VortiX uses a gasless opening and transitions into a strong Roach Zergling timing, aiming to punish greedier Roach play or swift Mutalisk play.
- 15 – Hatchery
- 16 – Spawning Pool
- 17 – Overlord
- @100% Pool – 2 Queens, 2 Zerglings
- 24 – Overlord
- @100% 2 Queens – 3rd Queen in Main, send both Queens to natural
- 30 – Overlord
- @100% 3rd Queen, start 2 Gas
- @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost and a hidden Roach Warre
- @50% Roach Warren – 3rd Gas, and over-make Overlords for unit flood
- Benchmark: @7:00ish, you should have 40+ Drones, 3 Queens, and be at around 45/84 Supply
- @100% Roach Warren, start as many Roaches as possible
- Flood Speedling reinforcements when you run out of gas
- @100 Gas – start Lair, Evolution Chamber
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 natural expansion. You can use your Overlord to compare his Hatchery’s HP to yours, to determine what kind of opener he used. If his hatchery is stronger than yours, he has gone hatchery first. Continue as normal. If his hatchery is the same HP as yours, he has VERY LIKELY done the same build as you. Continue as normal. If his hatchery is weaker to yours, he has gone for a gas and pool before hatchery in some order, meaning his speed is quicker than yours. Banelings before speed in this scenario is often advised, and likely make the Baneling nest in the main to not lose your Baneling tech to mass Zerglings with speed. An alternative is to not use your Gas, and get extra Queens and 2-3 Spine Crawlers. The main theme here is to not get Speed first, as his WILL be quicker. You need to find an edge that isn’t using Zergling Speed.
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. Feel free to apply some light pressure with your first Zerglings against a Hatch first build, but do not let it mess up your macro.
Make sure you have 2 to 4 Zerglings out on the map at all times. Send your initial 2 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 hatching Drones or Zerglings from their eggs. Use the scouting intel that these pokes give you to determine whether you should get Banelings and extra Zerglings to defend yourself or pressure your opponent, or whether you should continue droning.
If your scout Zerglings see Drones hatching, and no wall at the front, you can choose to make Drones OR Zerglings to pressure. If you scout Zerglings, and no wall at the front, you should make the same amount of Zerglings. If you scout nothing hatching, and your Zerglings escape, send them back in to scout in 20~ seconds. If you scout nothing hatching, and your Zerglings die, remake the scout. Consider another 2 Zerglings for just-in-case Banelings. If you scout a wall, the Zerg is likely playing passive and you are likely safe.
As soon as you are sure you are safe, transition into your choice of tech.
However, because you have not yet committed upgrades to either Ranged or Melee, you can choose between transitioning into Roach Hydra or Ling Ultra.
If you do choose to go for Roaches, immediately research Roach Speed and take your third, while droning as heavily as you can without endangering yourself. You can transition to a similar midgame to that of Vortix’s 3 Base Speed Roach, albeit without the fast upgrades.
It is not recommended you go for a Mutalisk transition.
Aim to focus down Queens with transfuse energy first, and use Roaches to tank any Baneling hits. Emphasize surrounds with your Speedlings and tank Banelings with your Roaches.
Pros and Cons
This build excels and punishing either greedier Roach players, and players rushing for Mutalisks.
If it fails, you are behind as with any timing attack. You do not have any tech, you have no upgrades, and you will almost certainly be behind in drones.
Additionally, because you are opening gasless, your defense is likely to be much more difficult. You will have no Banelings or Zergling speed, so your defense will revolve entirely around Spine Crawlers, Queens, and building placement.
Maps with smaller natural openings that favor a gasless strategy. Maps you cannot wall off, such as Daedalus, are a poor choice for this build.
Replays and VODs
VortiX using this against HyuN in Fragbite Master Series (VortiX did eventually lose, but it was a very close fight)
Written by Stark