ZvT Roach/Bane All-in

General Overview

This Roach/Baneling all-in takes advantage of greedy Terran play by hitting a Terran before his midgame infrastructure can be set up with a huge swell of Roaches and Banelings.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 16 – Extractor
  • 16 – Spawning Pool
  • 17 – Overlord
  • 19 – @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens and 2 Zerglings
  • 23 – @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost
    • Pull 2 Drones out of your Extractor
  • 24 – Overlord
  • 30 – @100% Queens, start 3rd Queen
  • Benchmark: When Metabolic Boost finishes (@6:00ish), you should have 3 Queens, 2 Zerglings, and around 35 Drones
  • @100% Metabolic Boost, start your 3rd Hatchery
  • @100 Gas, start 1 more Extractor and a Roach Warren
    • Also Put 2 Drones back into your 1st Extractor
  • @100% 2base Saturation, start 5+ Overlords
    • 2 base saturation = (16 DronesOnMinerals)*(2 Bases) + (3 DronesOnGas)*(2 Extractors) = 38 Drones
  • @100% Roach Warren, start as many Roaches as you can afford (10ish), and a Banelings Nest
    • From this point onward, only produce Speedlings
  • Push out when your 10 Roaches pop (@7:45ish) and rally Speedlings to the fight
  • @100% Banelings Nest, start as many Banelings as you can afford (10ish)
  • Attack your opponent when your Banelings morph (@8:50ish) with around 10 Roaches, 10 Banelings, and 40 Zerglings.  Constantly reinforce with Zerglings and Banelings.


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, make a few Speedlings to stay safe.  However, do NOT overproduce early game units because this will slow down your push.

Your next scout will be with an Overlord as soon as you start your Roach Warren (around 6:30).  This is merely to scout whether your opponent is opening with Hellbats.  If he is, then do not produce more than 1 wave of Banelings – favor Roaches to defend your Drones at home as you attack the front with the same push.

The next scout will be with your initial Roach Warren attack.  Try to force a Widow Mine to detonate with a Speedling or two before you commit to the attack.  Also, with your all-in, you will see what units your opponent has because all of them must be at the front in order to defend.


Because this build is an all-in, there is no true transition to this build.  However, once you destroy at least one base of SCVs, you can transition out of the attack and get economically ahead.  Drone up your 3rd base and continue into a macro game, instead of pushing up the main ramp in a potentially bad engagement.

If you do choose to drone up, start 2 Evolution Chambers and a Lair instantly, along with your 3rd and 4th Extractors. You’ll likely want +1 Melee over +1 Ranged, though you have the option to transition into any composition involving any combination of Zerglings/Banelings/Roaches that you are most comfortable with.

The obvious transition would be to hit a follow-up push on 3 bases with +1 Melee and +1 Carapace, with both Roach and Baneling Speed. This should hit around 13:30, only 3:30 later than a straight 3base Lair tech Roach/Baneling bust.


  • 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 a bunch of Overlords BEFORE you need to make all of your units.  Making Overlords during a fight is a sure way to get supply blocked.
  • Use Banelings to bust a wall at the natural. Then, all high priority Baneling targets are: packs of Marines/SCVs, researching Tech labs, and the central structure on the top of the ramp.
  • Do NOT over commit your Roaches if you are waiting on a second wave of Banelings to morph. It is completely fine to pull back whilst you wait for another round of Banelings.  Zerglings and Banelings can be replaced; your Roaches cannot.
  • Do NOT over commit up your opponent’s main ramp unless you are absolutely sure that you can push through and win the game with the attack.  Favor droning up your 3rd base and transitioning into a macro game over potentially taking a bad engagement up the main ramp.

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 take your third base before moving out, it is easy to stop Zergling/Baneling production and saturate your third base in order to transition into a standard 3 base Zerg vs 2 base Terran macro game.  Also, as a Zerg player, the engagement itself is quite easy to micro.

However, if you cannot do damage with the Roach/Bane attack, then you will be economically behind the Terran opponent.  Also, because it is an all-in, this build is quite difficult to transition out of.

Favorable Maps

This will work the best on maps with no ramp into the natural, though even on small maps that do have this ramp, this build is strong.

  • Polar Night
  • Bel’Shir Vestige
  • Frost
  • Akilon Wastes
  • Derelict Watcher


Suppy beating Ryung with this build in WCS AM

Soulkey beating Innovation with this build in the WCS KR Season 1 Finals in g5

Symbol beating Gumiho with this build in WCS KR Set 1

Roach/Bane All-in Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI


Written by Stark

Follow him @StarkSCII