2 Hatch Muta (vs. Protoss)
This is a faster and riskier variation of the Three Hatch Spire build order in ZvP, focused on producing earlier Mutalisks with the intent to inflict significant economic damage and harassment. The build order revolves around getting Gas before the 3rd Hatchery, and getting 6 Mutalisks out as quickly possible.
This build requires excellent Mutalisk Harassment to effectively pick off Corsairs, lone Photon Cannons, High Templar, Dragoons, and Probes. It is strongest on maps with close air distances and against Protoss Fast Expansion builds, particularly if the Protoss scouted the 12 Hatch late and delayed their economy by completing the Forge and possibly Photon Cannon(s) before his or her Nexus. Consequently, the Protoss delays their Corsairs or Archons, giving you a more favorable attack window.
Against a Protoss player who does not build Photon Cannons in their main base in time, whether due to denied scouting or skimping on defense, the harassment can deal game-ending damage to their economy and tech tree. Even if this does not occur, significant economic damage can still be dealt. 2 Hatch Muta is by no means all-in, and a failure to deal great economic damage is acceptable if it at least forces the Protoss to play defensively until the Zerg can improve his or her economy.
- 9 — Overlord
- 12 — Hatchery @ expansion
- 12 — Scout
- 11 — Spawning Pool
- 12 — Extractor
- 12 — Save Larvae (see note)
- @100% Pool — 8 Zerglings
- @150 Minerals / 100 Gas — Lair
- 16 — Overlord
- @100 Minerals / 100 Gas — Zergling Speed
- NOTE — Make Drones when possible (see note)
- @100% Lair — Spire
- @100% Lair — Send Drone to take 3rd Base (see note)
- 26 — Hatchery @ 3rd Gas
- 25 — Extractor
- 26 — 2 Overlords
- @350 hp — Save Larva on both Hatcheries for Mutalisks
- @100% Spire - 6 Mutalisks
- If Protoss opened Stargate -> Corsair, build 2–4 Scourge (1–2 Eggs), and continue Mutalisk production
- @100% Hatchery — Overlord at 3rd
- @100% Hatchery — 4th Hatchery at Natural
Build Order Clarification
Stop making units when the Spawning Pool is at 300 HP. It will then finish with 3 Larvae to be made into Zerglings.
Be sure to make at least two Overlords directly before your Spire hits the 350 HP mark so that you have 6 Larva available to be made into Mutalisks and still have free supply to produce more.
Make Drones When Possible
After the initial 8 Zerglings you cannot afford to build any more due to the economically pressed nature of this build. Use the Zerglings to threaten a run-by, deny scouting, and pick off stray Zealots to avoid having to deal with the Protoss army directly. This will allow you to make no further Zerglings or Sunken Colonies, and focus purely on Drone production.
Send Drone to Take 3rd Base
The exact time when you need to send out a drone will vary depending on the map and the distance to the base you wish to take. The goal is for the Drone to arrive at the expansion location when you have exactly 300 minerals after 26/26 supply.
The 2 Hatch Muta build must transition into a more standard style of play. After 11 Mutalisks, it is advisable to put down a Hydralisk Den and transition into Lurker/Ling/Scourge or Hydra/Ling/Muta. While harassing and obtaining the necessary elements for the transition, Drones must be produced to make up for the early economic disadvantage; the excess Gas should be diverted to upgrades, beginning with Air Carapace and moving to ground upgrades once Evolution Chambers are morphed.
Depending on the damage dealt and what build the Protoss opted for, Overlord Speed and/or Burrow may need to be researched. Sunken Colonies may be necessary to defend against a counterattack or potential Dark Templar harassment.
It should be noted that should the Protoss player have adequate defenses in place, the transition phase of this build is highly mechanically demanding. Harassing against Cannon/Corsair or Cannon/Archon requires significant attention to avoid losses, but great effort must also be devoted to the constant production of Drones: due to your cutting Drones early on, the point of diminishing returns from Drone vs. Mineral Patch count has not been reached and therefore avoiding idle Larvae and/or Drones is critical.
Playing against Corsair/Reaver is an uphill battle as Corsairs, with sufficient numbers, are an effective counter to Mutalisks. The Mutalisk's weakness against Corsairs is exacerbated by a Protoss double Stargate build, as the critical mass will be achieved twice as quickly. Also, because Corsair/Reaver is not mineral-intensive, the Protoss player will have plenty of money to spare on adequate Photon cannon defenses. It is critical to use Mutalisk/Scourge micromanagement to either keep the Corsair count low or force them to be used defensively as long as possible while you make the transition to Hydralisks.
This Protoss build relies on Zealots with early Leg Enhancements and +1 Ground Weapons to gain map control and deal economic damage. Protoss must commit to an attack against you to buy time for Photon Cannons and tech to Corsairs and/or Archons. Because Zealots cannot harm Mutalisks, you need only mitigate economic damage while Mutalisks clean them up. You want to put down at least one Sunken Colony at your natural and accumulate 11 Mutalisks, while massing Zerglings to draw Zealot fire. At the same time, you must micromanage Drones to reduce losses and direct Mutalisks to kill Zealots efficiently. You will gain the lead if you avoid major damage, as Protoss wastes significant Minerals on lost Zealots and defensive Photon Cannons.