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Starcraft 2 Strategy Zerg Primer

Updated on February 9, 2012

Build Orders - Introduction

Here are some easy Zerg build orders.  Note that these are considered to be "openers".  The Zerg build should reflect what your opponent is doing, and you should be scouting heavily to determine what to counter.

Zerglings! | Source

14pool, 13 gas: A Typical Safe Opener

As per the table above, at the various "supply points", you should build as indicated.

This build allows you to defend against early pressure, since you have a Spawning Pool up relatively early, and Speedlings are generally good against most early units, and are good scouts. Since you have gas, you can tech to Lair, or add Roaches or Banelings fairly easily.

Note that your decision to add Drones or Speedlings depends on what you scout your opponent doing.

Add Speedlings If your initial scout sees:

  • Terran has 2 Barracks up
  • Protoss has 2 Gates up
  • Zerg has more than 4 Zerglings

Generally, you are safe to add purely Drones until you hit about 30 supply.  After this time, you should pump out at least some attack units, and possibly add a Spinecrawler.

I like to add an Evolution Chamber at around 23 supply, in case of early banshee.  It also allows me a choice of early upgrades.

Speedling Opener: 14 Pool, 13 Gas

Send Drone to Scout Enemy Base
Spawning Pool
Gas Extractor
Queen + Zergling (Scout)
Queen Pops, Inject Larvae
3 Drones or 6 Speedlings
Hatchery at Natural
Overlord x 2
* larvae pops *
4 Drones or 8 Speedlings
Speedling Opener

Roach Rush!


7 Roach Rush


  • Can easily break down a wall
  • High impact on enemy workers
  • Puts early pressure on opponent
  • Can transition into Expansion, continue the attack with Speedling follow-up, or go all-in with workers + Roaches


  • Weak if scouted.  Terran, Zerg and Protoss all have counters to this strategy.  The idea is to conceal your Roach Warren.

Counter:  Terran

  • Scout or scan at around 20 supply.  If you see a Roach Warren this early, make 3-4 Marauders and ensure you are walled in.

Counter:  Zerg

  • You can either make a Roach Warren yourself, or add 1-2 Spinecrawlers and 12-16 Zerglings.
  • Making Zerglings is very hard on your larvae and drone count.  I prefer Spinecrawlers and Roaches.
  • If you make Roaches, the travel time of Roaches should allow you to have more Roaches than he does by the time his attack force arrives at your base

Counter:  Protoss

  • Make Forge + Cannons (2)
  • Make 2 Sentries (to delay) and add Stalkers
  • 2 Gate + Robo + Immortal (should complete just after the 2nd forcefield from your Sentries has expired)

Build Order: 7 Roach Rush

Requires "Extractor Trick"
Spawning Pool
Gas Extractor
Roach Warren
Started when Queen 70% Done
Add 1 Drone
*Drone Used to Make Warren
2 Overlords
Queen Larvae Inject
7 Roaches
7 Roach Rush

Notes on the Roach Rush

If you are attacking with your Drones as well, let your drones go in first to "tank" for your roaches.  Generally, the opponent will defend with his workers, and you want to minimize the damage to your damage-dealing Roaches.

It is possible to expand shortly after your Roaches leave your base.

If there are any SCV's repairing the wall, you must destroy those ASAP.

If, for whatever reason (cannons or Marauders), you do not think you can break the wall and do decent damage, DO NOT ATTACK.  It is enough that you have forced your opponent to build a counter to your build.  Expand instead, and attempt to prevent your opponent from expanding, using your Roaches.


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