StarCraft® II

IntoTheLight's ProtossLite Guide [P]

Posts: 544
Hey everybody, I’m IntoTheLight (just call me Light for short) and I’m here to help players of all races improve not only their builds, but scouting, decision making, and anything else you can think of.

Now I’m only a Diamond Random player but I think it gives me a unique perspective on all the races. I have a similar post for each of the racial forums in the works because there is a distinct lack of guidance available for the different races in one well-defined and sectioned post. Most of what I see is full of great information, but tedious and hard to follow especially for lower level players. I also have a post in the works for the General/Multiplayer and e-Sports forums for non-race specific scouting (each post takes about a week to research, write, and edit). If anybody has questions feel free to post below and I’ll update the post as well as try and respond to the best of my abilities.

This post was 100% written by hand and the only source of information I used was Liquidpedia for some of the exact build orders. Please point out any mistakes I may have made or updates to the timings. (part of the reason there is no reaper rush in the Terran version is because the darn build time changed on me) Thanks for reading and feel free to comment and up-vote if you like it!

Index:
i) Protoss Overview
ii) The Opening
iii) A Few Builds
a. 4-Gate
b. 3-Gate Robo
c. 1-Gate Stargate
d. 3-Gate Expand
e. Forge Fast Expand (PvZ)
f. Dark Templar Expand (PvT)
g. Proxy 2-Gate (PvP)
h. 4-Gate Blink Stalkers (all-in)

iv) Scouting
a. Probe Scout
b. Observer use (and misuse)
c. Poking at the Front

v) Unit Composition (and some Pro’s who tend to favor these styles)
a. Gateway Army (Adelscott and oGsMC)
b. Colossus Ball (EGiNcontroL and Naniwa)
c. Templar Tech (IMSeed and ST_Squirtle)
d. Carriers (Liquid’HuK)

vi) Positioning
vii) Common Problems (and some solutions)
viii) Strategy and Transitions
ix) Tips and Tricks
Edited by TerranItUp on 21/06/2011 03:30 BST
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i. Protoss Overview:
Protoss as a race relies on fewer, yet more powerful, units to decimate opposing armies. Their strengths include the ability to re-enforce almost instantly with Warp Gates and devastating abilities like Psionic Storm and Force Fields to quickly change the tide of a game. Solid positioning allows a Protoss player to cut opposing armies in half as well as protect their valuable units. On the offensive, Protoss armies rely on a diverse unit set where each has a purpose. When at full force, there is very little the other races can do to stop a Protoss attack. However this means that early on, small groups of Protoss units are vulnerable and must be controlled well to be effective. Protoss players have multiple tech paths to choose from in order to gain the upper hand, but are slow to switch tech, making scouting important. In the end, Protoss, when used correctly with proper scouting, is able to dominate the map into the late game and overpower the other races.

ii. The Opening:
For those of you who don’t know how a Build Order is written, the numbers correspond with the supply the player is at when he/she starts production of that building. For example, almost every Protoss starts the game with the same basic build order: 9 Pylon, 13 Gateway, 14 Assimilator, 16 Pylon, and 17 Cybernetics Core. This means that the player makes Probes until the 9th one is building (this the ratio in the top right corner of your screen says 9/10) and as soon as you see this the player will build that building as soon as he/she can afford it. When the 12th Probe is building the Gateway is started and so on. Here is how they will be written out from now on:
Basic Protoss Start:
9- Pylon
13- Gateway
14- Assimilator
16- Pylon
17/18- Cybernetics Core (if you gas steal it will be 18)

Now, we have so many different Protoss builds with many different buildings and timings, but most of them start this same way. The only real exceptions are very fast expands without taking any gas but we’ll talk about that later. For right now, if you can start every game like this you’ll be on the right track.

iii. A Few Builds:
Remember that every game is going to be different. Every game you will have to adjust in order to survive rushes or to respond to a bold expansion. These builds are good openings to have and will help you find what you like doing. It’s good to get away from doing one build every game, so mix these in and see if it improves your play. (The ~ means about or around because it depends on how good you are with production cycles and spending) I have included one race-specific build as well for each matchup (PvT, PvP, and PvZ) for some builds you’ve seen in higher level games. I’ll try and explain theses a little better than the other ones because they tend to require some specifics to be successful but having them available is nice.
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 14:46 BST
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a) 4-Gate:
9- Pylon
12- Gateway
14- Assimilator
16- Pylon
17- Cybernetics Core
18- Zealot
22- Stalker and 2nd Assimilator
~24- Warpgate research
24- Stalker
26- 3 Gateways

This build is a very aggressive build, relying heavily on doing damage or killing your opponent. It is very strong against FE’s from Zerg and Terran if not scouted but can be stopped putting you behind. Transitions include an expansion if you see the attack is going to fail into 6-Gate or colossus tech is common.

b) 3-Gate Robo:
9- Pylon
12/13- Gateway
14- Assimilator
15- Pylon
16- Cybernetics Core
18- Zealot
21- Zealot
23- Sentry
24- Warpgate research
24- Zealot
25- Pylon
25- 2nd Assimilator
27- Robotics Facility
28- 2nd Gateway
32- Observer
33- Pylon
35- Immortal
39- 3rd Gateway

The power of this build is the safety if affords a player. The observer is going to shut down Banshee and DT builds, while the early Immortal will waste Marauders and Roaches. It does take some micro as immortals are expensive and slow so they must be defended from Zerglings or Mariens. It easily Transitions into one-base colossus or an expansion after the push with the Immortal(s).

c) 1-Gate Stargate:
9- Pylon
12/13- Gateway
14- Assimilator
16- Pylon
18- Cybernetics Core
18- 2nd Assimilator
21- Stalker
24- Stargate
24- Pylon
25- Warp Gate research
26- Stalker
29- Void Ray

Any kind of Stargate build is going to be brutal against Marauder Expands and other fast expansions, sometimes ending the game right there. Early Void Rays also allow for good map control against Zerg and are great for hunting Overlords. However, this build is going to be weak to 3-Rax attacks as it lacks the Gateway units to tank damage for the Void Rays to get charged. A solid transition is into an expansion and later on Void Ray/Colossus which is incredibly hard to stop.

d) 3-Gate Expand
9- Pylon
13- Gateway
15- Assimilator
16- Pylon
(18- Optional Gas Steal)
18/19- Cybernetics Core
20- 2nd Assimilator
20- Zealot
(Sentry or Stalker as soon as your Zealot finishes)
22- Warp Gate research
25/26- 2nd and 3rd Gateways
@ 400 minerals- Nexus

This build allows for a safe expansion with little fear of Harassment. The gas steal delays Banshees or DT's and the 3 Gates allow for a sizable army. Thanks to Telenil for the suggesstion. It easily transitions into either Colossus tech or Templar because of he extra Vespene Gas.
Edited by TerranItUp on 27/05/2011 19:16 BST
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e) Forge Fast Expand (PvZ):
9 - Pylon at Choke Point of Natural Expansion
12 - Forge at Choke
14 - Nexus at Natural Expansion
14 - Two Photon Cannons behind the Forge
16- Gateway to further restrict choke
18- Assimilator
~20- Cybernetics Core

This is a greedy build that can pay off big. If you suspect a very large attack, make more cannons and try and hold your expo at all costs. If the Nexus falls it’s very hard to come back. Sentries and Force Fields are going to make you feel much safer as well as allow your cannons to live longer. I like this build against Zerg players on 4-player maps.

f) Dark Templar Expand (PvT):
9- Pylon
12- Gateway
14- Assimilator
15- Pylon
16- Zealot
18- Cybernetics Core
19- 2nd Assimilator
21- Warp Gate Research
21- Stalker if 1 Rax Gas scouted; Sentry otherwise
23- Pylon
24- 2nd Gateway
24- Twilight Council after enemy scout dies
27- Stalker
29- Dark Shrine
30- Pylon
31- Stalker
33- Pylon
33- Warp in two Dark Templar next to Terran base
37- Nexus

While good against Terran players, DT expands can be effective against Zerg and Protoss as well. It will almost always do damage to Terran as they will generally only have one scan, thus you’ll be able to slip one DT in if the other is scanned. Be careful of PoltPrime builds with a fast Raven, but otherwise you’ll be in good shape. The threat of DT’s means the opponent needs mobile detection before moving out (Raven, Observer, Overseer) so your expansion will be safe. A general transition is into Chargelot/Templar/Archon because you already have the Twilight Council.

g) Proxy 2-Gate (PvP):
9- Pylon
12- Gateway
14- Gateway
15- Pylon
(15- Cut Probes)
16- Zealot (Chrono Boost this one)
18- Zealot (Chrono Boost this one too)
20- Zealot
20- Pylon
22- Zealot
24- Zealot
(26- Resume probes)
27- Zealot
28- Cybernetics Core

As an alternative to 4-Gate, this build is designed for 2-player maps (but can work on 4-player if you send two Probes to scout at the start) and is considered cheese. (oGsMC used it most recently against DuckloadRa at I believe Dreamhack). When the game starts, send one of your probes to the opponent’s base and build your first pylon out of sight. You can put it on the low ground next to the base and build the two Gateways on the high ground with your “scouting” probe. The success of this build depends on not being scouted until you’ll be able to get the Zealots out. It will end games if not scouted against all races, but you’ll be far behind if it fails. Any transition is possible if you do enough damage. Just don’t invest everything in it if the opponent scouts it early.

h) 4-Gate Blink Stalkers (all-in)
9- Pylon
12/13- Gateway
14- Assimilator
16- Pylon
18- Cybernetics Core
18- 2nd Assimilator
18- Pylon
21- Warp Gate research
(23- Chrono Boost Warp Gate research)
27- 2nd Gateway
28- 3rd Gateway
29- Pylon
30- Twilight council
30- 4th Gateway
(30- Cut Probes)
(30- Chronoboost Blink research)
30- Stalkers
30- Pylon
44- Blink Completes

If you like Blink Stalkers, like ROOTMinigun or Liquid’Tyler, this allows for a huge army of Blink Stalkers quickly. There is pretty much no expansion built into these so do lots of damage. The trick is to blink individual stalkers to the back to the battle as they lose their shields, by the time the enemy has worked to them, blink is almost off cool down and the shields are coming back. Very hard to deal with as you get better, but is effective for saving your stalkers and putting on pressure for any level Protoss player.
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 14:58 BST
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iv. Scouting (as Protoss):
Protoss players have some very diverse options for scouting if you’re feeling creative. I’ll talk about the use of Observers, as well as Hallucinate, and the basics of Probe scouting. The mobility and detection of Observers can give Protoss map control and allows for the proper response to be planned and well-positioned. Remember that each game is a little different but the concepts are the same. You’re trying to gather as much information as you can about not only the buildings a player has, but units, upgrades, and position of forces. You’ll need to use everything you can to gain the upper hand.

a) The Initial Probe Scout
Most players will scout with the Probe that began warping in the first Pylon. You’ll get to scout a little faster than the other races because you won’t need the Probe there building the Pylon (unlike Terran). This is fairly standard and you can choose to use another one or wait for your Gateway to be warping in if you’d like, but it’s easy to remember to just send the scout after it builds the Pylon. Remember to set this Probe to a hotkey (for me he’s Ctrl+1) and send it to the different spawn locations. You can use shift move or just send him to the next position as it arrives at one. There are a few things you’re going to want to look for with this initial scout against each race:

Vs. Terran: You will want to make sure that his Barracks is in the base and not hidden somewhere for a rush. With your first Probe, check to see if he has taken either Vespene Geyser. If he has, you can decide to steal his other gas in order to delay Banshees or Siege Tanks. Just build an Assimilator on his other Geyser and keep running that Probe away. No gas means the other player will not be able to afford high-tech units like Banshees or Tanks, but may be planning an early expansion or Marine/SCV all-in. This is why Sentries are important so you can Force Field the ramp buying you time to build more units and pull Probes for defense. If the player has taken both gases after his Baracks is down, expect a very fast factory tech like Infernal Pre-Igniter Hellions (Blue Flame Hellions) or Fast Banshees.

