Sunday, February 20, 2011

Starcraft 2 Strategy: Cheese builds and Anti-Cheese builds

Today we'll talk about Zerg vs. Protoss cheese.  I was introduced to an interesting cheese build, where the Protoss player uses cannons, as usual, but then proceeds to build a Gateway inside the Zerg base as well!  Since Zealots are very powerful against Zerglings, especially in small numbers, if the Gateway finishes and a Zealot gets out, it's game over for Zerg.

So I'm playing a custom Obs-Xel'Naga game against AluCard... no, I'm not sure if it's THE Alucard from SC1, or if it's someone similar, but he's Diamond-ranked, and he just used the build, while I observed the game, to destroy another Zerg player.

The key to beating this cheese is to pull enough drones (I'd say at least 5-6), to destroy what he's building, in this order:

1.  Probes

You really have to kill his probe, or he will keep building things.  You don't want that.  You also want to force him to send another probe, reducing his economy.

2. Photon Cannons

If a cannon is being built, you need to take it out, before it takes you out.

3.  Pylons

The other buildings are tougher, and they can't do anything without pylons.  A smart protoss will drop a bunch of pylons, but it's easier to kill them than the buildings they power.

Once you get all those things down, he should give up. 

If he doesn't, counterattack his base with your accumulated Zerglings, whether they have speed or not.  Do not wait!  You need to hit him with whatever you've got and finish him off before he can wall his base in.  If, by stopping the cannon rush early, he is able to wall his ramp off, expand and build a ton of drones (until about 30 supply or so).  After that, scout what he's got, prevent him from expanding himself, and you should win the game.  A mutalisk harass wouldn't hurt either - but get that second base up first!

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