Karax Needs a Rework

Co-op Missions Discussion
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Karax is starting to show his age in the new era of co-op.

His army is basically fenix's army but without any of the basic anti-air units and with much higher infrastructure, upgrade, and unit costs for maybe 50% more power? Minus champions?

His cannons are overshadowed by swann for defending positions, overshadowed by vorazun with a dark pylon for mineral dumpage, and overshadowed vastly by zeratul for attacking

Even his Spear of Adun is kinda starting to feel obsolete compared to strike fighters that are basically orbital strikes but without vision requirements.

He's the most limited by upgrades, has the greatest number of upgrades, and on average has the most expensive upgrades of any commander, yet he's one of the few commanders who doesn't have some kind of upgrade cost reduction mechanic.

Even the one unique feeling comp he used to have (mass shadow cannon immortal) just got stolen by zeratul without having to active ability spam

He's just feeling really dated and crowded out on all fronts. I feel that karax needs to be rethought potentially from the ground up, right now he feels like he's just trying to be a little bit of everyone and doing a really bad job of it.

Ultimately Karax really just feels like chrono guy for your ally, which I think is even worse than Artanis basically being guardian shell guy back in the day.
I'll agree that Zeratul took over some of Karax's territory, but while Swann is great at defense, you're doing it wrong if you think he's better at it than Karax.

Maybe Karax could be refocused on towers and SoA, to recycle his specialized units somewhere else (leaving some basics and support) - thinking about it at this point, you might also be right about him feeling a bit too mixed. He's far from weak tho.
I think his main issue is that he feels like he has a very long ramp-up because newer commanders hit peak power so much sooner, though they tried to ameliorate this a bit recently by reducing some of his upgrade costs (including his two solar efficiency upgrades). I think part of the solution here might be retuning some of the more recent commanders, though, instead of turning Karax into an equally low-effort commander. (One step could be giving Zeratul pylons and only allowing him to project his cannons within a power field, so that they actually require some planning and effort to use effectively.)

The only part of his design I consider flawed is his increased unit cost trait. It was an interesting idea to have such a restriction to balance his army against his powerful Spear of Adun abilities and his static defenses. But even when you remove the cost increases through mastery points, he doesn't feel particularly OP compared to other commanders. So why even have the restriction and make everyone use 30 mastery points negating it? (At least, it appears to be the overwhelmingly popular choice over structure HP.)
Not many people notice but karax's purifier beam is the longest cd ability in coop. While I doubt if it's better than artanis' bombardment (5 mins), raynor's hyperion (4-6 mins), tychus' odin (5-6 mins), dehaka's glevig (6 mins) karax's purifier beam cd is way too long (7.5 mins, nearly double hyperion cd!!!).
About Karax's units, his gateway units do feel like they deserves the cost, but I don't think his robo and stargates units need a mastery to cost normal though, while they cost a fortune to tech to and get their upgrades to function, they do feel lacking compare to others. Maybe 20% cost on gateway units, no fine on robo, stargates ones and remove the units cost mastery would be good.
1. Remove his unit extra cost completely.
Why we have to waste all the mastery points of one category to simply make unit cost fair? Fenix'es units are stronger and they cost lower than Karax'es.
For now the problem is - you have to choose what you are going to play (canons or units) BEFORE the game starts.

2. Give robo and fleet upgrades by default.
Because there are too many upgrades in the forge, core and so on.

3. Make immortals' special weapon autocasted and air-only.
12/01/2018 04:30 PMPosted by Karmakaze
but while Swann is great at defense, you're doing it wrong if you think he's better at it than Karax.

So true. Cant tell you how many times I've played karax, only to have my ally tell me, "I had no clue you could use the energizers like that!", right after they saw em buff the towers WHILE deployed for the pylon field.
he needs less upgrades to decrease ramp up time and huge macro reliance.

The mastery of unit cost / structure HP needs rebalance. It's really not fair to have to chose whether you'll be going cannons or units before the mission starts; no other commander has to do that.

