PvZ – Stalker Harass into Dark Templar!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2012 by timfoxtrot

Ahaha, so just 10 minutes after I post about being in a slump I win with a build that I said I’d post about if it won. So without further ado here is a pvz build that I pretty much have down to a science and occasionally get called a fag when I use it. Keep in mind that I only ever go for this build if the zerg goes hatch/pool first as the success of this build depends on the absence of zergling speed and how amazing your stalker micro is. In other words, the success rate goes down significantly if the zerg goes for the standard speedling expand.

  • Wall off at the ramp
  • 9 pylon
  • 12 Gateway
  • 14 assimilator
  • 15 pylon
  • 17 Cybercore
  • 2nd assimilator right after cyber
  • Get your first zealot right after the assimilator.
  • Chrono boost two stalkers
  • get twilight council and dark shrine as soon as you have gas for both.
  • drop two more gateways after the shrine.

Image Lings on the way. No detection yay.

You really have to be active with your stalkers during this time. Camp at the front of their natural and kite their zerglings to hell and back. The point is you gotta keep them distracted (making units instead of drones or detection) all the while your dark shrine warps in. You should also have a forward pylon somewhere. As soon as the shrine is finished youll have enough gas to warp in about 3 dark templar to wreak some havoc on their base. If youre lucky, the 3 dts should be enough to destroy a lair in progress.

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TOO SLOW, BRO

If the dts dont outright win the game I would expand off of this and drop 3 more gates for a two base all in with 2 archons in the mix.

Remember, you -have- to do damage with the dts or else this is going to set you back economically and the zerg is just going to swarm you. Also, make sure you check the in game clock to see when speed should kick in. If I recall correctly, the fastest speed should come out is around 7:30 if they went hatch first. Once it gets close to that time, make sure you get the hell away as your stalkers will lose their speed advantage and get wrecked by lings.

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Gee gee gee, baby baby

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Slump

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2012 by timfoxtrot

Rich pointed out that I never post here, so GUESS WHAT RICH RHODEN I AM GOING TO POST A BLOG.

The main reason I’ve yet to post any sort of analysis is because I haven’t been winning any good games lately. Every time I try to go for some cool build it ultimately fails because of my poor execution, or probably because my opponent just plays standard and totally owns my face because of it. At the end of the day I go for some super cheese build (4 gate lolol) just to make myself feel better. 

I have been working on this PvZ build though that usually wins. When it does..i’ll write about it 🙂

EmpireWelmu vs FXOLucky

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27, 2012 by Jerlbev

EmpireWelmu vs FXOLucky

While the people who are fortunate and are able to afford the MLG Arena’s PPV cost are enjoying those matches, the people who are unable to drop those 20 dollars for the stream are still treated with a tournament of the same calibre, in terms of prize pool and lineup. The Republic of Gamer’s Winter Assembly 2012 is terrific tournament held in Finland, and this past one did not disappoint. With players like Taeja, Polt, Hero, Moon, Stephano, Jinro, TLO, White-Ra, Bling, and Lucky: these are just a handful of the stacked field of international competitors there.

One of the greatest moments of the tournament was one of the tried and true matchups of the Foreigner vs Korean hype machine. In the Ro16, the stage right after pool play, Empire’s lone Protoss Welmu, who  surprised many people by just making it out of his group (He barely squeeked out a tiebreaker for 2nd with Kas and Titan) was paired to play the ultra-aggressive style of Lucky, who is a GSL mainstay but I say he is more known for beating Naniwa countless times and getting 2nd at IPL 3. Most gambling men would have bet their money on Lucky but Apollo said it the best, if you know anything about the Finnish Protoss player, his PvZ can pull out wins over superior players with his aggressive gateway style. Do not count Welmu out.

