Muta/ling in PvZ

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Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:50 am

Il start the first thread on the toss section by discussing the muta/ling combo vs toss.
Compared to other strats like roach/hidra,ling/hidra,roach/ling...muta/ling exploits one of the toss greatest weaknesses: the lack of aoe vs air or any true effective anti air unit or the lack of an AtA splash unit.
Yes,the most hard loss for a race (equal to the loss of lurker for the zerg) is the loss of the Corsair.
While terrans have no problem in dealing with mutas with marines/thors.Yes,thors,because even if ppl learned to magic box,they can still get some shots if the mutas run away and they also have splash.
Zerg has no problem against mutas either thanks to Fungal Growth.
So its up the the next expansions to bring us a splash AtA unit.(either that or low phoenix dmg to 5+3 vs light and give it an 0.5 area splash,like the thor,problem solved).

Let me emphasize that,first of all the first GtA unit protoss has is the stalker.
It's not diferent compared to his predecessor,the dragoon.Altought he lost 20 hp,the stalker gains mobility with blink (and they have a better movement speed compared to dragoons).

Blink gives new life to the stalkers,it allows them to retreat,micro them and even chase units or snipe weakened ones.
Another weakness of the stalker is its design.It's basically a "jack of all trades,master of none unit".
It has very good life,but it was not meant to tank,zeals are better and cheaper at that,theyr dmg is pretty low against non armored units (and even against armored ones,it sucks sometimes) so they arent primarilly the dmg dealers of toss(the dmg dealers are void ray/immortal/carrier/archon/HT) and also poor atackspeed and they cannot be used as raiders (except rare cases like getting them on the cliffs on LT,next to the natural,to harass) because theyr pretty expensive and a loss of one is very strong felt.

So in a word,u have a very expensive unit which is made to do everything for u and in fact cant do anything really good.
Theyr only advantage is that they can be replenished very fast via warpgates.

Thats why u see lots of blink stalker builds like 3 gate blink stalker all-in or 3 gate into expo into 6 gate blink stalker all-in (comes much late but is much stronger) or stalker collosus.
Why? Because whatever toss does u still end up with stalkers in ur army.Zeals get kited without charge,and against roaches they arent very effective.
Sentryes are usefull as long as they have energy.Once theyr dry,u basically end up with a unit which does 1 more dmg then a worker and has the life of 2 workers for 50/100.
Other hard units like immortals/collosi/carriers/VR etc cant be relied on because :

1)the zerg can tech switch if u build more then 1 other non gate production facilities.
For example,if u go 2 robo collosus and mass produce collosus,zerg can switch from roach /hidra to mass mutas and wipe ur collosi.
Or like if u go 2 stargate phoenix,zerg can switch to mass roach and kill u before u can get VR.

2)u get them very slow,even with cronoo,because compared to other races,toss unit's build time has been balanced around chronoboost,meaning that without chrono they are build slightly slower.
So going like 4 warpgates/2 robo/2 stargates is kind of bad ideea unless u are on at least 3 bases.

So,what ever u do,u end up with stalkers,unless u go for zeal/sentry,which isnt a bad combo.

Now,back to the muta/ling crap.Except for the stalker,toss anti air includes:

-Phoenix
-VR
-Carrier
-Archon
-Psionic Storm
-Photon Cannons

First,lets start with the phoenix.My opinion is that this unit is one of the most fail units blizz could had possibly make.First of all,u must remember that there isnt a useless unit.There are no such thing in both sc 1 and sc 2.Every unit has some undiscovered strat/timing/use that awaits to be discovered.

The phoenix is very capable of fighting mutas.1v1 the phoenix wins vs muta.On large phoenix vs muta battles phoenixes still win.(battles which u have equal populations of phoenix/mutas).Watch HDhusky old "100 phoenixes vs 100 mutas" or something like that video on YouTube.
That is all fine and dandy and most of u will say "problem solved".

Well its not entirely true.First of all for phoenixes to be effective they need to be microed,which is very hard and affected by lag (happens to me when i try to move them back and with slight delay they still get hit by mutas).Also the zerg can get mutas much faster then u.
While going for early stargate can discourage muta usage,it still has some flaws.

