Arcturus Mengsk by barium56

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Arcturus Mengsk

By: barium56
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2017
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Arcturus Mengsk

Emperor of the Terran Dominion

Table of Contents
Arcturus Mengsk came to power by toppling the Terran Confederacy as it scrambled to defend against the invading Zerg and Protoss, condemning Sarah Kerrigan to Zerg infestation in the process. To him the ends justify the means, and he leads the newly formed Terran Dominion with that credo.

A long-range Support or a Mercenary Specialist that focuses on keeping himself alive.


Health: 1254 (+4% per level)
Health Regen: 2.72 (+4% per level)
Mana: 500 (+10 per level)
Mana Regen: 3 (+0.1 per level)

Attacks per Second: 1
Attack Range: 5.5
Attack Damage: 71 (+4% per level)

Personally, I don't think Mengsk is the cartoonishly evil and narcissistic person he can sometimes come across as. He’s ruthless and selfish, yes, but he's also incredibly talented, charismatic, intelligent, and the kind of person who gets things done and isn't afraid to make difficult decisions. Uniting all Terran colonies in the Koprulu Sector under one rule for the first time ever isn't something that just anybody could do. And I believe that he believes that he's doing what’s best for humanity, so he clearly does care for those other than himself. Just - not quite as much as for himself.

With that in mind, I wanted to make him a Support character, but one that always pays a bit more attention to keeping himself alive than others. At the same time, I also really wanted to showcase his skills at winning allies, raising armies, and building empires, so I decided to go with a Support/Specialist Multiclass character.

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Greater Inspiration

Heals 37 (+4% per level) Health per second, restores 2 Mana per second, and increases Spell Power and Attack Speed by 10%. Mengsk can use Abilities and Talents to grant Greater Inspiration to Heroes.
Any supporting Mengsk does would need to be based on his charisma, which is the thought behind Greater Inspiration (the similarity in name to Raynor's ability Inspire is absolutely intentional). It also felt right that his support would trade some defensiveness for offensiveness, so his base healing is low but he can potentially provide some good offensive utility. Mana restoration is also something we have very little of in the Nexus, so I think that's something that a number of Heroes will appreciate.

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Speaker Drone

Send a Speaker Drone to follow a Hero. Speaker Drone grants Greater Inspiration to its target when within melee range. Automatically returns to follow Mengsk and cannot follow other Heroes if Mengsk is below 815 (+4% per level) Health.
Mana: 15 per second
Range (Targeting):
Range (Leashing): 13
Mengsk needs a way to get his message to the people, which is what inspired Speaker Drone as his support tool. As I explored that concept, I started liking the idea of a Chromie-like Support - someone who is very weak close-quarters combat and stays as long range as they can, both because it's not something you see too much in the Nexus and because it fits Mengsk's character. I also liked the idea of making his drones into relatively fast-moving invulnerable units, so that even though he can heal at long range, the travel time ends up bringing some natural depth to decision-making. Having the drone automatically return is both for flavor, as Mengsk would want to heal himself first if he's anywhere near low Health, but also to provide counter-play to his healing. Because Mengsk can heal from so far away, getting some poke damage in can potentially neutralize his healing on allies.

Speaker Drone moves at 225% Movement speed (can be increased with a talent). Only costs 9 Mana per second if its target is at full Health (meaning it’s only boosting Attack Speed and Spell Power), and does not cost Mana when following Mengsk.

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Brave Sacrifice

Volunteer an ally to explode after 2 seconds, dealing 266 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies and half damage to the volunteer.
Mana: 65
Cooldown: 9 seconds
Area: 3.5 radius circle
As all characters need a way to deal some damage, it only made sense for Mengsk's damage dealing to require another ally to actually do the dirty work. Thus was he given Brave Sacrifice, sacrificing an ally to deal even more damage to his enemies, which is something he has done on multiple occasions in his past.

Like Living Bomb, it goes off immediately if the volunteer dies before the explosion.

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Insurance Policy

After a 0.5 second delay, deal 173 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies, stunning them for 1.25 seconds.
Passive: Deal 44 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies every 6 seconds.
Mana: 120
Cooldown: 32 seconds
6 radius circle
Mengsk needed a way to get out of trouble when it gets too close. Insurance Policy was inspired by his final cinematic (its name was taken directly from it, as well). Using an electric field to stun nearby enemies so he could make his escape felt right, and I also thought someone as security-conscious as Mengsk would want an early warning system, hence the periodic pulse. Not guaranteed protection from ganks, but the best security money can buy.

