Update: Added four more party comps! Enjoy!
Though we’re still only getting to grips with the intricacies of Hearthstone’s brand new game mode, superior strategies, and merc lineups are already beginning to emerge for effective solo content grinding. Depending on your initial pulls, you have very different approaches to consider for optimal play: here are some of the best party comps in Mercenaries to consider for your PvE grind.
Keep in mind that those are just some party comp examples – there are dozens of different synergies you can take into account, and in the normal PvE encounters, most of them will actually work quite well. It’s also very early into the game, so not every comp has been tested enough yet. If you don’t like any of those, we’ll have more ideas for you in the future!
This list is for PvE comps – we’ll have a separate PvP Tier List once we gather more data on what’s working and what isn’t! Stay tuned!
A Word on the Legendary Mercenaries
The primary goal of this guide is to showcase a variety of viable builds you can aim for based on your early Mercenaries pack openings, and we’ve therefore tried to focus on lower-rarity characters wherever possible. That said, it’s worth highlighting separately just how damn good some of the Legendary Mercenaries are, and why you should consider grinding the coins needed to unlock them at some point to further augment your collection. Here are the Legendary Mercs you should prioritze.
- Anduin Wrynn: Simply put, he’s without equal. The insane healing proportions coupled with the damage reduction on offer with a leveled-up Holy Word: Salvation makes him a must-have for any Human-oriented comp, and his combination with Cariel Roame can basically get you through the entire starting bounty chain.
- Alexstrasza: The Dragonqueen is the lynchpin of both Fire-based and Dragon-based synergies, and though she isn’t, strictly speaking, necessary, she’s a big part of the theorycrafting fun on offer in the mode’s current state.
- Sylvanas Windrunner: A buffed-up Sylvanas is a nasty backliner but she takes a lot of setting up, both between runs and during bounties, before showcasing her true potential.
- Gul’dan: Similarly to Alexstrasza, Gul’dan fits well both into Orc builds and Shadow builds while being a strong character in his own right.
F2P BTW: Xyrella + Blademaster Samuro + Cariel Roame
Went into Mercs fully F2P? Didn’t open any good ones from your free packs? Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck. Here’s a team of starting Mercs that actually work really well together. Cariel provides really good defensive capabilities and healing, Xyrella is a mix of offense and defense with some control (reducing Attack of opponents), while Samuro cuts through most of the enemies like hot knife through butter. Since they are from three different colors, you also won’t run into situations where your team is fully countered and you just can’t get through.
The strategy is simple – Taunt up as Cariel to protect the rest of your party, then throw some healing (both from Cariel and Xyrella), let Samuro stack some attack and chop the enemies to pieces. Xyrella’s Blindling Luminance combos very well with Samuro’s Double Strike – not only it activates the second hit, but also reduces the attack of enemy so Samuro doesn’t take much damage.
Is it the best party comp around? Definitely not. But everyone can build it, and it works well enough to get you through most of the normal encounters (and a good chunk of Heroics too).
Healing Humans: Anduin Wrynn + Cariel Roame + Tirion Fordring
If you’re looking for a grindy setup with an even color distribution and only one Legendary, you don’t need to go any further. Cariel offers a uniquely early Taunt option with a speed 1 ability, which is more than enough to hold the line for most bounties even later in the PvE process. Couple this with buffs and heals from Tirion and Anduin, and you’ll reliably get through the encounters, even if it may not be the fastest method out there.
As discussed above, Anduin is really a must-have for any Mercenaries collection but Cornelius Roame can serve as a decent replacement (especially as it lets you get extra mileage out of the Roame-focused treasures). The Lich King is also a great option to consider as an alternative to Cariel.
You can also add more humans on the bench, like Uther, Natalie Seline, or Varian Wrynn, assuming you own them.
Enter the Shadows: Vol’jin + Tamsin Roame + Natalie Seline
Shadow abilities rely on speed and synergy, but if you’ve got both of them in your composition, they can nuke the enemy in no time. Vol’jin will truly make this all shine once you’ve got the Ring of Haste unlocked via Task 7 (granting a speed boost to all Shadow abilities). Gul’dan is also a viable option here but we went for a more budget option: though there are some color considerations to keep in mind, strong and quick AoE damage gets you a long way, as also evidenced by the next, more budget-friendly build on offer.