First,u are vulnerable to roach strats,7RR,roach all-in,mass roach off 2 bases.
Second,the zerg can make 1-2 spores,mass some mutas and use them when he has a safe number.

U see here....mutas are not defenseless against phoenixes.They can also be microed against phoenixes.Some zergs fake to run away from phoenixes while atacking+moving against the phoenixes and ensures the phoenixes get hit.While the phoenixes have high dmg vs light,the mutas have splash and make up for it.

So going for 1/2 stargate openings can either deny muta harass but cannot eliminate it entirely and possibly leaves u open against roach openings or hidra switches.

Yes,its very nice when u feel all mighty and powerfull after u wiped out all those mutas no?
With ur 10+ phoenixes.But things dont look so good when u see 10-14 hidras coming and ruining ur day no ?

There are 2 weakness regarding stargate openings,except roach openings.

First of all,if the player does not intends into going mutas at all and goes straight for hidras,u are in big trouble.Because there is a timing window (before ur first collosus is up) where u can die to hidra/ling,or have ur expo killed/denied.

And the hidra switch,after mutas have been repelled.This can be countered by also teching to collosi at the same time.But the resources invested in ur phoenix fleet +1-2 stargates+robo+robo bay means u might not have collosi in time to fight the hidras.
So phoenix will become better in the next patch,considering u can build them slightly faster,but if u fear the things above,regarding stargate openings,u can try to crono phoenixes off 1 stargate to supliment ur gateway army (not specifically to fight mass mutas).

-void rays.
While very good against roaches/ultras/broodlords and used as a harass tool against zergs who have a late lair,the vr isnt good against mutas unless they severelly outnumber the mutas.
VR are more of a mid-late game shock-harass unit and not suitable to fight mass mutas.

-Carrier
While i experimented with an blink stalker into carrier builds which i designed myself,carriers come out too late against mutas to be effective.U are trading map control to get a unit that MIGHT win u the game.
They are pretty good against mutas do to the high armor (base 3) and with Guardian Shield it really negates much of the muta dmg.The only problem is that when u succesfully wiped out the mutas,the zerg has enough economy to do an infestor/hidra switch and kill ur carriers.No matter ur micro skills u cannot wipe out that force with just carriers,unless u have like 200/200 carriers,which u cant get on 2 bases.

-Archons.
While the traditional BW counter to mutas alongside the corsair,the sc 2 archon is a shadow of its former self.Its splash is about 25% of its dmg,while the BW archon had 100% splash,a trully frightening prospect for any muta user.
Consider the fact that gas geysers dont produce gas while depleted like in BW (in BW vespene geysers continued to produce 2 gas per trip even when depleted) and u wont see the mass archon armies in late game PvZ as in BW,and u get a unit which without full upgrades is very bad and with full 3/3/3 upgrades is ok.

Archons are medium against mass mutas,especially with Guardian Shield ,to help mitigate splash dmg and with protos shields upgrades.If players are stupid to atack archons supported they will find themselves into alot of pain.
The problem is not alot of zergs do that and u need alot of archons to fight off mass mutas.
And u can die to mass roach,which archons are pretty weak against.


-Psionic Storm.
Alongside archons,the storm is also a former shell of its great self.Nerfed from 112 (or 120) and large area in BW to 80 and small arrea in SC2 and u see the difference.

Sadly,Psy Storm is our only true viable answer to mass mutas.The only problem is aiming it,which takes alot of skill and luck,considering mutas are very fast.And if he parks his mutas above ur troops will u risk storming ur troops?

Storm does not kill mutas,unless the zerg is very bad.It allows u to soften them up and giving u a chance to kill them with stalkers/phoenixes.
Also teching to HT and breaking the muta cloud,gives u a chance against the coming hidra transition,because storm is the only meaning,alongside collosi, to fight of hidras.

