Heart of the Swarm Campaign Guide
In this heart of the swarm campaign guide we take you on a journey through the new strategy game from Blizzard. We discuss the units, their species and mutations, give tips on to play with Kerrigan and more advice on how you can play the campaign.
Zerglings are cheap and small units. Because they cost no vespene gas and you get 2 of them per egg, they are fast and Constructible in large masses. Zerglings are Zerg ground units with the fastest and can therefore get in a very short time at any point of the map.
This makes them ideal as support or intervention squads against enemy attacks. Thanks to its low cost you can use also safely you as cannon fodder, take for example the fire of enemy positions to until they brought its valuable units in position. Zerglings can be mutated to Banelingen once you have a Baneling nest.
The Raptor makes an even deadlier melee from the Zergling and improves his skills as a rapid offensive unit. With this genus, learned of the Zergling jumping and uses it, either to get by jumping on enemies, or cliffs to bypass and circumvent so defenses faster in the melee.
This genus allows you to slip rather than two Zerglings equals three out of an egg. This makes it more cost-efficient and you can enemy bases and armies with Zerlingen “dead throw”, because they need less time to hatch from the eggs.
Hardened Armor: This mutation increases a Zergling by 30%. Useful especially when one uses as cannon fodder because it costs the opponent more time, first turn it off.
Adrenaline saturation: Zerglings gives faster attack speed, 50% which dramatically increases their damage output. Together with the raptor species they are true killer machines.
Metabolic boost: By metabolic boost, Zerglings get 60% increased movement speed. This allows them to quickly get to important points of the map. However, this mutation in the fight is worth even less, if one opts for the raptor species.
Banelings are kamikaze units. Once they get to an opponent, they explode and cause massive damage. It makes optimal it, rub on enemy positions or quickly wipe out big unit mass.
They are also popular as ambushes. Man buries several Banelings at a bottleneck and as soon as it enters the opponent, you can again dig them out and destroy the enemy.
By the Splitterlings genus, Banelings get the ability to disintegrate after the explosion in 2 smaller Banelings and to explode again. This increases their cost / benefit factor and damage extremely.
The Jägerling has learned to jump! This Banelings jump of opponents at a small distance and can overcome even cliffs, to deliver even better opportunities for ambushes them.
Corrosive acid: thanks to this mutation, Banelings do even more damage. While its damage remains the same, the damage to the primary target by 100%(!) is increases. Together with the Jägerlingsgattung, a horde of Banelings can turn off so specifically and efficiently hard targets.
Pressure: This increases the radius of surface damage by 50%. Especially against distributed teams, Banelings are so useful and it allows the Jägerlingen this mutation to jump into the middle of the opposing army, and to hit all targets.
Regenerative acid: with this mutation, Banelings get the ability to heal even its own allies by their explosions as well as damage to the enemies. Primarily melee-heavy armies it is thus extremely useful Banelings. As if you can leave some Banelings in the midst of his own army as “Health potions” and explode by hand if necessary.
Cockroaches form the basic core of each Zergarmee very early. This is due to their heavy armor and good damage. Their primary purpose is to serve as a shield for fragilere units.
Genus: slip cockroach
The wicket cockroach makes a dad from the cockroach. Every enemy, he shoots at and then killed, spawns in turn 2 smaller cockroaches who live for a limited time. This slip cockroaches can quickly an extra wall of flesh in the way the opponents against squads of smaller units, to overcome it is to get to the Zerg on.
Genus: acid cockroach
The acid cockroach of cockroach poison adds a sticky substance which slows down enemies. At the same time, it lowers the opponent’s damage output by 75%. This makes them extremely powerful and the first choice for her role as “Tanks”.
Iodine hydrogen bile: This mutation compensates for the weakness of scraping against light units and makes them much more versatile.
Adaptive Armor: as soon as the cockroach is living below 50%, it receives + 3 armor. This ability makes them what extreme benefit from their role as “Tanks” in a Zergarmee even more resistant.
Graves claw: This ability it is possible to move buried scraping. So to speak, it doubles their life regeneration in this State. As a result they are extremely especially for ambushes potent.
Heart of the Swarm Complete Strategy Guides
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I write the next article after I’m influenced by many things. An obvious indicator is the sheer age of the game itself. Eleven years the game is maxed out now in multiplayer to the human limits, this piece of software is manifested in a popular sport in Korea and will be broadcast on various TV channels. The scene is slid for years by various growth, stagnation – and shrink phases, and it seems that after the announcement of the successor to the scene which is to grow. Personally I’m not “so long”. Short enough to been titled often as “newschooler”. eight years, plus or minus a half a year, and yet, this title is still in your head will remain me. The spirit that is behind the game inspired many gamers and actively keeps seems undiminished. The scene is even more professional and always some fanatical.
In addition to the pure age, various projects, that I even planned, in which I have participated, I still watch and which are driven by other allies appeal to me. Namely these are the projects, such as the beginners help on Instarcraft.de, the strategy section (still growing emerging) by Teamliquid and guides of individuals such as Quint. The almost scientific character who is behind these efforts, is again quite impressive.
The actual statement of this article, or guides, is not even clear to me. It is a mix of observations, I would like to somehow hold advertising for the game itself, analysis of the current “objective” position of the Community (or even my own) to various points of dispute and guide and guide for beginners who enter Blizzard’s servers for the first time.
As I previously have noted in the section, the community has gone through various phases. Early in 2002, to the time when I was the European StarCraft brood due to technical requirements the first time walked into server, the community seemed to boom. Nevertheless, there was little guides, casts, and replays. Just due to the deficiency of these omnipotent media replays were much more popular; We waited just to manic on the few replays to important meetings, how about the top [pG] vs) dead (.) Audiocasts from Jen were the exception and a jewel, you had the bandwidth to download it.
