Starcraft 2 9 Pool Build Order
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The 9 Pool refers to getting up to 9 Drones and then
halting Drone production to save for a Spawning Pool. Once the Spawning Pool finishes, you can produce
Zerglings and a Queen and go in for an early assault.
The 9 Pool works best against Zerg players on two player maps. Enemy Zerg players are particularly vulnerable to
early Zergling rushes. Two player maps are ideal because you already know the opponent's spawning location so you
do not have to scout.
Below, you will find the build order for using this particular opener. More importantly, we will discuss how to
follow up the 9 Pool. A successful 9 Pool is often not enough to win a game outright, instead it is used to gain an
advantage in the game which from which the Zerg can follow up with a second, larger attack, an expansion, or
9 Pool Build Order
9/10: Spawning Pool
11/10: Extractor Trick*
14/18: Zerglings x3
*Build an Extractor, start a Drone, then cancel the Extractor. Send the Drone back to mining. This is usually not
economically efficient, but in this particular build, some of the Hatchery's larva production capacity would be
Using the 9 Pool: Strategies
Your Zerglings should be rallied to the enemy Zerg base as soon as they spawn. Your 3 pairs of initial Zerglings
will arrive first before the next 2 pairs. The first 6 Zerglings should go in right away - you should not wait for
the next two pairs to gather up before going in for an attack.
If your enemy went for an expansion first, you are in luck. You will know if they went expansion first based on
how much progress is on their Hatchery. If they went Hatchery first, the expansion will be about 75% done by the
time your first Zerglings arrive. If they went for Spawning Pool into Hatchery, the Hatchery will just be getting
If there is a Hatchery, have 4 Zerglings attack the Hatchery and send your other two inside to scout around.
This will give you an idea of what your opponent is up to, including the timing on their Spawning Pool. Use your
rallying Zerglings to help finish off the Hatchery. If the opponent cancels the Hatchery, gather your
Zerglings and start trying to kill Drones. If the opponent lets the Hatchery finish it, be sure to pull your
Zerglings to safety once you kill the Hatchery - do not lose your Zerglings to broodlings that spawn when the
Hatchery goes down.
If the enemy has no other units and instead pulls Drones and tries to attack, run away from the Drones until all
10 Zerglings arrive. Once you have all 10 Zerglings together, you can ignore the Hatchery and attack the enemy's
Drones directly. The 15 or so Drones the opponent will have do not stand up well to 10 Zerglings. The Drones will
do damage to just 6 Zerglings though, so make sure all your units are together.
From here, try to keep your Zerglings alive as long as you can. You should be able to destroy or force the
cancellation on the natural expansion (should the enemy have started the expansion). Try to kill off Drones and
force the enemy Zerg to spend larva and resources on Zerglings and Queens. Once enemy Zerglings come out, flee with
your Zerglings and try to keep them alive. Do not throw away your 10 Zerglings to the enemy's 6 Zerglings + Queen +
Drone that they will eventually be able to produce.
Use these Zerglings to patrol around the enemy's natural expansion. Make the opponent build 12+ Zerglings in
order to take their natural expansion.
Where to Go from Here
If you kept most of your Zerglings alive and destroyed the enemy Hatchery, you should be in great shape. You can
use the gas we worked into this build to add on Metabolic Boost. You should have been able to build up some
minerals during the attack, which you can use to add on your own expansion at your natural expansion.
At about 5 minutes into the game, you can have a several Drone lead, have just started your expansion and
Metabolic Boost, and have a similar number of units to your expansionless opponent. This puts you in a great
position as the early game wraps up. From here, you have 3 options:
- Quick Follow Up Attack: If you inflicted a huge amount of damage with your rush, you may
be able to deny the enemy Zerg's expansion for a very long time. With no expansion, the opponent will not have
much Larva production. You can make another Queen to inject larva at both bases and pump Zerglings and a couple
Banelings. With a big pack of Zerglings and just a couple Banelings, you can overwhelm a Zerg who was really
crippled from your initial attack.
- Roach Push: If the opponent took a lot of damage but not so much that you think you can
win with Zerglings, you will want to fall back, macro up a bit, then hit with Roaches. Use a wave or two of
Larva to pump out 15+ Drones to saturate the natural, then turn your attention to making several waves of
Roaches. Even a couple Spine Crawlers, this Roach push should be overwhelming. You can grab your third base
while this attack is underway in case it is not enough to win.
- Macro Game: Similar to the Roach push, if you inflicted some damage but not enough to
close out the game, you can fall back and double expand. With early Metabolic Boost, you can control the map
and work primarily on Drones. This works for those with great macro and for when the enemy Zerg has delayed gas
and instead tries to turtle up with Spine Crawlers.
The 9 Pool is a great build order to use in Zerg vs Zerg. It is particularly strong when the opponent opens with
a Hatchery first build. Stick to using this build on 2 player maps like Bel'Shir Vestige as you will not have time
to scout for your opponent's spawn location when using this opener.