StarCraft® II

Favorite Evolutions/Mutation Combos

Thought I'd make a post to see what other people were choosing in the campaign when it comes to the evolution missions and mutations. Post your favorite combos and reasons why and feel free to comment on other peoples choices (keep it civil). Also, please try to keep a similar format for consistency and clarity (copy my post and replace choices if it helps)

Here is a list of the different options for reference:

http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Evolution_chamber_(Heart_of_the_Swarm)

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1. Zergling
Mutation: Hardened Carpace - +10HP
Evolution: Swarmling - Spawns in groups of 3, spawns fast

This build allowed me to have tons of zerglings in my death ball, as well as respond to attacks easily when my army is way out of position.

2. Baneling
Mutation: Regenerative Acid - Heals nearby friendly units
Evolution: Splitter - Banelings split into smaller banes

This build provided even more of a swarm feel to my army, and helped to heal the extra-life swarmlings I had.

3. Roach
Mutation: Adaptive Plating - +3 armor below 50% health
Evolution: Vile Strain - Slows enemy attack speed and move speed

I really debated getting the Corpser evolution to synergize with my 'swarm' army composition, but the the slow and extra armor really allow even 1 roach to do incredible things. Great utility unit in a death ball.

4. Hydralisk
Mutation: Grooved spines - +1 attack range
Evolution: Impaler - long range, slow, anti armor attacks

I get the +1 range for survival and positioning, and with a big swarm army, this helps ensure they could put their damage to good use. I didn't use impalers often, but they are an effective siege unit, and I had plenty of AOE so lurker didn't interest me as much.

5. Mutalisk
Mutation: Vicious Glaive - glaives do more damage, bounce further, bounce to 6 targets
Evolution: Broodlord - siege, long range, attack ground only air

With vicious glaive you can do some gnarly harass, hitting structures/units and workers from a safe distant by letting the glaives bounce (take out missile turret by shooting barracks near it while staying out of range of the turret). Broodlords are too easy to use, and add to my large swarm composition style. The viper's abilities (cloud especially) are very potent strengths though, this was a tough call.

6. Swarm Host
Mutation: Pressurized glands - locust attack air and ground
Evolution: Creeper - swarm host produce creep and can travel anywhere with creep instantly

When locust attack air and ground, these free (and swarm comp style) units are an effective counter to almost everything. Combine air/ground attack with the ability to deploy anywhere and these units can fulfill almost any role (def against anything, attack against anything).

7. Ultralisk
Mutation: Burrow Charge - Go underground, charge to target, stun for 2 sec
Evolution: Torrasque - Ultralisk respawns after death

With my swarmy type army, it was hard for ultras to get in place to do effective damage and tanking, so burrow charge allows them to get in position better, and once they hold down the front lines, they can now do it even longer by resurrecting.
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These were my choices for my first play through, and I will definitely experiment with all the different choices as I play through again a couple times. I was kinda happy with how hard some of these decisions were the first time through, as they all have unique ways of imposing their strengths.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!
Edited by cpkbob on 3/14/2013 1:21 PM PDT
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I went for an "all-purple" route, which I further optimized thru mobility.

zergling
swarmling+movespeed: Kerrigan's zergling reconstituion allows you to just mass up these things like crazy. Also provides you with more banelings

baneling
hunter+extra splash: the leap prevents the tons of swarmlings from blocking their path, and the extra splash damage obliterates small groups of terran infantry

roach
vile+armor on <50: greatly increases the survivability of your units against protoss/zerg mech

hydra
lurker+range: spine crawlers focus on bigger units while lurker cleans infantry attackers. range coz it's hard to get in range when there's a flood of swarmlings in front of you

mutalisk
viper+solo target damage: if I want to get something behind my zerglings and into the loving arms of my ultralisk, solo damage since softer targets die to banelings/swarmlings in no time anyway

swarm host
creeper+aerial attack
lurkers+creepers+crawlers? darn.

ultralisk
torrasque+burrow dash
The thing's a $#@$#@ hack. dash for quick hugs and inb4zerglings

I'll try an all-green playthrough in the future. Either strains are fun.
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Endless lings
Jumping banelings
ultras

Don't need anything else. Except maybe some AA.
Edited by DarkSpell on 3/14/2013 2:40 PM PDT
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I went for an "all-purple" route, which I further optimized thru mobility.

.................

I'll try an all-green playthrough in the future. Either strains are fun.


Ha! Based on only color, awesome.
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Endless lings
Jumping banelings
ultras

Don't need anything else. Except maybe some AA.


