Note: This post is probably slightly outdated, however I keep the wiki page linked above up to date with regular updates.
The idea of using this build is to utilize minerals as an advantage over your opponent during the early game, thus being able to expand safely against a 4 gate. This is called the No Gas PvP for two reasons: 1) your first assimilator (and cybernetics core) is delayed); 2) you don't take a second assimilator until after you have a good saturation of minerals on your natural.
Hopefully other people will adopt this into their arsenal of PvP builds, as to help sway PvP away from that god awful 4 warpgate build.
This build was adopted from Adelscott, and shown to me in a Day9 daily.
The Opening Build
- Use first three Chronoboost on probes
- 9 Pylon
- 13 Gateway
- 14 Pylon
- 16 Gateway
- 17 Zealot
- 20 Assimilator
- 21 Pylon
- 21 Zealot
- 24 Cybernetics Core
- 26 Zealot
- 28 Zealot
- Attack with four Zealots at about 4:45-4:50
- Chronoboost on Probes
- Pylon (about when Cybernetics finishes)
- 2 Stalkers (Chronoboosted) -> Rally onto your Zealots or enemy base
This ordering seems pretty awkward; you go for 2 gateways then an assimilator? While the second gateway is being constructed you'll want to produce a zealot. Before the cybernetics finishes you want to end up with a total of three-four zealots (preferably four, depending on whether or not your nine scouted), and as the cybernetics finishes you chronoboost out two stalkers -be sure to use your chronoboost as the above order shows! If you fail to properly chronoboost you'll end up without your necessary probe count and poorly utilized chronoboost. Once you're two initial stalkers are out, then you can spend 50 vespene on warpgate.
I want to make a quick note here: if you think your initial zealot can deal significant damage (kill a pylon, or at least two probes) then go ahead and chrono it out and attack. Often times lower level opponents will skip their initial zealot trying to get warpgate research as fast as possible, and this is exploitable by chronoboosting out your first zealot and attacking with it.
Once you end up with your [ideally] four zealots and two stalkers attack and deal as much damage as possible. If you timed this right you should arrive just before warpgate technology is researched. Take this time to knock out a key pylon or two, or take down as many probes as possible.
Running up the ramp before he has warpgate finished with 3 zeals and a stalker, he only has 3 zealots!
Adel hits with his initial four zealots about 30 seconds before his stalkers arrive, as that is the timing that you need to be precise with on hitting the enemy. This should hit before warpgate finishes (unless there is an insane rush distance or something). Attacking like this with four zealots is impossible for two stalkers to pick off before your own two stalkers arrive, and will likely persuade your opponent to spend chronoboost on their gateways rather than on their warpgate tech, thus delaying their four warpgate push.
If you feel like you can overwhelm him and just win, keep chronoboosting from your two gateways, then add on two or three more so you have 4-5 warpgates once your own warpgate gets researched.
Ideally you want to at this point delay his warpgate tech, and kill probes. I'm usually able to get away with a 10 probe lead at this point in time.
If he ends up finishing warpgate while you are in his base, and you don't think it will be worth your remaining army to just attack probes while dieing, go ahead and retreat back to your natural (explained momentarily).
You have a couple options while expanding. First, you can expand while you are attacking with your three zealots and two stalkers, following this up with two more gateways and a forge. This will allow you to have 4 warpgates worth of production (to match your enemy's), along with a couple cannons at your natural. A single cannon is usually sufficient if you've been able to knock some probes out. You really cannot skip this cannon! These cannon(s) are extremely cost efficient, so much so that a cannon will be able to protect your natural better than a stalker, or a zealot. The cannon is also great for detection against DT rushes or builds.
Keep that cannon alive!
Your second option is to add on your two additional gateways, and then expand. This delays the expansion but allows you combat a 4 warpgate rush if you weren't able to deal sufficient damage. Also, if you add on your warpgates before expanding, in the case that you can't hold your expansion you can cancel the nexus and fall back up your ramp. Worst case scenario: you end up with more probes than the other guy, and 4 warpgates. I wouldn't recommend transitioning into 2 gate robo, as you won't have the vespene to support robo units.
Since you'll be taking a very quick expansion, you'll have a greater income than usual, and as such you are allowed leeway in what you spend your money on. Since you already have a forge, it's great to start chronoboosting +1 weapons once your cannon(s) are up.
After you have a decent saturation of minerals at your natural you can add on as many assimilators as you like. I usually like to add on all three all at once, and then throw down a twighlight council. The twilight council is usually the best avenue to choose, as you already have a ratio of 3:3:1 in terms of gateway units, the 1 being sentries (explained in the Key Notes section). I prefer a transition into mass blink stalkers followed by archons.
After a couple production cycles once your natural is fairly saturated you should be able to dominate in a head on battle. From here, you can expand or tech to anything of your liking. I prefer to get blink stalkers and about 4 archons. The archons are used to tank enemy fire (preferably collosus fire), and do pretty darn well vs zealots due to splash damage. This goes great if the enemy went one or two base collosus, since you can tank with the archons and blink into the collosus and snipe them. This works well since on two base with stalker production with 4 assimilators as you'll have an excess in vespene.
Another alternative would be to go with mass wargpates after you take a third base, and harass with multiple warp prisms, or just go in with one massive assault warp prisming into the back of his base.
Transitioning from this build is really open ended, since if you did it successfully against a 4 warpgate you should come out ahead.
Against Robo Builds
HuK tries a collosus push against Adelscott!
Honestly, I've never played anyone that's gone with some sort of robo opening. This is because when players see your intial two gateways, they are expecting mass zealots, and they rush to match your gateway count. Once they realize you aren't zealot alling they switch to 4 gate. I can just imagine an early push of 3 zealots and two stalkers destroying a robo build since only one immortal should be able to get out in time, which is a huge investment at this point in the game.
