Heart of the Swarm Preview

Posted by Scotty Fields on 4:06 PM

While at BlizzCon, Immortal Gamer got a chance to demo Blizzard's latest expansion to it's Starcraft franchise: Heart of the Swarm. Here is a recap on what was announced:

New Units
The main focus of the demo was to show off the new units for each race and their new abilities. I am very excited about each race's new units and I will do my best to provide as much info as possible on each one.


This flying unit specializes in area-of-effect damage versus air units. It also is capable of dealing ground damage but it's primary specialty is air.

A new observer/skirmisher for the Protoss. This unit has three abilities that have been revealed
Entomb: This ability blocks a mineral node from being harvested. This is an excellent harassment ability.
Preordain: Enables the Oracle to see what units / abilities / upgrades are being queued up in an enemies building.
Phase Shift: Phase Shift stops any production from the targeted building. In addition to this, the building can not attack or be attacked.

This unit is not equipped with a standard attack.

A unit that can transform itself into any non-massive unit. They are expensive but open many possibilities up for the Protoss such as siege tanks, etc.

The Mothership and Carriers have both been cut from multiplayer and the campaign missions for Heart of the Swarm.


A unit that deals massive area-of-effect damage to both air and ground. Produced from the factory, this unit must be set to a "siege mode" before it can fire it's weapons.

A smaller version of the Thor from Wings of Liberty. This mech unit carries an anti-air gun and it is much more nimble. It is also capable of dealing a good dose of damage to ground mechanical units.

Thor (modified)
This unit is now much larger and Terran players are only allowed to have one Thor on the ground at any given time. The new Thor is now able to take even more damage than before. The anti-air guns have been replaced with barrage cannons to make the Thor an all-ground counter. The new Thor also requires time to set up and break down when on the move.


This is a new flying unit that has some cool abilities.
Blinding Cloud: All units within the area of this spell have their range reduced to 1 (melee) and all energy attacks are disabled.
Abduct: This ability pulls a unit to the Viper's location. This ability does not have size limitations (Colossi beware).
Ocular Parasite: A one-time ability that attaches a parasite to a unit. This parasite effectively makes the affected unit a scout for the Zerg player.

Swarm Host
A slow-moving unit that has no standard attack. It burrows itself into the ground and spawns a steady stream of slow units called locusts.

The Overseer has been dropped from the Zerg's roster.

New Abilities
Several new abilities were also introduced during the demo.


Arc Shield
A Nexus ability. When activated it gives the building extra armor and shields. It will also give the nexus a photon canon-type attack which will only affect light units. This is probably an improvement made to discourage Zerg ing rushes.

Mass Recall
This is another ability provided by the Nexus. This ability will warp an army back to the Nexus location. The warped army is stunned for a short period of time.


The Hellion
This unit can now transform into a mini-mech. While in this mech mode, the Helion's flamethrowers will shoot out in a small arc that deals more damage. The Helion will also gain more hit points while in this mode.

Cloak for Ghosts
This ability will no longer be a toggle ability. Cloak will cost a certain amount of energy to activate for a set amount of time and will no longer cost energy during it's duration. Energy regeneration will continue during the cloaked phase and Ghosts will be able to cloak in the middle of a nuclear call-down without interrupting it.

Redline Reactor
This is a new ability for the Battlecruiser. This ability gives a burst of speed to the ship which is governed by a cool down.

Other Changes
The Reaper no longer has a different attack for buildings. The Reaper instead will have a passive health-regeneration ability.


A new Corruptor ability that will replace Corruption. Siphon allows the Corruptor to damage buildings slowly. This damage is converted into resources for the Zerg.

Burrow Charge
An Ultralisk ability that allows them to burrow and quickly surface at the target. This ability will be useful for moving the Ultralisk through a crowded battlefield.

Tunneling Claws for the Baneling
This will make every other race go "OMG".

This unit will now have an upgrade available that will let them move faster off of the creep.

The hatchery also allows the player to set a rally point for drones and a rally point for all other units.

As you can see there will be many new additions and changes to the game when HotS releases. I can't wait to see how these new units will change the respective match ups between Zerg, Protoss and Terran.


great post baby. keep up the blogging.

I can't wait. Although I think the replicant is a totally bullshit unit! 'What does protoss need?' 'Terran units!'

MattyP, I couldnt agree more. I am a Protoss player and I still think this unit is potentially OP. Blizzard will probably find a way to even the odds though. Maybe they will make it so that you can only mimmick units that you can see on the battlefield.

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