See the /r/allthingsprotoss guide for a concise version of the build notes: Link
PvZ continues to be rough for a lot of protoss players out there, especially for the lower leaguers. This build is especially for you guys. This probably the most "I respect all that you can do and will go overboard to defend it" build you can bring to ladder. Four oracles, two robos making immortals, and a one way ticket to salty zerg tears. PvZ looks a little bit different now that the hydra nerf has come into affect with some roach ravager styles coming into popularity and builds like this one are designed to give you the best possible defensive edge vs these kinds of styles so that you can propel into the mid and late game on even footing.
"B-b-b-but Gemini, I want to learn builds that DON'T open stargate in PvZ! What happened to muh build diversity??" There is no build diversity. Until there is some large fundamental changes with how early game PvZ works, then stargate is going to be the only effective way to open in PvZ for a long time. Any other opener leaves you extremely vulnerable to early all ins and dropperlord harass, and not having oracles to easily defend the 3rd means that heavy ling counter pressure makes it so you can't do things like DT/archon drops anymore since you'll never be able to keep the 3rd base up. Every pro PvZ opens with stargate and has been for months now and any time I see a pro player attempt to open with something other than stargate they lose. This is pretty much a known fact at this point but it's what we have to deal with. On the bright side though, if you can learn and nail down this normal stargate opener then you can do ANY of the previous 4.0 PvZ BotWs that I've written a guide on. They all stem from the exact same opener with some very minor adjustments, so while we are forced to open stargate, it at least gives us plenty of practice to be consistent with that opener.
Since I've gone into detail on how to open with stargate three times already, I'll just link the other BotWs where I talk about certain things.
In the last PvZ BotW, which was Dear's immortal/gladept all in, I went into great detail on how to scout early game zerg all ins and how you should respond to things like dropperlord all ins, proxy hatch, early pools and the like. This is where having practiced the exact same opener every PvZ shows its strength. If you can perfect this early style then you will know what to do vs all these early all ins since you'll be reacting in very similar ways and will be doing so every game you play instead of using different openings that require different ways of defending.
In the Stats blink/colossus BotW I talk about how exactly you should be using the opening oracle for scouting and to secure the 3rd base. With this build Zest goes for FOUR oracles in total which is actually kind of insane. (He goes phoenix first instead of oracle this game which is just a slight change you can do if yo want. If you feel more comfortable gunning a dropperlord down ASAP instead of using the oracle to clean up lings then that's up to you, it doesn't impact much at all for the build.) What this does is allow people who are good at harassing with oracles to get a lot of potential damage done but it also gives you a massive amount of defenders advantage as well. You'll have a lot of revelations to use to keep eyes on the tech and army movement from zerg, you have all that energy for a lot of stasis wards to put down, and four oracles alone can deal quite a bit of damage even after their damage was nerfed recently. This is the first aspect of the "I respect you and want to defend" idea behind this build.
After this phase the build goes into the transition phase. This is where the twilight+robo+forge usually goes down to go into chargelot/archon/immortal but instead after you take a five minute 3rd base you go into double robo. You also get a few sentries at first to help secure the 3rd and to keep any attempted ling/bane busts to cancel the 3rd away. You get a four gateway explosion around 5:30 (you can even get two more if you want if your macro isn't the best to keep all your production going) and this gives you an incredibly robust army very early.
Now depending on what the zerg is doing at this point will alter your follow up a bit so I'm going to talk about the recent changes in the PvZ matchup, as I briefly mentioned it in the intro, and where this build fits into all of that.
Midgame Zerg Control: Accepting being passive
I've seen many Protoss players complain about this recently and even some pro zerg players are acknowledging the fact that zerg is extremely strong in the mid game. They have been strong in the mid game for a long time now and nothing has happened to change that fact. Whether it be hydra/bane, hydra/ling floods, hydra/lurker contains, and now roach/ravager busts zerg always has some way to power extremely hard in the early game to ramp up for a flood of units to kill the protoss at around 6-9 minutes into the game. Due to this inherent ability for zergs to power up this hard, Protoss is left with three options:
1). All-in before the zerg can power up.
2). Use an opener that gets you set up for the mid game onslaught as best as possible and defend long enough until the late game where Protoss excells.
3). Try to be the one in control of the mid game and die because it's impossible to attack into a mid game powering zerg.
