The Devourer is a rarely-seen Hive-tech air-to-air unit that requires a Greater Spire to morph from a Mutalisk. As an expensive, powerful anti-air support unit, it rarely fits the meta; Zerg rarely tech up and pursue air superiority. It deals slow single-target damage, but its attack splashes and applies a debuff called Acid Spores. They pair well with Mutalisks, whose attack bounces three times. Air units tend to cluster, making Devourers powerful in large-scale air battles, particularly against capital ships, whose heavy armor suffers from the Acid Spores.
Though faster than Guardians, they still move slowly; faster units outmaneuver them. They find most use defensively and in final battles. Their high health and armor discourage focus from enemies, and their range exceeds that of most air-to-air attacks. Their cost leans toward minerals; a breath of fresh air for a gas-starved late-game Mutalisk army.
A Devourer's attack applies one Acid Spore, to a maximum of nine, to its target and all enemy air units within one matrix. Their slow attack limits their usefulness once Acid Spores max out, but, their single-shot damage is respectable, so a group can pick off solitary Shuttles and other easy prey that wander into their range (but never build them for this purpose). More akin to debuffing spellcasters than direct attackers, they soften tough enemies for Mutalisks to finish off.
Spores debuff enemies in two ways: first, each Acid Spore attached to an enemy unit will increase the Cooldown of the enemy's weaponry by 1/8th of the original cooldown value. Spores will not prevent an enemy unit attacking; the slow effect is useful only up to the seventh spore. Carriers have no attack to be slowed, but their Interceptors do. Second, for each spore, a unit takes one extra damage per attack. A Hydralisk that would deal 10 damage instead deals 19 damage to an enemy with nine spores. In team games, Valkyries and Corsairs pair with Devourers to obliterate any air composition.
Acid Spores reveal units that attempt to cloak, but won't splash to undetected units. Once detected (directly or via e.g. Plague), Spores will attach, and will reveal cloaking until they expire.
|Devourers||Attacks to max spores|
Three, five, or nine Devourers are ideal, depending on how quickly you want your spores to max.
Devourers can maintain air control in Mutalisk battles. Their bouncing attacks flourish with acid spores, and Devourers' high armor mitigates damage from enemy Mutalisks. Guardians, which unlock with Devourers, offset the threat of Spore Colonies.
Mutalisks make better targets than Devourers in a mirror match due to their low hit points and high damage. To spread shots from Devourers across different Mutalisks, attack move at a spot between your units and the enemy's.
High-level ZvZ never reaches Hive tech (except after a mutually indecisive midgame), so Devourers rarely appear in this matchup.
Air battles between Mutalisks and Wraiths/Valkyries occasionally occur, but rarely persist long enough for Devourers to appear. Still, Acid Spores devastate Battlecruisers and Valkyries (which have slow attacks and good armor) and Wraiths (acid spores will negate cloak, just like ensnare and plague would).
Devourers counter mass Carriers, typically combined with Plague, Mutalisks, Scourge, and Hydralisks, and their health and armor suit them to counter mass Corsairs. Like other air units, Maelstorm, Psionic Storm, and Archons can devastate them.
- Costs before parentheses refer to a Devourer's upgrade cost. Costs in parentheses take the precursor Mutalisks' costs into consideration.
- type-b vs. ZerO on Match Point, NATE MSL, Ro32 Group G Losers — example of a late-game Zerg vs. Zerg with sloppy midgame.
- RorO vs. ZerO on Polaris Rhapsody, Shinhan Bank Proleague 09–10, Ro5 Week 6 Day 2 1st set — another one.