Characters / Starcraft II Units

The units of StarCraft II. Click here to return to the main index or here for the units of StarCraft I.

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"Let's have a blast!"

Adapted from the Firebat suit, Marauders act as support troops for infantry. Their armament is a pair of wrist-mounted grenade launchers that slow down enemies on impact.

  • Arm Cannon: They attack with wrist-mounted grenade launchers.
  • Anti-Armor: Their grenade launchers do extra damage against armored enemies and structures, at the cost of reduced effectiveness against lightly armored units.
  • Badass Baritone: Have a deep, flavorful voice.
  • The Big Guy: Among the Terran infantry units, the Marauder is the biggest and the loudest troop type.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Big, loud, and always ready to fight. You can really hear it in their lines.
    "Ka-BOOM, baby!"
    "Let's have a BLAST!"
  • Boxed Crook: Flavor text happily lets you know that 47% of Marauders have not served jail time, and only 23% have been accused of murder! The joke is they're a comparative improvement to Marines, Reapers and Firebats, who are a definite vast majority of Boxed Crooks with the latter also adding a likelihood of pyromania into the mix.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Stimpacks grant a burst of movement speed and fire rate, but they cause 10 points of damage because Drugs Are Bad.
  • Development Gag: Marauder was a working title for the Marine unit in the original StarCraft.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Marauders use modified Firebat models after the Firebat got the axe from multiplayer. Flavor text in the campaign mentions that the Marauder suits are repurposed Firebat suits, since Terran commanders have noticed that Marauders are far more useful than Firebats.
  • Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Thanks to their Powered Armor.
  • Grenade Launcher: What's mounted on each Arm Cannon.
  • Grenade Spam: Well, duh.
  • Guns Akimbo: Alternates between grenade launchers in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, fires both simultaneously in Legacy of the Void.
  • Handicapped Badass: Played for laughs.
    " A'course I got five fingers. Three on this hand, two on this one."
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Unlike Marines, Reapers, and Ghosts, Marauder armor is built to withstand damage on the frontline. In-game, this is reflected in their armor type, allowing them to soak up light attacks but be vulnerable to Anti-Armor.
  • Incoming Ham: When he exits the Barracks, he sometimes shouts, "KABOOM baby!"
  • Lightning Bruiser: They move fairly fast, pack a punch, and have a good amount of HP. Then, you get them their Stimpacks and Concussive Shells, increasing their movement and firing rates and giving any unit they attack a penalty to movement and firing rates.
  • Mobile Factory: The K12 autoloader assembly acts as one, efficiently granting Marauder Bottomless Magazines.
  • Palette Swap: After the Firebat got the cut, the Marauder was given a recolored and modified texture of their model.
  • Powered Armor: Wear modified Firebat armor with grenade launchers in place of flamethrowers. Like Firebats before them, they can take a much harder beating than Marine armor and still survive.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: They produce almost as quickly as Marines, and move as fast as them too. A simple force of Marines and Marauders is easy to set up and all set against most air and armor threats.
  • Shout-Out: They're named for the Mobile Infantry's Powered Armor from Starship Troopers.
  • Soul Brotha: Talks with a deep baritone voice and tosses a lot of slang and enthusiastic boasting.
  • Standard Status Effects: Concussive Shells slow non-massive units.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: What tends to happen when Marauders get busy. The units themselves are plenty happy with their work.

"The Grim Reaper has arrived..."

Reapers are speedy base raiders armed with handguns and explosives, and equipped with jetpacks that let them leap up and down cliffs to quickly infiltrate enemy lines.

  • Balance Buff: In Heart of the Swarm, they got Combat Drugs that let them regenerate health when not under fire. In Legacy of the Void they gained KD8 charges, that explode after a short delay, dealing damage and knocking back nearby units.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the latin american spanish translation, the Reaper is called Yum-Kimil, which was the mayan god of death - keeping with the "god of death" Theme Naming.
  • Boxed Crook: The Dominion's Reapers are one of the few units that are entirely composed of convicted murderers. They are promised freedom after two years of service. Thus far, none have lasted more than six months.
  • Cannon Fodder: In-universe, the convicts that become Reapers are even more of this than Marines, since they're murderers deliberately being given suicide missions. In practice, they're more fragile than marines, but they're used for hit-and-run more than frontline units.
  • Crutch Character: As heavy harass units, most of their value is found earlier on by hampering the enemy's economy. Hit-and-Run Tactics only work so many times before smart opponents will just build rear-line defenses, making Hit-and-Run Tactics suicidal.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Given their Fragile Speedster and Glass Cannon traits, a player must be very good at micromanaging hit-and-run attacks for Reapers to be worth using.
  • Demolitions Expert: Prior to Heart of the Swarm, Reapers chucked D8 charges at things, which made for surprisingly devastating damage to buildings. Legacy of the Void gave them KD8 charges, an activated ability that damages and knocks back everything caught in the blast.
  • Dual Wielding: They use double-pistols.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The whole point of the jetpack is to let them jump up and down cliffs, letting them bypass the bottleneck that each base uses as its entry point.
  • Fragile Speedster: Besides the fact they're innately quick, their ability to jump up and down cliffs lets them escape pursuers that way as well. However, they're very fragile.
  • Glass Cannon: Do not let their bombs fool you. While the range is pretty short, the damage and rate of fire combined makes it on par with the Siege Tank at building demolition. They also get several campaign upgrades to raise their damage output.
  • Gradual Regeneration: How their self-healing works.
  • Grenade Spam: Their KD8 charges have a short cooldown and doesn't require energy.
  • Guns Akimbo: Wield dual pistols.
  • Heal Thyself: As of Heart of the Swarm, their combat drugs let them regenerate health when not under fire.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The only effective way to use Reapers is this way, quickly jumping cliffs, harassing the enemy's mineral line, then getting the hell out once they draw attention (being rather poor at head-on fights). Rinse and repeat.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: Blinking lights? Check. Beeping noise? Check.
  • Jet Pack: What lets them move so fast for infantry and hop ledges at will.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Reaper struggled to stand out in Wings of Liberty due to its cost and it competing with Marines and Marauders. In Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void Reapers got some abilities that improve their Hit-and-Run Tactics capabilities, giving Reapers a more clear niche.
  • Nerf: Used to do huge damage against buildings in Wings of Liberty.
  • Recursive Ammo: G-4 Clusterbomb they use in campaign.
  • Secondary Fire: How D8 charges work in Wings of Liberty.
  • Splash Damage: G-4 Clusterbomb in campaign and KD8 charges in Legacy of the Void
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: D8 charges in Wings of Liberty, KD8 charges in Legacy of the Void.

"Ready to raise some hell!"

Fast-moving land rovers armed with flamethrowers, they deal damage to clumps of enemies and excel at fighting light units. Heart of the Swarm turns them into Transforming Mecha; "Hellbat" mode makes them a walking unit with higher HP and a slightly-stronger, shorter-ranged flamethrower. They can switch back and forth at any time.

  • Balance Buff: Hellions in Heart of the Swarm became Transforming Mecha, letting them become Hellbats. While Hellions are Fragile Speedster units meant for base raiding, Hellbats are Mighty Glacier units better for prolonged combat, giving the Terrans an answer to Zergling and Zealot hordes.
  • Boring, but Practical: The addition of Hellbat transformation gives these units a longer lifespan: Hellbats are still useful long past the point where the Hellion form would have been phased out. (Of course, this removes them from the list of throwaway units, making it a bigger deal to lose one.)
  • Crutch Character: Hellions used to be this before Hellbats were introduced, since they were used for Hit-and-Run Tactics until enemy bases were walled off, which is when Reaper or Medivac/Marine Hit-and-Run Tactics can bypass the base entrance. Since they can't break through fortification themselves, they needed Marauder/Siege Tank help and by that point, you don't even need Hellions anymore.
  • Divergent Character Evolution:
    • While the Hellion is basically a replacement for the Vulture, in the single-player campaign the Hellion's upgrades focus on enhancing its splash damage capabilities, while the Vulture's focus on enhancing its Spider Mines.
    • As for the Hellion itself, it's a Fragile Speedster normally with low HP but high speed, becomes a Glass Cannon as well with Infernal Pre-Igniter to boost its damage, and in Heart of the Swarm can transform into the Hellbat, which has higher HP but low speed.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon
  • Fragile Speedster: As far as vehicles go, Hellions are much faster than Siege Tanks or Thors but more fragile.
  • Dual Mode Unit: A scout and base raider, or a short-ranged frontline walker.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: How to harass with Hellions: drive into enemy base as fast as possible, torch worker units, then get out before heavy opposition comes. Repeat until base defenses make this no longer feasible.
  • Kill It with Fire: And very good at it too.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Word of God admitted they fell victim to this trope via the Firebat in the single-player campaigns. The Firebat is a slow but bulky unit with greater durability, while the Hellion is a fast but fragile hit-and-run raider. They're balanced on paper, but much of the campaign focuses on defense instead of offense, so the Hellion's strengths weren't of much use when compared to the superior tanking abilities of the Firebat.
  • Spiritual Successor: Hellions were added to be a Kill It with Fire unit that wasn't as limited as the Firebat, basically being Firebats that shed their carapace armor and hopped into a speed buggy to gain mobility (at the cost of durability). Hellbats take this even further and basically are Firebats with the huge bonus of being able to switch forms.
  • Splash Damage: Linear splash in Hellion form, and a wide cone splash in Hellbat form.
  • Transforming Mecha: Added in Heart of the Swarm, from a rapid-moving car to a slower-moving but more durable combat walker.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: Well, unusual for a Mecha. Hellbat's's flamer is mounted in a turret on top of it.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: The reason they replace the Firebat both in a meta sense and in-universe is because they avert this trope. They still only get the full damage bonus benefits of their flamethrowers when attacking smaller units and thus are not optimal for larger enemies, but their high speed, the range of their attack, and their ability to kite enemies make them very dangerous hit-and-run raiders, especially if a couple get into your base and head for your worker lines.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Hellbats can be healed by Medivacs. Hellions cannot.
    • Hellbats take 4 slots in a transport, Hellions take 2.

"Thor is here!"

A massive heavy artillery walker, it specializes in anti-air missile barrages but has enough firepower to hold its own against ground forces as well. Memorably speaks like a certain Austrian bodybuilder who became Governor of California.

  • A God Am I: Played for Laughs — whoever is piloting it is definitely having fun with the unit's name.
    "I am a thunder god!"
    "Hammer of the gods!"
  • The Ahnold: Complete with many Shout Outs to his famous lines, including "I'll be back", "Stick around", and "Sue me, dickhead". It's Stop Poking Me! quotes list off longer quotes from Conan The Barbarian and True Lies.
  • Anti-Air: Javelin missile launchers excel at shredding clusters of light air units.
  • Arm Cannon: Literally. His arms are outfitted with four 220 mm cannons.
  • Backpack Cannon: Four of them. In Wings of Liberty they can swing forward to become Shoulder Cannons during its artillery barrage.
  • BFGs: The four 250mm cannons on its back and the "Thor's Hammer" cannons on its arms.
  • Bring It: One of the "under attack" quotes.
    "Ya, come and fight me! Hahahahahahaaaa!
  • Death from Above: In Wings of Liberty he can use its back-mounted 250mm cannons to rain down a heavy artillery barrage.
  • Drop the Hammer: Not literally, but its quotes include references to this trope, and as said above, it's cannons are actually classified as "Thor's Hammer" class in-game.
  • Dual Mode Unit: In Heart of the Swarm it can switch between two Anti-Air modes - one deals Splash Damage and is to be used against clusters of frail air units, and the second one is a strong single-target attack to be used against armored fliers.
  • Guns Akimbo: How he uses his arm cannons
  • Humongous Mecha: At one point in development it was built by the SCV out in the field because it was too big to be built in a Factory. When the Thor was moved into the Factory its model was scaled down a bit, but it's still huge.
  • Incoming Ham: "Thor is here!"
  • Irony: The Thor is meant to be an anti-air unit. In the campaign, the Thor's Super Prototype Odin is specifically stated to have weak anti-air capabilities. Justified because the Thor is a heavily modified Odin chassis by Raynor's Raiders.
  • Large Ham: When you're impersonating Ahnold, what can you expect?
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    "Hurry up and fix me, you idiot!" (when under attack)

    "I am here! Click me!" (Stop Poking Me!)
  • Meaningful Name: In Norse Mythology, Thor is the son of Odin. In the campaign, the Thor was designed as a scaled down version of the Odin.
  • Metalhead: "I am heavy metal!" Indeed. Pretty awesome if you imagine him blazing it at 11 volume as he lays waste to all before him
  • Mighty Glacier: Huge offensive power, not very impressive movement.
  • Military Mashup Machine: A Goliath crossed with a Siege Tank.
  • More Dakka: Its special ability in Wings of Liberty is to call down an artillery barrage in the form of its backpack cannons bombarding enemies. It deals a whopping 500 damage, nothing short of the toughest units will survive that. And in the campaign, its 250mm cannons can be upgraded into 330mm cannons, giving its artillery barrage area-of-effect damage.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The Thor is a walking mass of Continuity Snarls in this department.
    • In the lore it is said that the Umojan Protectorate discovered it in development on Korhal, while the campaign says the Odin, the Thor's Super Prototype, was built by the Dominion on Valhalla. When asked a question in regards to this Blizzard admitted they goofed on that one. It's since been given a Hand Wave that the mech the Umojans saw was the Odin, which was moved from Korhal to Valhalla after the Dominion found out the Korhal facility had been compromised.
    • However this does not explain the Frontline graphic novels showing a Thor used for field work in 2502, two years before Starcraft II in 2504 and one year before the Umojan infiltration in 2503; once again Blizzard admitted they messed up and blamed poor communication between the Frontline writers and the game developers.
    • Finally, in the campaign Swann reverse-engineers the Thor from the Odin, but that leaves one wondering how the Dominion developed the exact same unit independently.
  • Ornamental Weapon: As of Legacy of the Void its BackpackCannon are no longer usable.
  • Splash Damage: With its anti-air barrage, which is designed to chew up clumped light units like Mutalisks.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: A Thor's basic attacks are generally powerful enough to One-Hit Kill cheap, low tier units. The trade off is that it also happens to attack very slowly meaning that the Thor's biggest weakness is... cheap, low tier units, since Thors are too slow to deal with large waves of ground enemies who almost always have reserves.

Widow Mine
A new HotS unit in the Terran arsenal, the Widow Mine is manufactured from the Factory, ordered out to a new location and told to bury itself and await prey. They act as tiny missile factories, shooting their explosive payload at whatever swings by whilst remaining in hiding.

  • Artifact Title: As noted below, they used to be mines. They are now a missile-launching Area Denial Weapon.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: You only have a second and a half to aim Widow Mines, so many times you have to let the Widow Mine pick a target by itself. A melee unit can be sent in as Schmuck Bait and activate the mine prematurely, even drawing the explosion onto the owner's army. Watch this Bronze-League Heroes cast by Husky Starcraft to see a Protoss player use his enemy's mines against him.
  • Mecha-Mooks: It's a little robot dude that shoots missiles up your enemy's taints.
  • Mobile Factory: It creates its missiles on site.
  • Non-Indicative Name: They're effectively turrets, or to be pedantic, an Area Denial Weapons System, which are slightly different from mines. (They used to be actual self-destructing mines until the current balance changes.)
  • Properly Paranoid: Zerg players beware; you are no longer the only army that can keep buried units potentially anywhere that are ready to ambush!
  • Sentry Gun: Sentry Missile Launchers, to be more precise.
  • Splash Damage: Their missiles can blow up a small area of units, though this can be worked around by sending a few sacrificial decoys in then charging the real attack force through before the Widow Mine can re-arm.
  • Stone Wall: They deal good damage and are tough to get rid of without something revealing them, but they're only useful when buried underground (i.e. non-moving) and are vulnerable if they try to unburrow and move elsewhere.
  • Taking You with Me: They used to be self-destructing bombs before this was changed.


"Optics online, let's go kill something!"

A mobile mini-tank unit, it fires missiles to attack while on the move.

"Ready to plunder."

An air-superiority assault fighter that can change into a ground-based walker to help out its allies in the dirt.

  • A Day in the Limelight: A Viking takes the center stage as the eponymous unit of Lost Viking, the arcade shooter in the Hyperion's cantina.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • A Gatling Good ground-walker might seem like a good idea to bolster your ground units, but they're so fragile in this mode that you're better off sticking to their fighter-mode unless truly desperate (or certain of victory). One saying amongst the Starcraft community goes "It's GG for somebody when a Terran player actually lands his Vikings."
    • Also this in the lore. It takes a lot of training for most pilots to be able to handle the Viking in both combat modes, and be able to utilize them both efficiently, and a lot of them die trying to master the vehicle.
  • Boring, but Practical: The ability to switch between air and ground modes at will makes the Viking perfect for grabbing bonus objectives and resource pickups in the campaign.
  • Gatling Good: When in ground-walker mode.
  • Is This Thing Still On?
    "By air or by land, all shall fall by my hand!... Wait, d-did I say that out loud?"
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Much like the unit it replaces, the Goliath, it's best as an anti-air unit but is also an effective ground support unit and does good damage for its cost. It's also a good base raider and has high versatility, given that it can be an air or ground unit and thus can transform to dodge enemy fire and adapt to whatever force the enemy is using.
  • Master of None: However, don't make the mistake of thinking them the answer to all your problems. For one thing, they're not particularly durable. They have only ground-to-ground and air-to-air weapons, forcing them to expose themselves to return firenote  and becoming in the process the second-most-vulnerable unit in the game. And transforming isn't exactly quick, so they can easily be destroyed during the process.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: They like to allude to this in their quotes.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Its aircraft mode is less flashy than its Mini-Mecha ground form, but a group of Vikings supporting your forces can give you air superiority over air units that a cluster of Marines can't handle.
  • Splash Damage: One of its purchaseable upgrades in the campaign.
  • Transforming Mecha: From air-to-air fighter-jet to ground-to-ground combat walker.

"Engines screaming."

A Terran bombardment craft equipped with a cloaking field, it fires barrages of missiles at ground targets, but can't attack air units.

  • Achilles' Heel: A Banshee rush or diversionary force can be spotted by anything with True Sight. This goes double for enemy Terran missile turrets, which can spot Banshees and shoot them down.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Despite in-game lore stating explicitly that they can't operate in space (which you'd expect from a rotary-wing aircraft), they can still be deployed on maps using the Space tileset, like Daybreak and Antiga Shipyard. Word of God states that some Banshees were fitted with propulsors for space operations.
  • Crutch Character: Banshees are sometimes rushed as an unusual tactic, but this only works if an opponent hasn't scouted enough to see it coming and has no stealth-detection methods. A player who falls victim to a Banshee rush usually learns their lesson quickly.
  • Death from Above: Banshees are the main Terran air-to-ground attacker.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: One of its Stop Poking Me! quotes:
    "In space, everybody can hear me scream... Get it? 'Cause I'm a Banshee?"
  • Invisibility Cloak: Inherits the Wraith's cloaking field. The campaign states the Dominion sends out recovery teams every time a Banshee crashes to prevent it from falling into their enemies' hands.
  • Future Copter
  • Macross Missile Massacre: An unusual variant in that the Banshee is an air-to-ground unit, so it fires multiple homing missiles at a point on the ground.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Banshee pilot's quite a looker and wears a skin-tight bodysuit, with particular emphasis on the bust.
  • Splash Damage: Used to deal it at all times, but now it only appears in the single-player campaign.

"Raven on-line."

A support craft piloted by an onboard art equipped with on-board construction facilities that allow it to manufacture machines for various purposes in combat. It replaces the Science Vessel as the Terran's mobile detector/support flier.

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: To an almost painful extent.
    Raven: This-ve-ssel-will-com-ply.
  • A.I. is a Crapshoot: Subverted, but also parodied. The sophistication of the AI housed inside has prompted a number of people in-universe to raise concerns about this becoming an issue, but so far there have been no recorded incidents to back this up. In its Stop Poking Me! quotes, however, it makes references to HAL-9000 and GLaDOS, two AIs who did end up going rogue.
  • Benevolent A.I.
  • Clever Crows: A spacecraft piloted by an intelligent AI program with functions and combat tools designed for smart and/or cunning combat decisions bearing the name of a crow's cousin. It even has a unique upgrade called Corvid Reactor.
    • Creepy Crows: An unfortunate effect of the Raven's all too robotic voice.
  • Cool Starship: The most advanced terran spacecrafts ever built.
  • Drone Deployer: His entire MO.
  • Mobile Factory: Utilizes Nanotechnology to assemble everything it deploys.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Ironically, the same unit it replaced in multiplayer often winds up replacing it back in the campaign. While the Raven's abilities are undoutably useful, the Science Vessel now comes with the ability to repair mechanical units in the same way a Medic heals biological ones, which makes it extremely invaluable, especially to players who field a lot of Factory or Starport units.
  • True Sight: Can detect burrowed and cloaked units.

"Ready for dust-off."

The Dropship of the old armada has been equipped with the Medic's healing abilities to allow it to heal troops on the move more efficiently.

