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Adel's Late Gas (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
This strategy is for a previous expansion of the game.
[e][h]ProtossAdel's Late Gas PvP
Strategy Information
Macro Opening


Using 4 Zealots and 2 Stalkers to attack. Blue is ahead in economy and army value.

The premise of this build is to utilize increased mineral mining as an advantage over your opponent during the early game, thus being able to expand safely against a 4 Warpgate Rush. The build revolves around delaying your first Assimilator (and Cybernetics Core) and not taking a second Assimilator until after you have a good saturation of minerals on your Natural Expansion. This build might not work in higher leagues (Master+), if the rush distance is too long. It was invented for maps like "Metalopolis" and "Lost Temple" (Close Spawn).

Basic Build Order[edit]

The basic build ends with researching Warp Gate at 4:54. If you play in the lower leagues, keep in mind that mimicking Adelscott with perfect timings is not easy. It takes practice to get the job done.

Basic Build
  1. Do not 9 scout as this build is very safe against cheese due to the early double Gateway. Against a Cannon Rush, just add in a Forge and use defensive Cannons. You can also cancel your second Gateway if required.
  2. Try to stay below 3:00!
  3. This Pylon needs to finish before your 4th Zealot is finished, so you can produce a Stalker instantly.
  4. The initial three should be leaving just before the fourth finishes. Rally all your troops/Gates onto your Zealots or the enemy's base.
  5. Start Chrono Boosting this as soon as you can.

Early Nexus[edit]

If your attack does enough damage, you can safely expand, while your attack is commencing. Note: Your troops may arrive later than 5:18, so your decision should be based on scouting informations.

Followup #1 (After Expanding)
  1. These are generally needed to hold off until your Cannons finish.
  2. As an option, one could also go Forge first for slightly earlier Cannons.
  3. Depending on how much damage you did, you'll want either one or two cannons.
  4. As in, when your Gateways finish. You should squeeze this upgrade in only if you can afford it at the time without dying.
  5. See "Adaptation" section for more info.

Try to kill as much probes as you possibly can. An early Nexus is better than a late Nexus. If you dealt damage, only one cannon is needed. Do not skip this cannon!

Late Nexus[edit]

Late Nexus at 8:41 - Adelscott plays this style against HuK on Metalopolis (see below). This followup is preferred if you unable to deal sufficient damage with your initial 4 Zealots and 2 Stalkers, and thus did not delay the enemy 4 Warpgate Rush. Even if your opponent loses a building like a Core, his attack can still be strong, by just warping in Zealots. Especially if your opponent has additional Stalkers (3 to 5) to support his attack.

Followup #1 (Before Expanding)
  1. Place cannon at natural choke so that it also covers ramp.
  2. See "Adaptation" section for more info.

Important timings:

  • Warp Gate should finish between 7:14 (boost) and 7:34 (no boost)
  • 46 Gate (5:50), 46 Pylon (5:56), 47 Gate (6:11), 47 Gate (6:22)

Do not panic! Do not play safe, if you do not have to. An early Nexus and a strong economy is a big advantage.


As stated in "Notes" below, Timings are very important for this build. Day[9] talks about this build in "Day9 Daily #175 - Adel's No-Gas PvP" and shows two wins against HuK on Lost Temple and Metalopolis. Adel attacks on Metalopolis with

  • 4 Zealots
  • 2 Stalkers

and kills probes and gets ahead (25 to 19). He uses the following timings to do so:

0:48  Adelscott  Build Pylon
1:13  Adelscott  Chrono Boost: Nexus
1:33  Adelscott  Build Gateway
1:41  Adelscott  Chrono Boost: Nexus
2:01  Adelscott  Build Pylon
2:16  Adelscott  Chrono Boost: Nexus
2:26  Adelscott  Build Gateway
2:41  Adelscott  Train Zealot
2:56  Adelscott  Build Assimilator
3:10  Adelscott  Build Pylon
3:17  Adelscott  Train Zealot
3:33  Adelscott  Build Cybernetics Core
3:59  Adelscott  Train Zealot
3:59  Adelscott  Train Zealot
4:02  Adelscott  Chrono Boost: Nexus
4:17  Adelscott  Build Pylon
4:24  Adelscott  Train Stalker
4:26  Adelscott  Chrono Boost: Gateway
4:33  Adelscott  Train Stalker
4:35  Adelscott  Chrono Boost: Gateway
4:54  Adelscott  Research Protoss Warp Gate

This Replay (see Replays below) is shown in a Day9 Daily, see References below.


  • The Chrono Boost timings are extremely important! Make sure that you are executing them at the times given in the build order, as deviation from this will result in awkward timings of when you can construct what you need.
  • The attack at 4:40 to 4:50 is a timing that needs to be hit. If you have a slight variation in your build and end up with only three Zealots at this time, you still need to attack with them; it is more beneficial to hit your opponent before Warp Gate is up than to hit them with four Zealots when Warp Gate is finished.
  • It's generally a good idea to place your first two Gateways oriented slightly towards your opponent's base so as to get units from your initial Gateways to your enemy sooner.
  • Probes should be in constant production until you have your natural up and mining, unless you have to cut Probes to survive the first few rounds of attacks from a 4 Warpgate Rush.

Assumption: You have good micro and good multitasking skills, than you can attack earlier, if he plays a 4 Warpgate Rush and skips his initial Zealot. Since the goal of your timing attack is to deal economic damage, you can attack with your initial Zealot. If you think you can deal significant damage (kill a Pylon, or at least two Probes) then go ahead and Chrono Boost it out and attack. Oftentimes lower level opponents will skip their initial Zealot trying to get Warp Gate researched as quickly as possible, and this is exploitable by chronoboosting out your first Zealot and attacking with it. Your Zealot should be at your opponent's base between 4:00 and 4:15. your opponent's stalker will not be ready until 4:16. This timeframe is extremely close.

Do not try this, if

  • your scouting reveals a Chrono Boost on his gates,
  • the rush distance takes more than 50 seconds,

or if your unsure about your skills (Micro and Multitasking).

It is extremely important to focus on your Macro with this build. High energy (Nexus), supply blocks and too much resources indicate bad Macro.


  • Do not 9 Pylon scout, as you're going to be rather safe against a wide variety of cheese compared to a standard 12-13 Gate build order.
  • Initially scouting is going to revolve around finding out if the other Protoss is cheesing you or not with some sort of cannon or proxy Gateway. If you see a proxy gate, proceed building your two Gateways at their normal timing, and slowly add on a third Gateway while constantly chronoboosting Zealots and adding on Pylons. If you think, you can take down the Pylon with 4 Probes, go ahead and attack. This depends on the distance from your base to the Gates.
  • If you do not detect any cheese, then you'll want to be sure that you hit before he has his Warp Gate research up, or at the very least force a cycle or two from his Warp Gates into his own base rather than on the offensive towards your own. Take note of how much Chronoboost the enemy is saving as a general indication of how fast your opponent will be getting Warp Gate technology up; the more Chronoboost being saved, the more early aggression or the earlier Warp Gates will arrive. You can ignore early aggression, as your two Gateways will keep you safe, so your only concern when seeing a lot of saved Chronoboost is a very early 4 gate.
  • In higher leagues: If you find that you are cross positions on a four player map, then this build is still viable though it is advised to focus on using your initial 2 Gate army to search for and destroy any proxy Pylons that would be warping in as the enemy prepares for a 4 Warpgate Rush. Adelscott does this in the replay on Lost Temple, as well as in the VOD on Scrap Station (links provided in the references section). In this situation you will have to rely on very good micro on top of spot-on macro to survive. It will be very important to make sure the enemy Stalker count is never above yours, which means you need to be careful on whether you warp in Stalkers or Zealots.

Your early attack will reveal your opponent's tech path. Is he going for blink Stalkers? Do you scout a Robotics Facility?

Use your scouting informations to plan the next steps.


To execute this build properly your timings must be accurate. If you totally forget to Chronoboost, your Zealots will arrive 20 seconds later. This might make the difference if his Warpgates are ready or not. Try to arrive at your opponent's base before his research is done.

Timing Attack[edit]

Once you headed off at about 4:40 to 4:50, you should rally your two Chrono-Stalkers onto your four Zealots. This way your Zealots should arrive at the enemy base before you Stalkers do, though your Stalkers will arrive as soon as possible. Adelscott usually hits the enemy base about 30 seconds with the Zealots before the Stalkers arrive. Once inside the enemy base your goal is to deal as much economic damage as possible. If you can kill off his only Stalker and proceed to wipe out Probes, that would be more beneficial than going straight into the Probe line allowing the Stalker to pick off your units. You need to make quick decisions on whether or not to focus down key Pylons (perhaps powering three or four Warpgates), kill off their army and then their probes, or just focus down the enemy Probes ignoring the current enemy army. This may take some practice, and it will help if you study some of Adelscott's decision making and mimic his play.

Ideally you will want to end up with a clear Probe count lead, resulting in the capability to both hold your expansion and eventually out-produce and overcome an opponent that tries to 4 Warpgate you to death.


You have a couple options while expanding. First, you can expand while you are attacking with your four Zealots and two Stalkers, following this up with two more Gateways and a Forge. This will allow you to have 4 Warpgates worth of production (to match your enemy's), along with a couple Photon Cannons at your natural. A single Photon Cannon is usually sufficient if you have been able to knock some Probes out. You really cannot skip this Photon Cannon! These Photon Cannon(s) are extremely cost efficient, so much so that a Photon Cannon will be able to protect your natural better than a Stalker, or a Zealot. The Photon Cannon is also great for detection against DT rushes or builds.

Your second option is to add on your two (or three - Adelscott often gets 5 Warpgates then expands) additional Gateways, and then expand. This delays the expansion but allows you combat a 4 Warpgate Rush if you weren't able to deal sufficient damage. Also, if you add on your Warpgates before expanding, in case you cannot hold your expansion, you can cancel the Nexus and fall back up your ramp. Worst case scenario: you end up with more Probes than the other guy, and 4 Warpgates. I would not recommend transitioning into 2 Gate Robotics, as you will not have the vespene to support robo units. Adelscott often constructs five Warpgates, so that with Chrono Boost and his Natural Expansion, your opponent will eventually out-produce an enemy four or five Warpgate Rush.

