Earlier this week I previewed the brand new Zerg units announced for Starcraft 2’s expansion, Heart of the Swarm. This next article will focus on the new units for another race, Protoss, and I will share my opinions on them.

The first new unit that was announced for Protoss is called the Tempest. The Tempest is the new capital ship for the Protoss army, meaning that the Carrier will be removed from the game. The Tempest is a powerful anti-air unit, that has an Area-of-Effect attack against air units. It also has the capability to attack ground units, though this attack is weaker and does not do Area-of-Effect damage.

Thoughts on the Tempest- Replacing the Carrier with the Tempest was a good call. The Carrier was slow, expensive, and most of the time ineffective. The Tempest, though it will be just as expensive, will be much less cumbersome and the AOE damage that it does to air units will make it much more powerful. I think that the Tempest will help Protoss greatly, especially in the late game against air units. For example, if faced with 40-50 Mutalisks, a Protoss does not have much to do, since they have no anti-air AOE. This is the best unit that Protoss will receive in Heart of the Swarm, I believe.

The second announced unit for Protoss in Heart of the Swarm is called the Oracle. The Oracle is a fast moving flying spell-caster unit, and, similar to most spell casters in Starcraft, it will have three abilities. The first is called Entomb, which encases a selected mineral field, not allowing workers to harvest minerals from there for one minute. However, the casing put on mineral fields by Entomb will have a life total, making it destroyable. The second ability is called Phase Shift. This ability can be cast on both buildings and units, and makes it so the target can not attack, use abilities, or build for 45 seconds. Pre-Ordain is the final announced ability for the Oracle. This ability targets buildings and grants the player vision of that building for 2 minutes, along with showing the Protoss whatever is being produced in that building.

Thoughts on the Oracle- I both like and dislike this unit. Some of the announced abilities are very interesting. Entomb will allow Protoss players to effectively damage their opponents economy if left unchecked. Phase Shift will be a strong addition to the Protoss “Death Ball”, allowing you to phase out the strongest units an opponent has while encountering his weaker units. Pre-Ordain could be effective for scouting, finding out what an opponent is building, and how to counter it. The Oracle will be versatile, however, the versatility will be hard for players to use. Also, one of the weaker points of Protoss is the inability to easily raid an opponents economy. The Entomb ability will temporarily stop mining, however it will not do the damage to worker counts that most people expect from a raiding unit. The Oracle can either be a great unit or a sup-par unit and it will be interesting to see how it is used in the Heart of the Swarm.

The final unit Protoss players will receive in the upcoming expansion is the Replicant. As one could probably tell from its name, the Replicant will have the ability to copy any unit on the field that is in the players line of site, excluding massive units. The Replicant will also have all the abilities that the original can have, regardless of if the original player has researched that. For example, if a Replicant copies a Banshee that does not have Cloak, the Replicant will get Cloak.

Thoughts on the Replicant- The Replicant will be very interesting to say the least. The ability to copy any unit on the field will allow Protoss to make new, and potentially deadly, strategies. Copying Siege Tanks, Mutalisks, or anything else will be very fun to see how other players react to fighting their own type of units. The only downside is that the Replicant is expensive, 200 Minerals 200 Gas, so for most units a player is copying they will be losing a great deal of money. Nevertheless, it will be fun to see how players use the Replicant in Heart of the Swarm.

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