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The Crucible

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Waking the Ancient



The Crucible
FirstSpawningPool SC2-HotS Art1

Second Great War


Heart of the Swarm


Early 2505




Kerrigan transformed


Zerg SC2 Icon Zerg Swarm

Brakk's Pack

Yagdra's Pack


Zerg SC2 Icon Queen Sarah Kerrigan
Zerg SC2 Icon Broodmother Zagara (If Old Soldiers completed)
Zerg SC2 Icon Izsha



  • Bring Kerrigan to the First Spawning Pool
  • Protect Kerrigan's chrysalis until it hatches
Optional Objective(s)

+10 Kerrigan levels

  • +1 bonus Kerrigan levels
New Unit(s)

Swarm host

The Crucible is the second Zerus mission in Heart of the Swarm.


Right after the awakening of the ancient primal Zerg Zurvan. He told Kerrigan that needed to be reborn to become Queen of Blades once more. She must seek out the first spawning pool that first created the Zerg.

Sarah Kerrigan determined to enhance her power in order to finally kill Arcturus Mengsk. She was instructed to take control of the first spawning pool. On the way to the site Abathur delivered a couple swarm hosts to deal with the primal zerg guarding the route. Once there, she entered a chrysalis and began a transformation.

The site was fought over by the now-leaderless Brakk's Pack, as well as Yagdra and his pack. Eventually Brakk's Pack was defeated, and then Kerrigan and her Swarm held off Yagdra's pack long enough for Kerrigan to emerge


In the first part of the stage the player must guide Kerrigan to the checkpoint, where she will enter the chrysalis to begin her transformation. The new unit for the mission is the swarm host. Note that unlike the multiplayer game, in the campaign swarm hosts do not burrow, they root, meaning they can be seen and attacked. Against numerous enemies this means their locusts may be overwhelmed and the swarm host left defenseless. The player should mix spine crawlers with swarm hosts to create a strong ground defense.

The player will have several minutes to build up their forces before their base is attacked. There is an expansion to the east that should be seized early, it is high enough north that the primal zerg will likely not find it and it will be safe for most of the mission. The player should focus on whatever manner of defense they prefer. Mutalisks, being able to quickly fly between chokepoints, are helpful, but the other strains of the zerg the player has acquired are just as effective. The player can take advantage of the high ground to plant spine crawlers along the cliffs to attack the primal zerg as they pass below.

The player will be attacked regularly by primal zerg both from the east and west, along with an occasional handful of mutalisks attacking from the south. The southern chokepoint is blocked by rocks, later in the mission the primal zerg will begin attacking this chokepoint as well, breaking down the rocks to do so. The primal zerg attack in great numbers, so the player should be ready with a large army of their own and upgrade them fully. Partway through the mission, Abathur will inform Zagara of primal essences in the pool that allow it to spawn a large number of locusts. This invincible, flying locusts will automatically seek out enemies in a radius around the player's base, and the summoning of them regenerates quickly. If the player wishes to use the locusts, they should do so as the enemy moves in, as it will take the locusts time to arrive and attack after spawning around the pool.

During the mission Abathur detects a tyrannozor in the southern part of the map. Throughout the level primal zerg war across the south, cutting off access to the tyrannozor's lair. If moving in with ground forces, at least 3-4 Swarm Hosts should be all the player needs to keep the tyrannozor occupied and deal with any other creatures that spawn around it while it is still alive. The player should watch for a break in the endless stream of primals and move the swarm hosts in there so their locusts can kill the tyrannozor with no risk of lost expenses. Mutalisks on the other hand can fly over the primals and attack the tyrannozor directly; large numbers of them (16-20+) and sundering glaive are a must however. Killing it grants an additional Kerrigan level.

With only a few minutes left in the mission, the primal zerg will stage an all-out attack on the hive cluster from all directions. The player should anticipate this and use the locusts at this time, and pull their defenders back to protect the chrysalis during these final moments. As long as the chrysalis stands when the timer finishes, the mission will be won, the loss of the player's expansion or main base is irrelevant.


TheCrucible SC2-HotS Icon
The Crucible

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Complete “The Crucible” mission in the Heart of the Swarm campaign.

EpicMealTime SC2-HotS Icon
Epic Meal Time

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Kill 75 enemy units with Primal Spawn Locusts in “The Crucible” mission.


The achievement name is a reference to the Youtube cooking channel Epic Meal Time.

CantTouchThisChrysalis SC2-HotS Icon
Can't Touch This Chrysalis

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Complete “The Crucible” mission without Kerrigan’s Chrysalis taking damage on Normal difficulty.

ShortLifeExpectancy SC2-HotS Icon
Short Life Expectancy

10 Achievement SC2 Game1


Kill the Tyrannozor in under 1 minute after it appears in “The Crucible” mission on Hard difficulty.



  • The original objective of the mission was to kill a set amount of primal zerg. There was also going to be an artifical dam you could destroy that would heal your minions because of Kerrigan's healing influence.[1]
  • If Old Soldiers is completed before going to Zerus, Zagara will take control of the zerg broods while Kerrigan is being transformed. Otherwise, Izsha will take control of the zerg broods.


  1. 2014-08-20, Unused HoTS Story Elements. StarCraft Legacy, accessed on 2014-08-29

Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, The Crucible (in English). 2013-03-12.