Zerg universal build for deliberate practice

  (Edited: )

Hi Team,

relevant day9:

Newbie Tuesday: How to Get Into SC2

Newbie Tuesday: Mental Checklist



Looking for a "universal build" for zerg that is allowed to die to cheese, rushes, all-ins, or hard counters, but which in general plays reasonably well against all three races and doesn't require signicant micro or ask much more than an a-move to perform "ok".  It should also show little variance in which map is selected.


When I stopped playing about 18 months ago, I was plat and playing lots of diamonds as a zerg. When I started playing again recently, the system, heartlessly, decided I was still this good and now I get squished every fight while waiting for my MMR to tank.  However, I can still *remember* what it feels like, what I'm doing wrong, every misstep, etc.

Previously, I would attribute my success to being a generalist, knowing a small bit about a lot of things, making appropriate tech switches, having strong opening builds, knowing hard counters, etc.  However, my mechanics were always organically learned and easily forgotten in a match where I was being frustrated.  This left me very pissed off, with myself, when I missed injects for minutes on end which prevented me from getting diamond and also from enjoying the game after awhile.

So, now I want to try deliberate practice for mechanics, even while laddering.  Trying to remember the builds or learn new ones is totally getting in the way of basic crap, like good building placement, overlord control, solid injection and drone/army selection....

The idea behind the question is to eliminate or reduce most considerations from play to focus most of my energy in a laddering context on pure mechanics until I feel that they're so strong I can start mixing in other considerations.

practice goals:

  • no missed injects
  • reduce supply capping
  • good building placement
  • low average unspent resources
  • strong decision making for droning vs. army
  • staying on top of upgrades
  • staying on top of creep spread
  • well-timed expansions
  • minimap awareness
  • money awareness

my naive universal build:

early game:

FE roach + spines in turtlish play on low amounts of gas.

mid game:

2 base roach/hydra

excellent creep to expand safely and move slower army around rapidly for pokes/drops

aim for 2/2 upgrade timing with fast roach, fast/range hydra

late game:

Behind 2/2 timing attack, expand deliberately with creep spread

Over-engineered static defense to protect against lower multi-tasking skill.

Keep upgrading to 3/3

Continuous aggression if it is paying off.

If roach/hydra is failing to win outright, mix in infestors, corruptors, or ling hit and runs, or GG to cycle fast to more practice.



I worry ling/baneling, vipers, swarm hosts, mutas, etc. are all too fragile and attention heavy to not distract from this macro practice focus goal.

Not a goal (in the beginning):

  • having an answer for everything
  • being able to use all units effectively
  • scouting effectively
  • handling cheese, massive drop play, all-ins, rushes, or hard counters
  • genius dynamic tech/build responses
  • countering


Any thoughts on this practice strategy would be appreciated! Even if it is along the lines of "I don't think that is going to be very rewarding."


edited: to add reducing supply capping as a goal.