I win about 75% of my PvT's against equally skilled opponents using this build. Checking through my match history, I know I've won at least my last 10 consecutive PvT's. I'm not a pro by any means--to give you an idea of my level of play, my ladder opponents range from Top 10 Masters to high GM on the NA server. I usually play against people with double or triple my APM which goes a long way toward explaining why my PvP is so bad.
Also, I know that some people get annoyed when guide-writers put their handles in the topic line. Please understand that I mean the title in the most modest way--this is a guide for how I personally play PvT. It's a general PvT guide, so I don't have a good descriptive title to give it. I know that some of the stuff that's in the guide is pretty standard. For example, I'm not breaking any ground with my 1-1-1 defense. I'm just putting forth a general PvT guide that covers most of my decision making for a PvT match from start to finish.
Opening Build Order:
13 gate (3x chronoboost on probes at start)
18 core (send scout on 4 player maps)
22 pylon (send scout on 2 player maps)
23 stalker and WG tech (3 chrono total on WG tech)
27 nexus (at 26 food, rally nexus to natural. The probe will reach the natural right on time)
This is a nice, economically aggressive but safe 1 gate FE. It gets you more economy than most comparably safe expand builds.
Here's where we hit our first branching. Your scouting probe should have found T's base by now, but be attentive with your scouting and make sure to keep your probe alive! Walk your zealot toward T's base and rally your stalker to your zealot. Send your probe into T's natural just ahead of your zealot and stalker. The probe will probably die, but it's better than losing your stalker to a marauder. If there's just a few marines holding the ramp at your natural, perhaps with a bunker, run your zealot past these to see if there's a CC. Sacrificing a zealot is annoying, but it's worth it to confirm the gasless FE.
If you see a marauder or any other signs of an early attack:
32 zealot (1 chronoboost)
The third gateway goes down at 5:20. This 3 gate times out surprisingly smoothly and can be used for defense or offense. The second zealot (started at 32 supply), the 2nd gate and WG research all finish at exactly 5:50 if you did everything perfectly. Convert the gates to WG's, and warp in 2 units at 6:00. (In most of my games, it winds up being 6:10 or slightly later because I don't macro perfectly) The third gate finishes at 6:25 and is a WG at 6:35 which lines up perfectly for a 3 unit warp in at 6:35. This gives you 9 gateway units by 6:40 which is 100% guaranteed to be stronger than whatever Terran can have at your base by this time.
The only thing that can give you trouble is letting T get bunkers before 6:40. A bunker takes 40 seconds to complete and most Terran pressure won't hit your base until 6:10 or later, so you'll have plenty of time to clean up with either your 6 unit timing at 6:10 or your 9 unit timing at 6:40. Just make sure to be aware of any sneakily building SCV's near your nexus before the army shows up. If T does a fast tech lab build to defend an early bunker with concussive shell marauders, pull 4 probes and kill the push at 5:40.
Whenever you feel comfortable, you can get a robo and go for either the CreatorPrime double forge style, an immortal push, or a colossus push. Alternatively, if you think T is expanding behind the push, you can add 2-4 (5-7 total) more gates and go for a gateway counter. Another option is to get a forge for +1 armor and go chargelot/archon. I don't recommend teching straight to storm quickly as it may come out too late and get you killed against a medivac all-in follow-up.
If you see nothing at the natural and signs point to 1-1-1:
32 zealot (1 chronoboost)
Pull your troops back to your natural. Use your 2 unit warp-in at 6:00 to warp 2 stalkers in to defend your mineral line in your main. Remember to actually put the stalkers IN the mineral line because it's going to be really annoying when hellions drop somewhere you don't expect and get free shots while your stalkers walk over. Build pylons at the normal times, but be sure to spread them to spot incoming drops and banshees. Send a probe to monitor T's natural, and chronoboost 2 observers as soon as your robo finishes.
Take your third gas, and continue warping in stalkers and zealots. You want to prioritize stalkers as gas allows until you have about 6 for harass-defense. After ~6 stalkers, you want to favor zealots as they're better for defeating the eventual push. Keep 3 stalkers in each mineral line until the push comes. Get 3 more gates (total of 5) and cut probe production entirely when you reach ~38 workers.
If it's a normal 1-1-1 with tanks, get an immortal after 2 observers and then spend your next 200 gas on a robo support bay. Having a colossus is important for beating late all-ins at 12:30 or later because the marine ball will get too big with too little surface area to beat it consistently with just zealots+guardian shield. If the push leaves earlier, you can just cancel the support bay to get out a couple extra units. Pull some probes off of gas as you'll mostly need zealots from this point on.
If it's a 2-port banshee all-in, get a forge and a stargate. Cannon the crap out of your natural, get some phoenixes, and then get a support bay if he's just chilling outside your natural. If you have enough cannons, he can't push without tanks, and you'll have a colossus by the time he can start sieging your cannons.
Kill whatever push he sends your way and collect your victory.
If it's cloaked banshee into expansion instead of an all-in, do a 2 colossus timing with thermal lance.
If you scout gasless FE:
35 assimilator (third assimilator is obviously at natural)
At 6:10, warp in a zealot and a sentry and start +1 armor. Fill 2nd and 3rd assimilators. Continue hitting your warp-gate cycles right on time--you're staying on 2 gates for a LONG time and you can't afford to cut production. Your 6:40 warp-in cycle will also be a zealot and a sentry, and then all subsequent warp-ins will be zealots only. Constantly build probes, zealots, pylons and always keep your forge chronoboosted.
You should have your first free 150 minerals at approximately 7:20--build a twilight council and start +1 weapons.
Sit your zealot/sentry army at your natural and keep your stalker active on the map. Hold a watchtower and scout his front. If you don't see a marauder by 8 minutes, get a robo because he could be getting 2-base cloaked banshees.
Note that having the stalker out on the map is important for scouting naked barracks marine pushes. You can get a few potshots with the stalker, and then pull back to crush the marines with zealots, forcefields and guardian shield. Assuming you haven't missed your warp-in cycles, as long as you see it coming to get your forcefields ready, you'll crush the push and take a huge lead. Off of 2 gate zealot production, I've defended as many as 6 naked rax of marines, and for smaller 4 rax pushes, I'm somtimes able to clean up the marines without losing a unit. I win basically 100% of the time when T does one of these misguided attacks.
When the twilight council finishes, build a templar archives and take your 4th gas. Start charge at 200 gas and chronoboost it twice. Start storm with your next 200 gas and chronoboost it to completion. Spend any extra chronoboost on your forge. Your next 450 gas will go to 2 templar and +2 armor--get them in order each time you reach 150 gas.
You will have charge, storm, 2 templar with 75 energy, and +1/+1 with +2 armor on the way by 10:30 or earlier. This timing is very important because the 2 medivac timing that every Terran does off of gasless FE hits at about 10:30. If you have your tech and upgrades done on time, assuming decent control, you'll be able to crush the push solidly.
Note that the spending between 8 and 10 minutes is very gas-heavy. This leaves you with a surplus of minerals which you will spend on gateways and a third nexus in some order. The third nexus will be dropped between approximately 10:00 and 10:30.
In general, I recommend getting to 6 gateways as you warp in your 1st 2 templar and then starting your third nexus. This is good on a map like Shakuras Plateau where the third base is kind of far away, and it gets the nexus started shortly before 10:30. Alternatively, you can take your third nexus after your 4th gate which gets the nexus timing into the lower 10's. This is good for maps with a relatively close third like Cloud Kingdom. On Entombed Valley, you can actually take the third nexus off of 2 gates under 10 minutes.
After you have 6 gates and your third base started, build a robo when resources allow, and then add 4 more gates up to a total of 10. By about 13 minutes, you should be out on the map holding a central watch tower with 1 templar in each base for drop defense. Take 2 probes and build pylons all over the map. 1 probe should build probes in areas that will be useful to reinforce your army and the other should build pylons all over for map vision.
When your robo finishes, build an observer and then a warp prism. The warp prism is there to distract your opponent's focus so that you can get storms off on his main army before he EMP's. Your army at 12-14 minutes should be out on the map threatening to attack before the prism hits the field, and you'll be plenty strong to attack if you can gain a good position (try sneaking a few zealots around to his third to pull his troops out of position and distract his focus), but the warp prism can go a long way toward winning you a good jump for an attack. I recommend putting 1 HT and 1 probe in the prism so that you can support your chargelot drop with a storm and you can beef up your warp-in options by dropping pylons in his bases.
This part of the game will feel hectic. You'll often find yourself dropping his main, attacking his third or fighting over a watch tower, and defending your bases from drops all at the same time.
While you're doing all of this, make sure to start +2 weapons, +3 armor and then +3 weapons on time. It's very easy to forget to keep upgrading, so don't be afraid to queue them up ahead of time. It's bad to queue, but it's worse to not upgrade.
