Patch 3.9 Preview: New Co-op Commander Stukov
Alexei Stukov returns to battle once again with his vile infested army. Stukov combines the strengths of the Terran and Zerg races to command an overwhelming horde supported by machines with mutated powers that defy the limits of normal technology.
When we were designing Stukov, our first priority was to explore the infested zombie theme. We wanted an endless stream of mindless units requiring minimal control. We also wanted to focus on bringing in mechanics from both the Zerg and Terran races. For example, buildings are constructed by SCVs, but they can also regenerate health, uproot, and can produce multiple units at a time. We also wanted to create corrupted versions of Terran vehicles and ships—grotesque, infested units that are half machine, half biological with unique abilities and new mechanics.
The backbone of Stukov’s army is his endless stream of Infested Civilians that spawn out of the Infested Colonist Compound. Deploy the Psi Emitter from the top bar to cause them to lumber towards the enemy base or mission objective. The Infested Bunker provides excellent defense as well as another source of free units that will mindlessly head toward the Psi Emitter’s location.
While the free units are suppressing the enemy, build up a force of Infested mechanical units from the Factory or Starport. Engage the enemy while your pawns suffer the bulk of your losses. When you’ve exhausted your Infested infantry, retreat to fight another time.
When the going gets tough, call down the biggest monstrosities available: the Apocalisk and the Aleksander. The Apocalisk, a cybernetically enhanced Ultralisk, has a massive cleave attack and can take out air units, while the Aleksander, an Infested Battlecruiser, rains down Infested units while also mind controlling enemy air units. These two units can turn the tide in the hardest of fights.
- Constantly produces Infested Colonist at no cost.
- Can be upgraded to produce 18, 32, and 64 Infested civilians.
- Anaerobic Enhancement – Allows Infested Civilians to quickly leap toward nearby enemy ground units.
- Broodling Gestation – Infested Civilians spawn a Broodling when they die.
- Regenerative Plating – Infested Bunkers regenerate life twice as fast while rooted.
- Calcified Armor – Infested Bunkers gain extra armor.
- Retinal Augmentation – Infested Marines and Infested Troopers gain additional attack range.
- Plagued Munitions – Infested Marines and Infested Troopers deal additional damage over time to units they attack.
- Fungal Snare – Brings an enemy air unit to the ground allowing units to attack it as if it were a ground unit.
- Caustic Mucus – Infested Diamondbacks leave behind a trail of acid when moving that deals damage to enemy units.
- Volatile Biomass – Consumes nearby Infested Civilians and Infested Troopers to create ammo for the Infested Siege Tank’s Volatile Burst weapon.
- Acidic Enzyme – Siege Tanks deal additional damage to armored units and structures in both modes.
- Cloud Dispersal – Infested Liberators transform into a cloud of microscopic organisms while attacking, significantly reducing the damage they take.
- Rapid Hibernation – Allows Infested Banshees to burrow which regenerates their health and energy at a rapid rate.
- Braced Exoskeleton – Infested Banshee’s gain additional health
- Ocular Symbiote – Temporarily grants a friendly unit the ability to detect cloaked and burrowed units.
- Spawn Broodlings – Kills target enemy ground or air units and spawns Broodlings from its corpse.
- Fungal Growth – Allows Brood Queens to immobilize enemy units and deal damage over time. Also reveals cloaked and burrowed units.
- Enhanced Mitochondria – Increases the Brood Queen’s energy regeneration and allows them to spawn with full energy.
- Increase the armor of Infested Bunkers.
- Increase the life regeneration rate of Infested Bunkers while they are rooted.
- Increase the damage that Infested Siege Tanks deal to armored targets.
- Enable Infested Diamondbacks to leave behind a trail of slime that deals damage and slows enemy ground units.
- Increase the life of Infested Banshees.
- Reduce the damage taken by Infested Liberators while they are attacking.
- Increase the Brood Queen’s energy regeneration rate by 100% and allow it to spawn with full energy.
- Enable Brood Queens to immobilize and reveal enemy ground units while dealing damage to them over time.
- Make use of your Infested Civilians. Always send them toward areas you need to attack or defend, and don’t let them time out. Advanced tactics may warrant you to pool up two rounds of Civilians or have them gather up in preparation for an impending attack wave.
- Infest Structure can be used defensively to help you or your ally’s base. Once upgraded at level 2 it can even target enemy structures on an offensive push. Using it on an enemy structure will also disable it so targeting a defensive structure is most beneficial.
- Infested Bunkers are fantastic on defense as well as offense. While rooted, they will continue to generate free units. When uprooted in monster form, they can continue to attack and even gain an additional melee attack. Be careful, however—while in monster form, they don’t regenerate life as quickly or generate Infested troopers, so find a good spot to root if possible.
- Depending on the mission, you may want to move your structures to the front line. Since your infested Civilians, Marines, and Troopers have timed life, having the structures close to battle will give them the opportunity to make the most of their short lives. You can move your Infested Bunkers, Barracks, and even your Infested Colonist Compound to the front lines. If you happen to lose your Infested Colonist Compound, you can rebuild it with an Infested SCV.
- Infested Marines have timed lifespans! While you don’t want to be constantly producing Marines, they can be critical in turning the tide in a big fight or getting you ahead in small fights early to really get you ahead economically. It may be a good idea to have a few extra Infested Barracks around late game so that when you need a big swell of units they will be ready to go.
- Diamondbacks are a fantastic option when facing enemy air units. Their Fungal Snare ability can bring air units down to the ground, allowing units with ground attacks to hit them.
- Detection is provided by Missile Turrets (requires an Engineering Bay), Overseers (morph requires a Starport), and Brood Queens (using the Ocular Symbiote ability). Be prepared if you’re facing an enemy that likes to use cloaked or burrowed units!
Stukov and his grotesque creations can be yours to command for $4.99. If you’re looking for a wicked twist to the Terran army, or always thought the Zerg could use some mechanical enhancements, Stukov’s Infested horde will be exactly what you need.