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Ling bane roach midgame busts or pressure seem to be the appropriate response to greedy 3CC > 4M play by the T but transition into muta to deny medivacs / drops.
The problem I see with this is that mutas are literally only good vs medivacs (or mines in a critical mass) and will be able to do some but not enough damage to punish a 9 minute, 10 minute landed third CC like a roach/ling/bane bust can.
My theory crafting would be that a 3 base roach/ling/bane midgame with mass queen to creep spread and deny drops to an extent would be an appropriate response, followed by mixing a few ranged hydras to deal with mines/medivacs, some roaches to force marauders and to tank mine shots while still relying on melee upgrades and ling bane to deny mass marine for the ultra transition.
Hydra/roach remain unupgraded and thus scale poorly but they still, even with inferior upgrades tank the 4M and snipe off medivacs allowing the true DPS, the ling/bane to do damage.
The transition for late game is into ling/bane queen ultra relying on surrounds and creep spread rather than fungal to engage but fungal should obviously be mixed in when gas allows.
Thoughts on this sort of concept/idea? I'm fake masters/diamond with P/T and a bit new to Z but I want to have the strength of roach/bane midgames to outright kill greedy T while also not having to all-in so that I don't die to drops. I feel that a hydra/queen anti air composition can work to deny drops without requiring mass spore while still allowing an ultra transition.
There is obviously a reason we don't see hydras in the midgame unless it is part of a roach/hydra/festor composition (which isn't super strong as it is) but I feel like hydras in small numbers to keep medivac numbers low (one of the key reasons roach/bane isn't a viable midgame comp) would fit well, along with multiple queens to support the hydra/aid in creep spread to buy time for ultras and drop defense.
The other key argument here is that lair tech should be temporary because it's not efficient vs bio. I feel one of the key issues here is that a ling/baning Z tends to REALLY overbuild banelings. You need to be efficient with banes. You don't want 30 banes with some lings - you want a ton of lings with 5-10 well placed banes. You only need a few good hits to be cost effective and it seems like Z's are kinda missing the ball here?
Please note this is not a pro level discussion - I understand bio at the pro level is very cost effective vs ling bane and vs roach but the control in dia/masters/low GM isn't comparable. The discussion here is use of roach/hydra without teching range upgrades as a supporting role to deal with mass mine or medivac.
Lair tech can with good creep spread be efficient vs 2/2 bio mine because you will get some good bane hits and the fast ultralisk isn't absolutely necessary to deal with mass bio (again because the micro pre-top gm/pro isn't able to trade as well as it can).
I think this is actually counter productive. You might considered discouraging Marauders and gearing for a huge swell of Ultras to catch Terran off guard.
Instead of using gas for Hydra/Roach, I would recommend going Muta, and having the Mutas target fire Medivacs in battle. The other bonus is Mutas are far more mobile than Hydras, and will let you respond to incoming drops much faster.
Un-upgraded Hydras seem like a waste of gas if you consider other areas to invest the gas into. What if you went heavy queen/Ling/Bane (Which is mineral heavy and light on gas) while powering Melee upgrades, and used the extra gas to either go Muta or fast Hive?
Again, I keep bringing up Mutas, because they have better mobility. You don't need to go mass Muta, in fact I generally don't get more than around 10 Mutas against Terran. My goal is to establish map control with a light tech investment, and power my way to Hive tech.
I like the idea, but I don't think it would be efficient enough to merit the gas investment into un-upgraded Roach/Hydra. Like I said before, I personally prefer (i.e. I'm not saying my way is the only way, or the best way) to do a fast tech to Muta, (5 or 5:30 double gas) and invest in 8-10 to establish map control and poke and prod. Sometimes it hits early enough to do economic damage, and other times I just pick away at buildings near the edge of their base/kill Medivacs. The benefit is that I'm not staying on Spire tech. With that map control I expand aggressively to grab the extra gases, and power my way to Hive. Then I build an Ultra Cavern/Greater Spire at the same time. I spawn around 7-10 Ultras and then prepare for a stupid fast tech switch to BroodLords while Terran tries to get their Marauder count up.
Food for thought :P
Edited by DrizztKrieg on 6/14/2013 12:16 PM PDT
I love helping!
No, Mutas are frankly terrible in a direct fight. Like I was saying before, the Muta's are best for trying to contain the Terran player while you are doing something else like expanding/powering upgrades/rushing Hive. If you can keep the Mutas alive, it can be extremely annoying to deal with, because 8-10 Mutas can take down production buildings/supply depots if left unchecked. You don't want to make too many Mutas, because they're only benefit in a battle is anti-air, and Terran isn't going to have any air units that shoot.
My point is that having fast 2-2 Ling/Baneling followed by a fast Hive is more powerful than 1-1 Ling/Baneling/Roach/Hydra with a delayed Hive. My discouraging the Terran player from making Marauders, you significantly increase the power of an Ultra switch. If you go early Roach, the Terran will already have plenty of Marauders and the ability to produce them quickly when you go for Ultra.
Keep in mind, that I am looking to have a game ending Hive push, rather than a Lair-based push.
Edited by DrizztKrieg on 6/14/2013 12:28 PM PDT
I've found mutas to be invaluable in ZvT. They're alot more mobile which helps against drops, and they hold their own in large fights. They may go down quickly to marines, but they're taking the pressure off of your lings and banes which will deal the real damage.
If you can keep muta pressure on it makes for an easier and more effective transition to ultra at tier 3. If you're muta heavy, they'll continue producing marines with reactors. When you crank out a first batch of ultras, it will take them time to transition into marauder production.
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