Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2 is an astounding and extremely high-profile melee survivor. The survivor was often the undoubted best in the game; however, it is worth re-thinking about the decision again with recent updates.
The Latest Patch 1.0 has dramatically buffed the entire character; the cooldowns have increased, while abilities have been downgraded. In the Risk of Rain 2 Tier List, Mercenary is ranked at C, which means he is far behind most survivors in the game. These potentially include Artificer and Acrid.
This doesn’t necessarily mean he is a bad character – it all comes down to preferences and your playstyle. Additionally, these updates might have reduced his potential, but this still does not stop Mercenary from being an extremely adequate survivor that can fill the role in most departments.
Today, we will be looking at Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2. Our Guide will elaborate on how you can unlock him, what are his best abilities, and most importantly, the best items. Moreover, we will also finish off the guide with Mercenary Tips; these are primarily out of the box and extremely valuable for all players.
How To Unlock Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2
Unlike other characters in Risk of Rain 2, Mercenary is a bit hard to unlock. The primary reason being that there isn’t any clarity in the description of how to unlock him. Besides, the steps themselves are also confusing, but all these things aside, we will make it as simple as possible.
First things first, you will have to complete the True Respite challenge.
The True Respite Challenge is basically all circled Obliterating yourself at the Obelisk. This is pretty easy; make sure you reach Level 9. Thus, it is reasonable to go with easy difficulty or attempt the game with friends. The goal is to reach mission 9. Afterward, obliterate in the Celestial Portal, go through the platforms, try not to fall.
At the end of the Celestial Portal, you will come across a big shine, and all you have to do is click the engage button – do this if there is the option of “Obliterate yourself from existence.” The game also might give you the option of are you sure? Agree to this, and the game would end. Once you reach the main menu, Mercenary will be unlocked and set to a playable character.
This section will focus on the best Mercenary Abilities along with a detailed guide on how they work.
The Cybernetic Enhancements are perhaps the most crucial and vital aspect of Mercenary. This helps him become highly versatile when it comes to movement. The primary reason is that it is first passive, and the second it allows Mercenary to Jump Twice. Once you jump, you can jump again in mid-air, potentially helping in faster movement.
The Laser Sword is the Mercenary’s Primary Ability. This is a double sword, that can deal 130% Damage. The other specifications of the word include, the base swing speed of 0.42s per swing, 0.64s recovery window after the third swing, and further bonus attack speed decreases the recovery time spent on animations.
The Laser Sword also has a Proc Coefficient of 1, and can be a valuable tool to slice enemies while other abilities of your recover. Keep in mind, it can also be used alongside Cybernetic Enhancements, so there are more options to hit specific parts of the enemy. Besides, his debuff also reduces the cooldown of each ability by one second, and since you use other abilities while slashing enemies with Laser Sword. This paths the way for Spinny MoOve
Whirlwind is the second most important addition to Mercenary’s abilities. This expands on the aspect of Laser Sword that allows any other ability to work simultaneously alongside it. Keep in mind that it has to be a non-primary skill, and since Whirlwind is his secondary, these both go along pretty well. Before we signify how these both work, it’s important to know about Whirlwind.
The Whirlwind is the quickly rotating high DPS Slice Ability. This essentially means that Mercenary will automatically spin In a horizontal circle and deal 2×200% damage. The game allows you to turn twice, and as we have already acknowledged Mercenary’s weaknesses in mid-air, the Whirlwind automatically advanced to vertical spins when used in mid-air.
The Best way to Utilize Whirlwind is through Whirlwind + Laser Sword. First, you dash through the enemies, and then afterward, immediately use the Laser Sword. This also goes another way around; you can first use the Laser Sword and then directly jump to Whirlwind, reducing the delay. All things considered, the core purpose of Whirlwind is to damage many enemies in a group.
The Rising thunder comes as the unlockable secondary, which primarily assesses Mercenary to unleash its slice ability vertically. This deals around 550% Damage, and would also transform the movement to airborne. The ability isn’t unlocked by default, and this can be quickly done by not touching the ground for 30 seconds.
Usually, many Risk of Rain 2 Mercenary fans aren’t big admirers of this ability. The primary reason being that it’s too ambitious, and after striking the third hit of Laser Sword, you can’t immediately utilize this because of execution delay.
Although, Mercenary is exceptionally versatile when it comes to movement. This is heavily supported by all its abilities that promote movement, and ultimately giving you roam to escape from deadlier fights while still maintaining a High DPS.
The Blinding Assualt only makes this better with better mobility aspect – the ability allows him to dash forward, deal up to 300% damage, and stun all enemies. To further illustrate it, the Blinding Assusalt can allow Mercenary to dash three times, only if he manages to hit the enemy on the first run.
It has a cooldown of 8s. But this isn’t as harsh because if you manage to hit the enemy on the first instance, it’ll automatically change the cooldown to 2.66 seconds, and dash multiple times.
The Blinding Assualt might have simpler characteristics but don’t let that fool you of the fact, that this can be game-changing if you can land on the top of the enemy’s hitbox. The most notable are flying enemies; if you push them and crash into the wall, you are likely to take half their health. Give this a try against Wandering Vagrant or Alloy Worship Unit; stand above them and keep damaging them. Lastly, keep in mind that Blinding Assault mid-dash is affected by either Whirlwind or Rising Thunder.
Further Validating how good is Mercenary, we can take a look at Eviscerate. This ability comes under Special, and has more advantages than one can possibly assume. For example, although the Eviscerate can target the enemy, damaging it for 110% repeatedly. The aspect of him being invulnerable during this process is underlooked. The Eviscerate helps Mercenary being invincible, the ability automatically makes him deal 7 damage ticks, which gets even better with attack speed. However, the most important aspect is Invulnerable.
As we discussed earlier, Mercenary can hop over through Blinding Assault on flying enemies, and then kill them in a flash without taking too much damage. This often gets problematic, when enemies like Vagrant prepare their charge and explode, ultimately lowering your Health more than you thought. If used at the correct time, the Eviscerate can completely avoid all the damage since Mercenary can become invulnerable. Keep in mind that Eviscerate has a cooldown of 6s, and a Proc Coefficient of 1 per hit, which mostly happens out of the blue as Mercenary prepares an insane dash to reach the enemy.
Mercenary’s secondary and special ability that needs to be unlocked is Slicing Winds. This essentially is a replica of Eviscerate without the added benefits of invisibility and temporarily invulnerable. The Slicing Winds is majorly a ranged ability, where Mercenedary will throw a couple of Blades that will attack the enemies up to 3 times, dealing 8×100% damage. The ability similar to the primary will automatically expose the enemy on the last hit. Moreover, it has a Cooldown of 6s, Proc Coefficient of 1 per hit.
All in all, the Slicing Winds isn’t any game-changing and considering how hard it is to unlock. There isn’t any reason why you should go with it. If you are curious, the Slicing Winds is unlocked through the Mercenary: Ethereal Challenge.
Best Items for Mercenary
As described earlier, this segment of the guide will entirely focus on the best Items for Mercenary. Throughout this guide, we have noticed that Mercenary is an extremely versatile Survivor, that can primarily be fully utilized if you go with an aggressive playstyle. All the abilities equipped on Mercenary are focused on High Damage and provide additional benefits to make it better. Not only that, but the movement is also a core aspect of why Mercenary is one of the best in the game, despite being heavily buffed during Patch 1.0.
Here are the best items for Mercenary In Risk of Rain 2 that you should pay more attention to.
As always, Rock Buckler is an essential item when it comes to movement. The thing will help grant Mercenary a protection against upcoming attacks. This will only happen while sprinting, so those who have a habit of instantly sprinting after using their abilities – Rose Buckler is the way to go. Note that Rose Buckler is widely regarded as the best for characters that include Agile Tag.
Paul’s Goat Hoof
The Paul’s Goat Hoof is another item you should add to your list. This one is a direct competitor to the Energy Drink, but what separates it is that you continually increase base speed. The current meta, while post-patch 1.0 is 14%, ultimately you are looking at better movement speeds which will directly impact your dashes distance. This can be revolutionary, but Paul’s Goat Hoof isn’t the only one to help scale dashes movement speed once again.
Apart from movement, you should also pay attention to Healing. This is exceptionally important since most of the time, you will be pushing enemies and recovering your meds would be the key to succession.
The Harvester’s Scythe are immensely good in this case; they help you heal through Critical Strikes. Moreover, the healing recovery is multiplied by the Proc Coefficeitn, so in that case, you are all set to get a 5% Critical Chance, and 8 health. The Harvester’s Scythe gets heavily utilized especially because Mercenary can land all those shots through her R.
Similar to Harvester Scythe, the Leeching Seed can also help Mercenary Recover his health. The core benefit of Leeching Seed is quite simple; it will heal you 1 per damage done. This ultimately means that having Leeching Seed will help you become more confident as you try to play extremely aggressive.
The Monster Tooth is another alternative to the health remedies for Mercenary described above. It can help heal the player through a healing orb drop that automatically spawns after killing an enemy. The Monster Tooth is common, easy to find, and most importantly, it has +2% per stack. The only drawback is that you will always have to approach the ORB; it won’t come towards you. And Secondly, It only lasts for 10 seconds after being dropped.
As you would already know, further increasing the attack speed will automatically help you deal more damage since the repetition of the abilities, including M2 and R, would attack faster. This makes Artificer even more deadly, and thus you can also take additional benefits of the ability.
Soldier’s Syringe is an interesting Item that will help increase attack speed by 15%. You are likely o increase it more stacks, and since there is no impact on cooldown, it remains instrumental.
Further allowing Mercenary to showcase her deadly skills, you can also go with Berzerkers Pauldrons. This is a quick boost as you would imagine. The item is automatically triggered after three enemies are killed in a time span of one second.
Once that is done, you will get a 50% increase in movement speed and a 100% increase in Attack Speed. These boosts last for 6s, but given you are engaged heavily in a fight, the 100% Attack Speed is beyond the scope of having the greatest damage in the game.
Adding final touches with Backup Magazines wouldn’t be a very bad idea. To illustrate how that isn’t a bad idea – M2’s with Backup Magazines are completely out of this world on Mercenary. If you add another charge, the damage being dealt nearly doubles, and it’s worth mentioning that Backup Magainzes were always great with survivors that have a low cooldown.
The Bandolier is one of those items that many Risk of Rain 2 Mercenary players aren’t aware of. In other words, if you have multiple stacks of Bandolier’s, you can become completely invincible – dash non-stop and also ult rapidly in most fights.
With bosses, you might have a hard time being invincible, but rest assured, I’ve tested it, and Bandolier are massive. Suppose you don’t know the background of Bandolier – well, these drop an ammo pack that automatically resets all skill cooldowns.
Since you will be playing entirely aggressive on Mercenary, it’s crucial to have Tougher Times on your side. This will not only help in blocking damage against a group of enemies, mainly when you are stuck. But it’ll also allow you have to push more enemies and showcase that aggressive playstyle. The Tougher Times has a 15% chance to block all the incoming attacks. Keep in mind; it has zero impact on all of Mercenary’s abilities, including that of Invulnerability too.
Ukulele is the final piece of item that you will need for the Mercenary. This, as you know, is very common in the game, and all it does is grants a 25% chance to fire chain lighting that gets expended to 3 targets under the 20m radius for 80% total damage. Keep in mind that 25% is multiplied by the Proc Coefficient, and its self Proc is 0.2. The item easily allows Mercenary to go above and beyond when it comes to damage.
Mercenary Tips and Combos
These were all the abilities and important Items for the Mercenary In Risk of Rain 2. If you can understand the core mechanism of Mercenary – which is High Damage, and quick recoveries. You can easily dominate the game.
However, at the same time, If you aren’t aware of the most important Mercenary Combos and tips, the cherry on top wouldn’t be utilized. Having said that, let’s take a look at Mercenary Tips and the most renowned combos.
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- Dashes scale with more speed, while more Attack Speed will result in more serious damage. Suppose you get to know this point, any item that has some sort of meta circled around these characteristics would be useful
- Items like Soda are unnecessary, as they interrupt his sprinting
- Afterburner is a game-changing item for Mercenary – it completely revamps his defensive and offensive abilities. The only drawback is that it’s a legendary item, so finding one could prove to be difficult
- Energy Drinks are good alternatives to Goat Hoofs
- Wake of Vultures isn’t recommended for Mercenary; the passive is completely outbalanced
- A crucial combo would include the optimization of all animation cancels. That goes on to say, start with the Special, afterward go with laser Sword Combination and finish it off with Blinding Assasualt fast cancel with Dash. You can also work another way around, but keep in mind animation cancel on his basic is the most important aspect. The third hit as we described earlier has higher DPS and it also exposes enemies.
- Most pro players including me, if that counts, would recommend Blinding Assualt, Whirlwind, and Slicing Winds as your primary abilities
- Never Stop Jumping, Mercenary key element is his movement, and take advantage of Blinding Assault as a movement source
- Acknowledge that Flying Enemies are your biggest enemies, and make sure to take them out first
- Attack enemies from behind through your extremely versatile movement
- Keep moving, and avoid staying at the same spot for more than a few seconds
- Master the art of expose, always have few enemies under expose radar, and timely reset your cooldowns
- Rising Thunder is also a good ability as it’ll allow you to have much more deadlier weapons plus proccing ability – It is heavily applicable against boss fights
- Keep in mind that Slicing Winds does not animation cancel, so you can have more things to mix up. However, you can animation cancel Slicing Winds itself
- Don’t forget to check out Risk of Rain 2 Patch 1.0 – Mercenary has received many changes. Most aren’t in his favour, and this has made him highly unpopular. Notwithstanding, we still recommend him.
These were all the things you need to know about Mercenary. He is an extremely talented and deadly survivor who can become the best in the game if used right. We highlighted this in our Tier List Guide, and it was also for that reason, we ranked him lower because it’s not for everyone. The tips above are also taken from various community polls and user-experience, so they are bound to be important.
Lastly, keep in mind that experience is everything. The more you play with Mercenary, the more combos you will explore. Likewise, our number one and most important tip is to stay alive. This requires a lot of explanation, but to sum it up, many players become incredibly aggressive, and while doing this, they die because of unnecessary mistakes.
The good thing about Mercenary is that, through its high empowering abilities, you aren’t too dependent on enemies. Thus, if you make it to the end-game, there shouldn’t be loads of bottlenecks when it comes to items.
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