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Hydralisk (Heart of the Swarm)

This article covers the now superseded Heart of the Swarm multiplayer version of this unit. For other versions see Hydralisk (Legacy of the Void), Hydralisk (Wings of Liberty) and Hydralisk (Heart of the Swarm Campaign).
[e][h] Hydralisk
Unit Information
Ground Unit
100 50 33 2
Attack 1:
Targets: Ground / Air
Damage: 12 (+1)
DPS: 16 (+1.3)
Cooldown: 0.75
Range: 5 (+1)
80 0 (+1)
2.25 (+0.5625)
Speed Multiplier on Creep:
1.5 (-0.3)
Speed on Creep:
Cargo Size:
Note: All time-related values are expressed assuming Normal speed, as they were before LotV. See Game Speed.
Strong against:
Weak against:


The Hydralisk is a ranged Zerg unit that can attack both air and ground units. Hydralisks can be created only after the Zerg player has built a Hydralisk Den.

The Hydralisk's strong base damage and its fast attack speed make it effective at dealing large amounts of damage to any unit in the game. This ensures the Hydralisk's use at some capacity in any match-up.

The Hydralisk is usually the Zerg's answer to enemy air units. A Hydralisk Den builds faster than a Spire, meaning that Hydralisks can be built earlier than Mutalisks or Corruptors to respond to an imminent aerial threat.

Hydralisks are especially weak against area-of-effect damage; in particular, the Zerg Baneling, Terran Siege Tank and Protoss Colossus are very effective at killing masses of Hydralisks before they can retaliate effectively. Unsupported Hydralisks will also struggle against Charge-upgraded Zealots, Hellions, and masses of Marines.

Due to the large difference in speed off-creep and on-creep, the Muscular Augments upgrade and/or spreading creep should be a key focus when executing any Hydra-based strategy.

Note that while the Hydralisk also has a melee attack animation when attacking ground units at melee range, this attack is still affected by the normal Ranged Attack upgrades. However, this close range attack is not affected by Guardian Shield, nor is it blocked by a Point Defense Drone.


 100      100      71 Hotkey: G
Researched from: Hydralisk Den
Increases the attack range of Hydralisks by +1.
 100      100      71 Hotkey: A
Researched from: Hydralisk Den
Requires: Lair
Hydralisks move 25% faster off creep.

Competitive Usage[edit]

Vs. Protoss[edit]

Hydralisks are used quite often in current 'standard' play vs. Protoss simply because of their significant damage output. When supported by Roaches, Vipers, and occasionally Swarm Hosts, Hydralisks can counter most Protoss ground units. With the addition of the Viper, Hydralisks can kill Collosi with ease.

If the Zerg player scouts the Protoss player teching to Void Rays, Hydralisks are used to counter the rush and then take the fight to the Protoss player, ideally before the Protoss can acquire Psi Storm.

Vs. Terran[edit]

Initially gaining notoriety through Stephano using a Roach-Hydralisk composition at the end of Wings of Liberty, Hydralisks have found more usage in Heart of the Swarm against Terran.

They are considered useful for their significant damage output and the ability to kill Medivacs in big battles. They can be used to deter drops, but are not as effective as Mutalisks, since they cannot catch Medivacs. Thus, static defense is often added to complement them.

It is very difficult to trade cost effectively with Hydralisk/Roach combinations vs. bio or mech play, thus it behooves the Zerg player to keep Terran on a lower base-count or include more cost efficient units, such as Infestors or Swarm Hosts.

Vs. Zerg[edit]

After changes to the Spore Crawler, Hydralisks have found more play in Roach-Hydralisk compositions as an army as opposed to Mutalisk.

One-on-one, a Hydralisk will lose to a Roach. However, their significant damage output usually helps a Roach-Hydralisk composition win cost-effectively against pure Roach or Roach-Infestor. They have slightly longer range so Roaches can be used to keep them at the right distance; this allows them to use Roaches to act as tanking and screening units. However, due to the Hydralisk's low health and Fungal Growth's range, Roach-Infestor compositions can be devastating if units are not properly spread.

Mass Hydralisks are also effective at combating Mutalisk, Zergling, or Baneling compositions, but watch out when enough of them get into close range. Again, Roaches are generally needed as a meat shield, and splits are necessary if the opponent gets a large number of Banelings.



Patch Changes[edit]