JvZ Jaedong’s 9 Pool

General Overview

This build opens with a 9 Pool in order to apply a lot of early pressure to your opponent and keep them on one base, and then transitions into more macro oriented play with a Speedling follow-up.

Build Order

  • 9 – Spawning Pool
  • 10 – Overlord
  • 10 – Extractor trick to get 11th Drone
  • 11 – @100% Spawning Pool, Only Zerglings until you have 10 (5 larva)
  • 15 – Queen
  • 18 – Extractor
  • 17 – Overlord
  • 24 – @100 Gas, start Metabolic Boost
    • Pull all 3 Drones out of Gas
  • Benchmark: When you start Metabolic Boost (@4:15ish), you should have 10 Zerglings, a Queen, and 14 Drones.


All of your scouting comes from your initial Overlords and your 10 Zerglings.  First scout where your opponent has spawned by sending your Overlord directly to one of the possible bases.  Then use your first 6 Zerglings (with more rallied) to poke/prod your opponent’s base.

If you see your opponent’s natural Hatchery nearly done, then they have performed a Hatchery First opener and you can choose either to ignore the natural and attack their workers in the main or to focus exclusively on the natural and plan to bring it down.  Note that you MUST do economic damage one way or another with your 10 Zerglings or you will fall behind economically.

If your opponent’s natural Hatchery is only just started, then they have performed a Pool First opener.  Focus on canceling the natural Hatchery – you won’t be able to do much damage in the main before their Spawning Pool finishes.

If your opponent does not have a natural, then go up into the main and check their gas count.  Prepare against 1 base play of either Banelings or Roaches by focusing much more on Speedlings and potentially getting a Spine Crawler.


You can use this opener to transition into any form of Zerg play.  If you want to end the game immediately, you can put Drones back on gas and go for a 1 base Ling/Bane all-in.

More standard play ensues by starting your natural expansion as soon as possible and making only as many Speedlings as needed to be safe and have map control.  For a Roach midgame, start a Roach Warren and Lair after your first 100 gas.  Then, on 3 gasses, you can start Roach Speed and +1 Attack.  For a Mutalisk midgame, get a Lair with your first 100 gas and saturate your 2 bases and 4 gasses as soon as possible.  Start your Spire as soon as your Lair finishes.


  • Attack his Drones in his main if he has performed a Hatchery First opener
  • Attack his natural expansion if he has gone for a Pool First opener
  • Scout his main if he has gone for a 1 base build
  • Do NOT make too many Zerglings.  It may seem tempting to try and kill your opponent with constant reinforcements, but slow Zerglings lose their effectiveness very quickly.  Drones are much more important.
  • Be sure to pull off of gas once you have mined 100 for Metabolic Boost.  You need all of your Drones mining minerals in order to boost your economy into the midgame.

Pros and Cons

This build opens up with a 9 Pool in order to situate aggressively in a matchup known for its early game volatility.  It also gets Metabolic Boost at a standard time, while still allowing for both macro or all-in transitions.

However, this build is obviously a lot less economical than most other ZvZ builds, so you must do some sort of economic damage with your initial 10 Zerglings or risk falling behind.

Favorable Maps

This build works best on smaller maps and on 2 person spawn maps so that your initial 10 Zerglings can deal maximum damage as soon as possible.

  • Habitation Station
  • Overgrowth
  • Waystation
  • Merry Go Round


Jaedong beating Zanster with this build at Dreamhack Bucharest 2014

Top Diamond Example Replay

Jaedong’s 9 Pool Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI