I play Zerg and my partner plays Protoss. Today we got double 6 pooled by a pair of zerg players. We scouted it, but we didn't quite know what to do. Obviously they came after me because the toss was walled in.

Normally I know the theory of fending off a 6 pool - use my workers to attack the lings until my own lings pop. (When I scouted the 6 pool i put down a 10 pool.) But when there are 12 enemy lings instead of 6, this doesn't work so well.

And my partner can't really help or effectively counter attack with his one or two zealots. (this was a map with a bit of distance between allies bases.)

Am I supposed to just sacrifice myself, and hope that my partner can tech up and out econ the stilted economies of the 2 6 poolers? Or is there a way we can coordinate our defense such that we both survive?

  • If you would like some practice partners for facing this, let me know. I almost exclusively play 2v2 with one of my roommates currently and we have had to deal with this plenty ourselves. Also, if you're interested, I can probably provide you with some replays. Aug 27 '10 at 7:07
  • @en1gmatic325 replays would be great. Aug 27 '10 at 15:29
  • You can go for a 10 pool by default against 2 Zerg. While this will help you against one opponent you will still die against two opponents, but you should be able to delay them heavily. Just run around with your lings and let them chase you.
    – ayckoster
    Aug 11 '12 at 2:14

There are multiple ways to deal with this cheese in 2v2, I'll list the ones I have had the most success with.

  • If possible, both wall off or almost wall off (leaving a one gap with a hold position zealot would be what I consider almost walled off)
  • If not possible, you can actually try to fend it off by pooling most of your workers together until you have your own combat units. One base worth of workers holds off 6 lings...two base worth can hold off 12 lings. This can be a bit tricky to do depending on the map, and you have to be careful to not spend too much time chasing the zerglings (if they don't fight you) instead of mining.
  • If you are quick enough in spotting it/pumping units and/or defenses, simply sending units as you produce them can sometimes hold this off.
  • In the case of a zerg/protoss pair, you can try sacrificing the zerg, walling in the toss, and getting a quick void ray up. Their economy will be so weak and zerg anti-air comes so late that a single void ray (or at most 2) will generally suffice to kill one if not both of them.

Some people suggest spine crawlers or other base defenses, but I haven't had much luck with these. They aren't up in time and they will usually simply focus fire them while they are building, leaving you down money and drones with no real gain. Any reasonable player will also do things like focus fire your hatch if you try to run around stalling for your partner to arrive, and 12 lings take down a hatch fairly quickly.

  • I feel like I've seen a replay where the guy just had some nice micro on the drones keeping the 6 pooler pre-occupied he couldn't really do much. He was able to get a spine crawler up with this technique. +1 enigmatic great answer
    – Robb
    Aug 27 '10 at 6:39
  • @Robb in 1v1 that works as the drones are enough to beat the zerglings and can thus scare them off the spine crawler by threatening to surround the zerglings. In 2v2 the 12 lings can crush the drones which makes the drones no longer a viable way to defend your building spine crawlers. Aug 27 '10 at 6:43
  • 3
    +1 for the 'take one for the team' suggestion about sacrificing and letting the other do a void ray rush
    – corroded
    Aug 27 '10 at 7:05
  • @Robb - imagine that same scenario you saw, but with 6 extra zerglings (and an extra player's worth of APM for micro) focusing down the spine crawler while it builds, while the first 6 chase the drones. Aug 27 '10 at 15:12

Here's a few more options:

  1. Annoyance survival
  2. Relocate
  3. Counter cheese

All 3 are based on simply taking a heavier toll on their economy and time to let your ally tech up and kill them. The requirement here is that you know they're double pooling.

1 Annoyance survival

scout the rush. as you see it coming, move 2 or 3 drones out of your base. Put one at the protoss player's natural, and the other 2 send to strategic spots around the map. Take care to avoid the lings as they're coming so he doesn't know what you've done.

Still try to salvage yourself by laying down a spine crawler and kiting with your drones, and every time they try to focus the spine crawler as it's building, cancel it and build another with a different drone, just delaying them. Your job here isn't to survive, it's to make them micro. if they are microing they're not focusing on their economy.

After they finally win and are taking down your hatchery, take one of your hidden drones and build a hatchery either at your ally's natural, or even in his base. Once all your buildings are destroyed they should realize what you've done. Now they either have to search the map for you (again distracting them) or ignore you and focus on your ally. If you didn't find a very strategic spot building in your ally's base is an option but a pretty crappy one. your income will be super slow obviously. His natural is a great place because he can help defend you when they come with their surviving lings, but it's the most obvious place to look for you.

