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One Base Speedzeal (vs. Zerg)

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[e][h]ProtossOne Base Speedzeal
Strategy Information
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The One Base Speedzealot is an opening designed to deal heavy damage with a timed attack against Zerg. This strategy was used in the earlier days of Brood War, but can still be used effectively today.

Basic Build Order[edit]

"One Base Speed Zealot"
  • 8/9 - Pylon
  • 10/17 - Gateway
  • 12/17 - Assimilator
  • 13/17 - Zealot
  • 16/17 - Pylon
  • 17/25 - Zealot
  • 20/25 - Cybernetics Core
  • 21/25 - Zealot
  • 23/25 - Pylon
  • 25/33 - Dragoon
  • 27/33 - Citadel of Adun
  • 29/33 - Gateway
  • 29/33 - Zealot
  • 31/33 - Pylon
  • Legs upgrade
  • Two Zealots
  • 37/41 - Pylon
  • 37/49 - Templar Archives
  • 37/49 - Two Zealots
  • Two High Templars or Dark Templars


  • ~5:30 Eight Zealots and one Dragoon should be trained and the Legspeed Upgrade should almost be researched. Consequently, the first attack should arrive around the six minute mark, assuming the travel distance is about 30 seconds from main base to the opponent's main base.
  • Depending on scouted information, the Protoss should build either two High Templars or two Dark Templars around the seven minute mark, in addition to his army
  • During or shortly after the attack around the six minute mark the Protoss typically tries to take his own natural expansion.


  • It is pivotal that the Protoss doesn't lose his scouting Probe early on. Especially on larger maps a third base by Zerg should be scouted early on.
  • In addition to the usual scouting information the Protoss should be aware of any Zergling runby attempts, which might stall the timed attack.
  • If Zerg scouts the Protoss base with an Overlord, a Dragoon can be trained early on to chase it away. Furthermore the second Gateway might be delayed a bit, to avoid giving away the opening.


The One Base Speedzealot opening is a very aggressive opening and means a strong commitment by the Protoss. It is pivotal that Protoss doesn't lose Zealots early on, so he has an optimal chance to deal heavy damage to the Zerg's base around the six minute mark. The Protoss will use his attack to take his expansion while the Zerg still has to deal with incoming forces. In an ideal scenario, the Zerg should be dead or almost lose the game after the initial attack. If the Protoss misses to either delay further Tech or doesn't do any kind of economical damage to his opponent, the game will most likely be over. Hence, very good Zealot micromanagemend is an absolute requirement for this kind of opening.

It should be noted that with the increased usage of thought through Simcity (smart building placement) most Zerg players will be able to defend their bases relatively easy, regardless of how good the Protoss' micromanagement is performed. As a consequence this strategy works best if it's not scouted early on.

Countered By[edit]

Any kind of non-greedy (non macro oriented) build order is relatively safe against a timed attack. Any Zerg has two options to defend the timed attack with little to no preparation.

The easiest way for Zerg to deal with early aggression is smart building placement, stopping Zealot runbys completely or creating little to no surface for the Zealots to attack. Especially larger maps like Andromeda also mean longer walking distances, while the Zerg only has to secure one choke point to defend three possible bases.

The second way to prepare for a timed attack besides very good Sim City are Zerglings with Speedupgrade. Since Protoss has to use all of his units to increase his chances to deal a deathly blow, Zerg can stall an incoming push by threatening to backstab the Protoss main base. If the Protoss ignores incoming forces, a base trade situation will be forced. In this scenario, the Protoss has less chances to come out on top. The longer a Zerg can stall an incoming push, the more chances he has to fortify his choke points with Sunken Colonies.

Another disadvantage of the One Base Zealot build order is the high commitment the early Tech on the Templar Archives mean. Especially on maps like Destination a follow up Tech on Lurkers might turn the game around, regardless of the damage dealt by the initial attack. If the Protoss scouts the Lurkers late, he might lose his new expansions, if Photon Cannons are not built immediately. If he scouts it, he will still face a contain, as he won't have enough Vespin Gas to switch to Observers very fast. Even if, his army will most likely consist of Zealots, which are extremely vulnerable to even small amounts of Lurkers.

Counter To[edit]

Any kind of greedy build order (macro oriented) build order increases the chances of Protoss winning the game with the help of his first timed attack. The same holds true for a Zerg trying to Tech fast off of two Hatcheries. The fewer units and static defense a Zerg has, the higher the chances for Protoss to succeed.

Maps with short walking distances mean an earlier timing attack. Hence maps like Outsider improve the odds of Protoss using this strategy as effective as possible.

Notable Maps[edit]


  • Outsider (short walking distances)
  • Lost Temple (especially with Zerg spawning on the 12 o'clock)
  • Luna (especially with Zerg spawning in top left)
  • Python (broader chokes, 66% chance of relatively short walking distances)


Notable games[edit]