StarCraft® II

Deep late-game PvZ (Return of the Mothership)

So, I just wanted to share what PvZ is going to look like in the near future, as more Zergs start to turtle hardcore with Viper, Infestor, Hydra, Spine/Spore and Swarm Host. It makes it so you can never comfortably engage wherever they are set up. Check out the following replay showing this Zerg style.

http://drop.sc/326695

In that particular game, I probably should have just 2-base all-inned or hit an early 3-base timing to try to kill him, and it would have been a good percentage play, but I didn't. I decided to stay patient and get up to a big army that I thought couldn't be stopped.

You'll notice that throughout the late game, there's just no way I can engage. Any time I'd try, I would get my units pulled into spores, my Zealots would die to spines or Locusts, my Templar would get targeted by Locusts and would get fungaled if I wasn't careful.

The only possible way I can think of how to beat this, is to get a Mothership. Yes, that's right, the Mothership is back in PvZ.

The idea here is to get up to about 8-10 Tempests so you can start pushing his spine/spore wall, ever so slowly. The Mothership should be positioned in the back to prevent it from getting snagged by a Viper, while also providing cloaking for your Templar.

As Overseers move forward, you should fill the rest of your supply with Carriers and target them down the best you can. The Templar exist primarily to feedback Vipers and Infestors, as well as to land Storms if they are forced to engage into you. The push is going to take a long time, and will probably require you to reset over and over, but this is probably what late-game PvZ is going to turn into in the next 6 months or so.

Of course, if you ever get into a bad spot where you are surrounded or something, you can always use the Mothership to recall back and reset your push.

I honestly don't see any other way to fight the deep late-game turtle Zerg style, other than hoping you can kill them before they get that far. And the only way you can pull this off is with the Mothership Cloaking your Templar, dramatically reducing the usefulness of Swarm Hosts and allowing your Templar to feedback Vipers.
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And they called me crazy when I mentioned InControl was using a mothership. :)
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Wow, this is really interesting :D

The Sidewinder strikes again! ♥

I will definitely check this out :D
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You forgot to upgrade.

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;)
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You forgot to upgrade.

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;)


I had never been in this situation before. That game is what provoked me to think up how to handle it, because my Templar couldn't deal with Vipers at all.
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Sorry I was just kidding around, as though I (a silver) could diagnose a game like that based on any simplistic criterion like that.
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I did forget a lot of upgrades though, you are right. But undoubtedly, PvZ is a totally different matchup right now and I feel like Zerg has a lot more tools at their disposal than we do. This spine/spore with Viper stuff is seriously impossible to engage.
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By the way, I just had a game where I tested this theory. Problem is that I kept selecting my mothership when I was trying to feedback, it got abducted and I died. Sadness. I'm bad.
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By the way, I just had a game where I tested this theory. Problem is that I kept selecting my mothership when I was trying to feedback, it got abducted and I died. Sadness. I'm bad.
This sounds like the biggest weakness to this lategame strategy.
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I just played a similar game where the zerg turtled harcore in a huge wall if spines, spores, vipers, swarm hosts, hydra (in this case leftover from early game) and a few infestors. Similar situation, I had a nice big deathball with lots of tempest, colossi, templar... but eventually he forced me to engage by pushing my expos with free locusts. When I did, every good unit I had was sucked in by the vipers.

I had no clue how to deal with this... but now that I've read this, I think mothership IS the key here. Not sure how I didn't think of it. Basically, you need a way to kill locusts without trading all of your HT energy (which runs out) and throwing your army and structures away.
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I've had a brief encounter or two with this strategy. I did make use of the Mothership to deal with Swarm Hosts, but I too got abducted, Neuraled and generally screwed over once cloak was gone.

I think that having HT at the front edge of cloaking range is vital. Cloak extends for 5 range. A HT at this limit will get the drop on Vipers. Alternatively, enough Tempests will one shot Vipers - but then the Zerg can just send more than one to do the job.

Even then, it is a bit unforgiving for a Toss player. Replacing Vipers that get Feedbacked will be a lot easier than getting another Mothership up for cloak again. They can lose many Vipers before succeeding - we miss once and you're in full retreat.

Besides trying to figure this out, it does seem to be an odd accident of design that Zerg has become this siege and choke race, instead of a mobile and harassing one.

Making changes is a last resort, but I don't see why both forms of Mothership Recall can't co-exist. If you target a Nexus, it will Recall any surrounding units and the MS to a Nexus. If you just press R and target units (not a Nexus), the MS will Recall those units to it's location. Could help us break the Spine/Spore nests that late game Zerg create.

It would be a powerful tool (Recall to main, lay waste to it and then Recall home), but perhaps a necessary one. Otherwise, it's a slow death from free units and with little risk to a Zerg.
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"return of the mothership"

http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
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By the way, I just had a game where I tested this theory. Problem is that I kept selecting my mothership when I was trying to feedback, it got abducted and I died. Sadness. I'm bad.
This sounds like the biggest weakness to this lategame strategy.

Uh, oh! Magnet may have to start using hotkeys.
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Making changes is a last resort, but I don't see why both forms of Mothership Recall can't co-exist. If you target a Nexus, it will Recall any surrounding units and the MS to a Nexus. If you just press R and target units (not a Nexus), the MS will Recall those units to it's location. Could help us break the Spine/Spore nests that late game Zerg create.