Vs. Protoss: First and foremost you need to make sure the Protoss has his/her Gateway in their base. If it’s missing it may be a Proxy 2-Gate and you’ll need to respond. If you see a Forge instead, be careful of a cannon rush and expect the same danger. When scouting a normal (non-cheese) Protoss, look for where the player has positioned his/her pylons as this is somewhere you’ll want to send your observer. Also, check to see if the Vespene Geysers have been taken early or if the Player is only running off one. Dark Templar or Void Ray rushes are popular so two early gasses can clue you in to something sneaky. You can keep you scout in a Protoss base the longest because Zealots are too slow to catch it and he/she will have to make a Stalker after their Cybernetics Core is done to kill your scout, so make use of it!

Vs. Zerg: The initial scout against a Zerg is looking for 3 things. First, check his/her natural to see he/she got a fast Hatchery before Spawning Pool. This is going to dictate which builds you do in order to either punish his expansion, or gain an economic lead if he didn’t. Second, how far along is the Spawning Pool? If your Probe gets to a Zerg base and the Spawning Pool is already up, you’ll have to wall in right away. I recommend a Forge, Gateway, Cybernetics Core wall with a Photon Cannon or two behind it. After the push is held off and you have a good sized army, break down the Forge and get out. Third, check their Vespene Geysers. Unlike Protoss, Zerg can play the beginning of the game without getting gas (Until about 40 supply where they’ll get it to start tech). What this means is a Zerg without gas can’t be aggressive. There will be no Roaches, Speedlings, or Mutalisks until they have gas. This makes Fast Expands very powerful because they will lack Roaches or Banelings to bust into your expo but will also signal to you that harassment or pressure is going to be important. Your initial worker scout will be able to stay alive until the Spawning Pool finishes and lings are out.
Edited by TerranItUp on 27/05/2011 19:55 BST
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b) Observer (they aren’t just for detection with your army after all):
Observers are great mobile detection. They are cheap and can be made quickly form the Robotics Facility. I like to get two out before I start making Immortals or Colossus unless I’m planning an attack soon. One I keep outside the front of my base to detect as well as scout for my army, and the other is sent to scout the opponent. One problem a lot of players have is they keep their observer right on top of the opponent’s army. While this tells you what he has it’s vulnerable to attacks, as players tend to look at their armies a lot, and won’t tell you what tech he/she is working towards. Try sending the Observer to the side of an opponent’s base and moving across the middle of the production to the other side. Then head back and check for any hidden building around the edges. Finally, you can position outside the front of the opponent’s base so you see when he/she is moving out and with what units. Now, what to look for against each race:

Vs. Terran: The first thing I want to see is if the Terran player has expanded. If you see an expo, there is rarely going to be a push (and if it is it’s just to defend that expo and not to kill you). It’s important to try and find a Ghost Academy or Armory. These are going to tell you if you’ll see Ghosts or Thors (at the very least Tanks). After you’ve seen the production and made note if the Terran seems Bio-heavy or if he/she is headed for Mech, you can check the army. Often, you’ll see a Terran load up a drop right there and this will give you plenty of time to react. Checking upgrades of the opponent is always going to be good so just click on one of their units and see every so often.

Vs. Protoss: Observers are going to not only deny Dark Templar, but give you a look into the opponent’s tech path. Protoss can’t really tech switch like the other two races so each building you see is important. Look for Twilight Councils, Templar Archives, Robotics Bays, and Stargates. This is going to help you build the proper units to engage his/her army and come out ahead. When you check the army, look at Colossus count as well as Immortals, High Templar, and if there are Dark Templar present. Upgrades are always important but especially in a mirror matchups so don’t fall behind. Also, if you see something like Blink Stalkers or Chargeots, you’ll need to prepare for them.

