JoyO Rush

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Terran JoyO Rush
JoyO using his build
Strategy Information
Popularized by:

This build originates from the Korean qualifiers for the WCG 2003, where the Korean progamer JoyO caused quite a stir by running through almost all of his Protoss opponents with the same build. The build and variations of it are still seen in progaming today. It is a very aggressive build that is very effective against greedy builds, but it's not as economically solid as standard 1 Factory Expansion play.

The build centers around making a push with three siege-less tanks, about five marines, and rallying Vultures with Spider Mines and speed. If Protoss has expanded, the goal is generally to shut down the expansion and force Protoss to make more units, setting him behind economically. If the Protoss is a weaker player, there's also a good chance the rush will end the game.

This build is similar to the Gundam Rush, but the way the attack is performed is very different.

2 Factory 2 Addon[edit]

"Basic Build Order"
  • 9/10 - Supply Depot at Wall
  • 11/18 - Barracks at wall (use the Supply Depot SCV)
  • 12/18 - Refinery
  • 13/18 - Supply Depot at wall - Leave it partially built and scout with this SCV
  • 15/18 - Continue building Supply Depot (use the Barracks SCV)
  • 16/18 - Factory
  • 19/26 - Factory (@60% of first factory) (Begin marine production)
  • @100% Factory - Machine Shop
  • 22/26 - Supply Depot
  • Siege Tank
  • @100% Factory - Machine Shop
  • 28/34 - Supply Depot
  • Siege Tank x2 (Both should start at approximately the same time)
  • @100 Vespene Gas - Ion Thrusters
  • @100 Vespene Gas - Spider Mines
  • @3 Siege Tanks - Build 2 Vultures and move out with 3 Siege Tanks, 6-7 Marines, and 3 SCVs

Important Notes[edit]

  • Keep queuing Vultures from your Factories and have them rally to your opponents base.
  • On a normal map your first 2 Vultures should catch up with your original force just as you reach your opponents base.
  • This is the critical moment of the game, and from here the build diverges.

Learning the build order[edit]

Learning JoyO is easy. Don't try to memorize the exact build order, but instead, focus on a few concepts:

  • Wall in.
  • Build your second Factory when the first factory is at 60% (This will get you two Tanks at exactly the right time.)
  • Research speed and Mines for your Vultures as soon as you can afford it. Since speed upgrades slower, make sure to get it first.
  • Move out as soon as you have three Tanks. Keep rallying Vultures, and micro.

The attack[edit]

Good micro is critical once your units reach the Protoss base. You want your Marines just in front of the Tanks, and the Tanks should be lined up perpendicular to the direction in which you are attacking. The Tanks will be doing the majority of the damage here.

If the Protoss player tries to snipe a Tank, move it to the rear of your group, causing the Dragoons to take heavy damage from the rest of your units. Generally the Protoss player will have to focus on killing the Marines first.

The most important part of this strategy are the Vultures. You need to micro them to come in and lay aggressive Mines close to, behind, or even amongst the Dragoons. This will cause the Dragoons to move back while trying to snipe the Mines. Good Protoss players should be able to avoid these Mines to a degree, but the key here is to distract the Dragoons by threatening them with the Mines while allowing the tanks to do most of the damage.

If the map has a ramp and the Protoss backs up to it (surrendering any expo attempts for the moment) you can either try to push up with Mines/Tanks and try to finish him off, or you can keep your Tanks outside the expansion for a while with Mines just down the ramp. This will make it difficult for the Protoss to push out and get his much needed expansion.


  • How fast you get your three Tanks and can move out can be modified by cutting scvs. A faster attack means a slower economy. JoyO's original build cuts SCVs.
  • The build can be done without a wall. This requires Marines to be built earlier, which delays your Factories, but it makes the build possible to disguise as a standard FD Build (Note that the Fake Double Build didn't exist when JoyO invented this build.)
  • Nada invented a similar build but didn't have much success with it. He got only one Machine Shop and built three Tanks from one Factory while getting both Vulture upgrades from that Machine Shop. The other factory produced Vultures. The attack comes later but you don't have to cut SCVs.


If your rush went well, the best transition would be to get an early expansion. Do this during your attack when you have 400 minerals and still can afford Supply Depots for your Vultures.

It is imperative to make an Engineering Bay pretty early, as Shuttle builds and Dark Templar builds are strong against Two Factory. it is safest to start a Bay before your expansion Command Center.

When your first attack is over there might be a small window for a counterattack from the Protoss. Either with Observers and Goons or with an added Shuttle. To be safe from this it is vital to start researching Siege, and build only Tanks instead of Vultures once your first attack is over. You will also need an Engineering Bay at that time.

Countered By[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

None if you adapt your build correctly.

Soft Counters[edit]

This is a pretty good counter. It defends easily, and allows the Protoss player to expand quickly.

Is a decent counter, especially if the Terran is prevented from scouting it.

Is a good counter if microed well, the Protoss player should be able to stop the attack down his ramp.

Counter To[edit]

Hard Counters[edit]

While it may seem safer than 14 Nexus, the 1 Gate Nexus gets later Gateways and less units against the JoyO Rush.

Soft Counters[edit]

There might be a problem for the Protoss player to defend this without sacrificing his expansion, but sometimes a good Protoss can take advantage of the early economy boost and out-produce the Terran rush, as the timing comes slightly later than optimal against the 14 Nexus build order.

Handling Counters[edit]

  • Two Gate Goon / One Gate observer

Try to force the Protoss up his ramp, and keep him there for as long as possible. Retreat if there are too many Goons.

  • One Gate Expo

Try to force the Protoss up his ramp, while attempting to make him cancel the Nexus (or kill it if it is already built). If you are able to delay or kill the Nexus, you will have a big advantage.

  • One Gate Reaver

If Protoss player uses his shuttle with Reaver for defense, the best option is to back off, build an Engineering Bay, and focus on getting your own expansion up.

If your opponent flies to your main with the Shuttle, you have a good chance to break into the Protoss main. He should have a low number of Goons, and all his main should die. Even though Terran might lose many SCV, the Terran generally wins in this scenario.

  • Fast Dark Templar

If Protoss went fast Dark Templar, focus on getting your own expansion up. Mine the DT's path so that none can get into your base before your Engineering Bay is done.

  • 13 Nexus

Your best option is probably to try and end it quickly, cut SCVs to make your rush come faster. Don't mind about the Protoss expo, push up his ramp and try to kill him off. Optionally, bring down SCVs to help fighting.

Notable Situations and Maps[edit]

Notable Situations[edit]

This build is strong to play as a bit of a surprise in a best-of-x series. If Protoss expects a Fast Expansion play you are likely to do a lot of damage with the first attack.

On the other hand, if the build is used to often, or the Protoss expects it, it's pretty easy to stop.

The key is often to disguise this build as a Fast Expansion build causing the Protoss to get too greedy.

Notable Maps[edit]

The JoyO rush is effective on maps where:

  • The distance between the players are short
  • Maps where Protoss players often expand quickly
  • Rampless maps, but then on rampless maps Protoss are very likely to go 2 gate.



Here are three replays where JoyO is performing the rush himself during the Korean wcg qualifier 2003:

Here is a modern application by Sea[shield] during the TL Attack S02E02 July/2008:


WCG 2009 US Finals Artosis v Louder