Starcraft 2 PvZ 1 Gate No Gas Expand Build

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Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodIf you are tired of using the Forge Fast Expand build against Zerg players, you might want to try the 1 Gate No Gas Expand build. This involves getting down a Gateway and then immediately taking your natural expansion.

There are two effective ways to go for a Nexus off of a Gateway rather than a Forge in PvZ:

  • Getting the Nexus down right after dropping a Gateway and a second Pylon. This is what we will be covering on this page. The advantage of this build is that it is much more economical than getting gas and the Cybernetics Core before the Nexus.
  • Getting the Cybernetics Core and 2 Assimilators going before the Nexus is known as the 1-Gate 2-Gas Expand opener. This build makes it easier to transition into an early Stargate, but it is not as economical as getting the Nexus immediately after the Gateway. This build however is a little safer, as the quick Mothership Core helps defend against Zergling rushes. If you are interested in this build, see our section on the 1-Gate 2-Gas Expand opener. This page will focus on the 1 Gate No Gas build order.

Versus the Forge Fast Expand

When using the Forge Fast Expand, Protoss players are effectively telling the Zerg that they will not be able to initiate an attack within the next few minutes, since the Cybernetics Core will be significantly delayed and Warp Gate Research takes so long to finish. Top Zerg players have become accustomed to expanding and focusing on macro in response to the Forge Fast Expand.

With the Gateway-first builds, the Protoss player is much more capable of initiating an early attack if they perceive Zerg weakness. The early Gateway (and possibly gas and Cybernetics Core) makes it possible for a Protoss player to put out pressure with the Mothership Core and a few Gateway units as early as the 6:00 mark. Similar pressure would not be possible with the Forge Fast Expand until 7:30 or later.

1 Gate No Gas Expand Build Order

Here is the build order for this particular opener:

9/10: Pylon (scout after starting the Pylon)*
13/18: Gateway
17/18: Pylon
18/18: Nexus
19/26: Assimilator x2
19/26: Cybernetics Core
22/26: Zealot
26/26: Stalker
26/26: Warp Gate Research
29/36: Mothership Core
31/36: Stalker
34/36: Pylon
39/44: Sentry
40/44: Gateway x2 (completing wall in with Pylon and Sentry if needed)
42/44: Pylon

*You need to scout with your initial worker to check for Zergling rushes. You cannot go Nexus right after Gateway if the opponent decides to rush Zerglings. The scouting Probe helps give you the green light for expanding and going along with this build. If early Zerglings come out, you may have to swap to the 1-Gate 2-Gas Expand opener n order to get out an early Cybernetics Core.

From here, you have a lot of options. If the Zerg has taken a third base, the most popular option is to add on a Stargate and start pumping out Phoenix. Use your three Warpgates, the Mothership Core, and the initial Zealot and two Stalkers to make a small attack, delaying the Zerg while your Phoenix count builds.

If you do not want to go for air, you could also add on a Robotics Facility instead of a Stargate and start pumping out Immortals in order to go for a variant of the Immortal and Sentry timing attack. You would have the advantage of extra gas with this build but have the disadvantage of no Forge upgrades.

Strategy Considerations

There are a few things you should consider when trying to implement this build. The first is how to deal with Zergling rushes, while the second is what to do if your timing attack with Gateway and Stargate units fails. We will look at both these scenarios below.

Zergling Rushes

As mentioned earlier, you need to send out an early scouting Probe to the Zerg base to check for Zergling rushes. If you go for the Nexus right after the Gateway and your opponent has 10 Pooled, your odds of losing the game are nearly 100%. You already sealed your fate once you dropped that Nexus. The scouting Probe will help check for these rushes before you actually plant the Nexus.

If you scout Zerglings, you need to add on your Cybernetics Core as soon as you can. Chrono Boost out the Zealot and use it along with a few workers to chase away Zerglings while you work on getting out either the Mothership Core or a Stalker. Once you get out one of these two units, you can push away any number of early Zerglings to secure your expansion and start climbing the tech tree.

Failed or Stopped Attack

While a well-executed timing attack out of the 1-Gate expand build order can often result in a win, sometimes even when you inflict a lot of damage, the Zerg will eventually stabilize and stop your attack.

At this point, if you inflicted a lot of damage, you may still be ahead in the game - you just need a good transition. If you delayed the Zerg significantly, you will want to grab your third expansion shortly and work up towards your tech path of choice. Colossi tend to be a good choice from here, particularly if the Zerg opts for Hydras in response to your Phoenix opener.


Give this build a shot and you will be surprised at just how effective it can be. Many Zerg players do not know how to react when they see a Protoss player going for an economic opening that does not involve a fast Forge and may not be prepared for the early pressure this opening can put out.

Click Here to Get The Osiris Method