“Mercenaries Packs” – we’ve probably heard that a few times too many during the recent Mercenaries showcase. Many players have hoped that the new game mode will be more similar to Battlegrounds, in a way that it won’t include gacha mechanics like card packs. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that the new mode will be P2W – if Mercenaries Packs will be easily obtainable and will have solid drop rates, then it should still be okay for F2P players. We didn’t learn THAT much about them during the presentation – details like drop rates were omitted. However, some new info regarding them appeared in a support article. I’ll link the whole thing below, but here’s a summary:
- There are three kinds of items you can get from those packs – Mercenary cards (so playable characters, in one of three rarities – Rare, Epic or Legendary), Mercenary portraits (cosmetic portraits) and Mercenary coins (which let you craft and upgrade the specific Mercenary).
- Each pack will contain five items, like your regular Hearthstone packs.
- Each pack has a 100% chance of containing a Merc of Rare quality or higher. Epics will drop every 5 packs on average while Legendaries every 20 packs on average (with one guaranteed from the first 10).
- In 10 packs, on average you will get 12 Coin drops for Rare Mercs, 10 Coin drops for Epic and 8 for Legendary. Each Coin drop is 35-45 Coins for a random Mercenary from that rarity.
- Mercenary portraits are cosmetics, HOWEVER if you open a portrait before you open an actual Mercenary (e.g. you get Illidan portrait without getting Illidan first), you can still play that Mercenary. After you unlock all portraits, when you open a duplicate you get Coins for that Merc instead – 50 for Rare, 75 for Epic and 100 for Legendary. We don’t know the exact drop rates for portraits.
- Duplicate protection is in place for both Mercenary cards and portraits. Also, once you own all cards from that rarity, you will start getting portraits instead.
And that’s the gist of it. Now let’s do some math. From what I’ve gathered, there will be 52 Mercs available at the start. 8 of them you get for free after prologue (6 Rare, 1 Epic, 1 Legendary), so they don’t count – that’s 44 left. Out of those 44, 12 are Rare, 16 are Epic and 16 are Legendary. Opening all Rares will be very easy – you will get them quickly (you will have every Rare after just 16 Merc packs, possibly even sooner if you can open more than 1 Merc card in your packs). Epics should be relatively quick too – it will take 80 packs to open all of them, but maybe even quicker if you count crafting. Now, the only issue are Legendaries. With guaranteed one in the first 10 packs and then one per 20 on average, it will take an average of 310 packs to get all of them. That’s an awful lot of packs.
Of course, it will take 310 only if you want to UNPACK them all – remember that there’s an alternative way to get your Mercs – you can craft them using Coins. Sadly, we don’t know how many Coins you need to do it at this point. But given that Legendary Coins will drop quite commonly (on average, you will get 32 random Legendary Coins per pack), I think that you will be able to fill all the gaps without buying nearly as many packs. And – of course – you most likely don’t need a full collection to enjoy the mode. Like in regular Hearthstone, you might be able to build a good comp without using many Legendaries, and some of them might not even be that strong so you can ignore them.
Now, let’s say that you want to buy a pre-order. What can you expect from your 50 Mercenaries packs? Will it be enough? On average, you will get 3 Legendaries, 10 Epics and, and of course all 12 Rares. Then, when it comes to the Coins, you will see a total of 2400 Rare Coins, 2000 Epic Coins and 1600 Legendary Coins (all spread randomly between available Mercs). And X portraits – sadly we don’t know the drop rates here. I would imagine that since, on average, 3 of the 5 slots are Coins and 1 is Merc card, the last slot should most likely be a portrait. If that’s the case, you would also see 50 Portraits on average – possibly even more given that after you open all Rare cards, you will start getting Rare portraits. That seems like a lot, but each Merc has 3 alternate Golden portraits, and Legendary Mercs also have an extra Diamond portrait, so there should be over 170 portraits in total. Overall, I think that opening 50 Packs + whatever freebies we get at the start, should be more than enough to give you a nice starting collection.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that crafting is done with Coins, and Coins are also obtained by simply playing the game. Finishing Merc Quests and doing Bounties will also give you Coins, so you technically should be able to craft all the Mercs without spending any Gold or real money on Packs – the only question is how grindy the system will be and how long will it take. Oh, and whether the game will be enjoyable without using too many Legendary Mercs. Because it’s quite easy to get all Rares + most of the Epics, the only “bottleneck” for a full collection will be Legendaries.
