While not as economically strong as any fast Hatchery build, the fast Queen allows for catching up or preparing responses to early pressure and rush tactics that are common even on maps with longer rush distances. Spawning Pool first also means there are Zerglings ready to deal with expansion-blocking tactics (particularly prevalent against Protoss).
The goal of this build is to be able to adapt to early aggression, while also giving the possibility of an economically sound mid- to late-game. The early Pool also enables Zerg to punish economically greedy builds.
Basic Build Order
Scout Zerg when you hit 11 supply and note the timing of your opponent's Spawning Pool. React as following:
- Pool before 2nd Overlord (6-10 Supply)
- This is typically a sign of early aggression or an early all-in such as a 6 Pool. If this is the case, and the Spawning Pool is finished or near completion, cut all Drone production and build 6 Zerglings, a Queen, and a Spine Crawler. This is a build order win against early Spawning Pool builds because of the economic advantage you have if you hold it off. Make sure you count your opponent's drones, otherwise you risk overreacting to an Overpool build and falling behind economically.
- Pool after 2nd Overlord (11+ Supply)
- If his Spawning Pool is later than yours and he takes an early gas, typically around the same time or slightly earlier than his Spawning Pool, this is a sign of early Speedling play. When you take your natural make sure to keep scouting in order to see what your opponent is doing. Against early Speedling/Baneling play, get Speedlings and Spine Crawlers. Against later pushes, Roaches and Spine Crawlers will suffice until Lair tech.
- Pool after 2nd Overlord without gas
- If his Spawning Pool is later than yours and he does not take gas at the same time, your opponent is likely going for a Fast Expansion or Roach play. From this point, scouting with a Drone becomes less reliable due to the presence of Zerglings, so you will need to sacrifice an Overlord. Against Roach play, Spine Crawlers and your own Roaches should be sufficient to defend early Roach pushes. If your opponent fast expands after his Spawning Pool, then you are ahead in economy and can safely continue Droning.
- Hatchery First
- Stop building Drones and attack all-in with Speedlings.
Scout at 11 supply to try to get up the Terran's ramp before they begin their Barracks in order to count the number of Barracks and Refineries. Often you will need to sacrifice an Overlord later to determine the exact build order.
- Early Double Gas, 1 Barracks: If your opponent gets both of their geysers around the same time that his Barracks is done building or is still building, this is typically indicative of a teching build (see: Thor Drop or Starport Openings) and will most likely require Lair tech for detection and Mutalisks.
- 2+ Barracks, 1/0 Gas: If you scout 2+ Barracks and 1/0 gas, this is a sure sign of some sort of bio play. This could mean a 2 Barracks Marine/SCV All-in or a regular bio push. Respond with Speedlings and Spine Crawlers at your natural. If the push is delayed enough, transition into a standard anti-bio build like Muta/Ling/Bane.
A Protoss player is much easier to scout than a Terran player but no less deadly if scouted improperly. Scouting at 11 supply is not necessary, but can give advance notice of a Cannon rush. In addition, your opponent will be unable to kill your Drone scout until Stalkers come out.
- Forge at Opponent's Natural: Indicative of a Forge Fast Expand or possible a cannon rush and fast expand. Respond to a cannon rush with Zerglings from your early Spawning Pool. If your opponent somehow gets a cannon built, retreat your Zerglings, wait, and attack with Roaches and Zerglings, applying early pressure while expanding. If he goes for a Forge Fast Expand with minimal cannons, Roach/Zergling Pressure should be able to break their natural.
- Forge First, not in the Wall: A cannon rush. See above.
- 2 Gateways without Cybernetics Core: Make 4-6 Zerglings. Check with your first Overlord or a Zergling to see if the Protoss player is chronoboosting Zealots. If so, put all Larva towards Zerglings until you have 5 Zerglings for every Zealot he has. If you do not have the Larva for this many Zerglings, build some Spine Crawlers at your natural while using your Queen to prevent Zealots from running into your main.
- Gateway and a Cybernetics Core: The important thing to note here is what your opponent does after they build their Cybernetics Core but before he kills your Drone with the first Stalker he builds. When your initial Overlord reaches your opponent's base, count their Gateways and the number of times they Chronoboost their Cybernetics Core. 4 Gateways and 5 chronoboosts on the Core signal a 4 Warpgate Rush, in which case immediately cut Drone production and start making Zerglings and two Spine Crawlers at your natural and deal with a 4 Gate like normal.
There are no particular maps features that affect this opener. It is, however, best when the opponent does not fast expand, so maps that make one-base aggression more likely make this build more likely to be helpful.
- Original thread on TL.net providing details about the build's effectiveness
- Updated discussion thread
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