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Guide to thelittleone's build in his ro4 game#2 match

 by Seven

TeamLiquid Invitational, Ro4 - TheLittleOne vs Nazgul Game #2 on Metalopolis.

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, go download and watch this SC2 replay, it's really worth it. It is one of the best SC2 games I've witnessed so far (really, I want to vote for it as a Replay of the Week). TheLittleOne is a very creative and unorthodox random player, and Nazgul is a very solid Protoss player.

This Guide outlines TLO's build, and how you can use its unorthodox style to try and catch a Protoss off guard.

A brief synopsis of the game: TLO opened relatively standard, from the point of Nazgul's scouting probe. However, he used Reapers early on to harass the Protoss, utilizing the many entry points for Reapers on Metalopolis. From there, he used tanks and marines, with a few marauders, to turtle in his base. With the close 3rd base, TLO was able to successfully turtle, with Nazgul wisely opting to match expansions. TLO, as turtley as he was, did not sit idly by.


At 150/150, EMP already in hand, the Ghost proved to be a great defence and harass unit.

Brilliantly using ghosts+nukes, with the occasional Reaper run-by, TLO kept Nazgul busy at his expansions, trying his very best to keep him on equal bases. Off three bases, TLO transitioned into 2port Battlecruisers, and with the help of a few ghosts+nukes, was able to do more damage at each expansion. TLO was even ballsy enough to take a 4th.  Nazgul, not your average Protoss, smartly chose to mass Void Rays as an answer, able to dwindle down the Battlecruiser count. In a very jaw-biting, fist-clenching late game, TLO was able to pull ahead with more mining bases and units to force Nazgul to tap out.

Hopefully you've already seen the game by now. So what exactly happened? Well, TLO used an unorthodox opening to take Nazgul out of his comfort zone. Its one thing to be able to play a solid build against a computer, but when your opponent is doing things you don't expect, timings break down. Then, TLO exploited the age old difference between Protoss units and Terran units: Protoss units are more expensive. Turtling behind a rax/depot wall with tanks and marines to support, allowed him to have a strong enough economy to tech both nukes and eventually Battlecruisers. Sure, Nazgul could've attacked with his army back before he expanded to his third, but his units are expensive, and a tank/marine army hiding behind a wall with ghosts to EMP looks like he'd lose more resources in the battle. 


Off of three bases, TLO was able to pump enough Batltecruisers to really punish Nazgul's fourth.

Nazgul's experience told him one thing (which I would agree with): Expanding is usually better than attacking well fortified bases. Now Nazgul's counter to the tank/marine/ghost army was Immortal/Colossus, with a few backup stalkers and zealots. I would agree with this idea, since air would take even more money. When they were both on three bases each (and TLO began teching Battlecruisers), Nazgul knew he needed a fourth.  That's when TLO attacked, taking out as many expansions as he could.  TLO abused the fact that Nazgul (and most Protoss' in Nazgul's situation) would've had a lot of Colossus/Immortals. Nazgul reacted well, despite the unorthodox style, and used Voidrays to great success. What did TLO do? He didn't keep making a lot of Battlecruisers. He tried to get away with cheaper units, like ghosts to keep nuking expansions, and regarnished his tank/marine army in the absense of the majority of Colossus/Immortals. He even added on a few Vikings to help out against Voidrays (which when massed are pretty expensive).  Eventually, TLO was able to successfully starve Nazgul, in one of the most epic SC2 games ever.



Alright now we're going to look at TLO's build in closer detail.

TLO opens standard, 10depot starting a wall-in at his main ramp (on Metalopolis).



OC as soon as barracks completes (~16 supply)

16 depot finish walling in.

At this point, hopefully the marine made has kept the probe outside of the base. Also, your own scout should see where the Protoss is, and what he's doing. Standard Protoss would probably do 1gate tech. If he's doing a zealot rush, just hide in ur base for a bit longer. Reapers have bonus dmg against light units anyways.

Tech lab add-on after your first marine. If you see a lot of zealots coming your way, it may be safer to hold off on the tech lab and to get a few more marines (and even a bunker maybe, since you can salvage them) first.

If the Protoss looks relatively standard (and thus probably quite harmless), you can get your 2nd gas up, as well as a 2nd barracks.

Upgrade Nitro Pack. If you think you are relatively safe, build your expansion CC somewhere in your main for now. Since tanks will soon be coming in, get a factory up now.

With ~4 Reapers, pay a visit to your opponent. Scout around and pick off some probes if you want. Keep the Protoss on his toes, preferably in his base.  If your CC comes out a bit early (as in, you are unsure if you should expand) you can upgrade it into an OC, so that you can mule with it. Get your add on for your factory and have your tank come out. Don't let your macro fall (don't forget depots, or to keep making marauder/marine). A good Protoss will try and counter once he's determined his base is relatively safe from your reapers.  If you expand, throw down extra bunkers in your natural (they are salvagable) and use your tanks to help defend. 

In TLO vs Nazgul, Nazgul attacked immediately, and TLO was able to repel with his main base wall + tank/marines. Maybe your opponent isn't that good, which means you can get your wall up (use depots/rax to join ur bunkers to complete your natural wall). Remember to upgrade siege mode, since you will be using that to defend.

Throw down a starport, a few barracks and a 3rd CC with your extra money, after you've secured your natural. Since you are turtling, expect breaks from the front as well as drops. If your micro/macro is good enough you should be able to barely hold. Since marines/marauders are so important in keep you alive (more so, than the tanks, really), don't forget to upgrade (TLO uses dual ebays to get his upgrades out faster).  As you are getting your 3rd (take the expansion closest to your natural), you can move some of your tanks up onto the high ground and help defend it. You can add barracks/depots on the other side to help partially wall that side too. 

Ghost Academy, in preparation for your 3rd expansion to be up and running. Then, when you can afford it, a second one to be able to get dual nukes. Get your ghosts and medivac out. You may have been continuing to harass with your Reapers, but now that your ghosts+nukes are out you can transition into nuke harass. TLO went for the main first (since there's that nice hiding area at the side of every main), and then went around the map targetting expansions when able. His best nukes were on the High-yield resource bases, which were open on all sides.

When your third is running, throw down 2 more starports and get a Fusion core for Battlecruisers with Yamato. It is not imperative to get air upgrades, but if you can afford it, it will help. Note: by the time your third is running, you should have ~ 8 barracks. At some point, you should upgrade the rest of the marine upgrades (stim pack and health shield)

Now at this point, TLO made the mistake of letting his Battlecruisers get seen. Although it forced the Protoss ground army away, it also gave Nazgul time to make Voidrays. By the time the Battlecruisers were harassing expansions, Voidrays were too. Luckily, 1 yamato takes out a Voidray, and it still took quite a bit to take down a Battlecruiser.  TLO used nukes in conjuction with Battlecruisers to great success at shutting down expansions.  Note: A nuke does ~ 500 damage to buildings, so lowering the health of a nexus down to 500 with Battlecruisers allows the nuke to land and destroy everything.

TLO also expanded to a fourth base, which he got to mine out of for a time being, but it was quickly shut down by Nazgul (due to the lack of defence and wall). Now I am definitely not better than TLO, but I would've been content with stopping Nazgul's fourth, and just staying on my 3 bases and keeping him on his 3 bases.  Perhaps TLO was afraid the Voidrays would overwhelm the Battlecruisers, and wanted more resources to put into more Battlecruisers.  The point is, it wasn't until Nazgul's army dwindled down at the force of Battlecruisers/tank/marines/ghosts, on top of his waning 3 base mineral saturation, that TLO was able to sneak in expansions that were relatively unharassed.  Note his use of mules to saturate a fresh mineral line, instead of sending scvs.  Its sorta like saying, "I know this expansion has an expiry date, due to its position and lack of defence, so I'm not going to send scvs. Instead, I will mule to get a bunch of resources quickly, and then lift and fly off if the Protoss comes a-knocking."

TLO also used a Raven (not sure if he was just testing to see how it would work), but the Auto Turret proved to be quite useful at stopping mining time @ Nazgul's fourth.


Now, since you've been accumulating upgrades for your marines as a defence, and now that your Protoss opponent has been struggling to get his 4th up, as well as losing a lot of his expensive army (and hopefully committed to a large group of Voidrays), you can switch back to marines, with the occasional tank/viking as well as ghosts to try and continue to starve the Protoss.  This means stopping his 4th at any new expansion that he might choose to take over, or just trying to wipe out his Voidrays. The reason TLO didn't starve himself, was because he didn't continue producing Battlecruisers, and went for the cheaper marine army.  The most impressive moments was when he repelled the Colossus/stalker army with marines and a ghost threatening a nuke.  All the ghost has to do is cancel before the nuke lands, if he runs away.  With the army holding back in fear of the nuke, TLO was able to blow up the nexus with his ground army.

Now, things to note about defence. How could TLO get away with not showing his Battlecruisers? Well as the Protoss army is pushing at his third, TLO could've targetted a nuke. He would've lost his wall and some of his units, but his marines are easily replenishable. Colossus and Immortals are expensive. If the Protoss was smart, and pulled back, TLO could cancel his nuke before it lands. At that point, he could've repositioned his army to be able to defend his 3rd better. A sensor tower at the outstretch of his 3rd would've also helped him know where Nazgul was positioning his army, so that he could also move and defend that side.

Note that TLO may have "winged" parts of this build, so there can definitely be fine tuning if practiced enough. Try it out against a random Protoss player on Battle.net. Maybe it's only viable for a time being when people don't know about this match. Or maybe the strategic thinking behind this build can be applied to another way of playing. The beauty of build evolution is what gives me confidence that SC2 will indeed be just as great as SC1.

28 Mar 2010 | Comments (6)
Tags : thelittleone  metalopolis  tvp  

Grasshopper wrote (2010-04-02 19:57:36)

avatar Zergling

Awesome guide man used it a couple of times and pwned! Wink

  0 up rate down rate

Seven wrote (2010-03-31 06:00:10)

avatar Brutalisk

Thank you Pokkit. I hope to be able to post some Protoss/Terran Guides soon, so that I'm not just a "Zerg guy"

  0 up rate down rate

Pokkit wrote (2010-03-30 07:17:16)

avatar Zealot

This is one of the best guides I've seen on this website!  I've always been a Protoss player, but the way TLO played Terran that game made me think twice.  Reapers and Ghosts seem like way too much fun!

Not only was the information excellent, but the formatting was also nice; highlighting key words/phrases and such.  Hopefully more guides will turn out like this rather than walls of text.  Awesome!

+2 up rate down rate

Inflames wrote (2010-03-28 21:10:48)

avatar Zergling

Very very nice guide! 5/5

  0 up rate down rate

Seven wrote (2010-03-28 18:59:58)

avatar Brutalisk

As you requested, a bit of color :)

Thanks for voting for my stuff, Killborne. I really want to get that beta key :)

+3 up rate down rate

Killborne wrote (2010-03-28 14:10:10)

avatar Reaper

Good job with this guide seven!In my opinion you shall add some more color to your guide,and it will be 5/5 worthy!

Im going to wait untill you do this,then give you an Awesome! Wink

+2 up rate down rate

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