Description


Intro


I've been doing a disruptor drop build that I made myself for a while now, but I never wanted to share it because I felt like being selfish. Luckily for you all, Classic did a disruptor drop build in GSL recently that opens up almost identical to the one I made so I feel validated enough to write a guide on it now. This one goes into colossus after 1 disruptor for the drop, but you can go full MCanning style with blink/ruptor just as well. I've been doing that as well for a long time and have had great success with it even during the insane tank/mine/lib days.

VOD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNUSciZuJEs&feature=youtu.be&t=628

Replay - Ascension to Aiur LE (36)

Build Order

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  12  0:01  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  13  0:11  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  14  0:19  Pylon  
  14  0:22  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  15  0:37  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  15  0:38  Gateway  
  16  0:47  Assimilator, Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  17  0:58  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  18  1:08  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  19  1:20  Nexus  
  19  1:24  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  20  1:34  Cybernetics Core  
  20  1:38  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  21  1:43  Assimilator  
  21  1:48  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  22  1:55  Pylon  
  23  2:10  Adept  
  23  2:12  Warp Gate  
  26  2:23  Robotics Facility  
  28  2:37  Adept  
  34  3:02  Mothership Core (Chrono Boost)  
  37  3:09  Observer  
  38  3:14  Gateway  
  39  3:20  Pylon  
  41  3:27  Warp Prism  
  44  3:37  Robotics Bay  
  46  3:49  Assimilator x2  
  46  3:53  Pylon  
  50  4:11  Pylon  
  51  4:17  Gravitic Drive  
  51  4:19  Disruptor  
  53  4:29  Stalker  
  60  4:44  Forge  
  61  4:50  Colossus  
  70  5:01  Extended Thermal Lance  
  70  5:10  Gateway x3  
  70  5:20  Protoss Ground Weapons Level 1  
  73  5:30  Gateway  
  74  5:36  Sentry  
  74  5:38  Stalker  
  78  5:50  Nexus, Colossus  
  86  6:12  Sentry  
  86  6:13  Adept x2  
  94  6:27  Twilight Council  
  94  6:30  Stalker  
  98  6:37  Colossus  
  106  6:47  Sentry  
  106  6:49  Stalker  
  112  7:05  Assimilator x2  
  116  7:19  Adept x2  
  122  7:29  Stalker x3  
  128  7:39  Forge  
  131  7:44  Adept x2  

Analysis


Build Explanation


I love this style so much. It's very safe early on while also being a very tight build that can apply pressure that also helps deny pushes as well.

It starts with a normal 19 Nexus opener into a robo before MSCore (you can switch these easily if you prefer being safe like I do) with 2 adepts out of the gateway. I personally prefer to do stalkers since I like their versatility a little bit more and they can hit air. Then when your robo is done, you make one observer to keep home defensively vs widow mines or banshees, and a robo bay with your next 200 gas. Classic gets his 2nd gate at the same time as his obs, which flows a little bit nicer than my build, but you can go for 2 gates after the prism if you want. After the observer is done you chrono out a warp prism and it times out that when the robo bay is done you will have exactly enough for a disruptor and warp prism speed. You then chrono both of those out and send the disruptor across the map to do harassment.

Note on defending early aggression: Since this build only gets one observer and it can be a little confusing to defend early terran pressure with only one, I designed my build (which is the same as what Classic is doing up to this point) to be very tight with how to defend early on. Mine drops and the like usually come at around 4:30 to 4:45 so I send the one observer in between both of my mineral lines. This allows me to easily move it to either the main or natural depending on where the terran decides to send his medivac. I then send the warp prism out in the drop path of the main base to scout for anything coming from that position, and then naturally move my observer slightly more towards my natural since I now have a heads up of stuff coming into my main. You then overcharge in the main with 2 pylons to focus anything down before it burrows and your early units stay at the natural to defend there. It can be a bit tricky to get used to defending this way, but once you do it is extremely powerful and a very lean defense, which allows you to then do the immediate counter aggression uninterrupted with the ruptor drop.

Once the disruptor and warp prism speed are done, you can either do Classic's style which gets colossus and colossus range immediately after, or you can make another obs or two and go into more disruptors. For Classic's style though you get three gates at 5:00 and a fourth one slightly later once you have the money to do so and you warp in units to secure a 3rd base slightly later. You should be getting a mix of adepts and stalkers and one or two sentries, but colossus production should be constant until three.

