Guide: 7 Gate +2 Blink Stalker All InSun 10th Jun 2012 - 4:24pm Category: Starcraft II
By now, most of us have heard that 2 and 3 base all ins are all the rage in PvZ. With Brood Lord/Infestor being such a hard composition for a lot of Protoss to deal with, it’s no secret why we’re trying to end the game early. I’m sure you’ve heard of the 2 base Immortal/Sentry builds for PvZ and if not, you can find a great guide to that style by our very own Nadeem “Saltymango” Dabbakeh, here.
However, I personally prefer Blink Stalkers over Sentries and Force Fields, so naturally, when a teammate suggested a 7 gate +2 Blink all in, I fell in love. If you’re a player who prefers Blink, has better Blink micro, or maybe you’re just trying to mix things up, then this build is an awesome addition to your PvZ arsenal.
You’ll be opening with some sort of FFE. Whether it’s Nexus first or Forge first is entirely up to you and what you scout. There’s no need to go into much detail, as you should all know how to properly FFE. You could adapt this idea for other openings but the game wouldn’t necessarily play out the same because the Zerg will react differently.
Don’t be afraid to Chronoboost some Probes out because you’re going to need them, but as you start getting upgrades you’ll need to transition into chronoboosting those upgrades out instead. +1 and +2 attack should be Chronoboosted pretty much constantly. You can Chrono Blink or Warp tech once or twice to round things out or even Zealots for early pressure, but you should primarily focus Chronos on economy and attack upgrades over anything else. Once you’re actually on the attack, you’ll need to blow all your Chronos into Gateways to keep reinforcements coming fast.
Executing the Build:
I don’t have numbers or exact timings for gasses and tech, I don’t really like strict numbers, instead I just go with the flow of the game/build. Things generally work out like this:
- Early Chronos into Probes
- Double gas at 18ish supply
3 in each geyser
- Constant Probe production up to 44-52 Probes
I like to cut Probes at 48 for 18 Probes per mineral line however, some people prefer to go all the way up to 52 Probes before cutting for 20 Probes per mineral line. Anywhere in between 44 - 52 is acceptable.
The math works out like this:
44 Probes = 2(16+6)
48 Probes = 2(18+6)
52 Probes = 2(20+6)
- Cybercore ASAP
- Start first Zealot
- Generally open Zealot, Zealot, Stalker from the first Gateway however this is subject to change depending on scouting or the need to clear Overlords fast on close positions or 2 player maps.
- Zealots clear towers and the way for Proxy pylons, possibly pressure
- Stalker clears Overlords
- Start +1 attack ASAP
- Start Warp tech ASAP
- Keep Chronos mostly on Probes and occasionally into +1
- @ 40% completion of +1 attack
Build a Twilight Council
- @ Twilight Council completion
Start Blink and +2 attack
- Start dumping more Chronos into +1/+2 attack, occasionally Chronos on Probes or maybe Blink/WG
- @ 60% Warp Tech
Start adding Gateways so you’ll end up with 7 Gates total
- @ This point you’ll be at or over 16-20 Probes on minerals in both bases
Take both gasses in your natural: 3 in each
- Scouting Probe should have already proxied or be laying down the Pylons now
- You'll cut Probes somewhere in here
- @ 100% Warp tech with Blink/+2 finishing
- Move out with warp ins and full Chronos into Gateways
- Your attack should start moving out around the 10 minute mark in game
It should be noted that there are other variations of this build, the key one being a FFE into 4 Gate +1 then follow up with 7 Gate +2 Blink. In this variation you would go up to 4 gates with the Twilight Council to accomplish a few things, all of them ultimately ending up with more units earlier in the game.
You can use this style to just play it safe or you can use these units to defend against a Zerg who might be looking to Roach/Baneling bust. You can also be aggressive and warp in units to pressure while you drop 3 more Gates and Chrono out +2/Blink. Some might favor this variation over it's more aggressive/greedy variant detailed above. If nothing else it's a good reaction when scouting potential aggression.
Especially with the new Queen range buff, Zergs have increasingly forgotten about making Lings past the early game and instead opt for an early Roach Warren. If this is the case, you’ll be warping in mostly Blink Stalkers to pick off Hatches, Probes, Overlords and get some kills. Use Blink to get good engagements with high ground advantages or disgusting concaves against Roaches.
You’ll have to be fast on Blink micro to pull back wounded Stalkers because you lack any armor upgrades, however, the longer a fight goes on with good Blink control, the more bonus damage your +2 Stalkers will do over time. After some intense micro, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how large of a Roach swarm you can overcome using just +2 Blink Stalkers.
Of course, if you’re seeing a lot of Lings you’ll need to warp in Zealots and watch a good +2 Zealot wall shred some Zerglings. Keep enough Zealots to create a buffer for your Stalkers but don’t build too many. If you start to get over run, you can always kite back to your Pylon with Stalkers while you warp in more units and then push back to save the Zealots you left behind. Stay against walls and don’t let your Stalkers get surrounded by Lings without Blink or Zealot support.
There are a few basic follow-ups you can consider should you do damage or not. Damage could be defined as sniping a Hatch or two, decimating Roaches, trading efficiently, killing workers, forcing Spines, etc, etc. After a few rounds of warp-ins for the attack you’ll want to start thinking about what your follow up will be.
1. Fast 3rd - If you’ve crippled them enough this can often secure your win. Unless you’re really stomping him, you’ll might have to pull back and play more defensively while you restart workers, setup your new base and get additional production rolling. If you’re really on a rampage, you can just pull the worker and get your base started while you keep rolling into their natural. The tech paths from here are pretty diverse based on your reads.
2. Robotics Facility - Probably the most popular follow up, especially against heavy Roach play. I’ve seen single and double Robo variations to pump out Immortals fast. Double Robo can work especially well in combination with a fast 3rd. Obs are going to be the key to stopping Burrow and a Warp Prism can be used to pressure the main/snipe vital tech while pulling the Zerg apart so your Blink Stalkers can snipe another Hatch somewhere else. Robo supports other tech trees quite well too, scoring combos like DT/Psy Storm drops, Obs and more. However, I’d be hesitant to invest heavily into Robo against any early Spire play since Immortals, Colossi, and Warp Prisms will be useless against or just get shut down by Mutas and Corrupters.
3. Dark Templar - DTs can be especially good if you’re seeing a lot of Lings and no Roaches, as this often means Mutas or Banes. Usually, you’ll have banked enough gas by warping in Zealots instead of Stalkers to deal with Lings, that affording the Dark Shrine + DTs shouldn’t be a huge problem for your budget. DT harass will not only force detection, if not outright win to a late Lair, but it will also keep him in his base and unable to safely expand while netting you Archons with DTs, Zealots and Blink Stalker support. Keep in mind that 3-4 upgraded DTs can DPS down a Hatch before the Overseer can finish transformation. DTs can also be used to finish off a severely wounded Zerg or conversely as “Desperation Templars” when your attack failed and you’re way behind.
4. High Templar - A solid choice against Ling/Muta but requires more support, better micro and in my opinion won’t contain the Zerg as well as DTs after the attack. However, Feedbacks against Infestors can be a game winner and you can just plain shut down Roach/Infestor, a popular response to Blink, completely. High Templars might be hard for some players to micro but when executed properly they can win against almost any composition.
I hope this style gives some of my Protoss brethren an edge in their next PvZ. For me, it turned one of my worst match ups into my best and that’s not even mentioning how much fun Blink micro is to me. Good luck, have fun and remember...
“The void hungers!”