+1 Zealot/Archon Timing Attack (vs. Zerg)

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[e][h]Protoss 2 Archon / 4 Gate
Strategy Information
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The +1 Zealot/Archon attack is an extremely strong midgame rush that allows you to gain an advantage before your Zerg opponent is able to start powering units. Most commonly, you see this build occur after the Protoss fast expands, and it was developed to fight neo-Sauron Zerg. If the Zerg decides to go with a different strategy, then you need to adjust. In general, a Sauron Zerg will go, in this order:

Basic Build

Build Order[edit]

This build is highly gas dependent as you want your High Templar and Archons out as soon as possible. In general, the order is:

Basic Build

After Forge first FE[edit]

Basic Build

After a FE, you should continue building Zealots out of your first Gate, and start upgrading +1 weapons immediately with your first 100 gas. From there, you should try to scout, and Tech up to Templar, as well as adding a second Gate. When you do, use your gas on High Templar, and morph them into Archons. Research Zealot Speed. The Archon timing should be such that you have one or two Archons to defend against a standard 3 Hatchery Mutalisk attack, as well as the scouting information from your first Corsair. If you're feeling really confident, you can skip your first Corsair, because it will make your attack that much faster. However, it also makes defending against Cheese more difficult.

In order:

Basic Build
  • Forge first FE
  • Send a probe to scout + Stargate
  • +1 Weapons (available at Forge)
  • 2nd Gateway
  • Zealot Leg Speed
  • Templar Tech
  • Archons

After One Gate Tech[edit]

With a 1 Gate Tech, your first Corsair comes out much faster, and you can Tech just as fast as well. However, your economy in comparison to the Zerg player should be about the same, and if you can hit the timing window, you should be able to prevent the Zerg from expanding to their third for quite some time.

Basic Build
  • Gateway
  • Assimilator
  • Cybernetics Core
  • Forge
  • +1 Weapons (available at Forge)
  • Citadel of Adun
  • Zealot Leg Speed
  • Templar Archives
  • One or two more Gates, and expand.

After Two Gate[edit]

This build tends to not be as effective after a Two Gate, just because the Zerg player will have a window where they want to go either 2 or 3 Hatchery Mutalisks. However, it all depends on how much you managed to hurt them with your aggressive Two Gate.


Faster Tech[edit]

Alternate build order for FE. This build lets you get your Tech about 35 seconds faster, but collects 250 minerals less.

Basic Build
  • 8 - Pylon
  • 10 - Forge
  • 13 - Two Photon Cannons
  • 15 - Nexus + Gateway
  • 16 - Pylon
  • 17 - Assimilator
  • Cybernetics Core

Scouting Information[edit]

Probe Scouting[edit]

Protoss vs. Zerg is a diverse match-up that requires adaption to be successful. In the early game, scouting must be continual and consistent.


No Spire[edit]

  • If you do not scout a Spire, this means that the Zerg is going Ling/Hydra/Lurker.
  • Sair/reaver or Sair/DT is the obvious counter, because the fast Lurkers will rip apart the +1 Zealots, and no Spire means no Scourge. You can still choose to go four Gates with two Archons - if you scout and time it right, you can break the Zerg as the Lurkers are morphing.

3 Hatch Muta[edit]

  • Even without Mutalisks, two Cannons in your main is standard. If the Zerg has his Natural Expansion Gas, but only three Hatcheries, he is probably going for 3 Hatch Spire (vs. Protoss).
  • Get an Archon, three or four Cannons in your main base, and two or three Corsairs. This will normally provide sufficient anti-air against Mutalisks.
  • If their Sunken Colony count is low, try to hit their economy with your +1 Speed zealots anyway. You might be able do a sufficient amount of damage.
  • Try to expand at a normal timing.

Fast Lurkers[edit]

  • Fast Lurkers means the Zerg is going for a contain.
  • Instead of Archons or Speed upgrades, get two to three Gateways, Robotics Facility and Observatory for observers, Dragoon Range, and Templar tech.
  • Harass with Dark Templar, possibly after High Templar if you're afraid of a Hydralisk break.

Breaking the Contain[edit]

  • It is possible to hide Dark Templar around the map and harass when they are containing you.
  • Build a shuttle to flank with a few zealots by dropping it on the other side of the contain.
  • Use the Archon as to take the damage while the rest of your army can attack. It allows High Templar to be used much easier.


The goal of this strategy is to move out with a strong timing and supporting your Zealots with Archons. While a standard +1 Speedzeal rush is with its back to the wall against a Mutalisk opening, Mutalisks have a hard time fighting Archons. Thus, your attack becomes much stronger. The Corsairs allow you to get perfect scouting information assuming they stay alive, and you should be able to adapt easily. Choosing this build lets you transition smoothly into High Templar Tech, to defend against either 3 Hatchery Hydralisks, or 3 Hatchery Mutalisks with your Corsair scout.

Countered by[edit]

Countered to[edit]

Notable Maps[edit]



Notable Games[edit]



Harmony South Korea Protoss JangBi
South Korea Zerg ZerO
Date: 2008-12-17
Patch: VOD


  • The original translation of a Korean article on tl.net [1]