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To defeat another Zerg brood, you must know the full extent of the strengths and weaknesses of each unit and structure. Since you and your enemy both have the same units and strategies at your disposal, expect a fiercely fought combat. Production speed is extremely important, as is the manner you decide to develop your Brood structures.

Overlord Scouting
Early reconnaissance with the first Overlord is a risky tactic, but the tactic can really pay off. If you can find your opponent early and see what they are building, you'll be able to adjust your own building order to properly counter or exploit the enemy's starting tactic. This provides you with an important, tangible advantage over your enemy who does not have this information. Once over your enemy's base, your Overlord will not have much to fear until your foe begins producing Hydralisks or building Spore Colonies. At this point your Overlord should retreat to a safe distance as soon as possible to avoid being destroyed.

The drawback of early Overlord scouting is the possible revealing of your position to the enemy. This gives them the opportunity to plan an offensive or defensive strategy of their own based on your location and what you could do from those starting spots. Two starting locations very close to each other usually results in a brutal Zergling rush fest. Starting spots that are a little further away usually results in Sunken Colonies being built, then both players traveling up the tech tree.

Early Game Disruption
One of the quirks in a Zerg vs. Zerg encounter is that every player can build on each other's Creep, even the enemy's. If you can quickly find the enemy with an Overlord or Drone scout, you can send your own Drones over to your opponent's Creep and begin building Creep Colonies. With this tactic you'll need a quick Spawning Pool to convert those Creep Colonies into Sunken Colonies. If done quickly enough, you should be able to severly hamper an opponent's early game build and strategies.

The ability to burrow can be very effective all throughout a game. You can use it to save your Drones when your resource areas are attacked. Once your defending units have secured the area, the Drones can unburrow and continue their work. You can also use it to quickly burrow Zerglings around the map to keep an eye on key expansion locations.

Burrowing can also be useful for ambushing enemy forces, hiding extra Drones at potential expansion spots, and protecting valuable ground units such as the Defiler. Watch for enemy Overlords that may be searching for burrowed units. Should a burrowed force be attacked while underground, they face a slight disadvantage. Unburrowing takes a small amount of time, and during this time your units are vulnerable to attack.

Zerglings are the first available attack unit for the Zerg. With their extremely low cost and ability to spawn in pairs Zerglings can terrorize enemy colonies very early in a game. Their power comes from their sheer numbers, and when upgraded with Adrenal Glands (faster attack rate) and Metabolic Boost (faster movement) Zerglings are truly an awesome combat force. If built in very large numbers (100+), Zerglings can be used to completely flood an enemy base and tear everything down in a very short period of time. Even Hydralisks, Mutalisks, Guardians or Ultralisks have a difficult time dealing with such an immense number of Zerglings.

To counter a "flood" tactic of that magnitude, use Lurkers as your primary counter unit. Their Subterranean Spines can rip through entire waves of Zerglings before the Zerglings can get close enough to cause major damage. If Lurkers are not available, you'll need masses of your own Zerglings supported by Sunken Colonies, Hydralisks, or Mutalisks to fend off that type of attack. Use choke points to your advantage when stopping floods of Zerglings, as using favorable terrain may sometimes be the only way to stop a massive Zergling rush. On open ground where the Zerglings can surround and outnumber ground units five or even ten times to one, Adrenalized Zerglings will definitely have an advantage.

In most land based maps, you will want to continue Zergling production throughout the game, not just at the beginning. Combining Zerglings with Dark Swarm is another extremely useful tactic and if your opponent is using Hydralisks or other ranged attack units to make up the core of their forces, Zerglings covered by Dark Swarm will make quick work of them or remain protected while razing an enemy base.

Zerglings on Zerglings Hydraliskis and Zerglings on Zerglings

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Zergling vs. Zergling encounters are fairly easy to manage - the player with the most Zerglings and/or upgrades will almost always win.

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To counter Zerglings, use your own Zerglings (making sure they have more upgrades), Mutalisks or Hydralisks. A mix of Hydralisks and Zerglings can generally overcome an enemy who is using only Zerglings.

