Heart of the Swarm beta balance update improves Medivacs, nerfs Thors, Ultralisks

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swam

By on December 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Blizzard continue to roll out balance changes to their Heart of the Swarm multiplayer, which is due to release alongside the Zerg-centric campaign on March 12 next year.

The latest update, Balance Update #8, adds an entirely new ability to Terran Medivac units called Emergency Thrusters, which gives the shuttle an 8-second boost to speed and acceleration to allow them to flee hotspots. Other major changes include the nerfing of Thor mechs, whose 250mm Strike Cannons are now gone, and Ultralisks whose Burrow Charge ability is removed.

Check out the full list of changes below.


    • Medivac
      • New ability: Emergency Thrusters
        • Speed boost that increases movement speed and acceleration to 4.25 for 8 seconds. 20 second cooldown.
      • The Medivac’s Caduceus Reactor upgrade at the Starport Tech Lab:
        • Health restored per second from 9 to 15.
        • Energy cost reduced from 3 health per 1 energy to 5 health per 1 energy.
        • Cost increased from 100/100 and 80 seconds to 150/150 and 110 seconds.
    • Reaper
      • Base speed increased from 2.95 to 3.375
      • Upgraded speed increased from 3.84 to 4.25.
    • Widow Mine
      • No longer hits cloaked units.
      • New upgrade: Drilling Claws
        • Decreases burrow time from 3 to 1 second.
        • Requires Tech Lab and Armory. Costs 150/150, 110 second research time.
    • Thor
      • 250mm Strike Cannons has been removed.
      • The Thor can now switch between two modes: High-Impact Payload and Explosive Payload. The mode shift takes 4 seconds.
      • When in High-Impact Payload mode, the Thor switches to a different anti-air gun (250mm Punisher Cannons) that has 10 range and deals 24 flat damage.
      • Thor radius, inner radius, and separation radius increased from 0.8215 to 1.
    • Raven
      • Seeker Missile has been redesigned:
        • Can now fire from 10 range.
        • Missile comes out and stays immobile in front of the Raven for 3 seconds while charging up, then rapidly moves (it’s not dodgeable at this point) and explodes at the target for 300 single target damage.
        • Targeted unit lights up red when targeted. If the unit moves 13 range out of where the Seeker Missile is, the Missile fizzles.
    • Hellbat
      • Splash damage radius increased from 90 to 110.
    • Armory
      • The Armory now only has one weapon and one armor upgrade for both air and ground upgrades for both Factory and Starport units.


    • Mothership
      • Recall now functions as it does with the Mothership Core.
      • Vortex now kills a single target.
      • Vortex does not affect massive units.
    • Mothership Core is no longer massive.
    • Oracle
      • Pulsar Beam
        • Now called “Activate Pulsar Beam” and “Deactivate Pulsar Beam”.
        • When activated, the Oracle’s Pulsar Beam is enabled.
        • Weapon deals 15+10 light.
        • Weapon period changed to 0.86, down from 1.
        • Weapon range reduced to 4.
        • Energy drain is now 4 per second.
      • Build time increased to 50, up from 35.
    • Phoenix
      • Range increased from 4 to 5. Upgrade still grants +2 range.
    • Dark Shrine cost is now 100/100, down from 100/250.
    • Tempest
      • Now requires Fleet Beacon.
      • Attacks with two weapons. The primary weapon, Kinetic Overload, hits air units and remains unchanged. The secondary weapon, Resonance Coil, hits ground units, and does not deal bonus damage to massive units.
      • Build time is now 60, down from 75.
    • Void Ray
      • Prismatic Beam:
        • No longer charges up.
        • Weapon period decreased from 0.6 to 0.5.
        • No longer does passive +massive damage.
    • Prismatic Alignment (new ability) increases damage to armored units by 6 for 20 seconds, with a 1 minute cooldown. This does not scale with upgrades.


    • Hydralisk speed upgrade now requires Lair tech.
    • Mutalisk
      • Speed increased from 3.75 to 4. Acceleration stays at 3.5.
    • Swarm Host health increased from 120 to 160.
    • Infestor
      • Fungal Growth:
        • Is now a projectile.
        • Speed of the projectile is 10.
        • Range down to 8.
      • Infested Terrans no longer gain weapon and armor upgrades.
      • Infested Terran egg health down to 70.
    • Ultralisk
      • Burrow Charge has been removed.
      • Damage changed from 15+20 armored to 35 flat damage.
  • Viper health increased from 120 to 150.

Source: Battle.net

2 comments (Leave your own)

I’m guessing/hoping that changes to Vortex are just a place holder, as that stands and not working against massive makes it very underwhelming. I think it’s good they’re trying dramatic changes during the beta, nice to see what works and doesn’t work in higher level games.


Emergency thrusters are going to make drops even more annoying.

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