4 Warpgate Rush
|This strategy has been validated to work for patch 1.5.3.|
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The 4 Warpgate Rush, often referred to as "4 Gate" colloquially, is an aggressive opening in PvP, used also in PvZ and PvT, but much less common in those match-ups. Four Warpgates provide a burst of units very early, and by using a proxy Pylon the travel distance to the opponent's base is greatly shorten, thus making the attack even more powerful. This rush allows you to charge up your opponent's ramp and then warp in units directly into their base using a proxy Pylon that is built at the bottom of their main ramp. The build is an all-in as you cannot transition out of it without dealing heavy damage to the economy of the opponent. The reason for that is that the constant unit production out of 4 Warpgates allows no resources for Tech-ing or expanding, and that a proper execution will leave you with only nineteen workers mining, a relatively small amount.
Despite recent changes to the way the game is played (especially in PvP: see "References") that have made this strategy much weaker, a 4 Gate can still be used successfully against an unsuspecting or unprepared opponent. The 4 gate rush is still very strong when it is not scouted and can be used against a known greedy opponent in a BoX to force them out of their game, however on standard ladder matches this tactic is much less reliable. Take note that the 4 Gate is still a dominant PvP strategy on maps where Force Fields cannot be used to deflect or delay the rush (eg. Tal'Darim Altar).
The 4 Gate relies heavily on the use of a proxy Pylon to quickly reinforce unit as close to the opponent's base as possible, the proxy Pylon is the key to the attack and as such, if you are unable to place a proxy Pylon, it is highly likely that your rush will be deflected with ease, that is why often players choose to send two or three workers instead of one, in case it gets killed.
This build is very strong in PvP and can also be viable in the other match-ups, especially if the opponent is expanding/ Teching and is not expecting the attack. Using that fact, Protoss players sometimes fake a 4 Gate in order to force base defenses or more units than the opposing players wants to make while expanding or teching behind it. Faking an expand or tech into a 4 gate can also work, but its a risky build with coin flip nature, best used on BoX matches only.
 Build Order
Below is a standard one Gas variation of the build. Other slight variations are possible and are sometimes better depending on several variables, but this is the standard build in PvP.
- After chronoboosting the initial Probe production twice, the rest should be spent on Warpgate research. This should be four Chronoboosts in total. With perfect Chrono Boost timings it is possible to get five boosts on the Warpgate research, thus only spending one boost on the probes, but doing so requires constant awareness of the research, as you can't have any delay time between the boosts.
- Start all three additional Gateways at ~50% Warpgate Research. If constantly Chronoboosted, the Gateways and Warpgate Research should finish at the same time. They must be finished on time or it is likely your rush will fail against a competent opponent.
- Although it is preferably to hide your attack, hiding a 4 Gate is usually a formality. This is as your Nexus' energy should signal to any observant opponent that you are doing a 4 Warpgate push. It is generally better to let the opponent scout the three gates going down than to put them up later than they should.
The execution of this build greatly varies between the races.
- The Protoss has to target fire enemy Stalkers with his own at all times, as whoever has highest amount of Stalkers will have a significant advantage in battle due to the superior micro-management potential. However, the 4 Gate-ing Protoss may opt for a high number of Zealots if they are trying to charge up a ramp that their opponent is defending with ranged units. This is because the Zealots will force the opponent to move their ranged units back to prevent the Zealots from damaging them.
- If the opponent is holding their ramp with the use of Sentries and Forcefields, the Protoss should build their proxy Pylon close enough to the opponent's base in such a manner that Zealots warped in on the high ground (never warp anything but Zealots when there are enemy units on the high ground). You will want to set up one Pylon beneath the main ramp, preferably 2 to be sure he can't kill your Pylon and stop you from warping reinforcements. The Pylons should be planted as soon as possible, since if you are able to warp your initial 4 units on the high ground then you are in a fine position.
