Starcraft 2 ZvP: Safe But Early Third Expansion Build Order (Zerg Perspective)

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Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodTaking an early third base is standard as Zerg against Protoss players, but it also leaves you vulnerable to attack. By not significantly delaying Metabolic Boost, Zerg players can get relatively early Speedlings, Queens, while still grabbing their third expansion relatively early.

Safe But Early Third Build Order

9/10: Overlord
15/18: Hatchery
17/18: Extractor
16/18: Spawning Pool
17/18: Overlord
22/26: Queen x2
23/26: Metabolic Boost (pull Drones off gas after saving up 100 gas for this)
26/28: Overlord
28/28: Zerglings x2 (2 pairs)
28/36: Hatchery
30/36: Zerglings x2 (2 more pairs)

Strategies for Using the Build

This build is designed to quickly get up to three bases without risking an early loss to Warpgate pressure.  Against Protoss players, you need to have the early Zerglings with Metabolic Boost to prevent Protoss attacks. Protoss players cannot initiate any real aggression in Starcraft 2 (outside of a proxy Gateway and Zealots) against Zerg without a proxy Pylon. The early 4 Zerglings can fan out across the map to scout everywhere for proxy Pylons.

The additional 4 Zerglings can be camped outside the Protoss player's base to make sure more Probes do not slip out to build Pylons. This contain will not hold very long, but it does not need to - just long enough for the Zerg to build a few waves of Drones and to get up to Lair tech. By then, Zerg players will have the tech, production, and resources they need to properly defend itself from a 2-Base Protoss timing attack.

Proxy Gateways are not a real threat for this build since it does not significantly delay the Spawning Pool. If the Protoss player rushes, Drones can be converted into Spine Crawlers, Queens can be produced, and Zerglings can be morphed from Larva. There is plenty of production and resources to skip the third and focus on defense should the Protoss attempt any sort of proxy Zealot cheese.

Where to Go From Here

With this opener, there are many routes for the Zerg player. Ideally, you want to fly in an Overlord or two around 6:00 to see what sorts of structures the Protoss player has started. This is about the time a Stargate, a Robotics Facility, or more Gateways would be added on for a Protoss player on two bases. If nothing is revealed with the first Overlord, send in an additional one at 7:00.

Your next response depends on the Protoss player's actions. Should a Protoss player add on a Stargate or two in addition to 3 or less Gateways, you generally want to work towards Hydralisk tech. Add on a few Spore Crawlers to stop Phoenix harass and supplement your forces with a few additional Queens against Void Rays.

Against a Robotics Facility, Swarm Hosts are a great choice. Swarm Hosts are very strong against Sentry/Zealot/Immortal timing attacks. Just make sure you add in a Spore Crawler here and there to prevent Warp Prism harass.

One good option is to just go for both Hydralisks, Swarm Hosts, and a few supplemental Spore Crawlers. That way you will be prepared no matter what forces the Protoss player throws your way. Since Hydralisks and Swarm Hosts share upgrades, players can work on getting +Missile Attacks and +Ground Carapace and no matter which unit they train, both will benefit. This defensive approach is good for Zerg players who want to take a quick fourth base and have no real interest in going in on the offensive until they take that fourth base.

 Click Here to Get The Osiris Method