Protoss Build Order Against Zerg
Since I began playing Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty, I have been a die-hard Protoss player (Ryujin). With over 1000 games under my belt, I have a pretty good feel of what its like to face the other races. In all these matches, the one race that I always hated playing was zerg. The true problem resided in the speed of the zerg race. Zerg players can get a lot of units very fast and very early if they want and they are able to transition to a different strategy very quickly. Not to mention the ability of the zerg to take map control. In many of my Zerg matches I would get steamrolled. However, recently I have been playing a certain strategy that has yielded a breath of fresh air.
The Build Order
- 9-pylon (set up a little behind the ramp so that buildings would block ramp instead of pylon)
- Chrono boost two probes after pylon goes down
- 12-gateway (at the ramp to block off portion)
- Chrono boost two probes
At this point, you should have scouted. If you see that he is not going for a fast-expand you can follow the natural cybernetics build order if you like. However, I suggest throwing down a forge. Finish blocking off ramp with room for a zealot to block ramp.
- Build zealot-block opening in ramp
- Build one Photon cannon overlooking the ramp
Throughout this process, do not forget the two most important things: constant probe production and pylon production
- At this point, you can transition into a standard 3-gate build.
- Throw down a cybernetics
- Assimilators as you see fit (one at some point before the cybernetics)
- Warpgate research
- As soon as resources allow, research +1 attack at the forge. This is usually done after you throw down cyber or after your second gate goes down.
- After warp tech finishes, and little before you do your first push, send out a probe to build a proxy pylon. Don’t let it be close enough to his base for him to detect, but close enough to efficiently reinforce your units
- Constantly build military units
- As soon as +1 attack finishes do a final warp in of units and push out.
I don’t have the exact number because its different depending on how you react to opponent’s build order, but your army composition will usually have 5-6 zealots, 1 sentry, and about 4-5 stalkers.
- As your army heads to opponent’s base, you should have time for a final warp in at the proxy pylon
Analyzing this strategy
I have used this strategy in almost every league match up from bronze players to diamond players. I have had close to a 93% win ration using this strategy against zerg. One of the main reasons behind this is the logic of players if they see their opponent walled in; if the opponent walls in, I expand. However, you are not simply building defensively. That’s why I said, only one cannon. The rest of the time is spent on constantly building economy and army.
As the opponent focuses on expanding, they are spending 300 minerals on another hatchery, minerals on more drones, and minerals on extractors, and spine crawlers. What suffers? Their military development starts lacking. At the time that you push out after the +1 attack finishes, their expansion is not yet fully running, therefore, their economy is not getting a powerful enough boost yet and neither is their military in full swing. Protoss is usually putting on so much pressure that they win right there. If you do not win outright, keep putting pressure on zerg with constantly warped in units, usually zealots, to reinforce.
If you see around 3 spine crawlers, don’t be discouraged. Either lure your opponent’s zerglings or roaches out of spine crawler support range, or if there isn’t a strong army to back up the spine crawlers, just go in for the kill. Utilize force field to trap units, allowing you to focus down spine crawlers.
If I don’t win outright, I usually throw down a stargate and go voidrays. The reason behind this action is because at this point in the game, the opponent will usually be purely ground based without hydras. If they do go hydras, there will not be a lot of them and your zealots and stalkers can worry about them.
If you see that your opponent can hold you off, please retreat back and use this force to defend your natural expansion when you choose to take it and prepare for mid-late game.