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"I’m happy to announce that lastly, we have learned the details on the most terrifying of all Zerg forces: the Brood Lord. A true monster of the sky, the Brood Lord can unleash utter devastation upon any foes on the ground."
BroodLord SC2-HotS Game1

A brood lord

The brood lord is a powerful zerg flying unit.

OverviewEdit

"Evolved to rule the skies, the brood lords are terrifying creatures that hurl destructive broodlings at enemy forces."

- Unit description(src)

BroodLord SC2 Head1

A brood lord up close

Brood lords are massive manta-like flying creatures that serve as the Swarm's aerial siege units. They are used only in the largest of conflicts.[1]

PhysiologyEdit

The brood lord was originally morphed from the corruptor.[1] The glowing bulbs on the brood lord’s back are an evolution of the cancerous growths in the corruptor’s tentacles. Alterations at the genetic level turned the growths into sacs capable of rapidly spawning large batches of broodlings. Its tail is also derived from the corruptor, namely its statocyst. The brood lord’s tail structure (including the spikes) constitutes a large biological gyroscope that maintains the creature’s level and orientation. The tail is directly linked to the brood lord's sensory organs, increasing its capability to locate prey. Bone spikes located on the frontal section of the brood lord's wings house an advanced glandular system capable of emitting and receiving high-frequency electrical pulses. With each pulse, a massive spherical field radiates from the creature, coating its surroundings and targets in bio-electric energy. Afterwards, the brood lord's acute receptor glands pick up and process the gathered data. During deep space flights, the glands mutate to detect sources of radiation, electromagnetism, and light.[2] In battle, if the Swarm gains air/space superiority, it is common for them to evolve their fleet of corruptors into brood lords en masse to help with the ground battle.[3]

BroodLord SC2-LotV Art1

An aquatic brood lord

Brood lords are also capable of adapting their biology to suit their theater of combat. During the invasion of a planet with exceptionally large seas, brood lords evolved to be more suited in aquatic combat, allowing them to chase their prey deep into the planet's trenches. Leviathan Brood brood lords retain the brood's pre-disposition for spikes, possibly as a result of Abathur's experimentation.[4]

AttacksEdit

The brood lord releases biological symbiotes on ground targets. These small creatures regulate some of the brood lord’s biological functions, and can also serve as living ammunition. The brood lord has clusters of broodlings squirming under its carapace at any given time. In combat, the brood lord supercharges the broodlings’ aggression and metabolism, turning them into short-lived—but very effective—air-to-ground weapons.[2] Each broodling starts out as a projectile, inflicting initial impact damage. But once on the ground, they enter a frenzied melee assault,[3] tearing through personal armor and vehicular plating with ease[2] until they reach the end of their short lifespan or are destroyed. Left unmolested, a brood lord will disgorge a steady stream of broodlings capable of ravaging even large armored units in quick succession.[3] However, brood lords themselves are not very durable, and are vulnerable against aerial-strike combatants.[1]

HistoryEdit

Brood lords are one of the latest additions to the Swarm,[4] replacing the guardian of previous conflicts.[3]

The genetic templates for multiple strains of zerg were lost during the Second Great War when the Swarm fragmented after the Battle of Char, including those for the corruptor and the brood lord.[5]

Plot branch : Sarah Kerrigan chooses to evolve the mutalisk

The brood lord's template was reacquired from feral brood lords at Sigma Centari, a Terran Dominion defense platform. With the viper, it became one of the strains based on the mutalisk.[5]

Plot branch ends here

A small number of brood lords were integrated into the primal zerg packs, resulting in a strikingly different creature most notable for its unusual claws.[4]

By 2505, the brood lord was once again evolved from the corruptor via the genetic remnants of corruptors preserved in greater spires.[3]

During the Defenders of Man Insurgency, a number of feral brood lords were lured to Antiga Prime via the Defenders of Man's psi-emitters.[6]

Game UnitEdit

Brood lords are the only unit to gain an attack bonus from both Flyer Attacks and Melee Attacks upgrades, as well as both Flyer Carapace and Carapace. This is received indirectly through the broodlings being upgraded by Melee Attacks and Carapace.

Brood lords replace guardians as the zerg aerial bomber. Like the guardian, it has a long-ranged ground attack and no defense against air units. Brood lords launch broodlings; the broodlings do damage upon impact, and then act as separate timed-lifespan ground units. Brood lords can sustain a stream of single broodlings; the first attack after a break launches two broodlings. Unless the enemy uses extensive micro-management or air-to-air fighters, the broodlings are an excellent distraction for ground-to-air units on top of the damage boost. Left unchecked a relatively small group of brood lords can end up doing catastrophic damage to an enemy base since very few enemy units or turrets will end up actually firing on them.

Compared directly to other "siege" units the brood lord is a powerful late game option. Like other siege units it can out-range defense turrets, but it's ability to fly gives it several advantages over the others. For one, most of the other siege/anti ground units can't even fire on it. Flight also gives it even better mobility than immortals by letting it pass clean over truly impassible terrain, such as lava lakes and deep canyons, letting them attack enemy bases from usually unexpected directions. A group of brood lords supported by anti-air units such as corruptors or even baseline mutalisks can be very difficult to stop.

However, brood lords on their own are slow and immobile, and are vulnerable to attacks from vikings and phoenixes. If anti air units such as stalkers are able to get under them and focus fire, they can be brought down with relative ease. Their high cost and high place on the tech tree also makes it hard to amass a critical number of brood lords without also investing in other units to defend from harassment and timing pushes in PvP.

VersusEdit

Upgrades and AbilitiesEdit

SwarmSeeds SC2 Icon1
Swarm Seeds

The Brood Lord shoots Broodlings at its target. A Broodling is a small creature that can attack ground units.

ve
Acquisition
Purchased from
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 Gas Terran SC1 160Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals Terran SC1 175 Gas Terran SC1 190Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals Terran SC1 250 Gas Terran SC1 220Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive
ve

Increases armor of zerg air units.

Acquisition
Purchased from
Level 1
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 160Time SC2 Game1
Effect +1 armor
Level 2
Cost 225 Minerals Terran SC1 225 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 190Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Effect +1 armor
Level 3
Cost 300 Minerals Terran SC1 300 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 220Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive
Effect +1 armor
ve

Heart of the SwarmEdit

In the Heart of the Swarm campaign, the brood lord is one of the evolution choices for the mutalisk. Choosing the brood lord prevents the use of the viper.[5] The Viper is akin to a Corsair, purely anti-air barely more capable than a mutated Mutalisk with some ground disruption and the ability to move ground units to itself, but this is still barely helpful in comparison to a swarm of Brood Lords that can easily level entire bases over time, including ones that the campaign commanders say "Don't attack there it's too well defended".

Legacy of the VoidEdit

Brood lords do not appear in the main Legacy of the Void campaign, as enemy zerg utilize the guardian instead. However, void shades can take the forms of brood lords.

Brood lords are usable in the Epilogue mission "Amon's Fall."

Co-op MissionsEdit

Brood lords are exclusive to Kerrigan in Co-op Missions. They evolve from the mutalisk once the player controls a greater spire. Kerrigan's brood lords attacks spawn two broodlings with each attack.

UpgradesEdit

PorousCartilage SC2 Icon
Porous Cartilage

Increases brood lord movement speed to 1.406 and acceleration to 1.875.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Reach Kerrigan Level 11.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spire / greater spire
Hotkey R
Cost 150 Minerals Terran SC1 150 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 60Time SC2 Game1
Required Greater spire
ve
SC2 ZergAirWeap
Zerg Flyer Attacks

Increases the attack damage of zerg air units

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spire / Greater spire
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 160Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals Terran SC1 175 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 190Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals Terran SC1 250 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 220Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive
ve
SC2 ZergAirCara
Zerg Flyer Carapace

Increases the armor of zerg air units.

Usage
Passive
Campaign Acquisition
Unlock Initially available.
Acquisition
Purchased from Spire / Greater spire
Hotkey M
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 160Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals Terran SC1 175 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 190Time SC2 Game1
Required Lair
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals Terran SC1 250 ZergVespene SC2 Game1 220Time SC2 Game1
Required Hive
ve

DevelopmentEdit

The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.

During the development of StarCraft II, it replaced the swarm guardian.[7]

The combat role of the brood lord fluctuated for a very long time. Many variations of the guardian were presented but the intention was always clear that the development team wanted more out of this new flyer. Finally out of the blue, Samwise Didier concepted the brood lord like a bolt of lightning and thus the design team created the 3D art in accordance to his concept. The head design was lifted from the scrapped morphalisk.[8]

The brood lord's frenzied ability was added in the context of swarm host matches, coupled with mass spore crawlers. As swarm hosts were altered in Legacy of the Void to be more mobile, the ability was deemed unncessary.[9]

ImagesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Brood Lord, accessed on 2011-01-18
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2015-01-16, Brood Lord Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-01-20
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Barba, Rick. StarCraft Field Manual (hardcover). Insight Editions, November 17, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. October 17, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Mutalisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, Flashpoint (in English). 2016-08-02.
  7. Dustin Browder, Lipton, Karune. 2009-04-22. The Official STARFEEDER Starcraft 2 Q&A. Starfeeder. Accessed 2009-04-22.
  8. 2010, Starcraft 2: Zerg Broodlord. Deviantart, accessed on 2011-07-20
  9. 2015-05-11, Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview - May 11. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-05-21