PartinG's Fast 3 Nexus 8 Gate Push (vs. Terran)

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[e][h] PartinG's Fast 3 Nexus 8 Gate Push
Strategy Information
Matchups:
PvT
Type:
Economical opening into aggression
Popularized by:

Overview[edit]

PartinG's Fast 3 Nexus is an opening used against Terran that was popularized by PartinG and is part of the reason why he was first recognized as being one of the strongest Protoss versus Terran players. It focuses on economy, sacrificing your technology and army in the early game. However, due to your fast aggressive expanding, you will be able to develop a greatly increased income that will rapidly make up for these deficits in your game. There are multiple follow-ups to it, the most popular one being the 8 Gate Push. The advantage of doing this particular Gateway army push is that unlike the more common pushes on 2 Bases, you will be able to improve both your economy and technology while pressuring your opponent at the same time. This makes it a strong build on big maps such as Daybreak, where rush distances are long and counter-attacks aren't as effective. Other follow-ups to PartinG's Fast 3 Nexus include Twilight Council or Robotics Facility transitions, sometimes both, which are safer against aggression such as Cloaked Banshees. This page will be dedicated to the 8 Gate Push transition.

Basic Build Order[edit]

Basic Build
  • 9 Pylon
  • 14 gate
  • 17 gas [1] , Nexus, Pylon, Cybernetic Core [2]
    • @100% Cybernetic Core Warpgate
  • 18 zealot
    • @100% Stalker
      • @100% Stalker
  • 30 pylon
  • 5:45 Nexus[3], Pylon [4], Sentry , 2nd Assimilator[5]
    • @100% Sentry, 2nd Sentry
  • 6:30 Start adding 7 Gates[6]
    • @75% 8th Gate, 3rd Assimilator
  • When the proxy Pylon is finished, add the 4th Assimilator
  1. With the 16th Probe coming out of the nexus, cut the Probe production at the 17th.
  2. Resume Probe production.
  3. You should have 38 supply when you build the nexus.
  4. This is the last Pylon indicated in the Build Order.
  5. All those buildings should be built in this order while still producing Probes.
  6. Send the Probe that builds the 8th gate to build proxy pylons.

Notes[edit]

  • You should have 38 supply when you build the 3rd Nexus.
  • Produce Probes and Sentries continuously, Warpgate should finish around the 7 minute mark, when the first 3 Gates are at ~50% completion, the 8th Gate is built at ~7:30.
  • The Probe that builds the 8th Gate must be sent out to build proxy Pylons, while warping in Sentries at home in the meanwhile. When the proxy Pylons are finished, warp Zealots and Stalkers there and push with your whole army.
  • Continue producing Probes while attacking.

Scouting[edit]

  • When using this build, PartinG likes to scout later than usual, with the Probe that builds his first expansion. It lets him get a slightly better economy, thus letting him build the nexus slightly faster. If you scout this way, you should check:
1) If the Terran player is going for a proxy 2 Barracks. If they are, you will need to cancel your second nexus and Chronoboost Stalkers. It is very important to not let them finish their bunkers since at this stage in the game, you lack the fire power to destroy bunkers that are being repaired. To avoid this situation, you will need to pull some of your Probes, around 8 being enough, and try to surround your opponent's Marines. If they have only one SCV or only one close to the bunker, it is generally worth focusing it to avoid the bunker being finished. If they have more than one SCV around it, it is more important to focus the Marines and make sure that they don't get into the bunker by surrounding them with your Probes and killing them. If you successfully defend the attack, try finding their Barracks and forcing it to lift, after killing the highest possible amount of Marines that came out of them. Be careful to not get flanked, as it could cost you the game.
2) If you see that the Terran player went for a fast command center in their natural, then you should be able to safely continue this build without having to worry too much about quick aggression.
3) If you don't see a command center in their natural, try checking up their ramp to see if it was built in their main base or to see any Tech buildings that can indicate what they are doing. If they went for Tech or you couldn't scout anything, it is safer to not go for the 3rd Nexus and instead go for a more regular 3 Gate 1 Robo build since they could be going for Cloaked Banshees or be doing an early push.
  • To be safer or if you don't think your micro or decision making is good enough to defend an early all-in from the Terran without scouting it quickly, you can do a more regular 14-Gate scout. If you choose to scout this way, it is important to check:
1) If your opponent is going for a proxy 2 Barracks. In this case avoid building the nexus, or otherwise cancel it since you will need the money, and add one or two more Gates. After defending the attack you should either be able to expand or kill them if they invested too much in their push, such as by losing too many SCVs for example.
2) If they are going for a gas build or for a regular fast Command Center, then you should be able to safely continue your build. If they go for gas it could be a better decision to go for a regular 3 Gate Robo build.

Execution[edit]

Notice the way PartinG positions his units on the minimap to spot any incoming attacks

One of the most important steps of this opening is to deny your opponent's scouting. If they can't see what you are doing, they won't be able to adapt and go for a strong economy to match yours or be aggressive to punish your quick expansion if they weren't already planning to do so before, putting you in a great position and letting you choose your transition.

You will need to position your units to be able to see the scout coming. On maps like Daybreak or similar ones, your first Zealot will have to take the Xel'Naga Tower to minimize the amount of paths a SCV could take without being seen. Your first Stalker will need to kill your opponent's scout if it is left in your base and check the path leading to your 3rd base to look for any hidden units or buildings. If you don't find any, you can push further with your first and second Stalker using different paths to spot any pushes by your opponent or later scouts.

Start pushing around the same time your Probe starts building the proxy Pylons. Don't stop your Probe production. Start warping Zealot and Stalkers at your proxy Pylon. When you push, forcefield the Bunkers so that your opponent can't repair them and focus them. Try to do enough damage to their army to force them to back into their Main Base while trying to kill the highest amount of SCVs possible. When their Stim finishes, consider backing up if you don't have a good enough army advantage or enough Sentry energy left for forcefields. Also start to transition.

Follow-up[edit]

When Stim finishes, add a Twilight Council, then 2 Assimilators and 2 Forges. At this point, if you produced Probes constantly while attacking as indicated, you should have enough Probes to not have to produce anymore of them. Research Charge first and then Blink, and start your Ground Weapon and Armor upgrades. Add more Gates, around three, and build a Templar Archives. Use it to make Archons if your opponent is aggressive or to prevent the aggression in the first place. When the game starts stabilizing, you can research Psionic Storm, take a 4th Base, and consider transitioning into Colossus.

Defense[edit]

Banshee[edit]

PartinG scouts the Banshee and thus immediately starts building a Robotics Facility

If your opponent opened with Banshees, you must start building a Robotics Facility as soon as you scout the first Banshee in case they researched or are researching Cloak. Warp Stalkers defensively in your mineral lines, 3 being enough against 1 or 2 Banshees, and try to take the least amount of economical damages possible. Chronoboost Observers, 2 should be enough to cover the mineral lines, and build one more to cover your army if any of the Banshees remained alive. Otherwise, send one directly to your opponent's base. In the meanwhile, don't stop pushing your opponent. Since they went for a Tech build, they will have less forces than they would normally have when this push arrives. If they didn't research Cloak, then your push could either kill them or at least do more damage than expected. If it was researched, backup until one of your Observers arrives. At this point, hopefully you didn't lose too many Probes and you can transition to a regular follow-up, as seen above.

No 3rd Nexus[edit]

If your opponent is going for a more aggressive opening such as a heavy Barracks play, avoid building the 3rd Nexus and add additional Gateways. Against some light pressure such as 2 Barracks expansion without Gas, 2 Gates should be enough, but you might have to pull your Probes from your Expansion to help defend. You should still be able to build your 3rd Nexus afterwards. If your opponent is going for some heavy pressure such as an All-in, you should have been able to scout it and thus have not gone for the 3rd Base road. However, if you either didn't end up scouting it or it was surprise All-in such as a sudden SCV pull, don't build your 3rd Base. If you have already started it, cancel it immediately. Build more Gates; 2 to 3 more should be around the maximum you can support with your economy. You might have to sacrifice your 2nd Base and Forcefield your opponent out of your main to buy time. If you face a push where you can keep your Expansion but not build your 3rd, just add some additional Gates to get to a total of 4, a Twilight Council, and possibly 1 or 2 Forges before taking your 3rd. If you lose your Natural Expansion and you don't have a significant advantage, just try to take your 2nd Base again and transition into a normal game.

Maps[edit]

Pro Features[edit]

Large maps with easy to defend 3rd bases favor this build. The map on which this build is most popular is Daybreak, but it can also be used on Cloud Kingdom or Whirlwind, for example.

Con Features[edit]

You should never use this build on small maps or on maps with 3rd Bases hard to take or to defend. For example, Ohana or Antiga Shipyard.

Replays & VODs[edit]

South Korea  PartinG PartinG goes for the described fast 3 Nexus 8 Gate push against Maru, the game continues into the late game.
South Korea  Maru
Date: 2012-10-03
Patch: 1.5.3 VOD
South Korea  PartinG LucifroN goes for a Cloak Banshee build while PartinG does the 8 Gate Push, without any detection.
Spain  LucifroN
Date: 2012-12-16
Patch: 1.5.3 VOD
South Korea  PartinG PartinG executes the 8 gate push but ends up basetrading with Polt.
South Korea  Polt
Date: 2012-11-14
Patch: 1.5.3 VOD
South Korea  Seed Seed wants to build a 3rd Nexus, but has to change his plans due to the pressure GuMiho is putting on.
South Korea  GuMiho
Date: 2012-08-13
Patch: 1.5.1 VOD

References[edit]