Category Archives: Matchup Practice

Practicing builds for given matchups. Progress will be put in here.

[BO – Unrefined] The 3-gate Sentry Expand

This is my standard opening in PvZ matchups. While I have used it extensively, I didn’t use it nearly enough to call it refined.

The mindstate here is to be able to ward off any zerglings away from being able to put any pressure. It is very safe and *very* defensive. You get two zealots and around 6 sentries. As soon as warpgate research is complete, you warp in a round of units and expand. For scouting, you will use hallucinations (you can research hallucination tech as soon as you expand and if you have enough for it).

To survive, you will have some cannons at your expansion. Remember: The ramp is a no-zerg zone. In theory, they’d have to go all around  the nexus in order to go through the ramp, as you would have sim-citied the ramp with cannons, a forge and a gateway.

The 3rd base should be taken about 11/12mn into the game, unless massive shenanigans occur (roach-ling all-in anyone?).

I’ve been practicing it as of late. This is in no way a first-time occurence.

Early-game notes (*: taken under consideration starting Practice Session #7):

  • You need your sentries at the ready when you get out of your base. Also, make sure you put either your 2nd geyser or your Zealot down at the 18-food mark, depending on what you scout. (FE = gas, Pool = zealot)
  • Make your two other gateways so that they finish at the same time as Warpgate-tech.
  • Start researching Hallucination after Warpgate-tech is done.
  • You’ll find yourself with 1 zealot and 8 sentries at some point. From that point on, make stalkers. *
  • As the expansion is down, you need a pylon at your ramp so that you can sim-city a wall. (read above) *
  • You will rely heavily on forcefields and cannons to survive in the early game.
  • Scouting is done through hallucinations. Since you have a decent pack of sentries, you won’t be lacking forcefields any time soon.

Midgame notes (more will be added):

  1. You need to put an expansion down at the 11-12mn mark, unless you scout an all-in (on that case, get ready to defend it).
  2. Until then, you will be on two geysers (you make stalkers, remember). Once the third is down, you will put your 3rd geyser at the farthest spot in your expansion.
  3. Robotics facility should be down by then, whether you intend to push out or not, since you will need detection against burrowed units. If you choose, you could always use it to make the most hated glass cannon in the game: The Colossus.

My progress so far (ranked by order of practice session) – Snapshot @ 10mn mark:

  1. 88/92 – 44 probes, 7 zealots, 9 sentries, 2 stalkers.
  2. 79/92 – 41 probes, 5 zealots, 8 sentries, 4 stalkers, 1 observer almost done.
  3. 87/92 – 44 probes, 8 zealots, 8 sentries, 4 stalkers, 1 observer, +1 attack upgrade at 3/4 done, 1 cannon.
  4. 83/92 – 44 probes, 8 zealots, 8 sentries, 3 stalkers, 1 observer, Robotics bay barely started.
  5. 83/92 – 44 probes, 7 zealots, 9 sentries, 3 stalkers, 1 observer.
  6. 97/100 – 47 probes, 11 zealots, 9 sentries, 3 stalkers
  7. 79/92 – 44 probes, 1 zealot, 9 sentries, 7 stalkers, 2 cannons, +1 attack half-done
  8. 82/92 – 44 probes, 1 zealot, 10 sentries, 7 stalkers, 2 cannons, +1 attack half-done
  9. 82/84 – 40 probes, 1 zealot, 9 sentries, 9 stalkers, 2 cannons still morphing. (I forgot something as dumb as Maynarding my probes)

[BO – Unrefined] The 2-Gate Fast Observer Expand

Yesterday, Shannn (the one guy who keeps spamming me ingame to GO LADDER đŸ˜€ – and my coach) told me to go 2gate-robo. The thing is, I never really played against Terran and never really practiced that opener so I ended up doing whatever. Then, I was a bit frustrated. We still started refining the BO while exposing what purposes it had.

Basically, you want an observer to be able to scout your opponent and react accordingly. You will be able to see all-ins before they even reach your base or decide to cancel your expansion if you see an incoming push and are in need of minerals to warp in more units. That, and marauders sure like Immortals…

After practicing alone, I noticed that not going for the nexus after observer was stupid. I don’t care if I have to cancel it but floating on minerals that early is a no-no. Still, if you can afford it, make more probes and one more gateway to stay on the safe side of it all.

So far, I’ll put notes down on stuff to solve. If this list is empty, I’ll go on the midgame transition refinement. With this build, the midgame transition is made as soon as you scout.

Early-game Notes:

  • A probe has to scout the sector appropriately depending on what map it is.
  • Pylon at 22 is far better than pylon at 23-24. You can afford it that soon. By the time you reach 26, the pylon will be warped in.
  • Right after the observer is made, expand regardless.
  • Look at what your observer sees. Scout for tech and expansion. If you see shady tactics in the making, cancel the expansion and get ready to warp in more units. Pay attention to supply.
  • At first, you will put 2 probes on gas. Until your cybernetics core is somewhere near 1/3 completion (then you put the 3rd).
  • As the core finishes, you make a Stalker and warpgate research (barely enough gas for both). Add the 2nd geyser ASAP.
  • Spend your excess minerals in the form of a 2nd gateway, until you have enough gas to get a robo. If you have enough for both the robo and the gateway, it means that you should’ve put the gateway earlier.
  • Keep on warping in units and pay attention to supply. Normally, you should put down a pylon AND the nexus at very close timings.
  • Sentries needed. You’ll need every ounce of gas you can afford, especially if there’s an incoming all-in. If all-in, cancel the nexus (unless it’s a terribly bad all-in) and warp in a third gateway.
  • Upon expanding, pay attention to your supply. It’s not because you didn’t make pylons for a while that you’ll never make them again. Pay attention especially around the 62 and 75 marks.

Mid-game Notes:

  • You are the reactionary. Everything is built on that. Big Brother watches over Terran.
  • If you see banshees, you can opt for phoenixes. Make a 2nd observer on that case.
  • If you see bio, tech up to templars or colossi. Make sure to scout him as he could always make ghosts!
  • If you see loads of marauders, do note that they can’t shoot air. Use it to your advantage while it’s possible.

My progress so far (ranked by order of practice session) – Snapshot @ 10mn mark:

  1. 71/76 – 37 probes, 2 observers, 7 zealots, 6 stalkers, 2 sentries
  2. 78/84 – 42 probes, 2 observers, 5 zealots, 5 stalkers, 4 sentries, 1 immortal being produced
  3. 75/76 – 43 probes, 2 observers, 6 zealots, 6 stalkers, 2 sentries, 1 immortal, 1 colossus that would be produced once a pylon is made…
  4. 75/76 – 39 probes, 2 observers, 7 zealots, 3 stalkers, 1 sentry, 1 immortal, 1 colossus at 3/4 done
  5. 84/84 – 46 probes, 2 observers, 7 zealots, 6 stalkers, 2 sentries, 1 colossus at 1/2 done.
  6. 80/84 – 46 probes, 1 observer, 5 zealots, 5 stalkers, 5 sentries, 1 immortal nearly done. Deceased: 1 observer and 1 probe.
  7. 84/84 – 42 probes, 5 zealots, 8 stalkers, 3 sentries, 1 immortal, 1 colossus barely started. Deceased: 1 observer and 1 probe.
  8. 87/92 – 41 probes, 8 zealots, 4 stalkers, 6 sentries, 1 colossus very close to be done. Deceased: 1 observer and 1 probe. In the making: About 4 chronoed out probes and more pylons.