Description

Thank you to Veryn for mentioning this build/game to me as I was having a hard time finding interesting PvP builds to showcase.

We did it, we found a build that doesn't open with a stargate. They're quite rare nowadays but they do exist. With phoenix and oracle openers being so prevalent in PvP now there have been some counter builds trying to come up to punish them. Blink openers were always there in the past and now some DT builds have arisen again to really punish the lack of detection that stargate openers offer since SO many people are just going blind phoenix. This build should give you a way to punish those players for some potential easy wins and also giving you an opportunity to enter the mid game with a strong position.

VOD

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/225855958?t=4h28m0s

Replay - Blackpink LE (72)

Build Order

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  6  0:00  Probe  
  13  0:12  Probe  
  14  0:17  Pylon  
  14  0:24  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  15  0:35  Gateway  
  15  0:37  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  16  0:46  Probe (Chrono Boost), Assimilator  
  17  0:51  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  17  0:55  Assimilator  
  18  1:03  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  20  1:11  Probe (Chrono Boost)  
  20  1:13  Gateway  
  20  1:19  Probe  
  20  1:24  Cybernetics Core  
  21  1:31  Probe  
  22  1:36  Pylon  
  23  1:58  Warp Gate (Chrono Boost)  
  23  2:01  Stalker, Sentry  
  28  2:11  Pylon  
  28  2:16  Twilight Council  
  28  2:41  Nexus  
  28  2:48  Stalker  
  30  2:58  Dark Shrine  
  30  3:09  Stalker  
  33  3:16  Shield Battery  
  34  3:28  Shield Battery  
  34  3:35  Pylon  
  38  4:05  Sentry  
  41  4:11  Dark Templar  
  41  4:15  Robotics Facility  
  51  4:54  Forge, Sentry  
  51  4:55  Pylon  
  51  4:59  Immortal (Chrono Boost)  
  59  5:11  Charge  
  59  5:13  Protoss Ground Weapons Level 1 (Chrono Boost)  
  62  5:24  Assimilator x2  
  63  5:31  Immortal (Chrono Boost)  
  68  5:56  Immortal  
  70  6:03  Gateway x2  
  74  6:08  Gateway x2  
  74  6:14  Gateway  
  74  6:15  Templar Archives  
  76  6:33  Immortal  
  80  6:45  Nexus  
  80  7:03  Gateway x2  
  80  7:05  High Templar x2  
  84  7:09  Archon  
  84  7:16  Zealot x3  

Analysis


Build Explanation


The sentry first expands have become much more popular after they first started to come out last month or so with my last PvP guide. This opener follows the exact same opening as this one so you can refer to that guide to see the details about how to open sentry first. There are only some very slight modifications with this one to allow for better gas efficiency. Instead of rallying each probe in, you rally one probe into each gas and put another from minerals into gas to make for 2 in each right away. After that you rally the rest in to get 3 in each. This will give you some extra gas income to use.

For the follow up it's rather straight forward. Instead of getting a stargate like in the phoenix opener, you get a twilight council at 28 and then a Nexus follows that. sOs skips one of the stalkers out of the 2nd gateway just to get a slightly early natural, but that's not really necessary if you feel safer getting the two stalkers before the Nexus. If you had scouted them going for a sentry first expand as well (both players do it in the example game) then you can definitely skip the stalker since you won't be getting attacked any time soon. Once the twilight is finished make your dark shrine as soon as you can afford it and also chrono warp gate at the same time. If you didn't make the 3rd stalker earlier then you can make it now along with a probe and a shield battery at the natural to be safe. The hallucinated phoenix scout is around this time as well and another shield battery goes into the main to defend vs any oracle openings, but your phoenix will scout their base before it's done so if you don't see any stargate you can cancel the shield battery in the main if you want to cut as many corners as possible (I'd just keep it no matter what).

