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Economic Pool First

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
[e][h]Pool First
Strategy Information
ZvZ, ZvT, ZvP


Spawning Pool timing designed for a Queen or two and some Zerglings to scout for pushes. Strongly recommended for maps with only 2 starting positions.

With quick Zergling production scouting the opponent's opening by poking at the front wall-off and counting the number of units. Having Zerglings to scout the Xel'Naga Tower for opposing unit movement and prepare Spine Crawler/Queen defenses in time for a push or cheese.

The 14 - Spawning Pool and 13/14 Extractor is the standard but if on ladder and unable to scout the opposing army in time, but it is recommended to time the Spawning Pool to complete before Hatchery (2) and start a Spine Crawler and a few Zerglings because of all the blocks and pressure builds that blindly assume Hatchery First builds.


Have Queen (1) and Zergling (2+) scout and safely take the natural base without Pylon, etc. blocks or pressure builds that blindly assume a Hatchery First build.

Basic Build Order[edit]

12/13/14/15 Pool


  • Overlord (1) starts - scout, early enough to get into the opposing base and count the SCVs until the Cybernetics Core or Orbital Command starts, basic cheese scouting.
    • If anything is weird or off about their timing, throw down a Spawning Pool (15 supply at the latest).
    • If the timings are normal Hatchery First is fine.


This opening can transition into almost any opening or build. It is the opening used in all Early Bust builds, as well as any Roach Pressure builds, and all 1 base all-ins.

It is the opening used in Speedling Expand, and in 1 base Roaches.

Vs. Terran[edit]

Against Terran, this opening is not recommended, as Hatchery First is the standard opening. This is due to two reasons:

  • While making a Spawning Pool before your Hatchery gives you a Queen faster and allows for more Larvae, you do not get those Larvae until after the Spawn Larva finishes, meanwhile you get the Larvae from a Hatchery First build immediately. A 2 Rax will hit before your first Spawn Larva finishes, and you will not have enough units. Hatchery First allows you to build enough units when the 2 Rax hits.
  • Hatchery First gives you creep in time to make a Spine Crawler when 2 Rax hits. If you open with Spawning Pool first, you will be forced to build the Spine Crawler in your main base, where it can be easily circumvented. Or worse, Terran will seal your ramp with Bunkers, and you will be unable to get out until you get Roaches or Banelings. The Spine Crawler is especially important against a well-placed Bunker. A well-placed Bunker is built next to a wall near your expansion, and lets Marines squeeze it behind it, only allowing it to be hit by 1 melee unit at a time. If there are SCVs blocking, then the Marine cannot be hit by any melee units. A Spine Crawler is needed for defense.

Vs. Protoss[edit]


  • 11 Overpool
  • This variation gets your Queen out as fast as possible while still minimizing Larvae idle time.
  • When the Spawning Pool finishes, you can make 1 pair of Zerglings for scouting/worker killing,
    • or you can make 3 pairs of Zerglings to delay an incoming attack.

Speedling Expand[edit]

This opening is used when you want to get Speedlings as fast as possible without sacrificing economy. The timing is such that you will have 100 gas right when the Spawning Pool completes, letting you start Zergling Speed immediately. Typically this is followed up with an expansion as soon as you have the minerals after making a Queen and Drones. This particular opening is called Speedling Expand.

Vs. Zerg[edit]

If you are going Roaches, you can build your Extractor after starting your Spawning Pool. Otherwise, it is almost always better to open 14gas/14pool, so that you can get Speedlings as fast as possible.


A very common use of this build is if you intended to open with Hatchery First, but your Hatchery was blocked, either by a Pylon, or by an Engineering Bay/Supply Depot. In those cases, since your Hatchery is delayed, it is best to immediately place your Spawning Pool so that you do not build up excess minerals


This opening works on any map, and there are no map features which specifically help or hinder this build.