General protoss tips?

Protoss Discussion
I'm just starting league games now as protoss and i am still in the practice league and it seems a bit easy to me so i can basically make whatever i feel like doing. I've done one 1v1 and one 2v2. The 2v2 was pretty unbalanced from the start was me as Protoss and Zerg VS two terran. I broke through the rocks with one cannon and me and the zerg got the gold minerals early, and after that we basically won and just need to tech up. I made a mothership for the lulz and made about 20 void rays and killed both of their bases while the zerg player was distracting them at their front door with ultras.

My 1v1 was pretty stupid. I was facing a terran player and i had him locked up into his main base and one expansion, i locked him in with cannons and was harrasing him with DTs, then i realized i needed more minerals so i went to both golds and ended up depleting them because of this terrans weird obsession to play hide and seek with me by using medvacs and running to the very edge of the map where only air units can attack.

Anyways, to my question. Can anyone give me some general protoss tips or counters to help me out when i get into the actually league games?
Any advice is helpful, even if i already know it.


How would you counter an early cheese even if you see it coming though? And i do know about the never stop building probes, but i do at some point in the game, like if i have three bases or so with full probes.
If they drop a pylon along your cliff, they're cannon rushing you. Completely wall off with a forge/gate/pylon. This stops his probe from getting into your base, and getting that line of sight. Now he can't get vision to the top of your base, and you can drop a cannon over his cannon and kill him.

If he is dropping the pylon in your base, you send 3 probes after his probe, and attack his pylon as it warps in with 6 others. Once you've destroyed this, transition into normal play and keep in mind, he's down in both econ, and in gateways.

Scout your base either way. That's how you find it.

Scout his base as well. If he goes 2 fast gateways, you know he's going fast zealot pushes. If he has nothing, or just a pylon and a forge, he's cannon rushing. If he's using those 2 fast gates, I generally use my build as normal, getting a zealot, stalker and sentry, but you have to micro hard to win against a zealot push with that. Again, make a choke with a 1 unit gap at your ramp, with your gate and forge, then drop a cannon. Use two zealots with hold position in that little gap between your buildings. The cannon will make sure they can't just pick off your buildings while your zealots are on hold position.

Korean 4 gate is harder to scout. You basically counter it by smoothing out your play, getting a fast stalker and sniping his probe before he gets in your base. You should be able to get that stalker before he gets warp tech.
I always make a pylon at 9 supply and then send that probe to scout, you can generally tell if someone is going to cheese

(IE; The Protoss player built a forge first, - then I generally take off one more probe to scout my base for that proxy pylon cannon, and I will also drop my own forge asap, then place a couple cannons close to my base to keep the player from getting too close, Another example.. You scout the terrans base and you see only a supply depot - Its a proxy rax, so what I generally do is go 2 gateways and try and get out as many units as possible while also have extra probe scouting for the proxy, you could also go forge in this case but cannons are as good since they're not mobile.)

Another good tip is to learn as many different builds as possible, go on to the Liquidpedia website and they have a lot of different build orders you can learn.

http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Main_Page

Watch your replays, whether you win or lose, you can always find something you did wrong.

Watch pro replays, commentators like HD or Husky have a lot of good info to go along with the commentary.

Watch the Day9 daily, he usually has some sort of protoss play on his daily.

The smoother you get with your builds, the better your game will improve, macro and micro will follow.
Hmm.. Cheese sounds pretty easy to counter as long as you react fast enough to it. Plus if you can defend against it you have the upper hand as long as you don't mess up big.

Great so far, anything else?

edit: Yeah i have been looking up some builds and been watching some commentarys and matches on youtube, but for a proxy rax should i spam zealots and defend while scouting until i find the rax then quickly take it out? And after that should i attack his main since he will be down in defenses supposedly or should i continue normal play?
Hmm.. Cheese sounds pretty easy to counter as long as you react fast enough to it. Plus if you can defend against it you have the upper hand as long as you don't mess up big.

Great so far, anything else?


Learn what time things come out. Both for you, and your opponent. This will give you a general idea of how well you're playing.

For instance, I can get 4 warptech warpgates and a robotics facility up at the 6 minute mark. I know at the 5-5:30 mark depending on map, mauraders and roaches can roll my base, so I watch the ramp, take a xelnaga, and make sure I don't get pushed by watching that ramp, building everything with hotkeys. I have to hold out for 15 seconds after I drop the force field on my ramp. As soon as I do, I can warp in 4 units, usually 2 zealots, a sentry and a stalker, and can go back to focusing on macro and the mini map, and warp in an observer. If I haven't been cheesed, and my warpgates don't finish until after the 6 minute mark, I know I've screwed up and will review the play to figure out what I did wrong.

Obviously, you don't need to be quite that into it yet, and it's easier to remember your supply count as opposed to time. But if you can get your 4 gate up and running without cutting probes, while scouting at the 6 minute mark, I guarantee you can get to platinum. If you can't think of all that at once, try having it down by the 6:30 second, or 7:00 minute mark. Remember, other newbs like my freinds have it down by 9:00.
Hmm.. Cheese sounds pretty easy to counter as long as you react fast enough to it. Plus if you can defend against it you have the upper hand as long as you don't mess up big.

Great so far, anything else?

edit: Yeah i have been looking up some builds and been watching some commentarys and matches on youtube, but for a proxy rax should i spam zealots and defend while scouting until i find the rax then quickly take it out? And after that should i attack his main since he will be down in defenses supposedly or should i continue normal play?


This depends on what he managed to do. I generally don't like countering this with pure zealots, and will instead tech to my cybernetics core instead. I'll try to use my superior probe number, and attack with 4-5 probes with my zealot. He can't outrun and kite well positioned probes, so my zealot will take them apart fairly easily, and he'll have to cut his econ way more than me. As soon as I chrono out a stalker, I can basically win without any real issues.

If he killed too many of your probes, buildings etc don't push back. Chrono out probes and overtake him in economy, then do your build as normal. Let him keep the proxies on the field while you focus on macro, as once you have a few stalkers and warpgate tech, marines can't really push in all that effectively.

If you get your units, murder his attack with minimal casualties, that's when you poke back at him, and I would skip proxy hunting. If his door is open, run in, kill as many SCVs as you can. If you can cripple his already weak economy, keep those units alive for a while and keep building units, you'll win. However, if he has a wall, retreat back to your base, build more units, expand and tech up. A failed cheese gives your crucial time to tech. Hit a huge ball of troops with say, voidrays and you can basically just waltz into his base and crush him.
Seems like to me what i need to work on is my build order and to keep everything going at once, so i should probably macro all my buildings so i can do that. Because normally, whenever i'm making void rays or if i'm scouting i usually miss out on three to five seconds of a probes beginning build time, so i normally end up queuing but i realize then i'm missing out on possibly a zealot or stalker in those few seconds and could have a probe building at the same time.
Seems like to me what i need to work on is my build order and to keep everything going at once, so i should probably macro all my buildings so i can do that. Because normally, whenever i'm making void rays or if i'm scouting i usually miss out on three to five seconds of a probes beginning build time, so i normally end up queuing but i realize then i'm missing out on possibly a zealot or stalker in those few seconds and could have a probe building at the same time.


Yeah. The first thing I did when I was in bronze was smooth out my build. I use the esoteric 4 gate robo, and can slam it out faster than anyone. (I watched a replay, I even do this build faster than Huk.) Once it becomes rote muscle memory to drop pylons, gates and scout all at the same times every opening, the game became so much easier. By the time you hit gold, you'll also have to learn transitions into the mid game, but don't worry too much about that yet.

Of course, you'll want to lose a few games by trying out new builds (3 gate robo, 2 gate, 2 stargate are my other two builds) just because your build will be countered by certain plays (a turtle style Terran can really cramp a 4 gate robo for example.) But figure out a core build, and expand upon that knowledge and those skills.
Just want to say before i post anymore, Yukitsu, your a huge help. Along with everyone else who posted here so far.

All of this information is pretty good for me and would do good if i can get some battles against each build and learn how to counter for myself, so i guess experience will prove more of a learning experience then reading up on strats, but reading up can never hurt and i'm going to attempt to read up on as much as i can before i get into the real league games after my remaining practice games are gone. (Which is a ton because i have only done one 1v1 and one 2v2 still, will probably do two 1v1s and two 2v2s tomorrow if i have time though)

How about some good protoss vs zerg strat? Like, what can i do against a zergling rush? Same thing as i would against a cannon rush?
Just want to say before i post anymore, Yukitsu, your a huge help. Along with everyone else who posted here so far.

All of this information is pretty good for me and would do good if i can get some battles against each build and learn how to counter for myself, so i guess experience will prove more of a learning experience then reading up on strats, but reading up can never hurt and i'm going to attempt to read up on as much as i can before i get into the real league games after my remaining practice games are gone. (Which is a ton because i have only done one 1v1 and one 2v2 still, will probably do two 1v1s and two 2v2s tomorrow if i have time though)

How about some good protoss vs zerg strat? Like, what can i do against a zergling rush? Same thing as i would against a cannon rush?


Man, I haven't been zerg rushed since forever.

What you do when you scout there base, and see just 6 drones, is rush your probe back to your base, and start chrono boosting out your zealot, and rally it to your minerals. Keep building as normal, but you basically want to learn how to micro your probes. Don't build your assimilator yet.

His first wave of zerglings will come at about the 2:30 mark, just a shade before your zealot finishes. Pull 7-8 probes off the line, and magic box them against the zergling while you run your zealot back to help fend them off. Magic boxing is where you move towards your opponent using the standard right click move so your units stay kind of spread out. Once your probes have kind of surrounded the zerglings, a move them anywhere to get them to attack the zerglings.