Muta harass works just like lurker contain in BW.If u can break it early and take out the zergs third or forth and u have at least 2 mining bases,u have a standing chance.
But if he contained u for too long and denying u a third,even if u break his muta cloud,his transition will run u over.
It happened to be once,when i managed to kill his mutas only to have to fight a hidra/broodlord combo,which u need a VR/Collosi/storm combo to beat it.And u wont have the resources to get in time if he starved u for too long.
Again,storm seems the only true posibility into fighint muta clouds,altough lots of practice is needed into aiming the storm.

-Photon Cannons
cant say much about them except they are a good detterent when mutas are in small numbers and quite useless when mutas reach a critical number.


-What units/combos did we lost from BW against mass mutas.

First of all i dont want to turn this into a BW vs SC 2 war. I know they are different games,but theyr still alike.The reason many units got taken about were mainly because

-the developers wanted something new
-they might be coming back in a expansion.

So,the units/combos/whatever:

-Corsair

Compared to the phoenix,this guys had a smaller dmg,slightly increased atack speed and area splash.
And also if u opted to go corsair/carrier,they were great support if u got Disruption Web.It basicaly worked like Cloud from Wc3.It stopped all units to atack underneath it.
What does phoenix have? The ability to lift 1 unit at a time for 10 sec,and they kill ovies slightly faster then a worker.

-Maelstrom/psy storm combo.

Altought only used at high lvl or end game,this combo was used against 5 hatch hidra strat.That zerg strat means flooding the toss with mass of hidras while getting 5-7 mutas to snipe and HT.But if u got like 1 Dark Archon and research maelstrom (an arrea of efect spell which stuned bio units) and storm the units stuned,it was GG.
Now the dark archon is gone and maelstrom is given to the zerg under the form of Fungal Growth (an combo of plague+maelstrom).


-Other strats which are partially succesfull against muta/ling.

Many of the players will tell u that the best way to prevent muta/ling is early pressure.But depending on map/position/strat used,early pressure is not always possible.
And when the muta cloud gets in the air,there is not much u can do.

This thread is made to get at least a viable strat/opening/aproach on dealing with muta/ling.

-4 gate
-3 gate expand into 6 gate push (with +1 dmg upgrade)
-3 gate blink stalker all-in
-3 gate into expo into 6 gate blink stalkers

U all know 4 gate.On small maps,a carefully executed 4 gate can kill a zerg.
The problem appears when the zerg is either smart or the distance is too great and he can detect ur attempt.And the fact that its an all-in,means u are flipping a coin.

3(4) gate blink stalker all-in is a strat similar to 4 gate,but focuses on getting blink fast and using blink to micro the stalkers.U pretty much dont loose units (depending on map and micro) while the zerg looses units and shuts down droning and tries to build enough units.
Compared to 4 gate,3 gate blink stalker can allow for an expo,while 4 gate blink stalker is an all-in.
compared to 4 gate,blink stalker strats,if it fails leave u with a little tech (twilight council) which u can transition into DT or HT (if u opted for the 3 gate blink stalker into expo).

The other 2 versions,3 gate into expo 6 gate push/blink stalkers,comes out a little late then 3 gate blink stalker/4 gate but are much stronger .
And theyr very deadly when u managed to deal early dmg to the zerg.
They strike about the same time the mutas start poping,so the battle can either turn into a base race (which u will win,because mutas suck vs buildings,especially in small numbers) or force to defend,which favors u ,because stalkers+sentryes+guardian shield rape mutas or massed blink stalkers.
These 2 strats are very potent and the ussual answer when u sniff any muta/ling attempts.


-Reading the signs.
The signs of muta/ling is low number of troops and especially low to no roaches at all.
Altough u can get tricked,few zergs build mass roaches and then transition into mutas.And even that,the money spend on roaches weakens the muta cloud.

-Problems i've encountered.
The biggest problem is that against FE zerg i can deny muta/ling by just trying to pylon block the hatch,applying pressure with 2-4 chronoboosted zeals (depending on positions) and force him to either cancel hatch or make too many lings early.Or just make roaches.
But against zergs who go speedlings into expand,its very hard,because if i go out with a very small force (and not enough to defeat the speedlols) i die if i try to retreat and if i w8 too long the mutas pop and we start all over.

