+1 Speedzealot (vs Zerg)

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[e][h]Protoss +1 Speedzeal
Speedzeal.png
Strategy Information
Matchups:
PvZ
Type:
Opening

Overview[edit]

The "+1 Speedzealot" Build Order enables the Protoss to prepare a timed attack with Zealots after opening with a Fast Expansion. The timing attack is designed to hit a careless Zerg before he has units to deal with Zealots and their +1 Weapon and speed upgrades. However, in modern Protoss vs. Zerg this timing attack is anticipated by most Zerg Build Orders. Therefore, Protoss needs to judge whether or not this strategy will be blocked or not, depending on the maps and the opening of Zerg.


Build Order[edit]

The "+1 Speedzealot" Build Order uses a Fast Expansion. The timing of the Build might change, depending on the scouting information. The exemplary Build uses a 14 Nexus timing.


"14 Nexus FE & +1 Speedzealot" Help icon.png
Picon.png
  • 8 - Pylon at Natural Expansion[1]
  • 10 - Forge[2]
  • 14 - Nexus[3]
  • 14 - Photon Cannon[4]
  • 16 - Gateway at Natural Expansion
  • 16 - Assimilator at Main Base
  • @100% Nexus: Zealot[5][6]
  • @100% Assimilator - gather Vespene Gas
  • 21 - Cybernetics Core
  • @100 Gas - +1 Ground Weapon Upgrade in Forge
  • 24 - Pylon in Main Base[7]
  • 27 - Citadel of Adun
  • two more Gateways[8]
  • @100% Citadel - Speedupgrade
  • second Assimilator at Natural Expansion[9]
  • Constant Zealot production[10]
  • @100% Legspeed - Attack[11]
  • Templar Archive
  1. Probe is sent to scout
  2. Building placement should be done carefully. More information is available in the Protoss Fast Expand Forge Walling article
  3. The Nexus can be build at 13 Supply on some maps like Longinus
  4. Number of Cannons depends on the scouted behaviour of Zerg. More Zerglings mean a second Cannon, build order following needs to be changed in this scenario
  5. Zealots will be trained constantly from the first Gateway
  6. One single Dragoon can be built first to kill a scouting Overlord. This is optional
  7. Pylon needs space, as Gateways will be built around it
  8. A third Gateway can be added to train more Zealots. To do so, the Probe production must be stopped from here on and resumed when the attack starts
  9. Resume Probe production if you built a third Gateway after the Citadel
  10. Pylons must be added to avoid supply blocks
  11. Speedupgrade and +1 Weapons should finish at the same time, 8 - 12 Zealots should be ready

Execution[edit]

The execution of this Build Order is straight forward. The Protoss follows the Build and tries to train as much Zealots as possible before the Speed and the +1 Ground Weapon Upgrades finish. Shortly before both finish (around 95%) the Protoss moves out and tries to attack the Zerg base. If he hits the timing correctly, the Zerg has not enough units to block the attack completely and can be overpowered in ideal scenarios. Regardless, the Protoss needs to deal a relatively big amount of damage before he either retreats or the Zealots are lost.

For the attack the Protoss can either try to take out a Zerg expansion completely, or in cases in which enough static defenses are in place, attempt a runby into the Main Base. In rare cases the entire army can be exchanged against a Hatchery or expensive tech buildings. The trade off needs to be done with care, as the Zerg will most likely be still able to counter. Any following counter should be delayed as long as possible, to buy time to adapt to the changed situation.

Transitions[edit]

Depending on the damage the initial +1 Speedzealot Attack has dealt, Protoss can use different follow ups. One aims to expand safely to a third base (in addition to the Natural Expansion and Main Base), while the second option aims to gain air superiority. Both possible transitions are identical with the Basic Build until the step "@100% Leg Speed - Attack".


