12 Hatch (vs. Terran)

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[e][h]Zerg 12 Hatch (vs Terran)
Opening with a 12 Hatchery
Strategy Information
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12 Hatch is used to gain a faster and stronger economy in the early game, allowing the player to pump Drones from two Hatcheries early on in order to transition into a better midgame. It is often considered the standard in ZvT, and its effectiveness has been proven over the years. From a 12 Hatch opening, a player can transition into a 3 Hatch build, followed by Mutalisk or Lurkers, or opt for a fast tech 2 Hatch Muta or Lurker build.

Build Order[edit]

  • 9 - Overlord
  • 12 - Hatchery (usually at the natural)
  • 11 - Spawning Pool

An updated variant of this build order is as follows:

  • 9 - Overlord
  • 12 - Natural Hatchery
  • 13 - Spawning Pool

The second variation delays Spawning Pool by around 10-12 seconds but due to prioritizing 2 Drones over a Spawning Pool results in potentially a stronger economy and a smoother build. The third Hatch and Extractor timings are perfectly the same and the additional minerals result in less idle Larva. The final result is a difference of approximately ~200 minerals at the time the Spire finishes (if only 6 Zerglings are produced in both builds, as soon as Spawning Pool finishes).

These extra minerals can then be spent on a faster third expansion or Sunkens without affecting Mutalisk timing as much as in the first variant.

Finally, the clutch situation against a Bunker rush mostly occurs when only Drones are present in both variants, meaning the second variant is not particularly more vulnerable.

Build Order Clarification[edit]

After putting down the Hatchery it is time to decide whether to go with a 2 Hatchery or 3 Hatchery Lair build.

In case of a 3 hatchery build[edit]

For variant 1 (11 pool):

  • 13 Hatch
  • 12 Extractor

The final result is 11 Drones.

For variant 2 (13 pool):

  • 14 Hatch
  • 13 Extractor

The final result is 12 Drones.

In case of a 2 Hatchery build[edit]

For variant 1 (11 pool):

  • 10 Extractor

The final result is 12 Drones.

For variant 2 there is a slight difference now:

  • 12 Extractor (Note: You should save up till almost 250 minerals so the extractor and pool are started essentially simultaneously, else you will have an excess of Vespene gas and shortage of minerals)
  • 11 Spawning Pool

The final result is 13 Drones.


Countered By[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]


Soft Counters[edit]

Counter To[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

  • None

Soft Counters[edit]

  • None

Notable Maps[edit]


  • Maps with medium to long distances between starting positions.


  • Maps with short distances between starting positions.

Notable Games[edit]



See also[edit]