ZvT Scarlett’s 3 Hatchery Macro Opener

General Overview

This build opens up with a quick 3rd Hatchery off of 4 Queens in order to stay safe against early Reapers or Hellions.  It also gives you a strong economy to go into the midgame with the Lair tech of your choice.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 16 – Spawning Pool
  • 17 – Overlord
  • 19 – @100% Spawning Pool, start 2 Queens and 2 Zerglings
  • 24 – Overlord
  • 30 – @100% Queens, start 2 more Queens
  • 36 – 2 Extractors
  • @100% Extractors, start 3rd Hatchery
  • @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost, and 2 Evolution Chambers
  • @100% Evolution Chambers, start +1 Melee and +1 Carapace
  • Benchmark: When you start +1/+1 (@7:45ish), you should have 4 Queens and around 50 Drones.


First scout with your initial Zerglings.  Use them to take the Xel’Naga Watchtowers or send them outside the front of Terran’s base depending on the map. If you see Terran move out with some kind of very early force, make a few Zerglings to stay safe.  However, do NOT overproduce early game units because this will slow down your 3 base saturation, and thus your midgame strength.

Your next scout will be with an Overlord just after you start your +1/+1 (@7:15ish).  This is merely to scout whether your opponent is opening with 3 base Bio play, 3 base Mech play, or a 2 base timing.


As soon as you confirm that your opponent is going for a 3rd Command Center, feel free to start your 4th Hatchery.  Against Mech play, transitioning into Swarm Hosts, Mutalisks, or Vipers is very strong.  Against Bio/Mine play, transitioning into Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk or mass Zergling/Baneling is also quite strong.

This build transitions very well into whichever Lair tech you are most comfortable with.


  • Be sure that you take map control with your initial Zerglings.  Being able to spot when and with what your opponent moves out on the map can be crucial in defending any early timings.
  • Metabolic Boost will not finish until just before 8 minutes with this build.  If your opponent is hitting you very early, then a Spine Crawler and/or extra Queens will be more useful than slow Zerglings.
  • Just after you start your +1/+1 upgrades, be sure to send a sacrificial Overlord into your opponent’s base to check whether your opponent is going for a Mech or Bio build.

Pros and Cons

This build is strong against almost all standard Terran openers.  It gets 4 Queens for safety, injects, creep spread, and to defend a very quick 3rd Hatchery.  With such a fast third, your midgame economy is also quite solid.

However, because you delay your Extractors in favor of 4 Queens, this build is not as safe against 1base all-ins than an opener that gets a very fast Metabolic Boost.

Favorable Maps

This build is better on maps where your 3rd is easily reachable from your natural by creep.  On these maps, your Queens are more able to defend your 3rd from any Reaper/Hellion pressures.

  • Akilon Wastes
  • Bel’Shir Vestige
  • Whirlwind
  • Yeonsu
  • Frost


Scarlett performing this build twice against MMA at the WCS S2 Finals

Scarlett’s 3 Hatchery Macro Opener Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI