Waking the Ancient is the first mission on the planet Zerus
in the Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm campaign. This mission is very similar to the Welcome to the Jungle
achievement from the Wings of Liberty campaign in that there are 13 objectives on the map that you can capture
with a worker. You need to get 7 total, whereas if the enemy (Brakk's forces) destroys 7 total, you lose the
There is no time limit in this mission as long as you are able to prevent Brakk's forces from destroying the
food sources for the Ancient. After you wake the ancient, you will have to fight Brakk, so you will want to build
up a decent sized army before you start capturing the food sources.
I strongly recommend using primarily Mutalisks during this mission. There is a lot more gas here than usual,
which makes massing up Mutalisks viable. Additionally, there is very little anti-air on this map, so Mutalisks can
attack most of the units without fear of being hit back. Finally, Mutalisks are fast and can fly over the ground
with ease, making them ideal to defend the food sources from attack.
Waking the Ancient - Kerrigan Levels
Waking the Ancient does not directly earn you any Kerrigan levels in and of itself. You can earn 3 Kerrigan
bonus levels by collecting the 3 Primal Essences, marked on the map below with blue circles:
Starcraft 2 Waking the Ancient Achievement List
There are 4 achievements available for players to unlock during the Waking the Ancient mission:
Waking the Ancient: Unlocked by completing all mission objectives in the Waking the
Ancient mission (any difficulty).
A Game of Drones: Unlocked not losing more than 3 Drones during the mission (any difficulty).
Just make sure each Drone has an escort party and this is not difficult. Make sure Kerrigan or a few Queens are
used to defend each Drone and not just Mutalisks, as the units with no anti-air attack will ignore the Mutalisks
and go right for the Drone.
Rude Awakening: Unlocked by killing 4 Primal Hives in the "Waking the Ancient" mission (Normal
difficulty or higher). Late in the game, once you have a Mutalisks pack, just fly around the map and clear
everything out. If you are using air units to explore the southwestern quadrant, you will find all the Primal
Hives. You will want 24+ Mutalisks before doing this in order to have the firepower you need.
Whack-a-Brakk: Unlocked by preventing Brakk's forces from destroying any of the Biomass (Hard
difficulty or higher). Using Mutalisks and not trying to gather any of the Biomass until you are nearly maxed out
is the easiest way to do this. Here is a video guide demonstrating this strategy in action:
Waking the Ancient Brutal Mode Guide
Waking the Ancient is one of the easier missions to beat on Brutal mode if you use Mutalisks, expand early, and
collect all the Vespene pellets that you see. Below, you will find a step-by-step text guide as well
as a video walkthrough for beating this mission on Brutal mode:
Step By Step Guide
As soon as the mission starts, start making Drones and harvesting minerals and gas. Do not stop this until
all your mineral patches and geysers are fully saturated.
Take your starter Queen and drop a Creep tumor at the south exit to your base. There is already one at
the east exit. Throughout the mission, spread the creep. You particularly want to spread it in front of
While you are building Drones, use Kerrigan and your starting Queen to clear out the expansion directly to
the south. Expand there early and saturate that expansion as well. Make sure you pull the Quillgors a bit away
from the expansion, as you do not want to harvest that biomass yet but you also do not want it to block the
Add a few Queens as soon as you can. You may have to temporarily cut Drone production to get a few Queens
The Queens plus Kerrigan can be used to defend against the first few Brakk attempts to destroy the enemy
At this point, you should still have not attempted to capture any Biomass. Just keep building up Drones and
Research air armor and weapon upgrades and build an extra Hatchery.
You should have saturated both expansions, have a third Hatchery, and be working on air upgrades by the
Build about 8 Spine Crawlers, 4 Spore Crawlers, and 2 Queens at the southern entrance to your expansion.
This will get attacked a lot, not only by standard enemy attacks but also enemy attacks trying to destroy the
Biomass that you should have left from the beginning of the mission.
Use Kerrigan, a few Queens, and whatever Mutalisks you have to clear out the least-defended portions of the
map. This will allow you to get all the Kerrigan levels and collect a large amount of Vespene Gas pellets.
Note: Vespene Gas pellets make this mission much easier, but they are often hidden inside
the trees and brush and are hard to see. However, they are all marked on the mini-map with a small white
dot. Use the mini-map to find vespene pellets.
Once you have about 36 Mutalisks, you can start using Drones (1 at a time) to gather Biomass. Kerrigan
and 12 Mutalisks can defend your Drone, while the other 24 Mutalisks can be used to stop any attempts by
Brakk to destroy the Biomass.
While this is going on, you should be training more Mutalisks.
Once you run out of gas, use some of your extra minerals to build a wall of Spine Crawlers in front of the
Ancient. After you harvest the 7th Biomass, Brakk will attack with a wave of forces, heading right for the
Once Brakk runs to the Ancient, he will run into your wall of Spine Crawlers. These can do a lot of damage
in a short amount of time, and you can use Kerrigan and your Mutalisks to finish Brakk off while he is trying
to deal with the Spine Crawlers.
Waking the Ancient Brutal Mode Video Guide
Here is a video guide demonstrating how to execute the strategy above, while also unlocking the A Game of Drones
and Rude Awakening Achievements: