First Legacy of the void Balance Patch

The first Legacy of the Void balance patch is finally here.

Photon Overcharge
Energy cost increased from 25 to 50
Duration increased from 15 to 20 sec
Weapon period decreased from 1.25 to 1
Adept
Damage decreased from 10 (+13 light) to 10 (+12 light)
Viper 
Parasitic bomb damage decreased from 90 to 60

You can look at how the changes will look like here. I will only discuss how it may affect Terran.

Terran vs. Protoss

Adept change

Adept’s decreased damage is meant to nerf Protoss in TvP. The HP of Marine (without Combat Shield) and Scv is 45, and Adept could have two-shot either with attack damage of 23 (10 + 13). The new 22 attack damage will take three shots to kill either Marine and Scv now. The difference is obvious when you look at the gif in the link above.

The vod below is a match between ByuN and MyuNgSiK in SSL pre-season, and it shows Protoss wanted to take a straight up engagement with Adept against the bio army. The patch will make a game swinging difference if both sides make a big engagement.

TY’s defensive 3CC TvP build has been considered the go-to macro build in the match up for the last month. Given that TY has made some notable changes to his general approach to his TvP macro build in his recent GSL games, I wanted to post about these changes. The reason why I think TY is a player worth studying now is due to his peers’ high evaluation of his skill in recent interviews. Of course, his recent results and popularity speak for itself. The announcement of this patch pushes me to simply give a short summary of what I think of the current state of TvP through TY’s choices instead of writing a separate post.

The general set up for TY’s previous macro build is based on getting Cyclone and Tanks to defend against various Protoss aggressive options (mainly Adept), and the early third Command Centre provides the incentives to be defensive. In his recent GSL games, he got even more defensive and made specific adjustment to defend against Adept and Warp Prism. Most importantly, he did not get an early third Command Centre every time he went for a defensive macro build, and he spent the resources on defence instead.

Compared to his previous build, the updated build utilises Starport to strengthen the defence. He got a Viking against Warp Prism and stationed it to anticipate the Warp Prism. At the same time, his Cyclone was placed at the other side of his base for the same purpose. To be even more safe, he made Liberators and Tanks. He even “blindly” placed a Bunker at his mineral line. After he had checked Protoss’ natural at 4:30 to look at the gas timing (with scan or Reaper), he invested even more defensively. This is because the gas at Protoss’ natural should be taken by 4:30 if Protoss tech up and get upgrade, if not, the resources must have been spent elsewhere. This also means that a strong attack may be on its way.

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In both vods I have shown above, Protoss took a third Nexus instead of attacking. On top of that, TY actually did not put down an early third Command Centre behind such defensive set up! This basically means that TY has been too defensive and Protoss is ahead in various ways based on the logic of “defensive > offensive > economical > defensive”.

TY did try to get more information by getting a delayed Reaper, but it didn’t seem to work in his favor. Most importantly, he already set up very defensively even without the additional information, and this indirectly shows the state of the match up. We can criticise that TY was playing in a rather naive manner, but there is no denial how game ending an Adept attack can be. This has a strong impact on how Terran plan to play the match up.

Therefore, this “minor” Adept change may actually change how the match up is played out totally.

Photon Overcharge change

Unlike the Adept change, the Photon Overcharge change was not specified to target a match up. But what does it mean for TvP?

A reason why Terran has gotten even more defensive against Adept is the lack of effective attacking option. Apart from the fact that Terran cannot “out-attack” Adept on the other side, Photon Overcharge has definitely contributed to such stance. Then, does this Photon Overcharge change open up more attacking option for Terran? It is hard to tell.

Another interesting implication of this change is the improved scouting capability of a standard Reaper opening. I have been quite vocal about how crappy Reaper is against Protoss in Legacy of the Void in the recent TvP posts. The Mothership Core’s spawn timing (with a one Gateway expand) and the Reaper first scout timing are so well aligned that the Reaper often got two-shot by Photon Overcharge without accomplishing a thing. This is also evident in TY’s choice of not using a standard Reaper opening in recent games. While Reaper can still get two-shot without getting any information at the same timing, the Mothership Core now does not have enough energy to cast a second Photon Overcharge immediately. Thus, if the first cast did not kill the Reaper, Protoss will need to work harder to deny scouting. This indirectly improves the current blind defensive stance of Terran in the match up.

Terran vs. Zerg

I am not sure if the Viper change is enough to promote mech in the match up. It certainly makes air battle more playable (and fair), but the problem with mech in the match up goes beyond the air battle in the late game. The Roach and Ravager composition seems strong against mech, so it appears to me that bio-oriented composition is still the better option in the match up.

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