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TotW #7 Burrow

By xsiLLyx - 9th December 2010 - 15:33 PM

Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to Tip of the Week #7! This week Strategy Specialist xsiLLyx has dug deep to unravel the secrets of the burrowing Zerg, are you ready to read what he brought to the surface?

Burrow. What is it?

Burrow is an ability unique to the Zerg army. It requires a Lair and may be researched for the cost of 100/100 from any Hatchery, Lair, or Hive. Once the research for Burrow is complete, all Zerg ground units gain this ability. To use it, simply click the icon once to burrow and click it again to unburrow. Clicking the icon is time consuming however, so it's best to use the hotkey, R, to burrow/unburrow quickly.

When the ability is activated, all selected ground units will go underground until unburrowed. They will be hidden from the enemy unless a detector unit is nearby or a scan is used in their vicinity. Should they be revealed while burrowed, they cannot attack or use abilities (except for Banelings and Infestors) until unburrowed, so be sure to do so immediately when detected.

Now that we all know how Burrow works, let's explore how it's used!
The general use of Burrow is to either
  1. Set up an ambush on enemy troops
  2. Save units from being destroyed by the enemy (assuming no detector is present, of course).
With certain units, however, there are some more creative ways to use the Burrow ability. Some specific uses are listed in detail below.

Burrow Usage by Unit


The cheapest unit available to a Zerg player, as it turns out, can burrow! Lone Zerglings are often burrowed at the opponent's most likely expansions to scout out where and when they expand there. If you're a bit more confident in your expo-prediction abilities, you can burrow larger amounts of Zerglings by the mineral line at a specific expansion, so that when your opponent begins to saturate his fancy new expo, you quickly take out some workers or possibly kill the expansion entirely.

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Denied, fool!

Also, you can burrow Zerglings in the exact spot the expansion is going to be placed to block it from being constructed entirely. This then requires your opponent to scan or build a detector unit if they didn't have one already, taking up resources. It should be noted however, you can block an expansion by burrowing any Zerg ground unit, it's just the most cost effective with Zerglings (2 for 50!).


Our explosive friends often have trouble closing in on the enemy due to their low health. For defensive use, however, this problem is solved with Burrow! On ramps or other choke points, and preferably ones that aren't too wide to cover effectively, burrow a group of Banelings.

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marines happily marching when suddenly...

When the enemy passes over them, simply detonate them under the most concentrated group of enemy units and let the fun begin!

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That's right, you can detonate Banelings WHILE burrowed! Be careful not to use this trick too much in the same game however, as your opponent will most likely wisen up to it after it occurs a few times and begin to bring a detector with him.


These guys take burrow to the next level by being able to move while burrowed! Using burrowed Roaches opens up many routes of attack that were not previously available. Roaches have a pretty short attack range, so burrow can be used to close the gap between you and the enemy.

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Also, you can use burrow to bypass the bulk of the enemy's army and single out vulnerable, expensive units like Siege Tanks, High Templars and Colossi.

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A unique aspect of the Roaches' Burrow ability is that while burrowed, Roaches regenerate health significantly faster. This can be used to greatly increase the lifespan of your Roaches. After you win an engagement, burrow to regain your health and quickly counter attack with your now, full health, Roaches! A more advanced trick is to keep an eye on your Roaches' health during a fight and burrow them right before they die. A few seconds later, unburrow them after they've regenerated some health. This type of micro can be used similarly to blink stalker micro so that you minimize your units lost. Don't forget that the same upgrade that allows Roaches to move, Tunneling Claws, also increases your Roaches health regeneration rate while burrowed. This makes your Roach micro even more effective!


Like Roaches, Infestors can move while burrowed. Because of their fragile nature, this can be used to move to safety after their abilities are no longer needed in a particular fight. Also, Infestors can use their Infested Terran ability while burrowed. Using this in combination with being able to move while burrowed creates a few more uses for the Infestor.

Against a Terran opponent using Siege Tanks supported by Marines and Marauders, sneak up to them while burrowed and throw the Infested Terran eggs into the middle of the Marine/Marauder blob. The Siege Tanks will fire on the eggs and the splash damage will hurt the surrounding Marines and Marauders, effectively causing the Terran player to kill his own units.

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Terrible damage

Also, you can move while burrowed up to expansions or even into the Terran players' main. Then, use the Infested Terran ability to call in small, near instant armies and take out key structures as well as hordes of workers. Nothing's worse than trying to micro a large battle and then looking back to your mining workers to realize they're all dying to some Infested Terrans.