With the release of Warcraft 3, many of my allies abandoned the field in advance. The era of StarCraft as a perfect, unique and dominant RTS seemed over. The servers in the years to come were always empty disease and similar through the world of Warcraft.
Until today. StarCraft 2 animated online world. Why is it important? Some important things that are essential especially for the beginners and those who want to dabble at all for the first time at StarCraft, resulting from these phases.
I compare my initial year, 2002, today, 2009, so I can say that the competition has become exponentially harder. Sites such as starcraftgamers.net, or today gosugamers.net and Teamliquid.NET became increasingly important by the shrinking of the scene. The scene was international. At the same time there were more and more sources of information, from which you could learn. The Guide collection on TL.net is today unique and excellent quality. At the latest, the launch of Liquipedia shows how much knowledge has been accumulated over so many years. In addition to the constant rise of the international community sites, there were always important ladder, where you could train to drop. Past neo game-i, then WGT, PGT and now ICCup. Also of course private server, I know not all. Sure, also various other ladders are missing / clan server, from the prehistoric times or I but cannot, call in my list because I miss the historical context thanks to the absence of mine.
The shrink and grow these sources on “Education for the redneck player”, everything has been professional. If you look at replays of old BWCL seasons, will realize that the former elite plays just too bad, compared to today’s VODs, how about the top players competing in the Valor tournament. The same applies to the public battle.NET. Could you still play it, there were not many hackers, you would realize that the “skilllevel” has risen significantly. The experience had to previously hard to collect but not necessarily exist, is now replaced by a collective body of knowledge. You need as much knowledge and execution, albeit on the lowest Skillstufen to maintain reasonably positive win/loss statistics. Who attaches to an open ladder like ICCup, can quite quickly erupt into howling convulsions. The level has become rock hard. We are slow in the time of (arrogant) elites. This is a point that is easily accepted by many people. A realization that I want more more accurately describe later, or judge. Because this caused so many unfair images of StarCraft and its community, mystifying the partial or unfair – but easy – compared to the outside world and even the players themselves. Because barely a player is aware of his status, and can less frequently in the overall picture, which now needs to be drawn, relate a lot, or correctly assess its gaming Alter Ego.
The collective consciousness
Who is with social / economics, or even Terry Pratchett: ugly: something more closely engaged, is about various terms and definitions stumble. An important concept here let me briefly at this point, is the “Extelligenz” or “collective consciousness”. A macro / macro-sociological term for a the “studied” among us. Extelligenz is a complementary term for intelligence. A single individual has his knowledge and can apply to practical problems of everyday life this. So, simple equations can be solved using the most rudimentary calculation rules. Requirement is to transfer the knowledge and skill issues you can now check the Legacy of the Void Guide.
Who is still engaged in collective goods, cooperation and free-rider, who may skip this paragraph. Who has just heard it will be interested in possibly the. The following paragraph on the heart is especially beginners.
I’ve written before how many sources for the theoretical understanding of the StarCraft mechanisms are available. Everything is special by stuff like build orders, General secondarily to match ups in special situations, to General tips to a position which is important. And most still active players are part of a community which has documented most of these mentioned sources, and also free makes them available. Represent a common or collective good, as each of them benefits, and usually little cost for their acquisition spend must (usually only in a form of registration on a page). Still, it represents the Extelligenz of the community. Most have read the guides with the aim to improve, or to understand StarCraft. You are more or less firmly anchored in the General consciousness of one almost every player. Here I assume however, that this type of”players” is also active in the community. Be it as a lurker, reading guides or players actively involved in controversies and discussions around this topic.
Even if one has not read these guides, there are still more than enough opportunities when and how a player of this information has come. To fully understand this point, I will try the following sections define the current types of players. These are ideal types. Who knows Max Weber, is to follow me. For everyone else: It will be definitions, which are similar to a prototype which will be not really instructions in reality in its purest form. However, most players will fall to a more or less vague scheme.
The most important point which should be dragged from this section and call in memory, is the following: StarCraft so complex (perhaps due to its relatively simple damage system), might it really can understand no one down to the last detail. Nevertheless, the many situations that can occur are already somewhere described and available as a replay. Whether this replay is well known or not, is relatively matter. Ever more generally, that is to say: the more often a situation in the game is, the more likely there is a guide, a replay or a VOD that describes exactly this situation. And in this source of information, there is evidence, as in the situation should be taken to determine the own benefit to them. It is a fact that many game situations in many games have been carried out already. And the effective among them are known. Ineffective strategy trains are called, solutions for even known. The inefficient a strategy, the unknown is. Also knowledge about them is more important. Because you will fail with them most of the time still independent of the quality of own implementation. To give an example: A Ghostrush against a Zerg is doomed to failure, the Skillunterschied between the players is not exorbitantly huge. A guide is so pointless and even a replay is interested in the least players, or lure to the computer. The entire knowledge which is derived from these sources is the Extelligenz of the community. The entire “collective community” can operate freely and at any time from you.
How to master your Swarm Host play
Swarm Host – a new toy in the Zerg arsenal, can be called “Siege Mushrooms” because they are similar to mushrooms. I want to discuss them more intensively, how to better kill them, how to better use them. Here you will see some tips how to use Swarm Hosts and great games with Swarm Host (SH) usage, epic moments with some Zerg unit compositions, including SH.
Reminder. I can’t guarantee that some of these tips/strategies may be effective or work well. It’s all about experimenting with it and trying to vary your gameplay.
• ZERG vs TERRAN / PROTOSS. On G-Star Invitational one of the most famous korean players – Leenock did a nice demonstration of SH strengh in combination with some other Zerg units. Highly recommend you to view these videos below, just clock on picture and select which set you want to see. On picture you can see what set showcases what units.