I'l try to post some replays later and i'l w8 for ur replies/questions/discussions.
(pls excuse the grammar errors).


Last edited by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by eFxGamer on Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:14 am

Good read.

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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Lasram on Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:41 am

Hey

this answer is from a Zerg point of view. First of all great post. Very detailed description. The way a lot of Protoss I play deal with muta ling is scouting for it early and pressuring multiple times before its out. More and more Ps go Hallucination after warpgate immediately because you can rely on cannons and warpgate units to defend your expansion. A hallucinated phoenix usually gets out by the time Zerg has to choose their path of tech. If there is a spire and you know that right away you can secure your mineral lines with a few cannons tech to HTs and skip the robo for the time being. If you see the spire building you should prepare to take a third right away if necessary. (i.e. Killing rocks on LT, XelNaga).
Its important that you move out and push the Zerg front before mutas are out. Force him to build lings and waste larvae. If theres any chance try to build a hidden pylon close to his possible 3rd which he will take as soon as mutas pop. Warping 2 or 3 Zealots to harrass while he contains you might make him pull back the mutas and give you a chance to secure your bases even more or even take your 3rd.
As you mentioned in your post I would recommend any P to move out at least once if Z was going for an expansion. Just poke in there force him to build units. If he hasnt done that just kill him. If he has enough units to defend just pull back. So this makes at least 2 times you HAVE to move out (imo) before spire is even done.
If you have gone for Stargate. Then he probably wont go for mutas because phoenix are very strong against mutas. The mentioned techswitch to Hydra is difficult to defend. You have to try to harrass the mineral line and overlords to keep the Zerg busy while you prepare for hydras. At that stage of the game there is not enough creep on the map to get hydras to your base fast. Protoss should use that to their advantage.
Your overall goal should be to get to storm. As it is the best lategame tech for P in my opinion or at least the one i have the most trouble with. Collossus are very good if combined with strong forcefield usage.

Keep them strategies coming. Love to discuss Starcraft.

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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:51 pm

EDIT: Added BW comparison section the my above post.


Yes Thomas,but u see,i dont have problem against hatch first builds.I can do dmg either with proxy
cannons or chronoboosted zeals (if close positions).
Like i said,i have problems against speedling expands.And against speedlings i need to go with a sizable force.Any less and i cant retreat and il loose all my units.

Like i told u,5RR/bane busts i can take them.But speedling expand is just a little less economical then FE but it gives a guaranteed expo and the posibilty to counter atack/backstab.
And i cant move out until i have my +1 atack upgrade done and lots of sentries.
And im stuck on going for quick expo myself and when i think im ready to move out,mutas pop.
And then i have to either push out in a beserker fashion and try to take out one of his hatches (by looking at the replays,at the 9-10 minute mark,he doesnt have many ground units) or just defend and eventually die to the switch.





Regarding ur "using hallu" to scout zerg's tech choice.Well the zerg can easily go for an hidra then after spire (its only 150/100,or something).And if u w8 for the zerg to make his tech choice,ur already behind.Why?

1. he can tech switch himself after u chosen the wrong path (u scout spire ,he has either hidden hidra den or drops it after ur scout goes).
2.if u see hidra den/spire already building,toss needs at least 2 building to get the units necessary,for HT against mutas we need twillight/templar archives,against hidras we robo/robo bay (altought u can use storm against hidras too),giving the zerg a timing window to punish u for it.


From what i can see here,it seems i need to go for storm first against zerg,because can keep me safe against both mutas and hidras.The only weakness of storm is against mass burrow roaches which can heal.But my gate units can hold them back until i can get either immortals or void rayz.

