How to win as Zerg

Zerg Discussion
I'm currently a Gold Zerg and I find so ridiculously underpowered the Zerg race compared to P or T... especially Terran. Most of the time I'm doing the 14 gas 14 pool unless I see a cheese (which is rare in Gold) I make my 2nd Hatch at 20-22 food and the rest is depending on what I see... my problem with this is that both of these races (T and P) have the ease of turtling up 8+ minutes without any problem defending at an early (6-8 minute) attack/harass... Protoss wall off their ramp with gateways 2 cannons and there's nothing my army (20 roach approx) can do against 2 cannons and 5-7 stalkers, the 10 minute mark hits and they have 20 stalkers 2 immos 2 colossi and its GG, how the hell I deal with this??

In Terran matches, the same strategy, they wall off their ramp with barracks make 2 siege tanks and some marines (in a bunker) and there's nothing I can do to stop or harass their second expansion. When the 10 minute mark hits they already have 30+ marines, 10+ marauders, 2+ medivacs and 2+ siege tanks and Stim upgrade while my army is basically composed of roach (maybe +1 damage +1 armor) and that's GG...

How the hell do I deal with these situations? Do I need a tier 2 unit (infestor) to deal with a ball of basically 1 tier units? I find this ridiculously underpowered adding the fact that the hard counters for these unit compositions need hardcore micro and the Zerg (the worst in base defense) must be 1 base ahead of these two matchups... and I'm not going to start talking about the BS anti-air game... I honestly find that Zerg only have Infestor and BL, nothing else...
your openings seem weak. remember - the basic concept for zerg is to drone up really fast, so that by the time the opponent is ready to attack, you are done spending all your larvae on drones, and can begin using them on units to defend and crush them in a swarm-style. you don't want to make units first - lose your army, then not have any drones to support yourself with.

vs terran you should get in the habit of opening with a 15 hatch, not so much the 14/14.

15 hatch builds can stop cheese as well. but you really want to play more economic based as you approach plat league and players get an idea on what they're doing.

vs protoss, it depends on what they do. typically, standard you wanna open with a 14 pool, but you want to delay your gas and concentrate on drone production for about the first 6 minutes of the game.

are the protoss you're playing using FFE builds? or are they doing 4 gate 1 base builds? maybe show us some replays or give us specific scenarios on each matchup and we can help you in more detail. :)
In 4 gates against 'toss I have little to no problems, the FFE is what makes me want to quit playing SC2 sometimes because they turtle up and make the stalker-immo-colossus composition and there's nothing I can do to stop that army... I have tried making some corruptors to stop the colossi zerglings-roach as my main army and never works...
Against FFE I like to get my third base going up by 4:45 and drone hard till about 8 minutes. Get spines to protect my third, 3 or more depending on whats coming. I use my 1st hundred gas on lair, then speed, then get spire ASAP. i can usually have 12 mutas or so up by 11 min, and a ton of lings and spines.

I get a roach warren just in case. But lings mutas and spines can usually defend everything. Spend all gas on mutas and upgrades. I can usually win the game with mutas and lings. maybe some roaches to supplement my army when I go in for the kill.

If you constantly harass with mutas, they will be forced to stay on stalkers, and maybe some archons. Been stomping Toss lately with mutas. Once I get them out it seems to throw them WAY off and its gg pretty soon after.

15 hatch always vs terran, and get extra queens and spread tons of creep. Don't have to get gas so fast. I stick to ling bling infester until in can get BLs or Ultras out.
Open 3 hatch vs a FFEing protoss, turtle hard, get BL/infestor and win. Zerg isn't UP at all, you just suck.
You sir, have just proven my point... the game only gives you BL/Infestors and BTW at the point you have a decent amount of BL/Infestors the protoss already have too many, upgraded, units to stop your maybe 5 BL... I may suck but that strategy is bad beyond level... so sad to read that kind of comment from a diamond player...
actually you're in luck. there's a lot of zergs that frequent this particular forum that are VERY good against FFE and have soem great ideas/builds to share. it's actually here that i really got to top diamond in HotS, which is frequented by many master players from WoL. so the advice you get is def valuable and legit.

i know that the roach max build will def win you a ton of games from gold-diamond. i won my way into diamond flawlessly in 6 games using it (played 3 protoss players and 3 zergs), and 2 of the final games were master leaguers.

anyway, what you do is you take a 14 pool, and then a 16 hatch. you should make 2-4 lings to kill any pylon blocks, and any hiding probes. (i'd recommend watching pro streams, or your own replays to learn where the common probe hiding spots are so that you're never caught off guard).

you should take a 3rd base by 21 supply (after your first queen) and continue to drone. you don't want to supply block yourself at all in the first 6 minutes of the game, because delaying your drone production any amount will set you back and screw up your timings. so just beware of your supply at all times.

around 6 minutes, you should take 2 gasses, and make a roach warren/evolution chamber, start lair, and then zergling speed after. you should also have started creep spread with your 3rd queen by this point.

