Bisu Build

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[e][h]Protoss Bisu Build
Dark Protoss
Strategy Information
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The "Bisu Build" is named after Bisu and describes a possible follow up strategy to Fast Expansion openings. This transition enables a Protoss to harass Zerg with Dark Templars and Corsairs, while maintaining control over the map.

The Bisu Build follow up is used in modern Brood War as one out of multiple responses against older openings, but its use is limited. Usually, Protoss uses it as reactive follow up, rather than forcing this Build over Zerg regardless of the gathered scouting information. The following article explains the underlying principle, which might be helpful in rare cases.


The "Bisu Build" was an opening used by Bisu in the finals of the 2006 GOMTV MSL Season 1 in his matches against sAviOr. Bisu won the finals with a convincing 3-0 over the reigning champion. In the months before, the match up seemed to be dominated by Zerg, hence this victory is widely regarded as one of the most influencial individual tournament finals, as it introduced new ideas, which eventually helped Protoss to regain strength. It was eventually countered by the 3 Base Spire into 5 Hatch Hydralisk strategy in later years.

Build Order[edit]

The Bisu Build requires a Fast Expansion Build Order. Depending on the scouting information the sequence of the first buildings might change.

Requirements for the strategy
  • Two Nexuses constantly producing Probes
  • One Gateway + One Forge blocking the entrance to the Natural Expansion
  • Assimilators in Main Base and the Natural Expansion
  • Cybernetics Core
  • Stargate

Exemplary Forge First Expansion Build
  • 8 - Pylon [1]
  • 12 - Nexus
  • 13 - Forge
  • 15 - Pylon
  • 17 - Gateway
  • 18 - Photon Cannon[2]
  • 20 - Assimilator
  • 23 - Cybernetics Core[3]
  • ~31 - Assimilator at Natural Expansion
  • ~31 - Stargate[4]
  1. Probe is used for scouting
  2. More might be needed depending on the scouting information gathered
  3. Pylons need to be added when required
  4. Corsair production starts

Once the requirements are fulfilled a Protoss can transition into the Bisu Build. Since the Build is not set in stone, the following table lists rough timings.

Bisu Build
  • First Corsair[1]
  • @100 gas - Citadel of Adun
  • Second Corsair[2]
  • Second Gateway
  • @ 100% Citadel - Templar Archives[3]
  • @ 100% Templar Archives - 2 Dark Templars[4]
  • @ 100% Templars - two more Gateways[5]
  1. First Corsair is primarily used to scout. Overlords should not be killed unless it's safe to assume Zerg can't kill the Corsair
  2. Corsairs are produced constantly from now on
  3. Zealot Speed should be upgraded as soon as possible, but it should not delay the timing of the Archives or the following Dark Templars
  4. Dark Templars are used to scout and should not be lost
  5. two is the minimum amount of Gateways. More can be added depending on the situation


The Bisu Build requires a very good multitasking and an even greater knowledge about possible trade offs.

The Corsairs fulfill three different tasks and are a pivotal part of the strategy. The first Corsairs are used to obtain information about the opponent's strategy. Corsairs must not be sacrificed or traded against Overlords, as they are used to defend against Mutalisks. If a Spire was built early on, the Corsairs should be used with care and be positioned close to Photon Cannons in the Main Base. Scourge should be dodged at sight. Once a critical amount of Corsairs has been gathered, the air superiority can be used to snipe stray Overlords or larger clumps. There are a few general rules:

  1. Usually, four Corsairs are enough to defend the bases well if they are supported by one or more Photon Cannons, depending on the amount of Scourges brought into the attack
  2. Six Corsairs with the +1 Air Attack Upgrade or seven Corsairs can kill a single Scourge (or more if they are stacked) before they reach the units

The intial two Dark Templars are used to deny a bust or a contain of Zerg. Ideally, the Zerg has no option for mobile detection and has to give up the map control for the next minutes. Consequently, Protoss should try to harass the Zerg expansions if possible, but not sacrifice his Dark Templars. Speed Zealot attacks serve the same purpose of threatening Zerg bases and exploit weaknesses in static defense. Shuttles can be used to drop few units into bases of Zerg, especially if Spore- or Sunken Colonies are missing.