Some random expansion spot on the map is nice but if they do send each of the 12 lings out and find you when the others arrive you'll have no help. But even if this happens, if you got 3 or more drones out of your base b4 they killed your main, then you can "hatchery hop" by laying down a hatchery, then as they arrive with the lings, build another one somewhere else and cancel that hatchery. This requires at least 600 minerals saved up, so this is probably only viable if you didn't even get your pool completed.

Another option is to see the double 6 pool coming and ONLy collect minerals and produce drones until they come, then run with your drones. Hopefully you'll have 600 minerals by this point and over a dozen drones to hide around the map.

The point is not for you to truly recover, but instead to take up their time and attention hunting you down while your ally goes to void ray.

2 Relocate (may not work because of build times)

Take 2 drones. if your ally's natural isn't adjacent to your main go there, if not then choose some other location. Pool at 10 or so. then at 300 minerals lay down a hatchery with one of your 2 relocated drones. keep an eye on the rush with your scout drone. try to time it so that you are ready to abandon your main as he arrives.

Sometime around when he gets there, lay down a spine crawler at your new location. put it adjacent to your hatchery, and between it and the minerals. as his lings arrive, take all your drones and run out of your base. If you look like you're fleeing to your ally they shouldn't follow, but instead stay and finishe you off. if so just head to your new main. if not then try to kite and distract them as much as possible. While doing so, rebuild as much as possible at your new main. With some decent micro and luck you could easily have a single spine crawler, maybe 2 then run to your new main and use the drones to block off the spine crawlers and kill their lings or at least thin them out significantly.

I haven't tested it, but this may not be very viable because of the timing. you have to get the hatchery built and creep laid down b4 you can plop down that spine crawler. that all has to happen b4 they kill your pool. if they go after your hatchery first it should work. if they focus on your pool first then I seriously doubt it.

3 counter cheese

Pool at 10 or so. get 2 or 3 drones near their bases. as the rush comes, abandon your base and with the 2 or 3 hidden drones, try to sneak in a spine crawler or 3 near one of their mineral lines. if they're aren't paying enough attention you can get it laid down before they know what happened. even if they are, they'll have to hurt their economy even more to focus it with drones and at most 2 lings. if you lay down 3 all at once, they'll be hard pressed to get them all killed, and while they are trying, they won't be gathering minerals. giving your ally even more time to wall off and tech up.

  • I really like the idea of annoyance survival. i will def. have to try it and see how it pans out. Aug 29 '10 at 19:33
  • "Annoyance survival" can go well with the Protoss player walling off and going for Void Rays. You can build 2 or 3 bases. If the Zerg pursue you, it will take their attention away from their macro. If they don't, you can feed resources (esp gas) to your friend for faster air units.
    – Wikwocket
    Sep 20 '10 at 19:50

You were right to build the pool as soon as you saw them so you can get zerglings of your own as soon as possible.

There is a very easy way to counter a single 6 lings rush. Take all your drones, tell them to harvest a single mineral patch, that way they will all overlap near a single mineral patch (you can click multiple times to keep them close together, or change mineral patch). When the zerglings come close tell the drones to attack in the zergling's direction. Because they overlap, they will all be able to attack at the same time usually killing instantly a zergling or two, while the zergling will be able to attack with only a few ones.

Now I know that it doesnt work so well versus 2 players because of the sheer amount of zerglings the opponent has. However if you manage to keep as much drones as possible alive, by running around, avoiding the zerglings, they won't be able to do much damage since killing your hatchery will take a long time for a handful of zerglings.

So to sum up
1-Get a pool asap
2-When they come for you, stack the drones, kill a few lings then run
3-If they go for your hatchery, harass them with the drones.
4-If they go for the drones, go to 2
5-when your pool comes up, get a few zergling to deal with the remaining forces your opponents have. (Remember to keep like 100 minerals to get 2 eggs of zerglings since by that time mineral sharing won't be allowed yet)

By then, your ally should have done something. If he/she didn't, it's probably gg.

Just a few zealots (1-3) would greatly help this whole process.

Remember that merely staying alive is nearly a guaranteed victory since 6 pool is mostly an "all in" strategy. If it fails, they have close to nothing and they will lose on the medium/long run. Also, good players will probably go for a better, long run strategy. 6 pooling is usually for players not so confident (for a reason) on their zerg skills so outmacroing them might not be that difficult.


Never been in that situation as i rarely play 2v2, but i think the best solution would be to quickly build the pool, followed by 2 spine crawlers and then, if possible, a few zerglings. Run circles with your workers to distract the zerglings so the spine crawlers finish and kill the zerglings with some assistance from your drones. Meanwhile the protoss should chronoboost 1-2 zealots and send them to assist.

  • 1
    Unfortunately the spine crawlers will not be up in time if you sent a normally timed scout. Also, reasonable players focus fire down the crawlers instead of chasing the drones. I have faced dual 6, 7, and 8 pools around 10 times now in playing 2v2, and while your answer sounds good in theory, I can attest that it does not work very well. Aug 27 '10 at 6:41
  • I agree with en1gmatic. the normal 1v1 solution does not work against 12 lings. Aug 27 '10 at 15:08

One thing I do to know if I will be 6-pooled is if I'm up against a Zerg player in 1v1 or 2v2 I will immediately send a scout out. I will also do the same thing if I'm up against a 'random'. this is a good way to prevent or plan against cheese.

If I do see he 6-pooled:

As Protoss: I build a forge with my gateway then a couple cannons around my mineral line. Keep building probes and go about your business as normal, but instead of a core after your gateway you can either start with a forge or put down your gateway then forge. This way you have the economy you need to get a quick counter in as you are defending. Be sure to overlap your pylons as well so your cannons aren't at risk of losing power to one downed pylon.

As Terran: Barracks up ASAP then a bunker. I also don't wall off as Terran ever, I usually build my early buildings very close together around my command center and this way i can defend my SCVs and buildings from cheese with a bunker or two.

As Zerg: Pool down as soon as you are able then spine crawler and zerglings. I then hotkey all my drones together so when the zerglings come in my base I can use them as a distraction against the opponents zerglings. If they go for my drones i run them around in circles. If they go for my hatchery or building spine crawlers then i attack them until they start to attack my drones then start running them around in circles. Its a great way to aggravate your opponent and at the fewest losses for you while you get your real defenses together.


As Zerg, you'll want to lay down a pool as soon as you see them going 6-pool. Then immediately start building a spine crawler and lings of your own.

Having 1 single spine crawler with a handful of lings and drones, will stop a double 6-pool. Some drones and lings will be able to dish out free damage while they try to focus down your crawler.

After the initial wave, plop down another spine crawler and more lings if you can. 2 or more crawlers + drones and lings will stop the stream of lings coming in.

The point is to play "survival" until your protoss partner can mass up enough zeals to counter and overwhelm one of the opponents. It shouldn't be hard for him to crush one of them, since they are "behind" in economy and have invested all their lings on you.

If his counter fails, it'll be enough pressure to get them to turtle up.

He should avoid "helping you out" if you are minimally surviving.


Get your Protoss partner to play Zerg for a few matches and double 6-pool people until you find somebody that defends it successfully. Then just watch the replay and copy what they do when you go back to playing normally.

In general though, 2v2s in higher leagues are all about rushes like this. On maps where team bases are far apart (and it is therefore hard to help each other defend early on), one of you needs to send out a scout on 6 or 7 to check for these turbo-aggressive builds. If they AREN'T doing one...consider switching into your own aggressive build and rushing them.

  • What? My experience has been the frequency of rushes (especially cheese ones like dual 6 pool) go down as you go up in leagues... Aug 27 '10 at 21:16
  • I have to agree with en1gmatic. I'm just upper gold league but since the probation games i haven't played against a single 6/7 pool rush in more than a hundred games. There are some rare reaper rushes from terrans though, mostly when a silver league player is unfortunate enough to have to play against me. I do not know if it's different in 2v2, eventhough in my 20 or 30 goldleague 2v2s there were very few rushes, maybe 2 or 3 of them.
    – Morfildur
    Aug 28 '10 at 20:58

Got double 6 pooled today, I play zerg my parter toss and starting points were spread a bit. I sent a drone to the opposite side of the map upon scouting the double cheese and dropped a fast expand that I turned into a new main immediatly and tech'd to Muta while my partner helped my workers and a few lings delay their initial rush. He cannoned himself in and funneled me resources and we Mutalisked the cheesers down.

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