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Evolution pit

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EvolutionChamber SC2-HotS Game1

The evolution pit

The evolution pit[1] aboard Sarah Kerrigan's leviathan is controlled by Abathur, the evolution master.


Baneling HotS Game3

Selecting a baneling upgrade

The player can select one of three mutations for each unit to use. The player can switch mutations freely between missions. However, only one mutation can be active at a time. These mutations will apply to variants of the base unit unlocked through evolution missions; ie, zergling upgrades affect raptors and swarmlings, but not banelings. Primal variants of the base units do not have these upgrades.


SC2 HardenedCarapace Icon Hardened Carapace

Increases zergling HP by 10.

Tissue testing has revealed beneficial mutation of zergling plating. Carapace can be hardened in key locations throughout thorax. Will provide significant increase to life expectancy, hamper access to vital organs.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 AdrenalOverload Icon Adrenal Overload

Increases zergling attack rate by 50%

Adrenal functions of zerglings simple to mutate. Often modified on battlefield through spawning pool. Possible to improve adrenal system at base level, increase glandular output. Will overload adrenaline production, greatly improve zergling attack speed.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 MetabolicBoost Icon Metabolic Boost

Increases zergling movement speed by 60%

Bolstering metabolic system of zergling, common battlefield strategy. Possible to augment enzyme production, improve energy production rate. Will provide significant increase to movement speed, allow zerglings to close distance on foes outrun pursuers.

Campaign Acquisition


SC2 CorrosiveAcid Icon Corrosive Acid

Doubles damage inflicted to primary target. Splash damage is unchanged.

Damage output of baneling acids low. Room for improvement. Acidic compounds can be altered. Mutation of production cells within membrane of acid sacs is required. Would increase acid potency two-fold, deliver significant damage to target.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 Rupture Icon Rupture

Increases explosion radius by 50%.

Current membrane toughness of acid sacs too low. Can restructure membranes, thicken. Will allow acid sacs to carry increased volume, improved radius of spray upon detonation. Will decrease likelihood that enemy survives inevitable rupture.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 RegenerativeAcid Icon Regenerative Acid

Baneling explosion heals allied units and structures.

Discovery. Successful mutation of baneling acid spray, infused with debriding properties of swarm queen's transfusion. Upon detonation, acid spray dissolves necrotic tissue from injured zerg within radius. Allows wounded zerg to regenerate quickly.

Campaign Acquisition


SC2 HydriodicBile Icon Hydriodic Bile

Roach deals +8 damage to light units.

Base composition of roach acidic saliva identical to that of zantar slug. Highly corrosive. Can alter chemical compound. Systematically evolve bile duct membranes, force production of hydroiodic bile. Upon contact, will melt tissue, flesh, bone. Dissolve poorly armored foes.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 AdaptivePlating Icon Adaptive Plating

Roach gains +3 armor when below 50% HP.

Roach carapace effective. Improvement difficult. Requires redesign, alternate carapace structure. Can use modular plates to protect roach, provide equivalent defense. When roach wounded, adaptive plates react to blood flow, thicken. Ensure survival.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 TunnelingClaws Icon Tunneling Claws

Roach can move at full speed while burrowed. Doubles roach regeneration rate while burrowed.

Can enhance roach utility, several key evolutions. Able to evolve tunneling claws, series of spiracles lining carapace. Will allow roach to tear through terrain while burrowed, draw additional nutrients from soil. Combination provides strategic advantage.

Campaign Acquisition


SC2 Zagara AC - MassFrenzy Frenzy

Temporarily increases hydralisk attack speed by 50%. Cannot be autocast.

Hydralisk aggression inhibited by cerebral cortex. Can enable hive mind to trigger impulses directly. Upon command, attacks frenzy for limited period. Cortex requires recovery time after use. Limbic system fragile.

Hotkey T
Duration 15Time SC2 Game1
Cooldown 30Time SC2 Game1
Campaign Acquisition
SC2 AncillaryCarapace Icon Ancillary Carapace

Increases hydralisk HP by 20.

Hydralisk carapace evolved primarily for offensive role. Thin, hollow. Allows increased movement potential at cost of fragile structure. Possible to evolve ancillary carapace, redundant plating. Will increase protection. Hinder exoskeletal rupture.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 HotSGroovedSpines Icon Grooved Spines

Increases hydralisk attack range by 1.

Spine projectile, effective. Few alterations made since assimilation of slothien urticating bristles. Grooved spines, common evolution on battlefield. Can be introduced directly into hydralisk template. Will increase aerodynamic properties of spines, allow hydralisk to attack distant foes.

Campaign Acquisition


SC2 ViciousGlave Icon Vicious Glave

Mutalisk's attacks bounce three more times. Attacks bounce further and do increased damage.

Glave wurm symbiote, simple sequences. Ample room for improvement. Can mutate constitution of cartilagnious framework, amplify damage of impact. Will increase number of targets affected by wurm before structure failure, disintegration.

Campaign Acquisition
TissueRegeneration SC2-HotS Icon Rapid Regeneration

Mutalisk regeneration increases to 10 HP per second when out of combat for at least 5 seconds.

Mutalisk fragile, in need of improved survivability. Requires restructure of sequence down to core. When wounded, cells will activate, remodels tissue to original state. Rapid regeneration. Will require almost entire focus of mutalisk, much exertion. Must devise instinctive aversion to use in combat. Dead mutalisks of minimal use.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 SunderingGlave Icon Sundering Glave

Increases mutalisk attack damage +9 against armored targets. Attacks no longer hit multiple targets.

Alternative configuration of glave wurm possible. Similar constitution to baneling strain. Explosive. Will deal significant damage to single enemy. Wurm is destroyed upon detonation. Subsequent collisions impossible.

Campaign Acquisition

Swarm hostEdit

SC2ZergBurrow Burrow

Allows swarm host to burrow. Can still spawn locusts while burrowed.

Primal sequences of swarm host resistant to improvement. Frustrating. Simple adaptations become incredible challenge. Essence constantly adapting, rejecting mutations. Aggravating. Difficult, but can enable burrow. Locust spawning will remain functional while submerged.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 RapidIncubation Icon Rapid Incubation

Locusts spawn 20% faster.

Locust production inefficient. Will greatly benefit from redundancy removal. Sequences are complex, wasteful. Byproduct of wild, uncontrolled evolution. Simplification of sequences will allow swarm hosts to incubate full-grown locusts at rapid speeds.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 PressurizedGlands Icon Pressurized Glands

Locusts can attack both ground and air units.

Swarm host defense reliant on locust organism. Locust secrets solvent fluids, projectiles towards enemy. Can mutate glands, increase pressure. Will allow projectile to reach incredible height. Attack both ground and aerial targets.

Campaign Acquisition


SC2 BurrowCharge Icon Burrow Charge

Ultralisk burrows and charges towards target point. On eruption, knocks enemies back and stuns them for 2 seconds. Can be autocast.

Ultralisk, large muscular surface area. Able to vibrate billions of subdermal muscles, break apart terrain, burrow into ground. Possible to mutate muscular system, amplify vibration resonance. Allow ultralisk to dive into ground, charge enemy. Exploit misconceptions of solid terrain.

Range 9
Cooldown 10Time SC2 Game1
Campaign Acquisition
SC2 TissueAssimilation Icon Tissue Assimilation

Ultralisk recovers 40% of damage inflicted to enemies.

Kaiser blades extremely effective. Monofilament edge tears through materials. Flesh, bone, armor. Significantc carnage. Can utilize, turn into asset. Can alter carapace surface. Allow assimilation of usable matter from fluids, wreckage. Will become fuel for immediate tissue regeneration.

Campaign Acquisition
SC2 MonarchBlades Icon Monarch Blades

Ultralisk deals +20 splash damage.

Significant alteration, monarch blades. Tissues of kaiser blades reconfigured on microscopic scale. New structure prevents momentum loss. Blades cleave multiple enemies with same strength as striking single foe.

Campaign Acquisition


Baneling HotS Game4

Selecting baneling evolution forms

Each unit features a final, irreversible choice. For instance, the zergling can become a raptor (which gains combat bonuses) or a swarmling (which spawn in greater numbers).[2]

Abathur inserts DNA sequences into the breed's genome for each mutation, but they fit into the same place.[3]

Evolutions are acquired in one of 14 short skirmishes far from the standard missions. This allows the player to play two mini-missions where native critters are harvested, concluding with a unit demonstration where the newly-evolved units attack a small enemy force.[1]

Zergling EvolutionEdit

Zergling: after either Fire in the Sky or Shoot the Messenger

  • Raptor strain: Gains the ability to jump up and down cliffs, leap over obstacles and onto targets from range, and gains +2 damage (40% increase).
  • Swarmling strain: Spawn 3 zerglings per egg, and their spawn speed near instant (2 seconds).
Zergling HotS Game2

Raptors, upgraded zerglings, being field tested.

The raptor strain was developed on Calus, where a jumping strain of the karak was collected. The raptor strain subsequently destroyed a Dominion security outpost located on a cliff.

On Astrid III, swarmlings were developed from a feral zerg brood. They were then used to destroy a local Dominion garrison.[4]

Baneling EvolutionEdit

Baneling: after Old Soldiers

  • Splitter strain: Banelings split into smaller baneling spawns upon detonation, each baneling spawn does 5 damage.
  • Hunter strain: Banelings gain the ability to jump up and down cliffs as well as leap toward opponents.

The splitter was developed on Nelyth, home to the mitoscarab, a creature with a decentralized nervous system that could split into two upon death. To harvest the appropriate sequences, the mitoscarab prime was killed. The banelings were morphed into splitters, which were then used to destroy the Protoss forces on the planet.