• ZERG vs ALL. When relocating SH, you can use Hold-mode to avoid stucking SH in Locusts. Use Hold mode when you spawned Locusts and at same time unburrowing them to relocate after spawn. on video you can see why you can lose some of them, if not use Hold mode in some situations.
• ZERG vs ALL. Try to manage Locust spawns from many SH via unburrowing half of them and waiting or turning off auto-spawn, when all SH, new and old ones, will be ready to spawn Locusts at same time.
You can unburrow Swarm Hosts that are already reloading Locusts and wait a bit, when all SH will be ready. Another way to synchronize Locust spawn from different Swarm Host is to turn off autocast. Even if it’s turned off, Locusts will still recharge.
Also here is a tip. Clicking ALT+Locust hotkey is exactly same, as right-clicking on Locust icon. It works for all auto-cast abilities, just hold ALT and press hotkey of that ability, so auto-cast can be toggled via hotkeys too. Third way is burrow new SH 2-3 seconds before old ones will spawn Locusts.
• ZERG vs ALL. Sometimes due to attack priority Locusts will attack wrong targets. For example on enemy base, after first shot from Stalker or Siege Tank, located on other side of building or base, Locusts will try to attack in response, and because they have low range, they will need to walk around buildings to reach their target, meaning that they will waste their time.
When you will use Hold-mode, Locusts will attack closest buildings and units without reacting to units that are far away from them. You can manually target specific building, but after it’s destroyed, locusts will again react to attackers, like other units, that can take damage and make Locusts them follow instead attacking base.
• ZERG vs ALL. Try to use Nydus and Overlord drops with Swarm Hosts. It requires some good control and sometimes good multitask, but in my humble opinion, Locusts attacking your base in different places can be very nervous and strong, if not react quickly. It can be similar to sending some Dark Templars to each of enemy base, and if enemy don’t have detectors on one of these bases, he can lose a lot workers against DTs.
You can also use Nydus Worm as reinforce outpost somewhere in the center of map or near enemy base. Nydus can allow to spread a lot of creep for Locusts and Queens. All reinforcments going through Nydus is another deadly advatange of this play style. For example spawn Nydus somewhere near enemy Xel’Naga tower at Daybreak or Akilon Wastes, where you can send Locusts to natural or 3rd base.
Why Queens are good here? They have more range than Hydralisks to shut down Observers, they can heal themselfs and Swarm Hosts, and they can make a lot creep from Nydus creep. Queens also don’t cost gas, meaning that you can spend it on Swarm Hosts, Hydralisks or Infestors or Vipers.
Overseers with changelings can allow you to see where enemy forces are going next, so you can send Locusts at other place.
You also should try to drop your other units like Hydralisks or Roaches at other places of enemy base. Enemy probably will react first to Swarm Hosts, because they can continiously attack his base, when drop is more one-time.
• ZERG vs ALL. Try to start with Mutalisks, do some harass and then switch to Swarm Hosts. Why it can be effective? It can force enemy into some scenarios, that can be effective for you:
- First, enemy will know that you started make Mutalisks, and he will waste a lot minerals on placing anti-air turrets on every base. But you will not play Mutalisks heavily, just 5-10 of them.
- Second, it can force Protoss opponent to make Stargate and Phoenixes, when you’re switching into heavy ground forces, like Queens-SH, or Hydra-SH.
• ZERG vs TERRAN. Because Terran can slowly move half of his Siege Tanks under defence of other deployed tanks, Terrans can slowly come closer to Swarm Hosts. Try to make 2 waves of Locusts spawn or make a constant Locust spawn without big time rooms for Terran, allowing him to relocate his Siege Tanks. It can make every Locust wave weaker, but at same time Terran have more risk to lose undeployed Siege Tanks.
• ZERG vs ZERG. In official game help it says, that Swarm Hosts are weak against Hellions, Archons and Banelings. Well, it’s understandable why they’re weak versus Archons with anti-bio splash and Hellions, who can kite Locusts or in hellbat-form tank some damage and be healed/repaired then. But what about Banelings? Is that really true?
Banelings can allow you to quickly clear current Locust wave and give you some time for other units to reach Swarm Hosts and kill them. Locusts are light and have small range, so not need too many Banelings. 2-4 Banelings can clear a lot of Locusts.
In addiction to Overlord-drops I can say that you can use them to save Swarm Hosts in some good places on map, or save Swarm Hosts with Overlords, moving them to a safe zone, like space or unpassable terrain.
Also Overlord drops with Swarm Hosts between different ground levels can make Locust spawns more deadlier, maybe more, than drops fro Nydus. Why? Because you always need 20 seconds to create another Nydus, and it can be easily killed, when some Overlords have more HP and you will force enemy to use blink or split army or use air, because there is no pathing limitations for air.
Spawn locusts, load SH to Overlords and unload them in other place, when enemy fighting with Locusts. If he will not fight, Locusts will kill something, like workers or HQ (Nexus/CC/hatchery). Remember, that Locusts from 4 Swarm Hosts can kill CC/hatchery during their 25 second life time. So be careful. Overlord drops sometimes can be deadlier than Nydus drops, because there is not much time when Swarm Hosts are coming from Overlords, and that time is less than Nydus worm creating and unloading units from it.
When Overlords have speed upgrade, try to make them follow your Swarm Hosts. It will provide some creep around Swarm Hosts, allowing them to leave faster their place, where they was burrowed second ago. It also allows to Locusts leave Swarm Host fields faster too. In other word, attached Overlord with creep will allow you to faster retreat and faster send your Locusts to the enemy, because you will always have some creep around Swarm Hosts.
Lets compare Swarm Hosts and Siege Tanks. I did some experiments with different placement of Swarm Hosts and Siege Tanks.
First test. Group of 12 Swarm Hosts spawning Locusts with rally point at 12 clumped Siege Tanks. Siege Tanks are able to kill all locusts without any damage from Locusts.
Second test. Spread Siege Mushrooms around Siege Tanks, so Locusts will spawn more spreaded and splitted. It gives better result, because Locusts taking less splash damage and this time they can reach Siege Tanks and do some damage and sometimes kill one of Tanks.
Third test. This time Siege Tanks are spreaded too. It gives better result for Swarm Hosts, but not that better for Siege Tanks. Many of Siege Tanks starting fire at Locusts a bit later, meaning that Locusts can reach Siege Tanks with less damage taken.
Widow Mines are very good against Locusts, especially if they’re placed in Siege Tank radius. Tw shots from Mines can kill big group of Locusts. The problem can occur, if Locusts are splitted or Zerg-player splitted them, so only 2-3 locusts will take damage and then all other Locusts will go to Terran. The solution is to place Widow Mines inside of Siege Tank attack range. 2-3 Locusts will not be able to drain Widow Mine charges, because Siege Tanks will kill them faster.
Swarm Hosts & Infestors can be stronger than Broodlord & Infestors, in some cases. First, Swarm Hosts are not that weak against Vikings. Second, Broodlords are Hive-tech and require Hive and Greater Spire upgrades, when SH are tier2 and can be built at same stage as Infestors.
Against Protoss there can be some advatanges and disadvatanges. Infestors can be good at holding Colossies and Stalkers and preventing them from kiting and Blinking away from Swarm Hosts or closer to them through Locusts. Also Fungals can be good against Observers. But this build is weak against airtoss.
As alternative to Swarm Host & Infestor combination, Ling-Bane-Host combination can be good too. It has some weakness and strengh too.
It’s better against drops and heavy-bio play, because Zerglings are fast. And it can allow to better defend Swarm Hosts in some situations. It can be stronger against Siege Tank lines, because Zerglings, Baneling and Locusts – all of them can be a good meatshield to their “swarm brothers”. You can tank with Locusts and then run with Zergling-Baneling, or vice-versa. So it’s just alternative to SH-Infestor playstyle, that has it own advatanges and weak sides, like no Fungals or anti-air, but better meatshield for Locusts or faster ground army.
Maybe you will find this unit composition easier for you or harder than Infestors, but you can try to experiment with it.
Speedlings and Overseer with speed upgrade can be good against Swarm Hosts. Check when Locusts went too far from SH, and run into field of burrowed Swarm Hosts. Sometimes Swarm Hosts can be with support, like Roaches or Infestors, so try to tech to Ultralisks or Broodlords. Ultralisks can quickly deal with Locusts, and Broodlords can deal with Swarm Hosts with Broodling strike attack.
Burrowed Roaches with Tunneling Claws upgrade can do their job too. If you can snipe Overseer, you can burrow-move under Locusts and reach defenceless Swarm Hosts. Roaches can be very good with Corruptors/Mutalisks, who can snipe enemy Overseers. In lategame you can try Abduct enemy Overseers away or closer to your anti-air units.
Viper’s Abduct spell can unburrow burrowed units, if you see them with detection. Use Abduct and unburrow enemy Swarm hosts by pulling them closer to your units. You can combine it with Speedlings. Also Blinding Cloud is very good against Locusts off-creep, because Locusts aren’t that fast and half of them will move away from your units, because Blinding Cloud automatically forces non-stunned units to leave that Cloud. But Locusts have small attack range, meaning that half of them will not attack your units even if left Cloud.
Queens, Vipers and Swarm Hosts – this deadly unit combination can be a nightmare for Protoss. You don’t spend gas on Hydralisks, spending it on more Swarm Hosts and Vipers.
Queens can heal Vipers, other Queens and Swarm Hosts, and tank some damage when attacking enemy air or ground units. Queens alse provide you mass-creep around, speeding up Locusts by 40% (up to 2.65 speed on creep) and allowing to relocate Swarm Hosts quicker at 2.95 speed. Queens also have 1 more range against air, than Hydralisks, meaning that they can snipe Observers from ground a bit more effective than Hydralisks.
Vipers can Abduct enemy air into Queens, they can also Abduct enemy Observer. Vipers can also cast Blinding cloud on Stalkers, who blinked into your Swarm Host field, forcing them to blink away or walk around, giving you some more seconds untill another wave of Locusts will spawn. Abducting colossies can be effective too. And why it’s better than Hydralisk-Vipers? First, as I said, you don’t waste gas on Hydralisks, meaning that you will have more Vipers. Second, Locusts are slow, and Abducting enemy units closer to Locusts and flying away at 2.95 speed, so this unit composition can be good too like Hydra-Vipers.
Mass-Queens also can “energy transfuse” Vipers via healing Evolution Chambers.
In lategame with good income and better eco you can add Hydralisks to your Swarm Hosts. Rekatan, top-master league Zerg player, trying to show us in some of his streams, how Swarm Hosts are good and why they don’t suck… sometimes.
As Blizzard said, Archons are good against Locusts. Also nicely placed Force Fields can temporary stop all Locusts, and with good splash damage from Archons and Colossies, Protoss can always recall with Mothership Core, if ambushed with many Locusts or slow down Locusts to kill them quickly with all units and Colossies/Archons/Storms. Special Oracle’s pulsar beam can be good too, it can kill quickly some Locusts with 29DPS or give you detection against Swarm Hosts, if you’re playing Stargate tech.
Corruptors + Overseers + Swarm Hosts – one of the most dangerous unit combinations for Protoss. Corruptors can clear all air units, except Void Rays, or Colossies with Observers, when Locusts can support them on ground against Stalkers. Add Abducts, and Protoss will have a lot more problems. Pull enemy Colossies closer to you, and oneshot them with your Locusts and Corruptors. Also you should know, that Locusts can attack enemy units during Abduct process!
