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Every few months, I need to go back to the drawing board to get to that next level of SC2 gameplay. I've been having massive success with my current style, winning about 75% of my rounds until recently. I went from Gold to high Dia in less than 1 month. I never cheese, and can generally annihilate opposing cheese while opening CC first.
This is one of my first posts on here, and definitely the first post pertaining to me personally.
I have recently started playing into the High Diamond, Low Masters Level on Ladder and have reached a threshold. Aside from the numerous smurfs of pro-gamers (stream verified after game) I have played, and in some cases beaten, I find that most of my losses are legitimately my fault. I need to improve.
Fact 1: My Apm seems to cap out at 100-150 apm. When I'm going crazy I can get to 200.
Fact 2: Most of the players I now play against have apm ranging from 250 to 400.
Fact 3: Up until now I have had about a 75% winrate.
Fact 4: I have lost my last 8 rounds in a row. 5 of those match are uploaded at the end of post.
I need to go back to the drawing table. I seem to have reached a skill threshold.
I seem to be managing to hold my own in my TvTs and TvZ.
TvZ I may need to evolve, as I always just 15 cc, 2 rax for defense at natural, then 3rd cc (or 6 rax to kill a zerg's early 3rd) into double armoury thor, siege, hellbat medevac. Hit at 16 minutes with 200 supply, 3-3 mech with 4 medevac and 15 scv. That has historically just killed any zerg I faced, though recently I have been facing some pro-gamers who had no issue beating this with primarily muta bling zergling. Not a big issue though.
I historically never lost a TvT, I've lost a few recently to Mine/ mass Marine Marauder Medevac. I either open 15 cc into 6 rax, or early reactor hellion vs reaper. My thorzain is impecable in WoL, and I have evolved this to include hellion harass recently.
However, TvP, which even in Plat and low Dia I had less than 50% WR on, I have been losing 90% on. I actually can't remember the last TvP I have won.
My thought process:
My apm is low, so high APM early pressure into mid harass isn't my forte. I play with one of those weird thumb-mouses (you move a ball with your thumb) and find I just cant get faster. I generally 15 CC in every MU. The only time I find I win is when he just 1 base allins me, which I'm generally good at defending, with the exception of 3 gate Blink stalkers which is impossible. I open 15 cc, 2 rax at 16/17 supply, into 6 rax, into mmm. I can stop colossi no problem, it's gateway unit armies that i have issues with. I do have problems with high gate-way army compositions with 1-2 colossi mixed in in the early-mid game.
If I have to, I will resort to the infamous 2 rax opener, but I'd rather just nail my mechanics and just always have MORE. And keep the toss on two base:)
Ideally, I want to play a gamestyle where I don't need to pressure or harass my opponent. I just defend against HIS harass/allins, while macroing and getting whatever unit composition I desire. Is this even viable as Terran?
Through discussion with YOU and other forum users, I will resolve the inadequacies of my APM issues, and hopefully others that are 'maxing out' in their current situation will benefit from the advice.
Furthermore, I can answer questions about fixing certain issues with gameplay to get the Gold's and Platinums out there to Diamond. So post your questions here, and the Masters out there post their advice for me :) It will be mutually beneficial!
TvP (3 loss in a row Today)
TvZ (Two loss in a row last night)
Edited by Sol on 3/24/2013 4:03 PM PDT
Please post a replay.
5 replays just posted. I haven't had a TvT for awhile but i win most of those anyways.
You will notice one of the TvZ the guy, http://www.twitch.tv/salhajea Salhajea, beats me with 0-0 Muta. I had 3-3 mech with decently upgrading marines. Many 3-3 Thors. He beat me no problem.
Situations like this, obviously I'm doing something horribly wrong.
TvP (3 loss in a row Today)
TvZ (Two loss in a row last night)
TvP. Bad builds.
Do just the standard 3 rax medivac timing at 10 minutes. You can look up the build anywhere as it is basically the most common TvP build ever.
Also when you see double gas before expand on a toss, 85% of the time its dt or oracle, or on some maps Proxy immortal all in or blink all in. Be sure to scout around the map if you see double gas, and scan his base if necessary, or park an scv somewhere and try and get in his main after a bit.
Heres a rough game of the defense against oracles, and the 10 minute push.
TvZ your macro is basically non existant to be blunt. Mech cannot survive on 2 base, you need a third as soon as possible.
I recommend http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/8414271812. Mario (a Grandmaster) is making a guide to mech in tvz, i would suggest looking at it. In TvZ pressure is important, my favorite is 13 gas reaper expand against zerg. But look at marios guide for more tips
So Mac and I started with some mentoring to figure out the root of the problem.
My trend was to do gasless FE's. In fact, CC before barracks. This gives my opponent too much of a blank cheque to do any sort of allin he desires without fearing early aggression, or FE himself. Even if he expo's well after me, a Toss doesn't lose when he makes his nexus after he scouts my CC is almost complete.
My rationale was also not to scout super early. My mindset was that i can stop most early agression blindly by opening 16, 17 barracks. Which is true for the most part. But I waste money on stuff like:
Making a turret per mineral line.
By blindly countering 3 gate and oracle harass/allins, I damage my ability to deal with what my opponent is doing.
After altering my style, we came to the gassed FE as the best alternative. Here is an example of it working, and it not working. Mac is a masters level Terran and Protoss player, so he has a unique perspective of knowing the Terran and Protoss point of view in analyzing the matchup.
I am actually able to get my FE up at 4:30 while also being able to hit with a powerful harass that has the opportunity to kill all of his workers, crippling him at 7:30. I can either do Mine drop, or banshee-hellion. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. Going for mines seemed to work better, but I tried each method.
Things that still need to be improved on are defending against the potential All-in if my harass is successful (as I've forced my opponent into a DO OR DIE situation, he will attempt to just kill me after losing so many workers).
John's post regarding 3 rax medevac timings has NEVER worked for me. I couldn't get out of platinum playing that way, I don't have the natural APM and speed to do such playstyles. I find pure gateway compositions can beat me. I need to get an advantage through either eco-cheeze(playing greedy) or worker harass, and simply having more than my opponent.
Me and Mac will continue to work on this but this is the first installment of gamestyle improvements. Hope this is helping some others too!
Here's 4 Ladder replays with what I have learnt thus far.
2 wins and 2 losses.
I need help with the TvP Loss. The TvZ loss is just one of those things where the guy just randomly roach all-ins you. I scouted but saw early hatch so I didn't figure it was an all-in.
Basically, the guy just harasses with DT's everywhere while getting his deathball. Surprisingly close considering how active he was with DTs and turtling against my harass. Constantly suiciding zealots into me, putting dts all over the map, e.t.c.
How do I harassproof my bases without overspending on defenses?
My harass at start was largely ineffective considering I was on 1 base for so long, any way to make my first harass more damaging to him/ less damaging as far as my own macroing?
What's the most cost effective way to base snipe/ harass a turtling toss? He harassed me effectively while I was only able to snipe a few nexus all game.
I've had a lot of successes dealing with Protosses that refuse to adapt to HOTS with Ghost/Hellbat/Marauder/Medevac/Viking/Thor. 2 Armoury 1 Engy. I'm actually surprised how many Toss using only WoL units are Dia.
If you can wait a few days I will be writing a TvX guide that involves build order, micro, macro, multitasking, and a whole lot of other things.
For the time being, what I recommend is to not focus on the fancy things in your play. Focus on getting to 3 bases safely, pressuring the Zerg/Protoss/Terran with drops and small attacks and to eventually do a timing attack with strong upgrades. You can be aggressive on two bases in TvP/TvT, but I recommend that you stick to mostly drop pressure and do upfront attacks when your opponent is crippled enough that your attacks can surely win.
I don't really have a ton of time to write out build orders, but I have lots of games where I just roll over people with drop play and strong attacks.
Put 1 turret at each base, get a sensor tower to cover some area (maybe two depending on the map) and get a bunker + wall up at your natural/third. On Daybreak you want to position your bunker next to a gas geyser at your third (the best spot is the right hand third base and put it at the lower gas geyser). You can wall it off completely with 4 depots, and then 1 depot behind the geyser stops anything from running into your mineral line that way. That means you get tons of shots off before they even start killing your workers.
Edited by MtlGuitarist on 3/25/2013 3:33 AM PDT
Would you mind posting a replay of your ~16 min push against Zerg where you win? I'm very interested in trying it out!
Just for you, I played one today. Here I do the 3 cc build but scout a roach all-in, and barely hold it. I prefer the 1 fe instead of 2 fe build for this reason.
Furthermore, I have been having much more dominating games by opening Gassed fe (fe at around 430-530 depending on how I do my harass) with primarily mine drops. I find i can almost always kill 10 drones with this and he's stuck trying to figure out. I can just plain win about 25% of the time.
I like the idea behind 16 minute push builds though. I wish I had saved my replays of the high plat/low diamond range where I literally let him do whatever he wants for 16 minutes and I just eat all the ultras, broodlords, roachs, hydras he can throw at me while thor dropping expos e.t.c.
Note that this build is so economically cheezy that despite being Roach allined and losing half my scvs, I still come out on top. He basically has two choices.
1. Do some sort of allin that kills nearly all my scvs, or lose.
2. Somehow play even more greedy than opening 3 base, or lose.
I have seen some Zergs be successful with a mid game Zergling bane bust. I'm talking a full tab of banes just eating a full expo, with a few tabs of zerglings. Mix in a few muta's and I lose 1 of my 3 bases. If he's on 3 base while doing this, I can be in trouble.
I still manage to sort of meet my 16 minute timings despite having to do an all-in defense. Game is basically over by 18 minutes, but goes on until 23 minutes.
You should open gas in TvP, always. These days you just shouldn't open CC first TvP, 1rax FE is okay.
Won 16 of my last 20 rounds by opening GAS FE every time ;) It's really not worth it going eco-cheeze even though I can survive, the opponent can just play even greedier because he knows no early aggression is coming!
"I go bio, i dont like mech.
just watch all my builds."
