Photo Credit: ESL
Polt: Play For The Base Race
Having been around since the GSL open seasons, Polt has already established himself as a seasoned veteran. Taking his first championship in 2011 at the GSL super tournament against fan favorite MMA, Polt has slowly etched his way into our hearts, with win after win in tournaments all over the world. He’s got very well rounded play, proving himself time and time again against top caliber opponents, and making it look easy.
His TvP in particular seems to be a juggernaut of a matchup, with flawless victories in high pressure situations. It can roughly be described as survive early Protoss cheese and follow it up with a bio timing between the 7-10 minute mark, depending on how the Protoss opens. Following this bio pressure, Polt goes into his trademark dual-pronged aggression with one half of his army dropping into the Protoss base, and the other threatening the succeeding bases around the map. He never misses a beat - Polt is able to somehow always find the one weak spot in a Protoss base, and punishes them dearly for it. This puts Protoss in a very tough spot, almost always forcing them into a base trade, and this is exactly what Polt wants. He may be the best at multi-pronged harass, but he is even better at a base trade. It’s almost as if he wants the game to end up in a base trade so that he can take the easy win when his opponent eventually makes a fatal mistake.
Polt vs Puck G1 on Overgrowth
This game opens up as standard as possible, with Polt going for a reaper expand and Puck with a one gas fast expand. Polt decides to scout for some cheese and sends out an SCV to spot common proxy locations, and scouts Puck’s base with while he sends his reaper to other potential proxy spots. Puck on the other hand lets his zealot finish as to not let an engineering bay go up in his natural, and both players take their expansions.
Polt moves up to three barracks and places a bunker in his natural, while continuing to try to squeeze the reaper into Pucks base to find out what he’s doing. Polt does have the option to go for the 10 marine, 1 marauder with concussive shells poke, but instead opts for stimpacks first, suiting his style of a bio timing before medivacs. This leaves Puck relatively safe for the time being, allowing him to chrono boost probes and drop a 7 minute robotics bay. Polt, being Polt, eventually finds a hole to fit his reaper in and finds the timing on the robotics bay. This gives him the information he needs to hit the perfect timing window with his bio, before the first colossus hits the field.
Polt has a plethora of bio timings before medivacs are out
In this case, Polt hits with his bio at the 9 minute mark, right before a colossus is able to contribute to the pop out and help the Protoss army. Even with photon overcharge and clutch forcefields, Polts overwhelmingly large bio force is able to pick off trade evenly with the army, and picks off 9 probes to boot. He takes the the harvester lead, starts his third base and his fourth and fifth barracks, places some defensive bunkers in his natural, and sets himself up for the next stage of his assault. On Puck’s side of things, he drops a somewhat early third base, which isn’t as risky due to the amount of bio that Polt sacrificed earlier. This is a risk he has to take otherwise he will be too far behind to survive the mass drops that will inevitably be coming.
Moving into the mid-game, Polt is able to take map control with ease and starts to threaten the early third base from Puck. Although with the early damage that Polt has done, he still isn’t able to make anything big happen yet due to the colossus count, and backs off. He adds his second starport with reactor, continues his upgrades and builds up a large army to initiate his multi-pronged attacks. The first big engagement happens right before storm finishes, as Polt should know, by hitting the third and natural of Puck simultaneously. His vikings are at the correct location to pick off the colossi, the medivacs are with the army that has to face the bigger of the two Protoss armies to support the bio, and in the end Polt trades favourably while retaining map control, and continuing to tech ahead of Puck.
One of many tricks Polt has up his sleeve
With his starport production finally kicking in, Polt has enough vikings to restart medivac production, which in turn allows him to commence his deadly drops. Large armies from both sides clash at one of the watchtowers, so Polt uses this opportunity to drop into the main of Puck. Although Puck is ready with a sizeable amount of defense, Polt intelligently uses Pucks infrastructure against himself and finds a good place to drop. This drop is easily deflected with a couple of storms, so Polt escapes with his medivacs to find three free high templar making their way back home, remnants from the previous engagement at the watchtower.
Polt, now being at 200 supply, starts his unrelenting siege on Protoss buildings. Splitting his army up in two, he loads up one half of it and prepares to drop the main base of Puck, while his second half moves into position to threaten the third and fourth bases of Puck. Polt meets a very big Protoss army near the middle of the map, and decides that this is a good time to doom drop the main base of Puck and sends in 5 medivacs full of units to start the trade. This is Puck’s queue to move out; Puck feels like there is no other option right now other than to base trade Polt. This allows Polt to move the second half of his army to the fourth and third bases of Puck, picking them off completely uncontested while the medivac drop ravages the main base of Puck.
Polt is always favoured in base trade scenarios
Maintaining his composure, Polt re-rallies his production facilities into his main base as to save as many units as possible while still picking off countless Protoss structures, while Puck struggles to re-establish a base and keep his army alive. Once Polt realises that his main base is forfeit, he saves almost all of his rallied by lifting them out of the base, and still has the presence of mind to take new bases and finish clearing up the Protoss’ half of the map. Now finished with the Protoss’ base, Polt brings back his main force to finish off the now pinned Puck who is stuck in the natural base of Polt, trying to establish a base there. A couple of scans and a quick stim is all that’s needed to finally get a GG out of Puck.
Although not against a top Korean Protoss, this game is a textbook example as to how Polt plays TvP and is menacing nonetheless. Even if Polt finds himself behind, he’s incredible at finding his way back into games through his trademark drops. Classic will have to watch out for the seemingly random bio timings that Polt has in his arsenal, and have a Zest like defense to survive the endless medivac pressure. Polt will be looking to take this game into the latter stages and look to win through the much less commonly seen win condition.
Perhaps with early aggression himself, Classic will be able to edge out a win before the game can find its way into the late game. It will be very hard though because Polt is always scouting the map, searching for proxy cheeses and is always ready with a group of marines at each of his bases. A more direct approach like a 3-gate immortal bust could prove to be fatal to Polt, or a large counter-attack immediately after the bio pressure. In the end, Polt has the edge in this matchup, and could very well be a stomp.