PVZ Guide

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PVZ is the most difficult matchup for protoss, at least for most players. The reason why is that, overall, protoss requires the least unit control of the three races. With zerg, if your concentrations lapses for a second, you're fragile units quickly turn into pools of blood. With terran, you have to set up intricate sieges; attack moving is suicide. But with protoss, for PVP and PVT, you basically position your troops in the right way, attack click, and do some basic micro tricks like run zealots up to tanks. Therefore, you're not used to tossing down storms on squirmy groups of hydra, and preventing zealots from running into a group of lings on the outskirts of a battle, which are things you routinely have to do PVZ.

Basically, PVZ, you can either opt for a tech build, or a zealot rush build. Most players, especially beginners--though it is in now way the inferior strategy--zealot rush. There are many variations. You can 9 and 11 gate, you can 10 and 10 gate, you can 10 and 12 gate. Each has it's advantages. The 9 and 11 allows you to get your first zealot into his base a little faster, so if he 11 pooled, you can hit his drones a bit. The 10 and 10 lets your two zealots come at about the same time, giving a strong intial punch. The 10 and 12 is the basic opening, and lets you get your first zealot out with good time, and gives you some punch later on. For the purposes of this guide, I will assume you used the 10 and 12 gate.

The build, as you might have guessed, is 8 pylon send the probe that built it scouting, 10 gate, 12 gate, 13 zealot, 15 pylon, probe, 2 zealots to make the supply count 20. From here on, your build depends on what your enemy is throwing at you. For instance, if your rush is succesful, you'll want to delay gas and keep the double zealot pump going strong. If it's been quashed, you'll want to retreat back to your choke and add gas.

Now back to the rush. If you see an 11 pool or later, and an expansion to his mineral and gas, then you might want to send 2-3 probes with your first zealot. With some micro, you should be able to keep the first 2, then 4, the 6 (if all the zerglings survive) off your zealot and pushing up against your probes, which are in turn, with the help of the zealot, shredding them. The first two lings will come from the hatchery you're attacking. While you should be nailing the hatchery, keep your probes and zealot (soon to be zealots) around the egg, so that when it hatches, you can switch off the hatchery and just attack move, hopefully nailing at least one ling. The rest will come from his main, and by this time, you should have 3 zealots and still 2-3 probes. If he doesn't overpower you, keep hitting him. The rush doesn't always work so nicely. He might get down a creep colony, and ambush you with lings while you attack that, then dance around the lings while you're chasing them, and the sunken colony morphs in. Maybe you'd prefer the tech build.

The tech build is 8 pylon, 10 gate, 12 gas, 13 zealot, 16 pylon, 18 cybernetics core. Now this build is pretty easy for zerg to scout and identify, because it almost always is a corsair build. If you do want to go corsairs, hide a pylon in a remote corner of your base (the 16 pylon) and put the cybernetics core and stargate there. While zerg will notice a lack of buildings, he might misdiagnose the situation and think you're early expoing, or you were going to cannon rush... or whatever. Before you get out your first corsair you should build a second zealot and a dragoon. This dragoon, with luck, might be able to get the scouting overlord before he sees more then he needs to. If not, make sure to it's leaving trajectory and kill it with the corsair. After your corsair is built, or even while the stargate is warping, add a citadel and a forge. Send your corsair to his main, doing what damage you can, and tech to templar back at your base while cannoning your cliff, then the area beneath it. Once zerg's overlords have grouped around hydralisks or a spore colony, send the overlord to your expansion, and make sure there are no overlords to detect the DT you should now be building. Start your expansion, start storm, and start cannoining. If you've done it right, you might get him to mass hydras and slam against a wall of cannons, storm, and zealots. No dice zergy.

There are other openings, obviously. You can fast tech to templars ala Grrr, you could rush zealots from three gates and get speed (leg speed, not the drug) you could do any number of things. But let's continue on to middle game.

