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The metagame is starting to stabilize in the Teamfight Tactics: Gizmos and Gadgets expansion and one of the premier comps for TFT Set 6 is the Mercenary composition. In this Mercenary TFT guide, Upcomer’s TFT expert and 16-time Master ranked player will give everything to know in order to climb up the ranked ladder with one of the strongest compositions in the game.
Disclaimer before jumping into the TFT Mercenary guide
When it comes to Teamfight Tactics Set 6 Gizmos and Gadgets, the most controversial comp in the game is mercenary. The econ-driven composition gets stronger the more a player loses. Similar to Fortune in TFT: Fates, players that have the trait active get better rewards for every round lost in a row. But the catch is that players need to win a round to “cash-out.” This can be difficult because players must play a dangerous game of balancing their HP and their board strength. Win too early and the rewards don’t outweigh the HP lost; lose too much and die before ever cashing out. Here is an in-depth Mercenary guide that goes over how to lose streak and when to cash out.
Again, this comp rewards players for their intuition. Do not get discouraged if you fail to cash out before dying or you prematurely cash out. The comp has a learning curve to it and even the highest-ranked players have trouble at times. With that said, the comp is fun to play and should add a thrilling experience for those who want a little more excitement when playing TFT.
Only play Mercs under these conditions:
- Have three mercs in by 2-5 at the latest
- Have a good starting augment (Metabolic Accelerator/Merc heart/Merc Crest)
- Ideally have three mercs by 2-1
- Have a strong understanding of late-game pivots after cashout
The goal here is to make sure you lose every single round. But, ideally, players want to try to keep the losses as close as possible. However, do not attempt to play a strong board. Often in the early game, players will need to position sub-optimally on purpose. This includes front lining champions like Quinn and Miss Fortune while back lining Illaoi.
Stage 1 is actually very important in determining direction. If players high roll a natural merc start from natural shops during Stage 1, there is no need to “pre-level” to Level 4. However, if a player only has two merc champions by the end of Stage 1-4, players should hit the level button once to put them at 4/6 XP. Players need to do this in order to be Level 4 at the start at 2-1. This gives them a Level 4 shop and, with it, higher odds to hit the last merc champion. If players do not have the three merc trait active at this point, they should proceed to play strongest board until Stage 2 Carousel.
At the Carousel, if players still only have two merc champions, they should prioritize a merc champion on the carousel. If there is one, it gets them to the three merc trait. If not, it’s time to abandon the dream and default to a comfort pick. As for items to grab and look out for, bows, swords and gloves can be slammed on the “cash-out” carry later on in the game.
For the rest of the stage, players should focus on their econ while lose streaking. At Krugs, if players do not feel strong enough to beat them, they can level to five and play a champion in order to beat the PvE round.
Stage 3 is critical for the merc composition. Players will want to lose streak throughout the entire stage as well. Players will take a lot of damage in this part of the game if they are not careful. However, it’s also critical to not break the loss streak prematurely. A lot of skill in this comp comes from scouting and intuition. If you look around at the other players in the lobby and they seem weak, perhaps it would be wise to not slam any powerful items or make sure positioning is optimal. But if players seem a little too strong, it could be a good idea to position optimally while also slamming items.
As for additional champions that players can use, pairing bruisers with Illoai is not a bad idea. Players can pick up spare bruisers in the shop. Since Gangplank, Miss Fortune and Quinn all have very strong secondary traits, players will want to lean on those when it comes to playing a carry. This means that in the mid-game, while you are still lose-streaking, if Jhin, Urgot or Yone show up in the shop, players should buy them and keep them on the bench — if they don’t feel comfortable putting them on the board. If at any point they can play five mercenaries, they should do so. This will give players a stronger cash out.
After the Stage 3 carousel, players should evaluate their HP. If their HP is less than 30, they should consider leveling to seven and start rolling down for a strong board. Ideally, players want to cash out when their lose-streak is around 9-12. If players think they need to cash out or risk dying, Stage 3-7 is a good time to all-in. They should level to seven and roll down to zero. The goal here is to find a two-star four-cost carry and a good frontline. This should be possible, as no gold has been spent on re-rolling or picking up pieces. More experienced players should aim to cash out on Stage 4-1 or 4-2 with the same method.
If a player has made it to this part, they have cashed out. They shouldn’t worry about low HP; the resources gained from cashing out will make it hard for them to lose rounds. The question now is how to use the cashout.
Players that get a ton of gold should level to eight. Also, they should look to transition their board into a standard composition with slight variation. If they cashed out using Jhin, they can look to build a board similar to this Jhin Snipers guide. If they cashed out with Urgot, they can look to pivot into a Chemtech Urgot board. Yone is the same idea, as players will want to build a comp around Challenger and Academy champions for him. Players should feel free to slam any item components onto other carries. They should also try to save Neeko’s Help that drop for either a four-cost three-star or a complementary five-cost two-star.
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.