PvP Hwangsin’s Stargate Expand

General Overview

This build opens with 5 Stalkers to apply pressure to your opponent and scout for what they’re opening.  It then follows up with a Stargate Expand, allowing you to reactively counter your opponent’s opening tech.

Build Order

  • 9 – Pylon
  • 13 – Gateway
  • 15 – 2 Assimilators
  • 16 – Pylon
  • 17 – @100% Gateway, start Cybernetics Core
    • Put 2 Probes in each Assimilator (for a total of 4 in gas)
  • 18 – 2nd Gateway
  • 20 – @100% Cybernetics Core, start Warpgate Research and Stalker
    • Put 1 more Probe in each Assimilator (for a total of 6 in gas)
  • 22 – @100 Gas, start Mothership Core
  • 24 – Pylon
  • 24 – @100% 2nd Gateway, start 2 more Stalkers
  • @100% 2nd and 3rd Stalkers, start 2 more Stalkers
  • @150 Gas, start Stargate
  • @400 Mins, start Nexus
  • @100% Stargate, start Oracle or Phoenix, depending on scouting info
  • Benchmark: When you Stargate finishes (@6:30ish), you should have 24 Probes, 5 Stalkers, and a Mothership Core

NOTE: This is one of the few builds on IMBAbuilds that does not have constant Probe production.  You are so tight on minerals in the early game that you cannot afford constant Probe production.  The supply counts of this build written below are accurate, but spots where the build cuts a Probe for several seconds will NOT be noted, so this build might not make much sense if you are merely reading.  I HIGHLY suggest you to watch the Tutorial Replay below to get a better grasp of this build than mere numbers can give you.


Because of how low on minerals you are, you cannot afford to Probe scout. Thus, all of your scouting comes from your Stalkers.

Being active with your initial 3 Stalkers around your natural, third, and watchtower will prevent your opponent from sneaking proxy Pylons past you and hitting you with a very fast Gateway unit attack.  Also, with your mobile army, you can head directly at your opponent in order to scout what units they have made and even attack them if they are attempting to expand quickly.  Your 5 Stalkers (with high ground vision from your Mothership Core) must scout what your opponent is doing, so that you can react accordingly with your Stargate in the midgame.

  • If your opponent is fast expanding, then produce an Oracle from your Stargate and attempt to pressure the front with your Stalkers as your Oracle does damage in the main.
  • If your opponent has multiple Sentries out, then attempt to bust up the ramp with your Stalkers to force him to use Force Fields to defend his ramp.
    • The most likely scenario is that your opponent is making a Robotics Facility behind their Sentry count.
    • However, it is also possible that your opponent is making a Stargate instead.
  • If your opponent has a Robotics Facility, then make an Oracle or two and keep them in their base by threatening to kill multiple workers if they leave.
  • If your opponent has a Stargate of their own, make constant Phoenix and position your units very defensively to deal with early Oracles.
  • If your opponent has a Twilight Council, then make one Oracle to stay defensive with in case of DTs.
    • Afterwards, you can make up to 3-4 Phoenix for map control and harass potential, but quickly transition into Void Ray/Immortal to stay safe against Blink play.


This build transitions into a macro game very easily.  However, the actual unit composition of that macro game very often depends completely on what build your opponent has chosen to open with.  If your opponent stays on one base for too long, then throw down more Gateways, constantly make units, and prepare to defend your natural with Void Rays, Stalkers, (possibly Immortals), and your Planetary Nexus.  In Stargate vs Stargate macro games, quickly go up to 2 Stargates constantly making Phoenix and get a Fleet Beacon for the Phoenix Range upgrade.  In Stargate vs Robotics macro games, use your Phoenix or Oracles to get an economic advantage, while transitioning into Sky-toss or a Phoenix/Blink all-in.  In Stargate vs Twilight macro games, defend your opponent’s potential Blink or Dark Templar harass, as you transition to Void Ray/Immortal for defense or pure Sky-toss.

Pros and Cons

This build is a very safe build that gets quick map control with 5 Stalkers early on for safety, aggression, and scouting.  With accurate scouting information, it then transitions into Stargate play and expands so that you can play a reactive macro game with a strong economy.

When you are out on the map with your first Stalkers, however, your opponent might sneak an Oracle into your main base.  Be careful that you are only aggressive when you can be aggressive and only use your Stalkers for scouting when you cannot be aggressive.  Finally, this build requires a LOT of scouting information to be executed well.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on smaller maps so that you can use your Stalkers to scout for more of your side of the map as well as to reach your opponent’s main base.  Regardless, it can be used on all maps to great effect.

  • Overgrowth
  • Catallena
  • Nimbus


Mid Masters Example Replay

Hwangsin’s Stargate Expand Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI