ZvP – LiquidZenio’s 3Hatchery Ling / Bane All-In
Hello and thank you for taking the time to view another Zerg vs Protoss guide, focusing on an aggressive build created by the Korean Pro, LiquidZenio.
Many of you probably recognize Zenio from his tournament achievements and his unique style of roach-less ZvP, which Day9 covered in Day9 Daily #412. One of the things that makes Zenio’s play so exciting to watch is his willingness to mix it up and deviate from standard styles. Today we’re going to look at one such creative build – the 3Hatch Ling/Baneling all-in. It is a deceptive build that takes advantage of the current ZvP trends, and can be used on most ladder and tournament maps. Ideally, it is best to use on maps where baneling busts are more effective because expansions are too wide to wall-in with 3 large buildings. For example, Terminus, Korhal, and Ohana are excellent, while Shakuras is not recommended.
The idea of executing a baneling bust against Protoss may seem far-fetched, but for some time it has been a common all-in composition that top zerg players have used against the FFE. In season 2, I remember seeing a tournament game where JulyZerg crushed his Protoss opponent with a 1-base baneling bust. He opened with the then-popular 14gas/14pool, but instead of expanding once his zerglings killed the pylon blocking the natural, JulyZerg massed zerglings and went for a super-early, successful bust.
Later when 14pool 15gas was the standard opening, I saw Nestea cripple Naniwa with a similar build: 2Base Baneling Bust, where Nestea took an expansion to trick nAniwa, then busted him slightly later than the JulyZerg version. Both of these builds were extremely effective meta-game strategies on maps with wide expansions like Tal’Darim Altar and Xel-Naga Caverns. However, the meta-game has now shifted and these types of builds are becoming less effective. With the prevalence of Zergs opening gas-less 3hatch roach/ling or “Stephano Style”, Protoss players are immediately suspicious if they scout early gas. They will most often respond by chronoboosting sentries or producing 1-2 additional cannons, which shuts down 1-2 base baneling busts. The thing that makes this build so genius is the opening resembles a 3-hatch roach macro style, so it doesn’t give your protoss opponent any reason to build additional defenses:
5-6 Banelings and 25+ Speedlings arrive at opponent’s base at 7:15
As long as you don’t allow him to scout your gas or streaming zerglings, this an excellent way to catch a protoss player off guard and bust before warpgates or stargates finish.