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Fast Drop (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Fast Dropship (vs. Protoss)
Strategy Information
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The term "Fast Drop" refers to a variety of possible openings against Protoss. All of them use an early Dropship to transfer units into the opponent's base early on, while delaying the own Natural Expansion. Historically seen the Fast Drop openings were more popular in older days, but present an alternative to the modern Fast Expansion Builds.

Build Order[edit]

The following example describes a drop with two Vultures and one Siege Tank

"Fast Drop with Vultures / Tank"
  • 9/10 - Depot
  • 11/18 - Barracks
  • 11/18 - Scout
  • 12/18 - Refinery
  • 15/18 - Marine[1]
  • 16/18 - Depot
  • 16/18 - Factory[2]
  • 20/26 - Machine Shop[3]
  • 20/26 - Starport
  • 22/26 - Depot
  • 22/26 - Tank
  • Spider Mine upgrade
  • @100% Starport, add Control Tower
  • 26/34 Vulture[4]
  • 28/34 Vulture
  • 30/34 Dropship
  • 32/34 Command Center
  • @100% Dropship - Drop
  1. Marine should be used to block any incoming Probe from scouting if possible
  2. One SCV is taken off Gas mining
  3. One SCV is sent to mine Gas, for a total of three SCVs mining again
  4. Depending on the situation a few Spider mines are used to defend the own base


The underlying logic of this Build Order is to hit the opponent's base in a narrow timing window. In this the Protoss has no Observers yet to clear mines and therefore can not engage in a base trade. The goal of the opening is to stall Protoss attacks and directly hurt his economy by either killing Probes or deny mining. The drop is not designed to end the game.

As soon as the first Marine is out, the incoming scouting Probe should be immediately chased away. Three (or two) SCVs continously mining Vespene Gas is a strong hint for Protoss, that either an early attack off two Factories or a Drop is being prepared by Terran. Depending on the own scouting information the timing of the Drop might alternate. If Protoss went for an aggressive opening off two Gateways, it might be sensible to delay the Drop and use Spider Mines for defense. If Protoss went for a less Dragoon heavy opening the Drop can be performed as soon as the Dropship is trained.

Usually the first Drop targets the main mineral line of Protoss. In an ideal scenario the Vultures first block the entrance points with Mines and then go after Probes. It is usually enough to deny mining time; Vultures should not be wasted. While the Drop is being performed, the Terran expands to his Natural Expansion. Depending on the opponent's reaction more drop harassment can be used as follow up. If the harassment is successful, a third expansion can be taken early on.


The opening is extremely safe against any "non-Observer" strategies by Protoss: Dark Templar Tech, Dark Templar Drops, Fast Reaver Drops and Two Base Arbiter Builds are especially vulnerable. The early Spider Mines directly hard counter a Dark Templar rush, a Wraith can be trained in time to intercept incoming Shuttles and if Protoss commits to a fast Arbiter Tech, the map control is in hands of Terran, due to the Spider Mines.

At the same time any aggressive opening by Protoss hard or at least soft counters the drop. Even if Protoss has no Observer but a sufficient amount of Dragoons he can manually out-micro small numbers of Spider Mines and engage in a base trade.

Notable Maps[edit]

Maps with island expansions and cliffs support drop strategies. A third expansion can be taken relatively easy early on by Terran if an island expansion is available (e.g. Andromeda, Python, Outsider). Cliffs support follow up harassment with Siege Tanks (e.g. Othello).

Maps without ramp or wide choke points are generally bad for the opening, as more units are needed to defend if Protoss engages in a base trade.


Outsider South Korea Terran Flash From WCG 2010. Flash opens with a dropship and destroys infernal
Germany Protoss infernal
Date: 2010-09-30
Patch: 1.16.1 VOD