As the most versatile ground unit for the Zerg, the Hydralisk appears in almost every Zerg battle. Understand all the strengths and weaknesses of the Hydralisk so that you can exploit them to your advantage. For more details, check the Hydralisk section.

Probably even more so than with Zerglings, having the clear advantage in Hydralisk numbers will determine the outcome of a Zerg vs. Zerg battle. In addition to just relying on sheer numbers, a wily Zerg Brood will use their Hydralisks creatively to gain victory. Set up choke point ambushes with Burrowing, use them to drop on the enemy from behind, or maybe use them as a decoy force so that units like Mutalisks or Guardians can accomplish a task elsewhere. Use the versatility and usefulness of the Hydralisk to the full extent and they can save you in any Zerg vs. Zerg encounter.

Stopping Hydralisks can be a little tricky, particularly in ground battles. Use Plague, Ensnare, and Zerglings with Dark Swarm cover as often as possible against masses of Hydralisks. If you have Mutalisks or Guardians available, use the terrain to your advantage and attack from over ridges, water, or space to dwindle their numbers without taking massive return fire.

Lurkers are excellent tools against the other Zerg ground units. They can tear Zerglings and Hydralisks to shreds and even the mighty Ultralisk has something to fear from the Lurker. Use them for colony defense and ambushing invading forces at choke points or high ground ramps.

The one drawback when using them against other Zerg is that any Zerg opponent will typically have an abundance of Overlords to detect a burrowed Lurker. Once detected, the Lurker is vulnerable to air attack from Mutalisks and Guardians as well as the Spawn Broodling ability of the Queen.

Much like the Hydralisk, the Mutalisk is also an extremely versatile Zerg unit, only the air is the Mutalisks' domain. Mutalisks are not hatched cheaply, but their ability to fly and attack both ground and air proves most useful in a battle between Zerg broods. Keep several pairs of Scourge with your Mutalisk groups at all times on the chance that they run into an enemy Mutalisk group. The Scourge will help tilt the tide of battle in your favor.

Should your opponent build masses of Zerglings, Hydralisks, and defensive Sunken Colonies, your best bet will be to build Mutalisks. First take care of any Hydralisks and Spore Colonies present then finish off the rest with relative ease. If the Hydralisks outnumber your Mutalisks, use your enemy's structures for your own benefit. Maneuver your Mutalisks in circles and pick off Hydralisks one by one as they try to make their way through their own base. If you have the advantage in numbers, just get it over with and attack the entire force head on and continue with the razing at your leisure.

Mutalisks tend to tightly stack when attacking a target and are particularly vulnerable to area affect attacks or abilities. Ensnare, Plague and Devourer Acid Spores can all quickly affect your entire Mutalisk horde. Dark Swarm covered Hydralisks can also be deadly to Mutalisks over open ground.

While Spore Colonies can deal significant damage to Mutalisks, the Colonies must be built in large clusters to effectively repel a large Mutalisk group. If the Spore Colonies are spread apart and not all in range of each other, large Mutalisk forces can pick them off one by one from the outer perimeter to the colony core.

Mutalisks counter Zerglings Hydralisks and Spore Colonies on defence.

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Mutalisks are the perfect counter to Zerglings.

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Hydralisks and Spore Colonies fight fiercely to prevent Mutalisks from overcoming them.

Scourge can be the key in a heavy air based battle. They can quickly destroy an invading Guardian force and any Devourers that may follow as escorts. Scourge make the perfect Overlord killers. Depending on how closely your opponent keeps his population count to the population limit, Overlord hunting with Scourge can quickly cripple an enemy's unit production. Scourge do not work as well against large groups of Mutalisks, especially if the Mutalisks are well managed. If an enemy Mutalisk force is distracted by your own Hydralisks, Mutalisks or Devourers, then the Scourge may come in handy to destroy Mutalisks one by one.

