Double Forge (vs. Terran)

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This strategy has been validated to work for patch 1.5.3.
ProtossDouble Forge
Matchups: PvT
Type: Midgame Build Order
Creator: Creator
Popularized By: Creator
Converted From: CreatorPrime PvT


Overview[edit]

This is a late-game focused build that is usually used after opening with a 1 Gate FE (although you could also use it after a Nexus first opening). The mid-game that you're aiming for focuses around getting upgrades from two Forges whilst Teching up to a Chargelot/Archon/Colossus composition. You'll be defending against pressure with mostly Zealots and Sentries whilst doing this. Because this build is strictly planned out from the start of the game until the ~18 minute mark, it is a very easy build to copy. This makes it an ideal opening for players who want to learn how to play a "macro" style.

Goal[edit]

This build focuses on getting very fast 3/3 upgrades from two Forges so that the Protoss player can force an engagement long before the Terran player can get to 3/3 themselves. Having such a large upgrade advantage will make it very difficult for the Terran player to win these engagements.

Basic Build Order[edit]

General Outline Of The Build[edit]

This guide assumes that you’ve done some type of 1 Gate FE and have infrastructure including 3 Gateways, 1 Robotics Facility and 2 Assimilators. The safest way to get to this state is to use MC's 1 Gate FE. Your opponent must have also expanded using a bio-centric build. This guide will not cover this early game beyond this as there are plenty of guides for 1 Gate FE builds.

The following is a very general outline of the build-based on time and not supply. Do not follow these timings exactly in every game as they heavily depend on reactions to what you scout. If anything, these timings are probably on the early side:

Basic Build
How To: Read Build Orders
  1. Constantly chrono boost these upgrades. Hotkeying your Forges can help you remember to do this.

Reacting To Your Initial Observer Scout[edit]

As your first Observer comes out of your Robotics Facility, time 2 Forges so that they will finish slightly after your Observer gets to their base. This way, you have the option to cancel the Forges if you need to. The following is a list of things you should cancel the Forges against:

  • Marine/Siege Tank/Banshee Play: You will not be able to hold off a 1/1/1 all-in with this build.
  • Mech Play: There are better styles versus mech play. You can keep one Forge for attack upgrades, but Armour upgrades aren't that useful versus mech.
  • Any Type Of All-In: Obviously, if they are going to pull all their SCVs and all-in you, you don’t want upgrades.

From this point, this guide will assume that you’re playing versus some sort of bio build. The key theme for the rest of the mid-game is judging how aggressive your opponent is going to be in the next couple of minutes and making decisions based on your judgement calls. As you first learn this build, you will likely lose a ton of games either because you were too greedy and lost in the next minute or so or weren’t greedy enough and lost 2-3 minutes later.

First, the timing of your gas and your initial unit choices will depend on how aggressive your Terran opponent is being. If they are being very passive with 2+ Bunkers, get faster gas and get your Sentries out first. On the other hand, if they are moving out with a bunch of Marines and Marauders, perhaps for an extremely early Stim timing-attack, stick on a more Zealot/Stalker composition whilst delaying your gases. Once your first Observer finally gets into their base, you will be able to see their infrastructure. The whole theme of the rest of the build is to react to what your Observer sees by getting the appropriate response JUST in time to deal with the next incoming threat.

Standard Terrans will have 3 Barracks with add-ons at around this timing. Look for anything out of the ordinary, such as a Ghost Academy, two Engineering Bays, additional Barracks, a fast Factory or a 3rd Command Centre. The existence of any one of these things should prompt different reactions:

  • Fast Factory: This is the most standard Terran build. Cut units to get as fast a Twilight Council and additional 3 Gateways, even before you start any Immortals. Your opponent is rushing for Medivacs, so they will not be attacking you until they get Medivacs. Your goal should be to have 1/1 done, Blink almost done, 6 Gateways ready and 4-6 Stalkers in position to deflect drops by the time they can pressure you with their first 2 Medivacs. This pressure usually comes at around ~10 minutes.
  • Ghost Academy: Be ready for a Ghost push. In addition to your normal reactions vs. Ghosts such as keeping your macro up and spreading your Sentries, you will need a Cannon at the front of your natural. Normally you can hold such a push with a Colossus, Chargelots, or lots of Gateways, but with this style you will have only 3 Gateways and no such Tech finished so a Cannon is required.
  • Extra Barracks: Get ready for a dedicated stim timing-attack. Depending on the timing of the push, you will need either 1 or 2 Cannons. You might have 1/1 finished in time for their attack, but without Cannons 4 or 5 Barracks worth of bio units will still run you over.
  • 3rd CC: No pressure will be coming to you for a while. In addition, their Factory will be late. You should cut units to take your 3rd early and get your important Tech buildings ready all at the same time. Remember to be prepared for extremely strong bio pushes after their 3 base economy kicks in.

