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"Let’s begin with the hulking monstrosity on the ground. Armed to the teeth (quite literally) with Kaiser Blades, this guy can sweep a Viking aside like it’s a twig in its path. I’ve seen them kill a score of marines with a single blow, and charge with such ferocity that they’ll even demolish one of those notorious Protoss Force Fields. I’m talking, of course, about the Ultralisk, and now we know everything there is to know about them."
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An ultralisk

The ultralisk is a zerg heavy ground unit.


"If you've never seen an's bigger than a goddamn tank, and louder, and faster. Tall as four marines in full armor, and long enough that in the jungle you can be fighting the front end before you can even see the back of it coming out of the bush. It's got two pairs of scythes attached where wings might be on a dragon. They're called kaiser blades; I don't know why, but I've seen what they can do. They sweep through marine battle armor like it's tinfoil. You can unload a C-14 at an ultralisk until the barrel melts, and you'll only make it mad. Correction: madder. They're already mad. Ultralisks get out of bed mad and hungry. When they're done slashing you to bits, they stomp on the pieces of you before you're all the way dead."

- Sergeant Norwood Doakes(src)

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An ultralisk during the Great War

Ultralisks are the most powerful ground strain the Swarm possesses, their genetic material has been subject to countless test and experiments and only the final viable code is utilized by larvae.[1] Living battering rams,[2] ultralisks serve as the backbone of the Swarm,[3] and serve as its siegebreaker.[4] When dealing with these creatures, Dominion marines are advised to maintain a wide perimeter and call in air support.[5]


"But by far the biggest badass of them the aptly named ultralisk."


"They're big. They're sharp. What else matters?"

- A Dominion marine on the ultralisk's kaiser blades(src)

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The ultralisk's kaiser blades

Fast for their size,[5] ultralisks attack using large, bone-like scythes which protrude from their backs. Known as "kaiser blades," these scythes are nearly indestructible.[2] Possessing monomolecular edges,[6] these scythes are able to tear through most substances with ease,[2] able to slice through armored vehicle and eviscerate entire squads of light infantry in just a few swipes.[5] The density, bevel, and edges of these organic weapons are honed at the genetic level.[4] By 2500 at least some ultralisks sported four kaiser blades[7] as opposed to the usual two.[2] By the Second Great War, four blades were the standard.[4]

The ultralisk's size in itself is also a weapon—they can charge with enough ferocity to even destroy protoss force fields.[8]

Ultralisks enslaved by the Cerberus Program were enhanced with heat-treated titanium blade implants.[9]


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An ultralisk shrugging off gauss rounds

Ultralisks possess an exceptionally thick carapace.[3] Dominion scientists suspect that the larva's highly resistant carapace served as a template for enhancements to the creature.[10] Preliminary tests on the carapace itself proved that the diamond-shaped, chitinous scales of the creature were combined with foreign compounds and organic tissue multiple times, resulting in very light plates with an unmatched level of hardness. A gene also exists within the ultralisk's genetic code that exists with the sole purpose of growing heavily armored copies of the beast's primary organs in random locations of its body. The brontolith's immune system was improved on for the ultralisk, allowing it to thrive in the most toxic and inhospitable environments the galaxy has to offer.[4] The ultralisk's weak spots are located in its head (particularly the mouth and eyes), its underbelly,[5] and around the neck, as the plating there is thinner.[11]

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A closeup of a Second Great War ultralisk's jaw

By the Brood War, prolonged exposure to vespene gas had resulted in an enhancement to the ultralisks' physical capabilities, among which was the evolution of a more hardened exoskeletal shell and the ability to carry out anabolic synthesis, alterations being made to the glands that produce endorphins and adrenal fluids.[3] Ultralisks during the First Great War and Brood War were slimmer and more agile than later evolutions, with swaths of durable muscle and sinew instead of heavy armor.[9]

By the Second Great War, the strain had received substantial additions to its internal structure—a complex sensory system, an auxiliary nervous system, and specialized muscle fibers that expand or contract in reaction to stimuli. Through this, an ultralisk can maintain speed even with its hind legs severed.[4]

During the Second Great War, some ultralisks were combined with the essence of Zerus's primal zerg, making them truly unstoppable killing machines.[9]

Ultralisks birthed by the Leviathan Brood are terrifying vistages of spines and blades, monsters worthy of legend.[9]


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Terrans encounter an ultralisk

