ZvT HyuN’s 12 Roach Opener

General Overview

This 12 Roach Rush is a timing attack designed to cripple a Terran economy, transitioning into a further all-in or macro play as needed.

Build Order

  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 17 – Extractor
  • 16 – Spawning Pool
  • 17 – Overlord
  • @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens
  • 28/28 – start Roach Warren and 3 Overlords
  • @100% Roach Warren, start 12 Roaches
    • 52/52 Supply
  • Attack your opponent when all 12 Roaches finish (@6:15ish), as you drone up and produce Overlords to fully saturate both bases at home.


There is only minor scouting necessary with this build before you hit your opponent with your 12 Roaches. Simply ensure that your opponent is not cheesing you with an 8-8-8 opener or proxy 11/11 Rax.

Once you are committed in the attack, be on the look-out for signs that your opponent is going for a full-on macro play (3 Command Centers), some sort of Hellbat aggression (Armory), some sort of Banshee play (Techlabbed Starport), or normal Bio play (multiple Barracks). Your upcoming transition requires you to both do some damage and later handle any counter attack potential from your opponent without losing much yourself.


Depending on what you are most comfortable with and what you scout your opponent doing, you can transition into a later all-in or macro play yourself.  Note that regardless of whichever path you follow, you will have to do some amount of damage with your attack or you will be behind both in terms of economy and tech.

If you are transitioning into Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk play, stop all Roach production, and get a Lair, Metabolic Boost, and 2 Evolution Chambers as soon as possible. Getting Mutalisks out to defend 3 bases from drops as you tech towards +2/+2 Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk with all the necessary upgrades is how you’ll get ahead in the midgame.

If you are transitioning into a Roach based midgame, try to avoid making many more Roaches after your initial 12 roach opener. Instead, focus on securing 3 Hatcheries, 2 Evolution Chambers, and teching for a Speed Roach/Speed Hydra midgame (with potentially Swarm Host/Viper lategame).

If you are transitioning into another all-in, your best best is some sort of Roach based army with splash damage (such as a Roach/Bane all-in). Do note that any follow-up all-in will be particularly weak against Banshee or Widow Mine defenses.


  • As you get to your first 100 Gas, if there is still a scout in your main base, consider fake researching Metabolic Boost. Be sure to cancel if before you get to 28 supply and need to start your Roach Warren.
  • Don’t over-commit to making Roaches. Only make 12 and then be sure you are getting the necessary 2 base economy, Overlord count, and creep spread back at home while your attack is commencing.
  • The point of the attack is to cripple your opponent, but if the attack does not go too well, there is no retreat; your follow-up depends largely on your ability to scout what your opponent has opened with and react/defend accordingly.

Pros and Cons

This aggressive build can outright defeat opponents that are macroing too hard or do not scout and react adequately. Opening with 12 Roaches gives your early game a muscle that not many other ZvT builds give you, giving you great denial of any Reaper/Hellion openers as well.

However, this build does put you behind both in terms of economy and tech if your attack does not do damage.  In order to equalize the game, you must do some sort of damage as well as drone up back at home to crush your opponent later in the game.

Favorable Maps

This build is best on maps with a small rush distance so that your attack can hit your opponent as fast as possible.  It is also better on maps without many ledges so that your opponent is less likely to Reaper scout you.

  • Overgrowth
  • Merry Go Round
  • King Sejong Station


Khaldor tutorial of HyuN performing this build on ladder

HyuN’s 12 Roach Opener Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI

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