Mothership (Legacy of the Void)
- This article covers the current multiplayer version of this unit. For other versions see Mothership (Heart of the Swarm) and Mothership (Wings of Liberty).
The Mothership is the most powerful unit in the Protoss arsenal: Once a Fleet Beacon has been built, it may be warped in at a Nexus. Because of its extensive capabilities, the Mothership has a unique restriction: only one can be deployed by each player at a time.
Although it does have an attack in the Purifier Beam, the primary use of the Mothership is its powerful support abilities. The Mothership has two spells, Mass Recall and Time Warp. The Mass Recall spell teleports player units in the target area to the Mothership after 4 seconds, just like the Nexus' Strategic Recall spell, but without any cooldown. The Time Warp spell slows down the units in a targeted area. Furthermore, the passive ability Cloaking Field cloaks all nearby friendly units and buildings. While these abilities are powerful and potentially game-changing, the Mothership is very expensive, quite slow, takes a long time to warp in, and is only available at the end of a long tech path. Thus, the Mothership is generally only seen in late game compositions, although specialized builds can produce it earlier.
There used to be very few builds tailored to incorporate the Mothership, and was often used as a cheese or an embarrassment tactic, such as the Mothership Rush All In as first played by HuK in 2010, which heavily relied on surprise to be effective.
However, as players have more likelihood of getting expansions and a large income, the Mothership has become an integral part of many Protoss late game strategies.
Some players in WoL also experimented with using the Mothership away from their army, utilizing the Mass Recall spell to their advantage. The Mass Recall spell can evacuate trapped offensive units to safety, or allow an otherwise immobile army to defend or attack more than one key location on the map. The ability was changed, however, to require that the Mothership itself recall to any Nexus on the map. It does, however, brings any nearby units with it.
The Mothership was rarely used when the Mothership Core was still in the game, mirroring all of its abilities except for the cloaking field.
A less common way to employ the mothership is a build that utilizes the cloaking ability of the mothership. The Mothership usually follows a Phoenix harass, as at that point the Stargate is built and there are required Phoenixes out. After that, the Protoss using this strategy gets a Fleet Beacon and a Mothership, also getting 1 or more Observers to accompany the army. When the confrontation with the other player occurs, your Observers spot his, and since they are likely the only air unit in the army, the Phoenix will kill the opponent's Observer. Then it is simply a matter of using the cloaking on the Mothership to keep your army alive, and keeping the Mothership alive as best you can. It should be noted that this build is very difficult to effectively pull off, since the Mothership takes so long to tech to and build, and it is almost always more practical to simply produce more units and try to get a stronger army or economy.
The Mothership's passive cloaking ability can be a powerful asset against Terran; Terran players are heavily dependent on Scans for detection, and Ravens can be usually be picked off relatively easily in the later-stages game. This forces Terran players to use Orbital Command Energy, which limits MULE production and can actually run out in longer or multiple engagements. However, as Vikings and EMPs are usually available for Terran as well as large numbers of Orbital Commands, Mothership play is usually ineffective against Terran.
Fortunately the unit does have a nice little niche in a certain scenario of Tempest vs BC battles. Nexus Recall is tied to a global cooldown meaning it can't be used again until 85 seconds. A Mothership serves as a backup recall for when the player needs to recall in a pinch. This can be seen in this game of Creator vs TY
Another effective use of the Mothership was seen in a game from KiWiKaKi against Machine in WoL, in which he acquired Blink Stalkers and a Mothership. He blinked Stalkers between Machine's bases on Xel'Naga Caverns, killing two of Machine's Hatcheries and eventually his Lair (which prevented Overseer production). He then used the Mothership's Mass Recall to safely move his trapped Stalkers out of Machine's main base, effectively preventing Machine from both remaxing and producing Overseers to detect the Mothership's cloaked units.
In HotS, the main usage of a Mothership against Zerg is to take advantage of a lack of detection due to not having enough Overseers. It is also used against Swarm Host play in order to prevent locusts from killing anything by themselves.
Mothership's quotes (video and sound) - YouTube video.
|Patch 3.1.1 Balance Update |
|Patch 4.0.0 |
|Patch 4.1.4 Balance Update |
|Patch 4.7.1 |
- VOD: SCReddit Invitational Machine vs KiWiKaKi on Xel'Naga Caverns - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyP92qD8psA
- "The Archon Toilet" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpdmG_O2kQU
- Blizzard Entertainment (29 January 2016). "Legacy of the Void Balance Update -- January 29, 2016". Battle.net.
- Blizzard Entertainment (14 November 2017). "STARCRAFT II 4.0 PATCH NOTES". Battle.net.
- Blizzard Entertainment (29 January 2018). "STARCRAFT II BALANCE UPDATE – JANUARY 29, 2017". Battle.net.
- Blizzard Entertainment (20 November 2018). "STARCRAFT II 4.7.1 PATCH NOTES". Battle.net.