On a small 1v1 map playing Protoss vs. Terran, if the Protoss player brings the probe to build a pylon and forge in a corner of the Terran base, what should the Terran player do?

It seems like the probe is so fast that sending all the SCVs to kill the pylon/probe would slow down mineral gathering.

  • 3
    Terran is actually the worst to do this to, as soon as you see the Pylon go up, you can just lift to your natural, and then build up a Marauder force.
    – tzenes
    Aug 19, 2010 at 2:04
  • 1
    They could just build canons all the way to natural then, with the previous canons protecting the new ones.
    – spong
    Aug 19, 2010 at 2:21
  • unless they built right next to your natural it takes them too long and you can just pump out Marauders
    – tzenes
    Aug 19, 2010 at 2:57
  • @tzenes: the last time i got cannon rushed (now i always scout my own base) he built a single pylon at the natural, preventing me from landing in any decent distance to the minerals.
    – user1978
    Aug 19, 2010 at 6:12
  • You don't have to send all SCVs to kill one probe. 2 or 3 will be enough.
    – Piaskal
    Aug 19, 2010 at 10:59

6 Answers 6


When playing on a small map, you should be careful and scout your starting location. When you see a probe coming, try to kill it with two SCVs (micromanagement needed, you will have to round it up). If it starts building a pylon, send about 5 SCVs to destroy it, since without the pylon all buildings are useless. You should have at least one or two SCVs gathering minerals at all times and build more while getting rid of the rush. Then build barracks asap and you should be fine.

So the strategy is like this:

  1. if you suspect a canon rush, scout your base
  2. once a probe comes in, send 2 SCVs to kill it, micromanage the hunt
  3. if the probe starts building a pylon, go for the pylon with more SCVs
  4. always have at least 2 SCVs gathering minerals and build more
  5. Build Barracks ASAP
  • 1
    The thing is ... I manage to canon rush if I don't build the canons directly inside the base. Almost nobody scouts the entire neighborhood of their base. Terrans actually have the best chance against this becaues Reapers can just jump out and proceed to my base, but most other units are in trouble if I wall off their base's entrance.
    – ripper234
    Sep 10, 2010 at 14:43
  • 1
    4 SCVs to destroy a pylon is generally advocated as the perfect number (no more, no less - any extra SCVs aren't worth it considering the minerals they could be farming) Aug 1, 2011 at 4:14

pull your SCVs and kill the pylon. it doesn't matter if you lose mineral production for a while because your opponent is wasting a ton of their production on buildings that you're destroying. try to keep building more scvs while you're dealing with them though. as long as you can keep your supply depot and barracks coming out roughly on time you should be fine.

  • 1
    This won't work. A probe can spawn buildings faster than you can kill them with your workers. You should try to surround and kill the probe instead. Aug 19, 2010 at 17:19
  • All you have to do is kill whichever building they're spamming fewer of -- pylons or cannons. They won't have enough resources to spam more buildings than you can kill unless you didn't catch the proxies early enough. If someone is susceptible to losing to a cannon rush they probably don't have the micro to surround a probe.
    – gazarsgo
    Aug 21, 2010 at 16:06
  • This is not true!! The toss will cancel the building just as it's about to die. You have to stop the probe while you attack the buildings..
    – AturSams
    Apr 1, 2015 at 6:46

If you notice the rush too late, unless they have blocked your ramp preventing your SCVs from leaving, you can also just lift off your buildings and go to your natural expansion and continue as normal. Preferably with early aggression as they will have wasted so much money on the cannon rush their base will have little in it to stop you.

  • That won't work if they send even a few zealots to help with the rush
    – AturSams
    Apr 1, 2015 at 6:46

Didja know terran builings can lift off? xD I just allow him to build come cannons and then just fly all my buildings to the next expansion. Build reapers ASAP while he is building cannons to attack you, and destroy his probes and forge and nexus etc. Then build some marines to support your reapers.


You've failed to take into account that the Protoss can just cancel their building and start a new one, so you wasted all that mining time (attacking with SCVs) whereas they only wasted 25 minerals. Unless you are talking about attacking a building that is already fully built... in which case, is also a bad idea because he will probably be building cannons next to that completed pylon, and will have most likely walled you off (with other incomplete structures) from being able to actually attack it.

Attempting to actually kill a probe (with SCVs) that is doing circles around your base is a complete waste of time, takes about 2 minutes to finally kill it, meanwhile he will just bring another one to your base. That said, at least 1 worker following the probe will at least force him to keep the probe on the move, somewhat limiting choices for placement.

My best defense so far has been good scouting, walling in most games, and dropping 1-2 bunkers as soon as I see the cannons going up.

You may also try to put workers in likely build places to physically block the Protoss player from walling off their cannons at your mineral line, but this takes some experience.

  • Great points, I think bunkers are an underrated defense for cannons though they can be a little slow Nov 17, 2013 at 18:26

Kill the probe first!

A single probe can plop down more pylons/canons faster than your scvs can take them down. Micro and kill the probe with 2 or 3 scv's.

My strategy against pre-emptively blocking a canon rush is that I build my first supply depot near the edges of my base (not my ramp). This will allow me to see if anyone is build a pylon or a proxy'ed barrack. Supply depots are bad choices as wall-ins for ramps anyways, since they have such low hp.

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