"Blah blah blah. They hide and they heal. And it sucks."

- A Dominion marine mocking analysis of the roach.(src)

A roach

The roach is a zerg ground unit in StarCraft II.

Overview[edit | edit source]

A roach

The roach is a particularly tough, armored breed which possesses a high-speed regeneration ability when burrowed.[1] This quick regeneration is due to the constant breakdown to the roachs's own modified pharynx, a natural byproduct of the zerg's acid production, an intentional design by the Swarm in order to facilitate quicker regrowth.[2] A roach is slightly shorter than a terran wearing CMC armor.[3] In order to properly form, roaches require dark, humid conditions, such as those found in a roach warren.[4]

A roach spitting acid

Roaches evolved from the fast-healing zantar slug of Garrxax[1] and were in use by 2501, taking part in a battle on Shi.[5] Their ranged acid saliva attack is capable of penetrating neosteel and armor, and violently dissolving flesh on multiple entry points. This saliva is derived from the zantar slug and is expelled with considerable force through the muscles that surround the roach's salivary glands—highly specialized striated ducts that produce a unique enzyme that weaponizes the creature's already corrosive saliva.[6] This acid contains viroids that propagate through their victim's nervous system, which can only be either addressed through heavy bachteriophage treatments or by removal of the affected limb. Due to their heavy armor, roaches are unable to aim their acid at aerial targets.[7]

If pressed into close quarters, roaches use scythe-like blades on their backs to dispatch the enemy. The hardness of these scythes allows roaches to scythe through neosteel and armor with ease. Roaches have the ability to evolve into ravagers, a fierce artillery strain that lobs corrosive bile at a long range.

A roach

The roach's metabolism is ten times greater than that of the zantar slug (increased through assimilation), and gained the ability to quickly regenerate even the most grievous wounds when burrowed.[1] This is through a process known as osmotic epithelium.[6] The absorption of soil compounds, especially rare earths and metals, has allowed roaches to develop extremely thick carapaces. Some Dominion scientists have theorized that the roach is not immune to the ravages of its acidic body fluids, and the creature's potent regeneration capabilities ensure tissue integrity in spite of constant corrosion.[1] The roach's thoracic acid bladder is similar to those organelles found in mutalisks. This bladder is triggered to erupt when penetrated.[2]

A Leviathan Brood roach

The Leviathan Brood roaches are known to be incredibly aggressive due to vespene exposure.

Roaches enslaved by the Cerberus Program were had their carapaces enhanced with a carbon fiber nanoweave, and their offensive capabilities improved with forged titanium blades. [8]

After the ascension of Zagara to supreme ruler of the swarm, Abathur was ordered to continue to experiment with the roach genome in a continuing pursuit of perfection. This resulted in variant strains of the roach.[4]

Sometime after the Second Great War, roaches gained the ability to evolve into ravagers.[4]

Tactics[edit | edit source]

"Use heaviest weapons only and confirm kill shot. I repeat, be 100 percent sure of total kill! Those bastards heal real fast, so do not settle for injury! If they burrow, grenade them as they go down!"

- Major Lee Treicher directing marines against roaches(src)

One on one, few are capable of taking on a roach and winning.[1] They are deployed when zerglings start to be thinned out and are sometimes supported by infestors.[9] When paired with zerglings, they can be nearly unstoppable against marines bereft of siege tank or bunker support.[10] Roaches are nearly impervious to small-arms fire, and nigh immune to flame-based weapons, and explosives and artillery are a must for terran forces when these creatures are deployed.[1]

Game Unit[edit | edit source]

Versus[edit | edit source]

Roaches attacking

The roach is a ranged unit, giving it added utility at choke points.[11] The roach rises slightly when it attacks.[12] It also has a melee attack that it, like the hydralisk, performs at close range for the same damage as the ranged attack.[13]

Roaches are strong against hellions, zealots, and zerglings, and weak against MMM, immortals, and ultralisks. Thors, stalkers, and siege tanks also pose a strong threat to roaches due to their bonus damage against armored targets.

They have no anti-air attack. Roaches inherit the roles of medium attacker and ambusher from the original StarCraft's hydralisk and lurker. To compensate for its lack of anti-air attack, it is common to see roaches combined with hydralisks. A common strategy is for roaches to absorb damage while hydralisks deal it.[14]

Upgrades and Abilities[edit | edit source]

GlialReconstitution SC2 Icon1.jpg
Glial Reconstitution

Increases Roach movement speed to 4.2 while unburrowed, and to 4.4 while burrowed under creep.

