all this was 1 new legendary, a few new epics from coins or packs, 200+ coins for many epics, 250+ coins for many legendary mercs, and around 15 new level 30 mercenaries, all within a few days.    

4+2

After completing all this, I hit my first major drought of not being sure what to do. I had Malfurion, but he was still being leveled up and had mostly level 1 abilities. I knew I was going to build around Malfurion and that he was best in a nature comp, so I looked for nature damage. I was fortunate enough that Cairne was one of the epics I was able to craft with coins, so he was in. One of the mercs I got from my packs was Velen and figured that I could still use him with Xyrella even if I didn’t have Anduin yet. Also, I figured that if I’m keeping Xyrella, then I should keep Samuro, too, since they work well together. I needed one more new unit. I tried Guff and Anacondra, but didn’t like them enough and instead decided to try out Morgl the Oracle as my 4th quest team unit. He was fantastic once I got his task 7 equipment. The next question was what to farm with this. I looked at the synergies on my team and figured we should go after Anduin. I had a decent number of coins for him and Lord Banehollow gave demons a weakness to holy damage done by 2 of my units. With that in mind, I started the cycle over again but used  the two spots I had previously reserved for leveling to smoothe over the early runs and offset a lack of coins for my new team. 

Mercenaires Difficult Encounters

What were some of the difficulties I encountered along the way? Some mercenaries are obtained from bounties that are much more farmable if you already have them, like Jaina. Farming them needs to be done indirectly by hoping for coin drops. This can take a long time. Figuring out a new team can be a daunting task and depends a lot on what came out of your first run. The boon related tasks can be annoying if the right type doesn’t show up in the bounty for a while. Some mercs will require a team you’re not running, so you will have to set up a special team for them (for example, Morgl’s task 12, which requires at least one other murloc on the field with him). Don’t get hung up on what PvP players are saying is best when looking at which mercs and equipment to use in PvE. Sometimes what’s best in PvP works in bounties. Other times, it’s useless, like deathrattle effects. You don’t really want your mercs dying regularly in bounties, do you?

Conclusion

The mode is still being worked on, as we can see from the recent patch. We’ve also been told that the leads on mercenaries are still taking feedback and may make more changes in response. However, unless they fundamentally change how many coins are needed to get and progress character, or shift a lot of the currency rewards away from tasks and into something else, this guide should still hold up. Best of luck and happy farming.

This article was written by Adam Noodelman, you can follow them on Twitter!

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