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Terran Counter to Greedy Zerg

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]TerranTerran Counter To Greedy Zerg
Greedy builds are best countered with aggressive play
Counter Information
Starcraft: Broodwar

This article pertains to possible Terran counters to a greedy Zerg player, that is a player that focuses too much on economy in an effort to gain a late game advantage.


The term 'greedy zerg' is very broad, and can refer to many different things. However, the most common use is to describe a Zerg that makes an abnormally large amount of Drones or Expansions at the cost of fewer early combat units/static defenses. This often happens in response to an FE build by the Terran such as the 1 Barracks FE build that rarely allows a Terran to apply early pressure, but instead focuses on economy first. For example, if a Zerg sees that Terran has only one Marine, yet he has started a Command Center at his Natural Expansion already, Zerg will often only make 2 or even 0 Zerglings and no Sunken Colonies because it is unlikely that Terran will be able to realistically threaten an early attack with so few Marines. Another less common example of a 'greedy zerg' is a Zerg that opens the standard 3 Hatch Muta or 3 Hatch Lurker build, but places his 3rd Hatchery at another hidden expansion (not in one that can be protected easily like the Mineral Only Expansions of Andromeda or Medusa), hoping to secure additional resources. However, the reason this tactic is not often used is because of the danger of having it discovered and subsequently destroyed, putting the Zerg significantly behind. Clues that point to a Zerg that is being greedy:

  1. Fewer than normal units/static defenses such as early Zerglings/Sunkens
  2. 3 Hatch gas timing, but the 3rd Hatchery can not immediately be found
  3. 2 Hatcheries forming while initially scouting, but no/still building Spawning Pool.

Dealing With Greedy Zerg[edit]

The 2 main options for dealing with any kind of greedy player is to either immediately punish him for overextending himself, or being greedy yourself to even the playing field.

Maximizing Your Own Economy[edit]

The first option is very limited for Terran. If you see few or no Zerglings being made as the Zerg's Spawning Pool finishes (and he took a 12 Hatch opening), it's possible and very common to start your Command Center before your first Marine, or even before your 2nd Supply Depot. If you are using an FE Bionic build, then it is also possible to add your 2nd Barracks immediately after your Command Center without any Marines.

Punishing Him[edit]

The second option is much more easily done with Terran, and that is a reason why many Zerg's are extremely cautious, even when scouting a 1 Barracks FE build. The most common way to keep a Zerg from being too greedy is to move out with an initial group of Marines as soon as you have Medics in order to threaten an attack. This alone, if the Zerg sees it (either with a Zergling outside of your base or an Overlord above a cliff), will almost always force a greedy Zerg to put down a sunken or 2 in case you actually do march over to his Natural. Other, more radical actions include changing your build to the Ayumi Build or taking your early Marines and possibly many SCVs to attack. In general, however, the easiest way to keep a Zerg honest (especially during late game) is to constantly be moving units around the map, forcing Zerg to put effort into setting up Expansions or forcing him to make units for a possible defense. Also, in the case that there is a high probability BEFORE the game that your opponent will be greedy, then it is possible to start off with builds tailored to eliminate that style such as the Sparks Terran build or a One Base Bio build. If you are able to scout an early Double Expansion, then you can either destroy it right away, or force Zerg to defend both his Natural Expansion and the previously hidden expansion to the point of giving an early disadvantage to the Zerg.


The key to fighting a greedy Zerg, like many other things, is to SCOUT. The purpose of being greedy is to hopefully sneak by with an early risk in order to give a bigger advantage later. Failing to scout the moment when Zerg decides to be risky means that you can not exploit it, and therefore the Zerg has succeeded. Always scout to make it harder for a Zerg to be greedy, and to be able to deal with it if he does decide to be greedy.