Affiliation:The Hierarchy
Type:Direct Artillery, Anti Infantry, "Medic"
Armor:Alien Vehicle Heavy
Movement Type:Walker
Sight Range:220
Cost:850RM (see article for reductions)
Time:0:30(see article for reductions)
Produced From:Hierarchy Assembly Walker (requires Defiler Production Pod mounted on the walker)
Special Ability:Project Radiation, Bleed Mode On/Off Toggle
Weapon:Radiation Beam, Radiation Bleeder Device.
Damage:Radiation Beam: 5 per second on impact (sweep lasts 0.8 seconds) Radiation Bleeder: 20 per second (Note: Heals friendly Hierarchy Infantry at 15 per second)
Upgrades:Advanced Mutagens (Mutagen-3), Gamma Radiation (Mutagen-3), Volatile Reactors (Mutagen-1)
"Defilers, seal off areas of escape with Radiation!" -Orlok the Eternal

The Defiler is a multipurpose anti-surface vehicle employed by the Hierarchy's Remote Mining Operations.


Defiler 1

Various views of a Defiler.

Defilers appear as extremely spindly tripods consisting of a thin, cylinder-like body and a much larger crescent-shaped head attached to it. At the base of the Defiler's head is a glowing orb from which the Defiler projects it's irradiated plasma beam. Attached to the crescent is a horseshoe-shaped structure ending in silver nozzles. These nozzles release the Defiler's mutagenic radiation [1] into the surrounding environment, corrupting and mutating non-Hierarchy organics and promoting tissue regeneration in Hierarchy aliens (such as Grunts or Lost Ones). If a human or Masari dies from this radiation, their body will undergo horrendous mutations and they will be resurrected as Mutant Slaves. [2]

Defilers produce slurping, gurgling sounds when selected, suggesting that they may have something piloting them, unlike the other Hierarchy ground vehicles. On the other hand, it may just be toxic waste sloshing about.[3].


CGI Defiler 3

A pack of Defiler's attacking human resistence in France.

Defilers are first encountered during a Novus raid on a Hierarchy outpost in the Midwestern United States[4]. Here, a lone Defiler is witnessed firing on a damaged military task force while Zombies poured in from other angles. Once Mirabel destroyed that unit, two more appeared to counter attack. Other Defilers in the area where tasked with patrolling around civilian pens and fending off attackers. If the attacker should disable the pens without destroying the units first, the tripods would switch to their radiation bleeders and stride in to mutate the trapped civilians into thralls of slaves. Several Defilers where also part of a task force sent to take out the home portal and a few participated in an attack on remaining human villages in Turkmenistan.[5]

Defilers are first used in the Hierarchy campaign during a raid into the Masari city-ship Atlantea by Orlok[6]. Here, the tripod's radiation abilities prove most useful in keeping Orlok's troops alive and slaughtering Masari infantry. Later, Kamal Re'x, in a display of gross underestimation, sent a pair of Defilers into the Asian jungle to "soften up" the Masari forces before the commander would arrive. The Tactical Officer in charge of that operation, realizing that a pair of Defilers would not be enough, suggested using the outnumbered tripods to instead "recruit" the primitives to fight for them, a tactic that proved most effective. [7] In Orlok's final showdown with Kamal, at least one Defiler was present and it assisted the Grunts in destroying Orlok's armor by order of the new commander Nufai. Another Defiler was present while Kamal interrogated Prince Zessus and several more units were used in conflicts around the globe.

Tactical ApplicationEdit

Defiler BLEED

A Defiler using its bleed mode.

Defilers are very useful units but quite expensive (850 Raw Materials) and, as their appearance would suggest, rather flimsy. As a result, Defilers should never be used without some sort of escort, namely Grunts or Phase Tanks.

Defilers can be used as a powerful anti-structure unit to quickly tear though a base and cripple the enemy, or they can be used to support their fellow soldiers with their radiation abilities. Defiler Radiation can also be used as a mock "stealth detector" since any stealthed unit or structure that should happen to be exposed to the radiation will be forced out as if it had attacked.

One of the main uses of the Defiler is mutating civilians and Masari into useful Mutant Slaves. A Bleed-mode Defiler placed in a key location nearby Civilian Structures will provide a steady flow of zombies to swarm the enemy with while also denying them resources. With Mutagen 3 researched, Defilers can also be used to resurrect dead organic infantry as slaves, a particularly useful upgrade against the Masari, since their vehicles always release an organic that can be mutated.


Type: Radiation Beam
Range: 0-180
Damage: 5 per second
Sweep Duration: 0.8 seconds
Recharge: 2.0 seconds

Type: Radiation Bleed
Damage: 20 per second
Healing: 15 per second

Cost and Build TimesEdit

Cost: 850

1 Cost Optimizer: 782
2 Cost Optimizers: 714
3 Cost Optimizers: 646
4 Cost Optimizers: 578

Time: 0:30

1 Teleport Accelerator: 0:27
2 Teleport Accelerators: 0:23
3 Teleport Accelerators: 0:21
4 Teleport Accelerators: 0:18

Special AbilitiesEdit

Bleed Mode On/Off
Effect: Toggles between bleeding radiation and firing the beam weapon
Cooldown: None (from activation of bleed mode); 0:10 (from deactivation of bleed mode)

Project Radiation
Effect: Covers targeted area in radiation for 12 seconds
Range: 200
Area: 75
-5 per second to infantry
-50 per second to vehicles and structures
Cooldown: 0:28 (from launch)
Note: This ability turns off bleed mode when used

Upgrades Edit

Advanced Mutagens
Effect: Already dead organics will also mutate into Mutant Slaves
Method: Research Mutagen Branch Suite 3

Gamma Radiation
Effects: Radiation effects increased
-Bleed damage becomes 35 per second
Method: Research Mutagen Branch Suite 3

Volatile Reactors
Effect: Creates radioactive cloud when the Defiler is destroyed
Method: Research Mutagen Branch Suite 1

Trivia and TipsEdit

AV Defiler FINAL sm

Defiler concept art

  • Out of all the Hierarchy tripods, it is the Defiler that closest resembles Tripod Fighting Machines from H.G. Well's War of the World's, specially the version seen in Steven Spielberg's 2005 film.
  • In the game's "Scenarios", the Defiler is particularly useful for Nufai (who has a low fleet popcap), since it is capable of "recruiting" an army of zombies from civilians while also healing the keeper of secrets when he needs it.
  • Defilers are one of the two Hierarchy units to appear in the CGI trailer, in which a pack of them went up against Ohm Robots and Marines.
  • Defiler Radiation has no concept of allies. Make sure that you don't have a non-Hierarchy ally nearby a Bleeding Defiler as they will be destroyed or (if organic) mutated.
  • "Defiler" is also the name of a unit in the earlier petroglyph game: Star Wars: Empire at War Forces of Corruption.
  • Defilers are somewhat infamous for the dreaded "Defiler rush/spam", one of the few imbalances that lasted up to patch-3. In attempt to balance the unit, Petroglyph change its pop-cap from 2 to 5, increased its cost, and decreased its armor.



  1. In-game Tooltip
  2. According to the tooltips, this is the units primary function
  3. The Developers have hinted in a topic on their official forums introducing the Defiler that "something" was piloting the tripods, but no one knew for sure exactly what.
  4. Novus Campaign: Mission 3
  5. Novus Campaign: Mission 5
  6. Hierarchy Campaign: Mission 3
  7. video of the mission Warning! Contains Spoilers!
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