State on StarCraft: Rain’s Championship PvZ
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.
Jung “Rain” Yoon Jung’s macro play has defined StarCraft 2′s meta-game for years. Earlier in December, he won the last GSL of 2013 after an incredible PvZ series against Soulkey. This week, we’re going to break down his latest PvZ style—opening Phoenix, taking a fast third base and developing into Blink-Stalker/Colossus.
Gateway-expands usually involve rushing out a Mothership Core to defend early pressure, but Rain seemed to prefer Gasless openings in his games against Soulkey. On Yeonsu, he expanded off just two Pylons and a Gateway, allowing him to warp in his Nexus about a minute faster than he would have otherwise. It’s a gamble, but it puts you in a great position against Zergs openings Hatchery first—and you can even Chronoboost out a few Zealots to defend against any 6 or 7-Pool that might come your way. If standard play is more your thing, check out this guide to see what a safer Gateway expand looks like. Just make sure to adjust your timings, and read that guide if you want to learn how to deal with whatever all-ins Zerg might throw at you in the early-game.
If you do open with a Gasless expand, send out a scouting Probe right after you’ve thrown down your first Gateway. It’s important to check up on the Zerg’s opening to see whether you need to deviate or not. If you’re being all-in’d, it’s probably best to Chronoboost out a few Zealots, take your geysers and expand safely behind 3 Gateways and a Mothership Core. Otherwise, there’s no need to worry—expand, start your wall-in and keep Chronoboosting your Probe production. You’re safe to enter the mid-game.