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Protoss Handbook

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I'll admit, I'm not so great at the Protoss. But just the same, I'll give away all I know about fighting and defending with the Protoss army. Also, I'll tack on some information about collecting and expanding to new mineral locations. Read on...
 
Updated information will appear with a * in front of it. This means that I have come back and added the note after finishing the original handbook

Every young Protoss settlement consists of a nexus and four shiny new probes. The Nexus provides your first set of psi; 9 *(error reported by Appleturtle-the protoss start with 9 psi, not 10. Oops). Begin your conquest by starting a new probe at the nexus and sending all your probes to seperate mineral clumps quickly. Once again, this begining part of the game is what makes or breaks most players in starcraft. Make sure to have that new pylon warping in ahead of time, so you'll be able to continously produce new probes. Once you have about 10 or so probes on minerals your game differs depending on your fighting style.
 
1) You could build a pair of gateways and begin producing zealots for a rush. This is the most affective rush tactic in the game. 8 zealots can decimate whole squads of marines and zerglings, and they can tear down lone bunkers, sunken colonies, and photon cannon defenses with relative ease.
 
2) You could build just a forge and fortify your choke point with photon cannons to prevent a rush. Then, while your base is protected by the photon cannons, you can build up a larger attack force in partial safety.
 
Note: Sometimes the best choice lies somewhere in between. What would it be like to have zealots to rush with and some cannon defense to protect your base?

Expanding: Expanding is especially important for the protoss because of the high cost of all protoss units. Fortunately, the Protoss do have the easiest time claiming a new base compared to the other races. To expand, start your new nexus and then I suggest finding a choke point to the exspansion and warping in a pylon and then several photon cannons. This provides an instant defense against ground and air units, sparing your troops. Don't get too cocky though, always keep a couple troops in reserve just in case your cannons come under heavy attack. Have a couple high templar around with the psionic storm handy so you can take whole chunks of the enemy army out of the picture if need be.
 
Expanding too quickly could leave you open to attack, but expanding to late can devastate the expensive protoss. Just be sure to have defenses, or at least a clump of photon cannons in place before you move in and actually start
gathering.
 
* Having a few dark templars to back up your cannons can make all the difference in an all out ground attack
 
*Build an extra gateway or two at your new expansion to produce reinforcements should your troops take too many cassualties

Infrastructure and Upgrades are among the most important parts of the protoss army. If you want dragoons and you want em' fast, you'll need more than those two puny gateways. To build fast you need multiple buildings-but there is a limit to this. If you cannot gather enough minerals to keep all the gateways producing at once, you have too many. Also, you will want about 3 forges and two cybernetics cores to upgrade the armor, weapons, and shields of your army all at once. Once you start the upgrades, rush to get that templar archives in because without it, your upgrading days are done. As for special abilities, be choosy. Only get the upgrades for the units you are going to use - say the interceptor capacity upgrade for your fleet of carriers is a must, and alternately; the dragoons attack range and the zealots run speed upgrade is essential for your ground forces. But (for example) if your not using carriers you wont need or ever use the interceptor upgrade. Protoss upgrades are particularly exspensive, so choose wisely the upgrades you take.
 
Resource Management
Added by AppleTurtle: Staff Member
 

Protoss players will, by far, eat up the most recourses in almost any game, so, naturally they will be expanding the most. Don't wait for your resources to start to dwindle, once you have your basic defenses figured out you should be working on the robotics facility then two shuttles. When you've found a spot to expand to load up the shuttles with 2-3 goons maybe some zealots, but at least 2 probes. Once unloaded warp in a nexus as close as you can to minerals and gas, then get a assimilator on the gas, then, if you want, have a pylon and some cannons or a gateway for defense. After they warp in start pumping out probes, send 3-5 to each assimilator-too much and its too crowded, too little and you aren't getting all the gas you need. You should have 15-30 probes working on each set of recourses. But watch out, too many probes will limit the size of your attack force, but too few will slow the time to make your attack force. A true Protoss pro with recourses will have no more than 300 minerals at the end of the game but never got the "not enough minerals" message. Tips on using resources effectively: 1. Dont buy unnecessary upgrades or buildings that you will NEVER use. 2. If you notice a resource spot beginning to run low, take a few probes from there and start a new one. 3. Using a lot of carriers can backfire on the skilled player, leaving your wallet hurt more than your enemy. (Note: If using any of the "fastest maps" just throw 25-30 probes on minerals and 3 on each assimilator.)

Attacking: The protoss specialty is attacking. The high end, powerful protoss units have the greatest damage potential per unit than that of both the terran and zerg. If you are using ground units, find the best spot to attack from. Ussually, the enemy will have all ground routes plugged off with bunkers and sunken defenses. If all areas of approach are closed off, send all your units at the base enmasse'. Use micro managment to quickly kill key units like defending seige tanks, reavers high templar ect. Just be sure that you have adequete cloak protection, otherwise you'll end up with a lot of dead (and expsensive) protoss units. Spell casters can help alot here, because breaking someones primary defense line isn't easy. Keep cranking out reinforcements at your extra gateways to keep your enemy on thier toes. If it just so happens that you are using air units to attack with, although I doubt rthe possibility of an air only attack on regular maps because of a huge lack of resources, send your air units against the weakest part of the enemy defenses. If possible, try to sneak your fighters around the defenses to the helpless center of the base, where you can do the most damage. Protoss air units are extrememly exspensive, so if it looks like they will take a beating, ease off a bit and recharge your shields- you may even want to build a few extra shield batteries for just such a purpose. For an all purpose protoss air unit, carriers are unmatched. Air units are more affective if complemented with an arbiter. Either way, once you start an attack, don't back down-keep sending new waves of attack until the enemy is destroyed or begs for mercy-then you can either grant them mercy or bring them swift death.
 
* A large scale reaver drop can do incredible amounts of damage before the enemy has time to react.
 
*Scouts are affective units to counter air units with. Couple them with some ground troops to great affect. ( the scout does 28 points of damage a shot, even without upgrades-the games highest)
 
* Keep your units in control groups to make attacks faster and more efficient

Defending: The protoss' first line of defense is the photon cannon. Building a wall of cannons to defend a choke point is a good idea-so long as you still have minerals left over to fight with. Ring your base with cannons to provide an early warning system to an air invasion. The photon cannon is a very affective tool unless its badly outnumbered. But, it is important to know the photon cannons limitations. They are vulnerable to long range attacks like siege tanks, reavers and gaurdians. Also, a plague can cut the cannons defensive values in half, depleting thier hulls to 1, leaving them with only thier shields' hit points. The Psionic storm is perhaps the Protoss's single most efficient defense against incoming attackers. A properly aimed pair of psionic storms can wipe out whole groups of powerful units at once, even if you have no real units to fight with. Launching a couple storms over slow moving packs of battle cruisers, gaurdians, and carriers can blow them out of the sky with little or no danger to you or any of your defending troops. The Scout is also an effective weapon against air units-with thier anti matter missles doing 28 points of damage before you even upgrade them. Against ground units, a solid combo of reavers, zealots and dragoons backed by photon cannons is your best bet. Start producing reinfocements as soon as an attack presents itself, just in case it is more than your current defenses can handle.
 
* Use reavers and high templars together with your cannons. Use the reavers splash damage and the templars powerful psionic storm to take out clumps of enemy units at once. It is possible to kill whole armies of units with just a pair of templars and a handfull of reavers

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