PLEASE be sure to check out the /r/allthingsprotoss guide for this as there are MANY extra VODs and replays in there.
This might be the last BotW for the next month. I seriously have so much stuff to do for my last month of the semester and I need to push myself to get it all done. Once this semester is over though I am going right back to 100% weekly content. My passion is at an all time high, but that's probably why I'm writing this message in the first place.
And we're back to Stargate again.
It's not my fault the pros all still think opening Stargate is the most safe, versatile, and well rounded opening and thus haven't shown any reliable builds other than DT drop that don't involve getting a Stargate first. Regardless, this is a very solid build that has been working ever since 4.0 surfaced back in November and Trap has been using it as his go to PvZ for a good while now. Stargate into gladept and double robo allows for a nice one-two punch early on if the Zerg isn't prepared for it and leaves you with a great way to transition faster than Zest's 4 Oracle build without the potential of dying to hardcore roach all ins.
This is a very strong build. What makes it even better is that Trap used it so often at IEM with so many different levels of execution and opposing styles that it really let me study his decision making and follow ups quite well so I feel like I have a decent understanding of how this is supposed to play out. For perspective, Trap used this game once in his series vs DaNa, once vs Elazer, twice vs Dark, twice vs Serral, and he would have used it vs Losira I'm sure if he didn't just try to ling all in every time. From those many games I was able to see two of them transition into an all in variant that I have also provided the build notes for, as well as some very small tweaks based on what he does in terms of units out of the gateways/robos based on what he scouts or what he wants to do. Due to this extra amount of information I've been able to gather due to IEM so kindly allowing us to download the replays, this will most likely just end up being one large Build Explanation without another in depth section afterwards as there's not much to talk about otherwise since this build transitions into a normal mid-late game PvZ as I've described in past BotWs.
Just like any other Stargate opener we have the normal 20 Nexus opener that leads into a chronod Adept right when the Cyber finishes. I may or may not have mentioned it in some of my other BotWs, but you should be delaying Warp Gate so that you can make your Stargate slightly earlier and then start WG when you have another 50 gas. There's really nothing you need that WG done so early for anyway, but if you really feel like you prefer the safety of having an ~8 second faster WG then go ahead and do that first. You should also be doing two chronoboosts on your Nexuses once your natural finishes. I personally was only ever doing one because I was using more on my Stargate, but Trap only does one chrono on the initial Stargate unit. This will give you a small boost in worker production earlier to allow you to afford everything in a much cleaner fashion.
After the first adept you'll get your second adept as well as per usual, however there comes a bit of deviation when it comes to the third unit out of the gateway. Whenever Trap went for a Phoenix first out of his Stargate, he got a third Adept and any time he went for Oracle first he went for a Stalker as his third unit. Even in some of the games where he didn't go for this build that rule still applied. One or two exceptions were made namely on Abiogenesis since it's just safer to have an early oracle out on that map in general due to its rush distance. However, since you're going to be going for such a fast twilight after the Stargate it helps to deny any Overlords trying to scout you. Most of the games Trap went for Phoenix first, choosing to deny vision instead of prioritizing the quick scouting and potential damage that an Oracle can do. However, many of the games where he did in fact go Oracle first to prioritize those aspects, he got a Stalker in place of the Phoenix to still kill the Overlord before he puts the Twilight Council down. The only downside to going for a Stalker is that you might have to delay the third gateway just a bit to make sure everything else is going smoothly, but that's not really that big of a deal anyway.
Once the first Stargate unit is done you simply make the alternative to whatever you made first. If you opened Phoenix then the next unit should be an Oracle and visa versa. Then you get your extra Gateways (you can get the second one earlier if you feel safer completing the wall earlier) and the Twilight Council at 50 supply. Extra gasses are at 4:00 as well as a few extra pylons so that you don't get supply blocked once WG is finished researching. When the Twilight is finished Glaives should be started immediately and you can sink two or three chronoboosts into it. You can do three but if you aren't really planning on being super aggressive with the adepts then it's not necessary to sink so much into it. Some games Trap wouldn't sacrifice the Adepts for drone kills and the first example game vs Elazer shows that.
Depending on what Trap scouts with his Oracle and Phoenix he will choose to play the mid game slightly differently. In the game vs Elazer he had scouted no drones at the 3rd base, so he decided to shade in his two adepts that were initially scouting/pressuring into the natural to check what was there and he saw some extra zerglings coming. The follow up scout with the Oracle revelation on the 3rd saw no gasses for a little bit, so initially Trap thought there would be some sort of roach all in so he prepared defensively with an extra Shield Battery or two as well. Upon seeing that setup he kept the Adepts back instead of trying to push with them. Elazer never ended up committing to an all in and instead transitioned into Hydras and Lurkers so Trap continued to keep tabs on the army and tech of Elazer and then transitioned as he needed to. But during all of this Trap was pumping out constant Immortals from his Robos to stay safe.
If you don't see him doing things that would suggest early pressure and instead see a healthy drone count then you can move out with your seven gladepts and try to get some damage done. Be careful with your shades, you don't want to just run them straight into their base as fast as you can. While this sometimes is what you should do, you need to be able to make those quick decisions too. Use the gladept shades to scare the Zerg into thinking you will complete the shade a few times before you actually commit. It will keep them on their toes, and if they're lower league then they definitely won't be paying attention to it every time so you can probably get a good shade right into their mineral line without them noticing until it's too late.
Something else that Trap varies depending on the situation is whether or not he gets a fast Warp Prism out of the Robos. In the games at IEM it seemed like any time Trap felt like his gladept pressure didn't do enough damage he then made a Warp Prism immediately as the Robos finished so that he could continue putting small amounts of pressure onto the Zerg. With the fast Prism on the map the Zerg needs to respect the potential damage that it could do and stay back a little bit, which buys Trap more time to get extra Immortals out and other units. Speaking of which, Trap also stays on gladept/Immortal for a decent portion of time as well to help defend vs any potential busts at his 3rd. He only goes into Charge once his Templar Archives starts and instead uses gladept/sentry/Immortal to defend his 3rd base. If you try to use zealots without charge to defend you'll be in a rough spot.
So as you're preparing to go into the mid game you'll get three extra gates at 6:00 and your Templar Archives and Charge and Forge all around 7:00. You'll get some extra gates when you have the money to as well. From there you just play a very normal chargelot/immortal/archon/HT composition that is meant to absorb all of the Zerg aggression that will be thrown at you while you do as many counter attacks as possible with Warp Prisms and Zealot runbys.
If you want to do a follow up all in then you can open exactly the same way up until 5:00. You will only get one Robo instead of two, stop probe production at 45, and get five extra gates at 5:40 while going up to five sentries and mass gladept and one Immortal. You can still do the initial gladept pressure to so this acts as an even stronger one-two punch that can catch a lot of Zergs off guard, especially if you already played them and did the macro version of this build. If you do this all in version it's definitely better to get the Phoenix first out of the Stargate to deny vision early so that you can make only Adepts out of the Gate. You'll also want to be sure to use all of your warp in cycles to get as many units out as possible. Trap does three warp ins in total of adepts before getting any sentries and then goes full on adepts. He also uses the early Warp Prism to fake some light pressure and pull the Zerg's attention into their main while he pushes with the rest of his army to the 3rd base. He then warps in at the prism and shades the adepts over to meet up with the main army. The 3rd base you've made this game is entirely a fake meant to trick the Zerg just like the Dear gladept immortal all in. In the example game vs Serral, the build was figured out right as Trap was preparing to push out and Serral still had no chance at holding it. The Zerg needs to see it coming very early to be able to defend, especially if they opened for ling/bane. If they opened roaches then it's easier to hold but can still be tough if they don't react with enough.
On April 16, 2018, 1:46 p.m., Gemini_19 said:
Pretty much yeah. If you can sneak in with an overlord to see the twilight researching after the stargate opener and also get a feel for how many adepts they've made it's a pretty big tell. Any more than 3 adepts and they're most likely doing some sort of pressure with them otherwise they would just be a waste.
On April 16, 2018, 12:43 p.m., HS said:
As a Zerg, what should I be looking for to scout this? Literally just keep an eye on his nat for adepts and a researching twilight?