Lvl 2 missile or lvl 1 carapace?

General Discussion
In a ZvZ roach vs roach war, the upgrades play an important role. I believe almost all people who plan to build mass roaches will upgrade level 1 Missile upgrade first. A 1/x roach can kill a zergling with no carapace upgrade in 2 shots. After it is done, they will upgrade level 2 missile upgrade and level 1 carapace at same time if they have enough resources and two evo chambers.

But if the players do not have the resource to build another evo chamber and research another upgrade at the time, they have to choose only one upgrade to research, either level 2 missile or level 1 carapace. Though I rarely play against human right now, for the pro games I watched, it seems most pro players chose to upgrade lvl 2 missile at this situation. I guess it may be this reason: weapon upgrade gives roach +2 damage, and armor upgrade only reduce 1 damamge received. Also, a zergling with 1 carapace upgrade requires three 1/x roach shots to kill, and 2/x roach will 2-shot a zergling unless they have 3 carapace upgrades which would not happen until late game.

However, in the IEM game just finished a few days ago, Serral chose to upgrade lvl 1 carapace instead of lvl 2 missile in a game against soO. I wonder why did he do that. Someone suggests the following theory:
Though 2/1 is always better and has 1 hit advantage over both 2/0 and 1/1 roach, there's a small difference:
It requires 9 shots of 2/1 roaches to kill a 1/1 roach, while 1/1 roaches need 10 shots to kill a 2/1.
It requires 8 shots of 2/1 roaches to kill a 2/0 roach, while 2/0 roaches need 9 shots to kill a 2/1.
Thus, though at disadvantage, 1/1 roaches need 1 more shot to be killed, which means they would survive a little bit logner and enable the player to bring more reinforcement in a defensive position, then he would catch up on upgrade sooner or later, or send harrsement when possible. 2/0 is surely better if he goes offensive, because they would kill the opponent faster.
Also, though they cost same resource, lvl 1 carapace needs 30 seconds less to upgrade than lvl 2 missile, so there's a small window before opponent finish his lvl 2 missile.

Or probably Serral just made an mistake. But it seems someone else also upgrade lvl 1 carapace first in WESG game, so they may have their own reason for that.
+2 attack is in every mu just plain better than the 1/1. so it was clearly a big/game ending mistake from serral. even the casters were sure, that he just missclicked or so.

so you should always upgrade the +2 first in a zvz and carapace after this.
03/11/2019 11:21 PMPosted by TryHarD
+2 attack is in every mu just plain better than the 1/1

Armour is the most important upgrade in TvZ
03/11/2019 11:21 PMPosted by TryHarD
+2 attack is in every mu just plain better than the 1/1. so it was clearly a big/game ending mistake from serral. even the casters were sure, that he just missclicked or so.

so you should always upgrade the +2 first in a zvz and carapace after this.


I'm only a diamond now, but back when I payed attention to this stuff, it mattered. 2/0 on roaches is ALWAYS better than 1/1, with one exception: timing.

If your opponent goes for 2/0, your 1/1 will be finished long before his upgrade. THIS is when you have to hit. At this point, he has 1/0 with +2 a ways off vs your 1/1. You can trade very efficiently during this window and significantly cripple his army. If he doesn't outright die, he may get his +2, but he is too far behind to use it.
2/0 is better, but a lot of players are adding a second evo after +1 range to get 2/1.
Against heavy lings, or terran bio, you want 1-1.
Against just roach, or ground protoss, you want 2-0 if you really can only afford 1 evo (especially for tense roach games this is common).
Against mutas or carriers in macro games, just get 2 evos. Both upgrades help massively on your roaches and hydras in these games.

Something ZvZ specific to note is that +1 carapace lings take 2 banes to kill, and the +1 carapace makes muta glaive bounces basically useless. So you can sometimes hit some crazy ling or ling/roach timings with just +1 carapace against a player relying on ling bane muta, but this is far from normal play in most cases.
so the reasons are:
1. carapace actually cancels out +2 missile attack for roach vs roach. (allows the roach to survive 1 more hit) even though its 2 damage per upgrade, it does.
2. carapace researches faster so if opponent attacks or you wish to attack you will have an upgrade advantage first.
3. carapace allows you to reinforce with lings so fast +1 carapace roach builds are actually not bad as you can morph ravs.
03/11/2019 11:26 PMPosted by GoblinSlayer
03/11/2019 11:21 PMPosted by TryHarD
+2 attack is in every mu just plain better than the 1/1

Armour is the most important upgrade in TvZ


yeah sorry, was talking about mirror mu :D especially against terran, carapace is really important.
In roach v roach it's super simple. Roaches get +2 damage per upgrade for attack, but every unit just gains +1 armor per upgrade. So attack upgrades are twice as effective on a roach as armor is so attack is always more valuable, but if you can afford both then both is obviously best.

In PvP for example, it's actually common for the protoss to not even bother with armor upgrades. Protoss units have slower attacks with higher damage so attack upgrades do much more than armor to the point where the armor upgrade isn't that great. Especially since a lot of their units do bonus to armored and are armored themselves.

In most cases attack is the more valuable upgrade, there are niche cases where armor is better, but those are much less frequent than attack being better.

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