ZvT can be a really… weird match-up. Especially in lower leagues. You have to worry about battlecruiser rushes, hellbat timings, even drops and pushes in places where it’s hard to set up the proper engagement. So hopefully this guide may be of help. I may not be a great zerg player, so keep that in mind.
We will be covering:
- States of the game
- Creep Spread
- Proper Engagements
- Compositions and Transitions
The early-state of the game consists of the following:
- Move your first overlord to the opponent’s natural or second base.
- Move your second overlord to your natural, when hatchery is halfway or more done, you can move it to opponent’s 3rd base and or moving it to the corner of your opponent’s base to scout at 3:30
- Zergling runbys
- Dealing with harassment
- Scouting the main at 3:30 with overlord
- Reacting appropriately
- Spore crawler at 4:30
You also have to worry about:
- Are you playing standard? Or are you gonna 12 pool into expand for the early queen and pressure. Are you gonna follow up with a cheese or are you going to macro?
- Do you have enough queens? You need at least 5 queens to deal with hellions and or BC.
- Are you creep spreading well?
- Are you injecting well?
You have to take these one step at a time. Zerg has so much multitasking capabilities unlike the other 2 races. Let’s start with the basics…
Injecting is super important. If you are going for a zergling-baneling based composition, you are going to need to be larvae heavy. I inject by setting my base camera to space. Early game, when I hear my “Your queens are ready to inject larvae.” I press F1 or Space, (I use both methods) I click the queen and inject. However, a faster method is hotkeying your inject queens to a control group and using base camera, have all the inject queens selected, and inject. This way you can inject without having to go through the hassle of manually selecting your queen.
Think of a hatchery as a planet and your larvae are inhabitants. The more inhabitants, the better. Injecting is like having your own children and then sending them to child labor because you are a poor family and you need to gain money except instead of you getting money, you will get value out of those units.
So yes, injecting is super important. No injects equals no units… which means you won’t have any units to harass with, fight with, defend with, etc. Your planet is lonely.
Creep spread is not something simple to do. You need to build up your muscle memory. Remember, without creep spread, that means there is no speed benefit, and no vision. No vision equals not knowing of upcoming pushes… Not knowing of pushes can lead to your downfall. Zerg is a very information reliant race. You need as much information you can get. This is why we send our overlords around the map. For vision.
To creep spread, what you can do is hotkey your queens to a control group. For instance, I use 3 as my creep spreading queens. I have 2 queens dedicated to creep spreading. Every time I remember, which is often, but not often enough, I press C, and I can use rapid-fire or shift click to lay down creep tumors and or spread them. Try to cover as much ground as possible.
Remember, your goal with creep spread is:
I can not exaggerate this enough! Vision is super important. So just keep creep spreading. You can deflect hellion harass from killing your tumors by using your queens. You need lots of queens early in the game. For injecting, transfusing, and creep spreading.
Now, as terrans will have to harass you, you will need to harass them. You can’t ever allow your opponent to snowball, because, if you do, you basically lose. Same with terran. Each race is balanced to counter each-other. Zerg has a bit of harass units / capabilities. For instance, you have zergling runbys, baneling runbys, mutalisk harass. Those are the fast units for harassing. I mean you can technically harass with anything Like sending 2 lurkers to your opponents mineral lines, or attacking in one place and sending 6 zerglings to another base of your opponent to wipe out their economy. Multi-prong basically.
A good way to harass is to rally some zerglings out of your hatchery, right click them near an opponent’s expo and then right click them to your opponents mineral line. That is basic harass and can prevent your unit from snowballing.
TL;DR: Don’t let your opponent grow powerful or you can lose. It goes for both sides, not just you.
Mid game is pretty tricky. It’s when you first unlock your tech options. You can go into a spire, into a hydralisks den, an early infestation pit for early hive, etc.
Usually, zerg players will place their lair tech in their natural. Same with hive tech. It helps burn a scan of a terran trying to see their tech so they can’t call down an extra M.U.L.E
Remember to use your units as effectively as possible, whether that be harassing, or microing during fights.
Proper Engagements and Compositions:
When you are taking an engagement, try mostly to take it on creep. That is where you have your advantage. You have speed, and most importantly, vision. You can see when he/she unsieges tanks, or moves in with marines and clumps them up, etc.
Using these moments to attack is crucial. Try to attack your opponent from multiple times at once. When you do this, your army becomes more efficient and I give you permission to boast, “It’s over Anakin, I have the surround!”
Depending on your enemy’s composition / style can make a major difference in engagements. For instance, do you see mech or bio? If it’s mech, get spine crawlers at each base for those stupid hellion runbys and get more banes then lings, or move on to a roach based composition. If it’s bio, you can go ling bane muta, ling bane hydra, ultra ling bane, etc. YOU MUST COUNTER YOUR OPPONENT. They have liberators? Get corruptors. They have marines? Get banelings. And that list goes on and on.
Basically, have the right composition, and have the good surrounds and harassment to whip your opponent in the bud. (I’m not sure if I used this expression right. Please correct me)
Micro is super important. Whether that be splitting your banes or lings versus widowmines, using your mutalisks to kill scvs using a hit and run approach, etc. that is micro.
Micro when it’s needed. Like when you are a terran, you have to split. When you are a protoss, you need to use sentries for forcefields. If a terran splits his marines, you can also split your banelings to their marines. Remember, 2 banelings kills a marine if they have combat shields. if they don’t have combat shields and they stim, it’ll be 1 baneling.
An all in is meant to get damage done, and fast. Zerg has a pretty good majority of all ins, which can range from 1 base roaches, to 3 early roaches in your opponents mineral line, 2b mutalisks, and more. Utilize these properly and try deal as much damage as you can do. Whether it be baneling drops, or microing the roaches back and forth, deal damage! You also have to remember that injecting is the most important when doing all ins, not creep spreading. However, you can drop a tumor to make it seem like you are macroing when in reality it’s the opposite.
Late game is tough for terrans and zergs. Sometimes people just want to end it early but it’s up to you to prevent that. Some late game compositions can be broodlord corruptor infestor, ultralisk ling bane, basically, a composition of anything that will wreck your opponent is needed.
Good rules of thumb:
- Inject whenever you have time
- Creep spread ASAP
- Scout efficiently to minimize the chance of falling to cheese
- Expand early and fast, even when ahead.
- Don’t always drone, have some units to deal with harass
- Harass often
- Mutli prong
- Make sure those terrans’ get a new diaper replacement.
Anyways, I hope this guide helped. This is a brief summary and again, I’m not that much of an experienced zerg player, so let me know if I’m missing anything and I will possibly add it in. Thanks I hope this will become a thread where we can post helpful ideas and advice for our fellow zergs.
GL HF and have fun!