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From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki


Mutaling is short for Mutalisks and Zerglings. The portmanteau exists because this combination of units is very effective in dealing damage quickly in a complementary fashion. While the Mutalisks deals a sequential projectile attack against multiple targets from the air, those targets are simultaneously surrounded and attacked by the highly cost-effective Zerglings.

The complementary combination of air and ground attack can be devastating, as it can quickly deal damage to a larger and more potent enemy unit or building before it significantly hurts the Zerg. The combination is also popular because both are fast moving and thus enable the Zerg to quickly respond with the Mutaling combination during both offensive and defensive situations. A Mutaling army is commonly made up of a control group (up to 11) of Mutalisks and two control groups (24) of Zerglings. The ratio and number of units can be adjusted as allowed by the economy and timing demanded, while striking a compromise between mobility and strength of attack.

Competitive Usage[edit]

This combination is most frequently applied against the Terran opponent. It can be used on occasion against the Protoss opponent, but can be countered in a variety of ways. Further, Mutalings are not common against the Zerg opponent as ZvZ games have a tendency to be the tightly contested low economy games where the versatility of a Mutalisk and Scourge army is preferred.

Versus Terran[edit]

The Mutaling combination is often seen in the early to mid ZvT match-up. It is common for the Zerg player to stall and harass the Terran with Mutalisks while advancing in tech to the Hive stage. During this stalling period, Mutalisk will consume most of the Vespene Gas gathered, except for that necessary in the tech evolution process. As such, frequently only minerals will be in excess, which the Zerg player will often spend to build a troop of Zerglings. Thus, the combined Mutaling army will be used to counter the Terran force.

Mutalisks are largely ineffective against a sizable Bio Terran Marine army, but with the help of speed-upgraded Zerglings ("Speedlings") and occasionally Lurkers, the Zerg will often be able to counter the Terran force. In these battles, the stack of Mutalisks will frequently endure much of the Bio Terran fire while Speedlings surround and engulf the infantry units.

The Mutaling combination is not as potent by the mid to late game, as the Terran will be able to counter large Mutalisk forces with Irradiate. Upgraded and larger Terran infantry armies will be more effective in handling a Mutaling attack. Additionally, Siege Tanks, Vultures, and Spider Mines are effective against Zerglings should the Terran proceed to a Mech switch.

Because of its speed, however, the Mutaling combination is very effective in defending against drop plays in the Zerg base. Further, Mutalings are very capable of rendering a surprise attack of a Terran expansion that is not well protected as the combination can easily destroy a Bunker and some Missile Turrets in rapid fashion.

Versus Protoss[edit]

The Mutaling combination is not commonly used against Protoss as the Protoss opponent's most common early units are the Corsair and Zealot -- a small group of Corsairs dominates most PvZ air battles, while the Zealot can dominate ground battles as long as they have an upgrade advantage or until the Zerg can tech to Lurkers or a sizable Hydralisk army. Further, it is common for the Protoss to build Photon Cannons at its vulnerable areas, such as the chokepoint, as part of the popular Fast Expand build orders, further countering a potential Mutaling army. Finally, by the mid to late game, the Protoss will typically have access to Psi Storm and Archons, further countering Mutalisk, and Mutaling, armies.

Similar to the Terran match-up, however, the Mutaling combination can be very useful in surprise situations such as dealing a rapid attack on an expansion base before the Protoss player can react. This is commonly seen in the mid to late game where the Protoss player may have built a new distant expansion protected with only Photon Cannons, which the Mutaling army would often be able to destroy before the arrival of reinforcements.