TZ Strategy

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki

Read the new Strategy Article Policy first! [edit]

This article stores general concepts on ZT and specific Builds. General strategic concepts go to General 2v2 strategy.


With a TZ team, the standard opening is Zergling/Hellion. These 2 units are the fastest ground units in the game, and in the early-game they can both kill the units that counter the other. They offer unmatched mobility and map control.

11 Pool Speedlings
  • 10 Drone (Extractor Trick)
  • 11 Spawning Pool
  • 10 Drone (Extractor Trick)
  • 11 Overlord
  • 11 Extractor (1), 3 Drones on it when it finishes
  • 10 Drone
  • @ 100% Spawning Pool, 6 Zerglings
  • 14 Queen
  • @ 100 , Metabolic Boost & remove Drones from gas
Gas-first Hellions


By opening with 11 Pool, Zerg can immediately begin pressure and gather additional scouting information. If the opponent went for a Fast Expand or Fast Tech build, Zerglings gain your team a significant advantage through worker kills or lost mining time. If the Protoss or Terran opponent does not wall off, the Zerglings can force worker pulls by targeting Pylons and tech structures. If the Zerg opponent's Pool is late, then Zerg will have an opportunity to kill Drones until their Spawning Pool finishes.

11 Pool is also fast enough to deflect most proxy strategies. If no buildings are found in the opponents' base with your initial scout, Zerg can immediately begin searching for proxy buildings outside of your bases, and kill them with the initial 6 Zerglings.

By investing in early Zerglings and Metabolic Boost, Terran is free to quickly tech to Hellions with little to no defense of his own. In Heart of the Swarm, Zerglings offer protection from early enemy Terran Reapers, which can hinder Terran's ability to tech.

Ling/Hellion is best used on maps with separate bases/ramps. On maps with a shared ramp, the potential of Ling/Hellion is determined by ramp width and the completion of the opponents' wall. Ling/Hellion is considered standard vs. Teams with at least 1 Zerg player, due to Zerg inability to contribute to a defensive wall. If the base ramp is narrow and easily walled off by Protoss or Terran, it is advisable to limit the number of Zerglings and Hellions constructed, or opt for a different opening build. Nevertheless, getting your initial 6 Zerglings inside the enemy base before it's walled off can sometimes result in a quick win.

Timing Attack[edit]

While the Zerg is pressuring the opponents, the Terran should be massing Hellions. The Zerg can make a few more Drones, but should be focusing on massing a large amount of Zerglings. This timing attack is designed to maximize the amount of units you have when Metabolic Boost finishes.

Once Metabolic Boost is done, you are ready to attack. It is important to keep the Zerglings and Hellions together as you move across the map. On team maps with separate bases, attack Zerg first (as they are unable to wall off their ramp). In case of a Spine Crawler, have the Zerglings target it down with the Hellions. In the case of additional Spines, consider attacking the Zerg's ally.

Protoss should be prioritized next. As a single unit, Ling/Hellion can overcome any initial Protoss ground forces. If Protoss has Sentries, bait Force Fields and avoid getting split up at the ramp. Pylons (or the Zealot) are easy targets if the Protoss attempts to wall with buildings. Once the defenses are shut down, attack the Protoss' workers. Avoid the Mothership Core - should the Protoss opt for Nexus Cannon, it is typically best to avoid it until the spell expires.

Terran should be attacked last, since their wall is comprised of buildings, and they have many ranged units which can fire from behind the wall. If Terran made a Bunker behind a wall, find a safe place to harass the wall or defenses. If there is no safe way to break the wall without losses, Expand and/or transition into different tech.

Due to cost and build time, it is of utmost importance that Terran keep his Hellions alive. Zerglings are expendable and easily replaced, acting as protection for the Hellions. In the mirror matchup, being overwhelmed by enemy Hellions can often result in defeat. At all times, micro the Hellions to minimize damage and amass a superior Hellion force.

Common Adaptations[edit]

Late Pool from enemy Zerg[edit]

This should be punished by your team's 11 Pool opening. It's important to have more Zerglings than the enemy Zerg, so your team's Zerg should continue to make Zerglings and constantly pressure the enemy Zerg, destroying any Drones and Queens if possible. Terran should continue the standard fast Hellion build, but should immediately rally their Hellions to the enemy Zerg base to help your team's Zerglings finish them off.

Fast Roach from enemy Zerg[edit]

Roaches are extremely effective against both Hellions and Zerglings. Upon first sighting of a Roach Warren, you should still attempt to pressure the Zerg early, and force them to make a Spine Crawler. This will reduce the enemy Zerg's economy and delay the Roach Warren. Terran should immediately begin producing Marauders. If the enemy Zerg is able to get Roaches out, you can still harass due to superior speed. If the Roaches attack your base, use your Zerglings to backstab him and Marauders for defense. Focus down your opponent's drones/Queen/Spine Crawler while the enemy Roaches are away from their base. Terran can simply kite and overpower the Roaches while Zerg backstabs.

Vs Terran & Zerg[edit]

This will generally come down to micro, since the opposing team will most likely use a Zergling/Hellion strategy as well. Try to surround the enemy Hellions with your Zerglings, and try to kill the enemy Zerglings with your Hellions.

Shared Ramp Map[edit]

facing a TZ team on a shared ramp map essentially forces both of the Terrans to not wall-off, since the wall cannot be completed before 10 Pool Zerglings arrive. If Terran attempts to wall off, simply kill your opponent with your Zerg's initial Zerglings.

Vs Terran & Protoss[edit]

A TP team can be quite challenging, since there is no Zerg to 2v1, and a fast pool is not guaranteed to kill the Protoss player. You should concentrate your Zergling/Hellion attack on the Protoss.

Shared Ramp Map[edit]

This will be especially difficult, since a team without Zerg can complete a wall before 11 Pool Zerglings arrive. Against this team on a shared ramp map, you should not opt for a Zergling/Hellion timing attack and go with another strategy instead. a 7RR + Hellion is good, as is 7RR + 5 Rax Marine all-in.

Vs Zerg & Protoss[edit]

a ZP team is not that hard to deal with, since they will be unable to both wall. You should pressure the Zerg and force a 2v1 fight with Zergling/Hellion as soon as possible.

Proxy gate + fast pool[edit]

If you aren't scouting properly this will kill your team's Zerg quickly. Their 10 Pool will protect their proxy gate, and they will immediately try to 2v1 your Zerg with Zealots/Zerglings. If a proxy Pylon is spotted, there are two options:

  • Terran should immediately stop with their Hellion build and switch to Marines, and your Zerg player should immediately make a Spine Crawler when the Spawning Pool finishes. Hold off the attack with Zerglings/Marines/Spine Crawler.
  • Terran should proceed with the Hellion build, while Zerg sacrifices your opponent's base to buy time for the Hellions to come out. Zerg should make 2-3 Spine Crawlers, no Queen, and simply try to kill as many units as possible.

Vs Terran & Terran[edit]

Against 2 Terrans, you will most likely have to use a different build, since Zerglings and Hellions have a hard time breaking Terran walls. Depending on the map you may want to try a Baneling Bust + Hellions, or Baneling Bust + mass Marine strategy.

Vs Zerg & Zerg[edit]

Against 2 Zergs, you can just extend the strategy used against 1 Zerg to both opponents (see the section on vs TZ above). Watch out for a double Roach rush from your opponents.

Vs Protoss & Protoss[edit]

PP teams are quite rare in upper-league 2v2 teams, but any team is a possibility on the ladder. PP is probably the easiest match-up for a TZ team, since a Zergling/Hellion army effectively counters all Protoss T1 units.

An 11 Pool opening from Zerg will either kill a Protoss, or force both of them to turtle. There are essentially 2 responses to a fast pool opening: going 2 gate, or getting a Forge.

  • If both Protoss make a Forge, then you should both immediately expand and transition into 2 base armies.
  • If both Protoss go for 2 gate, Zerg should make Spine Crawlers and hold off Protoss long enough for Terran to get out Hellions, at which point they will easily kill all of the Zealots on the map.