PvT: Zest’s DT Drop

The Build


This is a great build that was shown by Zest in his series vs Maru in their GSL Code A Bo5 match. It was the first in the series, and a great way to open on Dusk Towers. This build is very greedy (you only have one Adept until you warp in the Dark Templar) and thus is mostly viable on maps where your natural is easily defended by any cheesy shenanigans that the Terran may decide to pull. Regardless, vs most standard builds, this one should allow you to get an economic lead, or at least keep the Terran in their base, as long as you are smart with your Pylon and Mothership Core positioning!


The Build

14 Pylon (1)
16 Gateway (1)
16 Assimilator (1)
19 Nexus
20 Cybernetics Core
21 Assimilator (2)
22 Pylon (2)
23 Adept
25 Warpgate
25 Robotics Facility
26 Twilight council
29 Mothership Core
32 Warp Prism
35 Dark Shrine
39 Gateway x2 (2) (3)
41 Pylon (3)
42 Assimilator x2 (3) (4)
44 Observer
52 Nexus
52 Dark Templar x3 (Drop)


This build opens up with a standard 1 Gate FE where you get your Nexus before your Cybernetics Core. An interesting thing that has been going on in Korea since the Mothership Core’s Photon Overcharge nerf has been delaying the Mothership Core for later in favor of faster tech and timing attacks. This is specifically because during the times of the game where you would need Photon Overcharge to defend, the Mothership Core won’t quite have enough for 2 overcharges, so it’s not necessary to get the Mothership Core early. If you can’t really deal with Reaper harass well without one, you can opt to get the Mothership Core right as the Cybernetics Core finishes, but note that your drop will hit later.

If there is no Reaper (which should arrive a little bit before your Chronoboosted Adept finishes) you can scout immediately with the Adept. The Terran will more than likely have a wall off completed, so what you can do is repeatedly send out your Psionic Transfer shade up their ramp for vision to see what units they’re making. If you’re lucky, you might even see the tech. This won’t necessarily change your build most of the time, but it’ll allow you to make better positional decisions. If you see a 1-1-1, chances are that there is either going to be some sort of drop coming towards you, a Liberator harassing your mineral line, a Cyclone with some Marines to harass your front, or in some cases, a Banshee. Correctly identifying which of these it could be will allow you to position your Mothership Core, Adept, and Pylon to defend well without having to deviate from your build.

The rest is simple. You make a Warp Prism as soon as your Robotics Facility is completed, and immediately follow it up with an Observer to have vision in case of a Widow Mine or Banshee. When Zest is on Maru’s side of the map in the GSL game, he sends 1 DT to attack the wall and drops the other 2 elsewhere to force the Terran to have to use Scans in 2 different locations. For example, in this GSL game Zest sends the first DT up Maru’s main ramp on Dusk Towers, and then drops the other 2 in Maru’s pocket natural. If you see that there is a Cyclone, like Zest did, it is imperative you keep the Warp Prism alive and focus down the Cyclone with one of your DT’s. Your Warp Prism is what’s going to allow you to continue to be greedy with your economy and tech back at home since the Terran will not be able to leave their base until it’s dealt with.

You can follow up this build in a few different ways, though all of these ways do involve getting Blink and double Forge. Zest’s method, which is my favorite, is researching Blink from the Twilight Council and start Immortal production along with Stalkers whenever you have a free warp in. Once Blink is completed, you can start Resonating Glaives and go for a Stalker/Adept/Immortal army for the mid-game. When you’re fully saturated on 3 bases and comfortable, you can research Storm and warp in High Templar to start gathering energy. When Resonating Glaives is complete, you are free to start researching Charge for your Zealots to help compliment your gas heavy composition.

Another way to follow it up would be to go for a Stalker/Disruptor army composition. You would do this by researching Blink from the Twilight Council and throwing down a Robotics Bay when you can. Once your Robotics Bay is down, you can also start a second Robotics Facility to make sure you have ample Disruptor production for when the Terran becomes free to push you.

The final way is to go for a Colossus route which is sometimes seen, despite popular belief. This would be the same as the Disruptor method, except you wouldn’t get a second Robotics Facility. The current trend for Colossus play-styles is to stop at 4 Colossus and focus more on the Gateway unit count and getting faster Storm than you would in HotS. You would also compliment this army by adding a few Disruptors after you are done with your Colossus production.


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