I won’t normally focus on a single match up, but I’ve really been struggling in PvT so that’s where I’ve paid the most attention. Along with Zest’s excellent DT drop, we have another, safer variety of drop play that also transitions into a solid macro game. This was taken from Stork’s GSL Game 1 vs Innovation, but he also did the same opening with a different follow up Game 5 vs Innovation.
|@100% Assimilator||rally Nexus into Assimilator to fill gas|
|24||Adept (constant Adept production)(Chronoboost first Adept)|
|@100% Robotics Facility||Warp Prism (Chronoboost)|
|@100 Gas||Mothership Core|
|@100% Warp Prism||Observer|
|@4:15||Assimilator x2 (3) (4)|
|@100% Robotics Bay||Build Disruptor|
|Research Warp Drive (ChronoBoost)(Warp Prism Speed)|
|Make 3 more Observers out of Robotics Facility|
|@100 Gas||Twilight Council|
|@450 Minerals||Forge (1)|
|Gateways x2 (3)(4)|
|@100% Forge||Research +1 Attack (Chronoboost|
|@100% Twilight Council||Research Blink (Chronoboost)|
The idea with this build is to get very standard PvT tech (Robotics Facility, Robotics Bay, Twilight Council, and Forge) and using this tech to put pressure on the Terran in the form of harassment. Having the Warp Prism speed upgrade allows you to safely dart in and out of the Terran’s base with the Disruptor Drop to pick off SCV’s. This has the same effect of the DT play as it will force the Terran to stay at home. Despite the fact that this drop has less potential of damage than a DT drop, you are not making an investment in tech who’s primary purpose is harassment. You can use both the Warp Prism and the Disruptor in your main army, and you will also have more Adepts out to either put on or defend pressure from the Terran player. There is less reward, but there is also less risk.
In my previous post about Zest’s PvT DT Drop, I talked about how the standard Gate Expand opener has evolved from HotS to skip the Mothership Core until your tech is down. If you want a further explanation on that, check the Explanation section on the previous (and first) blog post titled: PvT Zest’s DT Drop. You can also check there for tips on how to scout and what to look for, as your reactions will be similar, but easier as you have more Adepts. I’ll post a blog on scouting for each match up eventually and refer to that with each build!
But here, we see a safer variety of drop play. In the previous build, we talked about how Zest would stay on a single Adept to make his DT timing come out faster since he isn’t spending the gas. In this scenario, you’ll actually end up with 4 Adepts by the time Warpgate is completed, so you have a much stronger army waiting at home to defend you from any sort of drop play. This is because, despite spending more gas on this build, the tech and units come out slower, so you will actually have the extra gas to spend on the Adept production outside of your first Gateway to have a stronger army against Terran timing attacks or harassment.
Once your Disruptor is built, you load it up into the Warp Prism and move out immediately towards your opponent’s base. Again, much like the previously discussed DT Drop, you need to be aware of any and all Cyclones, Missile Turrets, Widow Mines, Marines, Liberators, or Vikings that will be around to try to intercept the drop. Unlike the DT build, your Warp Prism will have the Warp Prism speed upgrade, Graviton Boosters, so you will be able to get out safely in most of these scenarios. In the case of a Cyclone, killing the Cyclone first would be a good idea as it would give you more freedom to dart around the base. Also, a Cyclone costs exactly the same as a Disruptor: 150/150. So if you are able to kill a Cyclone and get away, you already got value out of the Disruptor, and you can continue to harass freely until other defense options become available for Terran.
If there are Missile Turrets or Widow Mines, you’d have to find a way to maneuver around them to get into the base. Worst case scenario would be you can’t get in, and in that case you’ve already done the damage by forcing Terran to invest into so much defense from your drop. Here you can do cheeky things like trying to pick off bits of the army in other areas, or periodically sending shots at their wall to do damage and full SCVs to pull from mining to repair them so you don’t break it down. Any damage is good damage, so be creative with this one, but be careful!
The follow up that Stork does with this build is a Blink Disruptor Timing attack off 3 bases. You have the advantage of most likely doing some sort of economic damage while likely not taking much yourself, and all of the tech has already been laid out for you. In another game vs Zest (game 5 of the same series), Stork opted to go for a more Stalker/Adept heavy play style, much like Zest, but instead of High Templar, he goes to 4 Colossus, and then Disruptor production again, eventually adding on Storm. This gives a much stronger army that has consistent damage coming from the 4 Colossus (that can also deal damage while being outside of Liberator range) and the huge burst damage from the Disruptors, and eventually Psionic Storm. Though this army is a lot less renewable and less mobile than Zest’s Adept/Stalker/Immortal/Storm composition, so trading cost effectively is even more important, as well as positioning.