Description

Some of you may know that next to HerO another player stands quite highly on my list of favorites, and that would be Trap. Now that JinAir isn't forcing him to play Overwatch as a potential sub anymore he's able to fully focus on SC2 again and he's off to a great start this year already with a GSL Ro16 appearance. Trap is someone who loves to take standard styles and put his own subtle tweaks on them that revolve around great multitasking and counter harassment to gain edges that allow him to snowball a victory. This oracle into chargelot/storm style is an excellent example of that. With blink openers having been at an all time high recently it has forced Terran's into opening with a heavy ground force, namely with a concussive shell opening. Stargate openers have now come back to abuse this shift and Trap executes it in a way to gain lots of small leads and poke back at the Terran while building up a strong composition back home.

VOD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB-yxgAWnH4

Replay - Blackpink LE (56)

Build Order

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  12  0:01  Probe  
  13  0:13  Probe  
  14  0:20  Pylon  
  14  0:25  Probe  
  15  0:38  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  15  0:39  Gateway  
  16  0:47  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  16  0:48  Assimilator  
  17  0:52  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  18  1:04  Probe  
  19  1:17  Probe  
  20  1:22  Nexus  
  20  1:33  Cybernetics Core  
  20  1:34  Probe  
  21  1:40  Assimilator  
  21  1:47  Probe  
  22  1:51  Pylon  
  23  2:06  Stalker (Chrono Boost)  
  27  2:30  Stargate  
  28  2:41  Warp Gate  
  28  2:42  Stalker  
  36  3:10  Oracle (Chrono Boost)  
  36  3:12  Shield Battery  
  41  3:20  Stalker  
  41  3:23  Pylon  
  45  3:35  Gateway x2  
  46  3:45  Oracle (Chrono Boost)  
  50  3:51  Pylon  
  54  4:17  Oracle  
  57  4:24  Nexus  
  59  4:27  Pylon  
  61  4:33  Assimilator x2  
  63  4:46  Forge  
  63  4:47  Twilight Council  
  65  5:06  Sentry  
  68  5:10  Charge (Chrono Boost)  
  68  5:13  Protoss Ground Armor Level 1 (Chrono Boost)  
  69  5:20  Shield Battery  
  71  5:35  Gateway x3  
  73  5:41  Zealot, Gateway  
  73  5:42  Sentry  
  78  5:46  Zealot  
  82  5:54  Gateway  
  85  6:10  Robotics Facility  
  88  6:11  Zealot x2  
  88  6:12  Stalker  
  94  6:28  Assimilator x2  
  97  6:41  Templar Archives, Stalker x3  
  97  6:42  Zealot x2  
  97  6:47  Warp Prism  
  109  7:13  Zealot x4  
Spawning Tool Build Advisor. Get it on Overwolf

Analysis


Build Explanation


As I stated in the intro, Stargate openers are coming back into popularity again after a long streak of blink builds since Terran is now reacting to blind counter those blink builds. With the slight nerf to stalkers this patch it's also not unreasonable to think that Stargate openers are going to rise in popularity even more again. Blink openers will still continue to be quite strong though.

This build opens up with a normal 19 or 20 Nexus depending on your choice. I believe 20 Nexus is actually better in this build since doing so gives you slightly more gas income. You could just put a 2nd probe in gas earlier while doing a 19 Nexus if you're more used to opening that way. Regardless, you need that little extra bit of gas to throw down a pretty quick Stargate after opening with a stalker out of the gateway instead of an adept. Usually you go for adepts with stargate openers but Trap goes for stalkers as a way to fake the tech and to have better overall space control. Stalkers still are more versatile at dealing with early pressure and deal more damage than adepts.

At 36 supply Trap gets a shield battery since he goes back in with his original scouting probe and sees the concussive shell marauder opening. Going back in with the probe at around 2:50 to check for this is a great thing to get into the habit of since that's right when concussive shells finishes. If they opened reaper instead of marine then you can go in a little earlier, like around 2:15-2:20, to see if they went for a factory follow up. They almost always go marine first if they're doing the concussive shell follow up so if you see that then wait a little longer before coming back in. You can always make this shield battery just to be safe if you want, or you can cut it upon seeing no early aggression.

After that your stargate should be finishing and you can chrono out your first oracle. You'll be making three in total with this build since that's how many it takes to one shot an SCV and marine now. They also give you a ton of map presence with revelation and safety at home with stasis traps (as shown by Trap in the example game vs ByuN). You also get three stalkers out of the initial gateway since warp gate is delayed a little bit to get an earlier stargate.

Once you have made your 2nd oracle you have to make a decision in terms of how you're getting into the mid game. You can either take a 4:00 3rd Nexus with the two extra gateways following shortly after, or you can delay the nexus a bit for slightly faster extra gateways. My recommendation (and what I provided in the example replay vs A.I.) is to play safer. There isn't much reason, especially in lower leagues, to try and go for a 3rd base that greedy off of only one gate and some oracles. Just get the earlier gateways and take the 20 second later Nexus. Trap is just good so he's going to take every tiny advantage he can get.

After the 3rd oracle be sure to get your natural gasses and also a forge and twilight as the follow up. At this point there may have been some skirmishes if they opened for 3rax bio play or some sort of hellion push or widow mine drop. Depending on how well you defended (which should be quite well since you can scout everything coming with the oracles and then bring them home to help defend while making shield batteries) there may be an impending push coming to your 3rd right as you're starting your next tech phase. It's at this point that the game can get a little bit tricky and the transition into the mid game may be slightly unclear.


Transitioning into storm safely


Once your 3rd Nexus is up and running and you've started the transition into the midgame by getting +1 Armor and charge for your zealots you will most likely find yourself in one of two situations: A relatively passive game or a relatively aggressive game. For the passive game it's quite straight forward. You have revelation tags on the enemy army and you know you aren't being pressured and you have plenty of room to breathe. From here you can easily get your big gateway explosion of five gateways around the 5:30-6:00 mark along with your robo for immortals or a counter attack warp prism. Following that would be the templar archives at around 6:30 and going straight into storm.

However, a lot of terran players are doing some strong two base all ins or dedicated pressure builds, especially off of these 3rax openers. This would be hitting long before you would be able to get storm and a reasonable amount of high templar out. So what we see in Trap's game vs ByuN is some wonderful patient play that gets a large chargelot count supported by archons at the front. There's no reason to rush up to storm if you know you won't be able to get it out in time to defend an attack at your 3rd. Trap baits ByuN in continuously and engages just right to get the on hit damage from the charge upgrade and to get some shots off with the archons. He then pulls back once the shield are getting low and when ByuN starts to kite back so that he can recharge the archon shields and go in again. After doing this enough times he buys himself enough time to get an overwhelming force from his gateway explosion to then force ByuN back entirely. This is by no means an easy dance to perform, but if done patiently enough then you should find yourself in a great position. The robo would have finished up during or right before this attack, and you could have sneaked a warp prism out. Going for immortals is just fine as well, but if you can get this warp prism out then it serves as a devastating way to do strong counter damage to the Terran since they've committed so much bio to the front to try and break your 3rd. This is where Trap's play really shines and is an example for some great counter harass styles. If you can get a chargelot warp in or two at the Terran's 3rd base then they will barely have anything to defend the harassment and will be forced to pull back or lose their economy.

It's also important to note that you shouldn't skimp out on shield batteries during times like these. If you feel threatened or see a dangerous push coming: MAKE A LOT OF SHIELD BATTERIES. Don't try to be cute and get by with only one or two. If they're pushing hard then get four or five of them. It helps out a lot in the sustainability for these types of fights.

With this breath of air you can now afford to finish storm and get a few HT's banking energy, which then allows you even more space to take a 4th base. From there you can continue on storm for a while or you can go right into colossus tech as well to round out your composition and initiate the more traditional back and forth of late game PvT that revolves around abusing a lack of answers for colossi or HTs at any given time.

This build is definitely a little trickier than some and requires some finesse at certain points depending on how your opponent is playing, but if done well then you end up with some great advantages going into the mid game and a pretty fast storm to punish a lot of the terran's that are tunnel visioning heavily on bio play while delaying things like liberators or ghosts.

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