Mercy Stroke is just as good as any other DD's WS on HNM, and it still doesn't command any particularly awesome respect.
I'll agree with this, but I have to throw out that this is a catch-22. The reason Mercy Stroke doesn't command awesome respect at HNM is two fold. First, it means building TP with dagger, which compared to the 2 handers is inefficient DoT. Even Mandau will hit for low numbers and by the time a thief has 100% tp on HNM the 2 hander could have tp'd faster and done 5-10 times more damage, leaving a noticable gap in DoT. WS aren't everything so this hurts us.
Secondly, and possibly more importantly, is that when you low man a HNM even today you find times you need to sleep the thing. I've done the dragon's aery at 5 am, I've been in a few Nidhogg battles at this hour... it sucked. We typically had several blms, a pair of paladins, and me with a rdm or whm in a pinch. Mandau inflicts poison, this can't be helped. If they may need to sleep the thing that wrecks the plan, leading to a wipe. In scenarios like this where you know you will NEED sleep Mandau is forbidden.
So yes, while Mercy Stroke isn't regarded with ultimate respect at HNM, the devil is in the details, and it's the mechanics that cause it. The 1.75 cRatio adjustment to trick attack and A+ dagger skill are my favorite ideas so far because they add a nice little perk without being over-the-top OMG BROKED!!, and are within reason. Edited, Mar 27th 2009 12:09pm by Melphina