On volcanic Scoria, banelings were subjected to lava tides, eventually resulting in some developing jumping abilities. These hunters were then used to attack a Terran Dominion mining camp.[5]

Roach EvolutionEdit

Roach: after Enemy Within

  • Corpser strain: Units attacked by roach will spawn roachlings if killed.
  • Vile strain: Roach attacks slow enemy movement and attack speed substantially.

The corpser strain was developed on Cantar, a hidden protoss world, from a strain of scantipede which housed a virulent parasite.

The vile strain was developed on the protoss-occupied world of Mehlus IV from roaches which were forced to drink microbe-infested water. The survivors became the vile roaches.

Both strains were successfully tested in combat against the local protoss forces.[6]

Hydralisk EvolutionEdit

Hydralisk: after Supreme

  • Impaler strain: Hydralisks can morph into impalers. Impalers have a long ranged anti-armor attack. Impalers must burrow to attack.
  • Lurker strain: Hydralisks can morph into lurkers. Lurkers have an anti-light linear area of effect attack. Lurkers must burrow to attack.

The impaler strain of hydralisk were developed on Marek V, which housed Prometheus Company, a Terran Dominion infestation specialist unit. There, Ryloth's Brood was in danger of being wiped out. There were feral impaler colonies nearby (ancestors to the sunken colony) whose essence was used to develop the impaler morph. The impalers were then used to destroy Prometheus Company's base.

The lurker was redeveloped on Cavir, a former birthing colony for Daggoth. Kerrigan telepathically seized control of some feral lurkers but was unable to morph additional ones. Abathur determined that the key transformation sequence was missing, and a lurker den was needed. Kerrigan's lurkers found a den soon enough and defended it from the nearby feral zerg until Broodmother Kilysa arrived and reclaimed the den for the Swarm.[7]

Mutalisk EvolutionEdit

Mutalisk: after Hand of Darkness

  • Brood lord strain: Can morph into a brood lord, which besieges ground targets from long range with spawned broodlings.
  • Viper strain: Can morph into a viper, which can pull distant units close, slow enemy ground units and prevent them from attacking for several seconds, or drain life from allied units to restore its own energy. Also enables air-to-air combat.

The brood lord strain was re-inducted into the Swarm after the Swarm's mutalisks killed some feral brood lords and assimilated their essence. The mutalisks were then morphed into new brood lords which Kerrigan then sent to destroy the nearby Dominion defense platform Sigma Centari.

The viper strain was developed from primal zerg essence. Several vipers were used to steal jorium crystals from the Dominion on Brokas Hur.[8]

Swarm Host EvolutionEdit

Swarm host: after Conviction

  • Carrion strain: Spawns flying locusts that can attack ground targets. Flying locusts are faster and deal 50% more damage than regular locusts, but have 25% less life.
  • Creeper strain: Swarm host generates creep while burrowed or rooted. Enables Deep Tunnel ability to quickly travel to any location with creep.

The carrion strain developed on Cruxas III, in the city of New Babylon. Kilysa and her brood assisted Abathur in his mission. The carrion strain was developed after killing some native insectoids. The new strain was then used to destroy the Dominion's nuclear silos.[9]

The creeper strain developed on Ignus, where the local broodmother had been killed and the Ignus Brood was being attacked by the local burrowing ash worm. The swarm hosts destroyed the ash worm. Afterward, they transformed into creepers, and used their Deep Tunnel ability to defend the hive clusters from an invading Dominion force.[9]

Ultralisk EvolutionEdit

Ultralisk: after Planetfall

  • Noxious strain: Emits Noxious Cloud that deals 5 damage per second to nearby enemy ground units. Toxic Blast ability deals 20 damage to enemy ground units and structures.
  • Torrasque strain: When killed, enters a chrysalis for a short period before resurrecting with full health. Rebirth cooldown is 60 seconds.

The noxious strain was developed at the Metis research facility, overseen by Dr. Klein, near Augustgrad. The evolution was an accidental evolution due to gas tanks meant to kill the ultralisks breaking open and the gas subsequently being incorporated into the ultralisk.

The torrasque strain was also redeveloped when ultralisks were exposed to experimental nukes, whose radioactive compounds were integrated into the atrophied strain and allow the ultralisks to reincarnate independently without the power of cerebrates. The new torrasque ultralisks were then used to destroy the Dominion's experimental nuclear weapons facility.[10]


The following section contains information from a previous version of Evolution pit/Development which is no longer valid.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Shindigs and GHOSTCLAW. 2013-01-22. Heart of the Swarm Preview - (22.01.13). Teamliquid. Accessed 2013-01-23.
  2. StarCraft Legacy staff. 2011-05-30. May 2011 HoTS Gameplay Info. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2011-05-31.
  3. Anthony Gallegos. 2013-01-22. StarCraft II: Becoming the ‘Zerg Monster’ in Heart of the Swarm. IGN. Accessed 2013-02-01.
  4. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Zergling Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  5. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Baneling Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Roach Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  7. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Hydralisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  8. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Mutalisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Swarm Host Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Ultralisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.

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