This opening allows you to apply heavy pressure to your opponent while expanding. This can punish a greedy Expo by the Terran, and can also set you up for a Sentry contain. However, it should be noted Sentries from this opening will not be very useful against Thor allins or Siege tanks. Also against 1/1/1 allins, a 3 Gate Expand build will likely not pay off in time of when an attack hits.
I decided to write a guide about this opening, as it seems some very high level players are doing this as well, most notably during the GSL with IMMvp and SlayerS_Alicia. + Show Spoiler +
Also Liquid`Tyler talked about this sort of aggression when doing a 3 Gate Expansion one day on his stream when he was commentating on some of HuK's games, which is what gave me the idea in the first place.
Overall, you make three Gateways, expand, then attack. Very simple.
The Opening Build
- 9 Pylon
- 13 Gateway
- 14 Assimilator
- 16 Pylon
- @100% Gateway: Cybernetics Core
- While Cybernetics is constructing: Zealot; 2nd Assimilator
- 22 Pylon
- @100% Cybernetics Core: Warpgate Research (Chrono'd); Stalker (Chrono'd)
- 2 Gateways @ 300 Minerals*
- Warp in 3 Zealots
- Warp in 3 Sentries
- Proxy Pylon
- *While Warpgate is being researched you should be able to produce two sentries out of this Gateway.
When your attack hits you should have 4-5 Zealots 5 Sentries and a Stalker (this unit composition can vary by personal reference). This, with followup reinforcements, are often times enough to bust the ramp or deal significant damage when SCVs are pulled from the mineral line. Once your zealots die it's usually a good idea to back off down the ramp and warp in more units, then move gain back up the ramp. If SCVs are pulled off after you've killed a bunker and any Barracks units, I'd advise running back down the ramp as the SCVs will kill your sentries and stalker fast enough so that you lose out on the exchange.
The reason you warp in three Zealots followed by Sentries, is two-fold. First off, you have an accumulation of minerals (about 600-700) and they need to be sunk fast. Zealots followed by the Nexus do this wonderfully. Zealots also have the shortest Warpgate cooldown time, thus allowing you to now spend your accumulation of vespene. This opening is an optimized way to get everything out quickly and cleanly, and allows you to be aggressive with what you have.
The best follow up most of the time is going to be a robotics facility, as Immortals and Colossus are so great against ground forces. However, a forge might be a good idea if the Terran was quick teching to Banshees, as a couple cannons negating a banshee from dealing any damage will put the Terran extremely far behind. 5 Gateways a Forge and a Robotics Facility is a very solid setup to be on in PvT with two bases.
If you want a robo, I suggest constructing it while your Nexus at your natural is being constructed. If you're super paranoid about banshees, have detection and a couple stalkers ready by 7 minutes 30 seconds.
If you are into forcefield contains, this is a perfect way to set one up! Usually a force field contain deals much more damage than actually busting the ramp.
So far I haven't lost a match with this opening except for mis-micro on my part (or something later in the game that had little to nothing to do with the opening). The timing of the attack hits usually just after all the addons for the Terran have been finished, and they usually only have a couple bio units on top of their ramp in a single bunker as production hasn't kicked in yet. If you can bust the ramp and sit on top of their barracks the game is yours.
I assume that this push could be stopped with a proper sim-city on part of the Terran, but even so you're usually able to deal some significant damage before you return to your natural. The best thing about this, is that if you have proper micro you should only lose zealots, thus safely applying pressure to your opponent, forcing them to stay in their base with all their units, drawing focus away from your expansion, at a rather low risk.
- With this opening you will live or die with your force field usage, so you best be able to utilize them properly. Also, please use guardian shield when you engage.
- Before you lay down your Nexus be sure to clear away any SCV from your Natural Expansion location. You should be doing this with a Zealot Stalker and Sentry, or as I prefer with two Sentries and a Zealot.
- Place the Proxy Pylon before your forces arrive, and be sure to warp in your zealots at your natural -this is in case the Terran is doing some form of an aggressive concussive shell rush.
Replays and VODs