  • Artificial Gravity: Can pick up or deploy units without landing via gravity tube.
  • Berserk Button: A Medivac pilot once killed two Marines due to them repeatedly calling the Medivac a "Heal Bus".
  • Black Comedy: Yup.
    Hurry up! What, are you missing a leg or something? (Beat) Oh.
    Attention passengers, the local time... doesn't matter because you'll all be dead soon anyway.
    Welcome aboard. Are you an organ donor?
  • Composite Character: They're a combination of Medics and Dropships from the first installment.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: With Medics in the campaign. The Medic's armory upgrades a) allow her to heal infantry at a faster rate for less energy, and b) upgrade her to a basic unit so she can be built at a Barracks without a Tech Lab, allowing the player to mass-produce Medics with a Reactor together with Marines. The Medivac is already a basic unit, but her armory upgrades allow her to a) heal two units at once (although each unit drains energy) and b) unload troops at the same speed as the Hercules, see further down the page.
  • Dr. Jerk: The pilot is definitely more sarcastic and irritable than her ground counterpart, even before you reach her Stop Poking Me! point.
  • Drop Ship: In-universe, they used to be called this before being upgraded with on-board medical systems. In game, they act as a combination of this and The Medic.
  • Escape Pod: Can be upgraded with them in the campaign, allowing units inside to survive and be deployed on the ground if it gets shot down.
  • In-Series Nickname: They're called "heal buses" by Marines. Some pilots don't take kindly to it — to the point it's mentioned in Wings of Liberty that one Medivac pilot killed several Marines for using the term.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Uh, why are you boys all wearing red shirts anyway?"
  • Magic from Technology: Not reallynote , but the pilot sure has fun with this trope.
    The power of Medivac compels you!
  • The Medic: Takes over this role from the ground unit from the first game.
  • Nitro Boost: Afterburners can provide temporary speed boost.
  • Shoot the Medic First: If an enemy Medivac drops a raiding party of Marines and Marauders, destroy the Medivac first for this reason (and to deny them an easy evac when things get too hot).
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The can't fight, but they're necessary for any kind of tactical insertion of Marines and Marauders and they're extremely useful for keeping infantry balls alive.
  • Support Party Member: They bring transportation and healing capabilities but zero firepower.
  • Underside Ride: How it transports Thors and Siege tanks in siege mode.
  • Units Not to Scale: In Wings of Liberty they were somehow able to carry Thors, though only one each. HotS added a custom animation where the Thor folds up into a (rough) box and is towed around beneath the Medivac.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Hellbats can be healed but Hellions cannot.

"Liberation is at hand."

The Terrans' new air unit for Legacy of the Void, the Liberator is an AA splash damage unit that can shifts into an anti-ground mode to deliver powerful single-target payloads to ground targets.

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: In-universe. The Dominion's Liberator gunships were inspired by the UED's Valkyrie frigates, which also specialized in air-to-air splash damage.
  • Composite Character: Combines the Valkyrie's aerial splash damage with the Siege Tank's siege attacks for ground units, with the ability to switch between anti-air and anti-ground like the Viking.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Its air-to-ground attack is second to none, but if you're able to bypass its killzone the Liberator is as good as dead. Lampshaded in one of the Stop Poking Me! quotes:
    If there's a piece of ground you want secure, my Liberator can handle it. Anywhere around it? You're kind of on you own.
  • Crosshair Aware: Both friends and foes can see Liberator's killzone.
  • Dual Mode Unit: A mobile missile battery or a stationary artillery platform.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Their missiles chew up clumped air units.
  • Patriotic Fervor: The weapons are named after The American Revolution, delivers freedom through said weapons, quotes Team America: World Police... About as 'Murican as it can get without a stars-and-stripes paint job.
  • Siege Engines: Provides an aerial alternative to the Siege Tank for a long-range ground attacker.
  • Remember the New Guy: They were added in Legacy of the Void as gunships developed by Dominion, despite the fact that in previous two games Dominion went through two separate zerg invasions and multiple lesser conflicts, with Liberators nowhere to be seen.
  • The Workhorse: It quickly became one of the staples of terran gameplay.

    Campaign-exclusive Terran Units 

"I have awakened..."

Advanced Ghosts, Spectres are even deadlier assassins than their counterparts, but are also more unstable. At least, that's the Dominion propaganda; they can potentially be crazier, but the real problem is that they can't be controlled the way Ghosts can.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Unlike the Ghost, who has a bonus damage against light units; this is also highlighted by their upgradeable ability Psionic Leash, which is essentially an infantry version of the Yamato Cannon.
  • Ax-Crazy: Some of their unit quotes certainly leave this impression, even if they're no more likely than anyone else to become psychotic and murderous. In fairness, the Ghost has some quotes that leave a similar impression.
    • Although they may not be so prone to violence as to invoke Always Chaotic Evil, it should be noted that the terrazine used to grant them their increased psionic powers is highly addictive and, if not taken with proper doses of a mineral called Jorium to temper its less pleasant side-effects.
  • Death from Above: Like Ghosts, they can call down a nuclear strike.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Ghosts turn their psionic powers towards stealth, infiltration and sabotage. Spectres are what Ghosts would be if they utilised more obvious and visible abilities.
  • Dodge the Bullet: According to Expanded Universe materials(Starcraft Ghost: Spectres to be exact), they are capable of pulling this off
  • Elite Mooks: They are this compared to Ghosts, and even serve as elite members of Moebius.
  • Faceless Goons: Played with. They wear fully concealing masks, like the Ghosts... but only when they activate their Invisibility Cloak. Otherwise, the superior half of their face is unconcealed and visible.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Like the Ghost, they have personal cloaking devices.
  • Psychic Powers: Even stronger than the Ghost's thanks to the more intense experiments.
  • Psycho Prototype: They're not: they don't have implants or brainwashing, and little details (look Faceless Goons above) show they're more human than the Ghosts.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their visors are red to the Ghost's green, and they're far more dangerous.
  • Super Soldier: Even compared to the Ghosts, who are also this.
  • Support Party Member: While useful on their own, they have an ability called Ultrasonic Pulse, which is an AOE stun with a respectable radius, making them really useful against Melee units, like the zealot, and fragile or slow attacking ranged units like the Void Ray (in fact, if you chain it right, you can keep a group of Void rays from ever getting their rays charged).
  • Telepathic Spacemen: Like the Ghost, but better.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: According to the novelizations, specters must regularly consume terrazine to keep their heightened powers. It can cause hallucinations, visions, fits of rage, and other assorted problems, such as it being as addicting as a typical drug and thus you can take too much of it regularly and these problems intensify. Taking the terrazine with jorium helps dull the side-effects a bit though.
  • You Nuke 'Em: Since they replace the Ghost in the campaign if you choose them, they have their ability to call down nuclear strikes.

"What needs killing?"

Originally developed by the Confederacy, they can attack on the move with railgun turrets. They were discovered inactive in the ruins of Tarsonis and pressed into service by the Dominion and Raynor's Raiders.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: They deal double damage against armored enemies.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The Diamondback is fast, has the ability to fire on the move, has good hitpoints, and has a strong anti-armor attack. The only real drawback is that Blizzard seem to have had a hard time deciding exactly what they wanted the Diamondback to be outside of its debut level. It has no obvious weaknesses to speak of, but no obvious strengths either, and is rather costly at 150/150 and 4 supply. Presumably the Cyclone modelled after it was designed with this in mind, since Blizzard seemingly took the Diamondback's potential for kiting and ran with it.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Its entire purpose is to avert this trope.
  • Lightning Bruiser: High attack, respectable defences and it moves at a fair clip. Can't attack air units, though, so bear that in mind when designating it a task.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: The Diamondback Pilot isn't particularly hammy, but it's clear he enjoys his job far too much.
    Diamondback Pilot: [upon being given an attack order] Bring a shovel... for the burial!
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: All units in the campaign are introduced in missions tailored to their strengths but the Diamondback deserves special mention: its introductory mission has you tracking down and shooting fast-moving, heavily-armoured trains with a lot of hit points. The Diamondback moves fast, fires on the move, and doubles damage to armored units.


A warbot operated by Dominion forces, it has variable weapon systems. Raynor activates it to help with some guards during a raid on a Dominion facility.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The T82 Missile Pods.
  • BFGs: The standard 120mm cannon.
  • Brought Down to Badass: In Co-op mode, Swann can call down a force of them with his Combat Drop, and they're quite nerfed from the campaign where the A.R.E.S. had 2500 HP and higher attack power. But "nerf" is relative; their stats remain high and they're basically Thors with timed life.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Though what the name stands for is unknown.
  • Humongous Mecha: It's just barely smaller than a Thor.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Napalm Burninator is a flamethrower.
  • Mighty Glacier: Very high offensive power but poor movement speed. The only thing stopping it from clearing the rest of the level is its timed life and the Hybrid.
  • Multi-Ranged Master: Comes with one of three weapons of the player's choosing — anti-armor missile pods, anti-infantry flamethrowers, or all-purpose ranged cannons.
  • One-Man Army: Has huge power and HP and can kill anything you pit it against. There's an objective for killing the Brutalisk with it in the level you find it in, and it's strong enough to do it if it hasn't been too heavily damaged beforehand.
  • The Worf Effect: After seeing one of these things clear out a cargo bay full of enemies with no difficulty, the Hybrid takes on another warbot one-on-one and destroys it in under a minute.
  • You Shall Not Pass: A second one is sent against the Hybrid as the Raiders flee the facility to buy them time to escape.


A robotic fighter, it unleashes a field of electricity whenever it attacks, heavily damaging nearby units.

  • Animal Mecha: They're robotic panthers that use auras of electricity to fight.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: It rips apart melee ground units with ease thanks to its electric splash damage ability, but is otherwise fairly forgettable since the Terrans already have the Firebat and Perdition Turret for dealing with Zergling swarms.
  • Panthera Awesome: Designed after the big cat.
  • Shock and Awe: They use bursts of electrical energy to kill.
  • Splash Damage: They deal it with their electrical fields.

"Aye, laddie!"

A massive dropship, it can single-handedly carry an entire army into battle, having enough room to carry more than three times as many troops as a Medivac. In the Wings of Liberty campaign, it's explained they're converted cargo freighters.

  • Balance Buff: Swann gets them in Co-op Mode in Legacy of the Void, and since they're his main dropships, they got a heavy cost reduction from the campaign to make them more practical.
  • Boring Yet Practical: It does nothing except be a very good transport; but, it's a very good transport. A single one can carry a squad into battle, two or three can carry your entire army, and they have huge HP and armor to survive anti-air fire as they disembark their cargo, which they do in moments thanks to their passive ability that greatly speeds up the drop rate of units inside. If not for the fact Medivacs can heal, there'd be little reason to use them over the Hercules.
  • Brave Scot/Violent Glaswegian: The pilot has a Scottish accent as thick as a haggis, and is ultimately both of these tropes. He also happens to be a Fiery Redhead.
  • Difficult but Awesome: They lie at the very top of the tech tree, with the same tech requirements as Battlecruisers, so just getting to them needs a lot of time and resources, at which point building them takes time and resources. However, once they're out they're very effective transports.
  • Escape Pod: As with the Medivac's upgrade, units inside survive to be deployed should the Hercules be destroyed.
  • Stone Wall: 500 HP and 3 armor, and while not among the fastest units, it moves as a decent clip, so unless you run it into a half-dozen anti-air turrets, its cargo units will get to their destination.
  • Teleportation: In Co-op Mode in Legacy of the Void, they can use Warp Jump to teleport anywhere on the map, letting the player's forces reinforce a position instantly.