Void Ray can snipe Swarm Hosts very effectively, Phoenixes can unburrow them too and stop from creating Locusts. Here is a nice thing, that if you know when next Locusts wave will spawn, lift-up all Swarm Hosts and attack them with other forces. The goal of this move is that there will be no Locusts at the battlefield, because previous were dead, and new can’t be spawned due to Phoenix lift-off ability. In other word, you can shut down Swarm hosts effectively and not be attacked by Locusts, if lift-off Swarm Hosts before they can spawn another wave of locusts. Tempests can be good too, but less effective, like on Battle Reports. They still have good range, they can snipe Vipers/Infestors/some Swarm Hosts. But Carriers can be better at killing Hosts and other units due to higher DPS.
Burroaches can be good against Swarm Hosts, if you can shutdown Overseers with Mutalisks or Corruptors. Burrow-move under Locusts and then unburrow near Swarm Hosts and kill them. If there is another wave of Locusts, just kill Overseer and when he will send Locusts at far distance from Swarm hosts, you can unburrow roaches again and try to kill them.
Try to shutdown Locust auto-spawn, so enemy will not be warned, that you have Locusts. And try to snipe Observer, if it’s a ZvP matchup, so Protoss will not be able to scout Swarm Hosts.
Swarm Host and Infestors can be more strong if you will add Queens. They can support your Infestors with creep, shutdown Fungaled observers and heal Infestors, if someone of them is very close to death.
Swarm Hosts are very bad at dealing with Siege Tanks, but Blinding Cloud reverts this scenario completely. When you blind siege tanks, Locusts can reach them and kill quickly or clear Siege Tank support, like Marines and Marauders or Hellbats.
The New Hots Beta Patch 2.0.3 is Here!
This update to the beta test includes a number of new systems, polish updates, and a fix for Mac users.
There are still improvements coming to Heart of the Swarm, and we appreciate your thorough testing and feedback. Please read the full patch notes, previous notes (Patch 2.0.1, Patch 2.0.2) and related articles to learn all about what’s available in the beta test.
Exciting new replay features have been added to Heart of the Swarm.
Watch With Others – This feature allows you to watch replays in sync with other players on Battle.net.
Take Command – This feature allows you or your group to take control of selected player armies while watching a replay.
Recover Game – This feature allows you to recover a prematurely ended game from a replay.
For more details about these new features, please see our overview on the StarCraft II Community Site.
Vs. AI Mode has been enabled. Players can now challenge an AI opponent that scales in difficulty.
Training Mode has been enabled. In Training Mode, you’ll work your way up from basic StarCraft gameplay skills to greater challenges designed to hone your skills.
Lots of tweaks and polish have been made to the new UI throughout the beta.
The latest balance changes can be found in our Balance Update threads in the Beta Discussion forum.
The Mac version of the Heart of the Swarm Beta is now working properly again.
A full list of documented game and service bugs can be found in our Known Issues sticky in the Beta Bug Report forum.
Hello and welcome to my guide on how to effectively play Skytoss in HotS! I’ve been attempting many variants of this over the past week and so far this is what I’ve come across to be the most safe, well transitioned build. I figure because I’ve been doing quite well with it on HotS ladder I’d share it with everyone, and hopefully you can see the strengths Protoss have at the moment in HotS. I also do have a unique PvP build I’ve been working on as many on HotS who know me may have seen; however, I feel that build is not solid enough to warrant a guide just yet, though I may if enough people have an interest. I included a single replay on the build in the replay pack attached at the end.
So without further delay lets go ahead and start with the basic “goals” of the build. This build is not exclusively Skytoss. That is to say, your road to getting the ultimate Protoss air army does not include only making air units the whole game. To be safe against good Zerg timings you’ll need a few transitions before entering the realm of air in a safe manner. Similarly, massing exclusively air does have its down sides and because of this we’ll be focusing on a combination of units and upgrades that allow us to have an incredibly strong army while abusing the mobility Protoss has in other ways such as Speed Zealots and Warp Prisms to buy us time for this army. To make this a little more clear I will outline the “Phases” of a standard PvZ game with this build and what you will be looking to accomplish, this will also serve as an index if you’d like to search for a particular phase that is giving you trouble.
Phase 1: Standard 15 Nexus Build into 4 Pheonix opener
Phase 2: Transitioning into Void Ray + Zealot
Phase 3: Adding the transition into Colossus
Phase 4: Adding the transition into speed zealots + Fleet Beacon + 3 additional Stargates + 4th Base
Phase 5: Starting Tempest/Carrier production + Warp Prisms (a lot of them!)
Phase 6: Harassment, army positioning, High Templar, MORE CANNONS!
Phase 7: ?? win
The Opening Build Order
I’d like to note here that after a certain point in the game you should be adding your tech structures, upgrades, production and so forth when certain flags are set. For example: You are harassing with your phoenix and scout a hydralisk den. You know you don’t need many more void rays by this point. Therefore; work on your ground army. Because of this reactiveness in the build certain late game food references will not work very well. I will simply be giving you an idea of when you should be adding things and go more in depth with pictures in the Phase part of the text.
9 Pylon – + Show Spoiler +
17 cannon * + Show Spoiler +
18 double gas
25 Core – stalker+warpgate on completion
28 Pylon * THIS PLACEMENT PYLON IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT: Hide this pylon in a location a double overlord scout will not see!
