TFT Set 6 Guide: How to Play Mercenaries

TFT Set 6 Guide: How to Play Mercenaries

How to Play Mercenaries

Mercenaries provide some of the most fun gameplay there is to experience in TFT. Economy based traits in TFT have become very common since their explosive popularity boom with Fortune in Set 4.

Much like Fortune, Mercenary provides better rewards when you lose a round, giving better rewards the longer your loss streak is. Getting higher tiers of Mercenary provides better bonuses faster, as well as some other perks.

However, playing Mercenary well isn’t easy. If you make the wrong moves or get too greedy, you can quickly go 8th. On the flip side, if you play your cards right, you can often pull off a first if things go your way.

How Mercenary works

You probably know the general idea of how Mercenaries work. Lose more rounds, get a big payout. While that’s largely all you need to know, here’s a more in depth look on Mercenary.

Loot Table

Riot Mortdog released a loot table for Mercenaries when they released Set 6. While the data on this table is outdated, we don’t know the specifics of what was changed, so just use this as a general look rather then definitive data.

TFT Mercenary Loot Table

TFT Mercenary Loot Table 2

You don’t have to memorize the loot table to play Mercenary, but having a general idea of when good rewards come, like Force of Nature, Thief’s Gloves, Item Components, Neeko’s Help, etc, is a good idea.

Do note that this loot table is outdated, and the value of gold is likely lower than what is displayed.

Difference Between Mercenary 3/5/7

Mercenary 3

Having Mercenary 3 simply gives you the loot table shown above. Whatever loss streak you are at, you will get something from the loot table into your chest.

Mercenary 5

When you have Mercenary 5, you essentially add +3 to your loss streak. That means from every win, you should be getting dice from the 3 loss table. If you’re at a streak of 5 losses, you will get something from the 8 loss table.

Mercenary 7

With Mercenary 7, you get an additional dice that rolls something from the Mercenary 7 loot table. You will still get the two dice based on your loss streak, but you’ll also get an additional dice that rolls good rewards from the Mercenary 7 table.

Early Game Mercenaries

In the early game, Mercenary is all about finding either Gangplank or Miss Fortune. These are the 3-cost units that will allow you to hit Mercenary 3.

Because of this, pre leveling to 4 at 1-4 is often advised. This is something you should do if you already have Illaoi and Quinn. By pre leveling to 4, your shop at 2-1 will have better odds at hitting either Gangplank or Miss Fortune.

Here’s an example of two early game boards that use 3 Mercenaries.

TFT Early Game Mercenary

TFT Early Game Mercenary 2

Make sure you get Mercenary 3 in as fast as possible, and try to lose as many rounds in a row as possible. Getting your loss streak up early will cost less HP, and get you better rewards.

Mid Game Mercenaries

As you approach the rounds in Stage 3, you should look to pickup units that make your board stronger, but not too strong.

This will include things like more Mercenaries, Bruisers, Snipers, Twinshot,  Challengers, etc.

One particularly helpful unit is Kog’Maw. He is both a Sniper and a Twinshot, so having him will synergize with both Miss Fortune and Gangplank.

TFT Mid Game Mercenary

At this point, you can comfortably have 4 Mercenary.

Mercenary Augments

Having a Mercenary Emblem, Mercenary Heart, or Mercenary Soul is extremely beneficial. You can easily hit Mercenary 5 with one of these, and that will allow you to start stacking up good loot very quickly.

With a Mercenary Soul, you can even keep your Mercenaries and look for Tahm Kench to reach Mercenary 7. Just make sure your team is still strong. Mercenary will give you a lot of extra items over the course of the game, so use that to your advantage to power up your weaker units.

Cashing Out

So you have Mercenary units, you have a loss streak going, and you need to cash out. How do you approach this? Well you have two main options to try and cash out.

Level 7 at 3-5

Your first option is to power spike at level 7 after the Stage 3 Carousel. Level up to 7 and roll down to upgrade your team to 2 cost units. This along with items you can build might be able to help you stabilize at 3-5 or 3-6.

