ZvT Life’s Baneling Bust

General Overview

This build opens with a quick 3 Hatcheries, faking as if you are going for a macro-oriented play, but then builds an overwhelmingly large swell of Zerglings and Baneling busts your opponent before they are ready.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Spawning Pool
  • 16 – Hatchery
  • 15 – Overlord
  • 16 – Queens, 2 Zerglings
  • 22 – @100% 1st Queen, start 2nd Queen and Extractor
  • @100% Hatchery, start 3rd Queen
  • @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost, 3rd Hatchery, Baneling Nest, and 2nd Extractor
    • Start constant Zergling production until your attack
  • Attack your opponent as soon as your army reaches your opponent’s base (@7:30ish), with 38 Drones and 3 Queens at home.
    • Be sure to morph as many Banelings as your money will allow just out of sight of your opponent’s natural wall-off.


Use your initial 2 Zerglings to probe the front of your opponent’s natural. Assuming they don’t die, send them to take the Xel’Naga Watchtowers or outside the front of the Terran’s base depending on the map.

Your next scout will be with your Baneling bust.  Based off of how strong your opponent’s wall is, what unit composition he is using to defend, and how many SCVs you kill, react accordingly.


While technically this build gets a third base, you are on a very low Drone count, and are spending all of your money on an early all-in that absolutely has to deal some amount of economic damage. Usually the only viable follow-up is sending wave after wave of Zerglings and Banelings in order to finish off your opponent, but if Terran has pushed you back or  over-committed to a strong wall-off, just pull back and Drone at home. Transition into standard Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk play if possible.


  • While Life opens with a 15 Spawning Pool, you can perform this same build by opening with a 15 Hatchery as well.
  • Hide your 2nd Extractor and Banelings Nest from areas where your opponent is likely to scout with a Reaper or Hellion.
  • Morph your Banelings out of sight of your opponent’s wall-off, so your opponent does not know that you are about to hit him until your Baneling bust is already happening.
  • Be sure to send your Banelings in to target down any Bunkers or Supply Depots in the wall first and then flood in with the rest of your Zerglings.
  • Most of your initial army will likely die. The true win happens from your rallied army and any more Banelings you morph from it.

Pros and Cons

This build hits an early 2 Base timing when your opponent is less likely to be expecting any pressure, let alone a strong all-in. Without a strong wall-off or excellent micro, it will walk over most unsuspecting Terran players.

However, this build sacrifices a lot of economy and tech in order to fund such a huge army. Assuming your opponent holds without taking too much economic damage, your low Drone count means that you are unlikely to be able to compete with a 2 base Terran’s economy.

Favorable Maps

This build works best on maps that have large naturals which are harder to wall-off.

  • Xel’Naga Caverns
  • Daybreak
  • Metalopolis


Life beating MMA and winning Blizzcon 2014 with this build

Life’s Baneling Bust Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI