Unit Spotlight: Queen

Statistics

  • Cost
    • 150 Minerals
    • 36 Second Build Time
    • 0 Larvae
    • 2 Supply
  • Combat
    • Anti-Ground Weapon
      • Damage: 4 x2
      • DPS: 11.2
      • Range: 5
    • Anti-Air Weapon
      • Damage: 9
      • 12.6
      • Range: 8
    • HP: 175
    • Base Armor: 1
  • Sight: 9 Range
  • Speed: 1.31 (3.5 on Creep)
  • Cargo Size: 2
  • Tags:
    • Biological
    • Psionic
  • Abilities
    • Spawn Larvae
      • Duration 29s
      • Cost: 25 energy
      • Injects a hatchery, after 29 seconds 3 larvae spawn
      • Ability stacks into a queue of injects
      • 1.8s Cooldown
    • Spawn Creep Tumor
      • Cost: 25 Energy
      • Places a creep tumor at target location
      • Each creep tumor can spawn another creep tumor within a radius of 10
    • Transfusion
      • Cost: 50 Energy
      • The Queen heals a friendly biological (read any Zerg unit or structure) unit or building for 125 HP.
      • 1s Cooldown

Strengths

Queens are Zerg’s macro mechanic due to two abilities, spawn larvae and spawn creep tumor. These are abilities which you want to be using as much as possible and require your attention in order to increase your production and creep spread. Queens are incredibly important to Zerg’s for these two abilities, however they have many more uses and strengths.

Queens are a powerful addition in the late-game to bolster defending armies because of the Transfuse ability. With the tranfuse ability and multiple queens, even just 1 Ultralisk with the proper armor upgrades can stay alive nearly indefinitely against Terran bio armies, or certain Zerg armies. They are also good to be used on other powerful units such as, broodlords, vipers, infestors, lurkers, spine/spore crawlers and other queens. Transfuse is also a strong ability when doing a nydus worm attack because it can heal the nydus worm as well as exiting roaches and queens.

Queens are incredibly powerful units for these reasons, but they are also good at defending almost every early game attack or harass from Terran and Protoss armies. Queens are good at defending against these units:

  • Reaper
  • Hellion
  • Hellbat
  • Widowmine
  • Medivacs
  • Liberators
  • Banshees
  • Ravens
  • Battle cruisers
  • Stalkers
  • Adepts
  • Archon
  • Warp Prism
  • Phoenix
  • Void Ray
  • Oracle
  • Carrier

and they are useful for defending against everything not on this list such as marines, marauders, zealots, tanks, cyclones etc. Queens get drastically better while on creep due to their incredibly slow speed off of creep. This means that with proper creep spread and a health amount of queens, defending a lot of attacks becomes easier.

When beginning to play on the 1v1 ladder, mass voidray is often an attack that many players struggle with. Mass queen is a strong answer to this composition due to the transfuse ability. You can mass a large amount of queens and rapidly transfuse whichever queen is being target by the voidrays and the defense is incredibly easy. This is one of the reasons why mass voidray is not a strategy ever seen in pro-play, or any league above gold.

Weaknesses

The queen has a few weaknesses including is its move speed off of creep, large footprint and relatively low dps. This means it takes awhile for Queens to deal a significant amount of damage armies like marines without support. Due to their large footprint they can’t be clumped closely together to create more damage in a smaller area, something incredibly effective and often seen with units like mutalisks, marines or adepts. This means that queens often need a supporting unit for most defenses. For example, against a 2-1-1 timing attack from Terran it is nearly impossible to hold with just Queens since the Terran bio attack has a lot of damage and can target fire Queens well. However they are an important part of defending the attack through focusing medivacs and require zerglings to surround the marines so they can’t be killed.

The queens extremely slow speed off creep means that it is mostly useless in terms of attacking your opponent. There are a few exceptions to this, including primarily drop overlords and nydus worms. Overlords that have morphed ventral sacs and upgraded with pneumatized carapace can transport up to 4 queens across the map relatively quickly for aggressive attacks. These can be seen most often against Terran. Here is an example of what I mean:

Dark vs Bunny GSL ST 2 2017 Game 1 and Game 2

Further Analysis

Queens are a powerful Zerg unit, it is necessary to have one queen per base for injecting hatcheries (at least up to 4) to have enough larvae, their ability to spread creep and give speed advantages to all of your units and their ability to instantly heal 125 health with transfuse is incredibly powerful.

Queens do almost everything that you want to be doing as a Zerg player. Since they don’t cost larvae and only cost minerals they are also strong in that they won’t take away from your tech and minimally affect your ability to make drones in a negative way. This means making more Queens is almost always a good thing and having 6+ on defense and to spread creep, especially in the ZvT match-up is a good idea.

Art Credits to PhillGonzo, Deviant Art

 

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