Download the Liquipedia app here!Download the Liquipedia app to follow Brood War!Want personalized updates on Brood War esports? Download the Liquipedia app on iOS or Android to never miss your favorite tournaments and matches!

9 Pool Speed (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Zerg9 Pool Speed
Strategy Information
Popularized by:


This build's primary goal is to put early pressure on the Protoss and attempt to win outright. On maps with short distances between bases, Zerglings from this build can reach the Protoss natural before his Cannons are finished, generally ending the game or giving the Zerg player a great advantage. However, many maps have long rush distances, so generally the Protoss can get his Cannons finished before your Zerglings reach his base. Therefore, this build has generally fallen out of usage because of the early economy hit from the lost Drone building the Extractor and the 3 Drones that were used mining gas instead of mining minerals. However, this build can transition into Cheese builds to aim for a midgame victory. The speed upgraded Zerglings can easily deny scouting by the Protoss player, but he'll likely know that cheese is coming his way due to the rarity of this build.

Build Order[edit]

  • 9/9 - Spawning Pool
  • 8/9 - Drone
  • 9/9 - Extractor
  • 8/9 - Overlord
  • 8/17 - Drone
  • @100% Extractor - send 3 Drones to mine gas
  • @100% Spawning Pool - 6 Zerglings
  • @88 Gas - take Drones off of gas one by one, giving you 104 gas. Research Speed.
  • 12/17 - 2 Zerglings (optional) (see note)

Build Order Clarification[edit]

Drone Scout (optional)[edit]

On a four-player map, if you haven't scouted your opponent with your Overlord in time, send a Drone to the closest spawn position. By process of elimination you will be able to tell your Zerglings which base to go to. If your Drone does not scout your opponent at this point, there is little value in sending it to scout the final position, since the Zerglings should be en route by then.

12 - 2 Zerglings (optional)[edit]

If you have not scouted your opponent by this time, make 2 Zerglings to avoid limiting your options against an unknown opponent. If you have scouted him, gauge whether you need the Zerglings on the anticipated amount of early-game aggression.

Burrow Corollary (Map Specific)[edit]

Burrow may be researched. Instead of pulling drones off gas after speed is researched, leave them to mine another one hundred gas, and remove them in a similar fashion. Proceed to continue to build zerglings (preferably after the scouting probe is destroyed) until you have approximately 12. It is most effective where Zergling run-bys are possible, generally versus a Fast Expanding Protoss. While running by, the Zergings can then be split up, harassing multiple parts. When potential threats approach a group of Zerglings, the player may simply burrow that group, and proceed to micromanage the other group. With a small amount of units, both groups can not be dealt with at the same time, potentially allowing much more damage to be done.

On some maps with a mineral blocked ramp that leads directly into the main base, such as Peaks of Baekdu or Destination, proceed to run the zerglings behind the blocked ramp. Speed should finish near the same time as burrow. Move them to a corner of the ramp as close to the minerals as possible, and burrow them, stacked on top of each other. When unburrowed, continuously move command the entire group into the main, and attempt to float as many in as possible. If done correctly, 6-8 speed upgraded zerglings should be in the Protoss' base without the threat of cannons. Note: This will work most effectively against a fast expanding Protoss.


When your Zerglings arrive, respond depending on what you see:

  • Against a greedy Protoss who went Nexus first, you should win outright by attacking.
  • Against a Protoss who built a single Cannon, run in with 8 Zerglings and surround the Cannon. You should be able to disrupt your opponent enough with the remaining Zerglings to essentially secure victory at this point.
  • Against a Protoss who built two Cannons, you cannot directly attack the cannons. If possible, scout to see whether the Protoss is properly blocking with probes. If he isn't, you may attempt a runby to get 3-4 lings into the main and harass the probe line. If not, use the lings to deny probe scouting.
  • Against a 2 Gateway rush, you may find yourself in a difficult position. With denying Protoss scouting, you may be able to secure an expansion. More often than not, you should wait for proper scouting and Zergling Speed before attempting to expand.

This build can transition into any Midgame strategy, though due to the early economy hit, it is often necessary to transition to a cheese build instead. These include:

Countered By[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

  • None

Soft Counters[edit]

Counter To[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

  • 14 Nexus
  • Proxy Gateways

Soft Counters[edit]

  • None

Notable Maps[edit]


Any map with short rush distances or naturals that cannot be easily walled off such as:

  • Blue Storm - The Protoss generally has a hard time walling in properly.


Any map with long rush distances such as: