9 Pool (vs. Zerg)
9 Pool is a very flexible build in Zerg versus Zerg, if played properly.
In ZvZ it is very important to identify your opponent's build order and to watch his larvae and how he uses them (zerglings or drones). It is thus crucial to send your overlords to your opponent's base. On Fighting spirit, you should send your overlord clockwise, this gives vision of the natural before you reach a new main location. In case you scout your opponent on first try and he opened with a 12 hatch, your first overlord will see the hatchery with a significant amount of health already (~300). In case of a 12 pool, your overlord will be flying over the natural and see a drone arrive to morph a hatchery. In case of a 9 pool, your overlord will be flying over their ramp between the main and natural when the zerglings pass by.
- 9 — Spawning Pool
- 8 — Drone
- 9 — Extractor (see note)
- 8 — Overlord
- 8 — Drone
- @100% Spawning Pool: The amount of Zerglings depends on your scouting information. Often, people will make 6.
- @100 Vespene Gas: Research Metabolic Boost. There are special situations where you could go Lair first.
- @100 Vespene Gas: Morph Lair.
- @100% Lair: Build a Spire.
Build Order Clarification
After you gathered 100 Vespene Gas for Metabolic Boost, it is common to take one drone off gas. Else you will have a shortage of minerals by the time you get 100 Vespene Gas for your Lair. Ideally you want to have 3 Drones mining on gas as soon as possible again but this depends on the situation of the game and how many Drones you can squeeze in. In case of only producing Zerglings until your Spire finishes, you will be able to put a third Drone on gas when your spire finishes. Now you have a really poor economy however.
9 Pool vs 12 Hatchery
Against a 12 Hatch (vs. Zerg) (at expansion or main), rally your Hatchery to his main and make only Zerglings. Target the Drones without getting caught in them if they drill. 9 pool has in most cases a significant advantage against 12 hatch (depends on map size and how fast you find him) since your Zerglings will arrive long before his pool finishes. Often you can take out the natural hatchery (force a cancel) or just straight up win the game by going into his main and taking out Drones/Zerglings as they spawn,...
9 Pool vs 12 Pool
Against a 12 Pool (vs. Zerg) the goal is to be aggressive without losing your initial Zerglings carelessly. A 12-pooling player is often forced to bring 2 Drones together with his initial 6 Zerglings since your reinforcements (pairs of lings) arrive before his. You will be able to dance around his morphing Hatchery and take hits at it. In great situations you will be able to take out the Drones he brings, or Zerglings without losing any yourself. As soon as you have speed you can look for openings and force engagements since he will not have speed yet.
If however you lose your initial Zerglings without trading effectively, you need to watch out for your opponent going all-out with Zerglings. If he had to pull Drones to defend, this is a more likely scenario as he won't have gas to tech to Lair. You will need a Sunken (maybe even 2) in this case.
9 Pool vs 9 Pool
Against a 9 Pool, attempt to make as many Drones as possible. Watch his Zergling numbers, and sneak in an extra Drone when possible (if you have a ramp to give the defensive edge). If possible, leave a few Zerglings near his base outside of his vision to backstab his Drones when he moves out, while ensuring that your main army and reinforcements will be enough to defend if you do indeed get attacked.
9 Pool vs Overpool
9 Pool vs Overgas