PvT MC’s 2 Stalker + Mothership Core Opener

General Overview

This PvT opener opens with 2 Stalkers and a Mothership Core to take advantage of the weakness of early game Marines when they cannot hide inside a bunker.

Build Order

  • 9 – Pylon
  • 13 – Gateway
  • 15 – 2 Assimilators
  • 16 – Pylon
  • 18 – @100% Gateway, start Cybernetics Core
  • 21 – Pylon
  • 21 – @100% Cybernetics Core, start Warpgate Research and 1st Stalker
  • 23 – Mothership Core
  • 25 – @100% 1st Stalker, start 2nd Stalker
  • @100% Mothership Core, move out with 1st Stalker and Mothership Core, and rally 2nd Stalker to fight
  • Benchmark: @5:30ish, you should get to your opponent’s base with 2 Stalkers and a Mothership Core on most maps.


This build is a very safe, general opener that gives you both map control with your stalkers and early game defense with your Mothership Core.  Thus, you have no need of any probe scouting except to find out where your opponent has spawned.  The rest of your scouting will come from what you force your opponent to reveal to you with your initial 3 units harass.


This build transitions very smoothly into any play: Expansion, DT rush, Oracle harass, or Robotics follow-up.  As long as you spend your next 100 (or 150) gas on your tech of choice when you start to move out, you can follow this opener with any sort of tech play to apply even more pressure to your opponent.  Thus, this opener allows for a sort of 1-2 punch against a Terran opponent.

Pros and Cons

This build opens with a lot of units, so you are safe against any early pressure and also you can do some early game harass in order to force a response from your opponent or deal crippling damage.  You get map control and safety when you open with this build.

However, opening with this build delays your expand a lot more than if you had opened straight 1gate FE.  Because you have less economy, the midgame Terran timing attacks are even scarier than normal (unless you successfully do damage with this opener).

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on smaller maps so that you can use your first three units to apply lots of pressure. It is also better on maps where you can hit the main base from outside the natural expand, so that your stalkers can do even more damage.

  • Overgrowth
  • King Sejong Station
  • Nimbus


MC beating MVP with this build and an Oracle followup at MLG Dallas 2013

Liquid`Hero performing this build in a KR GM ladder game

Mid Masters Example Replay of this build in action

MC’s 2 Stalker + Mothership Core Opener Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI