If I start a new playthrough, what upgrades are critical?
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Cellular Reactor [If you like using Battlecruisers, Ghosts/Spectres]
Micro Filtering [Since it's better to learn to plan your Supply Depots ahead anyway]
Zerg Tier 5 Research [Either of these will be a life saver on the Char missions. I personally prefer the Hive Mind Emulator, but many others prefer the Psi Disruptor]
If your looking for a good way of steam rolling your way through the the game in record time,
-Rush to get ghosts (or Specters) from Tosh's storyline,
+Combine this with the Energy Free cloak form Swann,
-Orbital Command upgrade from Swann
-Max out the Protoss research tree.
+Choose drop pod research
Essentially you can drop the ghosts anywhere, cloak them, and nuke your way through the campaign in short order. Though this won't win all the missions, and It's not the most fun way of doing the Campaign. It is the most widely used in Speed Runs.
Also make sure to grab the Ultra Capacitors (attack Speed) over the Vanadium Plating (Life) research. As the Capacitors grant a percentage based speed buff, that essentially turn Siege tanks into machine guns. It's quick silly and will be quite handy in the final mission.
You did final mission vs ground, I presume?
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