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
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[PvT]Trap's Oracle into Phoenix-Chargelot bust
Trap builds :')
Back in 2014-2015 when Trap was first starting to make a big name for himself, he earned the nick name The Wing Commander for his exceptional Stargate unit control. He continues to make big plays with Stargate units to this day, and loves opening Stargate in all three match-ups. It's his go-to in PvT and he's been showing off a Phoenix-Chargelot style on stream and in online tournaments.
Phoenix-Chargelot is a great early-game composition that is great at punishing mistakes and weaknesses, and can snowball leads extremely quickly. Combined with a fast Warp Prism and some extra Gateways, and you've got yourself an extremely fast-hitting, 3-base attack that can crush Terrans before they can get themselves fully established. Seeing how Terrans have been going for more tech focused builds recently over heavy early bio play, these types of pushes can strike right before the key upgrades like Stim or Combat Shields are done, making them super powerful.
Oracle into phoenix/chargelot bust
|14||Pylon [@100% --> Chrono]|
|16||Gate [Chrono Nexus]|
|17||Gas --> Rally in|
|@100% Cyber --> Adept [Chrono]|
|@50 Gas --> WG|
|@100% Adept --> 2nd Adept|
|@100% 2nd Adept --> 3rd Adept|
|@100% Stargate --> Oracle [Chrono]|
|If expect early cyclone pressure:|
|@100% 3rd Adept --> Stalker|
|100% Oracle --> 2nd Oracle --> 5x Phoenix production|
|4:25 3rd Nexus (When the early pressure is done) + Natural Gasses|
|If don't expect early pressure:|
|100% Oracle --> 2nd Oracle [Chrono]|
|~4:15 3rd Nexus + Natural Gasses|
|3rd Oracle --> 5x Phoenix production|
|4:40 Forge + Twilight --> +1 Armor + Charge [Constant Chrono]|
|Pause probe production at ~50|
|6:00-6:30 5x Gate|
|Resume probe production up to 60|
|@100% Robo --> Warp Prism [Chrono]|
|Warp in 2-3 Sentries, 4-5 Stalkers, and constant Chargelot|
|Hit at ~8:00 w/3 Sentries, 5 Stalkers, 5 Phoenix, 2-3 Oracles, and mass Chargelot|
Build Explanation & Example Games
Trap vs SuperNova - KR Ladder: This is the Phoenix-Chargelot bust that shows the alteration to deal with early Cyclone/Hellion pressure.
Trap vs Barcode - KR Ladder: This shows the reaction to a 3rax opening.
Phoenix-Chargelot is a style that has been around for quite some time, dating back to around this time last year. After Phoenix-Adept started getting solved, Protoss moved toward using Chargelots instead (also, charge had been buffed to cost only 100/100). As I said earlier, it's a very punishing composition that can really do well versus aggressive, teching Terrans. Trap's version which opens with three Oracles beforehand also gives you plenty of harassment potential and as much early game detection as you could possibly need.
I've made the build notes for this build by combining multiple different replays/VODs I've seen of Trap doing the same style. This is the cleanest version of it.
To start this build off, something that Trap (and other Protoss) do a lot is pressure with the first three Adepts and the first Oracle. After you've gone for the normal 20 Nexus opening, you'll be getting your Stargate and Chrono Boosting out the first two Adepts with the third one meeting up shortly after. Three Adepts is a critical number since that allows them to one-shot Marines and SCVs, so you can chip away very easily at a Terran who mispositions units or doesn't invest enough into early defense. With an Oracle to support you can put a big dent in the Terran's plan from the start. This is definitely a tricky scenario to micro in, however, as you can very easily lose the Oracle if there are too many Marines and you don't pull back low-health Oracles. The Adepts can also easily get overwhelmed if you don't have all three together. If you don't feel comfortable keeping your early-game units alive, then don't bother with the aggression. If you want to try it and see what happens, by all means go ahead. It IS quite important that you use at least one Adept shade to go up the Terran ramp for scouting information. You'll want to check if there's a reactored Factory or a Barracks so you can get an idea if there's going to be heavy Cyclone/Hellion pressure or more of a bio focus.
You can also go for only a single Adept and then two Stalkers if you feel more comfortable doing that knowing you won't want to be too aggressive with the Adepts. The timings of the build might differ slightly but not enough to impact it heavily. I've even seen Trap open for only Stalkers early on just like this old Oracle build, so it's really up to you what you feel most comfortable with opening. Multiple Adepts is the most common option, though.
Normally Trap goes up to three Oracles with this build (as does pretty much every Protoss who opens Stargate) so you can one shot SCVs and Marines and so that you have a lot of energy for Revelations in case they open for cloaked Banshees. Even if they don't open Banshee then you can still use the energy to constantly have the Terran army Revelated (is that a word?) to know when they're moving out and where they're moving to. However, to help defend vs certain builds you can skip the 3rd Oracle and go for a faster Phoenix since Banshees could hit a little earlier than normal.
