Please check out the Allthingsprotoss guide for extra build notes on variations and other VODs.

Trap builds :')

Back in the 2014/2015 days when Trap was first starting to make a big name for himself he earned the nick name The Winged Commander for his exceptional Stargate unit control. Nowadays he is still finding big plays with those same units and loves opening for Stargate in all three match ups. It's his go-to in PvT and has been showing off this style a lot recently on stream and in online tournaments. Chargelot/Phoenix is a great early game composition with a lot of punishing power and the ability to snowball games extremely quickly. Combined with a fast Warp Prism and some extra Gateways and you've got yourself an extremely fast hitting 3 base attack that can crush Terrans before they can get themselves fully established. With how many Terrans have been going for more tech focused builds recently over heavy early bio play, these types of pushes can strike right before the key upgrades like Stim or Combat Shields are done, making them super powerful.


Replay - Acid Plant LE (163)

Build Order

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  12  0:00  Probe  
  13  0:13  Probe  
  14  0:17  Pylon  
  15  0:24  Probe  
  16  0:32  Probe  
  16  0:36  Gateway  
  16  0:40  Probe  
  17  0:47  Assimilator  
  17  0:51  Probe  
  18  1:03  Probe  
  19  1:15  Probe  
  20  1:23  Nexus  
  20  1:36  Cybernetics Core  
  20  1:37  Probe  
  21  1:43  Assimilator  
  21  1:49  Probe  
  21  1:52  Pylon  
  22  2:03  Adept  
  26  2:19  Stargate  
  26  2:24  Adept  
  26  2:28  Warp Gate  
  32  2:51  Adept  
  33  2:55  Oracle  
  41  3:13  Pylon  
  43  3:25  Oracle  
  43  3:26  Gateway x2  
  50  3:54  Pylon  
  53  4:09  Nexus  
  53  4:11  Oracle  
  53  4:12  Assimilator x2  
  56  4:18  Pylon  
  60  4:40  Phoenix  
  60  4:44  Forge, Twilight Council  
  64  4:56  Charge  
  64  4:59  Protoss Ground Armor Level 1, Phoenix  
  66  5:04  Stalker x2  
  74  5:22  Phoenix  
  78  5:34  Zealot x3  
  87  5:47  Phoenix  
  93  6:01  Robotics Facility  
  91  6:05  Gateway x4  
  91  6:12  Gateway  
  91  6:15  Phoenix  
  95  6:23  Sentry x3  
  101  6:38  Warp Prism  
  101  6:40  Shield Battery x3  
  101  6:47  Zealot x3  
  109  7:07  Zealot x4  
  141  7:57  Assimilator x2  
  145  8:03  Templar Archives  
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Build Explanation

Phoenix/Chargelot is a style that has been around for quite some time, dating back to around this time last year. After Phoenix/Adept started getting solved Protoss were moving towards using Chargelots instead since Charge had been buffed to be only 100/100. As I said earlier, it's a very punishing and controlling composition that can really do well vs aggressive tech Terrans. Opening with three Oracles before hand also gives you plenty of harassment potential yourself and as much early game detection as you could need.

I've made the build notes for this build by combining multiple different replays/VODs I've seen of Trap doing the same style. This is the cleanest version of it.

To start this build off, something that Trap (and other Protoss) do a lot is pressure with the first three Adepts and the first Oracle. After you've gone for the normal 20 Nexus opening you'll be getting your Stargate and chronoing out the first two adepts with the third one meeting up shortly after. Three adepts is a critical number since that allows them to one shot marines and SCVs, so you can chip away very easily at a Terran who is out of position or does not have many early units. With an Oracle to support you can put a big dent in the Terran's plan from the start. This is definitely a tricky scenario to micro however, as you can very easily lose the Oracle if there's too many marines and you don't bounce back and forth. The adepts can also easily get overwhelmed if you don't have all three together. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, then don't bother. If you want to try it and see what happens, by all means go ahead. It is more important though that you use at least one Adept shade to go up the ramp of the Terran to get an idea for what their follow up is. You'll want to see if there's a reactored Factory or a Barracks so you can get an idea if there's going to be heavy Cyclone/Hellion pressure or a more bio focus.

You can also go for only a single Adept and then two Stalkers if you feel more comfortable doing that knowing you won't want to be too aggressive with the Adepts. The timings of the build might differ slightly but not enough to impact it heavily. I've even seen Trap open for only Stalkers early on just like this old Oracle build, so it's really up to you what you feel most comfortable with opening. Multiple Adepts is the most common though.

Normally Trap goes up to three Oracles with this build (as does pretty much every Protoss who opens Stargate) so you can one shot SCVs and Marines and so that you have a lot of energy for Revelations in case they open for cloaked Banshees. Even if they don't open Banshee then you can still use the energy to constantly have the Terran army Revelated to know when they're moving out and where they're moving to. However, to help defend vs certain builds you can skip the 3rd Oracle and go for a faster Phoenix since Banshees could hit a little earlier than normal. I saw Trap scout a fast reactored Factory play indicating that a Cyclone/Hellion push would be hitting. His Adept shades confirmed it and he built a Shield Battery at home before his extra two Gates (which you get at 52 supply), got a Stalker out of the first Gate, and got a Phoenix after the 2nd Oracle. This helped him to defend the early pressure very easily and also left him prepared to deal with any immediate Banshee follow ups to that push. Since his extra Gates would be a little bit later, he wouldn't be able to reactively warp in many Stalkers to kill off the Banshees, so going into the Phoenix just a little bit faster would help against this. This game is linked below from Trap's stream. If you want to just get the Shield Battery no matter what to be safer then that's totally fine as well. The extra Stalker might have also just been a precautionary step by Trap that's not even that necessary since he held the push quite easily. If it was a more committed push though then I could see why he made it. Once the push is held you'll want to immediately take your 3rd base since there's nothing else that could be killing you at this time. A Banshee follow up is the most threatening next step for a Terran which is already being dealt with by having the Oracles and the Phoenix out. The natural gasses go along with your 3rd being taken so that you don't fall behind on gas income for the next set of upgrades you'll be needing.

If you weren't facing early pressure then you can just get the two Gates at 44 supply and continue as normal without anything extra. The 3rd Nexus can go down a little bit earlier at around 4:10-4:15 and the natural gasses go along with it as well. You can go up to your three Oracles and then straight into Phoenix production. It's at this point you'll be getting to the convergence point of 4:40 which is where you get the Forge and the Twilight Council. This is one of the most important timings to remember for this style as it gives your composition all of its legitimacy in the mid-game. Without these two tech buildings coming down at this time to start the necessary upgrades, then everything else basically falls apart. Once they're done you want to get +1 Armor and Charge immediately and continually chronoboost them until they're finished. The reason you go +1 Armor with Chargelots is because you want them to survive longer. In combination with Guardian Shield they end up taking only two damage a shot from Marines which makes them extremely sustainable in long fights. (6 damage per shot reduced to 4 with Guardian Shield, reduced to 3 from the natural 1 Armor of Zealots, all the way down to 2 with the extra +1 Armor). They also don't earn any special powerspike against Terran by having +1 Attack like Adepts do (2 shot Marines instead of 3) or like Zealots do vs Zerglings (2 swipes instead of 3) so Armor is more beneficial for them.

Once you're at 6:00 you'll want to Pause Probe production at what you have, which should be around 50 or so, in order to get your Robo and also five extra Gateways. Resume Probe production up to gassless three base saturation (60) once the Gates are all building. This leaves you with a total of eight gateways, a Robo to make a Warp Prism, and five Phoenix to deny any Medivacs/Banshees with Oracle support as well. From there you should get a few Sentries to have for Guardian Shield, a few Stalkers just to have some extra versatile damage, and as many Chargelots as you can muster out. At 8:00 you should be able to hit with everything and steamroll any Terran who tried taking a 3rd base after opening with some early tech. Phoenix can be used to either kill off Medivacs/Liberators in the sky or to lift up Widow Mines/Tanks on the ground as the Chargelots swarm in.

While this push is extremely punishing vs tech heavy Terran openers, more bio focused play might give you some extra trouble. Luckily for you, there are variations!

Variations of Forge+Twilight

Vs. things like 3rax play and other heavy two base bio styles this style can be a bit difficult to make work. I talked with Trap a little bit and he said he usually goes for this type of push vs Terrans who go for the more tech heavy styles like Banshee openers and other variations of 1/1/1. If you play vs 3rax then this style isn't really that great. Not only are early Phoenix not what you want against 3rax, heavy Chargelot compositions can be easily kited away if the bio ball gets large enough. Something cool that I saw Trap do on stream though is a huge Adept/Sentry all-in upon scouting a 3rax opener. You essentially do the same thing as this build except you cut out the Phoenix entirely and get a slightly earlier five gates and Robo at around 5:30 or so. The Twilight and Forge researches Glaives and +1 Attack so that you can then hit with some Sentries and a ton of Gladepts before they can really get a Medivac count out since they went for such a late Factory.

You can also choose to not do the Phoenix/Chargelot described above if you don't feel like it or if you don't feel you can break a Terran. You can still play this composition out normally in a macro game instead with a higher Phoenix count and a transition to Archons. You'd just play it similarly to the old Trap build that I linked except with more Phoenix to help with drops and Liberators and more focus on Archons instead of trying to rush to Storm. You can get the Robo afterwards as well to round out the composition with Immortals and eventually Storm and Blink as well once the Phoenix start to lose value.

To complete the trifecta, going for Blink and +1 Attack is also a completely standard style as well. To be fair, I haven't studied this style as much as others and it's generally my least favorite transition out of Stargate but Trap uses it a decent amount and it's seen various forms of play for a few years now. Usually Trap only gets one Phoenix to help vs early Banshee or drop play and then goes fully into Stalkers with Blink and then right into Charge and Templar Archives for Storm when Blink is finished. I haven't studied it enough to fully understand when this is a better option than Phoenix/Chargelot, nor do I want to annoy Trap with more questions xd, but it's a style that can also be very punishing and gets you to a more well rounded standard composition of Blink/Charge/Storm quicker since you aren't going for so many Phoenix. If you trade well with the Terran early you can also just do a big Blink counter attack and end the game.

I'll most likely revisit the style again in the future with more depth but no matter which style you choose I hope this gave you a decent understanding of how to collect some Terran tears.

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  • Created by: Gemini_19    
  • Published on: Jul 30, 2018
  • Modified on: Jul 30, 2018
  • Patch: 4.0.0
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