Leenock Double Spire (vs. Terran)
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The Leenock Double Spire build is a variation on the common Muta/Ling/Bane ZvT which increases the effectiveness of Mutalisks in direct confrontations. The build was first showcased during the 2011 GSL November Code S Finals vs jjakji where, although well executed and surprising, Leenock lost both games he used it in.
The double Spire build is an adaptation of the standard Zerg Muta/Ling/Bane strategy which utilizes Baneling landmines to kill Marines efficiently and therefore reduce the number of Banelings required to defend the standard Marine/Tank aggression. The amount of gas freed up by this reduction in Baneling numbers allows for a second Spire to be added for faster air upgrades and a stronger Mutalisk centered mid-game.
The goal of this build is to combat the strength of typical Terran Marine/Tank aggression with a more intelligent use of Banelings, which frees up gas for a more powerful Mutalisk cloud to control the mid-game. The mobility and strength of those mid-game Mutalisks allows for expansions to be taken without much fear of Medivac drops and other forms of Marine harassment, while the threat of Baneling mines defends stronger, more direct Terran aggression. This strong mid-game aims for a very gas-heavy late-game transition into Infestors and Brood Lords, with enough gas income to potentially use any of the late-game Zerg Tech.
Basic Build Order
- On maps without a back expansion, use the Hatchery and Evolution Chamber to narrow the choke into your natural. If a back expansion is free, the third Hatchery should be used to take that expansion and a fourth Hatchery can be added shortly after the third Queen is finished.
- Carapace upgrades are always taken first. After the initial ground carapace upgrade, melee upgrades take priority over carapace upgrades; making the order of ground upgrade acquisition Ground Carapace Level 1, Melee Attacks Level 1, Melee Attacks Level 2, Ground Carapace Level 2, Melee Attacks Level 3, then Ground Carapace Level 3
It is important to keep track of a Terran army's position, as it can indicate where Baneling mines should be placed. Do not underestimate the power of Baneling mines behind an enemy army, as even the most cautious players will often assume their reinforcement, or retreat is clear and a pair of Banelings can kill enough Marines to allow the Mutalisks and Zerglings to destroy everything else.
Execution is very similar to standard Muta/Ling/Bane play with a few small adjustments.
- A few Banelings should always be kept burrowed in pairs around the map in places that a Terran army is likely to move over.
- When retreating from a Terran army with Zerglings and Banelings, a pair of Banelings near the front of the retreat should be burrowed to possibly kill all of the pursuing Marines.
- Mutalisks can brave Marine fire to pick off enemy Tanks for a brief time. The additional upgrades from the second Spire can mean a few additional Tanks can be sniped before direct confrontation is necessary.
- Missile Turrets alone are no longer a deterrent to harassing Mutalisks. 2/2 means Mutalisks take 4 less damage per Missile Turret attack, making the amount of Turrets required to stop Mutalisk harassment excessive.
Hive is delayed until 200 supply, which generally means a 3/3 upgrade on air units will be of a more immediate effect than a Greater Spire, but with no units being immediately mutated this allows the possibility for relatively varied late-game Tech switches. The standard late game for this build is Infestor/Corruptor/Brood Lord which takes advantage of the above average flyer upgrades taken in the mid game off the double Spire. This can be done after a 3/3 or alongside a single flyer upgrade like Flyer Carapace Level 3, which allows for earlier Brood Lords with a small sacrifice of a weaker initial attack. It should be noted that Broodling attacks are affected by Melee Attacks Level 3 which can still be evolved from the Evolution Chamber while both Spires are occupied with mutating Flyer Carapace Level 3 and a Greater Spire. A less standard, but possibly more surpising late-game transition could be done by creating an Ultralisk Cavern and replacing lost Zerglings or Mutalisks with Ultralisks. This can be a strong transition to deal with players who overreact to the quick 2/2 Mutalisks or produce high numbers of Vikings, expecting powerful Brood Lords but ultimately lacking any strong way to deal with a heavily armored ground force.
- Large maps allow for better use of the mobility of the Mutalisks.
- Maps with narrow paths restricting movement to tight corridors make Baneling mines easier to use with great effect.
- Maps with long rush distances allow more opportunities for Baneling mines by necessitating more scans to be used to clear a path for a Terran attack.
- Maps with wide expanses of unrestricted area make Baneling mines more difficult to use, as a group of units is not forced to crowd through many choke points.
- Maps with short rush distances reduce the effectiveness of Baneling mines by allowing for less scans to clear a larger portion of the attack path.
- Maps with short rush distances reduce the effect of Mutalisks by limiting the amount of time they can safely harass an enemy base before being required to return home to aid in stopping a push.