The passive pulse of Insurance Policy acts like Burning Rage (and similar talents) mechanically: it doesn’t affect Mercenaries unless Mengsk has actively engaged them, and the timer pauses while Mengsk is mounted. The timer appears to the right of the Hero Portrait (similar to things like Samuro’s Critical Strike counter)

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Dominion Contract

Purchase the services of all non-Boss Mercenaries at a camp, instantly defeating them. If then captured by an ally, the Mercenaries ignore their normal route and follow Mengsk instead. Mercenaries following Mengsk have their Health reduced by 40%.
Cooldown: 180 seconds
Specialists are usually classified as such due to their strengths outside of team-fighting, and this normally manifests itself as summoning and sieging. While an ability to summon soldiers could make sense, I felt that Mengsk would be much more interested in elite units, i.e. Mercenaries, and he'd want to save those elite units as his personal guard. This is what he focuses on if he goes the Specialist route.

Mercenaries following Mengsk will automatically attack any enemies that they can reach while remaining within 5 distance of Mengsk. If no enemy meets this criteria, or if Mengsk moves more than 5 distance from the Mercenaries, they will form into a circle around Mengsk, moving with him as he moves. While following Mengsk, mercenaries do not appear on the minimap (as they would when they use their normal route). Instead, as long as at least one Mercenary from a particular camp is following Mengsk, a special Mengsk icon appears next to the camp on the minimap.

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To The Front

Order all Mercenaries following Mengsk to travel down the nearest lane toward the enemy Core.
Mengsk needs to be able to use his mercs without leading them into battle himself and this allows him to do so. I really like the idea of moving mercs to different lanes, as well as the idea of stockpiling mercs to strategically release a giant push when enemy focus is elsewhere. This kind of "stealthy" split-pushing isn't something you see too much of outside of Abathur or Zagara, so I think it's a cool addition.

Mercenaries that have been sent down a lane with To the Front reappear on the minimap along with their path and trigger a visual and aural cue similar to the standard capture indicator.

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Nexus Address

Send Simulcast Drones to follow each other allied Hero. Simulcast Drones grant Greater Inspiration to their target when within melee range and last for 10 seconds, including travel time.
Mana: 160
Cooldown: 80 seconds
In thinking about Mengsk's Support Heroic, what made the most sense to me was Mengsk broadcasting a moving speech to the world. It also feels like a logical extension of his normal supporting. If he's close to the action, he can get his drones to his allies quickly so more of the duration is spent supporting rather than traveling. But Mengsk doesn't always want to be close to the action, so it creates a bit of strategic depth.

Simulcast Drones move at 225% Movement Speed (can be increased with a talent). If Speaker Drone is following another Hero when Nexus Address is activated, it automatically returns to follow Mengsk once the Simulcast Drone arrives.

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Place a Psi-Emitter that summons Zerg over time while alive. Summoned Zerg attack the Psi-Emitter, destroying it after 30 seconds. When the Psi-Emitter is destroyed, summoned Zerg travel down the nearest lane toward the enemy Core, attacking enemies in their path.
Mana: 190
Cooldown: 100 seconds
There was no way that Mengsk's Specialist Heroic could be anything but this. It too perfectly fits his lore, and it too perfectly fits the split-pushing that he's based around. I also really like the level 20 upgrade for this one, which boosts his stealth split-pushing to the max. While I’ve provided a lot of numbers on other abilities, on this one it would take a ton of time to determine what would be balanced numbers-wise (e.g. how many Zerg, how much Health each Zerg should have, Zerg attack damage, etc.), so for now I’m not going to venture into that territory.

Zerg are only summoned while the Psi-Emitter is alive. Enemies are alerted when the Psi-Emitter is placed, and the Psi-Emitter is revealed to enemies after 15 seconds (the Level 20 talent stops it from revealing itself at the 15 second mark). The Psi-Emitter and the summoned Zerg can be damaged by enemies while the Psi-Emitter is still alive - the Zerg won’t attack anything else until the Psi-Emitter is dead. Psi-Emitter’s cooldown doesn’t start to refresh until the Psi-Emitter has been destroyed. While Psi-Emitter is still alive, reactivating the ability destroys the Psi-Emitter, releasing the Zerg early.