continue to drone and sacrifice your overlord at around 7-7:15 to see what tech he's going. you should also poke with your 2-4 zerglings to see if he started +1 attack on his forge, and see how many sentries he has saved up. a lot of times they'll try and scare you away with a zealot + a stalker so that you can't have good map presence, to see if they take a 3rd, or if they're preparing an all in. so a good thing to do is have a 2nd overlord at their natural to check their gas timings. if you see no gas - expect some sort of all in coming, and respond by making spine crawlers and cut drone production and make roaches/zerglings. if you see that he has taken his gasses, then you can conclude that he's probably trying to get some sort of tech, and you should be safe to continue soft-droning til you saturate your 3 bases.

you should start a macro-hatch when you can afford it, and then mass roaches, and start pushing out, especially if he has taken his gasses at his natural, or is attempting to secure a 3rd.

the immortal/sentry all in requires really good timing by the protossp layer, and i'd say players diamond and below, have trouble executing the timings flawlessly, so roach pushes really hurt them at this level.

maybe if you're lucky, nasareth or oboeman will come in here and provide you with exact supply #'s on build orders and timings to further help you with your timings, but i hope i helped you with the basics.

playing vs ffe is actually really fun, and you have a lot of different options, especially in HotS. i like to use mutalisks a lot vs protoss, but that's because iv'e been using the roach build for so long that i just wanted to switch it up a bit. if you like muta play, we can provide some good 3 base muta timings that work vs FFE as well. unfortunately though, the immortal/sentry push hits before mutas ever reach a critical mass, so you have to be spot on with your scouting/spine crawlers, to really hold.

really, you can win a TON of games at your level before they even get to brood/infestor play. and even if they do, you'll do a lot of damage, and be able to reach the desired tech much easier.

:p gl
01/29/2013 09:08 PMPosted by Mephisto
You sir, have just proven my point... the game only gives you BL/Infestors and BTW at the point you have a decent amount of BL/Infestors the protoss already have too many, upgraded, units to stop your maybe 5 BL... I may suck but that strategy is bad beyond level... so sad to read that kind of comment from a diamond player...


I play at roughly the same level as you and I actually have very little trouble with toss if I survive early pressure. What Ive actually found is that if I manage to get brood lords I freaking wreck the enemy barring any Mothership nonsense.

I suggest trying a less aggressive opener and focusing more on just staying alive. I 14 pool 15 extractor to get out ling speed, and play very defensively early. This really sets up a solid economy if the game lasts long, and allows you to counter what they play with.

You say that you play with roaches, so against skytoss I suggest just using Hydras. Roach / Hydra is a really solid army, and 1-2 spores next to you mineral line + queen(s) can usually at least distract harass long enough to bring in your hydras to fight it off.

just my 2 cents
Your build is wrong 14 hatch 14 pool 6 queen vs Terran
14 pool 16 hatch vs toss. With a third on the way by the 4 min mark.
Your build is wrong 14 hatch 14 pool 6 queen vs Terran
14 pool 16 hatch vs toss. With a third on the way by the 4 min mark.


Your builds are also wrong.

Standard ZvT : 15H/16P 4 Queen - Use the extra 300 minerals to get a faster third
Standard ZvP : 15P/15H or 15P/16H - 16H helps you more in eco but 15H is faster and less time the probe can stay blocking your expo. Your 21 supply drone goes to the third and at 25 suppy you take it. You also want a 15 overlord so you can get your second queen out on time.
Thanks for the tips, specially Chaos and KILLorD, I think you hit exactly what I'm doing wrong against Protoss. I usually start making more army than drones when I open my 1st expansion. Now, against Terran is what I really have lots of problems, specially when they are going MMM... those marines and marauders are insanely tough when stimmed and they always have those damn siege tanks which makes the hard counter (banelings) useless... I know infestors work really good against that unit composition but I think you need hardcore micro to use them efficiently, and my micro is just bad... I know I have to work my micro but is there a different approach against this Terran unit composition?
01/30/2013 04:17 PMPosted by Mephisto
hat I really have lots of problems, specially when they are going MMM... those marines and marauders are insanely tough when stimmed and they always have those damn siege tanks which makes the hard counter (banelings) useless... I know infestors work really good against that unit composition but I think you need hardcore micro to use them efficiently, and my micro is just bad... I know I have to work my micro but is there a different approach against this Terran unit composition?


vs terran that go biomech like that, the first rule of thumb is to always engage on creep. do not fight them off creep.

you can stop this composition with pure ling/baneling if you fight on creep. if you see that they're going siege tanks, a fun strategy to use vs this comp is adding mutalisk.

it comes down to your unit control though. i put my banelings in a seperate control group, have my mutas focus down tanks, lings a-move to celan up/distract the marines, and banelings controlled to chase marines so that they don't blow up on tanks unnecessarily.

the reason you want to fight on creep - is because you can get really good surrounds on their bio ball to trap the marines and marauders, allowing your banes to get perfect hits without being kited (like they would off creep).

another important thing to note (that i learned from suppy) is that it is vital that you get 2/2 upgrades. a terran can get 2/2 really fast on some timings, and if you're not caught up, you will just die to mediac timing pushes. so get your double evo chambers and start your 1/1 before lair, and by the time you're starting a 3rd, and working on lair tech, you want to get your 2/2 started asap.
i used to lose to bio a lot, even if i went the right composition, and i always wondered why. then i started watching suppy, and listening to his commentary, and it was little things like upgrades, and bad engagements off creep that were costing me games.

maybe the same is for you too :p? the micro is tough for sure, but for me, it took me just switching up my control groups to handle splits better. it might be a simple mechanic like that - which you can fix and start practicing with overnight really. so def no big deal :p

i find muta/ling/baneling really fun (win or lose) to play against when a terran does biomech/bio. getting that perfect baneling/ling surround really is an adrenaline rush, and rewarding to see when everything goes your way :D!

gl

i just wanna add, on certain maps like ohana, if you play marine tank builds or pure biomech, you can learn to place baneling landmines on certain attack paths, to really annoy your opponent. daybreak is another one where you can scatter baneling landmines to wittle them down as they're pushing out. you typically don't want them to be able to siege outside your base - so the idea is to harass them before they siege up with little things like that, or to spread your creep really well so you can engage far from your base - but still to your advantage!

edit: one more point i wanna add - you should/must be able to afford a macro hatch around lair time. muta/ling builds allow you to drone pretty heavily during your muta harass, so you usually have an excess amount of minerals, which is awesome. adding that macro hatch, really allows you to hit that army size you want at a moment's notice, which you will def need when facing a bunch of reactored' barracks.
Win? As zerg?! LOL.
Thanks a lot KILLorD, I just played against a FFE 'toss and I did what most of you told me, I expanded really quick (1st at 3:00 second at 5:30 3rd like 8:00 or so) and at 14:30 I was maxed out roach (60 in total, 2-2 upgrades) and I completely overwhelmed my opponent... 14:30 max out is kind of late I think, I was lucky he did not attacked me once in the whole matchup (lasted 16 mins) since my first roach batch popped out at about the 9 minute mark.
np, glad i could help you! :p

yeah as you get better at droning in the beginning of the game, you'll notice that your roach max will come earlier and everything will fall into place :)

as long as you stay up on injects, have a macro hatch, and upgrades, you should be able to crush through these toss players in like 15-16 minutes like you did :p honestly, the build should get you through diamond safely. like i said, it ravaged even low masters players in my experience, not a single infestor was needed.
Mephisto, I don't know what is your rank but be carefull with your timming cause around 13-14 min is when protoss would probably give is first push. I always try to push around 12 min when he got 1-2 immortal and 5-6 sentry. It's give me time to destroye is wall and put a lot of pressure with ling. Around 10 roach with a big ling support is a easy win in gold.

If you wait until 15 min and more, is army will be more solid. You have to caught him off guard. Don't let mofo protoss dictated your game.

Live for the swarm!
I'm currently a Gold Zerg and I find so ridiculously underpowered the Zerg race compared to P or T... especially Terran. Most of the time I'm doing the 14 gas 14 pool unless I see a cheese (which is rare in Gold) I make my 2nd Hatch at 20-22 food and the rest is depending on what I see... my problem with this is that both of these races (T and P) have the ease of turtling up 8+ minutes without any problem defending at an early (6-8 minute) attack/harass... Protoss wall off their ramp with gateways 2 cannons and there's nothing my army (20 roach approx) can do against 2 cannons and 5-7 stalkers, the 10 minute mark hits and they have 20 stalkers 2 immos 2 colossi and its GG, how the hell I deal with this??

In Terran matches, the same strategy, they wall off their ramp with barracks make 2 siege tanks and some marines (in a bunker) and there's nothing I can do to stop or harass their second expansion. When the 10 minute mark hits they already have 30+ marines, 10+ marauders, 2+ medivacs and 2+ siege tanks and Stim upgrade while my army is basically composed of roach (maybe +1 damage +1 armor) and that's GG...

How the hell do I deal with these situations? Do I need a tier 2 unit (infestor) to deal with a ball of basically 1 tier units? I find this ridiculously underpowered adding the fact that the hard counters for these unit compositions need hardcore micro and the Zerg (the worst in base defense) must be 1 base ahead of these two matchups... and I'm not going to start talking about the BS anti-air game... I honestly find that Zerg only have Infestor and BL, nothing else...


Mostly good things in this thread. Sounds like your unit production is suffering from taking a hatch at 20+drones. It's amazing how much smoother things work when you go 15 hatch 15 pool. Like you said, people in gold rarely do early cheese so you should consider making this a staple in your builds and scout ofc.

If someone goes early pressure you can 15 hatch 15 pool anyways. You can even hold off an 8 pool...I think. You're not as vulnerable as you think you are. The only thing that would wreck you is something like cannon rush/2 gate proxy/ 7spine/ scv marine all-ins.

15hatch/15pool and essentially play the same way you have been playing.

Edit:I'm gonna go ahead and retract holding off 8 pool. You could barely hold it off if you pool at 14 though.

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