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How to effectively zergling rush in sc2

In SC2 Drones, Probes, and SCV's eat lings alive. They'll destroy them fast, so fast in fact that you may not even kill off one before you lose your initial 6 lings. For this reason a lot of people don't really know how to rush. They'll throw the lings in the mineral line go back to their base and deside it is a waste of time and effort when they come back to 6 dead zerglings. I will detail what I do during my Zergling rush in this little article here. I'll try to follow it up with a few youtube videos in the future.

You don't want to just run in your opponent's peon line and start attacking, there is some finesse to rushing in SC2. You run in like you are going to kill their peons, even targeting one, make your opponent pull 5 - 6 peons off the mineral line, then retreat temporarily. Stopping those peons from mining is about 50 minerals lost for your opponent right there. If your opponent keeps following your lings that is more money, and you can probably pick off one or two with no loss to your lings.

If you do that 5 to 6 times, you have made your cost of your six lings and some. Please know that a rush isn't made to win the game (although it is a nice bonus of course if that does happen), but to slow down your opponent, and get him off his game.

For each race you have to do something different:



If you get in:

Play chicken with the scv's (as described above) until a marrine comes out. Try to time a pull back from his peons as the marine pops. When the marine pops kill him, rinse and repeat with scvs.

If he walls off:

Attack two supply depots with three lings each. Normally you'll get one because it'll take 3 scv's on each depot just to keep it up. After you knock one down kill a few SCVs. By this time you are almost dead and he has a marine. 1 Supply depot + 1 SCV + repair time on two depots and you have made your money back in his losses and hopefully slowed down his unit production. After that send the remaining lings to watch towers in order to heal up (should have at least two left after this).

Note: this is a rush so you can usually get there before the marine pops.


You have to get here early for this to work right and have a little luck on your side. If you get the lings over soon enough you'll beat the first zealot out. When you get there target the pylon powering the gateway. The zealot will more than likely come out while you are focusing down the pylon. Micro your lings until the pylon is down (move the ling the zealot hits to the other side of the pylon).

After Pylon is down do the peon dance described above. Two runs away from the minerals will be 50 minerals (about) and anything else you do in his base is win!

Note: While doing this you should be teching to Roaches because he probably will not have stalkers out soon enough to deal with them and will be over compensating with zealots anticipating more lings.



Harder to do because they usually can have more lings out faster but still possible. For this match-up I'll set my rally point in their base and continue to build lings at home. Generally I get there and they have lings being made, and or a queen out (sometimes both if they are trying to do the same to me).

Scenario 1: No defensive units

If you get there and do not see a Queen, or any Zerglings try to focus down their spawning pool. If you get it down you'll win the game. I generally don't go after drones right away because I'll need every Hit Point for when their lings do pop out. If he starts pulling drones from the line to attack your lings, dance and run away until the lings get out. Ensure that you continue to build lings in your base during this entire process.

Scenario 2: With Defensive units

When my 6 lings arrive I target the queen right away (lings there or no lings there). Microing of course to save as many lings as possible. Once the queen is down you have already slowed their production and made your money back. Queens are the easiest early game target and have a great effect on the Zerg player's game.

Once the queen is down I usually leave his creep area until a few more lings arrive. Most of my lings will be in the red and won't do anything to his 6 that are going to be popping soon (if they haven't already). If my extra 2 that I built while I was downing the queen arrive I'll run back in there with them leading the charge and usually will down his 6. Now I just play tag with his drones while I keep building lings from my base.

Always with Zerg vs Zerg tech to fast lings vs before anything else. Zerg early game is usually a ling vs ling battle for a very long time, and the first to speed lings will have a huge advantage.

While I don't win as often as I use to in SC1 with 6 lings, it still is possible. I hope with this guide you too can get cursed out by your opponent in the first 5 minutes of play ;)

source: JoeOrange

23 Mar 2010 | Comments (20)

Lazelldfox wrote (2012-03-18 23:39:51)

avatar Zergling

thanks 4 the info won a few games off it

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Fjsdl wrote (2011-03-08 23:24:24)

avatar Zergling

I am a protoss player myself, and if you don't know how to counter effectivley, your skrewd. hint hint, if protoss, scout early on and get the zealot out as soon as possible!

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Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:19:01)

avatar Immortal

good 8

+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:18:41)

avatar Immortal

good 7

+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:18:32)

avatar Immortal

good 6

+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:18:21)

avatar Immortal

good 5

+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:18:11)

avatar Immortal


+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:18:02)

avatar Immortal


+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:17:53)

avatar Immortal

good 2

+2 up rate down rate

Foxtroot wrote (2010-08-30 11:17:40)

avatar Immortal

good 1

+2 up rate down rate

Aurelius wrote (2010-05-25 10:05:37)

avatar Zergling
Awesome guide!
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Dysent wrote (2010-05-12 07:48:19)

avatar Zergling

Nicely written - good insights. I'm curious what # of drones you're pooling on. 8pool? 9pool?

A side note about ZvZ ling rush that might be worth adding: because ZvZ a ling rush has to do serious damage or face near-auto loss to a more conservative build, I use drone #10 to harass their drones and slow them a bit (but don't lose it!!!) while my lings build. Once my lings are most of the way to his base, I throw down a tower on his creep. This forces him to either stop mining to kill it (in which case cancelling the tower and running the drone away is a good deal) or split his drones (setting them up for the lings to pick off).

A good zerg player who scouts and doesn't late-pool will beat this kind of rush with minimal loss (13 drones + 4 lings vs 6 lings, and his lord will see lings coming), so I find the extra tower cheese thrown in gives at least the off chance of success. 8pooling with 2 drones offensive towering is cheesier and works better, but it's 100% all-or-nothing.

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Tabasco wrote (2010-03-29 10:37:39)

avatar Zergling

Good guide, and a good explanation of what it's all about to 'ling rush. I find your strategy against Protoss to actually be pretty effective. It tends to really throw people off their game. :)

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Inku wrote (2010-03-24 23:12:25)

avatar Reaper

Im also a Zerg player and i will try this out ! ty nice guide.

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Jame wrote (2010-03-24 15:01:41)

avatar Thor guide with a copper shield awardedguide with a copper shield awardedguide with a copper shield awardedguide with a copper shield awarded shields awarded

Good guide! It would certainly be a lot better with some images and/or videos though ;)

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Baguette wrote (2010-03-24 00:20:49)

avatar Zergling

You write good things

  0 up rate down rate

Unreal wrote (2010-03-23 23:29:28)

avatar Zergling

thanks! looks nice :D

  0 up rate down rate

Ligaozin wrote (2010-03-23 22:58:36)

avatar Thor guide with a copper shield awardedguide with a copper shield awarded shields awarded

Thanks, the source is written in the bottom. All thumbs for him!

  0 up rate down rate

Xedar wrote (2010-03-23 22:42:14)

avatar Zergling

This one is great written, good job!

  0 up rate down rate

Killsen wrote (2010-03-23 20:11:38)

avatar Zergling

Im zerg player, good one I try instantly!

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