PiG Daily Articles
Welcome to the PiG Daily strategy article! The PiG Daily is a show by Jared "PiG" Krensel that focuses on StarCraft 2 strategy and becoming a better player. We've joined forces to create an article series that summarizes his dailies into short, digestible articles that provide insight on builds, tactics and game sense. By combining with Spawning Tool, this series will bring you the most comprehensive learning experience for build orders and strategies.
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Cheese is one of the fundamental tools in every player's arsenal. The early pool is one of the mainstays of zerg strategy, and it's harder to defend properly than it looks. There are many small nuances in defending zergling rushes, and leave it to a zerg like PiG to teach us how to beat it with ease.
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Defending a 12-Pool in PvZ
It's happened even to the best of us: dying to an early pool. It's one of the simplest builds in all of StarCraft 2, but defending it isn't as easy as some pros make it seem. Aside from early scouting, there is a short checklist of steps that give you the best possible chance to stay safe.
Defending a 12-Pool
|14||Pylon||You may scout here to be extra safe.|
|16||Gateway||Scouting after Gateway is also fine.|
|19||Nexus||Once you spot the rush, delay 2nd gas and the nexus||Build a 2nd pylon to power the gateway||Cybercore as soon as possible (for adepts)||Chronoboost 2x zealots then 1 adept||Clean up the rush (with more units if necessary) then proceed as usual|
- Keep up constant probe production as much as possible. You are limited in the number of units you can build, and every probe that you can spare will help you defend the rush and leapfrog ahead once you hold.
- If your wall is really late, there is no point in completing it with structures that won't help you defend because it will delay your units from getting out. A wall-off is useless unless you have the units available to defend it.
- A single zealot will not be enough to defend a wall, half-wall or choke point. Balancing the amount of probes necessary in order to support your units needs some practice, but it is possible to defend a 12-pool with as little as 4 probes. However, if you aren't sure about your micro (pulling back weakened probes), then 5-7 will give you some room for error while not sacrificing economy too heavily.
- Do not hesitate to pull probes. The zerg will not build many drones beyond 12, so any probe surplus is already a lead if you are able to hold.
- The probes can do good damage, but their main purpose is to surround the zealot and shield it from getting ganged up on by zerglings. Your early probe defenders are expendable, but the zealot is not. Ideally you want the zealot to engage with only one or two zerglings at a time. Do not get caught outside your base!
- Stutter step your zealot backwards if the zerglings are starting to wrap around it. If you are having difficulty microing, it is more important to micro the zealot than the probes.
- If you have available APM, hold position or mineral walk damaged probes. Because of how units aggro, the zerglings will try to reach the zealot or attacking probes despite the damaged probes being in range.
- Buy time — you don't need to commit to a fight. The key here is to stop them from freely working on your buildings. Take a few steps out, take a swipe if you can, and pull back to a defensive position. You don't need to kill the lings until you have enough units to win clean. This dance will buy you valuable time.
- If you have 400 excess minerals, put down a nexus in your natural. If the zerg decides to attack it, it will buy you more time. If you need more minerals for units/pylons, you can cancel the nexus in a pinch. If the nexus finishes and you manage to hold, then you're well ahead.
- If zerglings get inside your base through the wall-off, don't worry. Commit only 1 zealot to chase them, and if they try to pick at your probes, try to surround them. If not, go back to mining. Zerglings running around causes you no damage.
- Once you have your 2nd zealot out, you can be a bit more daring and engage in a defensive position.
- Once the adept arrives, it's time to clean up and the zerg better get out of there!
Stats’ defense vs ByuL in GSL
Brought to you by the TL Strategy Team
Writer: PiG/TL Strategy
Writer: PiG/TL Strategy