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Zatic Build (vs. Protoss)

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This article is outdated since it's an early alpha build The Reactor nerf and Concussive Shells requiring a research hurts the timing of this build, but the idea of the build can still be applied to more modern TvP builds.
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[e][h]TerranZatic Build
Two Reactors
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The "Zatic Build" was one of the first, maybe the first build to be coined in SC II. It can roughly be compared to the FD in BW. The main goal of this build is to get an expansion up by pushing the Protoss back, not to kill the opponent. The build is still strong enough to punish greedy Protoss and can cause damage and set the Protoss back if they are caught off guard.

Basic Build Order[edit]

Build constant Marauders from the first Barracks, constant Marines from the second. With 3 Marauders, 5-7 Marines and 2 SCV, launch your first attack. You will have 400 minerals about half way into the map, so build a CC instantly.

Engaging the Protoss[edit]

  1. Take care of your SCVs! Unlike in BW, SCVs in front will get auto-targeted by the AI very quickly and they will in fact die first. You want to keep them though to make a Bunker if the opportunity is there.
  2. Beware of probes! Your ranged units, especially the Marauders, get murdered surprisingly easily by pulled Probes. Do not get yourself trapped in a corner in the opponents base, the worker auto surround AI is very good and you will not be able to move in seconds when surrounded by Probes.
  3. Targeting: If you face Zealots / Stalker, dodge the Zealots and target the Stalkers. There is a lot you can do additionally with your Marauders, like individually target Zealots to slow them down, then resume fire on Stalkers. This just needs practice.

Pulling back[edit]

This build is supposed to get your expansion up. Do not over commit!

  • If you see a 2 or even 3 Gate opening, pull back once you reached the P base. Against 3 Gate, get a Bunker at your natural as well. You only have to survive and you will have the game.
  • Against a quick-teching Protoss, this opening is the most effective. You should be able to break the ramp easily against 1 gate openings and the attack will hit before any of the tech of Protoss is available. Try to do as much damage as possible, but pull back again once they pull Probes.
  • Use an SCV to build a Bunker at their natural and put your remaining units in there.
  • Against a fast Nexus, try to get that Bunker up! Again, priority number 1 is not to lose your SCV, so keep them in the back when engaging.


The main goal of this build is to get your expansion up and to get ahead in economy. Once you have your expansion, the build can transition into almost any tech path you want to choose. Just make sure you get your detection up quickly after you expansion against a teching Protoss and get the Orbital Command as soon as possible after.

A viable option is the mass Marauder with Ghost and EMP followup, since you have the 2 Barracks already. Obviously this depends on the opponent's choice, but against a pure ground army in the early midgame this is a deadly combination. This is a very common transition as Protoss often respond with an Immortal Rush. Due to the cost of Ghosts, if you are considering this transition, it is suggested that you do not take the SCVs off gas.