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Dimaga's 2 Hatch 5 Roach Econ Build (vs. Terran)

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Expand Roach (vs. Terran). Reason: These are essentially the same build (a Hatchery-first build that immediately gets Roaches after) (Discuss).

[e][h] DIMAGA 2 Hatch 5 Roach Econ (vs. Terran)
Strategy Information
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This build focuses on getting a fast expo up and then early Roach support to allow massive Droning. It gets Roaches fast enough to shut down Reapers or Hellions and defend against Marine/Marauder, but has some vulnerabilities towards 2 Barracks play (requiring scouting and Drone support to fend off).

Please note that while you do get 5 Roaches this is not a 5 Roach Rush. The Roaches are almost exclusively for early defense of your expo.


The goal of this build is to get your fast expo (crucial as Zerg), but defend using Roaches instead of Zerglings. Zerglings are not very good against Marines, Hellions, or Reapers and are very Larva intensive, and every Larva could be a Drone, so Roaches are a good choice for early defense. Once the Roaches are up, you have a couple Zerglings for scouting, allowing you to either Drone and tech or build more Roaches and crush any early pushes that may be coming out.

The pros of this build are that they get a Lair and a great econ up quite easily and shut down most early harassment. The cons are that it is very timing intensive and it is extremely hard to execute the perfect macro required.

Basic Build Order[edit]

Basic Build
  • Overlord scout to a safe position (do not sacrifice)
  • 10 Overlord, send to natural
  • 16 Hatch
  • Send Drone scout*
  • 15 Pool
  • 17 Overlord and stop production**
  • Zerglings or Drones***
  • 17 Extractor (send 3 Drones upon completion, should complete at around same time as Pool)
  • @Pool completion - Queen
  • @1 larva - Zergling
  • @Hatch completion - Queen and Zergling
  • @150 minerals, Roach Warren
  • 26 Overlord and stop production
  • One Queen vomits larva and the other places a Creep Tumor
  • @Overlord complete, 5 Roaches****
  • 36 Overlord
  • @100 gas - Lair
  • Larva and minerals will be available for a lot of Drones


  • Send the Drone to the opponents gas. If you do not see a gas, they are probably doing a 2 Barracks rush. Do not worry about losing this Drone, the timing expects it.
    • The 17 Overlord assumes that your scouting Drone has not died yet, but it probably will within a few seconds. If it has died, produce the Overlord at 16. The 17 Extractor assumes the Drone has died. The stopping production is to save Larva in case you scout a 2 Barracks.
      • If your scouting Drone saw no Refinery, it most likely means there is a two Barracks rush coming. Start building a ton of Zerglings. You will probably have to pull off some Drones to help your defense if a Bunker rush comes, but make sure you leave 7 mining. If you did see a Refinery, get Drones.
        • Warren will finish with Overlord. Larva vomit will not have completed, but there will be 5 available Larva (some at each Hatchery) if you haven't let a Hatchery sit at 3/3 Larva.

Everything between the 17 Pool and the 26 Overlord happens extremely quickly and is quite crucial to the build. Consider practicing in single player before trying in a real match. It will take quite a few tries to get the timings down (the first time I tried it I completely forgot gas altogether), but once you do, everything will line up beautifully.


Early scouting has been placed under notes, as it is critical to the build order, but later scouting is pretty basic (just sit where you will have an early warning of any attack) and should be done with your 4 Zerglings. You could march 3 of your Roaches up to their front door (leaving 2 at your ramp incase of harassment) to give them a little scare, but you probably do not want to engage (losing a Roach is losing 1/5 of your army). Unless you see an army that would clearly crush you, proceed with the Lair and last Drones, otherwise do what you can to survive.


If completed properly, you will have 5 Roaches, 4 Zerglings, 2 bases, 1 Extractor, a lot of Drones, and a Lair on the way. Note that you will not have Zergling Speed started. You should not make any early moves, instead focusing on getting a strong economy going. Countering any harassment is quite easy with 5 Roaches, but needs to be done effectively (do not get caught with Hellions in your base and your Roaches in the middle of nowhere, or Zerglings at your opponents base waiting for Hellions to come and cook them).

Another possible way to execute this build is to skip the Lair tech, instead focusing on faster Banelings and Roaches, getting Queens and Spore Crawlers to defend against air (going light on the Spore Crawlers, they are mainly for detection and can see a lot farther than they shoot). This requires good creep spread and Transfusion usage however, and may not be for everyone.


The build leaves you with very little in the way of tech and gas, but gives you the opportunity to go anywhere quite quickly, as you have the Drones to support it. You can continue with Roaches, getting Roach Speed when the Lair completes. You could start a Spire and get Mutas, but will will probably need to triple Extractor fairly soon and produce extra Queens in case of Banshee harassment. Do not underestimate the power of forgetting Roaches altogether (after the initial 5). The Terran player will probably freak and mass anti-Roach units (Marauder, Tank), so doing something he does not expect works well.

Remember that you are against Terran, so Roaches and Hydras are not very effective outside of the early game. Ling/Bling/Muta is probably the way to go. Get a Baneling Nest at around half Lair, get Extractors as you can spare the Drones, get upgrades like Zergling Speed, Baneling Speed, and Air Attack. If you are high on minerals, throw down an extra Hatch. You probably also want an evo chamber or two to get ground upgrades (do NOT get range upgrades, as it does not benefit Ultralisks or Broodlings, which you will eventually transition into).

Other options include Ling/Bling/Infestor eventually going to Ultralisk, but this requires very good Infestor control.


Pro features[edit]

As you have 5 Roaches, this build is very good on virtually any map (ramp size or expo vulnerability are not major issues, and you have a Creep Tumor to connect your bases very early). A longer rush distance is favorable, as a super fast Hellion or Bunker rush will be more delayed, giving you more time to get Lings or Roaches.

Con features[edit]

While this build does not fare too well on very short rush distances (if the opponent goes 2 Barracks), with proper Zergling and Drone control it is not an issue.