In IACP season 3, Mercenaries are a faction that, competitively, are still very much focused around the Hunter trait and its powerful suite of command cards, even with the much needed nerf to Assassinate. However IACP season 3 does bring a good deal of variety to the Merc Hunter archetype with the (re)introduction of iconic bounty hunters like Boba Fett, Dengar and Zuckuss to the game, and even some non-Hunter options for those willing to experiment.
Despite being toned down in season 3 from season 2, Boba is still more than capable of headlining a mercenary hunter list. Boba is a powerful hard-to-kill Queen piece that can dominate the late game if given the chance, and Weequay Pirates are excellent figures for trading aggressively with an opponent’s list early on to create an optimal end game for Boba to clean up. Boba’s high point cost means that some activation padding is needed with regular Jawas to get the list to 8 activations.
Hit and Run is great for allowing Weequays to over extend for a shot and still be able to slip back into cover, and of course for giving Boba extra movement points to use his abilities. Worth Every Credit would also be a great card for the deck, but can be tough to fit in against other staples like Negation, Heightened Reflexes, and On the Lam for the Weequays.
You may notice that I have included the command card Rally in every list, and that’s because Stun has become much more common on competitive figures in IACP, and if you don’t have an answer for it you will find yourself getting easily outmaneuvered as your figures are reduced to a single action during their activation.
This list leans into the abundance of Stun in season 3 with 3 hard-hitting figures that can also stun their target, making it difficult for the opponent to fight back when all of their figures are being pinned down and can’t maneuver and attack in the same activation, in addition to a group of Weequays that can wallop the opponent’s figures while they’re stunned. Jyn and Zuckuss (with his command card) can even stun an enemy figure as it’s about to activate, and Marksman ensures that the opponent can’t use clever line of sight blocking to stop you. Toxic Dart helps to make sure your surges get through so you aren’t having to choose between damage or stun surge abilities against figures with evades.
Not everything in Mercenaries needs to revolve around Hunters though. Punishing Strike is a personal favorite combo of mine in mercenaries with Shyla Varad, allowing her to attack twice in a round with Mandalorian Whip and Parting Blow by replacing the Stun from Parting Blow with a Weaken or Bleed. IACP gave Shyla a cost reduction and a bunch of new Brawler friends to play with. Diala is a force user brawler that brings a similar effect to Shyla’s whip, and Maul adds another force user and brawler figure, as well as some fun shenanigans with Dying Lunge and Last Resort (Extra Armor is also a good option here).
4-LOM acts as the glue that connects everything together. He can pick up the slack and use the Force User and Brawler cards if you draw them late after the melee figures have been dispatched and he’s got a surge for Weaken that can be converted to Stun with Punishing Strike when you’re not using it on Parting Blow. He can even trigger Parting Blow for himself or other figures in the list with his Concussive Bolt ability, or alternatively he can even use the Looking for a Fight + Parting Blow combo. This is a fun list to try if you enjoy using melee figures and fun offbeat combos.
I hope this inspires some of you to dig into what Mercenaries have to offer in IACP, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Mercenaries retain much of their strengths in IACP, but gain new tools and toys to play with that aren’t just the standard Hunter damage spike that they are all about in standard play, which has also been somewhat curbed in IACP with the limitations on Assassinate. There are many more options in Mercenaries to explore and play with in IACP than what I’ve shown here, things like the Rancor, Tuskens and Gamorreans with Lie in Ambush.