Protoss: The Road to Diamond Week 4
This week was kind of weird. I didn’t face a single Terran, and all but one Zerg opponent 6-pooled me. I’m on the fence on how I feel about cheese tactics. I totally see what its supporters say, in that it really does test your micro and decision making skills, and that it’s often fairly effective in tournament play even if it’s just used as a psychological tool. On the flip side, if you hold cheese off, you’re generally way behind. I’m sure we’ve all seen the big GG once you hold off the attack, meaning it was the only move that person had. Oh well, I suppose on ladder it just boils down to whatever’s considered fun.
Since there’s not much new to report, I will be focusing on two games I won due to the other person making crucial mistakes. This is not an attempt at making fun, but rather to help you see what can happen if you remain indecisive. The first game was against a Zerg on Metalopolis who seemed very nervous and had a very weak opener. I normally scout after 9 when going against Zerg on smaller maps, primarily due to the relatively high probability of early aggression. When I scout correctly first, I do the typical waypointing to see what’s up. Well, I saw a pool go up which triggered a couple of things in my mind.
First off, he was probably just going pool first to get two lings out in case of any proxy pylons. Secondly, of course, was the possibility of an attack. I saw a full inject worth of eggs morphing at the same time, so I guessed Lings were inbound. I was only half right. He did send a few to knock on my door, but that made no sense to me. I pushed with just three Zealots and a Stalker to see what was going on, and apparently he felt it necessary to expand behind those Lings. Not only that, he had another ten or so for defense, along with the standard two Queens. Right here, I knew I had the game
This is weird for 6:30 in
as long as I kept the pressure on. His drone count was in the toilet, he had no Spines, and I know he kept overproducing Lings out of paranoia. Sure enough, a constant flow of Gateway units proved to be too much for my Zerg opponent.
Only Lings and a single Spine at 11:30
Take a look at my second screenshot for a minute. Positioning in an engagement is always important, and Metalopolis features some helpful statues to take advantage of. Here, I dragged his Lings back as close to the statue as possible and, with the help of Forcefields and the Extractor, prevented surrounds on multiple fronts. If he had decided not to engage, I could easily pick off that Extractor or move back and pick off his third base.
This just goes to show that as Zerg, you need to be decisive in your opener. Making too many Lings early on could lead to failure if your goal was to simply have defending units before putting your expansion up. If you’re going to open with a hefty number of Lings, you have to make it worth the investment. Otherwise, just go with Pool first for a couple of Lings, and then expand off of that. You’d have a Pool, so that means you’re good to go for a Spine or two as soon as your expansion pops up. Those are infinitely better for defense than a handful of Lings. I’m not a big fan of Hatch first, but even that’s a better idea than having a bunch of Lings that serve no real purpose.
Next is a PvP matchup where my opponent actually had a fairly decent advantage, but failed to capitalize early on. I’ve been messing around with early Colossi in PvP lately, and it’s been pretty effective. This match was no different, and as usual, I found myself in defensive posture fairly early on. I had one Colossus, a couple of Sentries and Stalkers, and a handful of Zealots. He had an alarming number of Stalkers with Immortal support, which wasn’t anything I wasn’t used to. However, I had a misplaced Forcefield, and my second Sentry got sniped off.
If he had been more aggressive in this position, I would have been in trouble. More to the point, if he had waited for Blink and further reinforced his Stalker numbers, I may have been forced into a GG situation. This largely would have depended on his ability to snipe off my Colossi, but the aggression would have forced more Warpgate units which, in turn, would have put me very far behind even if I held the attack. Instead, he backed off for some reason. Instead, what followed was a violation of his army.
Colossi/Zealot is currently my favorite 1-base play in PvP. I only ran out of money at around the 17 minute mark, which was when I decided to expand. Another very, very important aspect of this game to take note of is that my opponent did not have any upgrades. That was his second fatal error. Colossi/Zealot at 1/1/0 vs. Stalker/Immortal at 0/0/0 heavily favors the former. Yet again, if he had Blink in this situation and took care of the Colossi, he probably could’ve whittled down the Zealot numbers and came out way ahead (he did have three bases, after all).
I hope these examples were as useful to you as they were for me. I’m still hovering between 30-40 in Platinum, but I’m learning a lot along the way. Once everything comes together, I’m sure I’ll be sitting at top Platinum for a little while. As I’m sure you saw in the screenshots, my macro needs a ton of attention still, and my builds need a lot of polishing. I’m not too worried, though. Things are looking up. Oh, I forgot to mention that I actually did beat a few Terrans over the last weekend. They weren’t the best, but they weren’t horrible, either. Onward and upward, as they say! Remember, never be satisfied with an easy or undeserved win. Understand why you won, and what you could do better the next time.