Mengsk's Downsides

So… does Mengsk has any downside? The more I play him the more I realize I have multiple answers to anything. It’s thrilling at first, now feeling slightly reluctant to play him because of it.

He’s kinda slow at the super early game? If he gets wiped then he takes a bit time to get back to peak thanks to his RG experience?

Yeah, he’s definitely one of the most overtuned COs. Not least because he’s got multiple clear buttons, and the cheesyist objective destruction tool in the game.

P2 Royal Guards has some weaknesses (Double Edge, Diffusion, Concussive Attacks etc) and P3 Bunker play has some different weaknesses (attrition from Environmental mutators and other factors mostly).

If you can choose the correct prestige before going into the map then Mengsk is definitely A+ tier and even if you end up as the wrong prestige there is all sorts of tricks that you can use to overcome the enemy (which is part of what makes Mengsk A-tier).

Overall I’ve found P2 to be slightly more consistent and fun to play but I won’t hesitate to swap to P3 or P1 if the situation asks for it.

He is somewhat similar to H&H in the sense that his ground forces are always vulnerable to mass-aoe (reavers, siege tanks etc) while his air forces are not strong enough to hold on their own.
Unlike most other commanders who can skip on ground forces and go mass air to avoid reavers/tanks etc Mengsk is forced to use ESO or just facetank the anti-ground AOE with his ground troops (marauders RG are great for this).

Also (if we exclude the broken P3) Mengsk armies are not that impressive on their own.
That is why his calldowns are great, he has ESO and a very fast economy, and powerful army-wide buffs (witness, thor, bcruiser auras) and strong defenses.
But his army on its own is just not that amazing, especially if you screw up and lose some Royal Guard units.
The choosable gun upgrades for his Troopers are great but also very expensive.

He requires a precise build order to make use of his strong economy, so that adds somewhat to his difficulty.
Overall i would rate Mengsk (non P3) “power level” to be below abathur, dehaka, zeratul, alarak, stetmann, vorazun… even a properly played tychus will outperform him while being much simpler to execute.

One useful tier list that was developed by Chinese communities for their weekly mutation competition is below if i recall it correctly (some recent statistical analysis of mutation commander rankings generally supported most of the placements). Also possible that I mixed up some of thebcommanders between B and C tier. Anyway this is the list:

  • A tier: Stettman, Tychus, Zaratul, Mengsk, Nova, Karax
  • B tier: Kerrigan, Zagara, Alarak, Dehaka, Abathur, Vorazun
  • C tier: H&H, Raynor, Artanis, Stukov, Swann, Fenix

not sure why you are tagging/replying to me.
also not sure why you are talking about mutations (again) considering they were not even mentioned in this thread.

mutations are a separate game for themselves since they break so many of sc2 general gameplay rules and thus introduce extreme valuing of some aspects while massively devaluing other aspects of commanders.
When talking about commanders/balance in general (such as this thread) it is utterly pointless to talk about mutations and the ridiculous balance issues present in & caused by mutations.


That’s actually it.
Too many possibilities, so if you change your mind during the game on what to do (or if the enemy (including the “allies”) force you into changing), you may find yourself weak, useless and penniless.


Oh sorry, I just assumed that you might participate in the designated end game of coop which is the Brutal+1-6 difficulty.

Feel free to ignore this post then!

Not sure why you consider it “designated” and by who, but apology accepted.

We don’t tier based on things that aren’t the base Co-op experience… That’s like tiering things in competitive games based on custom maps, low ranked play, etc.

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I doubt Stukov belongs in C tier, and Abathur should be higher up, but the rest looks fairly accurate.

Anyways Mengsk has trouble attacking without calldowns (or taking the time to set up ESOs), but apart from that, he’s one of the most well-rounded commanders.

I find that ranking commanders by their versatility against mutations is more useful because, against normal brutal, they’re all A-tier :neutral_face:

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While every commander can complete standard Brutal some can do it MUCH more reliably, quickly and (often enough) more easily.
For coop players that are still learning this is a hugely important factor, thus often when general commander balance/questions are being discussed its usual to talk in the context of the standard Brutal.

