Mercenary

Do your job…Earn your keep…

The Mercenary, one of the oldest trades in creation. Not a race so much as a memetic anomaly in every society that ever existed. They art citizens whom never form relationships based on shared belief or common ancestry. Instead, they look for mutual benefit and advantage in search of conquest. For this reason, Mercenaries come in many shapes and sizes, but crave only one thing; supremacy. They hold no interest in how they attain supremacy. They care not who stands by their side when the day is done. They fight for themselves and they pick their company by individual merit. Politics or friendly gestures will do nothing to gain their trust. One earns the comradery of the Mercenary through the strength of your arm, the sharpness of your wit and the speed in your steps. The fight choses the victors, so the Mercenary tends to bring as many to the fight as will come. Numbers have always spoken louder than words, especially in a fight.

Mercenaries are a cooperative lot. They lack an inborn ability to share sense and thoughts but they know how to find the best in a person. This is what adds another length to their spear and another link in the shirt. After all, one never knows how long your reach is going to need to be, or how broad the protection. Mercenaries tend to work in small, personal teams. Others they feel compatible with. Each member in their squad fulfilling a specific role. There are some not unified by this principle. Though they prefer to work alone, they can unite with other groups to add to their strength.

The thing that makes them strong also makes them weak. A large portion of them are dependent on their teams to reach their full potential. This can lead to some disastrous conflicts for certain Mercenaries. Another difficulty to overcome is their combat centric focus. While some Mercenaries boast potent skillsets outside of warfare, the number that do are few. The magnitude of those abilities can be found wanting when facing a more adept faction.

Mercenaries have long been one of the most reviled collection of killers in history. Every one of them comes from a family. All abandoned those things in pursuit of wealth and power. Most can't understand what would cause a person to take up arms against his own. The fact of the matter is some people are slaves to their biology and some aren't. Some driven by emotion and others, well… They can do the math.

Mercenary Support

RedTotemWing

Mercenaries focus on diversity and powerful triggered and activated abilities. Most Mercenaries have a higher cost than cards from other factions. They make up for this drawback by having alternative costs which give Mercenaries an edge at any stage of the game. The Totem Wing cards best exemplify this diversity with their powerful support abilities are minor versions of their trigger abilities. Mercenaries make a great addition to many decks since they can fill many holes in either the early or late game state. Chaos Legionnaire is one of the biggest characters you can play in the game and its alternative cost makes him easy to play in character based decks.

Not only do Mercenaries have their powerful triggered and activated abilities, they also focus on a teamwork mechanic. The Mercenary cards following this theme need others from their faction to empower one another. Cards that have these abilities include "The Inquisitors" and "The Brothers." The Inquisitor cards focus more on a beat down strategy where the The Brothers focus on control. Mercenaries offer many play styles and make a great Faction for new players to the Universal Card Game.

Optional support

architect

Alan The First143 NEORAR143 AlanTheFirst0001 - Alan The First is part of the brothers team in the Mercenary Faction. This card's search ability allows you to find other Mercenaries you need such as the Inquisitors or the other Brothers. Alan's innate Swift and Expertise abilities will help you defend or attack as needed. Last of all, Alan's other activated ability lets him slay Descendants with ease. Use this to stop deadly cards such as Helen, Lust Feeder.200 NEOUNS200 HelenLustFeeder0001 Use together with The Rival155 NEORAR155 TheRival0001 to deal with threats that your characters cannot handle with their abilities.

Architect of the Flesh014 NEORAR014 ArchitectoftheFlesh0001 - The leader of the mercenaries, and like any leader, do not take him lightly. Having the ability to get any play any Mercenary card out at the beginning of your dawn phase is very useful. You can retrieve missing team members to empower the others such as an Arcanist of the Inquisition039 NEOSTB039 ArcanistoftheInquisition0001 for your Templar of the Inquisition.028 NEOSTB028 TemplaroftheInquisition0001 Another choice is to search for larger Mercenaries like Aldane The Final122 NEORAR122 AldaneTheFinal0001 or Chaos Legionnaire.035 NEORAR035 ChaosLegionnaire0001 Architect of the Flesh makes a great choice for cards like Ballad of She017 NEOCOV017 BalladofShe0001 as it is large enough to take some hits and is very useful the next turn. This card can help a Mercenary based deck pull out of a weak field position since it provides access to your entire deck of Mercenaries. If you can afford to wait another turn, Architect of the Flesh can search another copy of itself. This lets you get two Mercenary cards each turn you can keep them on the board.

Totem Wing Prime111 NEORAR111 TotemWingPrime0001 - Many mercenary decks lack a good early game. To make up for this weakness, Totem Wing Prime is available to speed up many mercenary plays. With two Mercenary cards in play you can activate this card's alternate cost and put it into the active zone for free. This card's strength lies in its triggered ability with other Totem Wing named cards to deal damage when they enter the Encounter Zone. This allows Totem Wing card abilities to trigger up to two times each encounter. This card also has an activated ability that lets you play any Support Ability for free from your hand. You can use this on the opponent's turn after expending your resources to make other plays on your own turn. Totem Wing Prime's versatility has a place in any Mercenary deck.

The Doctoral Council085 NEOUNS085 TheDoctoralCouncil0001 - The Doctoral Council's unique ability allows it to count as a card name for abilities of Mercenary cards you control. This makes all the team based Mercenary cards immediately come into play with full abilities. For example, Arcanist of the Inquisition039 NEOSTB039 ArcanistoftheInquisition0001 will come into play as a Three Combat character with the activated ability to deal Two damage to target character. Combine this card with the other Inquisitors or with a bigger Mercenary such as Agent Drake.075 NEORAR075 AgentDrake0001 An early game Noodles' Hatred148 NEORAR148 NoodlesHatred0001 can search the deck for this card and put it into play to establish field control.

Key Cards for your Mercenary Deck

Diodao

Black Totem Wing023 NEOSTB023 BlackTotemWing0001 - Black Totem Wing is a key card in many Terra based decks, but shines more so in a mercenary deck. Use it's Support Ability early game to discard Shadow Architects or large character cards from a player's hand. Another use is to remove combo components or force players to lose their Covert Stability cards before they can use them. Synergize with Lustful Demise161 NEOSTB161 LustfulDemise0001 to remove additional threats from Effect and Architect cards. Depending on the situation, it may instead be wiser to place this card into your Active Zone and attack. Damaging the opponent triggers Black Totem Wing's ability to search your deck and place any card on top to draw next turn. Use this to search for key components of your deck such as Architect of the Flesh014 NEORAR014 ArchitectoftheFlesh0001 or The Doctoral Council!085 NEOUNS085 TheDoctoralCouncil0001

Red Totem Wing093 NEOSTB093 RedTotemWing0001 - This Mercenary deck staple provides early game control with its Support Ability. This card allows you to deal Two damage to any character with its support or triggered ability. Combine this card with Totem Wing Prime111 NEORAR111 TotemWingPrime0001 to clear out your opponenet's character cards. As with many Totem Wing cards, their abilities always trigger, so if your opponent has no character cards, you must target one of your own for damage. Red Totem Wing's Stable Stability makes it reliable and consistent when running all four copies.

DioDao117 NEORAR117 DioDao0001 - DioDao is one of the many great early game cards offered in the Universal Card Game. You can use it to generate Terra and also make your attacking character's Combat bigger until end of turn. Combine this card with Green Totem Wing078 NEOSTB078 GreenTotemWing0001 to accelerate to four or five Terra as early as the third turn of the game. This grants access to play your Totem Wings into the Active Zone. With speedy Terra generation you can also play the larger five to play Mercenary cards with more consistency. DioDao provides a much needed Combat Boost for your Mercenary cards in the Encounter Zone. Decks that require a great number of Terra to be consistent synergize very well with Diodao.

The Rival155 NEORAR155 TheRival0001 - The Rival is a great card to play when used with the search cards available to the mercenary Faction. Use Architect of the Flesh014 NEORAR014 ArchitectoftheFlesh0001 and Alan The First143 NEORAR143 AlanTheFirst0001 to search for this card and deal with threats as they appear to disrupt your opponent's strategy. For decks like Gangsters and Insanes which run many high Stability cards, The Rival removes the ability to keep key cards out. The Rival also is potent versus Drakkonen early game. Many Drakkonen decks are reliant on the same members at four copies each. The Rival can shut them down without even touching the Encounter Zone.

Agent Drake075 NEORAR075 AgentDrake0001 - Agent Drake is a great member of the team mechanic of the mercenary Faction. It can activate to either let you draw three cards or have an opponent discard three cards if you control Officer Gregory102 NEORAR102 OfficerGregory0001 and/or Mister Lechner.138 NEORAR138 MisterLechner0001 Agent Drake works with The Doctoral Council085 NEOUNS085 TheDoctoralCouncil0001 to grant you these abilities without the other Mercenaries. This card's five Combat makes for a great attacker or defender as well. The other draw of Agent Drake is its ability to replace a card that would go to the Void from a source of damage. This allows you to get combo pieces needed or to save Covert cards such as Ballad of She017 NEOCOV017 BalladofShe0001 and Final Clash.001 NEOCOV001 FinalClash0001 Since this other ability has no Terra cost to use, you can add Agent Drake to Epic based decks such as the Drakkonen.

Weaknesses

Mercenary Cards are great for their abilities, but they are not a very quick deck to get setup. Many Mercenary based decks need several turns to get out key cards to take control of the field. Removing Mercenaries as they reach the Active Zone can devastate their board position. Without their other members they will be weak and unable to use their more dangerous abilities. Maintain pressure against the Mercenary player and force them to use Support Abilities from Totem Wings. This will let you avoid their triggered effect late game. Players can discern early in the match what type of Mercenary deck you play and know immediately what cards to respond against. It is important for the Mercenary player to bear this in mind as they craft their own strategy in the match.

Anti-Mercenary Support

Terror Incarnate088 NEOSTB088 TerrorIncarnate0001 - Mercenary cards depend on their abilities to deal with threats on the field and having the ability to no longer be a target makes this card a significant threat to mercenary decks. The ability of Terror Incarnate to slay a mercenary card also allows you to come out positive with the play as you can deal with an immediate threat and able to sustain any other threats. Mercenary cards are also not good against a lot of larger characters and the +2 Combat may open up the opportunity to start attacking the mercenary player as the Effected Character can no longer be blocked by Mercenary cards.

Nature's Wrath094 NEOSTB094 NaturesWrath0001 - Most key members of the mercenary faction are Two Combat or less. This card is dangerous anytime during a match as it can kill almost all members of the Mercenary faction. You can counter this effect with Black Totem Wing or name Nature's Wrath with Prince the Second.166 NEOUNS166 PrinceTheSecond0001 This is a popular card to sideboard to use against decks reliant on several smaller characters. Mercenary decks can prepare their sideboard further by adding in Lost in Thought.034 NEOSTB034 LostinThought0001

Savant's Intuition139 NEOSTB139 SavantsIntuition0001 - Savant's Intuition is devastating to Mercenary decks since it nullifies your cards' abilities at critical moments. At One Terra it can Nullify for a turn your Architect of the Flesh's014 NEORAR014 ArchitectoftheFlesh0001 ability to play a Mercenary card from your deck. It can also prevent Totem Wings from triggering upon dealing damage. Late game the card can completely Nullify the playing of your key cards. This can make it impossible to form complete Mercenary teams. Another popular card played in opponent sideboards. A Mercenary player's best counters will be Black Totem Wing023 NEOSTB023 BlackTotemWing0001 or Prince the Second.166 NEOUNS166 PrinceTheSecond0001

Play Style(s)

Horrors of the Inquisition (Beat Down)

From Left to Right: Cass The Arcanist of the Inquisition, Ross The Warlord of the Inquistion, and Khane The Templar of the Inquisition

The Inquisition deck focuses on speed and getting three copies of cards in play that work together to unlock their full abilities. The three Inquisitors, Arcanist of the Inquisition, Templar of the Inquisition, and Warlord of the Inquisition will form the early game. Later game cards such as the Brothers or Doctors can assist to seal victory. It is best to focus either on the Doctors or the Brothers for late game. While not effective in all decks, the three Inquisitors make great early game plays in decks that can afford the 12 slots to play them. The main strategy with this variant is to use the Arcanist and Templar to weaken or slay your opponent's characters. The Templar can prevent attacks from stronger characters, or save other ones from any damage source all turn. In the meantime, the Warlord which gets stronger for each character sent to the void.

 

House Birdos (Aggro)

The "Bird" deck is a very aggressive form of the Mercenary Deck that can take control of the field with ease. Use the Support abilities of the various Totem Wings to remove threats. Many of the Totem Wings' Support abilities only cost one or two Terra. Red Totem Wing's093 NEOSTB093 RedTotemWing0001 Support ability for one Terra has ways to deal damage to Characters. Black Totem Wing's023 NEOSTB023 BlackTotemWing0001 Support ability for one Terra helps you view your opponent's hand and discard a threat from their hand. Once you establish field position, attack with Swift characters such as Dave053 NEOUNS053 Dave0001, the Totem Wings and Proto Nerd.100 NEORAR100 ProtoNerd0001 This deck relies on keeping momentum. If the opponent can stop an initial flood of birds, it's hard to regain control over the playing field. Take advantage of your Support abilities. Don't be afraid to use them over playing cards as characters. There are cards that allow you to recycle your Support ability Characters such as Noodles the Star Cat149 NEOCOV149 NoodlesTheStarCat0001 or Commit Sin Vanity.123 NEOSTB123 CommitSinVanity0001 Totem Wing Prime111 NEORAR111 TotemWingPrime0001 allows you to trigger other Totem Wing abilities more than once a turn. Architect of the Flesh014 NEORAR014 ArchitectoftheFlesh0001 can search for both Noodles the Star Cat and Totem Wing Prime.

Mercenary MVP Preview

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Factions of New Terra