Group D was the group of death: the reigning SSL Champion (Classic), the reigning GSL Champion (Rain), MVP’s top Protoss player (YongHwa). And Snute came out on top with an aggressive heavy Hydralisk style in ZvP.
Snute opens with a safe 15 Pool, 16 Hatch to avoid a cannon rush and transitions into a relatively normal 3rd base timing around 4:00 and Zergling speed soon after. Around 7 minutes, he goes up to 30 Zerglings to deny Rain’s 3rd base and immediately goes into Hydralisk production. He uses those to destroy the 3rd base again and create a soft contain. The safe opening allows Snute to apply pressure before typically 2 base timings come in from Protoss.
From here, Zerg will typically transition into either Infestors to lock down the Stalkers or more Vipers for the Blinding Cloud, but Snute gets away with building only 2 Vipers. Most of us don’t have army control like Snute, but he pulls it off with smart positioning and baiting forcefields. Keeping the Viper and Infestor count low leaves more gas for Hydralisks.
There are a few caveats to this style. First, this build is likely a response to the prevalence of Blink Stalkers in the current meta. Against a more traditional Colossi army, the mid-game pressure timing is much tighter. This seems like the biggest potential risk to this style
Second, there are different ways to transition. In his other games, Snute also opted for Roach Zergling pressure early on, so there are options for staying aggressive.
Third, Snute delays upgrades for a long time. His first attack/armor upgrade is +1 missiles at 12:00. This might be a risk against a double Forge style with more armor upgrades to buffer against the Hydralisks. To sustain the attack, you probably will need to go up to 4 bases. Snute gets it very late in this game, but you can see other timings in his games against Classic
Fourth, the late-game composition is presumably more flexible for how the Protoss responds. Against High Templar, Snute opted for more Roaches. If he had seen more Colossi, I would guess you would get more Vipers for the Abducts.
So in summary, safe opening + big Speedling attack + mid-game Hydralisk contain = devastated GSL/SSL champions
Check out the rest of this series and Snute’s series against Classic for more games like this http://spawningtool.com/28108/
- 9 Overlord
- 15 Spawning Pool
- 16 Hatchery
- 15 Overlord
- 15 Queen
- 17 Zergling x4
- 21 Extractor, Hatchery, Overlord
- 29 Overlord, Metabolic Boost
- ~5:40 Queen x2
- ~7:00 Lair, Zergling x20/30 (attack the 3rd)
- 8:00 Extractor x4
- 8:40 Hydralisk Den
- 9:20 Grooved Spines, flood Hydralisks