With how strong Zerg had gotten after the 1.4.3 patch, as well as recent additions to the Zerg’s strategic repertoire, it became apparent that Protoss needed new strategies to counter this. Here’s one created by Socke, a strong German pro player who has addressed the Zerg threat brilliantly with this build.
This is basically a variation of the Gateway Fast Expand that relies on getting a lot of units out to counter the Zerg numbers during the early to mid game. This is all about aggression at the right time, with attack upgrades and numbers on your side.
The differences between this and the usual fast expand is that you get quicker warpgate tech with this, as well as having less gas due to pulling probes off the assimilators as you’re about to get most of the gateways, and tons of zealots with +1 slicing away at around 7:30 when the Zerg usually gets a Roach Warren. With ZvP builds being Roach-centric, this seems to be a good way to disrupt whatever Zerg is planning.
Take this as merely a rough guide at first if you’re still trying it out. You can then practice more to get the timings down and perfect this potent PvZ opening.
- 9 Pylon (main)
- 13 Gateway (main)
- 17 Pylon (at natural)
- 17 Nexus
- 19 Zealot
- 21 Gas
- 22 Core (natural)
- 22 Forge (natural)
- 22 Zealot
- 22 Gas
- Research Warpgate with next 50 gas
- +1 attack with next 100 gas
- Pull probes off of gas briefly to power out 5 additional gateways when WG research is at ~50%
- Put probes back in gas once gateways are built
- 1st warp-ins, only Zealots
- Double gas at natural
- Twilight Council
- Research Blink and +2 Attack
- Blink Stalker push at ~11:00mins.
Note: Chrono-boost mostly on probes, the first Gateway for Zealots, and +1 upgrade, not on Warpgate research.
The only problem is that this build cuts a lot of corners in terms of defense, perhaps showing one of the thinnest defenses possible for a winning build in PvZ. This is circumvented by chrono-boosting Zealots out to deal with Zergling run-bys, which will most likely not have Zergling Speed researched yet. By the time he already has speed, you should have your natural walled off and ready to defend whatever may come at that time.
After this initial attack by the Zerg, you can spot further aggression by scouting no early third base and extra gas being taken earlier than usual. If you spot this, then get ready for Roaches by putting down cannons and cranking out more Stalkers.
For those who have been playing since the beta, you would know that the 6-gate is not really a new build. However, the difference here is that you put probes back to gas quickly to follow up your five additional Gateways. You should then have proxy pylons ready to warp in Zealot reinforcements once you start attacking. If done right, you hit harder and one minute earlier than the old 6-gate.
If you go up against little to no Spinecrawlers, only a few Roaches, and mostly Zerglings, then you just have to keep warping in Zealots to deal with them and get the best trade possible. Once you have enough gas coming in during this time, you can start warping in three Zealots and three Stalkers to even things out and deal damage more efficiently.
The coup-de-grace is the blink Stalker push at 11:00 minutes or so. If you have already thinned out the Zerg beforehand, then this push should finish the job. This build is all about exploiting Zerg’s passiveness during the early game to focus mostly on building up offense to deal with most of the opponent’s timings in PvZ.