[For instance, in one game I saw Trap scout a fast, reactored Factory-play which indicated a Cyclone/Hellion push. Once his Adept shade confirmed it, he built a Shield Battery at home before his extra two Gateways (which you get at 52 supply), got a Stalker out of the first Gate, and got a Phoenix after the 2nd Oracle. This helped him to defend the early pressure very easily and also left him prepared to deal with any immediate Banshee follow ups to that push. Since his extra Gates would be a little bit later, he wouldn't be able to reactively warp in many Stalkers to kill off the Banshees, so going into the Phoenix just a little bit faster would help against this. This game is linked below from Trap's stream. If you want to just get the Shield Battery no matter what to be safer then that's totally fine as well. The extra Stalker might have also just been a precautionary step by Trap that's not even that necessary since he held the push quite easily. If it was a more committed push though then I could see why he made it. Once the push is held you'll want to immediately take your 3rd base since there's nothing else that could be killing you at this time. A Banshee follow up is the most threatening next step for a Terran which is already being dealt with by having the Oracles and the Phoenix out. The natural gasses go along with your 3rd being taken so that you don't fall behind on gas income for the next set of upgrades you'll be needing.]
If you weren't facing early pressure then you can just get the two Gates at 44 supply and continue as normal without anything extra. The 3rd Nexus can go down a little bit earlier at around 4:10-4:15 and the natural gasses go along with it as well. You can go up to your three Oracles and then straight into Phoenix production. It's at this point you'll be getting to the convergence point of 4:40 which is where you get the Forge and the Twilight Council. This is one of the most important timings to remember for this style as it's what gives your composition all of its credibility as a mid-game threat. Without these two tech buildings coming down at this time to start the necessary upgrades, then everything else basically falls apart. Once they're done you want to get +1 Armor and Charge immediately and continually chronoboost them until they're finished. The reason you go +1 Armor with Chargelots is because you want them to survive longer. In combination with Guardian Shield they end up taking only two damage a shot from Marines which makes them extremely sustainable in long fights. (6 damage per shot reduced to 4 with Guardian Shield, reduced to 3 from the natural 1 Armor of Zealots, all the way down to 2 with the extra +1 Armor). They also don't earn any special powerspike against Terran by having +1 Attack like Adepts do (2 shot Marines instead of 3) or like Zealots do vs Zerglings (2 swipes instead of 3) so Armor is more beneficial for them.
Once you're at 6:00 you'll want to Pause Probe production at what you have, which should be around 50 or so, in order to get your Robo and also five extra Gateways. Resume Probe production up to gassless three base saturation (60) once the Gates are all building. This leaves you with a total of eight gateways, a Robo to make a Warp Prism, and five Phoenix to deny any Medivacs/Banshees with Oracle support as well. From there you should get a few Sentries to have for Guardian Shield, a few Stalkers just to have some extra versatile damage, and as many Chargelots as you can muster out. At 8:00 you should be able to hit with everything and steamroll any Terran who tried taking a 3rd base after opening with some early tech. Phoenix can be used to either kill off Medivacs/Liberators in the sky or to lift up Widow Mines/Tanks on the ground as the Chargelots swarm in.
While this push is extremely punishing vs tech heavy Terran openers, more bio focused play might give you some extra trouble. Luckily for you, there are variations! (But in general if you just macro well and nail the timing in lower leagues it should still work fine vs anything)
Variations of Forge+Twilight
Versus strategies like 3-rax or other two-base, heavy bio styles, it can be hard to make Phoenix-Chargelot work. I talked with Trap a little bit and he said he usually goes for this type of push vs Terrans who go for the more tech-heavy styles like Banshee or other variations of 1/1/1. If you play vs 3rax then this style isn't really that great. Not only are early Phoenix not what you want against 3rax, but heavy Chargelot compositions can be easily kited if the bio ball gets large enough. However, you aren't pigeonholed into going Phoenix-Chargelot once the Twilight Council is down.
Something cool that I saw Trap do on stream though was a huge Adept/Sentry all-in upon scouting a 3rax opener. You essentially do the same thing as this build except you cut out the Phoenix entirely and get a slightly earlier five gates and Robo at around 5:30 or so. The Twilight and Forge researches Glaives and +1 Attack so that you can then hit with some Sentries and a ton of Gladepts before they can really get a Medivac count out since they went for such a late Factory.
You can also choose to not do the huge Phoenix-Chargelot attack described above if you don't feel like you can break a Terran. You can still play this composition out normally in a macro game instead with a higher Phoenix count and a transition to Archons. You'd just play it similarly to Trap's 3-Oracle into macro build, except with more Phoenixes to help with drops and Liberators, and a heavier focus on Archons instead of trying to rush to Storm. You can get the Robo afterwards as well to round out the composition with Immortals and eventually Storm and Blink as well once the Phoenix start to lose value.
Changing course and going for Blink and +1 Attack is also a completely valid option. To be fair, I haven't studied this style as much as the others and it's generally my least favorite transition out of Stargate. Still, Trap uses it a decent amount and it's seen various forms of play for a few years now. Usually Trap only gets one Phoenix to help vs early Banshee or drop play and then goes fully into Stalkers with Blink and then right into Charge and Templar Archives for Storm when Blink is finished. I haven't studied it enough to fully understand when this is a better option than Phoenix/Chargelot (nor do I want to annoy Trap with TOO many questions xd) but it's a style that can also punish Terran mistakes while transitioning to a well-rounded composition of Blink/Charge/Storm. If you trade well with the Terran early you can also just do a big Blink counter attack and end the game.
I'll most likely revisit the style again in the future with more depth but no matter which style you choose I hope this gave you a decent understanding of how to collect some Terran tears.
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.