EDIT:
IMO, the mastery should be:

Structure AND Unit HP vs. Structure AND Unit cost reduction
His Purifier Beam need some buff 450s cooldown is insane, This is the longest cooldown in the coop.
12/01/2018 04:30 PMPosted by Karmakaze
but while Swann is great at defense, you're doing it wrong if you think he's better at it than Karax.

I believe that even with the energizers the blaster billy against light still has more dps than cannons, plus a bonus vs. armoured and slowing enemies and technically more range. And I know for a fact that missile turrets have more dps.

I think that it's close, but I think at the end of the day swann wins out with turrets that have more dps even with energizers for karax and, more importantly, AoE.
For his SoA building how about it slowly bring upgrades online combining the power generation w/ the power upgrades as the solarite device brings greater functions online. That alone would cover the upgrade nonsense.

As far as mastery replace unit cost reduction with power cooldown reduction 2% a point.

Baseline unit cost should only be increased for infantry due to the fact they are not 'standard' protoss infantry.
12/01/2018 06:22 PMPosted by Pluton
Fenix'es units are stronger and they cost lower than Karax'es.


Fenix units are strong because of Conservator's Protective Field. It's becuase Protective Field reduce all incoming attack damage to friendly units by 35%, and this percentage is huge, especially to Fenix who haven't got anyways to heal his forces. Without this, I'm afraid that his units will die quickly than you've thought.
12/01/2018 08:59 PMPosted by Sticer

Baseline unit cost should only be increased for infantry due to the fact they are not 'standard' protoss infantry.

But according to the lore in the war council on the Spear of Adun, sentinels were intended to be a cheaper and more expendable replacement for zealots on the front line, programmed only with a simple combat AI.

Otherwise though, yeah I would agree with what you have said.
12/01/2018 06:22 PMPosted by Pluton
Fenix'es units are stronger and they cost lower than Karax'es.


Fenix units are strong because of Conservator's Protective Field. It's becuase Protective Field reduce all incoming attack damage to friendly units by 35%, and this percentage is huge, especially to Fenix who haven't got anyway to heal his froces. Without this, I'm afraid that his units will die quickly than you've thought.

Well, then there is khaldalis. And the general replacability of his army. But I shouldn’t downplay the guardian bubble, it really is amazing.

Total tangent here, crazy to think that shortly after 4.0 on the competitive scene with the 2 attacks marauder and upgrade rush meta, guardian bubble was actually granting upwards of 50% damage reduction against bio. Too good even for co-op lol.
12/01/2018 04:16 PMPosted by WireBender
His army is basically fenix's army


This MUST be fixed ASAP. Karax is NOT Purifier commander. And its proof is clearly stated in Karax's introduction.

One of his last introduction setence, it's said; 'Command an army of expensive but powerful robotic units'. There isn't any word of 'Purifier' in it. Just 'Robotic unit' only.

Because of this, Karax can acutally able to use any protoss race units that are mechanic. And that, is why Karax can use Sentinel, Energizer, Colossus, Mirage which are in Purifier races.

Thus, he uses his Immortal, which can use Shadow Cannon, which was originally from Nerazim's Annihilator's skill. Lastly, his Carrier is from Khalai's, because when he reaches level 14, Carrier is upgrade Aiur Carrier variant, thus he can get Repair Drone, which is the unique passive from one and only Khalai's Carrier.

Just becuase he have a little bit more Purifier army doesn't mean he is Purifier commander. So there is no reason to compare his force to Fenix forces.
His cannon is not underwhelming either. 'Khalai Ingenuity' ability are incredibly great, as it builds the defense structure instantly. Neither Swann nor Zeratul can't do this. Thanks to this, Karax can build defense line quickly and this shines especially at Mutation. Plus, he have his cannon attack speed, attack range upgrade, which can possbily differentiate from any other protoss commander's Photon Cannon.