Around 3:55 is when you should put a proxy pylon down on the map for the DT warp in. If you want you can get this pylon much earlier to hide the dark shrine as well, but it would require some alterations. If you don't want the dark shrine to be delayed at all then you'll need to put the proxy pylon down at 2:40 which would delay your Nexus by a bit and if your opponent picks up on that then they can know you're proxying something. If you put it down any later than 2:40 then your dark shrine will be later, which may make it just not worth it anyway. DnS goes for the same exact opening as sOs this game but decides to proxy the dark shrine but his ends up being slightly later because of that. It's up to you which aspect you value more.

If your opponent has not scouted the dark shrine with a hallucinated phoenix or anything else then you can warp in two DTs if you don't think they have detection, otherwise one DT and one sentry at home is the safer play. You don't want to over commit when they have detection and end up wasting resources. You also want to be sure that if the other player is going DTs (like this example game) that you have your Robo down as soon as possible which would be around 4:10. This is a good time to get the robo even if they weren't going DTs but if you scout that they are then just be sure to keep any probes out of the natural and have your units hold positioned on the ramp so you can forcefield to delay for the observer to come out. You shouldn't lose anything to another DT opening, but if the other player is less efficient with their build then you can get some game ending damage done with your DTs. Something cute that DnS did was warp in a defensive DT to block the ramp so the DT couldn't get through the wall. Forcefielding is much more reliable though since you won't have to rewall like DnS did.

Otherwise when the robo is done you can get an immortal out and the forge starts around that time as well. You can get a 3rd sentry too for extra hallucinated phoenix scouts, charge when you have the money, and then a gateway flood around six minutes with a 3rd base following that. However, this isn't the only way you can follow up the DT opening so I'll go into a little bit some of the things you can try to use yourself to follow up if you don't want to do the normal chargelot/archon/immortal style.


Alternate follow ups


If you're like me, then bashing IAC heads isn't always the most fun way to play mid game PvP. The cool thing about this DT opener is that it allows for a variety of different potential follow ups.

  • Blink/Ruptor

With disruptors getting buffed recently, they have become very strong again and are super punishing if the other player goes for chargelot/archon/immortal without phoenix support to lift the ruptors. To do this, just get blink while you're going for the dark shrine or after the robo if you want to be safer. Once the robo is done then go for a safety immortal while getting the robotics bay up to go into disruptors. The forge doesn't need to be as early with this style since ruptors don't benefit from upgrades, but from there you can just follow a similar game plan. Get a gateway flood around six minutes while continuing to make ruptors and some stalkers while expanding when you have the money to and get a 2nd robo relatively quickly to get continued disruptor production.

  • Blink all in follow up

If you plan on using the DTs to do crippling damage then you can follow it up with a blink all in of of 1.5 base saturation. You can start blink after the dark shrine has begun and only use the natural for a few extra probes for some extra income. You get a 3rd and potentially 4th gateway at the proxy pylon and warp in nonstop stalkers with the extra money besides the DTs and hit with a really strong and quick follow up to the DT harass. All chrono goes into blink of course. This is very strong if you scout them opening stargate with the hallucinated phoenix.

  • Greedy fast 3rd and double forge

In the example game sOs goes for a fast 3rd base and a later double forge. This is mostly because of Neon Violet Square having the backdoor 3rd that can be taken, but also because he had scouted and saw that DnS was going for the same build as him, so he was able to take this risk quite safely. This isn't something I'd suggest to do very often but it can be something to catch your opponent off guard if they aren't keeping on top of scouting or look like they're gearing up to do any type of pressure. For the write up of this build I took some of DnS' follow up timings and altered them a bit since this is the more standard way to play. If this were almost any other map then sOs would have done a similar follow up as well, but he noticed an opportunity that he could take advantage of and got a faster 3rd with double forge to power up for a harder hitting chargelot/archon/immortal attack.


Hopefully this is enough to give you something to work with to punish those annoying stargate openers and allow a more versatile style of play in the mid game instead of just going for the normal timed chargelot/immortal/archon if you don't enjoy playing like that.

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