This stage completes the first two layers by building two 1x2x3 blocks on either side of the Line made in the previous stage. Because all edges are now oriented it is possible to complete this stage using just R, U and L moves.


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Basic Block Building Strategy

In order to reduce this step into bite-sized chunks which can be recognised and executed quickly, the step is split into four parts:

  1. left-hand 1x2x2 block
  2. right-hand 1x2x2 block
  3. left-hand 1x1x2 block
  4. right-hand 1x1x2 block

The order of execution depends on the situation. In general the 1x2x2 block should always come before its connecting 1x1x2 block, otherwise more moves will be required later.

1x2x2 Blocks

To build a 1x2x2 block a D-layer corner and two edge pieces are needed (a D-face edge and a mid-slice edge). Building the block involves first building a 1x1x2 block with the corner and one edge piece. The other edge is then placed into the correct mid-slice position (FL/BL/FR/BR) and connected to its block by rotating the U-face.

The first 1x1x2 block can either be built with a D-face edge or a mid-slice edge. Because there is freedom to fully rotate the R and U faces without breaking anything up, these initial 1x1x2 blocks are very easy to make. The examples below show the four basic cases:

Corner + mid-edge in U-layer

Corner + mid-edge in R-layer

Corner + D-edge in U-layer

Corner + D-edge in R-layer

Once the first 1x1x2 block is built, it is connected with the third edge in the mid-slice. It can be done in one of two ways, depending on whether the block is being connected with a D-layer or mid-slice edge. The two cases are shown below:

Connection with D-face edge

Connection with mid-slice edge

1x1x2 Blocks

Constructing the 1x1x2 blocks is usually done by connecting them in the U layer, in a similar manner to Fridrich F2L. However, there are no cube rotations, and only L, R and U moves are used. The three basic cases are:

R U R'
R U R' U R U R'
R U' R' U' R U R'

R U2 R' U2 R U' R'

R U2 R' U R U' R'
R U' R' U2 R U R'
L U R U R' L'

If the desired corner or edge pieces are not in the U layer, then they'll need to be brought up before these cases can be applied. If the required pieces are already in the U-layer, but connected incorrectly they'll need to be separated before they can be solved.

The core blockbuilding techniques introduced above are the minimum requirement for completing F2L intuitively. As familiarity with F2L improves it may be desirable to optimise some of the more difficult cases, for example where the desired cubies are connected incorrectly. A number of algorithms for these special cases is available in the full version of the tutorial. However, it is recommended that intuitive blockbuilding is fully understood before learning the algorithms.

Last updated: 7th August 2016