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.
Contents
 Basic Block Building Strategy
 1x2x2 Blocks
 1x1x2 Blocks
 Algorithms for Special Cases
 Dlayer 1x1x2s
 Corner Already Placed
 Edge Already Placed
 Connected Cubies
 Badly Connected Blocks
 Multiblocking
 Openslotting
 ZZF2L Lookahead / General Tips
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Basic Block Building Strategy
In order to reduce this step into bitesized chunks which can be recognised and executed quickly, the step is split into four parts:
 lefthand 1x2x2 block
 righthand 1x2x2 block
 lefthand 1x1x2 block
 righthand 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 Dlayer corner and two edge pieces are needed (a Dface edge and a midslice 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 midslice position (FL/BL/FR/BR) and connected to its block by rotating the Uface.
The first 1x1x2 block can either be built with a Dface edge or a midslice 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 + midedge in Ulayer
Corner + midedge in Rlayer
Corner + Dedge in Ulayer
Corner + Dedge in Rlayer
Once the first 1x1x2 block is built, it is connected with the third edge in the midslice.
It can be done in one of two ways, depending on whether the block is being connected with a Dlayer or
midslice edge. The two cases are shown below:
Connection with Dface edge
Connection with midslice 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 Ulayer, but connected incorrectly they'll need to be
separated before they can be solved.
Algorithms for Special Cases
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. It's recommended that intuitive blockbuilding is fully understood before moving onto the F2L algorithms below.
The algorithms solve these cases optimally (unless stated otherwise), without affecting edge orientation. They are applicable to all F2L slots when reflected accordingly.
Dlayer 1x1x2s
Pieces separated
R U R'
R2 U R2
U2 R' U2
U R U'
U' R
R2 U R' U
U' R U' R2
R U
R U2 R U'
Pieces connected
U' R' U R' U'
R U' R U R'
U' R' U R U'
U R2 U' R' U R
R U' R' U2
R U2 R2 U'
U' R2 U2 R
(U') R U R2
U2 R U R'
R U R' U' R
R' U' R U R2 U'
U' R' U2 R U R'
U' R U R' U
R U R' U R
Corner Already Placed
R U2 R' U2 R U R'
U R U R' U' R U R'
L F2 U F2 U' F2 L'
L D F2 D' L2 U L
F' R U R' U' R' F R(sub opt)
U2 R' U' R' U' R' U R U R(sub opt)
R U' R' U R U' R'
Edge Already Placed
R U R' U2 R U R'
U2 R U2 R' U R U R'
R U' R' U2 R U' R'
R2 U R2 U R2 U2 R2
R U R' U' R U R' U' R U R' U'
(sub opt)
Connected Cubies
Each of the connected cases are split into three groups
 Connected cubies in U layer, above their slot
 As 1, but with the opposite slot free
 Connected cubies occupying their slot
The initial moves in brackets position the block before the insertion algorithm, so may not be necessary:

SAME COLOUR TOP
Above slot
F2 L D' L D L2 F2
R U' R U2' R2' U' R2 U' R2
U' R' U2 R' U R' U' R U2 R
R U R' U2 R U' R' U R U' R'
R U2 R' U R U R' U R U' R'
Using free slot
R U' R U R2 (D edge in FR)
In slot
L D' L' U L D L'
U' R U2 R' U R U R' (sub opt)
R U' R' U2 R U' R' (sub opt)

OPPOSITE COLOURS TOP, COLUMN CASE
Above slot
R' U2 R2 U R2 U R
Using free slot
R' U2 R2 U R' (D edge placed)
R2 U2 R' U R' (D edge in UL)
In slot
See edge placed case #3...

OPPOSITE COLOURS TOP, L CASE
Above slot
(U') R U' R' U R U R'
Using free slot
U' R2 U R U' R2 (D edge placed)
U' R' U R U2 R2 (D edge in UL)
In slot
R U2 R U R' U R U2 R2
R U R' U2 R U' R' U R U R' (sub opt)

DCOLOUR TOP, SAME COLOURS SIDE
Above slot
(U2) R2 U2 R' U' R U' R2
R U R' U2 R U R' U' R U R' (sub opt)
U R U' R\' U' R U' R' U R U' R' (sub opt)
R U2 R' U2 R U R' U R U R' (sub opt)
Using free slot
R' U' R U' R2 (D edge in UL)
In slot
L' D2 L U2 L' D2 L
U' R U' R' U' R U2 R' (sub opt)

DCOLOUR TOP, OPPOSITE COLOURS SIDE
Above slot
R U2 R' U' R U R'
Using free slot
As above
In slot
R2 U2 R' U' R U' R' U2 R'
R U R' U' R U2 R' U' R U R'
Badly Connected Blocks

Bad connection of block and Dface edge
Solutions
R' U' R U R2 U' R'
R' U2 R U R' U' R2 U2 R
R' U R U2 R' U2 R' U R' U2 R'
R' U2 R' U2 R U R
L' U R' U' L U2 R' U R' U2 R
Avoidance
R U2 R2 U' R'
U R' D' L F2 L' D
R' U2 R' D R' U R D'
U R2 U' R2 U' R2

Bad connection of block and midslice edge
Solutions
R2 D' R U R' D
R U2 R' U' R U R2
R U R' U' R2 U R2
R U' R' U2 R U2 R2
(U2) L U' R U L' U2 R2
Avoidance
U2 R U2 R' U' R2
Multiblocking
Sometimes a situation arises where multiple 1x1x2 blocks appear in the Ulayer. If both L an R slices are still free it's fairly easy to temporarily 'store' a block in one side while dealing with the other. However, if one of the slices is already complete there is much less room to manipulate the completed blocks without breaking them up. The algs below show some optimal solutions to these cases. If a completed block is already 'stored' in its L/R slice then rotate the side, bringing the block into the Ulayer to match one of the cases below.
Two parallel F2L blocks
DF edge free
R U R2 U2 R'
DF edge wedged between them
(U') R' U2 R U R' U' R2 U R
Two adjacent F2L blocks
DF edge in midslice
U' R' U2 R U R' U' R2 U R
DF edge placed
R U' R' U' R' U R
DF edge in Ulayer
U' R' U' R U2 R2 U2 R'
Adjacent F2L and Dlayer blocks: Dlayer block free
midslice edge in Rslice
R' U' R' U' R'
midslice edge in Ulayer
U R' U2 R2 U2 R U R'
U' R U R2 U2 R2 U' R
Adjacent F2L and Dlayer blocks: F2L block free
midslice edge in Rslice
U' R2 U D R' U2 R D' R
R' U' R' U R U2 R' U2 R'
R U' R2' U' R2 U R U' R'
midslice edge in Ulayer
(U2) R' U R' D R' U2 R D'
(U') R' U' R U R2 U' R2 U' R
(U) R' U2 R' U2 R U R' U' R'
L' U R2 U' L U' R U' R2
Diagonally opposite F2L and Dlayer blocks: edge in Ulayer
midslice edge next to F2L block
(U) L' U R' U' R' L U2 R'
(U') R2 U' D R' U' R D' R
R' U R' U2 R' U R' U2 R
R' U' R' U2 R U R2 U' R'
midslice edge next to Dlayer block
R' U2 L U' R' U L' U R'
(U) R' U' R U R2 U' R' U' R'
(U') R' U2 R U R2 U' R2 U' R
(U) R2 U R2 U2 R' U2 R' U R'
Diagonally opposite F2L and Dlayer blocks: edge in Rslice
edge in FR
(U) R' U2 R'
edge in DR
(U') R2 D R' U2 R D' R
(U) L' U R U' R' L U2 R'
(U) R' U' R U R U' R' U' R'
edge in BR
(U') R2 U2 R2' U R U' R'
Openslotting
'Openslotting' is when a completed 1x2x2 block is placed so that it occupies the alternative F2L position. This leaves the slot receiving the adjoining 1x1x2 in an 'open' position. Deliberately leaving a slot open can improve efficiency and is a useful technique for improving lookahead. If 1x2x2's which belong in the front are moved to the rear of the F2L, it fills the hidden BL and BR edge positions, as well as the DBL and DRB corner positions, improving visibility of pieces.
Basic Cases
(U) L' U R U' L
R U2 R' U' R
(U) R' U L U' R2 U L'
(U) R2 D R' U2 R D' R'
(U') R U2 R' U' R U R' U' R
R2 U2 R2 U' R2 U' R'
R U R' U' R U' R' U' R
R U2 R' U R U R' U' R
R B2 U L U' L' B2
(U') R U2 R' U R U' R' U R
(U) R' U2 R2 U R2 U R2
(U') R U' R' U R U' R' U R
R U R' U2 R U2 R' U R
R B2 U2 R B2 R' U2 B2
Corner Trapped
R U2 R' U R
R U' R' U' R
R U L' U R' U' L R
L R U' R' U L' U R
R U R' U' R U' R' U R
Edge Trapped
(U2) R U R' U' R
R U' R' U R
R U R' U R U' R' U' R
(U') L' U2 L F2 R' F2 R2
(U') L' U2 R U2 R' U2 L R
Both Trapped
R' U2 R' U R U' R U2 R2
R2 U2 R U' R U R' U2 R'
F2 U' F2 R' D R' D' R'
R' D' R' D R' B2 U' B2
R U' R U2 R2 U' R2 U' R'
R' U' R2 U' R2 U2 R U' R
R U R2 U2 R U R' U R2
R2 U R' U R U2 R2 U R
Connected Cases
R U' R' U' L' U R U' L
R U R' U2 R U' R' U' R
F R B R' F' R B'
F' R B R' F R B'
(U') R U R' U' R U R' U' R
R' U' R2 U' R2 U2 R2
R U' R' U2 R U' R' U R
(U) R' U' R U' R' U2 R2
(U) R' U2 R U R' U R2
(U) L' U2 L U L' U L R
R U R' U' R U R' U2 R
(U2) R U R' U2 R U R' U' R
R B2 L U L' U' B2
ZZF2L Lookahead / General Tips
At the beginning of ZZF2L there are four partially hidden edge locations. Because no rotations are used, it is not possible to check these pieces directly  this creates a challenge for lookahead. The following tips are suggested for good ZZF2L lookahead:
 Partially Hidden Edges: Learn to identify partially hidden edges
through elimination. Because edges are already oriented, there are at most four
possibilities for any F2L edge. If three of these four are visible/known, then the
fourth can be worked out.
 Partially Hidden Corners: If familiar with the colour scheme, then any
corner with only two stickers visible can be worked out. This means that six of the eight
corners can be identified by looking at only the R/L/F/U sides. The
coracle corner lookahead drill can help with this.
 EOLineF2L Transition: During EOLine execution be sure to focus on
searching for F2L pieces. Try to avoid the temptation to 'check' that the line edges
have been placed correctly.
 Flexible 1x2x2 Building: When starting a 1x2x2 block, be willing to use
either a Dlayer or Eslice edge. Avoid a strong bias for one or the other.
 Flexible 1x2x2 Placement: If initial 1x2x2 blocks occupy the rear F2L
slots then lookahead becomes much easier. If an initial 1x2x2 normally belongs to the
front, it can temporarily be placed in the back (using an R' or L move) while other blocks
are built. See openslotting.
 Avoid Scanning D/B: Looking at these faces interrupts the flow and makes it difficult
to keep track of what is happening around the cube. When unable to find anything use R/L
moves rather than rotations. Adopting this approach will encourage development in the
lookahead skills highlighted above.
General Tips
Where there is a strong preference for one hand, cube rotations such as z for lefthand blocks can sometimes make algorithm execution easier.
As a final note, it is possible to apply a subset of the ZBF2L algorithms for the last two 1x1x2 blocks. Only the ZBF2L cases with LL edges already oriented apply.
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Last updated: 7^{th} August 2016