StarCraft® II

The Terran vs Protoss Thread

Posts: 1,289
Hey guys, I've seen a lot of TvP threads pop up lately, and truth be told I'm struggling in this matchup too. So I thought it would be good to consolidate all the small little posts into one large post so people struggling can browse through and hopefully find an answer for their question instead of hunting through the forums. I'd love to see some high ranking Terran's get involved, and also Protoss players because sometimes it takes the other perspective to set off a light in the brain.

Lets try and keep it constructive....QQing never solved anything. Trust me, I did my fair share in the past.

Ok, so I'll start. I'm a former Master player from WOL. Even though I stopped playing about a year and a half ago I still have a ton of game knowledge. But even during WOL, I was never good at TvP. I was MUCH better at the other two matchups. But I could hold my own by pressuring. Early two rax pressure into heavy infantry play with drops and good macro/positioning helped me win a few, but still my win rate was only around 30% in TvP. It's pretty much what made me quit 1v1's.

Now, coming back in HOTS and climbing the ranks again, it seems even harder to play TvP. Whatever early pressure I was able to do in HOTS seems to be shut down by that damnable photon overcharge, and 4-gates are even stronger with the mothership core and timewarp/recall. Also, oracles can decimate your mineral line in a few seconds if you let them. It feels like the whole matchup has changed, and not for the better.

Question
This is not me QQing. This is me legitimately asking....how do we play TvP now? Do we skip early pressure entirely, going for super early expo straight into drop play? Is there still forms of early pressure that succeeds? Do we have to become even more ninja then before?

Oh, ye Master/Diamand/High Platinum players, what are you doing in the TvP matchup that are netting you wins? I can tell you the Polt push still works, and it's what I'm using. But I hate one base play. It never made a good player. I want to play a macro game and hold me own again. How?

Everyone with a question or something constructive to add, feel free to chime in! This thread is for all of us, to make us better players. So lets get cracking!
Edited by WinterBornRH on 4/12/2013 8:10 AM PDT
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Posts: 1,536
I play mech in all match-ups. For opening, I do a delayed 1-1-1 where I drop a CC in my main before starting the starport. Getting an early widow mine helps stop oracles as well as basically anything they will throw at you.

Scouting early is key. If they expand (check around 5:00 to 5:30), I go into mass hellions for map control. If not, I make widow mines and marines.

My problems come in the late mid game when the protoss is looking to do a big deathball push. If I hold this push, I usually win. Otherwise, I die horribly.

Hellbat drops have been my key to success most of the time. Keeping map control with hellions allows me to see when the protoss moves out and when they do, hellbats for all the mineral lines. Holding the push depends on what he has. I like to have some vikings always. They deal with colossi, mothership core, and they can snipe observers. I find sniping the observers and letting the widow mines do the work has been extremely effective. Tanks on the high ground help a lot too.

With mech, you really just have to have the composition and positioning to stop his push. Then you have all of your production up and a good economy going allowing you to build what you need to counter the protoss composition.
Edited by SAUS on 4/12/2013 8:21 AM PDT
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Posts: 3,947
Ok, so right now i have been testing 3 builds vs toss.

Pressure build
1. This is a pressure build that i find still works, MKP's 2 rax + a factory for widow mines, with the widow mines you can prevent oracles, often i proxy the factory as well. The biggest issue is of course the stupid photon overcharge, which you basically just have to wait out.

Large maps
2. On large maps, i find
10-supply
14-CC
15-rax
17-rax
immediate bunker in natural.

i have tested this against proxy oracle on daybreak, and held easily, as i had a total of 8 marines when the oracle hit. Im not sure about other all ins or pressures, but i think if you get that super quick bunker you can hold early mothership core stalker zealot pressure on large maps. I am not confident about it on smaller maps.

Small maps
I believe this is bombers build, but basically
10-supply
12-rax
12-gas
-reaper and expand, reactor on rax after first reaper.
-cut gas, 2 more rax and bunker asap.
-continue gas and go about your normal stuff for that 10 minute timing.

Now my questions

In the 10 minute push, every toss is prepared for drops, and they always have collosus out.
-Do i just try to camp outside their base and delay the third?
-When do i switch from medivac production to viking production
-at this point i have my third, 3 rax, a starport, a factory, and 2 eng bays, when do i add a second starport?
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Posts: 692
Well, there sure is a lot to expect from a toss these days. Be it a colosus/stalker deathball or skytoss.

The trick is, they can't do everything at once, but you sure have some units that are great vs both composition.

Let me start by saying that bio play is viable if you get some early ghost. Remember that you don't require a factory to make them, only for the nuke. And since ghost academy are not expensive, with the first 75 gas (tech lab + academy) you can start ghost production. This is pretty early in the game. A few well landed emp with marauders concusion shell upgrade will snipe all gateway units and make robo unit retreat. The Snipe ability can 1 hit kill high templar if you emp them first making your bio ball safe.

Rax upgrades are you friends vs protoss. Stimpack and combatsield let you trade with voidray at your avantage. Concussion shell will net you extra easy kill whenever he retreat.

I would skip factory for the now being. Maybe a few tank and widow mine to protect expansion. But the next step is to gain air superiority in a way that, if he foolishly go for it, you will have 3-4 hunter seeker missile ready for him. Or PDD to shut down tempest. (1 pdd = 20 tempest shot.)

Viking are also good to get vs protoss, leave them over the cliff of your base to prevent warp prism warpin. Grounded Viking can also help vs gateways units, I would not try to tackle on zealots tho.

Medivac healing is faster than shield regen too!

All in all, whenever you have the upperhand, since you have been getting ghost from very early, and still have a deathball of bio. Get more ghost academy, get 2-3 more nukes and punish him for turtling in is base( scan then use all your nukes at once in the same area /cheers!). Cloak is not really needed to do that since your ghost are well defended inside your deathball. (15 minutes mark)
Edited by Kelmort on 4/12/2013 8:45 AM PDT
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Posts: 3,816
TvP is honestly my fav matchup. I like it so much more than wol just for the simple fact we have more options then 1 rax FE everygame. I love all the new Gas expands we can do.
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Posts: 6,425
Great idea for a thread. I'm glad to see you back in here, Winterborn. We need more Terrans that are willing to help get knowledge flowing. I don't blame anyone for the mass exodus during the last year of WoL. It was pretty bad, but now I'm hopeful that HotS is really going to set things right. :D

Pressure build
1. This is a pressure build that i find still works, MKP's 2 rax + a factory for widow mines, with the widow mines you can prevent oracles, often i proxy the factory as well. The biggest issue is of course the stupid photon overcharge, which you basically just have to wait out.


I've been having reasonable success with variations of this, though I have been experimenting with minor tweaks. I find that it forces a MSC out of an all-in toss, or he will straight up die to an early poke with your first two Marauders and 7-ish Marines (more if you rally to your Marauders). I always cut marauders after 2, and then you can get a quick enough ebay to have a Turret up by 7 minutes. This build gives you a late expo by its very nature, but I don't think that's a bad thing right now. Aggression seems to be king in HotS, right now. You could always cut production and expand earlier, if you poked, got repelled and managed to run without major losses. Of course, you can easily turn this into a powerful all-in with an SCV pull. ^^

Generally, what I've noticed is that a lot of people are still falling back onto WoL style standard TvP, because that's what they know. This makes lots of sense for the pros, because they will almost always prefer bio when they can get away with it, because it's pure mechanics, with little need for big overall strategy (nothing complex, anyway). I don't know if it's going to last, though. The Bomber expand has extended it's life, but I can see the window for Terran to do damage getting more and more narrow.

What I'd love to do is get some brainstorming going on how to leverage our new stuff. I mean, the Factory is actually useful now. In WoL, it was a 150/100 flying scout, and that's about all it was good for. We have Hellbats now that laugh at Gateway units, and in combination with Marines, means we have two very potent mineral dumps. One for raw DPS and one that can take a Storm better than Marauders and shrug off Immortals. Widow Mines are hard for Protoss to kill before they burrow with Gateway, because Stalkers can only tickle them to death. Thors don't have energy anymore, and the HIP guns can attack Colossus at range (not for much damage, but still). So, maybe "standard" MMM openings and timings that transition into Hallbat / Marauder heavy comps, etc (just an example, but I'm going to try it).

My dream is for TvP to become a matchup that doesn't completely henge on Ghost control. I'm not saying that I want Ghosts to go away (although I would like to see them made less one dimensional), but in WoL TvP Terran lived or died by one unit, and that's just bad design. I think the Factory is key to this. TvP in WoL was a game of guess-the-hard-counter. You made Vikings to kill Colossus, and Ghosts to handle HTs. Make too much of the wrong thing... oops, you're dead. There was no soft-counter options that could help with all-around situations. Now, we may be able to field Thors that can take a Storm and Colossus laser, or Tanks that out-range both HTs and Colos (and splash is awesome on Colos that stand on top of the Protoss army), because Hellbats mean that we don't have to constantly fallback to Chargelot aggression. I think there is a lot of undiscovered territory in TvP, and I mean to map it out. Any help will be greatly appreciated. :)
Edited by MattOverMind on 4/12/2013 1:46 PM PDT
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Posts: 32
Never mind, I am absolutely f* clueless. what do do in this match up.
Edited by Methijuana on 4/13/2013 6:57 PM PDT
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Posts: 299
Hey Guys,

Beefy is back here too. Similar to WB, I took a year off, and now I'm back for some HoTS. I too am having the same old problems vs toss. I'm a macro player, I hate 1-base play, and yet I can't seem to beat any toss after the 10-minute mark because my ghost control is terrible.

I'm trying out FE into Mech play builds, but wondering how effective this really is.
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Posts: 3,343
Hey Guys,

Beefy is back here too. Similar to WB, I took a year off, and now I'm back for some HoTS. I too am having the same old problems vs toss. I'm a macro player, I hate 1-base play, and yet I can't seem to beat any toss after the 10-minute mark because my ghost control is terrible.

I'm trying out FE into Mech play builds, but wondering how effective this really is.


Lol, we're getting the whole crew back :D If only we could get TOPMattness and Beammeup...
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Posts: 3,947
So guys, i have been trying out something like

2 rax expand
double gas
factory
eng bay and armory
starport

10-11 minute hellbat marine marauder medivac push.

Problem is i cant get everything to "fit" so far 2 rax expand has held all the protoss all ins...

Im thinking of making a 2 base 2-1-1

1 raven, to negate planitary nexus
1 thor, to negate force fields and just to be an "anchor"
Marines/Marauders for the dps. possibly a hellbat or two.
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Posts: 1,289
Thanks for the replies guys! This is just what I was hoping to happen

@ MLT, Mattness is still in RH, but sucked into the world of LoL. I can't get him back :(

@SAUS

I like the idea of mech. I've been leaning towards trying to make a build to do mech, but its not working out too well right now. But with the thor's energy removed again, it could be viable. Do you have any replays of your build?

@ KillerBunny

The PDD does stop photon overcharge, doesn't it? I hadn't even thought of that.....Hell yes!

I don't know if you remember the POLT push, with the one base marine/tank/banshee/raven push that was so devastating, but a long time ago I modified it to do a 2 thor, mass marine/banshee/raven off two base. I can't for the life of me remember how I did it, but it was effective as hell...until they put energy on the thor so feedback pretty much destroyed it. Might be worth looking into again, if I can remember.

@ MattOverMind

I do feel like the matchup has changed, and we have more options. Unfortunately, I feel like those options are "ninja" options, for lack of a better term. The hellbat is great, but we still don't have good tier 3 options. But our ability to ninja our opponents has increased, so that's something at least. Still have to out play them.

Keep it coming guys! We've good some good, solid information starting to collect here.
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Posts: 367
I just got threw watching Bomber vs Creator Prime in gsl and it seems that he macros up to about the 12-14min mark and sacs a whole base worth of scvs for all in on Toss.

What is really sad is that Bomber is out macroing his opponent and is really displaying a lot of intensive micro skill, yet imba toss is imba. He was also landing money EMPs as well so that is another key note.

Not sure if yall have tried this but its a pretty good strat you have to be able to push out and shut down the expansions and pretty much take him down to one base with a huge sac to your SCV count.

Thats the only thing I have seen work so far in the pro scene as of yet. Everyone else is getting shut down hard! Lots of all ins that are just really effective.
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Posts: 31
i've just been going rine/tank/banshee all-in with an early widow mine(for oracle possibility) and raven (dts,photon overcharge, stalkers) although you need to have perfect positioning and unit control our you just get wrecked. not a decent win rate but for the time and effort put in compared to a 25 min macro game, easily worth the 40-50% winrate

from reading the protoss threads, they seem to have difficulty with mech when seeker missiles (raven) are added into the mix

maybe (turle?) mech is they way to win?
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Posts: 1,755
I am collecting mech replays, I might up load them and link them here so you guys can see the build/play style if you guys want or maybe I will start my own thread and go into detail if there is interest. I play an aggressive style, not passive mech like it seems most Terran try to pull off in TvP.
Edited by ScareCrow on 4/15/2013 12:36 AM PDT
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Posts: 165
I've found if you 2 rax a protoss, he cant do anything about it, even if he is 1 basing. he simply doesnt have the production up to deal with 7 marines. he can micro his stalker all day, the best he is going to get is a 1 for 1 shot and usually 3 marines shoot back, and eventually his shields are gona be down. you bunker the bottom of his ramp, and back at home u expand. i've found marines in bunkers with scvs ready to repair (not 1-2, im talking 4-5 bunkers) to be damn near impregnable(this is at my base mind you, not his.). I've gotton 2 fully saturated bases before he finally broke my 3 bunker contain infront of his base and was allowed to expand (he didnt obviously) once you have a foothold infront of his base, build a rax out there and float it in. you now know if he warped in somewhere else on the map, or how many stalkers etc he has, and can usually get a good scout of the base. Past that go whatever way you want, Dts have been causing my trouble, but as long as you have a missle turret at the front, you're fine until a robo is in play.

Now this is obviously a meta shift that if protoss catch onto they are going to start going 2 gateway before warpgate starts, but until then, get yourself some baller 2 base timing push strats
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Posts: 1,060
TvP is really good, I really like where it has gone however Terran have definitely lost some strategies (the bad part). Like any strategy if the Protoss scouts and reacts accordingly you are going to be in a world of hurt as Terran cannot easily tech out.

What I feel is that you either need to A) Hit before overcharge is available or B) Standard 10 minute timing and bait out the overcharges with drops and frontal aggression.

Right now the meta appears to be Sentry/Stalker with a MsC and super fast tech off 1 gate. This is easily punished with a hidden 2nd plain rax, I believe its called a Maka rax and Protoss are notoriosly bad at scouting at my level and assume so many things (this is how I used to be able to play TvP. You can make it look like a 1 rax FE. Transition can be into fast 3 orbital as you will always get the nexus if he teched if not straight up kill him.

Another option is if you know that he has gone for a super greedy tech build what you can do is is open CC first into 2 rax into 6 rax gasless. Most protoss after this aggression will super fast tech to either collosus or templar. The thing is that you have so many marines that photon overcharge is negated. You can go allin here or you can make a 3rd CC behind this and start all 4 gas at once and go into double upgrades and play out the game from here doing some serious damage.

Or you could play standard macro and outplay him at every turn..
Edited by bison on 4/15/2013 2:23 AM PDT
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Posts: 6,425
04/14/2013 10:08 AMPosted by WinterBornRH
I like the idea of mech. I've been leaning towards trying to make a build to do mech, but its not working out too well right now. But with the thor's energy removed again, it could be viable. Do you have any replays of your build?


I *made up* a mech build on the fly, last night, and did far better against my opponents than I have with anything "standard". I've only played a couple of TvP's with it, and it's hardly refined, but it's promising (I had lots of inspiration from HTOMario, but I haven't copied any of his builds yet... I probably should). I basically Reactor expand into a 1-1-1, pump lots of Marines (like up to 20... mech, right?) and then get some Widow Mines when the Factory is done. I don't take a 2nd gas until I put down the Starport. I get 4 - 6 Mines, put one in each mineral line, one at the ramp and then a couple on likely attack paths to act as scouts and hopefully get some free kills. I also get the ebay and the 3 safety Turrets at some point too (not hard, if you're going mech). I initially tech my port, and get a Raven and a couple Banshees for scouting, harassment or defense (still debating on Cloak). Once I feel I've gotten the 2 bases locked down, I get the Armory, prioritize +armor, since it affects the most units, start Thors, a 2nd Factory, and have my rax build a 2nd Reactor (this is where I cut Marine production). My 2 base production becomes: 3 Factories (2tech, 1reactor) and 1 Starport (reactor), and I pump Hellbat, Thor, Viking. Around now, I'd push out for an attack while landing my 3rd. From here, I kind of respond to what the toss is doing, but I did find that instead of my normal 3base mech setup of 5fact, 1port, 2armory, I was dropping a 2nd port for 4fact, 2port...

