May 15 Balance Update Initial Thoughts

I wanted to make this post to discuss my initial thoughts on the May 15 balance patch. If you haven’t seen the balance update you can find the link to the blue post here.


  • Anti-Armor Missile initial and splash damage reduced from 30 to 15.
  • Auto-Turret cast range increased from 1 to 2.

I am certainly happy that they have finally decided to nerf the AAM missile. It has been one of the most powerful and spammable spells in the game since it’s last change which has made ultra late game ZvT miserable. I do not think that the nerf from 30->15 will make the raven a bad unit either. I actually believe that a handful of ravens in the lategame will still be the go to in ZvT, the AAM’s ability to do “free” damage is important in the late game and since it will still be nearly unavoidable and difficult to split against (especially with anything slow like broodlords) a stack of missiles will still deal a ton of damage while simultaneously drastically lowering the armor in large engagements. Hopefully now instead of all of our broodlords and corruptors dying now though, they will only lose 25-75% of their health.

The auto-turret cast range buff is fairly significant, before it was 1 it was 3 and the raven was powerful at harassing mineral lines. Obviously 2 won’t be as good as 3 but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a definite increase in auto turret harass after the change.


  • Punisher Grenade attacks reduced from 2 to 1.
  • Damage of each attack increased from 5 (10 vs Armored) to 10 (20 vs Armored).
  • Upgrades will provide +1 Base and +2 Armored.
    • Level 0: 10 (20 vs Armored)
    • Level 1: 11 (22 vs Armored)
    • Level 2: 12 (24 vs Armored)
    • Level 3: 13 (26 vs Armored)

This change doesn’t affect that many zerg units. The units that will primarily be affect are the armored units such as the roach and the ultralisk. The fact that marauders are much easier to make for terran than a unit like the ghost or the liberator means an ultralisk “counter” is much more readily available and it will be difficult to kill terrans with ultralisk timings. With that being said, ghosts and liberators are better counters to the unit than marauders will be and ultralisks will still be good in the ZvBio match up. In terms of roaches I think that roach timings and general roach hydra play will be less effective in the ZvBio matchup. Roaches are already weak units in ZvBio, but often players will play either ling bane roach ravager or roach hydra because the unit compositions are usable against bio and considerably better against mech than ling bane hydra. I think it will be more important to identify earlier whether the Terran is going bio or mech because of this. Roach all-ins or timings might also be difficult to pull off against bio terran openings, with that being said roach allins are already weaker against bio terran players compared to hellion terran openings so it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.


  • Viking health increased from 125 to 135.

I don’t think that this change will have a huge impact on the match up, however there have been a few 10 point health buffs in the past that have completely changed match ups. The extra 10 hp for vikings is certainly relevant against parasitic bomb and will allow vikings to trade better against corruptors. Overall I think this one will just have to be tested and played with to really tell how it will play out.

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