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Please use this guide to help you as a reference piece for your adventures in Entrath.  I will be sharing information for all current Mercenaries in the game, and a decklist for each Mercenary as well. If you’d like to see bigger pictures of the Mercenaries and where they drop from, please check out our Mercenary Guide.

Editor’s Note: The latest Mercenaries have not yet been added to this guide. They will be included in the next update.  

Before we dive into the list, I will be classifying Mercenaries into categories based on how they perform/play. Here is the Mercenary Category Key:

Aggressive – Empower very fast decks, and ability to win early.

Control – Empower decks that can easily control the board, and remove threats.

Combo – Benefit from strategies that chain cards together to win.

Mid-Range – Power up after a few turns.

Affordable – Should be fairly inexpensive to obtain.

Survival – Have mechanics that increase their ability to survive.

Healing – Have mechanics that increase their ability to heal.

Ramp – Have mechanics that increase their ability to ramp/accelerate resources.

Random – Have mechanics that are random, usually making them more powerful, and fun, but at a cost.

Recursion – Have mechanics that allow cards in the deck to cycle or copy.

Encounter Specialist – Can take down some of the tougher encounters in the game.


Let’s dive in:


Description: Aethynia is a powerful mercenary that can show-case the power of Ethereal Healers better than any other mercenary.  Every time an opposing troop attacks, we will gain health, and those health triggers happen before blocks, so with Ethereal Healers and their equipment, we could easily have a blocker in play for free.  The charge power of Aethynia creates a Angel that is a 4/4 flight Avatar troop, out of any troop we target.  This is exceptionally great to use on early game troops, or freely created troops of lesser power.  It’s important to note that any troops with buffs keep those buffs through this charge power transformation.  As an example – If Forever’s Child creates a 6/6 Orchin, from healing for 6 last turn, Aethynia’s Charge power would turn that Orchin into a 10/10 Angel with Flight.

Upgrade: Gives all Avatars +2/+2 permanently! Now any Avatar we play in our deck become stronger like Angels of Dawn and Forever’s Child become 6/6 troops, and your charge power now makes 6/6 Angel Avatars.

Mercenary Categories: Survival, Healing, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Encounters that can attack with many troops early on.

Major Weakness: If the encounter lacks troops to attack, or counters healing completely.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Monkey of the Nine Tails; Mother Dawnbreeze; Sister of the Herd; Tafford the Tireless; Lillyth; GAX, the Sly Roller; Count Davian

Best cards to pair with: Angel of Dawn, Ethereal Healer with Ethereal Coat Boots Equipment, Pack Hunters, Righteous Vanquisher, Forever’s Child

Conclusion: If you want to survive and heal, while creating a quick and overpowering evasive army to attack for you, Aethynia is your only Avatar of Hope.

Decklist: View Deck


Description: The deck building restrictions for Ashahsa put us in a very narrow box, but the potential here is huge for the early game tempo her passive provides.  She can create flight troops with her 3 cost charge power.  We can make great use of her passive in most encounters, by pairing low cost flight troops, with low cost flight granting buffs for any target.  This means Glyph of Sky on an enemy troop, with a Servant of Shathak could be a great turn 1 play.  Also, Ashahsa starts with 1 charge, and if we can use her charge power almost every turn, we could generate enough troops to stay ahead of curve.  Charge generation is another theme to look at.

Upgrade: The Upgrade for Ashahsa gives you a 2/2 flight troop that can shift flight.  This is much better than a 1/1 flight troop.  Definitely worth the upgrade cost to consider as very early game removal, that can give a strong ground troop flight.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Affordable, Aggressive

Major Strength: Huge early game tempo advantage with powerful flight troops, and will be especially good against encounters with flight troops.

Major Weakness: Low starting health, and limited deck building options.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Aethynia; Count Davian; Clatterclank; Cardboard Tube Samurai;

Best cards to pair with: Glyph of Sky, Servant of Shathak, Thunderbird with Chest Equipment, Air Superiority, Empress of Ice, Forbidden Tomeseeker, To the Skies!

Conclusion: If we want to master the skies, while controlling the enemy board, this may the perfect choice, and is an ace up our sleeves vs. encounters with early game flight troops.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: One of the first freely obtained Mercenaries, Augustine can allow us to create aggressive troop themed decks.  The major advantage of Augustine is the permanent +2/+2 to target troop charge power, and his ability to give all our troops with 4 or more attack steadfast.  This allows us to swing with fairly large troops freely, and still leaving them ready as blockers. We have access to 4 common and 4 uncommons of Diamond/Sapphire/Ruby, which is a good opening for cards like Skittering Skarn, and Vanguard of Gawaine.  Here also, quality Attack damage permanent buff cards, like Seeing Red, can net extreme value.  Augustine rewards lean and cheap early game aggressive deck building, with some back-up value going towards charge generation.

Upgrade: All troops with 6 or more attack get crush.  This is particularly great for troops that are going to get attack buffs after declaring attack.  Wool’vir Baa’sher, or a Quash Ridge Tusker could be excellent to pair with such an advantage for early wins.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Affordable

Major Strength: Ways to augment attack early before attack damage is dealt allow for very early wins, and pairs nicely with swiftstrike troops.

Major Weakness: Aggressive decks with removal could pose threats, if troops we are trying to make large get removed, and troops we need in play to make them large are not ideal blockers.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank; Cardboard Tube Samurai; Rifkun Bonespike; Sin’glar; Zannut

Best cards to pair with: Vanguard of Gawaine, Quash Ridge Tusker, Ruby Pyromancer, Elite Pyromancer, Alwyn, Sword Trainer, Seeing Red, Combat Training, Ruby Aura, Lightning Elemental with Weapon Equipment, Voice of the Ashwood with Helm Equipment, Fierce Justicar with Concealed Weapon Equipment.

Conclusion: If you want to play a quick troop beater deck around the Human archetype, Augustine can do it better and faster than some highly tuned late-game Human campaign Warrior decks.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: At first glance, B.E.B.O. may seem like an unlikely choice as a mercenary.  Routine Maintenance however, is very strong, and can help power through challenging encounters as it forces all non-artifact troops to enter play exhausted.  For example, if we are going up against any encounter that summons speed troops that sacrifice themselves at the end of turn.  We can take advantage of that in deck building to play cards that benefit from opposing cards exhausting.  Playing Robots is going to benefit us, and so will be pairing them with Dwarves that reduce their costs, like Glendower and Technical Genius.

Upgrade: The Security upgrades will quickly generate +1 attack for all of our robots after we use our charge power twice and have 3 actions in our crypt.  The power of Security upgrades is that it is a progressive buff for all robots in play.  This means, that as soon as we get 6 actions in our crypt, it then becomes +2 attack for all of our robots.  Same for robots with +1 defense for every 3 troops in our crypt.  The power of this upgrade likely explains the deck building restriction of not allowing any 1 cost cards.

Mercenary Categories: Random, Mid-Range, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Access to a full rarity shard grid for artifact cards and Routine Maintenance forcing all non-artifact troops to enter play exhausted.

Major Weakness: Not having access to 1 cost cards slows us down a bit.  There is an element of randomness to the charge power, that can sometimes backfire if we choose to keep and use the robot transformations.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Baxoth of Korru; Burgamot Ebonrock; Puck, the Dreambringer; Clatterclank; Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Slaughtergears’ Reaver/Replicator, Reactor Bot, Adaptatron, VB1311, Reprocessor, Glendower

Conclusion: A well tuned B.E.B.O. plays surprisingly well, and is fun given the charge power randomness, but we generally will be better off running a robot themed list with our Dwarf Cleric/Mage/Ranger that will be more consistent and successful.  It is a shame the deckbuilding restriction remains after upgrade, as the upgrade potential paired with other mechanics would be huge if 1 drops were allowed in the deck.

Decklist:  View Deck

Baxoth of Korru_

Description: Baxoth is all about his charge power.  For 2 charges, we can summon a dreadling for each troop in opposing crypts.  This is especially powerful with early mill, like Chaotic Murmurs and Chronic Madness.  Pair this with Tribunal Magistrate, and other Vennen that buff our spiders or benefit from them being played, and we quickly will win off of our charge power usage.  The party passive is notable for the starting dreadling in play, that could be a nice activator for other decks.

Upgrade: Gives a random underworld troop you control the ability to not be blocked by non-ardent troops for the turn.  This allows Baxoth to have more dual use vs. both ardent, and non-ardent opponents, but most aggressive baxoth builds do not require this upgrade.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Combo, Recursion, Random, Affordable, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Charge power enables extremely early wins.  With the right luck, even turn 1 wins.

Major Weakness: There is an element of randomness to the charge power working well, and largely based on the encounter.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank; Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Choatic Murmurs, Glyph of Hatred and Trinket Equipment, Nazhk Lookout, Vilefang Eremite, Chronic Madness, Fanged Fanatic, Tribunal Magistrate, Nazhk Webguard, Call the Grave with Trinket Equipment, Technical Genius, Dread Technomancer

Conclusion: One of the best aggressive mercenaries that will enable early wins, and can help us do all of that at a fairly affordable price.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: One of the most entertaining Mercenaries to play, Brosi-Buk is the embodiment of randomness.  For 3 charges, we can create a random card we meet the threshold requirements to play, and put it into our hand.  The real amazingness of Brosi-Buk is his passive that puts a counter on Brosi-Buk when we play a card, and transforms a random card in our hand into a random card of the same shard, then reduces that randomly transformed cards cost by the number of counters on Brosi-Buk.  The shard grid allows us to go in any direction we want.  The strategy to play cards that draw more cards, or create more cards seems to be best when dealing with the extreme cost reduction and randomness Brosi provides.  Finding troops that create valor, or put cards in our deck, or hand at the beginning of each turn, will be very valuable.  A dreadling themed deck with crypt recursion could also be a great way to quickly flood the board with randomness.  Don’t let Brosi-Buk randomness scare, as it is incredibly strong and hard to lose games with.

Upgrade: Many will be surprised how quickly a tuned Brosi-Buk deck can play 20 cards.  This upgrade says that when we are at 20 or more counters (20 cards played from hand), remove those counters, and create 10 random troops and put them in play.  This upgrade is very powerful, and if the randomness has not already won you the game before this point, this final act of randomness will.

Mercenary Categories: Random

Major Strength: Randomness with a huge upside of decreased cost, and free card advantage.

Major Weakness: Randomness is double-edged.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank; Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Hero of Legend, Pappy Jasper, Lanupaw’s Sight, Combat Training, Phenteo’s Gift, Nazkh Lookout, Arcane Focus, Glorious Pegasus, Satyr’s Roost Bard, Protectorate Defender, Glyph of Sky, Glyph of Ferocity, Kismet’s Coin with Trinket Equipment

Conclusion: Embrace the madness, and have fun with building Brosi almost any way imaginable.  One of the most fun Mercenaries to play, while still remaining insanely powerful.

Decklist:  View Deck

Burgamot Ebonrock_

Description: The most important things to immediately note about Burgamot is that his shard grid is wide open for Sapphire and Ruby, and allows 3 of any rarity for artifacts, and he starts with an 8 card hand.  Our only deck building limitation is that we may not include elves.  The grid and starting cards is enough to warrant building a fast deck around him.  Our passive Superior Design, allows us to benefit anytime a replica is created by giving it an additional keyword.  If we want to play a deck that runs replicas he would be a good choice.  Our charge power cost 4, but we do start with 1 charge, and it allows us to create a replica of targeting opposing champions deck of any troop in the top 5 cards, and put it in our hand.  Cards we will ideally pair with Ebonrock will be Replicators’ Gambit, Mimeobot, and Mad Robomancer for their Replica creation effects.

Upgrade: While Make Obsolete is a strong Basic 1-shot ability for Ebonrock, it is 7 resources to use.  It will destroy a target troop, and then create a replica and put it in our hand.  A replica strategy can sometimes be seen as a slow Survival strategy, so this could prove useful depending on the deck we build behind him.  This is not an upgrade to prioritize over other Mercenaries.

Mercenary Categories: Recursion, Random, Mid-Range

Major Strength: Hand Size and Shard Grid

Major Weakness: Not being able to include Elves in the deck hurt some easy ramp strategies we have could used to make better use of his upgrade ability.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Puck, the Dreambringer; Lobo, Reader of Streams; Salty Sam, The Swashbuckler; Katsuhiro; Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Doppelgadget, Mass Produce, Replicators’ Gambit, Mimeobot, Mad Robomancer, Mimic

Conclusion: Replica antics are very fun to play around, but Ebonrock will not stand out until more cards cheaply create replicas.

Decklist:  View Deck

Cardboard Tube Samurai_

Description: 24 Health, 8 starting hand size, 2 charges, full shard grid, 1 cost charge power that immediately deals damage to our opponent, and 2 cards added to our deck that completely destroy all opposing troops for 1 resource.  Oh, and a great party passive.  The only requirement, squeeze 10 alternate art cards into our deck.  There are so many ways to go with this that

Upgrade: A 20% chance to give our opponent a vulnerability encounter at the start of our turn is incredibly powerful.  Upgrade this as soon as possible.  Our 1 cost charge power will instead deal 2 damage or 20 damage when this vulnerability counter is on our opponent.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Random, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Everything

Major Weakness: Acquiring Alternate Art cards for some decks, especially as a newer player, will be difficult

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Xorak, the Flamehand; Mayor Galway

Best cards to pair with: The Crowd Roars with equipment, Baby Yeti with equipment, Slaughtergears’ with equipment, Arena Regular with equipment, Lightning Elemental with equipment, Voice of the Ashwood with equipment

Conclusion: One of the best mercenaries currently available.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: The passive for clatterclank is a bit odd, and should not entirely influence how one approaches deck building for the robot.  It can however, help us get to our main focus faster, if we find a way to do both.  The main thing to focus on is… do we own 4 Jank Bots yet, and how are we going to get them into play as quickly as possible?  Our charge power is very strong, and could instantly do that for us.  With a full shard grid and a required 150 cards, we can play a lot of our favorite things in a single deck without feeling guilty about having more than 60 cards.

Upgrade: When an opponent uses a charge power, we gain a charge.  Anything getting us extra charges, is worth including, as our charge power is a huge advantage.  If we want to Jank Bot, this is worth prioritizing.

Mercenary Categories: Combo, Mid-Range, Random, Affordable

Major Strength: Full Shard Grid, 8 starting hand size, and a card paid freely from our deck every time we use our charge power.

Major Weakness: The requirement to play 75 non-resource cards in our deck, and 150 total cards, can leave a lot up to chance with charge power.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Jank Bot, Careful Rummaging, Ethereal Healer with equipment, Pack Hunters, Tavish, Construct Guild Boss, Chlorophyllia with equipment, Eye of Creation, Titiana’s Majesty

Conclusion: A fully supported Jank Bot Mercenary is going to be both fun to play, and strong.

Decklist:  View Deck

Corporal Hadrian_

Description: Making great use of Mobilize is the large theme with Corporal Hadrian.  We start with 1 charge, 7 cards, and a grid wide open in the Mobilize thresholds from set 6, Ruby, Sapphire, and Diamond.  Our charge power will give a card in our hand, with cost 3 or more, mobilize.  Ascend the Ranks passive, gives any mobilize troop we play +1/+1 for every exhausted troop we control.  This is great to pair with early 1 or 2 drop troops with diligence triggers, like a Llama Herder.

Upgrade: As Fast as I Can passive gives all Mobilize troops in all zones speed.  While this is nice, it can also contradict our other passive that gives +1/+1 for exhausted troops.  Unless we have a way to ready all of our troops to attack with this new troop with speed.  Worth prioritizing if the build goes heavily into Ruby with Diligence.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range, Combo, Affordable

Major Strength: Reduced cost with Mobilize troops, and cards granted Mobilize could have huge combo potential.

Major Weakness: Requires 10 Mobilize troops, which makes the builds core fairly specific with a limited card pool.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank; Baxoth of Korru

Best cards to pair with: Llama Herder, Cosmic Flashpaw, Cloud Bounder, Typhoon Skyshaper

Conclusion: There is room to break this mercenary into insane combo territory with the right focus on charge power, speed through the upgrade, and early troops in play.  Maybe a Slaughtergear’s build can see new life here?

Decklist:  View Deck

Count Davian_

Description: The Vampire King allows lifedrain to matter significantly, and the shard grid mixed in blood primarily with a side-focus in wild, leans Count Davian towards playing both vampires and cards that allow troops to battle, or cards that simply kill other troops.  This makes sense given his charge power that allows us to battle one of our troops vs. a random opposing troop.  Prior to the Ethereal Healer nerf, his passive, and deck building rules, made Ethereal Healers perfect fits.  If Diamond is splashed, they still are good in this decklist.

Upgrade: Passive provides either a Vampire Princess, or heals us for 2, when opposing troop dies.  Original would only provide a Vampire.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range, Control, Healing

Major Strength: Passive that can create Vampire Princess when upgraded, every time an opposing troop dies.

Major Weakness: Unending Hunger passive dealing 2 damage to us every turn.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Vampire Princess, Vampire King, Vampire Prince, Paladin of the Necropolis, Hunger of the Mountain God, Herofall

Conclusion: A solid mid-range and control deck that is centered around healing.  Count Davian will have a very solid deck to play throughout the campaign that does not have many bad match ups.

Decklist:  View Deck

Damioar Lathe_

Description: Spider eggs is what this mercenary is all about.  For those that like putting eggs in the enemies deck, and watch them pop out quickly, it will be achieved by Damioar.  At the start of our turn an egg goes in the enemies deck. If we control 5 troops that attack, we bury 10 cards of the enemies deck.  If we have 25 or more spiders at the start of our turn, we win. All great passives.  With terrorantulas, and Vennen troops that benefit us with spiders in play, we can win quickly whilst ignoring the dreadling movement.  Can include 4 of any Vennen in our deck.  Our charge power moves eggs up in the enemies deck 5 spaces, making it easier to hit them.

