The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.

Tempest SC2 GameAnim1

The tempest's first appearance

The tempest is a protoss air unit, one that has experienced development over the course of StarCraft II.


The tempest's aesthetic was devised by Samwise Didier via a "napkin concept." The first sketch was simply a curve with a ball of energy within it.[1] In its current form, the tempest was designed to exemplify the sleek, organic shapes of the protoss.[2]

Wings of Liberty DevelopmentEdit

The tempest originally appeared early in the alpha phase of StarCraft II. In comparison to the carrier, the tempest was slightly weaker, but cost fewer resources to build.[3] According to Dustin Browder, "the Tempest didn't feel right and that there was too much of an emotional connection with the original unit."[4] In this phase of development, the tempest had a "dark" color scheme, similar to that of the stalker.[5]


Main article: Shuriken
Tempest SC2 Game1

Tempests in action

Like the carrier from the original StarCraft and Brood War, the tempest had powerful shields and attacked by launching fighter-type drones called shuriken that surrounded and swarmed a target, doing little damage individually but significant damage when combined whilst maneuvering rapidly, making it difficult to destroy. The drones could be auto-built with a right click,[6] a behavior which was carried over to the carrier.[7]

The shuriken made melee attacks.[8]

Special ShieldsEdit

The tempest was strong against ground targets, but was ill-equipped to handle air-to-air encounters; it had poor air defense as its shields did not activate against air attacks, but the shields took little damage from ground attacks.[5]

Heart of the Swarm DevelopmentEdit

The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm which is no longer valid.

Tempest SC2-HotS DevRend1

Heart of the Swarm tempest

The tempest was re-introduced in Heart of the Swarm. It initially retained the dark color scheme, but was switched to the "standard" protoss blue and gold coloring, the dark color scheme being passed to the oracle. At its conception, the tempest was put forward as a replacement unit for the carrier,[9] though the carrier has since been implemented in Heart of the Swarm multiplayer.[10]

The tempest was originally designed to handle masses of air units, but was also an effective ground support unit. The tempest launched an orb of energy with area-of-effect damage at airborne targets, and fired a beam of energy at ground targets.[9] However, the anti-air splash was removed, as it was overlapping with the phoenix.[11] Blizzard believes upgrading the phoenix's range will solve the mutalisk problem.[12]

During development, the possibility was considered of the tempest having a female pilot.[2] The end result was a male one however.[13]

Removed AbilitiesEdit

SC2 GravitySling Icon
Gravity Sling[14]

Increases tempests’ range by 12, to a total of 22 range.[14]

Purchased from Fleet beacon[14]
Hotkey G[15]
Cost 150[14] Minerals Terran SC1 150[14] Gas Terran SC1 100[14]Time SC2 Game1

The range upgrade was removed during the Heart of the Swarm beta.[16]

The rationale behind the tempest's high range during development was that despite being an aerial unit, it wasn't that different from a colossus or a brood lord. The weapon range (called "strategic range" rather than "artillery range") was thus created to make it stand out from these units more.[17]

The tempest also had an upgrade called Quantic Reactor, researched at the fleet beacon. This upgrade costs 200 minerals and 200 vespene gas. It granted the tempest a +35 damage bonus against massive units.[18] This upgrade was later removed.[19]

Legacy of the Void DevelopmentEdit

In Legacy of the Void, the tempest lost the ability to attack air units through its standard attack, and its role is changed to that of an aerial skirmish unit. However, its movement speed was increased.[20] The changes/abilities were removed in September, 2015, in a beta update,[21] as, in the words of David Kim, the new ability "isn't very interesting." This was compounded by the lack of any counter to the ability, and its application of damage over time led to scenarios where the standard response was "use this unit until it dies." With stronger air units in Legacy of the Void, along with the introduction of the liberator, the tempest was reverted to its Heart of the Swarm version.[22]

With Patch 3.7, the Tempest gained the Disruption Blast ability which could stun enemy ground units and structures for seven seconds. This ability was removed in the subsequent balance update.[23]

Removed AbilitiesEdit


May be used against air and ground units.[24] Deals 550 damage over 80 seconds. Units under the effect of disintegration can’t regenerate, heal, or repair health.[25]

DisruptionBlast LotVGame 1
Disruption Blast

Charges up for 4 seconds, and then stuns enemy ground units and ground structures in the target area for 7 seconds.

Hotkey D
Range 10
Duration 7Time SC2 Game1
Cooldown 43Time SC2 Game1


Stapleton, Dan. "StarCraft II." PC Gamer Magazine 164 (August 2007): 20-30.

  1. 2012-06-09, Interview with Allen Dilling, Lead Artist, StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm. YouTube, accessed on 2012-06-21
  2. 2.0 2.1 2011-10-23, BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and Blizzard DOTA - Art & Technology Panel (Full). YouTube, accessed on 2011-11-07
  3. 2007-07-14. StarCraft II - E3 2007 Combat Units Interview. Accessed 2007-07-15.
  4. StarCraft Legacy Staff. 2007-08-09. BlizzCon 2007 First Protoss Impressions. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18.
  5. 5.0 5.1 2007-07-11. E3 2007: Video Interview. PC Gamer. Accessed 2007-07-13.
  6. Onyett, Charles. 2007-07-11. E3 2007: StarCraft II Progress Report. IGN. Accessed 2007-07-12.
  7. Source: Shacknews. Artist: Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-11-29.
  8. StarCraft 2: First Look: Protoss. Filefront. Accessed 2007-07-4.
  9. 9.0 9.1 SoMuchMass. 2011-10-23. BlizzCon 2011 - Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm and Blizzard DOTA - Art & Technology Panel (Full). Youtube. Accessed 2011-10-26.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. Heart of the Swarm beta Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). September 4, 2012
  11. Dustin Browder. 2012-04-11. Developer Update: Heart of the Swarm Multiplayer - Starcraft II., accessed on 2012-04-11.
  12. TheRealGiantBomb. 2012-06-15. The Guts of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Youtube. Accessed 2012-06-16.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). September 4, 2012
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 KDraconis. 2012-06-08. Heart of the Swarm Unit Stats. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2012-06-09.
  15. Cloaken. 2012-09-07. Balance Update #1 (9/7/2012). Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion Forum. Accessed 2012-09-08.
  16. Cloaken. 2012-09-14. Balance Update #2 9/14/2012., accessed on 2012-09-14
  17. 2012-06-11, Dustin Browder gives Slasher the scoop on Heart of the Swarm. YouTube, accessed on 2012-06-21
  18. Cloaken. 2012-10-12. Balance Update #6 (10/12/2012) Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion. Accessed 2012-10-12.
  19. Aldrexus. 2012-10-26. Balance Update #7 (10/26/2012). Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion. Accessed 2012-10-26.
  20. Blizzard Entertainment. 2015-03-18. Legacy of the Void Beta Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2015-03-18.
  21. 2015-09-03, Legacy of the Void Beta Balance Update -- September 3, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-09-06
  22. 2015-08-28, Community Feedback Update - August 28. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-09-11
  23. Legacy of the Void Balance Update -- December 8, 2016., accessed on 2018-4-15.
  24. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void - Multiplayer Update: Protoss. Youtube. Accessed 2014-11-09.
  25. 2015-04-14, Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-04-17
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