State on StarCraft: NaNiwa’s Stargate PvZ Opening Analysis


  1. Introduction
  2. Fast-Expand
  3. Securing a Third
  4. Timing and Transitions


Once your production is up, begin warping in Zealots and Archons. After a few rounds of warp-ins, you’re going to be in a great position to hit a timing with +2 Ground Weapons. If you’re unsure about committing to an attack, scout with your Phoenixes to determine whether or not your opponent is vulnerable. Keep in mind that you should always be active with your Phoenixes; an idle Phoenix helps no one but Zerg. If your opponent is weak, go in for the kill. If Zerg’s defenses are strong to break, adapt to what you scout. Here’s how to react against three of Zerg’s most common transitions as you move towards the late-game:

  • Against Mutalisks: If you scout the Spire early, you will want to amp up the aggression. Cut Void Ray production and chronoboost Phoenixes. If Zerg is committing heavily to Mutalisks or you scout them late, throw down two more Stargates; if Zerg is only making a handful of Mutas at a time or you scout the Spire right away, just throw down one. In either case, begin +1 Air Weapons and a Fleet Beacon. With Charge-zealot/Archon and rallied Phoenixes, you can almost always break Zerg.
  • Against Roach/Hydra: Roach/Hydra armies are pretty manageable in the early/mid-game with this composition. Using Charge-Zealots, Archons, Void Rays and Time Warp, you should be able to trade cost efficiently until Zerg’s supply really starts to skyrocket. If you’re not in a position to end the game early, tech up to Storm and begin warping in High Templar for that much needed AoE.
  • Against Swarm Hosts: First off, you’re gonna need an Oracle or Observer for detection. If you can’t break the Zerg with a big push early, start attacking a bunch of places at once. Multi-pronged attacks are a really effective way of dealing with Swarm Hosts and keeping Zerg on the backfoot. Since Swarm Host-ing Zergs tend to use just Queens or Corruptors for anti-air, you can abuse their lack of mobility with your Void Rays and Recall. If you’re confident that you can land your feedbacks, you can tech towards Colossus when you finally move in to break Zerg. Regardless of whether you go Colossus or not, you’re probably going to need Storm to survive through the late-game.

Hopefully you enjoyed this guide! I’ll be playing in BATLL, a LAN in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Challenger League this upcoming week. You can follow me at my new Twitter handle——to receive updates as I play in these tournaments and more!

This week’s replay pack features various ladder games from the North American and Korean servers. Enjoy!

Check back every week for a new State on StarCraft post from Ryan “State” Visbeck!

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2 Comments on State on StarCraft: NaNiwa’s Stargate PvZ Opening Analysis


On September 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Great help State, thanks!


On September 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Great article, really helpful!

Only thing I can think of is that the build order would be very hard to follow ingame- perhaps put it in a notepad doc in the downloads or something?