Zest’s PvP - Part 2 (Zest vs Rain @ Daedalus)

The to-and-fro of Colossus vs Colossus PvP: Zest’s amazing PvP pt.2

As I mentioned a little while ago, I’m currently rewatching all of Zest’s PvPs since the ro8 in GSL 2014 Season 1. I’ve recently come
to realize that he’s actually even better than the hype says. In particular, he has some of the most perfect and inspiring PvP ever
seen. In particular, his match against Rain (who you also must count as one of the very best PvPers in the world), is amazingly good.
Both of their personalities and playstyles come through in this awesome match, and I find myself rewatching some of the games 2-3 
times, pausing at certain points and rewinding to better understand what is going on.

I, myself, am an anti-fan of Colossus based PvP, ever since the Immortal/Zealot/Archon style was introduced last year. Imagine my
distaste in game 2 of Zest vs Rain in the ro4 of GSL Code S season 1, as the 2 best Protosses both choose to focus on Colossus based
strategies on the dirty map known as Daedalus Point.

Regardless, I watched carefully, taking notes all the way. This game turned out to be one of the PvP’s I took the heaviest notes on so
far. Some beautiful stuff happened in this game. Let me share some of it with you.

The map, as previously mentioned, is Daedalus Point. This means Twilight openings. Obviously. The architecture of the map makes Blink
play the most solid and versitile opening, and both players open up with fast Twilights, acknowledging this.

Zest goes into Blink, while Rain chooses DTs. In the meantime, both players grab Robos. As Zest sees DTs, he discontinues Stalker
production at 4. This is actually a great number of Stalkers, when you think about it. 4 Threatens single-volley Probe kills. On top
of this, Stalkers get weaker and weaker as a PvP progresses, so the more you make, the more damage you are going to need to do with
them. Since Rain opened DTs, he also opened with Immortals (this is just something you do with DT openings when playing normally, for
a variety of reasons). If you study Rain’s play in addition to this, you will see that he almost always makes 2-3 Immortals minimum,
with any build, to stabalize. Stopping at 4 Stalkers was really cool.

Right after their Robos, both players choose to make a Nexus, and quickly go into a Forge afterwards. When 2 top level players go for
(somewhat) similar tech routes (which have answers for each other, i.e, these openings), it is silly to go and try to kill your
opponent. He will just be slightly more greedy than you and defend normally, coming out reasonably far ahead. Thus, the Forges.

Zest grabs 3 Sentries, while Rain only grabs 2. Last year, 3 was the norm for Sentries, but this year we are seeing more and more
players grab 2. The reason to grab 2 is obvious: PvP is more understood, meaning you don’t necessarily need as much scouting. On top
of that, spending 100 gas less than your opponent on a unit that may not affect the game in a huge way can be a nice edge.

Why does Zest grab 3 then? Well, you have to remember that Rain opened DTs with Immortals while Zest got Blink, and was unable to do
any damage. The extra Sentry certainly would come in super helpful if Rain decided to attack, with what is now, in a heads-up battle,
a superior composition. For Rain, there is absolutely no way that Zest can do an actual attack. Rain’s composition would smash it. He
only needs the 2 Sentries for scouting, not for defensive purposes.

Now, before his Natural Nexus finishes, Zest starts his gasses there. This is partially because he’s spending so much gas on Sentries
at the moment, and partially because he’s going for a super-fast Colossus follow-up. Really, both are related. The obviously share the
very limited gas resource, but those Sentries which can block against a fast Immortal attack, also buy you time to get Colossus out.
For your opponent to realistically attack you up a ramp, he will need a way to break Force Fields. If he goes for Colossus, he’s
slower than you. Archons are a bit too clunky to get this early in the game as well. Colossus is a solid choice here.

Rain also decides to go for Colossus, but only after 3 Immortals. Good old Rain, nice and safe :D. Zest quickly scouts this with a
Hallucinated Phoenix, and instantly drops another Robo. This is years and years old. When both players are going for Colossus, the
easiest and often-times best counter is to go for more Colossus. Colossus need death-balls to be effective, and you simply don’t have
them this early into the game. With your opponent going Colossus, he simply can’t attack you.