Upgrade: Create an egg for each opposing champion for each spiderling we control.  This escalates quickly into our 25 or more spider win condition.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range, Random, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: There are many great ways to build a strong spider or mill deck using this champion, given the passives and charge power.

Major Weakness: While every effort is made to make it easy to get eggs in the enemies deck, and make sure they come back out, it is still random, and can still take some time to play.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Vilefang Eremite, Tribunal Magistrate, Phenteo the Brood Priest, Nazhk Lookout, Phenteo’s Gift, Chronic Madness, Skittering Dark

Conclusion: Very strong alternative win-condition, and fast spider generation, can lead to very early wins against many encounters.

Decklist:  View Deck

Elder Mistsong_

Description: Similar to Ashahsa, Mistsong represents the Ardent side of a flight themed deck building focus.  The charge power is a battle mechanic for our troops with flight, to battle a troop without flight.  This makes a flight troop, like Elder of Lost Ages, a real nice early target for our charge power, to kill most threats in the game.  The shard grid is wide open for Diamond and Sapphire, and we start with an 8 card hand.

Upgrade: Every time a troop with flight enters play, we get a valor.  This is great paired with a card like Intrepid Conjurer.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range

Major Strength: Cards in hand, Valors for flight troops, and the battle charge power are all very good.

Major Weakness: Cannot play underworld troops, and blood is not playable at all.  We need flight troops for our charge power.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Elder of Lost Ages, Cyclone Shaper, Intrepid Conjurer, Cloudwalk, Moonrise Elder.

Conclusion: Flight themed mercenary with valor creation can lead to some very easy wins through evasion and early troop size.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: A unique mercenary that enables some fun constant themed deck building.  The shard grid pushes us into Ruby, and then asks us to build a deck with 10 constants.  For one resource, we can replace our crypt into our deck as an anytime use passive.  Our charge power allows us to cycle cards quickly as well.  Feste is a very strong Combo enabler champion.

Upgrade: Fire Juggler passive will allow us to deal 1 damage every time a resource hits a crypt.  This is great paired with cards that force discard, like Impulse.

Mercenary Categories: Combo, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Can cycle cards quickly

Major Weakness: Required to play 10 constants in the deck

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Fury Chant, Heart of Fire, Mindpyre, Kismet’s Reverie, Pucid’s Whisper, Lyrical Chanter

Conclusion: Great against anti-troop decks, as a constant combo deck, with plenty of card draw and discard, can be played here nicely.

Decklist:  View Deck

Finis Pith_

Description: At first glance it may seem that this mercenary is weak, due to their starting health and limited shard grid.  Stealth is a very powerful mechanic, and thanks to new equipment, we can maximize this charge power every-turn with the right deck build, to make us invincible.  This is especially powerful against the Armies of Myth 6 challenge, as we can use Finis to deck them out as we stay alive with stealth and lifedrain troops.  Building strong decks around AOE board wipes, with resilient troops can make Finis a strong backbone for any control deck. Induction Coil with gloves equipment is what we want here.  His party passive creates a random Rogue with no thresholds and puts it in our decks.

Upgrade: Soul Taker allows us to take a troop from our enemies crypt and put it in our hand.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Encounter Specialist, Survival

Major Strength: Charge power gives stealth and death sentence, and 8 card starting hand size

Major Weakness: Low starting health, cannot play troops with rage, limited to blood/artifacts primarily

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Vampires, Induction Coil + equipment, AOE board removal

Conclusion: Great toolbox mercenary for challenging troop heavy encounters, but may be too slow vs. some encounters in the game due to low starting health.

Decklist:  View Deck

Gax, the Sly Roller_

Description: Themed after the great dungeons and dragons, GAX allows us to really roll the dice.  We can get dice with our charge power that give a variety of great effects.  There is also RNG for all attacking troops on both sides, so either keep the enemy board clear, or pray for some luck in our favor.  We start with an 8 card hand and decent HP.  We have decent party passives that differ in a dungeon vs. adventuring.  We also have a fairly open grid when it comes to the ability to play 4x of class based troops.

Upgrade: Our Dragons in dungeons have -2 cost in all zones.

Mercenary Categories: Random, Mid-Range,

Major Strength: Upgrade for dungeons is very good, as well as the dice value we get in addition to open shard grids for troop based decks.

Major Weakness: Non-troop focus can often make higher rarity card strategies obsolete.  Feel inclined to only play GAX in dungeons once upgraded.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Puck, the Dreambringer; Burgamot Ebonrock; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Jadiim, Syyn, Zakiir, Daarmak, Saarthu, Zeedu

Conclusion: Very fun to play for the dice, but also very strong in dungeons for Dragons.  A chase mercenary for individuals with well developed playsets.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: The Full of Hot Air charge power that allows us to either do a Lingering Fart, or Gargantufart is extremely powerful, and thematically fun or funny to play with.  The power is expensive at 4 cost, but with Cooking Pots giving us 3 charges on sacrifice, and a charge themed deck, with his 2 starting charges, we can make this trigger for many turns in a row.

Upgrade: Gas Powered – Gives our Ruby actions double damage when we use our charge power.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Combo, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Powers up charge themed decks with a great board-wipe charge power, 2 starting charges, and 32 starting health.

Major Weakness: Hand size of 6

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Arena Regular, Goblin Cooking Pot, Crackling Bolt, Zap

Conclusion: A nice aggressive mercenary to build around for charges matter themed decks

Decklist:  View Deck

Gordon Boomcussion_

Description: With the right deck around Gordon, dealing tons of damage early is very easy to do.  With a Heart of Fire, Ghostblade Duelist, and Blade Flourish, we can draw out our entire deck until the opposing champion is out of health.  The charge power Full of New Ideas gives us a random action at 2 or less cost that we meet threshold requirements for, so it’s nice to stay mono-ruby for Gordon, although splashing Sapphire for more card draw is tempting.  Explosions Make Everything Better passive will allow us to put all actions we have played into our deck at the end of our turn, if we have a troop in play that dealt damage.

Upgrade: Here Comes the Boom will increase all of our non-combat damage dealt to champions by 1.  Prioritize this upgrade early.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Combo

Major Strength: The upgrade and charge power give us a nice way to deal increased damage and keep the hand fueled with actions.

Major Weakness: Low starting health, and deck recycling can back-fire if we are not finding cards to draw more cards.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank; Xorak, the Flamehand

Best cards to pair with: Heart of Fire, Burn, Scorch, Ghostblade Duelist, Tale of Insight, Blade Flourish, The Crowd Roars!.

Conclusion: Action based aggression can ramp very quickly playing with a upgraded Gordon.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: One of the most versatile mercenaries, Hawkor allows us to build a deck focusing on cards with equipment getting closer to our hand.  The cost reduction charge power that moves up our equipped cards, make playing cards with the ability to replay them often, very nice fits for equipment choices.  This would apply to cards like Phenteo’s Gift, or Pack Raptor, or Ethereal Healer.  The passive Inspiring Display gives us +1/+1 for all troops in play when we play an equipped card.  We also start with 1 armor, which is nice to have for early survival.  Shard grid allows 3x copies of any card, any rarity.

Upgrade: Stockpiled Assets passive allows us to pick 3 different equipped cards in our deck, at the start of the game, and make copies of them to put in our deck.  This is incredibly powerful combined with Hawkor’s charge power and passives.  Prioritize immediately.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-range, Combo, Survival, Encounter Specialist, Affordable

Major Strength: Versatility unparalleled.  Charge power can lead to Combo heavy game enders happening quickly.

Major Weakness: Can’t play beasts, and getting the first charge power to go off early needs to be built around.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Pack Raptor, Ethereal Healer, Phenteo’s Gift,

Conclusion: This should be in everyone’s toolbox early on.  Make sure it is ready to go, and upgraded, for when you need to pull it out.

Decklist:  View Deck

Hoo’vis O’Shearskin_

Description: An aggressive mercenary all about going all-in.  We are rewarded by finding early game troops with big damage and evasion and swinging recklessly at our opponent.  This is because we can’t gain health, and the only way we lose health is through our 2 unique passives.  Like a Rock – if damage would be dealt, add 1 berserk counter for each damage that would be dealt instead.  Ticking Clock – At the end of our turn, remove have of the berserk counters and deal 1 damage for each one removed.  This means we could effectively survive 2x or more damage than our starting health of 22, and an extra turn of attacking, before we lose the game.  Our charge power, Baa’serker allows us to give a troop +1 attack for each troop attacking each turn.

Upgrade: Like a Tectonic Mega-Truck will give a target troop speed, at the cost of 2 resources and 2 berkserk counters added to us.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Survival

Major Strength: Berserk counter survival mechanic will keep us alive long enough to often get 1 or more attacks in before we fall.

Major Weakness: Cannot gain health, or play troops with lifedrain.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Quash, Ridge Tusker, Hired Horn Cutthroat, Voice of the Ashwood, Skittering Skarn, Lazgar’s Vengence, Escape Goat

Conclusion: Troop aggro is heavily awarded here, which makes a focused Ruby troop deck with combat tricks and speed a tier above the rest.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Rewarded for having a lot of troops, Katsuhiro can end battles quickly with a board full of troops.  Martial Training for 3 charges will give all troops in play, and in our hand +1 attack.  If we have 3 or more troops that attacked, we gain health.  We also start with 8 cards in hand.  The shard grid leans heavily to race, where artifact, wild, blood are equally open.  We can’t include ardent troops, but a Shin’Hare or Necrotic themed deck with a low curve are very open to play aggressively.