Mid game, Zerg has a plethora of openings to throw at you. The quickest are mass hydralisk and mutalisk rush, so you should prepare for those first. If you have a corsair, you should have no trouble identifying which build he's using, and therefore he'll probably go something plainish... upgrades hydra ling to lurker, lurker contain, something like that. But if you opened with zealotss, you'll be essentially blind. So you have to prepare for just about everything.

To stop mutalisks, and therefore something you have to do every game when you open with zealot rush instead of corsairs, you must cannon your main and morph an archon. Unless you see a good number of hydralisks, and know he's going to hit you when you expand, it's just a neccesary thing. The archon, by the way, comes before the storm. You should also be in the process of expoing. Your cliff should have one cannon, and you should also have a pylon below it. By the time the mutalisks come, your main should have two cannons, and your expansion should have two cannons in front. That won't protect you too much from mutas, but it will stop lurkers. The mutalisks will check out your main, be deterred, then run around hitting your other expo, harrassing stranded templars, spitting at gates, whatever they can do. Keep your archon moving, and if the mutalisk number is growing, add two more templars and morph another archon when possible. If the mutalisk number is shriking, on the other hand, you should add storm and a robotics bay, because he is going to switch tech to lurkers and or drops. Before he does that though, you should have properly d'ed up your main and expo, and be able to move out your troops. He will expand once he switches tech. If you didn't allow the mutas to hurt you too much, you should be able to take out before his undetectable lurkers come and secure it. If you havn't kept your cool, just turtle and play it out.

Now if you've done your basic opening game prepatories (yeah, I don't think it's a word either) the lurkers shouldn't be able to destroy your main. They will be able to contain you, though. If he switched from mutas to lurkers, you shouldn't have allowed yourself to be contained, though. You should have, once your main and expansion were secured with cannons, sent our your troops and harrassed. But if he straight teched, you'll be contained no matter what. Now, if you havn't already, immediately add robotics bay, obviously, for detection. Next, you want to cover your expansion cliff by putting cannons below it, and when able, an observer above the cannons. In some many game, protoss loses because he fails to do this. Zerg will try to cliff you. Be ready to stop him.

Next, you're going to have start range for goons. Start pumping goons and templars. No zealots. That's why the moment you expand to you mineral and gas, you should assim. up, because you need gas. Also, once you have your ob bay, add ob speed. Especially if he switched from mutas, there is a good chance he will also be defending the contain with scourge.

Now you have to break. Put your dragoons in one ctrl group. Your templar in another (keep those two together). And your observers in a third. You can hotkey your zealots also, so when you've killed enough lurkers, you can charge. Harrass the contain. Kill lurkers with dragoons covered by templars. Hydralisk and zerglings will come. When that happens, storm like hell and run back. Keep your obs moving whenever possible, and add sight range. You can't keep picking away at it forever though; at some point, when you think you've killed enough lurkers, you're going to have to charge. If you make a mistake, you lose, but if you win... well you havn't won, but you've officially made it into late game!

General tips for late game:

Do not try to kill him immediatelly with the troops you used to break. Naturally you should expo hunt asap, but you need to expand to your mineral only. If you don't do it fast enough, zerg will wear you down. Leave some zealots and templars. Sometimes he'll attack your expo hunting force all out, but you already erased most of it when you broke. Your main worry is those twelve zergling counter forces sent out to hit your warping nexus at your mineral only.

Upgrade. You'll need 3-3 soon, and soon after that 3-3-3. If not, zerglings will eat you allive, not even mixed with ultra.

After you break, especially if it was late, start morphing archons. He's going to have ultralisks soon. Be ready.

If his mutalisks back at mid game survived, and didn't help defend his contain, then start a stargate. He's saving them for guardians.

The islands can kill you PVZ. Therefore, after you have your mineral only, take them yourself. Or at least the one nearest, and therefore most protectably, to you. Then try for another main.

Add gas at every geyser. You need it for archons, templars, and dts.

Cover every cliff you get with cannons beneath.

Okay, a pretty short pvz guide, but I wanted to write something a little better then the one I did before. Seeya.
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