Ugh, the dreaded Zerg. I was planning to do this as my last race specific guide in the series, but then I realized how little I know about Protoss.
Just another side note, I posted a replay pack of all my 1.03 replays on the NGW forums, which included 17 replays with around a 60% win rate: http://nextgenwalkthroughs.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=8795
Zerg as a Race
Zerg is viewed by most as a flimsy, APM intensive race with very little advantages over Protoss and Terran. This is true in some instances, but in others people are simply underestimating some zerg units and not responding to Terran strategies in particular correctly. Zerg is very reactionary to what a Terran or Protoss player does. Now, I don't proclaim to be an expert on Zerg and I would not say to avoid them, because they are a very strong race if you stick with them through the bad, which is something I wish I had done.
Zerg has tons of freedom in builds, so making exact build orders is very difficult considering that they are the most freeform race. Here are the best/most standard openers:
This is where Zerg builds diviate. Depending on who you are playing against, you should do the following:
This is the most standard starter against terran. It sets you up so that you have 100 gas when your pool finishes for quick ling speed. Afterwards you expand when you feel comfortable (~20 supply or earlier)
This opening is very strong against a docile terran. It can give you a huge advantage if the terran is not going to be aggressive early game.
Before I even start, I'm just going to say that ZvZ is a nightmare.
This may sound cheesy, but if your opponent goes 14 gas, 13 pool you can do tons of damage with an early pool. Remember that for every drone you kill, that instantly gives you the economic advantage. Not recommended for long distance spawns.
A much more standard opener for Zerg and allows for ling speed. Just don't forget banelings.
Zerg are unique compared to the other races in that they don't queue units. This has obvious advantages, but unknown disadvantages to newbies. Making drones for Zerg is not such a black and white decision as it is for Protoss/Terran. You must know when to pump drones and when you need to have fighting units. This timing is extremely difficult to explain to someone who is new to the game. I'll give a general checklist for when to/when not to pump drones.
When to Pump Drones:
When not to Pump Drones:
* This is subjective. It could be after a successful attack or when you trade armies with your opponent.
** Pumping Drones does not mean that you should not tech yourself. If you see your opponent, for example, getting banshees with cloack, get your lair and a few extra queens
Drone Pumping (cont.)
Learning when to pump drones will put a Zerg player in a huge advantage. In StarCraft 2 macro is much more important than it was in BW. If you can secure a good economy, then the game will play itself and you can simply out-macro your opponent. Although, there are a few general things you need to know about matchups that are necessary to perform.
Reacting to Strategies and Preventative Openers (Race Specific)
In addition to what has been stated, there is a general build order for Zerg players v Terran. Not adhering to this can lead to some strategies giving the Terran an autowin - you don't want that.
Don't get Hydralisks
Ultralisks or Broodlords never hurt
...They also do pretty well against tank lines as well.
Against Banshee Rushes/Harass
Banelings ♥ Marines
Protoss are a little different when it comes to dealing with them. Hydralisks are much better due to Protoss's limited range and become a core part of the army.
Roaches are to be avoided early game (before lair).
Hydras are your friend, but watch out for the storm.
Corrupters beat Collosus
Broodlords > Ultralisks
Against Void Rays
Ugh, do I really have to? If you know me, I've been very vocal about my dislike of ZvZ. In my opinion it is the worst matchup in the game. This was the final straw for me to switch from Zerg to Terran (which has an incredibly dynamic mirror matchup). How did Blizzard fuck up as bad as in SC1. I would even argue its worse. I'll be honest, there will be very little advice I can give you here.
End the game early.
Punish early expands or lose.
You actually got to mutalisks?
Keep up with your injects and bases and know when to pump drones. It will launch your ahead as a Zerg player. Game sense in general is very necessary when it comes to beinga zerg player. Don't be afraid to suicide overlords for a scout. Zerg has to play reactionary to Terran and Protoss.
Thanks for reading!