2 Rax Fast Expand Terran Build Order

Terran Build Order --> 2-Rax Fast Expand (you are here)

Best Against: Protoss
Maps: Any
Leagues: All

The 2 Rax Fast Expand is easily one of the best and most effective strategies to use in 1v1 matches against Protoss Players.

In fact, this Terran build order is the go-to build for a majority of Diamond players in TvP match-ups.

The basic premise behind this strategy is getting to expand quickly while getting just enough units to stop an early 4-Gate that typifies most of Protoss play.

The benefit of this build is that the expansion is that once you have secured your expansion, you are in a great position to win the game.

Additionally, no matter what build your opponent opens with, you can almost always open with this build. As a result, this build has become nearly universal for TvP match-ups.

Below, you will find the exact build order and some related strategies:

Build Order:

10/11: Supply Depot

12/19: Barracks

14/19: Refinery

15/19: Orbital Command (or 16/19 - personal preference)

16/19: Marine (need to kill off scouting worker as soon as it spawns)

17/19: Supply Depot

17/19: Tech Lab on first Barracks

17/19: Barracks

20/27: Marauder

20/27: Concussive Shells (research Stim or Combat Shields when this finishes - see strategy sections for more details.)

24/27: Marauder #2

24/27: Reactor on 2nd Barracks (as soon as it finishes)

24/27: Command Center (build this inside your base and move out later)

24/27: Supply Depot

26/27: Marauder

(..training Marines, Marauders, and SCVs)

31/35: Barracks (or Factory - depending on strategy - see below)

Note: I like to get an early Marauder + Concussive Shells as you can micro around any Zealots and outright kill any Stalkers that might come for some early harass.

By about 7:00 (or 7:30 if you build Orbital Command in your base first), you should land your Command Center at your expansion.

2 Rax Fast Expand Strategy

Now, what happens here is up to the player. There are two possible variations:

Defensive Option

If your opponent opened up with 4 gate and did not expand, once he sees your expansion he is practically guaranteed to move out. Otherwise, he will fall behind.

By the 7:00-7:30 mark when your expansion lands, your opponent is likely to already an army larger than yours with 4 Warp Gates up and running since he did not invest all those resources into a Command Center (or more for an Orbital Command).

Note: If you scout a 4-Gate, research Combat Shields (+10 HP for Marines) as this is a good talent for defending your expansion.

As a result, you will need some defense. If you scout 4-Gate and see no expansion, you need to put down 2-3 Bunkers at your Command Center. You may also want to land your 3rd Barracks outside your natural (or build a Factory here) as this will prevent the Protoss player from moving out.

Do not be cheap and forgo the Bunkers if your opponent does not have an expansion. If he is even half-way good he will push out after seeing your early expo. With Bunkers, you will be safe to build out your expo which will put you at a huge advantage by the 10 minute mark.

If I decide to defend my expansion rather than push out, I recommend teching into a Factory at ~31 supply count instead of grabbing a third Barracks.

In short, if you go for a fast expand and your opponent does not, and you successfully defend this expansion, you have won the game.

Note: On maps with backdoor rocks, be sure to keep an eye on them. If the Protoss player decides to destroy them around the 7 minute mark, you will want to throw up a Bunker here and move your army into position to block the ramp. A 4-Gate timing push up your back door can be deadly if it goes unnoticed.

Offensive Option

If your opponent manages to scout your expansion and sees your Command Center, there is an equally probable chance that he will go for a fast expansion himself. This is actually not a bad situation at all for the Terran player.

What you will want to do in this situation is grab a 3rd Barracks at ~31 supplies and throw on a Tech Lab and continue to pump Marines and Marauders. Once you are at about 45-50 supply count, push out.

Note: As soon as you scout the second Nexus being thrown down, grab Stimpacks at your Tech Lab.

This may not seem like a large army, but grabbing a Nexus does two things for the Protoss player. First off, it really cuts into their army size (4 Zealots will go a long way early in the game).

Secondly, and most importantly, the entrance to natural expansions is very wide. Any good Protoss player will not let you push with MM early in the game because he will split your army with Force Fields if you try to push up his ramp.

Since even the most favorable maps for Protoss need several forcefields to block off the entrance to the natural, this makes invading the opponent's base as a Terran player much easier.

The truth is that Marines and Marauders (especially with Stimpacks) utterly annihiliate tier 1 Protoss ground units (Stalkers, Zealots, and Sentries). Resource for resource, the Terran ground army is far superior in the early game.

By grabbing an early expansion, the Protoss player makes himself very vulnerable to a push which would normally be prevented thanks to Force Field. While you may not end the game here, you can put a huge dent in the Protoss player's army and force him to create more Tier 1 ground units.

This prevents the Protoss player from both teching up and from saturating his second expansion. Meanwhile, you will be winning in the resource war (since your units are better) and you can afford to use some resources for SCVs and tech thanks to MULEs.

Long Game

In both situations, you can tech up based on what your opponent does. In nearly all TvP match-ups, MMM will consist of the bulk of your army.

As the game moves on, add 3 Vikings for every 1 Colossus the Protoss player has. Add a few Ghosts for EMP if High Templar enter the field. Add Siege Tanks in once you take your 3rd expansion to provide some static defense and map control.


The 2 Rax FE build is one that all Terran players should master for any TvP match-ups. It truly is one of the most powerful build orders in the game and you can use it in practically any TvP game.