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The hydralisk is a zerg ranged unit in StarCraft.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Hydralisks have a single ranged attack, unlike in the Amerigo cinematic where they may melee attack. They are the only zerg ground unit able to hit air targets, making them one of the most important zerg units in the whole game. Hydralisk dens are required to spawn them from larvae.

Hydralisks are cheap enough to be mass-produced in a short period of time. Although hydralisks can deal huge damage in large groups, there are numerous counters; terrans benefit from large numbers of siege tanks, and marines paired with medics. Protoss can effectively counter mass hydralisks with reavers with ground support and high templar using Psionic Storm. In competitive StarCraft, hydralisks are most often used against the protoss race (e.g. the 3 hatch hydra opening) because it is an effective counter to many protoss units despite the easy counters against them. This is especially true if the zerg player is skilled at micromanaging his hydralisks. Against terrans, hydralisks do not see much usage because professional players are too skilled with their marines, medics, and siege tanks which are also natural counters to the hydralisk. In zerg vs zerg competitive play, hydralisks are virtually unseen as are most zerg units because the game is usually dominated by zerglings and mutalisks.

Hydralisks become available to the player in the campaign with the mission "Among the Ruins" in Episode II and "Vile Disruption" in Episode VI.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Many zerg ground units may burrow, rendering themselves invisible but incapable of moving or attacking.

Usage
Hotkey U
Acquisition
Purchased from Hatchery/Lair/Hive
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 80seconds
LurkAspect SC1.PNG
Lurker Morph

Allows a hydralisk to morph into a lurker. The control cost increases to 2.

Usage
Hotkey L
Cost 50 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 1 hydralisk
Acquisition
Purchased from Hydralisk den
Hotkey L
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 120seconds

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

  • +1 bonus to attack damage per level for hydralisks
  • +2 bonus to attack damage per level for lurkers
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey A
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 266seconds
Required Hatchery
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Hive
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey C
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals 225 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Hive
MuscAug Hydra SC1.PNG
Muscular Augments
  • Increases hydralisk movement speed.
Acquisition
Purchased from Hydralisk den
Hotkey M
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 100seconds
GroveSpines Hydra SC1.PNG
Grooved Spines
  • Increases the attack range of hydralisks by 1 (to 5).
Acquisition
Purchased from Hydralisk den
Hotkey G
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 100seconds

Development[edit | edit source]

The hydralisk was effectively the first zerg unit designed, and became the basis for the look and feel of the zerg as a whole. It was originally a melee unit, but developed into a ranged unit that shot spines.[2]

Some of the hydralisk sound effects were made using the voice of Tracy W. Bush.[3]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • A StarCraft II "Classic" skin modeled after the StarCraft hydralisk is available for reaching level 9 in the free War Chest for BlizzCon 2019.

Images[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Blizzard Entertainment staff. Zerg Hydralisk. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2009-12-01.
  2. 2018-12-02, 20 YEARS OF STARCRAFT: AN IGN RETROSPECTIVE. IGN, accessed on 2018-12-03
  3. 11-8-2018, Facebook Correspondence with Tracy W. Bush
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