Protoss Scouting Guide
Scouting in Starcraft 2 is one of the most important skills to master in order to successfully defeat your opponents. Winning players don’t use the same strategies every game – they react to what their opponents are doing by changing their build orders and other key strategies. Your general goals for scouting should be to scout a build order, enemy attack forces, composition of enemy forces, and expansions.
The Scout is one of the best units in the Protoss armory, but it is also expensive and time consuming to create. They are especially powerful when using Shield Battery and in larger groups. Because of the long Protoss build times, it helps to build more than one Stargate.
Protoss Scouting – Early Game
There are two main factors that will tell you when to scout as a Protoss player – the map and the race of your enemy
On a 4 player map or in battles when your opponent’s race is random, you generally want to use the Probe that warped into your Pylon as a scout. This allows you to harrass the SCVs building buildings for Terrans, to detect a 6 or 8 pool against Zergs, and to detect a possibly proxy against Protoss.
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If you are on a 2 player map, if you know the race of your enemy, then use the Probe that built your first gateway. Generally though I prefer the first strategy of using the Probe that warped into your Pylon.
If you can rush Robotics, you can get an early Observer for scouting. It’s also a good idea to try to keep one Probe in front of the enemy base so you can see if they leave it.
Protoss Scouting – Mid-Game
Mid-game for Protoss Scouting, there are several major strategies.
The first is to get a Robotics facility and use Observers to scout. Observers tend to be the best Starcraft 2 scouting units, but they become visible when moving so you must be careful not to blow your cover.
The second, if you are doing an aggressive 4-gate near your enemy’s ramp, you can see what is there. This is a dangerous strategy since you severely limit your ability to scout, and can lose to a surprise attack. You can also send a Zealot to try and scout, before he dies.
If you are going for Phoenixes, then use your Phoenix for scouting since fast air units tend to excel. With Phoenix speed and shields you can generally get past anti-air.
A surprise way to scout is to use a Sentry to create a hollogram (after researching hallucination). The hollogram does give you vision, and is a creative, surprise way to scout as a Protoss that can really give you an edge with limited risk. You can hallucinate a Phoenix and send him in to scout.
Protoss Scouting – Late Game
Typically as a Protoss, late game scouting isn’t nearly as important as early or mid-game. Use your Observers to continue scouting late game.
Protoss Scouting vs. Terran
Beginner and intermediate Terran players almost always wall off. You can figure out the Terran strategy being used from advanced players – if they DON’T wall off, it means a rush attack or at the very least, early pressure with a bio attack.
If you can get a Probe in their base early, try and keep it there moving around until Marines kill it off. This will allow you to spy on their early strategy. If they are accumulating gas early on, they are probably rushing Banshees or Thor. If they wall off, they are probably going to focus on their tech or may be producing Stalkers. Never use Zealots to scout Terran, since their Marauder slow completely makes the Zealots worthless.
Protoss Scouting vs. Zerg
At the start of the game, try to figure out what went down first, gas or pool. If gas declined, you need to figure out if your opponent’s Zerg strategy is using Roaches or Banelings. Roaches early in the game can come fast and quickly overwhelm you. Creep tumors and Overlords can be used to hide tech. Keep an eye out for a Zerg enemy that may be building a Colossus, because that means you need to quickly get your Zealots prepared to aid in defense.
Protoss Scouting – Defending Against Enemy Scouts:
The best way to deny scouting is to wall off your door with 1 Pylon, 1 Warpgate, and a single Zealot. The Zealot will be the door to let you in and out. This is also a great way to defend against Zerg 6-7-8 pool. But make sure to put your Zealots in Hold Position, otherwise this defense will not work! Check out the Zerg scouting guide and Terran scouting guide to get familiar with enemy scouting techniques before combat begins. Since Terran’s have the ability to scan without sending in a scout, via their Scanner Sweep, the best and really only thing you can do to minimize this is to make sure to spread out your buildings and try to build some of the structures in hidden locations. This way, Terran’s won’t waste the 270 minerals on a scanner sweep because it will only show a small portion of your build.
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