Follow us on Twitter @LiquipediaSC2 if you'd like to be kept up to date on all things StarCraft II!

10 Pool (vs. Zerg)

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki

This article might be outdated, please verify if it's still valid. It was last validated to work for patch 1.5.2.

This article does not comply to the Strategy Article Policy or the Strategy Template yet.
You can help Liquipedia by expanding it.
[e][h]10 pool (vs. Zerg)
6 Zerglings and 8 drones at your opponent's ramp
Strategy Information


10 Pool is considered the go-to build to defeat 15 Hatch. There is no reliable way to defend a hatch first build if this build is properly executed. It is very important to note that this build is the only one in Zerg vs Zerg that can counter Hatch first. Any build that includes an earlier pool can be defended, and any other variation of 10 Pool (with speedlings/Banelings/Queen/etc...) are not guaranteed to succeed. [note 1]


This build aims at winning outright against a 15 Hatch build. It is also an auto-win against earlier pools such as 6-8 Pool. However, it is very weak against any variation of pool first, and should be considered an all in as most workers are pulled.

Basic Build Order[edit]

"10 Pool"

  • 10/10 Spawning Pool
  • 9/10 Drone
  • 10/10 @ 70  : Extractor Trick (do not cancel the Extractor)
  • 10/10 @ 70  : Extractor Trick (cancel both Extractors)
  • 12/10 Overlord (on a 4 player map, send a drone scout)
  • 12/10 3 pair of Zerglings
  • 15/18 1 pair of Zerglings
  • Bring 8 drones before the Zerglings pop
  • 16/18 1 pair of Zerglings
  • 17/18 1 pair of Zerglings (if you didn't drone scout)
  • Make 2 spines in your opponent's creep
  • Keep on making lings


This build must be executed in a very crisp way. Even though everything seems straightforward, there is room for a lot of mistakes.

  • Do not stack minerals to do a simultaneous double Extractor trick. You will not generate Larva at the crucial moment and you will only end with 4 lings instead of 6
  • In a 4 player map, you have to scout just after making the second Overlord. You will not be able to afford the last pair of Zergling that will bring you to 18/18.
  • Send the 8 workers immediately after you made your fourth pair of Zerglings. Your Zerglings will catch up en route. You can hotkey them in advance to be more efficient.
  • Send these workers by clicking on a mineral patch in the opponent's main. This way, your drones will Mineral Walk, and your Zerglings will be able to run through your drones, and reach the opponent's base faster.

  • This part is very important, because if your Zerglings and your drones are not stacked together when they get to your opponent's ramp, he may win. By pulling all your opponent's drones and making them wait on top of your opponent's ramp, he can mineral walk through your Zerglings and catch them without the support of your own drones. In the picture below, your Zerglings are supported by your drones and they cannot be caught off guard.

  • Your second Overlord has a very specific goal : catching the potential Spine Crawler your opponent might try to sneak in your main. You should make him patrol such that no part of your creep remains in the dark. This Overlord will pop just after you made your first 3 pair of lings, but before you have an available Larva for the fourth. You can have this unit patrol in this timeframe.


The scouting can be resumed to finding the opponent's base. In a 2 player map, or in a 4 player map with one spawning point disabled, you do not need to do a 12 drone scout.


Immediately build 2 Spine Crawlers once you reach your opponent's creep. The goal is to defend them while harrassing your opponent. Once they are completed, the game is practically over. You can build one at each base, or both in their main.

Do not force the engagement in your opponent's mineral line, just try to pick the drones on the sides. If he comes at you, however, do not hesitate to fight in the open, you will come out victorious.

Always produce Zerglings in the meantime, but do not build another Overlord. If you're supply blocked, it means you are doing well.

Always keep an eye out for a potential spine in your base. If you do not spot it, your opponent can force a draw. There are several ways to counter this, but the most important thing is to look regularly at your base.

  • If a pair of lings will pop before the Spine Crawler is halfway done, they are enough to kill it. Remember that a Spine Crawler morphs in 50 seconds while Zerglings need less than half much time : 24 seconds!
  • Otherwise, depending on how late you noticed it, attack it with some, or all, of your drones.
  • Alternatively, you can build a Spine Crawler of your own in your base


There is no transitioning from this allin. If you do not manage to win outright, there's very little chance of recovery.


It is important to remember that this build is successful on any map currently in use in tournaments/ladder. Some maps are more forgiving than others, but a well-executed 10 Pool will always come on top of a Hatch first build.

Pro features[edit]

Maps where you need only your initial Overlord to know your opponent's location. Short rush distances are preferred

Con features[edit]

4 player maps with all spawning points enabled. Long rush distances

Replays & VODs[edit]

Zerg TBD A game versus the A.I
Zerg TBD
Date: 2012-05-11
Patch: 1.5.3 Replay


  1. Belial's Comprehensive Guide to Beating 6 Pool!