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4 Gate +1 Zealot Pressure (vs. Zerg)

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
This strategy is for a previous expansion of the game.
[e][h]4 Gate +1 Zealot Pressure
Strategy Information


For the most part, Forge Fast Expand (FFE) builds have become the standard in PvZ and Zerg players have responded to this by taking very fast third bases. This allows them to power Drones, securing the economy required to produce a large number of units in the mid-game phase. As a result of how strong a fast third base can be for the Zerg, Protoss players developed a number of ways to pressure the third base of the Zerg after opening with a FFE. This build focuses around a 4 Gate +1 Zealot timing-attack that will force the Zerg player to either produce a larger number of Roaches than they intended to build, cutting into their Drone production, or to produce a large, incredibly cost-inefficient number of Zerglings should they have greedily skipped Roach production.

Build Order[edit]

Basic Build
  • 9 Pylon[1]
  • 14 Forge[2]
  • 18 Nexus
  • 18 Cannon
  • 18 Gateway
  • 18 Pylon
  • 18 Assimilator x2
  • @100% Gateway: Cybernetics Core, Zealot
  • @100 Gas: +1 Attack[3]
  • @100% Cybernetics Core: Warpgate Research[4], Sentry
    • @100% Sentry: Stalker.
  • ~6:45 Gateway x3 (2)(3)(4)[5]
  • ~7:50 Warp-in 4 Zealots at your proxy Pylon and attack with 1 Stalker and 5 Zealots.
  • Assimilator x2 (3)(4)
  1. Chronoboost Probes three times when this finishes.
  2. Send 12th Probe out to build this.
  3. Chronoboost this until it finishes.
  4. Chronoboost this until it finishes.
  5. Push out with your Zealot and Probe to build a proxy Pylon(s) as these Gateways are building. Rally your Stalker to meet up with your Zealot and Probe.


  • Warpgate Research, +1 Attack and all of your Gateways should be finished at ~8:00 or earlier.
  • Try to get your Zealots to hug the opponent's third base before engaging. This cuts down the surface area available for Zerglings to attack them.
  • If your opponent already has a large force ready to defend, simply retreat and begin to transition. By forcing them to build a large defensive army, you have already eaten heavily into their Drone production.
  • When your attack is over, warp-in Sentries back home (you will have excess gas) ready to defend against any counter-attack using Force Fields.


In executing the pressure at your opponent's third, you are obviously going to need a proxy Pylon. This means that you will need to quickly establish map control with your initial Zealot, which opens up chances for Probes to both scout and lay down Pylons. If you see that your opponent is making a large number of Zerglings then you should make more Zealots instead of making Stalkers, as Zerglings will find it very hard to cost-effectively kill Zealots at this stage of the game.

When you push into attack, here is what you might see:

  • Literally 0 units: Your response to this is to target fire the third base and to keep warping-in Zealots until you're certain the 3rd can be destroyed.
  • Zerglings and No Roaches: If you see this, kite with your 4-6 initial Zealots until you get another warp-in of 4. After you have your additional Zealots, attack-move into the third base and destroy their Zerglings. Once the Zerglings are dead, target fire the third base. The reason you target fire the Hatchery is because Roaches will generally be on their way to defend the third base and you do not want to waste time killing Roaches. Your main mission is to kill that third base. Sure, your Zealots will die, but if you kill the Hatchery then you are miles ahead.
  • Early Roaches: If you see early Roaches, your build was either scouted or they did a safe/aggressive build. You won’t be able to proceed so simply back up and warp-in Sentries back at home. Begin to transition into whatever follow-up you were planning to use.
  • Do not warp in more than 3 rounds of Zealots, if you do then you will be very vulnerable to the common Roach counter-attack.


Pro Features[edit]

Maps that have a hard to access third base (e.g. rocks in the way, long distances between the expansions) will make it hard for the Zerg to reinforce quickly. Examples include Ohana and Daybreak.

Con Features[edit]

Maps where the third base is easily connected by creep and easily defended by Spine Crawlers will make this strategy hard to use. Examples include Calm Before The Storm and Cloud Kingdom.

Replays And VODs[edit]

Protoss Alejandrisha Good Probe control allows for a very good proxy Pylon placement. A Dark Templar follow-up wins the game.
Zerg ZeNEXmuchla
Patch: 1.4.2 Replay
Protoss Alejandrisha The Zerg player manages to defend the Zealot pressure due to the Hatchery not being target-fired properly.
Zerg Kinder
Patch: Replay
Protoss Alejandrisha The Zerg player gets Roaches slowly, resulting in the third base being destroyed.
Zerg shortizz
Patch: Replay