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12 Pool in-base hatch (vs. Zerg)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Zerg12 Pool in-base Hatch
Opening 12 pool in-base hatch
Strategy Information

12 pool in-base hatch is a very safe build in ZvZ that allows you to double your opponent's production in the case of a 9 Pool or Overpool opening, without leaving yourself susceptible to counterattacks. This build sacrifices fast gas and a second gas in favor of overwhelming Zerglings with speed and an easily defensible base.

Build Order[edit]

Build Order Clarification[edit]

How you spend your larvae after your initial 6 Zerglings depends on what you scout your opponent doing. You should be watching his eggs hatch and mirroring him, at least until your second Hatchery finishes, when you may produce enough Zerglings to break away from his Zergling count for good. Ultimately you want a Zergling advantage against your opponent.

Gas Mining[edit]

If your opponent is going 9 Pool or Overpool (with or without speed), you will have a substantial larvae advantage. The most direct path forward is to pull 2 or all drones off gas after the first 100 since your strength with this build is not in gas anyway. You can use Sunkens to feel safe from backstabs, and pump Zerglings from both Hatcheries and play aggressively to make the most of your larvae advantage.

If your opponent is going 12 Hatch, leave drones on gas. You will have neither a larvae advantage nor a gas advantage. Rather, your advantage will be that you have less space to defend. Your best bet will be to pick off enemy Drones and to go for counterattacks whenever possible. Your Sunken Colony will help secure you from enemy counterattacks. The later the game goes, the worse your chances will be.

Spore Colony[edit]

If your opponent is going 9 Pool or Overpool, he will have Mutalisks out before you, due to your delayed gas. Your only defense will be Spore Colonies. Since you are on 1 base, you will only need 1 or 2 instead of 2 to 4. You should also spend some larvae to at least replace these Drones. You can get away with starting your Evolution Chamber when his Spire is at 400-500 hit points.


In the case that your opponent is on 1 Hatchery or got their second Hatchery later than you, you can delay your Lair in favor of high Zergling numbers, which will minimize the usefulness of his faster Lair since he will be forced to spend his resources defending from Zerglings.

If your opponent went 12 Hatch, you will be approximately even on larvae and gas timings. In this case, you can get your Lair as soon as you have your second 100 gas. Note that your opponent will be ahead of you on gas as he gets up his second gas. In this case, you will want to close out the game sooner than later.


If you have built nothing but Zerglings all game, you will be very tight on minerals. If you want to build your Spire as soon as Lair completes, you will have idle larvae. Remember to start saving minerals slightly before your Lair finishes if that is your goal.

Countered By[edit]

On 3-4 player maps, if you are afraid of a 4-7 Pool, you can hide your Overlord scout by sending it to the center of the map, then to another main base. This will likely delay your opponent's knowledge of your location because it avoids the possibility of your Overlord scouts passing each other, without delaying your scout timing too much.

Counter To[edit]

Building Placement[edit]

Use your Spawning Pool and Hatchery(ies) to make it difficult to surround your Sunken Colony. Ideally, position your Sunken Colony between your mineral line and your Extractor so as to cover all your Drones as well as allowing for your Drones to drill between your minerals and your gas to protect your Sunken Colony. If the map allows, you may place your Spire behind your minerals to make it hard to surround. Make sure your Spire is covered by your Sunken Colony. It is preferable to have low surface area on the Spire.


Against 1-Hatchery Builds[edit]

This build works best against 1-Hatchery plays. The goal is to have static defense at home to defend while you attack with speed Zerglings. Even if he is holding his ramp smartly, there should be a point just before his Spire pops when your 2-Hatchery Zergling production can overwhelm his 1-Hatchery production to break into his main. From there your superior production should make the game one-sided.

Against 2-Base Builds[edit]

12 Hatchery is a soft counter to this build. You can play a pretty even game against 12 Hatchery openings. If you scout them first, you can forego some early Zerglings for Drones. Like most ZvZ matches, the game will likely come down to micro. You will not want the game to go on for too long as you will be at a gas disadvantage when your opponent's second gas kicks in.