HotS Beta Impressions #1: Hellbats and the PvT Matchup

A couple of weeks ago I got my invite to the Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm beta. I was already excited for this expansion, but being able to play on the ladder has gotten me even more excited, especially with all the new units and how they will change competitive Starcraft. So, I decided to start a series where every couple of days I will share what my impressions of the new units are and how they will change the game. As a Protoss players, a lot of these posts may be able the new units that Protoss are receiving. However, this first post I wanted to focus on something from one of the other races, the new Hellbat unit for Terran.

The Hellbat is an upgrade available for the Hellion, which makes it have a shorter range, yet it also deals a good amount of splash damage. It also becomes a Biological/Mechanical unit, which means that it can still be healed by Medivacs, which makes the Hellbat a good addition to the usual Marine, Marauder, Medivac army that Terrans usually build in PvT. It is also a great unit for this combination because it is an effective counter to massed Zealots, which Terran see a lot of in this match up. However, it is still classified as Light armored, meaning they will still be teared apart by templars Psonic Storms.

What will this mean for the Protoss versus Terran matchup then? Well, like most matchups it will come down to a healthy balance of units. The Terran must build a certain amount of Hellbats to counter the Zealots, meaning they will have less Marines and Marauders in the army. On the other hand, Protoss’s will have to build less Zealots, and find a new combination of units, whether it be Stalkers, or something higher up in the tech tree, to deal with the Terran army. What is really good though, is the Hellbats can still be countered by Templar, meaning the Terran will still be forced to make Ghosts in order to deal with the Templar.

Overall, the Hellbat is a good unit, and will have the biggest impact on the PvT matchup. It is good to see that Blizzard has added new units which fit perfectly into the current meta, without being ridiculously overpowered. It will be exremely exciting to see how this new unit is used on both an amateur and professional level once HotS comes out on March 12 of this year.