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HerO's 2 Gate Stargate (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
This strategy is for a previous expansion of the game.
[e][h]ProtossHerO's 2 Gate Stargate Opening
Strategy Information


This build aims to play defensively off two Gateways, a Stargate and a Robotics Facility. This Tech-intensive opening allows you to be safe against a wide range of offensive strategies whilst also allowing you to always know that your opponent is up to due to the scouting capabilities provided by the Phoenix. For these reasons, this build allows for a lot of different transitions moving into the mid-game phase; however, it does not have the potential to become an all-in (cf. 3 Gate Stargate openings).

Basic Build Order[edit]

Basic Build
9 Pylon
13 Gateway
15 Two Assimilators (Only Mine With Two Probes)
17 Pylon
17 Cybernetics Core (Slight Probe Cut)
18 Zealot (One Probe More In Each Gas, For a Total of Three)
22 Warpgate Research (Two Chronoboosts)
22 Sentry
25 Pylon
27 Zealot
29 Stargate
30 Gateway
31 Sentry
32 Pylon
34 Phoenix (Chronoboost)
36 Robotics Facility (Second Phoenix Immediately After)


  • You spend three Chrono Boost on your Nexus after the first Pylon finishes.
  • If you are on a two player map, scout the most obvious proxy locations for Gateways on 13 supply. On a four player map, delay scouting until your Phoenix is out.
  • Spend only two Chronoboosts on Warpgate Research.
  • Scout with your Phoenixes when your second Phoenix completes. You should use these to scout the opponent's entire base and to kill two Probes (preferably from gas; the opponent might forget to replace them).
  • Chronoboost Phoenixes until you have a total of three (your Robotics Facility should be complete when the third one finishes).
  • After getting those three Phoenixes out, you should produce an Immortal and treat this build as a 2 Gate Robo. Produce no more than three Phoenixes; this is as three Phoenixes are capable of one-shotting Probes and two-shotting Sentries.

Defending In The Early Game[edit]

The optimal defense versus a 3 Stalker Rush

The Zealot/Sentry/Zealot opening is a very effective defensive unit combination that will put you in a good position to trap and kill units at the bottom of your ramp.

The key to defending this kind of early aggression is to position your two Zealots on your ramp so that:

  • They cannot be seen from the low-ground.
  • Your opponent will not have vision on your high-ground.

From this position, you should be able to place a Force Field at the bottom of your ramp and use this trap to kill any unit trying to get up your ramp (e.g. 3 Stalker Rush).


As mentionned before, this build is safe against a large number of different openings, but some adaptations may be required depending on what you scout or expect from your opponent. This part covers all the openings you are likely to face, and how you should react upon scouting them.

Against a 4 Gate or 3 Gate All-In/Pressure[edit]

The best way to confirm this kind of opening (except for the obvious tells such as only one gas taken with saved Chronoboosts on the Nexus) is to time a scouting Probe to sneak into your opponent's base at 5:10. If you see no units (except for maybe a Stalker in the case of a 3 Gate Pressure), then your opponent is 4 Gating you, and their units are out on the map to plant a proxy Pylon near your base.

  • Safest Way to Hold (Confirmed 4 Gate)
If you confirm a 4 Gate, cancel the Stargate, match your opponent's Gateway count and defend as you would do for a regular 4 Gate. You will have an economic advantage if you manage to defend.
  • Risky Way to Hold (Unconfirmed 4 Gate)
When the 4 Gate hits you should have:
  • Two Zealots, Two Sentries
  • Three Force Fields
  • Two Gateways
  • Warpgate Tech 20 seconds away from being done
  • A building Phoenix
Finish the first Phoenix and use it to scout your opponent's base in order to determine whether it is a 3 Gate or a 4 Gate. Do not build the second one, you will need the gas for a third Sentry. Do build the Robotics Facility and add an additional Gateway (for a total of three). You will need to Force Field your ramp every 15 seconds in order to stop your opponent from gaining high-ground vision; this is really important as it will be very hard to defend once they get units into your main base.

Against Fake 4 Gate/3 Gate Pressure (eg. 1 Gate Expand)[edit]

This is a possibility with a Zealot/Sentry/Zealot opening, since your opponent knows that you cannot move out onto the map to challenge their expansion. In this case, you should either expand yourself or prepare for a one-base bust.

  • Given you scouted the expansion of your opponent quickly enough (with your 5:10 scouting Probe, for instance), you should be able to expand yourself while scouting your opponent and picking off some Probes with your Phoenixes.
  • Should you opt for a bust instead, add a third Gateway immediately and produce only Immortals, Sentrys and Zealots. The fight will be decided by your ability to Force Field the Zealots of your opponent away from your Immortals and on your ability to lift the opponent's Sentries with your Phoenixes to prevent them using Force Fields of their own.

