Starcraft II: Zerg Units

Every time I write about Stacraft I find it difficult, not because I’m incapable, or the task too large, but simply because its hard to put such an immense game into a few words. As any Starcraft player knows, there alot more to the game than hitpoints and armor, or attack and range, the more you become acquianted with the units themselves the more you realize this.

The Xel’ Naga were a race of godlike aliens who traveled the universe creating life in the hope of one day giving birth to a “perfect race”. Both the Protoss and the Zerg are creations of the Xel’ Naga in this attempt, although the Protoss were created first and considered to be a failure due to thier aggresive nature and civil strife. The Zerg were created to be a “hive mind” with the swarm controlled by an intelligent overmind, this was a success, so much so in fact, that the Zerg exterminated thier Xel’ Naga creators in a swift and brutal attack. The Zerg are much the same in the game, a race of aggresive aliens with a resemblance to insects on steroids.

The Zerg, in my opinion, are the most difficult race to play in Starcraft, you usually end up controlling twice the units than other players, and the frigality of these carapace armored aliens usually means most other units can destroy them with relative ease. The mighty Zerg are also poor defenders, and rely on vast amounts of units over a fixed defense, this then forces you to be aggressive and in turn continuously attacking your opponent. These characteristics lead to a diverse and dangerous group of units under your control, all of which made for one sole purpose. To kill.

The Zerg have several innate characteristics which give them an advantage over the Protoss or Terrans. Firstly they may have lower hitpoints and armor in general than other units, but they can regenerate health over time. They also have the ability to burrow underground to hide from enemy units, this is a huge advantage in a strategy game if you are devious enough to exploit it. Another interesting feature is that all the Zerg units can be created from a single building called the Hatchery, which means there’s no need to have unit specific buildings which allows you to churn out units at a much faster rate. All things considered, the Zerg are a difficult race to play, and not for beginners, but once you get accustomed to the numerous unique characteristics they become a fearsome tool of war. The below list is a compilation of Zerg units that are making a new appearance in Starcraft II, keep in mind the list is only new or “changed” units, and does not represent the Zerg in its entirety.


Corruptor: The corrupter is a new Zerg air unit that resembles a squid gone terrible, terribly wrong. 200px-corruptor_sc2_art1Although not a particularly strong unit, the corrupter has the unique ability to turn anything it kills into a stationary floating Zerg turret that attacks enemies for a short period of time. This makes it the ideal counter for such units as the Terran Banshee or Protoss Void Ray, which kill buildings quickly.

Infestor: One of the new and most deadly units available to the Zerg is the Infestor. The Infestor a support infestor_sc2_devgame2unit which has the ability to burrow underground to avoid enemy fire, and can use its special abilities both above and below ground. The first ability the infestor uses is “plague” which acts similar to the defilers plague attack from the original game. The second ability, and most dangerous, is “Neural Parasite” which gives the Infestor control of a targeted unit for 10 seconds. The infestor also has the awesome ability to create infested marines, which act the same as the normal marine except move much slower and have a limited lifespan.

Brood Lord: The Brood Lord is the beefed up replacement to the Zerg Guardian, spawned from the broodlord_sc2_devgame1Mutalisk. The Brood Lord is essentially as close to a capital ship as the Zerg are going to get, which a ton of hitpoints and armor. This unit also has the strange ability to spawn a broodling from each attack, which does minor melee damage and acts as a “meat shield” to soak up damage. There is still a fair bit of speculation on what the final form of this unit will be after beta testing.

Overlord: The Zerg Overlord is generally the same as the unit in the original game, but has undergone 200px-overlord_sc2_rend3enough changes to be mentioned. This unit is no longer a detector, it must evolve into an Overseer to gain detection abilities, this is due to the Overlord being too easy a detector to acquire in Starcraft I. Secondly, the Overlord now has the ability to create a patch of creep on its own, which is great for expanding into areas and also preventing enemy contruction.

Overseer: The Overseer evolves from the Zerg Overlord to act as a detector and gain access to a few 200px-overseer_sc2_rend2unique abilities. This unit also moves much faster than the Overlord and its sight is increased whenever it is not moving. The first ability available to the Overseer is to spawn a “changeling” which is a special Zerg spy unit that can take on the appearance of any basic enemy it approaches. The second ability is the creation of a Nydus Worm, which can be placed on creep and allows Zerg units to be transported from one location to another much like a Nydus Canal. The last unique ability is the Spore Cloud which can impair line of sight of the enemy for a period of time in a small area.

Changeling: This is a cool new unit available to the Zerg which is spawned by an Overseer. Once spawnedoh_and_btw__im_a_spy_by_delkral the changeling resembles a small agile Zerg unit, but it instantly changes to resemble an enemy unit the second it comes into contact with one. It will always change into a “basic” unit, so if it runs into a Tank it will change into a Marine, or if it runs into a building it will do the same thing. The only downside to this sneaky spy unit is the short times life it has, other than that its a great way to scout out an enemy base.