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Talent Tree
Level 1 Talents

Invigorating Oration
Increases Speaker Drone’s range by 2.2 and increases Greater Inspiration's healing to 74 (+4% per level) per second.
Quest: Every 5 seconds Mengsk is alive, Greater Inspiration’s healing increases by 2%, up to 100%. This bonus is lost on death.
Call to Action
Increases Greater Inspiration’s bonus Spell Power and Attack Speed to 20%.
Quest: Every 5 seconds Mengsk is alive, Greater Inspiration’s healing increases by 2% and Dominion Contract’s cooldown recharges 2% faster, up to 100%. This bonus is lost on death.
Whatever it Takes
Reduces Dominion Contract’s cooldown by 90 seconds and Mengsk gains 10 Armor.
Quest: Every 5 seconds Mengsk is alive, Dominion Contract’s cooldown recharges 2% faster, up to 100%. This bonus is lost on death.

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Level 4 Talents

Customer Loyalty
Using Dominion Contract to defeat a Mercenary camp increases the damage of those Mercenaries by 30% for each time it was previously defeated by Dominion Contract.
Long Arm of the Invisible Hand
Increases Dominion Contract’s range to global and it no longer requires vision. Dominion Contract can be reactivated to capture the defeated camp, but the Mercenaries will follow their normal route instead of following Mengsk.
Man of the People
Quest: Granting Greater Inspiration to other Heroes for 14 seconds increases Greater Inspiration’s Mana restoration by 0.1 per second, up to 3 per second. This 14 second timer is reset and does not progress when Mengsk is granted Greater Inspiration.
Heroic Survivors
Quest: Have Brave Sacrifice's volunteer live through its explosion and damage at least two enemy Heroes.
Reward: After performing this 5 times, using Brave Sacrifice on a Hero grants that Hero Greater Inspiration for 4 seconds.
Reward: After performing this 10 times, using Brave Sacrifice on a Hero grants that Hero Greater Inspiration for 6 seconds, and Brave Sacrifice no longer damages the volunteer.

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Level 7 Talents

Desperate Times
Speaker Drone automatically follows Mengsk and cannot target other Heroes when he is below 437 (+4% per level) Health instead of 815 (+4% per level) Health.
Greater Inspiration's effects are increased by 20% on Mengsk. This bonus increases to 40% while Speaker Drone cannot follow other Heroes.
Really Sticks With You
If Greater Inspiration lasts at least 9 consecutive seconds on a target, it lingers for 4 seconds after it would normally end.
Forced Recruitment
Dominion Contract can be used on unspawned Mercenary camps to instantly respawn and defeat its Mercenaries. Respawning a Mercenary camp this way increases the cooldown of Dominion Contract by 50%, and it cannot be used when Mercenary camps are despawned due to a map objective event.

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Level 13 Talents

Anti-Ghost Protocol
Increases the radius of Insurance Policy by 1.2 and reduces the time between passive pulses by 3 seconds.
Premium Feature
Enemies damaged by Insurance Policy are slowed by 40% for 1 second. If stunned by Insurance Policy's activation, the slow occurs after the stun fades.
Media Blackout
Activating Insurance Policy grants Mengsk Stealth and increases his Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds. For the first second, he is Unrevealable and can pass through other units.
Waxing Electric
Activating Insurance Policy grants Greater Inspiration to up to 2 of the lowest Health Heroes nearby for 6 seconds.

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Level 16 Talents

Them’s Fightin’ Words
Cooldown: 40 seconds
Activate to increase Greater Inspiration’s bonus Spell Power and Attack Speed by an additional 20% for 4 seconds but disable its healing and Mana restoration for for 8 seconds.
Miniaturized Hyperflight Rotors
Increases Speaker Drone’s Movement Speed from 225% to 325%.
Contingency Plan
Mengsk's Level 1 quest now progresses 150% faster.
Polystyrene Foam
Brave Sacrifice deals an additional 75% damage over 5 seconds to enemies.

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Storm Talents

I Rule This Nexus
Greater Inspiration grants 30 Armor for the duration of Nexus Address. Increases Simulcast Drones’ Movement Speed from 225% to 325%.
Burn This Nexus to Ashes
Increases Psi-Emitter’s range to global and it no longer reveals itself to enemies. Increases the concentration of Ultralisks and Guardians and decreases the concentration of other Zerg units.
Our Snake Now
Range: Global
Activate to instantly defeat and capture a Boss Mercenary camp, or convert a captured enemy Boss Mercenary into an ally. Converting a captured enemy Boss Mercenary also reduces its Health by 50%. Can only be used once.
Weaponized Storm Shield
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Area: 6 radius circle
Activate to gain a Shield that absorbs 564 (+4% per level) damage over 3 seconds. Upon expiration or breaking, deal damage to nearby enemies equal to 75% of the damage absorbed.

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Soldier94 | July 15, 2017 8:41am
I see what you did with the Level 20 Heroic upgrades...
barium56 | July 16, 2017 1:33pm
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