Obviously, this truth about going for even more Colossus vs your opponent also going Colossus is true for both sides. So what if both
players go for double Robo Colossus? Well, they can’t attack for even longer, that’s what. And what’s that mean? 3rds!

Zest promptly takes his 3rd after the 2nd Robo and a couple more safety gates.

Now clearly, this isn’t the only reaction for Colossus vs Colossus. It was the most common at the professional level back in Wings of
Liberty, but there are some other options as well. Rain took another one of these options. The second he scouts these 2 Robos (and
don’t forget, with 3 Sentries for Zest and 2 Sentries for Rain, the scouting is almost non-stop), he takes his own 3rd base and adds a
bunch of gates.

So let’s take a look at what these two players are doing, what their game plans are, and what needs to happen for them to win or lose:

- 2 Robo Colossus into a 3rd base.
- Late game oriented. If left alone, he will have the ultimate army.
- Other strategies will have a stronger army than him for a short time.
- Must create his Deathball and win a straight-up engagement.

- 1 Robo Colossus into a 3rd base and additional gates.
- Mid game oriented. He will have a stronger army for a short period of time.
- Unless he does critical damage, it will be a tricky transition into the late game.
- He must deal at least some damage in the mid-game in order to be able to transition his soon to be weaker army into a stronger

Both players are completely aware of what is going on. While various players would feel more comfortable in one position over the
other, or might consider one position to be leading, it is most definitely still anyone’s game. It now comes down to the tiny extra
things each player does which will decide the game.

Rain stops Probe production and makes a Warp Prism. He moves out towards Zest’s 3rd base. It’s time to put on some damage with his
superior forces.

Zest sits his main army in his Natural expansion. To move down towards his 3rd would be suicide, as his army would become vulnerable
in the open to the large gateway based force of Rain. Instead, Zest sends out his 4 Stalkers from the early game (which would have
almost no impact on any battles that could happen at home) to harass Rain’s 3rd base.

In the next moments, Rain kills the 3rd base of Zest. Zest kills off some Probes with his Stalkers, and forces a few Zealot warpins to
chase them off. Rain continues to sit on the other side of the map for a little bit longer, but Zest continues the Blink harassment at
his 3rd. It is pretty darn effective, and Rain pulls back to his 3rd with his main force (partially to deal with the harassment,
partially because he knows that Zest’s army is getting very scary indeed).

After Rain killed the 3rd base he starts a Stargate. The Colossus count quickly becomes 8 for Zest, 3 for Rain. It is clear that he
must get Stargates. This is one of the most interesting points in this entire game. In my opinion, he started the Stargate far too
late. Generally in a situation like this, you would want to start the Stargate as you moved towards your opponent’s 3rd base, not
right after you killed it. There could be a few different reasons why Rain did this…

- He thought Zest would commit to defending the 3rd base, and wanted every resource put into his actual army.
- He wanted to warp in Zealots to Zest’s main, and force an army split which he could then take advantage of with an attack up the
ramp (this idea could have been foiled by the forced warpins at his 3rd to defend vs Zest’s Blink harassment).
- Maybe something else, though I’m pretty sure all the other reasons I came up with are below Rain’s level.

Whatever the reason, the Stargate did start a little bit late, which may have ended up ultimately costing Rain the game.

Anyways, as Rain retreated, Zest calmly took his 3rd base again. It was very timely, as the main base was running out, and he kept up
what was basically a 2 base economy the whole game.

Zest very quickly scouts the Tempest production (from 2 Stargates), and immediately starts warping in Stalkers. He also makes some
Zealots, Archons, and an Immortal. The Immortal was a bit weird, but still not unreasonable. Everything else makes a lot of sense.