Ultralisks evolved from the docile brontolith; a creature that the ultralisk now bears little resemblance to.[2] The brontoliths' genetic code was dissected, rebuilt and repurposed multiple times. Each phase of the process served to eliminate less desirable traits, as well as augment the creature's ability to withstand severe punishment. This included the creature's superb immune system. As a finishing touch to the ultralisk, the Swarm added the gene that would replace the creature's organs.[4]

When terrans first encountered ultralisks on the battlefield, they observed that the creatures seemed to suffer balance issues, and were easily toppled by artillery fire or loss of limbs. By the Second Great War, "unstoppable" ultralisks had been observed. The additions to their internal structure were revealed, but the data offered very little in the way of finding a counter to the creature.[4] Second Great War ultralisks were also noted to have a greater amount of Kaiser blades, as well as a higher amount of carapace armor.[5]


A Leviathan Brood ultralisk

Ultralisks have been submitted to countless genetic experiments.[1] Ultralisks have been studied by terrans to a significant extent, Avernus Station[12] and the Castanar space platform[13] serving as examples. During the final stages of the Second Great War, Sarah Kerrigan was able to reconstitute the Ultralisk strain from test subjects at the Skygeirr Platform laboratory.[14] Research stations in Korhal allowed Kerrigan to also assimilate the Noxious strain of ultralisk, as well as reconstitute the Torrasque strain.[15]

Other Information

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The following article or section contains lore from the StarCraft RPG, which is not regarded as canon. Elements may be regarded as 'flavor lore' however.

The ultralisk is 20 meters long and 5 meters tall.[16]

Game Unit


For StarCraft gameplay information see: Ultralisk (StarCraft).

StarCraft: Ghost

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The ultralisk in StarCraft: Ghost

Ultralisks were set to appear in StarCraft: Ghost[17]

StarCraft II

For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Ultralisk (StarCraft II).

Diablo III

An ultralisk skull can be spotted in the background of the first act of Diablo III,[18] in the Ancient Pyre, an area that sometimes appear within the Southern Highlands.[19]

Heroes of the Storm

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The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm and is not canon to StarCraft continuity
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An ultralisk in Heroes of the Storm

Kerrigan can summon an Ultralisk in Heroes of the Storm.[20]

Ultralisks can be spawned on the map Braxis Holdout, and are part of the zerg attack waves that are sent against opponents.[21]

An ultralisk skin is available for The Butcher.[22]

Known Ultralisks

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An ultralisk

Variant Strains


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An ultralisk


  • A kaiser blade is a hooked steel blade at the end of a (usually wooden) handle.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Units: Ultralisk. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2010-08-24.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Underwood, Peter, Chris Metzen and Bill Roper. StarCraft: Brood War (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 2015-01-16, Ultralisk Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-01-20.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  6. Ultralisk (Zerg strategy guide). Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-10-27.
  7. Giffen, Keith and Simon Furman (w), Federico Dallocchio (p, i), Milen Parvanov (col). "StarCraft: Issue 1" StarCraft 1 (1) (May 27, 2009) DC Comics (Wildstorm).
  8. 2015-01-16, The Crème de la Zerg. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-01-19.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. July 19, 2017.
  10. 2014-07-31, Larva Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-08-08.
  11. Dayton, Cameron. "Cold Symmetry." (March 7, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Cold Symmetry. Accessed 2013-03-07.
  12. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Ghost of a Chance (in English). 2010-07-27.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Piercing the Shroud (in English). 2010-07-27.
  14. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Phantoms of the Void (in English). 2013-03-12.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Ultralisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  16. Bill Slavicsek, David Eckelberry, Shawn F. Carnes. Alternity: StarCraft Edition. Wizards of the Coast, March 1, 2000. ISBN 0-7869-1618-4.
  17. 2007-03-18. StarCraft Ghost Trailer. Blizzard Entertainment/Youtube. Accessed 2007-04-18.
  18. 2014-05-16, Celebrate Two Years of Diablo III With Undiscovered Easter Eggs. The Escapist, accessed on 2014-05-17.
  19. 2014-05-16,Celebrate Two Years of Diablo III With Undiscovered Easter Eggs. The Escapist, accessed on 2014-05-18.
  20. 2014, Kerrigan. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-06-22.
  21. Blizzard Entertainment. Heroes of the Storm (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). June 2, 2015.
  22. 2016-08-16. In Development - Machines of War – New Heroes & Skins. StarCraft II Twitter. Accessed 2016-08-16.