The Odin

A prototype Thor, it was built by the Dominion and to be used as a demonstration of their firepower. It worked, when Raynor's Raiders took control of it to raid Korhal.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: It does bonus damage against buildings and it can gain one for his air attacks if you upgrade the vehicles weapons at the armory.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This thing makes Thors look puny.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Which is why Thors are used instead of the Odin. The Raiders leave it behind on Korhal since it takes far too many resources to maintain and transport, meaning the Dominion is able to repair it and send it against the Zerg and the Raiders during the invasion of Korhal.
  • BFG: Even bigger than the Thor's.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: You probably forgot about it once you finished Media Blitz. Mengsk did not.
  • The Dragon: It guards the imperial palace on Korhal in Heart of the Swarm, and is Mengsk's final gambit against Raynor and Kerrigan to stop them.
  • Final Boss: In a sense, in Heart of the Swarm. It's Mengsk's final gambit against Raynor and Kerrigan, and the worst is passed once you destroy it.
  • Irony: The prototype of an Anti-Air mecha is much better at dealing with ground units than with air ones.
  • More Dakka: Unlike the Thor which strikes a single target, its Barrage hits over an area of effect.
  • Mighty Glacier: Massive power...not so impressive movement speed.
  • Mythology Gag: The generic pilot for the Odin has a large white beard and mustache with an eyepatch over his left eye. In other words, the Odin's pilot looks like, well, Odin.
  • Humongous Mecha: It's the size of a Command Center.
  • Nuke 'em: It can carry nuclear missiles, as Tychus finds out in Engine of Destruction.
  • Oh, Crap!: This is Raynor's reaction when it gets deployed against him.
  • One-Man Army: 2500 HP, 80 damage attacks to ground units (With a small Splash Damage radius), 100 to buildings, 60 to air units, its weapons have a higher rate of fire than a Thor's, and it has a 75 energy area-of-effect artillery barrage that's powerful enough to destroy buildings. If you accompany it with Science Vessels and/or SCVs for repairs, it can scour the entire map all on its lonesome. The only other things in the entire trilogy that can rival its power is Xel'naga Kerrigan, who is a Physical God, and the Leviathan, one of the most powerful Zerg breeds in existence. And in both cases it's still a very close fight.
  • Splash Damage: Its ground attack deals it in a small radius.
  • Super Prototype: Justified. The Odin is far more powerful than Thors, its one weakness being heavy anti-air opposition which a handful of escort ships can handle fine. The justification is that the Odin is much more expensive to maintain and quite difficult to transport due to its size, so mass production would be inefficient. As powerful as it is, the Odin is really just a showpiece.
  • Wham Line: Not from the Odin itself, but from Mengsk.
    "Remember this, Raynor? It was nice of your criminal partner to leave it here for me."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Odin would have come in handy on several missions after Media Blitz, including the final mission of the campaign. Why didn't you have it? Because the Raiders had to abandon it on Korhal, where Mengsk got a hold of it and incorporated it into his army. See Wham Line above.

The Archangel

A huge transforming mech deployed by the Dominion during their siege of the Umojan facility, guarding the shuttle bay to prevent anyone (especially Raynor and Kerrigan) from escaping. Kerrigan is forced to battle it to reach Raynor's ship.

  • Flunky Boss: While it's in the air, it calls down drop-pods of marines to harass you.
  • Gatling Good: Retains the Viking's gatling cannons on the ground.
  • Humongous Mecha: It's roughly the size of the Odin in-game, though Units Not to Scale should be kept in mind.
  • King Mook: To the Viking.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: On the ground, periodically designates an area of the boss arena and blows it sky high. In the air, strafes the arena in a straight line.
  • More Dakka: This thing's guns are a fair bit bigger than the standard.
  • Transforming Mecha: Ground-to-air, like the regular Viking, but designed as a boss mechanic instead of a unit ability.
  • Warm-Up Boss: It's there to get you used to the idea of fighting a boss enemy with Kerrigan, so when you fight the pack leaders on Zerus, you're familiar with the concept.

Tin can's ready to roll!

A medium assault mech, the Warhound was originally intended to become one of the terrans’ new units in Heart of The Swarm multiplayer. However, it was ultimately banned from multiplayer due to balance issues, and remained only in the campaign.


Lightly armored soldiers serving as the backbone of the Defenders of Man forces.

  • Anti-Air: Similarly to the Marines, Troopers are basic soldiers who can attack flying targets
  • BFG: Their carbines are smaller than the Marine's C-14 rifles, but still very big.
  • Cannon Fodder: Even worse than Marines, as the Troopers fulfill the same function, but use lighter gear that's implied to be less advanced. They clearly are not going to last long.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Marines. While there is nothing inherently evil in the concept of Troopers, the only faction shown to be using them so far are the Defenders of Man, whereas Marines serve as a symbol of the Dominion militia.
  • Faceless Goons: While parts of their faces are visible, the majority (including eyes, mouth and nose) is covered by a combination of a visor and a gasmask, qualifying them for this trope.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Lorewise they are using light armor and carbines compared to Marines wearing Power Armor and wielding heavy rifles, and thus they should be weaker then Marines. In the gameplay, however, they both have exactly the same stats. The only difference is the Trooper lacks the Marine's shield and Stimpack upgrades.
  • More Dakka: Carbines their weapons may be, but they are still fully capable of shooting full auto.
  • Power Armour: Notably averted. They are the first Terran combat unit to not be equipped with one.


A Terran gunship employed by the Defenders of Man.

  • Crosshair Aware: Its missile target points are painted with large crosshairs, giving Nova time to avoid them.
  • Desperation Attack: When low on HP in unveils its laser cannon and starts firing it. Subverted in that it uses the laser cannon earlier in the fight, but it has a longer charge period at the time.
  • Final Boss: Of "The Escape," the first level of the Covert Ops DLC.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Fires missiles in spread patterns as its primary attack.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Boasts a huge, long-range laser cannon on its front.



The successor to the original Queen is an entirely different unit. Now a ground-based unit, she specializes in supporting the development of the base with various abilities and providing a pinch ranged attack against early raids.

In Heart of the Swarm, her abilities undergo another change for the campaign. Now called the Swarm Queen, she's the only source of spreading Creep via her Creep Tumors ability, and she's lost her ability to induce hatcheries to produce extra Larvae (since hatcheries now produce up to nine instead of the original three).

  • Balance Buff: In the Heart of the Swarm campaign, the Swarm Queen mutates almost twice as fast as the usual Queen, moves much faster off Creep, and their Transmusion ability has been toggable to auto-cast, though it heals much less HP. The short of it, rather than a Squishy Wizard base supporter, the Swarm Queen is more a combination Hydralisk and Medic, and a potent supporter for armies on the frontlines.
  • Geo Effects: Can plant "creep tumors" for additional creep spread, which give a speed boost to zerg units.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Before Kerrigan, the Zerg were controlled by the Overmind through Cerebrates to Overlords and then to individual Zerg units, with the Queens playing only a minor support role when needed. Since Kerrigan became the new Queen of the Swarm, it makes sense that these Queens are omnipresent and more directly involved in the organization of a base - they're Kerrigan's physical manifestation and the new foundation for the Zerg organizational structure.
  • In-Name-Only: Bears a very vague physical resemblance to the original Queen...and that's about all they have in common.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Not being over creep makes Queens extremely slow, and an easy pick for pretty much any unit.
  • Mook Maker: Indirectly, she can cause a Hatchery to spawn extra larva.
  • Squishy Wizard: Always a target of opprotunity because Queens have a high cost and huge build time, especially in the early game, and they aren't all that durable and make huge targets.
  • Support Party Member: Can heal units and structures, create Creep Tumors that spread creep and have hatcheries spawn additional larva. Don't expect them to fight well, however.


An evolution of the Zergling, they're rolling suicidal bombers that explode on impact.

  • Action Bomb: They roll into enemies and explode to damage them.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the latin american spanish translation, the Baneling is called Uetzi. Uetzi means "to roll over" (Which is what Banelings do with the movement speed upgrade) in what was the aztec language.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In the campaign they can upgrade into Hunters or Splitterlings. The Hunter jumps over cliffs and leaps at targets to explode, while the Splitterling splits into two smaller, weaker Banelings when it dies. They also evolve out of zerglings, as mentioned above.
  • Glass Cannon: A handful of them can cripple an army, and they move decently fast, but are easily slain. They have even less health than a Zergling, but they also lose the Light attribute, so certain units like the Hellion actually take more hits to kill a Baneling than a Zergling.
  • Hollywood Acid: What they release when they explode.
  • Splash Damage: What makes them so effective at dealing with enemies. Small clusters of troops are going to be pulverized.
  • Suicide Attack: Banelings don't survive the blast of their attacks.
  • Taking You with Me: In sharp contrast to the Infested Terran, the Baneling still does splash damage when destroyed, so simply gunning it down before it gets to you won't guarantee your safety.


An aptly-named tier-one-point-five ranged attacker, they spew acid to attack and get a major boost to Regenerating Health whilst burrowed. They can also move while burrowed. In Legacy of the Void they can mutate into the Ravager, which launches globs of corrosive bile.

  • Breath Weapon: Sprays of acid.
  • Death from Above: The Ravager's corrosive bile rains down from on-high to deal high damage.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The Zerg campaign allows Roaches to be permanently upgraded into Corpsers or Vile Roaches — Corpsers cause units they attack to Spawn Broodlings when killed, while Vile Roaches slow down the move and attack rates of their targets. Legacy of the Void lets them evolve into Ravagers.
  • Healing Factor: Properly micro'd, Roachs definitely live up to their name if the opponent has no detection, because when burrowed they heal very quickly, especially with the Tunneling Claws upgrade that allows them to move while burrowed and increase health regeneration.
  • Hollywood Acid: Their acid can eat away at anything, including zerg carapace, Terra neosteel, and Protoss plating.
  • Homing Boulders: when Roaches attack something on a higher elevation than them, an interesting quirk of the physics engine causes them to spit diagonally upward at an angle... until it crests the cliff, at which point the acid bends in mid-air to move parallel to the ground.
  • Secondary Fire: A "hidden" melee animation that is otherwise the exact same as their ranged attack. In a bit of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, this secondary melee attack however doesn't trigger point defense or range-attack reducing effects.
  • Splash Damage: The Ravager's corrosive bile deals it.
  • Turns Red: In Heart of the Swarm one of their campaign upgrades grants them +3 to armor when at 50% health.


A support caster, they can take over the minds of enemies, spew eggs that hatch into Infested Terrans, and use "Fungal Growth" on enemies to pin them in place and a bit of damage. Like Roaches, they can move while burrowed.

  • Festering Fungus: Fungal Growth.
  • Mook Maker: Spawns Infested Terrans.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Neural Parasite. Infestors thus inherit the Dark Archon's ability to capture an enemy's Worker Unit in order to build another tech tree, though it's even trickier here because of the limited duration and you don't get the benefit of separate supply limits.
  • Squishy Wizard: Has awesome spells, but a measly 90 hit points. They also have no basic attack.
  • The Worm That Walks: Described as more of a colony of aliens living in a hollow, slug-like shell than an individual organism.

Swarm Host

A siege unit added with Heart of the Swarm, they can take root in the ground and unleash hordes of small, continually and freely spawning attackers on enemies.