Vs. Zerg: Zerg player’s can’t hide buildings as easily as the other two races. If they have Lair they can use the Overlords to spread creep to hide a building but generally they don’t. Things to look for with your Observer include the timing of the Lair. If it is not done yet, there is no need to worry about Mutalisks. You’ll also want to see how heavily defended the Zerg is at his/her natural. If you see 3+ Spine Crawlers, you really don’t want to attack there. When you scout the base on your second “pass,” look for tech buildings such as Banelings Nest or Roach Warren. Zerg players can quickly change the composition of their army, but only with the tech buildings they have so you can know what units you’ll need to deal with. Also, use your observer and a few blink Stalkers or a Void Ray to detect and destroy creep tumors so the Zerg will lose their boost from being on creep as it recedes.
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 00:23 BST
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v. Unit Compositions:
For Protoss, there are a few different combinations that are generally accepted as effective. You will find that there is never one end-all build or unit mix, but I’ll go over the common ones and what they makes each strong or vulnerable. It is important to know that within each unit composition there is a mix of units that differs depending on what units your opponent has. I don’t like the idea of counters but there are definitely units you will make more or less of depending on what you scout.

a) Gateway Army: What is important about a Gateway army is that each unit has a purpose and place. Mass Gateway pushes are powerful off of 1 and 2 bases. I will talk about where each unit goes and its job in Positioning, but the idea is that Zealots tank damage while Sentries assist with abilities and Stalkers provide ranged anti-armor damage. It’s important to note that every Gateway unit starts with a base armor of 1. This means that with a Guardian Shield activated, they take 3 less damage per ranged attack. This provides very helpful against Terran, while good use of Force Fields gives this unit composition power against Zerg. I feel uncomfortable against Bio Terran play with this but find that it works well against Zerg.

b) Colossus Ball: This is by far the most common unit composition that Protoss players will see and use. There is great synergy between Gateway units and the Colossus. It is going to be effective against most builds because Force Field allows you to trap part of the army and destroy it individualy. The range of Colossus is 9 with the Extended Thermal Lance upgrade and thus will allow you not only to take out fortified positions, but to trap units such as Roaches and Hydralisks between Force Fields and kill them without fear of any counterattack. This unit composition does require you to protect your Colossus, but other than that, it allows players (especially newer ones) to focus on Macro. Be wary of high Viking and Corruptor numbers because this is going to decimate your expensive power units. Still, the Protoss Death Push is based on these units with a Colossus count of more than 5 and will often win games easily.

c) Templar Tech: The High and Dark Templar are both effective in very different ways. A good player will make use of both to bolster his/her Gateway army as well as harass the opponent’s expansions. Dark Templar are instantly effective and can turn the tide of battles immediately when warped in. High Templar can feedback units such as Thors with energy, but are much more effective when Psionic Storm is researched. This allows them to shred Bio units as well as weaken others so the Stalkers, Sentries, and Zealots can finish the job. After they have depleated their energy, don’t forget to merge Templar into Archons. They are beefy units with a ranged splash attack with bonus damage against Bio. I like to use them in conjunction with Chargelots but it’s pretty much a recycled unit, so 100% worth if for some more beef and power as a battle comes to the end and each unit counts. It takes a little practice to get good with the abilities, but Templar are so powerful it’s worth practicing.

d) Carriers: People tend to laugh at them as a “joke” or “gimmick” build, but there is still a place for Carriers in a Protoss gameplan. Often players will open up Phoenix/Void Ray against Zerg and once it’s been held off, they just stop making use of the Stargate. This is a very late game unit so don’t really go rushing for them, but often Zerg players will go Ultra, Baneling, Infestor… none of which can really shoot up. For a while people talked of a Void Ray transition but Carriers are much harder to deal with. There are a few games online where Liquid’HuK rushes for them, but it’s important to note that they are great at killing small anti-air units like Marines and Infested Terran unlike Void Rays. In the end, it’s not a unit composition that I would go into a game planning to use, but don’t rule it out as the game drags on.
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 14:42 BST
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vi. Positioning:
Good position is important for all races; Protoss players are just able to use it much differently from the other two races because of abilities such as Blink, Force Field, and even Mass Recall. I will go through defensive positioning and then into attacking and finally the use of Force Fields. Each map allows for different use of positioning and I will try and not be map-specific but will draw examples if necessary. I also promised to talk about Gateway units and their positions in each instance so look for that as well.

