What did I do wrong? (ZvP)

I play all three races and to me, Zerg is the weakest. Especially vs skytoss. What on Earth could I have done here?


To me it seems like the protoss has total freedom to do whatever they want if they go skytoss. Harassment is hard because of shield battery. Taking bases is hard because of Zealot warpins. At every angle, the Zerg player has to work smarter and harder to beat the Protoss, who has a VERY a click army.

I’ll end this post on a hot take. Again: I play all three races. I main toss, have a lot of success with Terran, but the fact remains. Zerg players are just better.

doesnt sound like you main toss. sounds like youre a salty zerg main zerg players are better haha youre clearly a zerg main. If toss turtles. take the entire map, If he goes sky toss go VIPERS! corruptors and hydras. Max out. slam your army into his. remax do it again. Vipers are crazy powerful vs skytoss. Keep yoinking the carriers for free. Rinse and repeat… Your vipers energy is low? leach from your buildings. Warp prism causing issues? mutas or corruptors and chase them down. Creep spread so you see it coming or place overlords all around too if he isnt actively killing all of them so…creep spread is better. TLDR VIPERS!!!

I’ll try and take a look at the replay later today.

OK, got to watch the replay, and there’s a couple things that are missing here. I can see what you mean from being a Protoss main. There were certain actions and tendencies that did or didn’t happen that would be more effective with either Toss or Terran, so it makes sense that Zerg would be your worst race. I’m gonna preface this with a half-measure apology, because I’m probably gonna come off as rude at some points, so imagine it with a comedic tone if it helps. It’s also very long because I embellish a lot. Otherwise, here we go.

I think the first thing I noticed is how queen production was prioritized in the early game over drones, which is really tempting to do given that queens don’t use larva for production. They do cost a lot of minerals though, at least for the early game. They were also prioritized before the 3rd base going down (almost 4 minutes into the game). This is an approach taken if one is expecting and early all-in and needs to defend with queens and lings only. Given that the overlord had seen a defensive forge with tech behind it indicates that it isn’t necessary to spawn so many queens. This partly contributed to the 3rd being so late. A normally timed zerg 3rd comes down before 3 minutes because we that’s when droning times out with saturation of the 2nd, making droning the 3rd start much more fluidly into an earlier, healthier economy. It also gives us the extra production/larva to build that economy and eventual army. This is one of the ways Zerg is very different from the other 2 races – we don’t just take bases for the extra resources of an inefficient swarm, we need the hatcheries to produce the swarm. Sometimes the only reason we take those bases over a macro hatch is because we need to take it sooner or later, and it can give the opponent a pseudo sense of being ahead for destroying a base that wasn’t actually necessary. Since we did take a third so late and with a slower economy, the zerg production took a lot longer to ramp up, making his proxy void into 2-base proxy carrier more effective than it should have been. ( yes, queens actually made the response worse in the long run, imagine that)

The second thing was the lack of defined macro cycles. For a Zerg player, a macro cycle consists of injecting, spending money, and producing from larva every 30 seconds. 30 seconds is because hatcheries take that long to spawn all 3 larva and also for an inject to mature into larva. Indicators of mis-macro include macro queens stacking energy, no eggs on the hatcheries from recent injects, and unused larva, not to mention the more broad indicators like supply blocks and unspent resources.

OK, mid-game now. Took some hits from running around fighting void rays, dark templar, and even a carrier, but we are actually ahead of the protoss right now as far as game state goes. Unfortunately, we are playing right now as if we are behind and have to defend against a massive protoss force that in reality is minutes away. We don’t actually know it’s that far away because the only scout is that overlord that has been sitting in the same spot for so long and no scouting lings or runbys or anything, and that overlord gets picked off. If we had seen something, almost anything else, we would have seen that he was super late on his 3rd, even later on his 4th, with only that carrier and a few adepts to defend with a couple batteries and cannons. We could have poked, scouted, runby or something, but we stayed way back at home until that 1st hydra push. They went alone, and, well, hydras are more supportive in their combat role for being so squishy, so they died. For the vast majority of the game we didn’t know anything about the protoss unless it was walking/flying out to come kill us. Effectively, we are giving ourselves no chance at being able to respond to the aggression effectively, or to even be able to accurately judge were we stand in the game vs the opponent.

We also had invested into a spire and air attack in response to seeing a carrier (off only 2 base), but didn’t make any corruptors for a very long time. Now we did upgrade the hydras thankfully, but we were putting money and time into something that overlapped with the hydra role, then went into lurker tech. So I feel this is some indecisiveness about how a zerg should respond to skytoss. When fighting such a powerful army, we need to decide on one or the other, and go after that hard. In this case, corruptors and hydras are both expensive and their roles overlap, so there really only should be 1 of them until you have enough economy for both (80-ish drones). Roaches would be a much better choice to pair with corruptors because they are cheaper with more hp and natural armor values, and morph much faster for massing and follow up attacks.

Late game, mostly taking bad engagements, but also not being aware that the protoss had been expanding uncontested for about 12 minutes. At some point I’m sure you must’ve guessed he would expand, but it was never monitored or controlled. We also often sent drones to expand without any kind of escort or scouting, but that stemmed ultimately from not being able to afford it, coming back to bad engagements with mass hydra and a slowed economy. The bad engagements really started happening once the colossi were introduced. The carrier count never got super high (maxed at 5), but you seemed so focused on them that the 2 colossi did 2x the damage that the carriers did… and then we made more hydras and a couple lurkers because hey, we’re a glutton for punishment. The corruptors didn’t hit the field until the game was long lost, but then they could have at least picked off the colossi so the hydras could help with the carriers. Nope. Instead we focused the 5 carriers that don’t do heavy damage to corruptors first, then a-move with the hydras and the corruptors together against the 2 colossi so they can be literally melt the hydras with plasma.

Ultimately, what we really need is a clean opening with consistent macro and a decisive plan of attack going forward into the match, and matching that plan with answering basic questions of our opponent like ‘what does their economy look like?’, ‘what tech are they choosing?’, or "what timing is this going to be?’. Can’t let them boys have half the map without a say in it, or at least knowing it.


WHY do you have 1k overmins before 6min?
–> You NEVER want to have larvae lying around. Overmins means your gases are late and you expanded late.
You are not trying to hit ANY timing or don’t have any basic idea of how to max out, do you?
–> options
a) take all gasses, go full upgrades (ranged/carapace), rush infestors and queen/ravager + overlord drops (queen mobility)
–> train micro with roach/ravager/ infestor
–> transition into either vipers vs. mass voidrays or corruptors with carapace upgrade (carapace upgrade and +ranged attack is pretty solid vs. air in general but you can also go for +melee damage and also do counter damage; all off of 6 gas once you hit 3 base saturation; build a macro hatch and a 4th base then also)
b) go mass upgrades (melee/carapace/ranged) and mass queens and a couple of spore crawlers; ling/bane to deny a 3rd base, do a lot of creep and expand again and again; think about a macro hatch and a 4th base at the same time; rush vipers; all off of like 3 gas)
–> Also think about a muta switch here if you have overgas vs. mass voidrays
c) rush hydra tech, build a lot of queens; get range & movement upgrade and rush hive afterwards. Also never forget baneling nest when you go hydras to not die against chargelots and high templars/storm or mass DTs.
–> Queens are pretty good vs. collossi if you have an upgrade advantage so if queens lead, a-move the hydra/bane army and then move the banes into the center of the protoss army.

Stargate tech into collossi is extremely weak since corruptors counter both.

Always get baneling tech vs. toss after your roaches or as your first tech (instead of roaches at the 4min mark). Roaches is safer in general because you can make ravagers vs. mass voidrays but can also defend vs. ground pushes like chargelot or gladept pushes.
NEVER stop scouting! Always have 3-4 lings patroling the map because toss WILL plan some form of attack between 4:00 and 8:00 so scout it!

Edit: Get more gas in late-game so you have burrowed infestors with neural parasite vs. mass archons and mass carriers.

Edit2: Always snipe the observer first if you have lurkers!

Very nice read dude, thanks for putting this together. I’ve implemented some of the advice you suggested quite easily and I see a big difference. The challenge remains that scouting is tough and I lose most of my games because of poor scouting.

Going to be coming back to this post after my bad games to see what I did wrong, because I’m starting to get why I’m messing up as Zerg.

Here’s a big weakness of mine. My overlords get sniped, my zergligns die and don’t reveal much. Voidrays/vikings hunt ovies on the map, too. Scouting is soo hard. I see the enemy attacking when they’re on my doorstep, and then I have 18 roaches building but if I had one more cycle of that, I would win a lot more. Just hard to know when to build army and when to drone, you dig?

Here are a couple of things I noticed:

  • Your engagement at 15 mins didn’t go well. And this was the trigger for things going downhill.
  • The followup DT at 17 mins pretty much secured your loss and you never quite recovered from there.
  • Your drone count seems to average round 60-70 (optimal will be approx 84, or 3 bases saturation). Probably because they keep getting killed off.
    • You should consider using more static so that you have sufficient time to reinforce. Or just assign more army to defend.
  • Z is able to win Skytoss if you are able to micro all your units well. It is more taxing on the APM, but the combination of Hydra, Lings, Bane, Viper and Inf will usually win out Skytoss.
  • It is important to know when to kill Interceptors, and when to kill Carriers. I think this part is often frequently overlooked. Know that the time to build 8 Interceptors is longer than chrono boosting a Carrier out.
  • I noticed that the P only has 1-2 Observers most of the time. If you can take them out, then Inf can go crazy with their Neural. Remember that each Neural is not only 1 unit loss for them, but it’s 1 more unit on your side for a while.
  • I think that the investment into Corruptors is a mistake because your Corruptors are only 1:0 whereas your Hydras are 3:3. Plus the fact that your opponent is only 1:1 Air and 2:0 ground.
  • You probably need to judge when to hit and when to pull back much better considering your resources lost is significantly more than the P. This can only come with more games or watching more replays. Every battle (and unit composition + positioning) is too complex to be able to be laid out in some kind of table.

Just a personal thought after reviewing your stats.

That’s one of the great dilemmas of the Zerg, to drone or to swarm. I’ve found it helpful to drone super hard the first 5 minutes for the droning, and play by ear after that to add more drones here or there or another round after a good engagement.

Aside from the suicidal overlord in the beginning (to discover tech choice), lings can be placed at all the possible expos and attack paths. Lings are cheap, so losing one here and there at the bases or when the opponents army moves out is worth the investment. Researching burrow can keep them alone longer and more effectively delay and block expos also

Here are some good recent games of Z vs Skytoss:

Those games were great

Simple answear, scouting and making drones. If you want to succed versus these crazy armies that protoss has, make sure you make enough drones. If the protoss is camping get all the bases you can. Now you are right in 1 thing at least, protoss does have a lot of freedom with air army mix, and they can “force the lategame”, by staying on 3 base for longer. I would say at lower leagues PvZs is kind of hard. But il say it again try the greedy appraoch , gamble with being greedy, while you try to scout your opponent, you will win more games than if you try to play supper safe on 45 drones, start to produce units for an attack that never happens then suddenly the protoss takes a 4th base.

Good advices guys, but it seems to me that Z needs to do a lot more work, just to have a fair chance. Doesn’t sound super balancrd to me.

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LEAVE THE GAME. And uninstall it.
Just an example: T and especially P take gas early and Tec extremely fast all Tec paths. While you as a Zerg delay your gas and only build drones… nevertheless T/P have the same ecco… a defensive advantage (wall / air units / range)… and an aggresions advantage (air units / range / mobility)…

if you still manage PvZ …late
if you master all this Master +

This thread is a year old… Not sure if the author is still around. If you still play and struggle against skytoss check out GSL Season 2 in 2021 Dark vs Parting. What I learn from Dark is to always have exactly two value-Vipers in the main composition. And one Overseer in the harrasment squad… I don’t think it’s an easy matchup. But they are both pros and Zerg 4:0ed one of the best Protoss in the world who went skytoss in two matches in a BO7.

Strategically he delayed corruptors for as long as he could, but went for a massive amounts of them once the rest of his composition was ready and trading out against skytoss. He also mixed in infestors and made heavy usage of mass queen/heal+microbial shroud to shoot interceptors and occasionally fungaled interceptors. He bascially traded mineral units against gas heavy carriers and interceptors until had a gas bank so large that he could spawn mass corruptors after trading and softing up skytoss for as long as he could with mineral only queens and spore crawlers. Creep spread was on point as well which gave him the edge in harrass during lategame. He targeted the most outer new Protoss bases and never commited to an allin attack off creep. It was really inspiring. Zerg looked so strong. I really missed seeing that over the last few months. Good luck!

Dark vs Trap is comming up next.

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nothing, uninstall this game pvz is the biggest joke since the making of tetris

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