38 double gas
40 Double Pylon on base perimeter to see overlords + 2x sentry
48 Start adding your Pheonix up until 4. With first phoenix start +1ground upgrade – + Show Spoiler +
~50 * Following first phoenix you want to add 3 gates IN VISION of the zerg scouting overlords
From here everything will be “goal oriented” so you don’t stick to Food for the whole game. This helps you understand what you’re doing a lot more, and doesn’t make you freak out when you’re off by a few food later.
- Once you can start warping in units you want to add all zealots, and at max, 3 extra sentry. At this time your 4 pheonix should just about be finished so add your mothership core when you have the gas. It will be important for defending on maps such as daybreak.
- Once your 4 pheonix have finished being made you want to fly out of watch tower vision range as well as normal placement for zerg overlords straight to their queens. Your goal with these is not serious damage, just 2 queen kills to buy yourself time. Try to keep them alive as best you can as you want to be scouting hive tech timing and you can even leave one at the Z 5th later so you know when to harass. Also, as you move out with phoenix IMMEDITELY start void ray production and a robotics. You’ll be aiming to get about 4-6 voidrays depending on when you scout their hydras.
- By the time your first void ray has finished you should have finished killing the rocks for your 3rd on a map such as Akilon Wastes. Expand right after these are killed and destroy the collapsible rocks. If you’re playing on a map such as daybreak after your first warp in of zealots send one to take control over tower and take your army to your 3rd and wall around your nexus. Again, you only want zealots at this point. Your next warp in will be half at 3rd and half at natural choke to stop ling runbys. Once that is secure simply work on establishing your 3rd defenses by adding 3 gates and cannons. Get the gas running immediately once your 3rd is up.
- If you see hydralisks by this time you need to constantly warp rounds of zealots. Otherwise, you don’t need many – This will lead to floating a bit of minerals; however, it’s completely okay. You should be fine with the Nexus cannon and voidray production.
- Once your robotics finishes add 2 observers to queue to be spotters on the zerg army movement as well as a Robotics Bay. You’ll have a little extra gas due to the fact you’re only making VR and Zealots, but that’s okay! You’ll use it soon.
- Colossus range + Colossus once they’ve finished being constructed. Your goal is 4 Colossus. You should roughly have 3 Void Ray by this time. I recommend going to 6 void ray unless they went straight corruptor; in such a scenario continue VR production into the next steps. At about 4 VR Start mass zealot production from your 6 gate You’ll need zealots for securing your 4th so just dump your minerals now. Start +2 ground weapon and +1 air weapon – From this point on you will be doing ground weapons and air weapons until +3 At which time you’ll get GROUND SHIELDS and Air armor.
- Once you have your voidray production finished(~6) you’ll add a twilight council as well as a fleet beacon. And this is when the very important transitions start. You need to cannon essentially the whole front entrance to your 4th, start speed lot upgrade, and add 3 stargates all while securing your 4th. This is a lot all at once, but it times out very well for the Z timing attacks. If you have the gas add your warp prism speed now. We’ll be using them very soon. You should be at roughly 150 supply by now with your colossus, void ray, zealot army. Once you start the cannons at 4th base you no longer need more zealots unless an attack is incoming.
- If the zerg is going for a hydra/roach exclusive timing you need only VR zealots and colossus, I advise 2 tempests at most in this case as they’ll be transitioning into full corruptor soon. If they’re going for infestor hydra roach when your fleet beacon is finish add ~5 tempests as they do great work vs weak units with zealots in the front.
- As you’re securing your 4th you should be at about 3 colossus, I recommend a 4th if they have a ground army but if you’re in no danger you can stop making them and go straight into warp prisms from here. You want at least 1 active warp prism on the map, though I strongly advise 2; and practically non-stop production of them from here on out. Similarly, proxy pylons are great. This is very micro intensive because you’re teching so hard, harassing, and macroing – but you NEED to do damage(stop a zerg from getting a 5th) to buy time for the next step
- Start harassing with speed zealots/warp prism and go into your carrier production now. If they’re constantly trying to trade with you units are a priority. If you’re left alone however you can add Templar archives at this point because you are not in danger and you’re the one about to get aggressive!
- As you’re nearing max(180/200) you want to just start running the zealots you produced earlier straight to the zergs 5th base while warp prism harassing their main. Always keep ~20 food free for harassment. Add gates with your extra minerals as there is huge time between each carrier production cycle. Keep making zealots and harassing huehuehue. Likewise, use your army to clear creep when you see them come back to their main giving them less and less map presence.
- While doing this you’re going to want to expand your ultra super awesome cannon wall to your 5th base and prepare to take that. While clearing your useless supply up add Templar back at your cannon wall to start accumulating energy.
- Your goal is to have 3-4 colossus ~5 VR ~6 templar 2-3tempests(usually no need they sux)and the rest carriers. If you see mass mass corruptor only get get more VR and archons as well. They’re pretty good.
- From this point it’s just choking the zerg out. Essentially, a reversed play of ZvP in WoL. The more bases you get after your 4th slowly add more stargates in case you trade in a big fight. Just remax on the same stuff above while continuing your harassment.
Heart of the Swarm Beta #11 Patch
Train Reaper no longer requires a Tech Lab Addon.
Attack speed changed from 1.9 to 2.The Infernal Pre-Igniter upgrade no longer increases Hellbat weapon damage.Napalm Spray weapon damage increased from 10 +9 vs. light to 18 +12 vs. light.Splash damage radius decreased from 110 to 45.
Caduceus ReactorNo longer improves the healing rate of Medivacs.Upgrade cost decreased from 150/150 and 110 seconds to 100/100 and 80 seconds.Emergency Thrusters ability renamed Ignite Afterburners.
Seeker missile Energy cost decreased from 125 to 75.Primary target damage reverted from 300 to 100.Seeker Missile once again deals splash damage.The delay time prior to firing has been increased from 3 to 5 seconds.