  • Balance Buff: In Legacy of the Void, the spawn time for their locusts is significantly increased, and they can now spawn locusts while moving and can upgrade them to fly. This makes them much more aggressive and proactive than before.
  • Body Horror: Apparently it's design managed to invoke trypophobia in some players. Completely not helped by how it "births" the locusts.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: To the Creeper or Carrion in the campaign — Creepers produce creep when rooted and can Deep Tunnel to move to creep-covered areas instantly, while Carrions produce flying locusts that move faster, do more damage, and of course fly.
  • Gradual Grinder: Locusts do not move extremely quickly, their small size makes them extremely vulnerable to splash damage because so many can be hit at once, have to get in close to attack, and have no armor at the start and only 65 HP. Against a well-fortified enemy, it's likely only a handful will manage to get in attack range and squeeze off a few shots. But the fact that there's always more where they came from (provided the Swarm Hosts are kept safe) and their ludicrously high fire rate and damage-per-shot means that bit by bit they can chip away at an enemy's strength. Further compounded with the Viper, which can use Abduct to pull units out of safety.
  • Mook Maker / Spawn Broodling: Rather like the Queen from the original Starcraft, it's their only way of attack — unlike the Queen, however, the Swarm Host constantly produces small, hard-hitting locusts at regular intervals, rather than needing to implant enemies.
  • Nerf: The base Swarm host in the campaign is weaker than it is in melee games- without an upgrade it is visible when activated, and its locusts have a much lower dps.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Like the Lurker before them, they are completely defenseless aboveground.


An evolution of the Overlord, they can disable enemy buildings in the process of building or researching something, and spawn Changelings to spy on enemies.

  • Interface Screw: In Heart of the Swarm their Changelings inflict an unfortunate case of this on the opponent, because they're not selectable. So if you order your troops to walk around and you see one that's following but can't be selected or added to a control group, you know it's a Changeling.
  • The Mole: Their Changelings, which shapeshift into enemy base units to infiltrate them. Unlike other stealth units, they are invulnerable to detection and you have to find them yourself.
  • Put on a Bus: Initially in Heart of the Swarm in favor of the Viper. The Bus Came Back when the Viper was retooled and Blizzard decided to tweak the Overseer to be more useful on its own.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: It has far too many eyes in far too many places it shouldn't.
  • True Sight: Can see hidden units like burrowed Zerg and cloaked enemies.


An anti-armor flier, they act as a counter to heavier air units that Mutalisks can't compete with.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: With their Corruption ability.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Looks very much like a flying squid.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: As explained in Killed Off for Real and Lost Forever below, Heart of the Swarm's campaign mode states the genetic data needed to have larvae mutate into Corruptors was lost. However, Kerrigan's forces include them in the first mission in the Whispers of Oblivion short campaign.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Heart of the Swarm's campaign, it's stated that the genetic information needed to make Corruptors became lost after the events of Wings of Liberty. As a result, the only way to get Brood Lords was evolve your Mutaliks to transform into them instead.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They move quite fast, do good damage, and have a lot of HP.
  • Lost Forever: In universe, the Swarm lost all of their essence and cannot recover it. Brood Lords (if chosen) instead come from Mutalisks. This isn't entirely the case, as Amon had corruptors in his brood, and Kerrigan was able to employ them in Whispers of Oblivion.
  • Siege Engines: Legacy of the Void swaps out Corruption for Caustic Spray, a channeled ability that deals increasing damage over time (7 damage per second for the initial 4.3 seconds and then increasing to 35) to an enemy structure. When you see a swarm of Corruptors heading for your Hatchery/Nexus/Command Center, it's probably a good idea to call in the Anti-Air.
  • The Topic of Cancer: In the same spirit as the Defiler, Corruptor tentacles are laced with tumors. As these tumors devour their tissues, they generate the electromagnetic field that Corruptors use to fly. However, they must use their parasite spores in order to regulate their cancer, lest it devour their own tentacles.


A new spellcasting flier in Heart of the Swarm, they can lash enemies and pull them out of place, or do the same to allies to pull them to safety. They can also spit clouds to limit enemy attack range, and regenerate energy by leaching health off friendly structures.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Get a damage bonus against armored enemies.
  • Captain Ersatz: Has an anti-air attack in the campaign which functions similar to a Corruptor's, letting them fill a similar niche on account of the Corruptors being Killed Off for Real. They're also Heart of the Swarm's equivalent of the Defiler due to their Dark Swarm/Blinding Cloud ability that renders ranged attacks useless.
  • Grappling-Hook Gun: Its main ability. Very nice for pulling key enemy units out of position and into a swift death.
  • Life Drain: And convert it into energy, causing your buildings to Cast from Hit Points. The campaign lets them drain other units instead.
  • Squishy Wizard: Has no basic attack outside of the campaign. While Parasitic Bomb takes care of flying units and Blinding Cloud deals with ground-based Anti-Air, if its energy runs dry then it's out of luck.

Brood Lord

An evolution of the Corruptor, it produces Broodlings from its body which it then hurls at ground targets, not only damaging them heavily but leaving the Broodling down there to wreak further havoc on their own.

  • Abnormal Ammo: Fires broodlings (which then proceed to gnaw on your enemies) instead of simple projectiles.
  • Fastball Special: As seen above, they launch broodlings at enemies.
  • Mighty Glacier: Does much more damage with its broodlings than the original Guardian, but is still very slow and not good to respond to threats a distance away. This is one the major risks of massing a large number of Brood Lords into one group.
  • Mook Maker: Broodlings fired at the ground count as units and keep going.
  • Siege Engines: One that leaves behind a unit to keep attacking enemies in addition to just doing damage.
  • Spawn Broodling: Literally — they attack by shooting Broodlings at enemies, leaving the Broodling to keep attacking the enemy on the ground.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted compared to the Guardian of the first game. All they have in common is that they are slow, flying Siege Engines. The Brood Lord has 50% more health, each Broodling launched hits as hard as the Guardian's attack (And it hits up to twice) and it has more uses than sniping units from afar - from example, its Broodlings are a nightmare to Siege Tank lines, similar to what the Queen could do in the first game.

Nydus Worm

Technically more of a building than a unit, the Nydus Worm is produced by the Nydus Network and bursts out of the ground anywhere in line of sight. There it can disgorge any units "garrisoned" in the Network or pick up units.

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Can transport a whole ground army across a map but is vulnerable while emerging, has a fairly significant resource cost and relatively low HP, requires good timing and micromanagement to get any real benefit, and makes a very distinctive scream whenever it emerges.
  • Balance Buff: In Legacy of the Void they're now invulnerable when surfacing.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In one cutscene Kerrigan rides on a worm's head as it rises out of the ground and grabs an enemy in its mouth. Nothing like that is possible in the game.
  • Lamprey Mouth: Their mouths are designed this way.
  • Portal Network: Acts like a biological portal network.
  • Sand Worm: Seems inspired by the Graboids
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of the Nydus Canals of the first game.
  • Swallowed Whole: It pretty much swallows units and regurgitates them out of another head.

    Campaign-exclusive Zerg Units 

Note - Information on the evolutions of the various zerg breeds in Heart of the Swarm is listed under the base strain's profile.


An advanced form of the Infested Terran, they attack with claws and are barely recognizable as being human once. They start out as a special enemy unit seen in a handful of campaign missions in Wings of Liberty, then become a full-fledged Zerg unit in Heart of the Swarm.

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: In the Heart of the Swarm campaign.
  • Balance Buff: In Wings of Liberty, they're just Elite Mooks seen in a couple missions. In Heart of the Swarm, they have more HP, get an impressive damage buff against armored enemies, and can walk over smaller units.
  • Body Horror: These... things... are the ultimate evolution, thus far, of Infested Terrans.
  • Captain Ersatz: To the Ultralisk, which does appear in Heart of the Swarm's campaign but not until potentially the last mission before you go to Korhal. The Aberration gets to fill in the role of the heavy frontline unit for the early game, and even after Ultras come into the picture it's Not Completely Useless since it's cheaper, has slightly longer range, can be made on Lair tech, and can out-damage Ultralisks when it comes to attacking single, armored units (which Aberrations get a bonus against and Ultras don't.)
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes glow orange.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: They are a Lair-tier unit who not only has a nasty attack, but enough life to kill its enemies, in the words of Abathur.
    Abathur: "Analyzing genetic strand, sloppy...but effective".


A massive special Zerg breed and terribly powerful, it appears as an optional foe in some missions, yielding valuable DNA for research when killed.

  • Bonus Boss: As mentioned, whenever it appears its as an optional objective, and for good reason.
  • Elite Mook: They have huge HP and power.
  • Mighty Glacier: Brutalisks have enough damage to rip apart armies. Movement speed is not so impressive.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Your guess is as good as ours what DNA strand(s) the Brutalisk was mutated from.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Spikes emerge all over its body, far more than the normal Zerg units.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Late in the Heart of the Swarm campaign, the objective is to find and kill several stronger-than-normal hybrid in succession. Conveniently, the same mission's bonus objectives are to free and take control of two of these.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Averted, where the Ultralisk is completely helpless against air attacks, the Brutalisk can shoot back.


Another massive Zerg breed only seen in two missions, it is incredibly strong and takes a lot of firepower to take down.

  • Elite Mook: An utterly huge Ultralisk.
  • Giant Mook: One of the largest Zerg ever seen.
  • King Mook: To the Ultralisk. The Omegalisk is actually based on scrapped Ultralisk designs that had them much bigger, and in-game is represented by a scaled-up Ultralisk model.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They're beefed up Ultralisks with more HP and power and no loss of speed for it.
  • Sinister Scythe: Attacks with the same kaiser blades as Ultralisks.
  • Use Your Head: They can ram targets to smash them apart.


An utterly huge breed of airborne Zerg, tasked with defending Char in the final battles. In Heart of the Swarm, Kerrigan uses one as her base of operations between missions and can choose to summon a weaker version as her final ability.

  • Breath Weapon: Spews bio-plasma both as an attack and an ability.
  • Combat Tentacles: It's four tentacles can lash out to attack enemies.
  • The Dragon: To Kerrigan in Wings of Liberty. Depending on which mission you take, you either fight it in the penultimate mission, or it attacks you in the final mission. One of her ultimate abilities in Heart of the Swarm summons a Leviathan to serve her once again.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the story, they're described as moon-sized, can carry entire Zerg armies to drop onto planets, and act as Kerrigan's base of operations. However, in Heart of the Swarm Kerrigan gets the ability to summon them in combat, but they attack ground units with tentacles and their drop-pod Mook Maker ability is nowhere (it's a separate ability). They are still highly formidable in killing Battlecruiser fleets, though.
  • Mook Maker: Spits out Brood Lords and Mutalisks.
  • One-Man Army: Can take out dozens of units alone.
  • Space Whale: Adapted the ability to survive in space from these.
  • Units Not to Scale: It is gigantic and definitely one of the biggest units you'll see in the campaign, but in Heart of the Swarm cutscenes a Leviathan acts as Kerrigan's base of operations, and is so massive that the Hyperion battlecruiser looks tiny, but even the Spear of Adun dwarfs it. In the lore they are described as moon-sized.
  • Your Size May Vary: Even the game models vary in size, but in one mission Kerrigan has to "infiltrate" a terran ship and received reinforcements from her Leviathan. The Leviathan uses it's tendrils to deploy these reinforcements, each of which is the size of a Nydus Worm. When you summon it in any other context, these tendrils are instead the size of a Sunken Colony's spike.


