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4 Hatch Lair (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Zerg4 hatch lair (vs. fast expand)
Strategy Information
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This build is meant to be more of a macro build than 3 hatch spire. However without fast scourge a corsair will be able to scout everything you are doing for a long time, and there isn't any possible way to cannon-break before a corsair scouts it and the P is able to respond. Because of the threat of an early +1 speedlot rush, this build should only be done on maps with an easy to defend 3rd base. One bonus to this build is that if he blocks your hatchery after an overpool you can offplace your hatchery right away at your nat with little sacrifice (except on Chupung-Ryeong), since you can just take a 3rd with your 4th hatch. The same could be done for 12 hatch, but then he could just block your 3rd hatchery as well.

One major appeal of this build is that it always gets overlord speed as soon as lair finishes, which is very fast. As such, this build is ideal for doing drop play, especially on maps like God's Garden where P can take a protected expo while at the same time you don't have to worry about fending off rushes because there is only 1 choke to defend.

There are 2 ways P can approach this. They can either get a corsair, and know exactly what you are doing for a long time in exchange for letting you have a slightly stronger economy.

Or, they can skip the stargate and use the money to strengthen their army to compensate for the stronger economy, but play in the dark. At the same time this allows you to keep your overlords wherever you want so you pretty much have map hax, except it may be hard to see whether he goes templar or +1 speedlots if he gets a dragoon asap.

Build Order[edit]

This build order shouldn't be done with a speedling opening, since hurting your economy isn't a good idea in a purely macro build. But it can be done with any non-speed opening. Only the overpool version is here since 2 player maps are so common these days.

  • 9 overlord
  • 9 pool
  • 11 hatch
  • 10-12 lings
  • 14 hatch
  • 18 overlord
  • 18 hatch
  • 17 gas
  • @ 100 gas, start lair
  • @ 50 gas, start den + second gas
  • @ lair finish, start overlord speed

Adapting/Build Order continued[edit]

vs. stargate opening[edit]

  • @ lair finish, start spire
  • @ hydra speed finish, start hydra range
  • 5th hatch whenever possible, followed by 3rd gas

After this you have several options. If you plan to go hydralurker, then put down an Evolution Chamber and start researching +1 missile attack. Whether you follow it up with mutalisks or lurker tech is up to you. If you want to go hydralurkling then wait until after you have lurker tech then throw down 2 evos and get carapace/melee upgrades, and possibly a 3rd evo for missile attack.

One large difficulty you might find is that without ling speed, it can be difficult to fend off zealot harass if the P moves out with 2-3 zealots early on. There isn't any easy solution to this, you just have to be alert and use lings/overlords to scout how many zealots he sends to each base.

He also may follow up a corsair with a +1 speedlot rush, but because he delayed his rush it shouldn't be much of a problem to handle

vs. +1 speedlots[edit]

  • @hydra speed finish, start hydra range
  • pump hydralisks

This is pretty straightforward, and should only be done when your 3rd is very close to your nat. You just keep pumping hydralisks until hydra range is done, then either start a spire and go for mutalisks or start lurker tech. You will also need to put down at least 1 sunken at both your nat and 3rd. This build will require you to stay on 4 hatches for a while, but you should be able to take a relatively fast 4th base once your lurker or muta tech kicks in. And of course he will have no idea which you are transitioning in to, so after the initial rush he won't be able to safely do anything until he gets storms, dragoons, and observers. And +1 speedlot rushes require that P take their 2nd gas later than normal, so if you can survive the rush without taking damage you should be in a good position.


  • when he starts citadel before stargate, cancel your hydralisk den and start ling speed
  • @ lair finish, start spire
  • pump zerglings until spire finishes

For this build you will probably need 2 sunkens at both your nat and 3rd, while pumping a lot of zerglings. The goal is to either kill his rush with zerglings+sunkens or force him to back off until your mutalisks are out. At which point he should just be making his first templar, which you can just kill if he tries to get storm or do your best to harass him if he gets an archon. Since he doesn't have any corsairs he will also need to invest in cannons in their mineral line at their nat on some maps like blue storm or chupung. If he tries to move out with his first 2 archons before you have fully transitioned into hydralisks or lurkers, just remember that you can kill his main with mutas as soon as he moves out.

vs. fast templar[edit]

Both of the above build orders work vs this, it just requires less units early on.

One thing about this build is that if you go straight to mutalisks vs a non-sair build, then toss's storm tech should finish just before your mutalisks reach his base. As such toss can just make a few cannons at his main and go straight to high templar tech while being safe vs both hydralisks and mutalisks. This can mean 2 things.

The first is that they are going to push out very quickly with just their first few storms, which is very vulnerable to mutalisks.

The other is that they will gather a lot of energy until they can do a large midgame push with lots of storm/goons as soon as their obs pop. This can be handled in any way, the only real choice is whether to get mutalisks or not. It is difficult to pick off HT when they have lots of storm and are surrounded by dragoons, but it could also be the strongest choice.

Toss may also open with DTs, which is the same except a little weaker if you fend off the harass, which shouldn't be much of a problem with such fast overlord speed.

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