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Mercenary
Mercenary.png
The Mercenary is a high skill melee survivor that uses his many dodges to weave in and out of combat.
Health 110 (+33 per level)
Health Regen 1/s (+0.2 per level)
Damage 12 (+2.4 per level)
Speed 7 m/s
Armor 20
Unlock True Respite

Umbra Title
Hired Blade
Ending Phrase
Escaped : ..and so he left, with dreams of good food and a peaceful night.

Vanished : ..and so he vanished, reduced to fable.

Mercenary is a playable character in Risk of Rain 2.

A highly mobile and maneuverable fighter, the Mercenary strikes swiftly and rapidly to devastate enemies, gaining both invincibility and mobility with his various attacks. Due to his skills' low cooldowns (which are further reduced by his signature Status MercExpose.png Expose debuff), his playstyle focuses on repeatedly chaining together attacks to stay on the offensive whenever possible, taking full advantage of the invulnerability afforded by his skills.

Skills

Passive

Cybernetic Enhancements

Cybernetic Enhancements.png
Type Passive
Description The Mercenary can jump twice.
Primary

Laser Sword

Laser Sword.png
Type Primary
Proc Coefficient 1
Description Agile
[ Agile ]
The skill can be used while sprinting.
. Slice in front for 130% damage. Every 3rd hit strikes in a greater area and Exposes
[ Expose ]
Hitting Exposed enemies reduces all skill cooldowns by 1.0s and deals an additional +350% damage.
enemies.
Notes
  • The base swing speed is 0.42s per swing, with a 0.64s recovery window after the third swing which artificially reduces the base swing speed.
  • Any bonus attack speed will decrease the time spent in the recovery animation, but will not remove / negate it.
  • Other attacks can be used to negate the downtime from the 3rd swing if used right as the animation of the 3rd swing happens. This is most optimal with Whirlwind due to its speed and smoothness.
Secondary

Whirlwind

Whirlwind.png
Type Secondary
Cooldown 2.5s
Proc Coefficient 1
Description Quickly slice horizontally twice, dealing 2x200% damage. If airborne, slice vertically instead.
Notes
  • The animation speed is improved with attack speed, which also reduces the time taken to cast other skills.

Rising Thunder

Rising Thunder.png
Type Secondary
Cooldown 2.5s
Proc Coefficient 1
Description Unleash a slicing uppercut, dealing 550% damage and sending you airborne.
Notes
Utility

Blinding Assault

Blinding Assault.png
Type Utility
Cooldown 8s
Proc Coefficient 1
Description Stunning
[ Stunning ]
Interrupts enemies and briefly stuns them.
. Dash forward, dealing 300% damage. If you hit an enemy, you can dash again, up to 3 total.
Notes
  • The color of the icon will change depending on how many uses the skill has before going on cooldown; Blue for three, Yellow for two, Red for one.
  • The animation speed and total distance traveled is improved by attack speed bonuses.
  • The player has 2.66 seconds to use this ability again after striking an enemy (while a charge is available).
  • Grants invulnerability for ~0.3 seconds and a lingering ~0.3 seconds at the end of each dash, for a total of 0.6 per dash and a total of 1.8 seconds of invulnerability for all dashes combined.

Focused Assault

Focused Assault.png
Type Utility
Cooldown 8s
Proc Coefficient 1
Description Stunning
[ Stunning ]
Interrupts enemies and briefly stuns them.
. Dash forward, dealing 700% damage and Exposing
[ Expose ]
Hitting Exposed enemies reduces all skill cooldowns by 1.0s and deals an additional +350% damage.
enemies after 1 second.
Notes
Special

Eviscerate

Eviscerate.png
Type Special
Cooldown 6s
Proc Coefficient 1 per hit
Description Target the nearest enemy, attacking them for 110% damage repeatedly. You cannot be hit for the duration.
Notes
  • Lasts for 1.3s after casting. The player is invincible during this time, and for an additional 0.6s seconds afterwards.
  • Deals 7 damage ticks when used. The amount of damage ticks increases with attack speed, but does not increase the duration.
  • Performs a dash and no other effects if it does not target an enemy.

