What's the earliest time (as in exact timing of how long it takes) a Zerg player can have mutas, and the build order to pull this stunt?

Any help appreciated!

  • Is this a team game where another player can send you resources, or are you asking how long it would take you with no support from allies?
    – Marcin
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 16:18
  • on my own, no support, otherwise its too easy!
    – JohnIdol
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 16:39
  • If you're looking for something more viable than just the earliest time you can possibly get a mutalisk, I recommend you get 2 spine crawlers and send a pair of zerglings to scout ASAP. It sets you back a few seconds on the mutalisk, but you're much more capable of defending yourself, and you get to see what your opponent is doing at around 2:30 instead of not seeing them until 6:30 (at which point they may have plenty of towers, thus making your mutas completely pointless. This way you could shift to a different strategy.) Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 18:45

3 Answers 3


Here's a very detailed build whipped up that gets 5 Mutalisks @ 6:36. It's possible there is a slightly faster build for 5 muta, but this will do. As said by other users, I would not recommend this build as it leaves you open to attack for over 6 minutes. If your opponents scouts you once, you will probably die... Might be viable on certain team maps though.

EDIT: I removed the previous 4 Muta build I had because, even though it's faster, anything less than 5 Mutas is worthless. 5 Mutas is the magic number needed to one shot your opponent's workers. If you only have 3 or 4 Mutas you will not be able to adequately harass your opponent, so it's better to wait for 5.

  • 10 SpawningPool
  • 10 Extractor
  • 9 Overlord
  • 10 +1 Drone on gas
  • 10 +1 Drone on gas
  • 13 +1 Drone on gas
  • 14 Extractor
  • 14 Lair
  • 14 +1 Drone on gas
  • 14 +1 Drone on gas
  • 14 +1 Drone on gas
  • 15 Overlord
  • 15 Spire
  • 14 Queen
  • 16 +1 Drone on minerals
  • 16 5x Mutalisk

In general, you should always get metabolic boost(speed zerglings) before going Lair tech. That said, here is a build (popularized by idra) that I would recommend using:

  • 9 Overlord
  • 14 Extractor (3 Drones asap)
  • 14 Spawning Pool
  • 15 Overlord
  • 16 Queen
  • (@100 ) Metabolic Boost (Remove 2 drones from gas) *
  • 18 2 pairs of Zerglings
  • 20 Hatchery (3 drones on gas)
  • (@100% Queen) Queen
  • 24 Overlord
  • (@100 ) Lair, Gas
  • (@100% Lair) Spire
  • (@100 ) Overseer

This build sets you up with a good economy and allows for any necessary defense or early pressure.


So there is an 8 Minute Mutalisk strategy which does leave you sort of capable of defending yourself until your boys are in the air. There are rumors of a 6:30 Mutalisk strategy, but you're cutting everything from defense to drones.

Both of these builds are pretty bad; and I think its important to discuss why they are so very bad and why you should never do them.

Mutalisks are a fairly high tech unit. In addition to requiring heavy gas, they also require a Lair and a Spire, both of which are Gas heavy and have long build times (not to mention the Queen problem). Even if your opponent doesn't harass you in that time, the normal timing pushes tend to be around 6 minutes. This means that even if you do get your first couple Mutalisks in the air, chances are he's got a strong enough force to just roll you.

Strong Mutalisk builds (ie. not these) usually revolve around having 2 Bases. However, for earlier Mutalisks (6:30) you need to skip that second Hatchery. This means you won't have the production possible to bring about a strong Muta ball, or the resources possible to expand to get to that point.

Finally, you don't see Protoss looking for "Fastest Colossus Possible" builds, because a Colossus requires good Gateway support. Likewise, Mutalisk need strong ground support. The Mutalisk itself is design for hit and run tactics. If your opponent pushes out with a strong MMM or Gateway units, you're going to collapse, and your Muta won't be cost effective.

I realize my trying to dissuade you may seem a little odd since you didn't ask that, but rather how. However, I feel like this question is similar to asking: How can I stick a Fork in a light socket. If you know enough that it isn't dangerous for you, then you know enough to figure it out on your own.

  • @Tzenes These are very good points. In 1on1 I agree that an 8 minute mutalisk strategy really isn't worth the risk, however in a team game with a strong turtling partner in a shared base a fast mutalisk build can be a very strong strategy.
    – Aardvark
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 18:00
  • 3
    If there is a very long post, I don't need to scroll down to see it's yours -- you always start them with "so" :)
    – juan
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 19:01
  • @juan bad habit I pi cked up from my coworker
    – tzenes
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 20:16
  • @tzenes thanks for your answer, useful as usual - however you're (knowingly) off the point this time. I 1) asked time to be prepared if someone does it against me and 2) asked how so that I know how to counter it.
    – JohnIdol
    Commented Nov 12, 2010 at 22:10
  • 2
    @John If someone does it against you and you are struggling the issue is not their build its yours. Any "normal" build easily counters Mutalisk rush with little to no effort. I pointing out the flaws in Mutalisk rush not just so you'd avoid the build but also so you'd feel confident in countering it. If you don't feel that whatever build you're doing counters it, then the problem isn't Mutalisks, its your execution or your build choice.
    – tzenes
    Commented Nov 13, 2010 at 2:01

There are two main limiting factors for Mutalisks:

  1. The build time of the tech tree (Spawning Pool, Lair, Spire) which takes 65+80+100 = 245 seconds.
  2. The amount of gas needed for the tech buildings and the Mutalisks, 100 for Lair, 200 for Spire and 100 for each Mutalisk. That's a lot of gas that needs to be mined.

I did some experimenting and the fastest rush to Mutalisks you get out of this is the following:

    Drone x3
 9  Extractor (3 Drones mining gas as soon as finished)
 9  Spawning Pool
    Drone x2
10  Lair
10  Overlord
    Drone x3
13  Spire
13  Extractor (3 Drones mining gas as soon as finished)
    Drone x3
15  Overlord
    Mutalisk x3

Here the first three Mutalisks hatch at around 6:07 (Probably even a few seconds faster with perfect execution).

The build order fits together quite nicely and from the point where you start your Spawning Pool there aren't any delays where you have to wait for resources. So with this Spawning Pool timing this is the fastest way possible to get Mutas, and you even get three of them. You are also in a position to continue producing them as fast as gas comes in from your two geysers while getting more drones.

For purely scientific purposes you could tech even faster by starting your Spawning Pool one drone earlier. But to get the tech buildings up fast you'd need to cut a lot of Drones on the way, ending up with no economy and only a single Mutalisk that comes out something like five seconds earlier than the three in the other variant.

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