Upgrade: Find the Weak Point will put Vulnerability on the opposing champion at the start of our turn if we have 3 troops in play.  This will make short work of an encounter and should be heavily prioritized.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Affordable

Major Strength: Early troop pump charge power, and vulnerability counters for double-damage.

Major Weakness: No ardent are allowed, and shard grid is limiting

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Underworld Recruiter, Fertile Engorger, Monsuun, Nori

Conclusion: A freely acquired mercenary that can pack a punch with a very budget minded collection.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Troops matter deck building with a secondary focus on classes is a fun challenge, and our passive is nice troop wide buffs.  Or deck building requirement suggests we focus on all 6 class types for troops, however building a more tuned troop base around 1 of the 2 passives may be a better focus.  The set 6 dual class troops are very effective for this type of deck building.  Our charge power helps fill the gap.

Upgrade: Proficient Coalition can draw us 2 cards, but the trick is card draw before we have a board with all 6 classes in play.  Save the gold on this upgrade unless our deck is exceptionally tuned.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Combo

Major Strength: Troops matter buffs around Assembled Strength or Assembled Intellect, and an 8 card starting hand size.

Major Weakness: Requirement of Troop Class matters, along with max 3 copies of any single card, can make focusing on a single strategy difficult to pull off in a game.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro

Best cards to pair with: Dawn Mesa Duo, Warpsteel Shardsworn, Ardent Recruiter, Underworld Recruiter

Conclusion: A solid Mercenary to try for the amazing board state buffs late-game, but generally another mercenary or campaign character will get the job done more efficiently and earlier.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Fungal Funeral is a great way to get 2 potentially powerful troops early in the game, and as a 3 cost charge power, could become a centric part of a Kikaku list.  Our passive Scrape and Scour says when we scrounge we draw two cards, then discard a card.  This all helps us get more troops into our crypt while powering up our hand and board.  With Blood, Ruby, Wild and Artifacts all fairly open, as long as we hit our 10 deathcry troops, we have flexibility to take the list in many different directions.  The bonus starting charge helps the Shroomkins hit play early.

Upgrade: The Corpse Collector passive will put all of our enemies troops from their crypt into our own at the start of our turn, that can lead to powerful early game plays like a fully scrounged Deathseeker on turn 2 or 3.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Combo, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Scrounge and free troop generation charge power can lead to heavy early game board positions that are hard to lose from.

Major Weakness: Getting and keeping cards in the crypt early, can be the major challenge before we combo off.  Lacking access to Sapphire makes Mill strategies near impossible.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank; Baxoth of Korru; B.E.B.O

Best cards to pair with: Deathseeker, Hideous Conversion, Sepulchra Maggots, Fertile Engorger, Freak of Nature, Tomb Swap, Graven Geist

Conclusion: If you enjoy crypt interaction, and big early game troops through scrounge and sacrifice effects, a Kikaku list will be enjoyable and powerful to play.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Shard Bloom will give resource acceleration every time we use our charge power.  This is perfect with cards like Mightsinger of Ages, and Wild Root Dancer.  Our Waters of Genesis passive will create random troops of 6+ cost we meet thresholds for, and put them into our deck.  It’s pretty fun to draw into cards and wonder if the deck we built didn’t save correctly, but generally they are troops we can play when we have cards like Howling Brave, and Puck, the Dreambringer in play.

Upgrade: Fae Wisdom passive gives card draw and 0/1 resources when a 6+ cost card is played.  It’s an okay benefit, but not necessary if we are already playing big troops by turn 3.

Mercenary Categories: Ramp, Mid-range, Combo

Major Strength: Incredible ramp mercenary, with the ability to play 5cost + troops easily by turn 3.

Major Weakness: Low starting health, and grid squarely focused on wild.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank; Puck, the Dreambringer

Best cards to pair with: Wild Root Dancer, Mightsinger of Ages, Puck the Dreambringer, Howling Brave, Chlorophyllia

Conclusion: Despite her poor opening health, Lillyth is the strongest ramp mercenary in the game, that can rival a highly tuned Elf Warrior campaign deck for the ability to play large threats early.  If you like and have the big cards in wild to make her work, she is definitely worth owning.

Decklist:  View Deck

Lobo, Reader of Streams_

Description: Deploy troops are what we want here, whether it be through powerful prophecy effects, or triggers that allow us to get extreme value.

Upgrade: The Anticipated Arrival passive allows us to play prophesied cards from the top of our deck.  This is very strong for Coyotle themed troop pump decks.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range, Combo

Major Strength: Being able to play prophesied cards off the top of our deck, and void all of our troops make deploy themed decks powerful.

Major Weakness: Cannot play Shin’Hare, and powerful opposing deploy effects may negate our charge power as a strength.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Cardboard Tube Samurai; Katsuhiro; Augustine; Clatterclank

Best cards to pair with: Paradigm Shift, Charge Colossus, Brightmoon Brave, Young Seer, Royal Den Mother, Buccaneer.

Conclusion: Any strong deploy trigger in Diamond, Wild, and Sapphire, can be made far stronger with Lobo’s charge power.  Stacking early Deploy effects, and repeating them, can lead to fast wins, and exciting board states.

Decklist:  View Deck

Luther Rumbleblitz_

Description: An odd duck mercenary that is exceptionally good at dealing with artifact themed opposing decks.  Exceptional at taking down the Great Machine Graveyard in the Alachian Sea.  Destructive Flight gives quick evasion, combined with an early attack buff, and artifact destruction.  Reconstruct passive is quite strong if our deck is built around artifact scrapping.

Upgrade: Reckless Dismantling fits the theme of artifact destruction well, but is not a necessary upgrade ability for the cost.  Save the gold.

Mercenary Categories: Encounter Specialist, Aggressive, Mid-Range

Major Strength: The Destructive Flight ability paired with our access to 4 of any Ruby or Artifact card, make for some very fun explosive deck builds, that can win as early as turn 1.

Major Weakness: We can’t use Gnolls or Junk in our deckbuilding, and have a limited shard grid, so some of the better strategies to make best use of Reconstruct passive are off the table.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: B.E.B.O, Clatterclank, Baxoth, Katsuhiro

Best cards to pair with: Reginald Lancashire, Spectral Acorn, Forge of Cadoc, War Machinist

Conclusion: An unlikely favorite for a popular dungeon, with utility to perform at a high level outside of a very narrow focus on artifact destruction.  Definitely consider giving Luther a spin.

Decklist:  View Deck

Mayor Galway_

Description: Being able to summon troops into play with a charge power, can make for powerful combo strategy decks.  There are a few strategies to use Galway for his Party passive for Galway’s Retribution Deathcry, and others that make good use of Veteran Seafarer for extra card draw in campaign encounters.  The shard grid and charge power allow for human themed board flood strategies, also with a fair allowance of artifacts.  Mayor Galway is acquired for free by beating the first encounter of the Kraken’s Lair without killing him, while he is in play.

Upgrade: Decent if you are using Mayor Galway vs. specific undead encounters or dungeons, but otherwise is not necessary.

Mercenary Categories: Encounter Specialist, Affordable, Mid-Range, Combo

Major Strength: The Dark Water with charge power allow for some great charge themed brews.  His party passive is something to remember when set 7 cards start transforming into deathcry matters aggressive campaign decks.

Major Weakness: Not being able to play 4x Ruby, and 4x Artifact limit strategies a bit, and no Blood or Wild Shard grid allowance.  Otherwise no significant weakness consideration.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai,

Best cards to pair with: Crackling Vortex, Storm Cloud, Crackling Tide, Crackling Wit, Town Crier, Carloth Cobblestone

Conclusion: Interesting to build around, and worth considering for the party passive.  Troop heavy, or Human heavy design considerations will help validate whether or not he is played.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: A kickstarter mercenary, that is the same art as the card Infernal Professor, and performs essentially in the same way.  Interesting too that we can not play chaostouched in our deck, and Mad Aradam is afraid of demons, because we are the direct counter to Mad Aradam through our passive Historian of the Tombs.  Essentially, self-mill strategies, and Lifedrain strategies will help Meph perform.  Looking forward to running with Succumb to Madness

Upgrade: Very risky to build around.  Avoid unless a very specific idea enables it consistently.

Mercenary Categories: Encounter Specialist, Control, Recursion, Random, Combo

Major Strength: 8 card starting hand size, and a very important passive for mill themed encounters.

Major Weakness: Low starting health, limited shard grid, and a charge power that can backfire.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Aethynia, Count Davian, Mother Dawnbreeze, GAX, Monkey of the Nine Tails

Best cards to pair with: Vampire Princess, Vampire King, Phenteo’s Gift, Chronic Madness, Leeching Burrower, Taste for Blood, Consult the Talon

Conclusion: Strong to have in the arsenal, but not necessarily a must have unless we really want to make quick work of a painful encounter, like Mad Aradam.  Future potential for solid Combo themed lifedrain or big bomb decks.

Decklist:  View Deck

Monkey of the Nine Tails_

Description: One of the strongest control mercenaries in the game.  Nine Tails gives us at will void effects, at the cost of 9 health.  This may seem a steep cost, but can be quickly mitigated by effective deck building and wise use of the upgrade passive “Nine-Tailed Balance”.  There are several trade-offs for such a powerful control mechanic.  We need to build a 99 card deck exactly, can only have 3 copies of any 1 card, and only have 19 starting health.  However, we do have an opening 9 card starting hand size.

Upgrade: Nine-Tailed Balance is one of the most powerful Mercenary Upgrades in the game.  This is a must have, and consider yourself lucky to be a owner of such a mercenary, if and when you perfect the art of triggering this passive.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Survival, Combo, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: 9 card starting hand size, and the ability to void on demand

Major Weakness: 99 card deck, with only 3 copies of any 1 card.  Damage and healing to reach 9 can be challenging in attempt to trigger “Nine-Tailed Balance”.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Count Davian, Mother Dawnbreeze, Aethynia

Best cards to pair with: Adamanthian Scrivener, Ethereal Healer, Ivory Pawn, Scorch, Burn, Crackling Bolt

Conclusion: Believe in the power of nine, and grab this mercenary if possible.  One of the best in the game for control, that will see a place at the table late in the campaign as one of the best for controlling scary encounters.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Shroomkin are incredibly fun to play, and also extremely powerful.  With Muster the Mustachioed we can move the strong shroomkin gang up in our deck and draw a card.  A great charge power for the cost of 4.  We also have a party passive that will give us health and bonus resources each turn for each member of the Mustachioed gang in play.  Most importantly, Mooof enables us to play the full shard grid we need to make use of all the best Shroomkin troops in the game.  A favorite being Freaky Fungus.

Upgrade: Not a necessary upgrade, but one that can give an alternative win condition.  It may be an ability that enables wins for challenging future content.

Mercenary Categories: Combo, Mid-Range, Random

Major Strength: Charge power, and shard grid for Shroomkin based deck building.

Major Weakness: Can not play Shin’Hare, many of which could combo nicely with Shroomkin.  No access to Diamond or Ruby for other fun strategies.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Freaky Fungus, Hideous Conversion, Fungus Amongus, Greenpaw Emancipator, Professor Sporzin

Conclusion: Hard to not fall in love with this type of mercenary and deck building.  Powerful with a full deck built around Freaky Fungus.

Decklist:  View Deck

Mother Dawnbreeze_

Description: A simple healing based mercenary with a very high upper threshold for deck building power.  The charge power gains us 10 health, and our passives will give us lifedrain, and +5/+5 with Crush when we hit certain mercenary health milestones.  Turn 3 or Turn 4 wins are not uncommon with a heavily tuned deck.

Upgrade: Blessing of the Ancestors is what makes Mother Dawnbreeze worth playing vs. challenging encounters.  Prioritize this upgrade.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Healing, Mid-Range, Survival

Major Strength: Can make any troop a huge threat as long as our health gets high enough.

Major Weakness: Entirely built around healing and high health, limiting the effectiveness vs. aggressive encounters, or encounters that turn off healing.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Count Davian, Aethynia, Monkey of the Nine Tails, GAX

Best cards to pair with: Adamanthian Scrivener, Ethereal Healer, Shoku’s Garden, Crackling Boon

Conclusion: Very powerful mercenary that can close games out very early by using troop based healing efficiently.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Aggression with a small splash of control can fairly describe this mercenary.  Building a beast or gnoll themed deck can show off the early game power.  Our passives can keep certain encounters from using defensive tricks, and defensive removal in response to our aggression.

Upgrade: Predatory Progress is nice, especially in the early game against encounters that start with a lot of gas.  There are also strategies that can be used to add more cards to opposing hands to up the benefit here.  However, it is not a necessary upgrade.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Gnolls and Beasts at 4 copies for any shard, and passives that make it difficult for our opponents to use combat tricks or removal are very nice, and can challenge some AI.

Major Weakness: Requirement to play at least 25 troops, with a limited shard grid, pushes the deck into a particular archetype.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Cardboard Tube Samurai, Katsuhiro, Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Feralroot Jaguar, Skittering Skarn, Riftwarp Badger, Kindling Skarn, Brutecrown Basher, Scraptooth Gnasher

Conclusion: Good aggressive choice for a deck when you want to go beast mode.  Also one of the few choices now for solid Gnoll based deck building.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Conscript is a fun mechanic to play with in PvE, as it creates a unique experience every game, with much less frustration from bad hits in PvP.  Nettlemoss helps mitigate the downsides of Conscript even more, by allowing the troops conscripted to cost less, and have better stats, thanks to Deepwood Drums.  Our charge power, Life of War is good, but not necessarily worth building around.  Having extra charges to use it though, could give the time we need to get the conscript engine time to get moving.

Upgrade: Deepwood Calling is a very good upgrade ability, especially given that our deckbuilding requirement will already push us towards including both ardent and underworld troops.  If we play Nettlemoss, we should prioritize this upgrade for free conscripting.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range, Random

Major Strength: Awarded for playing conscripted cards through Deepwood Drums.

Major Weakness: Forced inclusion of equal ardent and underworld troops makes the deckbuilding awkward, and the shard grid can also be frustrating when we really want a 3rd or 4th copy of some of the powerful conscript cards.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro

Best cards to pair with: Blessed Scout, Eager Lackey, Sacred Stance, Drokka Outcast, Battle Preparations

Conclusion: Very fun and effective with a high bar for superb end-game when hands are ideal.

Decklist:  View Deck

Portensio of Avon_

Description: A mercenary with 3 charge powers that synergize with each other, is extremely fun to toy around with.  There are some great set 6 cards to experiment with, like Lorenzo.  Essentially, Portensio is the bard we all want to be and can summon groupies at will, and remove troops.  The most efficient use of his charge powers, is when we have a total of 4 or 5 charges, and can utilize all 3 of his charge powers in the same turn, thanks to the reduced cost, combined with other charge generating abilities.  Bellow of Briggadon with feet equipment is very good for this mercenary.

Upgrade: Instrumental Virtuoso is great with a Elf build focus.  The extra charges will allow for charge power combinations more frequently.  It’s worth the upgrade if our build includes a fair amount of supportive elf troops.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Combo, Mid-Range

Major Strength: 3 Charge powers that can be used in a single turn, and that can generate troops, pump the board, and remove opposing troops.

Major Weakness: Narrow shard grid, and require 5-6 charges and a combo card before we can really start going off.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Augustine, Katsuhiro

Best cards to pair with: Bellow of Briggadon, Chlorophyllia, Rune Ear Hierophant, Mightsinger of Ages, Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger

Conclusion: Good and solid, but not necessarily better than other options for control mercenaries.  Charge based deck building may find better uses for Portensio soon.

Decklist:  View Deck

Puck, the Dreambringer_

Description: When we want to play a deck full of big troops, Puck is the go to mercenary.  Mixing in a fair amount of ramp, and large troops, will allow for threats to hit the board relatively early in combination with the charge power Piper’s Melody.  The passives will either keep our health up, or get our charges up quickly to help us Piper’s Melody again for threats.  Prioritizing 5 and 6 drops as the upper curve in bulk, will help assure plays as soon as the charge power is available with at least 3 resources.

Upgrade: Natural Consumption is very good for encounters with heavy constant or artifact themes, especially when we are greatly rewarded for playing 5+ cost troops.

Mercenary Categories: Healing, Ramp, Survival, Mid-Range, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Rewards large 5+ cost troop play.

Major Weakness: Limitations with the shard grid, and charge power whiffs can make it difficult to catch up.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Mother Dawnbreeze, Count Davian, Aethynia

Best cards to pair with: Chlorophyllia, Puck, The Dream Bringer, Wild Root Dancer, Uzume’s Handmaiden, Crocosaur, Arborean Rootfather

Conclusion: Wild Ramp strategy with a splash of healing and survival mixed in, makes for a solid mercenary experience that is fairly good at content clearing.

Decklist:  View Deck

Rakshani the Spiteblade_

Description: For those that missed the tunneling mechanics from set 2, Rakshani gives a great taste.  With all the cards in our hand having an increased cost due to Practiced Restraint, the best way to play most troops is now with Sensei of Subterfuge.  This may mean that we are required to play our troops delayed for 2 resources each, but those troops will be ready to attack when they enter play, and those troops can avoid other costs associated with playing them.  Great with certain cards like Guru of the Wounded Petal.  Brawn for the Burrowed can give our underground troops +1/+1 which can be good if we can stack a few underground.

Upgrade: Rakshani’s upgrade is a must if we decide to play him.  We go from a 6 starting hand size, to 8 starting hand size with this upgrade.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range,

Major Strength: Burrowing low cost cards, that are otherwise hard to play conditionally, is a fun way to build a deck.

