At Blizzcon this year, Blizzard announced the expansion for their popular real time strategy game, Starcraft 2:Wings of Liberty. This expansion’s story line follows Kerrigan and is focused mostly around the Zerg race. Along with this new promising campaign, Blizzard also announced many new units for all of the games races. This is the first article I am writing about the new units, in which I will preview the new units for Zerg. Terran and Protoss changes will come in later articles.

The first unit is a new flying spell caster called a Viper. The Viper is replacing the Overseer and is set to have multiple spells. One of these spells is called Blinding Cloud which drops a cloud in a target area and all units in the cloud will have their attack range reduced to 1. It also prevents any abilities that require energy to be activated. The next ability the Viper has is called Abduct. This ability picks up target unit, friendly or enemy, and pulls it toward the Viper. The final ability the Viper has is called Ocular Parasite. This ability is only usable once per viper and it turns target friendly unit into a Detector.

Thoughts on Viper- I feel that the Viper will be an extremely powerful unit and used in almost every Zerg army. Blind Cloud will be very effective in removing the ranged attacks of powerful ranged units such siege tanks, marines, stalkers, etc.. This will allow both zerglings and banelings to get closer to the enemy without taking too many casualties. The Abduct ability will be very interesting. Since it will be usable on both friendly and enemy units we could see very unique strategies such as pulling friendly units up into an enemies base without having to go through the front door. It will also be useful for pulling powerful units into the Zerg army to die. The final ability will be very important as well, since their will be no more overseers, Ocular Parasite will be the only form of mobile detection that Zerg will have. Overall I think the Viper will be a very popular and powerful unit used by any Zerg player who will be able to use its abilities toward his advantage.

The second unit announced for Zerg in Heart of the Swarm is called the Swarm Host. Above ground, the Swarm Host is a slow and vulnerable unit with no attack. However, like most Zerg units, it has the ability to burrow underneath the ground. While burrowed, the Swarm Host will produce a non-stop wave of Locusts. Locusts are slow moving, yet they do not cost anything to create, other then the initial cost of the Swarm Host.

Thoughts on the Swarm Host

The Swarm Host is a perfect unit for Zerg. One thing that Zerg lacks in Wings of Liberty is a stationary, long range unit, that can be used to siege an opponents base. Though the Swarm Host may seem less deadly then other siege units such as Siege Tanks, if left uncontested the endless swarm of Locusts could eventually break through any defenses that a player has set up. The Swarm Host also has a very Zerg feel to it. An endless army of Locusts attacking the enemies front door is exactly how a Zerg army would conduct a siege.

Overall both the Viper and Swarm Host, I believe, will be valuable additions to the army composition of Zerg in Heart of the Swarm.

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