State on StarCraft: Dear’s Oracle Timing in PvP
State on StarCraft is a weekly column on Game Front by Ryan “State” Visbeck, a pro StarCraft 2 player. Each week State brings you his unique perspective on all things StarCraft, including tips, tricks and stories from the front line of competitive play.
NOTE: “State” is officially sponsored by Game Front.
This week I’m going to break down a Protoss vs. Protoss build that Dear used against Swagger in this season’s WCS Up & Down matches. There will also be an exclusive replay pack at the end of this guide, so make sure to check that out!
PvP has been my toughest match-up for a while. I started watching a bunch of replays recently to fix that and stumbled across a couple of really good games. Dear’s 3-Gate Oracle all-in stood out in particular because it’s so much stronger than similar builds I’ve been messing around with.
This timing hits really hard, really fast. It’s a build-order win against most fast-expands and–when played correctly–can kill almost any greedy play. With a little practice, we might be able to execute as well as Dear can.
Like every PvP opening, Dear’s build has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s great at punishing greedy play, but can have a tough time against very safe or very aggressive openings. Don’t get me wrong—you can always adapt based on what you scout—but this build is best at setting the pace of the game. It’s not so good at adjusting. We’ll get into those adaptations later, but for now we’ll focus on the build.
The build opens just how you’d expect: Gateway first, quickly scout for proxies, and throw down two Assimilators. Dear’s opening is different than others in that he opts for just one Gateway. The plus side of this is that you’re able to get a Zealot out and tech a bit faster—which works wonders for our Oracle timing—but your production is limited through the early-game. Make sure not to lose many units with your initial Zealot/Stalker poke, especially since we skip the Mothership Core to really get our tech out quickly.
While you’re moving out with your Zealot/Stalker, warp in a Stargate and two more Gateways at the appropriate supply. Remember not to be careless—every unit counts—but make sure you hit all your timings back home as well. The closer you follow the build, the easier it is to execute.