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I've been mentoring many lower league toss players and I've decided to write out a guide about common problems I noticed/things most people need to work on.
Note: this is a guide intended for bronze/silver players mostly, so you may disagree with some points here and there, but I believe its easier for new players to understand the game first before looking into deeper strategies/micros/etc..
If anyone thinks that there is anything this guide is missing, you are welcome to point it out and I'll gladly add it.
1.) The Basics
1.1) Probe Production
Perhaps the biggest problem I've noticed among lower leagued players is that they don’t make nearly enough workers. Generally speaking, you should never hold your probe production until you are around 80’ish probes. The key to a powerful army is a strong economy, which is powered by a lot of probes. Don’t worry about how making too many probes is going leave you without enough army, unless you’re going for some rush builds (k4g for example),there is never a time where lots of workers are gonna hurt you. You dont need to make worker non-stop past early game, but you need to remember to chrono boost out a pair of worker once in a while.
1.2) Chrono Boost
Chrono boost is another important thing that most low league players miss. You should never save up chrono boost off 1 base unless you are getting an important tech soon. Toss production and research are fairly slow so chrono boost is essential to keep yourself ahead in a game.
The importance level of things that needs to be chrono boosted are as follows (imo):
Warpgate tech (prob most important tech, worth saving up chrono for)>Extended Thermal Lance/Psi-Storm>Other Upgrades>Robo/Stargate Units>Probes>Warpgates (Late game when you have spare).
Of course you need to use early game chrono boosts wisely. Usually you should chrono out your 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th probes. After that if you do not require a super fast warpgate you can maybe spend another 1-2 chrono on workers, but save at least one for warpgate. In mid-late game once your on 2-3base, you can feel free to chrono anything you need out fast. It will help a lot to get some vital upgrades out.
This is yet another common problem. Players tend to either make too many pylons thus wasting valuable resource early on or get supply blocked and have their production halted. Supply block at a bad time can easily cost you the game. It is quite hard to not get supply blocked at all during mid-late game. But I'd suggest that every time you goes through 1 production cycle of units (made some units from your production buildings) add 1 pylon for every base you have and maybe a extra one if you’re going supply costly unit like Colossi. Early game though, a good time to drop your pylon will be: 1st pylon at 9 supply, 2nd at 15-16, third at 22-24, 4th at around 30. This should allow you to stay ahead in supply early game without wasting much resource.
1.4) Production Buildings
1 Protoss base can support a maximum of 4 production buildings continuously making units. So you should not have more then 4 production building when you’re on 1 base. If you are going high tech units such as Colossi off of 1 base, you usually can only support continuous production off of 3 buildings (1 robo 2gates). More importantly, once you have expanded add more production buildings so that you can effectively turn your resources into army. You don’t need another 4 buildings up as soon as your expo is up but get them gradually as you saturate your expansion.
Edited by Mycophobia on 9/19/2013 1:36 AM PDT
It is important to turn your economical advantage into army advantage.To do this,you not only need enough production buildings,but also constantly making unit out of them.I suggest you hotkey your buildings and constantly check if they are making anything.Unless your saving up for tech or expo,you should always be making probe and/or combat units.Most people tends to forget about reinforcing their army once they engage in a battle,this can some time cost you the game because you cant reinforce your army quick enough.A good way is to place a proxy pylon near your attack route,and warp in a wave of unit immediately before and after the battle.Also hotkey your Robo/Stargate and check once in a while to make sure they are producing.
The most important part of any war is probably scouting.If you know where your enemy is,what unit he have,what unit he is going to be making,etc..You can react accordingly to defeat him.You should usually send your first scouting probe toward your opponet's base at 9(or to scout all possible spawn locations).The most important thing to look for is probably gas,and whether he got any building at all.After that,you should have your probe patroling around his base to see what he is going for.You should also send a probe to take the xel'naga tower that can watch over a attack route to your base.This will allow you to be preapred for any attack before it reaches you,giving you vital time to react.If he managed to take the tower from you,always try to take it back unless he got his army camped there.For later game scouting,you can get observor from robo and send to his base,or get hallucination research and hallucinate a phoenix,this will help you easily scout his base early compared to the observor.
This seems to be what most lower level player is having the most problem with.When to expand,and when not to.To find the right time to expand can be tricky and require you to use your own judgement.But here is some key points:
---When you are expanding,you will be weak until your expansion is finished,Do not expand if you see a attack coming that you cannont easily fight off.
---Good way to cover your expansion is to pressure your enemy,let him feel threatened,while not over commiting to it and lose your army.You can simply harass a terran with a stalker at his ramp,or a small force making a small push at a zrg expo.
----Cannon helps,but it is usually a bad idea to overcommit to them.I like to put 2-3 cannons against zerg when my expo is up.Against toss,cannon would help too against 4gate.But there is no point to make tons of cannon to defend your expansion.