"I am here in the shadows..."

A ranged support walker based on Dark Templar emulations of the Dragoon, they fire phase disruptors and can use Blink to teleport a short distance. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, there are three variants: the Nerazim Stalker capable of regenerating shields after using Blink, the slower and tougher Aiur Dragoon, and the Purifier Adept. There is also an unusable Purifier variant known as the Instigator, which stores two charges of Blink.

  • Dark is Not Evil: They're Dark Templar units, but like them are quite benevolent.
  • Flash Step: There's even an achievement for dodging a killing blow with Blink.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Shoot short blue laser blasts at enemies.
  • Healing Factor: Blinking in the Legacy of the Void campaign lets the Stalker restore 50 shields in a few seconds.
  • Homing Boulders: They follow the same physics rules as Roach acid.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: They move even faster than Zealots until they get their speed upgrade, but compared to other Protoss forces their damage output and HP is mediocre.
  • Man in the Machine: Like the original Dragoon, Stalkers are robots controlled by a Dark Templar contained within, though the Dark Templar only use souls instead of full bodies.
  • Spider Mecha: Walk on four legs.


A robotic support drone that specializes in energy manipulation, it can project energy fields to protect allies and block passage over terrain. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, there are three variants: the Aiur Sentry capable of restoring the shields of nearby units at the cost of Force Field; the Purifier Energizer which boosts the attack and movement speeds of friendly units, along with being able to deploy a power field like a Warp Prism; and the Tal'darim Havoc which increases the range of all nearby allies by 2, can lock-on to a target to increase its damage taken, and regains Force Field at the cost of a basic attack.

  • Barrier Warrior: Force Fields physically block enemy units, which have many uses to deny enemy advance/retreat or to funnel them into a chokepoint.
  • Boring, but Practical: A relatively small group of Sentries with good energy reserves can rapidly erect several Force Fields, letting them stop the opponent's retreat, block their reinforcements, and keep melee units at bay. Add in Guardian Shield to defend allies and the support fire it offers normally, and Sentries are a nice addition to any Protoss ground army.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: The Havoc's Target Lock ability increases damage dealt to the targeted unit by 30%.
  • Deflector Shields: Besides the standard Protoss plasma shields, it has Guardian Shield to reduce damage to nearby allies.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams
  • Master of Illusion: They inherit the High Templar's Hallucination skill from the first game.
  • The Medic: In the Legacy of the Void campaign, it can restore friendly units' shields, not unlike the Shield Battery. The Aiur Sentry in particular can restore shields of two units at the same time.
  • Spotting the Thread: Illusions of units deal zero damage despite attacking just the same as real ones; knowing this is important to figuring out how many of the enemy are fakes.
  • Squishy Wizard: Keep them alive and they'll more than prove themselves worth the cost. The problem is that first part.
  • Support Party Member: Incapable of killing much on their own, yet invaluable for their abilities nonetheless.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Tal'darim Havoc, which cannot attack anything. However, you will likely find the range increase, the Damage-Increasing Debuff, and the Force Field very useful, especially if your army is mostly ranged units.


"Glory to the Daelaam!"

A new Gateway unit added in Legacy of the Void designed as a counter to the early game units. Has a form of teleportation via its Psionic Transfer ability. They appear in the Legacy of the Void campaign as an alternate Stalker, now capable of attacking air units and causing any unit that it runs its Psionic Transfer shade through to take extra damage for 5 seconds.

  • Action Girl: The only Gateway unit to be a female Protoss.
  • Anti-Infantry: Much better damage vs. lightly armored units.
  • Battle Cry: "For Selendis!"
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: They were designed as potent harrass units for mid-to-late game.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: She could give the Zealot a run for his money.
  • Shadow Walker: Its Psionic Transfer ability works as this, sending out a fast moving "shade" of itself that cannot attack or be attacked. After 10 seconds the Adept will teleport to the Shade.


In the lore, the Dragoons of old can no longer be created, the shrine dedicated to their construction lost with the fall of Aiur. The Dragoons that survived have been adapted into Immortals, anti-armor walkers with hardened shields that resist heavy-hitting blows. In Legacy of the Void, their hardened shields were retooled and made into an active ability that grants them a defensive buff for a time. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, there are three variants: the Aiur Immortal, with an improved Barrier; the Nerazim Annihilator, capable of dealing heavy damage to any unit or structure with its Shadow Cannon; and the Tal'darim Vanguard which swaps its weapon for missile pods that deal area-effect damage, but can't take as much damage in return.

  • Anti-Armor:
    • Its intended role, between its shield and an Armor-Piercing Attack that gets an impressive damage buff when attacking an armored target.
    • Taken even further with the Tal'Darim Vanguard, as it can effortlessly tear down the omnipresent hybrids and Ultralisks.
  • Badass Boast:
    Immortal: We shall serve forever!
  • Beehive Barrier: How its shields manifest.
  • Cool Old Guy: The warriors that became Immortals are old, yet just as ready to kick ass as they were hundreds of years ago.
  • David vs. Goliath: Immortals aren't really small, but their particular properties allow them to take on Thors and Ultralisks at an advantage.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Vanguard pilots are Tal'darim who failed in some fashion and now seek to erase their disgrace by dying in battle.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Immortal's hardened shields reduce all incoming damage to 10, causing anything that does large doses of damage to have a fit. Its obvious weakness are the small, weak units that do 9-or-less damage to begin with, but in the end everything approaches an Immo with the attitude of slowly whittling them to death. Some units simply achieve this faster than others. Removed in Legacy of the Void, in which it got a barrier that absorbs 100 damage.
  • Death Seeker: Vanguards are disgraced Tal'darim who were defeated and now seek redemption by dying in battle.
    "We are the first to battle, and if fate smiles upon us, we shall never return."
  • Glass Cannon: The Vanguard deals massive damage, and the Annihilator has an ability that deals 200 damage to any enemy unit, air or ground. However, both variants lack defensive capabilities, and the former also pays for its greater damage with lower health and shields.
  • For Massive Damage: The Annihilator variant has an ability, Shadow Cannon, that deals 200 damage to any enemy unit. This also includes air units, making it the only immortal variant (albeit indirectly) capable of attacking air units.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Vanguard variation fires sixteen projectiles per attack, each of them dealing 8 (15 vs Armored) damage when not upgraded. This lets unupgraded Vanguards deal up to 128 damage to a non-armored target, and 240 to armored ones, or do a Herd-Hitting Attack if it's not possible. Couple that with its long cooldown and the potential range boost a nearby Havoc could provide, and you get the closest Protoss equivalent of the Siege Tank. Its projectiles are not Hit Scan, however, so they need escort to deal with fast units.
  • Man in the Machine: Like their Dragoon predecessors, every Immortal is a wounded Protoss warrior in a robotic shell.
  • Mighty Glacier: Not that fast, but high damage output against armored targets and fairly durable to boot.
  • Mythology Gag: It's implied through his Stop Poking Me! quotes in Legacy of the Void that the protoss inside the Nerazim Annihilator is the Dark Templar unit from first Starcraft game.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Prior to Patch 1.4 the Colossus was almost universally preferable to the Immortal due to higher HP, significantly greater damage output, siege range, splash damage, and increased mobility, while not being much more expensive. Said patch boosted the Immortal's range to make them more viable, and they've seen increased usage. Ironically at this point, it's possible for a force of Immortals to beat a force of Colossi depending on player management, due to their bonuses to offense and defense both working on the Colossus.
  • Spider Tank: They're essentially a humanoid turret on top of the classic Dragoon's central body.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: As mentioned above, the base units of all three races will have an easy time against them.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Being repurposed Dragoons, this trope is enforced on Immortal pilots.


Massive four-legged walkers that can walk up and down cliffs, they were developed centuries ago but sealed away in asteroids. The Protoss have recovered and reactivated them to serve as heavy support fighters. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, there are three variants: the Purifier Colossus that leaves behind a wall of fire after attacking; the Aiur Reaver; and the Tal'darim Wrathwalker, which replaces its thermal lances for a single powerful attack capable of attacking air units.

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Colossi are huge.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Fire long laser beams against enemies.
  • Godzilla Threshold: According to the lore, they're the reason the Protoss don't meddle in the affairs of lesser species — they tried to pacify a species involved in a civil war, and when the species turned on them the Protoss employed the Colossi to defend themselves and exterminated the other race. The Colossi were then sealed away beneath Aiur's oceans because the Protoss were ashamed of themselves; nowadays, with the war being what it is, they can't afford not to use them any more.
  • Humongous Mecha: So humongous that air units can shoot them down.
  • Kill It with Fire: In the Legacy of the Void campaign, its thermal lances leave fire where they hit, burning whatever stands on it.
  • Lightning Bruiser: High damage output and a lot of HP, it moves at a fair clip and can walk over cliffs to take shortcuts and outrun ground enemies.
  • Logical Weakness: One of its unique strengths — its size — is also one of its weaknesses. Colossi legs can climb up and down cliffs with no problem, but they're so darn tall that dedicated air-to-air combatants can attack them.
  • Splash Damage: This makes the best of the big units at dealing with large groups of smaller units, though as a drawback, it's less durable than the Thor and Ultralisk and packs less of a punch against durable targets.
  • Tripod Terror: They may have four legs, but otherwise totally in fit with the spirit of the trope. They fry stuff and destroy Zerg Rushes at extreme long range with sweeping heat rays, and have very long stilt-legs that let them stride over any terrain with ease. They had three legs in earlier incarnations, but it was changed to four to make them look more realistic.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: This really bears repeating: it counts as an air unit and a ground unit. It is the only thing in the game that can be attacked by everything. Fighting them is also a toss-up: their laser beams are meant to fry light, fast units, but only shoot in one direction, making them vulnerable to flanking attacks by... light, fast units. Finally, they can't attack air units, so Corruptors, Vikings, and Phoenixes make short work of them if they aren't supported by anti-air units.


"Consciousness awakened."

A new unit in Legacy of the Void, they can fire orbs of pure energy that explode in a blast of psionic power.

  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Their Purification Nova has a hefty 30 second cooldown. Hit and a lot of things are gonna die. Miss and your Disruptor is helpless against reprisals.
    • On top of that, Purification Nova does damage friendly units. Aim it badly and you'll just blow up your own Zealots.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Though a robot unit, it can produce an orb of pure psionic energy.
  • Splash Damage: Their primary offense is a targeted bomb.
  • Glass Cannon: Deals high damage, but can't take it in kind.

"Teleport successful."

Fast-moving air skirmish units, they can't attack ground units but don't need to—their Graviton Beam lets them bring ground units up to their level instead. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, there are three variants: the Aiur Phoenix, capable of trapping two targets with Graviton Beam; the Nerazim Corsair; and the Purifier Mirage, with Phasing Armor that grants it a brief period of invulnerability after taking damage

  • Beam Spam: During development their ability was "Overload", where they fire a flurry of lasers to attack enemies with a Herd-Hitting Attack, then go off-line for a period of time.
  • Fragile Speedster: Not too durable, but they're fast enough to make Hit-and-Run Tactics and outrun other air-to-air fighters.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Yeah, the Protoss are big on this trope.
  • Gravity Master: Their signature ability is to lift a ground unit up within their blasting range. Even more in the Legacy of the Void campaign, as Phoenixes can lift two units at the same time, with no energy cost and not preventing attack by the user.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Phoenixes are infamous for using their speed and maneuverability to dance circles around larger air units, attack, then make their getaway. And in LOTV, they don't even need to stop to attack.

