First version of the ground-up tutorial

Check it out at Like my other guides, I’m happy to iterate on it, so comment if you see any big holes or have any tips on it. Otherwise, I might be iterating somewhat slowly on it while I refocus on my strategy guides for each race.

Also, check out the replays from DreamHack Summer 2013 and the 2013 MLG Spring Championship on the Spawning Tool. You can find build orders far more efficiently there than from my write-ups. Again, let me know if you would like to see a write-up for anything from those tournaments, and I can dig up the games and do some analysis there.

Minor update to Protoss Strategy PvT

Previously, I was recommending this interesting opening for PvT

The 1 Gate Expand is from itsgosu and is used in PvT (and PvZ if you don’t want to FFE). Note the very aggressive poke with the first 3 units: it’s a little odd but possibly valuable.

Perfect’s PvT 1 Gate Expand

  • Standard opening
  • 18 Zealot (rallied to enemy)
  • 22 Stalker (Chronoboost),
  • Mothership Core
  • 4:20 Nexus
  • Warpgate
  • Assimilator

I don’t really recommend this anymore. In fact, this was probably outdated before HotS was even released. It turns out that running across the map with your Stalker and Mothership Core doesn’t really help when Reaper openings are so common.

Instead, I slapped in a very standard, safe 1 Gate Expand from Mana. Read more on the Protoss Strategy page. And if you want to browse real build orders, check out some of these PvTs at the Spawning Tool. You can filter down to your favorite players and events on the right hand side.

One more thing: you may remember my spawning setup guide from a few weeks ago. This made me realize that there’s a gap in what I provide here. My current strategy guides assume that you understand the mechanics of the game and even what all of the units do. I was thinking it might be helpful to have guides that bridge a bit of that initial thinking as well. I’m not really a video guy, so maybe YouTube videos would be more suited for it, but I could slap together a guide on what parts of StarCraft you should use to learn how to play (tutorials, training, playing vs ai) and a brief explanation of units and compositions.

Vote in the poll below.

Would you use or share a ground-up tutorial for StarCraft?

  • Yes (83%, 10 Votes)
  • No (17%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Some interesting stats before Dreamhack

Dreamhack Valencia is coming up this weekend, and in preparation for that, I fired up Spawning Tool for some analysis. Check out a few observations I made in a TL post

Because Dreamhack releases replays after their events, we actually have a ton of data available for each of these players. I went through the players seeded into Group Stage #2 and checked their performance at Dreamhack Summer. Here’s what I found:

1. Lucifron beat Sonder 2-0 using almost the exact same opening in both games. He opened with 2 Reapers into 3 CC and Hellions. The builds only start to diverge around 7:00 (ref)

2. Harstem went 4-4 (50%) in PvZ. He cannon rushed in 3 of his 4 wins, and in none of his losses (ref)

3. TheStC only played TvT in 1 series, going mech in both games against Morrow in by far his longest games (24 and 31 minutes) (ref)

4. Hyun went 7-1 (82.5%) in ZvT (ignore the issues parsing gameheart games). The games lasted between 9 and 19 minutes, with his 1 loss coming against TheStC in the longest game. His 3 fastest wins, unsurprisingly, came off of Roach-Zergling all-ins (ref)

5. StarNaN went 0-6 in PvZ. Granted, it was against Hyun, Life, and Pig, but YugiOh isn’t going to be much easier (ref)

6. Stephano went 6-2 (75%) in ZvZ, losing only to Hyun. He doesn’t build very many Roaches but does build a lot of Zerglings(ref)

7. Tefel went 8-1 (89%) in ZvP, losing only to Harstem’s cannon rush. He went Roach/Hydra in ALL of these games (ref)

8. NightEnD went 3-1 (75%) in PvZ, using a Gateway Expand build in all of them (ref)

I thought those were pretty interesting, but they also show off some of what you can do with the research tool. You might have noticed that this looks a lot different from the old research tool. After getting some feedback about the valuable parameters and developing an approachable interface, I scaled back the page a bit. The fancier bits about searching over the build orders are still around in advanced search, though I’ll need to revisit that code, too, probably.

Oddly, my work recently has been at 2 extremes. There was a lot of parsing stuff I needed to go through that basically just result in more accurate data and low-level extraction of data and tags. On the other extreme, I worked with Julie to get a splash of purple and revised interfaces. The result is that the actual core functionality of the site (somewhere between those 2 ends) didn’t change much, so not too many new features to hawk. Despite that, the site is in much better shape than before.

Anyways, enjoy Dreamhack. I think we’re on the cusp of some really exciting developments with Spawning Tool as we get more replays and hit the core functionality.