Follow us on Twitter @LiquipediaSC2 if you'd like to be kept up to date on all things StarCraft II!

Tinman 11 Gate Into 3 Gate Pressure (vs. Protoss)

From Liquipedia StarCraft 2 Wiki
This strategy is for a previous expansion of the game.
[e][h]Tinman 11 Gate 3 Gate
Strategy Information
Popularized by:


This build is a fun, alternative way to open in PvP that forces the opponent into an uncomfortable position early on. It focuses on achieving a warp-in ~12 seconds sooner than even a 12 Gateway opening can have Warpgate Research finished (in the case where the 12 Gate player uses 2 Chrono Boosts on their Nexus before spending the rest on Warpgate Research). It has the potential to outright kill greedy openings that do not add additional Gateways before getting a Tech structure. It is also great for lower level players who are willing to put the time into practicing this build properly, as the early Gateways make proxy Gateway builds and Cannon Rushes easier to hold off.


The goal of the Tinman (named after Oz) is to do economic damage early on against builds that do not spend much Chrono Boost on Warpgate research. In the event of a 4 Warpgate Rush, the goal changes to forcing your 4 Gating opponent into warping in their first round of units at their main base as opposed to warping in at a proxy Pylon, thus buying yourself time to prepare.

Basic Build Order[edit]

"The Tinman 11 Gateway Pressure Build"
  1. Start a Probe first.
  2. Scout with the Probe that builds your Cybernetics Core.
  3. Chrono Boost the Cybernetics Core 5 times whilst Warpgate Research is being completed.
  4. Do not mine from this Assimilator immediately, it is only taken so early so that it can't be stolen during your pressure.
  5. Cut Probe production briefly whilst the two Gateways are placed.
  6. Place this Pylon by your ramp so that it gives you vision of the bottom of your ramp. This will make it easier to spot the opponent attempting to try to warp-in a Pylon near your ramp if they're attempting a 4 Gate Rush.
  7. Place these Pylons at your opponent's ramp. One is placed at the bottom of their ramp, the second is placed at the top of their ramp. If your Probe takes a Zealot swipe, pull it back and put the 2nd Pylon on the low ground as well. It's feasible that they have a Sentry out at this point, so if you get hit by a Sentry on the way up or you see one come out, bring your Zealot to the high ground. If they Force Field behind it, put the 2nd Pylon at the bottom of the ramp and target the Sentry with your Zealot (and Stalker from the low ground if possible).


These notes are almost directly taken from Alejandrisha's thread on the TL forums[1], although some changes have been made to improve their readability on Liquipedia.

1st Warp-in (3 Stalkers) 5:22
second Warp-in (3 Zealots) 5:54
Single Assimilator 4 Gate:
1st Warp-in (4 Stalkers) 5:34
second Warp-in (4 Zealots) 6:07
Two Assimilator 4 Gate:
1st Warp-in (4 Stalkers) 5:34
second Warp-in (4 Zealots) 6:07
(The second Assimilator in the bottom example is a fake to try and prevent the opponent from knowing that a 4 Gate Rush is coming. It is not cancelled but it also isn't mined from; it is started after the 1st Stalker is queued up)

To the right are a range of timings comparing optimal warp-in times for the Tinman build with optimal warp-in times for 4 Gate Rushes. What these timings mean is that, against the fastest Warpgate timing your opponent can muster after opening with a 12 Gate, your warp-ins come 12 seconds before theirs do. Put simply, they cannot warp-in offensively (even if they got Pylons up by your base) without forcing a base trade situation in which you are hitting their Probes before they are hitting yours. You should use these 12 seconds to target down Probes and pick off their units if they are actually trying to engage you. In the meantime, you have a second Assimilator up as well as more Probes (even if you haven't killed any).

If they in fact 4 Warpgate Rushed and you have 12 seconds, then it is recommended that you only warp in the Stalkers aggressively unless their Warpgate is slow because of Chrono Boost inefficiency. You can gauge this by seeing when their Gateways begin to transform into Warpgates: You have 11 seconds between when you hear that sound and when their units are actually fully warped in. Once their first warp-in is complete, you will have 4 Stalkers and 1 Zealot to their 6 Stalkers and 1 Zealot if they haven't yet moved out and hasn't lost any units to your pressure. Get the hell out of there if all the Stalkers are being warped-in defensively. Your second warp-in round, which will consist of Zealots, should be warping-in at your own base at this point. If they are 4 Gating you and they are smart, they will have a proxy Pylon up somewhere by your natural and will most likely use their Zealot warp-in there. Your Zealot warp in is faster than their, but they'll most likely have 4 Zealots up against your 3. This is nothing huge to worry about as long as you warped in your Zealots defensively as good micro and good Probe usage can make up that defecit until your Stalkers return back to base.

Against some builds you straight up win after your first warp in. These builds include any kind of 1 Gate Robo build, any fast expansion build, or pretty much any build that gets less than 3 Gateways before putting up a different Tech structure. In the case that you do not kill them, continue to make Probes. You will have enough gas for 2 Sentries after your Zealot warp-in so counter-attacks after you retreat will fall flat. From here you can go up your Tech tree of choice knowing you have a Probe lead.

Keep in mind that there is a 12 Gateway 16 Cybernetics Core 4 Warpgate Rush that you can do that only Chrono Boosts the Nexus one time. The result is they get Warpgate 7 seconds after you do with an 11 Gate, instead of 12 seconds after. This should not worry you as your earlier Warpgate timing still forces them to warp in their Stalkers defensively, which was the goal of the build to begin with. However, you are most likely not going to be able to do a whole lot with 7 seconds, so if you happen to come across this (you'll be able to tell by how much chrono boost they are saving; if they have as much as you when their Core is building then they only used 1 chrono boost on probes) simply warp in your Stalkers aggressively and then fall back whilst warping in your Zealots defensively. In the meantime, you have your second gas up and you have a Probe lead[2].

Mental Triggers for Using Chrono Boost[edit]

  • Gateway -> Start Probe -> Chronoboost Nexus
  • Core Finished -> Start Warpgate -> Chronoboost Core
  • 23 Probe -> second Gas: Chronoboost Core
  • 23 second Gate -> Chronoboost Core -> 3rd Gate
  • 24 Pylon -> Chronoboost Core
  • Start low ground proxy Pylon -> Chronoboost Core -> second proxy Pylon

Replays and VODs[edit]

South Korea Protoss Oz Oz using the opening against Sage in GSL October 2011. A subscription may be required to view this content.
South Korea Protoss Sage
Date: 2011-10-03
Patch: 1.4.1 VOD
South Korea Protoss Oz Oz using the opening against JYP in GSL October 2011. A subscription may be required to view this content.
South Korea Protoss JYP
Date: 2011-09-26
Patch: 1.4.0 VOD