Help - how to deal with phoenixes?

Narks

Vastly intelligent whale-like being from the stars
Okay, I usually play team games with fellow zerg players. One thing I've noticed, when matched against a Protoss player, they often employ [del]faggotry[/del] a phoenix rush strategy, where they focus on getting phoenixes to pick up queens and kill overlords, while their ally protects their base, sometimes through turtling with bunkers. Usually by the time we scout this, it's already too late, and even when scouted, the phoenixes are still really annoying.

Hydralisks are one solution, but they are really slow. Mutalisk is obviously not so great against Phoenix, Corruptors are pretty lame, Infestors are okay if you know when they are coming in advance (otherwise, they just get picked up), and making more Queens just means more get picked up.

Spore Crawlers are good, but the problem is they are expensive (75 + drone! :x) and require an Evolution Chamber (I don't always build one), and most importantly, quite immobile and don't contribute to defending against a ground push. Sticking four or five of them near a base is a huge investment...

Normally in 2v2 games, we both go for an expansion at 18 supply if we don't see anything cheesy, then decide what to go from there.

Any ideas how to stop lame phoenix harass?
 

Siretu

Starcraft 2 Editor Moderator
Staff member
Put down an evolution chamber as soon as you scout it, start producing two more queens and when the evolution chamber finish you try to make 2-3 well placed spore crawlers in each base.

Overlords in your base should be put over you hatchery(so they are protected by the spore crawlers) since it's not worth it to have them out to scout(at least not without speed)

If he just continues massing phoenix(instead of stopping after 4-5), one of you should switch to hydralisks(assuming you're both zergs)

Make sure to not mass a lot of hydralisks if colossi is a possibility. There's a risk for this if the other player is a protoss or if you feel that the guy going phoenix is not completely devoting all his resources to phoenix. Try to scout a lot to make sure.

Try to have one queen for each hatchery and 2-3 additional ones for defense.
 

Narks

Vastly intelligent whale-like being from the stars
How do I scout them if they have a complete wall-off? I need overlord speed?
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
If a protoss is on 1 base, you HAVE to get spores anyway to deny the threat of DT's, voidrays, phoenixes.


Most players send their first overlord near the enemy base and sacrifice it to scout ~6th minute.
 

Slapshot136

Divide et impera
I don't play zerg much, but shouldn't you have your overlords spread out such that they scout the pheonixes and give you time to position/prepare your infestors?
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
Yes you should, in fact these are one of the fundamentals when playing zerg, like getting the orbital command right after the barracks finishes for t, or never letting the chronoboost hit 100 even when saving it as a toss.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
I don't play zerg much, but shouldn't you have your overlords spread out such that they scout the pheonixes and give you time to position/prepare your infestors?
if the enemy goes for phoenix it is very dangerous to spread the overlords across the whole map.
there is the possibility that you will lose plenty of overlords and get supply capped every now and then.

what i prefer as a zerg is to spread around lings at about every possible position on the map.
This way you can always know where your enemies army is. you can also send out sacrificial lings every now and then to test his unit composition.
 

YourFace

<span style="color:#9C9C9C;"><strong>Runner Up - T
Get like 3 or 4 queens, spore crawlers and hydralisks. Don't go muta, they'll get uber pwned. You should always make an evolution chamber before teching anyway so getting spore crawlers shouldn't be a problem.
 

Vestras

Retired
Generally you can scout their tech by looking at their unit composition. Say, he has only zealots, but you saw double gas earlier. Where does all his gas go? He must be doing some sort of tech. What could it be? Air or DTs. What do you get? Evo Chambers.

How do you scout his unit composition? Scout their front with a ling.
When you scout it, just get an evo chamber and get some spores and a couple queen. Then get the one counter to Phoenix/Void Rays - DRONES!

EDIT: In my opinion, Zerg doesn't need to ovie scout. You can eliminate what he's doing by scouting his units, and his gas count. If you're unsure what he's doing, I'd just get an evo chamber, a baneling nest and a roach warren, even on hatch tech, just in case he does something. Having the building doesn't mean you need to make the unit it provides. But since Zerg has the ability to get units fast, you should use that ability.
 