Queen: Although this unit shares the same name as the unit in original Starcraft its so different the only 200px-queen_sc2_devrend2resemblance is.. well, the name. The Queen is spawned from the Hatchery, it does not hatch, it actually walks out of the Hatchery, Cool eh. The Queen is also no longer a flying unit, it is now a large ground unit with a powerful attack, and acts as almost a “hero” unit. The first ability the queen has is called “Creep Tumor” which is a structure that quickly extends the creep like a Creep Colony in original Starcraft. The next ability is “Spawn Larva” which instantly creates new larva at the targeted hatchery, these extra larva also grow faster than normal ones. The last ability is called “Transfusion” which instantly heals the targeted unit or structure for 200 hit points.

Roach: The Roach is one of the cooler new units implemented in Starcraft II for the Zerg. The Zerg Roach200px-roach_sc2_rend1 is basically a light ground unit with very heavy armor and an incredibly fast health regeneration. This means the Roach is extremely strong against even ground of units or in smaller skirmishes, but can be killed by focus fire by a group of units. This makes the Roach a very strong or weak unit depending on the situation and a great asset when used wisely.

Ultralisk: While still a giant Zerg juggernaut of destruction, the Ultralisk has gotten a few new upgrades in 200px-ultralisk_sc2_rend1Starcraft II. Unlike its lumbering predecessor, the Ultralisk now has the ability to burrow along with the rest of the Zerg ground units. Besides this, its attack now does cleave damage to multiple targets at once and bonus damage to buildings, making it an ideal siege weapon. Its great size also allows it to walk over units, although doing this does not damage them.

Baneling: The Baneling is a very dangerous unit that evolves from the Zergling when researched. This unit 200px-baneling_sc2_devrend3is essentially a living bomb that moves towards its target and explodes in a spray of corrosive acid, dealing massive damage in a small radius. This unit moves slowly at first, but can be upgraded to roll quickly towards enemy units, giving them little time to react. They are particularly dangerous when burrowed underground due to their ability to pop up in the middle of enemy units or explode underground like an acidic landmine.

There it is, a quick look at everyone’s favorite race, the mighty Zerg! Don’t take these unit descriptions to heart though, because there have been numerous unit changes and adjustments as the game is being continuously developed and balanced. There are also a few original units that had minor changes, but not major enough to be mentioned here, and there are a series of new buildings as well. I hope this quick look into the world of the Zerg has given you the information you desire, stay tuned for more updates and articles on Gamer Syndrome!

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  1. So what way is there to protect a zerg from the weakness of long-range attacks? A large amount of long-range attackers can take a large chunk out of a zerg before it gets close enough to do any damage, unless sheer numbers is the defense as per usual. XD

  2. Organization, the Zerg have always had a few ways to deal with Siege Tanks and other long ranged units. The Guardian air unit has a very long range and kills pretty much any ground unit easily. I mean, in the original Starcraft, there wasn’t a single ground unit that could safely approach Siege Tanks that were set up properly, the Protoss, Terran and Zerg didn’t have anything. You have to use air units or some other counter.

    And hopefully in Starcraft II the Zerg will be able to deal with a few Zealots that run into their base early on hahah.(that was an interesting game)

  3. Expect my rushing to involve a huge amount of zergs buried where you are most likely to expand. And while I distract you from afar, I’ll just slip in and tear something apart. XD

    Concealed units are at their most dangerous when you don’t think about them.

  4. That wouldn’t be a bad strategy against most enemies, except that Photon Cannons are detectors and I play Protoss online haha.

    By the time you’ve built a Lair, researched burrow,and built enough units, I’ll have a few dozen Cannons and be building Carriers from inside em. It’s simple and probably cheap as hell, but it works awesome because nothing gets through tons of cannons fast and nothing can really stop a large enough group of upgradedcarriers.

  5. Yah Zerg looks like they have a much better arsenal now to inflict a mass amount of damage. Just like Protoss and the Reaver Zerg now has the Baneling it can be used the same way with overlords dropping them into a base and inflicting huge damage. Im not a huge fan of Zergs and dont play them much but they look like a force to be reckoned with in Starcraft 2.

  6. haha varus and organization waving starcraft epeens at each other ๐Ÿ˜€
    naw the zerg are gonna be sick this game, i thought they were awesome in the original SC too, but the new units are cool.. the infestor and corrupter look awesome.

  7. Haha I’m not trying to pretend to be good at Starcraft, I’m just a quasi-noob like most guys I know at it. I can’t really build a base and direct units at the same time, I kind of prefer strategy games where you focus on directing units rather than building them, like Rome Total War.

  8. haha… yah we will have to have a small tourny once we all get the game or if we all end up on the Starcraft 2 beta.. but im sure ill kick all your A$$es with any race ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Hopefully I’ll have a decent internet connection by then. I’m stile stuck on what I have aptly-named as “Fail-up”, and my computer sucks as well due to bottlenecked RAM XD. Takes forever for The Sims 2 to load up.

    Great, now I want to go and play Command and Conquer now. ๐Ÿ˜›

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