About me

I'm a starcraft 2 masters league zerg grinding my way to the top 200 (eventually). I play a lot, practice a lot, and complain a lot. Go ahead and add me cSObroto.827. I will be posting FPVODs, strategies, and casts.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How I learned to macro and go from Silver league to Masters league (as Zerg)

In the beta, I started off as a silver level player.  I was lucky enough to speak with CatZ and Sheth back then, and they pounded into my brain that macro should be my main focus.  As a Zerg player, this is our strength, so I had to learn to do it as best as possible and exploit this strength to the fullest.

I understand I'm not the highest level player out there and can make mistakes in judgement, decision making, and strategy, but I think this can help lower level players the way it helped me.

So I see a lot of miscers and others stuck below diamond and have been there for a while and wondering to themselves, HOW THE FUCK DO I GET BETTER?!  A recent discussion between a few other misc members (asd, aaroB, tada, etc.) and myself has led me to write this.  I know you've all heard it before, but what I want all you lower level players is to focus on MACRO MACRO MACRO (don't worry, I'll get into how to accomplish this in a bit).  A thread on teamliquid.net has gotten some action as well, where a player purposefully lost all his placement matches to be placed in bronze.  From there, he did NO micro and just focused on macro - building workers, keeping money low, and expanding, all whilst making units to defend.  After that, he would just 1a stalkers towards the opponent's base and win (again, no micro).

I'm sure many of you know that you should focus on macro, but how do you do that?  You need to set a foundation of what you are trying to accomplish.  Here are two exercises that got me out of silver, into gold, raped through platinum, and climbed through diamond.  This was in a matter of 2-3 weeks of beta.

Goal #1: Get 3 bases and max out in 14 minutes or less:

Way back when I was a lowly silver player, I did not know how to drone and when to take bases.  Basically keep droning until you need units to defend.  Sheth had me do nothing but get to 3 saturated bases, then make units (units before saturated 3 bases only to defend).

Fire up a game against a very easy computer -
-15 hatch
-15 pool
-double queen when your pool is finished
-inject, make drones and overlords, repeat
-take a 3rd when you are having money left over and no larvae to spend it on
-when you have 3 bases saturated (~70 drones), spam roaches and overlords or whatever and get to 200/200.

Didn't get 14 minutes or less?  Try again and again and again!  That should give you an idea of how you should play if you are unhindered by any harrass, etc.  It should also improve your speed.  You can try this in ladder as well, just making units and spines as needed to defend.  Remember to keep injecting, using your larvae, and getting overlords.

After getting this simple macro goal down, I went from silver to diamond very quickly.  It took time, but was very easy macroing and making units off of 3 bases to overwhelm all my opponents.  Of course, you have to take your 4th eventually, but focus on this first.


Goal #2:  Keep your money below 1000 minerals!

I showed Sheth some of my progress in replays.  He said something along the lines of "okay, but I want to see you have 1 game where you keep your minerals below 1000."

When I first started doing this, I could not for the shit of me and mother, keep my money low.  I wasn't used to the income off of a saturated 3 bases.  You can't just make a goal and say "okay, keep money low". Set a number!  1000 minerals was my first number - I eventually lowered it to 800, then 600, etc.  1000 minerals is a good starting point (for zerg at least).  When you get close to 1000 minerals, SPEND IT ON ANYTHING! Units, upgrades, overlords, hookers, or whatever the hell you want.  If you go over 1000 minerals, look at it as a failure and find out what you did wrong.

What will keeping your money low force you to do?
- keep your energy low on queens
- constantly make units/workers
- constantly expand
- force you to research upgrades
- force you to not get supply blocked

Step 2 brought me from low level diamond to mid-level diamond, where actual strategies, micro, and good decision making were needed to win the game.  Of course it will get harder to accomplish these goals as you climb ladder.

Okay bros, please please please work on step 1 for a week or two.  This helped me tremendously.  After you can get a consistent 3 base max in 14 minutes, try it on ladder and make units just to defend.  Expect to lose a lot too.  However, once you get this down along with good scouting, you will be raping and pillaging lesser sc2 bros who don't know how to macro and stay on 1 base.  They will say you are "IMBA" and you will respond with "LOL NOOB".

So try it out and leave me questions, feedback, comments, whatever.

glhf brahs


  1. i havnt even gotten around to playing enough sc2 but i enjoyed reading this post, great job. ill need to reference back to this when i get back into the game.

  2. I've never played SC2 but I enjoy reading the strategies. Keep 'em coming!

  3. Hello~! nice SC2 blog. I will keep your strategy and general guidelines in mine when i play in the future

    I have followed your blog.
    Could you follow mine too please at:
    SkyBlueTrading Blog

    I currently have a competition of stock price guessing where I will give the winners $50.00 for winning the competition. Check it out!


  4. good info. :D
    thefitmuscle.blogspot.com (updated)

  5. I always lose b/c of poor macro. I will follow this advice and practice!

  6. nice broto...i got a smurf account and im going to try and hit a high level with zerg on it now.

    -Lucky L3fty

  7. nice, this guide should really help people get better at this game!

    your friend,

  8. great guide


  9. Like i said before i sucks dick at this game, but this stuff is really helping (srs) MOAR!!!

    Follow me up brahs!!


  10. So much depth in this game, sadly it will remain on my wish list until next month!

  11. Great guide, nice to see a glimpse of what sets the really good rts gamers apart.

  12. Awesome tips man, I really need the solo practice

  13. nice post
    followed :)


  14. starcraft is an awesome game. My roommates play it constantly. Its awesome that you're ranked so high.


  15. awesome!

    following and supporting

  16. Great guide. I'm not a SC2 player, but I know how to play it. I may have to pick it up soon.

  17. practice makes perfect; good luck with your goal

  18. Damn. Pretty good recommendations in here. You even had a couple of pieces that I hadn't even considered and this is my minor addiction outside of work. Thanks!

  19. Yup, learning to macro properly is the most important step to get to a level, where strategies matter.


  21. really informative post bro , a little bit long but it's cool


    i will follow you