Major Weakness: The shard grid semi limits what goes into the deck, and we are also forced to prioritize upgrading early to give a us a better early game hand.  We can not play flight troops, and all troops have a cost +1.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro

Best cards to pair with: Terror of the Bleakbark bog, Guru of the Wounded Petal, Clobberdon, Starving Lich

Conclusion: Great to try for a slightly different strategy, and can slow down opposing champions.  Fairly solid aggressive deck, best used against encounters that do not start with troops in play.

Decklist:  View Deck

Rifkun Bonespike_

Description: Rifkun is primarily an aggressive mercenary, that allows bounties for removing opposing threats.  The bounty benefits, and upgrade passive benefits allow for more aggressive troop trading and board-wipes to build up to larger threats and finishers.

Upgrade: Collect Bounty is a passive that could push a Rifkun deck further into the control and late-game category.  If a Diamond/Ruby Control themed deck with Ramp for big cards is desired, this could be a valuable upgrade.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Control

Major Strength: Great rewards for removing opposing threats.  Opportunities to immediately ramp in Ruby/Diamond tied to our upgrade and board control.

Major Weakness: Deck must contain 10 different named troops.  Ruby and Diamond are only fully open shards to play.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Augustine, Katsuhiro

Best cards to pair with: Heat Wave, Lazgar’s Vengeance, Minotaur Mercenary, Hired Horn Cutthroat, Hired Horn Sellsword

Conclusion: Great concept to build around, with encouraging options to play conditional cards that give your opponents troops, as long as there are ways to remove them.

Decklist:  View Deck

Salty Sam, The Swashbuckler_

Description: A rare mercenary conceptually built around the Buccaneer, which was one of the most hated tempo control cards from set 1.  Salty Sam embodies the tempo control hate by allowing us to gain charges every time our opponent has a troop enter play, and are charge power “Get off my ship!” can send that troop back into their hand with an increased cost.  Sam is a great mercenary to play for tempo control, especially when we compliment him with abilities that enjoy our opponents having large hands.

Upgrade: Give me the Loot! is a nice 1-shot that will draw us cards for each card in the opposing champions hand for 6 resources.  If the game gets to turn 6, often our opponent will have a huge grip of cards in hand due to our charge power, so this is a nice upgrade to have for the final tempo push.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Mid-Range, Survival

Major Strength: Charge power, and charge generation for troops entering play, often leave the opposing champion with a full hand of cards, and nothing in play.

Major Weakness: Limitations on shard grid, and tempo strategy can limit our deck building opportunities

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Artisanal Sommelier, Buccaneer, Ripple of Janai’ngo, Lorenzo the Wyrmsinger

Conclusion: Great tempo themed mercenary for easy troop based board control.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: This gnoll really pushes us towards Ruby and Artifact, but then shuts down ideas around War Machinist and Construction Plans, because we are unable to build with Dwarves or Plans.  The synergy Scabtongue presents in combination with Warpsteel Widget is extraordinary, and highly warrants a build around.  Great for a specific purpose, and more purposes may be realized with time, but such a good encounter utility mercenary to have that will help flood the board quickly, with solid robot fodder.

Upgrade: Mechanical Avarice is an Ace in the hole vs. Robot heavy encounters.  Once per turn we are able to pay 2 resources to destroy all opposing Robots.  Definitely worth an upgrade if Scabtongue becomes your Great Machine Graveyard farmer of choice.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Encounter Specialist, Combo

Major Strength: Utility in creating free Scrapyard Dynamo’s every time we destroy or sacrifice a non-junk artifact.

Major Weakness: Limitations on building blocks for most degenerate artifact themed deck building.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Warpsteel Widget, Dreadlings, Spring Litter Disciple

Conclusion: This is a mercenary worth trying at least once, if you own some of the cards mentioned above.  Extremely fun, surprisingly effective board flood strategies go off early.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: The newer addition to the Mercenary line-up, Sekki provides threshold ramp in Sapphire and Blood, that enable cards like, Bride of the Damned, Copycat, Empress of Ice, and other cards to see more play, earlier.  Our two passives grant threshold and either health or charges, when a card of the opposite threshold is played.  Blood and Sapphire – Yen and Yang.  Our charge power will allow us to draw two cards, but the downside is we then have to discard a card in our hand with cost 2 or greater.  This package really pushes for low curve decks, and fueling our late-game with the charge power for card draw.  Sekki also provides an interesting party passive, where we could have extra card draw if we have a 0 cost card in our hand.  Our deckbuilding allowances could open up new and interesting off threshold strategies as well.

Upgrade: “Ninja Vanish” is basically Retreat as a 1-Shot ability.  We can use this to quickly save a troop in play, or simply replay a threat with a solid deploy mechanic.  If we plan on running Sekki for farming, it is worth the gold for this added ability upgrade.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Combo, Healing, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Good starting hand, and passives that can quickly power up threshold heavy cards.

Major Weakness: Low starting health and limited shard grid threshold options.  Hit or miss charge power, depending on our deck build focus.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Aethynia, Mother Dawnbreeze, Count Davian

Best cards to pair with: Empress of Ice, Bride of the Damned, Copycat, Oni Assassin, Swiftpaw Trickster

Conclusion: One of the best mercenaries we have available, that also makes great use of passives with an optimized build.  Definitely worth owning for our adventures in Entrath, with a party passive that can see a lot of future application.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: Plant themed mercenary that does not disappoint!  Shayulsia has elements of control, randomness, and mid-range all wrapped into her package.  Seed Pod tech, along with stun passives, and stealth counters once upgraded.  Big plants in the forest will quickly overrun your opponents.

Upgrade: Shaded Camouflage is amazing, granting stealth counters, that can stack for multiple turns, with each plant that transforms.  This is especially easy if seed pods are played early on.  This versatile, almost invincibility is worth the upgrade price.

Mercenary Categories: Mid-Range, Survival, Control, Random, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Shaded Camouflage, and 4x of any Plant or 4x of any Fae.  Sleep Seeds stunning opposing troops when plants enter play is an epic passive.

Major Weakness: Very limited shard grid forces a wild base.  Future plants and faes may allow some room to stretch into other deck building options.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Aryndel Warden, Wrathwood Master Moss, Splinterslam, Bramble Creeper

Conclusion: If you enjoy plants, and want a functional base, do not hesitate to pick-up Shayulsia and upgrade her as soon as possible.

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: For those that like variety, Sin’Glar is here to promote random.  This is the first taste of “Highlander” most of the HEX community have experienced, and there are some small rewards in PvE to trying it out in this format.  Our charge power is great to get the right cards we need to push for wins.  Our passives contradict each other, but can both be achieved depending on how we tune our deck build.  A general preference when building a single copy deck though is start small, but go wide.

Upgrade: “Rally the Rabble” is potentially the more powerful passive that will see application in the game, rather than “There Can be Only One”.  Both passives are rather hit or miss, since we are loading our deck with single copies, depending on our curve.  Consider this, if you feel you can get a well optimized low-curve.  Of course, this upgrade is made infinitely better as more cards are created and accessible to everyone.

Mercenary Categories: Random, Mid-Range, Aggressive, Control

Major Strength: Sole Purpose and 8 card starting hand size allow for affordable digging, for any resemblance of a strategy.

Major Weakness: Our passives, and our deck building restrictions for single copies make for huge variation in gameplay (which for some may be a strength).

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: B.E.B.O, Scabtongue, Mooof, Lillyth

Best cards to pair with: Ascetic Aspirant, Succumb to Madness, Archmage Wrenlocke, Lady Devonshire, Exiled Bard

Conclusion: Free to try after earned through account level rewards.  Decent for theme, and good to see this deck building restriction see a spot in the game, but it feels rather lackluster in PvE.

Decklist:  View Deck

Sister of the Herd_

Description: An affordable 2/3 on charge power troop, Free threshold granted for Beast in our hand, Passive that negates all non-combat damage, and boons for all beasts in play each turn.  It’s a mercenary package that is incredibly strong, and comes to us on a freely acquired mercenary from AZ2.  If we own enough beasts to populate this deck, the opportunities to excel are great.

Upgrade: Beast Mastery will give random boons permanently to our beasts at the beginning of each turn.  With a Beast focus deck, this quickly propels into wins and late game advantages when boards lock up.  Worth the gold.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Survival, Encounter Specialist, Affordable

Major Strength: Protect the Herd passive is great against damage based removal.  An exceptional package for a beast themed deck, that scales.

Major Weakness: Inability to make great use of the Protect the Herd passive with a non-beast focus, due to shard grid limitations for rare and legendary cards.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine

Best cards to pair with: Embertongue Skarn, Feralroot Jaguar, Kindling Skarn, Skittering Skarn

Conclusion: While all the free AZ2 mercenaries are good, Sister of the Herd has the best package for survival, and provides the most deck building versatility as well.  Definitely worth exploring.

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Description: Charged themed deck building challenge, with more application thanks to set 6 Diligence mechanics combined with Slamvolt charge power.  Some nice application to potential play, 2, 3, or even 4 cost troops on turn one, depending on how we build our deck.  The challenge is primarily in managing the random nature of charge gain to successfully benefit from our passives when we need them.

Upgrade: “Hex-Infused Nanotubes” can give cost reduction as early as turn 1, and can help get powerful cards into play incredibly early.  Pairing this with early diligence and a potential turn 1 reactor bot, and we have a valuable early game aggressive mercenary and the gold worth upgrading.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Combo, Random, Affordable

Major Strength: “Hex-Infused Nanotubes”, and using our free charge power “Manual Crank Ventilation” to our advantage, every turn.

Major Weakness: The random nature of our charge gain with “High Performance Voltage Generator”, and limitation on shard grid can make the deck building a challenge.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Kasuhiro, Augustine, Sekki, Spirit of the Triumvirate

Best cards to pair with: Reactor Bot, Chimera Bot, The Buffalord, Orbiculon

Conclusion: Due to the affordable nature of Slamvolt, if you own some of the diligence cards mentioned above from set 6, an upgraded Slamvolt is worth exploring for it’s aggressive shell.

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Spirit of the Triumvirate_

Description: A truely focused combo mercenary, Spirit rewards us for thinking about hitting early game goals.  Play 3 cards in a single turn, deal damage with 3 troops to opposing champion in a single turn, and heal 3 times in a single turn.  If we can achieve all 3 within a game, we can transform our mercenary into a more powerful copy that has an impressive charge power.

Upgrade: A very unique upgrade, improves the Party passive provided to give all 3 boons to 3 troops randomly in a deck, instead than 3 troops get 1 boon, at random, each.  Worth considering for decks where your troops need just a little bit extra to close out a match, and could benefit by this support passive.

Mercenary Categories: Combo, Mid-Range, Healing

Major Strength: Turning into the Triumvirate is the biggest reward for playing Spirit.  Having then, at will removal built into our charge power.

Major Weakness: Our passive to gain counters is dependent on many moving parts, and requires significant tuning to pull off early.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Adamanthian Scrivener, Ethereal Healer, Ivory Pawn, Hero of Legend, Glorious Pegasus, Lord Benjamin, Lord Alexander, Lord Adam

Conclusion: The reward is worth the investment, but requires a very narrow deck building strategy.  If anything, you may want an updated spirit just for the solid party passive it could provide other campaign characters or mercenaries.

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Description: Sylviana can create both aggressive-mid-range, and control style decks through the use of her many spell power themed abilities.  The bonus power her spell power can provide makes focusing on charge gain, to trigger that spell power gain every turn, very effective.  The ability to make a copy of a quick card in our hand, and put it in our deck is ripe for Combo deck building.  An enjoyable mercenary to try, especially as we find more ways to generate spell power.

Upgrade: Flowing Essence promotes the quick action and quick troop build focus Sylviana enables.  Getting a bonus temporary resource is a very nice upgrade, worth the gold cost, not just for playing extra cards, but for ramping into playing larger cards a turn earlier.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Survival, Mid-Range, Combo

Major Strength: The ability to play any quick card at 4 copies allows for more versatile deck building.  Also, creating copies of quick cards is extremely powerful.  Starts with 8 card hand.

Major Weakness: Summoning Barrier, and Spell Power costs increasing with each use, are Sylviana’s largest barriers.  We can not play more than 1 troop each turn, so we are either playing quick troops on off-turns to substitute, or focusing on decks that play a small amount of troops.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: The Crowd Roars!, Morphology, Swiftpaw Trickster, Piranha Swarm, Cosmic Calling, Coralcove Witch

Conclusion: Strong mercenary that opens up a different level of control and combo, but not particularly fast or effective, due to her passive “Summoning Barrier”.  Worth trying for full deck building access to quick cards, and opposing turn ramp, when opposing decks require immediate responses.

Decklist:  View Deck

Tafford the Tireless_

Description: Tafford is a constant themed mercenary, that should see more utility with set 7 constants.  “Manifest Militia” charge power will grant a troop based on the number of constants we have in play.  This promotes to optimize early constant play, with our deck building, that turn into free troops later.  Memories of the Departed can slowly lead to wins for enemies with troops in the crypt, but the passive effects all champions. That passive is offset by Tafford’s Upgrade passive, that provides healing with Eternal Youth.

Upgrade: “Everlasting Senty” creates an Eternal Youth and puts it into our hand when an opposing champion plays an action.  Eternal Youth has equipment that can make it an alternative win condition, so if the circumstances are right, and we build around that concept, this may be worth the upgrade.  At the very least, it is a free action that will heal.

Mercenary Categories: Random, Mid-Range, Survival, Healing

Major Strength: Can include 4 copies of any constant, and charge power creates free troops.

Major Weakness: Not focusing on constants feels useless with Tafford, and some constant deck building ideas outside of Diamond, don’t work the best due to shard grid limitations on non-constant supporting cards we can play.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Radiant Physician, Fury Chant, For the Ardent!, Death Chant

Conclusion: Will tie together a constant themed deck, and add more power with free troop support.

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Description: The bird of justice, Tealwing has a great package that reduces the cost of constants and birds that we play.  Our charge power will also put a random constant into play.  There are a lot of ways to build a Tealwing deck, because the shard grid limitations can suggest many different strategies as viable.  With more access to common birds and constants, with future set releases, Tealwing may see more permanence as an aggressive mercenary for campaign content clearing.

Upgrade: “Silver Talon Veto” is a great 1-Shot Interrupt to have for free, if Tealwing sees any amount of long term play on our roster.

Mercenary Categories: Random, Mid-Range, Control

Major Strength: “Pass Into Law” charge power can be a huge benefit, “Avian Delegation lowers the cost of all constants and birds by cost -1.  Free 1-Shot “Silver Talon Veto” interrupts a non-troop card is our upgrade.

Major Weakness: Challenging shard grid to take full advantage of the passives and charge power we are presented with.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Augustine, Katsuhiro, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Halls of Kukutan, Hallowed Radiance, Death Chant, Thunderbird

Conclusion: Great Mercenary to have access to for the reduced cost constants and birds, but a very challenge shard grid makes the deck build power, currently, just mediocre.

Decklist:  View Deck

The Dingler King_

Description: The Dingler King is a control mercenary, and for the price of the strength he can provide, he is significantly hindered by starting health and shard grid.  We do get a 9 card starting hand size, which makes it a bit easier to assure we have a decent starting hand, to prevent early damage to the face.

Upgrade: “One of Us” allows us to transform the opposing champion into a Dingler.  Which is essentially an alternative win-condition, and also very fun to build towards.  This is more of an ultimate achievement at this point, more so than a necessity.  For the serious, save the gold.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: 9 Starting hand size, and 4 starting charges, with a fairly powerful charge power, if we can get it online early enough.

Major Weakness: 9 starting health, and a very limited shard grid.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Baxoth of Korru, B.E.B.O, Clatterclank, Mother Dawnbreeze, Aethynia, Count Davian

Best cards to pair with: Polymorph: Dingler, Skittering Cultivator, Mindcall, Piranha Swarm

Conclusion: If we want the ultimate deck building challenge, for potentially the ultimate alternative win-condition and ultimate control, play the ultimate Dingler.  Play the King.

Decklist:  View Deck

The Transcended_

Description: “Enlightened Conscience” is the charge power to build around for this mercenary, as Meditating successfully leads to very powerful “Enlightenment” cards to play that will greatly assist our deck for the encounter.  Being able to see our opponents hand with “Forsee Peril” is help when trying to play control.  If we build a protective shell, and Meditate, taking down even the most challenging counters, should become easy.  There are a lot of fun ways to deck build with The Transcended.  Some examples are: Healing Themed, Conscript Themed, Control/Denial Themed, Card Creation Themed, and Aggression Themed.

Upgrade: “Duality of Mind and Master” is nice to have for games that go past turn 5.  Worth the gold cost, if The Transcended becomes the go-to mercenary for a budget deck with consistent performance.

Mercenary Categories: Affordable, Mid-Range, Survival, Control

Major Strength: 8 card starting hand size, and full shard grid for common and uncommon cards.

Major Weakness: No ability to play rare or legendary cards, and Meditating can be difficult to protect damage against in certain encounters.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Shard Ward, Blinding Light,

Conclusion: This is a must have mercenary for players newer to HEX to build around, as the decks built will force lean and affordable cards to be the base.  There is a great high end for The Transcended to aspire to, with ability to clear even the toughest encounters, thanks to the bonuses Meditating successfully can offer.

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Thonia the Raving_

Description: The tool set Thonia provides is possibly one of the strongest comprehensively we have access to.  Building a deck that is powered, or powers the discard mechanic, will net us extremely early plays and threats well ahead of curve.  The hardest part might be deciding on what cards we play to make Thonia work.  Transmute Energy, and Transmute Mind are the passives that really ramp Thonia into Aggressive status.

Upgrade: Changes “Whispers of Insanity” to “Shriek of Insanity” Charge power.  Making both our opponent and us discard.  This is an exceptional upgrade with our passives, because it can essentially net us 2 passive triggers for the charge power.  Get it.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Control, Survival, Healing, Combo, Ramp, Encounter Specialist

Major Strength: Charge power and passives give card draw, resource ramp, and healing, making Thonia a solid combo mercenary

Major Weakness: Forced to play 20 actions minimum

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Bride of the Damned, The Crowd Roars!, Cerebral Jack-hat, Shrewd Manipulation, Crazed Rummaging.