Double Engineering Bays: Double Engineering Bays will always be in addition to one of the other options Terran has. If you scout a double Engineering Bay build with your first Observer then that means their other Tech choice will be slowed down so play more greedily.

Execution[edit]

General Mid-Game Notes[edit]

Sentry Count: Creator always sticks to 4 Sentries, never more, never less. Although some PvT macro builds rely on up to 6 Sentries, this shouldn’t be one of them. Force fields should only be used to deny kiting and not to make doughnuts, so you don’t need that many of them. In addition, this build already has very few units in the early-mid game so you want as much of that army as possible to be doing actual damage.

Robotics Facility Use: Creator will always make 2 Observers and then 2 Immortals. Do not go over 2 Immortals with this build as building more than 2 will require that you cut something else from your army, making it weaker overall. After your second Immortal and before your first Colossus, you will have some free Robotics Facility time. Feel free to get a 3rd Observer if you deem it to be worth it.

Blink-First vs. Charge-First: Charge is a great ability for combat, but with sufficient macro, micro, unit composition, and upgrades, you will be able to hold off any pushes that can occur until Colossi are out on the field. Blink, on the other hand, is required to deal with drops because your unit count will be very low. This makes Blink more of a priority.

Terran Upgrade Timings: It’s very important to keep track of the Terran’s upgrades. This can be done by scouting their Engineering Bay timing and clicking on their units as much as possible. Do your best not to engage when you’re even on upgrades; try to pick fights when you’re 3 or 4 upgrades ahead.

Colossus Timing: There comes a point in basically all PvT games where no matter how great your upgrades are, you will not beat an equal supply Terran army without AoE. This point comes at around 130 supply. Thus it’s very important that you don’t overcommit to Gateway/Immortal and get your first Colossus out at an appropriate time.

Third Timings: You will not want to expand to a third until you’ve scouted your opponent has taken a third unless you’re way ahead. You will need every unit you can get to hold pushes and you can’t really afford to spread too thin vs. drop play. Don’t be afraid of the Terran getting an economical advantage because as long as you start your 3rd Nexus within a minute of theirs, you should be fine as your upgrades can carry you through the late-game.

Mid-Late Game[edit]

Colossi Count: Creator switches back to Immortals after about 3 Colossi. This is to prevent over-countering of Colossi by Vikings. If you make too many Colossi and your opponent makes enough Vikings to counter, you will lose to a properly spread Terran army even if they are 2 upgrades behind you. On the other hand, Immortals in small numbers are very effective against a Terran who switches into Marauder heavy play to counter Colossi.

Hide Your Colossi Count: If you don’t have to show Colossi, don’t. Because you have both High Templar and Colossi Tech-routes easily available to you, the Terran has to scout for both options. Force them to spend as many resources as possible scouting for your Tech transition. In addition, if you can delay them scouting the Colossi early enough, you might be able to force them into building a second Starport for additional Viking production!

Finish 3/3 Before Getting Shield Upgrades: Some people will argue that getting +1 Shields before +3 Armor is a good idea because this increases the time that your Forges can be used. However, this is the wrong choice. 3/3 upgrades should finish around the same time you max out, giving you an incredibly strong timing window that you'll want to utilise. In addition, Shield upgrades are much less useful in the face of EMPs.

Archon or High Templar?: Generally, you want to choose Archons instead of High Templar in your unit composition. There are 3 main problems with High Templar in this unit composition. First of all, your biggest advantage with this style are your upgrades, and these don’t affect the damage output of High Templar. Second, if your opponent somehow gets really good EMPs off, your Templar will be useless and will have to be morphed into Archons anyway. The third problem is timing. With this build, a large chunk of your gas will be going into upgrades and Colossi, so by the time you can start Psionic Storm you will already be at 160-170 supply. This means that by the time Psionic Storm finishes, you will be maxed out with just 4-6 High Templar when you could've maxed out sooner (and hit a strong 3/3 timing) by building Archons.

