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Has anyone beaten this mission on brutal difficulty? If so what was your strategy?

I tried both paths:

Path 1 - Taking out the nydus networks

Path 2 - Taking out the flying units

I found path 1 to be significantly easier as the nydus worms spewing tons of units seems much harder to deal with than flying units. Especially later in the level when the worms are very far from your base and are guarded by spore colonies and overseers+hydra. Also, if you go mass tanks, Kerrigan will do AOE to your tank groups.

My current strat which got me to about 76% using path 1, is to mass battle cruisers and vikings. On the ground I use a few tanks and some flame towers.

For my next attempt, I will try mass BCs and Vikings, but will use a barracks wall at the choke points. Money is pretty tight (not enough mineral patches...), but I'll probably try making use of the zerg mind control towers too, which I forgot I researched.

If anyone has a better strat please chime in :)

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14 Answers 14

up vote 16 down vote accepted

Ok so I ended up beating it. 100%!

Here's a video of someone else beating it on Brutal with a different, and possibly better, strategy than I describe below.

Again, there are probably infinite ways to do it, but here is how I did it:

  • Heavy use of save and load. Save before Kerrigan shows up and after she retreats. If you lose too many units (like 3 BCs to Kerrigans stupid magic hand wave instakill bull), then reload.

  • Take out the Nydus worms as flying units are easy to deal with

  • Build BCs to make use of Yamato cannon on Kerrigan and the Leviathan (the giant flying guy).

  • Build Marines and medics; make use of stim.

  • Build a few Science Vessels to help with healing your BCs. Build them early.

  • Build, and never stop building, SCVs. Trust me, I had the research that lets me train 2 SCVs at once, and I NEVER stopped building them. You need them for repair and to keep up with the mineral gathering.

  • Keep SCVs near chokes to repair

  • Construct flame towers near the choke. If you didn't get flame towers, build a few planetary fortresses at the chokes and have a bunch of SCVs there to auto-repair (no seriously, it'll work, lots of HP, lots of splash damage).

  • Construct a few flame towers sporadically in your base to deal with random drop pods.

  • Construct Barracks at each choke point to serve as a wall between incoming enemies. This also helps keep Kerrigan back.

  • Get as many ship and infantry upgrades as you can. Do it early.

  • Make use of mind control towers. Build them early on the left and the right sides.

  • Use mind controls towers to grab as many brood lords and Ultralisks as you can. Broodlords are imba and you want to make use of the infinite infantry they can provide. Mind controlling Ultralisks is amazing too. Especially if you have medics there to heal them.

  • Build a mind control tower and turret behind your mineral line to mind control brood lords that attack from behind. Mind controlled units will NOT be affected by the nova blast (lulz)

  • Make sure you have mind control energy when the big ultra push happens toward the end of the mission.

  • Save a Nova blast for when the Leviathan attacks. It will decimate you otherwise because it constantly spawns Mutalisks and Broodlords

  • If Kerrigan or the Leviathan isn't around when you needed to nova blast, then it's likely that you need to reload a recent save. Though don't Nova blast too soon when Kerrigan shows up. The blast has limited range, and you want to wait for the next wave of flyers/worms that quickly follows her.

  • Just before the Leviathan shows up, start cranking out some vikings to deal.

  • The drop-pod research is useless. Get the Tech-reactor research.

  • If you ever lose too many key units or structures (especially in the beginning), reload from the last save. It will end up costing you the mission in the long run.

  • Tanks don't work so well because Kerrigan's area of effect attack can easily clean out 4-5 tanks and there's not much you can do. This makes units like BCs more cost effective because they can get out of the way.

  • Buildings work great at attracting Kerrigan's focus. She will spend her energy doing an AoE to the building and not doing it to your units. Also, keeping a building alive is much easier against her because they have tons of HP and huge surface area to repair

  • Don't use supply Depots at your choke. They do not have enough HP or surface area to repair. You aren't going to leave your base anyway (not with units that don't fly that is...)

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Great idea with the planetary fortresses. I totally forgot about that in my attempts so far. –  smdrager Aug 3 '10 at 0:48
    
Tanks FTW (on hard at least). I tried MMM + bunkers to no avail for about 6 hours. I even had full upgrades and 4 barracks, couldn't build them fast enough. I watched that YouTube video and did mass Siege tanks and won on the first try. –  Mike Graf Apr 7 '13 at 15:21
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I went path 2 by taking out the air. I have about 5 hours or so invested in it as of now and I would hate to have to go back and take a different path... not even sure how that would work (do I have to redo all the char missions?) So far I've gotten to about 63% but have not had a lot of time to dedicate to it between work.

But anyway, the best strategy I've found so far is not so much gameplay related. The thing that I found to help a ton was to constantly save your progress as you go along. Every time you get to a spot where you know you haven't made any mistakes and save it (about every fee minutes). Then play from there repeatedly until you get to another point where you know you haven't made any mistakes, and just do that over and over until it's over. I was careless about saving the game manually for a while but started putting more effort into doing it right and I've been making great progress. Hopefully I'll have it finished tonight.

By the way my strategy is BC's split into a few groups around the map to take out the nydus worms as they spawn (2 yamatos each does the trick) and keep building hellions marines and medics because they don't take up any vespian which I need for bc's. I also make sure my defensive posts have some marauders in case of ultralisks and roaches.

For the Kerrigan I always use small units (since she can apparantly destroy bc's with a wave of her hand). I find a large swarm of stimped marines, marauders, and medics do the trick fairly well. Also make sure you catch her before she gets inside your base, otherwise she'll use a powerful spell to blow up a bunker or two before you can kill her. You'll probably lose most or all of you're marines you send at her but they don't cost gas and you should have plenty of minerals. Good luck.

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No you do not have to redo the missions. You should have a save from when you completed the mission just before the path choice. It doesn't take long to go back and redo a mission. If you want to complete every mission, you'll end up doing that anyway. –  RodYan Aug 2 '10 at 19:00
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Flyer path on brutal.

Some basic things first. I tried a lot of ways to beat Kerrigan, and none of them worked. It seems that high power attaks are useless (like the immortal somehow), except from the yamato gun. I tried :

Lots of siege tanks => useless (even the merceneries that strike o lot of damage are not efective)

Spectres with their psi attack => useless (it strikes 200 normaly, around 10 of them whould kill her easyly)

Nuclear strikes => USELESS (I landend 4 nukes simultaneously right on her head and no damage at all) (they can make some damage to her big fat flying friend though, but you need at least 6 to kill it and you have to protect the spectres with battlecruisers anyway to get in range to damage it, so it is somehow difficult path, I prefere artifact + massive yamato)

I find just 2 ways effective :

  • Masive batlecruisers with yamato (but you lose around 2-3 of them, and you must have around 10 of them at least). It is better to strike her a litle away from your base in order to prevent her from destroying your defence line, not far away, just away enough.

  • Marines. I noticed that when she strikes bunkers with no support from tanks or battlecruisers (but with at least 4 SCVs to repair) she destroyed 1-2 bunkers and has some dificult time killing the marines (unless she used spells, then the damage is more serious, but affordable anyway). The key in this approach is that no other units to interfere with the opperation. Use the artifact just before she reach your base to clean her escorts and withdraw any battlecruiser you have to save them (the marines can do it without having to risk them)

So I agree with the dudes above on the marine aproach.

Other key factors :

  • Use the artifact only in kerrigan. If you use it in other situation it will not reacharge until Kerrigan appears (she cames every 5 min, the artifact recharges on 3+min I think? I am sure that it is more than half of the 5mins anyway)

  • Build 2 missile turrets and 1-2 perdition towers behind your base + a hive mind emulator and a free scv to repair (just behind the minerals), the missile towers will kill the mutalisks and the perdition towers will hold the brood lords for enough time if you are occupied to another front, so you will mind control the brood lords as soon as you relax (lol).

  • Build 2-3 perdition towers around the mercenery building to deal with the random drops.

  • Also build a perdion tower on the right of the base, where the supply depots are, sometimes enemies spawn at this spot and you may not have time to deal with them until it is too late.

  • Try not to lose air superiority above the artifact. Build several missile towers (7-8 at least) + perdition towers (3-4 at least) near them to deal with broodlings from the brood lords. If you lose it, it will be dificult to gain it again and it will be a grate dissadvantage when : massive flyers attack (you will have to engage your fleet there while it may be needed elsewere), when the big fat flying thing apears (it spawns several flyiers) and in the last minutes when you will make your last stand above the artifact.

  • Build missile turrets (2-3) and perdition towers (1-2) and a hive mind emulator on the high ground to the top left of the base (use the hive mind emulator to mind control the brood lords).

  • Try to support your bunker walls with extra firepower of perdition towers and missile turrets.

  • The trick with the planetary fortress blocking the entranses seems good (I haven't try it). I blocked the entrance with a baracks an it worked well, though I didn't do it on my winning game.

  • Never stop building SCVs since they are crusial to prevent your front lines from falling and they die regularly.

  • Build at least 2 baracks with tech reactor to quickly rebuild your defence lines and to build a strike force to stop Kerrigan.

  • Do not forget to ugrade your marine guns. And your flying units too, but marine rifle upgrade is a must in order to stand to kerrigan.

  • Build a fleet of battlecruisers patiently whenever you have minerals to spare. You will need around 10 BCs + some vikings + the artifact to beat the big fat flying thing. They will be usefull to support the fronts that are about to collapse.

  • Don't allow your mineral production to drop. Put some more SCVs to work if you can spare them from the fronts.

If you do all the above there are a couple of things you still have to deal with :

  • Random brood lord attacks. You need to maintain a small force of vikings to deal with them (I use the 2 packs of 3 merceneries = 6 upgraded vikings).

  • Massive ground + air attacks on the bunker fronts. If despite the perdition tower support and the SCVs repairing a front collapses, then load your last save and be sure your battlecruiser fleet and is above this front the time of the attack.

  • Massive ultralisk attack in the end. Build 1-2 hive control emulators behind your bunkers and mind cotrol them, they will be useful in the last stand anyway.

The above covers most of the mission I think. The rest goes as follows :

When the class 10 zerg flyier appears, you gather your fleet above the artifact and wait until it recharge. Then you use it and do a massive yamato gun attack with the battlecruisers (around 10 of them will do). If it doesen't freeze your battlecruisers before they fire, it's gone. If it freeze them, attack with the vikings, and when the BCs are free again repeat the yamato attack. If yamatos are not enough, attack an kill it (or reload!) If you are lucky enough you will not lose any BCs. After that, gather any surviving unit to the artifact hill and you are done. (if you have the 7-8 missile turets + some perdition turrets + some marines + around 10 BCs + the SCVs that gathered resources to repair (of course you can stop harvesting on 90%) + some mind controlled ultralisks + the mind controlled brood lords you get from the behind attacks then on the last 10% of the remaining time not even kerrigan can take you out.)

NOTE: I did not used any siege tanks at all, since they tend to do massive damage to the bunkers when the brood lords attack them.

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I tried and failed to finish the path with nydus worms so i went back finished belly of the beast and went with the air superiority route.

As many here have stated, marines work wonders for distracting kerrigan. If she psi storms them they dont last long, but hopefully that doesnt happen. I went with standard bunkers and tanks at the chokes, backed by turrets and fronted by perdition turrets, with a psi disrupter or 2 as well.

My command center had perdition turrets and regular turrets interspersed around the perimeter. The artifact plateau was done the same way, but with a massive viking crew hovering overhead.

I had 2 crews of vikings, one for the top choke and the plateau, and one for the left and command center. When the leviathan showed up i swarmed it with vikings, and it went down pretty fast. On my winning mission i lucked out and it floated right by my turrets, which helped take out the flyers it spawns, and tore it apart fast.

When i hit 90% i moved all my scvs and units to cluster on top of the artifact, bought all remaining mercenaries, moved all my tanks and essentially abandoned everything for the artifact plateau. I also started buying science vessels, which i hadnt before (though i probably should have). Then you just hold on till the end.

As stated before, constant save games and constantly building scvs is the biggest part of this mission. They are almays being siphoned away to repair defenses and kerrigan hits them and medics first if she can, and im sure she can see cloaked units though it doesnt say she can. She also one shot hits battlecruisers that are hidden on the plateau even without a flyer around.

Also, i dont know what people were taking about with the mind control not being affected by the artifact. When i did this on hard the first time i ran through, every time i grabbed an ultralisk and hit the artifact i lost them in the blast. Maybe it got patched? Either way i prefer the psi disrupter for massive ground swarms anyway. makes a huge difference.

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Actually, I have a MUCH easier method to fight vs Nydras worms.

I had NO TANKS, NO BCs, NO PERD TOWERS, and NO MARINES.

The best strategy I found was actually MASS GHOSTS with range upgrade.

I started with auto refinery so at start I basically have 9 extra workers. I started pumping 5 new workers right away and then make my dual tech attachment to my barracks. Also make a Shadow OPs at this time, and start cranking out Ghost as soon as you can. Perm clock them before sending them out to the front. Also research all 3 infantry upgrades then do the armor. Ignore ship and vehicle upgrades since you wont be needing them.

Next, salvage all the bunkers and make 4 Command centers at the 2 chokepoints, filling in the 2 tiny gaps with 2 supply depots so not even zerglings can make it through. Don't worry about the 'low HP' factor of the SDs since depots have no attack, they won't attract any aggro. I had never had to repair any of them. As soon as the 4 CC are built, use their starting energy to summon MULEs to mineral gathering, then immediately convert them to planetary fortresses. When the FTs are complete, make about 5-7 SCVs at each choke for repairs.

Place the starting 2 tanks in siege mode behind the 4 PFs, and they, along with your starting medics and marines, should hold you through the first few waves till you ghosts start coming in.

In the meantime, build 8 or so missile turrets on the artifact ledge, along with 2 psi disruptor at each choke there.. Leave 2-3 SCVs to repair there.

You would also want to ring your bottom perimeter wtih missile turrets as well for the overlord rush. You will have an abundance of minerals, so be free with the turrets.

When gas permits, turn your main CC into a PF as well. This will help defend your mineral line vs stray zergs that the overlords may drop into your base, or from a particularly deep Nydras worm.

With the 2 chokepoints blocks by the 4 PFs, mass your cloaked ghosts behind them in a loose mass. Don't group them too tightly or Kerrigan may unleash her AOE attack. Place 3-4 medics in the back to heal your SCVs as needed. As the battle progress, you will lose most of the starting marines and mauraders, but you will fill out your pop limit with ghosts.

The masses of zerg will not penetrate your PFs with your 6-8 SCVs repairing them. In fact, no matter how many Nydras worms spawn outside, the simply isn't enough rooms to fit the number of zergs needed to out damage your repair rate. Extra zerg units will only block each other. With their 8 range (after upgrade) your ghost can hang back and pick them off easily.

Keep your 3 starting banshees and 2 BCs around take out any sunkens that get built in range to affect your missile turrets. Otherwise, just keep them in the base to patrol your mineral line. You should have 10-15 ghost on the artifact ledge on each side and around 15-20 behind the PTs.

If done right, you should barely lose any units or buildings at all.

Good luck!

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lawl I'll have to try this –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 29 '10 at 22:21
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Nydus worm path on brutal. Tried a lot of different tactics without success, but this tactics was reasonable easy. Did it on my second try with this.

What I didn't understand at first is that the most important thing is to take out the nydys worms fast enough. The reduced pressure on your base defence is highly substantial.

Use a terror team with banshees, they are very fast and with cloaking they got a good chance to skip all enemies on their path. Most worms can be reached with flyer only paths, be sure to exploit that. I found them superior to battle cruisers on this map

So my tactic was: Kerrigan - marines+medics Base defence - Bunkers + flame tower + Siege tank + Mind control on Ultralisk Overlord drop - Nova Nydus Worms - Banshees (6-8 at a time)

As a baseline no worm should be able to spew out more than two waves, most of them should only spew one or if you are tactical with your placement (north of your base is a good spot) when they surface some should be dead before the first wave

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Choose the Nydus path (on brutal difficulty).