Info/statistics about Brutal++ are mostly irrelevant (sometimes even misleading) in general discussions about commanders and the usual performance in the standard Brutal.
Players who are not versed in Brutal++ would see Fenix in C tier and believe he is a weak commander, which is just untrue since Fenix even at below average skill can wipe the floor with standard Brutal.
Similarly players would see Mengsk in Brutal++ A tier and believe he is a total powerhouse, while in reality Mengsk is A tier because of a few gimmicks and the commander as a whole is not even that simple to pull off correctly.
Karax deserves his own special mention of a commander who is great A tier in Brutal++ but probably the most underperforming commander in standard Brutal when in the hands of an average or inexperienced players.

Mutation gameplay is basically a separate game from standard brutal so unless the thread is specifically about Mutation (Brutal++) gameplay it is best to assume all information provided should be about standard Brutal (or even Hard).


Oh calm down. You can have a discussion talking about regular brutal and mutations, because guess what? They are different discussions and are both valid. Why dismiss someone just adding in extra facts?

As for confusing new people… Yea, not many newbies here in this forum at this point. Most people here know the difference between regular brutal and brutal+, and can take advice from both sides.

So yes, Mengsk having answers to a wide variety of scenarios is a valid point to make, and while that doesn’t come up in regular brutal that much, it’s a very valid point. ESPECIALLY since a lot of people still like to do the weekly mutations.

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The commanders are split 6-6-6 so if you want to promote Stukov or Abathur you’ll have to demote someone else :wink:.

Abathur struggles if anything gets in the way of biomass gain which is lots of mutators and Stukov struggles against environmental mutators.

I agree! I love his varied toolkit but I’m also aware that he requires some Finesse and and I can’t just A-move to victory (well unless it’s a map where I can just mass Aegis Guards).

Yes though accessing that versatility against mutators however does require some skill and knowledge of the game and how mutators interact with each other. I play Brutal+ all the time and yet still learn little perks of mutator interactions. Keeps the game fresh!

All of the COs have their P0 downsides listed out in various sites. Either done by someone in-the-know, or perhaps copied from elsewhere. For Mengsk…

  • Extremely gas starved
  • Royal Guard is difficult to rebuild
  • Vulnerable to Crowd Control and Area-of-Effect damage
  • Low pushing ability without the use of call-downs or artillery.
  • Commander requires both macro and micro to utilize properly

Team Liquid and the Sc Wiki have these listed as well, but I use the TiddlySpot one since it focuses on Prestiges and has them all conveniently listed out on a single page…

New Mengsk players, or those who are still learning him, have struggled keeping up with all the Macro and Micro, and left with having to rebuild your Trooper force.

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Unless I’m missing something the TL coop site doesn’t include Mengsk or Stettman guides as they were released after development stopped?

The reasons you have listed are exactly why I like P2 so much. P3 solves other problems which are less common (but still very important).

Thx for the page! I will read it over.

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Another thing I forgot to mention is that Mengsk is the very last CO. As such, he got to benefit from “lessons learned” that came from the designs of all prior COs. A big one is he starts off with the ability to tandem build (which would be Swann’s lv8 talent, although that one also lets him repair for 0 resource cost).

I thought they were updated to include prestige (I was too lazy to check), but it looks like it is missing Stetmann and Mengsk. A bit of a shame, but at least there’s still some material from COs to and including Zeratul.

The wiki mirrors what tiddlyspot has, so it looks like the site is just using what’s there…

His main weakness, for me, is the importance of Imperial Witnesses. They’re so slow I spend half the game thinking: “Will you just move already?!”.

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For me I think the downsides to Mengsk is he’s weak to AoE like some others have pointed out but I think not as much as Raynor. His ramp up is also slow if you didn’t research about the optimum build order for him and even then it just remedies it a little bit. Then the next is his detection is very clunky to use because it’s slow and has a small detection range. Then third I think his mechanical sustain is a bit lacking as first they cost resources and they are also vulnerable to AoE.

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