|| This strategy has been validated to work for patch 1.5.3.
The goal of this build is to get a fast Zealot/Stalker combination to press early-game Zerglings away from your natural expansion and to pressure a Zerg player who chooses not to get the Metabolic Boost upgrade quickly. This is followed up with a Nexus and two more Gateways. You will need good unit micro in order to pressure the Zerg player as effectively as possible, and you will also need good multi-tasking in order to place down infrastructure whilst microing the Zealot/Stalker combination against Zerglings. You must also be able to diligently scout the Zerg player so that you know the timing of their Zergling speed upgrade in order to pull this opening off.
The Zealot/Stalker pressure is incredibly important as it can allow you to pull ahead of the Zerg player very early into the game. You usually get a free Overlord kill with the early Stalker (especially if you check common Overlord scouting paths), you can force extra Zerglings to be produced instead of early Drones, or you can force a Spine Crawler to be built at the Zerg's natural expansion. Sometimes you can get all three.
Basic Build Order
| Basic Build
- 9 Pylon
- 13 Gateway
- 15 Assimilator
- 16 Pylon
- @100% Gateway: Cybernetics Core
- 19 Zealot
- @100% Cybernetics Core: Stalker, Warpgate Research
- @100 Minerals: Pylon
- @100% Stalker: Sentry
- @400 Minerals: Nexus
- Cut Probe Production
- @300 Minerals: 2x Gateway
- Resume Probe Production
- Assimilator (2)
- ↑ Chronoboost Probes twice after this finishes.
- ↑ Chronoboost once.
- ↑ Chronoboost until done.
- ↑ At the bottom of your ramp, or at your natural choke.
- ↑ Constantly produce Sentries until Warpgate Research is complete.
- ↑ Use to make wall at natural expansion.
You need to know when to return to your Natural Expansion with the Zealot and Stalker. Speedlings are the real danger as they can catch up with and kill both your Stalker and your Zealot. A Zerg opponent can have Zergling speed finished 3 minutes and 15 seconds after their first Extractor is built. Knowing this, you should know when your opponent cannot have Zergling speed and so know when it is safe to continue your pressure. You absolutely need to be back at your own base before this time hits! If you lose your first Stalker (the Zealot is probably okay to lose) it's going to be hard to defend with only a couple of Sentries.
For reference, a Speedling Expand will have Zergling speed done around 5 minutes 15 seconds. If you do not see a Speedling Expand then it can be advantageous to build Stalkers instead of Sentries in order to continue your pressure longer.
- Short Rush Distances: Your Zealot/Stalker poke will get to the Zerg expansion quicker and will be able to stay longer before having to go home (e.g. Xel'Naga Caverns).
- 9-Tile Choke At Natural: A Pylon and 2 Gateways will form a wall with a single hex gap, which can then be blocked by a Zealot. This will make it very hard for a Speedling counterattack to deny your fast expansion and is therefore incredibly beneficial (e.g. Cloud Kingdom).
- Large rush distances: Your Zealot/Stalker poke will take longer to get to the Zerg expansion and will not be able to stay as long before having to go home (e.g. Tal'Darim Altar).
- Open Natural: Makes it harder to wall-off the natural expansion, thus making Speedling counterattacks harder to defend against (e.g. Metalopolis).
Replays and VODs
|| Example of this opening taken from CecilSunkure's replay pack.
| Date: 2011-12-16
| Patch: 1.4.2