If you opponent uses Scourge heavily, the best counter is Scourge hunting with a few of your own Mutalisks or Overlords. Use the Scourge's quick tendency to auto-acquire enemy targets to lure them into traps or suicide traps. If more than two Scourge impact and destroy an Overlord, your enemy has wasted a large number of Scourge. Quick moving Mutalisks can also lure Scourge over your own Hydralisks and Spore Colonies. Since Scourge require extensive Vespene gas to produce, causing your foe to lose Scourge in such a fashion can be quite painful to your enemy's economy.

Overlord Hunting
The Overlord serves many different fucntions for the Zerg and should be protected whenever possible. Unless you have a definite need for early scouting, try not to send Overlords out by themselves. This makes them particularly vulnerable to Overlord hunts and every time you lose one, you lose eight control units, a potential transport, and a detector. Keep them within the safety of Spore and Sunken Colonies or with an attack force adequate enough to protect them. One thing NOT to do with Overlords is try and hide them in a corner of the map, hoping the enemy will not notice. Most experienced players will find them and left unprotected, you can lose an entire group of Overlords in a matter of seconds depending on the attacking units.

On the flip side, if your opponent disregards the advice above, take every opportunity to hunt down any stray Overlords your enemy might have around the map. A pair of Scourge can destroy an Overlord before your enemy realizes what's happened. Packs of Mutalisks can quickly travel around the map and eliminate any unprotected Overlord presence with ease.

Mutalisks go Overlord Hunting

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Mutalisks go Overlord Hunting.

The Queen's abilities are quite useful against other Zerg broods and should be used at every opportunity. Since most Zerg units travel in tight packs, they can be ensnared en masse, making the units ripe for attack. Enemy Ultralisks or Hydralisks can be easily dealt with using Spawn Broodling. Parasite is extremely helpful when trying to keep an eye on enemy movement and unit production. Use Parasites on Overlords to gain their detection abilities, especially on Overlords in enemy bases protected by Lurkers. Parasites can also keep an eye on any transporting activity of the affected Overlord. With a few fully charged Queens, you should be able to Parasite the majority of an enemy's Overlord population.

To deal with enemy Queens, the best solution the use of pairs of Scourge to pick the Queens off one by one. Mutalisks also work well as Queen hunters, but they run a higher risk of being hit by an Ensnare or being parasited.

Guardians are a typical unit used when breaking into a well defended Zerg colony. With their long ranged attacks, Guardians have little to fear from defending Spore Colonies or enemy ground troops. They do, however, need to worry about any Mutalisks, Scourge or Devourers that may be nearby. For that contingency, always keep your Guardians escorted by Mutalisks, Scourge or Devourers of your own.

Devourers are an excellent answer to enemy Mutalisks. Their splashing Acid Spores can seriously cripple a group of Mutalisks, making them vulnerable to attack from your own Mutalisks and Scourge. Devourers also work very well against Guardians, slowing down their attacks before the Devourers can finish them off.

If you need to deal with enemy Devourers, Scourge again prove to be the best answer. If you can catch the Devourers over open ground, you can also use Hydralisk groups to destroy them. If using Hydralisks, position your horde beneath the Devourers before opening fire to cause the most damage possible before the Devourers can escape.

Ultralisks can be quite fearsome, especially in groups. Use them to take down enemy Sunken/Spore Colony defenses, ravaging packs of Zerglings, or Hydralisks. They are unaffected by Dark Swarm and Plague is not as devastating to Ultralisks and their 400 hit points.

Enemy Ultralisks can be easily dealt with using a Queen's Spawn Broodling ability. If Queens aren't available, use Mutalisks and Guardians to destroy Ultralisks from the air.

Nydus Canals
In the late game, Nydus Canals become a key threat for both sides. Their ability to quickly transport units from one location to another can nullify the mobility advantage a Mutalisk force possesses.

One of the strange properties of the Nydus Canal is its ability to be built on anyone's Creep, friendly or not. In the case of the Nydus Canal, all you need to build the exit node is to see the enemy Creep. Using this tactic, you can invade their base from within using all the ground forces you have available. This can be especially useful on "island" maps where transporting large numbers of units can be tricky or impossible if your foe has a superior air force.

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