- The Protoss must use their initial Zealot and Stalker to protect the Probe that will build proxy Pylons, in case you see a 2 fast 2 gas opening you can try and pressure the opponent with the Zealot and Stalker since for them to be overwhelmed and it can force a premature Force Field, which will make the rush stronger. Certain builds designed to counter the 4 Gate, such as the 3 Stalker Rush, relies on sniping said Probe before a proxy Pylon is built. As such, the Protoss must take note to cradle the Probe and consider taking along two or even three Probes for safety.
- It is also important to note that on some maps, such as Bel'Shir Beach and Tal'Darim Altar, the 4 Gate is the dominant strategy because it is impossible to use Force Fields to prevent units being warped into the main base.
- In a 4 gate versus 4 gate situation that can happen on maps with flat entrances it is useful to have one or two Zealots in front of your mostly Stalker force, since this will force the opponent to spend micro potential on kiting while you can focus fire your Stalkers.
- When using a one gas 4 Gate, prioritize Stalkers if you scouted Roaches or a heavy investment in Spine Crawlers. Prioritize Zealots to deal with high Zergling counts.
- Utilising a two gas 4 Gate allows you to use more Sentries in your composition at the cost of Stalkers. The advantage of this is that it will allow you to block Zerg reinforcements by Force Fielding their main ramp; it also allows you to use Forcefields to trap Roaches against Zealots so that they cannot kite and to create artificial chokes for your units versus high amounts of lings.
- Aim to do significant economic damage by killing Drones, Queens or the natural expansion. Accept losses to destroy a Hatchery, a units worth in Drones, or a Tech building but do not overcommit in the event that the Zerg has heavily defended their main base. Don't be afraid to get up a natural expansion when no being able to break the Zerg.
- No matter which variation that you use, be careful of Zerglings sniping your Pylon or counter-attacking into your main-base. It is often a good idea to fully wall-off your main base with an additional Pylon when you move out to place down proxy Pylons or to make a semi wall and leave a probe there, ready to lay down a Pylon in case the Zerg tries a run-by.
- Modern builds take the 4 gate rush into account, so it is important that the Terran does not know that you are rushing him or they will make extra bunkers and thus beating the build with ease. Consider pretending to put up a nexus or taking a second gas when doing the 4 gate.
- In general, Zealots and Sentries are the units you want in the attack, since Stalkers just don't have enough firepower to justify their cost on this kind of attack. You want to use Force Fields to prevent the Bunker/s being repaired and have a Guardian Shield at all times, as it makes the Zealots much stronger. If your opponent however doesn't have any Bunker, Stalkers are generally the better choice.
- If you see 3 bunkers or more, or 2 bunkers that already have SCV's near them it means the Terran is up to you and you have no chance to break through, you need to either expand behind it or try to run past the bunkers, in such a situation Stalkers are better than Zealots, but you still want to have a mixed composition when you try to pass the bunkers.
- If the opponent is building Marauders then try to focus them down first; this is as the Concussive Shells upgrade prevents your Stalkers from cost-effectively kiting against Marines.
Since Warpgate Tech allows you to create units at any point of the map, rush distances are generally not an important factor for this build. The only case where this does not apply is when the opponent is rushing as well and there is a possibility that their units will reach your base before the 4 Gates have come into play.
Instead, this build more relies on how safe your opponent is playing and how well prepared they are for your attack.
This build benefits from a large main since you can try to hide Pylons there more easily and from a map with many places to hide the probe close to the base. Of course these are only small benefits and the main features that helps the 4 gate are a flat choke that can be used to warp units across the entrance, or a ramp that requires more than one Force Field to block off. Also a backdoor to the main helps a lot, if it does not require you to waste time killing destructible things.
- On ramps that can be walled-off (PvT) or blocked with a single Forcefield (PvP), you will have problems winning with this strategy against an opponent that scouts and knows how to defend this build.
 Replays and VODs
|Tester||Day9s King of the Beta Tournament. Tester uses multiple proxy Pylons inside HuK's base to warp his units directly into HuK's base.|
|Patch: 17 (Beta)||VOD|
|HuK||HuK vs Moon at DreamHack Summer 2011|