Zerus is home of the primal Zerg. This is where the game starts ramping up the difficulty and requiring you to watch more than one thing at a time.
Waking the Ancient Guide
Bonus Objective Reward: +2 Kerrigan levels
New Unit: Mutalisk
The Mutalisk is the primary air unit of the Zerg and is versatile. Used properly, you can take on pretty much most of the campaign with just Mutalisks, outside of their high gas cost, as long as you watch out for anti-air gotchas.
Another mission where you want to start off and begin making drones and making a strong economy. I’m not 100% sure if the game gives you as much time to setup as you want before you leave the base or not, but it’s good to start on the economy and get your gas flowing. You’ll need either Hydralisks or Mutalisks. Mutalisks are preferred because they’re mobile, but either works. As long as they can hit air units, you should be fine.
With that noted, this is how the mission will play out. In the first section you’ll gather biomass and defend biomass, in the second section you’ll have to fight
So, there is two parts to this, the first is that you need to kill the Quillgor, then harvest it (one minute) with a Drone, then walk it to the Ancient One. It’s pretty easy, but watch out for two key things. First, if you harvest two at once, it’s an automatic assault by Brakk. Second, if the drone dies then that counts against you for an achievement, and they will usually attack the drone at some point.
The second part is that Brakk’s forces will constantly be attacking the Quillgor trying to destroy them. You will fail if Brakk destroys 7. In my game, Brakk destroyed zero, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. What you should do is have two forces, a drone force that kills a Quillgor and defends the drone while harvesting and a defense force that will respond to Brakk’s attempt to destroy a Quillgor.
The first Quillgor you’ll want to go for is sort of on the western side of the map, near the minerals. Not only is it close, but it gives you an expansion. Mutalisks are very expensive and you’ll be going through a lot of them, so it’s good to get the expansion early, put down a few Spine Crawlers/Spore Launchers and then get your gas going.
At this point, get into the habit of attacking a Quillgor and defending the Drone (you can take some units and click on “move” then click the Drone, they will now escort the Drone) and work on keeping Brakk from taking the lead. Technically, if you don’t care about achievements, you can probably out gather Brakk and just worry with defending your drones.
Now, here’s where it gets difficult. For the achievements, you can’t let more than three drones die. I had one die and it was leaving my base all alone, so I suggest just making sure each Drone has an escort. For the other achievement you need to kill four Primal Hives. These are on the south side of the map and will need a rather considerable force for you to get to and take them out.
Then there is the bonus mission, which is in the northeast and southwest corner, you’ll need to clear out the areas there. You have a nearly unlimited amount of time to do everything in, but you just have to keep on top of keeping Brakk from killing the Quillboar and destroying the Biomass before you can get there.
So I suggest doing the achievement / bonus missions first, then switch over to Biomass gathering. Take out the forces in the two corners for the bonus mission, then take on four Primal Hives for the achievement. Then focus on defending your Drones while they gather.
Now, on to phase two, do NOT finish gathering the Biomass until you’re ready for the map to end.
Drakk is rather weak and I was able to finish him off by taking all of my Mutalisks and focusing him down. He walks to your base too, so he comes right out in the open and by this point you probably have enough spare forces that it shouldn’t be an issue just swarming him down.
- Rude Awakening: Kill four Primal Hives. They are located towards the south.
- A Game of Drones: Don't lose more than 3 drones, just keep them defended.
- Waking the Ancient: Complete the mission.
At this point you now have access to the Archives and the ability to alter Kerrigans abilities (if not already unlocked). These features are on the main screen.
Next Mission: THE CRUCIBLE
The Crucible Guide
Reward: +10 Kerrigan Levels
Bonus: +1 Kerrigan Level
New Unit: Swarm Host
A defense oriented unit spawned from the Hatchery, it spawns Locusts which go forward and attack.
This map focuses on teaching you base defense and is a defend the hill style map.
Introduction to Swarm Hosts
In this little mini part of the mission you will be need to root the Swarm Hosts then watch them defend you. I had the Spawn Baneling upgrade, which made this part hilariously easy, but otherwise you’ll just want to root the Swarm Hosts and then watch them kill the incoming enemies.
Swarm Hosts look pretty cool on paper, but it isn’t until you upgrade them that they become really useful. They’re only good in large numbers, because they essentially spawn a few rather weak units to charge forward and defend your base, and they’re rather weak themselves. After they’re upgraded, they can become rather powerful units, but you can’t upgrade them during this mission.
Defense of the Queen
Alright, prepare to dig in. There are two ways you can play this. You can care about the bonus mission and go and slay the Tyrannozor or you could just build up an insane defense for your base and worry about the Tyrannozor later (if at all). It’s up to you.
