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2 Gateway Dark Templar (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Protoss2 Gateway Dark Templar
Dark Templar!
Strategy Information
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The "2 Gateway Dark Templar" or "Dark Templar Builds" in general refer to a group of openings which enable a Protoss to train Dark Templar early on. An initial timed attack off one base aims to threaten the opponent or kill him directly if possible, while preparing an expansion.

Build Orders[edit]

There are multiple ways to perform a Dark Templar based strategy. The following Build Order should be understood as one example out of many. The initial Building sequence depends on the chosen opening, in this case a 1 Gateway Cybernetics Core Build with a delayed scout was used, as well as a possible expansion transition out of the strategy.

Dark Templar into Expansion
  • 8 - Pylon
  • 10 - Gateway[1]
  • 12 - Assimilator
  • 13 - Zealot
  • 16 - Pylon
  • 18 - Cybernetics Core
  • 19 - Zealot
  • 22 - Pylon
  • 23 - Dragoon
  • 26 - Citadel
  • 27 - Dragoon[2]
  • 29 - Gateway
  • 29 - Pylon
  • 29 - Templar Archives
  • 2 Zealots[3][4]
  • Pylon
  • 2 Dark Templar
  • Forge
  • Pylon[5]
  • Nexus[6]
  • Photon Cannons[7][6][8]
  1. Probe is being used to scout
  2. Probe and unit Production temporarily stopped to build the next three buildings
  3. Probe production is being resumed
  4. Four Zealots and two Dragoons should finish around the five minute mark
  5. Pylon is being warped in at the Natural Expansion
  6. 6.0 6.1 Nexus and Cannons can be switched, so that Cannons are warped in first; depends on the opponent's strategy
  7. amount of Cannons varys
  8. The first cannon and the first two Dark Templar should be done around the six Minute mark


The underlying idea of teching to Dark Templars is to threaten the opponent, while being able to spend minerals to expand to the Natural Expansion. Obviously, the strategy should not be chosen against a Fast Expansion, which is secured with Cannons. In this scenario, the Dark Templar will arrive too late to pose damage and the own Nexus will be delayed for too long.

A player can open the Templar Archives tech tree from either a One Gate Cybernetics Core or a 10/12 Gateway Zealot opening. In any case, the Dark Templar should be trained as soon as possible. In an ideal scenario the first two Dark Templar arrive at the opponent's Main Base in a time frame, in which the enemy does not have Observers to detect the cloaked units. In this scenario the Dark Templar are used to kill Probes, Units, tech structures or Pylons if possible. They should deal a maximum amount of damage, but should not be lost. The goal is to keep the opponent as long as possible in his own base, to buy time for the own Nexus to warp in.

Once Observers are out and the Dark Templar are already in the enemy's base, the Dark Templar can try to constantly run out of vision of the Observer. If the Dark Templar could not access the Main Base, one Dark Templar can be hidden in the middle of the map, while the second one is kept close to the exit of the opponent. Once the enemy army moves out and chases away the scouting Dark Templar, the second one can try to attempt a runby, thus forcing the opponent in an ideal scenario to cancel his attack.

Against a Dark Templar opening, one Dark Templar can be used to block the own ramp / choke point, while a Robotics Facility and an Observatory is built. If the opposing Dark Templar tech was slower than the own, the standard transition into an expansion is still an option. However, Photon Cannons should be prioritized. Furthermore, runbys should be denied. If both players successfully attempted a Dark Templar rush most games come down to a so-called base trade. In this scenario it might be helpful to send out a stray Probe to "hide" a Pylon on the map.

Once the Dark Templar attack was defended by the opponent, the own Nexus should be up and defended by a number of Photon Cannons. The amount of Photon Cannons depends on the size and compilation of the enemy's army. Usually, Psionic Storm is researched, while Observers are added to the army. The player opening with the Dark Templar will have to play passively, while adding more Probes, Gateways and builds up an army. He can optionally try to harass the opponent with a Shuttle and Psionic Storm Drops.

If performed properly, a Dark Templar Expansion provides a Protoss with various options to transition into the mid game. His economy will be level with his opponent's, his tech tree will be ahead, while his army count will be lower.


There is no hard counter to Dark Templar openings, but Fast Nexus builds. Dragoon Observer builds off two or three Gateways can soft counter the opening if performed properly. A Four Gateway Dragoon timing attack is hard countered by Dark Templars.

Notable Maps[edit]

Maps with difficult pathing like Blue Storm or easy defendable Natural Expansions like Destination support a Dark Templar opening.

Notable Games[edit]

No thumbnail available South Korea Protoss Bisu from a Bisu replay pack
Canada Protoss Testie
Date: 2006
Patch: Replay
Python South Korea Protoss Pusan
South Korea Protoss yoon
Date: 2007-12-05
Patch: Replay
Tau Cross South Korea Protoss Draco
Canada Protoss Testie
Date: 2007-04-15
Patch: 1.14 Replay
Chupung-Ryeong South Korea Protoss BeSt
South Korea Protoss free
Date: 2008-12-07
Patch: VOD

External Links[edit]

oG)Stormtoss's decent DT guide
  • Discussion about possible reactions
DT Abuse Guide
  • Dark Templar Guide