Against One Base Blink[edit]

You will be able to identify this build with your scouting Phoenixes.

  • Build three Phoenixes as planned, add a third Gateway, and constantly Chronoboost Immortals. You should be able to keep track of the movements of the Stalkers using your Phoenixes.
  • Chronoboost an Observer as soon as you feel safe enough and try to snipe your opponent's using your Phoenixes. Should you be able to do this, you have fended off the attack.
  • In the case of a contain at the bottom of your ramp with Blink Stalkers, Tech to Colossus to break the contain.

Against Early Robo[edit]

This is the most favourable opening to face when doing this build. The threat of a Warp Prism opening is eliminated by the Phoenixes and an Immortal bust will be weakened by your ability to lift those units.

  • The recommended follow-up would be to expand yourself and to pick Probes with your Phoenixes to slow down your opponent's economy.
  • In the event of a 1 Base Colossus All-In from your opponent, your Phoenixes should be able to soften up the Colossi on the way to your base as the opponent will be lacking in anti-air units such as Stalkers and Sentries (that gas would have been spent on Colossi).

Against Stargate Openings[edit]

Your reaction depends on who got the earlier Stargate:

  • If your opponent reacted to your early double gas and skipped the Sentry, they may have an earlier Stargate than you. In this case, it is recommended to play defensive, stop Phoenix production and expand. If you fear that your opponent may try to bust you, adding one or two Cannons could be a good answer since those cannot be lifted.
  • If you have the Stargate earlier, you should absolutely try to get the first Phoenix kill in order to deter your opponent from continuing Phoenix production. In this case, build the three Phoenixes as usual, and use those to scout, pick Probes and lift Immortals in the case of an all-in.

Against DTs[edit]

The real threat of a Dark Templar opening is not the lack of detection (thanks to the well-timed Robotics Facility) but the ability to bust your ramp with Archons and Zealots.

  • The best answer to such one-base bust would be to wall-off your ramp with Pylons, Gateways and a Forge while targeting the units down from distance with your Stalkers and Immortals.
  • Should your opponent decide to expand instead, you will not be able to break them given how powerful their unit composition is defensively. Instead, you should expand yourself and wall-off your expand with Gateways whilst Teching to Colossus. Once again, the key element is to maintain the distance between your units and his or her units as Chargelot/Archon is far more powerful than Robotics-based compositions until a sufficient number of Colossi are produced.


Good maps to perform this build on are going to be maps which:

  • 1) Allow a lot of safe movement for your Phoenix around the map (lots of cliffs/walls to fly over to run from Stalkers, lots of dead air-only space to fly into).
  • 2) Restrict the viability of Blink Stalker harassment (because you want to follow-up with Robo Tech, and Blink can be tough to deal with).
  • 3) Minimize the area for which a 4 Gate's Pylon can exist below your ramp (you ideally want to be in range to Force Field your ramp AND be attacking Pylons on the low ground).
  • 4) Allow for a three building "Sim City" above a ramp with which to defend your Natural Expansion from Zealot/Archon builds.

Favorable Maps[edit]

The #'s next to the maps correspond to the above mentioned features which have deemed this map good for this build. For example, "1" means that this map allows safe movement for your Phoenixes.

Unfavorable Maps[edit]

The #'s next to the maps correspond to the opposite effect of the above mentioned pro features. For example, "1" means that this map does NOT allow safe movement for your Phoenixes.

Replays & VODs[edit]

South Korea Protoss HerO Versus One Base Blink
Poland Protoss MaNa
Date: 2012-06-18
Patch: 1.4.3 Replay VOD
South Korea Protoss MC Against a fast expand; very interesting variation of the opening (two Sentries, one Zealot)
Germany Protoss HasuObs
Date: 2012-07-05
Patch: 1.4.3 VOD
Protoss TomBomb Versus One Base Colossus. Note, this is a not a pro-level replay, so the execution of each player's build may not be perfect.
Protoss FxANightkol
Date: 2012-07-24
Patch: 1.4.3 Replay
Protoss TomBomb Versus One Base Blink. Note, this is a not a pro-level replay, so the execution of each player's build may not be perfect.
Protoss TheGodfather
Date: 2012-07-25
Patch: 1.4.3 Replay
Protoss TomBomb Versus One Base Colossus. Note, this is a not a pro-level replay, so the execution of each player's build may not be perfect.
Protoss BlueDolphinS
Date: 2012-07-24
Patch: 1.4.3 Replay