More importantly, he have Khaydarin Monolith, Shield Battery. Former have strongest damage in any other coop defense stucture, longest attack range, and latter get his damage structure resistance to any attack wave because of its shield restoration. Finally, his energizer can boost cannon and monolith attack speed even more!

With these advantages, I don't think Karax defense structure aren't bad...
His unit extra cost is proper. It's all because of Karax's Reconstruction Beam. And this greatly increase his unit's cost-effectiveness. That's because Reconstruction Beam can heal only mechanic units, but thankfully, Karax army is 'all mechanic'. Which mean, once produce, it worth much more than its cost.

Also, Reconstuction Beam can upgraded through SoA 'Advanced Repair Systems', which makes healing faster, can heal several units simutaneously.

With these, his unit extra cost must be held, because of balace problem.
I’m glad people are again talking about this. This is such an overdue topic for the coop team to look into.

Karax’s biggest advantage and disadvantage is in his Spear of Adun. It alone is the reason to justify his macro/micro play to cost. It alone is the single greatest support (+ heal and chronic) to pushing a map BUT only with a proactive ally. Hence it alone is also the greatest problem when ally isn’t super proactive. It forces the player to go for the expensive, longer ramp, and mediocre powered army play/static defence.

Problem day number 8573839537... still waiting for a revamp.
However, I do agree that he have a lot of upgrade to research on. And each of them are gas-heavy, so once research, there is so little gas left to start warping advanced units. When I see Karax army, his army is Sentinel-heavy composition, because Karax uses his gas so many in upgrades, that there are a few advanced unit in the army.

It would be good to reduce his research costs lower. I won't say much, but at least in Spear of Adun upgrades.

1. Make Solar Efficiency each level cost 50/50 less. ( I know KD had lessen Solar Efficiency cost each of them, but need just a bit more.) This will make Karax use his gas less in early game, which can be convert to either unit produce or upgrade fastly.

2. Make 'Advanced Repair Systems' cost reduce to 100/100. The reason is same as above.

3. Make 'Phase Detonation', 'Solar Flare' upgrade cost reduce to 150/150, and its upgrade time reduce from 120 to 90. These two takes a long time to tech up to research, with an addtion 2 minutes waiting, and expensive costs. Make them less costly and faster, which can boost his ramp up time quickly.

With only these change, I strongly believe that Karax ramp up time can be lessen stortly, with much more convenient to roll out his army either.
12/01/2018 09:40 PMPosted by Mikata


Just becuase he have a little bit more Purifier army doesn't mean he is Purifier commander. So there is no reason to compare his force to Fenix forces.

The comparison was 100% ignoring lore or unit appearances. The units just match up 1 to 1.

They both have mechanical zealots who’s big thing is bonus durability, only karax has to research to get his equivalent of double the health bar and fenix doesn’t. And then they gave fenix’s zealots way more dps.

They both have a sentry type unit that doubles as a warp prism, though they do support the army in different ways.

Fenix has adepts, karax has a cold lonely blank space.

They both have Immortals, they both have colossi, and karax has to pay a buttload more to upgrade them before he can properly use them, and the buildings and units themselves are more expensive, and then you need to get a large army for the power boost to be as good as the power boost of fenix’s champions that he got way cheaper.

They both have carriers, and while karax’s are more tanky with faster building interceptors and repair drones, fenix solves the real weakness of carriers (dps) with graviton (a key upgrade karax just forgot) and interdictiors and solar beam. But at the end of the day, they are both carriers, aesthetics be damned, and fenix’s are probably better because costs.

The biggest difference in their armies is that fenix has scouts and karax has mirages. And... the scouts are much better vs. armoured with Mojo’s splash stun making him better vs. light than a small fleet of mirages. Whomp whomp.

Again, Karax’s army for the most part is just Fenix’s army, but worse.
Nah, his defensive kit is still the best. He is the only commander that i have beat mutations without loosing a single unit or structure.

That being said, you do present some fair points with your post. His penalty in unit production cost is unneccessary and so is the relevant mastery. In general, i blame Zeratul stealing the shadow cannons.

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