1 Base Tech with Roaches (vs. Zerg)
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1 Base Tech with Roaches techs to Lair as quickly and safely as possible, sacrificing relatively minor economic gains. This build was showcased by Day9 in his Dailies #235 and #242. A variation of this opening was also used to great effect in TL-Open #10
The focus of this opening is to stay alive until Lair which is accomplished by placing buildings tightly around the Hatchery and using Roaches for defense.
Basic Build Order
Supply independent timings are listed instead of food in order to allow players to adapt and adjust the opening to their own styles. If for example you decide to 10 Overlord and cut Drones after 11 supply in order to build your Spawning Pool, you can still follow the opening with minor adjustments.
This opening is fairly safe against Baneling-based openings and can handle Roach-based openings fairly well, however it has the potential to be vulnerable to a pool earlier than 10. If worried about cheese, it may be helpful to open with a Double Extractor. The opening also tends to struggle against Hatchery first builds.
Having a good idea of what your opponent does or does not have is very important for all matchups. Basic things such as checking your opponent's front, or looking around the map in case of hidden bases should be something you constantly do throughout the game.
- Place Overlords in key, possibly safe, locations (in vision of his ramp, top or bottom, but outside of Queen range)
- Try to get inside your opponent's base with your initial Zerglings to scout, otherwise just take the watch towers. Try to keep them alive as long as possible.
The key to this opening's success is placement of your Spawning Pool and Roach Warren.
- A and D: Try to place your buildings as close to your gases as possible without blocking the drones.
- B and C: Same thing as the other two, make sure they are as close to the Hatchery as possible without blocking drones.
If you have to make the choice of leaving a gap between the gas or the Hatchery, it is almost always preferred to have the gap on the Hatchery side, as you will be having Roaches hold position there.
Keep your units in defensive position inside your mineral line until you have 3 Roaches, which is the minimal number in order to control your ramp safely.
Once your Lair is finished you should have 200-250 gas depending on how many Roaches you were forced to build. Depending on the information gathered until that point, you have the option of doing any combination of the following:
- Make 2 Overseers and Contaminate your opponent's hatcheries. This will slow your opponent down and allow you to catch economically. A trigger for this transition is if he is going Roaches as Contaminate will limit his Larva, and thus his Roaches, allowing you to defend possible Roach pushes easier.
- Another possible transition is to get your Spire, which force anti-air in the form of Queens or Spores and establish map control.
Roach Speed Timing Push
- Begin Roach Speed and Burrow immediately and push your opponent's base as soon as they finish; NOT with the intent of killing him. The goal of the push should be to do as much damage as you can while losing as few Roaches as possible in order make up for any economic disadvantages you may have.
Regardless of which transition you use, you should begin your expansion and squeeze in drones when possible.
This opening can easily switch to a 7 Roach Rush if through your scouting you conclude that your opponent is vulnerable to an attack (such as powering too much).
- Maps with neat gas and mineral placements such as Xel'Naga Caverns are great maps for this.
- Maps with awkwardly placed gases will cause quite a bit of issues. It's not game ending, just something to be aware of.