Frightning's guide to the Mercenary com

(The quick and the dead) #1

A favorite of many Lilith players, the Mercenary com is all about maximizing Lilith’s effectiveness with SMGs. Famous for its synergy with Double Anarchies, the Mercenary com excels with all manner of SMGs and offers one of the highest DPS builds available for Lilith.

The Pros:
-Extreme DPS: So many bullets, so much damage.
-Strong tanking ability: The com buffs Girl Power, and with Phasewalk also available, enemies will be powerless to stop us.
-Ammo Regeneration: The mat3 version can take care of all your SMG ammo needs, removing a notable obstacle to specializing in a single weapon type.

The Cons:
-SMG only 1st and 5th lines: A significant portion of the com’s offensive power comes from the 1st line buff, which only works for SMGs, other weapons benefit far less from a Mercenary com, and in many cases, Lilith has better alternatives to run with them.
-Most SMGs are decent elemental weapons at best, meaning some enemies that demand elemental DoT may prove difficult to deal with.
-Ammo hungry: Most good parts SMGs use ammo pretty fast, especially Double Stingers and Double Anarchies, without the mat3 version of the com, this can become a serious problem.

The Skill Tree:

The Why:

Controller Tree: 23 points
-Diva: More shield capacity means Girl Power is that much stronger, what’s not to love?
-Inner Glow: In danger of taking a knee? Pop Phasewalk, and not only buy time to reposition, or let DoT do it’s thing, but you also regen health with this skill.
-Hard To Get: So Phasewalk is more likely to be up when we need it.
-Girl Power: It’s buffed by the com, and makes us really hard to kill, obvious choice.
-Mind Games (3/5): With how much metal SMGs put out, even at 3/5, you will usually Daze most enemies you start shooting at almost immediately.

Elemental Tree: 25 points
-Quicksilver: It’s buffed by the com and increases our SMG fire rate, of course we want this!
-Spark: For our elemental SMGs.
-Resilience: Might as well make ourselves a bit tankier, especially since this doesn’t require us to use Phasewalk to reap the benefits (we prefer to save Phasewalk for when we need it since time spent in Phasewalk is time not spent DPSing things with SMGs).
-Intuition: The On-kill Movement Speed is great for getting around the battlefield, especially useful with the short effective range of a Double Anarchy.
-Phoenix: The On-kill Area of Effect Fire Damage is nice, but the real selling point for us is the chance to save ammo, effectively increasing our mag size and helping with the potential ammo problem as well.

Assassin Tree: 20 points
-Slayer: An 62.5% of non-critical hit damage is rather nice for SMGs, especially useful against enemies with low zone multipliers for their critical hit zones, as the marginal utility of Slayer is highest in those cases (e.g. a Bandit normally takes 250% damage from a crit, but with this skill he takes 312.5% damage from a crit).
-Enforcer: On-kill Bullet Damage is nice, but really icing on the cake, and that cake is that the accuracy buff on this skill reduces spread, which means it has a significant impact on improving accuracy and by extension effective range.
-High Velocity: Also buffed by the com, and increases our DPS some, and also increases Bullet Velocity, so much so that we scarcely need to lead a moving target at all.
-Blackout: This will also help make sure Phasewalk is always there when we need it.


Obviously we want SMGs! But what sort of SMGs are there to choose from? There is a Pearl SMG, several Legendaries and a few distinct Purple versions to fill our needs.
-Maliwan Tsunami: This Pearl SMG first a combination of normal damage, and shock and corrosive damage bullets. The latter two have a wavy flight path and are slower moving, and always proc (since they only occur when the Tsunami procs). The result is that although the Tsunami effective accuracy is perhaps less than the guncard would have you believe, it is a superb source of damage against a wide variety of enemies, being maximally effective against armored enemies with strong shields, as the shock will rapidly strip shields, and the corrosive damage will eat through their armor quickly. It doesn’t suffer from the usual damage penalty for being elemental that Purple SMGs have, making it an all round superb Shock and Corrosive SMG.
-Dahl Wildcat: Dahl’s legendary SMG boast a special version of mag4 with a higher capacity than the standard mag4, at the expense of a significant amount of accuracy. Often considered mediocre because of it’s low accuracy, but at close range, is very useable, and Vectored versions compare favorably at short ranges to double Stingers because of the reduced ammo usage (no double acc).
-Hyperion Bitch: Well known for the humorous prefix+title combinations that can occur, the Bitch is Hyperion’s legendary SMG, and it has a special version of barrel5, which gives even better recoil reduction, making the Bitch easier to control. It was supposed to have a Weapon Critical Hit Damage bonus, but that effect is not functional. So the Bitch is overall extremely similar to a standard Purple Hyperion Stinger, though it is quite a bit rarer.
-Maliwan Hellfire: Rightly regarded as one of the most powerful guns in the game, Maliwan’s legendary SMG is always incendiary, the legendary part being a special version of the incendiary accessory. It doesn’t suffer from the damage penalty that normal incendiary SMGs have, and has a much better proc rate, and thus is the penultimate Incendiary SMG.
-Tediore Savior: As with all Tediore legendaries, the Savior’s main selling point is that it regenerates ammo of the type it uses. The legendary part is an improved version of body3 (SV instead of TEK), which features increased damage and tech bonus. As a result, it performs nearly as well as a body5 Tediore Stinger with comparable parts with the added bonus of ammo regeneration.
-Torgue Gasher: Torgue’s legendary SMG is a burst fire weapon. The legendary part is a special version of barrel2 which gives further increased damage, increased fire rate, magazine size, and makes the weapon fire 3 round bursts (Double variants fire 3 pairs of bullets for 6 total). The Gasher suffers from the same low accuracy as the regular barrel2 does, but since Gasher is a title, cannot become an Anarchy. As a result accuracy is comparable to a Dahl Wildcat, though somewhat better. Careful trigger management can allow a skilled user to take advantage of the Gasher’s extremely high fire rate (maximum of 21.6) to gain DPS over other comparable SMGs.
Purple SMGs come in three main variants: Stingers, Double Stingers, and Double Anarchies.
-Stingers: Regular Stingers fire bullets one at a time with a very high fire rate. The Vectored accessory is best and is easily identified by the increased Fire Rate (usually 16.3; 17.6 for Torgue, and 18.8 for Hyperion .W). Barrel4 and Barrel5 are the best barrels (the former is max damage, latter max accuracy), barrel5 in particular is more common and easily identified by its considerable length.
-Double Stingers: These must have the Double Accessory and high enough accuracy to not be eligible for the Anarchy title. They fire two bullets at the cost of 2 ammo per shot, and as with regular Stingers, barrel4 and barrel5 are the best.
-Double Anarchy: Would be Double Stingers with low enough accuracy will instead become Double Anarchies, substantially decreasing accuracy but doubling the number of bullets fired to 4 at no additional ammo cost (so still 2 ammo per shot), Hyperion Double Stingers are always too accurate to qualify for the title, for other manufacturers, they must be barrel1 or barrel2. The latter is usually preferred because the accuracy loss isn’t a huge factor and the damage increase is quite relevant.
-SMG parts in general: Besides what I’ve already had to say about parts, the best SMGs are always body5 (HX) except of course for the Savior (always SV). The best mags are mag3, mag4, and mag5, the Dahl Wildcat’s special mag uses the same numbers as mag4, hence you want the latter number (or only number if only one digit appears) to be a 3, 4, or 5.

As Girl Power and Diva both synergize with maximum shield capacity, Lilith has a strong preference for running the highest capacity shield she can find. This means that a Pangolin shield of highest capacity is typically preferable. The most notable exception is when the overwhelming majority of the damage you are taking is of one element type. In such cases, an applicable Extreme Resistance shield of the corresponding element and maximum capacity available may prove to be an excellent alternative.

Grenade Mod:
As we have nothing giving us specific preference for one Grenade mod over another, user preference reigns. Though it is worth noting that Corrosive nades can be useful for applying corrosive DoT which increases subsequent damage taken.

