State on StarCraft: Next Season’s Map Pool Analysis

FROST

The only four-player map added this season, Frost is harsh and unforgiving.

PvT

Like Yeonsu, Frost is another good map for blink-stalker and reaper openings. Unlike Yeonsu, its mid-game is incredibly unforgiving.

Though it’s easy for Protoss players to defend their natural, that’s about all that is easy. With a plethora of areas to attack and drop, defending counter-attacks becomes the core part of gameplay in PvT. Surviving through the mid-game on Frost requires a mobile army, map awareness, and excellent scouting.

The good news is that if you can secure a third, you can probably secure a fourth. The bad news is that you’re going to have a hard time securing much else. Fifth and sixth bases are difficult to take and even harder to defend, so don’t expect the aggression to let up much in the late-game. If anything, it’s just going to keep picking up.

PvZ

Though defending three or four bases on this map seems daunting at first, it’s definitely possible. Protoss players can wall off ramps and chokes with structures to cut down the number of attack paths, whereas Zerg players can spread creep to push back proxy pylons and set up for a much safer mid-game.

Because of Frost’s size, Protoss players will want to favor timing attacks or a gateway-heavy style (see: StarDust’s PvZ) whereas Zergs will want to wrestle map control in any way they can.

Like in PvT, players will want to challenge their opponent’s expansions at every chance they get, so expect the late-game on Frost to be hyper-aggressive.

PvP

Of the three maps added, Frost might be your best chance at taking a fast-expand in PvP. Though blink-stalker openings remain powerful, there’s not much else that works in the early-game.

Unless Blizzard enforces cross-spawn, it’ll be challenging to proxy stargates in a way that guarantees damage and—because of the map’s size—3-gate pressure is going to be significantly weaker on Frost than maps like Bel’shir Vestige.

Aggressive styles—such as the charge-zealot/archon/immortal composition—will be very effective at denying third bases on Frost, but a well-executed defense and later timing attack may prove to be just as challenging.

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1 Comment on State on StarCraft: Next Season’s Map Pool Analysis

PrOmise

On August 24, 2013 at 12:24 am

Really solid read. I love the detailed information that is given on each map!