What to warp against Terran drops?

Protoss Discussion
So around the end of the midgame, I tend to lose games very suddenly when my army is in the middle of the map (with my luck, RIGHT when I moved out) and a Terran drops my main. Usually I warp in half stalkers and half zealots, at which point the zealots deal no damage as the MM kites around the base, and the stalkers get out-healed by the medivac. I've tried messing around with what I warp in, but usually I just get rolled unless he doesn't move his units.

Even worse, whenever a drop comes in with TWO medivacs...well, I don't think I've ever won when that happens. Seems like I can either try a suicidal base race or try to run my entire army back, at which point he can just fly away after ruining all my tech and my main nexus.

Those probably have two different solutions, since I'm pretty sure no single warp cycle is going to take on 2 medivacs worth of units unless I'm in the late game. So what should I be going for against a single drop, and how should I react to bigger drops when I'm out of position? I'm pretty bad at dealing with drops, and since medivacs are way better in HoTS, I better figure it out now.
You should probably have a few units chillings at your base ready for a drop, especially if you are doing a 2 base all-in. Warping in zealots is the best response.
Templar to feedback the medivacs if you have them, zealots to clean up. Pull your probes away and warp in out of range to keep their health up.
If it's a big drop, a few zealots can buy you time to get the rest of your army there.

But the best response is to be ready for the drop. Have a few observers spotting good drop spots, keep a few units back, and/or keep a squadron of blink stalkers ready.

If there's a big drop and you're completely out of position, then your opponent did exactly what he should have. Keep that in mind when planning attacks.
I normally open templar against Terran, and I like having 1 HT per base in order to feedback the medivac and/or storm. Then you're better off warping in zealots (not stalkers) to deal with the units.
Also, if you're already in the mid game, you should place 1-2 cannons in the most obvious drop locations, so you don't have to be so spread out with your units.

It also seems you have a problem spotting the drops. Drops shouldn't be able to surprise you; you should place pylons, observers or just zealots around your base to be able to spot the drop before they arrive. That way you can have your units already warped in by the moment the dropship arrives, and you'll be able to deal with it much more easily.
All good points, thanks a lot guys, I'll work on it right away.
Warping half-Stalkers and half-Zealots will require micro. Stalkers suck against MM so they need to focus-fire Medivacs while Zealots buy time by forcing the MM to kite.
5 stalkers is the amount you need to kill a drop before it unloads. You basically always want that many in your main until you are on 3+ bases and have spare money for cannons and HT. You should also have an extra observer or two in the airspace around your main to give you advance warning to prepare. You should only warp in zealots if a drop manages to land.

In the late game, you should have 1 HT, 1 stalker, 1 zealot at each expo. The stalker can target down medivacs after they have been feedbacked incase there isn't enough energy on the medivac to kill it, and the zealot can begin tanking damage as the medivac is unloading.

This is also a great way to force yourself to spread HT out from ghosts; having an extra HT at your bases can be a lifesaver if you get EMPed and need some extra storm.
01/05/2013 03:50 PMPosted by Vega
Usually I warp in half stalkers and half zealots,
You should be warping in Zealots only (most of the time), because you should already have 4-6 stalkers defending your main, while the rest of your Zealot/Sentry/Colossus force is protecting your natural.

And, once you upgrade Blink, you keep 4 stalkers in between the main and natural and keep at least 4-6 gates idle for defensive warp-ins, and the only units you want to warp in DURING a drop is Zealots and DT. BEFORE the drop, you want to warp-in stalkers and maybe 1 High Templar per base, preemptively - preferably with Storm done.

The reason why you don't need to keep more than 4-5 stalkers between your main and natural after Blink should be obvious, but it is mainly because any where a drop occurs, your stalkers will have enough time to either walk there if it is in the main, or to just blink down a ramp if it is a natural or 3rd base (like on cloud kingdom). And your zealots warped in should be a short distance away from the drop, unless your stalkers are really close, then you warp in right on top of the drop to absorb damage while the stalkers snipe the medivac.

Later in the game, I usually like to keep a separate control group of Blink stalkers (of about 8 or so since they can basically 2 shot it consistently even if you lose 2 stalkers) so that I can easily double-tap the key and immediately react to a blip on the minimap or a drop in progress (if I was not paying attention). I then usually warp-in 4-6 zealots, depending on how big the drop is. If I am using HT as defense, then the HT are hotkeyed separately from the army ones and I use them and a zealot warp in instead of stalkers. 1-2 per base are enough in lategame.

Drop play defense is all about being prepared; you want to have defenses in place WELL before a drop is even coming. Other tips you want to follow:

- build pylons on the outskirts of the map area around your bases, along the most usual paths of dropships, and be VERY vigilant on the minimap while building or moving your army. Keep stalkers in your most vulnerable base (where your main army is not). Re-adjust stalker numbers as needed and always keep 4-6 gates idle (depending on how late the period of the game is).

Also, on 2 bases, you kind of want to over-make gates to be ready for aggression of any kind.

For example, typically, you can afford only 3 gates and a Robo making colossus on 1 base while you saturate a 2nd. On full saturation, you can really only afford to use 5 gates with that 1 robo, while you are also upgrading on 2 forges or 1 forge + Twilight council (depending on how aggressive your opponent is). However, you will routinely see players get 4 gates instead of the minimum of 3 on 1.5 bases, and some will go up to 7 gates + 1 Robo and double forge on 2 fully saturated bases. This is done as you have minerals to afford them, and you overmake gates even on 3 bases - you tend to want to have Templar tech and charge/blink with double forge + 12-15 gates on 3 bases alongside your 1 robo making observers now and only using it to replace colossi from battle. You usually want a 2nd robo and 20 gates on 4 bases as well.

As you can see, you make more gates than you can afford to sustain purely for defense and quick reinforcements in bursts of production because those are the times you can push your momentum forward, and ease the way you defend with warp-ins. As your economy grows, you will be focusing more and more on tech and upgrades and using warpgates less until you are poised to attack at about the 16th minute mark (in standard colossus-based PvT).

Your extra gates only help with defense at that time because you can use the banked resources + large warpgate warp-in availability to just get a burst of units to deal with an attack or attacks and then resume teching/upgrading while Terran tries to regroup or expand and if you took almost no damage, you can expand freely as well. You have to keep in mind that the extra gates will not really help if you don't the economy to sustain continued production from them. That's why it is important you scout if a Terran wants to play a long macro game, or try to end the game on 3 bases or 2 bases with all-ins.

This ensures a very solid midgame, and in lategame for you, and it works towards a much stronger infrastructure to reinforce your army once the really heavy lategame battles start and you want to push in and kill the Terran. If the Terran is being hyper aggressive and not taking extra bases, you basically delay some of your tech and focus on army production for a few cycles and then resume chronoboosting forges, Templar Archives, Twilight Council, Robo and build up your strong lategame army to try and end the game before the 20th min mark.
I prefer cannons at likely drop spots, observers along drop paths, and then I warp in a HT to feedback. I also always warp in zealots over stalkers.

One thing people haven't mentioned is DTs... having a dt or 2 hanging out in your base can shut down a drop completely or force scans
I prefer cannons at likely drop spots, observers along drop paths, and then I warp in a HT to feedback. I also always warp in zealots over stalkers.
I agree :) I build 1-3 cannons over my 2 bases once I am poised to take a 3rd base, especially if the 3rd is far from the main or natural, or it does not have passable terrain for Blinks.

But as I said, cannons are a later drop defense measure, usually after you've obtained your basic AOE tech (such as Colossus or High Templar with Storm).

01/06/2013 12:14 PMPosted by Badloss
One thing people haven't mentioned is DTs...
Heeey! :(

I did... >_<
01/06/2013 12:22 PMPosted by Anesthetic
Once you hit 3 bases you should have enough money to build cannons at key locations.
Agreed. After 3 bases, when you're near the moment you will be attacking Terran, you want to build additional cannons for drop defense, especially close to your tech structures/production and your expansion nexuses.

Why? Because you will be mining out the main soon, so building more cannons there is redundant and unnecessary. You want to protect things like Robos, forges, Twilight Council, Templar Archives, Dark Shrine (if you opted for one) and gates, for your main base. At your expos, you're protecting the back of your mining line, and basically pathways of possible escape, to give you time to get a warp-in in, or to buy time for blink stalkers to come back.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum