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"We’ve recently heard reports about a mysterious new weapon in the hands of the Zerg. We’ve heard of battlefields being covered in a dense, blinding cloud, rending our guns all but useless, and of Battlecruisers escaping from battle only to be yanked back into the fray. The source behind these bone-chilling truths is the Viper, and we now have a full intel report on not only what it can do, but how."
Viper SC2-HotS Art1

The viper

The viper is a new strain of zerg fliers that was incorporated in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.


Viper SC2-HotS Art2

A viper

The viper combines several vicious biological weapons to weaken enemy forces and give an edge to the Swarm. They are a specialized offensive-support strain,[1] being perfectly evolved for battlefield manipulation, a role previously held by the defiler.[2] The viper contains genetic material from the defiler.[3]


The viper's tail is largely unchanged from the original defiler template. However, it has been evolved to allow the viper to maintain its balance and direction while flying, as well as steering.

What truly stands out, however, are the ingrown, crystalline spikes on the tip’s surface. These "crystals" emit a powerful pulse that the Viper uses to locate its targets with pinpoint accuracy. Its limbs, while formiddable in appearance, are crippled in terms of offensive capability, as the Swarm relegated them to the role of simplistic vice-grips. The protruding spikes are porous bone structures, able to pierce flesh and immobilize prey without inflicting lethal damage. and are directly linked to the creature’s lymphatic system. When on the prowl, the spikes exude a pheromone that makes the viper seem innocuous and non-threatening to its hapless victims.[1]

Vipers store a thick microbial soup within their abdomens, and can spray the viscous mixture into the air whenever ranged foes approach, essentially nullifying the effectiveness of their armaments until they can move out of the cloying mist.[2]

All vipers possess a prehensile proboscis—an elongated organ that serves as the viper's digestive system, and one that runs the entire length of the creature's body. Just as a frog uses its tongue to catch prey, the viper regurgitates its flexible intestines with great force in order to grab and pull a target towards its location.[1] Enemies hoping to escape to high ground are quickly snatched from their dominant position by the proboscis, allowing the zerg to counter just about any tactical terrain advantage.[2] This muscle is powerful enough to even draw a battlecruiser towards the viper.[4]

When fatigued, the viper can siphon bioelectrical energy and nutrients from friendly zerg buildings, allowing it to quickly return to the fray.[2] This is achieved by separating the ionic chains present in the hardened tissues of Zerg nest structures to produce a nourishing fluid. Said fluid acts as a catalyst for the plethora of microorganisms present in its bloodstream, which generate bioelectrical energy to replenish the viper’s stores.[1]


Vipers were originally a type of primal zerg.[5] With the need for a support strain apparent, the defiler template was revisited, and perfected with genetic material from an unknown species, preserving its core functions, but excising the defiler's lethality, which had been as deadly to zerg as it had been to the Swarm's enemies.[1] Later, Kerrigan was able to evolve her own vipers from the mutalisk strain.[6]

Game UnitEdit

Heart of the SwarmEdit

Viper SC2 Head1

Unit profile

In the campaign, the viper is an evolution of the mutalisk, derived from the genes of primal zerg. Vipers also appear as part of Yagdra's pack in The Crucible.[5]

The viper strain of the mutalisk has the same statistics as a regular mutalisk (but aesthetically, it is different by having four blue wings), but can transform itself into a viper at a specific mineral, vespene and time cost.

Abduct costs 25 energy, Disabling Cloud replaces Blinding Cloud and prevents shooting from beneath the cloud entirely, Consume targets allied units, and the viper can directly attack air units, dealing bonus damage to armored units. The attacks deal 10 damage, +5 vs armored units, and have a range of 6 and a cooldown of 1.5. However, their attacks pale in comparison to dedicated air-to-air combat units, such as the viking.[6]

Legacy of the VoidEdit

Viper SC2-HotS DevRend1



Terrain Control Specialist

Maximum energy

200 Energy Terran SC1


100 Minerals Terran SC1


200 ZergVespene SC2 Game1


3 ZergSupply SC2 Icon1

Build time

40 Time SC2 Game1

Evolves from

Mutalisk (Heart of the Swarm campaign)









Hit points



1 SC2ZergFlyerCarapace

Armor type
  • Armored

Vipers are classified as "battlefield manipulation units." They are hive-level caster units with no other prerequisite building.

Vipers are meant to give the zerg an extra edge in clearing out chokepoints, allowing the short-range zerg units to stand a better chance against long-ranged ones.[8]

The viper is intended to have a more core role in Legacy of the Void.[9]


Abduct SC2-HotS Icon Abduct

The viper targets a unit and pulls that unit to the viper's location. This allows it to pull allies to safety, or pull enemy units out of position. The ability can pull units up and down cliffs.

While the target is being pulled, it cannot attack. If the target had been burrowed, it will reburrow when the pull ends.[10]

Hotkey D
Cost 75 Energy Terran SC1
Range 9
BlindingCloud SC2-HotS Icon Blinding Cloud

The viper spits a green cloud. Ground units and structures in the cloud have their range reduced to one.

The cloud covers an area of 2.[7]

Units can move out of the cloud to fire normally.

Hotkey B
Cost 100 Energy Terran SC1
Range 11
Duration 14 (HotS)
10 (LotV)Time SC2 Game1
Consume(Viper) SC2-HotS Icon Consume

The ability deals 200 damage on a friendly building (except a creep tumor) over 20 seconds to gain 50 energy. The ability does not work on units.

Hotkey C
Range 7
Cooldown 1Time SC2 Game1
ParasiticBomb Parasitic Bomb

Latch onto an air unit, dealing 60[11] damage over 7 seconds to that unit and any air units around it. Effect persists for the remaining duration if the target is destroyed.[12]

Hotkey R
Cost 125[13] Energy Terran SC1


Increases armor of zerg air units.

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

Co-op MissionsEdit

Abathur is able to mutate vipers in Co-op Missions once he reaches Level 8, and can upgrade them at Level 9.



AmmoCounter SC2-WoL CineFireFury1

This article or section is a stub. Please expand it.


Main article: Viper/Development

Special Viper StrainsEdit

ZergLevel21 SC2-HotS Head1

A viper


The viper is David Kim's favorite new zerg unit in Heart of the Swarm.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2015-01-16, Viper Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-01-20
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Unit Guide: Viper, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2014-05-12
  3. 2014-12-01, BlizzCon 2014 LotV Lore Community Corner Discussion with James Waugh. YouTube, accessed on 2015-04-03
  4. 2015-01-16, The Crème de la Zerg. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-01-19
  5. 5.0 5.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, The Crucible (in English). 2013-03-12.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Heart of the Swarm, Mutalisk Evolution (in English). 2013-03-12.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cloaken. 2012-10-12. Balance Update #6 (10/12/2012) Heart of the Swarm Beta Discussion. Accessed 2012-10-12.
  8. 2012-06-11, Dustin Browder gives Slasher the scoop on Heart of the Swarm. YouTube, accessed on 2012-06-21
  9. 2015-02-12, Legacy of the Void: Multiplayer Development Update – February 12, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-02-14
  10. Raiderrobert. 2012-09-05. Summary of HOTS Changes. Reddit. Accessed 2012-09-09.
  11. 2016-01-29, Legacy of the Void Balance Update -- January 29, 2016. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2016-01-30
  12. 2015-03-31, StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Beta Release Patch Notes. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-04-03
  13. 2015-06-18, Legacy of the Void Beta Balance Update -- June 17, 2015. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-06-26
  14. June, 2012, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm "New Units" Explained by David Kim. G4, accessed on 2012-06-21

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