Il try some games with fast storm and il get back to u on that.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Lasram on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:02 pm

I see your point. what i wanted to say is that good Zerg will only make few units even with a speedling expand. And eventually there will be an expansion to push in. And if you push about the time its done, as I said just go for the middle of the map, make sure Zerg scouts it. That is enough to make him build units. After that you can just retreat. And hallucination is no one time thing. At that point in the game you should have a lot of sentries and use every 30 seconds. Just to see if he puts down a Hydra den after your first phoenix is gone. And believe me, Zerg cant hide anything from that kind of a scout. You just fly all over his base. 2-3 queens wont deny your scouting and thats all the anti air Z has at that point.
I would recommend the HT path for P in general. So you should have the twilight council up before that point because charge and blink are good upgrades to get anyway. Then just go for storm the first group of mutas wont be to big. You should have storm out before it gets to scary. Storm will help you too when you push because lings die so quick against it.
Mass roaches might be a problem but he has to start building up his force earlier than the muta or hydra tech. So you should be able to scout mass roaches ahead of time.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:23 pm

I made some tests regarding archons and they seem to be the good answer against mass mutas alongside storm.
Storm is pretty hard to aim but softens up the mutas.
The thing is il start to open up with storm because it keeps u safe against both mutas/hidras.
And roaches are np.I just need a robo and 2-3 immortals and some good FF.And if he goes mass roaches,im pretty safe.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Lasram on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:30 pm

storm ftw. Overall sounds good to me. Little pressure to stop Z from droning to hard and teching to storm. Scout what hes doing and your good to go.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:54 pm

the only problem is that i dont have much experience with storm.Thats why i need ur help,to practice togeter Smile.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Stingray on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:06 pm

OpKeKRoAkash wrote:the only problem is that i dont have much experience with storm.Thats why i need ur help,to practice togeter Smile.

1 warp prism with 2 high templar drop in his mineral line
2 storms in his worker line all workers will die
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:15 pm

Stingray wrote:
OpKeKRoAkash wrote:the only problem is that i dont have much experience with storm.Thats why i need ur help,to practice togeter Smile.

1 warp prism with 2 high templar drop in his mineral line
2 storms in his worker line all workers will die

that is very late game harass man .And if it gets intercepted,u loose lots of valuable units.
were talking here at least 20 + min of game time.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Stingray on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:32 pm

OpKeKRoAkash wrote:
Stingray wrote:
OpKeKRoAkash wrote:the only problem is that i dont have much experience with storm.Thats why i need ur help,to practice togeter Smile.

1 warp prism with 2 high templar drop in his mineral line
2 storms in his worker line all workers will die

that is very late game harass man .And if it gets intercepted,u loose lots of valuable units.
were talking here at least 20 + min of game time.

Is it really so hard to just get 2 high temps and sneak into their mineral line and drop 2 storms when they are mobilizing
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Lasram on Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:20 pm

You have to go robo for that and warprism and have storm ready and enough energy. At that point Zerg has mutas out which makes the drop even harder. If you lose it your robo and 2 templars were just a delay in time to defend the actual muta harrass. You are behind from there on. And a Zerg usually can replenish drones so fast that it isnt that huge of a setback. So this is really more of a lategame tactic.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:40 pm

Lasram wrote:You have to go robo for that and warprism and have storm ready and enough energy. At that point Zerg has mutas out which makes the drop even harder. If you lose it your robo and 2 templars were just a delay in time to defend the actual muta harrass. You are behind from there on. And a Zerg usually can replenish drones so fast that it isnt that huge of a setback. So this is really more of a lategame tactic.

Thats my point.In mid game when u have like 3-5 HT,loosing 2 HT and a warp prism is really bad.
A warp prism (even with speed upgrade,at 3.38) it still catched by mutas.

Loosing 300/300 for 10 drones (if ur lucky) doesnt really helps me.I need all the gas to fight the mutas.


Like lasram said, and also like DT,this is a late game mechaninc were u have at least 3 bases and u cann afford to loose them if things go bad. In mid ,u cannot afford loosing them.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Kevin on Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:31 am

Do you think high temps are useless in late game?
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by OpKeKRoAkash on Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:41 am

Kevin wrote:Do you think high temps are useless in late game?

i didnt say that. i meant that HT drops are not viable unless ur on 3 bases.
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Re: Muta/ling in PvZ

Post by Lasram on Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:11 am

Kevin wrote:Do you think high temps are useless in late game?

In fact HTs are great in lategame. If you keep them alive you have high damage output for the investment you made
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