PVP: General strategy


General Tips PVP:

Early Game

Be Opportunistic and Aggressive

If you build you use a double gate build (10 gate, 12 gate, 15 pylon), you must Zealot rush. Do not let your Zealots build up on your choke. Besides slowing down your tech, you're not even utilizing the opportunity to kill a fast-teching enemy.

If you scout that his tech is behind yours, move out with your first one/two Dragoons. You're probably not to kill anything, not even a Zealot, but you will be harassing him, which can throw him off his game.

If you plan on Dark Templar rushing him, build an assimilator on top of his vespene mine. Possibly warping it in after it dies several times, this can seriously slow down his tech, and let you get DT before he gets observers. If you're quick your Probe should live infinitely against melee Zealots, and since he has no gas, he can never get ranged goons. Abuse that.

Be Macro Oriented, Sacrifice Other Aspects

Get your second Gateway quickly, normally before your cybernetics core is totally warped in. Don't tech in every which way. If you're going to use reavers don't warp in Citadel, concentrate on getting those Reavers fast, and pumping Dragoons. Don't worry about your peon count or a forge, or a citadel, or anything. Concentrate on Macro.

Set yourself up for that second expo, which will really pump up your macro. Get the largest number of goons at the quickest possible time. If you want to expo before your enemy, and be able to defend it, cut off your peon production (a estimate of when you should do this is, if you're doing a normal build: 10-15 supply before you expo) This will raise your PVP skill up inestimably, and is a real difference between great players and good players.

Macro out of two gates. While you might think that three gates will speed up goon production before your expo it really does the opposite: the investment of 150 minerals in another gateways being wasted because you will not be able to support that third gate. This of course assumes your goal is to play the game for more than 10 minutes--otherwise build a third gate, stop peons and rush him, containing him, or killing him when he tries to expo.

Be Smart, Understand What You're Doing

Basically this means only take risks when you mean to. If you want to vulnerize yourself to DT's, do so because you want to pump goons out of three gates like a mad-man, not because you forgot to build a robotics bay. If you want to early expo, do so out of desire, don't do it because you forgot a pylon and have built up minerals. Knowing what you want to do helps you execute better. If you want, and plan to pump goons like a madman, stop your peons, add a forge for attack, whatever, since you know what you want to do you can do it better.

If you're going to take a risk (like fast speed zeal, crazy reaver attack, fast forge(s), early expo, etc...), understand the risks you have opened yourself up too. Minimize the most probable of them. If you're going an early expo it is more unlikely he will reaver drop you, than it is that he'll just rush you with goons. Thus make sure your goon count is high.


One of the many values of scouting is knowing off a rush. In PVP knowing, or not knowing when a rush is coming can win or lose you a game. If you see a robotics bay, no expo, and low peon count/discontinued peon pump, then you stop your peons, don’t expo, and get ready to stop the reaver siege. In the case of the reaver hit make sure to flank. Normally he won’t go for your main mineral field because if it was a hard rush, he doesn’t have observers yet, and for all he knows he could be running into 5 goons. Thus focus mostly on your defending the attack, not defending your minerals. In other cases of rush, like mass goon or upgrades, watch when he expoes, and don’t leave your choke. If you have to expo to keep up then keep some goons on the ledge overlooking the immediate gulley in range of possible attackers in order to give yourself the optimum defense. If he’s hard rushing you can afford to fall behind in the expo a little bit because he is behind on peons.

Mid Game

Upgrades are Key

Upgrades are one of the most key parts of mid-game, along with templars, and observers. While early game they were nice for a rush, mid-game they are a necessity. Even if templar archives were solely for +2 attack, it would be exponentially more advantageous to have it, than not. Simple mathematics lead you to this conclusion. For the price of about 1 goon you can get +1 attack. Multiply the attack bonus times the number of goons and you'll be doing allot more damage than adding that 1 goon would've done. Attack is the key upgrade this match up, but double forging for armor mid-game isn't the worst thing ever.

Naturally you'll need zeal speed, and storm upgrades, maybe even shuttle speed.

Attain Superior Positioning and Win

Unit positition is more crucial in PVP than it is in any other PV matchup. Earlier on Goon containing him in a semi-circle position under his ramp can work, but reaver drops, and reaver range make this tactic pretty weak, and this is represented in its basic non-existence in pro-play. Mid-game, however, positioning can be the deciding factor in a game. While you must always be aware of Reaver drops mid game, placing your units in front of his naturals choke, and unable to stop them, is still effective. Placing your units outside his main has many advantages: Since you're directly above his choke you have more room for your goons. Since he is in his choke he has less room for his goons. Thus you will have more goons firing at his goons, even if you have less goons than him.

Be aware that the best way to break this is with templars. You must, then, at some point in the game, when you sense or scout he has templars and storm, move your goons away from this liability. This, though, does not make keeping your men close to his base useless. On the contrary you should still set up a spectacular flank outside his base. Just make sure you have observers, and watch the mini-map carefully: You don't want him moving some of his troops out and attacking one third of your flank, and getting positioning back. If you watch your flank carefully, and time your attack move right, you should still be delivering much more damage than him, even if he has more troops. This is because: 1 You flanked him right outside his choke and not all his goons can fire. 2. His middle goons and zealots cant' fire because they're stuck in the middle.

Finally if you find yourself out-gunned, and at positions like 12-3/3-12, use the walls of Lost Temple to help you. There should be a wall right before your base: Lure him through it and use the room to allow more of your goons to fire than his can, because of the tiny space.

Finally if you find yourself out-gunned, and at positions like 12-3/3-12, use the walls of Lost Temple to help you. There should be a wall right before your base: Lure him through it and use the room to allow more of your goons to fire than his can, because of the tiny space.

Finally, if you either are watching out for reavers drops more, or are unsure of your superior troop count, at least set up a flank outside your base. You can even use the large temple opening as a choke of sorts.

About Peons

A lot of PVP is based on peon count. If he you are being attacked, and it looks like you’re going to lose, stop production. If you’re going to win, pump constantly, and get ready to expo. If you ever lose probes, to reavers or templar drops, build them constantly. Even if this detracts to other fields of your game, like macro, or unit control, peons are worth the negatives.

On the other hand, don’t get carried away. If you are planning to hit the punk hard with 5 gate fast speed zeal, then don’t pump peons. Don’t go too far into mid-game pumping peons. First you’re going to want to stop production at main, then your expo. Only restart pumping peons when you start warping in another nexus, in which case switch your 0 hotkey to that new nexus and pump from there.

PVP is a game of peons, knowing when to stop, and knowing when to start.


I wrote this in word, and it has about 5000 too many characters to fit on one page, so I have to split it up and double post (sorry mods/admins!)


The first mid-game harass you must is the goon cliff, to employ simply drop two goons on his cliff in range of his peons. Without an enemy observer, and with some basic micro, you should be able to live up there forever pounding on his peons, or forcing him to retreat them. If your goons are taking too much fire, just micro them about and come from different angles. Once you see the shuttle, pick up and move out. If you scouted a shuttle and no robotics bay, you should be watching both for reavers and for this. Thus you should cover your minerals and build a shuttle, which otherwise. To defend the only way is really to have an observer on your ledge and pound them, while waiting for a shuttle of your own, retreating your peons should only be done as a last ditch thing.

A strong mid-game harass you have to worry about is reavers. They can doom you early, they can doom you now. To employ this simply add tech to reavers a little after nexus warps in (or get them to defend the warping nexus). Get speed, and fly around the map annoying the hell out of the enemy P. Never do anything suicidal like you might in PVP. This shuttle can and should live to be used in battle, when he, if your harass has done its job well, will be raring to engage in, because knowing he’s behind in peons, he’ll want to kill you now, before you can bring up a bigger army than his, because of a superior economy.

The best harass in PVP is the mighty templar harass. To employ simply load up your shuttle up with templars, and if you still have room add either DT’s or zealots. Fly around the map, with or without speed (it’s not necessary) and cause utter havoc. Make sure to drop the templars by click on the portrait so to not cause your shuttle to be an obstruction to your quick selection of the templar. If you just drop all, you won’t be able to select the templar and they’ll have time to evacuate the peons. To defend you either need to intercept the shuttle, have good reflexes, or intuit where he’s going to storm. If you get hit you must build peons. Also try to intercept the retreating shuttle. Watch for the shuttle to swoop to your natural from your main and vice versa. Note: a DT and templar shuttle can win a game.

If you lose peons, regardless to the harass, make building them back your number one priority.


If you see a lot of goons, and not a lot of lot (...), then make fast storm a priority. Conversely if you see a lot of speed zeal then don’t venture out of your base until you have speed zeal of your own, or ideally some archons and maybe storm. Another counter for a lot of early zeal is reavers, both to harass and defend. For reavers definitely for more than two, but even for just a shuttle-load, you should make storm a priority, because it obliterates the slow reavers. For DT have observers. For templars, the only counter is templars, and fast storms on his, while your army retreats.


Throw a DT into the mix, if you catch your enemy without an observer make sure to target priorities like templars and reavers.

If in contain position put your templars near the front line as to storm without being blocked by your horde of other units.

If you have an early shuttle ferry a peon up to your cliff and build some pylons. They will serve as early warning of harass, and dissuade goon drops. They sometimes also make a templar/reaver harasser think twice, because he assumes you have foreknowledge of the drop.


Mid-game you need upgrades, you need templar storm, you need speed zeal, you might need archon, you need an observer on your ledge and with your army, you might need a shuttle, you need a second expo, you need to know what he’s doing, you might need cannons.

Late Game

Late-game is just a continuation of mid-game, at least on the lost temple (on other maps, mostly larger ones, carriers are often employed successfully, and that is usually not the case on lt). You should have 3+ attack, and be constantly upgrading your armor and shields. A double forge isn’t a bid idea. You must have templar, but you had to have them in mid-game anyway so this is moot. You should employ templar harass now, which you might or might not have done mid-game. Look for your fourth total expo—another main, or even an island. Grab all the geysers you can to pump templars and archons. Arbiters are cute, but usually a waste of gas. Position is still important, but unless you’ve been camping in front of his main since mid-game it will be tough to grab, as troop counts should be see-sawing now. You should only pump peons at your new expoes, but you should pump them constantly there until about 25. DT drops can be devastating. Keep probes scouting all the bases, if you have to let him have one, let him, but don’t let him cannon up a cliff without you knowing about it. My PVP’s and PVP’s in general don’t often go to late game (40 + minutes) thus my experience is limited.

Basic Principles

--Both hotkey and use hotkeys. In tandem they’re the only to way to macro while microing. An example of a hotkey layout (and my particular layout) is:

0 & 9 Nexus’s

3 to 8 Gateways

1 to 2 Units, then replacing Gateways with units as needed

1 or 3 Shuttle

--Macro > Micro. Prioritize them as such.

--Do not double queue unless the previous unit is just about to finish. If you have excess minerals you should’ve already built a Gateway awhile ago.


10-11 Gate
12 Gate
13 Gas
14 Zealot
16 Pylon


BattleForums Senior Member
It's not double posting if you run out of room :D

Hawt strategies.. post some ZvP so Snagg stops saying Zerg are defenseless against Protoss players :p


Renzokuken said:

Seriously, i enjoyed reading that, kudos to you.
Thanks man. I might write some good stuff, but it would be of lower quality since I am a P player. Who knows though, I write guides about the stupidest things.


BattleForums Senior Member
Master_America said:
Yeah.. I'd like to see some Zerg strategies of that quality.
Neverborn's zerg vs terran guide is a nice read.

Anyway, good work, Blizz. My pvp seems to be lacking compared my other mus.


BattleForums Senior Member
-Azrael666- said:
It's not double posting if you run out of room :D

Hawt strategies.. post some ZvP so Snagg stops saying Zerg are defenseless against Protoss players :p
Please, zvp is all about abusing the mu imbalance. It's relatively easy. Just ignore that Snagg character. His claim is just ridiculous. If you're still looking for a guide, you can search for one. I think Satanik might've written one.


Phoenix2003 said:
Neverborn's zerg vs terran guide is a nice read.

Anyway, good work, Blizz. My pvp seems to be lacking compared my other mus.
Thanks. It's a pretty easy matchup to understand though so once you get the hang of it it becomes pretty easy.