"Alarak is unique as a Commander: he is the first Protoss Commander that you’ll directly control in battle, and he has Hero abilities as well as global abilities that can be activated at the top of the screen. 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!"
Alarak is a commander in Co-op Missions introduced in Patch 3.6. Alarak personally takes the field as a hero unit similar to Kerrigan and Zagara. In addition, he has the ability to field powerful Tal'darim units, and call down the Death Fleet to annihilate his foes.
As a hero unit, Alarak is fragile, but a powerful all-around attacker. His Deadly Charge and Destruction Wave abilities let him deal heavy damage, and does not need energy for them, letting him use them constantly without fear. With a healthy supply of supplicants to support him, Alarak is virtually invincible, automatically healing constantly as he fights. He can also use Destruction Wave to knock enemies into range of his army, disallowing them an escape.
The utility of Alarak's Empower Me ability cannot be overstated. With enough allied units nearby, Alarak's attacking abilities can deal several hundred damage, letting him decimate waves upon waves of enemies with ease. There is no cap to how strong he can become as long as there are units near him, his power will continue to grow. However, due to its lengthy cooldown, Empower Me is best saved for heavy battles where Alarak will need the boost in offense.
Alarak's biggest weakness is that, by himself, he is not very effective; he can kill small groups of enemies alone, but requires a healthy supply of supplicants to keep alive. While his damaging abilities are spammable, they don't do much damage by themselves. Alarak is best used in tandem with a large army that can provide support fire and tributes to heal him, while Alarak himself charges into combat to draw fire and soften up enemies for his followers to finish off. Alone, he is easily overwhelmed and killed.
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.
Alarak and his forces are all about overwhelming offense. His units are fragile and easily killed if not protected, as is Alarak himself, but they can quickly decimate enemy forces. Alarak tends to have large numbers of supplicants to soak up enemy fire while his ascendants, vanguards, and wrathwalkers provide the damage output. Proper microing of these units to maximize their utility and keep them out of danger is important to success.
Power Set 1: Alarak Attack Damage
Alarak's DPS is important to his survival, versus vanguards and wrathwalkers attacking only slightly less slowly.
Power Set 2: Empower Me Duration
Even at full mastery the Death Fleet has a cooldown of several minutes, while Alarak has more time with Empower Me to kill large numbers of enemies.
Power Set 3: Structure Overcharge Shield and Attack Speed
At full mastery Alarak can use Structure Overcharge to quickly break the rocks blocking his expansions and hold off enemy attacks without the need for cannons.
Alarak's Structure Overcharge calldown is very effective at halting unexpected enemy attacks, especially when mastery levels are put into it to increase its defensive shield and attack rate. Unless playing a defense-heavy mission, Alarak can completely forego photon cannons and build a couple of extra gateways to overcharge as needed. It is best to overcharge high-HP buildings clumped with each other, to make it more difficult for enemy troops to get into attack range.
Structure Overcharge is also very effective at clearing out the rocks blocking expansions. With sufficient mastery levels (at least 15), a single Structure Overcharge can destroy the main rock, while a second clears out the rocks on the vespene geysers. An early expansion for Alarak is very possible, but this comes with the obvious drawback of putting off the player's other building options to focus on saving up for a new nexus and probes to mine. In this circumstance, good usage of Alarak in the early game is important as the player will not have much money to train or upgrade their army.
Alarak himself is key to his army's success, but he must be properly supported by supplicants. While supplicants are ineffective on their own, upgraded they can provide surprisingly effective meatshields - a fully upgraded supplicant has 125 shields with 5 armor. Havoc support boosts their range by 2, patching up their range problem. The player should always have a healthy supply of supplicants to draw enemy fire and provide Alarak sacrifices to heal him. The number of supplicants needed depends on how much the player uses Alarak and his ascendants, as they will quickly sacrifice their allies to restore themselves and even several dozen supplicants can quickly fall, leaving Alarak's stronger, more fragile units unguarded.
Keep an eye on supply when building supplicants, as each pair costs 4 supply, and unlike other protoss commanders, Alarak has no quick answer to getting supply blocked. Always be building pylons to support your growing army as resources allow.
Alarak's slayers are one of his most effective units. They posses the highest DPS, albeit with low damage per hit, of his units, making them a key support unit for Alarak during the early game. This combined with their phasing armor and low unit cost makes them a surprisingly useful unit through the entire game, functioning well with limited micro on behalf of the player. Havocs make them even more deadly with squad sight increasing the slayer's reach which, together with target lock, allows the slayer to combat powerful mid and late game units by far better than it could on its own.
A mixed force of supplicants, slayers, havocs, backed up by a handful of ascendants, wrathwalkers, or vanguards, should be one of Alarak's core options. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of producing large numbers of cheaper units, such as slayers, is that Alarak's Empower Me isn't as reliant on his ally: allowing him to better fight alongside commanders with low unit counts and allowing him to use Empower Me more frequently.
Alarak's ascendants are terrifically powerful units. Not only does Psionic Orb deal heavy damage to clusters of enemies, but it also damages buildings. Mind Blast meanwhile is a heavy damage single target ability with long range, perfect for focusing down powerful enemies including hybrid. With Power Overwhelming, ascendants will gain shield and ability damage each time they use Sacrifice, eventually having over 1000 shields and spells that deal more than three times normal damage. Good APM is critical to maximizing usage of ascendants, rapidly casting their spells to quickly obliterate enemies. Ascendants also make effective support attackers due to their long range, boosted further by havocs.
Ascendants are unsuited to prolonged combat due to the long cooldown for Sacrifice, and like all protoss casters they appreciate time between battles to recover energy and shields. Do not charge into battle blindly and be patient to allow ascendants to regain their shields and cooldowns before attacking again. Properly microed, large numbers of ascendants can wipe out enemy bases and attack waves in moments, but they are also fragile and easily killed if misused, and rather expensive to replace.
Alarak's robotic forces are rather ineffective against normal attack waves due to their long attack cooldowns, but they are more useful against strong enemies. Wrathwalkers focusing fire can quickly obliterate powerful enemies, particularly hybrid, while vanguards can kill large numbers of enemy armored units. Remember to have supplicants to draw fire from these units to protect them, and exploit the wrathwalker's ability to attack while moving to kite enemies and keep the wrathwalkers out of danger.
War prisms provide a critical support unit for Alarak by virtue of a power field, letting him warp in more ascendants and supplicants in the field if the player has overextended themselves. They also occupy a good support role as Alarak's sole air unit, though their offensive utility is minimal. If nothing else, war prisms make a decent mineral dump in lieu of ascendants, but the player is usually better off building more wrathwalkers and vanguards.
Alarak's Death Fleet calldown is not as powerful offensively as other commander calldowns. His units are easily overwhelmed by large numbers of enemy air defenses, and even his mothership can quickly fall. It also does not retain its campaign counterpart's damage output of 300 at max attack upgrade; it only deals 54 total damage and has the same slow attack speed, reducing it to the damage output of the standard multiplayer mothership. The Death Fleet, like Alarak and his ascendants, are best used to support Alarak's main army and help them overwhelm a fortified enemy position neither could do alone.
The mothership's Mass Teleport ability is very useful, with no cooldown to rapidly teleport itself and allied armies around the map. Use scouts to find points of weakness and targets of opportunities, and have the mothership warp itself and your army there for a backdoor attack. Alternatively if the battle is going poorly, quickly warp back to base to minimize losses, gather reinforcements, and re-enter the fray.
Artanis is an effective teammate for Alarak. His Aiur zealots, dragoons, and tempests compliment Alarak perfectly by providing powerful melee attackers and anti-air power, while Alarak's wrathwalkers are more powerful and mobile than Artanis' reavers. Alarak's ascendants are generally superior to Artanis' high templar as offensive casters, but an Artanis player may still wish to make use of Plasma Surge-upgraded Psionic Storms to restore shields to their units. If Alarak is in peril, Artanis' Power Field cooldown is invaluable to warp in supplicants in the field.
Karax is a moderately effective teammate for Alarak. While Alarak is geared towards overwhelming offense, Karax favors impenetrable defense. Thus Alarak can focus his attention on attacking the enemy while Karax defends their bases and uses his calldown abilities to focus down stronger units Alarak may have trouble with. Reconstruction Beam is invaluable to support Alarak's fragile wrathwalkers and vanguards, and carriers with repair drones makes a powerful army combined with Alarak's robotic forces. The player can use Alarak's Structure Overcharge to power up Karax's defenses even further when faced with an overwhelming enemy force.
Vorazun is a good teammate for Alarak, supplementing the latter's low DPS with hers. Emergency Recall will save his valuable havocs, and her corsairs and void rays provide powerful air support to supplement Alarak's ground-focused armies. In large offensive battles, Alarak can use the mothership summoned by the Death Fleet to warp to the players' bases to retrieve units saved by Emergency Recall, then teleport them back to the front lines. Black Hole can set up large numbers of enemy ground units, particularly hybrid, to be decimated by Alarak's vanguards and ascendants, or to be trapped by Force Fields. Alarak's havocs alleviate Vorazun's reliance on oracles for detection, saving her time having to tech to stargates. Alarak's expendable army can act as distraction for Vorazun's dark templar groups to punch through enemy defenses.
Fenix is a very poor teammate for Alarak. Alarak benefits from armies with large numbers of forces to benefit from Empower Me, while Fenix will usually only have a small number of large units. Both have frontlines made up of a small number of hero units and a less durable backline, making them weak to the same sorts of heavy single target damage units. However, Fenix's recall provides a good bit of mobility for Alarak's normally immobile forces, and Alarak's havocs mean Fenix does not need to switch to his arbiter form for reliable detection.
Both commanders rely on hero units with skills that clash. Namely, Alarak's destruction wave can scatter enemy forces that are in position for whirlwind, solar cannon, or stasis field. This makes proper timing a key skill to master or else both heroes will only get in each other's way.
Raynor is an excellent teammate for Alarak, providing a large army to increase the effectiveness of Empower Me as well as anti-air support with marines. Alarak in turn can provide havocs to boost the attack range of marines. Combining their cooldowns allows Raynor to warp the Hyperion to any point on the map, at which point Alarak can immediately send in the Death Fleet to support it, or even better, teleport their armies to the Hyperion en masse. Alarak's wrathwalkers and ascendants can quickly focus down powerful enemy units that pose a threat to Raynor's fragile marines.
Swann is a fair teammate for Alarak. His goliaths and thors provide a powerful anti-air army to supplement Alarak's ground-focused army, and Swann's science vessels and SCVs can repair Alarak's robotic units and use Defensive Matrix to save them from death. Together they are the only two commanders to both have access to transports, the war prism and hercules, making them highly mobile. Swann's vespene harvesters are invaluable to give Alarak more gas for upgrading and training his ascendants in large numbers.
Nova synergizes moderately with Alarak, as her small army won't give him nearly as much power when he uses Empower Me. Nova can cover for Alarak's anti-air, but neither one is truly strong at defenses (since Alarak's Structure Overcharge has cooldowns on its charges). Both can transport their units quickly across a map using a combination of Nova's Tactical Airlift and Alarak's Death Fleet, creating some redundancy. Alarak's havocs can extend the range of Nova's army and, if micro'd, can keep them safe from harm with forcefields, while Nova's ravens can heal Alarak's units as needed.
Kerrigan is an effective teammate for Alarak. She has a strong anti-air presence with hydralisks and mutalisks, while Alarak provides crowd control she lacks with ascendants and vanguards. Kerrigan's raptors and upgraded torrasques can bypass Alarak's supplicants to get into melee range easily, while hydralisks fire from behind them and ascendants from behind them, thus their armies synergize perfectly in battle. Havoc support to increase their attack range and damage to select enemies is also of great benefit, on top of negating the necessity of overseers. Immobilization wave will also minimize damage received, keeping supplicants in high numbers much longer. Together, Kerrigan and Alarak can decimate enemies as hero units, especially when both are level 15 at which point all of their ability cool-downs are either super fast or nonexistent. Omega worms are also a perfect alternative for rapid army transition without the Death Fleet to teleport units.
Zagara is an effective teammate for Alarak. She provides a very large army for Alarak's Empower Me ability, and her swarmlings provide expendable melee troops to enter battle with Alarak. Supplicants shielded by aberrations are surprisingly effective tanks due to their defensive buffs, and Mass Frenzy also powers them up greatly. Alarak can use Destruction Wave to knock enemies into the range of Zagara's mostly short-ranged army, and otherwise is ascendants are good to focus down powerful enemy units Zagara's army may have trouble with.
Abathur is a debatable teammate for Alarak. Abathur tends to have a small army of short-ranged units, while Alarak wants a large ally for Empower Me and likewise must rely on short-ranged units, the supplicant. When paired, it is best for Alarak to focus on a ground army while Abathur gets an aerial army, their two forces complimenting the other. In addition to mend, Swarm Queens can empower Alarak while also using rapid transfusion. Because of Alarak's damage output, it should be easy to kill large numbers of enemies while leaving Abathur to collect more biomass so brutalisks and leviathans draw fire away from Alarak, keeping him and his supplicants alive longer. In a pinch, Alarak and expensive army units can be abducted to safety. Further empowerment is possible with large groups of locusts.
Stukov is an excellent teammate for Alarak. The infested diamondback's Fungal Snare can bring air units down into the reach of Alarak's supplicants and vangaurds and Stukov's infested infantry provides plenty of fuel for Empower Me. In addition, Structure Overcharge can be used on Stukov's forward structures, especially the infested bunker so that it will be able to attack any target and, with a fully mastered Alarak, absorb well over 1500 damage. It can even be combined with Infest Structure for both extra units on the front line and a reasonably solid defense. For late game anti-air, infested liberators can relieve the pressure from slayers and wrathwalkers quite a bit.
Alarak was chosen as the Co-op commander after Abathur, as, in the words of Blizzard, "the community wanted Alarak, and they wanted him now." The choice was also driven by player feedback that they wanted a non-zerg hero unit. It was decided that Alarak would be a good choice to reflect this, per his over-the-top personality and devastating power. John de Lancie was brought back into the studio to do new voice lines.
As Alarak was designed, it was intended that his sinister nature and the brutality of the Tal'darim shine through. The supplicant and Alarak's sacrifice ability reflect this.
In early screenshots of Alarak in Co-op Missions, he was shown alongside Tal'darim skinned zealots. These zealots are absent in the release version. Data in the map editor exists for Alarak's zealots, including a "Frenzied Overload" ability that increased their attack speed for a short time and caused them to regenerate shields when attacking.