The ABC Build(All-in Battlecruiser Counter)

Reactive All in

The ABC build is a reactive all in, that is particularly effective against Battlecruiser openings from Terran but can also work in most other situations. The build is strongest vs hellion openings and weakest against 2-1-1 builds. Luckily the opening to the build is completely standard, so you don’t have to commit to anything until after scouting 2-1-1 or a hellion opening.
To scout: Send your first overlord to the Terran’s natural ramp. A barracks and factory next to each other generally indicates 1-1-1 and seeing the factory swap onto the reactor is confirmation. Seeing hellions leaving their base is also an indicator of 1-1-1.

Build Strengths

Roach ravager ling builds have become more and more popular recently, being strong against hellion openers, punishing Terrans going for BCs, ravens or fast 3rd bases. This build is based around a timing attack that hits with 8-10 Roaches/Ravagers and a swell of Zerglings. It hits the opponents at 5:15-5:45 depending on the variation while still having a 2 base economy behind the attack. The Roaches and Ravagers are extremely useful as they counter the hellions, break down walls and snipe bunkers and siege tanks with corrosive bile. While you’re breaking in, it is important to sit back and not attack with your zerglings, protecting them from bunkers, tanks and hellions. When the roaches have broken the opened the wall, you can flood lings in and move in to bile farther back tanks, with the goal of breaking their front wall, killing their army and shutting down the natural base, thus winning the game.


There are two main ways to open in ZvT currently, either pool first or hatch first. Both openings are viable for this build, however keep in mind while you can delay the terrans economy by delaying their natural base with pool first you won’t delay their tech. This means you will hit a bit later and the Terran may have a few less marines, however the Terran will still have banshees/tanks depending on their tech choice. This is why it is most common to see hatch first openings with this type of build. If you are interested in learning a pool first opening, you can read the pool first guide.

Hatch First (Hidden Drone Third)

The hidden drone third is an older way of taking third bases (so that you don’t get blocked by the reaper) it is better with this build because you won’t be going over 2 base saturation, and therefore don’t need the third as fast. This means if they do end up blocking you, you can use a queen to take the third a bit later on without much negative impact. The Qlash opening or the opening found in the standard ZvT guide are both viable as well and won’t change the build much.
13 – Overlord
16 – Hatchery
18 – Extractor
17 – Spawning Pool
19 – Drone //send this drone to hide @third near vespene geyser
20 – Overlord
20 – 2x Queens
24 – 4x Zerglings
26 – Metabolic Boost //@100 Gas Take 2 Drones off of Gas
28 – Hatchery // third base using the hidden drone
31 – Queen
33 – Overlord
36 – Overlord

Serral’s 38 Drone Roach Ravager Zergling Timing

This build is safer against early hellion pressures due to the 10 lings, however can’t afford as many ravagers and relies primarily on roaches due to only have 2 gases. Since roaches are slower than ravagers and the other builds can get ravagers faster to get across the map, this build is better for smaller maps rather than larger ones.

@3:40 – Roach Warren + 1x Extractor + 8 lings
Drone up to 38
@38 Drones – 4x overlords
@100% Roach Warren – 8-10 roaches
Rally roaches across the map
Use all gas to make ravagers
Constant Speedling production to reinforce
Benchmark: You should have roaches hitting the enemy base @ 5:15-5:30


Dark’s 41 Drone Roach Ravager Zergling Timing

There is a more aggressive version of this build that Dark has done, getting the Roach warren and 2 extractors at 3:30 and ignoring the safety lings to defend the hellions, however for ladder and most cases I would recommend playing it safe by building the zerglings and taking the gases slightly later.
@3:35 – Roach Warren
@35 Drones – 6-8 Zerglings
@3:50 – 2x Extractors
Drone up to 41 Drones
@41 Drones – 4x Overlords
@100% Roach Warren – 8-10 roaches
Rally roaches across the map
Use all gas to make ravagers
Constant Speedling production to reinforce
Benchmark: You should have roaches hitting the enemy base at 5:15-5:30


Dark vs INnoVation
Dark VS INnoVation WESG

Dark’s Ravager Ling Queen timing

This build is a similar timing but brings a queens in a drop overlord and an overseer with the attack. You can use the queens to drop on top of tanks and soak damage and it often becomes easier to break sieged positions. This attack is also resilient to banshee play, as the queens and overseer can push back and kill the banshees. Currently, the build is worse than the other variants against battle cruiser play because the queens aren’t enough to fight the battle cruiser and the attack hits later, allowing the battle cruiser to finish building. With this being said, the planned yamato cannon nerf may allow the queens to fight not yamato battle cruisers.

@3:30 – Roach Warren
@35 Drones – 6-8 lings //lings to keep you safe vs early hellion timings
@3:50 – 2x Extractors
@4:00 – Lair + Queen
@100 Gas – Overlord Speed
Drone up to 41 drones
@100% Roach Warren – 8-10 roaches
@100% Lair – Dropperlord + Overseer
Load all queens into a dropperlord + Make overseer
Constant Zergling Production to reinforce, use all gas to morph ravagers
Benchmark: Hits at 5:35-5:45 with 8-10 roach/ravager, 4 Queens, 40 lings


Dark vs Ryung GSL Season 2 Ro.32


There are multiple ways to transition if this build doesn’t kill the opposing Terran. Common unit compositions include Roach Ravager based armies as well as Ling Bane Ravager, however depending on the Terran response other transitions are viable as well. Depending on the chosen build, you will want to start your lair as you transition as well as 2x evolution chambers (+1 range +1 carapace for roach ravager, +1 melee +1 carapace for ling bane ravager). Switch to making drones and drone your third base asap.

2018 GSL Season 3 Code S Dark vs aLive

This game is a good example of how to transition after doing some damage with the attack but not quite being able to kill the Terran. In this game, Dark does the 41 drone Ravager ling all in (without queens) and isn’t able to kill aLive because of banshees. Dark transitions into Ling Bane Ravager (and eventually ultralisk/broodlord) to win a 20 minute game.

Variation Pros/Cons

By getting 3 gases, your attack has more ravagers compared to the 2 gas timing, making it stronger at breaking Terrans that are heavily fortified. You can min-max all of these builds by skipping the safety lings against hellions, so that you can place the roach warren and extractors earlier at 3:30 and hit with a stronger attack. Otherwise, by making 10 lings, you are much safer against 4 hellion runbys but slightly delay the roach warren to 3:40 and have less gas for ravagers to siege. 

Banshee openings are normally strong against roach ling attacks. By supporting the ravager/ling with queens and overseers, the queen drop build puts you in a much stronger position against banshees. However, by investing in gas expensive upgrades such as Overlord speed and Lair, the attack will hit later with less ravagers.

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