Hatch Gas Pool (vs. Terran)
Hatch Gas Pool is a 2 Hatch opening designed to counter Terran fast tech builds and/or accelerate aggressive gas-heavy builds. By opting for a faster Extractor, the Zerg player is sacrificing early game safety and delaying their Lair to disguise potential Zergling aggression and threaten various all-ins without necessarily committing to either.
The purpose of Hatch Gas Pool is to complicate the Terran player's scouting and decision making. Compared to the standard 12 Hatch, 11 Pool, 10 Extractor variation of 2 Hatch Muta, a Hatch Gas Pool build will result in later Zerglings, a later Lair, and identical drone counts, but approximately 100 extra gas by the time the Spawning Pool finishes. This means that any combination of Lair, Burrow, and Zergling speed can be researched nearly simultaneously, if the Zerg player is so inclined. With a standard 2 Hatch build, the Lair and Zergling speed must be researched in sequence, meaning a speed-first build will be visible to the Terran's scouting SCV as a late Lair timing. With Hatch Gas Pool, the surplus gas means it is impossible for the Terran to precisely determine the timing of Metabolic Boost, or if it is being researched at all. This is not a great concern to a Terran opting for bio play as they will usually remain off the map until their upgrades are complete, but it forces a meching Terran opting for Vultures to stay off the map until Vulture speed is finished for fear of being surrounded and may allow for a Zergling all-in timing as speed finishes, with or without Burrow.
Hatch Gas Pool is a useful opening for those planning to all-in, as the quicker Zergling speed enables the Zerg player to hunt down the Terran SCV scout and prevent further SCV scouts from leaving the Terran base. Due to the late pool timing, this build is exceptionally weak to early cheese and thus should not be used if a rush is anticipated.
Using Hatch Gas Pool as a tournament mindgame and a general opening for exotic Mutalisk builds has led to moderate popularity in professional play. EffOrt used Hatch Gas Pool builds against the 1-1-1 builds of Last and Flash on Autobahn in his winning ASL run, transitioning into Mutalisk and Zergling all-ins, respectively. Killer utilized it as a precursor to 2 Control Group Mutalisk against Mind in KSL, and MIsO demonstrated its potential for macro play, taking a fast third versus Light and opting for mass Mutalisk into Guardians.
|EffOrt||ASL6 Finals, Game 1. Transition into zergling all-in.|
|Killer||KSL2 Ro16, Group B, Game 3. Transition into mass mutalisk.|
|MIsO||KSL2 Ro16, Group A, Game 2. Transition into guardians.|