I would appreciate not immediately jumping to defend the awesomeness of muta, muta micro and so on (which I love btw, it's so awesome) - it's just that this strategy, unlike ZvP or essentially any non-mirror match-up - seems to just not be solid. It's very strong but it's kind of fragile, like a very powerful gimmick that works a lot of the time but ultimately, something seems to be missing in it at a fundamental level, at least to me (and i'm no pro by any means, big noob currently and may be very wrong, ~1500 zerg atm - i'm simply trying to understand this match up better).
Mutas - positives:
- it slows the T down enough so you can expand - get hive tech - get more expansions and defend with swarm
- it's hugely threatening with good micro and can do devastating dmg for even seemingly minor mistakes in T defense
- a huge positive is that it also automatically makes T drops midgame less viable
- you automatically have anti-vessels tech
- you generally get map control for a good portion of midgame (unless it's something like 5rax but then it's more micro-dependent)
It's a strong strategy, no doubt but ultimately it doesn't appear solid, at least to me. I've watched a game where Jaedong crushed the terran's mid game with mutas. 10-15 scv's killed with 3-4 scv's left in the nat, like 2-3 size'able mm pushed killed of fully, that kind of stuff. He wasn't making many extra mutas to accomplish that, if any. After that, it was still SUPER CLOSE. He barely, barely defended his 4th even with swarm, had a close call with nydus that, had it failed, would lose the game and it looked very fragile. The transition out of mutas on the condition of them slowing the terran enough, seems like a very fragile and weak part in the chain of that strategy.
Let's put it like that - usually when a great midgame advantage is secured, it results in snowball and opponent being steamrolled with proper play. No close calls. For example, get a big advantage mid game in ZvP - zerg can usually steamroll because you just have that much more supply, army and economy to reinforce it, there's nothing they can really do except tricks to catch you off guard ht drops dt corsair etc. However in ZvT, assuming muta strategy - you can get very big advantage mid game and there still ARE close calls, it's still the terran pushing you and having the map control after they get the critical m&m mass, there's just something fundamentally off or not solid in this strategy, at least the way I see it now.
Now, non-mutas mid game is also hugely problematic due to raw strength of m&m, m&m micro, drops mid game, m&m contains - it's very difficult to come up with any alternative strategy that would actually be better that mutas mid game.I'm also aware that lurkers openings are somewhat viable, even Zero claimed on stream that you can go up to 2k on kr ladder with lurker opens ZvT - however, the assumption is that once you get high enough, mid game muta ZvT is the best option and that's the real question.
It's strong and works a lot of the time but at some fundamental level, it appears somewhat fragile and it's very interesting to me how all the pros stand by it as the best possible strategy. Is there really not a more solid mid game alternative that would work at the highest levels of play, I guess that's a rhetoric but were or are there any recent developments in ZvT, nobody tried any different way of playing that was somewhat effective and looked promising?