Acquisition
Purchased from Roach warren
Hotkey G
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 70seconds
Required Lair
ve
TunnelingClaws SC2 Game1.png
Tunneling Claws

The roach can move while burrowed. It moves faster when burrowed beneath the creep. Glial Reconstitution has no impact on burrowing speed.

While it can be researched earlier, Tunneling Claws cannot be used until burrowing has been evolved.

Acquisition
Purchased from Roach warren
Hotkey T
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 79seconds
Required Lair
ve
  • Attack bonus for queens and zerg ground ranged units.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey A
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 114seconds
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 136seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 157seconds
Required Hive
ve
  • +1 bonus to armor per level for zerg ground units.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey C
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 114seconds
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals 225 Vespene gas 136seconds
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 157seconds
Required Hive
ve
Icon Zerg Ravager.jpg
Ravager Morph

The roach can morph into a ravager. Costs 1 supply.

Usage
Hotkey V
Cost 25 Minerals 75 Vespene gas 9 seconds
ve
RapidRegeneration.jpg
Roach Regeneration

Roaches regenerate at 5 hit points/second when burrowed.[15]

The rate of healing increases with the Tunneling Claws upgrade to a rate of 10 hit points per second.[15]

The regeneration doesn't stack with the medivac dropship's healing ability.[16]

ve

Many zerg ground units may burrow, becoming invisible and revealed primarily by detectors, and may not move or attack while burrowed.

Exceptions include:

  • Roach, which may move while burrowed
  • Lurker, which may attack while burrowed
  • Infestor, which may move while burrowed
  • Baneling, which can detonate while burrowed.

Some units can unburrow via autocast, causing them to emerge and attack when an enemy moves into range.

The ability is not smartcast.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 seconds to burrow, 1 second to unburrow seconds
Acquisition
Purchased from Hatchery/Lair/Hive
Hotkey B
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 71seconds
Required Lair (WoL)
Hatchery (HotS/LotV)
ve

Heart of the Swarm[edit | edit source]

In the Heart of the Swarm campaign, roaches may be evolved into either corpsers or vile roaches after completing the required evolution mission. They are unlocked through the mission "Harvest of Screams."

Upgrades and Abilities[edit | edit source]

SC2 HydriodicBile Icon.jpg
Hydriodic Bile

Roach deals +8 damage to light units.

Base composition of roach acidic saliva identical to that of zantar slug. Highly corrosive. Can alter chemical compound. Systematically evolve bile duct membranes, force production of hydroiodic bile. Upon contact, will melt tissue, flesh, bone. Dissolve poorly armored foes.

Campaign Acquisition
ve
SC2 AdaptivePlating Icon.jpg
Adaptive Plating

Roach gains +3 armor when below 50% HP.

Roach carapace effective. Improvement difficult. Requires redesign, alternate carapace structure. Can use modular plates to protect roach, provide equivalent defense. When roach wounded, adaptive plates react to blood flow, thicken. Ensure survival.

Campaign Acquisition
ve
SC2 TunnelingClaws Icon.jpg
Tunneling Claws

Roach can move at full speed while burrowed. Doubles roach regeneration rate while burrowed.

Can enhance roach utility, several key evolutions. Able to evolve tunneling claws, series of spiracles lining carapace. Will allow roach to tear through terrain while burrowed, draw additional nutrients from soil. Combination provides strategic advantage.

Campaign Acquisition
ve

Co-op Missions[edit | edit source]

Zagara is able to summon sacs of roaches with timed life in Co-op Missions. Otherwise, roaches are exclusive to Abathur. Abathur is able to evolve his roaches into ravagers, and they upgrade to the vile strain when he reaches Level 14. Additional upgrades for roaches and ravagers are unlocked when Abathur reaches Level 4.

Dehaka has access to primal roaches, which can evolve into primal igniters or primal guardians.

Stetmann has access to mecha roaches, which are temporarily spawned from mecha infestors.

Zagara Upgrades and Abilities[edit | edit source]

SC2ZergBurrow.jpg
Burrow

Buries the unit underground. Burrowed unit are unable to move or attack, but they cannot be seen without detection.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 (burrow)seconds
1 (unburrow) seconds
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
ve
RapidRegeneration.jpg
Roach Regeneration

The roach regenerates life very quickly while burrowed. Regenerates 5 health per second.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
ve
SC2 ZergMeleeWeap.gif
Zerg Ground Attacks

Increases the attack damage of zerg ground units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Damage: 18
Mastery: +0.33 attack damage per Roach Damage and Life mastery point. Up to a maximum 28
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Damage: 20
Mastery: +0.33 attack damage per Roach Damage and Life mastery point. Up to a maximum 30
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Damage: 22
Mastery: +0.33 attack damage per Roach Damage and Life mastery point. Up to a maximum 32
ve
SC2 ZergGrndCara.gif
Zerg Ground Carapace

Increases the armor of zerg ground units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Armor: 2
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals 175 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Armor: 3
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals 250 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Armor: 4
ve

Abathur Upgrades and Abilities[edit | edit source]

SC2ZergBurrow.jpg
Burrow

Buries the unit underground. Burrowed unit are unable to move or attack, but they cannot be seen without detection.

