ZvT Life’s Low Tech Aggression

General Overview

This build opens up with a quick 3 base economy to stay safe against any early Terran shenanigans as well as give you enough power to hit a strong Zergling/Baneling timing before your Terran opponent can get their 3 base economy rolling.  One main strength of this build is that the timing push is not all-in, but rather a tool to get you safely to the familiar position of Mutalisks and 4 bases without having to deal with unrelenting Terran pressure.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 16 – Spawning Pool
  • 17 – Overlord
  • 19 – @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens and 2 Zerglings
  • 24 – Overlord
  • 30 – @100% Queens, start 2 more Queens
  • 36 – 2 Extractors
  • @100% Extractors, start 3rd Hatchery
  • @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost, 2 Evolution Chambers, and 5th Queen
    • Overlord scout your opponent
  • @100% Evolution Chambers, start +1 Melee and +1 Carapace
  • ————Above is Scarlett’s 3 Hatchery Macro Opener
  • @100 Gas, start Lair and macro Hatchery
  • @50 Gas, start Baneling Nest, and 3rd/4th Extractors
  • Benchmark: When you start +1/+1 (@7:50ish), you should have 4 Queens, and around 50 Drones
  • @100% Lair, start another macro Hatchery (for a total of 5 Hatcheries) and Baneling Speed
  • @100% 3base Saturation, start constant Speedling production
    • 3 base saturation = (16 DronesOnMinerals)*(3 Bases) + (3 DronesOnGas)*(4 Extractors) = 60 Drones
  • @100% +1/+1, start +2/+2
  • Bust up your opponent’s ramp when you morph as many Banelings as you can afford (@11:00ish) with around 18 Banelings and 65 Speedlings.  Morph 2 or 3 Overseers and constantly reinforce with Zerglings and Banelings.


For all early game scouting (<7:00), please refer to the Scouting section of IMBAbuilds’ write-up of Scarlett’s 3 Hatchery Macro Opener.  Note the 7:00 Overlord scout to check whether your opponent is going for Bio or Mech.  Do not continue with this build order if your Overlord scout spots your opponent going for Mech.

If you scout a Reaper/Hellion/Banshee opener, keeping your Queens alive without Metabolic Boost is quite difficult.  Instead of blindly rushing into this build, get a few Spine Crawlers and 1 Spore Crawler per mineral line with an extra Spore or two between the natural and 3rd Hatchery.  It is fine to commit a lot to defense in this situation as going Reaper/Hellion/Banshee slows down any Bio/Mine pushes considerably.

By the time you attack just after 11 minutes, you must know how Terran is going to defend.  Run a Zergling or two at Terran’s wall where you want to bust through to spot what army composition is waiting.

  • If you scout Bio/Mine, continue as normal with the initial bust.
  • If you scout Marine/Tank, consider continuing the bust.  However, if you see more than one Siege Tank, be sure to retreat and build your Spire/Creep/Hive!
  • If you scout Mech this late, you have most likely already lost.  Transitioning into Mutalisks or Swarm Hosts instantly may be enough to keep you alive, but know that you have committed a lot of resources to a bust that cannot succeed.


Once you perform the bust, you will either outright win the game, do a little bit of economic damage and trade armies, or completely fail without doing any serious damage.  In either of the first two cases, continue to deny the most recent Terran base (either an undefended 3rd, or a future 4th if their 3rd is well established), and continue to play the macro game.  If your bust has completely failed, then you can attempt to play the macro game with your 5 Hatcheries already done, but note that you have committed and subsequently a lost of resources going into the macro game.

In a macro game, go up to Hive tech when you most prefer. Some Zergs delay it, some get it faster.  Life is known for getting it for +3/+3 and faster Ultralisks.  Eventually transitioning into Ultralisk/Queen/Infestor is a solid end-game unit composition – just be sure that you have enough static defense to deny doom drops and stop Terran from spreading you too thin as you attempt to create this scary army.


  • Against any early pressure, your Queens and a Spine Crawler are all the defense you will need.  With a later Metabolic Boost, you cannot rely on Speedlings to help defend any 1 base all-ins.
  • Do your best to clear the map of any of your opponent’s Hellions BEFORE you are ready to bust.  Being able to spawn your Banelings close to your opponent as opposed to back at your base makes this bust a lot more effective.
  • Get an Overseer before the initial bust to help clear any Widow Mines.  However, this build hits early enough that there should not be too many Widow Mines up just yet for you to worry about.

Pros and Cons

This build is incredibly strong against any player going for a Tank-less 3 Command Center build (the current metagame).  Also, because you saturate your third base before moving out, it is quite easy to stop Zergling/Baneling production and transition into a macro game with a strong economic advantage.

However, this build sacrifices quick Mutalisks in lieu of more Zerglings and Banelings, so early drops can be a problem.  Also, with such a heavy melee army, you have to be wary of Widow Mine detonations destroying your entire army.

Favorable Maps

This build works best on maps with hard-to-defend third bases.  This way, your bust can hit either multiple places at once or in one location where your opponent is weakest.

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


Relevant Day9 Daily

Mid Masters FPVOD (Note: Baneling Nest was accidentally delayed, so the initial bust is without Baneling Speed)

Mid Masters FPVOD 2

Life’s Low Tech Style Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI


Written by Stark

Follow him @StarkSCII