"The Stove" is a highly risky and exotic Build Order in the match ups Protoss vs. Zerg and Protoss vs. Terran. It uses Dark Templar, Scouts and Arbiters to significantly alter a Terran's or Zerg's strategy by forcing them to adapt to the unconventional strategical choices of Protoss. It is rarely seen in competitive play, even though it was honored in 2002's Pimpest Plays.
There is no real Build Order for "The Stove". Instead a general pattern is given, which theoretically works in both match ups.
An alternative is called "The Royal Stove". It uses a Dark Archon instead of faster Arbiters.
|"The Royal Stove"|
The execution of The Stove is rather difficult. Protoss rushes to a Stargate early on, while he needs to defend his base. Against Terran this is relatively easy, as the ordinary aggressive Build Orders like a FD Push can be defended by slightly delaying the Stargate. Against Zerg, Protoss needs to build an artificial wall-in near his choke point.
The general consensus is that a Protoss should build as little units as possible to defend possible attacks. With that in mind, a first Zealot might be skipped against Terran. The Scout should be sent to attack the opponent immediately. It should target Overlords first against Zerg, and against Terran, building Turrets should be focused. Killing detection against the upcoming Dark Templars near the entrance of the opponent's base has the highest priority. In an ideal scenario, the Scout either kills as much units and buildings as it is worth, or at least forces the enemy to spend a high mineral count on static defenses.
The transition after the Dark Templar depends on the game situation. If the opponent did not rush and his base can be entered by the Dark Templar freely, a second Gateway can be added to increase the pressure. If the opponent is safe and spent enough minerals on static defense, Protoss should expand to their Natural Expansion as soon as possible and start to mine from a second Vespene Geyser.
Usually, Protoss transitions into Arbiters after the Dark Templar harass. The air unit supports an ordinary ground unit army compilation with its spells Stasis or Recall.
- Royal Stove
The Royal Stove is a variation of the original strategy. Instead of an early Arbiter tech, the Dark Templars are merged into a Dark Archon. Enemy workers are stolen with the spell Mind Control and a new base is being built as soon as possible.
The Stove is very hard to perform. If the initial Scout and Dark Templar harass does not deal enough damage, Protoss will lose the game. Any very aggressive opening, such as a Two Factory Build or Two/Three Hatchery Hydralisk will directly counter The Stove.
The Stove works best if the opponent is not prepared. Consequently 4 Player maps should be chosen if possible.
|Strategy Example Game|
|CrownRoyal||Royal Stove from Teamliquid's Racewars, Winner Replay|