Zest attacks shortly after the scout (but still longer than I thought it would take him, probably just for another production round).
The battle is a bit weird. Zest comes right up the ramp (makes perfect sense for him) to get that straight-up engagement which was
mentioned earlier. He has the superior composition (at least until more Tempests are out). He should win any straight up battle. The
thing that gets me, is that Rain sat right there and fought. It felt pretty clear that with only 2 Tempests, he needed to buy some
more time. If he could have kited backwards a bit more, and let his Tempests do a bit more work, he might have won this game. There
are 3 peices to the puzzle of Rain fighting where he did that make me question whether he should have tried to kite back and delay a
bit more:

- Time Warp. If he kites back under a Time Warp, he will take much more damage.
- 3rd base in close proximity to the Natural ramp. If he kites back, Zest can easily attack backwards and right to snipe the 3rd
base, which has Probes at it. Rain’s main is basically dry. 2 base vs 3 base is not NEARLY as bad as 1 base vs 2 base, as far as
economy goes. Losing his 3rd would be a tremendous blow.
- Kiting back either means splitting his army onto 2 sides of his Natural Nexus (where the piece on the left can be easily picked
off), or kiting back into a very focused choke point, which would amplify the 8 Colossus’ splash damage and range.

After much thought and consideration, I do think its a combination of these 3 things, as well as a bit of a mistake. I really do think
that battle could have been handled better.

Either way, Zest broke through, even if just barely, and ended up taking the game.

I felt like this game was just absolutely brilliant by both players. So many smart moves and great, intelligent, forward thinking
plays. Something you don’t get to see from lower level PvPers very often.

The VOD:


Zest’s PvP - Part 1 (Zest vs sOs @ Frost)

Zest is pretty damn good. At every matchup. In every way. Yeah. He’s so good, that I’ve decided to study every little aspect of his PvP, as I’m ridiculously impressed by it.

When Zest played vs sOs in the round of 8 of GSL Code S season 1 earlier this year, he won, and I was impressed. Not too impressed though. sOs sometimes does some crazy stuff, and sometimes it doesn’t go over too well. He also just played a bunch of PvPs at IEM Katowice (which he won) that could be studied. He was also severely jet-lagged. For these reasons, I kind of ignored the series overall. Now, a little over a month later, I’ve decided to go back and look again. The reasons that I listed above for why the series wasn’t the most important thing ever still stand, but now I know I can count on finding brilliance when looking at any recent and previous game of Zest.

This is the game where I have started my re-watch-with-a-notepad journey, and it did not disappoint. Let’s get into it!

Zest bottom left, sOs top right @ Frost

sOs starts off with a very sOs thing to do, Nexus first. Zest plays more conventionally, getting a Gateway and 2 gasses before scouting. He immediately scouts sOs, thus helping him to do EXACTLY what he would optimally do vs Nexus first (because he scouted it as quickly as he ever could).

Zest throws down a StarGate. Then it goes Warpgate - Moco - Stalker

Obviously the StarGate finishes, and he chrono boosts out an Oracle. During this time, the Stalker and Moco travel north to put some pressure on sOs’s Nexus.

Zest stops on 22 Probes, and after the Oracle is started, gets 2 Gateways (going up to 3), followed immediately by a Stalker.

Now here is where it gets really, really cool. The Oracle goes straight up to the main base. sOs has 2 options.

1. Lose a bunch of Probes

2. Keep 2 Stalkers in his mineral line for now

Pretty obviously he will keep the Stalkers back. This allows Zest to pound on the Nexus, and immediately warp in 3 more Stalkers to help out. Now remember that he immediately got the Warpgate research after his Oracle, before the Moco or Stalker. This allows him to get his warpin a bit quicker than sOs. He now has 5 Stalkers and a Moco, as well as an Oracle threatening the minerals of sOs (forcing units to stay back).

It is an obvious time to use the Nexus Cannon.

During all of this, Zest has committed to another Oracle. Pretty expensive. No real damage done yet despite all these units made early on. That’s OK though, he keeps warping in Stalkers (and a Sentry at some point).

Eventually the Nexus Cannon wares off. It’s go time. There is not enough energy for another Nexus Cannon. Unit counts are similar (there was a funny proxy warpin by sOs that was cleaned up with the Oracles). Without a Nexus Cannon available, its impossible to defend both locations at this moment for sOs. The 2 Oracles threaten to SHRED the Probe line if he doesn’t keep back ~4 Stalkers (which he does). With similar unit counts, this leaves him unable to defend the Nexus, which is now assaulted by the full army of Zest. The one Sentry further complicates things. The Nexus is taken down with ease.