Slicing Winds

Slicing Winds.png
Type Special
Cooldown 6s
Proc Coefficient 1 per hit
Description Fire a wind of blades that attack up to 3 enemies for 8x100% damage. The last hit Exposes
[ Expose ]
Hitting Exposed enemies reduces all skill cooldowns by 1.0s and deals an additional +350% damage.
enemies.
Notes
  • Unlocked via the Mercenary: Ethereal Challenge. (As Mercenary, complete a Prismatic Trial without falling below 100% health.)
  • Deals 8x100% damage to up to 3 enemies, for a total of 3x800%, or 2400% damage (excluding the Exposed proc)

Tips

  • Wax Quail.png Wax Quail'sBgUncommon.pngWax Quail.pngJumping while sprinting boosts you forward.
    Jumping while sprinting boosts you forward by 10m (+10m per stack).
    jump boost applies for both of Mercenary's base jumps, whereas other survivors can only receive the boost on their first jump, even with the Hopoo Feather.png Hopoo FeatherBgUncommon.pngHopoo Feather.pngGain an extra jump.
    Gain +1 (+1 per stack) maximum jump count.
    .
  • There is a short delay before attacking again after the third hit in the Laser Sword combo. Activating Whirlwind immediately after the hit connects can cancel this delay.
  • Whirlwind can be used on slanted edges or ramps to launch the player vertically.
  • Whirlwind moves the player forwards when used on the ground, but acts like an extra jump when used in the air. Use it in the air to stay airborne, but use it on the ground to be evasive, as it covers more distance faster.
  • When fighting bosses, Mercenary can stay safely in the air above their heads for a very long time by chaining together WhirlwindEviscerateWhirlwind along with Laser Sword attacks and double jumps. Laser Sword also has a slight vacuum effect and can be used to stick to and strafe around larger enemies.
  • Both Whirlwind and Rising Thunder have short enough recharges that a single Purity.png PurityBgLunar.pngPurity.pngReduce your skill cooldowns by 2 seconds. You are unlucky.
    All skill cooldowns are reduced by 2 (+1 per stack) seconds. All random effects are rolled +1 (+1 per stack) times for an unfavorable outcome.
    will allow them to be used continuously, allowing them to be used as a re-usable dash or to ascend upwards indefinitely.
  • Blinding Assault's cooldown reset leaves just enough time to use Laser Sword twice or combo Whirlwind + Laser Sword before needing to dash again. There is also just enough time to use Eviscerate or Slicing Winds between Blinding Assaults, if used immediately without any delay between dashes.
  • With the right positioning, Blinding Assault can be used to position Mercenary inside of an enemy's hitbox. For flying enemies, this can be exploited, pushing them away at high speed. Enemies that are pushed will take huge damage when hitting a wall, which is very effective for dealing with flying bosses such as the Wandering Vagrant.png Wandering Vagrant and Alloy Worship Unit.png Alloy Worship Unit.
  • Blinding Assault can be canceled mid-dash by either Whirlwind or Rising Thunder in order to shorten the length of the dash. This is useful primarily to avoid overshooting or in order to precisely end a dash for, say, a slam (the tip above).
  • Due to the effectiveness of Blinding Assault, and with a bit of finesse Focused Assault, the player can maintain permanent invulnerability with only their utility. With enough skill, this effectively eliminates the need to use Eviscerate, except maybe for an extra dash.
  • Hitting enemies with either Whirlwind or Rising Thunder directly after the third strike of Laser Sword will apply Exposed (it will not apply Exposed if that same third strike already applied Exposed to that monster). This can be more difficult with Rising Thunder due to the cast time of the ability.
  • The two above tips can be combined in this order: Laser Sword (third hit)-Blinding Assault-Whirlwind or Laser Sword (third hit)-Blinding Assault-Rising Thunder in order to apply Exposed after dashing.
  • Mercenary's longest distance jump combo is Sprint-Jump-Whirlwind-Blinding Assault-Eviscerate-Double Jump-Whirlwind.[Verify]
  • Prior to Build ID #3731106, Eviscerating directly into the ground when airborne would inflict heavy fall damage.
  • Some bosses have heads which act as solid platforms, which the Mercenary can stand on to fight the boss without as much danger from enemies below.
  • Slicing Winds is a very effective single-target and area-of-effect tool for Mercenary, as it has a higher general damage output than Eviscerate, as well as inflicting Status MercExpose.png Expose at the end of the skill. Slicing Winds totals 1150% (800% + 350% fromStatus MercExpose.png Expose) damage on a single target and up to 3450% total damage against 3 targets (1150%x3 targets, as it can Status MercExpose.png Expose those 3 targets). By comparison, Eviscerate is only 770% total damage to a single target, and is not really able to properly hit multiple targets at once.
    • Although Eviscerate adds more damage ticks with higher attack speed, it needs around ~30 Soldier's Syringe.png Soldier's SyringeBgCommon.pngSoldier's Syringe.pngIncreases attack speed.
      Increases attack speed by 15% (+15% per stack).
      to match Slicing Winds.
  • Eviscerate will lock the player into an animation while Slicing Winds will not. This means that the player can attack and use other skills while Slicing Winds is active, and with a Brainstalks.png BrainstalksBgLegendary.pngBrainstalks.pngSkills have NO cooldowns for a short period after killing an elite.
    Upon killing an elite monster, enter a frenzy for 4s (+4s per stack) where skills have 0.5s cooldowns.
    or other method of reducing cooldowns (such as a Bandolier.png BandolierBgUncommon.pngBandolier.pngChance on kill to drop an ammo pack that resets all skill cooldowns.
    18% (+10% per stack) chance on kill to drop an ammo pack that resets all skill cooldowns.
    or getting enough cooldown reduction that the cooldown finishes before the skill ends), it's possible to combo Slicing Winds into itself.
  • Although Slicing Winds is a ranged attack, its projectile is a bit slow, so it's most effectively used at melee or close range. Make use of its wide hitbox to strike many enemies.
  • Brilliant Behemoth.png Brilliant BehemothBgLegendary.pngBrilliant Behemoth.pngAll your attacks explode!
    All your attacks explode in a 4m (+2.5m per stack) radius for a bonus 60% TOTAL damage to nearby enemies.
    can apply a second Status MercExpose.png Expose stack when hitting an enemy with an attack that would normally apply Status MercExpose.png Expose, and is currently the only method for doing so. It can also apply Status MercExpose.png Expose on other enemies caught in its explosion, although this usually is not quite as relevant without stacking multiple Behemoths, as the explosion radius is somewhat small.
  • Mercenary is often considered to be one of the hardest characters to learn, next to Artificer.png Artificer, and thus requires patience and time to learn. Do not get frustrated if you fail.