The other cool thing about Classic's build that mine doesn't do is that it gets a faster forge instead of a 3rd gate. So you'll have +1 attack done quickly as it starts just after your first colossus. The 3rd base comes at around 5:45 and the follow up is a little blurry in the source game since Classic gets tank pushed as the 3rd is finishing. You should want to get your twilight council ASAP after taking your 3rd since it's so late in his build. I usually get mine after the first disruptor instead of colossus range. Classic gets distracted by the push and I assume forgets to build it until really late. The 2nd forge should be coming soon as well as a transition to immortals after three colossus and then going into charge and templar to round out the composition.


Using disruptor drops


Offensively

With warp prism speed upgraded your warp prism will outrun anything that a terran has so you're able to be very nimble with the prism and get in and out very quickly once your get your micro down. When going in for the disruptor drops it's of course number one priority to get as many SCVs as possible. You want to be sure to micro your shot until the end to get maximum value and try to anticipate where the enemy will try and send their units. A lot of that comes with experience and quick reaction times so you'll need to practice to get used to it. A lot of terrans won't even be expecting the drop so they won't notice and you can get some pretty big hits. Bonus points for MULEs. If you notice a big clump of marines trying to defend you can go for those as well if you're far enough away. They won't have stim so it can be hard to micro them away leading to some pretty big shots.

It is most important to save the warp prism. So even if you have to lose the disruptor, try to get out with the prism so that you can use it later on for harassment and to just keep the threat of the prism on the map.

You don't need to use the drop only for harass in their base though. If you get a catch on where the army is moving out or have an observer near them you can get a lot of sick shots off by shooting into the path that the terran is going to catch them off guard and weaken them before they get to you. It's because of this that being very active with the prism and using it like a super fast observer is extremely important. Since you have speed it should never be caught and you can always keep it out of range.

Defensively

Using the disruptor drop defensively is great as well. We see in the source game that Classic brings his back once the tank push is sieged at his 3rd and uses the disruptor in the main engagement. When going against these types of tank pushes specifically, it is important to remember that the tank is what is holding the entire push together, so if those get focused down early then the bio is not able to support itself. Disruptor shots bring tanks down to 30 health so it only takes 1 disruptor shot and a hug from another unit to take a tank down (if you make multiple disruptors then you can just send 2 shots at once to a tank or group of tanks to delete it from the map) so they're very good at denying tank contains. You can even use the prism to flank the army and send the disruptor shot from behind or an angle that they don't expect. The other warp ins and colossi should then clean up the rest of the fight as shown by Classic.


Possible unit compositions and transitions


3x Colossus into High Templar/Charge

This is the composition that most Korean protoss favor due to its safety and versatility. The colossus keep you alive early on with a stable source of damage and force vikings out from the terran instead of being able to mass liberators. It's the style that isn't as micro reliant so it's easier to use for lower league players. The templar transition allows for charge, which is extremely good now, and also the option to either go for big bust with chargelot/archon/colossus/stalker or to take it later and get storm and spread out HT's for easy drop defense.

Blink/ruptor

Full MCanning style is entirely possible off of this opener and something I've been doing for a while now. Going for a lot of disruptors after the drop is extremely punishing to terrans who can't micro against them and very rewarding if you can micro your disruptor shots well. It's the more skillful/micro intensive army as it can easily fall on its face if not managed properly or if the terran properly baits out too many shots. However you are able to create more opportunities with this army comp and manipulate the terran instead of staying very defensive with colossi. You will need to transition into tempests as the game goes on and the terran gets too many ranged liberators. Storm doesn't really come into play with this comp until super late game since you can't really afford it and it also is weak against ranged liberators like disruptors are.

3x Colossus into disruptors

The 3rd solid army composition you can do off of robo openers is to go for the three colossi and then add in disruptors afterwords. This gives you all the same benefits of the stable defensive colossi openers with the great punishing power of disruptors as well once the game goes a bit longer. It is extremely difficult for terrans to deal with this composition properly as they will need to be paying attention to the colossi and the disruptor shots coming out. Ranged liberators can be a problem here again but with how much splash you have on the ground you should be able to do some very strong frontal pushes with this composition. It also isn't as good at drop defense as the templar transition is since disruptors and colossi can't be sent alone to deal with harassment, whereas HTs can be left back to storm and feedback.

Each option has its own pros and cons and a lot of it is based off of preference so you can easily go for any of the above options in your games.

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