Wretches are the Guard Dog of the Locust as they're small, fast and vicious. However, they are relatively weak, and with low pain tolerance. Due to their weak state, Wretches often roam in packs of 10-15 as an attempt to guard their fatal flaw. They flee from battle when hurt, though such an occasion rarely occurs and attack by jumping towards the victims face, swinging their claws. Due to those claws, the wretch has the ability to cling to walls and roofs, allowing them even greater ability to flank and swarm. Wretches are also able to stun using a high pitch squeal. This squeal is capable of shattering glass and even hardened rock.
They first appear in Act I, Chapter 6, "Hammer" immediatly after Alpha Squad acquires Augustus Cole as a new member.
An additional Wretch is discovered at the beginning of Act III, Chapter 1, "Downpour". The Lambent Wretch, a wretch that has been so frequently exposed to Imulsion that it has become part of its biological system. These wretches have darkened skin, and emit a glow from their mouths. They explode when killed, damaging anyone nearby player, or melting them if playing on 'Insane' difficulty.
The best strategy for dealing with regular wretches is to shoot from the hip using the Gnasher shotgun and performing a melee and backwards roll if swarmed. This is effective due to the high damage and pellet spread of the shotgun's shell.
Lambent Wretches explode when killed. This explosion is like any other so will damage other Lambent Wretches. Because of this, a single wretch killed could result in the entire pack being killed. The best strategy to deal with Lambent Wretches involves using a pistol, whether it be Snub or Boltok. Running towards a Lambent Wretch, performing a melee, then rolling backwards will save you from the explosion and the explosions of the lambent wretches surrounding.
If a wretch flanks you, and gets a quick swipe from behind, immediately roll backwards and perform a melee. If you take the time to turn around and look for it, you'll most likely be jumped upon again, and killed. Using this strategy has a high chance to kill the wretch, unless you were unlucky enough to be using a COG Lancer at the time.