The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.


Older thor model

The thor has had a long and complicated development process.


Thor SC2 Cncpt2

Various thor concepts, including the "super tank"

When the idea was first pitched, the thor was going to be a super tank. Other ideas followed, such as making it a mech with tank-treads at the waist, and then finally the designers with the decision to make a giant mech. This unit was pitched to the artists at Blizzard and they received a mountain of concepts later showcasing multiple interpretations of what a giant mech should look like in the StarCraft universe. The first rendition stayed faithful to the concept from Samwise Didier. However, he tore into it. Everything changed, parts were moved around, proportions adjusted, silhouettes completely rearranged and a totally different piece of artwork emerged.[1]

Several of the new terran units introduced in StarCraft II were given a sleaker, more advanced design, in order to showcase the technological progress the terrans had made since the original game. The thor was an exception to this however, for in the words of Samwise Didier, "thors don't need no girly design."[2]

Game UnitEdit

Thor SC2 Anim1

Development animation

The thor was in the game engine as early as 2006. It was much bigger than its later forms back then.[3]

In early builds, the thor could be constructed by SCVs in the field, though is now built from the factory.[4][5] The thor "structure" used to cost 300 minerals/ 300 gas/ 6 supply/ 100 seconds, hotkey T.[6]

The thor had a slow turning speed in the BlizzCon 2007 build, enabling units such as the cobra to destroy it easily with micromanagement.[7] It now turns fairly quickly, and the turning speed is no longer a balancing factor.[8]

The thor was scaled down in size as it was vulnerable to being subject to micro from smaller units that could be built in only a fraction of the time and resources required to build a thor.[9] In StarCraft II beta patch 12, the thor was shrunk from a 1.375 base to a 0.8125 base size.[10]

By March 2008 the thor was shrunk from its original size and could move faster in order to suit its anti-air role better. However, its anti-ground attack was weakened.[11][12]

Previously the thor could not be transported.[13]

The powerful and bulky thor of early development was resurrected as the Odin, a special campaign unit found in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.[14]


Initially the thor had an ability called Immortality Protocol, or Mechanical Rebirth.

ImmortalityProtocol SC2 Icon1
Immortality Protocol

The thor can self-repair. Once a thor "dies" in combat, its wreckage remains on the battlefield. The terran player can spend resources to rebuild it relatively quickly. The enemy player must decide either to destroy the vulnerable wreckage or to target other units.[5] The ability must be researched.[15]


The thor lost the Mechanical Rebirth ability for multiplayer by May 2009.[16] Blizzard's internal playtesting showed the ability to be impractical.[17] It was retained as a campaign ability in Wings of Liberty.[18]

Thor SC2-LotV DevGame1

The thor using its emergency repair ability

Thors were to receive a similar emergency repair ability in Legacy of the Void. This ability deactivated the thor, preventing it from moving or attacking, while rapidly repairing it[19] until it reached full health.[20] This ability had been removed by February, 2015.[21]

250mm Cannons (Previous Version)Edit

Thor SC2 Game1

Bombardment cannons in action.

Artillery Strike was a powerful long-ranged area-of-effect attack. To use the Artillery Strike, the thor had to expend energy, then it "stabilized" itself as the cannons on its back were lowered. The four 250mm bombardment cannons alternated raining damage upon the area.[7] This ability needed to be researched.[6] The ability was later removed[8] as it conflicted with the siege tank's splash damage attacks.[22]

Mercenary ThorEdit

The possibility of a mercenary thor appearing in Wings of Liberty was considered. However, it was thought that its role would overlap with the Jackson's Revenge.[23]

Anti-Air Flak CannonsEdit

The 250mm Cannons was once replaced by Anti-Air Flak Cannons during WWI 2008. They provided the thor with a powerful anti-air attack that did splash damage. They were visually identical to the 250mm cannons but did not require the thor to stabilize itself or expend energy in order to use them.[24] This attack was later replaced by the thor's current 250mm Strike Cannons along with Javelin missiles that enabled the thor to retain its anti-air capabilities.

