The Hydralisk is easily the most versatile breed for the Zerg. With the ability to strike both ground and air targets, Burrow, and health regeneration, the Hydralisk is a force to be reckoned with. With their short build times and relatively low cost, they can be produced in mass numbers to overwhelm the enemy.
The peaceful, herbivore herds of Slothien were assimilated into the Zerg Swarm in order to produce one of the most fierce and diabolical of the Zerg strains. The evolutionary matrix of the caterpillar-like Slothien was supercharged by the Overmind, twisting the hapless creatures into the nightmarish killers known as Hydralisks.
These once mild creatures now hunger for blood and violence, and they are infamous for acting in a particularly sadistic fashion.
The spindly, snake-like Hydralisks house hundreds of armor piercing spines within their upper carapace plates. These spines can be fired in volleys at enemies approaching from either the ground or the air, and massed groups of Hydralisks should be approached with extreme caution.
Hydralisks are especially fond of lying in wait for their prey. Groups of them have been observed burrowing into the ground in the pathway of civilian workers, uncovering themselves when they sense an opponent is near. Ambushing from burrowed positions is a favored hydralisk battle tactic, with hydralisks showing a preference for waiting until an enemy has passed before emerging to attack, or boxing in a group of enemies to destroy them with a deadly crossfire.
Thanks to the remarkable musculature of a hydralisk (4,000 muscles compared to a terran's 629), the penetrative force delivered by a hydralisk spine is quite astounding. A single spine can easily penetrate 2 cm of solid neosteel even at maximum range. Under any circumstances, massed groups of hydralisks should be approached with extreme caution and preferably siege tank support.
The Hydralisk's StarCraft 2 model
has returned in StarCraft 2. While initially meant to be a stronger, tier 2 unit, it has now returned to its original tier 1.5 position.