- Ready for the revolution? -
Hello, i'm Asmodeus - Master Protoss player. This is a guide to new style of protoss, crafted to deal with current standard zerg strategies.
I wrote this guide, because it's sad to watch protoss players struggle so much in this matchup, and lose every time when zerg player doesn't make significant mistakes. It's all due to using very outdated style of of play. I won't elaborate too much on it, if you want to know why i think that current protoss builds are very weak PM me and i might write about it. Right now tho, i want to offer an alternative for everyone. A solution to combat two the most prevalent zerg styles - 200/200 roach rush and fast hive.
This is not a specific build order guide, but rather a highlight and description of diffirent style that will allow you to fight any zerg army heads on, without praying for huge vortex.
Example of a build order:
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Keep in mind, this is NOT a refined build. Give this idea to a top protoss player, and he'll execute it much faster.
18 Photon Cannon
21 Cybernetics Core
23 Second Assimilator
(* This is around 4:30, you should be scouting 3rd hatch with your probe soon)
27 Warpgate Research
35 2x Assimilator
44 2x Gateway
51 Void Ray
56 Shields Level 1
(* This is around 7:40, you should be scouting zerg tech with your phenix now)
60 Void ray
63 3x sentry warp-in
(* Up to this point all your chrono should be on Nexi, now you can chrono upgrades and units)
~9:00 you want to wall off your 3rd and natural to leave just 1 entrance. Fortify it with cannons.
- Keep making Voidrays and add 4-5 more gateways
~ 9:30 Put down twilight council and second stargate
~10:00 Start Air Weapons Level 1
- Take both assimilators at your 3rd when the nexus is about to finish
~10:45 Start Shields Level 2
~11:00 Put down Templar Archives and start warping in zealots.
- You should have more than 60 probes across 3 bases. Keep making them untill about 75.
~11:45 Start Charge or Storm depending on what will you need earlier. Once you can afford it, start the other upgrade.
~12:45 Start Fleet Beacon
~13:00 Warp in some High Templars if you haven't done it already
~13:30 Put down a robo and start Shields Level 3. Keep warping in zealots
- Add about 8 Warpgates, you need alot of them, because all you're gonna warp-in is zealots, sentries and HT's.
~14:00 Start Mothership and Air Weapons Level 2 shortly after
~14:30 Get an observer, warp prism and move out to take your 4th.
Adapting the build:
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Obviously, not every zerg will let you sit there in peace and build up your doom army. It is very easy tho, to respond with this build, to anything that your enemy might do.
1. Defending 1 and 2 base rushes comes down to scouting it, there are many sources that will help you with holding those kinds of attacks after FFE.
2. 2 Hatch muta - you will unfortunetely need to warp some stalkers and skip any voidrays in favour of phoenixes.
3. 3 Hatch muta - easy to scout, make phoenixes off 2 stargates
* After facing enaugh 3 hatch mutas i noticed that you don't need the storm (fast) if you scout that he's going mutas, in time, and just chronoboost 2x phoenixes constantly.
4. Hydra pushes - Shield upgraded walls with cannons should buy you time to get out storm, otherwise, zealot/sentry/voidray with guardian shield and good FF's should deal with it just fine.
5. Ultralisk/baneling style - Your units should stomp that to the ground. You should have no problem with either late game zerg composition.
Reasoning behind the composition:
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* Shields Upgrade - This upgrade is essential. Since you will be using both - ground and air units it's better to upgrade shields than both armor upgrades first. It also makes archons much better at tanking demage since one upgrade covers pretty much entire health of a unit, unlike any other in protoss arsenal. It will also strengthen your building walls and cannons (incredibly helpfull vs zerglings). Not to mention, that shields regenerate, so you can take advantage of the upgrade even more.
* Zealots - Their role in your composition is mostly protecting your casters. They are also much better suited for direct combat with ground units than stalkers (stalkers are in fact horrible at it). Charge upgrade doubles their effectiveness and allows for much more favorable engagements in many ways that you won't even realize. Get it.
* Sentries - You need them in early-mid game to control space and defend untill your army grows large enaugh to deal with high numbers of zerg units. Later on, you should always have 2+ sentries to cast guardian shield (It affects both - ground and air units.)
* High Templars - Mostly for Psionic Storm, which deals 20 DPS to each unit on the ground and in air simultaneously, by far the best means of fighting high numbers of corruptors (or high numbers of anything for that matter). HT's can deal with anything that zerg player will make as a response to your air force, be it corruptors, infestors, infested terrans, or hydras.
* Void Rays - The core of your army. Multipurpose fighting unit - especially good at countering zerg T3 units. It's more expensive than a stalker, but more efficient, which is very much desirable in 200/200 army. It's also slower, but makes up for it with it's ability to... fly. Spread them out well when facing infestors, and roll over everything else.
* Mothership - It's badass. Even more badass with alot of energy so get it out early, preferably soon afer you establish your 3rd base.
* Archons - With +3 shield upgrades they're more powerfull than ever before. Focus fire clumps of corruptors when you can and keep them behind zealots, so they can stay alive untill you use vortex.
* Carriers - Normally you won't need them, but if your enemy happens to be an incredibly smart and talented player, you can gain an edge over him by getting 2-3 carriers and forcing engagements by abusing better range. On the flipside, if your enemy happens to be incredibly stupid, or for some unknown reason he can not find the hotkey for spawning corruptors, you can make more of them.
Engaging and hotkeys:
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Watching the replays, you'll notice that i'm using every single control group and i wish there was even more of them. You're using very different types of units: melee, ranged, ground, casters, flying and flying casters. You should have your sentries, high templars and mothership in 3 separate control groups. It's crucial to be able to access every spell instantly and pull back your templars or mothership. A few key notes for engaging:
1. Spread your units vs infestors - kinda obvious
2. Charge your zealots at infestors - incredibly strong tactic. He won't be able to fungal all zealots when they spread out and it will prevent him from chain fungaling your void rays
3. Protect your mothership, don't leave it far behind the army when moving
4. Learn to be precise with your GS and Storm. Don't waste them, but always use them when available.
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http://drop.sc/265846 (vs 12 min roach max)
http://drop.sc/223341 (vs very fast hive)
http://drop.sc/223343 (vs mass corruptor/infestor/roach)
http://drop.sc/223342 (vs 12 min mass roach attack and later vs hydras)
http://drop.sc/225540 (vs 10 min roach/ling attack into late game)
http://drop.sc/225445 (vs infestor/broodlord/corruptor late game)
http://drop.sc/234811 (vs gasless 3 hatch into muta)
http://drop.sc/234071 (vs ling/roach/hydra agression, i lose my 3rd many times and starve the zerg at the end)
http://drop.sc/234134 (with earlier implementation of multiple warp prisms for zealot harass on cloud kingdom)
http://drop.sc/234391 (featuring phoenix play vs infestors, corruptors and hydras)
Note that in all of those games my build is very unrefined. Those are just examples of the general style. All games played in Masters EU, so either my enemies and me could have done many things better.
Before jumping into conclusions, take note that every time you try something new, it will suck compared to what you're used to. You need to play with this build in order to judge it's viability. From my experience, it has huge potential (i didn't preassure or harass with stargate at all and i didn't abuse warp prisms or mass recals) and it's closer to the "correct" way of playing PvZ than what we're seeing in current trends. It allows you to play a macro game with zerg, without a time-bomb counting your minutes untill "unstoppable" broodlord/infestor/spinecrawler army rolls over you. You can actually fight against it.
If there is one thing i would like people to learn after reading this guide it's - Stalkers have garbage combat stats and making them purely for fighting is like massing mutalisks for defence.
Peace & have fun winning PvZ
+ Show Spoiler [Starving strategy on cloud kingdom] +