Description

Unfortunately for us, PvZ is the one match up that seems like it will cause a bit of difficulties. Late game Zerg has some incredible strength with the new infestors, so to combat this it seems most reliable to end the game early before this happens. So, to get you all started on the right foot, this build by Harstem is a very fun and fresh type of aggressive opening to keep Zergs from getting to their end game.

VOD

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/188989431?t=05h20m43s

Replay - Harstem v Stephano: Game 3 - Catalyst LE

Build Order

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  1  0:00  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  13  0:07  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  14  0:19  Pylon  
  14  0:24  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  15  0:38  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  16  0:43  Gateway  
  17  0:50  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  17  0:51  Assimilator  
  17  1:02  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  18  1:08  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  18  1:17  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  20  1:26  Nexus  
  20  1:34  Cybernetics Core  
  21  1:40  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  21  1:43  Assimilator  
  21  1:52  Probe (Chrono Boost), Pylon  
  23  2:11  Stalker  
  23  2:12  Warp Gate  
  28  2:37  Stargate  
  28  2:42  Adept  
  37  3:10  Oracle  
  37  3:13  Gateway x2  
  39  3:24  Pylon  
  42  3:33  Assimilator  
  44  3:34  Adept  
  44  3:39  Assimilator  
  46  3:47  Robotics Facility  
  48  3:50  Oracle  
  53  4:05  Pylon  
  54  4:22  Pylon  
  56  4:26  Sentry  
  58  4:41  Warp Prism  
  60  4:46  Gateway x3  
  60  4:52  Nexus  
  60  4:57  Gateway  
  60  5:03  Sentry x3  
  66  5:09  Gateway  
  67  5:24  Observer  
  71  5:50  Sentry x3  
  71  5:51  Stalker x3  
  84  6:00  Shield Battery  
  85  6:05  Sentry  
  85  6:06  Stalker x4  
  92  6:27  Stalker x2  
  92  6:28  Sentry  
  101  6:45  Shield Battery  
  83  7:57  Zealot  
  89  8:08  Zealot x4  
  93  8:37  Sentry  
  93  8:40  Zealot x2  
  103  8:48  Zealot  
  107  9:00  Zealot x2  

Analysis


Build Explanation


Since most optimized PvZ builds pre-patch cut out the MSCore early to afford faster tech anyway, the general order for these builds doesn’t really change too much. So this build starts with a pretty normal 19 Nexus into Stargate opening for two fast Oracles to harass and scout the Zerg. Harstem chronoboosts out a Stalker first to deny overlord scouts, but if you feel safer going for an adept first to scout then that’s totally fine. The new overlord speed buff makes it tough to deny scouting so that’s why he is getting the stalker first. After the Stargate, you then get two more gateways and slightly later a Robo to set yourself up for a 3rd expansion. This looks very normal to a scouting Zerg player and seems to be very macro oriented. However, as you’re expanding to the 3rd, you’re also throwing down five extra gateways and getting a warp prism out of your robo. You’ll be warping in nonstop sentry/stalker production and hitting around 6:10 with a good amount of units that the Zerg shouldn’t be well prepared for after they see you trying to take a 3rd base. This is a very simple and clear build that should hopefully make your PvZs a little less chaotic, however the early game might still be a bit troublesome for some of you so I’ll talk a little bit about early game defense as well.


Early Game Defense Without the MSCore


Three things have been added to help with early game Protoss defense of Zerg cheeses. First is the adept shade vision being buffed to four up from two. Second is the increased damage of Stalkers. And finally, is the shield battery. Do not underestimate how strong these additions are. The added vision range will help count drones and see what units are on the map while being out of harm’s way. Shield batteries heal extremely quickly, and putting just one per mineral line can easily help vs modest ling drop openers. Probes can stay alive longer while drilling vs lings, an adept will basically be untouchable. Ravager all ins hitting your front door? Stalkers kill them much quicker now, and since shield batteries cost only 75 minerals, you can easily make enough so that they cannot all be corrosive biled out of existence. Opening with a fast stargate also gives you protection from the air to help clean up anything that is left over from the attack.

I’m not saying it will be easy or that you won’t still face some all ins that require more intense reactions, but the tools to defend are there and it’ll just take some time to get used to using them and adapting to the new changes.

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