As far as I can tell the initial damage from the BroodLord benefits from +flyer attack, while the damage the broodling does benefits from +ground attack. Since the broodlings attack a lot faster than the BroodLord, it seems boosting ground attack will increase the effective damage the BroodLord does?

BroodLord gets +2 damage / 2.5s from flying upgrades, while the broodling gets +1 /0.6455s from ground attacks.

Assuming the broodling attacks once as soon as it lands, and then lives for 0.64s, it will have broken even. If it lives any longer than melee upgrades would be better?

Should I be upgrading ground attack in preference to flyer attack? (IE, ground attack AND flyer carapace) if I am using brood lords?

  • Looks like you already did the math for us... Mar 22, 2011 at 18:05
  • I'm not sure how long the broodlings live on average though, someone else will have better experience on that than me!
    – Nick
    Mar 22, 2011 at 18:16
  • 2
    I think I'm missing something. How could broodlords benefit from a flyer attack upgrade? They don't have any attack, only their broodlings do. And they benefit only from a melee attack upgrade.
    – tenfour
    Mar 22, 2011 at 18:49
  • @tenfour The game has air attack (attacks made by flying units; this includes the broodlord) and ground attack (attacks made by ground units; this includes the broodling). Even though they can't attack air, broodlords benefit from air attack, which increases the damage on the initial hit. The real answer is "If you can, get both". Mar 22, 2011 at 19:32
  • 4
    @tenfour When they fire the broodlings and the broodlings initially impact their target, that is their attack. It hits for 20 damage (unupgraded). This attack benefits from the flyer attack (+2 per upgrade). The broodlings themselves then attack for 4 damage per hit (unupgraded) for as long as they live. They get +1 per upgrade to melee attack. Mar 22, 2011 at 19:40

3 Answers 3


Definitely upgrade ground melee attack,

Not only does ground melee attack have better dps with a brood lord, it also complements the higher tiered zerg units as well (crack-lings and ultralisks become very common for rebuilding a late-game army after an encounter).

With that being said, if you are planning on going mass mutalisk early in the game, the air upgrades may provide a natural transition into brood lords but make sure you start researching ground attack as you transition. Prioritize ground melee, but don't forget that flyer attack helps as well. Zerg late game should provide you with plenty of resources to get both upgrades when your army is maxed.


Even though it is still probably better to get melee attacks for making brood lords better, what you are not taking into consideration in your math is if you are attacking armored units with brood lords.

For example, if you attack a unit with brood lord that has 2 armor, the BL attack does 20-2 = 18, which is 10% less than attacking a unit without the armor.

When a broodling attacks the same unit, it does 4-2 = 2, which is often times 50% (!) less than attacking a unit without the armor.

So against armored units the ratio of damage dealt from initial BL attack versus attack done by broodlings will be much higher than when attacking light units.

I think especially of for example attacking a couple of thors with a few brood lords. The broodling count will be so small that they all will almost die all the time, maybe hitting a thor just one time. In that case almost all of the damage to thors will be dealt from the BLs initial attack. (and in that case you should've probably gone for flyer attacks)

Just some things to think about. Still, without doing any exact math, going for melee attacks SEEMS better against most things.

  • Especially, against armored. 4-2+1(for upgrade) give you 3 damage. that will increase efficiency on 50% from 1 upgrade.
    – Budda
    Mar 24, 2011 at 14:56
  • Sure, but if melee attacks only comprise the 10% of whole damage dealt by a brood lord in a certain fight (and the rest 90% is dealt by the initial attacks), that 50% increase is really a 5% increase. Again, that would be a VERY special fight.
    – Cray
    Mar 24, 2011 at 22:08

Broodlords can only hit ground so they are vulnerable to anti-air such as phoenix, vikings, and corruptors. Upgrading air attacks will allow you to also increase damage of mutalisks and corruptors will increase the survivability of broodlords. Also the broodlords' initial attack is an air attack.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .