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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We highly recommend using Spawning Tool in order to follow the basics of these builds. The PiG Daily and our strategy articles will serve as supplementary guides to understand the subtleties behind each decision.
Today we’ll look at “The Genius of TY” - an odd name for a build right? That’s because it’s not really something I’d recommend to ANYONE except him. The study of this replay and build is more about admiring TY’s cleverness and his exceptional control and execution of lategame than it is about giving a practical build for your average ladder Joe to use himself. However there will be a lot of practical takeaways and knowledge + understanding from this episode - specifically on combating phoenix-adept as Terran.
Link to the Spawning Tool Build
TY's Genius vs Phoenix-Adept in TvP
We’ll start by looking at his opening:
TY's genius vs phoenix-adept
|23||Ebay block the protoss natural if he's doing a normal expand (~2:25)|
|@100% factory -> starport|
|64||2nd + 3rd rax|
|66||2x engineering bays|
|4th + 5th rax when you can afford it|
It's a very basic opening, but there are a lot of nuances in his play that we'll discover as we comb through his game.
Each building has its priorities, which follow:
- 1 reaper
- Constant marine production
- 2nd rax takes starport tech lab for Stim
- 3rd rax builds own tech lab for Combat Shields
- 2x mines
- Build add-ons (reactor)
- 2x vikings
- Build add-ons (tech lab -> reactor)
From here strict build isn’t so necessary. Here’s the main points:
- Fast ghost academy
- Fast 2nd starport
- Stays 5-rax for a long time and EVENTUALLY (like 14:00) gets a 6th-7th rax (1 tech lab, 1 reactor) - so total 4 tech labs, 3 reactors
- Keep an SCV on his side of the map to scout for the 3rd timing (and possibly build a bunker)
- In this case, the nexus goes down at 3:30. This early timing prompts TY to push. If the nexus had gone down closer to 4:30, then it is likely that TY would have been more cautious with his units.
- TY relies on the thread of a widow mine hidden in the bases to limit Stats' damage. If Stats had gone full YOLO, he likely could have done irreparable damage. Still, 4 SCVs and denied mining is good.
- You need very specific micro to "sell the story" like TY does, clumping on the pocket where it's almost impossible to see the mine under SCVs.
- The push to deny the 3rd base opens up the game. Without it, Stats would have leapfrogged ahead because of his map control (phoenix + oracle tags) and penchant for the late game.
Now that we've gone over the basics, it's time to look at the meat of the game.
Dissecting the VOD
Facing Adept Phoenix
Every terran knows that the strength of adept-phoenix is its incredible mobility and mid-game potential. Its power climaxes around 120-150 supply; if it gets on top of bio during this phase of the game, the terran will be shredded. There's certainly no escape if you engage out on the map.
However, TY knows that these units lose value over time. Protoss will therefore do one of two things:
a.) Harass and pick off terran units and SCVs wherever they can until they can end the game with a direct engagement;
or b.) Start a delayed transition and hope to hit a strong late game army before the terran can start pushing into protoss bases.
In response, the terran's goal against adept-phoenix is twofold:
a.) Don't let the protoss trade too well in the mid game and minimize losses from harassment;
- Wall of wherever possible
- Turrets and vikings to zone out warp prisms
- Turrets, mines and bunkers to stop frontal assault on the third
b.) Hit the protoss during their transition, before they get to the ultimate lategame army.
There is a dicey third option: face the protoss in the lategame and just play an effective turtle style. While very few terrans go for this route, it should not be ruled out if the other two options seem less viable. TY is the closest we have to a late game TvP player, yet he still actively tries to avoid it in this game. He pokes and prod for a chance to push, but because Stats is so good at zoning and positioning he just carefully takes his time.
TY almost hits a perfect 2-2 pre-Storm timing (which won him the game on Proxima), but the research completes just steps away from Stats' base. Even with a powerful ghost/liberator/bio ball, TY is unable to finish the game. He quickly changes gears when he realizes that Stats is impenetrable, so he slows down with a fusion core transition and climbs to 80 SCVs.
* Unfortunately, TY forgets about 3/3 for a while
TY’s Insane SCV Count
At 10:00, you'd think that TY would be done with his economy after amassing 70 SCVs. However, he goes to take a 5th and climbs up to 80 SCVs soon after!! When Stats defends really well and drags the game out, TY takes this as his queue to change gears. I remember watching the finals in the audience and thinking, "Oh my god, what the F is this SCV count? Yet another terran that doesn't pay enough attention to their economy."
I then realize that TY's genius lay in his understanding that no matter what, Stats always finds a way to get adepts into your SCV line. 20 to 30 SCVs killed is par for course for Stats, and a terran that's down to 30-50 SCVs is all but crippled. Knowing that Stats would rely on this type of damage to get ahead, TY balloons his SCV count to preemptively survive. Despite losing 20 SCVs, he still maintains a healthy economy and rebuilds it quickly.
This is one of the few times we've seen a terran bounce back from this kind of economic damage. Normally, terrans with such high SCV counts need to sacrifice army effectiveness, but TY uses his ghost/liberator/bio combo with such finesse that he out positions Stats consistently. Part of me wonders if a few extra orbitals work better or just as well as the extra SCVs, but it's a very big investment before the ultra-late game because one orbital command (550 minerals) costs as much as 11 SCVs. Of course, there is a chance this was just a fortunate mistake, but it's worth considering this method if you are confident that the protoss cannot kill you with a direct engagement.
Abyssal’s Choke Points
A good player understands maps beyond the position of bases, ramps, and pathways. Chokepoints are an important part of army positioning, and TY takes advantage of them on this map. Because of the tight alleyways on Abyssal Reef, Stats has a hard time jumping on TY's armies. Both sides have to be very careful not to run through a choke and get massacred. As a result, TY does a huge amount work with his mobile ghost+ bio hit squads just looking for EMPs and snipes. His liberators hung back with his main bio force along with static D and planetary fortresses.
Ending the Game
TY's style is a classic one: set up at the front and hit with big drops and counters from behind. Stats, to his credit, has a nearly impenetrable defense of his own and you can't just force your way in with this kind of army. So, TY sets up in threatening spots and methodically cuts down the protoss' bank and infrastructure.
TY's shows patience by rinsing and repeating this pattern. Even in the lategame, Stats has to pick away at TY from afar with tempests in order to create some space, which means positioning is key. Eventually, Stats shows his frustration and falls out of position. Without hesitation, TY goes for it at 19:00. He gets on top of the prime expansion and inflicts a mortal wound, forcing Stats to all in. He jumps on Stats' moment of indecisiveness and aims the most crucial part of the protoss economy. This forces Stats to engage into TY's ball—a move that very rarely works. Even with mass storm, the final fight is brutal and TY clinches the game.
Brought to you by the TL Strategy Team
Writer: PiG/TL Strategy
Writer: PiG/TL Strategy