In addition to new units, Heart of the Swarm has given the
Zerg some significant changes (mostly buffs) to their old Wings of Liberty units. This guide will reveal all
of these changes as well as discuss how these changes affect gameplay.
Below, you find a video detailing the two new Zerg units as well as all the changes to the Wings of Liberty
units and upgrades. The video shows all of these changes in action. Below the video, you will find change-list so
you can get an exact idea of what changes are being made.
Zerg Heart of the Swarm Changes Video Guide
New Zerg HotS Units
There are 2 new units available for Zerg to use in Heart of the Swarm multiplayer. It is likely that there will
be a few campaign-only units like there was for Terran in Wings of Liberty, but we will cover those separately in
our Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm campaign guide.
Video gameplay and basic information for the new Zerg Heart of the Swarm units can be found in the video above.
This page will not focus on the new Heart of the Swarm Zerg units, as these two new units have dedicated pages:
Below, you will find a list of all the changes to Wings of Liberty units as well as new upgrades available for
the old Zerg units.
Changes to Zerg Wings of Liberty Units & Upgrades
Many of the core Zerg units have changed with the release of Heart of the Swarm. Here are the primary changes
and how they affect Zerg strategy:
Burrow - Burrow is now available at the Hatchery - no Lair required. This gives Zerg two
new openers: an early Roach timing attack with Burrow and an early Zergling harass with Burrow. Roaches heal
rapidly when burrowed, and players lack detection early in the game. With good micro, a handful of Roaches
could pick apart an enemy's harvesters and production facilities, simply burrowing when they get low on HP.
Alternatively, spreading out Zerglings all over an opponent's base and using Burrow to hide them, bringing them
in 1-3 at a time, is very difficult for players to clean up without detection. However, this approach requires
Spore Crawler - Zerg players no longer need an Evolution Chamber before they can build
Spore Crawlers. This makes Zerg much better at handling early cloaking or air attacks, such as the popular
Banshee opener in Zerg versus Terran. Spore Crawlers also do bonus damage to biological units, making them more
effective against Mutalisks.
Hydralisk - Hydralisks can now get a new movement speed upgrade at the Hydralisk Den
called Muscular Augments. This upgrade increases the Hydralisks off-creep movement speed by 25%, allowing them
to keep up with Roaches when off creep. Previously, moving an army across the map with Hydralisks meant waiting
for the Hydralisks to catch up.
Mutalisk - Mutalisks now move slightly faster, up to a speed of 4 from 3.75. Additionally,
Mutalisks now regenerate health rapidly, at a rate of 1 HP per in-game second. This makes Mutalisks much better
at mineral harassing. In Wings of Liberty, Mutalisks can usually only take 1-2 harassment attempts or 1 Psionic
Storm before they have to sit out and regenerate for a few minutes. Now, they can practically attack constantly
with only short breaks and remain at full HP.
Infestor - The Infestor's Fungal Growth ability has been re-worked. Its range has been
increased from 8 to 10, however, it is no longer an instant-cast. Instead it is now a projectile that flies
(albeit quickly) to its destination. This means that if the enemy units move out of the way of it, it can miss.
However, the Projectile is so fast that it is practically impossible to dodge entirely. The duration of Fungal
Growth has been reduced to 4 seconds and the damage is now 30 damage. Being harder to aim and having a reduced
root time, this is considered to be a nerf. However, the DPS of this skill has increased slightly. Fungal
Growth now deals 30 damage in just 4 seconds - if you chain Fungal Growths, you can kill off enemy units much
faster now due to this enhanced damage output.
Ultralisk - The Ultralisk now deals 35 damage per swing, regardless of unit subtype. In
Wings of Liberty, Ultralisks dealt 35 damage to armored units, but only 15 damage to light units. This is a big
buff for the Ultralisk against light unit armies like Marines and Zealots. Ultralisks are now a very common
unit in late-game Zerg play versus Terran and Protoss thanks to their big damage to Marines, Hellbats, and
Zealots. Also, note that Archons are not considered armored units, so this increases Ultralisk damage against
Archons as well. Archons used to be so powerful against Ultralisks that Protoss players could practically
completely nullify the Ultralisk with just a few Archons. While Archons are still strong versus Ultralisks, it
is no longer a hard counter.
Overlord - The Pneumatized Carapace upgrade is now available at Hatchery. it no longer
requires a Lair in order to research.
Starcraft 2 Zerg Heart of the Swarm Changes - Conclusion
Heart of the Swarm primarily holds buffs for the Zerg. The addition of Hydralisk speed and the improved Mutalisk
bode well for Zerg players. While Fungal Growth may take awhile to get used to, the heightened damage per second
offered by this skill now makes it useful against more army types than the original Fungal Growth.