Zerg Guide (BGH)
This guide will focus on explaining all you need to know on how to properly play Zerg on BGH. We will only talk about playing Zerg in team games and not in 1v1, which will greatly simplify things in terms of build orders and strategy required to play Zerg on the top level for BGH.
Zerg is considered by many the weakest race on BGH, but in team games it's never bad to have a Zerg in your team because a lot of times, a game has been turned by no more than a handful of Zerglings.
Role of Zerg in Team Games
The advantages of zerg over protoss and terran is speed. Speed in units, and ability to tech at any speed while maintaining the ability to quickly catch up economically. The best zerg players will use both holes in your defense to slip lings in and holes in your build order with their faster tech. Then when damage has been dealt either killing or harassing, zerg will catch up economically. Zerg units are vital in order to harass, sometimes even suicidally, for the advancement of the team. Depending on positions, Zerg is expected to be able to tech very quickly to mutalisks, or mass economy in order to build a huge advantage using the mass drone producing capabilities of 3 hatcheries. Maintaining a relevant drone count while having the correct number of units / defense is why zerg is the absolute hardest race on BGH.
Mutas are almost always the preferred tech pattern in a BGH team game due to their mobility and firepower, which in the hands of a good player can be crippling to the other team while he is being defended.
Zerg should always avoid head on army encounters unless accompanied by a teammate, and instead focus on sneaking in speedlings in the early game and mutas in the mid game into the mineral line just after the other players move out. Taking full advantage of zerg in team game requires using their mobility. In order to maximize your and your ally's unit's efficiency you should focus on keeping the enemies separated and using your speed to create 2v1 / 3v2 / 3v1 situations wherever possible, as well as backstabbing opponents that have just left their base unguarded.
Overlords are crucial for a Zerg and his teammates. Effective scouting of unit movement in all stages of the game is essential. Proper overlord positioning is necessary for knowing the correct amount of defense to have, counter attacks moving on the map, proper preparedness for terran allies vs early wall breaker attacks and for matching opponent zerg's tech timing. Correct placement later in the game vs dt, lurker rushes and mines is also critical.
One of the most important aspects of having a zerg on your team is that it changes the army composition of your opponents. With two Protoss allies on the zerg's team, the zerg can force a terran player to 2 rax, and force a protoss player to make zealots instead of goons, which are both obviously beneficial to your protoss allies.
Understanding Build Orders for Zerg
There's a few basic builds for zerg, 12 hatch, 12 pool, and 9 pool. Depending on what the positions are and what you're facing you'll need to decide which build suits you best.
9 pool is good if you're trying to apply early pressure and take pressure off your allies. In most high level games, 9 pool is used about 95% of the time. 12 pool is a good in-between build that still gives you pretty early lings with a couple extra drones and an earlier hatchery. 12 hatch is good if you know you have a window of opportunity in the start to get away with a bit of a greedier build. 12 hatch is a very powerful build if you can do it without taking any damage. 12 Hatch is not a good build if you have another zerg opponent. If you share the 11 / 12 positions with an ally this is a good macro build, and a good build if you're going fast expansion. Fast expansion is generally a bad idea on BGH unless you have another zerg going 9 pool, your opponents do not scout, or you share the 11/12 positions or 6/7 positions with your ally.
In most games players open with 2 to 3 hatch lings with speed until something happens that is reason to stop making lings. If the other team has a good enough defense that make zerglings useless or you kill one, or the map is in solid control by your allies then you can stop making lings and start switching to mutas or hydras. Generally speaking in the early game, if you can make a drone after each building it is ideal, sometimes situations do not allow this.
When you forsee the death or crippling of an opponent player, this is the time to start making drones and mining gas again. Do not do this prematurely at the expense of allowing the opponent to live.
Start mining gas, building drones and teching to mutas as soon as he's knocked out.
If you're coming back from a low economy ling build or got crippled by an attack, you will want to start mining gas and teching only after you can afford to make drones and overlords non-stop off 2-3 hatcheries.
In most cases you can just keep massing mutas until the enemies get a hard counter for it (sair or irradiate). Mass mutas are extremely powerful when microed properly, do not forget to get air upgrades. +1 attack is generally the upgrade of choice. If you face sairs or goliaths, then get +1 armor. Meanwhile spend your excess minerals on more workers, expos, hatcheries and later when you are fully drone saturated or ready to make an attack start making lings. You'll also want to continue planning for the next stage of the game by getting ground upgrades melee, and carapace. Sometimes if you have to switch to hydras due to sairs, get the third evolution chamber for that as well. Take as many expos as you can.
Adrenal glands is a very important upgrade, get it as soon as your hive finishes. Overlord speed is also very useful, but it can be delayed until after hive if you're not having difficulty with invisible units. Once you have hive ultralisks, zerglings and defilers are the most powerful late game combination. Guardians and Devourers are excellent choices too if you have numerous expansions and face turtled opponents. Drops are also very powerful if the middle is controlled and you have an adjacent enemy. Swarm drops are also very powerful.
Tips 'n Tricks
- Zerg Build Orders
- Mutalisk Harassment
- Lurker Hold
- Zerg Micro Tips
- More Zerg Micro Tips
- For some bases fast expanding or even later expanding is extremely difficult due to the large choke (6) or the normal hatchery placement is tankable (pretty much every other natural). You can overcome this by just hatching next to the gas but out of tank range. This is particularly useful @ 6 o'clock where you can place your 2nd hatch and get 3 gasses up and sunkens in a much safer position. This is also useful if your expo gets taken down in the mid-game by tanks, you can just hatch next to the gas and out of range of tanks and get the 3rd gas.
- You can move your larva to the left side of your hatch by selecting another non-larva unit in the same box as the larva and pressing stop or "S". This is useful to make drones pop closer to minerals and also for placing buildings that are obstructed by larva.