15 Hatch 15 Pool Build Order

Zerg Build Orders --> 15 Hatch 15 Pool (you are here)

Build Difficulty: High - requires decent APM at a bare minimum.
Versatility: High - can be progressed into any build.
Maps: Any 4-Player Map
Best Against: Protoss, Terran
Weak Against: Zerg

The 15 Hatch 15 Pool opening is a Zerg build order that has gained a lot of popularity recently. Unlike most Zerg fast expand variations, players using this build will actually build their second Hatchery at their natural expansion prior to getting their Spawning Pool.

Here is how it would typically play out:

9/10: Overlord
14-15/18: Hatchery (depending on if you scouted or not)
14-15/18: Spawning Pool (preference)
16/18: Overlord

From here, keep building Drones. Your Hatchery and Spawning Pool will finish around the same time, so you can start training 2 Queens; one at your main and one at your natural expansion.


Important: Most of the time, as soon as your two Queens finish, use one to spawn a Creep Tumor. Most players are eager to drop a double Spawn Larva but the fact is your money is stretched pretty tight at this point as you get two Queens and work on Droning up.

The Creep Tumor will allow you to connect the Creep between both bases, so that both your Queens can fight together if necessary and your Zerglings will be able to handle most forms of early aggression. If worse comes to worse you can place a Spine Crawler or two at your first expansion.

Whatever you do, I that getting a Creep tumor down early helps a lot, particularly if the enemy decides to air rush (a common counter to this build) as your Queens become a lot more mobile. You can also spreading the Creep to a third expansion very quickly this way as well, and even get enough creep out to hide buildings like a Spire.


Once you have your second expansion up, what you do from here greatly varies on both what your opponent is doing. Below, I will be discussing the strengths and weaknesses of this build versus specific races so that you can get a better idea of when to use it and what to transition into.

Strengths vs Protoss:

When playing against Protoss, your Hatchery will finish before the Protoss player can make any sort of 4-Gate timing push. If you scout this, you can easily fortify your entrance with a few Spine Crawlers and come out with a huge economic lead.

I have found that it is very hard for the Protoss player to win if you secure the fast expansion via the 15 Hatch 15 Pool build order - you simply get too far ahead in economy and are able to outproduce the Protoss player.

Protoss really only have two options at this point: 4-Gate or some Gateway/Robotics combination.

If you see your opponent going 4-Gate, you will need to mass Hydras, as scoot-and-shoot Stalkers and Sentries is very strong versus Lings, Roaches, and Banelings. If air units or Colossi ever enter the battlefield, simply add Corruptors to your Hydralisk army.

If you see pressure early, do not be afraid to grab a few Spine Crawlers. A Hydralisk and Corruptor-heavy army always has extra minerals, so do not worry about "wasting" them on Spine Crawlers.

I have found that it is very hard for the Protoss player to win if you secure the fast expansion via the 15 Hatch 15 Pool build order - you simply get too far ahead from an economic perspective.

Weaknesses vs Protoss:

The major weakness of this build is that you are susceptible to a Zealot rush. If the Protoss player goes for any sort of Proxy or just an outright 2-Gate Zealot rush with 6-8 Zealots, it can be quite tough to stop.

However, most Protoss players will never go straight for this build because traditionally Zealot rushes do not work good against Zerg players, especially since you can use your Overlords to scout for any proxies.

The safe method is to only use this strategy on 4-player maps. The Protoss player cannot proxy if he does not know where you are at, so on 4-player maps you have an advantage and are safe to grab a fast expansion.

Strengths vs Terran:

The major strength of the 15 Hatch 15 Pool is that your expansion finishes significantly earlier than in the 14 Pool 15 Hatch build. Because of this, your Hatchery finishes early and has some buildable creep on it very early.

This allows you to throw down a Spine Crawler and significantly improves your chances of defending against a Bunker/Reaper rush. Additionally, having out 2 fast Queens allows you to spread the Creep much faster so your Zerglings can defend against Reaper aggression.

This way, your expansion is safer and you can get the resources you need to mass up Banelings, Zerglings, and Mutalisks.

Weaknesses vs Terran:

The biggest weakness of this build is the fact you are very slow to get units. This leaves you open to an outright Marine rush. If you want to use this build, be sure to scout for a second Barracks before committing to getting the expansion.

If the Terran player builds two quick Barracks and pumps out 8-10 Marines, you could be in a very bad position if the player has good micro. Use a Drone to see if a second Barracks goes up and you will have no problems here.


This build order is a great opener for intermediate to advanced Zerg players who are comfortable with controlling large economies. the only thing you need to do is be able to survive the rush and you will get a large economical lead that can be transitioned into any build.