Many units and buildings have abilities outside conventional weapons and armor. This article tries to classify the varying types into five different categories: Offensive, Defensive, Assist, Hinderance, and Conversion. Though not canon, every type of spell or special ability can fit into at least one of these categories.


One of the most dangerous types of spells are the offensive ones. These abilities are meant to destroy enemy units and/or buildings almost instantely; however, they have the most demanding requirements of the other abilities. The greater the damage the spell can do means that their conditions will be more specific or costly. In some cases, these abilities can also add extra units to the user's forces.

Example: Spawning Broodlings kills a biological/mechanical ground unit, while creating short lived units that can attack other enemies nearby.


On the other side of the spectrum are the defensive abilities. These spells are meant to prevent or reduce damage taken from enemy attacks. Through less demanding than the offensive ones, defensive abilities are not prefect and can be overcome with enough firepower or support abilities.

Example: Cloaked units can not be attacked unless sensed by a detector.


The least damanding, at least in terms of energy, type of spells are the assist ones. These abilities are meant to support friendly units in combat, while not directly causing any form of damage. Some spells allow units to recover damage or other stats. Others increase the mobility of friendly units in battle.

Example: Repairing mechanical units does not damage or change their overall attack and defensive capabilities.


Hindering abilities are similar to offensive ones, but do not destroy enemy targets with their own power. Most abilities tend to reduce or remove defenses in order to make it easier to destroy targets. Others prevent targets from moving or attacking in order for friendly units to retreat or wait for reinforcements.

Example: Lockdowned units can not move or attack, allowing enemy forces to attack or run away from them

  • Note - many hinderance abilities can reveal hinden units, so detection abilities can be placed here.


Conversion abilities are meant to transform units into new ones with different strengths and weaknesses. Some are temporary and can be reversed. Most, such as Zerg units metamorphosis, are usually costly and permanent.

Example: Summoning an Archon requires sacrificing two High Templars

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