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Green Globs of Goo: Corrosive Banelings and Why They’re Winning

The Baneling is a kick-ass sac of CFA (Corrosive… Acid) with legs.

This Zerg unit morphs from the Zergling, which was essentially described earlier as a cockroach with rabies. This was a very brief, yet rather accurate description of the Ling. Also, I never actually said that.

(You must have the Baneling Nest to morph these bad boys out.)


A Baneling looks like two green globs with circular markings and a head. They shuffle around at Mach -2, and have legs. If the Centrifugal Hooks upgrade was researched, their speed is upgrades to Mach 0.1 and they roll around instead of shuffling.

Tactical Applications

The “bling” (that is actually a nickname that is used by people in SC2) is incredibly cost-ineffecient when only attacking more than one unit. This is because blings have 1 (one) single, rather powerful splash attack. Since the bling commits suicide when doing this, this kinda sucks if you’re not hitting multiple units with it. (20 (+15 Light) damage to units, 80 to structures; on baneling death, attack automatically detonates; bling attack does not damage allied units and structures)

There are two exceptions to the Rule of Baneling Inefficiency in General When Striking a Singular Target:

1. To take down a structure or unit very quickly.

It will almost always not be a worthwhile investment to spend 19 banelings blowing up a command center/nexus/hatchery/orbital command/planetary fortress/lair/hive, but if this happens to be the only place where your opponent is mining, you can shut down all their income until the base is replaced (if you are lucky, they will not have enough money to build another base, thus allowing you to win).

However, this can usually be accomplished by sending in those same 19 units and zerglings, pre-morphing, and beating the christ out of said base. IF, however, the opponent is guarding the base or the base is a Planetary Fortress, then your zerglings are unlikely to be able to finish off the base fast enough, for which there are banelings (very fast kill indeed).

This is also usable to take down units or structures that are surrounded by repairing SCV’s, as the splash kills the SCV’s and kills the unit before it can be repaired back to full health.

2. To attack cloaked GROUND units.

Manually detonating the banelings will allow you to damage cloaked units (I don’t know if  this works on burrowed units). This only really works on Dark Templar and Ghosts.


The Baneling will deal obscene amounts of damage to ANY clump of units. This, therefore, also makes them incredibly ineffective against massive ground units. Since units of the “light” type are always small, and tend to clump up, “banes” will generally wipe them up.

Banelings are excellent for dropping into mineral lines, as they can quickly clean up Probes, Drones, and SCV’s with a quick, corrosive explosion.

Dropping Banelings from Ventral Sacs’d and Pneumatic Carapace’d Overlords maximizes Baneling splash. This requires a bit of micro/APM but Carpet Bombing with Banelings, a la FruitDealer, is extremely effective against every f*cking race.


The Baneling has no weaknesses; rather, it has situations where it’s not very cost-effctive.

Banelings can be kited by Marauders that are high on Stimpack with Concussive Shells, but this is only mildly effective.

Banelings are useless against Immortals due to Hardened Shields (reduces all damage over 10 taken to 10) .

Banelings are, again, generally ineffective against massive units.

Banelings can’t attack air units.

Inversely, due to the Baneling’s tendency to clump up, they are vulnerable to enemy Banelings, Siege Tanks, and Coloxen Colossi.


Banelings are neither counted as Armoured nor Light. The Queen is the only other unit with this trait.

Banelings cost 25 vespene and 25 minerals to morph per Zergling.

FruitDealer is/was considered the greatest Zerg player in the world for a while. He also invented Baneling Carpet-Bombing. http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/FruitDealer

Picture taken from http://attachments.conceptart.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=585861&stc=1&d=1233979336

2 responses

  1. They are like the infested terrans from the first SC.Unlike them,the infested terrans were way more powerful(500dmg),faster and harder to obtain.(An infested terran command center was needed for them.)Then again,the banelings can be put in use early in the game and that makes me happy.

    2011/05/06 at 08:20

  2. houraiguy

    Don’t we all love that Baneling Bust

    2011/05/06 at 23:05