Community Update - December 17, 2019

Hey everyone,

It’s been a few weeks since the 2019 post-BlizzCon changes went live, and before the year comes to a close, we’d like to take some time to review the changes we’ve made and the resulting games we’ve seen so far. Some notable tournaments we’ve been paying attention to include Nation Wars, WESG qualifiers, and of course, HomeStory Cup XX.

One of the hot topics of 2019 was the Nydus Worm, and based on the games we’ve seen so far, we feel pretty good about its level of use and its effectiveness when used. Nydus and Nydus/Swarm Host usage has generally decreased in ZvP, which we believe is caused by both changes to the Nydus Worm and the map pool. And when Nydus Worms are used in the matchup, we feel a lot better about the new level of difficulty by which Protoss has to fight them. Meanwhile, while we’re seeing less direct Nydus aggression in ZvT, we do see increased Nydus/Swarm Host usage, which we attribute to a spike in the popularity of mech play.

Another popular topic of discussion in 2019 was the strength of Infestor/Brood Lord and the resulting passive endgames it caused. With the changes made to both these units in the post-BlizCon patch, we believe the late-games that we see are a lot more dynamic, and small decisions in the late-game feel more impactful to the end result of the game.

In general, when it comes to balance, especially late-game balance, we believe it’ll take quite a bit more time before we can come to any definitive conclusions. Not only are sample sizes small, the styles players are using are more divergent from each other than usual, reflective of a meta after a big patch. For now, our focus is on the end-game dynamics of each matchup with special focus on units that we changed recently including the Liberator, Thor, Lurker, and Infestor. With that said, we’d like to make two design-motivated adjustments.


  • Resonating Glaives upgrade effects reverted. The Resonating Glaives upgrade will now increase the attack speed of Adepts by 45%.

We tried a new version of the Resonated Glaives upgrade with the goals of moving it away from the front-line pusher and emphasizing the coolness of the Shade Projection ability. However, it ran into some oddities in practice. For example, in the heat of battle, it took away from the interesting mind-game of whether the Shade would be canceled, because the Adept user is so highly incentivized to finish their Shade. It also created awkward scenarios where Adept users are encouraged to Shade onto themselves in the middle of a fight. For these reasons, we’d like to revert this change to the Adept.


  • Microbial Shroud radius increased from 3 to 3.5
  • Microbial Shroud energy cost reduced from 100 to 75.
  • Removed the Hive research requirement from Microbial Shroud.

As a general rule, we try to tune new skills and abilities to be on the strong side when we initially introduce them to promote experimentation. With Microbial Shroud, we probably didn’t go far enough, leading to its low use in tournament games. The changes introduced here are geared towards increasing accessibility and moderating the effectiveness of enemy area-of-effect abilities against Shrouds.

Both changes should go live with an upcoming update on Tuesday, December 17, PST. Let us know what you think on any community site, thanks for your feedback, and happy holidays!

-StarCraft II Team


Just a tip, Mech is more popular because Bio requires insane amount of skill to pull out and it is effectively weaker as the game goes on compared to Mech.

As for the Swarm Host, this unit should be long gone as the gameplay it provides isn’t fun in any shape or form.

The Adept revert was needed.

You guys need to address the Queen IMO as this unit alone killed a few Terran and Protoss openers. Zerg making only Queens defend almost everything. Some nice suggestions I’ve read on the forums is to either revert her AtA range back to 7 or give an armored tag to her.


oh look at that. finally getting around to buffing shroud. about time.


at least terran and protoss have openers to use. zerg its all in or defend.


It’s absolutely comical that people on these forums, and people in the development team think that microbial is an upgrade even worth getting.

It’s so unbelievably situational it makes my head spin.


Are you going to at least acknowledge the Oracle issue


It is absolutely mind blowing the queen or banelinf, but especially the queen, yet again goes untouched. Mech is becoming popular because bio is damn near imposaible to pull off


Very welcome changes for this ability. Microbial Shroud needed more accessibility(removing the Hive requirement) and buffs to it’s stats. When first released it hasn’t been used at all because it was seen as lacking and coming out too late to help Zerg in the mid-late game stages where lots of Liberators and Sky-Toss would show up.

Very good, now what you need to do is make the Adept better as a core unit. No more gimmicky upgrades, you tried a Shield upgrade 2 times in the Adepts history now.

I have a really great change to the Adept that’s simple but incredible at making it a core unit option, you can check it out in my Better Game Balance extension mod, along with several other great reasonable balanced changes for all 3 races.

For now, our focus is on the end-game dynamics of each matchup with special focus on units that we changed recently including the Liberator, Thor, Lurker, and Infestor.

With the MS buffs you just solved the Infestor and also you ended up solving Thor-Liberator in ZvT late game.

Lurkers are fine and are starting to see much more usage in ZvT which is very refreshing.

Let everything settle after these new changes you just did, since they were glaring and needed to be done sooner rather than later.


look next on lurker+hydra+viper vs bio+tank+lib . i saw only 2 games this patch where terran won … (clem vs lambo)

Dear Starcraft 2 Developer!

Just go f–k yourself.

SH is terrible, Nydus Worm spam is stupid and not fun at all, Zerg spells are already OP and you buff them even further.
Worm+SH is almost a guarantied free win for the Zerg that’s why “we see spike in its popularity”, dimwits!

In other words, you belive that if ZvX made it to late game it fun if Zerg wins in ~90% of cases.

Half of the reason why Z dominates ZvX is because of incredibly Zerg favored maps (map size, wide open third, no dead space behind main, overlord spires everywhere) and you don’t give a heck about silly map design either.

Hope Activision-Blizz go bankrupt . Merry Christmas.


Deceitful, Indifferent and Deaf.


I want to upvote this comment more than once, but nothing’s happening.

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The Queen is fine. There are tons of openers to do, and the queen is not solely responsible or the huge defender people think it is. Ever since the nerf to transfuse it’s in a good place.

But I agree kill the swarm host completely.


A Zerg can just build a group of queens to shut down non-BC harassment, at the same time drone up. That has only been possible because of the 8 anti-air range.


Would be interesting to test.

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So are there any further changes planned for Protoss? Once again they seem super left behind. “Changes 3 things revert 2” kinda deal with them.

You need to give up shade being cool lol it never was. Protoss wanted an expendable all around unit not another harrass unit of which we have tons. Please fix


It hasn’t shut down non BC Harassment. The queen range is to help with air units because it’s the zergs only AA option for a long time. It’s a bit nonsensical to blame the queen for everything as experience plays a big part into things. Openings naturally get weaker over time because players know timings and how to deal with them. We see that all the time. Something gets buffed, everyone complains the game is broken, then people figure out what to do now.


How many air units early game have 7+ range?. Spore crawlers only have 7 range.

Can you actually look at all air units ranges?.

Last time I checked you don’t see Tempests and range upgraded Libs used for early game harassment.

It’s a bit nonsensical to blame the queen for everything as experience plays a big part into things.

If you don’t get drone kills on Zerg, the Zerg eco will spiral out of control. Building Queens doesn’t disable larva production, unlike Terran when they morph CC’s into stuff and that causes the Terran eco to drag behind Zerg and Protoss even with the help of Mules.


According to Maru’s oppinion, bio in TvZ takes 4 times as much effort as mech, hurting wrists and winning almost nothing. Is it just whiny or because infantry units never get buffed, for some korean terran did extremely well at the cost of wrist health, while baseline units of other races got buffed (metabolic boost, baneling health, charge for example), since WoL?