Download the Liquipedia app here!Download the Liquipedia app to follow Brood War!Want personalized updates on Brood War esports? Download the Liquipedia app on iOS or Android to never miss your favorite tournaments and matches!


From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
Spell Information
Area of Effect:
128x128 px
Researched from:
Research Cost:
Minerals 100 Vespene Gas 100 Build Time 50.2
Research Hotkey:

Ensnare is an ability used by the Zerg Queen. The viscous green goo expelled when a Queen uses her Ensnare ability will cover any unburrowed unit in a 4x4 matrix area, affecting them for 25.2 seconds. Units covered with the goo have their movement rate cut by half. This can cause a host of problems for the enemy. Ensnared melee units will face additional rounds of ranged fire before reaching their targets, units will not be able to spread out as effectively to fire on their targets, and retreating can become difficult. Ensnare will also reveal the presence of units hiding under the protection of a cloaking field until the goo wears off. [1]

Effects on Movement Speed[edit]

Ensnared units move at 50% of their original speed[2], but also turn[3] and accelerate 25% slower[4]. Units that have stim activated or a speed upgrade researched, move at their non-stim or non-upgraded speed instead. This is most notable with speed upgraded overlords or stimmed marines.

Effects on Rate of Fire[edit]

The decrease in Rate of Fire is caused by Ensnare increasing the Attack Cooldown of a unit by 25%.[5] This results in a 20% decrease in rate of fire for almost all units. However, if a unit has stim or an attack speed upgrade (Adrenal Lings), then it'll instead attack at it's non-upgraded speed.

Unit Attacks Unaffected by Ensnare[edit]

These units suffer no penalty in their rate of fire when ensnared. Movement speed reduction applies normally.

  • Siege Tanks (The turret that attacks originate from is a seperate invulnerable entity that cannot be affected by Ensnare)
  • Goliaths (The turret that attacks originate from is a seperate invulnerable entity that cannot be affected by Ensnare)
  • Medics (auto-heal is a spell, unaffected)

Upgrade/Stim Attack Speed Slows[edit]

These units revert to their usual attack rate while ensnared, as if they weren't upgraded at all. Stim and Adrenal both reduce attack cooldown be 50%, so in comparison, Ensnare makes these units attack half as quick.


Interceptors are affected differently to normal units, their attack cooldown is so short that the extra 25% cooldown is entirely unnoticable. Their attacks are based on how they move so their DPS may or may not be affected based on how they move around their target.

Burrowed Units[edit]

Units that are burrowed will not be affected by Ensnare being cast upon them. But it will remain on them while burrowed and Lurkers will have their attack speed slowed like other units, if Ensnared before burrowing.

Miscellaneous Mechanics[edit]

When a Queen is ordered to cast Ensnare, she "spits" a projectile that spreads the green "goo" to the targeted area upon impact. This creates an interesting mechanism since, unlike other casters, if the Queen is killed after she has started casting the spell but before its effects are applied, Ensnare is not canceled (like for example the Arbiter's Recall would be) since the projectile remains intact.

When the projectile lands, a "spreading" animation is played seemingly before all units in the area of effect are ensnared. This is purely aesthetic, however, since the effects of Ensnare are applied instantly the moment the projectile hits its target. So if a unit on the edge of the spell's area of effect was to move out of it after the spreading animation started but before it completed, it would still become ensnared.

Competitive Use[edit]

Costing 75 energy and reducing movement and attack rate, Ensnare is actually a useful spell. It reduces the damage output of the affected units by almost 1/5th and severely reduces their mobility, making flanking and picking off retreating units much easier. It's rarely used in competitive gaming however due to the Queen's high gas cost (100) and because of the additional multitasking requirements the use of Queens has.
For example, in ZvT (where its most useful due to its effects on stimmed Marines) a Zerg player has to cast Dark Swarm, move his units to the correct attacking position, burrow his Lurkers with good placement, targeting Science Vessels with Scourge etc... Having to also control a Queen at the same time is a very hard task.

versus Terran[edit]

ZvT is the match-up where Ensnare is most effective. Its effects on Stimmed Marines having been discussed earlier in the article, Ensnare also strongly counters Wraiths despite being too high on the tech tree.

versus Protoss[edit]

Ensnare in most commonly seen in this match-up against mass Corsairs or Corsair/Carriers. With the effects on Rate of Fire stacking with those of the Devourer's Acid Spores, Queen/Devourer becomes a powerful combo against Protoss air.

versus Zerg[edit]

Due to the Low Eco and gas-hungry nature of the match-up, Queens are almost never seen in ZvZ. However, some players such as tsunami and redcloak advocated Hydra/Queen ZvZ as an alternative to standard Zergling/Mutaling. Recently, ZerO has incorporated the Queen into his longer games to attempt to regain the advantage after the initial battle.

In Combination with Other Spells[edit]

  • Stasised units cannot be Ensnared. Ensnare will wear off on units that are stasised.
  • Ensnare will dispel Hallucinations, as any other spell.

Notable Games[edit]