TvP: Quick Cyclone All-in with a Proxied Second Factory (Terran vs Protoss)

Last updated on Mar 26, 2018 at 17:00 by Wardi 1 comment

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In modern day Terran vs Protoss, the Terran players find themselves with a lot more options than they had in the past when it comes to openings and ways in which to take advantage of the game from an early stage. Some would argue it is more important now than ever before that this is the case, due to the difficulty of TvP in the mid game and hence the late game as well. Sometimes you just need to pick up that cheeky win and that is exactly what this build is designed to do.

By adding a quick second Factory Icon Factory in a proxy location it is possible to pump out a dangerous number of Cyclone Icon Cyclones very quickly, while still looking like a regular Terran opening, and to find yourself taking a fast early advantage or win. This is a build which needs to do damage early, otherwise you will be behind (even though you do take an early expansion). Check out this cheeky & cheesy build which a lot of the pro Terran players such as uThermal, SpeCial and others have been mixing into their series.


Build Order

As with all of our build orders, constant worker production is assumed unless mentioned otherwise and so all builds are based on supply count timings. Rough in-game timer points have been added at points of the build.

  • 14 — Build Supply Depot Icon Supply Depot as a part of wall.
  • 16 — Build Barracks Icon Barracks.
  • 16 — Build Refinery Icon Refinery.
  • 17SCV Icon SCV goes across the map in a way which will avoid a Probe Icon Probe scout, so it can stay hidden to proxy later. Ideally you would like to confirm there is an expansion – which can be done without showing the SCV due to the lack of vision on a building Nexus Icon Nexus - you can approach the natural expansion from 1:30 onwards and confirm the expanse before putting the SCV in a hidden position where you will place the proxy later in the build.
  • 19 — Upgrade Command Center Icon Command Center to Orbital Command Icon Orbital Command.
  • 19 — Recruit Marine Icon Marine.
  • 20 — Build Command Center Icon Command Center.
  • 20 — Build Reactor Icon Reactor on the Barracks Icon Barracks.
  • 21 — Build Supply Depot Icon Supply Depot.
  • 22 — Build Factory Icon Factory.
  • 23 — Build Refinery Icon Refinery.
  • 23 — As the Reactor Icon Reactor completes start constant Marine Icon Marine production.
  • 28 — Build Factory Icon Factory #2 with the SCV Icon SCV you have hidden across the map.
  • 28 — Upgrade to Orbital Command Icon Orbital Command on the natural base.
  • 29Cyclone Icon Cyclone production begins. Prioritize Cyclone production over Marine Icon Marine and SCV Icon SCV production. The important part of this build is having a successful attack which hits as soon as possible.
  • At this stage the game should be around 3:30 in the game, with your second Factory Icon Factory finished and starting to produce Cyclone Icon Cyclones - you should have 7 Marine Icon Marines and 24 SCV Icon SCVs with your first Cyclone about to finish.
  • 41 — Build Supply Depot Icon Supply Depot on the natural base.
  • Continue to produce Cyclone Icon Cyclones, Marine Icon Marines, and SCV Icon SCVs as you begin your attack. Your attack should be leaving around when your first Cyclone is ready in order to sync it with the first Cyclone from the proxy coming out and being able to attack into the natural. The idea is to continue being aggressive to either win the game or do close-to-game-ending damage, but if you do need to transition, you can move into extra Barracks Icon Barracks and into a more regular mid-game set-up.

Execution of the Build

Time to go into some specifics of how this build works and how to be successful with it. Obviously one of the big things is stopping it from being scouted, which is why it is important to build the proxy Factory Icon Factory in a position where it is not going to be seen, while also being close enough to reinforce quickly with additional Cyclone Icon Cyclones as they are ready. The ideal position is somewhere just outside of where the third base will usually be, while also avoiding flight paths from your opponent's main base to your own so that it is not seen by an Oracle Icon Oracle opening. If you are scouted, you can continue to attempt the attack. (Depending on when it is scouted, it may be better to just cancel the Factory and to go into a Starport Icon Starport at home and go into a different follow-up.)

