StarCraft® II

Carrying on in the support role once held by the Zerg Defiler, the Viper combines several vicious biological weapons to weaken enemy forces and give an edge to the Swarm. This winged menace stores a thick microbial soup within its abdomen, 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. Enemies hoping to escape to high ground are quickly snatched from their dominant position by the Viper’s muscular proboscis, allowing the zerg to counter just about any tactical terrain advantage. When fatigued, the Viper can siphon bioelectrical energy and nutrients from other Zerg buildings, allowing it to quickly return to the fray and cause further mayhem.

* Requires Heart of the Swarm expansion pack

Unit Statistics

3D Model

Basic information

Race: Zerg
Life: 150
Energy: 200
Armor: 1 (4)
Movement: Fast
Attributes: Armored - Biological - Psionic


Producer: Larva
Hotkey: E
Requires: Hive
Cost: 100 200
Supply: 3
Build time: 40




While the tail’s purpose remains largely unchanged from the original Defiler template, 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.
Despite their formidable appearance, the Swarm has crippled the offensive capability of these limbs, relegating 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—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.
The Defiler was a creature born out of festering, carcinogenic pathogens which were, in essence, the leftover genetic chains from other Zerg strains. This crude support weapon—as dangerous to the enemy as it was to the Swarm itself—evolved into obsolescence after the Brood War. Now, with the need for a specialized support strain, the Swarm seems to have revisited and perfected the Defiler template with genetic data from an as-yet-unknown species, preserving its core functions while excising its unnecessary lethality.
This elongated organ—the Viper’s digestive system—spans 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.
The Viper can separate 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.
0.34 0.16 0.8 0.75 0.5 0.59 0.57 0.82 0.59 0.67

General Strategy

  • Flying unit with multiple abilities, effective against biological, ranged-ground units as well as single large units.
  • Use Vipers in conjunction with fast-moving units such as Zerglings, Banelings, Roaches, or Hydralisks.
  • Combining the Viper’s Blinding Cloud ability and the Infestor’s Fungal Growth ability can completely shut down terran ground units.
  • Abduct high-cost, key units such as Siege Tanks, Colossi, or Brood Lords to kill them first.


Terran VS
  • Ghosts’ EMP or Snipe abilities are great ways to reduce Viper counts before a battle begins.
  • When using Marines or Marauders, watch out for the Blinding Cloud ability and flee from that area as fast as possible.
  • Protect your Siege Tanks using Widow Mines so that Vipers attempting to Abduct units can be easily destroyed. Make sure to spread your Siege Tanks out so that a single Blinding Cloud can’t affect multiple tanks.
Zerg VS
  • Use swarms of melee or short range units to reduce the effectiveness of the Viper's Blinding Cloud, and also to make your more expensive units harder to target with Abduct.
  • Mutalisks are great for quick hit and run strikes against Viper groups.
Protoss VS
  • Use the High Templar’s Feedback ability to deny Vipers the ability to Abduct.
  • Use melee or short range units to reduce the effectiveness of the Viper's Blinding Cloud, and also to make your more expensive units harder to target with Abduct.
  • Use Observers to spot Vipers and strike at them from long range with Tempests.

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