Lore

The europian noble paced around in his chambers, nervously glancing at the antique clock adorning his wall. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

The riots had been escalating and showed no signs of slowing down. Effigies burned, statues were torn down, and countless politicians turned their backs on the once-prestigious nobility of Europa. The people have had enough. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

It was only a matter of time– either the noble would have to flee, or the mob would finally breach the palace. Even his bodyguards began to show signs of betrayal. Time, the noble thought, was something he did not have. The antique clock kept ticking, working upon the noble’s mind. Keeping him distracted - just long enough. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

And as the antique clock kept ticking, the noble’s body hit the floor. The Mercenary sheathed his blade. His footsteps were unheard as he left the palace– masked by the rhythmic ticking of the clock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

Version History

PS4 & Xbox One Patch
PC Patch v1.1.1.2

Anniversary Update
  • Major Content
    • Added New Skill Variant: Focused Assault.png Mercenary Utility
      • Stunning
        [ Stunning ]
        Interrupts enemies and briefly stuns them.
        . Dash forward, dealing 700% damage and Exposing
        [ Expose ]
        Hitting Exposed enemies reduces all skill cooldowns by 1.0s and deals an additional +350% damage.
        enemies after 1 second.
    • Added New Class Challenge: Focused Assault.png Mercenary: Flash of Blades
    • Added New Lore Entry: Mercenary
  • Gameplay Changes
    • Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault
      • 🌧 Now has a lingering 0.2s invincibility to help chain together Blinding Assaults in high-latency online games

PC Patch v1.0.1.1 (Build ID No.5440050)
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fix Mercenary’s Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault duration scaling from attack speed
    • Fix Mercenary’s Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault having missing iframes on startup
    • Reduce Mercenary’s Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault hitpause duration to 0.1 from 0.15 to match pre-1.0 hitpause values
    • Fix Merc Expose
      [ Expose ]
      Hitting Exposed enemies reduces all skill cooldowns by 1.0s and deals an additional +350% damage.
      mechanic not awarding cooldown reduction to non-host players over the network

Early Access Content Update 5
  • Gameplay Changes
    • Developer Notes: The Mercenary was always supposed to be the highest skill-cap survivor. However, in actual gameplay he became very flow-charty, using abilities directly off cooldown while holding down M1. The intent for all these changes is to allow skill expression, dynamic cooldowns, and higher risk vs reward in fight with the new ‘Exposed’ debuff. The hope is that the character will be stronger for advanced players, but weaker for new players.
      • Base Health: 140 (+42 per level) ⇒ 110 (+33 per level)
      • Base Regeneration: 2.5 health / second ⇒ 1 health / second
      • NEW Debuff: Exposed
        [ Expose ]
        Hitting Exposed enemies reduces all skill cooldowns by 1.0s and deals an additional +350% damage.
        • Striking an Exposed target reduces all cooldowns by 1 second and deals an additional +350% base damage
      • Laser Sword.png Laser Sword
        • Third Strike Damage: 300% ⇒ 130%
        • Third hit now applies ‘Exposed’ debuff
        • The second and third hit of the combo can no longer be started in the middle of other attacks
      • Whirlwind.png Whirlwind
        • Ground Speed Multiplier: 6 ⇒ 8
      • Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault
        • Cooldown: 7s ⇒ 8s
        • Can now be canceled mid-attack by both Whirlwind and Rising Thunder
      • Slicing Winds.png Slicing Winds
        • Last hit now applies ‘Exposed’ debuff
  • Quality of Life
    • Reduced brightness of some Mercenary effects to they are less white and have more color

Early Access Artifacts Content Update
  • Gameplay Changes
    • Slicing Winds.png Slicing Winds
      • Cooldown: 7.0s ⇒ 6.0s
      • Developer Notes: Cooldowns aren’t displayed anywhere in character select, and are generally a lame way to balance similar Skill Variants
  • Sound & Music
    • Fix Mercenary Whirlwind.png Whirlwind not playing SFX for anyone but the client playing as Mercenary and not applying forward self-force when playing as a non-host client

Early Access Hidden Realms Content Update

Early Access 'Skills 2.0' Content Update

Early Access Patch (Build ID No.3961583)
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fix Mercenary's Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault sometimes having double cooldowns
    • Hitting Immune characters or Tougher Times.png blockedBgCommon.pngTougher Times.pngChance to block incoming damage.
      15% (+15% per stack) chance to block incoming damage. Unaffected by luck.
      attacks no longer applies on-hit effects

Early Access Scorched Acres Content Update

Early Access Patch (Build ID No.3731106)
  • Gameplay Changes
    • Extend timeout duration to recast Blinding Assault.png Blinding Assault from 2s to 3s
      • *Small QoL. Allows Merc to be able to cast his other abilities between recasts of Blinding Assault without losing his recasts.*
  • Bug Fixes
    • [Community Found] Fix Mercenary.png Merc being able to take major fall damage during dashing attacks. **This is actually a significant portion of blazing deaths - you dash in, get set to 1, and then get ticked for that last point of health.**

Early Access Patch (Build ID No.3703355)
  • Bug Fixes
    • The Mercenary is now properly targeted by enemies after he uses a non-primary skill.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Mercenary was one of the playable characters in the first Risk of Rain.
  • Prior to the Anniversary Update, Mercenary's ending phrase was "..and so he left, with terrible power in shaking hands.".
  • Prior to the 1.0 Update, Status MercExpose.png Expose did not exist for Mercenary, and as such Slicing Winds would not apply Status MercExpose.png Expose at the end of its duration. This meant its single-target total damage was 800% and multi-target total damage was 2400%.
  • Mercenary is considered to be one of the hardest characters to learn, alongside Artificer.png Artificer.
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