StarCraft® II

Beginner's guide to Zerg micro, macro, & BOs.

Posts: 1
I really appreciate you taking the time to create this topic, Nicholas!

I'm still fairly new to playing Zerg in SC2, and I think this is helping immensely. From the glossary of terms, to the build orders, managing creep, and everything else listed.

Thanks again. This has been a tremendous help~!
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Posts: 30
You're a wonderful person. I love you. Wanna get married?
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Posts: 1
Thanks Nick!! I have been lookin up information on zerg to help my game and this has probably been the most detailed and helpful. I am still in the practice league but I had been losing all my games lol. now im over .500 :D.

I did have a more battle oriented question for a particular prot strategy. Idk if it is really actually used much at higher levels so if not I dont know if I really need to worry about it, but anyway here its is. I have trouble with mass carriers. I scout and immediately mass corrupters but I still seem to be failing. However I may have not created enough corrupters to counter because I had already filled my army a bit with mutas, lings and roaches.

Another quick question for the spawn larva... does the closest queen always do the spawning? If not I feel this would throw them into possibly incredibly bad postions.

Last question I promise :P. I can never seem to find any map where a rush is useful. Idk if its because of the limit on maps in the practice league, but inorder to get out of your base and into your opponents you need to take down at least 2 of the boulder obstructions + the running time/distance.

Thank you for the guide and thank you to whomever answers the 3 questions above.

glhf
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Posts: 745
Thanks Nick!! I have been lookin up information on zerg to help my game and this has probably been the most detailed and helpful. I am still in the practice league but I had been losing all my games lol. now im over .500 :D.

I did have a more battle oriented question for a particular prot strategy. Idk if it is really actually used much at higher levels so if not I dont know if I really need to worry about it, but anyway here its is. I have trouble with mass carriers. I scout and immediately mass corrupters but I still seem to be failing. However I may have not created enough corrupters to counter because I had already filled my army a bit with mutas, lings and roaches.

Another quick question for the spawn larva... does the closest queen always do the spawning? If not I feel this would throw them into possibly incredibly bad postions.

Last question I promise :P. I can never seem to find any map where a rush is useful. Idk if its because of the limit on maps in the practice league, but inorder to get out of your base and into your opponents you need to take down at least 2 of the boulder obstructions + the running time/distance.

Thank you for the guide and thank you to whomever answers the 3 questions above.

glhf


Yeah, mass Carriers can be a pain in the ass because if they get too many before you scout it, sometimes you just can't build enough to counter it. Corruptors and Hydralisks, like you said, and just try to scout it early. If it goes into a very late game with Protoss, you can always expect either Carriers or Colossi.

Yes, the closest Queen automatically spawns larva when you use the minimap. You have to be careful not to spawn larva at en expo with no Queen, or she'll be running all over the place.

And rushes are only useful on the real league maps. I would suggest moving out of the practice league as soon as you even feel a teeny bit comfortable, because the rocks deny three HUGE staples to Zerg play - early pressure, early expand, and early scouting.
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Posts: 2,262
Thanks for posting this guide!
I've been doing the Zergling Rush build but I think it's time to move on... but I'm having difficulty and I have a question about the 14/15 pool.

On the 15 pool guide you didn't mention when to build a queen. So when should I build a queen? after I get 18 pop?

How do you defend against early rushes with the 14/15 pool builds?

It just seems to me that in a ZvZ match someone going with a Zergling Rush Build is going to beat someone going with a 14/15 pool strat.


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Posts: 745
Thanks for posting this guide!
I've been doing the Zergling Rush build but I think it's time to move on... but I'm having difficulty and I have a question about the 14/15 pool.

On the 15 pool guide you didn't mention when to build a queen. So when should I build a queen? after I get 18 pop?

How do you defend against early rushes with the 14/15 pool builds?

It just seems to me that in a ZvZ match someone going with a Zergling Rush Build is going to beat someone going with a 14/15 pool strat.


Just build the Queen immediately after your Pool finishes and you have enough money to afford it.

To defend rushes with 14/15, you'll use a combination of Spine Crawlers, Zerglings, and Banelings or Roaches. If you're playing Terran, they'll most likely rush with Marines and Marauders. Get some Banelings and a healthy force of Zerglings, and you'll be fine. Also put down three Spine Crawlers at your natural expansion.

If you're facing Protoss, build Roaches instead and use them to kite Zealots while your Speedlings kill the Stalkers. Again, 3 Spine Crawlers at your nat. expansion.

ZvZ is extremely hectic. If you aren't going for a Zergling rush, you'll likely have to defend against one. If your opponent is rushing, get some Roaches while your own Zerglings hold off his attacks. Once you've got some Roaches out, it's GG.
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Posts: 445
Why are you so awesome? Bookmark'd for future reference. Much thanks for posting another wonderful guide.
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Posts: 26
I gotta say I'm impressed by this post. I started out as a strictly protoss player, but that got old for my skill level, and was actually slowing me down drastically. I've played zerg for the last 40 games or so, and I have found a few things out that I would like to add to this guide if Nicholas permits me to do so .Howerver, overall it's a VERY helpful guide, to new players just learning the race, and people who already have a great understanding of the race. An example would be 6 banelings for supply blocks and 10 for barrack/factory blocks, I'm a high plat/low diamond player and I DID NOT know that, so that was helpful indeed my friend =).
Overall a very nice guide, I can see you have put a lot of time into this, and if you ever need help getting past that silver / gold slump let me know nick, I might be able to help you.
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Posts: 28
Lovely thread. :D Maybe now I can feel better playing Zerg.
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Posts: 122
Good guide, Nicholas. For new Zergers... master what is written here, and you'll be leaping ahead in ranks in no time.

Just wanted to add a response to Dan... Not sure if you already know this, if so disregard, but make sure your corruptors are focus firing on the carriers. Left to their own devices, they'll sit there taking potshots at interceptors while the carriers decimate them.
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Posts: 21
I know this is a terrible newbie question, but how to you hotkey all of your hatcheries to one number? I know you use ctrl and the number, but doesnt that just hotkey one building?

Along the same lines, I'm awfully clunky at laying down Nydus worms. I have to click on the nydus and then move the mouse across the screen. There must be an easier way.

Any advice on both questions?
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Posts: 123
Once I saw it was you who posted this thread I knew it would be a good read (both lengthy and educating). Nevertheless it is all very good information so thanks for another good post =)

Question about micro. My micro is pretty bad atm, but that is not my point. I noticed in game and reading your thread that most units are squishy. Does this not impede most peoples ability to micro well as zerg? Assuming micro is possible in any given situation it should be done however, chances are your units will die faster than you can micro them away to not die no? Keep in mind this is a question and input is appreciated =)
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Posts: 745
I know this is a terrible newbie question, but how to you hotkey all of your hatcheries to one number? I know you use ctrl and the number, but doesnt that just hotkey one building?

Along the same lines, I'm awfully clunky at laying down Nydus worms. I have to click on the nydus and then move the mouse across the screen. There must be an easier way.

Any advice on both questions?


Click on one of your Hatcheries, then hold Shift and click all of the other ones. When you have them all selected, then press Ctrl+X.

There's a hotkey to use a Nydus Worm - I don't know what it is, because I don't use them very often, but I'm guessing it's "W" or something. Once you know the hotkey, just hover over the place you want to put the Nydus Worm, press the hotkey, and voila.

Question about micro. My micro is pretty bad atm, but that is not my point. I noticed in game and reading your thread that most units are squishy. Does this not impede most peoples ability to micro well as zerg? Assuming micro is possible in any given situation it should be done however, chances are your units will die faster than you can micro them away to not die no? Keep in mind this is a question and input is appreciated =)


Yeah, that's true. Really, the most important part of our macro is flanking and positioning. Retreating individual units definitely helps, but it's a lot harder for new players to get the grasp of. Like I said, you won't save all of your units by doing this, but you'll probably save three or four. It may not seem like much, but really, every unit counts and it gives you something to do while a battle is going on.
Edited by Nicholas on 8/7/2010 12:05 PM PDT
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Posts: 1
Thanx for the info....i love playing Zerg but cant seem to do very well in 1v1
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Posts: 745
Note - I'm thinking about writing two more guides to complement the first two. One will be on basic Zerg unit compositions, an overview of all of our units, and how to counter all of Terran and Protoss's units. The other will be a very basic overview of Zerg tactics - harassment, containment, expansion, aggression versus defense, that sort of thing. If you think you could benefit from one or both of these, let me know by replying to this thread, and I'll get started on them as soon as I can.
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Posts: 5
What exactly does those numbers beside them mean?
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Posts: 745
What exactly does those numbers beside them mean?


Every build order in the game is focused on one of two things - rushing, or setting up a strong economy and teching up. Zerg have some very strong options for both, so we'll go over them. Note that when I write build orders, I'll say things like "9 Overlord, 10 Pool". The numbers represent your supply level - at the beginning of the game, basically, this is your number of Drones.
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Posts: 445
Note - I'm thinking about writing two more guides to complement the first two. One will be on basic Zerg unit compositions, an overview of all of our units, and how to counter all of Terran and Protoss's units. The other will be a very basic overview of Zerg tactics - harassment, containment, expansion, aggression versus defense, that sort of thing. If you think you could benefit from one or both of these, let me know by replying to this thread, and I'll get started on them as soon as I can.


I am, of course, all for this.
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Posts: 26
This guide is amazing. It's exactly what these forums have been asking for -- a better understanding of how to utilize the tools Zerg have. I especially like the little disclaimer at the top that notes that the disadvantages that Zerg have compared to other races are not noticeable in low-ladder games.
The build orders you present are very solid standard BO's, as well. I was wondering why there wasn't a thread filled with BO's yet, and now I find one on the forums when I wake up. Beautiful.
Also, I'd definitely appreciate any other guides you can produce. They're top-notch quality!
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Posts: 10,477
I read a bit and not all but you're missing something IMPORTANT in your zerg micro and that is focus firing. Generally large armies its always best to have most of your army in attack move mode but you always have situations, even in large battles, where you can take advantage of a unit's range to focus fire down units to great effect.

For example. You have a group of 10 stalkers vs your group of 10-20 lings and 5 hydras. Have the lings attack and use the hydras to focus fire by right click then shift right click 3-4 of them (in order of closest and lowest health).

Should also have an 8 pool BO since its great vs toss.
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