If you find yourself in a Terran vs Protoss matchup, then you are in a position to get Photon Cannon rushed. This is a strategy where the Protoss player will build only a Forge, then start placing Pylons and Photon Cannons near or in your base. As a Terran player, there are a couple good ways to defend this that we’ll explore.
The first thing you need to do to defend the Photon Cannon rush is find out when it’s happening to you. Scouting early is essential. Right after you build your first Supply Depot you should send that SCV into your opponent’s base or start looking for it (on a 2+ player map).
A sure sign that you’re going to be Cannon rushed is either nothing in the Protoss base, or just a lone Pylon and a Forge. As soon as you see either of those you need to find out where he is building Pylons to rush you with. Take an SCV from your mineral line and start searching the dark spots inside your base first, then down the ramp if you see nothing.
Your Barracks should be up soon (if not already) so start making Marines and rally them to the Pylon. As soon as you see the first Cannon go up, attack it with your Marine and a couple SCV’s. It’s important that you attack the Cannons, not the Pylons. Pylons have 100 more hitpoints and all he will have to do is make another one to power the Cannons.
If he gets one or two Cannons up don’t lose hope! Immediately build a Bunker to prevent further Cannons being built into your base. Fill it with Marines then add a Tech Lab to your Barracks and make some Marauders. Lift your Barracks back so it’s not getting hit by the Cannons. You should probably be building another Barracks & Tech Lab too to be sure you have enough Marauders.
If the Protoss player puts a Cannon in the right place, it will be able to shoot at your Bunker without getting hit. If this happens take the Marines out of your Bunker and put 2 Marauders in, they will be able to fight back and take out the Photon Cannon. From here it’s just a matter of destroying his Cannons without losing too many of your troops.
Once you destroy the Probe, Pylons, and Cannons it’s time to move out with all your forces and make your counter attack. The Protoss player will have no army, so you’ll probably be able to march right up and take him out.
Surviving the Protoss Photon Cannon rush is quite easy if you keep cool and remember what you just read. The key is to remember to do the normal stuff that you’d do and not let it mess your game up. Keep making SCV’s, troops and Supply Depots while you’re under pressure and you’ll come out on top no problem.
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