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13 Gate 17 Nexus (vs. Terran)

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
This strategy is for a previous expansion of the game.
[e][h]Protoss13 Gate 17 Nexus
Strategy Information
[[NaNiwa, PartinG]]


This is a 1 Gate FE variant that places down a Nexus before building a Cybernetics Core or producing any units. In terms of economy and safety, it sits somewhere between a Nexus First opening and HuK's 1 Gate FE. It is a risky opening that is heavily dependent on the ability of the Protoss player to make good reads on their opponent with limited scouting information. This means that it is unlikely to be suitable for lower-level players.


The build aims to gain an economic advantage by enabling a Protoss player to start their expansion before a gasless expanding Terran opponent. The risk is that this can leave the Protoss player vulnerable to a reactive Marine/SCV/Bunker all-in from their opponent.

Basic Build Order[edit]

13 Gate 17 Nexus (vs. Terran)
  1. Chrono Boost Probes 3 times when this finishes
  2. Send the Probe that builds this to scout


Part of the reason for how popular this build became is how well several key timings line up. You get 16 Probes mining minerals in your main as fast as possible. Your 17th probe can be rallied to the natural expansion to build the Nexus right on time. There is no wasted mining time due to Probes traveling back and forth unnecessarily as the 17th Probe goes out to build both the Nexus and the second Pylon, and also scouts. The first Assimilator finishes right after you place down your Nexus and second Pylon, which means that you have 16 Probes mining minerals until you're ready to place your Cybernetics Core. The Nexus finishes just in time to prevent a supply block at 26/26 and before the Command Center of a Terran fast expand.


Terran Went For A 1 Rax FE Opening[edit]

If the Terran is playing out a standard 1 Rax FE Into 3 Rax/Starport build then the earliest that they can pressure you is when they get Medivacs at ~10:00. This means that you're safe to constantly Chrono Boost Probes, and that you should only get your additional Gateways (up to a total of three) when resources allow it. After getting your additional Gateways, build either a Robotics Facility or a Twilight Council depending on your preferred play-style and head into the mid-game with a significant economic advantage.

1 Rax FE?
  • Constantly Chrono Boost Probes from both Nexuses.
  • Add Gateways 2 and 3 as resources allow.
  • Add Tech structure of choice as resources allow.

The only exception to this is the possibility for 4 to 6 Rax Marine pressure after a 1 Rax FE. You can use your initial Stalker to scout for this possibility by placing it outside their natural expansion and checking for signs that they are moving out. If you suspect this type of pressure, build more Stalkers than you normally would as they do very well against non-upgraded Marines. You may also need to temporarily stop Chrono Boosting Probes in favour of additional units.

Terran Took Gas Or You Couldn't Scout Their Gas[edit]

Since you cannot get any further scouting information after the Terran has Marines on the field, you will not know if you're facing a hidden 1 Rax FE, a 1 Rax Reactor FE, 2 Rax Reactor/Tech-Lab pressure, or some sort of 1/1/1 opening.

The first thing you need to be ready for is 2 Rax pressure. To get ready for this, make sure that you build 2 additional Gateways by the 5 minute mark and that you Chrono Boost Warpgate Research instead of Chrono Boosting Probes. This should give you 3 Warpgates by the time standard 2 Rax pressure hits, meaning that you should be able to defend. This response should also allow you to defend the rarer 3 Hellion/7 Marine drop.

The next thing you need to be ready for is a Cloaked Banshee rush. What you need to do to get ready for this is to make sure that you have your Robotics Facility started by at least ~6:20 so that you can have Observers out on the field before Banshees can get to your base. You'll need up to three Observers, one for scouting the opponent and one for each of your mineral lines.

Terran Took Gas?
  • Chrono Boost Warpgate Research until completion
  • @5:00: Gateway x2 (2)(3).[1]
  • Before 6:20: Robotics Facility
  • @100% Robotics Facility: Observers
  1. Cut Probes to build these if you have to.

Terran Is Going For A Marine/SCV All-In[edit]

If you suspect some sort of Marine/SCV cheese or manage to scout a proxy Barracks cheese, cut Probes immediately in order to get a second Gateway (this will happen at ~4:10). Use all your additional Chrono Boost on unit production (preferably Stalkers for kiting Marines) instead of using it on Probes or Warpgate Research.

Marine/SCV All-In?
  • Add a second Gateway as soon as possible.[1]
  • Chrono Boost Stalkers and Zealots out of your Gateways.
  • Build Probes as affordable with constant unit production.
  1. Cut Probes to build this if you have to.

Always scout with one Probe around your expansion for hidden Bunkers. If you scout that the Terran is trying to build a Bunker then you need to focus fire the SCV building the Bunker as soon as possible. If necessary, cancel your Nexus when facing an all-in and use the 300 minerals you get back to make 2 Gateways.


Counter To[edit]

  • 1 Rax FE: You will expand faster than your Terran opponent and, thanks to Chrono Boost, carry an economic advantage into the midgame.

Countered By[edit]

  • 11/11 Proxy Barracks Marine/SCV All-In: This is really hard to defend with this opening because of how late your Cybernetics Core and unit production is.
  • Reaper Opening: The fastest Reaper opening can have a Reaper at your base 12 seconds earlier than your first Stalker finishes.
  • Blind Supply Depot or Engineering Bay blocks at your natural expansion.
  • Terran players who scout your late gas before you can build your Nexus are likely to block your expansion.


The build was originally attributed to PartinG after he used it extensively in the GSL.[1][2] However, NaNiwa has since claimed that he was the one who invented the build.[3]


Further Strategies[edit]