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5 Gate Ranged Goons (vs. Zerg)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Protoss5gate goon range
Strategy Information
Popularized by:


The "5 Gateway Dragoon Range" Build Order is a rather agressive and risky transition out of Fast Expansion openings. It prepares an early attack with ranged Dragoons to break a Zerg's static defense in between the early and the late game.

Build Order[edit]

The 5 Gateway Dragoon Range strategy requires a Fast Expansion. The Build Order itself isn't fixed and describes abstract timings. The Build Order shown below can be changed depending on the Zerg's opening (Spawning Pool Timing); it anticipates an aggressive opening by the opponent.

"Exemplary Build Order"
  • 8 - Pylon at Natural Expansion[1]
  • 10 - Forge at Natural Expansion[2]
  • @100% Forge - one Cannon [3]
  • 15 - Pylon
  • 18 - Nexus
  • 19 - Gateway
  • 19 - Assimilator
  • @100% Gateway - Cybernetics Core
  • @100% Gateway - one Zealot
  • @100% Cybernetics Core - Range Upgrade
  • @100% Cybernetics Core - Dragoon[4][5]
  • @100% Cybernetics Core - second Assimilator
  • 4 additional Gateways for a total of five[6]
  1. Probe is used to scout
  2. Building placement should be done carefully. More information is available in the Protoss Fast Expand Forge Walling article
  3. Amount of Photon cannons can vary depending on the gathered scouting information
  4. Dragoon is used to chase away Overlords if possible
  5. Constant Dragoon production
  6. Constant Dragoon production as soon as the Gateways are finished


The Build Order begins with an ordinary Fast Expansion and transitions into a comparatively fast attack. The underlying idea is to break a Zerg before he can build either enough static defenses or train an army, which can efficiently counter a greater Dragoon army.

The first Dragoon should chase away the Overlord and waiting Zerglings with the help of the Zealot, to hide the Build Order as long as possible. The less scouting information Zerg obtains, the better for Protoss. The first initial harass begins with two or three Dragoons as well as the first Zealot. This first army should just test the waters and gather scouting information, losing the units carelessly must be prevented.

From then on, the newly built Dragoons should be sent to the army immediately. The ranged Dragoons should be able to deal with Zerglings if microed appropriately, as well as target down the Zerg wall-in. Usually, the Sunkens are hidden behind a Hatchery in combination with either an Evolution Chamber or a Hydralisk Den. Targeting a Hydralisk Den has the highest priority, as greater number of Hydralisks can counter the Dragoons the best. The attack should be done with care and the Dragoons should not be traded against cheaper units or Sunken Colonies.

As this Build Order does leave out a Stargate, Mutalisks could be used to counter the attack and force the mobile army of Protoss back. This might be prevented by Photon Cannons near the Protoss main base Nexus, as well as the newly built Dragoons. The Dragoon reinforcements should be sent with care, as stray units are vulnerable to Zerglings and Mutalisks. The attack must not be thinned out. Furthermore, the main goal should be to attack the Zerg Natural Expansion, not a third expansion.

Notable Maps[edit]

Small maps without complicated pathing and with wide Natural Expansions are best for this strategy.

The more complicated the pathing is, the harder it will be to send in reinforcements. Examples for rather bad maps are

Notable Games[edit]

No thumbnail available South Korea Zerg Jaedong Avalon MSL
South Korea Protoss Movie
Date: 2009-06-18
Patch: 1.15.3 2009-06-18 VOD
No thumbnail available South Korea Protoss Movie Shinhan Bank Proleague
South Korea Zerg HyuN
Date: 2009-07-11
Patch: 1.15.3 VOD