From here, even without scouting, it is obvious that the only option in this game is for sOs to go Blink. This should be the only thing that Zest has to worry about for the rest of the game.

Now, as this nexus is being cleaned out, Zest has an easy contain up at the bottom of the ramp. He starts his Nexus. It is now, no matter what, faster than sOs’s.

At this point, sOs tries a little Stalker warpin near Zest’s natural, against which Zest brings in his Oracles, cancels the Nexus, and warps in 3 more Stalkers, which will basically guarantee kills on the counter-Stalkers and proxy Pylons. I find this to be a decisive and brilliant move. 

"From here, even without scouting, it is obvious that the only option in this game is for sOs to go Blink. This should be the only thing that Zest has to worry about for the rest of the game." - Artosis, 2014

Proxy Pylons are an issue when your opponent has to counter attack for a realistic shot at winning. Getting free Stalker kills is also one of the most important things that Zest can do at this moment. Remember, the unit count was approximately even when he killed the Nexus. Stalkers with Blink will wreck Stalkers without. Because Zest is expanding and getting a Robo to counter the obvious Blink, sOs WILL have more Gateway units. These kills are very important.

Zest restarts his Nexus immediately when his money gets back to 400.

This is the point in the game during which I think that Zest made a mistake (yeah there was another mistake not scouting/killing all the Proxys earlier, but I don’t care about that one as much. this one is a theoretical mistake.)

OK, so, on to the mistake. At the EXACT moment that he started to kill the counter-warpin Stalkers, Zest should have FF’d his opponent’s ramp and come home.

 - A counter attack by sOs with Blink is imminent

 - Zest will have a faster Nexus now no matter what

 - Zest has Immortals on the way very shortly (which need plenty of units around to help them — they don’t beat Blink on their own)

Of course, the longer Zest can stay on the contain, the more ahead he can get, and against someone as good as sOs, you want to get ahead as possible.

Well, Zest gets kinda caught leaving a little bit too late, ends up losing some extra units, but overall does an excellent job utilizing the high grass (something we don’t see nearly enough!). Meh, it’s happened to all of us.

When Zest finally gets home, he dedicates lots of Sentry energy to scouting, uses his remaining Oracle as much as possible, and continues his tech tree, making sure not to skimp on units.


Zest wins. Really strong and smart play vs a build you don’t see in PvP very often at all.

GSL Code S 2014 Season 2 Groups of Death

After a long period of Protoss domination, and a Season 1 Protoss Champion, Code S is back at the perfect time. Despite the fact that the tournament is very Protoss heavy, we’ve seen a big return in the quality of play as well as win rates of Terran and especially Zerg.

The Group(s) Of Death

I literally cannot decide on a Group Of Death this season. Many of them seem very close, with 3 players definitely able to make it out, and a 4th who could if things go well for them on that particular day. Not that common a thing with the round of 32. While I write this, I’m still trying to figure it out, so I guess I’ll just describe multiple groups of death, and my reasoning behind them!

Group C

 - Rain, Stork, Ruin, and Symbol

Why it could be considered the group of death:

Rain, while being slightly overshadowed by a couple of other Protosses at the moment, is still looking like the most solid Protoss in the world. The guy will probably never fall out of Code S. In the past 3 “Code S” seasons, he’s made at least top 8, and it took Zest, Soulkey, and Maru to finally knock him out. Oh, and he beat Soulkey in the finals of the Hot6ix cup. If you ever bet on him to lose before the bracket phase of a tournament, then you like to lose.

Ruin is the next big thing. In the Code A earlier this year for season 1, he played such an inspired group that I ended up writing an article on SCDOJO about it. The improvement he showed between the last time we saw him and then was amazing. Well, that happened again. This season in Code A, Ruin showed some really innovative and intelligent play. Really, ridiculously strong. I actually meant to already write an article on it, but got caught up getting ready for DreamHack. Will probably highlight his play next week or so. Wait for it. Till then, trust me, this kid is going to be huge.

Symbol is a player who has shown even more stability than Rain, and over a longer period of time. The past few seasons have not been kind to Symbol, falling out in the ro32, especially when you consider that before that the whole world was just waiting for him to straight up win the damn thing. Now let’s forget for a moment Symbol’s results, and instead remember his beginning. Symbol was first known for his insanely good ZvP, specifically his cross-every-t-dot-every-i-and-lower-case-j defensive macro play. This group has 3 Protoss players. Symbol is not currently playing in ProLeague (due to not being on a PL team). Symbol hasn’t traveled outside of Korea for quite some time. When you put all of this together, he has a ridiculous amount of time to actually sit down and practice, and only 1 race to practice for. Symbol will be deadly when it comes time to play in this group.

Stork - he’s not bad at all, but I’m not going to argue that he’s any part of why I’m calling this one of the Groups of Death. Still, he is at least a player who could make an upset and make it through this group if he has a good day.

Group D

 - Life, Rogue, Hydra, and Classic

Why it could be considered the group of death:

Life is in amazing shape. His results and play have been getting better and better recently, topped off by a DreamHack Bucharest win this past weekend, where he looked nearly unbeatable. It takes a really special player to kill off Life, and generally that player is not a Zerg. Not only does this group have 3 Zergs in it, but Zerg is arguably the strongest race going into this season of Code S.

Rogue, as I’ve been saying in my past several times casting him, quietly one of the very best players in the world. Go watch some of his recent games. He’s playing so close to perfect in many games that it’s scary. Who knows what would have happened at IEM if he didn’t have to play Life in the first round. Rogue is the real deal, someone who will win a championship in the future.

Classic has been SKT1’s ace more times in ProLeague than I’m sure anyone could have predicted going into this year. A former #1 draft pick from SC1, this kid is a monster. His play, strategy, and execution are all top notch. On top of that, he’s on SKT1, a team with a ridiculous Protoss lineup to help him work his game.

Hydra - the weakest in the group, but always putting up solid play. He may be one of the more “cheesey” and aggressive Zergs out there, but doesn’t get much flak for it compared to other aggro Zergs. Why do you think that is? My theory is because he looks really solid the entire time. Deep down people can tell he’s really skilled.

And that’s not all….

I feel like I could also make similar arguments for groups E and H. The thing is, it’s getting a bit late, so meh, this is all for now :P

All in all, this season really excites me. Its so ridiculously stacked, and players are better than ever before. OK, OK, players are always getting better…but its really starting to count now. The differences in skill are becoming more noticeable, and there are less and less random losses that are completely unexpected.

Make sure you tune in as Code S boots up again at 6pm KST on April 30th!

IMRuin’s exceptional planning in Code A Group B

I had the opportunity to see quite a few Ruin games last year, including a reasonably large replay pack from the IEM qualifiers at one point. Back then, not only did Ruin not impress me as far as top Protosses went, I straight up didn’t like his play.

That’s all changed recently. As I review all of the games from the month, Ruin’s play made me stop and appreciate the fine art of match planning. Not since Squirtle’s 3 Terran group several GSL seasons ago have I been so happy with how a Protoss chose his strategies in a single matchup group. (you can find a brief write-up of that here: http://scdojo.tumblr.com/post/25081387160/the-brilliance-of-squirtles-pvt-builds)

The following is an explanation of that planning from his Code A Group this season:

Ruin’s group:

Effort vs Curious

Ruin vs Sleep

3 Zergs, 1 Ruin.

To put into perspective how tough a group like this is, first consider that with 3 Zergs in the group, you will need an absolute minimum of 4 PvZs, with a maximum of 9 PvZs. That’s a lot of games during which your opponents can watch and learn from your style. On top of that, each player is completely different.

Effort is one of the greatest SC1 Zergs of all time, extremely fast and mechanically a genius.

Sleep is the opposite in many ways — he’s known to be mechanically one of the weakest top-end Zergs, but makes up for it with brilliant planning and all around smart play.

Curious can do anything.

This is definitely a pretty hard group to prepare for.

Match 1 - Ruin vs Sleep

POLAR NIGHT - Ruin opens here with a Pylon at his natural into a Nexus first, followed not by a forge, but by a Gateway. A pretty greedy build, but should work out well vs most current popular builds. 

