Characters: Starcraft II Units
The units of StarCraft II. Click here to return to the main index.
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- "Let's have a blast!"
- Arm Cannon: Two of them!
- 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 (unless one counts the Hellbat, which is more of a Mini-Mecha unit).
- Boisterous Bruiser: Big, loud, and always ready for 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 served jail time, and only 23% have been accused of murder! The joke is they're a comparative improvement to the Marines 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.
- 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 ax from multiplayer. Flavor text in the campaign mentions that the Marauder suits are repurposed Firebat suits, since Terran commanders have taken notice Marauders are far more useful than Firebats.
- Grenade Launcher: What's mounted on each Arm Cannon.
- Handicapped Badass: " 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 withstand damage on the frontline. In-game this is reflected in their armor rating allowing them to soak up light attacks but be vulnerable to Anti-Armor.
- 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 fire rates and giving any unit they attack a penalty for the same.
- 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 only cost 100 minerals (twice that of a Marine), produce 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.
- Soul Brotha: This is their speech pattern.
- 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..."
- 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 mines at things, which made for surprisingly devastating damage to buildings.
- 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 weak and 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 in building demolition. They also get several campaign upgrades to raise their damage output.
- Guns Akimbo: Wield dual pistols.
- Healing Factor: As of Heart of the Swarm, their combat drugs make them regenerate out of combat.
- 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 of dodge once they draw attention (being rather poor at head-on fights). Rinse and repeat.
- Jet Pack: What lets them move so fast for infantry and hop ledges at will.
- Jump Jet Pack: It only works for moving them up and down ledges.
- Secondary Fire: Chucks explosive charges when attacking buildings, at least until the ability was removed in Heart of the Swarm.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Well, they threw them down until Heart of the Swarm's changes.
HercHercs are an infantry unit introduced in Legacy of the Void. They can grapple targets at range and pull themselves in, disrupting enemy formations and letting them get to key targets.
- Arm Cannon: Similar to the Marauder's in appearance.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Their central gimmick.
- Powered Armor: Another Terran infantryman in a power suit.
- Splash Damage: It deals it with its normal attack in a small radius.
- This Is a Drill: The right arm of their suit is a drill arm.
- "Ready to raise some hell!"
- 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 with Infernal Pre-Igniter to boost its damage, and in Heart of the Swarm can transform into the Hellbat, a Mighty Glacier with higher HP but low speed.
- Fragile Speedster: As far as vehicles go, Hellions are much faster than Siege Tanks or Thors but more fragile.
- 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.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: If Hellbats can be considered the Spiritual Successor of Firebats from the first game, since they are much less situational than they used to be.
- Transforming Mecha: Added in Heart of the Swarm, from a rapid-moving car to a slower-moving but more durable combat walker.
- 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 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: The Thor' default attacks are huge cannons that work best at shredding clusters of units, especially air ones.
- Backpack Cannon: Four of them. 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.
- Death from Above: One of the Thor's abilities uses 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.
- Healing Factor: In Legacy of the Void, they can initiate self-repairs, taking them out of the fight but restoring their HP over time.
- 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 and a lot of HP, not very impressive movement.
- Military Mashup Machine: A Goliath crossed with a Siege Tank.
- More Dakka: Its special ability 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 Rory Swan created it by basically scaling down the Odin, the Thor's prototype 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. Additionally, Swan reverse-engineering the Thor from the Odin also leaves one wondering how the Dominion developed the exact same unit independently.
- 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.
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: It's hard to aim Widow Mines, so if you send in a melee unit as Schmuck Bait, it might be able to activate the mine prematurely. ...And/or draw 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.
- 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.
CycloneA mobile mini-tank unit, it fires missiles to attack while on the move.
- Expy: It's a unit whose primary strength is the ability to attack on the move, making it effective against slow enemies but vulnerable to faster ones. In essence, it's a retooled Diamondback.
- Fragile Speedster: They're quick and can attack while moving, but are outmatched by a unit that can keep up with them and tank their blasts.
- "Ready to plunder."
- 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."
- 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.
- Transforming Mecha: From air-to-air fighter-jet to ground-to-ground combat walker.
- "Engines screaming."
- 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.
- 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.
- Splash Damage: Used to deal it at all times, but now it only appears in the single-player campaign.
- "Raven on-line"
- Attack Drone: Its Auto-Turrets.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: Seeker Missiles, until the mechanic was redesigned shortly after Heart of the Swarm's release. There's even an achievement for outrunning one long enough for it to explode without impact. Doing so is much easier after the change, although it no longer quite fits the trope.
- Splash Damage: Hunter-Seeker Missile.
- True Sight: Can detect burrowed and cloaked units.