I had an unstoppable 1 rax FE into 4 rax timing attack at around 8 minutes with stim/ cs done. Laugh at banes and zerglings. Unless he roach, bane, ling and spines he just plain dies. But I wanted to improve my overall mechanics so I started trying to play way more conservative and see if I could beat zerg force for force in a 3 base scenario.
iChobo, your playstyle is epic, but I just don't have the apm/micro to pull that off. You basically hit at 16 minutes with a nearly maxed food 2-2 bio army and keep the waves coming. The zergs you faced barely had any banes and relied almost exclusively on muta/ling while floating massive amounts of money. I could never do a bio-based timing past 8 minutes because I find the zerg I face just get 30+ banes and wipe my army cost effectively then keep on the attack. Plus, at that stage of the game most Zerg would have festor in great quantity. Furthermore, your opponents seemed to be content on doing 3 base versus 3 base, which isn't a reality in my matches; a zerg will go 4 or 5 base vs my 3 base in order to outmacro me.
I would suggest building the CC on the high ground, pretty much every replay you had to sac your scvs and lift the CC. You are vulnerable to 10 and 14 pool by building it on the low ground, and you only lose a few seconds by building it on the high ground. Plus, I'm safe vs 6pool because with 15 cc, 16 barracks and supply depot I am fully walled. That said, I have consistently been doing gassed harass into double or triple FE more recently.
Here is a replay of a more early-game aggression oriented version of my build. I sacrifice the 16 minute timing attack with maxed 3-3 mech in order to kill 80 drones. I force a roach allin- to buy himself time to re-drone. If I hadn't let the roach all-in overwhelm my base I would have hit a 20minute 3-3 timing instead. Note that he is forced to remain 0-0, 0-1 for zergling/muta respectively due to my constant pressure while I get 3-3.
In this match I am facing a Mid-Masters level player who is familiar with my play-style.
Again, My issues are more with TvP than anything.
yea bad replay to show but it works against masters players to top. Yes your apm might be low but APM comes from practicing and not giving up
that build didnt just come in 1 day or 1 week or 1 month, it took me 3+ month to master that build.
i went thru so many trouble against early rush but eventually i kept on refining it. I learned from my mistakes and these zerg habits.
yes i had to lift CC and sac a few SCV but i keep on going, keep macro'ing.
also i practice marine split challenge till my eyes were bleeding and im still not good at it =/
but guess what its good enough in the lower league.
I also coach a few players and one thing i do is always practice micro with them
-Hots micro race
i also play counterstrike CS:go deathmatch before i ladder. Reason why deathmatch? because its so faast pace and helps w/ hand eye coordination and reaction with the mouse.
Edited by iChobo on 3/26/2013 10:36 PM PDT
HTOMario has a guide for mech tvp which looks interesting. I haven't played much hots yet but I've been trying out innovations tvp build(who I copied it from anyways) which has been working well on the few low lvl toss I've played. 12 rax 15 gas into reactor/cc then mine drop proceed into normal bio with hellbats added. I'm also trying to play bio/mine style tvz which is hard for a low apm like me but it is a fun change from mech. On that note anyone know the production I should have up on 3 bases with this style? I'm always floating a lot after my 3rd is up.
Edited by IshBoSheth on 3/27/2013 12:55 AM PDT
TvP has become a lot harder
1- Stargate openers
2- You still have to be wary of 4 gates, 3 gate robo and many others(scouting has never been so important)
3- Terran still has to micro/kite chargelots, dodge storm
4- DT's, they're cheaper and even if it fails, they can transition into chargelot/archon to templar
5- Pretty much you still have to deal w/ WoL issues
yes we got the medivac afterburners and widow mines but it takes a lot of multitasking and especially for the lower level players your macro will slip that a Protoss can counter you with ease.
So, i was doing great, almost into masters by my calculations (60% winrate, 450 points) and then lost another 7 in a row.
I've started opening with mine drops. I have a lot of problems with Zerg just roach allining me when i kill a ton of workers. Heres my build:
10 depot, 13 gas, factory first, reactor, starport, 4 x mines + 1 medevac, cc at first 400 minerals, double armoury, 3rd cc.
What is good advice other than "just build siege tanks" (ive had siege tanks, bunkers, and mines ready every time he just all-ins me) to be ready for this kind of desperate move. I've started having problems with siege, marine, viking 1 base timings at around 7 or 8 mins. He gets his expo right as the attack hits so it isn't just about surviving. Up until now I have just plain wrecked any terran I faced by opening reactor hellion to stop any reaper allin/ early pressure and banshee to stop any marine tank allins. I was winning a lot of tvts by roasting mega workers with the hellions.
Again, in both TvT, TvZ, TvP, since I've been opening harass builds successfully of either hellion or mine drops, I find players are put in a position where they MUST all-in me off their 1 base in order to stand a chance. The Problem is that many times, the all-in succeeds.
What's a good base layout, when to expand, when facing this? Especially having issues with these low masters player Terrans who always open some extremely refined 1 base allin before getting their expo. The hardest one is where he has about 5 siege and 5 vikings with a few marines.
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