Defensive positions:
When a Protoss player expands, the position of their defenses is key. Look to utilize choke points such as ramps or paths where opponents can be trapped with Force Fields or forced to fight in small numbers. The best way to do this is through setting up a concave in front of you expo.
Z = Zealots
S = Stalkers and Sentries
O = Enemy units
----------------OOOOOOO----------------
-S-Z--------------OOOO--------------Z-S
----SSS--ZZZ-------------ZZZ--SSS----
------------------SS-Z-SS------------------
The idea is that the Zealots stay in front, keeping the other units alive as long as possible while not being stuck in the back where they can’t attack. Force Field has a range of 9 allowing the Sentry to trap opposing units where the Zealots can kill them. Spreading your units out also allows for one or two Guardian Shields to cover your whole army.

Attacking:
As a Protoss player, you want to focus on keeping your units together. The compactness of the Collosus Ball allows for a lot of firepower in a small area. Still, producing a concave is important but I’m going to talk about offensive Force Fields and unit positions again here. You already heard about the concave so let’s learn something new.
Z = Zealots
S = Stalkers and Sentries
C = Colossus
F = Force Fields
O = Enemy units
----------------------------------------------------
---OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO---
-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F--
OOO---O--OO—O--F-F-OO-OOO-OO-FF
----------------------------------------------------
Z--Z--Z-- Z--Z--Z--Z--Z--Z--Z--Z--Z--Z--Z
---S----S---S-------S-S---S---S-S---S--S----S
----------C------C------------C-----C------C---
----------------------------------------------------
Notice how the units in bold are isolated by Force fields and can’t retreat or be reinforced by the units behind. This not only allows the Zealots to make use of their great DPS, but keeps your entire army in the fight while the opponent is forced to battle with only a fraction of his/her total strength. Force Fields can also be used to stop re-enforcements from defending a Natural expansion by blocking the ramp. This will help you guarantee that you destroy the Hatchery or Command Center.

In the Open: Because we have Force Fields, it is a good idea for Protoss to hug tight corridors against Zerg and stay spread against Terran. When the Terran is not able to trap your units in a cluster, they are vulnerable to being split and trapped. Zerg will not be able to engage your army head on 99% of the time, which means they’ll need a surround. It’s hard to surround your army when it takes up the entire path and you can even Force Field the exits so re-enforcements can’t help as you decimate part of the Zerg force. I don’t have the skills to make a text diagram for y’all but I think you understand the basic idea. As for storms, cover as much area as you can with them. Try to hit the entire army, because they don’t stack. If you storm the same place 3 times, they units still only take damage from one storm at a time. It’s better to drop 3 across the army and then trap them with Force Fields. ;]
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 20:42 BST
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vii. Common Problems (and some solutions):
I have played in every league from Bronze to Diamond. All along the way there were things I had to learn in order to become a better Protoss player. I guess the first thing that comes to mind is Production and Cooldown cycles. In most games, if you can make more units than the other player, you’re going to win. This is done by keeping up on your production cycles. The idea is that if you are building with every production structure (Gateway, Robo, Stargate, etc.) and you are broke, then you’re doing a good job. If you can’t afford to produce out of everything then you may have made too many buildings or cut workers on accident and lack the economy.

Defending Cheese is Hard: As Protoss, early game rushes such as 7-Pools and Marine/SCV all-ins are difficult to deal with for a few reasons. One, we addressed with scouting. If you see the pool is done, Forge+Gate+Cybernetics Core wall with a cannon. For the Marine/SCV all-in, it takes some micro. You’ll have at least one Sentry out when it hits, so Force Field that ramp when a few units try to come up. At this point you are stalling for time. Warp in another Sentry and as many other units as you can. When you finally run out of energy for Force Fields, hopefully you’ve whittled down the army a bit with Stalkers or trapping a few units each time they attempt to push up your ramp. Pull your probes and make him come to you. You’ll be ahead on workers, army units and you will be able to hold them off.

