Reaper expand into Widow Mine drop standard play is the current metagame build, and I’ve discussed the build order and general game plan in the previous post. This post is look at how Protoss’ builds interact with this build.
First of all, I know less about Protoss, so feel free to leave your comment.
Please read the part 1 before you continue (linked again).
Protoss is getting better in defending against this build. For example, the Stalkers are positioned at the front to anticipate the attack from the 6 Marines, while the Mothership Core is positioned to chase the Reaper. Hence, Protoss doesn’t have to use Photon Overcharge against the Marines. On average, 1 Stalker will be traded for the 6 Marines. The Probe pulling reaction has improved too.
The normal Protoss builds are also better planned to deal with this build.
Gateway expand into Robotic Facility
I sort of mentioned about this build in part 1. With an early Robotic Facility, Protoss will have 2 Observers by the time the first drop hits, and the first will be sent to Terran’s base. The second will be used to spot the Widow Mine in Protoss’ base.
Subsequently, Protoss will put down Twilight Council and Robotic Bay for Blink and Colossus respectively for a normal game. The relative weakness of this build is that Terran can still forcefully drop the units to disrupt mining. While the Observer at the mineral line can help to spot to Widow Mine drop, the Probes still have to be pulled away. The Stalkers have to micro against the drop too. At the same time, it is likely that Terran is dropping at the other mineral line at the same time. Although the other base is usually defended by Photon Overcharge, the mining is nevertheless interrupted.
Look at how Maru forces herO to pull his Probes.
Gateway expand into Twilight Council then Robotic Facility
Previously, I was quite critical about Twilight Council before Robotic Facility against the Widow Mine drop. However, the Protoss players have found a sweet spot to get both Blink and Observer for the first drop. By the time the first drop hits, Blink is almost done. If the map is big and the Medivac took a slight detour, Blink can complete before the first Medivac arrives. In the below vod, Creator’s Blink is very close to complete when the first Medivac flies in. At the same time, the first Observer is out in time to clear the Widow Mines. It could have been a perfect defend, if he pulled his Probes away better.
Like I have said earlier, the positioning of the Stalkers is important in defending the early Marine force. Dear shows how Protoss can defend against the Reaper and Marine force without using Photon Overcharge in the vod below. Later in the game, Bbyong took a bit of a detour (and with a bit of delay) for his first Medivac, and it was shut down by Dear’s Blink Stalkers. The upgrade timing lines up very nicely.
Gateway expand into Stargate
When early Factory build was getting more popular at the end of last year, I thought it was a good counter to the Oracle opening metagame. The Widow Mine can be hidden behind a build to catch an Oracle as shown in the image below.
Thus, it makes sense that Protoss do not opt for Oracle opening in the Factory opening metagame. Interestingly, however, the Oracle build forces Terran to be defensive that it is effectively defending the drop indirectly. Personally, I had used this build against an Oracle opening, and I found it hard to leave my base with the 6 Marines. The Marines and first Widow Mine are used to defend the two mineral lines against the Oracle. Bbyong basically did the same thing against Dear in the vod below.
Early proxy Stargate
I cannot find a professional game with this build playing against an early proxy Oracle. But I did play against this build today (look at who my opponent is).
I took too much damage from the first Oracle that I just died to a follow up Void Way 3 Gates all-in even though I knew it was coming. A friend recommended that I should not have put down the Factory, and should have spent the resource on the Engineering Bay first. Indeed, if I shuffle the sequence of the Factory and Engineering Bay, the Missile Turret may be up in time.
Here is an interesting afterthought. What if I did not scout the proxy that early? Do I still blindly build an Engineering Bay before Factory? Probably I should.
Another possible reaction is to build a Bunker at the mineral line.