Game Diary #20 - ZvZ Roach Tech

If I ever were good enough and played in any of those Korean team leagues where one player goes on until he's defeated, I'd surely as hell be nominated only for ZvZ. The difference between my ZvZ and the two other matchups is beginning to be quite vast, but that's good for you out there who actually want to improve it - because today I'll share another approach that has been working extremely well.

The core idea isn't hard at all - my opening stays the same with 13 Pool 13 Gas and if the opponent fail to fight off the initial Zergling (or Baneling), it pretty much stays the same - this is more of a mid-game transition. You basically ignore making an expansion and throw up a second gas & a rather quick Lair instead. You then attack with +1 Attack, Glial Reconstitution and Burrow researched and believe me, with proper micro it does wonders. The strategy has been discussed in greater depth in this article. Let's have a few examples though!

1. The Metagame

Although it's really easy to have Roaches in time to fight off the initial Zergling pressure, the metagame can do wonders. Like in this game in particular, I made like 14 Zerglings and ran towards my opponent's main - only to be greeted by a couple of Roaches.

The trick now is that most of players will be scared and expecting some sort of a massive Zergling pressure... which presents a perfect opportunity for making a lot of Drones, taking second Gas, get upgrades going and morph a Lair. As a rule of a thumb, you can allow yourself having approximately 6 Roaches less than your opponent - because that's the amount you can produce once he moves out to attack you (on larger maps, without Glial Reconstitution). Of course, use the Zerglings and try to scare him that you'll run inside his main and do some nasty business - but watch for Banelings on the ramp.

The whole process worked like a charm really - even though he eventually decided to move out, my upgrades were up and running and the fast regeneration of Roaches while burrowed has easily seized the game for me, even though  I had to cancel my expansion (but the thing is you don't really need to rely on the expansion with this build).

Well Played

  • made my opponent afraid
  • upgrades finished precisely on time
  • good timing push


  • began Roach production a bit later than I should have
  • initial Zerglings could have done a little damage

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2. Mid-Game Transition

This game will serve as a perfect example of how can you utilize this approach as your mid-game transition. After quite a few Baneling explosions, I managed to spend my resources better and not only have I secured my expansion earlier, but I also pulled off my Lair faster.

Even though I eventually fell behind a little bit with my Drone count (funny how that always happens), I have taken full advantage of my +1 Attack and Glial Reconstitution - which was even supported by Creep spread along the way by my Overlords.

I have caught my opponent totally off guard and utterly crushed his forces - you should never underestimate "close" positions on Tal'darim Altar. He has also neglected scouting, he should have placed either a Zergling or an Overlord in front of my base.

Well Played

  • initial micro
  • timing of the expansion
  • precisely executed push


  • forgot to research Burrow
  • could have done more damage with Banelings

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3. Roach Expansion Counter

But it is the third game that will be the marvel of this particular Diary. My opponent made the traditional mistake of my opponents and even though he opened with Pool, his bold early expansion died to my Zerglings, as well as couple of his Roaches. Immediately after I noticed the first group of Roaches, I began to morph the Lair and added second Gas to get me set as soon as possible.

My opponent was rather good and even though he had an expansion, he didn't make the mistake of over-droning; we instead moved back and forth and our forces were very similar, until I broke the tie with Burrow and Roach speed. He then made a disputable move - trying to outrun fast Roaches with slow ones is ill-advised and even though it somehow worked on the small map which Shattered Temple undoubtedly is, you should rather try to kill as many enemy forces as possible if it happened e.g. on Tal'darim Altar.

I then took full advantage of the Burrow and enjoyed the "hit & run" technique. I expanded in the meantime and eventually, my Roach army got far bigger than the one of my opponent's and I seized the game.

Well Played

  • got rid off of the enemy early expansion
  • fast upgrades
  • good micro


  • a little bit sloppy economy
  • mediocre Injects
  • didn't use Contaminate

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Thank you for reading!

Author: Vogin

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EU Diamond Zerg.

The guy in charge of SCV Rush.

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