The Battlefield Awareness passive ability has been removed from the game.Movement speed increased from 3.38 to 3.75.The Nitro Packs upgrade has been removed from the game.P-45 Gauss Pistol weapon damage decreased from 4 +9 vs. Light to 4.
Siege Tanks no longer require an upgrade in order to enter Siege Mode.
The Vortex ability has been removed from the game.
The Envision ability has been moved to Oracle.
The Time Warp ability has been moved to the Mothership Core and the Mothership.
Fungal Growth damage decreased from 30 +10 vs. Armored to 30.
Mutalisk Regeneration passive ability renamed Tissue Regeneration and its tooltip has been updated to improve clarity.
Safe PvT Fast Expand
Hello everyone this is Michael “Perfect” Thompson from Its Gosu. I noticed a lot of Protoss players were really bummed about their worthless HotS units when the beta was first out. Luckily the situation has been remedied. I’m going to give you a window into the current PvT matchup in HotS, so on release you can get straight down to business. The first major change from early beta is the Mothership Core (MsC). The unit is no longer tied to your nexus, and even better it now flies and does decent DPS on its own (able to kill 2 marines). Because of this the opening build order for Protoss has changed dramatically.
Firstly we are now the Aggressor and also get free in base scouting of the Terran early. The best way to do this is the standard 13 gate, 14 gas with 1 zealot. Now here’s the change, when the Cybernetics Core Pops you will have just enough gas to make 1 stalker and 1 core but not enough to start warpgate. Well, when you’ve got the core who needs warpgate anyway? let’s skip that for now and chrono boost the Stalker and MsC at the same time. Rally your zealot + Stalker + Core to the Terran base. Now at around 4 minutes 20 seconds you can put down your expansion. That’s right it’s a whole 10 seconds faster than before, now that the nexus is down u can start warpgate.
When you first arrive at the Terran’s base with your first 3 units Send your MsC into their main and attack their front with your 2 units but don’t lose them. The rule here is that if the Terran has 3 marines for your MsC kill one and retreat, 2 marines, kill them both, 1 marine kill it and start killing SCVS. This is also where you find out if they are going Bio or Factory based. Versus Bio you want to go down Twilight Council tech with double forges (no need for robo). Versus Factory you want to go Stargate based.
When they go Bio, the reason it’s largely unnecessary to go Robo anymore is firstly, Colossus just aren’t that good and secondly the MsC now has a 50 energy ability that turns it into a detector for 30 seconds so your no longer tied to the hip by observers. Simply dump the money you saved on not making Robo + Obs into 7 gate double forge Chargelot archon with third nexus. The double Medivac timing got a buff with the Medivac’s new speed ability, but it’s balanced out with a Mothership core ability called Photon Overcharge which turns your Nexus into a Giant 13 range cannon. After 3 bases are secured and you’ve successfully survived the timing, now is the time to double robo into a few observers while your Robo Bay is building Once 2 Colossi are out you are safe to take a 4th and play out the rest of the game.
When they go Factory, its best to open up Stargate (crazy I know). The trick here is to hide the Stargate as long and as best as possible and queue up 3 Oracles hidden somewhere, as soon as you have 3 run them into your opponent’s mineral line and turn on your beams vs. a non-master player you’re going to kill many SCV. The counter to this from their end is to have a Missile Turret already build but even then if they don’t react fast enough to repair the turret you might be able to kill the turret and then kill a lot of SCV anyway. If your opponents are simply too good to fall for this trick than you should just double cast time warp on their entire mining operation throughout the game and keep the Oracles alive. The reason to go Stargate is not just for the Oracles but also a smooth and fast transition into Tempests.
This is because Terran Factory tech simply lacks the necessary Anti-Air to combat Tempests and are therefore the more desired unit than the Colossus and Immortals. Off 3 bases you can maintain 3 Stargate constant Tempest production along with 7 or so gateways to dump your Minerals into Chargelots; it’s also useful to have a few High Templar to storm Vikings that get too close to your 15 range Tempest juggernauts. Know that time is on your side because the more Tempests in your arsenal the more hopeless your enemies situation. Good hunting.
Heart of The Swarm Beta Patch 2.0.2 Notes
This update to the beta test includes a number of new systems, Editor updates, and changes to the look and feel of the game interface.
There are still several features and improvements coming to Heart of the Swarm, and this is not a final pre-release patch. Please read the full patch notes and related articles to learn all about what’s available in the beta test.
Players who wish to associate casually and in larger numbers than Clans can now create and join Groups, with a designated chat channel, a News tab where stories can be posted, an Info tab where officers can post a brief description of the Group, and a Members roster. For more information on Groups, check out our first look at the feature.
On the Multiplayer screen, players can now select Unranked Play to engage in matchmaking with the ranking system suspended.
Players Near Me*
Recognizes other StarCraft II games running on the player’s network, making it easier to chat, play, and make friends with nearby players.
Players can now issue orders to AI partners.
This is a preliminary implementation of this feature, and we will be adding to it over the coming weeks. Please keep an eye on our Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion forum for further updates.
The StarCraft II Arcade is now available in the Heart of the Swarm Beta.
The number of levels for each race has been increased from 20 to 30, for a total of 90 attainable levels per character.
The overall XP required to reach max-level has been increased.
All XP previously earned has been reset to zero. Thanks for your continuing feedback, and please keep it coming!
Maps that appear in the Custom Games section now include all of the same Game Info pages as the maps available in the Arcade (Overview, How to Play, Patch Notes, Reviews).
In-Game UI Polish
Decal art has been updated to appear brighter and more visible.*
New Victory/Loss sequences now play at the end of a game.
New options added to aid newer players in the Options > Controls menu*
Team Colored Life Bar
Always Show Worker Status
Simple Command Card
Show Current Order Indicator
Select All Larvae
Display Experience Points
Enable Enemy Unit Selection
The Help section has been revised and updated.
