1 Gate Stargate (vs. Zerg)
|This strategy is outdated due to metagame or patch changes.|
1 Gate Stargate is a somewhat risky build that takes advantage of the Zerg's weak anti-air, until they get their Lair tech up. This is done either with Void Rays for direct damage, or with quick Phoenixes for scouting and general air superiority.
If unscouted, fast Void Rays can cripple the Zerg by taking out their Queens and Hatcheries. The build can be very strong vs a Roach or fast expand where Zerg delays their Lair tech. Void Rays can kill both the Queen and Hatchery before any additional tier 1 anti-air (additional Queen, Spore Crawlers) can be made. However, it may do almost no damage vs a faster teching Zerg going for Hydralisks, or less damage if Zerg already has 2 Queens in position. Because the build forgoes an early Robotics Facility and Observer, it is quite hard to gather intelligence about the Zerg's build; hiding and sending in Probes at key points can give you a clue whether to continue with the Void Ray. The fast Stargate also puts you in a good position vs 1 base Mutalisks, since you can switch to Phoenixes and add another Stargate while building up your Zealot count; when your opponent decides to switch tech to Hydra or expand you may have a window to cripple him with Zealot/Phoenix.
Basic Build Order
This build is dependent on creating a wall with your Pylon, Cybernetics Core, and Gateway with a single block of space in which you can block with a Zealot, and on maps where you can block your ramp with a single Force Field. You absolutely cannot let Zerglings or stray Overlords get into your base and get vision of your Stargate. If you see a large number of Zerglings and you have no Force Field, absolutely bring 3-4 Probes to cover your ramp since large numbers of Zerglings can overflow past your 2 Zealot wall.
A quick rule of thumb on Queens and Void Rays: 1 Void Ray will kill 1 Queen. Two Queens will kill 1 Void Ray if they are together without either of them dying. Two Void Rays can kill two Queens with 1 Void Ray dying. Queens with enough energy can cast Transfusion on each other to hold off 2 Void Rays.
This is not a micro intensive build but it's vital that you target Queens and then the Hatcheries because default AI will shoot Overlords after the Queen.
A sneaky variation is to drop a Robotics Facility or extra Gateway in vision of the Overlord, then cancel after the Sentry chases out their Overlord.
After scouting your opponent's relative pool and gas timing (13/15 can be indicative of Roaches), leave your opponent's base and hide your Probe. After your Core gets up, sac your Probe into your opponent's base to see if he is getting Roaches or going for Lair. If Roaches, you need to get a Forge up as soon as possible.
Where to proceed after the first Void Ray is quite dependent on what build Zerg does, which of course you can only really be sure of after getting into your opponent's base with the first Void Ray and checking your opponent's drone/Zergling count. Generally once he gets his Hydra Den up, you need to stop building Void Rays.
- 1 or 2 Hatch heavy Roaches: add additional cannons, extra Sentry so you do not die to a Roach counter and continue Void Ray production. You may be able to flat out kill your opponent with Void Rays.
- 1 or 2 Hatch Zerglings: build up your Gate/Zealot count, continue with Void Rays.
- 1 Hatch Mutas: add another Stargate, switch to Phoenix production; possibly expand since he may not have enough Larva to Zergling counter your natural.
- 2 Hatch Mutas: add another Stargate, switch to Phoenix; build up your Gateway count and hit with Zealots when he tries to switch tech.
- 1 or 2 Hatch Hydras: switch to Templar tech, expand.
Short air distance to your opponents base (such as The Shattered Temple or Metalopolis with players spawning at 12-3 or 6-9 positions) is always a bonus. Ramp with high ground also gives additional safety vs Roach openers when you can use forcefield to prevent them from getting vision of cannons.
Wide ramps are harder to defend or prevent runby on, such as on Scrap Station.