Zerg vs Protoss
Incontrol was also chilling at the NASL Afterparty shaking hands and signing autographs. When I met him, it was not hard to see why he’s one of the most well-liked guys in Starcraft – he is very down-to-earth and approachable. Still, he’ s a Protoss player and so we must strive to send his units back to Aiur on stretchers.
- The refined gas timings from Wings of Liberty, ie. double gas (6:00) or triple gas (6:30), are still viable. The 6:30-7:00~ Roach Warren and Evo Chamber are still safe, and if your opponent isn’t going for an early Gateway All-In, it’s also safe to start your Lair and 3rd/4th around the usual time (7:15-7:45), then begin the sequence of Zergling Speed, +1 Range Attack, Macro Hatch and Roach Speed before starting Roach production at 8:30~. The primary benchmark to aim for in ZvP is 60-65 Drones by the 8:00 mark (48 Drones optimally saturating Minerals 16/base, 4 or 5 Gases filled, and the previously-mentioned buildings/upgrades). All the potential lies in reaching this benchmark, because it presents Zergs with quite a few options for the mid-game.
- By opening Gas/Pool, you can get zergling speed to deny scouting and trick protoss into building additional cannons thinking you’re going to bust him. Use your next 100 gas on a lair, and you can actually do a speedling drop by the 8:00 mark (Before stargates/warpgates finish). Time your baneling nest accordingly, and you can drop banelings at his natural when he runs all his probes away from main!
- It is with great caution and respect that I approach writing a strategy guide focusing on the style Stephano uses against FFE Protoss. I approach this topic with caution because it is in no way new: it has been covered numerous times in detailed guides, team liquid discussions, and even a Day9 daily. I approach with respect because Stephano is one of the most successful and creative professional Zerg players to date, and I do not assert that I know everything about his style or thought-processes. However, in studying Stephano’s stream, using his builds in ladder, and teaching his style to students, I have developed insights into learning and improving with this style – and that’s what I aim to share with you today.
- Leenock’s legendary victory over Naniwa was no fluke – and this aggressive opening helped him seal the deal! Opening gas-first and “faking” an expansion, you can hit your opponent with 10 Roaches at the 7:20 mark. With your early speed, you can deny scouting and keep him in the dark until it’s too late (An excellent build for Bronze/Silver players to start with, but the style can work against Masters and Grandmasters)
- 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.
- One of the keys to being successful in StarCraft is planning. One of the best ways to plan is to refine your build order timings and I want to stress that although we’ll be looking at a Zerg build, the key concepts can be applied to the game play of any the races. The reason this is such a relevant concept for all players is simple: I’m going to explain the macro-structure of the build – how all the pieces come together, which is not often studied in great detail but is, in my experience, incredibly important to success on the Starcraft II battlefield.
- Featuring nine replay analysis games against masters and GM, these tutorials videos go over some of the most important fundamentals in SC2: Economy Management, Multitasking, Unit Control, and Rally-Points.
- A strange approach to the current ZvP metagame, overlord drop-style presents some unique advantages for Zerg. You have the element of surprise, giving you a good chance to win the game outright. Even if you can’t win, you have map control to drone up and continue the aggression OR transition into macro.
- No matter what division you’re in, you’re going to get cheesed in StarCraft II. It’s part of the game and there’s no sense getting angry or frustrated when someone tries an unexpected strategy against you. That’s why I’ve started a stream series focusing on having a plan and keeping your cool when things go wrong. This week, I took a look at some ZvP games where I was cannon rushed. Personally, I like to “fight fire with fire” when someone tries to cheese me. You know what that means – baneling counterattacks!
- Stephano’s style of ZvP is notoriously aggressive and hard to play against. By taking an early 3rd with delayed gas, you can secure a solid 3-fully saturated bases to max out with roaches extremely. Good luck taking a 3rd base, Protoss scum! The maxed out army can continuously trade with 2-base protoss and can even transition into late-game infestor/broodlord if protoss manages to secure a third.
- The usual response to FFE is a fast third into macro. Zenio mixes it up with a sick fast third into all-in, hitting at a devastating time before Warp gates or Stargates. This is a build I’ve been personally using in Season 7 and it’s incredibly strong against FFE protoss – I highly recommend incorporating it into your play.
- A different take on the mid/late game ZvP, this style revolves around skipping infestors to get a much earlier hive to morph in broodlords. Many players aim to max-out on roaches in the midgame, but they become weaker as the game progresses. If you build only 16 roaches with speed for mid-game defense and use your larva on an enormous speedling army, you can bank enough gas to start 8 broodlords by 15minutes to execute aggressive, maxed-out push
- If protoss takes a fast expansion, just take a fast third! Most timing attacks don’t come until past the 8:00 mark, giving you lots of time to drone up to a Roach/Ling army. Then it’s just a matter of ensuring protoss doesn’t get a third, and with a roach/ling/muta army you have a fast and mobile army to strike quickly and counter-attack often.
- A very fun and versatile style, the drop-style ZvP should be a weapon in every zerg’s arsenal. Opening with an 8minute zergling drop against protoss, you secure map control and several unique advantages – like distracting him from the banelings being dropped in his natural mineral line!
- Need I say more?
- Before the start of season 6, I spent about a week practicing new styles of ZvP and I was surprised at how successful this build can be. It’s very strong, hard to scout, and even harder to stop. It’s not invincible by any means, and it’s certainly not a “be all end all” to ZvP, but it is an effective all-in to incorporate in your set of ladder or tournament builds and I encourage all you Zerg players to experiment with it!