It would be a powerful tool (Recall to main, lay waste to it and then Recall home), but perhaps a necessary one. Otherwise, it's a slow death from free units and with little risk to a Zerg.
Lol! This sounds a little broken, but FUN AS HELL!! ♥
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I've had a brief encounter or two with this strategy. I did make use of the Mothership to deal with Swarm Hosts, but I too got abducted, Neuraled and generally screwed over once cloak was gone.

Unfortunately, that does seem like a likely outcome for most mortals.
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Uh, oh! Magnet may have to start using hotkeys.


Hahaha! We love you Sidewinder :D, I think you are at the juncture where control group hotkeys are important :D
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Watching that game I have to say it should not have gone the way it did. Your opportunity for damage was there staring you in the face for a huge window of time.

Starting at 17min you have enough voidrays to start sniping exterior bases. Zergs 3rd and 4th were pretty vulnerable to this. Swarm Host/Hydra is stupidly gas heavy, taking these out would vastly undermine his ability to maintain that force.

You choice to go templar after air did not help you out at all. Voidray/Collossus would have allowed you to engage the static defence/locust/hydra directly.

I firmly believe that abusing the immobility of this strategy is the most effective route. Drops, sending voidray/msc out to just vaporize bases and recall home must be done. this strat relies on expanding like crazy to get enough gas to maintain the composition.

The speed upgrade on warp prism is amazing. fill it with templar and obliterate drones/hydra.

As for the mothership your theory of just slowly chipping away at zergs front is in fact more or less what he wants you to do. Why not split your army? mothership/templar/collossi chips the front while tempest starts sniping fringe expos? If your not taking out these expos I don't see how your doing any real damage to zerg. He is trying to use time to bleed you dry. Even though you do a stellar job of keeping your base count even, he has stockpiled 4k gas while you have under 500.

Look out how vulnerable the left side is to an air assault. Imagine splitting your force, using voidrays to kill that side while using collossi/mothership/templar at the front. Whats his answer? splitting off hydras to defend voidrays just ends with you recalling and pushing his front without the threat of all of his hydras + viper.

I don't even really see tempest as the ideal unit to break this. They would work well on the flanks taking out bases from outside of hydra range, but voidray+mothership core would do this just as safely and much faster. Less templar, ~4 collossi at the front. Templar strickly for feedback. Mothership seems cool, I really think you need collossi to deal with locust/hydra though.
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Making changes is a last resort, but I don't see why both forms of Mothership Recall can't co-exist. If you target a Nexus, it will Recall any surrounding units and the MS to a Nexus. If you just press R and target units (not a Nexus), the MS will Recall those units to it's location. Could help us break the Spine/Spore nests that late game Zerg create.

It would be a powerful tool (Recall to main, lay waste to it and then Recall home), but perhaps a necessary one. Otherwise, it's a slow death from free units and with little risk to a Zerg.
Lol! This sounds a little broken, but FUN AS HELL!! ♥


That sort of recall trolling has been my dream strat since wol was released. Feels very Protoss-like too.
It in fact was possible in BW, but I do believe it might feel a bit broken. But then again that's how i feel about Terran drops.
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Watching that game I have to say it should not have gone the way it did. Your opportunity for damage was there staring you in the face for a huge window of time.

Starting at 17min you have enough voidrays to start sniping exterior bases. Zergs 3rd and 4th were pretty vulnerable to this. Swarm Host/Hydra is stupidly gas heavy, taking these out would vastly undermine his ability to maintain that force.

You choice to go templar after air did not help you out at all. Voidray/Collossus would have allowed you to engage the static defence/locust/hydra directly.

I firmly believe that abusing the immobility of this strategy is the most effective route. Drops, sending voidray/msc out to just vaporize bases and recall home must be done. this strat relies on expanding like crazy to get enough gas to maintain the composition.

The speed upgrade on warp prism is amazing. fill it with templar and obliterate drones/hydra.

As for the mothership your theory of just slowly chipping away at zergs front is in fact more or less what he wants you to do. Why not split your army? mothership/templar/collossi chips the front while tempest starts sniping fringe expos? If your not taking out these expos I don't see how your doing any real damage to zerg. He is trying to use time to bleed you dry. Even though you do a stellar job of keeping your base count even, he has stockpiled 4k gas while you have under 500.

Look out how vulnerable the left side is to an air assault. Imagine splitting your force, using voidrays to kill that side while using collossi/mothership/templar at the front. Whats his answer? splitting off hydras to defend voidrays just ends with you recalling and pushing his front without the threat of all of his hydras + viper.

I don't even really see tempest as the ideal unit to break this. They would work well on the flanks taking out bases from outside of hydra range, but voidray+mothership core would do this just as safely and much faster. Less templar, ~4 collossi at the front. Templar strickly for feedback. Mothership seems cool, I really think you need collossi to deal with locust/hydra though.


You are also watching the replay while having full map vision and the knowledge of foresight. During the game, I have no idea if a Muta switch is coming, where his static defenses are and where his army is sitting. If my Void Rays ever get caught by fungals, I lose them all and I lose the game right there.
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If my Void Rays ever get caught by fungals, I lose them all and I lose the game right there.

Do you know if you can you recall when fungalled?
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