Warp Gates: It seems easy at first, but getting the most out of your Warp Gates is a lot harder than people think. I think of them as a credit card. You get the unit right away, but pay with the cooldown later. Ideally, you will have the money to build a unit out of a Warp Gate as soon as it’s off cooldown. An easy way to check is glance at the Warp Gate icon and it will have a little number corresponding to the number of Warp Gates you have off cooldown. You can Chrono Boost your Warp Gates in order to reduce the cooldown time and don’t forget to make a forward Pylon when you push out. Fast re-enforcements can change the tide of a battle. Also, don’t forget that you can warp into somebody’s base with a Warp Prism.
Edited by TerranItUp on 27/05/2011 23:07 BST
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Drops/Muta Harass in my Mineral Line: I’ll start by saying you are always going to be harassed. As you improve, the drops get better, Mutas more active, and DT’s more sneaky. I’ll deal with this as if I was being dropped. As soon as you see it either on the mini-map or hear the audio que, pull those Probes. All too often players will send units first, and lose 3 or 4 more workers than they should have. When you run those probes, you will see what is harassing you, and that’s important for the next step. Next, send only as many units as you need to deal with the harassment. If it is Mutalisks, don’t send your whole army (Colossus have a bad habit get there first because it walks up walls and dies because it can’t shoot air) but instead just enough Stalkers do easily push them away (6-7) is normally enough unless he has like 30 then you might want to send some more. Finally, send those probes back to work, and LEAVE those units there until you get 2 cannons up. It’s funny to see people who respond great to a Marine drop and force it out, only to send the probes back and let the Marines return and kill more.

Ghosts and EMP: This is something that I love as a Terran and hate as Protoss. I’ll talk about PDD next because that’s kind of in the same boat, but EMP now! First of all, scouting is going to tell you he has Ghosts. Past that, I look at it as damage control. Some players good enough to feedback ghosts but I feel like that’s a lot more and skill then most of us have. Instead, you’ve got to expect to get EMP’d. Spread those units out, especially your Sentries, if you aren’t on the move. When you do decide to move out, keep an observer ahead of you army, so you can pre-spread before an engagement or maybe see that Ghost running ahead for the EMP and feedback him (which would make you feel like a god). Finally, keep those High Templar in at least 2 different groups and try to keep them towards the back of your army. There is no real “counter” for EMP, just good decisions.

Ravens and PDD: If there is one ability that is most underused and by far one of the most powerful, it’s the PDD. Completely nullifies Stalker shots until it is out of energy and has a large radius or effect. There are a few different advantages we have as Protoss players against this however. First, Sentries can focus fire Down a PDD quite quickly because it doesn’t stop their attacks. If you don’t have any, back off. If you have a larger army, you can tell the Stalkers to attack the PDD and force it to waste its energy until it’s out and they kill it. Finally, PDD has a cast range of 3. This doesn’t seem important but it means that if the Terran player tries to drop it right in the middle of a battle, the Raven is forced out in front to get close enough to drop it. Many times if you are heads up, you can one-shot the raven as it heads to drop the PDD. I personally like this last one a lot, if you have High Templar, you can just feedback the PDD itself rendering it useless and feedback the Raven with the longer range of Feedback before it ever gets a change to cast PDD.
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 00:28 BST
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Posts: 544
ix. Tips and Tricks:
As I draw my 2nd monster post to a close (there’s already one on the Terran forums), I’ll include some little tricks to make you just that much better. I have a feeling this is the portion I will spend the most time updating but I think it’s my duty to spill those little secrets that are going to give you a slight advantage.

1) When you have your wall complete with the Gateway, Cybernetics Core, and Zealot on hold position, you can get your probe out with ought moving the Zealot by clicking on some minerals at another base. The Probe will ghost through on its way to gather and you can then send him wherever you want.

2) A Phoenix’s Gravaton Beam is able to pick up SCVs that are constructing buildings. Sometimes the Terran will forget to put workers back on it for a while which means you’re that much further ahead.

3) When you transform a Gateway into a Warp Gate, you get a new cooldown. This means that if you time it out right (yay for practice), you can make another unit right after one finishes by timing the unit completion with Warp Gate research. Just a little extra for your push.

4) If you are playing against a Terran who has gone Tank/Marine and is set up outside your base, get a warp prism and flank him with Zealots from behind. That is going to make the Tanks attack them instead of your army as you push the contain from the front.

5) If a building is researching an upgrade and is killed by the opponent, you don’t lose the minerals or gas that you invested in that upgrade.

6) When you are playing against Terran, get the armor upgrade first. All gateway units start with a base armor of 1 and with the upgrade and a Guardian Sheld, all your units will have 4 armor. This means a Marine with a base attack of 6 will only do 2 damage per attack.

7) Against Zerg on the other hand, choose the weapons upgrade first. Zealots attack does 8 damage x 2 attacks, for a total of 16 damage. This means that two attacks from an un-upgraded Zealot will do 32 Damage to a Zergling, leaving it with 3 hp. If you get the weapons upgrade, the Zealot now kills the Zergling in two attacks because it now does 9 damage x 2 attacks, for a total of 18. 18 + 18 = Dead Zergling ;]

8) Force Fields can stack on each other, which is nice for a few reasons. First, you can make a new force field before the other has expired, like if you’re trying to block a Ramp so Zerg can’t defend their natural. Second, If you have splash damage from Colossus or Storm, you can force units to clump up by trapping them and then dropping a few more FF’s squeezing them into the center (it’s easy because they can’t move). Finally, you don’t need to be pro to use them. I’m pretty bad with FF’s. I will use 3 when really good Protoss players only need 2. Still, it’s a valuable skill and one that is slightly forgiving for you and me.

9) Don’t forget to Chrono Boost! Whenever you’re researching something or building a unit like a Colossus or Void Ray, use up that Chrono Boost energy. Once your bases are saturated, you can make probes at the normal rate and spend it on research with upgrades on those double forges that you make when you get your economy going. ;]

10) Finally, have fun playing Starcraft. I love playing Starcraft and everybody who has played more than 10 games will have off days. If you’re losing a lot, take a break or play some customs. If you don’t like playing, you’re taking it way to seriously!
Edited by TerranItUp on 26/05/2011 00:29 BST
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Posts: 544
Thanks again for everyone who reads this post! I was aiming to create a complete guide that players of all skill and experience levels could benefit from, but clean and well explained so that lower level players would be able to understand everything. I hope this is helpful for the community as a whole and have one for Zerg on the way as well (again they take some time to make). I will keep updating and streamlining the guide as I try to keep each part within the 5,000 character limit. I have spent hours on this and plan to post the Zerg guide if the Terran and now Protoss ones are successful. Happy Starcrafting! ㅈㅈ

★Light★
Edited by TerranItUp on 07/07/2011 05:52 BST
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Posts: 2,662
Good work. Pretty much all the basics are in here. I cant find anything to nitpick on really.
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Posts: 62
Good job!
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Posts: 174
http://blip.tv/learn-from-the-pros-with-mr-b
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Posts: 44
This is really awesome, thnx!
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Posts: 1,259
Stickied it. Good job man.
This guide clears alot.
Cept the probe productions that I am eager to find out about.
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Posts: 3,023
As the other said, just a couple of things:
In V.b), colossus range with upgrade is 9.
Giving a build for a 3 gate expan would be very useful as well, since it is one of the most common protoss build orders (more than, say, dark templar expan).
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Posts: 1,003
Yeah, I noticed the Colossus range bit. And he called our stargate a starport at some point.

That said, it was a nice read and I didn't really think at any point "well, that's just not true".

I appreciate people who love the game and make a lot of effort like he did ^^
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Posts: 9
Requested sticky, bookmarked.

Thanks for putting so much effort in this!
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