Swarming around like angry bees, the Zerg of StarCraft II have the same
effective tactics that they do in the first game -- dominant basic
troops, strength in numbers, and fantastic raiding abilities. 
The Zerg have the least amount of changes to their basic gameplay, but
the macromanagement of your base and use of abilities on units like
Infestors and Banelings is essential to turn the tide against players
that use abilities of their respective races.  

Using slow, potent units is always troublesome, but the Zerg can make
their lives easier by spreading the Creep.  Spreading Creep
only enabled building production before, but it now gives all Zerg
ground forces a sizable speed boost.  Zerg production still
revolves around the Hatchery, and it produces Larvae of which every
unit except the Queen originates from.  Larvae is produced at
a set rate from each Hatchery, and once 3 idle larvae are at the
hatchery, no further production will occur until the current ones are
used.  This enables the Zerg to stockpile larvae until a key
building finishes, and then produce 3 of that unit!  

But what units can you produce in the sequel, you ask?  Let's
break down our favorite aliens' weapons of destruction.

Land Combat - Might is

Zerglings -

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style="font-style: italic;">They slice, they dice, and they
explode.  Such creative aliens!

The iconic swarm unit returns!  They're still 50 minerals and
you get two from each egg, and the Hotkey is still
Z.   They still have no armor, 35 HP, and do 5 damage
an attack.  Despite everything on paper being the exact same,
Zerglings are now far more dangerous than they were in the first
game.  Unit pathing has been greatly improved, so if you grab
50 Zerglings and give them an attack command that is more than a
screen's distance away, they no longer line up and file into battle one
at a time!  In addition, new unit surround AI has given them a
great advantage with their superior numbers.  So long as they
can out run a target, they will automatically surround and destroy
targets rather than bump into each other endlessly trying to get to the
front of a target.  These buffs alone give Zerglings a
fantastic edge over their previous incarnation, and if you need more
out of them, you can still give them movement and attack speed upgrades.

Banelings -
The Zerglings are sick of being the rank and file sacrificial grunts,
and decided to take it to the next level.  For a piddly 25
minerals and gas, you can turn a Zergling into a real suicide
combatant.  Banelings are slower than Zerglings and still only
have 35 HP, but upon reaching their target they explode violently for
20 damage in a fairly wide area of effect.  They also do a
bonus 15 damage to light units such as workers, Zealots, and Marines.

The main reason to use these is to demolish a heavy line of Zealots,
Zergilngs, or Marines, and if they reach their targets, they do just
that in spectacular fashion!  Detonation doesn't damage your
own units, and if they're killed prematurely, they don't explode at
all.  They can burrow just like their predecessor, and
surprise those on the surface with the same explosion with no risk of
being killed first!  A devastating unit... if it reaches its
target.  You can upgrade the speed of these at the Baneling
Lair, which only requires a Spawning Pool to build.  You can
get these relatively early and they have a special attack versus
buildings, making them highly potent against building wall-ins to break
those pesky techers.

Roaches -
Like the Roach itself, the Roach is incredibly durable. 
Sporting an impressive 145 HP and 1 armor, the Roach is your ideal
front line tank-type unit.  They deal a fairly high amount of
damage, but have one of the lowest attack speeds in the game which
makes their offensive potency quite low unless microed to burst single
targets down instantly.  They only cost 75 minerals and 25
gas, and shockingly, only 1 population!  All you need to
produce these is a Roach Warren, which is the next step after a
Spawning Pool.  

When burrowed, they regenerate HP at an amazing rate.  Several
upgrades exist, which upgrade their movement speed, regeneration speed,
and even give them the ability to move while burrowed! 
Durable as they are, they are considered Armored units, which have
several potent counters.  Massing these can be a winning
strategy early, but typically ends in colossal failure.  Use
them to support your more damaging units, not to dish out the damage

- Firing spines at a high rate, the Hydralisk is your bread and butter
ranged unit.  It does high damage from a safe range, now doing
13 damage a shot, and no longer carries the old penalty versus smaller
units that it did in StarCraft.  Unfortunately all of this
power comes with an increased cost, the Hydralisk now costs 100
minerals, 50 gas, and 2 population.  They've also lost their
speed upgrade, making spreading the Creep that much more
essential.  They still have the range upgrade though to make
them the most versatile and dangerous ranged unit in the game, and
massing them is still somewhat viable against opponents of moderate
skill.  Most counters to Light units can't even reach the
Hydralisk to begin with, but spells demolish their puny 80 HP
count.  They also require a Lair before you can build the
Hydralisk Den, making them a little slower to reach the battlefield.