The strategy is "mass command centers".

  1. At first, destroy your mercenary camp and salvage all existing bunkers and fall back. Then place a lot of tanks below the high ground, protected by some bunkers. Leave some space behind the bunkers to put SCVs there.

  2. Surround the artifact with 4 command centers (there is only one way how one can build command centers up there) and build some SCVs to auto repair the command centers.

  3. Build a force of marines against Kerrigan.

  4. Upgrade siege damage and infantry damage to max.

  5. Use the artifact only when Kerrigan is coming, then take the marine force and attack her, slightly in front of your base. Luckily she will attack your marines and the tanks can still focus her.

  6. Use your command centers to summon ~20 mules from time to time (had over 13 k mins at the end).

  7. Before the end, you should upgrade your command centers to Planetary Fortesses while you deal with the Nydus drops on the plateau. You don't even have to focus the Nydus worms outside the base.

Required/useful upgrades:

  • siege tanks: more damage, less friendly fire
  • base: auto repair of buildings (instead of burning down)
  • mech regeneration
  • planetary fortress
  • psi disruptors.
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The thing is, it all depends on the way you played the game, and what upgrades you got along the way. And its kinda funny that not one person made use of reapers in this mission. I've played both paths before, and I find the nydus route the much easier way to win.

  • start off similarly to the others, with pulling back the choke points and cranking out scvs to harvest faster.

  • I have the reaper range upgrade, and the bunker range upgrade, so my reapers would have tons of range and also do tons of damage to zerg units, but make sure to put a lot of siege tanks behind them, to not only compliment your already awesome ranged reapers but they also do splash and take out units like ultralisk and roaches your reapers might have a problem dealing with. Also, the two upgrades for tanks helps a lot with collateral damage. I also recommend putting at least one marauder in with your reapers, it helps if you have concussive slow.

  • my preference was to use the psi emitter as well instead of mind control. Reason being, is the psi emitter works constantly, and you can place it and forget about it, instead of it being your number one priority.

  • I don't use the planetary fortress upgrades, but I suppose it could be useful. Side note: if you have the upgrade, use it. But these guys failed to mention that mules can also repair. So instead of wasting minerals on scvs to repair, use mules.

  • I also use the science vessel... just for auto repair purposes and it saves minerals.

  • Be sure to upgrade damage and armor for your units.

  • For Kerrigan, stimmed marines just outside the range of your tanks is best. And don't forget to nova just before she enters your base to leave your marines to clean her up with little problem. If she does manage to kill your marines, your tanks/reapers/marauders should take out what little health she has left afterwards with ease.

These are a few of my preferences and upgrades I found to help greatly in this fight. Point is, play to your strengths, and utilize almost everything you've got.

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While I haven't beaten this so far, and I came here for support, I'll add in my few bits:

My path is the no-air path and slow-towers.

I've tried 3 times so far. The furthest I've gotten in 80%. Things that have helped me get that far: - Block off the entrances immediately with supply depots, barracks, and factories. - Siege tanks, and merc siege tanks - Use BCs and Banshees to take out nydus worms - Immediately and continue to research weapons upgrades

My problem is Kerrigan taking out too many of my units, making 1 side too weak to hold the line. I will follow RodYan's recommendations to make planetary fortresses

Next attempt I also plan to move my forces in slightly, to force the enemy into more of a choke. The initial positioning is not the greatest, especially on the top-right way, where there are 3 ways to where the first bunker is. pulling back slightly would create a tighter choke for the tanks to bombard.

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on a sidenote, if you got the aoe-upgrade for your Thors, you may actually permanently stun Kerrigan with enough of those.

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AOE upgrade actually makes targeting Kerrigan HARDER. It's easer to permastun her without it. –  gorsky May 3 '11 at 10:53
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Nydus worm path on brutal. Did it a few times until I cracked one of the ways to do it.

