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StarCraft 2 Beta Patch 8: Roach and Marauder Nerfhammered

On April 7th, Blizzard has gone after the two most problematic and controversial StarCraft 2 units in the game: the Terran Marauder and Zerg Roach. A lot has been said about their sure-fire massing, the generated imbalances, the forced hard counters created in response and general simplification these units have brought to the battlefield. Now, Blizzard has taken action:



Concussive Shells now require an upgrade.

Barracks Tech Lab

Concussive Shells upgrade added.
Concussive Shells upgrade costs 100/100 and takes 80 seconds to complete.

Early Marauder rushes will no longer require Protoss players to jump through hoops just to stay alive, making Zealots useful even without the Charge upgrade now that the Marauder’s slow effect isn’t inherent in the unit. Still, Concussive Shell wielding Marauders have only been delayed rather than altered in any way, meaning mid-late game Marauder use will not be greatly affected. We’re yet to see if the Terran Mech buff coupled with this nerf alters the common Terran builds, which rely heavily on these tier 1.5 beasts.

For an interesting and insightful discussion about the Marauder’s and roach’s tactical impact across the board (the introduction of uber-hard counters such as the Immortal, for instance), check out this TeamLiquid thread on the subject.


Build time decreased from 75 seconds to 60 seconds.

Siege Tank

Build time decreased from 50 seconds to 45 seconds.

With the skill of Terran players continuing to improve in StarCraft 2, both the Siege Tank and the Thor have found their roles and niches on the battlefield (especially after getting an AA buff). Continuing with the recent trend of the last two patches, Blizzard is providing players with more incentives to go for Terran Mech builds without actually altering the units’ abilities or attributes.

Could quick Thors really become a viable Terran opening strategy?

Void Ray

Changed to only have 2 damage levels instead of 3. Still takes the same amount of time to fully charge.
Base damage changed from 2 (+4 armored) to 5.
Powered-up damage changed from 8 (+16 armored) to 10 (+15 armored).
Armor value decreased from 1 to 0.
Cost increased from 200/150 to 250/150.

A peculiar adjustment – neither outright nerfing or improving this unit. Base damage has been normalized, bonus damage to armor removed (in line with Blizzard’s recent damage normalization spree), while the crushing bonus damage against armor, when the Void Ray is fully charged, remains.

Void Ray charging up

  • Significantly worse against armored. The now-eliminated Second stage gave a large DPS boost against armored units, which is now gone.
  • 150% more damage against unarmored targets during the first stage, which is also more powerful than the previous second stage.

Void Ray charged

  • Moderately better against unarmored targets: 25% increase in DPS.
  • Slightly better against armored.

Without the second charge stage, Protoss Void Rays will be spending more time in their low damage mode. Keeping these costly units charged up will become a greater concern for Protoss players, who will have to to be smart about how they charge up their Void Rays – and how they keep them so.



Burrowed move speed decreased from 2 to 1.4.
Armor value decreased from 2 to 1.


Life decreased from 90 to 80.

Zerg ranged ground has received a major nerf. Roaches will now be dealt significantly more damage by Zerglings, Zealots and Marines. Generally, soft counters will be used more successfully; Roaches will no longer absolutely require the hard counter to be in play. Hydralisks, the other mainstay Zerg units, are back to being two-shot by the Protoss Colossus, as well as one-shot by Psionic Storms!

All in all, some interesting changes in this patch, which, overall, neither hurts nor strengthens the Terran and Protoss races, but hits the Zerg quite hard.

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