Warp Prism

The new Protoss transport, consisting of a crystal "computer" inside a mechanical structure, the crystal can covert matter into energy, allowing it to transport even the massive Colossus across great distances. It can also transform into a stationary form to tap into the psionic matrix and provide pylon power.

  • Applied Phlebotinum: To elaborate on the above description, the Warp Prism is a crystal lattice controlled by a robotic mind created by psionic manufacturing techniques, capable of converting matter into energy, imprinting the subject's energy signature on the crystal, then reconfiguring that energy signature back into matter... Yeah.
  • Drop Ship: They're the new Protoss transport.
  • Dual Mode Unit: The Warp Prism can change between two modes, one where it's a mobile transit unit, the other has it as a stationary power-producing units.
  • Mook Maker: Thanks to its ability to become a floating Pylon, you can use them in tandem with Warp Gates to create units anywhere.

Void Ray
"Prismatic core on-line."

A Protoss support ship, it is armed with a prismatic beam that fires a steady stream of energy. The longer it fires at a single target the better the crystals firing the beam align together, slowly intensifying the beam's energy output and doing more damage. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, there are three variants: the Nerazim Void Ray that gains additional range as it charges up; the Tal'darim Destroyer, which splits its attack to deal damage additional enemies; and the Aiur Arbiter.

  • Beam Spam: Fire long continuous lasers at enemies.
  • Blood Knight: The Tal'darim Destroyer pilot is this for Tal'darim standards, which says A LOT about him. Good luck finding one line that is not related to destruction.
  • Chewing the Scenery: The Destroyer pilot makes Large Ham look like an Understatement.
  • Converging-Stream Weapon: Their weapons converge on a crystal hovering in the middle of their laser array that combines the beams into one.
  • Evolving Attack: In Wings of Liberty and the Legacy of the Void campaign. The longer they attack a single target, the higher their damage (And range, in the Legacy of the Void campaign) climbs.
  • Glass Cannon: Surprisingly fragile for its cost and damage output, and are often considered some of the most valuable units in an army to keep alive. If they are kept alive, their charged beams kill even small, massed anti-air units like Marines very quickly.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: The Tal'darim Destroyer in Legacy of the Void has its beams hit multiple targets as they power up, instead of dealing more damage to the primary target.
  • Incoming Ham: The Destroyer pilot, again.
  • No Indoor Voice: Dear Lord, the Destroyer pilot. Just look at the quotes above.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Their laser gets impressively large when powered up.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: According to the lore, it was designed by combining Dark Templar and Khalai manufacturing techniques, and its powerful energy beam is created by combining the two forms of psionic energy.


"Kinetic matrix active."

The new Protoss capital ship in Heart of the Swarm, it is a very long-range siege ship that blasts enemies from beyond their normal line of sight. They appear in the Legacy of the Void campaign as an alternate Carrier, now also bringing in its "Disintegration" ability.

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Invoked in order to enforce the Tempest's role as a support unit. Despite its very long range and respectable health (But somewhat low shields), the Tempest deals low damage-per-second for the expensive unit it is (300 minerals, 200 gas, 4 psi and requires a Fleet Beacon). It's not supposed to spearhead an offensive like the Carrier, but rather supposed to stay behind and attack safely.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Tempest was in the Wings of Liberty alpha as a dedicated anti-ground unit, though it had a different appearance. It got cut when the Carrier made it back into the game in Wings of Liberty, only to return in Heart of the Swarm. Now it's the original Tempest In-Name-Only: The original cut Tempest was basically a modified carrier, while this final Tempest is entirely different.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: It's stated that handling the humongous amount of energy that uses the Tempest takes a toll on the body of its pilots, something lessened by the armor they wear. The Purifier Tempest sidesteps this problem due to being piloted by an AI, allowing them to crank the power Up to Eleven.
  • Energy Ball: Word of God has commented that the massive sphere of electricity that dominates the front of the ship is as much a part of its design appearance as the actual ship.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Flavor Text mentions that, due to the strain that handling the Tempest has on the protoss, its only piloted by loyal and fanatic protoss, hence why the unit portrait looks like an armored Zealot.
  • Siege Engine: Remember how Siege Tanks can hit a few squares outside their sight range if another unit spots for them? The Tempest can hit outside their spotter's sight range!

"Dimensional strings attuned."

An aerial support caster debuting in Heart of the Swarm, Oracles featured a variety of abilities during development. In the final product, they can detect hidden enemies and reveal areas in the fog of war, making them effective scouts. They can also attack units with a damage buff against light targets, making them dangerous harassers. Legacy of the Void combined their two abilities into one and gave it a new ability in Stasis Ward.

  • Fragile Speedster: That's how you know it's a Nerazim unit.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Moves at a fair clip and its basic attack is horribly potent; two harassing Oracles can chew through an entire base's Worker Units in about five seconds.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Their presence averts it, being the second Protoss air unit with a female voice set.
  • Spy Bot: was formerly able to either stop the enemy from seeing or give you sight on an enemy building (depending on the build); the latter of which had obvious synergy with the Tempest's BVR attack. Now it just has the 60-seconds-vision ability.
  • Squishy Wizard: Damn good damage against light armor and useful abilties, but they won't last long against dedicated attackers.
  • Trap Master: In Legacy of the Void they can set Stasis Wards, cloaked traps that trigger against nearby units and freeze them in stasis.
  • True Sight: Can make itself a detector to sense cloaked and burrowed enemies.

Mothership Core

A spellcasting ship with potent abilities, the Protoss are only allowed to have one at a time. It can use "Mass Recall" to return itself and all nearby units to your base; "Photon Overcharge" to temporarily turn a Pylon (no, Warp Prisms don't count) into a makeshift Photon Cannon; and "Time Warp" to reduce the movement speed and attack speed of all units in the chosen area for a short time. Finally, once you climb the Tech Tree enough, it can be upgraded into a Mothership (see below).

  • Nerf: Prior to Legacy of the Void, Photon Overcharge targeted the Nexus instead of a Pylon and had a much longer duration. However, its damage was improved in return.
  • Squishy Wizard: Its abilities are all pretty nice; HP, shields and movement speed, not so much.

"Justice has come!"

The height of Protoss air power, a flying city long used as a mobile base in the lore but not deployed in the field until now. Compared to the Mothership Core, it trades in Photon Overcharge and movement speed for an Invisibility Cloak that shrouds everything near the Mothership. It used to have a black-hole ability called "Vortex," but it was Dummied Out for being overused. They appear in the Legacy of the Void campaign as an alternate Carrier. However, the Tal'darim Mothership is different from the Multiplayer Mothership as it is designed not as support, but as a fully capable assault unit with Black Hole', Thermal Lance, Blink'', and a vastly improved basic attack, health, along with no cloaking field. It's also much more expensive.

  • Awesome, but Impractical: While its abilities and power are impressive, its long build time, top-tier tech requirements and huge resource cost make it difficult to deploy, and once it hits the field it moves very slowly and needs time to build up a store of energy to use properly. This is why the Mothership Core was introduced, making the Mothership less impractical.
  • Balance Buff: The Mothership Core was introduced to allow Motherships to be more useful.
  • Combination Attack: When combined with Archons, the stacking effect Vortex has on air units plus the Archons' splash damage leads to the splash destroying nearly any air unit caught within the Vortex after they emerge. The Fan Nickname for this was "Archon Toilet."
  • Flying Saucer: Their design aesthetic.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Six of them at a time!
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the lore, they are the height of Protoss power, and are Kill Sats armed with a "Planet Cracker" superweapon that can purify planets ala classic Mothership from Independence Day. We witness one such ability in Wings of Liberty on a smaller scale. In the gameplay, however, they are Arbiter-like spellcasters with a weak attack that, if not protected, can be killed by Marines. Justified, since in the beta they had the Planet Cracker and the ability to create Black Holes that obliterate fleets, but that was obviously overpowered. The Archon Toilet combined with the Invisibility Cloak compensated for the Mothership's weaknesses, forcing more tactical and economic gameplay.
  • Large and in Charge: Without question the largest unit in multiplayer. In the campaign it's rivalled by the Odin and the Leviathan.
  • Mass Teleportation: Can use Mass Recall to teleport itself and nearby allies to a friendly Nexus.
  • Mighty Glacier: Painfully slow but their basic attack is very strong (Except for the Weaksauce Weakness mentioned below) and their spells are very dangerous.
  • One-Man Army: The Tal'darim Mothership. It boasts a jaw-dropping 1000 shields (more than the normal Mothership has HP and shields combined) on top of an equally massive HP pool, trades in the Mothership's support-oriented kit for Blink and two very powerful offensive abilities, and has a devastating normal attack (like the normal Mothership, it attacks with six beams simultaneously, except a single one of the Tal'darim Mothership's beams matches the normal Mothership's entire six-beam volley). It's not likely to be brought down by anything short of a decently-sized army. And to top it off, Ji'nara fields an even more powerful one in Nova Covert Ops.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: if you see a single Mothership floating towards you, you know she's got a bunch of guys hiding under her Invisibility Cloak. In addition, since the Mothership does not cloak herself, she's the only thing you can shoot.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of the Arbiter.
  • The Mother Ship: They're based on this idea.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Vortex, which was actually named Black Hole during development. The Tal'darim Mothership's Black Hole stuns all enemy units that were sucked into the Black Hole, leaving them vulnerable.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Their basic attack is 6 beams fired at the same time, 7 damage each, so the Mothership's attacks are heavily penalized by armor.

    Campaign-exclusive Protoss Units 

Note - Information on the faction variations of Protoss units in Legacy of the Void is listed under the base unit's profile, or its own profile if it appeared on a previous game.

Spear of Adun

One of the three arkships that were built during the Protoss's golden age in case their civilization fell into dire times, and the only one that survived the Zerg invasion of Aiur. The Spear of Adun was rediscovered by Artanis's forces when looking for a way to escape Aiur following Amon's corruption of the Khala. The ship itself carries an entire army, military production facilities, an artificial star that provides nourishment to the tripulation and energy to the arkship's components, among other useful traits.

The Spear of Adun does not appear as a unit proper in Legacy of the Void, but it does provide several support powers that can be used in most missions, with Baseless Missions and progressively the final main campaign mission as the only exceptions. It also supports Artanis, Vorazun and Karax in Co-Op missions.

  • Awesome, but Impractical: Even though Warp-In Reinforcements (Warps in a Pylon and four units) seems to be a straight upgrade from Deploy Pylon, the fact the former power costs 50 solarite makes it less desirable later on, where not only more powerful units outclass the reinforcements, but said powerful units' longer build times also make Chrono Surge a more desirable power.
  • Boring, but Practical: Orbital Assimilators don't seem that impressive compared with being able to get not only Warp Gates, but also Warp Stargates and Warp Robotic Facilities. However, it makes vespene gas gathering significantly cheaper.
  • Cool Ship: It comes with the fact it's a humongous arkship, capable of holding an entire civilization within it.
  • Deflector Shields: Shield Overcharge gives all friendly units a shield that absorbs 200 points of damage during 20 seconds. It stacks up with Protoss shields.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: The first Tier 3 power, Nexus Overcharge, gives all Nexus one not unlike the Terran Sensor Tower's.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: A surprising variation on it - the Ancient Protoss who built it were not under threat, but they built it in case their descendants might be.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Not a single of the harmful powers can affect friendly units and structures.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Spear of Adun and two other arkships were buried beneath Aiur, and were only to be reactivated in the event of a Darkest Hour happening.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Guardian Shell provides a five-second invulnerability to friendly units that would take fatal damage in an attack.
  • It's Raining Men: The final Tier 4 power drops Fenix to the battlefield not through a warp-in, in such a way it deals noticeable damage in a radius around the zone of impact.
  • Made of Iron: Not even the entire Golden Armada ramming the Spear of Adun does any significant damage. At worst, the support powers stop working during one mission.
  • Mass Teleportation: Mass Recall teleports a group of units to the player's oldest Nexus.
  • The Medic: The Spear of Adun can passively repair up to three mechanical units or structures at a time.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Spear of Adun is stated to be 223 times larger than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and 5 to 10 times larger than a Zerg Leviathan. This, at least, equals to the Spear of Adun being 74,592 metres long (making it a 46-mile-long ship), and makes it the largest unit in the entire series.
  • Orbital Bombardment
    • The first of the Spear of Adun's Tier 2 powers, up to having the same name. It fires five barrages of three blasts on the locations chosen by the player. The third Tier 2 power is the Solar Lance, which arcs three beams of energy along designated paths.
    • The first Tier 6 power, Purifier Beam, produces a beam that deals massive damage along a path designated by the player. Solar Bombardment, the final Tier 6 power, fires 200 projectiles in an area for around 15 seconds. The damage adds so much that not even units like Battlecruisers can stay in blast radius.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: Nexus Overcharge gives the Protoss Nexus a permanent weapon. While it has a very long range (As much as a Siege Tank), it only has the same damage and attack speed as a Photon Cannon. However, this can make the Nexus a very useful Stone Wall on defensive missions.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction
    • Even by the Protoss standard of warping in structures, the Spear of Adun's deployable Pylons are warped in extremely quickly. Warp-in Reinforcements takes it even further by warping in a Pylon and four units.
    • The Chrono Surge ability provides Ridiculously Fast Production for any allied bulding, increasing the warp-in and research speeds tenfold for 20 seconds.
    • After Shakuras is blown up, the Spear of Adun is capable of manufacturing every building you need to such a degree that in gameplay terms, you won't even notice it.
    • You can allocate extra solarite to warp in buildings faster.
  • Sealed Army in a Can: Carries a massive army in stasis, who can easily have their nerve cords removed and most won't question the necessity.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: In stasis, with a big 'Do not open unless shit has hit the fan' sign on it.
  • Status Buff: Matrix Overload is the first Tier 5 power, and it gives a speed boost (In both attack and movement) to allied units that are in a power field, for up to 15 seconds after leaving it.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Technology: It comes as this towards modern Protoss, with some of said incredibly advanced technology, such as artificial stars, never being used again after building the arkships.
  • Time Stands Still
    • Temporal Field stuns all enemy units in a small radius around three targeted spots for 20 seconds.
    • Time Stop does the same as Temporal Field, but also targets structures, and it targets the entire map.


"My life for the Highlord!"

Low-ranking Tal'darim warriors, they appear in Co-op Missions where they serve as Alarak's basic infantry troop, replacing the Zealot. Unimpressive on their own, they mainly exist to be sacrificed to Alarak and his Ascendants to empower them.

  • Cannon Fodder: Acknowledged in-universe, they're weak units that exist solely to provide Alarak support and will quickly die in his name.
  • Energy Ball: They attack by flinging energy orbs at targets.
  • Foil: To the Zealot. While they both serve as the basic tech unit, Zealots are sturdy melee attackers while Supplicants are fragile ranged attackers. While Zealots charge in first to serve as meatshields from your bigger units, Supplicants will be staying at range while Alarak charges, sacrificing them to survive. This is even reflected in their unit quotes; the newly trained Zealot shouts "My life for Aiur," while the Supplicant shouts "My life for the Highlord."
  • Fragile Speedster: They move pretty quick but don't do much damage and have only moderate HP.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Their main purpose is to be sacrificed to Alarak to restore his health when he grows weak, or to his Ascendants to restore their energy.
  • Irony: They use a modified Preserver model from Wings of Liberty. Preservers use the Khala to absorb and store the memories of other Protoss; as the Tal'darim do not access the Khala, they cannot have Preservers.
  • Zerg Rush: They're individually weak, but easily massed. Interestingly they warp in two at a time just like the Trope Namer Zerglings.

    Hybrid Units 

Hybrid Reaver

A Zerg-attuned Hybrid that attacks at close range with claw attacks. Their advanced form is the Hybrid Behemoth.

  • Bonus Boss: In a sense. It appears in the optional secret mission in Wings of Liberty, but will respawn if you kill it.
  • Deflector Shields: Actually the only hybrid unit that does not have them.
  • Elite Mook: In Heart of the Swarm you fight several of them as minibosses in a mission.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Have the distinctive Zerg jaws.
  • Giant Mooks: In gameplay they're taller than an Ultralisk. They're not as big when in an FMV, but they still tower over Protoss.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Their eyes glow bright blue.
  • The Juggernaut: The one found in the secret mission in Wings of Liberty is too strong for the player to fight with the units available making it into an Advancing Boss of Doom. Even if it's killed it just respawns.
  • Mighty Glacier: It may be slow, but with very high HP and high armor, it's going to take a lot of firepower to take it down. Its powerful attacks (Up to Eleven in Wings of Liberty where it can deal over 120 damage in one hit) don't make things any easier.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: They're mostly Zerg in design but have some Protoss elements as well.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Hybrid Behemoth are black with some of their limbs glowing with red psionics.
  • Tron Lines: Their skin has glowing blue lines over it.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Zerg/Protoss, leans towards the former.
  • Units Not to Scale: Unlike most examples this one is actually much bigger in gameplay. In gameplay it's taller than a Ultralisk. When one is seen in an FMV in Legacy of the Void it's definitely big, but nowhere near the size it's gameplay model makes it out to be.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: One of the most efficient ways to win the final Protoss mission where the Hybrids swarm you in waves is to build a fleet of Phoenix and use their Graviton Beams to levitate the Hybrids, taking them out of the fight and making it easy for your other units to focus fire them down.

Hybrid Destroyer

A Protoss-attuned Hybrid that fires blasts of psionic energy. Their advanced form is the Hybrid Dominator.

  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Heart of the Swarm, the Hybrid Dominator used the Hybrid Destroyer model. Legacy of the Void gives the Dominator a model based on the Destroyer, but distinct from it.
  • Elite Mook: In Heart of the Swarm you fight several of them as minibosses in the second Skygeirr Station mission.
  • Expy: You're forgiven if you mistake them at first glance for Archons. The glowing tendrils on their backs vaguely resemble those of the angels in the Diablo series.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Also glowing blue.
  • Mighty Glacier: As with the Reaver, they don't move that fast but do a lot of damage.
  • Power Glows: They're surrounded by a psionic aura.
  • Superpower Lottery: Across various missions, the Hybrid Destroyer's abilities include Blink, Psionic Storm, a single-target high-damage spell similar to Yamato Cannon, they can create copies of themselves (which, unlike Hallucinations, deal full damage), stun units while dealing damage over time, and have an area-of-effect damage shockwave that knocks units back.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Zerg/Protoss, leans towards the latter.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: See the Hybrid Reaver's entry. The Hybrid Dominator also suffers from the fact you can remove all of its shields with a single Feedback, at the same time making it unable to unleash its Psionic Storms.

Hybrid Nemesis

A flying Hybrid based on the Reaver, it attacks with an energy beam.

  • Eyeless Face: Although the would-be eye sockets are visible, covered with skin.
  • Flying Mook: The sole airborne Hybrid.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Unlike other Hybrid units, the Nemesis is somewhat fast, but it's still very tough and it hits hard.

Void Thrasher

An extremely powerful Hybrid that has a ridiculous attack range.

    Other Units 

Tauren Marine
"Milked up and good to go!"

An April Fools joke made by Blizzard during the development of Wings of Liberty. The "lore" is that the Terran Confederacy found Azeroth on an expedition and, impressed by the physical prowess of the Taurens, convinced many of them to enlist in the Marine Corps.

  • Bayonet Ya: Their rifles have curved energy blades mounted on the front.
  • Brick Joke: An early Easter Egg in Wings of Liberty has the Tauren Marine run into an outhouse, which launches into space. In Legacy of the Void, another Easter Egg has the outhouse land, and the Tauren emerges as a controllable unit.
  • BFG: They wield 88mm Impala Rifles.
  • Crossover: With the Warcraft series.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Legacy of the Void has one join you for one mission as an Easter Egg.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Virtually every line they have is a cow pun.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They move fast, have 10 armor, deal 24 damage, and have 250 HP with regeneration. In their release video, five of them effortlessly destroy a Terran base and four times their number in defending forces in under a minute.
  • One-Man Army: Again; five of them destroy a base and its defenders in under a minute. With their stats, one could have done the job by itself, just not as quickly.
  • Pig Man: As with the Taurens, they're bovine humanoids.
  • Purposely Overpowered: They're likely as strong as they are to make it clear they're not really going to be in the game, and to make their debut more impressive.

"Beware the Evil Terra-Tron!!! HE DOES NOT LIKE YOU!!!"

An April Fools joke made by Blizzard during the development of Wings of Liberty. The "lore" is that it combines from the player's buildings to defend against enemies if you have no units left. It returned as the Final Boss of the Lost Viking arcade game.

  • Arm Cannon: Made from a Ghost Academy.
  • BFG: And as such its cannon is huge.
  • Bullet Hell: The' 'Lost Viking'' game as a whole is this, but Terra-Tron takes it to a sadistic new level.
  • Chainsaw Good: Wields a buzzsaw blade on its left arm, formed from a Starport.
  • Combining Mecha: It merges from various buildings to form a giant robot.
  • Deadly Disc: In the Lost Viking game, it flings its saw blade around the arena.
  • Evil Is Petty: The above quote is the only reason given for why the Terra-Tron is trying to destroy your lost little Viking — he doesn't like you.
  • Final Boss: Of Lost Viking.
  • Humongous Mecha: It has Bunkers for feet and a Planetary Fortress for a head.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Every line it has is a reference to some sort of media involving robots. It quotes Transformers, Short Circuit, Beast Wars, Power Rangers, it has a voice like Optimus Prime, and was designed by Ron Volt, a reference to Voltron.
  • Joke Character: One so obvious that even if it wasn't showcased on April 1st, no one could possibly think it was legit.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Its arm cannon fires out a long, continuous laser beam, similar to the laser drill in the mission The Dig.