Delay Your Fights: Wait until you have 3/3 and you're getting close to max before engaging unless you’re confident you can win a fight. The bigger the armies, the more one sided fights are when one side has superior upgrades. For example, 10 Zealots with 1/1 will beat 10 Zealots with 0/0 much harder than 1 Zealot with 1/1 will beat 1 Zealot with 0/0.

Late Game: Leveraging Your Upgrade Advantage[edit]

As you get to the late game, you shouldn’t play standard PvT. You should have the upgrade advantage and you should leverage this advantage to force a win. There are 4 main scenarios that you will face after getting to max.

Scenario 1: You Have An Upgrade Advantage Of 4[edit]

If you get to this point with a max army, you have already won. You should just be able to a-move and kill them with Chargelot/Archon/Colossus as your late game army.

Scenario 2a: You Have An Upgrade Advantage Of 2 And Can Force A Fight[edit]

You should be able to win any fights where the Terran isn’t in exceptionally good position. This is the most common late game scenario and there are many ways to use your upgrade advantage in this scenario. This scenario includes situations where the Terran has a 3rd or 4th in a far off location from their other bases or when there is not sufficient Planetary Fortress support at one of their bases.

First, you should be confident in your maxed army, confident that it can take on almost anything the Terran throws at you. When you hit 3/3, your army will be the strongest possible in relation to your opponent’s army, because the upgrade investments will have paid off and you’re only sinking a minimal amount on future Shield upgrades. The only real way to lose a fight at this point is if you fight in an extremely bad position, such as near a Planetary Fortress or against a huge concave. Take map control with your army and try to pick fights if you can. Go threaten any Terran expansion that does not have a Planetary Fortress. Feel free to take early 4ths and 5ths because as long as you can deal with drops well, Terran can’t do anything about them. In addition, just your army presence on the map will deter drops, for the Terran will be in fear of a counter-attack.

Scenario 2b: You Have An Upgrade Advantage Of 2 And Cannot Force A Fight[edit]

This can occur when your opponent turtles on 3 bases, usually with a Planetary Fortress. This will mean that you cannot draw your opponent's army out of position while they upgrade to 3/3 on their bio. If this occurs, take a 4th and perhaps a 5th whilst also Teching towards High Templar with Psionic Storm for an even better maxed army. You should also mass Gateways so that you can quickly reinforce after any late-game fight. Essentially, you will be converting your upgrade advantage into an economic advantage.

Scenario 3: Terran Has 3/3 When You Have 3/3[edit]

This should only be achieved by the Terran if they start 2 Engineering Bays very early in the game. If you scouted this, you should be playing more greedily and thus your econ should be better than if you were playing against a normal Terran build. In this case, you're going to need a High Templar switch instead of Archons. You cannot reliably hit any timings and a 3/3 Terran army will beat a 3/3 Protoss army without Psionic Storm given equal army positioning. From there go into a standard late game macro PvT with both High Templar and Colossi.

Maps[edit]

Pro Features[edit]

This build is strongest on maps with easily defendable natural expansions, especially maps with ramps into the natural expansion (i.e. Shakuras Plateau and Entombed Valley). Long rush distances will also help as they make any aggressive push hard to reinforce for the Terran player. A close third-base can also be helpful, but this is not necessary.

Con Features[edit]

Wide-open expansions (i.e. Daybreak and Metalopolis) and short rush distances.

Replays[edit]

The Shattered Temple South Korea Protoss Yong Shows the build being used against Liquid`Jinro.
Sweden Terran Jinro
Date:
Patch: 1.4.2 Replay
The Shattered Temple South Korea Protoss Yong Shows the build being used against EU Terran TOPTisalie.
Europe Terran TOPTisalie
Date:
Patch: 1.4.2 Replay
Tal'Darim Altar South Korea Protoss Creator Creator using the build against a Hellion opening. GOM subscription may be required.
South Korea Terran Clide
Date: 2011-09-29
Patch: 1.4.1 VOD
Bel'Shir Beach South Korea Protoss Creator Creator using the build against standard macro play. GOM subscription may be required.
South Korea Terran Heart
Date: 2011-09-29
Patch: 1.4.1 VOD
Crossfire South Korea Protoss Creator Creator using the build against a Ghost push. GOM subscription may be required.
South Korea Terran aLive
Date: 2011-09-29
Patch: 1.4.1 VOD

References[edit]

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