All in all, we’ll have to wait and see how many packs and Coins we get for free, but I have to say that it doesn’t look THAT bad unless you want to have a 100% collection (but again, that will likely not be necessary). While the initial reaction to what seemed like an overly monetized mode was negative (I also have my doubts), after thinking more about all of this, I’m cautiously optimistic. I hope that it will be possible to enjoy the mode without spending any real money, at the very least.
Opening a Mercenaries Pack in Hearthstone adds 5 items from the following 3 types to your Mercenaries collection:
- Mercenary Card. A Mercenary Card allows you to play a Mercenary in the Mercenaries Mode with its default portrait.
- Mercenary Portrait. A Mercenary Portrait is a different look for a Mercenary which you can select when playing that Mercenary.
- Mercenary Coins. Mercenary Coins allow you to craft a Mercenary if you do not own them and upgrade their abilities and equipment. Mercenary Coins are unique per Mercenary –for example, Jaina Coins can only be used with the Jaina Mercenary.
Mercenary Cards, Portraits, and Coins can be of three different rarities: Rare, Epic, and Legendary.
There are rules in place to make sure your Mercenaries Pack opening experience is exciting.
Rarity of Mercenaries and Mercenary Card Drop Rates
One item per pack will always be a Mercenary Card and adhere to the rarity guidelines below, and this will always be a Mercenary that you don’t own until you own all Mercenary Cards of that rarity. Once you own all the Mercenary cards of a rarity, you will obtain Mercenary Portraits of that rarity, instead.
The other 4 items can be a Mercenary Card, Coins, or Portraits, from which you may obtain Mercenary Portraits of Mercenaries that you own before owning all Mercenary Cards of the rarity.
- Rare Mercenary Cards: Each Mercenaries Pack contains at least one Rare or better Mercenary Card.
- Epic Mercenary Cards: On average, one Epic Mercenary Card can be obtained every five Mercenaries Packs.
- Legendary Mercenary Cards: One Legendary Mercenary Card is guaranteed within the first 10 packs. Subsequent Legendary Mercenary Cards can be obtained in 20 Mercenaries Packs on average.
Mercenary Coins Drop Rates
A pack can contain one or more drops of Mercenary Coins of any Mercenary, and each drop will be in between 35 and 45 coins.
- Rare Coins: Rare Coins can drop 12 times in 10 Mercenaries Packs on average
- Epic Coins: Epic Coins can drop 10 times in 10 Mercenaries Packs on average
- Legendary Coins: Legendary Coins can drop 8 times in 10 Mercenaries Packs on average
Mercenary Portraits Drop Rates
All Mercenaries have 3 Golden Mercenary Portraits. All Legendary Mercenaries also have a Diamond Mercenary Portrait.
Whenever you obtain a Mercenary Portrait from a pack, the Portrait you receive will be based on the following baseline percentages:
- For Legendary Mercenaries: 30% chance to get each of the 3 Golden Portraits and 10% chance to get the Diamond Portrait
- For Rare and Epic Mercenaries: 33.3% chance to get each of the 3 Golden Portraits
When you obtain a Mercenary Portrait, the drop rate for the remaining Mercenary Portraits is dynamically recalculated, with new proportions based on your individual collection of Portraits for that Mercenary.
You will not obtain the same Mercenary Portrait until you own all the Mercenary Portraits for that Mercenary. Once you own all the Portraits for a Mercenary, you can obtain a second copy of a Mercenary Portrait, which will automatically be converted into Coins of that Mercenary: 50 coins for Rare, 75 coins for Epic, and 100 coins for Legendary Mercenaries.
Occasionally, you may obtain a Mercenary Portrait prior to obtaining its Mercenary Card. When that happens, you will be able to play that Mercenary with the Mercenary Portrait, and you could get the Mercenary Card from packs.