Number three is something that I've personally struggled with for a while, and I imagine others have as well. It's difficult to accept the fact that, for about 3-4 and potentially even more minutes in the game, you simply have to defend. You don't get to move out across the map for a timing push if the two base all in phase has completed. You can't get out two warp prisms to do constant harass while pressuring the building fourth at this time in the game. You have to sit back, wait for your tech and army to scale up (get storm, colossi, or a massive immortal/archon count) and defend wave after wave of zerg. Now this is obviously a generalization of the situation, but this is effectively what PvZ has been for a long time. The most you can do in these stages is send out small hit squads of chargelots to the fourth and fifth bases of the zerg while they're doing these strong attacks in hopes to either force them back to gain more time to build a stronger army, or to cripple them hard enough so that you will immediately win the game upon holding their big push. However, sometimes the pushes come a bit to early to where you will need every unit at your disposal in the defense at your front. This is where this build comes in.
I mentioned it earlier that roach/ravager pushes off of three bases have gained a bit of traction from zerg recently. Roach/hydra compositions have also risen in popularity along with this due to the hydra upgrade nerf making super early hydra/ling or hydra/bane floods less effective. If you were to open with a normal oracle into chargelot/immortal/archon build however, you would see yourself getting overrun with roaches as you try to tech up to charge and storm. This build gets a second robo very early so that you can double pump immortals out to defend these types of pushes, and that's what the example VOD shows when Zest is able to hold off Scarlett's roach/ravager/queen push. Should you scout one of these pushes coming (you see a roach warren and no gasses at the 3rd with low drone saturation) then you should put down extra shield batteries at the 3rd and spend all your chrono into the robos for immortals and get a lot of sentries to segment the army. The four oracles you made earlier also can put down a lot of stasis wards to hopefully get a money trap down to make the battle even easier.
What if they're not going for one of these pushes though? Won't you be behind by delaying your storm and upgrades so much? Not necessarily. Double robo immortal still leads to an extremely strong army composition. If you go for this style you're basically saying, "I'm in it for the late game and I know that" since you're looking to scale and defend as long as possible. When you have as many immortals as a double robo opener gives you it's not exactly easy for the zerg to attack into you later on. You'll still be getting charge and your archons/storm up relatively quickly. If you don't see them going for a big push then you just make the twilight/forge after your extra gateways followed by the templar archives. The other reason why this build is pretty solid is because immortals are also the biggest counter to lurkers. Lurkers are one of the other common choices by zerg players still so getting such a high immortal count so early allows you much more room to break any attempted early lurker contains. With four oracles you'll also never run out of revelation to keep the lurkers revealed as well.
If you want you can even transition into disruptors instead of storm if you see the zerg going for a roach/hydra composition since the "new" ruptors are still very strong against that style. As long as the zerg isn't flooding lings then there is a lot of room to make disruptors work and since you already have two robos you can catch them by surprise quite quickly and snowball one or two big fights to take the game.
One thing you'll have to be careful of are mutas though. Since you go double robo so early there is always the potential for the zerg to do a roach push and then immediately switch into mutas to abuse your lack of anti air. This is just something that you should keep in the back of your mind as a possibility. With four oracles and a decent sentry count you have plenty of options to constantly scout the zergs base for any quick tech switches. In which case you can get phoenix up since you already have a stargate and make a flood of archons with your soon to be finish templar archives and counter attack after you defend the roach push. If they're trying to go into mutas so quickly after a roach push they won't be able to properly defend a large counter push. This is only a situational thing though, and for the most part you'll be wanting to stay defensive throughout the mid game.
Once you defend any sort of pressure onto your 3rd you can feel free to immediately take a fourth base and continue to scale up towards the ultimate late game army of immortal/archon/storm/carrier. Generally switching into a second stargate and fleet beacon as your fourth base starts to get saturated is the optimal timing and using zealot run bys/warp prism harass to keep the zerg busy while you get your carrier count up is how you should begin to take control of the early stages of the late game. It's at this point where you can really start to control the pace of the game since you'll have a lot of income to support constant zealot counter attacks and so long as you take control of watch towers and keep using revelation on the zerg's army, you can really open up the map and put the hurt back onto the zerg. This is a good replay of mine showing how the map opens up once the zerg's window for pushing has ended and you start going towards carriers.
On March 3, 2018, 9:51 a.m., Morann said: