PvT Jim’s Phoenix/Colossus Build

General Overview

This build opens with a fast expansion in order to get an economic advantage, using an Oracle for harass potential and defense until you can setup a Phoenix/Colossus midgame unit composition.

Build Order

  • 9 – Pylon
  • 13 – Gateway
  • 15 – 2 Assimilators
  • 16 – Pylon
  • 18 – @100% Gateway, start Cybernetics Core
    • Put 2 Probes in each Assimilator (for a total of 4 in gas)
  • 19 – Zealot (*)
  • 23 – @100% Cybernetics Core (@95% Zealot), cancel Zealot (*) and start Nexus
  • 21 – Mothership Core
    • Put 1 more Probe in each Assimilator (for a total of 6 in gas)
  • 23 – Warpgate Research
  • 23 – Pylon
  • 24 – Stalker
  • @150 Gas, start Stargate and 3rd Assimilator (before natural is even done)
  • @100 Gas, start Sentry
  • @100 Gas, start Robotics Facility
  • @100% Stargate, start 1 Oracle and 4th Assimilator
  • @100% Robotics Facility, start Robotics Bay and up to 2 Observers
  • Benchmark: When your Robotics Facility finishes (@7:00ish), you should have 1 Oracle, 1 Stalker, 1 Sentry, a Mothership Core, and around 37 Probes.
  • @300 Mins, start 2nd and 3rd Gateways
  • @100% Robotics Bay, start Extended Thermal Lance
    • Start constant Colossus and constant Phoenix production (up to 7 each)
  • Benchmark: When your 2nd Colossus finishes (@10:00ish), you should have 2 Colossi, 3 Phoenix, 1 Stalker, 3 Zealots, 2 Sentries, and a Mothership Core with over 50 Probes.

(*) This Zealot is started in order to stop your opponent from blocking your natural with an Engineering Bay.  If you do not see an Engineering Bay at your natural when your Probe is about to build your natural Nexus, then cancel the Zealot.  If you do see one, then finish the Zealot, start a Stalker and Pylon, and delay your expansion timing until you can kill the Engineering Bay.

Note: If you are below Diamond league, I would suggest NOT making and then canceling this Zealot.  It is much better to be on time with your Nexus than to accidentally make an unnecessary Zealot that slows down your entire build.


Feel free to Probe scout after you build your Gateway in order to determine what your opponent is building.  The majority of information about what Terran is doing however will come from what your opponent hits you with.  If you spot a Reaper coming into your base, then try and stop it from seeing your building Stargate with your Stalker and Mothership Core (do not worry too much if it is spotted however, for your Stargate is only initially being used for one Oracle).  If you do not spot a Reaper, then send your Mothership Core and use its huge sight range to spot what buildings your opponent has inside of his base before returning home.

The majority of your midgame scouting will come from your Oracle.  Use it to spot whether your opponent is opening with Bio, going for fast upgrades, fast triple Command Center, or strong 2 base timing.  If you see an opening, then the Oracle can be used to harass your opponent’s SCVs, but the true purpose of the Oracle is constant scouting through the midgame.  Your opponent’s 3rd base timing is especially useful as a good benchmark for when you should try and take your 3rd base.


The build transitions into a Phoenix/Colossus midgame, with a standard Colossus/High Templar/Archon late game.  As soon as you spot your opponent taking his 3rd base, secure a third of your own, then start 2 Forges and several more Gateways.  Keep producing Phoenix and Colossus until you have around 7 of each (7 is a LOT for a normal game, but the heavily delayed High Templar tech means that you have a stronger army in the midgame), supplementing your army with Zealots when you have extra minerals.  Finally, when your +1/+1 is halfway done, be sure to start a Twilight Council for +2/+2, Zealot Charge, and Templar Archives in order to reach your lategame army.


  • In the early game, you are attempting to get your economy up enough to support Phoenix/Colossus on 2 bases.  Be sure to chronoboost your Probes constantly until you need to divert chronoboost to your Robotics Facility/Stargate.
  • Against Reaper play, position your initial Stalker and Mothership Core defensively.  Try to deny it scouting your Stargate, but don’t worry if it is scouted–the Stargate is only initially used for one Oracle.
  • The main purpose of your initial Oracle is for scouting.  While it is true that you can kill several SCVs if your opponent’s Marines are out of position, do NOT sacrifice your Oracle for a few extra kills.
    • The constant threat of harass and ability to scout for the first 10 minutes of the game is a lot more important than an extra SCV kill or two.
  • Position your Phoenix defensively outside your main (to absolutely shut down any midgame drops) up until you are ready to take your third.  If/when your Oracle dies, use your flock of Phoenix to take map control and kill several SCVs with any extra APM you have.
  • Take your third base and start 2 Forges as soon as you spot your opponent taking his 3rd base.
  • Build more Colossus (up to 7) than you normally would (around 4).  With the extra air support tanking and killing Vikings, your Colossus count must be quite large in order to take out your opponent’s Bio army.

Pros and Cons

This build gets out an early Oracle for harass potential and constant scouting.  It also gets a strong economy and uses a midgame Phoenix/Colossus unit composition to defend drops and bio pushes with ease.  This midgame composition is quite robust in terms of defending your third as well as stopping constant Medivac harass.

However, this build is short on Gateway units for the early stages of the game.  Thus, any early drops are quite hard to stop unless you are able to scout them beforehand and prepare appropriately.  Also, you do not start your Forges until you start your third base, so you will often be behind in upgrades against a macro-Terran.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on maps with a lot of airspace so that your initial Oracle and later Phoenix have lots of room to maneuver as well as shut down midgame Medivac drops.

  • Catallena
  • King Sejong Station
  • Merry Go Round
  • Overgrowth


Jim performing this build against Major in the WCS

Relevant Day9 Daily

Top Masters Example Replay of this build in action

Jim’s Phoenix/Colossus Build Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI


For more info, check out Minigun coaching Gemini in using this build.