What I did was work on making the base rather strong, you have to sit and defend it for a rather long time (25 minutes), so it’s best not to waste all of that time and get defeated later on. You’ll want a ton of drones and to cap all of the gas, and take the expansion rather early on. Then start putting Zerglings and Roaches in the two ramps, then layering on Spine Crawlers and Swarm Hosts around the ramps to help support the Zerglings / Roaches.
Spore Launchers are also needed around the bottom half of your base. You’ll get random flyer attacks and it’s best to take them out, so establish a perimeter of Spore Launchers around your base and your expansion. Once all of that’s setup, start producing units.
The Tyrannozor is rather difficult to deal with, because he’s not only rather strong and you don’t have a hero unit, but you have to get units through the unending battle at the bottom. Few strategies, you can get Roaches, burrow and walk them to him, then jump up and hope that they can take him down. You can mass Mutalisks and swarm him, but he has a very strong anti-air attack. You can just create a 100 supply army, attack him, and let them just tank all of the fights. It’s up to you; you are in command of how you kill the Tyrannozor.
Don’t forget the bottom ramp. A whole lot doesn’t really come at it, but having some Mutalisks and maybe some Roaches on the outside of the rocks can help a good bit.
Around 17:30 remaining you’ll get the ability to spawn locusts, they basically can clear most of the enemies out. Spam it to get the “Epic Meal Time” achievement. At about 5:00 remaining you’ll start getting zerged by, well, the Zerg. If your defenses haven’t been doing so well, just gather all of your forces around the Chrysalis. Otherwise, just wait for the timer to finish off and make sure not to let any flyers through for “Can’t Touch this Chrysalis.”
Speaking of “Can’t Touch this Chrysalis,” follow my instructions earlier and be sure to keep air units from getting through and you should do absolutely fine.
- Epic Meal Time: Kill 75 units with the Locust ability. Just keep using it when it's available and enemies are attacking.
- Can't Touch This Chrysalis: Don't let Kerrigan take any damage while she's in Chrysalis form. See the above guide.
- The Crucible: Finish the mission.
Reward: +5 Kerrigan Levels
Bonus: +4 Kerrigan Levels
Unlocks: Hydralisk Evolution Mission
Alright, this is a three part mission with a “surprise” finale. First of all, the two achievements on this map are automatically given for basically beating the mission while going and getting the Xel’Naga Relics too (basically some exploration). If Kerrigan gets below 100 health you’re probably going to fail anyway (just keep an eye out on her health) and I ended up killing 500 units rather early into the third section, so they shouldn’t pose a challenge.
This first section is rather easy, you’ll get a leap ability in order to leap around and pretty much a free Xel’Naga relic. Go all the way the northwest to get the other Xel’Naga relic then continue to the marker where you’ll fight Yagdra. Yagdra isn’t difficult; Yagdra does an attack you can move out of, followed by burrowing and spawning eggs. Take the eggs out, and then return to killing Yagdra. At this point another section opens up.
Kraith’s section is rather short and the Xel’Naga Relic is literally on the path there, you just have to take a quick detour. Kraith himself can be challenging because his charge is hard for slow moving units to get out of the way. My suggestion is to just spread all of your units out, so that you can move them out of his attacks while spamming Mend on Kerrigan.
Slivan isn’t difficult, but the path to Slivan is time consuming, and the Banelings are rather annoying. You’ll see Feral Banelings and if you get near them, they start counting down (getting bigger) then they explode. You can rush through and kill large portion of them to deal with giant groups of them. The Xel’naga Relic is actually near the start, you have to take a secret path on the east side (see below).
There is another path towards the center where you can jump up to deal with any enemies that your other units can’t reach, otherwise it’s a straightforward walk to Slivan. Once you get to Slivan, the fight for me was simple, just focus on Slivan and use Kerrigan’s rush ability to clear out the Banelings.
Zurvan spawns right afterward, he does a few attacks like a breath and he can smash his claws on the ground, but there are alerts for that. He also spawns units, but you can use the rush ability to clear them out. When he’s below 25%, just focus him down, and the mission should end.
As I previously stated, the achievements come rather easily on Normal mode, so you shouldn’t have much difficulty with it. Just use Kerrigan to take out a lot of the Banelings and you shouldn’t have much of a problem.
- Queen of the Jungle: Don't let Kerrigan get below 100 health.
- Endangered Species: Kill 500 enemy units with Kerrigan.
- Supreme: Finish the mission.
Previous Mission: THE CRUCIBLE