StarCraft® II

How to properly use swarm hosts in ZvT

Posts: 4
A favorite streamer of mine was demonstrating how effective swarm hosts can be in ZvT if used properly. Rather than write a whole bunch about what he did, I will just link to a VOD from his stream so you can analyze for yourselves:

http://www.twitch.tv/qtcheticus/b/357070347?t=17m30s

I also highly recommend this stream. Chet is a high masters player (I believe he was first in his WoL division last season). He tends to play a fairly aggressive style of zerg, but doesn't all-in. He uses plenty of early roach pressure in ZvT and ZvP, and likes going "super mass muta" in ZvZ. He also provides both helpful and amusing commentary.
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Posts: 4
Basically, I see that the key to using them is mobility, creep spread, and using the proper support units (hydralisks).

Personally, I think the swarm host is a fantastic unit concept. It makes the zerg feel a lot closer to one of the core concepts of the race, namingly burying your opponent in a never-ending stream of small units with vastly superior numbers. Near the end of the game, for example, when the Terran is trying to hold his natural. Chet uses the swarm hosts to slowly wear down the Terran until he finally cracks. To me, this is what Zerg should be like, and I feel that the swarm host (when used correctly) is a great step in the right direction for the design of the Zerg race. These kinds of games are exciting, and I look forward to more of them in HoTS.
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Posts: 3,059
01/16/2013 11:51 AMPosted by Beej
Personally, I think the swarm host is a fantastic unit concept.

Personally, I feel it's idiotic unit design, doesn't feel at all zergy, and should just be removed.
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In what way is it not "zergy"? Did you watch the game that was linked?
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Posts: 3,059
I watched it.

01/16/2013 02:57 PMPosted by Beej
In what way is it not "zergy"?
They are expensive, supply heavy and slow. Locusts are even slower. They way the function is similar to tanks, slow pushing and sieging defend positions. It feels more like a Terran unit.

In the end they are simply boring to watch.

Also free units are a dumb idea in the first place and we already have 2 free units in the game. Why do we need a third?
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Posts: 3,301
They are expensive, supply heavy and slow. Locusts are even slower. They way the function is similar to tanks, slow pushing and sieging defend positions. It feels more like a Terran unit.


I agree. Zerg already has the smallest army of all three races.
- Queens take up 2 supply each.
- Roaches and Hydras are supply inefficient.
- You need to be ahead by a base to be on par.

Why should you throw away 3 supply per Swarm host? That means the Locusts are each taking 1.5 supply, which is still more than a Brood Way Hydra. It's simply ridiculous.
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Posts: 2,100
the only time i use SH vs terran is vs mech heavy builds. i harass with mutas, then transition to roach/sh. it worked in the master league, so far. if you can keep your mutas alive, and the muta count to a reasonable number (not over committing), then you can do a ton of damage to their economy by crushing their army on creep.

i like it better than infestor/BL, because muta give you much more mobility, and you don't have to turtle as much. good for aggressive play :)

only difference from the OP's reference, is that i prefer roach to hydra. cheaper, easier to keep alive, and suprisingly effective vs thor/tank if you have mutas around.
Edited by KILLorD on 1/16/2013 7:49 PM PST
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Posts: 1,875
I agree. Zerg already has the smallest army of all three races.


Just because it used to be true doesn't mean it SHOULD stay that way.
Swarm host is a big unit that spawn a sh!tload of smaller units. Just like the infestor and the broodlord. To me it cannot feel more zergy.

Anyway, the way chet is using the swarm host is probably the way blizzard want people to use it: instead of burrowing somewhere and just camp, you burrow it to spawn a wave of units and then unborrow immediately and keep moving.
Edited by Obliterator on 1/17/2013 12:26 AM PST
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Anyway, the way chet is using the swarm host is probably the way blizzard want people to use it: instead of burrowing somewhere and just camp, you burrow it to spawn a wave of units and then unborrow immediately and keep moving.
Still boring as f$ck.
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Posts: 9,386
They are expensive, supply heavy and slow. Locusts are even slower. They way the function is similar to tanks, slow pushing and sieging defend positions. It feels more like a Terran unit.

Sounds like the Broodlord/Guardian. Zerg always had units like these.
The Lurker was 75 minerals less and 25 gas more.

Anyway, the way chet is using the swarm host is probably the way blizzard want people to use it: instead of burrowing somewhere and just camp, you burrow it to spawn a wave of units and then unborrow immediately and keep moving.

That certainly sounds like how they're meant to be used. It takes several waves before they become more cost efficient than the Roaches you could have built though.
Though he did say his opponent was allowing him to feel much safer than they should have.
Edited by Fawxkitteh on 1/17/2013 1:41 AM PST
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01/16/2013 03:06 PMPosted by Geo
They are expensive, supply heavy and slow. Locusts are even slower. They way the function is similar to tanks, slow pushing and sieging defend positions. It feels more like a Terran unit.


Not to mention you need quite a bit of them to do anything
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01/17/2013 06:11 AMPosted by Reno
Not to mention you need quite a bit of them to do anything


Yeah. The whole Zerg race has been botched because Hydras are still expensive garbage. They cost too much in supply and there is nothing like Dark Swarm to protect them from air units. That's why every HoTS game you see on YouTube right now looks more like gang wars than Starcraft. There's no good counter for a death ball or a fleet of air units. In Brood War, you could easily defend ground attacks with Lurkers and air attacks with Hydras/Dark Swarm.

This game is an example of Sky-Terran winning.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OAp85KE0pM

Dark Swarm against air:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMDArHfrcBQ

Lurkers against mass Zealots:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm3sYLFVtfE
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Posts: 3,780
When used correctly the Swarm host can be extremely brutal, and really fun to use. I was using them the other day, and I got some guy to say this (paraphrasing here)
"wtf, zerg is so broken, this game sucks."
"im going back to wow, f#ck you noob"


and every time somone rage quits, this is how I react...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-fzaoi_Jgo
and good-riddance!
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01/17/2013 09:39 PMPosted by TornadoXIII
When used correctly the Swarm host can be extremely brutal, and really fun to use.
Some people have weird ideas of "fun".
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Posts: 3,301
It's possible people that they have a use in some situations, but they don't fill the missing AoE role that Lurkers would fill. I feel like Blizzard is dropping the ball with this expansion. The original Lurkers they had in the alpha of Sc2 that had an upgrade for siege range would have been awesome. It's too bad they put them at Tier3 and then removed them.
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Posts: 327
Rekatan had a good video on youtube highlighting how he used swarm hosts in ZvT (basically with vipers)
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