Polt’s TvP Tactical Movement

vs protoss

Along with Bomber, Polt is one of the two who I think is a joy to watch for TvP. I admire Bomber’s twist to metagame builds and Polt’s tactical movement for the match up. Previously I had posted about Polt’s tactics in delaying Protoss’ third against PartinG, this post is about his tactical movement from the first person perspective.

Only yesterday that I came across Polt’s youtube channel. I didn’t know he has one, and I’m quite surprised to see a Korean progamer has his own youtube channel. Generally, they just stream on TwitchTV.

First of all, I must say that I do not like Polt’s build order in the video. He had done something similar in MLG. He prefers not to get a 12 gas and get a Marine before the Reaper. Anyway, that’s just my preference.

Up till 7:00 of the video, there isn’t really much to comment about. Polt scouted that the opponent isn’t doing an all-in and there is no Starport. This prompts him to move out with that one Medivac with a small group of Marines. He was trying to poke at the natural but he didn’t see any units. He decided to do a drop at 7:10 of the video, but he pulled back when he saw the position of his opponent’s units. Take note that Polt positioned his Factory like how a Zerg positions his Overlord. This move sets up his subsequent mid game tactical movement which I had covered in the past. In line with his general mid game game plan to delay opponent’s third, he always had a unit positioned at the third location.

At 7:30 of the video, when Polt had three Medivacs, he did not attempt to drop in the main and attacked the natural. It is tempting to do a two-pronged attack right at the Medivac timing between 10:00-11:00 game time, but it often does more damage to the Terran than to the Protoss. When Protoss is at two bases, it is highly unlikely for Terran to do any damage with drop. In fact, Protoss players welcome you to drop. It is relatively easy for Protoss to defend against the drop with good positioning and Photon Overcharge.

At 8:55 of the video, Polt saw opponent moved his main army to the third through the vision of his Factory. He pulled his units back and loaded them up to the Medivacs when they were out of opponent’s vision. He then dropped in opponent’s main. This is consistent with the mind set that “you do not drop against a two base Protoss with him defending”. Polt only used drop when he knew opponent is out of position. His trade in opponent’s main base was mediocre though.

At 9:30 of the video, Polt’s Widow Mine at opponent’s third was destroyed. This indicated that the Protoss would most likely build a third base. Polt did not attack right away or did any sort of drop. He chose to expand. I find this smart because Protoss will be defending at that point of time as Protoss is weakest in terms of positioning when the third is building. Protoss could still attack as it indirectly prevents Terran from attacking by forcing him to defend. However, Polt’s control of the Xel’naga towers would give away opponent’s intention.

At 11:20 of the video, Polt scanned at the paths leading to the third. That is tactical brilliance. Protoss would be playing at an uncomfortable position if he does not know where Terran is attacking. By scanning at that location that Polt did, it allowed him to move his units more freely later in the game which could potentially catch Protoss’ units out of position. At 11:50 of the video, he continued to clear Observers by scanning at crucial positions.

At 11:52 of the video, opponent tried to engage Polt with his main army head on. It is hard to predict the outcome if Polt were to fight it out. In the actual game, Polt pulled back. At that point, Protoss’ units were out of position to defend the third. As Polt pulled back, he loaded up his Medivacs and dropped at opponent’s third. Opponent had no choice but go back to the third. By then, Polt had already destroyed the Nexus and ran away with the Medivacs.

After the Nexus was destroyed at the third, Polt regrouped at his base. This demonstrated Polt’s perfect understanding of the flow of the game. He did not have to continue aggression by dropping in the main etc. since he was ahead economically. There was a high chance that Protoss would try to do a push after losing the third. If Polt were to drop, it could end up in a base trade. When you are leading, you don’t want to get into a base trade.

The Planetary Fortress at the ramp of the entrance of Polt’s natural was a perfect answer to opponent’s counter push. Apart from being a static defense, the Planetary Fortress mess up the chargelots and made it hard for opponent to form a good arc to attack. The Protoss just found himself in an extremely awkward position, whereby he couldn’t attack and defend. In the actual game, the Protoss pulled back and attacked from the other path.

Polt then used his units out in the map to attack opponent’s unprotected bases, while defending with the rest of his units at the natural. The outcome of the battle at the natural could be more favorable to Protoss if the Planetary Fortress was not there. Polt eventually won the game by defending his base.

Tactically well executed game.

Polt actually commented on this game himself (video below).

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