- "Ready for dust-off"
- 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: In the single-player campaign the Medic can be upgraded to heal faster and for less energy, while the Medivac can get the ability to heal two units at once. The Medivac is also more expensive and slower to build, but has better durability and can function as a transport.
- 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, allowing units inside to survive and be deployed on the ground if it gets shot down.
- Healing Beam: How it restores health to units on the ground.
- 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?"
- The Medic: Takes over this role from the ground unit from the first game.
- 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.
- Units Not to Scale: In Vanilla SC 2, it can fit a Thor inside it, by means of... something. 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.
Campaign-exclusive Terran Units
- "I have awakened..."
- 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 Yamato Cannon.
- Death from Above: Like Ghosts, they can call down a nuclear strike.
- 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.
- 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?"
- Armor-Piercing Attack: They get a damage buff 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. However, their use is extremely niche, and they aren't as versatile as other units, such as the overpowered "campaign" Siege Tank. Their upgrades makes them better in kiting, raiding bases, and fighting units like the Ultralisk and the Colossus, but they are still ultimately a harassment and scouting unit. Being that the campaign is focused on defense and securing objectives, and the Diamondback isn't very good at that, they're still outclassed.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The mission that introduces the Diamondback has you tracking down and shooting fast, high-HP armored trains. The Diamondback moves fast, fires on the move, and does extra 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.
- 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
- Mighty Glacier: 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.
- 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.
- You Shall Not Pass: A second one is sent against the Hybrid as the Raiders flee the facility. This one loses.
PredatorA 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.
- Shock and Awe: They use bursts of electrical energy to kill.
- Splash Damage: They deal it with their electrical fields.
- "Ay, laddie!"
- 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. This is only 50HP less (with the same base armor) than the Terran Battlecruiser, the single toughest unit in the game.
- Violent Glaswegian: He's a non-combatant but you wouldn't know from listening to him
- "Beware the Evil Terra-Tron!!! HE DOES NOT LIKE YOU!!!"
- 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.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: It does a 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: The Raiders leave it behind on Korhal since it takes far too many resources to maintain, 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 Mengsks's final gambit against Raynor and Kerrigan, and the worst is passed once you destroy it.
- More Dakka: Unlike the Thor which strikes a single target, its Barrage hits over an area of effect.
- Mighty Glacier: Massive HP and 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.
- Oh, Crap: This is Raynor's reaction when it gets deployed against him.
- One-Man Army: 2500 HP, 100 damage attacks to ground units, 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.
- Splash Damage: Its ground attack.
- 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 ArchangelA 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!
- Anti-Vehicle: What they were supposed to be.
- April Fools' Day: On the 1st of April 2013 Warhound returned to the multiplayer in all of its glory...as a reskin for Worker Units for all 3 races
- Chicken Walker: Have reverse-bending legs.
- EMP : Haywire missiles.
- Irony: Warhounds were intended to provide a counter to siege tank lines in TvT. In actual game however siege tanks were among the very few ground units cost-effective vs Warhounds.
- Lightning Bruiser: They are faster than any other terran unit except for Hellions and Reapers, tougher than any other terran unit except for Thors and Battlecruisers and have pretty high DPS, further increased by an ability vs mechinical.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Their left arm looks like something in between a small shield and a power fist
- Macross Missile Massacre: Haywire missiles are a downplayed example- there are “merely” 10 or so missiles fired per use.
- Magnetic Weapon: Their main weapon is a railgun.
- Secondary Fire: Just like Roaches and Hydralisks, Warhounds have a hidden melee animation.
- Shield Bash / Power Fist: The way their cosmetic melee animation works.
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).
- Geo Effects: Can plant "creep tumors" for additional creep spread, which give a speed boost to zerg units.
- In Name Only: Bears a very vague physical resemblance to the original Queen...and that's about all they have in common.
- Mook Maker: Indirectly, she can cause a Hatchery to spawn extra larva.
- 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.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Legacy of the Void, the spawn time for their locusts is significantly increased, but they can now spawn locusts while moving and can upgrade them to fly. This makes them much more aggressive and proactive than before.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Life Drain: and convert it into energy, causing your buildings to Cast from Hit Points.
- Squishy Wizard: has no attacks other than that.
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.
- Mighty Glacier: Has much higher HP than the original Guardian and with its broodlings does a lot more damage, 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.
- Spawn Broodling: Literally — they attack by shooting Broodlings at enemies, leaving the Broodling to keep attacking the enemy on the ground.
Nydus WormTechnically 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.
- 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
- Swallowed Whole: It pretty much swallows units and regurgitates them out of another head.