Abandoned the left side of the base as well as the reactor core first. Then I just used a lot of siege tanks and huddled them front and center inside the base just below the plateu of the charging thing. Around the charging thing, I placed empty bunkers around it to slow down an assault. In front of the charging thing I placed half a dozen flame throwers to take out the nydus worms that spawn there on late game. 2 or so science vessels float above the siege tank and the charging thing for repairs. When Kerrigan attacks, I just trigger the nova and take her out using 40 or so marines and medics. Placed a lot of rocket turrets as well for the overlord drop early on.

This is the easiest way to do it imho.

My units are basically.

scvs (50?) siege tanks (max) m&m (marines and medics) (enough to fill 1-1/2 select screen thing) science vessels (2)

Haven't tried the flyer path yet because brood lords feels a lot more difficult than an endless onslaught of ground units.

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Do everything that they suggest, but ANY chance you see a mutalisk,Mind Control it, it led to me owning 40 mutalisks and 12 brood lords at the end, at whih time i lost interesting in defending my entire base and migrated everything to the artifact.... be regardless, 40 muts+vikings killed the Class 10 creature VERY quickly.also the mutalisks are your fastest support for any front, including kerrigan(when she storms, simply move out of the way, since they fly so fast)

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I finally won and they key factor was the Hivemind emulator tover! Captured Units doesn't count against population limit so it allows you to have much stronger army full of Broodlords and mutalistk while still have a lot of marines.

I went for destroying nynduses

  • Have two spaceports producing some vikings and BCs
  • have like 5 barracks constatnly produced Marines
  • Upgrade full flayers and infatry
  • Base full of Planetary Fotresses against deployed units and up on the artifact ledge and some at rear of my chokes
  • 3 mind emulators at each choke, 1 at back and some on ledge - all in control group one - then I select 1 and SHIFT + I (or is it C?) all attacking units - emulator has longer range than broodlord!
  • Obviously turrets everywhere speacialy near emuloators

I think the more emulators the more fun

Doing this way I think it's even possible to win no falyers version with capturing all hydras and ultras.

Bets way for destroying nynduses would be drop-podded infatry.

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If you have Ravens, consider using them. Most prefer science vessels but on a different playthrough, I picked Ravens instead. The Ravens (preferably with cellular reactor upgrade that gives a +100 max energy, along with point defense drones(PDD) and auto turrets(AT) make it a viable choice. A PDD when spawned has 200 energy and for each range attack it nullifies, it uses up 10 energy.

Here's how it would be useful in (All in-air):

  1. Place around 2 PDD's at each chokepoint, a little behind your missile turret wall (assuming u made one) and watch as mutas and hydras attacks are negated long enough for u to kill them. For Broodlords, this won't work but use vikings against them.

  2. Kerrigan's assault: Find out which direction she is coming and place 2 or 3 PDD's a little before your base entrance (make sure no BC, Tanks etc are near where u put it). Also make sure u have about 30 marines for the assault. Now if you are not going for the "Aces High" achievement, use the artifact to kill the Hunter Killers (She brings 6 on Brutal !!). Now let the marines attack her. The PDD's negate her normal attack!! Kerrigan attacks your base a total of 5 times. The first 2 times, her special attack is the implosion that insta kills mech units. So against marines, she will just use her usual attack and that is negated. In the later 3 times, she will have the razor swarm attack aka storm. This will destroy your marines if u r careless. so watch out for it. If possible use a few marines to bait her into using it and then send the rest. The PDD's are still useful here.

  3. The Leviathan: 3 PDD's and about 20 Vikings with some merc ones(Hel's Angels) in the mix, well spread out will spell success. Additionally placing a few vikings a little behind the ones attacking the leviathan will allow them to focus on the mutas and broodlords. Or you could focus on the Leviathan if you choose. You can also use the artifact but I recommend saving it for Kerrigan.

For the Nydus worms, Auto turrets can be used as a distraction. PDD's are still useful against Hydralisks. The Raven also has the seeker missile but it eats up 125 energy. However consider using it in a pinch, like when the Ultralisks, surrounded by zergling's attack.

Personally, I found Ravens to be more useful than Science Vessels. Especially against Kerrigan.

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