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Patch 3.6 Preview: New Co-op Commander Alarak

Alarak, Highlord of the Tal’darim is making his way into Co-op Missions. He obliterates his enemies with overwhelming power while sacrificing his own army to achieve his goals. His army focuses on maximizing damage and decimating its foes with brutal efficiency.

When we were deciding on who we’d introduce as the next Co-op Commander, the choice seemed to be clear: the community wanted Alarak, and they wanted him now. We also heard that players wanted a Hero unit that wasn’t from the Zerg race and we felt Alarak was a great fit. His over-the-top personality and devastating power meant he would have a great presence on the battlefield. We also love John DeLancie, who voices Alarak, so we jumped at any excuse to bring him back into the recording studio.

As we designed Alarak and his army, we wanted to make sure his sinister nature and the brutality of the Tal’darim faction came through. We think the new Supplicant unit and Alarak’s Sacrifice ability deliver on these goals.

Alarak is the first Protoss Commander that you’ll directly control in battle. He wields massive destructive potential, but is also relatively fragile as Hero units go. He makes up for this weakness by drawing upon the life force of friend and foe alike. His passive, Soul Absorption, restores health and shields whenever an enemy is slain. It also allows him to steal the souls of his allies whenever he is near death—with no cooldown. Alarak WILL be the last one standing! This is where the Supplicants come in. These durable servants are summoned two at a time and make for excellent meat shields. The Supplicants are Alarak’s most loyal followers and the first to willingly sacrifice their life-force. Maintaining a healthy supply of Supplicants at all times will be important to successfully controlling the Tal’darim.

Alarak is unique as a Commander in that he has Hero abilities as well as global abilities that can be activated at the top of the screen.

The Tal’darim faction has its own unique designs compared to the standard Protoss forces.

Slayer
  • Blink – Instantly teleport a short distance.
  • Phasing Armor – Prevents the Slayer from taking damage temporarily after being attacked.
Havoc [DETECTOR]
  • Through research, can become permanently cloaked.
  • Target Lock – Increase damage dealt to target enemy.
  • Squad Sight – Increases the non-melee attack range of all nearby friendly units.
Ascendant
  • Psionic Orb – Unleashes a traveling psionic orb that deals damage to all enemies along its path.
  • Mind Blast – Deals direct damage to target.
  • Sacrifice – Sacrifices a Supplicant to fully restore the Ascendant’s energy.
Supplicant
  • Summons in pairs.
  • Will always be sacraficed first to keep Alarak alive.
  • Can also be sacraficed to fully restore the energy of an Ascendant
Vanguard
  • Attacks ground units with powerful splash damage.
  • Can be upgraded to deal additional bonus damage to armored units.
Wrathwalker
  • High damage, high range, single target attack.
  • Through research, can acquire the ability to attack air.
War Prism
  • Can attack air and ground units
  • Transforms at a rapid pace.

Soul Absorption
Alarak heals 20 hit points and restores 20 shields when a nearby enemy unit is slain. Alarak steals life from nearby units you control to heal himself when he is near death. This ability has no cooldown.
Overcharge Amplification
Structure Overcharge now also grants a barrier that absorbs damage.
Aggressive Tactics
Increases the range of Alarak’s Deadly Charge and reduces its cooldown.
Death Council Upgrade Cache
Unlocks the following upgrades at the Death Council:
  • Supplicants gain bonus shields.
  • Allow Slayers to become temporarily invulnerable after taking damage.
Empower Me
Unlocks Alarak’s Empower Me ability, which temporarily grants him increased attack and ability damage.
Robotics Bay Upgrade Cache
Unlocks the following upgrades at the Robotics Bay:
  • Increase the Vanguard’s splash damage area.
  • Increase the Wrathwalker’s attack speed.
Lightning Surge
Sacrificing a Supplicant causes Alarak’s next Deadly Charge to deal additional damage to an area near the primary target.
New Unit: Ascendant
Potent psionic master. Can use Psionic Orb, Mind Blast, and Sacrifice.
Havoc Upgrade Cache
Unlocks the following upgrades at the Cybernetics Core:
  • Increase Target Lock’s bonus damage.
  • Increase the radius of Squad Sight and the range of Target Lock and Force Field.
Summon Death Fleet
Unlocks the ability to warp in a Tal’darim Mothership and an escort of Destroyers with timed life.
Overpowered
Alarak’s attacks deal area damage while Empower Me is active.
Ascendant Upgrade Cache
Unlocks the following upgrades at the Ascendant Archives:
  • Increase the travel distance of the Ascendant’s Psionic Orb.
  • Sacrifice grants Ascendants a stacking permanent increase to ability damage and shields.
Burning Skies
Unlocks the Mothership’s Thermal Lance ability and warps in 4 additional Destroyers when summoning the Death Fleet.
Alarak Upgrade Cache
Unlocks the following upgrades at the Forge:
  • Allow Alarak’s basic attacks to stun enemies and slow Heroic enemies.
  • Increase Destruction Wave’s knockback distance.
Wrath of the Highlord
Reduces the cooldown of Alarak’s Deadly Charge and Destruction Wave whenever a Supplicant is sacrificed.

  • In the early game, use Structure Overcharge to defend against initial attack waves and focus on building up a strong economy. You can also use this to help your pathetic ally in a pinch.
  • Since Alarak will kill his own units to selfishly stay alive, always make sure to keep an eye on his health. If he gets into too much trouble, your army will pay the ultimate price.
  • Supplicants are an extremely important unit in any army composition. Not only do they have a high amount of life and shields for a relatively low cost, they will also always sacrifice themselves to Alarak before any other unit. Always make sure to keep a healthy supply of Supplicants around if you have a lot of high value units like Vanguard and Wrathwalkers.
  • Havocs are Alarak’s form of mobile detection. They also have an upgrade that allows them to be permanently cloaked. In addition to providing detection they also come with a powerful buff for your army and a single target debuff for the enemy. Don’t overlook the value of this unit.
  • Alarak’s Empower Me ability has a fairly short cooldown. Make sure to use it proactively to crush the enemy before you lose too many of your own units. Your partner’s army will also empower Alarak, so stick together and open with this ability for a huge push.
  • The Deathfleet Mothership has a teleport ability which can let you attack multiple locations in succession. You can use this ability to help an ally or retreat from a bad situation.
  • The Warp Prism is an important unit to keep around so that you can constantly reinforce on the battlefield. Without it, you might find yourself low on Supplicants in the middle of a fight, and be forced to retreat.
  • Alarak favors a ground battle and therefore does not have any need for a Stargate. When facing an enemy that favors air units, make sure you have the right composition to take them out. A healthy combination of Slayers, upgraded Wrathwalkers, and Alarak’s own Destruction Wave can deal with both swarms of smaller units as well as large targets.

Alarak is joining the fight with the release of Patch 3.6 and can be unlocked for $4.99. Considering the formidable challenge that Custom Mutators offers, the High Lord will be a welcome addition to your collection of Commanders.

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