Baneling (Legacy of the Void)
- This article is for the Legacy of the Void multiplayer version. For the previous expansions' multiplayer version, see Baneling (Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm).
The Baneling is a suicide bomber unit morphed from Zerglings after a Baneling Nest has been constructed. Similar to the Infested Terran from Brood War, the Baneling is a suicidal unit that deals significant splash damage.
Banelings have a splash radius of 2.2 and do not deal friendly fire damage to either your units or those of your allies. However, their attack range - unless manually detonated - is only 0.25, which is basically melee range and too short to go off from second row by themselves. But they can be detonated manually, and they will also perform their "attack" upon death.
Banelings are a very effective unit against Light units due to their high damage bonuses in combination with splash damage. Correctly using a group of Banelings can deal massive damage to a hostile army and allow other units to clean up any remaining army much more easily. Because of their low survivability, getting Banelings to successfully hit groups of enemies is key. There are many options that can help a player use Banelings effectively:
- The Burrow upgrade enables a player to hide his Banelings to act as a trap. When the opponent runs over your Banelings, detonate them while burrowed to wipe out entire groups by surprise.
- The Baneling speed upgrade Centrifugal Hooks is also important for getting your Banelings into the action by cutting the time it takes to reach the front lines.
- Tactical use of Creep Tumors can also help Baneling use by increasing their running speed.
- Tactical placement of Banelings is important too; by flanking opponents you can deal even more damage and leave the opponent with no way to escape.
- By using Overlords you can drop Banelings over an opponent's army to great effect.
- Using the Infestor's Fungal Growth, you can keep the enemy from dodging your Banelings.
Try to surround and attack, pull back a little and attack again. You don't want to waste Banelings on tanky units such as Marauders. You want to hit light units, so be wary of good players who will use these Armored units to shield their Light units.
Banelings deal a lot of damage against structures, dealing significantly more damage that scales well with upgrades but they are very cost-ineffective. There are several things to note about Baneling damage vs. structures:
- Exploding Banelings always deal extra damage to a building in range. That is, you do not have to use their Attack Structure ability on a building to deal the extra damage.
- Baneling damage on buildings is not mitigated by armor, so that the 1 armor that most buildings possess and the Terran Building Armor upgrade that grants +2 armor does not affect Baneling damage.
In Combination with other Spells
- Burrow - As one can set Unburrow to autocast, Banelings can take over the role of Spider Mines from SC1. However, it is more effective to wait until the entire hostile army is on top of your Banelings in order not to alert the enemy and to fully exploit the area of effect. The Baneling is the only other Zerg unit besides the Infestor that does not lose any of its sight range when burrowed.
- Explode - This ability allows you to explode the Baneling on the spot, even while burrowed. Take note that activating this ability while you have multiple Banelings selected will cause all of them to explode, possibly wasting plenty of Banelings through overkill; Turning on the auto-cast function of Unburrow at that precise moment instead can greatly improve efficiency. Manually ordering Banelings to explode may be necessary when Zerglings have the opponent fully surrounded or otherwise obstruct their path. It takes 1 Baneling to kill Zerglings, 2 to kill Marines and 5 to kill Zealots (or you can use 4 to get the Zealots down to 10 health and then finish them off with 3 hits from Zerglings).
- Fungal Growth - The Infestor's ability to fungal growth units, freezing them in place for 4 seconds, makes Banelings much more effective, enabling them to hit units that would otherwise kite them.
- Baneling's sounds (video and sound) - YouTube video.