Key Things to Note
- Since you are utilizing a mineral disparity between you and your opponent as your advantage, you are going to want only a couple sentries. You should have a ratio of about 3:3:1 of zealot stalker sentry, until you add on additional assimilators.
- Your cannon is also essential for detecting dark templar, so place it so it has vision of your ramp so that you can FF the ramp and block dark templars, if necessary.
- If you fail to deal significant damage with your first attack you will need to either add on additional cannons at your natural, or skip the natural entirely.
- Target key pylons powering multiple buildings, or probes, with your initial attack. If your units are going to die no matter what (perhaps his warpgate finished while you were in his base and you failed to retreat in time), then die while shooting down his probes instead of his army. Shooting his probes will delay future warpgate units from ever appearing!
- If your opponent has zealots target firing your cannon, use a FF or two on your cannon so the zealots end up ramming into the FFs, thus being a waste of minerals momentarily.
- Don't nine pylon scout, as this build should be safe against a 2 gate (Adelscott states that it's safe vs proxy 2 gate in the VOD against WhiteRa). If you do decide to nine scout it should cost you an entire zealot.
- The effectiveness of this build sharply decreases if you try to use it on a map like Shakuras Plateau or Xel Naga Caverns. On Shakuras the rush distance in large, and on Xel Naga your natural is too wide for cannons to be of much use.
Why this Works
This build works for a couple reasons. Most players when seeing you perform this build will go along with the "standard" response, as in they are simply going 9 pylon 12-13 gate 14-15 assimilator. Once they see your second gateway, they also add on a gateway -usually after they lay down a cybernetics core (unless their core was going to be late due to poor execution on their part). At this point the enemy can either mine gas and try to stalker your zealot allin (because it looks like a zealot allin variation for a moment), or they will pull probes off of their vespene and try to match you in your supposed zealot production. Either way you come out ahead, as you'll have two stalkers along with your first push, then you'll also have a natural and 4 warpgates, which would destroy them if they had pure zealots.
Assuming they keep mining vespene (and most people will), they'll have quite a few less minerals since you delayed your assimilator, and this is good news for you, since you'll have more minerals to expand even though your army should be of greater value anyways. Your attack (on most maps) should hit before warpgate finishes and you should be able to deal significant amounts of damage to their economy, thus forcing them to regain their probe count before mounting their four warpgate attack. If they don't repair their probe count they won't be able to produce at full capacity their warpgates allow.
Also, this build will destroy anyone trying to 4 warpgate without reacting to your early aggression, since the attack hits before warpgate is researched.
Replays (more may be added as I collect them) and VODs
This is me on the NA ladder vs someone going for a korean 4 warpgate build! I won! I think Adel's build hard counters the korean 4 warpgate.
This replay is of me playing vs a Protoss who quickly popped out three sentries to cover their ramp. I simply expanded and laid my cannons down -expecting a 4 gate to hit me hard. He ended up trying to DT expand, which failed due to the cannons.
This is a replay of me playing on the NA ladder on Steppes of War. I nine scouted, which I advise against as it looks like Adel skips this scout as well (see Key Notes). However, my initial attack deals a lot of damage and the rest of the game is mine to lose.
This replay shows me on Steppes using this build and check-mating the other guy with blink stalkers and a couple archons.
AdelScott vs HuK on Lost Temple. Note how few sentries Adel gets, and note when he starts +1 and lays down his twilight council. This is actually a different variation, but he still fast expands and uses a cannon, he just doesn't go with early aggression this game.
AdelScott vs HuK on Metalopolis. This is a great example of early aggression, and gateways before the nexus. I actually think it would have been optimal to lay the nexus down first, although Adel was just playing it safe. This replay shows an excellent example of how to defend against a quick collosus push response from the opponent.
Here is a Day9 Daily on the AdelScott No Gas PvP!
Here is a VOD of AdelScott vs WhiteRa at Dreamhack, with Adel commentating (in French).
- Adel vs WhiteRa
- Here is a translation done by Hane:
+ Show Spoiler +0:44 ~air close pose - he fears whitera's prism strat~
1:02 This is his favorite build (2gates) and it's safe vs proxy gate.
1:09 So he knows that he can't harass with the first zealot because of WhiteRa's build order with fast stalker + zeal.
1:23 But he know that he can make a good push with a 4z+2s, with a perfect timing.
Then he can expo or (oO') 5gates stalkers.
*sending 4 z + chrono 2 stalkers.*
1:56 While (before?) his push he makes warp upgrade+nexus
push can prevent from 4gate/rush and scout for some proxy.Also, he must care about proxy pylone in base.
*speaking about the fight - kill stalker, kill probes => he knows that he is ahead*
At this point he knows that he had a better eco, so he wants to "burie the game" with more probes
=> nexus gold
he upgrade 1/0 then 2/0
little push, to scout WhiteRa's tech (colossus) so he makes council => blink
when blink up, push with proxy pylone.
Adelscott vs MouzMana on Scrap Station VOD. Adelscott tries to set up and saturate his expansion, although the 4 gate allin from Mana ends up winning him the game. Still, this game gives a good show on how the build is supposed to run, and how to respond to heavy pressure. As far as I can tell Mana won because he completely cut probes and I'm assuming Adelscott didn't, and I believe Mana had slightly better micro and possibly slightly better unit composition.
Adel replay pack! Not all of these games are of the Adel build, but many are slight variations and worth looking at. Thanks to Saja for finding this!
If you find a replay with high level players doing this, or have a good replay of yourself, please post it in this topic so I can add it to the list!