After starting +2 weapons, you'll want to think about taking a fourth and adding a robo support bay. The timing on the support bay will depend on the game. In general, it will come while +2 weapons is researching and about the same time that you take your 4th base. If he has a lot of ghosts and you can't get much done with HT, get colossi before your 4th. If your fights are going well and you're thinning out his ghost count, you can delay colossi to take a fourth while you punish his low ghost count with zealot/archon.
For the colossus transition, I don't recommend waiting till you see too many ghosts and then making a 180 degree turn to double robo colossus. I tried that quite a bit, but I found myself dying a lot just before the colossi came out. A smoother transition with single robo colossus production while you're still doing decently well with zealot/archon/templar is much more effective. That way, you'll find that you just have 2 colossi sitting at home when you need to defend a big push, or you'll bring those 2 colossi to the front at just the right time to tip the scales for the last fight.
I don't think there are any hard counters to this build. General PvT weaknesses still apply tho.
If a Terran does a harass variant that I'm not familiar with, sometimes that will knock me off my game. Really well-executed 111's are always hard to stop.
And of course, a really good multi-tasking Terran will beat me and my 100 APM.
Also, Shattered Temple is a little too small to do my 1 gate FE safely, so there are some pressure builds that counter this build on small maps.
How does this build compare/contrast with other PvT builds already posted on the strategy forum?
This build is basically the polar opposite of the Turtle Toss double forge style. If you're used to CreatorPrime style PvT, you'll find that this build will put you out on the map more with an ability to set the pace for the match. You'll enjoy how much easier it will be to defend drops, but you'll miss the 18 minute a-move at 200/200 with +3/+3 where the Terran just dies.
Fast Third with blink/charge
These builds aren't terribly far apart in terms of general strategy. The Fast Third build gets a third nexus about 2 minutes earlier, but has greatly delayed upgrades and templar tech. If you're used to the Fast Third style, you'll enjoy my build's relative strength against the 2 medivac timing and how the earlier upgrades and storms let you push the Terran around in the 10-15 minute window, but you'll miss the sheer size of the force that you can get off of a third nexus at 8 minutes (or sometimes even earlier).
Reversible Jacket Build--aka Templar + Warp Prism Style
My current strategy steals its early build order when responding to gasless FE from the Reversible Jacket build. The builds have obvious similarities, but my current strategy differs in that it responds to Terran gas builds with more conventional responses, and against gasless FE, it gets a later robo, leans less heavily on warp prism tactics, and skips the dark shrine in favor of a stronger army with earlier colossi and more high templar and archons. If you're used to my Reversible Jacket build, you'll find that this strategy more easily asserts map control at ~12 minutes, is more able to win fights when Terran is not distracted, and doesn't flop over and die if Terran holds your pressure and counters with a bunch of ghosts. But you'll miss the sheer joy of killing 30 workers and then watching your dark templar strut into the Terran base just as he calls down 6 MULES....
How to play against this style as Terran:
This build is designed to shut down drops efficiently so that P can take map control and play aggressively. The common TvP metagame revolves around doing damage with drops to a turtling Protoss player, and since chargelot/templar shuts down drops really hard, this build takes the bite out of Terran's greatest strength.
Upgrades are the key to beating this strategy. I get a 5:20 forge and constantly chronoboost upgrades, but I stay on 1 forge for the whole game. A fast-upgrading Terran can beat me to 3-3. Matching or beating me on upgrades enables Terran to defend my drops efficiently and contest map control. Also, a timely third base is critical. If Terran doesn't have his third up by 12 or 13 minutes when I'm pushing out on the map, he's in trouble.
http://drop.sc/129139 -- botched my z/s poke, but held 2 rax comfortably anyway. transitioned to zealot/archon
http://drop.sc/129138 -- botched my z/s even worse, then held naked 6 rax. +1 armor makes zealots invincible vs marines
http://drop.sc/129137 -- by-the-book win vs gasless FE
http://drop.sc/129136 -- didn't hold tower and misread reactor 2 rax as 111. lost more than I should have as a result, but won with 2 colossus timing
http://drop.sc/129135 -- again misread reactor 2 rax as 111 and lost more than I should have as a result. did good econ damage with immortal timing. turned into a crazy game. highly recommended for entertainment value.
http://drop.sc/129134 -- by-the-book win vs gasless FE
http://drop.sc/129133 -- vs gasless FE. botched my approach to his base and lost my whole army at 12 minutes. won the game 2 minutes later with the send some zealots to his third and the storm down his army when he looks away trick.
http://drop.sc/129132 -- vs gasless FE. a little sloppy, but a win's a win
http://drop.sc/129146 -- vs gasless FE. didn't play well and was fighting lag, but came out on top.