ZvP HyuN’s Roach/Hydra/Viper Play

General Overview

This macro build order opens with a quick 3 Hatchery opening to get a strong economy and then transitions into a Tech-heavy army in order to stay safe against early attacks and lay on the aggression to Protoss before the late game starts.  This build maxes out on Roach/Hydra/Viper in order to crush your opponent’s army or deny their 3rd/4th base.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Spawning Pool
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 15 – Overlord
  • @100% Spawning Pool, start a Queen and 2 Zerglings
  • @100% Queen, start 3rd Hatchery and 2nd Queen
  • @1st Creep Tumor, start 3rd Queen
  • Benchmark: When you start your 3rd Queen (@5:15), you should have 2 Queens and around 25 Drones.
  • @100% 3rd Queen, start 2 Extractors
  • @100% Extractors, start Roach Warren
  • @100 Gas, start Lair and Evolution Chamber
  • @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost and 3rd Extractor
  • @100 Gas, start +1 Missile Attack, Macro Hatchery, and 4th Extractor
  • @100% Lair, start Roach Speed
  • Benchmark: When you start Roach Speed (@8:45ish), you should have 3 Queens and around 60 Drones.
  • ————–Above is HyuN’s 3 Hatchery Opener
  • @100% 3base saturation, start Infestation Pit, Hydralisk Den, and 5th/6th Extractors
    • 3 base saturation = (16 DronesOnMinerals)*(3 Bases) + (3 DronesOnGas)*(5 Extractors) = 63 Drones
  • @100% Infestation Pit, start Hive and 4th Hatchery. Make Roaches to defend, use Spore Crawlers for anti-Phoenix for now.  Aim to have at least 600 gas floating for Vipers after your Hive finishes, so keep this in mind whilst making Roaches.
  • @100% Hive, start 3 Vipers, 2 additional Spores to Consume for Viper energy, and 7th/8th Extractors.
  • @100% +1 Missile Attack, start +2 Missile Attack
  • @100% Hydralisk Den, start Hydralisk Speed
  • @100% Hydralisk Speed, max out on Roach/Hydra and start Grooved Spines
  • Attack your opponent’s 3rd when Grooved Spines finishes (@13:30) with a 200 supply army of Roach/Hydra and 3 Vipers and prepare to re-max on the hive-tech of your choice.


For all scouting before you saturate your first 3 Hatcheries, please refer to the Scouting section under HyuN’s 3 Hatchery Opener.

Scout with either Overlords, Zerglings, Overseer, or Changelings when your Hydralisk Den goes down.  Send them into either the main base or the 3rd base in order to see if Protoss is going for a tech-heavy composition (Colossus/Void Ray/etc) or a Chargelot-heavy composition. If they are going for a Chargelot heavy composition, instantly throw down a Banelings Nest, start Baneling Speed, and max out with around 16 Banelings in your unit composition.

Besides this, all mid and late game scouting comes from the Roach/Hydra/Viper pokes or attacks that you will perform.  React appropriately by either re-maxing with Ultras or Swarm Hosts.  You will need a 5th base to fully support any Hive-tech re-maxes.


This build, contrary to most IMBAbuilds, takes you into the late game.  Thus, there is no “transition” per se.  If you can win the game with this push, then be sure to attack in an open position, use Blinding Cloud or Abduct appropriately,  and take the game quickly.  If you cannot win the game outright, then fall back on your 4/5 base economy and tech switch to whatever best counters your opponent’s army.  Note that you should get a lot of static defense in order to stay safe during your super late game tech switches between Mutalisks, Swarm Hosts, and Ultralisks.


  • If your first Overlord scouts your opponent going for a Gateway expand, then you should abandon getting the third base, instead getting an Extractor and starting Metabolic Boost before taking your 3rd.
  • If your natural gets Pylon blocked, then you can make an early Overlord at 15 supply instead of the Hatchery in order to buy some time against it.  If your opponent lets the Pylon finish, then simply making 4-6 Zerglings to take the Pylon down should be enough of a commitment before returning back to the build.
  • Being thorough about checking for early proxy Pylons across the map with your early game Zerglings is crucial against early Protoss timings.  Being able to spot aggression and stop it before it can even begin is the easiest way to avoid quick losses.
  • Be sure you send in an Overlord scout at 7:00.  Spotting your opponent’s midgame tech informs your next step with this build(whether it be more Drones, a Hydralisk Den, or Spore Crawlers).
  • Vipers will be usable (Consume finishes) 3:30 after your Infestation Pit starts.
  • Scouting for a heavy Chargelot composition before you max can be quite important.  Throwing down a Banelings Nest and maxing with several Banelings can be the difference between a quick loss and a sure win.
  • Once you have re-maxed on Ultras, starting a Spire and tech-switching between Mutalisks and Swarm Hosts/Ultras is a strong way to win in the very late game.  Also note that you should get a lot of static defense when performing these late game tech switches.

Pros and Cons

This build opens with a hugely economic opening while still being safe.  It then transitions into a Viper-based defense in order to secure your 4th base and quickly max out on Roach/Hydra/Viper.

This build however requires constant scouting in order to be safe.  Also, it is not great against Skytoss unless you scout it early because you might over-produce Roaches (which obviously cannot shoot up) when gearing up for a normal attack.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on maps with a wide open 3rd base so that you have more room to maneuver your army in engages.

  • Frost
  • Whirlwind
  • Derelict Watcher
  • Newkirk Precinct


HyuN beating MC with this build in a standard macro game at Homestory Cup VII

HyuN beating MC with this build in a drawn-out stalemate at Homestory Cup VII

HyuN losing to Stardust with this build at DreamHack Summer 2013 (Stardust gets a heavy Chargelot unit composition and HyuN doesn’t make Banelings)

Mid Masters FPVOD

HyuN’s Roach/Hydra/Viper Play Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI


Written by Stark

Follow him @StarkSCII