Shoot the Messenger is the second Kaldir mission in the
Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm campaign. This particular mission tasks players with either protecting the Warp
Conduits from the Protoss air fleet, preventing 8 waves of shuttles from warping through. Alternatively,
players can destroy the 3 Docking Bays without letting a shuttle sneak by and the mission will end early.
The key to beating this mission is to expand early and to use primarily Hydralisks instead of automated defense.
Hydralisks are much more suited towards defending the Warp Conduits, as the unusual terrain and constantly changing
paths the shuttles take are hard to deal with by using Crawlers. Additionally, Spore and Spine Crawlers do not fare
well versus Carriers or Colossi, which are commonly seen in this mission. Kerrigan can handle Colossi with Kinetic
Blast and Hydralisks can take down the rest with ease.
An alternative strategy is to sit at home and mass up Hunter Banelings. You can mass up a group of 30 or so
Banelings and rush-down the Docking Bays, ignoring the Protoss army and structures. You can repeat this 2 more
times to end the mission early!
Shoot the Messenger - Kerrigan Levels
Completing Shoot the Messenger alone does not result directly in any Kerrigan levels. However, there are 3 bonus
levels available during this mission, which can be earned by destroying the 3 containers holding Zerg Biomass at
the locations marked below:
Starcraft 2 Shoot the Messenger Achievement List
There are 4 achievements available for players to unlock during the Shoot the Messenger mission:
Shoot the Messenger: Unlocked by completing all mission objectives in the Shoot the Messenger
mission (any difficulty).
Warp in Peace: Unlocked by not allowing the any Protoss shuttle to start warping (any
difficulty). This means that you cannot let any shuttles get close to the Warp Conduit where you see the timer tick
down. This can be done easily on casual mode, so consider doing this achievement there if you have trouble.
Shuttles move much faster on Brutal mode, so it is definitely easier to do on a lower difficulty setting.
Extreme Nexism: Unlocked by destroying 2 of the 3 Protoss Nexuses (Normal difficulty or
higher). If you are using the Hydralisk strategy for My Cool Bay Explosions as described below, you can easily earn
this achievement as you unlock that one..
My Cool Bay Explosions: Unlocked by destroying all 3 Protoss Docking Bays (Hard difficulty or
higher). Note that this will end the mission early, so be sure to grab the Kerrigan Levels and destroy two of the
Nexuses if you want to unlock all the achievements and earn all the Kerrigan levels in one play-through.
Shoot the Messenger: My Cool Bay Explosions Achievement & Brutal Mode Guide
With the right strategy, it is possible to beat Shoot the Messenger on brutal mode while simultaneously
unlocking all of the achievements. Below, you will find a step-by-step guide to exactly that as well as video
guides going through how to unlock the various achievements and how to beat this mission on brutal mode.
Step by Step Guide
As soon as the mission starts, take Kerrigan to the east to clear out the enemy units by the frozen
Hatchery. This will give you a free expansion. This will require some micro - you will run up to the Protoss
forces, use Kinetic Blast, run away while the timer recharges, and then repeat, to thin out the enemy
Build Drones constantly until both of these bases are fully saturated.
In the mean time, build a few Hydralisks at the main and spread the creep. Plant your Spore Crawlers in
defense of the southwestern Warp Conduit (but place them at a good distance if you want to unlock the Warp in
Meanwhile, use Kerrigan to clear out as much of the small groups of Protoss units as possible. This will
free up the passageways so you can move your Hydralisks unhindered when stopping shuttle attacks.
Back at home, continue to make Drones and macro up. Once your bases are saturated, make Hydralisks and get
By the second shuttle wave, you will want to have a few extra Hydralisks helping to defend the western Warp
Conduit and have the creep spread significantly to the northwest.
Start massing Hydralisks. Place 2 packs of 18 Hydralisks - one in the west, one in the right center.
These will be used to intercept enemy attacks as well as stop shuttle attacks. You should be making Hydralisks
by 6:00 and have all 36 for defense by 9:30 mark at the latest (at least if you want to do My Cool Bay
Explosions on Brutal).
While your units at home defend the Warp Conduit, use Kerrigan and any rescued units to clear out the
remaining small Protoss structures (no main bases just yet). This may require some kiting as you wait for
Kinetic Blast to recharge. If you have a low-level of Kerrigan, it helps to bring a few Queens along for
Start massing up surplus Hydralisks with Kerrigan as she continues to clear small parts of the map.
You should max out before you try to go in. Drop extra minerals on Zerglings and a few extra Hatcheries.
Work on max out all your ground upgrades, but you likely will not be 2/2/2 before it is time to attack.
Once you are 200/200, attack the Protoss player at the final remaining Stasis Chamber. You can kill off
this Nexus as well in order to contribute to the Extreme Nexism achievement.
Leave your 2 packs of 18 Hydralisks on defense. Use these to intercept Protoss attacks and Warp Shuttles
that you may miss.
As you attack the Protoss player, use Kerrigan's Kinetic Blast ability to focus down Colossi. Your
Zerglings and Hydralisks are weak versus these, so be sure to pick those out as best you can.
Constantly reinforce your attack with more Hydralisks and Zerglings.
Be careful to actually move your defensive groups of Hydralisks to counter the enemy attack. It is easy to
not pay attention as you are controlling Kerrigan and miss the shuttle waves.
After you wipe out the mid-left Protoss base, reinforce your attack and move north to the northwestern
corner and attack the heart of the Protoss base. Here you will get the second Nexus for Extreme Nexism.
After clearing the second base, you will want to take a minute or two to re-macro your army before going
for the final two Launch Bays. Re-max out and head for the top right Docking Bay, approaching from the south.
This makes reinforcing your attacks easier.
Destroy the final two Docking Bays. You may have to fully reinforce your army one or two more times,
depending on Kerrigan's level. You will likely run out of gas. You can remedy this by expanding to the two
Protoss bases you cleared out already.
If you run out of resources and still have not yet destroyed the Protoss base, you may need to re-try on Hard
mode. Unlocking My Cool Bay Explosions on Brutal mode instead of Hard is more of something to do for fun than a
Additionally, if you are struggling with this mission on Brutal mode, know that you do not have to go on offense
if you do not want. Instead, you can sit back and defend. In order to do this easily, you should clear out all the
small Protoss bases and structures and spread the creep as much as possible. Then, you can have 2 large groups of
Hydralisks, which can defend against any attack and stop any ship in its tracks. Rather than use two packs of 18
Hydralisks, you can easily get 2 packs of 36 Hydralisks, which is plenty to stop any computer assault in
Shoot the Messenger Video Guides
Here are a few video guides that you can follow along with in order to unlock the achievements and
clear this mission on Brutal mode:
Shoot the Messenger Brutal Mode Video Guide
My Cool Bay Explosions Achievement Video Guide
Extreme Nexism and Warp In Peace Achievements Video Guide