SC2 HOTS Balance Update 11

With a new round of changes released from Blizzard today regarding HOTS many are asking the question, will Terran became the new “imba” race? By the time IPL 5 came around last year it had become very clear to the Starcraft community that Zerg was the race to play and the race to beat. With so called “imbalanced” units that gave Zerg an unfair advantage against every other race, Zerg players were undefeatable and tournaments were consumed by Zerg players and ZvZ matchups. Every race has been cast in the role of imbalanced and Terran has assumed the title of imbalanced many times in the past and it seems as though the race is in a position to assume that title once again.

Blizzard has indicated an interest in making Reapers a more effective unit for early harass. In previous updates they made it so Reapers passively regenerated health, and now in this update they have eliminated the need for a Tech Lab in order to create Reapers. As in stands in Wings of Liberty, Reapers effectiveness is limited to a very small window. Without the need for early gas and the time it takes to build the Tech Lab Reapers will have a much larger window of opportunity to be effective. In addition to this, the movement speed of Reapers is also being increased. As Terran players are already able to get a large enough army in the early game to take out other races, this change seems like overkill.

As well as buffing Reapers and Terran early game, Siege Tanks have been changed so that they no longer require the ability to be researched before it can be used. Tanks now come out of the Factory already able to go into siege mode. Tanks are a very effective unit and are especially powerful against other Terran and Zerg players. Not having to research this gives Terran an early tech lead over Zerg and will ensure Terran vs Terran matchups become more and more reliant on which player has more tanks leading to more boring stalemates.

While the other races face fewer changes, it seems as though Blizzard is not finished running over Zerg with the nerf train. They’ve once again taken a shot at Infestors decreasing the damage they do to armored units from 40 to 30. In addition to this change, previous balance updates have seen the range of Fungal Growth decreased, putting the non-attacking units in danger of being easily picked off. And the ability changed to a projectile, making it harder to land the ability on other units.

Protoss’ Mothership sees the ability Vortex removed. Although the Motherhship will gain the ability Time Warp, so will the Mothership Core, so we will have to see how this affects its effectiveness. With the introduction of the Mothership Core and the Vortex ability gone, I don’t see the Mothership being a worthwhile investment anymore.

Terran mech play and early game effectiveness continues to be buffed, Protoss air continues to grow more and more viable, while Zerg seem to be left out in the cold.

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