Starcraft 2 1 Gate Robo Safe Expand Build Order
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Guide --> Protoss Build Orders --> 1 Gate Robo
In Protoss vs Terran, if you want to take your natural expansion relatively early without
risking an instant loss to an aggressive Terran build, the 1 Gate Robo Safe Expand build is the build for you.
This is the most conservative of the economy-focused PvT openers.
Going Nexus first is somewhat risky in PvT, particularly on a 2 player map. There are three things that can
shoot a Nexus-first build in the foot:
- Reaper: It is very popular for Terran players to open up with a Reaper in PvT. This gives
the Terran the ability to scout. You need a Mothership Core or a Stalker to stop a Reaper. If you go Nexus
first, the Reaper will cause a ton of damage before you get up to Cybernetics Core technology.
- Widow Mine: Another common opener is for Terran player to rush to a Widow Mine on one
base. If you go for Nexus first, you will not have detectors out for several minutes before the Terran player's
Widow Mine is at your base. This is a disaster.
- Banshee: While not as common, a quick cloaked Banshee can cause serious problems if you go
Nexus first. You will not have any detectors out to see it, during which it will destroy most of your
The solution here is the 1 Gate Robo Safe Expand build. This involves opening with 1 Gateway in standard timing
in order to get out a quick Stalker. As soon as you have the gas, get a Robotics Facility started. You can then cut
production and save for your Nexus. This way, you will have a Stalker to deal with the Reaper as well as an
Observer out as fast as you could hope to stop any Widow Mines or Banshees.
1 Gate Robo Safe Expand Build Order
Here is the build order:
17/18: Cybernetics Core
23/26: Warp Gate Research
27/34: Robotics Facility
31/34: Mothership Core
From here, you can progress into whatever mid-game tactic you like. With the Robotics Facility down, you are
easily set up to go into Colossi tech, but you could easily switch into any tech path. We will discuss the options
Strategies and Troubleshooting
Whether you want to make a timing attack or continue focusing on your economy, you will need to pick a tech path
from here. Whether you want to initiate an attack or just need to defend yourself, you will need more than just
starter Gateway units to protect yourself against the Terran player.
One good tech option is to add on a Twilight Council and then a Templar Archives. This tech is great versus
bio-based Terran army compositions. This gives you access to relatively early High Templar. You will also want to
add on a minimum of 6 Gateways. With a Templar Archives and 6+ Warp Gates, you will have the infrastructure and
tech you need to safely secure a third base.
You can also make a timing attack as soon as Psionic Storm finishes. You will want 8 or 9 Warp Gates if you want
to go this route. You will also want to try to get up to at least +1/+1 by the time the tech finishes.
If you decide on Twilight tech as your first choice, be sure to add on a second Forge and start focusing on
ground weapons and armor upgrades. Early army attacks with mostly Gateway units need to be at least equal upgrades
(preferably an upgrades advantage) to remain competitive against bio forces.
Finally, make sure to get Zealot charge as soon as you can. Without Charge, Zealots are not effective once
Terran forces get Stimpack.
Since you already have the Robotics Facility down early with this build, it is very easy to add on a Robotics
Bay to get quick access to Colossi. This is a good option if you want to grab a relatively early third base.
Immortals are great versus mech builds, whereas Colossi are great versus bio. With some Gateway support, you can
take your third base relatively early as a Protoss player. This extra economical output can allow the Protoss to
focus on multiple tech paths before making a major attack.
Generally, you can comfortably make use of 2 Robotics Facilities and 6 Warp Gates. However, you do not want to
throw these down up front. Focus primarily on Probe production, tech, and upgrades. In particular, you need
Extended Thermal Lances to make the Colossus useful. Only add on the production facilities as you are forced to by
the Terran player. Use your initial Observer to scout out the opponent, and delay your additional production
facilities as long as you can until the Terran starts building up forces.
Once you get the key tech you need as well as some production, you should be able to safely grab your third. At
this point it may also be wise to add on a Photon Cannon in each mineral line to help fight off Terran drops.
A less common strategy with this opener is to switch into Stargate tech. This works best when the Terran
opponent is playing full mech. You can add on 1 Stargate initially and use it to pump out an Oracle or two in order
to harass the opponent. Once your natural expansion is up and running, you can add on 2 more Stargates and pump
Void Rays out of all three Stargates. In just a few minutes, you can be up to 6 or 9 Void Rays.
If you can hide the Stargates and the Void Rays for the minute or two while they are building up, you can
surprise a full mech player with a handful of Void Rays. Full mech armies have no way of dealing with large
numbers of Void Rays, so if you surprise the opponent, this strategy works extremely well. Most Terran do not play
full mech, so you only get to use this strategy once in awhile.
Defending the Rush
While you might have a plan to expand quickly in your head, you may have to alter your build if the Terran
opponent does something cheesy like a 1-base 3 Barracks all-in attack. This build can easily defend such
attacks, you just may need to modify your build slightly. You just may have to cut Probe production temporarily and
add on two more Gateways before expanding. With three Gateways and a Robotics Facility, you will do just fine.
Against 1/1/1 style timing attacks, you should not have to alter your build significantly. The early Mothership
Core and Nexus means that you should have enough energy for a Photon Overcharge by the time any 1/1/1 attack can
hit. Of course, you will want to add on more Warpgates in order to hold off such an attack, but you would be adding
on more Warpgates anyway no matter what the Terran is doing.
The 1 Gate Robo Safe Expand is the optimal balance between safety and economic efficiency in Starcraft 2. This
build protects you from losing against early Reapers or cloaked units with minimal delay on the timing of your