Hey everyone, I'm looking for some ZvZ tips and advice.
...Okay, a lot of ZvZ tips and advice.
ZvZ has got to be my worst match-up -- I don't understand when to be the aggressor, or when to play defensively.
It makes matters worse that there's no such thing as a sneak attack or being greedy. Until Mutalisks are out on the field, each player can see exactly what the other player is sending at them, or when the other player takes an expansion.
On top of this, every unit feels like a glass cannon. You can lose your Speedlings to a couple of Banelings, lose your Roaches to a couple of Mutalisks, or lose your Mutalisks to a couple of Fungals.
As a former Terran, I did not know how dreadful this mirror match-up was. I genuinely hope that they try to make it more forgiving and dynamic in HOTS.
My questions are:
1) When should you drone, and when should you not drone?
2) When should you tech to Roaches before Muta/Infestor, or Muta/Infestor before Roaches?
3) What are the differences between the Muta/Infestor tech paths?
4) What are good ways to stop Speedling runbys?
5) Are Hydralisks viable in any situation?
6) When is it a good idea to take a 3rd expansion? What unit composition do you need to make this safe?
7) When is it a good time to start upgrades, and which ones are the best to get?
8) What is the ultimate late-game ZvZ deathball composition? Or is there no such thing?
Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it.
So I'm not Masters, and this is my worst match up, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. I'm sure there are some better players who can help you more than I. But I'll give you my opinion anyway, since I do watch a ton of pro games and I have been making some progress with this MU lately.
1) It's a stupid answer, but as far as I can tell it's the correct one. If you feel threatened or scout a mass of units, you build units. If you don't, you drone. Generally 55 drones is a good amount, spread across three bases. Take your third when you feel you have enough units to protect it and your natural. I like to use two evos and a spine to semi-wall my natural, leave a few units there and about 5-8 roaches at my third while it morphs to protect against lings.(all very vague and not helpful, I know haha)
2) Roaches first. Roaches are the backbone of your army. They can neutralize larger ling/bane armies, you can mass them and run them across the map against Muta armies to either by time or do damage, they're cheap and they're the best meatshield you have at your disposal.
3) Mutas can give you map control by hunting overlords, harass mineral lines and give you more mobility, but aren't very good in a heads up fight. Harass can be countered fairly easily with spores and queens, and if you mass mutas to overpower that type of defense you're extremely vulnerable to a chain fungal killing your entire army. Also a large roach army with upgrades can do significant damage to your infrastructure while absorbing fire from mutas.
Infestors jive well with roaches, though less so since the infested terran nerf. They can be more useful defensively since fungal gets stronger when used at a choke point (i.e. ramps) and they hard counter mutas. A roach army with fungals will do a lot more damage than a roach army without them, and they can help you prevent your opponent from retreating if you're having a favourable engagement.
4) Depends what phase of the game you're in. Early game, two queens on hold position on a ramp with a spine nearby will slow down a ling attack significantly. Mid game, a semi-wall at the front with a spine and a couple banelings on hold position (I like to have 1-2 in each mineral line and another at the top of my ramps) will deter runbys. Late game, fungal wrecks lings, roaches will wreck lings in tight spaces.