- Towering over everything, the Ultralisk is a 600 HP
behemoth.  With its massive blades, the Ultralisk now deals
splash damage in a wide radius with every attack.  This comes
at a cost of raw damage though, and the Ultralisk only deals 18 base
damage with each attack.  When taking it to a building or
defensive structure, the Ultralisk forgoes the blades for a good ol'
fashioned headbutt, which deals massive damage and brings down
buildings at an absurd rate.  These units still have the
potential to be the highest Armor units in the game, shrugging off
Marine fire and Zealot blades to almost no effect.  

Sadly, with all of the counters to Armored units in the game, the
Ultralisk's toughness really doesn't shine on the battlefield to nearly
the same extent it did in the first game.  Immortals,
Marauders, and Hydralisks will all bring down an Ultralisk or two with
little to no problem or casualties.  Ultralisks take on the
role of a threatening support now, rather than being a semi-threatening
HP sponge.  If an ultralisks gets good positioning on a force,
it can do massive damage, but it's now so big and lumbering that it
trips over your own army trying to get into that position, and by the
time it does, it will likely be almost dead through focus
fire.  Hopefully this unit receives some more love after

Air and Support -
Completing the War Machine

Mutalisks -

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style="font-style: italic;">Zerg support is outstanding, but
requires heavy micro to survive due to their low survivability

Screaming through the skies, the Mutalisk is the premier raider and
bane of many players in StarCraft II.  Its attack still
bounces from target to target, dealing less damage each
bounce.  It's one of the more frail units in the skies, at 120
HP and zero armor, but it's also one of the cheapest units at 100
minerals and 100 gas each.  The downside to going for these
early is that a Spire is expensive and takes seemingly forever to
build--almost two minutes!  If it is scouted, the opponent
will be more than ready for your air force.  

Mutalisks can go toe to toe with most anti-air due to their splash
damage, and can out run that which it can't kill aside from the Protoss
Phoenix.  Achieving air superiority forces the opponent to
forever fear you sweeping in and blasting his or her workers to pieces
in quick succession, and then flying out with zero casualties
yourself.  This is a nightmare to deal with and forces your
opponent to build anti-air defenses and extra workers, which can
dramatically boost your chance of success on the ground.  Keep
these units away from Thors and Marines, and be careful of Hunter
Seeker Missiles, Psi Storms, and Fungal Growth, all which can disable
you or turn your Mutalisk cluster into a bloody mess.  These
do not have an evolution anymore, they are one form and one form alone.

- Heavy Anti-air units, these clock in with a hefty 2 armor
and 200 hit points while only costing 50 more minerals than a
Mutalisk!   If your opponent is going for Capital
Ships or other massive air type units, these are the Zerg's immediate
go-to unit.  These deal fantastic damage at a fairly good rate
to opposing massive units, but do not get any kind of bonus against
armored or light.  This gives them a distinct weakness to Void
Rays and Vikings since they are armored units themselves, and those
shred Armored targets!  When the skies are clear or you get an
opportunity, you can use the Corruption ability to disable a building
for 30 seconds of an opponent's.  If you come out on top of a
battle, using this ability will give you the ability to create
reinforcements while sealing that chance off for your opponent,
guaranteeing a victory soon.

Brood Lords
- Flying symbols of doom, the Brood Lord is an evolution of
the Corruptor that has a final cost of 300 minerals, 250 gas, and 4
population.  They launch broodlings at targets that deal 20
damage on impact, and then the Broodling will run around attacking
units for 4 damage a hit (and benefits from Melee-type
upgrades).  The main reason to build these is the
Broodlings--these units will soak up fire and mess with the targeting
of units not under direct orders of your opponent.  The Brood
Lord also fires these from a safe distance, giving them the unique
ability to siege targets from the air with zero opposition from ground
based defenses.  These are quite slow though and need to be
escorted carefully due to their cost.  They are tough as nails
at 275 HP and 2 armor, but with no ability to retreat you better be
able to win the battle if it comes to you!