Sure, I played normal my first try and used almost only zerglings/abominations (replaced aboms with ultras when I finally could) and then queens for AA. But I was still curious to see the effectiveness of other mutations and evolutions. I would guess these choices become more important and your overall strategy will be put to the test on higher difficulties. Gonna start brutal tonight and I'm trying to get more info before I make the irreversible evolution choices.
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Roaches and Hydras don't get their speed upgrade on the campaign. If you want speed and fast reinforcement, which you want in most missions, you'll want lings.

Lings + support (usually Kerrigan) is the marine/medic of HotS. There isn't anything better really - or at least faster or simpler. You might want to add Mutas and/or banes with anti -armor upgrade for fortified positions. Otherwise, mass lings.
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Alright, played the "all green" route and it's a LOT trickier to maximize those other units and I actually had to try more than one mutation

Why? coz of them raptors

Zerglings instantly surround target so my splitterlings take forever to blow up. Roaches dun ever die since they rarely get in range so I think i had like a handful of roaches actually split up.

zergling
raptor
+attack speed
shreds everything
+move speed
renders every other short ranged unit useless since they ALWAYS block the path
+life
didn't use this

baneling
splitterling
+extra splash: useless when raptors overtake them, otherwise those splitterlings are great for killing marines after the bunker goes down
+extra damage: I had better results with these
+healing: didn't use it much

roach
corpser
+burrow move
you don't really need anything beyond zergling+hydra+kerrigan a move but this allowed me to make -raids-
+adaptive armor
plays just like a normal roach that doesn't die. also adds more crowding
+light target damage
didnt use this

hydra
impaler+range: use them for offense, defense, or anything in between. These siegetanks are awesome for cutting down invading forces before the spine crawlers pick them off.
+other mutations
didn't use them

mutalisk
brood lord+solo target damage: I didn't really use these so *shrug*

swarm host
carrion+spawn speed
doesn't get blocked by my already crowded forces :)
+other mutations
didn't get to use them

ultralisk
noxious
+splash damage
On their own, it just kills everything that gets too close. You have to give it like a 5 second lead over the zerglings or else they just walk around trying to get a hit in.
+burrow
best mutation so far
+life steal
didn't use
Edited by GARhenus on 3/17/2013 11:09 AM PDT
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Alright, played the "all green" route and it's a LOT trickier to maximize those other units and I actually had to try more than one mutation

Why? coz of them raptors



Yeah, its tough to get the non-jumping banelings into a good spot. I found this with ultras too, so i ALWAYS get burrow charge.

My go to combo was ultralisk(aboms before)/hydra which was kinda disappointing because i would never us the evolve strain for hydras. There just isnt any other general purpose unit for Anti air. I feel that either lurker or impaler was a waste of money, which if you think about it is terrible. kinda negates that units entire evolve capabilities.

I always preferred the swarmlings, mostly because of how many come so fast. The speed at which they hatch is so helpful in 'oh crap' situations. I just click all my hatcherys and send out like 50 lings immediately to clean up attacks when im out of position.

I didnt find myself making to many banelings as one of my favorite moves with Kerrigan is spwan banelings, and those banelings get all the evolves and mutations you choose. Perfect for breaking down front lines and causing chaos at the beginning of a big frontal attack.
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Hardened Carapace Swarmlings

Great firefighters, especially in a combo with creepers. Expansion gets attacked? Instantly spawn 18 zerglings. If they can't repel the attack themselves, they'll last long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

Regenerative Acid Splitters

Completely changes the role of the unit to emergency field medic. Detonate them on your own buildings or larger units for a quick health boost. Swarmling + Splitter means you'll have plenty to spare.

Adaptive Plating Viles

A few of these in a mix with other units will vastly increase the survivability of the entire group, just by being there. Tunneling claws can be fun for infester mind control raids though, if you enjoy silliness. Try it on your second playthrough.

Ancillary Carapace Lurkers

Three lurkers and burrowed swarmed hosts at each of your chokes/ramps means no ground unit is getting into your base, ever. Hydralisks need the extra protection to justify their cost.

Rapid Regeneration Vipers

I mostly use mutalisks for firefighting mop-up, after my zerglings and swarm hosts have killed off all the ground units. Their speed and flight lets them get from one expansion to another more conveniently than hydralisks. The ability to regen all their health between enemy raids makes them very economical. Blinding cloud is invaluable in boss fights.

Burrow Creepers

Useful for base defence and firefighting and combos with Kerrigan's Malignant Creep ability for heals. Keep some at your base to provide distractions for your lurkers, one in your army to help with on-the-go creep spread, and a small group in reserve to deep tunnel to your expansions as needed.

Tissue Absorption Torrasques

Horrifying vampire ultralisks that suck your blood and come back from the dead. Even a small group of these can slowly destroy entire bases by themselves. For the most part, they can just ignore banshees. They only need hydralisk/infester back-up when the battlecruisers start coming out.
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Regenerative Acid Splitters

Completely changes the role of the unit to emergency field medic. Detonate them on your own buildings or larger units for a quick health boost. Swarmling + Splitter means you'll have plenty to spare.

I haven't tried those before. How much do they heal? About 50 HP AoE?
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03/20/2013 11:14 AMPosted by McSantos
Tunneling claws can be fun for infester mind control raids

I'm guessing Infestors can burrow move by default? I never really checked.
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I'd just like to point out that you can easily switch between these anyways using the Master Archives. There's one screen where you just check them off for a mission.
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03/20/2013 11:14 AMPosted by McSantos
Horrifying vampire ultralisks that suck your blood and come back from the dead.

lol
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Regenerative Acid Splitters

Completely changes the role of the unit to emergency field medic. Detonate them on your own buildings or larger units for a quick health boost. Swarmling + Splitter means you'll have plenty to spare.

I haven't tried those before. How much do they heal? About 50 HP AoE?


Im not sure how much they heal, but when you use regenerative acid with split there is tons of healing thrown down in a big fight. The real strength is it helps keep the other banelings alive while they all roll in a group.
Edited by cpkbob on 3/21/2013 11:05 AM PDT
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Hardened Carapace Swarmlings

Great firefighters, especially in a combo with creepers. Expansion gets attacked? Instantly spawn 18 zerglings. If they can't repel the attack themselves, they'll last long enough for reinforcements to arrive.



My opinion is that the HotS campaign was far simpler and easier than WoL. Most missions on brutal could be done using only this mutation/evolution and Kerrigan.
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favorite evo. JUMPING BANELINGS! no one is safe!

IMPALER the apocalypse weapon. The Day Zerg built Siege Tanks [that can attack while burrowed] soo much IMBA!

chews through anything including hybrids and odins
Edited by Sabrac on 3/21/2013 6:44 PM PDT
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I had good luck on my first run with the Corpser Roach combined with the bonus damage against light units upgrade. They were my main anti-infantry unit, and tore apart light units very quickly, spawning tons of Roachlings. It worked very well on Hard, and while I'm not sure it's as good as the purple upgrade it's very nice if you want a 'drown the enemy in hordes of units' approach.
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swarm host infestor were my end game power units. I went with swarmling/splitterbane/corpser/impaler/viper/torrasque and creeper for swarm host which allows me to basically move my swarm host anywhere on the map for free, including directly in front of them to gain ground or to micro back when injured.

infestor with swarmling is OP or just kerrigan with heal, you get free energy with consume and unlimited neurals that last forever and a ridiculously strong fungal.
Edited by emc on 3/21/2013 7:37 PM PDT
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I haven't tried those before. How much do they heal? About 50 HP AoE?


It appears to be a straight up conversion of their damage, so banelings heal 40 life, and baneling spawns heal 5 life. Of course, they get their usual bonus with structures as well.

Interestingly, unlike queens' Rapid Transfusion or Kerrigan's Mend, it's not bio/mech specific. Your mind controlled mechanical units can also be healed by banelings.

I'm guessing Infestors can burrow move by default? I never really checked.


Yep. With an escort of roaches to take out missile turrets and photon cannons, it's pretty easy to slip in, mind control everyone, and slip back out again without losing any infesters.

My opinion is that the HotS campaign was far simpler and easier than WoL. Most missions on brutal could be done using only this mutation/evolution and Kerrigan.


Perhaps, but I always mix my unit compositions, even when doing so isn't necessary or wise. It's more fun to make a complex army than it is to spam a single unit.
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03/21/2013 11:38 PMPosted by McSantos
I haven't tried those before. How much do they heal? About 50 HP AoE?


It appears to be a straight up conversion of their damage, so banelings heal 40 life, and baneling spawns heal 5 life. Of course, they get their usual bonus with structures as well.

Interestingly, unlike queens' Rapid Transfusion or Kerrigan's Mend, it's not bio/mech specific. Your mind controlled mechanical units can also be healed by banelings.

I'm guessing Infestors can burrow move by default? I never really checked.


Yep. With an escort of roaches to take out missile turrets and photon cannons, it's pretty easy to slip in, mind control everyone, and slip back out again without losing any infesters.

My opinion is that the HotS campaign was far simpler and easier than WoL. Most missions on brutal could be done using only this mutation/evolution and Kerrigan.


Perhaps, but I always mix my unit compositions, even when doing so isn't necessary or wise. It's more fun to make a complex army than it is to spam a single unit.

Good to know, thanks!
(Sorry for necro.)
Edited by Engineer on 3/24/2013 6:10 PM PDT
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