Sleep had gone for a 14 pool, and made some Zerglings to run over and pressure his opponent with. Ruin was ready, held it off, and ended up killing the 6 Zerglings. During this time, he has added a Stargate, and is going for an Oracle. Now, Ruin moves out with 2 Zealots, the Oracle, and the Mothership Core. A smart move due to killing off 6 Zerglings (which Sleep would obviously regret making//losing).

From here, Ruin grabs a 3rd base very quickly (around 7:45), making some Voidrays and grabbing 2 more Stargates.

Now sadly, he lost his Oracle during all of this, doing almost no damage. Oops!

From here, Ruin goes into mass Phoenix production, and starts moving his 3 Voids + Mothership Core across the map. 6 fast-building Phoenixes (with 3 more on the way) join the rest of his air force in the Zerg main, where he easily overpowers defenses and ravages the base.

In the meantime though, Sleep takes out his 3rd with mass Zerglings.

Long story slightly shorter, Sleep ends up taking this game, but I definitely liked Ruin’s ideas here. A build I will for sure be trying out some on the ladder.

FROST - In this game, Ruin opens up identically to game 1. The greedy Gateway on low ground expansion into a Stargate with an Oracle. From here though, he goes into a Twilight Council, Blink, and 6 Gateways.

After such an interesting strategy in game 1, which absolutely could have worked out, opening with the same exact pieces showing, this definitely had the potential to throw Sleep off a bit. The counters to game 1’s follow up to the Oracle and game 2’s follow up to the Oracle could not be more different.

In this game, Ruin is able to overcome Sleep after throwing him off a bit, and executing his Blink allin almost perfectly.

HEAVY RAIN - After opening identically 2 games in a row, Ruin now opens in as different a way as is possible. He throws that Pylon down at the natural again, but scouts right away, going for a fast Forge. Any counter-strategy that Sleep may have decided to pull here would have been completely undone by Ruin’s new choice of opening.

Match 2 - Ruin vs Curious

ALTERZIM STRONGHOLD - This game I didn’t care for so much. Ruin decides to go for a crazy allin, walling off his ramp with a gateway, and going straight into DT’s, and then into Blink.

I believe that part of this strategy was based off of the common scout patterns for ZvP and the lack of Curious in the bottom right, but I’m not 100% sure.

A risky strategy to be sure, and it didn’t pay off.

YEONSU - OK, this one is pretty damn cool. Ruin makes a Pylon in his main base, then on 13 makes a FORGE, then sends out his Probe to make a Pylon at the natural and scout his opponent. The thing is, its Yeonsu. He knows that if he sends his Probe at this timing, Curious WILL see it, and WILL realize that its being sent at ~13 supplyish, which will lead him to believe that this is, in fact, a Gateway expand.

Hatchery first is extremely safe against a Gateway expand. But there’s a Forge! Luckily for Curious, he had chosen to go for a quick Spawning Pool instead, but if he had gone for Hatchery first, as Ruin guessed he would, this strategy would have paid off in a huge way.

This build (and really, this whole series), also sends a message to whoever Ruin plays next that they better be careful with how greedy they get.

Match 3 - Ruin vs Sleep (the rematch!)

YEONSU - In this first game, Ruin opens with the same build that he opened with in games 1 and 2 against Sleep in the first match of the night. This time, Sleep thinks he is ready for it, and alters his build slightly to get 6 Zerglings out immediately with a 14 pool. 

Sleep is a really intelligent player, but I have to disagree with this move. Ruin has obviously practiced this opening a lot, whereas Sleep most certainly has less experience with it. Ruin holds the 6 Zerglings off perfectly, with complete understandings down to the second with how this scenario plays out.

As always with this opening, he follows up with a quick Stargate, making an Oracle. This time, though, he takes an extremely fast 3rd base and goes for a Twilight Council for Blink.

In the mean time, he brings a small hit harassment squad including his Voidrays, Oracle, and Mothership Core, and specifically starts targeting down Queens. 

The follow-up of a 6 Gateway +1 Blink Stalker attack smashes Sleep’s 3rd, and the game isn’t hard for Ruin to close out from there.

This one reminded me of Dear’s old build on Derelict Watcher from last year, but was much more focused and crisp.

Also note, this is the 3rd completely different transition off of the exact same build order vs Sleep.

POLAR NIGHT - Having already lost to Sleep once on this map on this night, Ruin goes for a pretty standard Immortal allin. He fakes taking a standard 3rd, and though it starts out ok, his defense at home is a bit lackluster, and Sleep deals with the build every Zerg knows by heart.

Still not a bad choice, IMO. The variety of builds shown so far tonight, with lots of false information built in, gave him a decent chance of catching Sleep off guard and picking up a quick victory.

DAEDALUS POINT - I’m sure after winning game 2, Sleep was quite happy to get to finish off the day and the group with Daedalus Point.

I smiled as I watched this creative strategy from Ruin, thinking “well, he can’t wallin his natural, may as wall in Zerg’s”. It also reminded me of something really intelligent Day9 said many, many years ago (2004 or so..), about how in a single game, no map is imbalanced.

Although the strategy is probably not one that will work for Ruin again, he used it exactly when it counted, and won.

By sending out one of his first Probes, he walled in the bottom of Zerg’s ramp, made Cannons, his Gateway, and his Core over there. He even sent his Mothership Core ASAP to check for Lair timings, and made Sentries to make sure he could hold the ramp.

Everything was planned beautifully. If its 1 base vs 1 base, what in the  world could a Zerg do to beat Blink Stalkers?

Ruin even ran home, knowing his opponent would have to Nydus soon.

When Sleep broke out down the ramp, Ruin knew he could go up and engage, as his Cannons would have already weakened the Zerg army significantly.

All of this, on the final map to decide if you go to Code S or Code B, on a map Protosses hate.

Balls and Brains. ‘nuff said.

Build Order Dump!

Right now I’m working on getting all new build orders, so I thought I’d go ahead and dump my most recent notebook of builds. All of these are a little bit dated, but still pretty fun and solid! Enjoy!

Turn2 Episode #7 With Artosis, Doa, Gnimsh & Cixah - for VOD/MP3/SoundCloud/RSS/iTunes Go here: http://ihearthu.com/turn2-episode-7-2/

CJ_sora’s awesome PvZ

Well, this is a super random blog for me to write at the moment. Not as well researched or planned as any of my previous ones…

I’m just sitting here in a coffee shop preparing to cast the GSL Code S ro8 day 2, and all I can think about is how awesomely sora played against Curious in the WCS Challenger League for Korea.

Just a quick overview of what it’s all about:

He opens with a 2 gas Gateway expansion build. Instead of going Nexus into Mothership Core though, he grabs a Stalker first, and then proceeds normally.

It’s pretty cool. Overlords are driven back, and often times you can get a kill on one due to the current metagame not punishing overcommitted ovies.

Once that Stalker has driven off and/or killed an Overlord, he goes out into the map with your Mothership Core. It’s Queen hunting time. The Queen will already be at the 3rd base if Zerg skipped gas, if not, it could be on the way. By getting a few hits with the Stalker on the Queen, you allow the Mothership Core to straight up kill it. A free Queen kill this early in the game is amazing. Really slows the Zerg down.

Behind all this, back in the Protoss base, sora grabs 2 Gateways, a Forge (getting +1 attack), and his expansion gasses at 7:05. This whole time, Sentries are making as well. 6 Sentries is the golden number.

At 7:50, a surprisingly safe 3rd base is taken. A walled in Cannon is key. From here, a fast Twilight for Blink and +2, as well as 4 more Gateways go up. Pretty damn safe so far.

Robotics comes up next, while keeping scouting up with Hallucinations. Often times, a Dark Shrine will be made rather quickly (as the Robo finishes), and Colossus Tech follows right afterwards.

A very gas heavy style for sure, but with good Hallucination scouting, sora always knows what is coming and how to stop it.

The build is really flexible over all. Plenty of Gates, lots of scouting, fast Blink and +2.

God, I’m really not doing it the proper justice for how awesome it is. I just started using it this morning. Pretty sure I’ll be writing another article about it after I’ve gotten better at it and understand it more deeply.


On META Episode #16 Artosis brings on LiquidTLO, LiquidRet and Fnatic’s Harstem on the show to talk Dreamhack Bucharest, WCS EU, the state of Protoss, and some really interesting discussion about casters, players, the esports scene in general, and much more!