Corsair/Dragoon (vs. Zerg)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]ProtossCorsair/Dragoon (vs. Zerg)
Strategy Information
Popularized by:


The "Corsair/Dragoon" opening describes a strategy used to put early pressure on a Zerg after opening with a Fast Expansion. Its goal is to deal damage to the Zerg bases with ranged Dragoons in order to mix up the timings of a macro oriented build. Afterwards Protoss transitions into an ordinary midgame unit mix.

Build Order[edit]

The Build order requires a Fast Expansion. The sequence of Forge, first Gateway and Nexus might vary and needs to be changed according to the Zerg opening. The example given below is the safest version of the Build Order, which consequently delays the timing attack

"18 Nexus Opening"
  • 8 - Pylon at Natural Expansion[1]
  • 10 - Forge[2]
  • 13 - two Photon Cannons[3]
  • 15 - Pylon[4]
  • 18 - Nexus
  • 18 - Gateway [5]
  • 20 - Assimilator
  • 22 - Cybernetics Core
  • @100% Cybernetics Core - Stargate
  • @100% Cybernetics Core - 1 Dragoon[6]
  • 25 - Assimilator[7]
  • 25 - Gateway
  • 25 - Gateway[8]
  • Dragoon Range
  • +1 Weapon Upgrade in Forge[9]
  • @6 - 9 Dragoons - Army moves out[10]
  1. Probe is being used to scout
  2. Building placement should be done carefully. More information is available in the Protoss Fast Expand Forge Walling article
  3. assuming Zerg opens with a 9 Pool Speed or a similar aggressive opening. Number of cannons can be smaller
  4. Pylon in Main Base, will later be used for tech buildings or Gateways
  5. built at the Natural Expansion
  6. Dragoon used to chase away Overlords
  7. Probe production being stopped (economy cut)
  8. Resume Probe Production
  9. Optional Step, can be left out
  10. Reinforcements should be build and sent to the attack immediately


The Build Order follows the usual Fast Expansion logic, until a second and third Gateway are being built at 25 Supply. From there on Protoss spends minerals with different priorities. Dragoons are more important than Corsairs, Corsairs are more important than Probes. This might stress the economy in exchange for a bigger Dragoon count.

Depending on the timings, Protoss will start his attack with a Dragoon count of something in between six and nine. The Dragoons can target any of the Zerg bases right away, while the Corsair(s) will harass Overlords in proximity of the attack. The attack will hit the Zerg at a time he has only few units to defend, which gives the Dragoons plenty of space to out-micro them if needed. However, the attack is not designed to kill the Zerg, but to force him to spend Drones and Larvae on static defenses and lower tech units. Usually, Sunken Colonies are build in the back of Hatcheries, making the shielding buildings vulnerable from the fire of ranged Dragoons. Once the Zerg is strongly fortified, the Dragoons should be retreated.

Protoss will be able to add tech buildings such as a Robotic Facility against Lurkers or a Templar Archive against other units while attacking. Protoss can now either try to train a larger army to completely tear down a Zerg base or expand to a third base, if he doesn't need to expect a big counter of cheaper Zerg units.


If Zerg stays on three Hatcheries off two bases he can easier defend an early Dragoon pressure. If such a strategy is used, the Protoss needs to transition into other strategies and the Corsair/Dragoon mix is of little use.

Notable Maps[edit]

This build works well on any map.

Notable Games[edit]

Ultimatum South Korea Protoss Kal 1set Ro16
South Korea Zerg Saint
Date: 2009-12-19
Patch: NATE MSL 2009 (removed) VOD

External Links[edit]