Too long have Protoss players played blind in the earlygame with a multitude of fears. Banshees? Helion drop? Helion runby? Mine drop? 3 CC greed? Tank push? Stim drop rush? The list goes on. What many people do is get an oracle to scout, however this requires amazing oracle micro if you want to avoid losing it to a widow mine in which case you are completely blind and in trouble. Additionally a cyclone or viking can zone it away from scouting. Instead let’s scout with a hallucinated phoenix while going blink. After seeing what the terran is up to the stalkers can be positioned correctly. And correctly positioned blink stalkers are pretty amazing units. Hence we continue the unit theme of the weekly builds having done the zealot, adept and sentry it is now time to let the stalker shine! Because we scout so much and so early it would be sad to not use that information and respond to it. At the same time I cannot list every single response. What I will do is explain the opening phase and then list different techniques you can use in defending different things and different techniques to create the follow-up build after scouting in game. The learning goals is to master some of these techniques and to learn to read what the terran can do based on the scouting using replay analysis. In case you’re not satisfied with a sentry opener being “unconventional enough” I also suggest a follow-up strategy for after you defend the first terran aggression in your own way.
Open with the usual gate expand and chrono boost an adept to deal with the reaper. If you scout proxy rax or 1 base terran abort. Start warpgate early and then build the twilight council. Don’t chrono boost probes after you start twilight, all chrono will be saved for the sentry (if you want a faster scout) and afterwards chrono blink. This does not hurt your economy much because by spending less money on probes you can afford a 3rd base more easily instead. Ideally you would also take less probe losses than usual since you know what is attacking you with the hallucination. At 75 energy on the sentry send out an hallucinated phoenix scout. Before blink make adept-sentry-adept, but then get blink at 150 gas. And finally react to whatever the hallucination sees.
How units should be controlled:
If there is something here that you think is too difficult practice it. Just learning some of them is great.
If the reaper dies or if adept finds another opening to move out it can scout before the hallucination
if sentry is alone against a reaper use probes to fight, the sentry will lose one on one against the reaper, but with support it should be fine. It is a pretty close fight one on one.
If the opponent is at home blink stalkers can poke them unless they have siege tanks, but as soon as they move out you can poke them while they attack you. If you are unsure if they have a liberator out for example you can poke with 5-7 stalkers and leave 3+ stalkers at home to defend.
Use stalkers to zone out medivacs/liberators, using pylons around the map for vision. A mine drop for example can not kill those pylons.
Against mines let one probe get hit but keep stalkers near if the mine unburrows you need to deal damage to it.
Against helions you can wall the front with pylons and a stalker and zone out a helion drop with stalkers in the main. Shield batteries help but are not sufficient by themselves.
You could get 1 shield battery in each mineral line against an early marine drop if you want to take 0 damage.
At later stages try to get map vision so that blink stalkers can shut down drops/liberators.
Blink stalkers synergise well with colossi and force fields, this army has a range advantage and strong pushback in the force fields, and additionally if you manage to isolate 7 terran units they will not even kill a stalker since it can blink back. Blink-stalkers and colossi also have similar mobility being able to go over certain cliffs.
Probe micro is important and also beautifully complex. For example against helions you want to split and run, but sometimes you want to surround or block the helions with probes. Another situation can be when you have 2 stalkers against 5 marines in your mineral line, here stalkers win the battle, but the marines can kill many probes before that happens, so fighting with the probes to kill the marines faster is an option, but another option is to run the probes. Against mines obviously don’t let mines kill more than 1 probe. There is probably more to say, just keep in mind when analysing replays what you think the best way to micro the probes had been.
Build continuation techniques:
Try different builds! And in replay analysis think what would have been best against what you played.
Warpgate is pretty early, because of this you could chrono it once and probably defend with only 2 gateways, this allows a faster 3rd.
Against the early pushes a robo is not necessary, simply produce stalkers.
Against later pushes such as tank or stim pushes use the fast blink to slow it down while getting the power of your choice, for example glaves and +1, or charge, or colossus. Make sure you start the tech that you want on time.
Because you don’t have a prism it is very hard to quickly go on the offensive if you lose too many probes for example. So keep probes alive or make so many that it is fine to lose some.
Against a fast cyclone (after expand) try to use high ground advantage and get a shield battery. Keep warping stalkers and chrono blink, as soon as blink is done you are safe.
Consider chronoing the gateways before the attack hits if blink does not need the chrono. If you chrono 2 gateways once that will save you 20 seconds of build time which is almost a stalker (23 second warpgate····· cooldown). Make sure you warp in units continuously if you need to.
Usually you try to get some kind of “edge” while using defenders advantage, I suggest taking a 3rd, but you could also get double forge or higher tech if you want to.
If you choose to take an early 3rd decide on how many gateways you need before, any gates built after the 3rd will probably not be very useful against a mine drop or helion runby for example (unless they are in the wall against the helions haha).
Having described these earlygame techniques it is up to you to decide what to do, and in game this can be a hard decision. What you can do is watch replays and think about what could’ve been done differently, see these pointers as suggestions for that.
Suggested mid game transition and rant on playing scout-heavy:
I mentioned earlier that blink stalkers and colossi have great synergy, they can jump over cliffs. If you have the same number of prisms as colossi they can also jump over anything that blink has range to blink over. Again we have a very strong doomdrop potential. However that is not the only reason to get multiple prisms, especially with prism-speed upgrade. This also allows for larger zealot drops and reactively pulling 12 or so zealots from the main army to a different location flying at the speed of, well at the speed of speed-prisms. It also allows for defending easier against terran drops by putting colossi/zealots in the fast prisms to fly over to the terran drop. And it also allows a strong timing, by flying over the lastly produced colossus in the speedprism instead of walking it to the attack. Furthermore it allows you to lose a prism and still have a reinforcement point in your attack, and you can more easily dodge viking shots on the colossi by lifting them into prisms and unloading in the back. I simply suggest that you play around with these techniques to learn to better utilize prisms. See the replay/vod for an example game. But if you want a different transition that’s fine. Having complete vision in the earlygame changes everything so there is plenty to focus on there. Actually I want to elaborate on that, why does it change everything? Let’s imagine the “correct” thing to do when playing blind is to split your army 50/50 on main/natural and then make the most out of whatever comes at you. Compare this to scouting 4 helions, or the lack of 4 helions. Suddenly you’re allowed to control your army in a different way which is going to require new techniques instead of following the same techniques every game. Because it leads to more variation in techniques I highly recommend in general to play very scouting heavy when practicing, and also watch replays because the more information you have the harder it can be to play perfectly. This is maybe counter intuitive but let me give you an example of that to continue this rant. The easiest example is probably finding an opening in the opponents defence, let’s say you scout that the opponent starts stim 30 seconds later than usual, and if you react perfectly with army movement and follow-up on your build you can hit a very strong timing that punishes that. Without information you would simply follow whatever rules you usually play by which would be very simple in comparison. Finding these openers that you missed while playing when looking at replays is a good way to learn because it allows you to more easily find similar openings in future games. If you find an opening in a replay that you did not scout that doesn’t really tell you anything about bias in your decision making, but rather that your build should’ve done more scouting or you did nothing wrong which doesn’t help you as much as if you would’ve scouted it in game and then missed an opportunity.
Final note on the replay analysis, because you have so much information feel free to be creative.
A note on scouting the Terran, seeing what add-ons are on what buildings and seeing which units they produced gives you a lot of information, use it. Terran macro is perhaps the least flexible of the races so just seeing their buildings and add-ons can give you almost the entire picture of what they are up to. But also remember that the buildings can fly and swap add-ons.
|30||2:42|| ||chrono x 3|
|35||3:00|| ||hallucinated at 75 energy, try not to delay this!|
|42||3:31|| ||here the build stops, react to what you see with hallucination. I will keep the rest for those interested in one followup.|
|61||4:42|| ||also hallucinatetd :p|
|92||7:15|| ||when second push is defended add prisms galactic drive and add gates|
Learning to do it
This week the most important part is strategy and replay analysis, not some specific technique, but there are plenty of techniques listed, use the method you think is appropriate for the technique you want to learn, and watch all replays and think about what the best responce should have been given exactly what the hallucination saw and see if you can generalize that responce for future scouts. Be creative! When having very specific information the best thing to do is quite often very far from the most common things to do.
always put 3 probes in the gases so blink/sentry/stalker is not delayed due to lacking gas.
get an early shield battery at natural since the sentry is weak.
This build cannot fail. It can lose, but it can’t fail, because as described you will scout and then if you lose you can analyse the replay and learn from it. Because of this I will not list any more simplifications.
potential improvements / Additional difficult techniques
sometimes hallucinate an oracle if the opponent has not scouted the lack of a stargate.
continue scouting with hallucinations
scout around map heavily and split up blink stalkers in several locations to shut down aggression
constantly keep blink stalkers at opponents front. This requires constant attention because if you look away from minimap/stalkers for 4 seconds you could lose them all. But this is a good thing to practice.
This should be enough to keep you busy :D GL HF.
On Dec. 4, 2018, 10:47 a.m., wtfsparta said:
Thanks a lot for the build and the in depth analysis! :D