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12 Pool (vs. Terran)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Zerg12 Pool (vs Terran)
Strategy Information
Popularized by:


12 Pool is a safer alternative to 12 Hatch in ZvT, in particular it is highly effective in stopping 8 Rax builds. However this safety comes at a price, as it lacks the vast larva benefits of a 12 Hatch.

The 12 Pool is better at denying the opponents scouting SCV than the 12 Hatch, but the later Zerglings compared to 9 Pool builds mean that they are unlikely to deal damage. Balancing Drones and Zerglings may become difficult when playing versus rush builds.

Build Order[edit]

  • 9/9 Drones, send ninth Drone to scout
  • 9/9 Overlord
  • 12/17 Drones
  • 12 Spawning Pool
    • (either Gas here or Gas later)
  • 12 Drone
  • 12 Hatchery at Expansion (unless he’s doing proxy Rax)
  • 14/17 6 Zerglings (you can make a few more if you wish/need)
  • 17/17 Drones
  • Third Hatchery, unless you’re going very fast tech to Mutalisks or Lurkers
  • Another Overlord around here
  • Continue making Drones, possibly place a Sunken Colony

(This Build Order by Ahzz)

Build Order Clarification[edit]


12 Pool is most known as a counter to a Bunker Rush, and is not good against most of other strategies. If you opened with a 12 Hatchery build and scout a proxy Barracks, your Hatchery will likely be killed with Bunker Rush and it may be worth it to cancel your Hatchery and opt for a 12 Pool.

Can be used for fast 2 Hatch Lair tech builds, which aim to attack the Terran early on with stronger units such as Mutalisks and Lurkers.


Usually the fast 12 Pool 11 Gas build transitions into very fast 2 Hatch Mutalisks that can be used for very early game harass. If the timing is correct, the first mutalisks should pop out about the 5:30 minute mark and reach the Terran before he has Stim or Range upgraded. The primary goal of the harass is to kill as many SCV’s as possible to economically catch up, because the build sets the Zerg player quite behind if the Terran did not opt for a Barracks first build and went for example one Barracks into Expansion. Another goal of the build can also be to commit fully to Mutalisks and try to kill the opponent with them alone. If Terran did 8 Barracks Zerg will likely come out on top anyway and will be able to make an easy transition to midgame (with for example Lurker/Ling).

Countered By[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

Soft Counters[edit]

  • Any supply first Terran build order

Counter To[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

  • 8 Rax

Soft Counters[edit]

Notable Maps[edit]


Match Point


Notable Games[edit]



  • Zerg Jaedong vs. Terran Flash on Match Point, NATE MSL Final 1st set  — 12 Pool into 2 Hatch Muta.
  • Terran Flash vs. Zerg Zero on Match Point, NATE MSL Ro16 Match E 2nd set  — 12 Pool into 2 Hatch Muta into Lurker/Ling.
  • Zerg Calm vs. Terran Sea on Byzantium 3, Avalon MSL Ro32 Group D 2nd set — 12 Pool into 2 Hatch Lurker into 2 Base Defiler