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New StarCraft 2 Zerg Unit Page: The Baneling

The Zerg’s unit database has been increased by 50% today, with the official introduction of the Baneling. The Baneling has received a lot of scrutiny lately, coupled with many changes to its look and attributes, and has now matured enough to warrant a page on StarCraft2.com.


Type: Sapper
Core Genus: Zergling
Primary Attack: Volatile Burst

The Baneling is a newly introduced unit in StarCraft 2. Like the previous two officially revealed units, the Baneling has also made an appearance very early on in StarCraft 2’s development – way back in the original announcement video.

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The baneling is a creature so bloated with fluid-filled sacs that it can barely walk; instead, it moves itself by tucking into a tight ball and rolling. However, this ungainly appearance belies the fact that the baneling is an extremely dangerous organism, one of several new zerg specialists recently seen on the battlefield. When a baneling gets close enough to an enemy, the creature triggers a reaction within its volatile chemical payload that causes it to explode with devastating force and shower the immediate surroundings with searing acid. The baneling is destroyed in the explosion, which is very likely to inflict a huge amount of damage.
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The Baneling is devastating against infantry, vehicles, and even buildings – making it possible to destroy entire outposts with a large enough group of them. With its 40 points of damage, inflicted over a relatively large splash radius, the Baneling is especially potent against small melee attackers such as the Zealot and Zergling. However, since it also receives a bonus of 150 damage against buildings, a small group will also easily destroy key defenses and even major strategic structures.

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At first the baneling was identified as an unstable zerg mutation of an unspecified genus. Subsequent observations have revealed it to be a morph of the zergling, the most numerous zerg subtype. Zerglings have been seen entering a brief chrysalis phase before emerging in their new form. This alarming development has demonstrated the advanced ability of the zerg queens to manipulate their offspring. Although the baneling is chemically volatile and unstable enough to explode at any time, the queens have engineered a morph that can contain its energies until just the right moment. By creating the baneling out of the most basic of zerg fighters, the queens have also ensured that an inexhaustible supply of raw materials is available for the task.

The Banelings, a relatively low tier unit that evolves from the Zergling, will not be hard to produce early in the game – and in massive amounts, depending on its final cost. However, since the Baneling is a one-time-use kamikaze unit, there’s no doubt that effective use of them will require some thinking. Choosing targets unwisely will quickly drain resources and leave the Zerg player at a greatly disadvantaged position
Proper use will require measuring the potential damage to an enemy directly against the initial investment – and deciding whether it’s worth sacrificing Banelings for.

Baneling concept art

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