The Crucible is the second Zerus mission in Heart of the
Swarm and one of the few missions you will have to perform without having access to Kerrigan. This is a
survival mission which tasks players with defending Kerrigan's Chrysalis for 30 minutes while under attack
from multiple directions from primal Zerg.
This mission is actually much easier when you ignore the constant badgering from the computer urging you to make
Swarm Hosts and units to defend the Chrysalis and instead focus primarily on Spine and Spore Crawlers. Since most
of the attacks are ground units and all 3 entrances to the Chrysalis are at the top of ramps, lining each ramp with
Spine Crawlers makes this mission a breeze. After you secure your base after the first two attacks, you can just
mass up Spine and Spore Crawlers and coast through the mission with ease.
The Crucible - Kerrigan Levels
Completing The Crucible mission will result in +10 levels for Kerrigan. There is also 1 bonus level which can be
earned by defeating the Tyrannozor enemy that spawns at the bottom of the map at about the 11-12 minute mark in the
mission. He is easily defeated by building 12-18 Mutalisks with the Sundering Glaive mutation (you can select this
before the mission). You can fly them over all the enemy units, ignoring them, and just burn down the
Starcraft 2 The Crucible Achievement List
There are 4 achievements available for players to unlock during The Crucible mission:
The Crucible: Unlocked by completing all mission objectives in The Crucible mission (any
Epic Meal Time: Unlocked by killing 75+ enemy units with the Primal Spawn Locusts ability in
"The Crucible" mission (any difficulty). This is the 2 minute activation ability you can find at the top right of
your screen. Activate it a few times throughout the mission and you will get this achievement without any
Can't Touch This Chrysalis: Unlocked by preventing the Chrysalis from taking any damage during
mission (Normal difficulty or higher). This is actually quite easy even on brutal mode if you follow the
step-by-step walkthrough and video guide shown in the section below.
Short Life Expectancy: Unlocked by defeating the Tyrannozor in under 1 minute after it appears
in "The Crucible" mission (Hard difficulty or higher). The Tyrannozor is really weak versus Mutalisks with the
Sundering Glaive evolution (you can change this at the Evolution Pit), as this causes each Mutalisk attack to deal
18 damage per shot. You only need to build about 10 Mutalisks by the 11:00 mark, and have them ready to go in and
take out Tyrannozor as soon as he spawns.
Starcraft 2 Short Life Expectancy Video Guide
The Crucible Brutal Mode Guide
The Crucible is not too difficult when you realize this mission is more like a tower defense game then a regular
mission. You just want to make a huge amount of Spine and Spore Crawlers without actually worrying too much about
getting units. A handful of Mutalisks is all you need to pick off any stragglers or shore up any weak points,
whereas Queens are nice since they can heal your crawlers in between offensive waves.
Here is a step-by-step strategy that you can follow in order to beat this mission on brutal mode with ease.
There is also a video walkthrough at the bottom of the page.
Step By Step Guide
The toughest part by far of this mission is the first 5 minutes, so read this part carefully.
First, do not lose any Swarm Hosts on the way to the beacon with Kerrigan. Follow the video guide at the
bottom of the page if you are struggling with the micro.
As soon as the mission starts, pull the workers off gas and have them harvest minerals. Train more Drones
and send them to the mineral line.
Move your two starting Spine Crawlers and root them at the top of the western ramp into your base. Move
your Swarm Hosts there as well and burrow them.
Plant a few Creep tumors with your starting Queen. Throughout the mission, slowly spread your creep tumors
all over the map.
Keep training Drones and using them for minerals. When you get 400 minerals, pull 4 Drones and build 4 more
Spine Crawlers at top of the western ramp to your base.
Keep training Drones. Your Spine Crawlers and Swarm hosts will hold off the western entrance.
As soon as you get 1100 minerals, pull 11 Drones off the mineral line and build 11 Spine
Crawlers at the top of the eastern ramp to your base.
At about the 6:00 mark, take 4 Drones and build 4 Spore Crawlers right around the starting spore crawler in
the south eastern portion of your base. This is a common avenue for air attack, so you want to reinforce
Once you fend off the second attack, if you like, you can expand to the northeastern location. This is not
necessary though to complete the mission.
Reinforce the western ramp to your base, adding about 5 more Spine Crawlers and 3-4 Spore Crawlers at the
Spawn the Primal Locusts in order to give your newly created Spine and Spore Crawlers time to finish
As you are pulling Drones off the line to make more crawlers, be sure you are taking the time to build more
Drones to keep your base saturated.
Spawn the Primal Locusts to help defend against the 4th Primal Zerg Wave.
Be sure you are spreading the Creep all over your base, especially to where the blocked Southern ramp is
At around the 12:00 mark, you should be building a few Queens to support your Spine and Spore Crawlers.
Also, work on adding a bunch of Spine Crawlers and Spore Crawlers at the southern entrance to your base.
Build a second Hatchery in your main in order to help improve your Drone production abilities.
Spawn the Primal Locusts a third time in order to hold off the "pincer attack" that occurs around
By 14:00, you should be mostly saturated at your base(s) and be focusing on adding a lot of Spine Crawlers
at each ramp entrance and Spore Crawlers everywhere else. You particularly want to line the small connecting
piece at the edge of Kerrigan's pool that connects the western ramp with the southern ramp with Spore Crawlers
to prevent air units from sneaking into your base.
By 16:00, you want to build about 10 Spine Crawlers and 6 Spore Crawlers at the eastern expansion (if you
took that expansion). It will get attacked eventually so you should be prepared.
By 19:00, all entrances and your expansion (should you have gotten it) should be pretty secure. At this
point, train about 5 Queens for each location (5 at the southern ramp, 5 at the eastern ramp, 5 at the western
ramp, and 5 for the expansion). Keep adding Spine and Spore crawlers as you can afford them.
Finally, at around 21:00 on the game clock, reinforce the eastern area between the southern ramp and
eastern ramp with a few Spore Crawlers. From here, you should be on cruise control to complete the last 5:00
remaining before Kerrigan awakens.
If you want to earn the bonus level, this is the time to train about 20 Mutalisks which you can use to run
in and burst down the Tyrannozor. You should have plenty of gas built up since we used minerals almost
exclusively during this mission.
The Crucible Brutal Mode Video Guide
If you are still struggling with this mission, the base layout shown in this Brutal Mode video walkthrough for
The Crucible should make things a lot easier: