Ice Fisher

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ZergIce Fisher or "Spanishiwa Build"
Matchups: ZvX
Type: Opening
Creator: Spanishiwa
Popularized By: Spanishiwa, Day(9)


The Ice Fisher - or "Spanishiwa Build"- is a very defensive style that relies on minimal units to spend almost all early Larva on Drones, for a strong two base economy. Gas is delayed until 32 Drones, then all 4 Extractors are taken at the same time; the influx of gas is then used for a very quick tech to Infestors and a plethora of upgrades.

Spine Crawlers (for holding off a 4 Gate, or 3Rax Stim, etc.), an extra set of Queens (for anti-air), and some slow Zerglings (to hold troops at the Spine Crawlers) are the extent of the early game defense so the Zerg can reach 32-40 Drones quickly as reasonable.

Day[9] has described Lair tech as the Zerg's play-ground, this is true in all match-ups. The massive gas income from the four Extractors allows the Zerg to gain quick access to all upgrades. One example is for Baneling Drops => Evolution Chamber upgrades + Baneling and Zergling speed upgrades and both Overlord upgrades for dropping straight into the opponent's base.

Basic Build Order[edit]

If you scout early aggression or 1Base-Play, you need two (or more) Spine Crawler between 20 and 30 supply. Most of the time you build just one.

"Ice Fisher"
How To: Read Build Orders
9 Overlord[1]
16 Hatchery
15 Spawning Pool[2]
18 Queen
20 Queen
20 Spine Crawler
22 Zergling[3]
40 (32 Drones) Extractor (x4)
  1. send Drone to scout
  2. @100% Queen(2) + Lings(2)
  3. send one Zergling to each Watchtower and one to scout the front

When you get 100 gas, start your Lair and get two Evolution chambers. Note: 13 Hatchery 15 Spawning Pool can be used to avoid hatch blocking.

Variation "Quad-Queen-Build"[edit]

DRG played a variation of this build against DeMuslim at MLG Winterchampionship 2012.

How To: Read Build Orders
9 Overlord[1]
15 Hatchery
15 Spawning Pool
17 Overlord[2]
18 Queen
20 Queen
22 Zergling
23 Zergling[3]
24 Spine Crawler[4]
28 Queen[5]
30 Queen
44 (32 Drones) Extractor (x4)
  1. send Drone to scout
  2. send Overlord to scout your Natural in ZvT/ZvP
  3. send one Zergling to each Watchtower and one to scout the front
  4. you might skip it, if you scout FE
  5. start spreading Creep

DRG builds only one pair of Zerglings because he scouts a FE. He took three gasses at 48 supply, but it's ok to take four at the same time.

It's important to scout an Aggressive Pool, because a 6Pool will almost kill you every time. Watch out for Cheese, too.

Note: It's possible to use this build in ZvP, but you might want to train how to defend a Cannon Rush. FFE is popular in PvZ and a Protoss might try to build Cannons near your Hatchery.


  • It should be noted that although static defense costs a lot of minerals in the early game, the savings in Larva at this point is more significant.
  • Continue to make Queens up to 6, Zerglings should be made in an emergency only.
  • The number of Spine Crawlers players should create depends on the number of army production buildings the opponent has.
    • For example, it would be necessary to drop 3-5 Spine Crawlers at your natural if you scouted a Protoss 4-Gate opening.


  • The initial Zerglings need to keep an idea on the opposing army size.
  • Take the Watchtower at all times.
  • Keep a Zergling at the opponents ramp and scout the front.
  • If you have to, sacrifice an Overlord at ~6:15 to scout for cloaked units (Dark Shrine, etc.). This might not be necessary, if you get attacked early or you scout his unit composition.
  • Due to the late gas, there are timing windows where cloaked units can do a lot of damage before you can get detection. Sacrifice Overlord to scout Twilight Council or Starport with Tech Lab, either get your Evolution Chambers earlier and build Spore Crawlers at both mineral lines.
  • If you have to play blindly, get an Evolution Chamber for Spore Crawlers, any time after the Spawning Pool completes, all cloaked units come after 6:45 game time.
  • Place one Spore Crawler at each mining base to defend both. If you are in the lower leagues, using two Spore Crawler for each base is totally fine.
  • Your opponent might expand early, which means, early aggression is delayed.


Dark Templar Rush is popular among the lower leagues against Zerg. Dark Templar timing, 200 seconds after first Gateway + 45 seconds (Rush timing). Some Protoss will hide their Dark Shrine somewhere on the map. A tech build always uses two Geysers and a DT-Rush does not build a lot of units and no Sentries.

Cloaked Banshees[edit]

Banshee timing, 110 seconds after first Barracks + 60 seconds (Rush timing) ... Work in progress ...


Work in progress ...

Note: Ice Fisher is depending on Spine Crawler, Queens and slow Zerglings to hold off early aggression (like a 4Gate).


  • If you scout a Speedling Expand you have to make sure your opponent is taking his Natural. Otherwise he can build a lot of Speedlings and try to overwhelm you. Build a fast second Spine and block the Choke with two Queens. It's best to hold of his attack without Zerglings. Since he is on one base and you are on two, it's ok to loose a few drones.
  • Against 14 Pool 15 Hatch you have to scout, which tech path he choses. He can research Metabolic Boost, go Banelings or tech to fast Mutalisks. Scouting is very important. Since he is taking gas and you are not, you should be ahead in Drones.
  • If you opponent is playing an All-In with Speedlings, you should add Spines, Queens and slow Zerglings. Anything is ok to survive such an attack. Better safe than sorry!
  • A 7RR is a big problem. You have to scout it and react properly. Your opponent will not take his Natural and your opponent will cut Drones. So you can cut Drones, too and add a Roach Warren (plus Gas). Even if you have the same amount of Drones as he is, you are ahead, because you have taken your natural and you have at least two Queens. Build Spines and Roaches instead of Mass-Queens. 7 Roaches will kill 4 Roaches and 2 Queens, if you have no energy and no Spines to support them.
  • You can take your Third at the 8-minute-mark, if he is not playing a 2Base-All-In. If he does the latter, tech to Glial Reconstitution immediately and get upgrades.
  • If you see a heavy attack coming, you can use all Queens at the front. Transfuse all Spines to prevent their death.


Work in Progress ...


Work in Progress ...

Defending Cheese[edit]

Work in Progress ...


Pro features[edit]

  • Long rush distance where early aggression is less likely
  • Closed natural expansions with one entrance and no alternative entrance to main base.

Con features[edit]

  • Possible close ground or air positions will require adaption.
  • Long rush distance map, because of the lack of ability to punish economic-oriented opponents.



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