ZvT Jaedong’s Roach Drop Nydus All-in

General Overview

This all-in hits your opponent’s main with a lot of speed Roaches.  However, Jaedong puts his own clever flair on this traditional ZvT All-in by using an Overlord Roach Drop to guarantee his Nydus follow-up is successful.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 17 – Extractor
  • 16 – Spawning Pool
  • 17 – Overlord
  • 18 – @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens and 2 Zerglings
  • 24 – @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost and Overlord
    • Pull 2 Drones out of the Extractor
  • @50 Gas (or when scouting Reaper/SCV has been denied), put 2 Drones back in the Extractor
  • @100 Gas, start Lair and 3 more Extractors
  • Benchmark: When your Lair starts (@5:40ish), you should have 2 Queens, and around 30 Drones
  • @100% Extractors, start Roach Warren and saturate all Extractors with Drones
  • @100% Lair, start Ventral Sacs, Roach Speed, Overlord Speed
    • Start a bunch of Overlords and constant Roach production
  • Drop your opponent with Roaches when your Overlord speed finishes (@9:30ish) with around 20 Roaches and Roach reinforcements rallied at home. Make a Nydus Network as you move out with the Roaches – you want to be able to deploy the Nydus Worm as you drop the Roaches.
  • Continuously reinforce from the Nydus Network into your opponent’s main with Roach reinforcements.


First scout with your initial Zerglings.  Use them to take the Xel’Naga Watchtowers or send them outside the front of Terran’s base depending on the map. If you see Terran move out with some kind of very early force, position your Queens to defend your natural and consider getting a Spine Crawler.  Banshee play may be an issue with only 2 Queens, but such a fast Lair means you will have a very quick Overseer.

The next scout will be with your initial Roach Warren attack.  Terran will be forced to defend his main with all his units, so you’ll see either Bio or Mech units to defend.  These Roaches should be able to scout and do some serious economic damage – hopefully enough to end the game with constant reinforcements from the Nydus Network.


This build is a 2 base all-in that gets a lot of attacking units and very few Drones as well as upgrades that do not lend themselves towards the mid or late game.  Therefore, there is no well-defined follow-up for the build, should your attack fail.  However, if you do a lot of damage with the attack but lose your Nydus Network, be sure to follow-up with a 3rd Hatchery, a lot more Drones, and 2 Evolution Chambers to try to transition into normal play.


  • Against a Reaper/Hellion player, save your Queen energy after you start 2 or 3 Creep Tumors. Having energy for Transfuse lets you push back any early attacks without revealing your Roaches.
  • Hide your Roaches for as long as possible before you move out.  The less time you give your opponent to react to your build, the better your chance at crushing through their front.
  • Make 2 Overlords per inject cycle – 8 Roaches takes up 16 supply.
  • Bring an Overseer or two with your Roach attack so that you have detection against Widow Mines.  Remember to split your Roaches to avoid splash damage from either Widow Mines or Siege Tanks.
  • This attack is an all-in, so you have to kill your opponent with this attack.  Don’t let your Roaches mess around attacking buildings or SCVs – kill your opponent’s army as soon as possible.

Pros and Cons

This build is incredibly strong against any player going for a fast 3 Command Center build (the current metagame) because of how late their upgrades and army will be.  Also, any build that gets both Roach drops AND Nydus Networks is a very fun all-in to play with.

However, this is an all-in, so if you cannot do game-ending damage with the Roach attack, you will be economically behind the Terran opponent.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on maps with a large area to drop/Nydus in the main.

  • Whirlwind
  • Yeonsu
  • Derelict Watcher
  • Akilon Wastes
  • Frost
  • Bel’Shir Vestige


Jaedong beating Hack with this build at WCS AM Season 3 Quarterfinals

Lowko’s YouTube Tutorial on this build

Jaedong’s Roach Drop Nydus All-in Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI


Written by Stark

Follow him @StarkSCII