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The mutalisk is the zerg primary air-attack unit in StarCraft.


The mutalisk's attack strikes three targets in succession, dealing 9 damage to the first, 3 to the second, and 1 to the last. Unlike many other air units, the mutalisk is small with light-type armor, making it more resistant to explosive damage, a common damage type found on anti-air units like dragoons and goliath. The mutalisk deals normal damage and is only affected by the armor of the target. Compared to the wraith and scout, the mutalisk's attack is weaker and more easily affected by armor.

Large groups of mutalisks tend to clump together making them ideal targets for attacks or abilities dealing area of effect or splash damage. Mutalisks are fast, but accelerate slowly making it harder to escape; this improves the effectiveness of the high templar's psionic storm against mutalisks. archons are likewise a good counter against mutalisks due to the splash damage of their psionic shockwave. On the other hand, stacking mutalisks does make them easier to control, and can make it harder for single target attacks to deal with them (e.g. marines). One can trick mutalisks into stacking by including an overlord in the control group.

Corsairs and valkyries are also effective against mutalisks due to their splash damage attacks.

Mutalisks become available to the player in the campaign with the mission "Egression" in Episode II and "Vile Disruption" in Episode VI.


GuardAspect Icon SC1.PNG
Guardian Morph

Causes mutalisk to morph into a guardian.

Hotkey G
Cost 50 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 1 mutalisk
Required Greater Spire
DevourAspect Icon SC1.PNG
Devourer Morph

Causes mutalisk to morph into a devourer.

Hotkey D
Cost 150 Minerals 50 Vespene gas 1 mutalisk
Required Greater Spire


  • +1 bonus to attack per level for mutalisks
  • +2 bonus to attack per level for guardians and devourers.
Purchased from
Hotkey A
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals 175 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals 250 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Hive

+1 bonus to armor per level for overlords, mutalisks, guardians, devourers, scourge and queen.

Purchased from
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


  • Trained.
Selected Confirming order
  • Selected 1.
  • Selected 2.
  • Selected 3.
  • Selected 4.
  • Confirm 1.
  • Confirm 2.
  • Confirm 3.
  • Confirm 4.
Repeatedly selected
  • Repeatedly selected 1.
  • Repeatedly selected 2.
  • Repeatedly selected 3.
  • Repeatedly selected 4.
Other lines
  • Death.


Sound files suggest that the mutalisk was originally called the "mutalid."[1] Originally, the mutalisk was armed with an "acid spray" attack rather than glaive wurms.[2] It can also be seen in the Death of the Overmind, the final cinematic for Episode III where mutalisks attack the Gantrithor.[3]



The unit portrait of the mutalisk is not the face of the mutalisk, but rather the tail, which fires the glaive wurm.

The Mutalisk's name is possibly a play on words with "mutate" referring to their ability to mutate into guardians and devourers.


  1. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Map Editor. (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). March 31, 1998
  2. StarCraft Beta Manual. Internet Archive. Accessed 2019-08-28.
  3. StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Cinematic: The Death of the Overmind (in English). 1998.