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Overview

Zerg vs. Terran pits the Swarm against the Terran Ball in a fast paced matchup. This article discusses opening builds as
well as early, mid, and late game strategies that Zerg may employ against Terran.

[edit]Early Game
While over-simplifying things slightly, there are two main options for the early game, Spawning Pool first or Hatchery first.
Pool first is used to apply pressure to the Terran player (or to defend his early aggression), while Hatchery first is
designed to maximize economy.
Pool First
There are a number of possible trade-offs here between economy and early Zerglings. The most extreme options are 4-
pool and 5-pool, however they reduce ones economy so much that they are all-in builds.
To make a transition to mid-game viable a 9-pool or later is used.
Note: 'The Extractor Trick' refers to building an Extractor, building a drone, and then cancelling the extractor, allowing the
Zerg to get to 10/9 supply.
9 Pool Speed

 9 - Spawning Pool
 8 - Drone
 9 - Extractor
 8 - Overlord
 8 - Drone
 100% Extractor - Mine 100 gas
 @100% Spawning Pool - 6 Zerglings
 @100 Gas - Research Zergling Speed, all drones back to minerals

9 Pool

 9 - Spawning Pool
 8 - Drone
 9 - Overlord
 9 - Extractor trick
 @100% Spawning Pool - 6 Zerglings

Overpool

 9 - Overlord
 9 - Spawning Pool
 @100% Spawning Pool - 6 Zerglings

12 Pool

 9 - Overlord
 9 Extractor trick (optional)
 9(10) - 3(2) Drones
 12 - Spawning Pool
 11 - Extractor
 10 - Drone
 @300 Mineral - Hatchery
 @100% Spawning Pool - 6 Zerglings
Optional: For a more economical build during a 12 Pool, Zerg can avoid making an early Extractor in order to make a
faster Hatchery.
[edit]Next Steps
With Zerg making the first move in the match up, it is important to be able to harass effectively or to contain Terran while
they try to take their Natural Expansion. Zerg has free reign (within their ability) to harass Terran until academy tech
comes up, at which point Zerg will be pushed to the defensive.
The next steps in the game are:

1. Expand
2. Pressure
3. Scout your opponent

[edit]Hatchery First
[edit]Two Hatchery Fast Expand
A Two Hatchery Fast Expand allows Zerg to take a fast expansion while allowing for more aggressive early game play
than a Three Hatchery build.

 9 - Overlord
 12 - Hatchery @ expansion
 11 - Extractor
 10 - Pool
 11 - Save Larvae (see note)
 @100% Pool - 8 Zerglings
 @100 Gas - Zergling Speed
 16 - 4 Zerglings
 @100 Gas - Lair
 18 - Overlord

Map considerations:

 Two Hatchery is a safe build viable on most maps.

[edit]Three Hatchery Fast Expand


A Three Hatchery build allows Zerg to get their economy up and running the fastest while still leaving the option to
pressure Terran in the early game. NOTE: the below shown build applies to "Three Hatchery Mutalisks".

 9th Drone - Scout (optional)


 9 - Overlord
 12 - Hatchery @ expansion
 11 - Spawning Pool
 13 - Hatchery
 @100% Spawning Pool - 2-6 Zerglings
 16 - Overlord
 16 - Extractor
 @100 Gas - Lair
 NOTE - Make Sunken Colonies as necessary
 22-24 - Overlord
 @100 Gas - Zergling Speed
 @90% Lair - Expansion Extractor
 @100% Lair - Spire
 22-33 - 12 Zerglings total
 NOTE - Make Drones until 33
 @50% Spire - 2 Overlords
 NOTE - Save Larvae
 33 - 9 Mutalisks

[edit]Next Steps
With a Three Hatchery build Zerg's ability to apply early game pressure is limited compared to a Two Hatchery or a 9 Pool
opening. Nevertheless Zerg can still use Zerglings to provide scouting information on Terran such as when Terran moves
out to take their Natural Expansion. The strength of the Three Hatchery Build is in its mid game play: either the Lurker
Contain or the Mutalisk Harass. This build could be considered the riskiest of the three openings as it leaves Zerg open to
early game aggression. Smart play however will get Zerg to mid game where they can pay it back to Terran for whatever
early game harass was endured.
Zerg will need to keep tabs on their opponent at this point in order to determine how many Zerglings they will need moving
into mid game, and, in the case of a Terran pressure, if and when they will need to place Sunken Colonies at their natural.
Zerg will be on the defensive until they reach Lair Tech, at which point they can move out with Mutalisks or Lurkers.

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