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Starcraft 2 Strategy the Zerg 6pool

Updated on August 27, 2011

Zergling Attack!


What's a 6-pool?

A 6-pool is a Starcraft 2 Zerg build order that relies on super-early aggression to defeat an enemy before he can muster much defense against the attack. This build is considered "cheese" (and it IS cheesy), because it is an all-in strategy. If the opponent successfully holds you off, your economy is so far behind that it will be difficult if not impossible to catch up.

The infamous Starcraft 2, 6-pool build order

The Zerg build order for a 6-pool is very simple:

  • Do not build any initial drones. Save up 200 minerals immediately.
  • Spawning Pool
  • 2 Drones (brings you back up to 7 Drones total)
  • When pool finishes, you should have approx 150 minerals and 3 larvae. Make 6 Zerglings
  • Overlord
  • Zerglings as money allows, Overlords as necessary. If extra minerals above larvae, build Queen.

Starcraft 2 Video - 6 pool Zerg Build Order

How to Use Your Early Zerglings in Starcraft 2

The first thing you should do with your Zerglings is attempt to prevent the enemy from building any military units or defenses.

Attack the following:

  • SCVs making buildings
  • Pylons powering Gateways
  • Spine Crawlers under construction
  • Single marines or workers

What you are trying to do is prevent your opponent from killing your zerglings, and diverting his workers away from mining and making buildings, hopefully screwing up his build order and making him forget to build more workers.

Keep in mind that your opponent likely has enough workers to kill your first 6 Zerglings, which aren't really that tough. It is better to keep those Zerglings alive until enough arrive that you can engage his workers and destroy them all.

What NOT to do with your first Zerglings

There are a surprising number of ways to screw up this early attack, despite how easy the build is.  Here are some tips:

  • Do NOT immediately rush your first 6 Zerglings into the worker line.  Your opponent has little else to do right now, and will notice your attack immediately and surround your Zerglings with his more-numerous workers.  Even without good micro (see below), his workers will likely destroy your Zerglings quite handily.
  • Do NOT engage Zealots with less than 4 full-health Zerglings.  Zealots eat Zerglings for breakfast, and only in sufficient numbers can Zerglings defeat them, with heavy losses.
  • Do NOT take your eyes off your Zerglings.  Use hotkeys to make more Zerglings, or manage your base.  If you must, queue up some move commands for your Zerglings before quickly flipping back to look at your base.
  • Do not let the enemy wall off his ramp.  Stick a Zergling in the way if you can, and leave him on Hold Position where the blocking buildings would go.  Zerglings take far too long to destroy buildings, especially when they are attacking up a narrow ramp, and if your opponent walls off, it will give him enough time to build the few units he needs to fend off your Zerglings.

Starcraft 2 Zergling Rushes

How much do you hate Zergling Rushes?

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Starcraft 2 Zerg Strategy - Refining the 6-pool

Here are some extra actions your can take to make your 6-pool even more effective:

  1. After your Spawning Pool has been built, send a drone into your opponent's base and attempt to delay him from putting down his production structure (Gateway or Barracks) at the entrance to his base. You want to try to prevent him from creating a wall, and also to delay his production of military units as long as possible
  2. Send Drones with your first Zerglings. These extra drones will make your initial attack stronger, and may wipe your opponent out completely, but prevents you from making much of a follow-up attack. I would suggest leaving at least 1 Drone at home so you can at least gather a few more minerals to send the occasional reinforcement, or to continue the game if he happens to defeat your attack but has very few workers left.
  3. Build an offensive Spine Crawler (or two!) against a Zerg opponent. Build it in range of his hatchery, and ensure that the Spine Crawlers can defend each other against Zerglings. Try to use your Zerglings to kill the Drones while they are attacking your under-construction Spine Crawlers, but when the Drones turn to attack your Zerglings, run them away. Repeat until your Spines finish and you should win the game.
  4. Try a 7-pool, 8-pool or 9/10/11-pool, and see how the enemy's preparedness and reactions change. You can do a 11 or even 12 pool by building 2 extractors, building drones, then cancelling the extractors. Generally, however, it is more economically efficient to build an Overlord on 9 rather than a double-extractor trick (see Video below).

Comparison of Zerg Extractor Trick Methods

Comments on Extractor Tricks

There are a few things these videos don't show properly, and that is the amount of larvae available to the player.  It SEEMS that the Overlord on 9 and 10 end up about equal, but you will notice if you watch carefully that the Overlord on 9 gets its 15th drone sooner (larvae production is not delayed like it is with Overlord on 10).

Starcraft 2 - The Game

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

If you like my articles, and are thinking about picking up the game, please buy it through here if you can. It helps me out a bit, and Blizzard (the manufacturer) has this great service where you can register your games with them with your free account, and if you ever lose or damage the CD, Blizzard still knows you own the game and has your CD key available to you. So... buying it online never means that you lose the game if you forgot to back up your computer or something equally inconvenient.



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