PiG's Guide on Dark's ZvP - Banerain, Mass Ling-bane, Broods

18 Apr 2016 10:25pm

In the SSL Finals Dark made a lot of use of a ground-breaking ZvP style.

He used early baneling drops, fast melee upgrades and a focus on pure ling-bane to survive the midgame whilst teching incredibly quickly towards broodlords. The first time I saw an archon-immortal army get completely shrekt by ling-bane I thought I had gone crazy. I must have missed a huge army advantage or something! But since then I've seen other players like soO adapting the style and often crushing huge armies with many archons in them through the explosive power and supply efficiency of ling-bane.

My first few games doing a really sloppy imitation of the style I was already beating players that had been slaughtering my other playstyles - even though my timings were sloppy as all hell. That was the moment I knew this was something Protoss would have a hard time reacting to and went and wrote down all the timings and studied up on the build. I'm confident this is one of the best ways to put reasonably low risk pressure onto Protoss whilst building a great economy and teching very fast behind it.

Starleague Finals VODs: http://sc2casts.com/cast19363-Stats-vs-SKT.Dark-Best-of-7-2016-StarLeague-S1-Finals

I did a group coaching session where I ran through most of the key points in the style:

For the opening I'm confident you can make this work off 3-hatch before pool, however because the ovie speed hits later it's a little more awkward reacting to very fast oracles, dts etc.
If you opt for that build I'd advise taking the 2nd gas earlier alongside the slightly delayed evo + bane nest, all at 4:00.
If you want to open up with a threatening 17 gas 17 pool opening check out the VoD on map 6 on Lerilak where Dark does this - knowing that Stats will be paranoid about the roach-ling timing he crushed him with in the Upper Bracket finals.

Hatch gas pool hatch Opening

  • 20 3rd hatch
  • Queen from natural
  • Don’t pull off gas
  • 25 ovie
  • 28 queen
  • 3rd queen from 3rd hatch (36 supply, 3:10)
  • Ovie speed
  • 3:50 evo + bane nest → straight into +1 melee
  • 4:20 2nd gas
  • Ovie morphs in corner so phoenix doesn’t find it

Note that on Map 2 - Prion Terraces - Dark stops his econ here and hits a huge hatch-tech 35-drone speedling-baneling + queen drop timing which also looked very intimidating. 

  • 5:00 4th base + Lair
  • As we over-saturate our minerals off that first 2 gases, we add the next 4 gases steadily
  • @Lair - infestation, 2nd evo and bane speed
  • @infestation straight to hive + spire
  • Saturate 4th base then mass ling-bane


  • No infestors
  • VS phoenix: Go up to 7 queens AND, delay 2nd gas to afford spores, then take 2nd and 3rd gas @5:00
  • 85 drones - fully saturated 4th base and a relatively fast 5th for gas/larva
  • Que up extra injects on our 4th base and 5th base
  • Go straight to broodlords, building corrupters when greater spire is 50%

This style might get "figured out" and not be completely viable as a mainstay ZvP strategy in a few months time, but for now it feels bloody powerful, and I have a feeling even if it goes out of fashion temporarily, it'll be back :).

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