StarCraft® II

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

Nicholas, exellent advice i appreciate your helpful knowlage about the zerg race =}
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Personally I find the 6 pool to be very inefficient and I have beaten any Zerg players that attempt it on me, I prefer the 8 pool.
It goes like this drones until 8
spawning pool-7
drone-8
overlord-8
drone-9
3 zerglings
after that you can go queen, extractor, more drones, or more lings, up to you. It's slightly slower than 6 pool (10-20 seconds) but as you have more drones you lose less on economy, and it's fast enough to intercept the 6 pool rush.

Then there's the INSANE AI build:
Drones until 10, Overlord, 3 drones, pool, 2 drones, second hatchery, drone, extractor (put 3 drones on it, drone, queen, roach warren, drone, overlord, overlord, then mass roaches.
Edited by NEO on 8/8/2010 12:57 AM PDT
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As such, Zerg micro is largely dependent on positioning.


This.
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Haha, I love that you made this forum post.
Looking over this really pointed out a lot of key suggestions and points that I really need to utilize right away, and if executed properly, I'm sure I'll accelerate from bronze. Amazing guides, and I hope you add more. Your detail is extensive, and if you made any additions, I would go back and read it. If I can think of anymore questions, I'll be sure to ask on one of your posts. Thank you again. Keep evolving, and strength in numbers. For the swarm.

Sincerely,
TheUnborn.
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Could you specify some containment strategies as zerg? Especially against Terran mech.
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Could you specify some containment strategies as zerg? Especially against Terran mech.


That will be coming in either the next guide, or the one after that. Might be tonight, but I'm on a winning streak right now and I don't want to stop.
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Very much a good read. The links you provided were of great help to me. Thanks bro!
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Nicholas, I want to go head to head versus you. Zerg vs Zerg. It will be glorious.
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A couple of key notes to throw in there coming from a guy that only played the Starcraft 1 single player and never an RTS online before:

When you're at an impasse of something, (i.e. you can't make your second queen because you're making a Lair, or you can't make any more units because you forgot to push out another overlord) do something, anything. Like if I'm waiting on my Lair to build and I really wanted a queen and saved up minerals for her but I needed the Lair instead, I'll use it to push out another overlord or another couple of drones or more army. Don't put yourself in a position of waiting for that SOMETHING to happen, make something else happen instead.

As a Zerg player, when in doubt spawn Drones or Overlords. Trust me. Commit that to memory. If you're waiting on your Roach Warren to build and you're saving money for said Roaches, make Drones. Make a Drone and an Overlord. Always make one of those two if you're waiting on something to happen. Your Drones are a dwindling supply and it's really easy to get crazy and build 5 buildings and then get your attention pulled away, so you're now at a loss of 5 Drones. That's why you have to keep spawning them from the first minute of the game to the last minute.

I had a lot of trouble early on figuring out when the best time to do something was. Like I looked to the pros and I was like, "how do you know when to do (this) or (that) and they were like, "Iunno." Here's the secret: The best time is when the unit you make will become incredibly useful. Like for example, if you've used Nich's guide to scout and you seem them massing incredible amounts of Zealots, then you'll want air units to blow them to smithereens really fast. Therefor, you'll want your Lair before you want the Queen. Make the Queen while you make the Spire. Then WTFPWNBBQSAUZ their mineral line with your Mutas because they can't counter you immediately. This one example isn't the way it is for all occasions, but like I said, make something for when a unit will become incredibly useful. If it happens to be making a queen before the Lair to make a TON of speedlings, go that route.

As far as Overlords go, I don't really pay attention to my supply when I'm making Overlords. I mean that as in, if I am waiting for something to happen and I'm at 21/30 units, I'll make a couple of Overlords. That way if say you see a clusterball of Marines coming and you have a ton of Larvae at the foot of your Hive and want to quick mass Roaches, you won't be Supply blocked in the heat of battle. That always really, REALLY sucks. In addition, I always make masses of Overlords whenever I have a huge supply of minerals and I've got 2 or 3 expansions, already teching for upgrades etc. Even if you sink 1200 minerals into a huge chunk of overlords, you won't be wasting that money if you're already on your way to making the really big units or lots of medium ones.

