Friday, August 13, 2010

Lessons Learned

I have serious problems in Protoss vs Protoss and what is worse: I don’t really like the matchup. It seems so fragile. One little mistake and it is all over. Okay, most other matchups can seem exactly like that too, but the mirror matchups are more so than others I think. So I set out to become better at the matchup. In Brood War on iccup I would simply chose to play only PvP on the ladder, but that is – for good and for worse – not possible with Starcraft II.

pvp I played a long series of games with AiurAdun yesterday. Just to discover exactly what was possible and what was not in PvP. Mainly centered around proxy gate rushed as they are still amazingly common.

So normally I’d go gateway on 12 supply and scout then. If I see nothing in his base, I will assume that he is proxy rushing with two gates and throw down another gateway of my own and pump zealots. Since I am not the one rushing I would assume that I can do this, be ahead in probes and win. On small maps, it is a bit more complicated than that.

So lessons learned (assuming a map like Steppes of War):

  1. You have to scout at nine supply. Just when you put down your pylon. If you see his proxy at your natural, then you are lucky. If not then you will get to his base at exactly 12 supply or right after you’ve put down your first gate.
  2. If he is proxying you, the only safe thing to do is to put down your second gateway on 12 supply too. You do not have time for your 13th probe before doing this.
  3. After having put down the second gateway you can afford to build two more probes, before you switch into all out zealot production. I assume he can do the same?
  4. Chrono Boost is only for zealots (after having spend the initial boost on 10 supply of course). This is a no brainer.
  5. You can use your probes to defend, while he cannot. This means that you should be able to defeat his attack. The downside is that while you have zealots left and he does not, you have have lost a couple of probes.
  6. It is hard to tech to stalkers while skirmishing with a ton of zealots, but as the defender you should be able to get them out first. Just 3 stalkers completely turns the tide of the battle.
  7. A failed proxy rush is 95% guaranteed to be a lost game.

We also confirmed a couple of intuitive understandings I had of this matchup. For instance, if you both go gateway at 12 in your own base and you go gas at 14 and then realized that he cut probes to get his second gateway at home at 12 too, then all is not lost. You simply have to put down your own second gateway as soon as possible and pump zealots. Then you’ll be just fine.

I think this structured investigation of a matchup is extremely rewarding and we need to do more of it. And then I’ll (not) dominate the ladder …. muhahahaha!

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