The build is going to work best against a Stargate Icon Stargate or a Twilight Council Icon Twilight Council opening as a Robotics Facility Icon Robotics Facility early on will give the Protoss player access to Immortal Icon Immortal production which is going to shut down the attack very quickly. Against the other options you are generally going to be hitting before something like a Blink Icon Blink upgrade is completed or a defensive air unit comes out. Your biggest issue in most attacks is going to be defensive Shield Battery Icon Shield Batterys - so these should be the first target because with two Cyclones and the Marine Icon Marines they will go down extremeley quickly when you target them down. If you cannot get close enough, you will have to settle for just draining their energy, but this takes a lot longer.

Against Stargate Icon Stargate you may have to hang back for a while to defend the first Oracle Icon Oracle, although as soon as you push it back with your Cyclone Icon Cyclone, you should be good to go, as the Oracle will not have the energy to attack again for a long time. If they do decide to stay aggressive with the Oracle, it simply means there is even less for them to defend with at home. (Oracles are surprisingly useful against Cyclones.) When attacking, your priorities should be to kite away from the Oracles with the Cyclones and target firing with the Marines. A Void Ray Icon Void Ray can be a nice touch, but the issue with this unit is that it is super kite-able. Micro well against a Stargate opening and you will in general have a lot of success with this build.

Against Twilight Council Icon Twilight Council openers your biggest fear is Blink Icon Blink - though it will not be ready for your first attack. In these scenarios the Protoss player will be looking to buy time by kiting back and allowing the Nexus Icon Nexus on the natural to tank some damage. By the time Blink is finished the game should be mostly decided - either you have broken through and won or your opponent has held you off, at which point with Blink you have no hope of continuing to trade well. The best idea is to back away at this stage if possible and to try and macro out of it.

The Cyclone Icon Cyclones are always going to be the key unit of this build and the more you get out of them the more success you are likely going to have. Make sure to consistently rally new Cyclones across the map and try to use the Marine Icon Marines to protect them. You can even pull 3-4 SCV Icon SCVs with the push to repair the Cyclones during the attack which can sometimes make all the difference in the first all-or-nothing push forwards.

In some scenarios the Protoss may try and give up their Natural Expansion. At this point you have a strong economic advantage because you still expanded and you did not cut SCV Icon SCVs too heavily (only to prioritize unit production). If you picked off some units already you will have the chance to possibly move up the ramp and end the game, otherwise you can set up a hard contain on the bottom of the ramp and just delay them from retaking their natural expansion for as long as possible. Just keep in mind the ways you can lose (Dark Templar Icon Dark Templar, Warp Prism Icon Warp Prism plays or something similar). Do not overstay your welcome; at some point it is better to head home and let them have the base rather than losing your army. As with most builds, a lot of this is intuition which comes with playing the build a lot and experiencing different scenarios with differing levels of success.



This is a variation of a fairly popular Terran cheese against Protoss which can allow you to take a quick win or a heavy early advantage if it goes well, however, it is heavily committed and so if you do not do any damage, you will find yourself in a difficult position to return to the game from. This is not the sort of build you use while thinking of macroing later in the game as the first attack can determine the victor there and then. It is better used on smaller maps for reinforcement distance from the Factory Icon Factory which is at home, but can be used on larger maps to catch your opponent off guard as it will be more unexpected.

The power of this build lies in the Cyclone Icon Cyclones and the insane power they have in the early stages of the game, especially if you are able to get multiple of them at your opponent's base quickly. An underprepared opponent will straight up die and with good control you can manipulate the situation into your favor.

Enjoy adding this build to your arsenal in TvP and good luck on the ladder!



  • 26 Mar. 2018: Another TvP build order, this time looking at an aggressive all-in which focuses on the usage of Cyclones.
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