10 Hatch (vs. Zerg)

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[e][h]Zerg 10 Hatch
Strategy Information

10 Hatch is a more advantageous version of a 9 Hatch (vs. Zerg) build. It is a rather rare opening in Zerg vs. Zerg aiming for a very early Larva advantage at the expense of economy compared to the more traditional mineral+Larva advantage builds (12 Hatch, 12 Pool, etc.). The goal is generally to overwhelm the opponent with speedlings. This build is primarily strong versus 1 Hatch builds, which cannot keep up with so many speedlings, and with the aid of offensive Sunkens, it can provide an easy win. If recognized it can try to deceive the opponent and opt for a high drone count instead but in many cases it will be too difficult to recover from its damaged economy on time.

Build Order[edit]

  • 9/9 - Extractor trick (See note)
  • 10/9 - Hatchery @natural, main or hidden on the map (See note)
  • 9/9 - Spawning Pool
  • 8/9 - Drone
  • 9/9 - Extractor
  • 8/9 - Overlord
  • 8/9 - Drone
  • @100% Extractor - Put 3 Drones on Gas
  • @100% Spawning Pool - 8 Zerglings
  • @80 Gas - take Drones off gas one by one, giving you 104 gas. Research Metabolic Boost.

Build Order Clarification[edit]

Extractor Trick[edit]

At 9 control and approximately 70-80 Minerals, send a Drone to build an Extractor, reducing your control to 8. Immediately build a Drone, raising your control to 9. Cancel the Extractor, returning the Drone, and leaving your control at 10/9.

Hatch Placement[edit]

In case your plan is to build your 2nd Hatchery at your natural, send the 10th drone as it will arrive perfectly on time to build the Hatchery. A Hatch at the natural can gain the advantage against a 9 Pool by playing a more defensive game. This build does not need to rush early, but is capable of counter-attacking with superior numbers of lings. Without switching to drones, defending both bases from Mutas with Spores will be too expensive, however, in which case Hatching in the main may be better.

Also consider Hatching at your expo or even proxying (as close to the opponent as you dare, preferably somewhere that can mine that he might not be aware of) it in order to make sure you dominate with your Zerglings. This build generally wins before Mutas beats it, or it doesn't.


The main approach of this build is to continue to sacrifice economic advantage to your opponent in order to build up a ling count in order to all-in. Opponents recognizing this may make a ridiculous amount of Sunkens while retaining their advantage. The build cannot really afford to do two things, such as Lings and Tech, so it is very single-minded and all-or-nothing, but more disguised than a 5 Pool. The alternate fall-back of this build is to become a defensive high-drone Zerg, hoping that the switch isn't recognized by the opponent too quickly.

All of the next segments talk about the situation where you build your 2nd Hatchery at your natural. If you build it in a proxy location or somewhere hidden, the build becomes very all-in.

vs 9 Pool[edit]

Your Zerglings spawn right on time to defend your 2nd hatchery. Your Metabolic Boost however is roughly 40 seconds later than your opponent's, thus you have to play defensive and stay close to your hatchery and ramp to prevent the opponent from getting any Zerglings into your main. You can continuously build Zerglings and do an all-in that will be very difficult to stop as the opponent has a considerable larvae disadvantage. This will work better as a surprise thus in case your opponent does not have an Overlord in your main/natural. Most likely the opponent will build a large amount of Sunken Colonies (3-4) to survive. You can even take a Drone or two with you to build Sunkens while you're attacking. Your other option would be to suddenly switch into making a lot of Drones, which is very much a possibility. Since your Lair (and Spire) will be much later than the opponent's, you'll be forced to invest into Spores. In this second scenario the game is still anyone's to take since your opponent should be able to secure his own expansion with the help of her/his Mutalisks.

vs Overpool[edit]

Playing an Overpool should play out essentially the same as when playing versus a 9 Pool. The opponent will have a slightly stronger economy but her/his Zerglings and Metabolic Boost will be delayed by roughly 15 and 10 seconds respectively.

vs 12 Pool (regular, 2nd Hatch @natural)[edit]

Versus a 12 pool you are slightly behind as your opponent also has 2 hatcheries, slightly faster speed (~10 seconds), a much earlier Lair and a slightly stronger economy. The opponent's natural Hatchery still finishes on time to allow her/him to build Sunkens in time. You can still surprise the opponent, however, with mass Zerglings as you have a considerable larvae advantage. As mentioned before, this will work better if your opponent doesn't have an Overlord hovering over your main or natural. You can also switch into building a lot of Drones but unfortunately it will be very difficult to recover as your opponent already has an expansion and thus access to a second geyser. You'll also be forced to build spores further delaying your own Mutalisks.

However, if you scout your opponent on first try you can make the following adjustments. Make 2 Drones instead of Zerglings and delay or skip Metabolic Boost in favor of Lair. Due to your larvae advantage you are still safe versus any pressure he could apply.

vs 12 Hatch[edit]

You are quite far behind. Your opponent has 2 hatcheries, a much stronger economy, a much faster Lair and her/his Metabolic Boost is only delayed by roughly 25 seconds. Unless you can surprise the opponent or s/he gets greedy (building Drones), the game is most likely over. You can try to build Drones instead but this will allow the opponent to make Drones as well and saturate his 2nd geyser really early. You'll be forced to invest in a lot of Spores and your Spire will be too late to ever catch up in Mutalisk numbers.

However, if you scout your opponent on first try, you can make the following adjustments. Make 3 Drones instead of Zerglings and build a Sunken at your natural. Research Lair instead of Metabolic Boost. It is not recommended to invest into Metabolic Boost as it is too costly, your economy still needs to recover. After making these adjustments you are still behind but you have a good chance to come back into the game during the Mutalisk stage.

vs Overgas[edit]

Versus Overgas it is often a good idea to just all-in as it doesn't have a second Hatchery. Bring a Drone or two to build offensive Sunkens. If your opponent researches Speed immediately, it will be done roughly 20 seconds before yours. However, many players opt to skip Speed when Overgas-ing in favor of an earlier second Hatchery. Your attack should force the opponent to cancel the Hatchery as s/he will need the minerals to build Zerglings, Sunkens and his Spire. It is not recommended to switch into building Drones as this will allow the opponent to get up his 2nd Hatchery. The opponent will be able to get too many Mutalisks too fast forcing you to invest into a lot of Spores. It will be virtually impossible to prevent the opponent from getting an expansion and thus to ever catch up in Mutalisk numbers.

vs 9/10 Hatch[edit]

If your opponent opened with the same build order as you, it is a good idea to mirror what the opponent's doing. In a situation like this, the person who gets her/his Overlords to the other player's bases first has a big advantage of exactly knowing what s/he is building. Most likely this will devolve into a mass Zergling battle. Only squeeze in Drones if the plan is to tech to a Lair and compensate with Sunkens as you have enough minerals to afford constant Zergling production.

Countered By[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

Soft Counters[edit]

Counter To[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

  • 6, 7 or 8 Pool (Hatch in main—6 Pool depends on map distance)

Soft Counters[edit]

Notable Maps[edit]


  • Small maps (Blue Storm etc.)
  • Maps without Ramps to the main.


  • Large maps

Extra Resources[edit]


July proxies a 9 Hatch while Zero opens with 9 Pool. Take note of July's 1st overlord's scouting pattern and the consequences.

Jaedong goes in-base 10 Hatch versus Calm's 9 Pool.


Tutorials and Guides[edit]