Starcraft 2 Shoot the Messenger Brutal & Achievements Guide

Starcraft 2 Campaign Guide --> Heart of the Swarm Campaign Guide --> Shoot the Messenger (you are here)

Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodShoot 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 units.
  • 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 Peace achievement).
  • 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 upgrades.
  • 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 healing.
  • 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 necessity!

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 this mission.

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

Click Here for The Osiris Method