ZvZ Standard Ling/Bane Opener

General Overview

This build is the standard way to open in ZvZ using Lings and Banes to stay safe.  Time and time again, getting 2 bases quickly, Metabolic Boost, and a Baneling Nest for safety or aggression has proven to be the most standard way to play this matchup.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 16 – Spawning Pool
  • 17 – Extractor
  • 16 – Overlord
  • 20 – @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens and 4 Zerglings
  • 24 – Overlord
  • 25 – @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost and pull 1 Drone out of Gas
  • @50 Gas, start Baneling Nest


In the early stages of the game, all scouting comes from Overlord vision, so be sure that you send your initial 2 Overlords towards your opponent’s base so that you can see if an early pool or drones are on their way to your base.  When playing versus any very early aggression (<10 pool), use your Drones to defend until you have your own Zerglings, a Queen, and potentially a Spine Crawler.  Consider canceling the Hatchery for more minerals.  Also use your initial overlord to scout when your opponent is taking their natural Hatchery.

Make sure you have 2 to 4 Zerglings out on the map at all times.  Send your initial 4 Zerglings to your opponent’s base to spot what they have at the front, and if possible get into the main with 1 Ling to see whether your opponent is mining more than 100 Gas (applying pressure) or not (merely researching Metabolic Boost).  Use the scouting intel that these pokes give you to determine whether you should get Banelings and extra Zerglings to defend or whether you should continue droning.

Another thing to consider is that if your opponent chooses to attack with fast Roaches, you can base trade them with your Ling/Bane.  Thus, until your midgame tech has kicked in, you can use your units to back stab an opponent trying to move out, while simply defending at home with spines.

Pros and Cons

This build opens up with a 15 Hatch for lots of larvae and gets a reasonably timed Metabolic Boost.  Thus, you will get map control and a strong economy against most players who do not attack you early.  Also, you get a Baneling Nest so that you can apply pressure or defend an opponent in the early midgame.

However, this build requires a lot of micro to beat early (<10) pools.  Also, by getting the Spawning Pool before Extractor, you will have faster Zerglings but slower Speedlings against an opponent who opened Extractor before Spawning Pool.

Favorable Maps

This build works quite well on most maps, although it works best on larger maps where your opponent is less likely to get an early Spawning Pool.

  • Akilon Wastes
  • Newkirk Precinct
  • Yeonsu
  • Bel’Shir Vestige
  • Frost
  • Whirlwind


Standard Ling/Bane Opener Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI