Mercenary is a highly mobile assassin who strikes swiftly with various combo attacks. Mercenary is one of the more difficult survivors to play in Risk of Rain 2. Yet, he has one of the game’s most rewarding and high-skill ceilings. This makes him a joy to play if you can master the Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2.
How To Unlock Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2
Mercenary – True Respite
True Respite, the achievement needed for unlocking Mercenary, requires you to Obliterate in “A Moment, Fractured.” If you’ve never gotten to “A Moment, Fractured,” you might want to check out our guide on how to complete all the different endings in Risk of Rain 2.
Mercenary’s unlock condition might seem intimidating initially, but looping on a low-difficulty run will eventually spawn a Celestial portal.
How Mercenary’s Abilities Work
Mercenary can jump twice, and the second jump is slightly smaller than the first. This is a fairly basic passive ability. Yet, this mechanic is so familiar to many gamers that it’s easy to use and exploit.
Mercenary’s other passive ability is Expose. A few of Mercenary abilities apply a weak point debuff on monsters he has previously hit. Striking this Expose weak point reduces all skill cooldowns by one second and deals an additional 350% damage.
Related Guide: How to Build Huntress in Risk of Rain 2
Risk of Rain 2 Mercenary Primary Ability
Laser Sword is Mercenary’s only primary ability which causes him to swing his sword in front of him for 130% base damage. This ability has a base proc coefficient of 1.0, can be used while sprinting, and every 3rd hit strikes in a larger area and Exposes enemies. This ability has no cooldown, but the recovery window can be lowered with attack speed.
Mercenary’s first secondary ability is Whirlwind, which causes Mercenary to spin twice, dealing 2×200% base damage. The spin is horizontal if on the ground and changes to a vertical spin if airborne. This ability has a proc coefficient of 1.0×2, and the animation speed is improved with attack speed.
Rising Thunder is Mercenary’s other secondary ability in Risk of Rain 2, which makes Mercenary release a slicing uppercut that deals 550% base damage and sends you airborne. Both Rising Thunder and Whirlwind have a base cooldown of 2.5 seconds.
To unlock Rising Thunder, you must complete the Demon of the Skies challenge. This challenge requires you to stay in the air for 30 seconds without touching the ground. This challenge is easy considering several of Mercenary’s abilities keep him airborne, especially with cooldown reduction items.
Related Survivor Build: How to Play the Artificer in Risk of Rain 2
In Risk of Rain 2, Mercenary’s first Utility skill is Blinding Assault. Mercenary dashes forward, slashing for 300% base damage and stuns. If you hit an enemy, you can dash again up to three times. Each dash gives a small amount of invulnerability for about half a second, totaling nearly 2 seconds for all three dashes.
Focused Assault is Mercenary’s second Utility skill. Mercenary dashes forward, dealing 700% base damage, stuns, and Exposes enemies after 1 second. Focused and Blinding Assault have a base cooldown and a proc coefficient of 1.0.
To unlock Focused Assault, you must complete the Flash of Blades challenge. To finish this challenge, you must use 20 abilities in 10 seconds or less. Mercenary typically already has low cooldowns due to triggering Expose. With four or more Soldier’s Syringes, Mercenary’s attack speed is fast enough to spam Laser Sword and Blinding Assault to complete this challenge.
Special Abilities on the Mercenary in Risk of Rain 2
Mercenary’s first Special skill is Eviscerate. Mercenary targets the nearest enemy and repeatedly strikes them for 110% base damage. During this ability, Mercenary cannot be hit during the duration and is considered invincible. The base amount of hits is 7, but the amount can be increased with attack speed.
Slicing Winds is Mercenary’s second Special skill is Slicing Winds. Mercenary fires a wind of blades that strike up to three enemies for 8×100% damage. The final strike of this ability Exposes enemies. Eviscerate and Slicing winds have a six-second cooldown and a proc coefficient of 1.0 per strike for both abilities.
To unlock Slicing Winds, you must finish the Ethereal challenge. You must complete a Prismatic Trial without falling below 100% HP. A Prismatic Trial is an alternative game mode similar to the Simulacrum, but it’s solo-only.
What Should Your Risk of Rain 2 Mercenary Build Include?
Mercenary stacks very well, primarily with Attack Speed items and Mobility Items, since many of their attacks scale heavily off of Attack Speed. Mobility Items allow the relatively flimsy survivor to weave in and out of combat without worrying about prolonged engagements.
We recommend the Mocha, Soldier’s Syringe, Paul’s Goat Hoof, Hopoo Feather, and Wax Quail. Alongside these items, Focus Crystal, Backup Magazine, Lysate Cell, Leeching Seed, and Hardlight afterburner help Mercenary stay alive and deal more damage in the heat of battle.
Regarding abilities, we believe you should take Whirlwind, Blinding Assault, and Eviscerate on Mercenary. Although this set is the default, Whirlwind provides AOE, Blinding Assault provides consistent dash resets, and Eviscerate allows for an excessive amount of invulnerability. If you wish for a less safe playstyle, Slicing Winds is also acceptable, but it doesn’t scale as well with Attack Speed.
Risk of Rain 2 Mercenary Tips & Tricks
- Mercenary can stay invulnerable during long intervals if you repeatedly place and hit Exposure hits. Eviscerate can consume Exposure marks while invulnerable.
- Mercenary’s extra jump can be used to negate fall damage if you fall off a cliff.
- Stacking attack speed can activate Exposure more frequently and consume them faster.
- Using Whirlwind after the third hit of Mercenary’s Primary will reset the animation, allowing for faster Primary spam.
- Using Whirlwind in the air alters your falling speed, effectively reducing fall damage.
- Since each hit of Eviscerate has a 1.0 proc-coefficient, you can activate on-hit effects consistently without being in harm’s way.
Wrapping Up Our RoR2 Mercenary Build and Gameplay Guide
Overall, Mercenary is one of the Risk of Rain 2 survivors that takes the most practice getting used to. Furthermore, their high amount of mobility moves means they maintain one of the highest skill ceilings in the game. Even with this high-skill ceiling, Mercenary is an incredibly fast-paced character to play, offering the hard-hitting and fast-moving gameplay we all love.
For more great Risk of Rain 2 content, check out our guide on the best way to use Egocentrism in Risk of Rain 2.