9 Hatch (vs. Zerg)
9 Hatch in Zerg vs. Zerg is an unusual build playing for an early larva advantage at expense of the more traditional mineral+larva advantage builds (12 Hatch, 12 Pool, 10 Hatch (vs. Zerg), etc.) or tech+gas advantage builds (11 Gas 10 Pool, 9 Pool, etc.) in order to overwhelm an opponent with speedlings. Primarily this build is a hard counter to 1 Hatch builds which cannot keep up with so many speedlings and can, using offensive sunkens, provide an easy win in this case.
If not recognized it can provide an easy win, but if recognized it can opt for a high drone count single base strategy often resulting in Hydra/Scourge after Spores. If the opponent overreacts to the build, the player can even sneak several Drones before switching to Lings.
- 9/9 - Hatchery (natural or main--see note)
- 8/9 - Pool
- 8/9 - Extractor
- 7/9 - Overlord
- 7/9 - Drone
- @100% Extractor - Put 3 Drones on Gas
- @100% Spawning Pool - 6 Zerglings
- @80 Gas - take Drones off of gas one by one, giving you 104 gas. Research Speed.
A Hatch at the natural can gain the advantage against a 9 Pool by playing a more defensive game. This build does not need to rush early, but is capable of counter-attacking with superior numbers of lings. Without switching to drones, defending both bases from Mutas with Spores will be too expensive, however, in which case Hatching in the main may be better.
Also consider Hatching at your expo or even proxying (as close to the opponent as you dare, preferably somewhere that can mine that he might not be aware of) it in order to make sure you dominate with your Zerglings. This build generally wins before Mutas beats it, or it doesn't.
- 4/5 Pool
- 6, 7 or 8 Pool (Hatch in main—6 Pool depends on map distance)
- Small maps (Blue Storm etc.)
- Maps without Ramps to the main.
- Large maps
- Aggressive or Recovering
The main approach of this build is to continue to sacrifice economic advantage to your opponent in order to build up a ling count in order to all-in. Opponents recognizing this may make a ridiculous amount of Sunkens while retaining their advantage. The build cannot really afford to do two things, such as Lings and Tech, so it is very single-minded and all-or-nothing, but more disguised than a 5 Pool. The alternate fall-back of this build is to become a defensive high-drone Zerg, hoping that the switch isn't recognized by the opponent too quickly.