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HearthstoneNov 5, 2021 10:30 am CT

Here’s what’s in Hearthstone Mercenaries packs

Hearthstone’s newest game mode, Mercenaries, has had a few concerns raised by the community about its monetization model: namely, that it might be a bit too expensive. Is it fair to say so? Maybe you’re not sure about buying Mercenaries packs, because their value seems a bit uncertain, and you’re wondering how necessary getting them — and spending any real money at all — is to playing this game mode properly.

So what, exactly, is in Mercenaries packs? Here’s the most important information regarding Mercenaries packs, and what the process of building your collection looks like.

Do I need to spend money to play Hearthstone Mercenaries?

You need to keep in mind is that Mercenaries is, first and foremost, a PVE mode. Purchasing packs should definitely make you collect things and improve your Mercenaries faster; but for a single-player game, speed is a far more relative factor than for a competitive PVP mode, where you always feel like you need to keep up with other players.

So buying packs will help you collect and upgrade Mercenaries faster. If you decide not to get them, you can still play the game as normal — albeit with the sensation that it takes quite a while to earn new Mercenaries and level them up. But you get a number of free Mercenaries just by playing through the introduction, plenty for much of the PVE content while you work on earning more.

If, however, you do plan on jumping into this game’s PVP mode — which, again, is secondary to the “main” experience, which is PVE — then you’ll probably want to spend some money on packs to ensure that your Mercenaries are as strong as they can be, as quickly as possible. Much like in constructed Hearthstone, there’s a meta with popular Mercenaries, and you’re likely to fall behind if you don’t have the right ones.

Can I purchase Mercenaries packs with gold like constructed packs?

Yes, we have some good news: packs can be purchased with gold for the same cost as constructed packs. The same is also true of their real money value.

Sadly, there are fewer ways to earn gold simply by playing Mercenaries when compared to other modes like constructed and Battlegrounds, due to the way your dailies and weeklies are structured at the moment. Mercenaries does not trigger completion for the majority of quests, so if you focus on the game mode you won’t find yourself earning much gold to buy packs.

How difficult is it to obtain packs if I don’t want to buy them with in-game gold or real money?

Very difficult. While the introductory questline gives you several packs and a number of new Mercenaries as you go, after that you’ll have to buy packs or grind for coins to buy Mercenaries directly.

Okay, so I’ll buy myself some Mercenaries packs. What’s in them?

Three things, basically: Cards, Portraits, and Coins.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

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 Cards, Portraits, and Coins can be of three different rarities: Rare, Epic, and Legendary.

Mercenary Cards are what gives you the playable Mercenaries themselves. If you don’t get them in packs, you can craft them with coins. Unique portrait art for our heroes isn’t exactly a new concept either — we already have that in constructed and Battlegrounds. And coins are a currency used to purchase Mercenaries you don’t have or upgrade Mercenaries you do have, and can also be earned through gameplay.

Sadly, packs can sometimes come with no Mercenaries at all, but only portraits and coins — or even worse, only coins! This is due to duplicate protection: the game will never give you a Mercenary or portrait that you already have, but instead fill in with coins. It’s similar to standard Hearthstone packs, only there are fewer Mercenaries than there are Hearthstone cards, so you may notice it sooner. The more Mercenaries you’ve already collected, the more likely you are not to get Mercenaries in packs since there’s a smaller pool of Mercenaries to be offered — and thus, it’s a problem that tends to get worse the bigger your collection gets.

What exactly are Mercenary Coins? How can I earn them?

Basically, they’re a currency you use in order to make your Mercenaries stronger or to craft that Mercenary in the first place, if you don’t already own them. It’s a little like dust in standard Hearthstone.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)
Mercenary Coins are specific to each Mercenary. Those Mercenary Coins can be used to upgrade a Mercenary’s Abilities and Equipment, or to craft the Mercenary if you do not already own it. The cost to craft a Mercenary depends on the Mercenary’s rarity: 100 Coins for Rares, 300 Coins for Epics, and 500 Coins for Legendary Mercenaries.

But each Mercenary uses their own coins, specific to that Mercenary only, so for example, your Jaina coins can only upgrade Jaina. If you want to upgrade Sylvanas, you’ll need to get yourself some Sylvanas coins.

In addition to that:

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)
You can get Mercenary Coins a number of ways, including from purchases, Mercenary Packs, Campfire tasks, Fighting Pit rewards, and Bounties. Each Bounty has a pool of Mercenary Coins that it pulls from more regularly, so returning to a Bounty that you’ve already beaten can be a good way to work towards a particular Mercenary you want.

So packs aren’t the only way to get coins: every day you’ll get a random selection of tasks specific mercenaries, and completing those tasks will get you coins for them. And completing Bounties will give you coins for one of three specific mercenaries, so if you want to upgrade a mercenary, you can target that Bounty to run. Running Bounties can also spawn tasks for mercenaries for even more coins.

However, even though there are a lot of ways to earn coins, there’s also a lot of RNG. Tasks could spawn for any mercenary you have, which may not match the mercenaries you want to upgrade. Bounties give coins for one of several mercenaries, and may not give you the coins you want. And packs can give you coins for any mercenary, so you never know what you’re going to get.

Collecting things and completing your collection

It’s not too different from collecting cards for Constructed. Duplicate protection is in place: once you own all the Mercenary cards of a rarity, you’ll obtain Mercenary Portraits of that rarity, instead. And once you own all the mercenaries and portraits of that rarity, you’ll just get coins, as we mentioned above. If you play any constructed game modes, you’ll be used to the system.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

  • 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.

How many Portraits are there to collect?

Plenty. Each mercenary has at least three portraits, and Legendary mercenaries also have an extra “diamond” portrait. In addition to that, there’s duplicate protection for portraits as well, so you’ll only get portraits you don’t have. However, portraits currently only come from packs, so if you want to collect these alternate looks you’ll need to buy packs in some way.

Are there other ways to spend money to increase my collection other than buying packs?

Yes, actually: there are bundles and coin purses in the in-game shop that are tailored to each specific player, offering specific collections of mercenaries and coins that are “suited to them” (though we don’t know what’s the logic behind what’s picked for each player), for purchase with real money. We’ve seen specific mercenaries available for purchase, bundles of coins for specific mercenaries, as well as random packs of coins.

So if you want to build out your collection and have cash to spend, that’s another option for you.

Thanks! That sounds great.

Glad to help!

Playing Mercenaries as a “free to play” player, or spending small, reasonable amounts of money, is possible as long as you don’t mind unlocking things quite a bit slower. But players who want to jump into PVP with Mercenaries, or who think the “free to play” rate of collection is too slow, might still have very legitimate concerns about the monetization, because Mercenaries bundles can be pricy — and the RNG nature of what’s in Mercenaries packs means even buying hundreds of packs may not get you what you want.

Originally posted 9/22/2021. Updated 11/05/2021.

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