Hey guys, my name is Gemini and I'm a Grandmaster Protoss player who has been making guides since 2011 on various sites. The Build of the Week is my most popular series of build order guides that I've been making for about three years now on /r/allthingsprotoss. With the help of TeamLiquid.net and Spawning Tool I'm now bringing my guides over to TL as well!
Each write-up includes build order notes, an explanation/analysis of how the build works, and a VOD section so you can check out the source game and how it should go. I'll also include the Spawning Tool link so that you can practice it in game yourself and download the replay of me doing it. I hope you enjoy and be sure to read the whole write-up before asking any questions as I'm sure some of them will be answered in here!
How to use Spawning Tool
Link to the Spawning Tool Build
Link to /r/allthingsprotoss Guide.
[PvP]MaNa's 3-Gate Warp Prism All-In
Protoss gets a bad rap for its all-ins, but PBOTW has always been more about macro. It's actually been a while since I've introduced an all-in build, and this will be a bit of a shorter guide for a relatively straight-forward strategy. I want to be sure to cover all areas of Protoss play, so I figure I should throw up a guide like this every once in a while. This all-in was used to great effect by Liquid'MaNa, a very old school player who remains a strong force in the European scene. He used this build twice in a row in his series vs PtitDrogo during the WCS Austin qualifiers and won with it twice. It's a deadly build, especially when it goes unscouted. For those who favor intricate, early-game micro, this is a build that should suit your fancy.
3-Gate Warp Prism All-in
|14||Pylon [@100% --> Chrono]|
|16||Gate [Chrono Nexus]|
|17||Gas --> Rally in|
|18||2nd Gas --> Rally in|
|@100% Gate --> Cyber|
|@100% Cyber --> 2x Stalker + WG [Chrono]|
|28||Pylon @Low ground|
|@100% 2x Stalker --> 2x Stalker|
|@100% Robo --> Warp Prism [Chrono]|
|38 Pylon + Shield Battery in mineral line|
|@100% Warp Prism --> Obs|
|@100% WG --> 3x Stalker warp in @Prism|
|3x Stalker warp in|
|Hit @4:37 w/12 stalkers + prism|
Relevant game starts at 14:00
As I stated earlier, this build is about as simple as it gets. I think the only thing more simple would be a straight-up 4-gate. The build starts with a normal 2-gate opener just like every other PvP build. [A clarification for anyone who was ever unsure of the way to saturate gasses in PvP but was too afraid to ask: Instead of pulling Probes off minerals to warp in Assimilators, rally building Probes directly to the geysers from your Nexus at the appropriate supply counts. The first Probe will be sent to mine minerals right after placing an Assimilator. It works out so that the second Probe rallied to build an Assimilator will be your 17th Probe, meaning you already have a full-saturation count of 16 Probes on minerals. The second gas Probe can then check for a proxy or cannon rush, and then warp-in your second gateway without losing any mineral mining time. Send one Probe into each Assimilator from your mineral line as they complete, while rallying your next few rounds of Probes to your Assimilators (it should work out so that you have 2 Probes mining from each gas as they complete). This method will leave you with enough minerals and gas to start everything once your Cybernetics Core is done, no matter what tech you are opening with.]
Afterwards, get two Stalkers right after your Cybernetics Core is done, as well as Warp Gate research with a Chrono Boost to speed it up. Also, warp your 3rd Pylon on the low ground, as a way to fake a normal expansion build. This alone should trip up a lot of players who aren't diligent with their scouting. It's also important to do a low ground Pylon block at your opponent's natural in order to scout what units they start with. If you want, you can also build the Pylon at the top of your opponent's ramp so they can't hide anything. Once you gather enough info, you can cancel the Pylon. If you see two Stalkers, then you don't have too much to worry about in terms of immediate aggression since you're making Stalkers yourself (and will always have the defenders advantage). However, enemy Stalkers may signify intent to be aggressive at a later point in the game, so it's important to scout around your side of the map to see if anything has been proxied. If you only see one Stalker from your opponent, that means they went for a Stalker + Sentry opening, which is the least aggressive option. In that case, all you need to focus on is denying as much scouting as possible. Some players are persistent and diligent about their scouting, sending their Probe scout back after a short delay to check if you've actually expanded. You'll want to keep your Stalkers out in the front of your natural to deny that, and then spread them out a bit to try and catch the hallucinated Phoenix scouts at their standard 3:50-ish timing with a Sentry first opener. Adepts are the worst thing you can see since they're the most reliable form of consistent early game scouting at your natural. They can constantly shade in and see if you've expanded or not, and also can force you to constantly block the natural ramp with a pylon.
All the while, you should be making Stalkers non-stop after you make your Robotics Facility at 28 supply. After your second set of Stalkers, get your 3rd Gateway at 32 supply. Another round of Stalkers will follow, making it a total of six out of your Gateways before Warp Gate research is done. A Warp Prism should be Chrono Boosted out right after the Robo finishes, followed by a Pylon on 38 supply. A Shield Battery in the mineral line should come next to defend against any Oracle openers. Build an Observer after your Warp Prism just in case of DT's. Move your Stalkers and Warp Prism across the map, stopping to warp in two rounds of Stalkers at your Prism. This way, you'll arrive at your opponent's base with 12 Stalkers and a Warp Prism at just before 4:40 on a normal size map. If your opponent didn't scout this, they should immediate die to this attack, provided you have some decent micro and don't lose the Warp Prism. If they did scout it and prepared, then you'll need to prove your micro chops in order to win. More on that below.
The Nuances of Warp Prism Micro
In some situations you will find yourself needing to use fancy Warp Prism micro to get yourself out of a rough spot. If your opponent scouts well and gets a good read on what you're doing, they could be in a fairly well defended position. A Warp Prism gives you an unlimited number of mini-'blinks' with no cooldown. Besides the obvious benefit of keeping low-health Stalkers from dying, loading a Stalker into a Prism can reset your opponent's shot timers and keep your Stalkers alive for longer. If you are quick enough, you can actually 'dodge' enemy Stalker shots with a well-timed pick up.
The most efficient way to do quick warp prism micro is the "D"-click and right-click method. It allows you to perform the least amount of clicks for the same outcome. How it works is you always have the Warp Prism selected and right click on the Stalkers that you want to pick up (usually the ones that are the most injured). Then, you immediately press the "D" key and click on the Warp Prism itself, which unloads all of the units it is holding directly underneath itself. This minimizes the number of clicks you need to perform the load/unload action, and allows you to keep moving your Prism the entire time.
Click here for an example of me performing the micro during a fight
Another useful application of this micro technique is performing an elevator maneuver. If you want to catch your opponent by surprise to an even greater extent, then you can bypass their heavily defended natural entirely by using the Warp Prism as an elevator into the main base. This has its risks of course, as it will leave some Stalkers isolated for a time until you can get everything onto the high ground. But if you are able to execute this quickly enough, then you will find yourself in an advantageous position (this can also backfire heavily though, if the opponent is well prepared and snipes the warp prism. Generally, losing your Prism means your attack will come to a complete halt, and will most likely result in a loss).
The elevator is performed by simply box selecting four Stalkers and loading them into the Prism and then D-clicking as you get to the high ground. Then, repeat until all of your Stalkers have been lifted to their destination. You do NOT want to control-click the stalkers or use your control group to select the Stalkers, since that will make the Stalkers you just unloaded go into the warp prism first.
Here's an example of me performing the elevator micro
By incorporating just a little bit of this micro into your game, should find yourself snowballing winning engagements very heavily, and perhaps coming back to win fights that previously seemed impossible.
Thank you all for reading and if you have any questions/comments please leave them below and I'll try to get to all of them!
Brought to you by the TL Strategy Team in collaboration with Overwolf and Spawning Tool.
Brought to you by the TL Strategy Team in collaboration with Overwolf and Spawning Tool.