TFT Mercenary Level 7

At level 7, you can simply add in another Bruiser and upgrade your units. If you don’t have Mercenary 5, you can also replace Quinn for a better unit like another Bruiser as well.

Level 8 around 4-2

The second option is to try to stabilize at level 8. Assuming you have built up a long losing streak, you should have enough gold to hit level 8 and roll down for more powerful units. Stabilizing here is riskier, but can ultimately pay off more.

TFT Mercenary Level 8

Here’s an example of a level 8 board you can try to stabilize with. Urgot and Dr. Mundo will be your most consistent upgrades, but you might luck into a 5-cost unit or two that you can add in.

Units like Jinx and Tahm Kench are very easy to add into the comp, and you should try to use them when you can.

TFT Mercenary Level 8 Highroll

Hitting Jinx or Tahm Kench early in Stage 4 can definitely lead to some wins. To do this consistently, you will need a strong economy, which you should have from a long losing streak.

Post Cashing Out

Once you have cashed out rewards, you should look to become stable at level 8, in order to safely reach level 9. This can some in a variety of ways, like hitting Jinx 2, hitting Tahm Kench 2, transitioning out of Mercenaries, etc.

If you want to keep Mercenary in, (which is especially good if you have Mercenary 7) you should simply try to use your items and upgrade your 5-cost units. This should help you stabilize to save up for level 9.

Transitioning Out

If you want to transition out of Mercenaries, you should look to upgrade your board by replacing the weaker units with stronger units. You can very easily transition into a Urgot Jinx comp in this way.

TFT Mercenary Jinx Comp

This transition should be easy to pull off with all of the rewards you get from cashing out. Even if you don’t have all of your upgrades, extra items can often bring your team’s power level up substantially.

Level 9

Upon hitting level 9, you should simply look to add in another strong unit like Yuumi to the team comp. Other units like Jayce or Viktor will also be strong, depending on what items you have. By this point, you should have enough power to hit a 1st.

Alternate Transitions

You might not hit Jinx and Tahm Kench every game, but you can still cash out and transition into powerful comps with other 5-cost units. Two other common transitions include either Viktor or Kai’Sa.

This will be especially strong if you build good items for them.

Viktor Transition

TFT Viktor Late Game Comp

You can continue with the same units like Bruisers, and decide to have Viktor as your carry instead. This will be especially powerful with items like Archangel’s Staff, Spear of Shojin, and Guardian Angel.

Kai’Sa Transition

TFT Kai'Sa Late Game Comp

Kai’Sa transition is mostly the same as Viktor. She has almost the same items, except Morellonomicon is our recommended third item.

Keeping Quinn in the comp will also provide Challenger, and you can replace Vi with Illaoi to keep Mercenary 3 in. This can give you some extra gold income to save up for level 9.

Ultra Late Game

If you have a ton of gold, and are able to hit level 9, you should look to transition into the strongest board possible. This will be done by dropping your Mercenary and Bruiser units for more powerful units.

An example end game comp can look something like this.

TFT Socialite and Friends Late Game

Transitioning into a team comp like this is very powerful if you have a strong 5-cost carry. In this image, Kai’Sa is fairly interchangeable with any 5-cost carry. Even without synergies, the power level of the units along with the Socialite Hex will give you team a huge power boost.

Having more items from Mercenary also help this comp turn into a late game behemoth.


All in all, Mercenary provides a very fun experience in TFT. You can hit a big cash out and cruise your way to first place, assuming you know what you’re doing.

Other times, you may simply just go 8th very quickly.

Either way, learning how to play Mercenary is a great way to improve your climb. Not every game will be a Mercenary game, but you can find those games and identify when to go for it. Playing Mercenaries well will help you reach more 1st place finishes, and ultimately help you climb.

Of course, hitting something like Mercenary Heart or Mercenary Soul will make this process much easier. But you still need to know what you’re doing.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out our meta team comps page, or head to our Team Builder to try and come up with your own comps.