Siretu

Starcraft 2 Editor Moderator
Staff member
I don't play zerg much, but shouldn't you have your overlords spread out such that they scout the pheonixes and give you time to position/prepare your infestors?
Yes you should, in fact these are one of the fundamentals when playing zerg, like getting the orbital command right after the barracks finishes for t, or never letting the chronoboost hit 100 even when saving it as a toss.
When dealing with phoenixes this is a very stupid idea. Spreading out your overlords will just lose you probably a thousand minerals or so in overlords that you have to remake. Spreading zerglings over the map is way better in that case. They cost 1/4th and the opponent has to waste energy to kill it.
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
You realize, it is possible to leave 1 sentry/stalker/zeal (the 1-1-1 for toss) infront the ramp and hide your army, right ? If you were stubborn and didn't prepare an overlord you will have to prepare from every possibility-> from pushgate, DT's, voidray,s blink stalkers, archon chargelot, slow expand, warp prism all in to phoenixes.

Or in other words: 2 spores in every mineral line, 4 spines in front of your natural, 4 spines in your main, 1 spore next to each wall of the spine crawlers. All in all that is over 1K minerals + units... that way you are safe if you don't have a sacrificial overlord and the protoss isn't retarded.
 

Vestras

Retired
You realize, it is possible to leave 1 sentry/stalker/zeal (the 1-1-1 for toss) infront the ramp and hide your army, right ? If you were stubborn and didn't prepare an overlord you will have to prepare from every possibility-> from pushgate, DT's, voidray,s blink stalkers, archon chargelot, slow expand, warp prism all in to phoenixes.

Or in other words: 2 spores in every mineral line, 4 spines in front of your natural, 4 spines in your main, 1 spore next to each wall of the spine crawlers. All in all that is over 1K minerals + units... that way you are safe if you don't have a sacrificial overlord and the protoss isn't retarded.
If he has one Sentry at his ramp, just push up? Nothing protecting it then.
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
I said 1-1-1 1 sentry, 1 zealot, 1 stalker. Also, a sentry can kill a pair of lings or forcefield them away.
 

Bloodcount

Starcraft II Moderator
Staff member
Okay, however you have to take in consideration all those poor souls which I have slaughtered because of their greed.

How do you think of scouting when the protoss has some skill of information denying and is doing at least this ?

EDIT: I agree that against most players only lings work good as well.
 

YourFace

<span style="color:#9C9C9C;"><strong>Runner Up - T
Yeah harass with lings / small ling army. If they pool then they have no defense. Mass up.
 

Narks

Vastly intelligent whale-like being from the stars
Well, I usually play 2v2 and up, and those kind of maps usually have super deluxe ramps, so I guess my problem is I'm not scouting enough with my lings, and I am not paying attention to what the scouting information means.
 

Sevion

The DIY Ninja
My advice if you can't get a ling in for scouting is to get an Overseer/Speed Overlord and just fly it in. If you opt for Overseers, just drop a Changeling.

In 2v2 if you ever suspect Stargate/Starport/Spire play, immediately throw down an Evolution Chamber if it's not already down and put 2-4 Spore Crawlers up. Make sure they're spread enough so that the enemy can't get some free shots on like the corner of your Extractors or Overlords.

Do NOT rely on Queens/Hydralisks for Anti-Air. They require more micro than they're worth unless you already have like 5 of them at each base with some upgrades.

Spores are the most cost-effective way to deal with Anti-Air in-base. If you need Anti-Air on the battlefield, then you need to make a couple of different units depending on what he makes.

Zerg:
Mutalisk -> Make Hydralisks
Corruptor -> Make Hydralisks or Don't make Air units. DO NOT let them morph into Broodlords!

Protoss:
Phoenix -> Make Hydralisks or Corruptors
Voidray -> Make Hydralisks or Mutalisks
Carrier -> Make Corruptors

Terran:
Banshee -> Make Mutalisks or Corruptors
Viking -> Make Roaches or Hydralisks
Raven -> Make any unit that can attack Air and watch out for Turrets and Seeker Missile
Battlecruiser -> Make Corruptors

Random:
Make Infestors

As you can see, the most versatile units for Zerg's air control is Infestors and Hydralisks. Corruptors come in to take down the bigger units as well as a couple lighter units.

Mutalisks aren't as useful as they can get easily defeated by any unit that can attack air or has Splash damage (Battlecruiser technically has multi-target damage and Ravens have the Seeker Missile ability).

Mutalisks are also not as useful since they do less damage against the more heavily armored units and the less armored units are actually pretty decent against Mutalisks.

Bottom Line: Get Spore Crawlers and Infestors if you suspect Air play. If you need the extra AA, get Hydralisk Den/Spire (whichever is appropriate at the time).

If it ends up being a macro game, you'll end up with both probably.

Tech switching is your friend! You, as Zerg, can tech switch faster and more efficiently than any other race. Use it to your advantage!

I.E. If he goes Banshees suddenly in the late game, FUCK HIM UP WITH DEM SPIRE UNITS!
 
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