If you killed enough Probes and you get your Natural up and running, you can build a Robo. You have to take your gas earlier then. This very much depends on your scouting information.

Note: Oftentimes sufficient damage is not able to be dealt. In this scenario you need 5 Gateways with constant boost on your Warpgate research. While your additional Gateways are being constructed, use the completed Gateways to construct additional Zealots and Stalkers. You'll be able to survive then out-produce an ordinary 4 Gate due to your extra probes and Warpgates.

Since you'll be taking a very quick expansion, you'll have a greater income than usual, and as such you are allowed leeway in what you spend your money on. Since you already have a Forge, it's great to start chronoboosting +1 weapons once your Photon Cannon(s) are up.

After you have a decent saturation of minerals at your natural you can add on as many Assimilators as you like. A possible transition is mass Blink Stalkers followed by Archons. In this case you might like to add on all three Assimilators at once, and then throw down a Twilight Council. The Twilight Council is usually the best avenue to choose, if you like to harass with Blink. Keep in mind, that you already have a ratio of 3:3:1 in terms of Gateway units, the 1 being Sentries (explained in the #Key Notes section).


After a couple of production cycles, once your natural is fairly saturated, you should be able to dominate in a head on battle. From here, you can expand or tech to anything of your liking. One possibility is Blink Stalkers and about 4 Archons. The Archons are used to tank enemy fire (preferably Colossus fire), and do pretty darn well against Zealots due to splash damage. This goes great if the enemy went one or two base Colossus, since you can tank with the Archons and Blink into the Colossus to snipe them. This works well, as on two bases with Stalker production and 4 Assimilators as you'll have an excess in gas.

Another alternative would be to go with mass Warp Gates after you take a third base, and harass with multiple Warp Prisms, or just go in with one massive assault, Warp Prisming into the back of your opponent's base.

Due to patches, Protoss air tech has become much more viable to use as an integral portion of your army. Stargate transitions are extremely effective against Robotics Bay transitions, although it limits your detection to Cannons. Both Phoenixes and Void Rays are very effective. One or two Stargates may be added while on two bases.

Transitioning from this build is really open ended, as you should come out ahead against a 4 Warpgate Rush if you were able to successfully defend.

Key Notes[edit]

  • Since you are utilizing a mineral disparity between you and your opponent as your advantage, you are going to want only a couple Sentries. You should have a ratio of about 3:3:1 of Zealot:Stalker:Sentry, until you add on additional Assimilators.
  • Your Photon Cannon is also essential for detecting Dark Templar, so place it where it has vision of your ramp so that you can Force Field the ramp and block any Dark Templar if necessary.
  • If you fail to deal significant damage with your first attack, you will need to either add on additional Cannons at your Natural Expansion, or skip the natural entirely.
  • Target either key Pylons powering multiple buildings or Probes with your initial attack. If your units are going to die no matter what (perhaps his Warp Gate finished while you were in your opponent's base and you failed to retreat in time), then use your army to kill their workers instead of directly engaging their army. Shooting their probes will delay future Warp Gate units from ever appearing!
  • If your opponent has Zealots focusing your Cannon, use a Force Field or two on your Cannon so that the Zealots end up ramming into the FFs, thus being a waste of minerals and damage momentarily.
  • Do not 9 Pylon scout, as this build should be safe against a 2 Gate (Adelscott states that it's safe against proxy 2 Gate in the VOD against White-Ra). If you do decide to 9 scout, it will cost you an entire Zealot by the 4 minute 30 second mark.


In lower leagues the rush distance might not be so important as in higher leagues. See the replay on Xel'Naga Caverns (below) for an almost perfect game - Blue does not lose a single unit. Take a look at your replays in PvP and you will know, if your opponent would be able to defend against this strategy. In lower leagues Adelscott is really strong against a 4Gate, if executed the right way. However, a close distance to your opponent helps a lot.

Pro features[edit]

Maps that are best for this build are maps with the smallest rush distances. Ideally, you want an easy to defend natural with a small choke, a wide ramp from the natural to the main, and a small rush distance between your opponent and your bases. Most maps will not have all of these features, though the features that are relevant in the order of greatest to least are as follows: short rush distance, easy to defend natural, wide ramp to enemy main.

Con features[edit]

Conversely, maps with long rush distances, wide open natural expansions, or small ramps will all hinder your ability to mount an effective timing attack and defend your own expansion. Also, maps with a back door would be much harder to hold as two entrances to defend from would render the entire Cannon defense of this build obsolete.


France Protoss Adelscott This is a great example of early aggression, and Gateways before the Nexus. Adelscott attacks with 4 Zealots and 2 Stalkers. It may have been optimal to lay the Nexus down first, though Adelscott was just playing it safe. This replay shows an excellent example of how to defend against a quick Colossus push response from the opponent.
Canada Protoss HuK
Date: 2010-09-05
Patch: 1.0.3 Replay VOD