Economic Ling Bane Hydra Lurker 4.0 ZvP

Professional Vod

Elazer vs Showtime WESG 2017 Qualifiers Game 3 Black Pink

Elazer opts for an all-in attack using corruptors to counter showtimes colossus play instead of the alternative lurker play. However this vod showcases early to mid-game ZvP for a standard economic game.


RiSky vs Showtime EU Ladder Neon Violet Square

This is a replay of RiSky vs Showtime on the EU ladder playing a similar ling bane hydra lurker style as the build shown below. This game is played well, however it is important to note more early-mid game scouting is advised.

Build Order


The opening build will rarely change. The opening build will only change if your opponent is doing something early or really aggressive, such as proxy gateways or cannon rushing.
The build timings are what you may have to change based upon what your opponent is doing in the mid-late game. If your opponent is playing fairly standard you should be able to hit all of the times. Only deviate in the build when facing more aggressive mid-game Protoss builds such as DT/Archon drop, or the 8 adept pressure. Add some amount of ling bane to defend any initial Protoss attacks (only once you scout they are coming) and make an amount of ling bane when you start poking their fourth base location with your army.

Important: this build is designed to be optimal against star gate openers from Protoss, which is the most common standard Protoss build currently.

Opening Build

13 0:12 – Overlord
17 – Hatch
18 – Extractor
17 – Spawning Pool
19 – Overlord
20 – @100% Pool 2x queens + 4x lings //Send lings to third to check for their probe
26 – @100 Gas Metabolic Boost //Take 2 drones off gas
30 – Hatchery // Once your third is complete start Queen
33 – Overlord
36 – Overlord
42 – Queen
44 – Queen

Overlord Speed Option

If you want to get early overlord speed, keep 3 drones in gas after starting ling speed and start overlord speed once you have 100 gas. Take 2 drones off of gas after starting overlord speed and add them back at 4:00.

Build Timings

@3:30 – Spore Crawlers if Needed for Oracle
@4:00 – Put 2 drones back on gas
@4:30 – Lair + 2x Extractors //Spores now if needed for DT drop
@4:40 – 1x Queen
@5:00 – 1x Evolution Chamber
@5:10 – 1x Baneling nest
@5:15 – 4th Gas 1x Queen
@5:25 100% Evolution chamber – start +1 Range
@5:27 100% Lair – Hydralisk den
@5:40 – 5th Gas
@5:50 – 6th Gas, 4th Hatchery
@5:50 – Optional Macro Hatchery //Recommended to take a macro hatch around this time
@5:53 100% Baneling Nest – Centrifugal Hooks
@5:56 100% Hydralisk den – Hydralisk Range
Make 10-15 Hydralisks and use remaining minerals to make Zerglings and add some banelings
Pneumatized carapace – Once you have finished making the hydras and ling / bane, start overlord speed.
@6:32 – Optional 2nd Evo Chamber to start +1 Melee as +1 Range finishes
@6:57 – Optional +1 Melee
@7:07/@100% Hydralisk Range – Hydralisk Speed
@7:19 – +2 Range

After making the hydras and zerglings poke with your army, if the Protoss is taking a fourth:
//Do not engage the Protoss army unless you are ahead and it is clear you will decisively win the fight (almost all of the time this will not be the case)

  • Drone 4th base to a total of 80-85 drones
  • Take 7th and 8th Extractors
  • Lurker Den
  • Infestation pit
  • @100% infestation pit, hive
  • @100% hive, adaptive talons, +3 range, adrenal glands
  • Take a 5th Base around 7:30-8:00
  • Start carapace upgrades eventually once your evolution chamber(s) are free and +3 range has been researched

If the Protoss isn’t taking a fourth, just produce ling bane hydra and defend on 4 base ~70-75 drone economy. If the Protoss has colossus during their push around this time, tech to lurkers as they are important for defending against colossus. Once the Protoss fourth base is placed follow above steps. Transfer drones to the fourth as minerals deplete in the main and natural.

Early Game (0:00-5:30)

There are three main early game goals with this build order and standard ZvP in general. First  get a strong economy to start the game, second identify what your opponent is doing and third make changes to your play if necessary. You want to use primarily zerglings, queens and spore crawlers for defense. Against all-in Protoss attacks, or fairly heavily committed ones such as a DT/Archon drop, roaches or banelings can be required.

Mid Game (5:30-7:00)

In the mid game you want to be getting lots of tech, hydralisk den, hydra and baneling upgrades as well as ground unit/evolution chamber upgrades. You want to continue to check what your opponent is doing and add a 4th base and eventually 5th base. In the mid-game the goal is to get up to the ideal economy, deflect the Protoss attacks/pressures and start/finish tech that will allow you to heavily pressure them in the late-game. The tech of choice for this build is lurkers with the adaptive talons upgrade.

Late game (7:00+)

In the late-game you want to heavily pressure the Protoss player while continuing to get upgrades and slowly add on tech as it is required. Important tech that is often useful in the late-game against Protoss includes: spire, spire upgrades, greater spire, neutral parasite, burrow (if not already researched), pathogen glands, sometimes ultralisk cavern. However the important part with this build is to pressure the Protoss, making lots of adaptive talon lurkers and pressuring their fourth base will heavily restrict their ability to transition to carrier, mother-ship, High Templar armies and often just win the game. Adaptive talon lurkers are powerful because of their greater ability to re-position, allowing them to move into the Protoss player much faster and get more damage done due to burrowing in less than half the time.

Reacting to Protoss

There will be more articles in the future about how to react to certain Protoss builds, however I believe it is important to include the proper reaction to the second most common standard Protoss build currently, the DT/archon drop due to it requiring a lot of changes.

Changes to make vs DT/archon drop

It is important to get a much faster lair against the DT / Archon drop, if they rush a spore crawler with DTs they can end up dealing a critical damage, or you will have to sacrifice drones to protect the spore crawler. Make a few extra queens (2-3) for defense to help push back the warp prism.

Steps to defend

  • Put 2 drones back on gas as soon as you scout DT / Archon drop
  • 2x Extractor – Add a second gas once you scout the build
  • ~@3:40-3:50 – Lair + Roach Warren //or as soon as you scout DT – Archon drop
  • @4:30 – 3x spore crawlers (1 in each base) //You can get away with 2x spore crawlers, since Protoss usually only pressures the third or natural, however it is safer to get 3.
  • @100% Roach warren – 8-10 roaches to defend the initial push
  • @100% lair – Overseer
  • @100% lair & 100 gas – glial reconstitution
  • Often the Protoss will follow-up with a chargelot archon attack, if this is the case you will need to make more roaches, otherwise transition (see follow-up section). Around 50-53 drones make more roaches to hold this attack.
  • Add 3rd and 4th gas around 55 drones
  • Add 5th and 6th gas around 65 drones


  • Both roach, ravager, hydra, lurker and ling, bane, hydra, lurker compositions are viable choices after defending an archon drop. If you transition to ling, bane, hydra lurker stop making roaches once you have enough to hold the follow-up chargelot archon attack.
  • This choice must be decided depending on the game and your own play style.


Thanks to mYinsanity RiSky for helping me create these guides. He is a high GM EU player who offers coaching as well as streams on twitch. He provided the replay against showtime and edited the article.

RiSky SC2’s Coaching Page

RiSky SC2 Twitch

2 Replies to “Economic Ling Bane Hydra Lurker 4.0 ZvP”

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