2 Hatch Lurker Drop (vs. Protoss)

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[e][h]Zerg Two Hatchery Lurker Drop
Strategy Information
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The 2 Hatch Lurker Drop Build Order is considered to be a rather exotic and aggressive strategy. Its main goal is to counter a careless Fast Expansion Build of Protoss, by exploiting missing Photon Cannons near the expansion and main base Nexus of the opponent in earlier stages of the game. At the same time, the Zerg has to commit to harassment and sacrifice economical advantages. If the harassment does not deal the necessary amount of damage, the Zerg will in most scenarios not be able to transition back to a standard game.

Build Order[edit]

The Build Order can be used with an Overpool or with a 12 Hatch opening.

9 Overpool Opening[edit]

"2 Hatch Lurker Drop"
  • 9 - Overlord
  • 9 - Spawning Pool
  • 8 - Drone
  • 9 - Extractor
  • 8 - 2 Drones
  • @100% Extractor - Put 3 Drones on gas
  • 10 - 6 Zerglings
  • @100 Gas - Zergling Speed and leave ONLY 1 Drone in gas
  • 13 - 2 Zerglings (total 8)
  • 14 - 2nd Hatchery at Natural
  • 13 - 2 Drones
  • 15 - Lair (put 3 Drones on gas now)
  • 15 - Overlord
  • 15 - continue Drone production
  • @100% Lair - Drop Upgrade and Hydralisk Den right after
  • @100% Den - Lurker Upgrade
  • 24 - 2 Hydralisks
  • 26 - Overlord
  • 29 - 3rd Hatch (in another base) and 2nd gas, keep making Drones until 30/34
  • @100% Lurker Tech - Morph Lurkers
  • 32 - 4th hatch (in your Natural)
  • @150 Gas - Overlord Speed
  • @150 Gas - Hydra Speed
  • @150 Gas - Hydra Range

12 Hatch Opening[edit]

"2 Hatch Lurker Drop"
  • 12 - Hatchery at Natural
  • 11 - Spawning Pool
  • 10 - Gas at Main
  • 10 - 3 Drones.
  • @100 Gas - Lair
  • 13 - Zerglings
  • @100 Gas - Zergling Speed.
  • @50% Lair - Hydralisk Den (try to hide it)
  • @100% Lair - Drop Tech (Overlord Speed when it finishes)
  • @200 Gas - Lurker Tech (when it finishes get Hydra Speed, then Hydra Range)
  • @300 Minerals - 3rd Hatch and 2nd Gas
  • The amount of Zerglings at 13 Supply depend on the game situation; more Zerglings are needed to kill Scouting Probes, adapt as it seems best.
  • In total eight Zerglings are recommended for the first drop

The Overpool variation enables the Zerg to shut down scouting easier. However, since the Scouting Probe most likely finds your base, the early mining of Gas will usually indicate an exotic or aggressive opening to the Protoss and could lead to a strong defended base.

The 12 Hatch Build Order is economically stronger, but easier to scout.


In the early games there are two rules the Zerg must follow closely to not mess up the Build Order. First and foremost, the first Geyser in the Zerg's main has to be mined with three Drones at all times without any delay. If the Zerg forgets to mine, the Lair and Lurker Aspect timings will be off, delaying the drop. Second, the first Zerglings must shut down any kind of early on harass, for example incoming Zealots. Sunken Colonies would delay the Build Order and the timings significantly. It is not too important to completely hide all Buildings from the scouting units, though.

The main goal of this strategy is to abuse some basic mistakes a Protoss can do when he opens with any kind of Fast Expansion. Usually, the Protoss needs to secure his Natural Base the strongest, since most Zerg all-ins are designed to tear down this crucial spot. This leaves the main base wide open to any kind of harass. Whenever a Protoss scouts an early gas opening, he will first reinforce his natural with additional cannons and try to gather more intel by using Corsairs. However, if the first two Overlords (used for scouting) are placed near the cliffs or ridges around the Protoss main base, the Drop Upgrades can be used to bypass the heavy guarded Natural Expansion. If the initial eight Zerglings and two Lurkers are dropped into the main base, a smaller amount of Cannons will not be enough to defend.

With this information in mind, it might be worth to play mind games with the Protoss. He will usually be alarmed by scouting the early gas, while Zerg has little chances to deny him this information. As already mentioned, the Protoss will now react by either using his first Zealots to harass, which can be countered with Zerglings. However, showing him either the Hydralisk Den or the Lair might fool the opponent into adding useless Buildings or static defenses in the wrong place. If the Protoss scouts an early Den, but not the Spire, he will build more Cannons at the Natural, which won't be the target of the drop. If he scouts the Lair but not the Den, he might think of Mutalisks early on and build more Cannons around the main Nexus. In this second scenario, the main base can still be dropped, as Corsairs are usually build sooner. Protoss might not be able to kill the Overlords used to elevate units in time. Eight Zerglings and two Lurkers are usually enough to shut down a low number of Cannons. If Protoss overdoes the Cannon Placement in the main base or suspects an incoming drop, the Zerg can still try to bust the Protoss' Natural.

Regardless of what Protoss scouts, it's pivotal he will be left blind for a longer time. If he scouts a few number of Hydralisks with a Lair the strategy will be quite obvious and the proper counters will be done.

Regardless of how the initial drops work out, the Zerg should use his Lurkers to gain map control. He must exploit the delayed observers to gain a stronger economy. It is helpful if he deals a lot of damage early on, if he doesn't, the game might be over soon. There's no way to efficiently deny Corsair raids with this build order. In addition, even if the first drop is somewhat successful most Protoss will have a number of Corsairs to shut down reinforcing drops. This makes maps with a second entrance blocked by Neutral Buildings better for this kind of strategy, as they offer a second way in. Examples for this kind of maps would be Heartbreak Ridge, Electric Circuit or Medusa.

Countered By[edit]

The 2 Hatch Lurker Drop opening is best countered by ordinary one Base Build Orders. Also, Corsair heavy play can hard counter the strategy if the Lurkers are sniped early on. With a growing number of Corsairs map control will be harder to gain and the Zerg will be vulnerable to Dark Templar harass.

Counter To[edit]

This strategy is designed to counter Protoss Fast Expansions on two- or three player maps.

Notable Maps[edit]



  • Fighting Spirit
  • 4 Player maps in general if the opponent spawns on cross positions

Notable Games[edit]

Strategy Example Game
Heartbreak Ridge South Korea  Bisu Yellow vs. Bisu. Yellow completely shutting down Bisu's attempts by strong drops.
South Korea  Yellow
Date: 2009-06-20
Patch: 1.16.1 VOD
Strategy Example Game
Medusa South Korea  JangBi from Shinhan08-09 Proleague
South Korea  Yellow(ArnC)
Date: 2009-06-22
Patch: 1.16.1 VOD

External Links[edit]