Unit Spotlight: Ravager

Statistics

  • Cost
    • Morph Roach 75 gas 25 minerals
    • 3 supply
    • 1 Larvae
  • Combat
    • Weapon 1 Ground only
      • 16 (+2/upgrade) damage
      • cooldown 1.14
      • DPS 14.04
      • Range 6
    • HP: 120
    • Base Armor: 1
  • Site: 9 Range
  • Speed: 3.85 Speed on Creep: 5
  • Cargo Size: 4
  • Tags:
    • Biological
  • Spells:
  • Corrosive Bile
    • Range: 9
    • Cooldown: 7 Seconds
    • Default Hotkey: C
    • Launch a missile at target location, dealing 60 damage to all units and destroying all force fields in the area upon impact. Lands ~2.5 seconds after being launched.

Strengths

Ravagers are powerful tier 1 units with powerful zoning tools (long range high damage spell in corrosive bile) and long range (6 for a tier 1 unit) they are good at defending some opposing all-ins, particularly hellbat cyclone all-ins or reaper all-ins (even though reaper all-ins don’t really exist anymore).

Because of the corrosive bile ability, the ravager is also a powerful unit to use in all-in attacks. This is because you can get a value out of the ability from killing important structures early in the game before the opponent has enough defenses. For example in

soO’s 1 Base Ravager All-In ZvT ravagers are important for killing supply depots and add-ons the Terrans use in their wall. If you can supply block the Terran it is easy to snowball to victory with this build order and due to the ravager’s high range they can target down defensive units like cyclones quickly. Some units that the ravager excels in dealing with include:

Reapers
Hellions/hellbats
low number’s of tanks
Liberators

Other ways to get more use out of ravagers include fungal growth, surrounds, in main engagements and against immobile units. Since the ability restricts unit movement it allows ravagers to hit corrosive biles easier.
You can also surround armies with fast units like zerglings and then use corrosive bile in the middle of the army. Because you have surrounded with
zerglings their army won’t be able to move and the corrosive biles will hit. In main engagements, corrosive bile is often used to force the enemy to move units,
meaning they won’t be dealing damage while they are moving. Corrosive bile is also good against generally immobile units/structures such as Zerg eggs,
sieged tanks, sieged liberators, lurkers, cannons, shield batteries, spine crawlers etc.

One huge strength to the ravager is that it is a low tech unit. Ravagers don’t require lair, only a roach warren so being able to make them
early in the game is important. Additionally, corrosive bile can destroy force fields created by Protoss sentries. This gives them utility and makes them
invaluable against sentry based all-ins or timing attacks.

Since you don’t want to waste corrosive biles, here is a list of how many biles it takes to kill important units:

Siege tank: 3
Liberator: 3
Medivac: 3
Bunker: 7 //more if they repair with scvs
Overlord: 4
lurker: 4
Photon Cannon: 6 //shield regeneration may increase this

Weaknesses

The ravager falls off in the late-game for a few reasons and this drop off is their biggest weakness. When compared to T2 units such as the hydralisk, the ravager seems quite expensive. For comparison, with the muscular augments upgrade the hydralisk has the same range as the ravager, 6 more dps, costs 50 less gas and has an AA auto attack. While the hydralisk is more squishy than the ravager, both will need something to tank damage for them. This late-game drop-off where the T2 and T3 units are better for their cost makes the ravager less common as a mid-game composition.

Some units that the ravager doesn’t deal well with include:

Stim bio //Note ravagers with units (like roaches) to tank will do much better against bio, and if you add in fungal growth they become exception as corrosive bile can be added in to deal lots of damage (this is less good now that fungal only slows though)
archons
Chargelots
voidrays

Additional Analysis

Ravagers are one of zergs best “comeback units”. Landing corrosive biles is one of the few ways to win fights that you otherwise should have no business in winning. One of the best comebacks occurred in 2017, Dark vs INnoVation in game 3 of the GSL S3 Semi-finals:

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