Damage: 5 (+3 w/upgrades)
The Zergling is the most basic attack unit available to the Swarm. By themselves, Zerglings are easy to take out; however, in a group, Zerglings can be quite a headache to destroy. Two Zerglings will come out of one Zerg egg, providing quite the deal to the Zerg player. However, Zerglings are difficult to manage effectively due to Starcraft's selection cap on units - you can only command up to 12 units at any given time
Zerglings reach their maximum effectiveness with Level 3 armor, Level 3 attacks, and with Adrenaline Glands and Metabolic Boost evolved. Once all these conditions are met, a Zergling becomes a quite formidable unit, able to attack and run away very quickly. A group of upgraded Zerglings can make short work of a Terran Command Center. Combined with a Nydus Canal built on enemy territory, upgraded Zerglings make for a cheap (and hilarious) form of harrassment.
Zerglings have the option of being able to burrow too, thereby providing a cheap and stationary method of cloaking.
Online, though, Zerglings are underused for a number of reasons
- Their HP is simply too low. With a pitiful HP of 35, a group of Siege Tanks - even any unit that can inflict a decent amount of damage - will make short work of a group of Zerglings.
There are better units to spend larvae on. The Hydralisk, which is by and far the most overused unit in the history of Starcraft, provides all the damage the Zergling does with an ability to attack air units and to morph into Lurkers. They are somewhat more expensive than Zerglings, but 20 minutes into the game, a Cerebrate should be able to produce Hydralisks without depleting resources.
- Zerglings have a melee attack In order for the Zergling to do any damage, it must first run up to the unit before attacking. The vast majority of Terran and Protoss units have distance attacks which will destroy the Zergling well before it reaches its intended target
- They are difficult to manage. A large group of Zerglings scattered over the Creep can make for interesting times; just try rounding them up into Overlords.