- Took a Level in Badass: Legacy of the Void makes them invulnerable until they finish surfacing, removing a bit part of the "Impractical" bit of the Awesome but Impractical entry. Now Zerg plays can pick and choose their spots of engagement without loss of resources should a Worm be killed before it erupts.
Campaign-exclusive Zerg Units
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.
- 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.)
- Body Horror: These... things... are the ultimate evolution, thus far, of Infested Terrans.
- 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".
- Took a Level in Badass: 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.
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 hundreds of HP and 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
- 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.
OmegaliskAnother 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. In the lore they are described as moon-sized.
- "I am here in the shadows..."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
AdeptA new Gateway unit added in Legacy of the Void designed as a counter to the early game units. Also has a form of teleportation via its Psionic Transfer ability
- Pinball Projectile: Has an upgrade that gives its attacks this, similar to the Mutalisk's attack
- 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
- Splash Damage
- Anti-Armor: its intended role, between its shield and an Armor-Piercing Attack that gets an impressive damage buff when attacking an armored target.
- Badass Boast: "We shall serve... forever!"
- Badass Grandpa: The warriors that became Immortals are old, yet just as ready to kick ass as they were hundreds of years ago.
- Beehive Barrier: How its shields manifests.
- David Versus Goliath: Immortals aren't really small, but their particular properties allow them to take on Thors and Ultralisks at an advantage.
- 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.
- Man in the Machine: Like their Dragoon predecessors.
- Mighty Glacier: Not that fast, but high damage output against armored targets and a lot of HP.
- 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 Mecha: 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.
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.
- 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 out. This is why the Colossi were sealed away; the Protoss were ashamed of themselves, but with the war being what it is now, they can't afford not to use them any more.
- Humongous Mecha: So humongous that air units can shoot them down.
- 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 Phoenix make short work of them if they aren't supported by anti-air units.
DisruptorA new unit in Legacy of the Void, they can turn into orbs of pure energy and then release a blast of psionic power around them when they return to corporeal form.
- Energy Beings: Though a robot unit, it can turn itself into an orb of pure psionic energy.
- Splash Damage: Their primary offense is a shockwave around them.
- Squishy Wizard: Deals high damage, but can't take it in kind.
- "Teleport successful"
- 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 Attacks 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.
- Hit-and-Run Tactics: Phoenix's are infamous for using their speed and maneuverability to dance circles around larger air units, attack, then make their getaway.
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.
- Mook Maker: Thanks to its ability to become a floating Pylon, you can use them in tandem with Warp Gates to create units anywhere.
- Transforming Mecha: 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.
- "Prismatic core on-line"
- 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: The longer they attack a single target, the higher their damage climbs.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Fire long continuous lasers at enemies.
- 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.
- Wave Motion Gun: Their laser gets impressively large at full power.
- 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.
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. In Legacy of the Void they lose their anti-air attack but gain a boost to their speed and a new Damage Over Time ability.
- 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. How it's the original Tempest In Name Only: The original cut Tempest was basically a modified carrier, while this final Tempest is entirely different.
- Damage Over Time: Their new Disintegration ability added in Legacy of the Void
- 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.
- 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!
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.
- 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: its raw-damage ability is horribly potent; two harassing Oracles can chew through an entire base's worth of Worker Units in about five seconds.
- 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 CoreA 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 turn your Nexus into a giant 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).
- "Justice has come!"
- 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.
- 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 its rivalled by the Odin and the Leviathan.
- Mighty Glacier: Sort of. Compared one-on-one with most units, and the Mothership fits the bill: Its attack inflicts a decent amount of damage that can kill Marines and workers in a single volley when upgraded, it has a sizable bank of health, and it is slow. However, its main attack uses multiple low damage lasers (that get easily dulled by armor upgrades), and the Mothership itself is a costly investment that is a super-spellcaster at best, rather than a combat unit.
- 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.
A Zerg-attuned Hybrid that attacks at close range with claw attacks.
- Bonus Boss: In a sense. It appears in the optional secret mission in Wings of Liberty, but will respawn if you kill it.
- 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: They're taller than an Ultralisk.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Bright blue.
- Mighty Glacier: High HP and power, low speed.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They're mostly Zerg in design but have some Protoss elements as well.
- Tron Lines: Their skin has glowing blue lines over it.
- Uneven Hybrid: Zerg/Protoss, leans towards the former.
- 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.
A Protoss-attuned Hybrid that fires blasts of psionic energy.
- 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 or Archangels
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Also glowing blue.
- Mighty Glacier: Same as the Reaver.
- Power Glows: They're surrounded by a psionic aura.
- Uneven Hybrid: Zerg/Protoss, leans towards the latter.
- Weaksauce Weakness: See the Hybrid Reaver's entry.