The new patch has hit. The changes aren't as sweeping as some previous years, however some alterations still need to be made, and with Homestory Cup XX just finishing up it's the perfect time to do another PvX Buy-one-get-three-free BotW guide!
Check out the full thread with all of the builds on /r/allthingsprotoss.
That's right! Not only are you getting one new build per match-up, you're also getting a bonus build at the end as well! That's FOUR whole builds for the attention span of one! If you've been completely lost without your strong chargey bois, don't you worry. Trap, Stats, ShoWTimE, and Harstem have supplied us with plenty of builds that are sure to fix your MMR related woes.
Since I have so many different builds that I'll be featuring, I won't be going as in-depth with all of them like my single build guides. I'll mostly just highlight the important points of each build and what is needed to make it work. Additionally, I'll include a short summation when necessary of how the match-up has changed now that we're in a different phase of balance.
So sit back, open up SC2, and let's talk about the new patch.
When it comes to PvZ, Stats has been the beacon of hope in a dark world for us Protoss players. I did a guide on his 3 Oracle style that has since become a staple of the match-up, and now at HSCXX he's shown us another updated version of this style. This one favors a quicker tech into Oracles, a quicker expansion, a quicker poke out, and a bigger focus on establishing a solid macro setup.
Before I start explaining alterations, I'll note that Stats uses multiple different openers that all use the same 3 convergence points that I'll list below. Some games he opens with a no scout Gas first for the fastest possible Oracle. Some games he skips the natural Gasses for a faster 3rd Nexus and Robo. Some games he does it just like the build notes showcase. These are minor alterations to vary his play for certain maps and also give him diversity in BoX matches, but they all have the same convergence points. I've chosen the most reliable version of the build to highlight which is the most suitable for ladder play.
The first change from this style to his previous one is the early units out of the Gate and Stargate. Instead of going for Phoenix into 3 Oracle with two Adepts, Stats is going for 2 Oracles with an Adept and Stalker. This is a style that some players would mix in throughout 2018 especially and also in 2019. Harstem has kindly let me know that Stats said he has been using this almost exclusively in his games lately and is what is becoming more standard now again. It gets your Oracles on the map a little earlier to try and get a tiny bit more damage done and to start scouting quicker as well, leaving the Stalker to deal with any Overlord scouts. The drawback being not having a Phoenix to chase any Overlords out of your base, especially ones with speed.
However, what this does allow you to do is a few things. Most notably is getting a quicker expansion with an identically timed (sometimes even quicker) Robo and also Twilight/Forge.
Stats then gets the Immortal and extra Sentries just like his original style as if he was preparing to do the same 6:10 move out, but that's not what this is. He instead moves out at around 5:20 once the Immortal finishes and joins up with his two Oracles to ferry the small force of units across the map to scare the Zerg into making units, deny creep, and kill any stray units that are produced. Definitely be careful with this push though as it can easily backfire on you if you aren't careful with your unit positioning and if the Zerg made more units than you anticipated. Always try to hug the walls when you're going across so that you can easily Forcefield, and keep the Oracles directly on top so that they can burn through lings. It's totally alright to trade in this poke assuming that you kill off a good number of units. However, you should be saving as much as possible, especially the Immortal and at least a few of the Sentries. Ideally, you shouldn't be losing anything and just going back home once you hit the Creep. You can always Forcefield and recall if things go absolutely haywire.
In the meantime, Stats will have been producing Probes consistently while using the Forge/Twilight to get out +1, Charge, and a Templar Archives as well as rounding out his Gateways to have full production. This will then line up very well to hit a ~7:30 +1 Chargelot/Immortal/Archon push that can punish very greedy Zergs. The great thing about this move out though is, similarly to the first poke, it doesn't actually have to do any damage. The example replays that are provided show Stats not being able to do much with the push besides take map presence, keep the Zerg guessing, and also secure a 4th base. That's really all the move out needs to accomplish, but there is definitely room to have it deny a 4th or 5th base from Zerg should they not be respecting your production.
While this move out is happening, Stats is taking his 4th base, starting Storm and +2, and warping in Templar to start saving energy for Storm. This build essentially has three main phases that are very clear cut and easy to follow and also serve as convergence points:
Oracle harass/opening build
3rd base secure + Immortal/Sentry/Oracle poke
7:30 +1 CIA move out + 4th base secure w/Storm transition
From there, you'll be playing a very passive game to go late similarly to how we used to do it in 2018. Be sure to set-up enough Cannon/Battery defense at your exterior bases and go right into Fleet Beacon tech for a Mothership and your Carrier transition. With Infested Terrans being removed, Carriers are much stronger again and are the tech you're looking to go for. This is especially true if the Zerg is sticking on lair tech units as they'll have no way to kill you once you get 3-6 Carriers. 8-9 minute is generally a good time to be going for the late game tech switch. If you feel safe and secure with a good setup of Cannons/Batteries, 5+ Templar with Storm, and a solid Probe count, then you should feel safe to initiate the transition. What you'll have to be careful of is the Zerg going into Hive with large Corruptor balls with Vipers to yoink in your Carriers, and Infestors below to provide Fungal support. Be sure to have Templar with you to Storm and some Archons to deal extra splash to clumped up Corruptors. Mixing in some Void Rays with the new Flux Vanes can also be good if the Corruptor count is too high, however more emphasis should be put on Carriers.
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