I've decided to write a guide on beating the 4 gate push that is all the rage right now in the 1v1 leagues. This build is rough on us poor Zergies. Here, I will teach you how to send those Zealots packing.
So, you are happly producing your drones and are reaching 9 or 10 supply, what do you do? Well, if you are playing on Zerg's home stadium of Scrap Station or on Desert Oasis, then you do nothing. Your overlord will be in his base momentarily and tell you all you need to know. What's that? You forgot to send your overlord to his starting position as soon as the game started? Shame on you!
On any other map, it is wise to send a drone scout out around 9 supply. Send him the opposite way that you sent your overlord. On his way out of the base, make sure you select the drone and press ctrl+2. This way, when Fluffy the Drone Scout finds his enemy you can just press 2 twice quickly and get a good look at your opponent. Also, if Buttercup the Overlord happens to find the enemy in the position closest to you on maps like Lost Temple, then you can easily press 2 and tell Fluffy to get back to the much safer job of mining minerals.
So you may be wondering: "But Antpile, what about maps like Steppes of War where I know where my opponent started? Surely and overlord is sufficient here." The answer, my eager student, is that no, it is not. Buttercup will not arrive in time to see if there are any shenanigans going on (like proxy gates). Fluffy should definitely be dispatched at 9 on maps like these.
I see 2 gate or the standard 1 gate into gas.
At this point, you need to do your standard build order of 13 pool, 15 hatch or whatever variation you are most comfortable with. If you see 2 gate, expect aggression and make lings, a spine crawler, and roaches appropriately. Basically hold it off whatever way you know how.
It is important to keep Fluffy in their base at this point. Keep him moving around so that the enemy cannot catch him. If you have to, hold shift and click like crazy in big circles around their base. Protoss have no way of stopping a scout until they have a Stalker in play as long as you keep moving. The only reason your scout should die at this point is because you aren't paying attention. I know it can be hard to babysit Fluffy and build your base simultaneously, but it is a skill you need to learn sometime; So it may as well be now.
Okay, I've scouted him (Go Fluffy!) and he is definitely going 4 gate!
Now this is when most Zerg make their big mistake. The key is here is not to over-drone. You only need enough drones for one base spread between the two, and you are ahead. If you have roughly 12 drones on minerals at both bases, you are ahead. Stop making drones! At this point you need to spend every mineral you have on surviving the 4 gate. You are already ahead economically at this point and the ball is now in the Protoss' court to stop you before it's too late.
Spine crawlers are your friend in this situation. If you have an easily defensible base on a map like Lost Temple, then just plop down 4 or 5 spine crawlers (replace drones used this way) and crank out the lings and roaches. Keep tabs on him with overlords or lings or any way you can. Remember, the longer he waits, the further ahead you are getting. As soon as you have surplus resources in between your production of units, start teching toward your spire (as colossus are almost certainly his next move.)
I'm on a map where spine crawlers aren't efficient! What now?
On Maps like Kulas Ravine or Blistering Sands, you can't rely too heavily on spine crawlers due to back door entrances to your base or a really wide entrance to your nat (Kulas). In these cases, you need overwhelming numbers. Just keep those lings and Roaches coming. Keep an eye on his army with your super fast lings, and when he pushes out, place them somewhere off to the side so they can come in behind his army when he engages your roaches in your base. If you've been producing properly, you should come out on top and he'll probably GG right there.
Don't forget to keep scouting!
At this point, you should have overlord speed or an overseer. Try to fly over his base every 30 seconds or so and look for what he is doing. If you see him trying to expand, power drone for a wave or two. If you see him teching, then you tech as well. At this point, you are ahead and he has to try and either catch up or beat you on one base. All you have to do is survive if he stays one base or stay ahead if he's trying to expand.
If you see a robo bay, make spire. If you see stargates, make a lot of hydra. If he is going templar tech, that's a bit tougher, but I'd stay away from hydra as they just go down too easily to storm. Infesters or Spire can both be handy in this situation.
When he pushes out and you crush his shiny Army, the game is pretty much over. If you have a lot left, you can counter push or just crank out a bunch of drones for a wave or two while he rebuilds. If you both traded armies and you have little left, you should replace your army. The main thing you have to do now is try and prevent him from expanding. His mineral line is now like an hourglass slowing trickling away until his demise. Don't be reckless, let him starve if you aren't positive you can roll over his defenses. Just don't let him get another base and the game is yours. If he does get another base, then you should take a third and saturate the natural you've had for a while. You have the lead now, just don't mess it up!