Nukes are an ability that every hero has and as it says on the tin, drops a nuke on the desired location. The nuke is a tool used mainly for large area clearing, at its core. A variety of talents and masteries can modify how the nuke reacts, how much overall damage, or even specific damage.
- 1 Nuke Stats
- 2 Perk Synergies
- 3 Things to think about when nuking
Nukes are very versatile in how they act in the game. They have the ability to do large amounts of flat damage, extra damage vs certain units, or even refund you for not hurting allies.
Damage (to type)
A few talents, masteries, and perks allow you to do more damage to certain things, like Psionic, or buildings. Note that the bonus is averaged if a unit matches two or more damage types.
- CP Nukes (Doomsday): +110 vs. Structure (each, x30 max)
- Hellwalker Enemy Nukes: +1000 Damage
- Pyrokinetics: +30 Damage (each, x5 max)
- Pyromaniac: +200 Damage
- Radical Restructuring: +600 vs. Structure (each, x2 max)
- Electrostatic Fallout: +1500 vs. Psionic, +900 vs. Heroic
Mercenary Perk: +250 DamageRemoved in 14.9
- Nuke Mastery: +600 vs. Heroic
- Grand Slam Mastery: +750 vs. Structure
Nuke build speed
Nukes build fairly slowly, but some talents and masteries can improve build time, to make it rain on the enemy.
- Improved Silos: -27 (each, x2 max)
Some talents and masteries can lower the cost of nukes. Note that some masteries provide talents for free, rather than reducing the cost directly.
- Hellwalker Penalty: +3675
- Oldschool Penalty: +2250
- Improved Silos: -100 (each, x2 max)
- Nuclear Winter: -15 (each, x15 stacks max)
- Weapons of Mass Destruction: -250
- Armageddon Mastery: -1000
Dune's regular nukes and Doomsday nukes launch much faster nukes than normal.
- Non-Delayed Gratification: -3 (each, x3 max)
- Doomsday nukes: -10
Radius is important for nukes, as it allows for more damage overall, and helps clear larger areas.
- Nuke Mastery: +1 Inner Radius, +1.5 Middle Radius, +3 Outer Radius
Damage in area
Modifying the damage in the area is also important to get if you focus on nuking. As it stands, the farther out of the center of the nuke area you're at, the less damage you take.
- Massive Blast: removes the damage penalty found in middle and outer radius damages.
- Epi Center: Increases damage in the inner radius by 1.4x
Having one nuke is your standard minimum, but you are able to increase that to two nukes at the same time.
- Weapons of Mass Destruction: Increases the silo count to 2
Nuke placement range
If you don't like getting in too close to mark a nuke, then you may either opt out of nuking at that time, altogether, or take something that'll help you with your targeting range: Nuke Mastery. Nuke Mastery gives you a larger blast radius, global nuke targeting (within ally vision), and less cost.
With Rainmaker, every 6th nuke a player launches will spawn a battlecruiser. Additionally, each nuke provides a 5% chance of spawning a a battlecruiser.
Protoss Heroes get a chance to spawn additional Nexus Exiles with their nukes once they acquire the "Advance" talent. Every 8th nuke will spawn a new wave of Nexus Exiles. Additionally, each nuke provides a 4% chance of spawning a new wave of Nexus Exiles.
Perks help add bonuses to your hero at the beginning of the game and make the early game a little easier. However, while this does apply to nukes, nuking early game isn't conceivable as the cost per nuke is too high and damage too low to make it worth the time. If you plan to use nukes through the entire game, you must commit to it and focus on picking every nuke augmentation you possibly can to maximize effectiveness. This is rarely done, as it's not very cost effective, and you sacrifice a lot on your hero's damage, health, etc. for your nukes.
Perks that affect nukes:
- Onslaught, adds 20% more damage to spells like nuke
- Guidance, adds 5% more damage per stack to spells like nuke
Things to think about when nuking
Nukes are a very tricky entity to deal with, as you have to account for a lot of things when nuking. Since the mineral cost of nukes are usually high, you need to make sure you get the most out of them for the least amount of problems.
Friendly Fire is a stat counted by the game for nukes dropped and damage done to ally units (or yourself) and buildings. Nuke damage to enemies will show white in chat, and yellow for ally damage. It is very easy to nuke, thinking that you will clear the area with it, but by the time the nuke starts falling, ally AI's will be walking into the blast radius like it was never going to happen.
Alternatively, an ally hero may get swarmed and stuck from surrounding enemies and cannot escape the nuke in time. When Nuking, be extra careful of your surroundings and take a second to evaluate your situation before nuking to get that massacre bonus. Usually, the large red reticle on the ground is warning enough to leave the vicinity, but announcing your nukes isn't a bad idea either.
If a nuke does 2500 damage total and doesn't hit any friendly units, it is considered a surgical strike. If you have the corresponding talent, it will provide 3 times the square root of the damage, which is usually anywhere from 150-500 minerals for exceptional nukes. If you also have the Doomsday perk, it will launch an extra Doomsday nuke, which upgrades automatically over time.
Nukes are very slow to land, and as stated above, ally AI can easily walk into the blast radius after their current target is dead, walking to their death. The time it takes between launch and impact is very long, roughly 20 seconds. When nuking a moving target (usually a main objective boss), try to head off the target's advance by about 5 seconds as they will often stop or slow down to attack something along the way.
Dune can reduce this down to 11 seconds with his Non-Delayed Gratification talents.
Object(s) of Interest
Sometimes nuking where you are isn't the best idea. While it may clear a lot of buildings, it can possibly cause more problems than you're ready for. Each building destroyed spawns units, and some spawn some really powerful units. If you happen to destroy too much or a primary objective that spawns extremely powerful units, you and your allies may end up regretting sticking around to clean up.
Try not to nuke buildings or ramps that only have one current exit, as you may end up putting someone in a bad situation into another, or worse. Dying in Normal mode isn't too bad of a problem, but when you play higher difficulty modes your life counts are limited, and the bonuses from staying alive or kill streaks are extremely important or helpful. Even if one were to survive a nuke, the damage done is rather large and even a small swarm of easily killed targets might be enough to take your ally down.
Nukes are very expensive and time consuming to make without modding them. With the base cost of each nuke costing over 1000 minerals each, you're looking at a lot of time playing for about 5 minutes minimum to earn a single nuke. Chances are you'll end up getting a talent or mastery that will require some extra money on the side like Lightweight Equipment Mastery, so you need to find a way to increase your income.