Heart of the Swarm ChangesEdit

At BlizzCon 2011, players were only be able to build one thor in Heart of the Swarm. It had stronger defenses, lost its anti-air attack and dealt more anti-ground damage. It had a powerful area-of-effect bombardment ability, but this required a setup time.[25] The thor was moved into the late game,[26] requiring a fusion core. The new thor cost 600 minerals.[27]

By June 2012, the thor had reverted to its previous incarnation.[28]

During development, Blizzard considered giving the thor an aerial spider mine ability to allow it to better defend mineral clusters.[29] This was not implemented however.[30]

As of December 2012, the Heart of the Swarm version of the thor lost its 250 mm cannons and became larger. Instead, it can switch between two modes, a process that takes 4 seconds:

  • High-Impact Payload: The regular mode.
  • Explosive Payload: It fires 250 mm Punisher Cannons against air units; they have 10 range and deals 24 damage.[31]

In Heart of the Swarm, the thor prioritized air vs ground targets. High Explosive Payload mode was added, allowing the Thor to do extra damage to air units.[32]


  1. 2010, Starcraft 2: Terran Odin. Deviantart, accessed on 2011-07-20
  2. Toyama, Kevin. The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (hardcover). Insight Editions, July 27, 2010.
  3. 2011-10-23, BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and Blizzard DOTA - Art & Technology Panel (Full). YouTube, accessed on 2011-11-07
  4. Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-03-16. StarCraft 2 Korean and Chinese Build Summary. SC2 Blog. Accessed 2008-03-18.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pardo, Rob and Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-06-29. WorldWide Invitational 2008: Pictures, Presentations, Videos (StarCraft II Panel: Evolving Design) SC2 Blog. Accessed 2008-06-30.
  6. 6.0 6.1 BlizzCon Statistics 2 Shacknews.
  7. 7.0 7.1 2007-09-13. Gameplay Video - Terran. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-14.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Browder, Dustin. (Cavez.) Keeping the thor as THE THOR!. StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2007-12-19.
  9. 2008-24-06, Fansite Q & A With Dustin Browder, p2. StarCraft Wire. Accessed on 2008-24-06
  10. Nethaera. 2010-05-13. Patch Notes - Beta Patch 12. StarCraft II General Beta Forum. Accessed 2010-05-13.
  11. Joneagle X. 2008-03-12. Starcraft 2 Press Conference Report. StarCraft 2 Forums. Accessed 2008-05-01.
  12. Karune. 2008-02-04. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 28. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-02-04.
  13. Benwa. 2009-04-04. ESL Finals Paris: Stats and Q&A. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18.
  14. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Engine of Destruction (in English). 2010-07-27.
  15. Terran Gameplay Footage. StarCraftZine. Accessed 2008-12-11.
  16. 2009-05-08. Michael Graf. Starcraft 2 - Alle Einheiten. Gamestar. Accessed 2009-05-08.
  17. Blizzard, StarCraft Legacy staff. 2009-05-21. StarCraft: Legacy Exclusive Fansite Q&A. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-21.
  18. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Armory upgrades (in English). 2010.
  19. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update: Terran. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  20. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-08. Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  21. 2015-02-12, Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – February 12, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-02-14
  22. Dustin Browder, Adam Biessener. 2010-04-08. An Extensive Interview With StarCraft II's Design Director. Game Informer. Accessed 2010-04-09.
  23. 2010, Starcraft 2: Terran Thor CE. Deviantart, accessed on 2011-07-20
  24. Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-06-29. WorldWide Invitational 2008: Pictures, Presentations, Videos. "Starcraft II Discussion Forum, Accessed 2011-08-14.
  25. 2011-10-21. Blizzard Cuts and Adds StarCraft II Units. IGN. Accessed 2011-10-21.
  26. Kaivax. 2011-10-21. StarCraft II Multiplayer Panel at BlizzCon 2011. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2011-10-22.
  27. The Rusher. 2011-10-26. ​A complete list of all multiplayer HOTS changes/additions, now that Blizzcon is over. Reddit. Accessed 2011-10-29.
  28. 2012-06-09. StarCraft II - Heart of the Swarm Alpha - Battle Report 2 - Terran vs Zerg. Accessed 2012-06-10.
  29. Dustin Browder. 2012-04-11. Developer Update: Heart of the Swarm Multiplayer - Starcraft II., accessed on 2012-04-11.
  30. Blizzard Entertainment. Heart of the Swarm beta Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). September 4, 2012
  31. Kaivax. 2012-12-05. Beta Balance Update #8 – December 5, 2012. Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion Accessed 2012-12-05.
  32. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-07-25. Heart of the Swarm Balance Update -- July 25, 2014. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-07-26.