State on StarCraft: Protoss Vs. Terran in HoTS
The build opens with a 1-gate fast expand. Note that there is no probe scout with this opening; there is only a limited amount of scouting information available in the early-game and none of it is really necessary. The zealot, stalker, and mothership core can defend most forms of early aggression, especially if the mothership core actively scouts for proxied factories. Here’s how to deal with three of the most common early attacks:
- Marine/SCV all-ins: Pull probes and micro well, focusing fire on marines. Chronoboosted stalkers and time warp/photon overcharge shut this down hard.
- Reactored hellions: Don’t let them into the main. Force field is fine, but a body-block at the ramp is ideal because it’s better to save energy for the hallucination scout. It’s the same with the mothership core: while you can spend a photon overcharge defending, it’s best to save energy for when it’s absolutely necessary.
- Proxied widow mines: With the mothership core, scout nearby for proxies. If spotted, buy time. Forcing widow mines to burrow before they can reach your natural is ideal. If you can’t buy time, don’t panic. Chronoboost the first observer, eliminate the mines, and begin mining from the natural.
With proper positioning, the 3-gate robotics followup stops just about everything. The zealot and sentries guard the entrance to the natural, while stalkers wait in the main to deflect early drops. The mothership core sits between the main and the natural, ready to cast photon overcharge on whichever base gets hit the hardest.
Occasionally, a fast widow mine drop will hit before the first observer is out. If the mines reach a mineral line, pull probes. Sacrificing a worker or hallucination will allow you to mine again, but keep in mind that the widow mine has an attack cooldown of 40 seconds—do not get caught off-guard. When the first observer is ready, clear the mines and continue as planned.
Though timings begin to vary after 44 supply, the followup is unchanging. 1 zealot, 3 sentries, 13 stalkers, 4 observers and a mothership core is the unit composition we’re aiming for before the first colossus is out.
3 sentries provide great utility. Force field is an invaluable tool, hallucinated phoenix are a great form of scouting, and guardian shield adds much durability to the Protoss army.
13 stalkers reliably one-shot medivacs and vikings. With blink and proper positioning, stalkers can easily intercept drops, snipe stray units, and protect colossus from enemy vikings. Additionally, they can be used to chase down retreating units after a won battle.
4 observers scout drops, detect widow mines, and keep tabs on the Terran army. It is significantly easier to position properly with vision of critical locations.