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Game Guide: Zerg: Mutalisk Tips

Game Guide: Zerg: Mutalisk Tips

Main Mutalisk Unit Page

Controlling Mutalisks

Mutalisks are quick and responsive flying units. Mutalisks can move and attack at the same time with the use of a straightforward technique:

  1. Select your mutalisks.
  2. Right-click in the direction you want to move.
  3. Press A (the attack hotkey).
  4. Left-click in the direction of the enemy units (you don’t need to target a specific unit, but targeting one unit will help take them down faster).
  5. Quickly right-click in the direction you want to move your mutalisks (again).

General Mutalisk Tips

Mutalisks are excellent at harassing terran players. If a terran player is unprepared, mutalisks can end the game with proper micro-management. Mutalisks remain useful throughout the game as an effective way to pick off exposed siege tanks or medivacs. Be wary of marines with stimpacks and of thors; these units counter the mutalisk extremely effectively.        

The Infestor’s fungal growth ability can be a very strong counter to mutalisks, but only if enough fungal growth is deployed to root the mutalisks in place until they’re dead.

Using mutalisks against protoss is all about timing and information. If a protoss player is focusing on their robotics facility, they will lack the technology to repel mutalisks: archons, the blink ability for stalkers and the psionic storm ability for high templar.  Should the protoss player open a stargate, it’s advisable to strike with mutalisks quickly, before they can produce a large number of phoenixes.

Hit-and-Run Strikes

Mutalisks excel at quick strikes - attacking enemy workers or vulnerable buildings and fleeing before your enemy can defend. Mutalisks can also skirmish against incoming enemy forces, attack expansion bases, and harass enemy troops that are unable to hit air units, such as colossi and zealots).

Mutalisk Worker Harassment
A few tips:

  • Executing: There are two basic ways to approach the process of harassing workers with mutalisks.
    • If you can verify (or suspect) that your opponent has no anti-air defenses, build five or six mutalisks and attack their workers as early as possible. Killing even 4 or 5 workers can put your opponent so far behind on their economy that you can simply overwhelm them with sheer numbers.
    • Alternatively, build up a substantial group (like 8-12 mutalisks) before tipping your hand; with a group of this size, you will be able to take your opponent by surprise and overwhelm light anti-air defenses. If you continue building up your pile of mutalisks during this initial assault, you will likely be able to overwhelm any defenses while they are still being constructed.

    • Defending Against:
  • In general, you want to avoid letting a player who is harassing you with mutalisks force you to pull your army back to defend. The best way to do this is by building sufficient static defenses.
    • As terran: missile turrets are extremely effective against mutalisks - don’t be afraid to build too many of them. It’s better to build a huge turret ring around your base and incur no losses than to leave it under-defended and take heavy damage throughout the game. Unless you plan to rush your opponent, it’s a good idea to build an engineering bay early on in the game – you don’t want to be left without the ability to build defenses.  Marines using stimpacks are also an extremely effective way to deal with mutalisks - even a few marines can kill mutalisks shockingly quickly. Thors serve as a mechanized counter to mutalisks, as their ground-to-air missiles inflict splash damage that can hit whole groups.

    • As protoss: archons do biological and splash damage, so one or two archons near your workers can demolish piles of mutalisks. A couple of high templars placed by your base can also be an extremely effective deterrent, as a single use of their psionic storm ability can deal massive damage to clumping mutalisks. If templars are unavailable, stalkers with the blink ability can serve as a suboptimal substitute. The sentry’s guardian shield ability can dramatically reduce the splash damage from mutalisk attacks, so don’t forget to cast it if you end up fighting against a large group directly.

    • As zerg: because mutalisks clump together when flying, the most effective answer to them is the infestor: the fungal growth ability inflicts a great deal of damage and roots mutalisks in place, allowing your queens or spore crawlers to pick them off. If you do not plan on rushing  your opponent with all of your forces, build an evolution chamber –this will let you produce spore crawlers to deal with burrowed attackers and harassing mutalisks. If your opponent is seriously committing to mutalisks, consider evolving hydralisks to respond to them. Hydralisks are a significant investment, so be sure to capitalize on their damage output by attacking immediately after using them to defend against mutalisk attacks. Be cautious; if your opponent only builds a few mutalisks, building too many hydralisks may provide them with an economic advantage due to how much you’ve spent holding them at bay.

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