Infestor (Legacy of the Void)
- This article is for the Legacy of the Void multiplayer version. For the Heart of the Swarm version, see Infestor (Heart of the Swarm). For the Wings of Liberty version, see Infestor (Wings of Liberty).
The Infestor is an offensive spellcaster, meaning that its abilities are used to harm enemy units rather than support the player's units. It can be built after the Zerg player has an Infestation Pit. Infestors have three abilities: Neural Parasite, Fungal Growth, and Infested Terran. They can move while burrowed if Burrow is researched, but must unburrow to cast any spell other than Infested Terran. The Infestor has the furthest range of vision (10) among the Zerg ground units and retains it while burrowed.
Neural Parasite is a channeled spell that takes control of an enemy unit. This ability is best used against high-tier units and spellcasters. Enemy spellcasters controlled by a Neural Parasite cast their spells as if owned by the player who controls the Infestor, and will deplete their energy as normal. While active, the Infestor is helpless, and unable to move, cast spells, or burrow, but the Infestor can cancel the spell at any time. A long cord, visible to both players, tethers the victim to the Infestor. If the victim moves too far (>14 grid units) from the Infestor for any reason (including Abduct, etc.), the tether will break and the spell will end, freeing both the victim and the Infestor.
Fungal Growth is very useful despite its relatively high energy cost. It is most effective against groups of clustered, weak units like worker units, Marines, Zerglings and Zealots. Immobilization prevents enemy units from fleeing, and can prevent melee units from reaching their targets. However, affected units can still attack, and the ability does not stack. It can be used on Cloaked and Burrowed units and will reveal them for its duration. To underline the aspect of total immobility, Fungal Growth also inhibits the Stalkers' Blink ability and disrupts any transformations, such as Siege Tanks or Vikings switching between their modes. It also prevents Zerg units from burrowing or unburrowing. Affected units cannot enter a transport unit(Medivac, Overlord, or Warp Prism). Tightly clustered air units are especially vulnerable, as there is no upper limit of potential targets.
Infested Terran is a versatile spell that is excellent for harassment. Since Infestors can use this spell while Burrowed, they can sneak behind enemy mineral lines and cast this spell to disrupt the enemy's economy (especially when used with Fungal Growth), or destroy key buildings without sacrificing portions of their main army. Infestors can be paired with ground-attacking only units (such as the Ultralisk/Zergling) and spawn the Infested Terrans to deal with air units. Infested Terrans are disposable (they cost nothing to create and automatically expire after twenty-one seconds) and, as such, can be spawned as the front line to tank damage while the main army is behind, semi-protected by the Infested Terrans. For example, spawning Infested Terrans on top of Siege Tanks is an excellent way to gain ground while causing the tanks to inflict friendly fire. They are also easy to replenish with numerous Infestors; an infestor gains 25 energy in approximately 31.7 seconds, meaning that a Zerg player can spawn approximately two Infested Terrans per minute per Infestor that he has in his attack. Coupled with an Overlord, an Infestor can spawn Infested Terrans across different levels of terrain for harassment. By hotkey binding the Infested Terran key to act as a left click, Zerg users can choose to drop Infested Terrans one-by-one or in a single, massive clump.
Research of Pathogen Glands should start upon completion of the Infestation Pit. The bonus energy permits the Infestor to cast Fungal Growth as soon as it spawns. This helps offset their long build time. Zerg players usually begin building Infestors once Pathogen Glands is just past 21 seconds (out of 57) into research. Infestors take 36 game seconds to build; thus, the first batch of Infestors spawn when the research is completed.
Neural Parasite is rarely used, although the spell can be useful on almost every powerful unit the Protoss player has. The main problem with using this spell is because of the low range it has, but if possible during a battle, taking a Massive unit to your side can help turn the tide of battle.
Fungal Growth is a useful spell in ZvP in many situations. Against attacks without a large amount of Sentries, and in large battles, the Fungal Growth is mostly used to "lock" units in place (and prevent Blink usage from Stalkers), so it is possible to get a surround on them with the low-range Zerg units such as the Zergling and the Roach. Fungal Growth also reveals cloaked units such as the Observer and the Dark Templar as well as dealing damage to them. Void Rays, due to their tendency to clump and relatively slow speed, are often targets for Fungal Growth, and can be ensnared in preparation for a Hydralisk or Mutalisk attack. Faster air units such as the Phoenix have an easier time dodging fungals due to their high speed, however.
Infested Terran can be used to absorb the high damage shots, such as the Colossus's attack and Psionic Storm. While they do not do high damage anymore since they no longer benefit from upgrades, they are still useful en masse as walls against a Zealot or Archon attack, damaging buildings (which benefit from shield but not armor upgrades), and rapidly expending Infestor energy to protect against Feedback from incoming High Templar.
Neural Parasite should be used on any high damage or high cost units such as Battlecruisers, Siege Tanks and Thors. Since Siege Tanks greatly outrange this ability, Roaches, Zerglings, or even the eggs of Infested Terrans are often used to draw fire to allow the Infestor to get in range to use Neural Parasite.
Fungal Growth brutalizes Terran Bio armies. Bio units tend to fight in tight clumps, maximizing the number of units affected. Two consecutive Fungal Growths will kill Marines. Furthermore, Bio units often use stutter step micro to exploit their mobility in combat; Fungal Growth eliminates this advantage, allowing Zerglings to surround and Banelings to connect. It can also immobilize and kill Medivacs to block Terran drop harass. In the late game it is often used to protect Brood Lords from Marines and Vikings. However, the spell has seen a drop in use since its change to a projectile spell.
Infested Terrans can draw the fire of Siege Tanks. With clever use of tunneling or cliff terrain, eggs can be thrown at Terran forces to bait tanks into friendly fire. They also complement Fungal Growth to finish off Vikings or Ravens.
Neural Parasite is rarely used in this matchup because there are relatively few Zerg units worth controlling. The Ultralisk and Brood Lord are immune to this ability (Frenzied). However, enemy Infestors can be worth targeting, if only to deplete their energy.
Fungal Growth, however, is an important spell in ZvZ. Because Zerg armies consist of numerous mobile units, Fungal Growth's immobilization is devastating to the opposing army. Although players primarily use it against ranged units, it can also render melee units such as Zerglings and Banelings ineffective. Note that Fungal Growth does not one-shot either of them due to regeneration. Fungal Growth can also prevent units from unburrowing (including Ultralisks).
If enough Infestors have been built, it is possible to eliminate large clumps of Mutalisks by reapplying Fungal Growth five times, provided the Mutalisks are stacked. Done correctly, this can potentially allow the Infestor user to wipe out his opponent's air force without incurring a single loss, as Fungal Growth outranges Mutalisks. Similarly, it is possible to safely eliminate Mutalisks by combining Fungal Growth and Hydralisks, whose range also allows them to strike with impunity. In reaction to Infestors, a Mutalisk player should try to send in a few Mutalisks at a time to pick off Infestors before a large engagement; since Infestors are so gas-intensive, players will often very rarely have any anti-air accompanying them, forcing the Infestors to waste their energy.
Fungal Growth can also play a massive role in large Roach battles by damaging the opponent's Roaches and preventing them from achieving a good concave or burrowing to regenerate. This strategic advantage can cause enormous shifts in battles and is one of the most common units used in ZvZ. Because Roaches have a relatively short range, you can fungal them to clog up their lines so more of your Roaches than your opponent's can attack at once.
Infested Terrans can take out expansions and even main bases if not dealt with correctly. Infestors can also be loaded into Overlords and used to snipe tech structures and Hives/Lairs much more quickly than burrowed Infestors. They are rarely seen in battle because Fungal Growth is a much more powerful use of their energy, although they can be used as a quick anti-air defense. A few Infested Terrans can kill small amounts of Mutalisks trying to snipe Infestors. Two Infested Terrans can kill a stray Overlord before expiring.
- Infestor's sounds (video and sound) - YouTube video.
No patch changes so far in LotV.
- Infestor hit-squad tactics Destiny (ZvZ) first-person, explicit language throughout.
- Infestor quick Infested Terran spread ForceStrategyGaming - "Like a Boss" series.
- Scroll-clicking to drop Infested Terrans quickly