The Liberator is a fast and versatile Terran air unit introduced in Legacy of the Void. It can be built from the Starport and double produced from a Reactor.
"In order to combat clusters of aerial threats, the Dominion created the Liberator; a gunship-class vessel inspired by the old United Earth Directorate Valkyrie." This air-superiority craft has an area of effect on its air-to-air attack in "Fighter Mode". In this mode it is slower than Medivacs & Warp Prisms with their Speed Upgrades, Phoenices, Oracles, and Mutalisks, and has the same speed as Corruptors; it is able to chase down any other target. With its transformation into "Defender Mode" (upon a 2 second delay) this unit turns into a powerful, though immobile, air-to-ground unit with long range and very high damage output.
The Liberator is comparable to the similarly siege-oriented Siege Tank, but importantly, the Liberator attacks in a zone selected upon activating Defender Mode, rather than all around itself. It can have its range upgraded, by researching Advanced Ballistics (requires a Fusion Core). It can also be produced with a Reactor, whereas the Tank requires a Factory with Tech Lab. Siege Tanks need defense from ground units via Bunkers and buildings to block the enemy from simply rushing up to the Tanks, while Liberators may be accompanied by either Widow Mines for combined anti-air and ground or a few Missile Turrets, Vikings or Marines, depending on whether the enemy is trying to overwhelm from the ground or is using air-to air units.
Deploys into Defender Mode. In this mode, Liberators
inflict single target damage to ground units. Liberators in this mode cannot move.
Reverts to Fighter Mode. In this mode, Liberators
can move, but they can only target air units.
To enter Defender Mode (colloquially called sieging), the player must specify a target area, which will remain fixed as long as the Liberator remains in Defender Mode. The target area is a circle of radius 5 and is indicated to all players with vision. The "casting" of this circle has range of 5, resulting in a maximum attack range of 10 (without upgrades). While sieged, the Liberator can only attack ground units within its target area. The player gains vision of the target area.
This upgrade allows the Liberator to be an additional 3 units of distance away from its target area. As a result, the maximum range grows to 13. The target area's size and shape remain the same.
Comparison to Viking
Air-to-Air Compared With Viking
Against Light air units, 2 clustered enemies are required for the Liberator's splash to out-DPS the Viking. Against Armored air units, 3 clustered enemies are required.
- As Widow Mines are cheap on Vespene Gas, these two units are a common combination.
- Can control choke points and air, but is too expensive and fragile to engage anti-air units without assistance.
- Versus Terran, this problem often comes down to who has more Vikings. In TvT Liberators are mostly used to break lines of Siege Tanks.
- In combination with Widow Mines, Vikings or Marines for anti-air, it can defend positions and reinforce harassing (Medivacs) or pressuring (Siege Tank) armies on the other side of the map.
- Can be used in a similar manner to Banshees and the Raven Autoturrets for harassment.
- Can outrange Colossus, but Disruptor is the exact opposite.
- Nevertheless Liberators are needed to force your opponent transit into Carriers or Tempests. Disruptors don't kill aircrafts, after all.
- Needs +2 Weapon to two-shot Stalkers (one-shot with EMP).
- Vikings on paper have every advantage over the Liberator, except speed. Do not blindly produce Liberators against Terran.
- Often used as a reinforcement for Siege Tank (1-2) pushes; keep enemy Viking numbers in mind.
- Killed by three Ravagers using Corrosive Bile.
- With Marines and Marauders the counter-composition usually involves Banelings, so Siege Tanks are normally preferable for the early to mid-game. Production of Liberators is usually to reinforce the other side of the map when the enemy is using more expensive units like Hydralisks or Ultralisks where Liberators can get their full value. This is also entirely a player preference.
Picture from the introduction of the Liberator
- Liberation is at hand.
- Reporting for action.
- Need something liberated?
- Incoming orders.
- Ah, commander.
- We have you onscreen.
- Yes, sir?
- Standing by.
- We read you.
- How can we help?
- Got freedom?
- This vessel is top of the line ya know, the pinnacle of Terran engineering. [SFX: Electronic alert] Ignore that noise... I don't know what that is.
- We come not as conquerors, but as liberators to return freedom to the people.
- [SFX: Missile firing] Here's some freedom for ya!. [SFX: 2x Missile firing] And here's some freedom for you! [SFX: Missile firing] Oh, and momma's got a WHOLE LOT of freedom for YOU! [SFX: Many missiles firing]
- If there's a piece of ground you want secure, my Liberator can handle it. Anywhere around it? You're kind of on your own.
- We've learned a lot about transforming vehicles since the Viking. Hell, I've only had one crewman snap his spine this week.
- Don't tell anyone, but I once piloted a Conservator. Yeah... But it was in college... so ya know... it doesn't count.
- I'm a strong believer in personal liberty. That every person has the liberty to do precisely as they are told, or be to put to death. [Maniacal laughter]
- Wow, Liberator to dictator in 5 seconds. That's gotta be some kind of record!
- By the way, freedom is NOT free, okay? Freedom costs a buck o' five! Everyone knows that!
- Of course.
- Flight plan is locked.
- As you say.
- Course set.
- Full speed.
- Moving into position.
- Unleash hell.
- It's liberation time!
- Fire all missile clusters!
- Target confirmed.
- Weapons free.
- With pleasure, commander.
- That one first.
- All hands to battlestations.
- We're returning fire.
1. From the song "Freedom Isn't Free" by Trey Parker, from the Team America: World Police film soundtrack.
|Patch 2.5.5 Balance Update #2
- Liberator's Defender Mode requires research again.
- Cost is 150/150.
- Research time is 79 seconds.
- Researched at Starport with Tech Lab
|Patch 2.5.5 Balance Update #6
- Starts with Defender Mode enabled.
- Defender Mode range decreased to 5.
- Defender Mode upgrade now increases its range by 4.
- Upgrade requirement changed to Fusion Core.
|Patch 3.3.0 Balance Update 
- Anti-air damage changed from 7 to 5 (+2 light)
|Patch 3.8.0 
- Remove the +light damage for the anti-air attack.
|Patch 3.10.1 
- Liberator Concord Cannon damage changed from 85 to 75.
|Patch 4.0.0 
- No longer receives a sight range bonus after transforming into Defender mode but will receive vision of the targeted location.
|Patch 4.3.0 
- New visual indicators have been added for Advanced Ballistics
|Patch 4.11.0 
- Advanced Ballistics upgrade moved from the Starport Tech Lab to the Fusion Core.
- Advanced Ballistics upgrade now increases the range of Liberators in Defender Mode by 3, down from 4.
|Patch 5.0.11 
- Cost reduced from 150/150 to 150/125.