StarCraft II HotS Protoss vs Terran Build
StarCraft II HotS Protoss vs Terran Build by Razgriz/RuneK
Works on any map. This build format will utilize Day’s BO concept of building groups rather than buildings on supply, same with units. I even have variations branches and explain why to do certain things. This build is sentry-less, but still not easy. It works in HotS. It is Stalker-less except in one circumstance. As always, scouting is important. The most important scout you can get is whether or not they early expanded. You’ll need to know by 4:30. In HotS you don’t even need to scout except to know their position because of the MSC. (If you have the APM for it I recommend you do so, it’s still better than not.) Don’t stop probes once your first Nexus goes down.
This build can start off in one of 3 ways.
Nexus First, 1 Gate FE (no Cyber), 1 Gate FE w/ Cyber.
In these 3 cases this is how you will start out after first Pylon:
Nexus > Gateway > Pylon > Assimilator > Cyber > Gateway > Gateway > Twilight Council > Assimilator.
Gateway > Nexus > Assimilator > Pylon > Cyber etc
Gateway > Cyber > Nexus > Pylon > Assimilator > Gateway > Gateway > TC
In HotS you get your second assimilator before TC and your Core before TC. In either case you’re only going to build two Zealots before the 2nd two gateways are done and then you build 1 out of each and stop there until WG finishes (which you get right away, before Core if HotS).
Now the builds are aligned at this point either way. Some are safer than others and I personally prefer Gateway > Nexus. Up to you. You’re going to want to build nothing but Zealots out of the Warpgates and you will research charge immediately out of the TC. If you did everything perfectly you can afford Charge exactly when it finishes. Don’t fret if you’re a few seconds off.
If you feel or scout early pressure coming 1 Chrono on Warpgate or Charge (depending on when it applies) is sufficient to hold any early pressure.
If Reapers then you can still afford Stalkers, go for it. Your MSC if HotS will help. Absolutely do not get Sentries at any point.
Crank out Zealots, Pylons, and Probes. You don’t take your two gas at your natural until you are already at max saturation.
Your next buildings are two gateways and a forge. Drop a Stargate the second you have the gas for it. This is usually in between the two gateways and the forge. Your goal is 28 Zealots by 10:30. (You’ll have other things, we’re getting there.)
You will be building Phoenix out of the Stargate and +1 Armor out of the Forge. Do not chrono Phoenix. It should be going 100% to +1 Armor then Probes at this point.
As 10:00 rolls around you should get a sense of if the Terran wants to be aggressive or not. There are some pressure attacks that can come before this but your Chargelots can hold any attack. (Let me know if you face one you couldn’t and provide a replay).
At 10:30 this is what you should have:
28 +1 Armor Zealots, 3-4 Phoenix, 5 Gateways, Forge, Stargate, (MSC if HotS), 2 Nexii, 4 Assimilators, full saturation.
The most important thing about the Phoenix is to keep them active. Scout and harass as often as you possibly can with them. Losing them for free is a death sentence. Use them to deny drops and kill Medivacs when engaging an army and pick up after they’re cleared if there’s anything left. The most threatening push is the 40 Marine, 2 Medivac, +1 attack with stim and CS. If you did everything right you can crush it. Bonus points for a flank. If HotS the Core makes it even more one-sided.
Here is the important part at 10:30 which relies on your decision-making skills and scouting.
By now (and even sooner if you went Nexus first, more like 9:30 that way) the Terran will be aggressive or not. If you know they are committing to an attack, crush it before taking your 3rd. If they don’t then you need to take it. You have all the tools you need to scout.
Regardless of what happens if the game isn’t over here is what you now do for your continuing build.
Nexus > Robo > Forge > Gateway > (Assimilators as normal) > Robo Bay + Facility when first Robo is done. Continue Phoenix production until 6 and stay there until Colossi come out and ETL is started. Warp in Zealots only as needed. If you start floating minerals throw on more Gateways. Once you have 4 Colossi drop a 2nd Stargate and Cyber.
This part of the game is largely up to you. There are times where I constantly produce Zealots out of my 6 gateways and sometimes I just add Gateways. It depends on how you feel your match is going.
You’re going to want weapons and armor, despite having a multi-focused army. You’re going to want to spend all your chrono on upgrades and not units. Probes too until you have enough.
You’re going to want a minimum of 4 Colossi and a maximum of 6. You’ll want around 12 Phoenix. You’ll want to fill the rest in with Zealots. As the game gets later replace Zealots with Archons. Warp Prism drops are fine after 4 Colossi, even with WP speed. You’ll eventually want a Mothership in WoL. HotS, maybe.
Things to be aware of:
In order for Terran Vikings to properly eliminate your Phoenix and/or Colossi in an engagement the Terran will have to overbuild Vikings. This will eventually kill all your Phoenix and Colossi. Don’t crap your pants. The supply deficit in Bio or even in Mech is hilariously bad for Terran if this happens that your Zealots and/or Archons can kill them easily. Don’t let anythng of yours die for free though, if you have to, a-move towards their base with the Colossi. If you can, this is one of the few times an emergency warp-in of Stalkers is okay. It will usually clean up the Vikings and save your Colossi. Proceed as normal from there.
Another time to warp-in Stalkers is heavy Hellbat usage. Just a few isn’t enough to stop your Zealots. Optional for Hellions. This is another reason to get Phoenix actually. It’s hard for Terran to afford or even justify Marine/Hellion (or Hellbat). Phoenix are great at eliminating Hellions and Hellbats and if you see them, prioritize them with Phoenix.
In lieu of replays until I have them, here are two replays. One is Platinum and the other (first) is Diamond. (It’s labeled Platinum because I was Plat at the time but promoted to Diamond from the match and my opponent was Diamond)
Ideally you’ll want to keep each different unit on it’s own hotkey. This is because you don’t actually want to engage with Zealots first unless there is a lot of tanks, and therefore Mech. Always engage with Colossi first and attack forward with Zealots when they close on your Colossi. If they choose to be smart and only engage with Vikings then you can have the oh-so-fun dance of fighting with Phoenix while avoiding his Bio. This is made supremely easy if you decide to get the Anion Pulse upgrade.
If he ever sits with his Vikings above his Bio it’s actually a good idea to just A-move, but engaging with Colossi first.
If you scout no expand by 4:30 he is going to early pressure you or 1-1-1 you. All early pressure is easily held at any point. However it is safe to assume he is 1-1-1ing. In which case you do not grab your 2 final gateways (making only 3) and forge. Get everything else and add a Robo. It’s only for detection. It NEEDS to be mobile, cannons don’t cut it. Phoenix hard counter banshees and Ravens. Chargelots do exceptional against Marines and Tanks. Please hesitate to warp in stalkers and sentries as much as you may want to. They will lose you the game. Keep warping in Zealots and Phoenix, even if he went for Hellions for his factory play. Lift his Hellions after killing his air. You will be fine if you keep calm, keep making probes and units. DO NOT CANCEL CHARGE. You’ll already have your natural by 4:30 anyway, so keep attempting to saturate it.
If this is HotS you may build an Oracle in lieu of a Robo+Obs. Previously the MSC could do that job and 1-1-1 was basically dead. Now it has a little more power. The lack of research needed for siege mode does not make their push any stronger. Wait for charge to finish, chrono it if need be, and put a pylon away and able to warp to the low ground. Flank when charge is finished. You can actually afford more than 3 gates while doing this, but timings depend. You’ll have to feel it out. Photon Overcharge is your friend. DO NOT LOSE YOUR MSC. If you go for Oracles and they have Cloaked Banshees your Oracles are your lifeline.
In the case of a 1-1-1 then you will want to chrono charge and the SG. Robo too if you opted for that. You should only need 1 obs though. Maybe 2.
This composition is hard-countered by BCs, but I have yet to see them and Void Rays are an easy and practical transition.
Sometimes I build Carriers. They’re actually more effective sometimes. That’s after I get the Fleet Beacon which is after the two Stargates and two cyber cores.