I can post a replay tonight, if anyone's interested in watching me derp all over a plat toss. :P I do realize that I'm winning purely because I was spending my money.

04/14/2013 10:08 AMPosted by WinterBornRH
The PDD does stop photon overcharge, doesn't it?


Yes it does! :D

04/14/2013 10:08 AMPosted by WinterBornRH
I do feel like the matchup has changed, and we have more options. Unfortunately, I feel like those options are "ninja" options, for lack of a better term. The hellbat is great, but we still don't have good tier 3 options. But our ability to ninja our opponents has increased, so that's something at least. Still have to out play them.


Maybe...

Hellbats are proving very solid for me. They are the superior mineral dump across all three races, with only Marines and Hellions being able to challenge them (go Terran!). They even beat Stalkers, unless kited, which means that Terran can put some of the micro requirement right back onto Protoss. As for Widow Mines, I'm finding that they're almost a requirement in early TvP (at least 2 or 3), but I've also noticed that Protoss has the most to lose vs them, if the opponent is playing smart against them. While Terran and Zerg can sac an inexpensive Marine or Ling forward to bait Mines, Protoss has to send a Zealot or a Probe. Both of which are far more costly to lose. Kill a Zealot and the Mine just paid for itself. Nab a Stalker, and you just earned a profit. Gateway units also have trouble killing Mines before they can burrow, especially with Drilling Claws. They don't have the DPS, and need Storm or Colossus to really handle aggressive Mine plays. Also, Ravens can strike from outside of Feeback range, now, and once an HSM is launched, the energy is burned instantly. Ravens are far less likely to have a large energy bank, if used correctly, so I don't think it's suicide to have a couple, like it was in WoL.

04/15/2013 01:08 AMPosted by Chansen
I've found if you 2 rax a protoss, he cant do anything about it, even if he is 1 basing.


This is a metagame thing, right? With all the Protoss' opening with only 1 gate, I can see where this could really mess them up. It might be just the thing to help force the Protoss to back off of the 1 base play, if enough people start doing it. ^^
Edited by MattOverMind on 4/15/2013 7:16 AM PDT
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Posts: 1,857
04/12/2013 08:20 AMPosted by SAUS
I play mech in all match-ups. For opening, I do a delayed 1-1-1 where I drop a CC in my main before starting the starport.


i also do this, with the factory then cc but instead of a starport i usually get a reactor on the barracks to switch to the factory, and make a 2nd factory,
get mines out quickly with a tank, they seem to protect each other pretty well,
After an armory i start making hellbats. ive held off immortal busts doing this so it seems pretty good.
Edited by Braunz on 4/15/2013 1:20 PM PDT
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Posts: 99
I dont know if this counts sinc eim in plat but i havent lost to Protoss in weeks, its my best match up so far

i open 2 rax i skip the first marine to put a reactor straight away and start the 2nd rax before OC.

as soon as the 2 rax is up i put up a tech lab and pump out marines and a marauder, at 4 marines one marauder with concusive shells ill go and have a poke, most of the time they havent not got more than one stalker and a zealot, sometimes a MSC.

Its guaranteed damaged, i have never attacked and not killed something, I rarely kill them with this, but mean while at home they are constantly producing marines and Marauders.

As soon as concusive is complete you should have enough to start stim, after this i cut marauders and start second CC, every time i have sizable force ill poke again, i never leave them alone so they are scared to move about from there on i add another rax factory and go for reactor startport, and if they activate the cannon i just decide between running away or killing a few more units trading mine. i havent lost in a loooong time with these, as soon as i get home ill post replays, i have even induced protoss rage by them claiming Terran OP and impossible to take 3rd.

P.S im sure if im having success with this when a higher level terran sees it he could make it even better
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Posts: 99
These are some replays i got from GGtracker these are the only one i have access to till later on

http://ggtracker.com/matches/2754529
http://ggtracker.com/matches/2754532
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