Your zealot should finish about now, so send him in as well and start chrono boosting out another zealot. Keep building probes.

IIRC you should have enough money to drop your cyber about this point in time, so drop it to make a 1 man sized gap by the ramp, and put your zealot in there. This will stop the next way of zerglings, and you can do your build as normal. If he's poking at your wall, pull a probe, put him in the gap to block, and attack with your 2 zealots. They will beat 6 zerglings, and with your probe in the gap, they can't run by. Get a stalker right away so if he's dumb enough to do a wave 3, you can pick them off from behind your wall.

At this point, expect a baneling bust within 3 minutes. To counter this, I simply put a stalker in the middle of my ramp on hold position. His banelings will run up, blow up the stalker and not make it to the buildings. It takes 8 banelings to kill 1 stalker. It doesn't really matter either way however, as by this point in time, I should have my 4 gate, and have a huge, huge economic advantage. If he doesn't try to baneling bust, just use your vastly superior economy, a proxy pylon, and attack into his base.
That sounds really interesting. 8 banelings for 1 stalker? Thats something i probably would've never heard unless i actually saw it happen. But so far it seems like the only thing i need to do is learn to micro, macro and scout and i'm good to go as long as i get a good build going.

Is that basically it?

And one last question i have unless you have any more random information to give me is, when should i start my expansion and second expansion? And should i go for gold as my second or third expansion if its available?
That sounds really interesting. 8 banelings for 1 stalker? Thats something i probably would've never heard unless i actually saw it happen. But so far it seems like the only thing i need to do is learn to micro, macro and scout and i'm good to go as long as i get a good build going.

Is that basically it?


Eventually, you'll also want to know counters, counter counters and the metagame, but for now, slamming out tons of units constantly will win you games.

And one last question i have unless you have any more random information to give me is, when should i start my expansion and second expansion? And should i go for gold as my second or third expansion if its available?


Expand when you feel comfortable, and have scouting information. I take my first observer, and right click it to the enemy troop ball. I go back and look at it from time to time, and this will tell me if I'm ahead, behind or if I should commit to an attack. If they have a ton more troops than you, you can't expand. If they're moving to attack at that instant, you can't expand. However, if his troop ball is small, he's either expanding himself, or teching up, and you can safely expand.

Me personally, I like to expand just after I hit his troops, and if you have an observer following them, you can make him feel so, so behind when you just flank him in an ambush when he's moving and you annhilate him. It sets him on his back heel, and he'll feel insecure. He'll macro up a large army, but won't do anything with it, so my one missed warp in of units doesn't hurt me any, and I can expand safely. The best time to destroy his troops, is just as he expands. He'll be down one grouping of troops compared to you, will have too many buildings idle waiting for the expand to start bringing in money, and won't really be in the best position to fight.
All right, well thanks a ton for all of the information, and is that pretty much all i should be worrying about right now or is there some more key points i should be working on or learning?
All right, well thanks a ton for all of the information, and is that pretty much all i should be worrying about right now or is there some more key points i should be working on or learning?


Just make sure to lose a lot. I learn way more when I lose than when I win, because I win facing, or doing something comfortable. I lose because I was doing or facing something new, and I can learn from that.
Thanks, and all of my practice leagues will probably consist of random builds i made up myself or me being stupid or just making things for the lulz, like my mothership and void ray win. I ended up having 7 gates and was going to DT rush but they had to many detectors so i just harrased with stalkers using blink until i could void ray and mother ship kill them, the weird thing is though that they wasted all their fire power on my mothership and not the void rays. Three battle cruisers was yamato cannoning my mothership while my void rays just destroyed them easily while my mothership tanked the damage. My next couple practice leagues will probably just me getting my "You must construct addition pylons" or "You require more vespene gas" messages to go down while i'm experimenting.

But yeah i think i'm good now on information thanks to your helpfulness, i expected to wait awhile on a reply but it came pretty fast. Guess i should expect more from forums.
The greatest advice you could get, is never stop building probes, watch your supply count, and always scout against a Protoss player. Over half of them will cheese you.



In bronze league, that is.


I would be out of bronze by now if this wasn't true.

watching my replays, I would have double the apm, twice the production speed, and still lose to Void Ray Rushes and DT rushes.

I know Void Rays are dead, that was just an example ( I dont lose to VR anymore)
I can get 4 warptech warpgates and a robotics facility up at the 6 minute mark.

@Yukitsu: How do you manage that. I can do the 4 warpgate at 6 mins. Usually I'm a little after 6 minutes because I like more economy, but to add the robo by 6 mins seems a bit unrealistic. Do you cut probes to get it done? I would like to see a replay if you can upload one for me.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum