The Zerg Infestor is a new caster unit appearing in Starcraft 2. It has 2 abilities that are especially useful against common Terran strategies, and 1 ability that is pretty much useless.
Once you upgrade your Hatchery to a Lair and build an Infestation Pit, you can spawn Infestors. Each one costs 100 minerals, 150 gas, and 2 supply. Classified as an Armored Biological Psionic unit, the Infestor is somewhat fragile with its 90 hit points and 0 armor. They have a Move Speed of Normal when not on creep, and a Move Speed of Fast when they are on creep. Infestors are the only other unit besides the Roach that can move while burrowed (at a Move Speed of Very Slow), and they don’t even need an upgrade to do it.
The Infestor’s first ability, Infested Terran, is very weak and basically never used. For 25 energy it spawns an Infested Marine that only lasts for 20 seconds. The Infested Marine does do 8 damage at a range of 5 with a Weapon Speed of Normal, but it has 0 armor and a Move Speed of Very Slow. The combination of such a short duration and its very slow movement dooms this ability to only being used for fun, or when you have your opponent clearly dominated.
The Infestor’s second ability, Fungal Growth, is great against clumps of units with low hit points. For 75 energy it immobilizes all of the units in the target area and does 36 damage over 8 seconds. It also reveals any cloaked and burrowed units in the targeted area.
The Infestor’s third ability, Neural Parasite, must be researched at the Infestation Pit before it can be used. For 100 energy, you can mind control any unit on the ground or in the air. You keep control of your opponent’s unit until you cancel the ability, either one of the units dies, or if you move the mind-controlled unit too far away from your Infestor.
Available Upgrades For The Infestor
There are 2 upgrades available to research at the Infestation Pit, in addition to the Neural Parasite. The first upgrade, Peristalsis, increases the Infestor’s move speed while it is burrowed. This upgrade is good for getting your Infestors into position more quickly. The second upgrade, Pathogen Glands, increases the starting energy of the Infestor by 25. This is a good upgrade to get since Infestors only spawn with 50 energy and Neural Parasite costs 100 energy to use. At the Evolution Chamber you can get 3 levels of Ground Carapace upgrades, with each upgrade adding 1 armor.
The Infestor’s 2 useful abilities are very strong in certain situations and can be the deciding factor in the battle. A few well-placed Fungal Growths can severely weaken an army consisting of the popular “MMM” Terran strategy (Marines, Marauders, and Medivacs). The rest of your army can then finish off what survives the Fungal Growths.
Another good tactic is to have several Infestors use Neural Parasite on big enemy units such as Thors. This can definitely turn the tide in a fight and stop an opponent’s push quickly.
With only 90 hit points, 0 armor, and no regular attack skills, the Infestor is very vulnerable on its own and is completely defenseless if it is out of energy. This is somewhat mitigated if you have researched Burrow, as your Infestor can escape the enemy if they have no detectors. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to have other units with your Infestors to protect them.
Best Uses Of The Zerg Infestor
The Infestor is best used as a support unit at the back of your army, using its abilities to gain an advantage during the battle. If your opponent does not have any detectors, you can sneak into his base (in conjunction with upgraded Roaches) by burrowing in, and catch him off guard with a surprise attack.
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