State on StarCraft: Aggressive Protoss Vs. Zerg
It’s not a requirement, but I really like gateway fast-expands with this opening. They allow you to tech up much more quickly, making each of your timings hit just a little bit faster. And let’s not kid ourselves—this is a pretty aggressive opening. If you’re more comfortable with forge fast-expands, you can adapt this build to your style, but I seriously recommend giving gateway-first a shot.
Though we’re going to tech up pretty quickly, it’s better to emphasize mineral income in the early-game. Your first 16 probes should mine minerals exclusively. Send the rest to harvest gas and build structures; just make sure to keep your mineral line saturated! You can take a look at the replays attached at the end of this strategy guide to get a handle on managing your income in the early-game.
Just like with other gateway openings, walling in at your ramp and starting a zealot at around 20 supply helps immensely against zergling all-ins. If there’s no 6-pool coming, however, it’s much better to cancel the zealot before it finishes warping in—it’s not going to be very useful otherwise, and the 100 minerals you get from cancelling it makes your expansion that much quicker.
Once your expansion is warping in, and you’ve set a pylon down in position to wall off your natural, go ahead and probe scout. Pay close attention to your opponent’s hatchery timing—it should be finished by about 3:50 if it’s hatch-first and about 4:20 if it’s a standard pool-first opening. If their hatchery is significantly later, you’re probably playing against some kind of bust.
Check out last week’s guide to learn how to defend against early all-ins with a gateway-first opening. Hyun does some heavy pressure against me in Game 1 of our second series, so you can check out that VOD, below, to see the defense in action.
Once you’ve scouted your opponent, make sure to return home. Hallucinated phoenixes will give you all the scouting information you need in the mid-game, and you will need all the probes you can get.