Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an ambitious game in all respects. The map is huge, there's a large number of NPCs and side quests to explore, and it adds several new systems to the familiar series. Among these additions is the mercenary list. These powerful opponents are just like your player character ("misthios") who are sometimes tasked with taking down a lawless Kassandra or Alexios but are most often just wandering the countryside.
These mercenaries provide a lot of challenge and rewards. Taking one down gives you access to powerful armor and weapons, and they can even be recruited to your ship to serve as high-level lieutenants. But what's really interesting is that all the mercenaries are procedurally generated. Whenever you take one down, the game invents a new one to take their place from the available backgrounds and power-ups. We're looking at the most difficult kinds of mercenaries to defeat.
10 10. Mithradatism
Poison can be frustrating when used against you, but it isn't the most useful skill for the player character to unlock. Many people probably neglect the Venomous Attacks skill in favor of more broadly useful perks like Shadow Assassin or Critical Assassination. Therefore the mercenary trait Mirthadatism, which grants resistance to poisonous attacks, isn't very high on the list.
It can certainly be frustrating if you're designed your build to focus on poison, but usually, a good old-fashioned assassination will be enough to take them out.
9 9. Shell Skin
The Shell Skin perk is more of an annoyance than a difficult wall to surmount when fighting a mercenary. This trait makes your foe take less damage from ranged attacks. The bow in Odyssey is good for weakening enemies before they rush in and engage you in close combat.
Even with the highest level buffs, however, your arrows aren't going to be enough to drop normal enemies, let alone put a dent in a mercenary. Be honest, you were going to need to finish up with your sword either way.
8 8. Fireproof
Fireproof rates only a little higher than Mithradatism because fire has more utility in the game as a whole than poison. If you spend any time weakening the regional leaders, you'll be plenty familiar with the damage your fire arrows can do. Otherwise, it's much the same as the poison attacks.
You unlock fire melee damage through the Warrior skill tree, and there are a lot more interesting combat options available to you. The crucial Second Wind ability regenerates HP, and Shield Breaker and Spartan Kick give necessary battlefield control. Why trade those in for a flashy, but kind of redundant, firepower up?
7 7. Relentless
Mercenaries with the Relentless ability are fierce, battle-hardened warriors and they're not afraid of you. They won't ever flinch in battle and they're immune to knockback effects caused by counters or even your treasured Spartan Kick. This changes the flow of combat you might have grown used to in other parts of the game.
Usually, you can push to create an opening in an enemy's defense and dive in for heavy damage while they're recovering. Relentless mercenaries give you no such quarter. They're just as eager to kill you as you are to kill them, and you'll need to give your all to keep them from succeeding.
6 6. Brawler
Brawler is such a frustrating perk. Unless you get a mercenary that's weak to assassination kills, almost all your encounters with them will end in melee combat. Usually, that's fine since you're the terror of the Mediterranean and deal a lot of damage.
But Brawler makes the mercenary resistant to melee attacks. This essentially just inflates their health pool. It's going to take you a lot longer to wear these enemies out in a fair fight. You might be able to slip away and drop another assassination on them, but good luck if they tracked you down deep in the wilderness.
5 5. Pyromaniac
When you're fighting high-level mercenaries in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, it often becomes a dance of inflicting as much damage as possible while avoiding their powerful attacks. One wrong move can drop your health significantly and two might put you in your grave. That's what makes Pyromaniac such a dangerous trait.
Not only do they hit hard but they can also set you alight, draining your health over time. This can make a difficult encounter just about impossible... unless you get really good at dodging very quickly.
4 4. Venom
Venom is so much worse than Pyromaniac because venomous attacks don't just deal damage, they also drain your stamina. Are you ever fighting an enemy and realize that your skills aren't recharging? That the Spartan Kick or Hero Strike you need to save the day stays grayed out and useless? That's because this mercenary is sapping your strength with every blow, hoping to weaken you enough for that final fatal strike.
Most players have established a rhythm to their attacks and skill uses, knowing just when to engage them to do the most damage. Stuck with only your weapons to defend you, it might be better to retreat and recover from the poison instead.
3 3. Forest Thunder
There are a variety of animal companions mercenaries travel with including wolves, lions, and good old dogs. They add an extra concern to the fight, which quickly goes from one-on-one to being outnumbered. One of the most dangerous companions you'll see traveling with your target are monstrous bears plodding along behind them. They have large HP bars and hit hard.
It would be in your best interest to take them out first and leave the real prize for later. At least bears aren't terribly fast, so you can outmaneuver them if you have to get up close.
2 2. Awareness
Awareness almost seems like an insult. They take less damage from assassinations? Don't they know who you are? Assassinations are the best way to take a grueling, dangerous encounter and even the odds a little.
You climb up onto a roof, stake out the patrolling mercenary, and strike. Which means it's kind of a slap to the face when you realize you've barely taken off a sliver of their HP. Hope you had a backup plan because these guys don't go down easily.
1 1. Fangs Chewer
The most obnoxious and quietly dangerous kind of mercenary to fight are those with the Fangs Chewer trait. We don't even know what Fangs Chewer means exactly (are they chewing on fangs?) But it indicates that these mercenaries have somehow befriended a lynx. These are the worst animal companions to face by far.
They're lightning-fast and too small to be a good target. Plus they like to jump on your back where you can't reach them and tear at your neck. Their only benefit is that they don't have much health, but you'd have to actually hit them first. Don't be surprised if a lot of your encounters with them end with a lynx munching on your corpse.
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