This build is a very safe opener to get you into the midgame with both Speedlings and a strong economy. It is most effective against Gateway openers.
- 9 – Overlord
- 15 – Hatchery
- 16 – Spawning Pool
- 17 – Extractor
- 17 – Overlord
- 18 – @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens and 2 Zerglings
- @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost
- Pull all 3 Drones out of gas
- Benchmark: When you start Metabolic Boost (@4:20ish), you should have 2 Queens and 19 Drones.
First scout with your initial Zerglings. Use them to take the Xel’Naga Watchtowers or send them outside the front of the Protoss base depending on the map. The only thing to be wary of with this opener is enemy Cannon rushes; but an Overlord positioned to give you vision around your natural expansion rules that out.
This opener is a safe opener that can transition effectively into all-ins, Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk midgames, or Roach/Hydra/Viper midgames. For an early Roach/Ling all-in, keep Drones in gas and start a Roach Warren and constant Roach production as soon as possible. For more standard Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk play, go up to 3 bases and start a Roach Warren and 2 Evolution Chambers, but only make as many Roaches as you need to stay safe. Use the vast majority of your gas for midgame Mutalisk production. For macro Roach/Hydra/Viper play, go up to 3 bases and start a Roach Warren and 2 Evolution Chambers, and make plenty of Roaches to take map control and secure a 4th base for Hive tech.
- Be sure that you take map control with your initial Zerglings. Keeping tabs on your opponent’s natural wall-off might give you clues as to what they are building.
- Scout around for any proxy Pylons. Stopping warp-ins before they happen is the best way to halt/slow down early aggression.
Pros and Cons
This opener is a standard way to play safe against a Protoss opponent (especially one who is opening up with a Gateway expand and the potential for early aggression). and can transition into nearly any follow-up, even macro or all-in plays.
However, this build does slightly sacrifice economy in order to get an Extractor and Metabolic Boost before going to 3 bases. You will be significantly behind economically from where you would be if you open with a greedy 3 Hatch Before Pool.
This build is strongest on smaller maps where your opponent is more likely to be aggressive.
- Akilon Wastes
- Cloud Kingdom
- Xel’Naga Caverns
- Shakuras Plateau