New ragdoll physics deaths have been added on many units.
Physics effects have been polished on many existing units.
Performance has been improved.
Physics-triggered sounds have been added.
Many new features, updates, and improvements to the StarCraft II Editor have been made throughout the beta test. Please see our Comprehensive Editor Updates List in the Beta Discussion forum.
A new set of balance changes have been included with the release of Patch 2.0.2. For more info, please visit our Balance Update thread in the Beta Discussion forum.
A full list of documented game and service bugs can be found in our Known Issues sticky in the Beta Bug Report forum.
HotS release date: March 12th
IRVINE, Calif. – November 13, 2012 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™, the first expansion to Blizzard’s award-winning real-time strategy game StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty®, will be available in stores and online beginning March 12, 2013. Heart of the Swarm features a new campaign continuing the epic story of Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, as she gathers the remnants of the zerg Swarm and plots her revenge against the treacherous dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk. It also introduces several new multiplayer units and features that enhance the acclaimed StarCraft II online experience.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7/Windows® 8 and Macintosh® at a suggested retail price of $39.99 USD. The expansion will also be available digitally directly from Blizzard’s StarCraft II website (www.StarCraft2.com) at an expected price of $39.99 USD.
Blizzard is offering a Collector’s Edition of Heart of the Swarm loaded with digital and physical bonus items, available exclusively at select retail stores for a suggested retail price of $79.99 USD. Players will also have the option of purchasing a Digital Deluxe version of the expansion, which will include all of the digital items from the Collector’s Edition. The Digital Deluxe version will be available directly from Blizzard via www.StarCraft2.com at an expected price of $59.99 USD. Players who purchase the standard edition digitally or at retail will have the option to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version at any time (for as long as the standalone Digital Deluxe version remains available) for an additional $20 USD.
Presales for the standard digital and Digital Deluxe versions of Heart of the Swarm are now available. Players who would like to purchase either version and be ready to play the moment the expansion launches can do so now by visiting www.StarCraft2.com. For players who prepurchase, the expansion content will automatically be digitally delivered via StarCraft II’s streaming launcher prior to the release of Heart of the Swarm. Players who would like to preorder the standard box or the retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition can do so by visiting their local retailer.
“With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels.”
The Digital Deluxe version of Heart of the Swarm includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following in-game bonus items:
- StarCraft II Torrasque: Crush the enemies of the Swarm with the indomitable Torrasque, a fearsome new look for your zerg Ultralisks.
- StarCraft II Battle.net® Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net portraits and decals help you customize the look of your online profile and in-game army.
- World of Warcraft® In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet is bursting with enthusiasm and ready to explode onto the Pet Battles scene.
- Diablo® III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow zerg-like wings in honor of the Queen of Blades, and unfurl an exclusive banner sigil to mark your allegiance to the Swarm in Sanctuary.
The Collector’s Edition of Heart of the Swarm includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items, in addition to the content from the Digital Deluxe version:
- Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Immerse yourself in the StarCraft universe with developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth historical retrospective on StarCraft’s eSports legacy narrated by key members of the community.
- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Enhance your Heart of the Swarm musical experience with this collection of more than a dozen tracks from the game.
- Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: This 144-page tome features never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and meticulous 3D renderings.
- Zerg Rush Mousepad: This Collector’s Edition mousepad depicts the Terran Dominion holding out desperately under the onslaught of the Swarm.
Heart of the Swarm picks up the story of StarCraft II where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan’s quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to mission, and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit their play style.
New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm’s multiplayer, including new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities. New features will enhance the game experience, including group and clan systems; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral looking battles; multiplayer replays, to watch replays with friends; a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles; and much more.
How to beat Mech as a Zerg in Heart of the Swarm
One of the most feared terran strategies since the beginning of starcraft 2 has been the mechanical ultimate army, also known as Mech, composed by all kinds of factory units and starport friends that can really ruin your day if you are a fellow zerg player. Zergs have been learning how to stop it quite efficiently nowadays, long gone are the times that mech was “IMBA” and rolled over everything zergs could do. If you want to learn how to beat mech you should start playing mech against a friend, or even on the ladder, so you can learn its weaknesses and learn the various unit compositions and timings mech players use for each phase of the game. You see. Doesn’t sound like it, but mech its a very delicate unit composition in the early stages of the game, if you as a zerg are able to apply pressure and take a lead from the beginning its very hard for the meching player to expand and get the upgrades and units they need. The first step to be able to do this is to scout, and make sure you are playing against a meching terran. Then you should think about ways of denying that precious third expansion that is very important for the terran, if you can do so and still expand yourself to a fourth and fifth locations (for the gas) you are leagues ahead and should be able to crush his army when he tries to push out. Roaches usually trade quite well with the mechanical units, and you should try to pressure the terran by massing out on roaches and trying to pick their more expensive units like thors and tanks. Roaches have so many uses against mech that you should always make them, they are good at countering hellion harasses and also doing the heavylifting and going between terran bases and doing lots of damage. Try to use your roaches to harass the terran all game long while you tech to broolords and infestors, this is the unit composition that you should look forward to, so when the terran attack comes you are able to annihilate it with infestor broolord and some roaches. You can always play a more passive style against mech and abuse their slow movement speed with roach drops in the main base and also the underused but very powerful nydus network. Keep in mind that most of the times you won’t kill them with these strategies, but you will able to deny the terran attack for so long that when they come they are severely weakened and you already have GGLords and it is an easy win from there. Fast mutas from two bases can also work if you can have mutas before they get their first thors, if so you are able to kill many workers and expand safely to your third and fourth, then you only need to transition to roach \infestor and crush your opponent.