Conclusion: One of the best current mercenaries to own to clear content quickly and effectively, and also is quite fun to play.  Thonia has fairly decent build versatility as well.  Pick her up!

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: The Ardent Crusader and Caribaur Antlerguard Mercenary, is essentially Thulgrund.  Due to the deckbuilding requirements we are required to have at least 8 unique ardent troops in our deck; 2 unique ones from each race.  If we control 1 of each race at the beginning of our turn, we get to create a ton of valor and put them into our hand, through our passive “Ardent Assembled”.  Solid Diamond Ruby Ardent themed mercenary.  “Enlist Allies” charge power gives us Conscript on a troop in our hand, when it is played.

Upgrade: “Renewing Valor” is not a necessary upgrade, but any valor theme, or early ardent assembled passive proc quickly makes this added health gain a nice benefit when we attack.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Healing, Random

Major Strength: Charge power to conscript, and passive that can potentially generate valor are the biggest benefits.

Major Weakness: Forces a very linear troop heavy strategy.  There are ways to look for unique builds for Thulgrund that do not solely focus on Ardent passive procs for Valor, but those strategies would be uncommon.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Ardent Crusader, Caribaur Antlerguard, Ardent Recruiter, Artisanal Sommelier, Hero of Legend, Dawn Mesa Duo

Conclusion: Fun to play already powerful cards themed around Ardent Crusader as a deck building challenge, but outside of that gameplay desire, there may be better mercenaries that provide more utility.

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Description: Playing midnight 5 threshold themed decks is extremely fun, and the cards that fall well into the theme reward well for the commitment to the threshold fixing challenge.  Xarhrax passives are great buffs to our troops in play, and actions and constants in hand when we hit all five thresholds.  We can also steal cards from our opponents and use them against them.  If we are confident in our ability to hit threshold fixing, Xarhrax will provide a powerful mid and late game to us, with or without other midnight themed cards.  Great party passive as well, for other decks trying to hit all 5 thresholds.

Upgrade: Midnight Hour” will not be easy to obtain, but the added incentive to go late-game and slowly take cards from our opponent is very enticing.  Worth getting for challenging content Xarhrax seems ideal for.

Mercenary Categories: Random, Mid-Range, Combo, Control

Major Strength: Free cards from our opponents to play, and great passives that pump up our board state.  Also an 8 card starting hand.

Major Weakness: Requirement of at least four cards from each threshold, but one that can be mitigated by cards with multiple thresholds.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Daarmak, Sepulchra Crypt Dust, Lixil, the Deathless Gem, Midnight Shepherd, Midnight Paladin

Conclusion: As fixing for hitting all 5 thresholds in a deck improve overtime, Xarhrax is quickly becoming a more sought after mercenary for the huge shard grid versatility and passive buffs for all cards that are playable.  A very fun mercenary to play.  Highly recommend.

Decklist:  View Deck

Xorak, the Flamehand_

Description: Is something burning?  Xorak is a Mercenary that will allow us to stack burning counters on our opponents.  Our passive “Conflagration Adept” will add burning counters to a champion every-time we deal damage to a champion with actions.  This makes damage based action decks ideal.  Our charge power “Stoke the Fires” allow us to deal double non-combat damage to opposing champions until the start of our next turn, meaning burning counters will also deal double damage.  The Shard Grid with full access to Ruby makes sense, and with an added starting hand size of 8, we can get the burn theme going quickly.  An actions and constant themed deck would do quite well here, but troops are not excluded from effectiveness.  Unfortunately, we can not put 1 health troops into our deck.  Xorak also has a decent party passive if we know we will have less health than our opponents.

Upgrade: “Violent Combustion” will also give burning counters to champions when their troops die.  Can be extremely viable for encounters with many small troops in play, where we could play board wipe effects.  For example, a Heat Wave with Chest equipment, and our Charge power, can deal 6 damage AOE to non-Ruby troops.  Worth the gold, if we actively play Xorak.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Combo, Mid-Range

Major Strength: 8 card starting hand and charge power that allows us to deal double non-combat damage.

Major Weakness: Limited Shard Grid, and low starting health at 18.  Not being able to play 1 defense troops like Arena Regular and Ghostblade Duelist.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhrio, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Burn, Crackling Bolt, Scorch, Burning Tendrils, Zap, Heat Wave, Scars of War

Conclusion: A great aggressive mercenary that is fairly easy and affordable to build a strong deck around.

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Description: With the ability to play four copies of any socketed card, and access to 4 copies of any artifact, Zannut gives deck builders the perfect socketed deck platform.  With “Swoop Attack” as our charge power, there will be several turns before we get it online, but it is a powerful control ability late-game once we’ve played 7 socketed troops.  Thanks to “Omen of Malice” the permanent reduction in cost for Swoop Attack is achieved quickly.  This makes Zannut unique in that, we want to play Socketed cards early and quickly, but can still rely on late game Control and Survival with our charge power, for doing so.

Upgrade: “Vestige of Doom” provides a random threshold and a Relic of Nulzann, both which help lead towards a Control heavy late-game.  Worth the cost.

Mercenary Categories: Control, Survival, Combo, Mid-Range

Major Strength: Control themed charge power, and passive that supports it, through fun, socket heavy deck builds.

Major Weakness: Building Socket heavy decks is challenge, and threshold dependent.  Time is required, and a little luck to get our charge power online.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Sentry of Nulzann, Emsee, Etcher, Protectorate Defender, Animus of Nulzann, Lady Cassandra

Conclusion: Not necessary to own or play, and some other control mercenaries may be better, but if you love sockets, and want full support for it in the PvE Campaign, you will want to play Zannut.

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Description: Zoltog is an aggressive mercenary that promotes early Orcs to be played, and deal damage.  This makes orcs that can deal damage outside of combat also very valuable.  “Overwhelming Savagery can make a small swing, a lot more fierce the following turn, forcing our opponent to have a board wipe response.  The added benefit of our passive “Decree of the Mountain God” can turn off more frustrating opposing life gain strategies.

Upgrade: “Aggressive Leadership” is exceptional with a build tuned for it, like an Arena Regular, Stalagmage, Brutal Commander, Whirling Brutalizer list may do well.  The 50% chance at a permanent +1 attack will help close matches out early.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range

Major Strength: 4 copies of any Orc are allowed, and solid charge power and passives to help flood the board early on.

Major Weakness: Can’t include underworld troops, and a very limited shard grid outside of Orc focused deckbuilding.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Stalagmage, Arena Regular, Brutal Commander, Ridge Raider, Quash Ridge Tusker, Blood Lust, Hunger of the Mountain God

Conclusion: Orc aggro at its finest.  Zoltog does one job, and he does it well.  Zug Zug!

Decklist:  View Deck


Description: The Underworld Crusader and Vampiric Nightstalker Mercenary of choice, Zurxathil powers up very focused Underworld troop themed deck building.  We must include two uniquely named troops from each race among the Underworld faction.  In addition to a strong synergy around Underworld troops, our passive will create dreadlings when all Underworld faction races are represented in play.  Similar to the Thulgrund, Zurxathil will allow a troop in our hand to get Deploy Conscript for two underworld troop with cost less than our troops cost that was played.

Upgrade: “Meniacal Enhancements” gives our dreadlings in play, +1 attack, when we play an underworld troop.  This can become a quick benefit, depending on how well the core of our deck is working, but may feel like a condition that will only be met, when we are already in a superior position.

Mercenary Categories: Aggressive, Mid-Range, Random, Combo

Major Strength: The Charge power is the strongest selling point for Zurxathil

Major Weakness: Requirement for Underworld focused troop deckbuilding is focused, and primarily pushes us into Sapphire and Blood, due to the shard grid.

Best Mercenaries to pair with for Party Passives: Clatterclank, Katsuhiro, Augustine, Cardboard Tube Samurai

Best cards to pair with: Underworld Crusader, Underworld Recruiter, Vampiric Nightstalker, Warpsteel Shardsworn

Conclusion: Fun to build around the Underworld Crusader and Vampiric Nightstalker, but the mercenary package is not comprehensive enough to warrant playing them over another mercenary with more versatility.

Decklist:  View Deck

Leader of The Cornerstone Guild - For geriatric gamers. 37 years young, married, 3 daughters(2x 3 years old, and 1x 1 year old), 2 dogs, and works full-time. Played Magic The Gathering in High School during the 3rd Edition, and proceeded to have fond memories of TCG's and playing them throughout High School. Got back into TCG's later in life (WOW TCG), and finally found the perfect match with HEX during the Kickstarter. Nico has been building decks, and sharing them with the community since the launch of the Frost Ring Arena.


  1. Cool -Thx! But I can’t look in the deck from Gax the Sly Roller – Hex TCG Browser says it’s private.

  2. Thanks Guys! SirBeastMaster – I just made the deck public. Let me know if you find anything else like that reviewing mercenaries!


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