The 1st game was on GSL Daybreak, where both players opted for Standard openers, A Forge-Fast Expand for the Protoss and a quick 3rd for the Zerg player. Some excellent scouting from Lucky saw that Welmu was going for a Warp Prism harass with Sentries blocking drones at the mineral patches, so the Protoss player did no damage with this initial maneuver which was unfortunate. However his main plan was an interesting one. While getting +2 Attack, he was massing immortals and sentries. Welmu’s strategy was going for a powerful 2-base push with a sans-zealot army so he can abuse forcefields with his ranged units. With something like 10 sentries, 3 immortals, and the rest stalkers, he moved out to the Zerg’s 3rd. The best way to describe this Protoss Army, a Roach slaying deathsquad, and Lucky, like most zergs, relied on the Roach in the mid game to dictate the flow of action in ZvP.

Initially, it looked like Welmu would destroy the Korean Zerg in one fell swoop but Lucky, true to his style, did the correct maneuver and backstabbed Welmu’s natural expansion. The Finnish Protoss player did not anticipate this at all and had only one cannon and absolutely no sentries. The 1st thing the FXO player also did was snipe the cybernetics core, that was part of the front wall, so he could only warp in zealots to aid in the defense of his main base. So the scenario now was full on base trade.

The base trade however lasted longer than usual with more twists and turns than a Scooby-Doo episode. Down to the last moment, it was still intense, I won’t spoil who won but this picture of the British Casting Archon tells all of how the heart wrenching the final moments of the game was. A must watch match!

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The Most Unintentional Funniest Commentary

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 by Jerlbev

One thing about the North American Star League’s Caster/Commentator/Analyst Gretorp is that he is a polarizing figure, some people love his passionate technical style of casting while others bash his constant misusage of words and his sometime out of left-field analysis. For me though, I think Gretorp is hilarious, and his casts are pure unadulterated entertainment. One of my favorite moments though happened recently in the NASL team league, where the Western powerhouse Evil Geniuses is battling the pre-dominant Eastern European team of Empire. The game was a TvT on Antiga Shipyard, crosspawns, and the Serbian BeastyQt versus the Pride of England, DeMuslim.

While the game itself is nothing amazing or even remotely exciting, but the humor comes from Gretorp’s analysis, and how he is 100% wrong in calling the game. When someone is 100% wrong that means that they are saying the person who is losing badly is in the lead. What adds so much more comedy is his guest co-caster, Firezerg (obviously a Zerg player) is asking him questions as Gretorp is the Terran player and you can hear from the Ex-complexity member the feeling of “WTF Gretorp you talking about?” You just have to watch it to experience all that is great about Gretorp.

New Season, New Mindset

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2012 by timfoxtrot

I know I started this blog back in December,  but after the initial post I didn’t even touch it. Ladder anxiety and other things got the best of me and school just started up again. However, with this semester being my penultimate one before graduation, I changed my mindset and set a ton of goals for myself (aside from graduating). One of them is to make to Masters by the end of this year, and I really think I can do it. With that, I’ll start focusing more on this blog as well, writing about some build orders that I’ve been playing around with, and hopefully entertaining the very few people that actually read this .

Watch out Jer! Soon we’ll be able to play a legit non 4gate pvp.

Sup!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2012 by Jerlbev

Hello! I’m the other half of the blog and a fellow Protoss user. I used to be a frequent top 200 (never top tier but hovering around 100 and above) on the NA server under the name “tQmagnavox” before they implemented the Grandmaster league and still released lists every week on Battle.net. I slowly played less when they did implement GM and still was ranked top Masters but never grinded the games out at the necessary time to achieve one of those “coveted” slots. However top masters is still equivalent to a GM’s MMR rating, you often play against the same opponents.

After a hiatus of playing Starcraft II (Damn you HoN), I say playing because as I still fanatically watched all the tournies, this month I had the urge to play some matches. Even through the horrendous Guam lag we got here (200+ ping) the thrill of the game still exists. So I logged onto my Terran/Zerg account, which is still Masters, and queued up a 1v1 match.

Ladder Anxiety? I always see posts on Reddit discussing the Fear associated with the “Find Match” button but I never had that problem. Maybe because I don’t mind losing as much as other people.

So here we go, at first all I could think of was not PvZ, not PvZ, not PvZ,  I had trouble with that matchup even when I was active, I could never fight against the “new school” zerg style of Broodlords/Infestors/Corruptors. Even if I had an advantage going into the late game, I could not seal the deal. I always blamed it on my battle micro.

So a game is found and looking at the loading preview screen, I see my opponent is a zerg named Oresame (Ore-same??), Strike 1, and the map is (name), a map I have never played, strike 2. What a welcome back gift.

Playing a map for the 1st time is actually a scary thing, it is equivalent to going to a new city for the 1st time that you know nothing about. To get you by, you have to stick to with what you know.

The obligatory manner in the beginning of the game, nobody knows if it’s genuine or not of course

What I know in PvZ the best is the gateway/core wall in front, I’m okay with Forge Fast Expand builds, but not too hip with the Naniwa trend of “FFE or die trying,” I am willing to sacrifice a little bit of economy for safety. Also I like to practice building placement 1st against the AI before playing any actual human opponents so I can make the optimal sim city for each starting position.

When you 1st look at a map, I find answers for two things, the distance between me and an opponent’s potential starting position (how many players can spawn on this map) and where I am going to take my 2nd, 3rd, and future bases. Lastly I scour the map for any map abuse whether it is me exploiting it against my foe or my enemy using it on me. My natural expo is rather safe, so I aim to do some sort 2 or 3 gateway expand build.

I send my scouting probe after gateway, and secure my 2nd gas at a rather standard, after the core has been place. Here I spawned at the 1’oclock position and send my probe counter-clockwise. I am rather unlucky as I don’t scout my opponent in the 1st two positions I sent it too, but right before my probe makes it the ramp to the natural expo to the last location I haven’t checked, I see 6 lings run past my core and at the same time my zealot pops out. I have been early pool’d.

This Zealot thought that only when you are warped in is when you have to be ready to fight immediately

I have to pull some probes as my zealot gets sandwiched and killed right away. Here I carelessly lose 3 probes as it is a result of my slow reaction to pulling them back. I think to myself though that even with those losses, I am still way ahead in workers as he probably wanted to do more damage. Watching the replay he 11 pooled me and probably was hoping I would Forge-Fast expand because with those early lings you can really annoy the protoss player as the chances of them getting into your main are incredibly high.

With this advantage, I drop my second gate, start setting up pylons to block my front wall at the natural, andtry to get an inkling of what my opponent is doing. I send my Stalker to the front of his base as Spore Colonies, Sunken, and plenty of Zerglings.

He’s ready for pushes that were popular on Xel’naga Caverns 6 months ago

I guess my plan of doing an old-fashioned Gateway expand build invoked fear into my zerg adversary, maybe he was heavily anticipating some sort of one base play (4 Gate, Voids, Dark Templars). My advantage before just got bigger as he was wasting money/larvae on stuff that is not drones. I sent my Stalker back and settled for upgrades, robotics, and a few more gateways. What came next though is a move that I should have anticipated.

Believe it or not, this probe does not die

With all those lings he made, he wasn’t simply going to keep them in his base. So he started to attack my natural expo, and with these ling attacks, the Zerg player is banking on the Protoss to utterly fail with his forcefields, in this case I do not.

The feeling of successfully FF-ing zerg units is something that cannot be duplicated

This map is no Xel’naga Caverns, where defending aggression like this can be a pain in the ass due to large amount of surface area. But here I placed 4, nervously but I think you can seal the deal with 3, and laughed heartily at his zergling attack. He came back for some more attempts, and I tried to seal off the entrance way with one hex but I failed in this regard and he streamlined some ‘lings into my mineral lines.

Sigh Zergling Runbys -_-

I could have walled my main with a zealot (at the initial Gateway/Core block) but failed to do that as that resulted my enemy trying to micro two sets of zerglings at each of my bases. While this attack did not fail, it did not do enough damage to warrant him any equilibrium in an economic sense (more annoying than anything) I cleared the lings by splitting on my forces and starting teching to Collossus while I produced my 1st observer.

Good FFs in the open fields just are so damn awesome

While teching, I move out with my army, which is mostly Zealots/Sentries with a few Stalkers. My purpose here is to check his 3rd, to see if it is up, and to apply some pressure. Also my 1st obs arrives and I use it to clear away the creep tumors outside his ramp of spines/spores. He has no 3rd up and while I am moving back to the center of the base he attempts to catch my army with his +1 lings now. With +1 attack finished for my ground units and coupled with my forcefields, my army makes short work of these lings.

So as I move back to my mine base, I am sitting pretty, he’s been super aggressive and turtley, and it has not worked well at all. I’m getting my Armor upgrade, getting blink for stalkers and churning out my 1st Colossus out of my robotics, I even destroyed the rocks that connect your natural to the closest 3rd base and plant down my nexus. When watching the replay I was up 30 supply at this point, and playing it as well I was incredibly confident that I was going to take this win. My plan was to max on 3 bases and make that super cost effective Stalker/Collossus deathball.

But I made one of the classic mistakes when you are ahead, and that is not being prepared for the only thing that can kill you. Literally seconds I plopped my 3rd base, a flock of winged beasts reign terror on my probes in my natural.

TT1 I feel your pain, Mutas are a pain the ass…

This muta flock came into base at the same time my army was going to apply pressure on his potential 3rd base. I had no cannons or anti-air back at home, I was in trouble. Sure I was researching blink but this was for Stalkers I was going to make, at that moment in the game I had about 5 stalkers. I used all my gas on Tech/Upgrades.

All of my stalkers at this point in the game can be seen in this screenshot

He bounced around my 3 bases, and some incredible bad control from me allowed him to destroy Stalkers as they warped in, so the time I could get a decent Stalker count, the probe damage was already done and I had to cancel my third too. I was frustrated as I focused on Zealots and Sentries for the majority of the game as he only threw zerglings at me; this predictable tech progression that caught me so off guard was the nail in the coffin. After completely bungling my defense, I grab my colossus and let, and my gateway army and try to bust that Sunken wall that defends his ramp. Maybe with blink I can make a miracle happen. I was going for the base race.

A Futile Attempt

Most desperation moves do not work and this one continued the cycle, Spines are so efficient in DPS, and no amount of micro or force fields could save me here. I was down to two workers, and I had never did anything about his mutalisk force, this was GG. Even though he never took a 3rd base, he caught me with my pants down and punished me for it.

What I Need to Do?

First of all, I was proud of myself for gaining such a lead in the 1st place, while I am super rusty, I still can hang.

Secondly, I need to scout better, my 1st obs that I made flew into a Spore colony and the 2nd I had stayed in the front of his ramp so I can clear out the creep tumors and see when his zerglings were running rampant, I never scouted his tech, and what exactly he was going to spend all that gas on. Upgraded Lings are usually the pre-cursor to Mutalisks and Infestors.

Thirdly, I need to not play so greedy, if I did not scout a 3rd or an attempt at a 3rd, I should have known that another all-in was coming, and prepared for it. For example cannons in my mineral lines are an excellent way to prepare.

I was upset for about 10 seconds after the game but I realized that I did many things right and these few things I need to fix are easily done. This leaves me much optimism for my future ladder games.

Intros

Posted in introductions on December 19, 2011 by timfoxtrot

Hi there everyone! My name is Tim and I love video games. I started out like most gamers my generation with the staple Mario games, got into competitive gaming with Super Smash Bros. Melee, and now have decided to focus all of my gaming energies on Starcraft II. Although I’m very competitive, I’m not very good, being a high Platinum, sometimes low Diamond Protoss player. With this blog, I am going to write about my adventures going up (or down) the leagues, some build orders that I’ve come across (my opinions on them), and basically anything dealing with Starcraft. By writing all about it, I’m hoping it could make me a better player.

And for some added flavor, my friend Jeremy (Mag) will also be writing on this blog. He is currently a masters Protoss player whose Terran and Zerg I would rate at high diamond.  Show us some love as we give you insights on Protoss play coming from players in different leagues =)