Infestors -
Burrowing Casters, they sneak around the battlefield only
to come up and latch onto targets with their mind controlling tentacles
or spew vile Infested Terrans or Fungal Growth.  They have a
large collision size and stand out on the battlefield, so keep them
safe or they'll be splattered in no time.  They cost 100
minerals, 150 gas, and 2 population and can move while burrowed without
an upgrade.  You do still have to research burrow though!

•    Infested Terrans - A simple 25 energy
cast that spews an egg at a targeted area.  When it hatches, a
8 damage Infested Terran spawns that guns down nearby units with a
rifle.  It can hit land or air, and this ability can be
spammed very quickly.  The Infested Terrans move very slowly
and have a limited lifespan, so you can't amass them for a
strike.  They have to be deployed to the hot spot so they can
serve their purpose and die once more.

•    Neural Parasite - Grabs a unit from
long distance and takes complete control of it.  You can cast
or attack anything you like with it, but if you move too far from the
Infestor, the link will be broken.  Can be devastating if you
can keep the Infestor alive, and can target a strong unit that will
turn the battle in your favor almost immediately with.  This
can only target land units unfortunately.

•    Fungal Growth - Blasts a target area
with goo that latches onto targets both on ground and in the skies,
holding them in place, revealing stealth, and dealing 36 damage over 8
seconds.  It only costs 75 energy and has no cooldown, unlike
the Psi Storm of Protoss.  Incredibly useful versus air
harassment and anytime you are planning flanks and surprise attacks,
this basically forces your opponent to stand and fight or lose that
portion of his army affected by this.  A game changer when
cast effectively.

Queens -
The only unit not spawned from larvae, you can create these
from your Hatchery once your spawning pool is complete for only 150
minerals and 2 population.  The Queen has a slight attack
against ground and air targets, and has zero weaknesses to be exploited
by raiding units.  They're fairly tough, but also very good
targets for opponents to target.  They move well on Creep, but
don't even bother taking them off it.  They move like diseased
livestock off the Creep.  This is your only source of anti air
before a Lair!

•    Spawn Larvae - The ability you build
this unit for, it spews 4 eggs onto a target Hatchery.  After
40 seconds, the eggs hatch and 4 additional larvae are spawned
instantly at the target Hatchery.  This ability can be spammed
constantly at one hatchery for each queen you build, and should be
done!  You can go beyond the limit of 3 larvae using this
ability, and instantly produce 7 combat units if you had 3 idle already
when they pop.

•    Spawn Creep Tumor - Your primary way of
spreading the purple stuff, the Queen will run over to an area and drop
one of these bad boys anywhere there is Creep already.  It
costs the same as Spawn Larvae at 25 energy, so if you don't mind
sacrificing a turn of larvae spawning, you can do this
instead.  Generally you only need one of these since each
tumor can spawn another tumor, and this chain will continue until the
most recently tumor created is killed.  Once that tumor is
killed, you'll need to use another shot of this ability to create
another tumor that can propagate more tumors.  These also give
sight in a fairly wide radius and are considered burrowed/invisible to
most units, enabling you to spot early attacks and scout incoming
trickery.  Creep is essential for a lot of good tactics and
will contribute to victory or defeat due to the speed boost, so use

•    Transfusion - A simple 50 energy
ability that heals a targeted unit or structure for 150.  Best
used on defense on your Spine Crawlers, or on badly damaged Mutalisks
as you raid your opponent, generally you won't have the energy to use
this if you're making good use of your Spawn Larvae ability. 
But if you fall behind, this is there when you need it most! style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="font-style: italic;">

style="font-style: italic;">Overlords and Overseers - style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-style: italic;"> Your basic
Overlord hasn't changed except for one crucial weakness--they can no
longer detect stealth units at all.  They exist only as flying
scouts and food sources.  Fortunately the Overseer evolution,
available at the Lair, covers up that weakness, gains a great speed
boost, and gives it a unique ability called Changeling.  The
Changeling will not be shot at automatically by the enemy, and will
change into one of their units and colors to blend in.  You
can use these units to scout without being seen, and gain precious
intelligence.  Since Overseers have no other use for their
energy, make good use of this!  They aren't cheap at 50
minerals and 100 gas per evolution, so make them count and guard them

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016