"Option 1: Expand" Help icon.png
Picon.png
  • Basic Build
  • @100% Leg Speed - Attack
  • @200 Vespene Gas - Templar Archives
  • @100% Templar Archives - 1 Dark Templar and 2 High Templar
  • @~95% +1 Ground Attack - 2 Gateways
  • @100% High Templar - Psionic Storm Upgrade
  • @100% 2 Gateways - 5 Dragoons[1]

Lurkers are out
  • Robotics Facility
  • Observatory
  • third Nexus[2]
  • 3 more Gateways

No Lurkers are out
  • third Nexus[2]
  • 3 more Gateways
  • Robotics Facility
  • Observatory

  1. Stop Probe production
  2. 2.0 2.1 Resume Probe Production

The expansion build is self explaining. While the Zealots try to harass or kill the Zerg, the Protoss tries to expand a second time to a third base. Ideally, the Zealots distract the Zerg until the third Nexus is up and safe. If Lurkers are used to counter the Zealot attack, Protoss should delay the expansion a bit and add Observers to his army first. Depending on the Zerg reaction, Protoss will switch to a Dragoon/Zealot/High Templar army mix.


"Option 2: Air Superiority" Help icon.png
Picon.png
  • Basic Build
  • @100% Legspeed - Attack
  • @300 Gas - two Stargates[1]
  • @200 Gas - Templar Archives
  • Dark Templar and constant Corsair Production
  1. Stop Probe production

The second possible transition, often referred to as Jangbi Variation, is a mid-game all-in. The Corsair/Dark Templar follow up try to destroy a Zerg, who did not counter with Mutalisks. If performed correctly, the Zealots will counter Hydralisks off four or five Hatches, while the Corsairs kill the Overlords. If Zerg tried to counter with Lurkers, the Overlords are still vulnerable. A following Dark Templar harassment should deal great damage to Zerg.

If Protoss misses to deal enough damage with this transition, he is in a greater disadvantage, as he can't take a third base easily.

Counters[edit]

The Build Order was a rather popular strategy before sAviOr started to reign over Protoss. He efficiently combined macro oriented openings with advanced building placement at expansion spots. The incoming speed Zealots usually hit at a time frame in which Zerg only has Zerglings without the +1 Carapace Upgrade or relatively few Hydralisks. Most 3 Hatchery openings are therefore vulnerable to this kind of timing. However, since sAviOr and other Zerg could now wall themselves in effectively, the Zealot harass could be defended without greater losses. Either Lurkers or Mutalisks could then contain the Protoss long enough for Zerg to build up a massive army or take expansions safely.

Furthermore, two Hatchery Build Orders rushing for either Lurkers or Mutalisks usually counter this strategy efficiently, as both units will be ready shortly before the Protoss can launch an attack.

The Build Order might still be used in rare scenarios as reaction to Zerg openings. In modern Protoss vs. Zerg, the Zerg usually opens with a so-called Neo Sauron Opening, expanding not only to his Natural Expansion, but also to a third base. On maps where the Zerg can't block an early Zealot attack the +1 Rush remains an option. However, the Build Order will be increasingly harder to perform the more experienced a Zerg is. It's nearly impossible to hide the underlying intention of the Build Order, as Scouting Overlords can not be chased away efficiently. The spinning Forge also indicates the +1 Ground Weapon Upgrade and thus is a clear indicator of this strategy. The lack of Corsairs are the last alarm sign for Zerg, which give away the incoming Zealots. Consequently, if this strategy is used, the Protoss has to hit his timings perfectly and deal a maximum of damage to his opponent if he hopes to win.


Notable Maps[edit]

This build works best on maps with larger entrances to the Zerg Natural Expansion and short travelling distances

  • Python
  • Longinus
  • Tau Cross (if Zerg does not take another Natural Expansion)
  • Circuit Breakers (if Zerg does not take another Natural Expansion as third base)
  • Outsider (allows to use a Gateway first Expansion and offers more Zealots with almost the same timing)

Notable Games[edit]

Strategy Example Game
Colosseum South Korea Picon small bw.png JangBi Jangbi uses his Jangbi Strategy; aka double Stargate // Dark Templar.
South Korea Zicon small bw.png Calm
Date: 2009-07-19
Patch: 08-09 Proleague Playoffs Round 1 Super Ace VOD


References[edit]