Starcraft 2 4-Gate Build Order - HotS
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Guide --> Protoss Build Orders --> 4-Gate (you are
In Wings of Liberty, the 4-Gate was an extremely popular
and effective build order that was featured in the majority of Protoss versus Protoss matches. When performed
well, it even could be used against Terran and Zerg players.
The popularity of this build has decreased with Heart of the Swarm as there are now many options that are all
viable for Protoss players to open with.
Just because the 4-Gate is not as popular as it used to be does mean that we should forget about it altogether.
This build just needs a minor HotS update and it can be very effective at the high level of play when well
I have gone ahead updated the old 4-Gate for HotS, delaying the attack by a couple seconds in order to add on a
little more gas and a get out a Mothership Core. When this build is perfected, it is still very deadly, and the
Mothership Core makes it stronger than ever.
4-Gate Build Order for HotS
Here is the recommended build order for using the classic 4-Gate Build Order in Heart of the Swarm:
9/10: Pylon (scout with this Probe)
12/18: Gateway (Chrono-Boost Probes upon building - do not Chrono Boost before dropping Gateway)
14/18: Assimilator x2 (2 Probes at each Geyser)
17/18: Cybernetics Core
22/26: Warp Gate Research
24/26: Mothership Core
28/34: Send out Probes to start dropping proxy Pylons
29/34: Gateway x3
Once your 3 Gateways finish, your Warp Gate Technology should be finishing up as well. Make sure you start
researching this as soon as your Cybernetics Core finishes, otherwise it will not be ready for you once your
Gateways finish. Use a few Chrono Boosts on the research to speed up the research.
You should have several units at home and several proxy Pylons around the map when the three extra Gateways
finish. Turn them all into Warp Gates and warp in a round of units at your best proxy Pylon. Send in the units from
your main base (i.e. the Mothership Core and whatever came out of the first Gateway) to meet these warped in units
at their Pylon.
When the main army makes it to the proxy Pylon, you should be ready to warp in another round of units. Warp in
this round, then go in for the attack. Bring a Probe with you to drop a Pylon inside the opponent's base in order
to warp in your next round of Gateway units even faster.
Versus Protoss Players
Just like in Wings of Liberty, this modified 4-Gate is strongest against Protoss players. When performed well,
it can be very difficult for even great Protoss players to stop. Since the 4-Gate has become less popular, a lot of
players have lost the ability to defend against it so easily. Instead, they are used to rushes that hit a little
earlier or economic builds or high tech attacks that hit a little later.
Your primary goal when executing this build is getting up a Pylon inside the main Protoss base. Unlike in Wings
of Liberty, where Sentries could Force Field the enemy ramp and prevent your units from running up, this is no
longer the gas in HotS. The Mothership Core can focus-fire down Sentries and provide vision of the high ground for
Stalkers. Sentries can either be pushed away or destroyed before you even run up into the main ramp. Once up
in the ramp, add on a Pylon in the Protoss main and use that to warp in units.
The two main weaknesses of this build are Photon Overcharge and Dark Templar Rush.
With Photon Overcharge, the Protoss player may be able to hold you off with just 2 or 3 Gates while they work
towards a Stargate or Robotics Facility. Void Rays and Immortals are both good against Gateway units, so the Photon
Overcharge can delay you just enough to allow the Protoss opponent to get out some high tech units that may counter
To stop Photon Overcharge, pull back and wait it out. Do not try to engage the Protoss while Photon Overcharge
is up. Warp in another wave or two of units while you wait for Photon Overcharge to go away. Use this time to put
up a proxy Pylon in a safe spot in the opponent's base.
The hardest thing to stop is the Dark Templar rush. If the Protoss delays you with Photon Overcharge. You can
try to ignore just one or two Dark Templar if you have Stalkers and the Mothership Core. You can use stutter step
micro to minimize Dark Templar uptime while your Stalkers take down any enemy Stalkers. Your Mothership Core can
attack Probes safely during this time if you destroy all the anti-air. This will buy you enough time to get up a
Robotics Facility and an Observer.
Versus Zerg Players
The 4-Gate can work against Zerg players, but it is not popularly used. The reason is that Zerg tier 1 units
fair decently against Gateway units. Zerg players can easily pump out a lot of Zerglings and Roaches by the time a
4-Gate hits. Even if you destroy one Zerg base, the Zerg will still be up, as Zerg players like to drop a
third Hatchery by the 5 minute mark in PvZ.
Most Protoss players instead prefer to go for a Nexus before making any early attacks. This allows
the Protoss an option for moving into the mid game if their attack loses steam after inflicting a lot of
damage. Additionally, for really early attacks, a quick Stargate is typically used rather than a
fourth Gateway. Three Warpgates and a Stargate compliment each other much better versus Zerg, as Zerg rarely has
behind tier 1 by the time these attacks hit. With little anti-air, the Protoss air can take out tougher ground
units while Protoss Zealots out of the Warp Gate can take out everything else.
Versus Terran Players
The 4-Gate is not commonly used against Terran players simply because there are better early attacks to use. It
hits a little too late and it is especially vulnerable to Widow Mine play, since Widow Mines require detection and
can be produced earlier by the Terran than the Protoss can initiate a 4-Gate attack.
Instead, most Protoss rushes involve earlier attacks out of just 1-2 Gateways, since these attacks hit before
the Terran could possibly have Widow Mines. You can try the build if you want, and it still will work often, but
you may lose some games to Widow Mines in the process.
4 Gate Build Order Conclusion
While the 4-Gate is not as popular or effective as it used to be, a well-executed 4-Gate is still a powerful
Starcraft 2 rush, particularly in PvP. Try out this Heart of the Swarm variation that uses an extra Probe on
gas and an early Mothership Core to supplement the timing attack and will see that the 4-Gate is still alive and
well in Starcraft 2.