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.
And now we reach PvP...
Anyone who has been watching pro level PvP recently will know that it has been plagued by myriad proxies and other shenanigans. I was going to try and find a solid macro opener to showcase, however it really seems like 3 Sentry styles with minor alterations are essentially still the norm. It would be kind of a waste to write-up basically the same thing again but saying to make the Robo earlier and to look out for proxies. So instead, why don't we just delve into the madness? You know what they always said, "If you can't beat em, join em."
Unless it's Zerg. That's just dishonorable.
Regardless, I tried to find something that dipped into the popular proxy meta while also appealing to the macro side as well. ShoWTimE gave us a good example of that with his proxy Oracle expand build. It uses some of the mindgames and early aggressive plays to gain an edge while also expanding behind it to continue into a normal game. Even though proxies have been memed on, it's still a good way to play to keep your opponent guessing and also pick up some free wins if they aren't diligent in their scouting.
Your Probe should be sent out after you build your 2nd Gate and hidden on the map somewhere to make your proxy Pylon on 22 supply. As long as you make the Pylon before 17 seconds (out of 36 seconds total build time) on your Cyber, then you'll always have it finished in time to make your tech of choice. You'll then get the Stargate immediately, followed two Stalkers and WG. However, you won't have enough money for both Stalkers right away. If you would like to try and mindgame your opponent into thinking that you didn't commit to any tech at your proxy (and that it's just a hidden Pylon to fake it) then you can start 2 Zealots right away and then cancel each of them when you have the resources for Stalkers. This is really unnecessary for most levels of play as most players won't even be looking to see if your Gates are producing, and even if they are they likely won't understand the significance of it.
After that you expand quite quickly at 28 supply. You actually need to delay your Oracle production by a few seconds to get this Nexus down this early, so if you want to make the Oracle first and then go for the 30 Nexus that's totally fine too. This early Nexus is a bit greedy but with proper responses you should be alright vs most things. Which I will explain in a moment. Firstly I want to talk about what you're getting out of your Stargate in different situations. After building the Stargate, you should send your Probe to their natural to get a read on their first two Gateway units. This clues you in on your opponent's intentions in their build choice.
Stalker/Sentry: They're likely playing macro. They also have limited air defense since Sentries are nearly worthless vs Oracles. In this situation you should ALWAYS go for 2 Oracles out of the Stargate to abuse that lack of anti-air defense.
2x Stalker/2x Adept: More likely signs of aggression. Going for 2 Oracles vs 2x Stalker is very risky as they'll have plenty of extra DPS to gun them down and it can be a waste of resources. If you believe that your opponent will be misplacing their Stalkers though, going for 2 Oracles can still be alright to do a drive by on a mineral line to get a lot of Probe damage done. However, if they're being aggressive with an early one base play then making the 2nd Oracle could leave you vulnerable to an attack given how fast your Nexus is. The same applies with 2x Adept.
With this in mind, the Stalkers can be used to scout around your side of the map for any proxies which will clue you in on how to properly defend anything coming your way. You can also leave the Stalkers in your main mineral line to defend proxy Oracles quite easily until you have WG done to warp-in a few more.
The difficult thing to deal with is proxy Robo. However, it is possible to hold by making enough shield batteries and going straight into a Robo defensively after cutting the 2nd Oracle. It will be a bit tricky to hold, but with an early enough scout and a Nexus cancel it can be possible. A 2nd Oracle eventually to pressure the probe line and force units at home can work very well too. It's not a build match-up that you're hoping for though.
Assuming that the game is standard and ends up in a macro game, then you can continue with the same game plan that has existed in PvP for ages at this point: +2 CIA timings. Once you see that it is macro, you'll want to ideally put your Forge down as quickly as possible to get a jump start on the upgrades. If the opponent was going macro from the start and see your early Nexus, then they'll likely be putting their Forge down immediately so you'll want to definitely match that. Otherwise, you simply Chrono probes out to two base saturation while getting Immortals and a Twilight lined up with +1 finishing. Then you'll dump all your Chrono into +2 while stopping at two base saturation to go up to eight Gates, Templar Archives, and Charge. You can take a 3rd Nexus as a back up Nexus while you then aim to do a big +2 timing push. If your proxy Oracle was able to do enough damage and you macro well to nail your timing, you should have a good success rate with this push.
However, that's not always the case. Sometimes the Oracle will be well defended. Sometimes they'll have a faster +2 on you so you can't hit the timing. Sometimes they'll just be macroing well enough to match your unit count and it becomes a stalemate. In that case, a lot of players (especially the EU pros) have been transitioning into double Robo Disruptor or Colossus while continuing to Probe at home. They also use Immortal or Archon drops to distract the enemy while making this tech transition. What this transition does is allow you to more easily control the fights in the mid and late game. So often this year and last year, PvP has been a cotton ball stalemate arms race with neither player being able to deviate in fear of immediately being punished for their lack of units. It led to very boring and difficult games that revolved entirely around mirroring the other players' positioning on the map and getting a good concave. Having Disruptors or Colossus in the mix allows you to actually poke out and control fights with proper zone control instead of simply following the opponent's army and preventing them from getting a concave. The hardest part is just getting to a good number of splash units to allow for this to happen without you just getting rolled by an A move of Immortals and Archons.
However, if you play the map right and harass with your Prism and pick your fights properly, it shouldn't be much of an issue.
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