Usage
Hotkey R
Cost 2 (burrow)seconds
1 (unburrow) seconds
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
ve
RapidRegeneration.jpg
Roach Regeneration

The roach regenerates life very quickly while burrowed. Regenerates 5 health per second.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
ve
Icon Zerg Ravager.jpg
Ravager Morph

The roach can morph into a ravager, a large creature with the Corrosive Bile ability.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available
Acquisition
Hotkey T
Standart
Cost 25 Minerals 75 Vespene gas 1 Control 9seconds
With Mutagenic Potential
Cost 13 Minerals 38 Vespene gas 1 Control 5seconds
ve
DeepTunnel SC2 Icon1.jpg
Deep Tunnel

Roaches quickly burrow to a targeted location.

Usage
Hotkey D
Cost 2 seconds
Cooldown 30 seconds
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Abathur Level 9.
Tunneling Horror prestige
Acquisition
Purchased from Infestation pit
Hotkey D
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 120seconds
ve
SC2 Abathur AC - Biomass.png
Biomass Gatherer

Roaches gain +3% hit points, +1% attack speed and +5% armor per stack of Biomass. Can stack up to 100 Biomass.
Passive: Heal 1% hit points per Biomass.

Essence Hoarder: Roaches can collect an additional 25 Biomass (summary 125).

The Limitless: Roaches can collect an additional 100 Biomass (summary 200), but gain +1.5% hit points, +0.5% attack speed and +2.5% armor per stack.

Usage
Range 4
Notes

The amount of collected biomass change based on difficulty and the amount of supply used by the killed enemy unit:
Collect 5 biomass per supply (Casual and Normal)
Collect 4 biomass per supply (Hard)
Collect 2.5 biomass per supply (Brutal)

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Basic
Effect Hit Points: +4.35 per Biomass. Up to a maximum 580

Attack Speed: +1% per Biomass. Up to a maximum 1

Armor: +0.05 per Biomass. Up to a maximum 6
With Essence Hoarder
Effect Hit Points: +4.35 per Biomass. Up to a maximum 688.75

Attack Speed: +1% per Biomass. Up to a maximum 0.89

Armor: +0.05 per Biomass. Up to a maximum 6.25
With The Limitless
Effect Hit Points: +2.175 per Biomass. Up to a maximum 580

Attack Speed: +0.5% per Biomass. Up to a maximum 1

Armor: +0.025 per Biomass. Up to a maximum 6
ve
Icon Zerg Brutalisk.jpg
Evolve to Brutalisk

The Roach evolves into a Brutalisk. Can be set to autocast.

Essence Hoarder: Evolve to Brutalisk is unavailable.

The Limitless: Evolve to Brutalisk is no longer limited to 3, but requires 200 stacks of Biomass.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Abathur Level 2.
Acquisition
Basic
Cost 5seconds
Required Collect 100 Biomass
Cannot have more than 3 at the same time.
With The Limitless
Cost 5seconds
Required Collect 200 Biomass
ve
SC2 Abathur AC - BiomassRecovery.png
Biomass Recovery

When killed, your units have a 50% chance to drop all their Biomass.

Essence Hoarder: Increases the Biomass Recovery chance from 50% to 100%.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Abathur level 7.
ve
GlialReconstitution SC2 Icon1.jpg
Glial Reconstitution

Increases the movement speed of roaches by 33%

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available
Acquisition
Purchased from Roach warren
Hotkey G
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 110seconds
ve
TunnelingClaws SC2 Game1.png
Tunneling Claws

Allows roaches to move while burrowed. Increases HP regen rate of burrowed roaches by 100%.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available
Acquisition
Purchased from Roach warren
Hotkey T
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 110seconds
Required Lair/Hive
ve
SC2 AdaptivePlating Icon.jpg
Adaptive Plating

Roaches gain +6 armor when below 50% health.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Abathur Level 4
Acquisition
Purchased from Roach warren
Hotkey D
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 110seconds
Required Hive
ve
HydriodicBile LotV Game1.JPG
Hydriodic Bile

Roaches gain +8 damage vs light units.

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available
Acquisition
Purchased from Roach warren
Hotkey G
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 110seconds
ve
SC2 ZergMissileWeap.gif
Zerg Missile Attacks

Increases the attack damage of zerg ground ranged units.

(Also affects Broodlings)

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Damage: 18 (basic)
18 (+8 vs Light) (with Hydriodic Bile)
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Damage: 20 (basic)
20 (+8 vs Light) (with Hydriodic Bile)
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Damage: 22 (basic)
22 (+8 vs Light) (with Hydriodic Bile)
ve
SC2 ZergGrndCara.gif
Zerg Ground Carapace

Increases the armor of zerg ground units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Evolution chamber
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 160seconds
Effect Armor: 2
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals 175 Vespene gas 190seconds
Required Lair/Hive
Effect Armor: 3
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals 250 Vespene gas 220seconds
Required Hive
Effect Armor: 4
ve
SC2 Abathur AC - UnlockVileRoach.png
Roach Evolution: Vile

Upgrades Abathur's Roaches to the Vile Strain.

Assault unit. Regenerates life quickly while burrowed. Attacks debilitate the target, slowing its attack and movement speeds.

Can attack ground units.

Usage
Notes

Replace default skin Icon Zerg Roach.jpg to vile strain IconVileStrain.jpg

Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Abathur level 14.
ve

Roach Strategies[edit | edit source]

On normal and rush maps, roaches are well suited for the early and mid-game.[17]

Zerg vs Terran[edit | edit source]

A roach/baneling combo is very powerful against terrans, as the roaches will soak damage, enabling the banelings to get close to the enemy and deal their high damage attacks.[18]

Zerg vs Zerg[edit | edit source]

Roaches and zerglings are used early in ZvZ matches. Roaches are a more defensive unit compared to zerglings. Cost for cost, roaches win against zerglings at chokepoints but lose in open areas. Later in the game, numerous roaches can defeat numerous zerglings even in open areas.[19]

Zerg vs Protoss[edit | edit source]

Roaches are a great way to defend an early expo against 2 Gate zealot push. Mass overwhelming roaches is also quite strong against a fast teching opponent, even one who goes air. Use roaches to soak up colossus damage until ultralisks or air units can support.

General[edit | edit source]

Concept art

Roaches, coupled with their speed and burrow move upgrades, make great harassment units at exposed bases.

Roaches are a great staple unit and have great value for cost, but take up control quickly. In direct encounters with enemy armies of equal supply, mass roach is more likely to lose.

Development[edit | edit source]

Main article: Roach/Development

Achievements[edit | edit source]

A roachs life.jpg A Roach's Life
Points

10 Achievement SC2 Game1.JPEG

Criteria

Regenerate 500 life on a single Roach without taking friendly fire in an Unranked or Ranked game.

Edit

Special Roach Strains[edit | edit source]

A roach

Images[edit | edit source]

Skins
Portraits

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Blizzard Entertainment staff. 2010-07-24. Units: Roach. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-20-08.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blizzard Entertainment. Project Blackstone, accessed on 2013-02-06
  3. 2015-09-18, NYCC 2015 – James Waugh’s StarCraft Field Manual Signing Schedule. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-09-23
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. October 17, 2016 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Collections" defined multiple times with different content
  5. Gerrold, David (w), Fernando Heinz Furukawa (p, i). StarCraft: Ghost Academy: Volume 3 (paperback binding). Tokyopop, March 8, 2011. ISBN 978-1427-81614-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  7. Johnston, Antony. "“Acid Burns”." (April 18, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Acid Burns Accessed 2013-04-18.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. July 19, 2017
  9. Overview: Zerg, accessed on 2011-01-13
  10. Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  11. Karune. 2008-04-08. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 34. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-04-08
  12. StarCraft. 2010-02-02. The programming team has added some impressive new unit movement animations to the game. Air units like the phoenix and banshee bank on turns, roaches and hellions both rise when they start moving, and tanks slightly bob when stopping. Facebook (StarCraft). Accessed 2010-02-03.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  14. 2012-06-08, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm - Battle Report (Protoss vs Zerg). Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2012-06-21
  15. 15.0 15.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II Map Editor. (Activision Blizzard) (in English). July 27, 2010
  16. Karune. 2009-02-18. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 49. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-02-18.
  17. 2015-04-14, Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-04-17
  18. Hammy. 2009-04-04. ESL Finals Paris StarCraft II Gameplay Impressions. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18.
  19. Karune. 2008-08-18. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 43. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-08-18.
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