----It is almost always safe to expand if you managed to hold off a push without suffering devastating loss.Instead of a counter attack,is much safer to just expand.
----If you see him expand,it is a good idea to expand yourself,while pressuring him.
----Your expansion shouldn't come any later then around 12-14min.Otherwise you probably lose the game,unless your opponet choose to stay on 1 base as well.
----Fast expansion can be risky,but if you have confidence to defend it,it is very profitable.
-----When your main starts to get mined out,its a good idea to consider taking a third
-----You are safe to take a 3rd if you can contain your opponet in his base
(More tips on when to expand will be appericated =D,cant think of much lol)
This is a relatively small topic.1 base can be fully saturated with 6 worker on gas,and 20 on minerals.Any extra worker you have should be transfered to your expo when it is about to finish.Note that you should transfer most of the worker over,and simply re-saturate your main base by making more worker from your main as well as the expo.Usually you should have at least around 30-40 workers when you expand.
Against zerg,you should always wall off by place a pylon near your ramp,and 1cybercore+1gateway to block most of it,leaving only a gap for 1 zealot.Set the zealot to hold postion,and you are free from most ling harass.You can look up for the exact postioning of the buildings needed for a wall off.On map with larger ramp,wall off with pylon+cybercore+gateway should be enough.
Against terran,its a bad chocie to wall off because mm ball with vision can snipe your buildings on the high ground,it also reduce the mobilty of your army incase of terran harass.
Another good idea against terran is to spread out your buildings,so it will makes it harder for terran to kill your buildings,and easier for you to reinforce your base incase of a drop.
Against other protoss,walling off with a forge+gateway is almost mandatory for stopping a proxy 2 gate rush.It can also give u a small edge to defend a zealot heavy 4gate.However late game the benifit it brings is limited,and it hinder the moblity of your army.
Edited by Mycophobia on 1/23/2011 10:52 PM PST
To stay aggressive through out the game will give you a decent advantage,but attack at a wrong time or to over commit to an attack can also cost you the game,so when is a good time to attack?
It is always a great idea to scout before you make any commited push,when making a push,you'd want to push when he is most vunerable,often when his getting new tech/expanding,or when his army is out of postion to defend.For example,if you scout a toss going for colossi tech,it is a great idea to push him then before his colo are out,he will be forced to make unit to defend that push,allowing you to catch up with your tech,as well as dealing some damage to him.Against zerg,poke around with some units early will force him to spend larva on combat units rather then drones,thus allowing you to catch up economicaly,maybe expanding while he is forced to make unit to defend your attack.
It is important to know that you should not over commit to a push unless your having a decisive advantage or that you are going all-in.If it looks like you are losing a battle,leave a zealot or two behind and run the rest of your army away.If he choose to counter push ,you should be able to fight it off with reinfocements(unless you got out-marcoed bad,or lost too many units),thus putting you in an advantage.
In mid-late game,if you scout a expansion that looks vulnerable,you can harass your opponet,drawing his army away(with maybe warpprism drop,voidrays,etc..)While you move your main army to snipe the expo.Again if you cant take out his force,you should back off,but if you manage to snipe the expo it will put you way ahead.
The most important micro for protoss is probably forcefield.You should always have some sentry early game for ff.
The basic use of ff are as follows:
PvP:Against a 4gate,use ff to delay his push for more units,and to divide his army in half when he tries to get up the ramp.
In large battle,keep his units away from your colo,ff behind his losing army to prevent retreat.
PvT:FF to divide mm ball in half,preventing effective kite,and reduce damage they can do to your ranged your unit.(Guardian shield help alot too)
FF back his mm balls so that he cant snipe your colo with stimmed marauders.
FF behind mm ball before storm for maximum damage.
FF to delay marine+scv allin/divide his force at ramp
PvZ:FF ramp when attacking expo to prevent reinforcements
FF back hydra/roaches away from your stalker/immortal/colossi
FF before storm for maximum damage.
FF around your army to prevent zergling surronds.
Storm Micro Tips
Do not use all storm at once,drop 2-3 storm,he'll usually pull his force away from storm,storm again when he come back in range.
Storm behind his army to to prevent escape.
Keep your zealot in the front of your army.
Use colossi's cliff walk to avoid damage form unit with less range(such as mm)
A-move your probe when u need to pull them to fight
Move your ranged unit forward in battle after first volley to have more unit shoot at once.
Pull back valuable unit when they are about to die
Feedback medivac before they can drop
2.6 General Strat/BO
Similar to 3gate,but focus on faster colossi,more useful against early mm push that focus more heavily on marines.
3gate Expand(To immortal+stalker+templar)
3gate into voidray+colossi
2.7:What to look for when scouting
In PvP,the first thing to look for is whether he have any building it all,If you looked around his base and sees nothing,its safe to assume that his going for proxy 2gate/cannon rush,You should immeidately scout around your base,if its outside your base,wall off and cannon up yourself,if he proxy in your base,pull your probes to kill the proxy.