If you want to be a bit more color-conscious and have unpacked (or pre-purchased) The Lich King, he’s also a nice addition with his second ability dealing Shadow damage.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the final Bounty boss in Felwood (Lord Banehollow) is completely resistant to Shadow damage – in order to beat it, you will NEED another team. So going all-in on Shadow while ignoring all of your other Mercs might not be a good idea (you can level up 1-2 Holy damage Mercs to win that Bounty easily since the boss takes extra Holy damage instead).
AoE Bluenanza: Millhouse Manastorm + Antonidas + Tyrande
Though they are not exactly seen as part of the elite Mercenaries, both Millhouse and Antonidas offer a nice AoE package that can nuke early boards and can close out encounters fairly quickly. You can go all-in on the blue stuff with Blink Fox or add any sort of taunting Protector to keep them safe while they work their magic from the backline. No wide board can hold up for long against their sustained barrage, though you might have to heavily rely on your bench for certain boss fights – the team is very squishy.
This is a large part of why this isn’t exactly a build you should actively work towards but its biggest advantage is that both Millhouse and Tyrande are free, so all you need now is Antonidas. This setup can help you grind through the available PvE content before you gather a better build. High-speed AoE damage can go a long way.
Orctastic Adventures: Blademaster Samuro + Saurfang + Garrosh Hellscream
Blademaster Samuro is one of the fastest characters out there in Mercenaries, serving as a reliable counter to Anduin in PvP. He is also a great tool in the PvE encounters, allowing for rapid disruption damage early on in a fight. Combined with other synergistic Orc characters, you can very quickly rack up your Mercenaries’ attack output, which is one of the fastest ways to close out a fight.
Thrall offers serviceable AoE against the mobs while completing Task 2 to get the Ring of Strength allows for decent sustain on your fellow Orcs. Though Garrosh Hellscream will be your third Orc of choice in most cases, don’t discount Saurfang’s tokens, either: they serve as a great way to mess up the AI’s attack patterns, with a potential to deal decent damage after a Whirlwind setup.
Straight Fire: Baron Geddon + Ragnaros + Antonidas
The idea is very similar to the pure AoE spam build discussed before, but with a larger focus on Fire synergies. Antonidas’ inclusion here is mostly due to his relatively low rarity rather than anything else: Baron Geddon takes care of your AoE needs in a more reliable and scalable fashion. War Master Voone and Alexstrasza fit well into this setup as well but they do require a fairly significant investment in coins to get them up to speed.
Anyfin Can Happen: Morgl the Oracle + Mutanus + Old Murk-Eye
Murlocs! Honestly, there’s only one way to build Murlocs in Mercenaries right now – I’m sure that more will get added in the future, but this is what you get at the time. Murlocs have some nice synergy with each other, and just like in Constructed, this composition relies on summoning more minions on the board and buffing everyone.
Old Murk-Eye is your main summon source – you cycle between Giantfin (bigger stats with Rush) and Felfin Navigator (lower stats and no Rush, but AoE buff for all of your Murlocs). Mutanus is a mix of a tank with big damage dealer – you play Scaly Taunt which reduces the damage you take and then eat a bunch of smaller Murlocs – preferably summons, but if it’s PvP or it’s the last boss fight in a Bounty you can ever consider eating one of the other two Murlocs. Then enemies are forced to throw attacks at this huge body and take a lot of damage back. And Morgl is your support caster – you buff up Murlocs and heal them, but can also throw in some solid damage with Fishy Barrage. While it only deals 12 damage at max level, it repeats for every Murloc – so if you manage to summon a few, you can even deal that damage 5+ times in the best case scenario.
Fully Organic: Bru’kan + Guff Runetotem + Malfurion Stormrage
Nature synergies are pretty strong in Hearthstone – both in PvE and in PvP. There are actually a few teams you can build, but from my experience this is the best one.
Starting with Bru’kan – he can dish out a lot of damage, including semi-AoE (Chain Lightning), but probably his most important role in this setup is Lightning Bolt. Each cast increases your Nature Damage by 3 – which means that all of your Nature-related characters deal more damage. Slowing enemy with Muddy Footing also comes a long way. Then we have Guff, which is the main tank in this party comp – Ironbark is your best friend, you can Taunt up and then any Nature spell you cast buffs him – not only this gives a lot of protection to your other Mercs, but after getting +8 attack from two buffs at max ability level (and extra +4 if you use the treasure), he can throw a nice punch too – not so much ha caster, huh? And finally – Malfurion. He’s technically a Protector, although I’m not sure if I agree with that – he doesn’t serve as a tank, more like a mix of offense and defense with some control thrown in. Rooting opponents is really strong against opponents that Attack (if you root them before they hit, it won’t go through) and he has a really powerful AoE – especially if you already have a few points of Nature Spell Damage. You can potentially added Liveroot Staff and all of your Nature abilities will heal you too – neat.
If you’re thinking about a bench, Lady Anacondra and Brightwing can work pretty well.
Devil Deeds: Rathorian + Mannoroth + Lord Jaraxxus
We don’t have many Demon options in the game right now – there’s one more, Diablo, but while he’s a great Merc, he doesn’t synergize with other Demons as well as those three.
The idea here is that all of those Mercs work very well with each other. Rathorian deals a lot of damage pretty quickly and deals even more if you have another Demon on board. He can also summon extra Demons, which then synergize with other of your Mercs. Mannoroth is sort of your support – if Demons even have a support, that is. When attacking, he will buff all of your Demons, he can also reduce the attack of enemies by quite a lot (if they weren’t buffed, it’s usually to 0) and prevent healing – the last one is great when you try to focus a single target and your opponent has healers. And Lord Jaraxxus is capable of dealing crazy amounts of damage. Fist of Jaraxxus repeats for every Demon on the field, so it will usually get at least three casts, and the best thing is that you can trigger it with Legion Burst’s Deathblow too. Fel Infernal adds some extra stats and Fel Damage, although Fel Damage is not that great in this comp since its more focused on direct attacks.
Of course, Diablo will be the best on the bench – he seems to be better in PvP than in PvE, but even in PvP he can add a lot to your comp. If your opponent has some fast abilities you want to slow down, he’s your man (or rather Demon). He can also fill a gap from the lack of casters with Apocalypse, and make your party melt down any Protector that you normally can’t crit.
Royal Beasts: King Krush + King Mukla + Lady Anacondra
The synergy between King Krush and King Mukla – the royal duo – is quite crazy, and makes Beast composition quite compelling to run in PvE.
King Krush is your main damage dealer, as he chops through any low health enemy like crazy, while also being able to gain extra attack for Beasts on the board. Devilsaur summon is also very strong, at 18/18 + Rush on level 5. But he’s really nothing without King Mukla – thanks to the Merc’s ability to give a Beast +15 Attack and immune this turn, Krush can chomp all the low health enemies and re-attack on Deathblow while taking no damage from it whatsoever thanks to the immune. Mukla plays the tank-support role, and can also buff allies or Taunt himself up with a few buffs (bananas are tasty and good for your stats, apparently). And finally – Anacondra is an offensive support – her Serpent’s Bite can deal some damage, but it doesn’t scale that well. However, she can both summon more Beasts to fight for your side and buff the already existing ones. Mend Beast heals up AND gives your Beast extra health – targeting a taunted up Mukla can really make for a crazy Taunt. She can also summon more Beasts – which also take the health buffs extremely well, as their attack is equal to their health. They start as 15/15, but if they survive, buffing them to 30/30 can really destroy some of the opponents.
If you’re thinking about bench, Rexxar seems like a good idea – both of them have summons, but I think that Anacondra is still better, since she can heal up your Beasts by a lot. On the bright side, Rexxar can dish out much more damage – he follows his Constructed “face is the place” roots quite well in that aspect. He might be useful if you need to add some AoE to your comps, since Explosive Arror targeting the middle Merc will really shake up the enemy ranks.
How About the Other Three Slots?
In general, a strong core of three high-level synergistic Mercenaries plus a bench of randos will be enough to get you through most of the pre-Blackrock Mountain encounters. This means that you can use those extra slots to level up the rest of your collection along the way!
Later down the road when encounters get harder, or you have no one you want to level up, you can combine two of those line-ups to have a sort of backup plan / pick the one that works better in a given encounter. For example, you can go for Fire in the main team and Shadow on the bench.
Another approach is to fill the bench with “spare” Mercs that fit your comp well (we tried to give you some ideas throughout the post). For example, you might have a main Fire team of Geddon + Ragnaros + Alexstrasza, but you can still hold Voone and Antondias on Bench in case some of them die. If you build a team of Orcs, adding more Orcs to the bench (like Saurfang, Grommash or Rokara) means that if one of your main team dies, not all hope is lost yet. And so on, and so on. If you run out of spares, then you fill the last slot or two with some generally good Mercs that don’t need synergies – think Xyrella, The Lich King or Sylvanas Windrunner.