Always tech if you have the money. I don't know how many games I've won because at one stage of the game I was winning, had a large army and then suddenly it backfired, they countered my units and I was so far into say upgrading zerglings that my options were limited... but because I decided, "smoke em if you got em" and went to my Hive or dropped a Spire because I had the extra cash, that I could instantly go Anti-air to counter that which countered me. When you play Terran or Protoss, they have a lot of units that counter yours and as such, you have to be proactive instead of reactive.
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Personally I find the 6 pool to be very inefficient and I have beaten any Zerg players that attempt it on me, I prefer the 8 pool.


From my very limited Zerg experience, I feel the 6pool rush is very poor against other Zerg players, because even if you hurt their economy slightly, they'll most likely counter-attack in a matter of seconds, and you'll probably end up losing right there.

However, 6pool works for me against Terran (on maps with large entrances, like Scrap Station) and Protoss, most of the time. Even if it doesn't win me the game right away, it puts me in a very advantageous situation.

EDIT: To the OP: I really liked the post, thank you. I didn't know the trick with the Queens.

You say Shift-V + click on any hatchery with a control-group of queens will have them spawn larvae on their respective hatcheries ?
Edited by Liszt on 8/8/2010 5:11 AM PDT
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As far as the ling rushes go, my personal preference is a 7pool (not a 6 pool). It still allows for a very early rush but also sets you up for the midgame so you're not completely crippled. It works great against players who haven't set up their defenses yet, but the idea is you send 6 lings to the mineral line of the opponent and do as much economic damage as you can, then tech up to roaches or build a few more lings to try and inflict some more damage...

6 Drone
7 Pool
6 Drone
7 Overlord
7 Lings x3
10 Queen (Inject ASAP)
-After that just start building drones and teching up to Roaches, just remember to keep pressure on the enemy... You can't let them have TOO much time to recover or that 200-300 minerals of harvesters that you took out will be forgotten by the time you get to Hydras

PS- The nice thing about the 7pool is everything lines up perfectly... Once the pool goes down, you make a drone to bring it back up to 7/10... As soon as you get 100 minerals you get an overlord (to help set you up for the post-rush). When your spawning pool finishes, your 3rd larva has just spawned and you've JUST hit 150 minerals for lings... Just wait and make a queen while the lings are running for the mineral line, spawn larvae, and start pumping out drones/teching to roaches.
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Fantastic guide! Really helped me organize my thoughts on the different strategies out there. Thanks!
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i play all races...zerg is my weakest race...this is a great starting guide for zerg...which even though it is my weakest race...i think its the most fun to play
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Well, I would be interested in that and something else that might not be included. :p

You talk a lot about creep spreading which is great in my opinion cause I always played the zerg like a sickness.(Something that grow and grow to take control)

Anyway, the thing is I would really like to get into the deep strategy related to creep. Thanks.


P.S. Wonderful guide! Zerg always needed a lot of management and it seem it went up a notch! thats gonna require lot of attention.
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Great guide I like many others have been cursing zerg not sure how to get started or were to go this was very helpful cant wait to see how it works in practice
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Excellent guide. I will direct my fellow Zerg-playing friends to this.
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Update: I took everything I learned from this guide and the scouting thread and I'm 3 for 3 today! Can't thank you enough!
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One thing i think you should add to this is the importance of infesters. when i first started to play the zerg i thought they were the most pointless unit, however after reading the post on the zerg unit pages i think they are one of the best flanking/harrassing units in the game. also fungal growth is a godsend.
Edited by Jelder on 8/8/2010 2:19 PM PDT
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