There's been a new sensational build as of late with the removal of the Transformation Servos upgrade: "Some Kind of Mass Hellbat All-in". Oh noz. Luckily, Effort created a beautiful anti-hellbat build which incorporates overlord speed, roaches, and later on a nydus to scout, deflect the attack, then turn around and crush the Terran player. So, without further ado:
Effort vs. Maru, Set 1 on Merry Go Round
- 9 overlord
@100% pool -> zerglings x2, queen x2
@100 gas -> zergling speed
**pull 2 drones off of gas**
**overlord poke @6:00**
IF DENIED ->
@6:00 -> start overlord speed + roach warren
Add 2nd gas + put drones back on gas
@7:00 -> double overlord scout
Add 3rd gas
@7:15 -> 3rd hatchery + lair
Start queen/roach production
After holding pressure:
Add 4th gas
Start nydus network
Start overlord drops (optional)
First thing to note, this is simply a variant of standard play. If Effort scouts with his initial overlord and gets a full read, he can simply take a 3rd at the standard time (6:15) and continue to play a normal macro game. Additionally, after holding your opponent's pressure, you can opt to simply saturate your 3rd base and continue with a roach/ling based mid game instead of following up with an all-in. You don't even have to go roach/queen, you can defend with banelings and go into two-base muta instead, etc.. That said, there are a lot of branches to this build, making it very interesting and possibly even a little bit deceptive at times.
In this particular game, Maru goes for an odd marine/hellbat/banshee attack that hits at 9:00. There are some incredibly early pressures that hit at 8:00 (8 hellbats/2 medivacs), but this build can scout and defend them in time as well. The main things that Effort is looking for when he's scouting into the Terran main at 6:00 and 7:00 are:
- The presence of a 3rd CC
- The configuration of buildings
- The add-ons
The first piece of the puzzle is whether or not the Terran has a 3rd CC. Simply put, the presence of a 3rd CC means that there is unlikely to be any pressure before 10:00. However, if there's no CC around, that generally means that the minerals are being spent elsewhere and indicate some kind of 2-base pressure that hits before 10:00. The second piece of scouting info is the configuration of buildings, that is, the number of barracks, factories, and starports. Very often, the configuration is either 3 barracks or a 1-1-1 combination, but there are a few other combinations including double barracks or double factories instead. Knowing the configuration of buildings helps you understand the kind of threat that's on the way, whether it's a CS pressure, standard hellion/banshee, mine drops, 2fact BFH, etc., etc. The final piece of scouting is which add-ons the Terran player has. The most common configuration is 1 reactor and 1 tech lab, which generally powers hellion/banshee or hellions -> fast stim. 2 reactors signifies aggression and typically has to do with hellbat timings; this is the biggest thing we're looking for with these new hellbat builds!
Effort delays his 3rd base in favor of more gas and a slightly faster lair (which is never a bad idea against 2-base aggression). Once he finds out what he's up against, he starts roach/queen production to deflect the attack, which he does quite easily.
After the attack, Effort is sitting on 50 drones but has 3 bases up and a lair complete. From here he can either counterattack with his roaches while using queens for defense and droning hard or he can opt for a more aggressive options: the nydus network. In this particular case, Effort felt that he was far enough ahead to make a nydus network work, but he could have just as easily continued on a macro track. This nydus network option makes a lot of sense because Effort just has a bunch of queens and roaches now, lair tech, and the Terran is just now getting his delayed infrastructure up, especially if he opted to go 3rd CC into upgrades AND THEN into extra rax or factories. The optional overlord drops I mentioned in the build can be used to more reliably make your nydus work. It allows you to drop 5-6 overlords full of queens/roaches while simultaneously protecting the nydus worm as it goes up. Again, this makes sense because you already have overlord speed researched and a bunch of queens and roaches out.
All in all, it's a good build that makes a lot of sense. I highly recommend it to anyone who is having a lot of trouble with these types of early hellbat builds (which is mostly everyone). Good luck, have fun! And let me know if there are any questions!