Patch 4.0 is here. I want to make a short post about a potential trend in TvP.
Much has been said about how TvP is now in Protoss’ favor on forums. There are several key points being brought up consistently.
- Widow Mine nerf is unnecessary.
- Chronoboost for Oracle is too strong.
- Shield battery is too strong.
I was adamant about the Widow Mine nerf when it was first announced, and many called me out for that. As it stands now, I think the sentiment from the community generally echos what I had said. The justification provided was to make cleaning Widow Mine easier, which does not address a specific problem that is related to Widow Mine. I disagree with what some said about the change being in line with the design rationale of reducing sudden game ending moments, because the first shot has a much higher sudden game ending potential than the reloaded shots. It is just poorly thought out.
Widow Mines are now revealed while Sentinel Missile is on cooldown.
This Widow Mine nerf changes the early game dynamics of TvP. As we all know that, Stargate opening was the most popular opening in the TvP match up, and Terran had come up with different ways to adapt to it. One of them was based on the relatively weak detection of Stargate opening whereby Terran drop Widow Mines in Protoss base to force the Oracle(s) to go back to Protoss base temporarily. This was also the reason Terran used the Cloak Banshee (usually proxy) opening in the mix of builds, and TY specifically used it as a response to Stargate opening in Blizzcon (see vod below).
This change basically allows Protoss to react against Widow Mine drop by pulling Probes away to minimise damage (nothing changes), then just use the Probes to kill the Widow Mines without the need to fly the Oracle back. This further gives Protoss incentive to only use Stargate opening in the match up, and it is against the general design philosophy of giving players choice. In fact, one of the main design goals of Oracle is to address the passive early game of Protoss by giving them an early game offensive unit, and this change may just make it one dimensional again but in a different direction. Now, on top of the above incentive to get Oracle in the match up, the Chronoboost change could potentially enhance the incentive of going for Stargate. You could also argue that the Shield Battery had made Twilight Council tech path stronger, and it is unclear how Shield Battery may change the Protoss tech choice. However, based on the existing changes, Stargate builds only got stronger, and whether other tech options are even stronger is a scary thought for Terran.
The above discussion basically sums up the importance of detection in the TvP early game decision making, and I think the new Ghost may become a viable option now. Ghosts are generally used as a reactive unit in TvZ and TvP against late game units. Specifically in TvP, Ghosts are produced for their EMP ability, which costs 75 energy. The decrease of starting energy from 75 to 50 is a nerf to Ghosts’ value as a reactive unit. The compensation of having Cloak without research does not make Ghosts more valuable in TvP late game, because Cloak is less valuable than a readily available EMP. However, Ghosts could potentially breath new air to the early game of TvP with the Cloak ability, because it could fill the role of Banshee and Widow Mine. Cloaked Ghosts could be sent to Protoss’ mineral line to harass, and that in a way forces Protoss to react accordingly.
Starts with the Cloak ability.
Starting energy decreased from 75 to 50.
New upgrade “Moebius Reactor”
– Research from Ghost Academy.
– Cost: 100 Minerals/100 Vespene Gas/57 seconds.
– Increases starting energy of Ghosts by 25.
The other reason for this trend is the potential shift in TvP builds from tech-oriented to bio-oriented. That means, there should be a decline in 1-1-1 in favor of an earlier Stim upgrade. An earlier Factory is less valuable now for several reasons. First, Widow Mine drop is just bad now. Second, Cyclone is in a weird spot, because you do not need to defend against Pylon Overcharge but it may be used against Oracle. Third, even when Factory is still built after Barracks, Starport may not be the obvious subsequent choice (i.e., 1-1-1). The newer 1-1-1 TvP builds do not rely on Starport much (for example), but it is simply there because there is no better option. Thus, a Ghost Academy, which costs 150 mineral and 50 gas, could be a viable option in the early game in the match up. 2-1-0 has potential, and you produce Ghosts from the Tech Lab Barracks (researching Stim) instead of Marines.