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ZvT – Tang’s Three Barrel Bust

Tang’s Three Barrel Bust

Early Game Bust (7:15): 8 Slow Roach  / 16 Speedling*

Mid Game Bust (11:30) 20 Fast Roach / 20 Fast Baneling / 20 Speedling (And a +1 Upgrade)

Late Game Bust (18:30) 6ultra, 48 Baneling, 19Roach, 48 Speedling

Reasons to practice this style:

1) Zerg Switch Points – I define a switch-point as a time when you stop producing drones and begin producing attacking units (Or vice-versa).  Since this build periodically goes between producing drones and attacking units, students quickly learn how to squeeze out drones needed to execute a timing attack and promptly switch to attacking units at optimal intervals in the game.

2) Timing Push – A timing push is an attack that comes at a strategic moment in the game, such as when an upgrade finishes or your opponent isn’t likely to have adequate defense.  The best way to learn timing attacks is to practice them and this build incorporates three separate aggressive maneuvers.

3) The Three “M’s”: Multitasking, Micro, Macro – To execute this build optimally, you must put on pressure with your timing attacks (Micro) while continuing to produce drones, units, and upgrades at your base (Macro).  This ability to multitask is crucial, not only to this style of play, but really to Starcraft II in general. By taking the initiative and being aggressive so frequently, every game will improve the Three “M’s”

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17 Responses to ZvT – Tang’s Three Barrel Bust

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  • dlofte says:

    Hey thanks, for all you work I appreciate it and hope you continue posting strategy articles.

  • Tang says:

    You’re welcome dlofte, thanks for signing up and posting.

  • BowzerOG says:

    Thank you very much for all this information Tang, I followed you on your stream and am working my way through your articles (whilst practicing them.) When I finish I’m highly considering a few lessons or maybe even just making a donation for the freeinfo I’m currently gleaning.

    I just started playing sc2 last week (was a top 20 wc3 ladder player) and as far as I can tell my MMR is putting me vs silver players currently – I’ll let you know how I progress via a testimonial or something =p

  • Tang says:

    Really appreciate your support BowzerOG! I actually played WC3 and TFT for ages, so I understand the transition takes a bit of time but I definitely noticed the skills made it easier to pick up SC2. While I appreciate the donation suggestions, I’d insist on giving you some coaching for it – I enjoy producing content and I’m glad it has helped you, but if you’re going to pay me I’m going to take an active role in your improvement.

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  • JarJar says:

    Really really enjoy this build, but I have a couple of questions.
    How do you protect yourself from hellion runby’s before roaches come out? I know the fastest time hellions can reach your base is around 5:40-5:50, and roaches come around 50 seconds later. Also, dropbox links don’t work.

    • Tang says:

      Usually if he does bring those 2 hellions into my expansion, i’ll just wall the ramp with my 2 queens and pull all the drones to mining in the main. Then once the roaches spawn, I can bring those drones back to my expansion.

  • Ryko says:

    The examples aren’t working for me.

    • Tang says:

      Weird, I’ll edit it soon – if you copy/paste the link into the browser it’ll work for now!

      • immoralist says:

        The links are interpreted as relative links (as if they were subfolders of your server) because the “http://” is missing. Add “http://” at the front of the links “href” attribute and they will be interpreted as absolute links.


  • Crawler says:

    Hey Tang. I think this build is outdatet, or isnt it? I play in Platin and practised this a lot of times, but my first pushes didn´t much damage, because for example they had their expansions up and block the ramp with a 2 barracks and some depots. With this push i killed 15 units 8 workers and 7 marines. And i lost all units. I think that isnt enough. But if i pull back my units the opponent can tech enough to get tanks, so that my second push isnt strong enough.
    I only won if my opponents didnt care about blocking their natural.

    • Tang says:

      It’s about a year old, but in terms of the first attack, it’s still a highly viable opening that I use all the time. Either your push is arriving too late (should never arrive at his expansion later than 7:15) or you may not be targeting the correct units/structures. You don’t have to lose all your units – as long as you’re keeping up with injects and droning while you push, you should actually end up ahead as long as your opponent didn’t go three-command centers or banshees (in both of these scenarios your push should kill him anyway).

      The follow-up Roach/Ling/Baneling attack is something I do less often, but as long as you have +1 armor, it’s fine if your opponent has tanks. In fact you’re expecting he’ll have 2-3 Tanks and some bunkers, and relying on the sheer size/speed of your army to bust right through anyway.

      • Crawler says:

        I´ll going to think about it. Thanks. I think i have to many problems by doing some micro actions by attacking and droning behind. And often i dont know, where the borderline is to attack or pulling back. But i´ll try it more often. Because the first time i used this build it worked brilliant, and since them i love this kind of style. 😉

  • Mornox says:

    I do like this more than the newer triple barrel bust, especially since the first barrel is much more powerful and often game ending. the 14 speedlings of the triple barrel bust dont do much unless the terran somehow fails. I am trying to play at least 2 barrels at diamond level by now. The only thing I dislike is only having one evo chamber, I delay my second barrel a tiny bit for having +1/+1 – suits me better for any transitions.
    It’s old but still a great playstyle. Thanks for your guides.

    • Tang says:

      Glad you still enjoy this build 😀 I found widow mines made early Roach timings less effective (sadly :() but it can still work quite well, especially against opponents who make 6+ Hellions!

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