PvT Zest’s DT Drop

General Overview

This build opens with a fast Dark Templar drop off of 2 bases to keep your opponent defensive and allow you to secure a safe midgame economy.

Build Order

  • 14 – Pylon
  • 16 – Gateway
  • 17 – Assimilator
  • 20 – Nexus
  • 21 – @100% Gateway, start Cybernetics Core, Pylon, and 2nd Assimilator
  • 24 – @100% Cybernetics Core, start Adept and Warpgate Research
  • @100 Gas, start Robotics Facility
  • @100 Gas, start Twilight Council
  • @100 Gas, start Mothership Core
  • @100% Twilight Council, start Warp Prism and Dark Shrine
  • @300 Mins, start 2nd/3rd Gateway, 3rd/4th Assimilator, and Observer
  • Warp in 3 Dark Templar near your opponent’s base at your Warp Prism (@4:45ish).
    • You should have 3 Dark Templar, 1 Adept, 1 Warp Prism, 1 Observer, a Mothership Core, and roughly 45 Probes at home.


Use your first Adept to take map control and scout your opponent’s front. Watch for 1 base play, signifying early drops or air harass, or normal bio openers. Any early defense will come from your Mothership Core, so be sure your Pylons are well-placed.

During your DT drop, scout for your opponent’s midgame transition. Seeing multiple Factories means your opponent is going for Mech, while multiple Barracks or a researching Tech lab means your opponent is going for Bio. Try and spot when your opponent starts their 3rd Command Center.


This build gives you a strong 2 base economy, allowing either a 2 base Adept all-in or a quick lategame transition.

If you are choosing to follow-up with an Adept all-in, start Resonating Glaives, a Forge for +1 attack, and 5 more Gateways during your first drop. Keep your Warp Prism alive so that you can constantly warp-in Adepts near your opponent’s base. Hit your attack with your first full warp-in from all 8 Gateways.

If you are choosing to macro up behind this drop, start your 3rd Nexus, Blink, and 2 Forges for upgrades. You will want to transition to your AOE tech of choice (Disruptors, High Templars, or Colossus) as fast as possible to stay safe against follow-up attacks by your opponent.


  • Spend all of your early game chronoboost on your two Nexus to maximize Probe production.
  • Use your Mothership Core and Adept to stop your opponent scouting your Twilight Council follow-up. If there is no Reaper, scout your opponent’s front with your Adept.
  • If possible, hide the Twilight Council and Dark Shrine somewhere in your base that is less likely to be scouted by a scan.
  • Do NOT overcommit your Warp Prism. Both a follow-up attack and safe macro play require keeping your opponent locked in his base due to the threat of DTs.
  • Leave a Dark Templar outside your opponent’s base to spot when they move out or try to expand to a third base.

Pros and Cons

This build is an aggressive opener that hits your opponent with a fast Dark Templar drop, while still allowing for a standard mid or late game transition.

However, if your opponent scouts your build and easily defends it, you will typically be behind in tech. Furthermore, defending early Terran harass can be tricky with this build as you are quite low on units.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on larger maps where your opponent is less likely to attempt early pressure, and on maps where your opponent is less likely to open with a Reaper to scout your build.

  • Dusk Towers
  • Orbital Shipyard
  • Lerilak Crest
  • Ruins of Seras


Zest beating Taeja with this build two games in a row in Season 1 of the 2016 GSL

Zest’s DT Drop Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI