ZvT TLO’s 2 Base Muta

General Overview

This build opens with an economic 2 base Muta opener, and uses a 7:20 Overlord scout coupled with the initial Mutalisk harass to determine whether your Terran opponent is using a Bio-based composition, or a Mech-based composition.

Build Order

  • 9 – Overlord
  • 15 – Hatchery
  • 16 – Pool
  • 17 – Overlord
  • 19 – 2 Queens, 2 Zerglings
  • 24 – Overlord
  • 26 – Extractor
  • @100% Queens, start 3rd Queen in the main
  • 30 – Overlord
  • @100% 3rd Queen,  Spread creep from Main with 3rd Queen and then send to natural
  • @100 Gas (@5:45ish), start Lair and 3 more Extractors
  • @100 Gas (@6:30ish), start Metabolic Boost
  • @100% Lair (@7:05ish), start Spire and send sacrificial Overlord into Terran’s main for scouting information
  • Benchmark: As scout gets into opponent’s main base (@7:10ish) and assuming there has been no Terran pressure that required Zergling defense or Spine Crawlers/Drones pulled, you should be at least fully saturated on both mineral lines and fully saturated on all 4 Extractors (44 Drones, 3 Queens).
  • @7:30 – 3rd Hatchery
  • @7:45 – 4th Queen
  • @70% Spire (@8:10ish), start extra Overlords in preparation for when your Spire will finish
  • @8:40 – 5th/6th Extractors
  • @100% Spire – As many mutas as possible (~10-11). Also make sure you have an overlord near Terran’s base for a later Overseer.
  • Benchmark: When your 10ish Mutalisks hatch (@9:25ish), use these to harass your opponent.
    • Key targets include: Tech Labs researching, unprotected SCVs, Engineering Bays, Armories, unprotected units, pairs of Marines.


Scout first with your 2 initial Zerglings, use them to take the Xel’Naga Watchtowers or send them outside the front of the Terran’s base depending on the map. If you see Terran move out with some kind of force very early, you will probably need emergency Spine Crawlers – your Metabolic Boost will only be finishing around 8:20!

Your next scout will be with an Overlord as soon as your Lair finishes (around 7:05).  With this scout, aim to check if your opponent is playing Mech or Bio.  Seeing any of the following can indicate Mech play: an Armory, more than 1 Factory, a Factory with Tech Lab, a lack of Barracks, or a lack of add-ons on Barracks.  Seeing any of the following can indicate Bio play: 2 Engineering Bays, a Barracks with a researching Tech lab, more than 1 Barracks, or only one Factory.  If you scout Bio, you can still continue with a 2 base Spire timing and transition into Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk OR you can abort the 2 base Spire timing and throw down 2 Evolution Chambers as soon as possible for +1/+1 Melee/Carapace upgrades.

The next scout will be with your initial Mutalisks. Terran will be forced to defend himself with his units, so you’ll see either Bio or Mech units to defend. These Mutalisks should be able to get into his main quite easily and scout what type of production he is using, perhaps even doing some economic damage.


If you confirm Mech play with your Mutalisks, throw down an Infestation Pit. If you are sure he is going Mech before your Mutalisks arrive, then you can even place the Infestation Pit as soon as your Mutalisks hatch.  Add more bases and Swarm Hosts when you can afford them.  Swarm Hosts are a strong option as your initial Mutalisks will likely force Turrets, Thors, and Widow Mines–units that are generally not strong against Swarm Host play.  Alternatively, you can go into Overlord Speed and drop-play, to abuse the lack of Terran mobility.  Finally, you can also place your Hive as soon as possible and go for a follow-up Brood Lord transition.

If you confirm Bio play with your Mutalisks, throw down 2 Evolution Chambers and a Baneling Nest as soon as possible. Note that you will be behind in upgrades against a 3 base macro Terran player, but you can recuperate this loss by aiming to snipe a key Tech lab researching Stimpack or Combat Shields, as this can prevent Terran from being aggressive with his upgrade lead.  Good creep spread and strong engagements/burrowed Banelings can also mitigate this upgrade deficit.  Once you hit the lategame, you have the option to transition into your preferred Hive tech.


  • If you place a 5:00-5:30 Spine Crawler, you should be able to stop Hellions made from a Factory started before your opponent’s 2nd base. A 6:00-6:30 Spine Crawler will finish in time to stop Hellions made after your opponent’s 2nd base or Hellions made after a Reaper opener.
  • Just when your Lair finishes (7:20ish), ideally you should be fully saturated on your 2 bases with extra minerals going into additional Drones.  However, there are a couple of defensive options available if you are under pressure:
    • If you have extra Drones and want to completely deter Hellion runbys, then make a wall-off with 2 Evolution Chambers and your Spine Crawler at the front of your natural. This will not slow down your Mutalisk timing as long as you remain fully saturated on all mineral lines and Extractors.
    • Alternatively, you also have the ability to make a large group of Zerglings (only if you need to defend yourself) without hurting the timing of the Mutalisks.  Note that you should only do this if you absolutely have to because droning should always be a priority.  Remember that Metabolic Boost will only finish around 8:20, so any Zerglings made before this point should be used strictly for defense.

Pros and Cons

This build is incredibly strong against Mech players. The initial Mutalisks will force extra Missile Turrets, Thors, and Widow Mines – units that are all not ideal against the large mass of Swarm Hosts that you should follow-up with.

If you scout your opponent opening Bio with your Mutalisk timing, then you can transition into Zergling/Baneling/Mutalisk. The obvious problem here is that you will be behind on upgrades, but again this is not game-ending provided you get strong, cost-efficient engagements on creep.  Also, this build is vulnerable to large Marine attacks in the early-game because you will not have Metabolic Boost yet to defend them.  Hopefully, however, you can scout this coming with your initial Zerglings and/or Overlord in order to stay safe with Spine Crawlers.

Favorable Maps

This build works best on maps that have large amounts of air-space.  However, an open third base also lends itself towards more Mutalisk harassment and the possibility of Speedling runbys going into the midgame.

  • Frost
  • King Sejong Station
  • Habitation Station
  • Alterzim Stronghold


Relevant Day9 Daily

TLO using this build against Strelok in the WCS EU Group A RO16 in g1 and g2

TLO’s 2 Base Muta Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI


Written by Stark

Follow him @StarkSCII