I'm still riding the Dear hype train, I'm becoming a #BigFan of his play lately. Despite an unfortunately underwhelming Ro8 exit to a dominating Zest, Dear has still been showing some great games outside of the GSL as well. In the Olimoleague May Finals he had some nice PvT series vs Ryung and GuMiho with some very solid Colossus centric styles, including this one. Oracle openings have always proven to be some of the safest styles to go for to defend early aggression from Terran while also allowing you to be relatively greedy behind it. This build uses those elements to then transition into a solid phoenix/colossus style to further punish any overly aggressive Terrans. Dear also showcases the strength of the mid game Disruptor transition that has been becoming more and more popular in modern PvT.
It's been a while since the last time I've featured a Stargate PvT build so it's important to go over some of the small things that have changed since then and what makes this opening different.
Something that has become more standard ever since the Stalker nerfs is to open for an adept no matter what style you plan to go for. This gives you a way to more reliably scout with the shade, and since Stalkers aren't completely broken anymore it's not always that great to make them early on when you're going for a Stargate. You can still see some builds that start with an Adept and then go into a Stalker, which is totally fine too, but going only Stalkers like the old Trap build isn't too common anymore. Nowadays, a lot of pros have gone back to opening multiple adepts when they go Stargate since it makes everything a bit more lean and also gives them the aggressive potential if they choose to do it. This build is no exception as Dear opens with three Adepts early on to chase away the Reaper. Before the 2nd two Adepts though, it's important to remember to get the Stargate at 26. To afford this you have to skip WG for a little bit just like if it was a PvZ. If you feel like you'll forget to start WG afterwards (I do all the time) then feel free to get it before the Stargate. In lower leagues it shouldn't really make that much of a difference.
Another thing that Dear does in this game vs Ryung is put his 2nd pylon towards the top of his base instead of on the low ground natural. This gives off the illusion that he could be proxying the Stargate if the Terran can't get a solid scout off into the main. It's a small mind game but one that isn't necessary for ladder games if you feel safer having the 2nd pylon on the low ground. If you do leave the 2nd pylon in the main, then the 40 pylon is what ends up at the natural. You'll then get a 2nd Oracle so that you have extra revelation/stasis energy and also so that you can two shot workers.
Dear leaves his three adepts and the 2nd oracle back at home at the natural to make sure he is safe because after you get your two extra gateways on 49 supply, you then go into a fast 3rd base at 4:00. The first oracle was mostly used to scout and to get minor damage done, but the 2nd one is kept at home as a safety precaution and then sent out on the map a little bit later once some of the other tech and production is established. This 3rd base might feel a bit intimidating to some players to take so early, but I do encourage you to try it, as you will most likely be surprised as to how easy it can be to hold (and how little a Terran can do to try and deny it). Unless the Terran opened for a fast 3 rax push it's very difficult to gather enough units to deny that 3rd base. Two oracles and some gateway units/shield batteries does wonders against small Terran armies.
Once the 3rd is taken, you'll go right into double gas at the natural, start your Phoenix production, and then make a Robo. Unlike Trap's build, this one does go into Phoenix like I mentioned as a way to deter and punish drops out of the Terran. Dear doesn't make too many this game so this isn't a full blown phoenix/colossus style. It's just a way to safely get into the mid game and then transition out further as I'll mention later. Dear only goes for three Phoenix but I think you could go up to five if you really want to. Any more than that though and it'll start eating too much into your resources and will delay your Colossi. That Colossus transition starts right as your Robo finishes as you get a Robo Bay and an Observer and Immortal once it finishes, with a Forge starting just before that as well. You'll also want to make two sentries around 5:00 (after you have some phoenix out) as guardian shield is always extremely valuable in any PvT engagement. 5:50 is your Gateway explosion timing as you get five of them between then and about 6:10. Your initial three gateways and Stargate production should keep you relatively safe up until this point. It's important to remember to get the total five gateways though since this is a delayed gateway explosion compared to most builds that get three right after you start the 3rd base. Since we're going for extra tech after expanding the gateways need to be slightly later, but then to compensate we need to get a few more as well.
One more important thing before we move onto the later transitional period: The 3rd base gasses do NOT need to be taken super early. Even though this seems like a fairly gas heavy build, as a way to keep it nice and lean the 3rd gasses don't need to be started right when your 3rd finishes. The 3rd base is quite early so you mostly want to use it for its extra mineral income at first and then take the 5th/6th geysers at around 6:30. This lines up nicely with your Robo Bay finishing, so you can remember to take them once you start your first Colossus and range.
At this point you should have a solid gateway composition with a phoenix/oracle squad keeping you safe from drops and your colossi on the way to round everything out. Dear then starts to transition into a composition that has been gaining a lot of traction lately, especially by other players like Trap.
Mid game disruptor/double forge/twilight transition
While Dear only barely starts to go into the disruptor transition at the end of this game, this is still something that has been becoming quite popular lately and deserves its own special mention. Like I said, Trap is also someone who has been heavily experimenting with the disruptor transition and I've seen it pop up in many other player's streams as well.
In this build, Dear goes for four colossus and then goes into disruptors. Some players only go up to three and others may go into it even earlier if they feel like they are under heavy pressure and need some really big hits to even up the game and start to snowball it in their favor. The goal of the disruptor transition is to get those big hits since it's very difficult to micro against the on hit detonations. You force the Terran to either soak up the shots, or micro away from them, which then allows your colossi and other units to attack freely while the Terran is running. Opening for other units before going into disruptors also alleviates the potential weakness they have where they do not provide consistent reliable damage. If playing vs a Terran that has strong micro, or if you simply whiff your shots, it can be easy to suddenly lose the game because your one or two disruptor shots don't make good contact. This is why so many pros prefer to transition into them instead of starting the game with them. Another reason being that super heavy drop play can very easily abuse disruptor openings, so going for phoenix/colossus is the perfect answer to that.
A few other things that Dear goes into that is worth mentioning are his forge usage and Twilight Council usage.
In the past Dear has been known to be very efficient with his forge usage. We found out from him that when opening double forge, it's most efficient to go 1/1 into 2/2 and then go into +3 armor and +1 shields. Since the extra damage you get from +3 damage isn't all that much in PvT, and since that's when the storm transition would normally be happening, it wasn't as necessary to get it that fast. Instead, getting +1 shields that early makes it so that you can get an overall faster 3/3/3 since you'll have less forge downtime. Dear does another similarly efficient method that has been around for a while, where he goes for +1 Attack and then +1 Armor out of his initial forge. He then times out his 2nd forge to finish in line with +1 Armor so that he can start 2/2 at the same time. Had the game gone on longer, I wouldn't have been surprised to see him then go into +3 Armor and +1 Shields after 2/2 finished.
In addition, since the Twilight Council is delayed this game due to all the other tech we're getting earlier, it's important to prioritize the correct upgrades out of it. Dear goes for Charge first out of the twilight once it finishes. This is because he opened with phoenix already, so there is already an answer to medivacs, vikings, or liberators. Going for blink right away would be a bit redundant, and Charge is such a valuable upgrade for direct engagements that delaying it for so long would be a much larger hindrance. Overall, this combined efficiency in upgrades with a very stable army composition with incredible burst potential with the disruptors leaves you in a strong position to punish any Terran pushes and have a strong position going into the late game.
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