A bit of history:
I played a respectable amount of BW and I recently got into playing SC2 competitively about a month and a half ago. I started watching SC2 about 2-3 months prior so I had a decent idea of how the game worked. I played Z in BW mainly but was P for a good amount of time and spent a lot of time on T as well...so I'd like to have a basic concept of how all races work. I did play SC2 in the beta but wasn't fond of it at the time, and I played strictly Terran because Terran has always been my favourite race despite my game-play relating the most to zerg. Point being, going into SC2 a month and a half ago...I sort of had a choice between zerg or terran.
I decided to stick with Zerg and in probably 3 weeks my MMR was matching me vs a mix of mainly masters and some diamonds (this was during the ladder lock however so I wasn't getting any promotions). Everything was going relatively well...I was winning about 50% of my games which I believe is good because I do want to lose some so I can learn lessons from losses. However, the thing that annoyed me the most about Z was the lack of scouting. It's basically Idra's argument...there is no real standard opener that is good vs everything...but you can't scout what he is doing early enough in the game to react so it's coin flippy. I started losing like MAD...80% of the losses were just me being caught off-guard. I remember at one point I lost somewhere around 15 games in a row. This was mainly ZvT but also ZvP.
At this point I am really unsure what to do with Zerg. I really want to play standard and improve my game. Doing all-ins every game and flipping coins really doesn't improve a player...it just relies on the other opponent not being able to defend which I see as really silly because you should never rely on the opponent playing bad...you want to rely on yourself playing well. This was mainly 1-base play I was dealing with.
At this point, I decide I believe Terran is better for me. They can scout better...have safer openings...and mechanics-wise it shouldn't really be an issue for me. So I start at plat and my MMR is almost strictly vs diamonds (ladder lock AGAIN)...and the match-up haunts me again...TvZ. Here's the problem this time. I want to play standard with terran like I did zerg. What's standard? 2 rax into marine tank stuff. It can pretty well deal with almost everything and relies on Terran's good play rather than Zerg's mess-ups. The issues NOW is that Zerg's standard play...is INSANELY good. Most of my Zerg opponents seem to be coin flippers as well. They don't really scout me that well...and they just drone and drone and drone and drone. In essence they are completely flipping coins as well. Their economy just gets SO insanely high...even with decent micro and decent timings...I barely win battles. Ask many high level terrans and they will tell you that facing a competent zerg is just really difficult (check out Luckyfool's blogs for what I mean). TvT I am ok with. TvP is fairly even imo. But TvZ again is the issue.
Out of stress... I switch back to Z. I flip coins and drone like mad...and utterly destroy my opponents. My MMR gets back to playing mainly masters..and bam...the losing starts yet again. Just had 8 losses in a row. And again the main issue is ZvT. ZvZ I am losing a lot but that is mainly due to me forgetting the matchup. ZvT however, it's the exact same issue. They do some 1 base thing...I have no idea what's coming...I just straight up lose.
From this, here's what I've come to believe about the ZvT/TvZ matchup:
Zerg has the better macro advantage. They can drone like mad and as terran, if you want to play a standard game against zerg, and not try any trick shenanigans, it favours the zerg. They can just get out so many units it's insane (again, refer to Luckyfool's blogs about how stressful TvZ is vs a competent zerg). I've literally stomped Terran armies playing standard Z with pure ling/bling...even with a TON of tanks on terran's end. The macro advantage is insane.
So TvZ is rough if you want to play standard because zerg will play standard and he's basically got an advantage. Ask Terrans what their hardest MU is, the majority say TvZ...and I believe it is for this reason.
However, as zerg, sure you have the macro advantage, but if ZERG wants to play a standard game vs Terran...it's really difficult because of the lack of scouting. Good Terrans won't let you scout them. Let's take a typical scenario...you get to terran's wall and you don't get in. All you see is 1 rax and 2 supply depots. A good terran won't let an ovie in his/her base. Ok...so as zerg you want to play standard cuz you have a better macro advantage with the larvae inject...what's a SAFE zerg build that's relatively good against everything and can get you on even terms with your opponent? Spanishwa style most would say. I'd agree to that. Ok so delay gas a lot (i believe gasses at 40 or so?)..spine crawlers..queens...etc. You have no idea what terran is doing so you play very safe. Let's say you have a ling in front of his base...and what happens? You see a command center float to the nat quite early in the game. Ok so now you are pretty well behind because you can't really attack him since you're so defensive..and he can get on even terms with you on economy so that favours Terran. This however relies on Terran expo'ing...which Terran doesn't always do. Often it will be some 1-base all in...hellion/marine...thor/hellion...cloak banshee...banshee/marine/tank...pure marines (6 rax or w.e)...4 rax + scv...there's endless 1-base attacks terran can do. Basically spanishwa isn't really an opening that is standard...because if he expo's you are behind.
The issue again is that essentially terran is ALSO coin flipping if he is doing some one base-all in. He is just hoping that the opponent can't defend it...it doesn't really rely on skill..it relies on your opponent being caught off-guard which I mentioned before isn't good for improvement at all. He can't scan all game or else that will cost too much. So he can't really tell if you are going spanishwa early on enough to be able to alter his strategy. Not unless he purely scans and doesn't mule..in that case he will end up behind most games because Zerg doesn't always spanishwa.
Ok but terran CAN just do safe openings. 2 rax expo type of stuff into marine tank..it's pretty much safe vs everything. What happens? You get rolled if Zerg is SOMEWHAT decent because zerg usually coin flips as a result of not being able to scout..so they usually just drone like mad.
It's a cycle basically. To somewhat sum this up:
- Better macro advantage if both players are playing a standard game (ling bling muta vs tank marine type of thing), due to larvae inject/being able to drone like mad. Playing a standard ZvT without getting caught off-guard usually results in the Zs favour.
- However usually can't get to this point because of the lack of scouting...can't tell what terran is doing. There is no opening that will guarantee that you are even with Terran even without scouting... you basically need to just take a wild guess and hope you're right. This isn't every so often..this is every game because vs good players you won't get scouts in. So usually you won't get to the macro point of the game anyway as you'll most likely get all-in'd.
- Standard play vs Z is really rough. You just got to hope they don't drone like mad if you want to play standard or else you'll just get rolled.
- The advantage I see is that you can stop scouting and force your opponent to take guesses...however they usually coin flip as well.
For me this is very annoying because I want to play standard...and I want to play either terran or zerg. Standard TvZ is very difficult/very much favours Z...standard ZvT is a coin flip. I can't find a way to get an EVEN game going.
ZvP is coin flippy as well so that's another thing that makes me not want to play Z. In terms of choosing races...ZvP and ZvT is messed up (b/c coin flip)...while only TvZ is very rough. So basically 1/3 for T is bad and 2/3 is bad for Z...so you think I'd just play T right? Well you also need to factor in that 3/4 games that I play at masters/diamond level are against Z. Literally..it's insane how many Zs I come across in the ladder. So most of my games are vs Z regardless.
Anyway...I am going on a bit too much here. Point being...I seriously wrong about how TvZ/ZvT works? Is there a way to play an even game for either races in that match-up? Please..if I have this all wrong...refute me. I would love to learn how to play standard and get an even game that relies on skill, not coin flips. I don't think my argument is really that off however...I think it's pretty valid/true.
- ZvT/TvZ broken for both sides from what I can tell. Z has insane macro advantage for a standard game but has to flip coins to get to it. T has standard play but Z flips coins to get to the macro advantage..so playing standard is really hard to end up on even terms which results in an even game that relies on skill.
- I've played both races and find the matchup very stressful for both ends because I want to play standard.
- Am I wrong? Prove me wrong so I can learn to play standard (sorry but masters/GM advice only because advice from lower levels won't benefit me at masters level).