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Lurker
Hit Points: 125
Size: Large
Supply: 2
Cost: 50 100
Build Time: 40
Produced from: Hydralisk
Requires: Hydralisk Den, Lair
Base Ground Attack: 20s
Base Air Attack: N/A
Base Armor: 1
Range: 6
Sight: 8
Cooldown: 37
Production Hot Key: L

One of the newer and deadlier Zerg Strains is the Lurker. These creatures serve as defensive warriors for the Hive Clusters and outlying Zerg colonies. Bred from the Hydralisk strain, Lurkers emit waves of supra-dense spines against their enemies. However, Lurkers must actually Burrow underground to release these subterranean attacks. Any warriors on the surface who are caught by these spines are instantly impaled. These spines themselves are capable of tearing into flesh, steel, and even reinforced armor plating. The only weakness of the Lurker is that it is virtually defenseless while above ground.

Once underground, a Lurker can utilize a series of spines that rip up through the ground in a straight line from the Lurker to its target. These spines continue to their maximum attack range, regardless of where the targeted unit lies within that path and every enemy unit in the path of the spines will take damage. Note, however, that the damage will also be inflicted on allied units as well, so take caution when attacking with an ally, lest the Lurkers ravage friendly forces as well.

The Lurker Push
With the advent of the Lurkers, enemy forces must become more active with their detection. Should the enemy become lax with their detection, make full use of the Lurker to quickly raze their bases and forces. For situations like those where the detection is lacking, proceed with a Lurker Push (much like the Terran Siege Tank Push). To execute the Push, set up Lurkers just outside the enemy base perimeter and begin bringing in more Lurkers one by one closer to the enemy base. Once the front line has been "pushed" close to the enemy line, Unburrow the rear line and re-Burrow them ahead of the frontline (like a game of leapfrog). Continue this procedure until the Lurkers have "pushed" their way into the heart of the enemy base. If backed with Hydralisks/Mutalisks and Zerglings, the Lurker Push can be quite devastating to an unprepared opponent.

On the defensive front, Lurkers can also be a very valuable commodity. Placing a few Lurkers near your resources can help deter any drop attempt, whether it be in the form of Reavers, Marines, Tanks, Hydralisks, etc. Often the Burrowed Lurkers will catch a dropping enemy by surprise and can inflict major damage before they have the chance to retaliate or retreat. On the flip side, Lurkers are great for dropping against an enemy base and can often halt a resource operation in a matter of seconds. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to utilize this strategy, particularly at enemy expansion bases, since a successful Lurker drop can quickly turn the tide of battle in the Zerg's favor.

Despite the many advantages the Lurker possesses, it does have a few disadvantages that you should be aware of. As mentioned before, the Lurker must be Burrowed to attack, and should a Lurker be caught en route to a target location by an enemy force, it will be completely vulnerable to attack. The Burrowing process takes time, and an enemy might be able to kill a Lurker before it can finish Burrowing. The Lurker also has no defenses against attack from aerial units. Should an enemy air force with detection find a group of Lurkers, the Lurkers are as good as dead. For this reason, Hydralisks or Mutalisks should accompany an attacking Lurker group whenever possible.

Lurker invasion of a Protoss base Lurker watches Terran Base

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A Lurker finds a sweet spot to attack in an enemy town.

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A Lurker guards the exit to a Terran base. The Lurker prevents a SCV from escaping the town.

Lurkers brush by defenses Lurkers attack defenseless workers

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Lurkers rush by the enemy defenses.

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Lurkers set up by the defenseless workers.

Countermeasures

Terrans

  • Missle Turret/Bunker blockades work well in stopping incoming Lurker forces. In the later game, fortify the blockades with Siege Tanks and the Lurkers will have no chance.
  • Get a ComSat Station as soon as possible so that a Scanner Sweep can be used to reveal Lurkers in any portion of the map.
  • Science Vessels provide mobile detection against Lurkers and Irradiate can be used to put a quick end to offensive Lurkers.

Scanner Sweep reveals Lurkers

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A Scanner Sweep reveals the Lurkers attacking the workers mining allowing the Siege Tank to fire on them.

Protoss

  • Use Photon Cannons in the early game to provide detection against Lurkers at bases and choke points.
  • Observers provide cloaked mobile detection and are a key for countering Lurkers.
  • Use the High Templar's Psionic Storm to quickly eliminate a Lurker threat.
  • Use Scouts and Carriers to attack the Lurkers with complete impunity.
  • Use Reavers to maul Lurkers from a distance.

Zerg

  • Keep Overlords at every base/expansion as well as at key choke positions to watch for Lurker movement/attack.
  • Zerglings and Hydralisks can quickly destroy Lurkers, but if possible, keep them spread out to minimize the damage taken from the rows of spines.
  • Mutalisks or Guardians can quell a Lurker threat from the air with complete impunity.
  • Use the Queen's Spawn Broodling to instantly destroy a Lurker.
  • Catch Lurkers above ground with the Queen's Parasite ability to take away their advantage of being burrowed.
Upgrades

Missile Attacks Missile Attacks
Level 1 - 100 100
Level 2 - 150 150
Level 3 - 200 200
Carapace Carapace
Level 1 - 150 150
Level 2 - 225 225
Level 3 - 300 300

Missile Attacks - Each upgrade adds +2 to Missile Attacks for a total of +6 when fully upgraded.

Carapace - Each upgrade adds +1 to the Carapace for a total of +3 when fully upgraded.



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