While the Protoss controls the map more options are available. In one scenario Protoss can try to add more than two Gateways after the Dark Templars and prepare a massive attack from two bases only. In the other Protoss can slowly try to take a third base, if he stands safe against Zerg. Both options rely on the fact, that Zerg does not shut down either Corsair or Dark Templar harass. These two groups of units are the only defense Protoss has in the early stages of the mid game.


Zerg has a few options to try to counter the incoming Corsair / Dark Templar mix. The Build Order and the overall scheme has to be adapted. Following adaptions resemble suggestions of how to counter, they do not neccessarily represent the optimal counter to a strategy and most often change the underlying idea of the Bisu Build.


If Zerg masses Mutalisks and Scourge, the Protoss should upgrade the +1 Air Attack and delay the Speed Zealot upgrade. After the initial two Dark Templar High Templars should be used to morph Archons. If the Zerg sacrifices economy and rushes to Mutalisks the Dark Templars can be skipped, as there is no immediate threat from ground forces, if the Protoss used a strong wall-in at the natural. The Archons and the Corsairs should shut down the Mutalisk harass and the army should be gathered close together. Units should not be lost by Mutalisk snipes if possible.

5 Hatch Hydra[edit]

The Corsair production should be limited to one or two units, with the sole intent of using them as scouts. Since Zerg will be able to gather Hyralisks relatively fast and thus can defend his Overlords, the Natural Expansion should be fortified with a greater number of Photon Cannons. The Speed Zealot upgrade should be delayed and the Dark Templars skipped, as they are most likely rendered useless. Instead High Templars and Psionic Storm have more importance. The goal is to prevent Zerg from busting the Natural Expansion and after a timed attack was countered to overwhelm the inferior Zerg units with a greater number of Speed Zealots and High Templars.

Typically (but not always) a 5-Hatch Hydra break will occur at 2 time frames:

  1. 18-24 Hydras with Speed Upgraded Overlords (with possible +1 attack). By that time the first High Templars should be ready to cast Psionic Storms. High Templars should be positioned close to the cannons and must not be lost to Hydralisks.
  1. 12-16 Speed+Ranged Hydras without overlord speed. In this scenario Dark Templars can be added to the army again and can be used to buy time for the HIgh Templars to gain enough energy. However, stray Overlords must be sniped as soon as possible to delay the ultimative bust significantly.

Lurker Contain[edit]

Notable Maps[edit]

This build order only works on maps where you can shut off your main and natural with a single wall. It is favorable to use it on 2 player maps, as you need to know the Zerg's build in order to have the optimal timing.


The original Bisu Build is relatively outdated and only of little use in modern Protoss vs. Zerg. The 3 Base Spire into 5 Hatch Hydralisks opening exploits all weaknesses and negates most of the strengths the Bisu Build Order offers. Overlords will be relatively safe from harass, the Zerg will be able to deal with Corsairs efficiently, thus maintain map control and being able to boost his economy. In the long run Protoss will most likely lose if he does not adapt. A more modern Build Oder, also known as the Neo Bisu Build is a better response.

Notable Games[edit]

Longinus South Korea  Bisu Commentary by Liquid´Nony and Day[9]
South Korea  sAviOr
Date: 2007-03-03
Patch: 1.14 GOMTV MSL Season 1 VOD
Blitz X South Korea  Bisu Commentary by Liquid´Nony and Day[9]
South Korea  sAviOr
Date: 2007-03-03
Patch: 1.14 GOMTV MSL Season 1 VOD
Fantasy (Map) South Korea  Bisu
South Korea  sAviOr
Date: 2007-11-30
Patch: 1.15.1 EVER OSL 2007 VOD
Blue Storm South Korea  Bisu A showcase of Bisu losing with his build.
South Korea  sAviOr
Date: 2007-11-23
Patch: 1.15.1 EVER OSL 2007 VOD
Blue Storm South Korea  Bisu Another loss, Dark Templar to defend almost got out!
South Korea  July
Date: 2008-01-23
Patch: Bacchus OSL 2008 VOD