Mat2 or Mat3?:
The mat2 version of the Mercenary com provides +42% SMG Elemental Effect Chance, which means that elemental SMGs will regenerate their tech pool 42% faster. This allows for more procs and thus more DoT. Overall the effect is relatively minimal, but nevertheless useful. The mat3 version gives +29 SMG Ammo Regeneration, which is very helpful, particularly with Double Stingers and Double Anarchies and their high ammo consumption. Overall, with non-elemental SMGs, you have no reason not to run mat3 if it is available, however with elemental SMGs, as long as you are not in danger of running out of ammo, there is little reason not to run the mat2 version, switching to mat3 if you are running out of ammo.

Gameplay Tips and Other Information:
While many people rant and rave about how effective Double Anarchies are with this build (and with good reason). My experience has shown that regular Stingers can as, if not more effect in practice. Used well, they can deal high damage at far greater ranges than DAs and thus you can avoid spending time running up to an enemy (or using Phasewalk to do that) and simple drop them where they stand right away. That said, DAs and even Double Stingers absolutely have their place, they do far higher maximum DPS, and against very durable enemies, closing in and using a Double Stinger or especially a Double Anarchy is often worthwhile. Hyperion Stingers are particularly notable for their extreme accuracy and controllability making them very effective even at mid range.

Elemental SMGs are only moderately capable DoT stackers, Tsunami and especially Hellfire notwithstanding, and as such are most valuable for their high impact DPS of the applicable element.

Double Stingers and Anarchies interact rather strangely with Phoenix’s ammo saving effect. The effect is actually implemented by lowering the shot ammo cost by 1, so when it applies to these SMGs, the shot cost becomes 1, not 0, and as a result, the effectiveness of Phoenix is halved for these guns.

With Phoenix and Enforcer active, and +4 in Quicksilver, this build boasts some very impressive DPS buffs, you will:
-Deal 295.36% of Guncard Damage
-Fire at 163% of Guncard Fire Rate
-Have a 25% chance to reduce shot cost by 1 (increasing effective magazine size of Stingers by 1/3 and of Double Stingers and Double Anarchies by 1/7)
-Reload at 202% of base Gun Reload Speed (due to max SMG prof only)

(Aazhyd) #2

Very nice guide. But I don’t think Resilience and Spark are very good. Especially Resilience seems like total crap to me. It’s already a build with good survivability, so you don’t need it.

I’ve put 5 points in Radiance, which really helps in crowds and with shielded opponents.

(The quick and the dead) #3

The problem with Radiance is that it only applies while you’re in Phasewalk, which is not what you want to be doing any longer than needed with this build since it gives major DPS to your SMGs which means you want to be shooting just about all the damn time.

You’re right that Spark and Resilience are pretty weak skills, but there isn’t really anything better to take that isn’t already in the build (and if it is better, it has poor synergy with what this build wants to do). I could see running Silent Resolve instead of Resilience if you wanna quickly double-tap Phasewalk for the phaseblast damage + Silent Resolve damage reduction.


Not a bad build, but I wouldn’t run a Merc without Silent Resolve.

(The quick and the dead) #5

As I mentioned in the preceding post, I can totally understand choosing to run Silent Resolve instead of Resilience (S.R. is much stronger than R.), the reason I opted for Resilience is that it’s always in effect, whereas Silent Resolve is only after exiting Phasewalk and only for 5 seconds, meaning we have to spend time in phasewalk instead of shooting things with our SMGs (granted you can just double-tap phasewalk and not lose very much time and with how efficiently this build kills things you can still get some pretty good up-time out of Silent Resolve).

(Is this thing on?) #6

I’m finding these guides helpful as I’m just working Lilith through Pt.2. Will you be doing them all eventually? (Currently running Firefly, but debating experimenting with the Tempest and Catalyst; I also have a PlagueBearer and Mercenary in the bank)

(The quick and the dead) #7

Yes I will be doing them all, even the DLC3 and loyalty coms. There’s also the possibility that I might be able to make gameplay videos to go with them starting in late summer (when I have the funds and get around to building a new rig).

(josephloveless2) #8

I use both the stinger for long range and a double anarchy for when then get up close or I get overwhelmed. When there’s a boss or a big enemy I get up really close with my DA and destroy them aha, it’s honestly so much fun

(Borderbutts Master) #9

Holy necro batman!