Sunday, 21 of January of 2018

HotS: Naniwa 1 Gate Mothership Core Fast Expand – Protoss vs Zerg Builds

In this guest article from SC2Cha0s we take a look at the PvZ matchup in HotS and learn how to expand like Naniwa!

Protoss vs Zerg, in my opinion, is one of the most exciting match-ups in the current meta game of Heart of the Swarm.  But for most people getting to the mid and late game can be very challenging. 

The standard forge fast expand build has been around for a little over 2 years and has given the Protoss player the opportunity to keep up with the economic race.  The only problem with this build is that it significantly delays the tech of the Protoss player.  Today we are going to be looking at a build that Naniwa introduced in the spring Dreamhack open tournament.

Here is an outline for the build order for the early game:

  •  9 Supply – Pylon
  • 13 Supply – Gateway
  • 14 Supply – Assimilator
  • 15 Supply – Pylon
  • 16 Supply – Cybernetics Core
  • 3:00 – Zealot
  • 3:50 – Mothership Core
  • ASAP – Warpgate
  • ASAP – Expand

Looking at this build you might be wondering, “How does this early game build deal with early rushes like 6 or 8 pools?”.  By getting the mothership core out extremely early (i.e. before warpgate research), the effectiveness of early ling pressure is greatly diminished since they cannot attack the MSC.  Check out this video to see what I mean. 

Once the nexus is down it is crucial to wall up your natural because if a later speed ling or baneling attack comes it will be very difficult to hold.

Once you feel like you are in a comfortable position, scouting becomes very critical.  It is imperative to determine if your opponent is taking a quick third base or sitting on two bases.  If your opponent stays on two bases, your opponent is going to be looking at hitting a lair timing, while if he is expanding to a third he is looking to take the economic advantage and move into the late game.  As a Protoss player, it is your job to set the pace for the game if your opponent is expanding.  This can be achieved by applying a quick 4 gate timing to deny the third and force the Zerg player to build units instead of drones.  If the third can be sniped you will be put into a very good position going into the mid-game and give you the opportunity to tech up and expand.

If your opponent chooses not to expand, you MUST determine the tech path he is going.  If you do not, you will be blind-sided when you tech up to colossus and find out that he has gone for Mutalisks (or something to that nature).  This is when observers and hallucinated phoenix come into play.  By using these scouting tools, you can get a good idea of the composition your opponent is going for and set up to counter it.

If you have any questions about this guide feel free to tweet me @SC2_Cha0s.  Also, if you are a Protoss player and want to check out my Bronze to Master League series feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

Andrew “Cha0s” Hitchcock

About the author:

G'day, i'm ZiggyD, founder of When I started LSC2 I was in Bronze so I know what it's like to be a beginner. With this experience I hope to make learning Starcraft 2 easier for new players and to assist the growth of eSports. I'm also a fulltime YouTuber as well! For updates of what i'm working on you can follow me on Twitter at @ZiggyDStarcraft

Leave a comment

  • four + = 13

Comments RSS TrackBack 2 comments