Starcraft 2 Baneling Rush Build Order (ZvZ)
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While Zergling rushes are a popular and effective opener in
ZvZ, every Starcraft 2 player knows they do not always work. Even on 2-player maps, against an opponent who
has a lot of Drones or Zerglings of their own as well as great micro, your Zergling rush can fall short.
One good way to increase the effectiveness of your early Zergling rush is to work earlier than normal Banelings
into the build. If you delay your opponent at all with your initial rush, your Banelings can arrive well before the
enemy Zerg has anything other than Drones, Zerglings, and at best a single Queen.
With a few good Baneling hits on the enemy's Zerglings or Drones, the enemy can lose a substantial number of
units. Early in the game, losing 5 Drones or 8 Zerglings to a single Baneling usually calls for a GG.
Baneling Rush Build Order
9/10: Spawning Pool
13/18: Zerglings x3
15/18: Baneling Nest
18/18: Banelings x4 (convert one of the pairs of rallying Zerglings that is near the enemy's base)
From here, continue to stream Zerglings and Banelings as needed.
How to Use Your Units
Just like with a standard 9 Pool, you want to send in your first 3 pairs of Zerglings as soon as they spawn. If
the enemy has a Hatchery started, you can attack it directly with your Zerglings. It is important to either destroy
this expansion or at least force the enemy Zerg to cancel it.
Since this strategy follows immediately into Banelings, it is okay if your enemy gets a couple Zerglings out.
You should preferentially try to destroy any expansions while your additional Zerglings and Banelings are moving
across the map rather than killing Drones.
Once the Hatchery is down, you should have 10 or so Zerglings at the enemy's base. Send them into the enemy's
main and attack. Try to pick off Drones on the outskirts, and if the enemy turns around with their Drones and
attacks your Zerglings, just pull your Zerglings and run away. If a Queen spawns, try to kill it as a priority.
Never engage enemy Zerglings directly with your own Zerglings if there is an enemy Queen alive. The only time
you want to attack enemy Zerglings is when you have a big numbers advantage. You need to worry about just keeping
your Zerglings alive for now so your Banelings can roll in and do the heavy damage.
The first pair of Banelings should spawn and be ready to use around 4:10-4:15. This pair should roll in and try
to detonate on enemy Drones or Zerglings. If you attack the enemy Drone line with your own Zerglings, the enemy is
likely to attack your Zerglings with their Drones. This time, rather than running away, stand there and attack the
Drones while you roll two Banelings in to detonate. Either the enemy will stand there and take the detonations, or
they will run away with their Drones. If they run, you get a lot of free hits with your own Zerglings! It is a
Continue to reinforce Zerglings and morph Banelings. You should be able to put out constant pressure until you
win the game if your micro is good. If your attack gets cleaned up, it is often wise to expand and move either into
Roach tech or into a Lair. You should have an easier time than your opponent getting up to Lair since you got early
gas to get Banelings.
Just remember to save this build for 2 player maps. The smaller the map, the better. Additionally, move your
Zerglings across the map first before morphing them into Banelings. Zerglings are faster than Banelings, so if you
choose to morph Zerglings that are close to the enemy's base, they will be ready for combat faster.