3 Hatch Lurker (vs. Terran)

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[e][h]Zerg 3 Hatch Lurker
Strategy Information
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The "3 Hatchery Lurker" Build Order prepares a mid game transition with Lurkers and Speed Zerglings to counter early Terran aggression. The strategy was primarily used in older days of Brood War, when Marine micromanagement wasn't as developed as it is today. However, the strategy is still a viable option in modern game.

Build Order[edit]

The following Build Order uses a 12 Hatchery Expand Opening and requires a second gas at the Natural

"3 Hatch Lurker" Help icon.png
  • 9 - Overlord[1]
  • 12 - Hatchery at Natural Expansion
  • 11 - Spawning Pool
  • 13 - Hatchery
  • @100% Spawning Pool - 2-6 Zerglings
  • 16 - Overlord
  • 16 - Extractor
  • @100 Gas - Lair[2]
  • 22 - Overlord[3]
  • @100 Vespene Gas - Zergling Speed
  • @50% Lair - Hydralisk Den[4]
  • @90% Lair - Expansion Extractor
  • @100% Lair - Lurker Aspect
  • @100% Lair - Evolution Chamber[5][6]
  • @50% of Lurker research - 6-9 Hydralisks
  • @100% of Lurker research - Lurkers[7]
  • @100% Evolution Chamber - +1 Carapace Upgrade
  1. Optional: 9th Drone can be used to scout
  2. Sunken Colonies can be added from now on, depending on the overall situation
  3. Overlord can be built later, between 22 and 24 Supply
  4. Vespene Gas an Minerals is saved up around 60% Lair, so that the Lurker Aspect can be researched without further delay
  5. Built after Aspect is researched
  6. Optional: Spire can be added
  7. Left over Minerals are spent on Zerglings


The execution of the Build Order is rather easy to understand. Regardless of the chosen opening (12 Hatch, Overpool, etc.), the Zerg opens for a Lair relatively early, after adding a third Hatchery in his own base. The first six Zerglings are used to constantly maintain vision on the opponent's army movement, compilation and size. Sunken Colonies are not being built, unless an early timing attack is scouted.

The first Lurkers are used to push back any Terran aggression with care. In modern Brood War, it is pivotal to not lose the first Lurkers against a small number of Marines. Instead, the Terran bio forces are driven back bit by bit, until the Terran is contained, or two Lurkers can deny access to a new expansion by burrowing on top of a ramp.

With a greater number of Zerglings and Lurkers, Zerg can engage in larger attacks. A Spire should be added after a first wave of Lurkers to counter Science Vessels and potential Dropship harassment with Scourges. However, in any scenario Terran will be able to attack earlier than against Mutalisks, as Lurkers have less potentials to bind Marines and Medics via harassment at the Terran base. Instead fake pushes, Zergling runbies and constant threats to backstab an army might be used.

The ordinary transition to Dark Swarm and Ultraling usually follows once the third base and a third gas is secured.

Notable Maps[edit]

The Three Hatchery Lurker Opening works on most maps. However, maps with narrow centers make Zergling/Lurker attacks easier to counter. Maps with difficult pathing (Blue Storm) and multiple access points to a Terran's Natural Expansion (Gaia, Snipers Ridge) support the strategy. Wide open central spaces like on Python or Fighting Spirit make it easier to surround Terran armies.

Notable Games[edit]

Strategy Example Game
Detonation South Korea Zicon small bw.png JulyZerg JulyZerg First Person View
South Korea Ticon small bw.png ArtOfTerran
Date: 2004-02-22
Patch: VOD