If he is having a really large amound of chorno boost saved up,it usually means that he will attempt to 4gate,however many low level player tends to forget about chrono boost,thus it is often good idea to scout again later.
If you scout 2 early gateway in his base,the best idea is to block off with a forge and cannon up,this will help you hold off the incoming 2gate rush,however,stick your probe in their base for a while,incase he is just stupid and dropped 2gate really early.
Edited by Traysent on 4/21/2011 10:05 PM PDT
Scout the terran's gas first,early gas before racks means tech play,no gas after 2-3racks are up can either be fast expo,or much more commonly,marine+scv allin(you prob need cannon to hold that off)
Once your first stalker is out,send it up a terran's ramp to get a few shot off his units,becareful to not get it killed.If you see nothing besides marines,it often means his going a tech build,be it 1/1/1,thor rush,tank push etc...To make sure you know what his going,you should get hallucination research as soon as warpgate finish,and make a hallucination phoenix to scout.If there is an armory,its often thor rush,if he got starport with tech lab,expecet banshees.If he got lots of raine and factory with tech lab,its often tank push.
Later in game,keep a obeservor in your opponets base can provide you with even more information about his army comp,whether he expands,etc...
If your probe see a spawing pool over 50% done when you get to his base,expect zergling rush,it the pool is almost finished,you should blocked off with forge and cannon up.If its a later pool,you should be able to fight off the rush with your first zealot and probes.If the pool goes up later,or there is no pool at all,send your probe to patrol the zerg's natural expansion,if he tries to expand,drop a pylon to blocked it,this can set the zerg behind
alot.If the zerg didnt expand after a while,send the probe back into the zerg's main,if you see a roach warren,you should be prepared for a 7rr/roach rush.
Later in game,you can either scout with a hallucination,or poke at the zerg with your army.If you scout a large mass of roach,its a good idea to either get voidray or immortal,if u see lots of hydra,get colossi/high templar,if you see a spire building,or only zerglings,you should make a push at the zerg,and get prepared to fight mutas.
It is also to scout when the zerg takes a third,if you can,bring your force over and kill his 3rd will help you stay ahead,maybe expand yourself while doing it.
Against mm,safest build is to go for a 3gate robo build,while you can totally hold off a mm push with a 1gate expo,it is much harder to do.The key is to get your immortal/colossi out in time,use your ff,prevent kite,have your stalker+immo deal dmg while your zealot absorb the hits.Armor upgrade helps alot but is not essential.Later you would want stalker to deal with vikings while your colo fry his mm ball.If you fast expanded,don be afraid to pull workers to fight,they can tank while for your stalker/sentries do dmg.since ur on 2base,you wont be really behind even if u lost most of the workers.
Here is a good guide on this:http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/1921698769
Against muta,you'd want to scout it early with a hallucination.If the zerg dont have much spine cralwer or lings,simply do a 4gate or 6gate+1 push and kill him,if u scout it late,or he got better defence,drop cannon behind your mineral line,and get phoenix.Rember to keep scouting,if he switch away from mutas,switch yourself to counter.Note that if he mass muta u might want to mass phoenix off 2-3stargate to be able to deal with it.
Cannon rush/proxy 2gate.
Scout at 9,if u see nothing in his base,or a forge.IMMEDIATELY scout around your base,once you find his proxy,send workers to kill it.Against proxy gate outside your base,wall off and cannon up.
Again scout early,and if the zrg didn expo early,check his base again,if you see roach warren,get forge and cannon up.U should get 1 sentry after your first zealot and first stalker,whcih should allow u to ff b4 the roach get there,thus buy time for your cannon.Alternatively,u can go for a fast robo to immortal.
He will usually turtule when he mass ray,u can safely expand,then make lots of gate and mass stalker=easy win.U might wanna go for a cannon or ob incase he turtule and get DT.
Cannon up after u scout it,u should always send a stalker up the terran's ramp early game,get a few shot and scout.If u see only marine,its likely his going tech builds,its often worth it to get hallucination to scout.
You guys can post any questions and i'll answer it =D
Voidray+Colossi In pvz
PvT Fast Expo to Templars
Fending Off banshees
To the whole brotoss community for their support for me when I'm a noob
Nakanaide for giving me the idea of the guide with his =D
Horst for making his awsome strat videos.
Liquidpedia for their useful info on builds.
Zephos for his guide on mm
Edited by Traysent on 4/21/2011 10:06 PM PDT
You better appreciate that essay he wrote. He spent countless hours of research and about 9 hours to type it up so far (1hr per paragraph). Also spent 10 minutes extra to reserve posts.
you gotta cut him some slack. Assuming the time it takes him to reserve a post is 10 minutes, those 4 posts filled with possible copy/paste is like 30 hours and 10 min of work.
He clearly prepared this information days in advance for us.
my guide is the same layout only nicer and was posted 3 months ago you need to add more time on to be legit.
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