PvT MC’s Oracle Expand

General Overview

This PvT opener opens with early Oracles to smash through un-upgraded marines and harass your opponent’s mineral line, all while taking an expansion back at home and transitioning into the midgame.

Build Order

  • 9 – Pylon
  • 13 – Gateway
  • 15 – 2 Assimilators
  • 16 – Pylon
  • 17 – @100% Gateway, start Cybernetics Core
  • 21 – Pylon
  • 21 -@100% Cybernetics Core, start Warpgate Research and 1st Stalker
    • Chronoboost Stalkers
  • 23 – Mothership Core
  • 25 – @100% 1st Stalker, start 2nd Stalker
  • Move out when your Mothership Core finishes (@4:45ish), move out with 1st Stalker and Mothership Core, and rally 2nd Stalker to fight.
  • ———-Above is MC’s 2 Stalker+Mothership Core Opener
  • @150 Gas, start Stargate
  • @100 Gas, start Sentry
  • @100% Stargate, start constant Oracle production
  • @400 Mins, start 2nd Nexus
  • @300 Mins, start 2 Gateways and 3rd Assimilator
  • Attack your opponent’s mineral line with your oracles to kill your opponent’s SCVs or marines

Scouting

For more early game scouting, please refer to the Scouting section of IMBAbuilds’ guide to MC’s 2 Stalker+Mothership Core Opener.

This build opens aggressively with lots of units, so there is no need to be worried about early pressure.  However, in order for you to control your Oracles well and attack in the correct places, it is necessary to know what your opponent is building.  Thus, use your early game map control with your Stalkers and Mothership Core to poke in and see whether your opponent is going for Widow Mines/where they are building Turrets/how they have positioned their Marines so that you will know when and how to attack with your oracles.

Transitions

This build transitions into any normal midgame that you would like.  At around the 8 minute mark, plant down either a Robotics Facility or Twilight Council to start your teching into Colossus or High Templars+Storm.  Then, after your Oracle harass has finished, you will already be halfway to your desired tech.  Getting more gateways down and the upgrades (+1 Ground Armor and Charge/Storm) started while you are harassing your opponent is very important.

Alternatively, you can go for a Phoenix/Colossus midgame army.  Plant down a Robotics Facility at around the 8 minute mark and tech straight for Colossi on 4 Assimilators.  When your Robotics Bay finishes, start 2 more Gateways, start your first Colossus, and begin producing Phoenix in order to re-converge to a play style akin to Jim’s Phoenix/Colossus Build.

Tips

  • Use your first Stalker to deny an SCV/Reaper scout and keep your opponent in the dark as to what build you are going.
  • Rally your Oracles to an airspace near your opponent’s base so that your push happens as soon as you are ready.
  • The Mothership Core can poke in and around your opponent’s main base to see what tech buildings they have and/or what units they are building.
  • Go in with your first Oracle if they opened with gas to start applying pressure soon.  If you wait for 3 or 4 Oracles, a Widow Mine drop might be already on the way and you would not be able to defend it.
  • Wait for more Oracles if they opened gasless 1rax FE and your stalkers have not been able to do any damage.  If you go in too soon, then they’ll just build a reactive missile turret and shut down your later Oracles.
  • Remember: Oracles scale REALLY well.  3 Oracles can take down up to 10 marines without losing a single Oracle.  Be aggressive vs marines, and super defensive vs turrets/widow mines.
  • Do not forget to include the Mothership Core in the fight – its DPS and Time Warp spell are very useful when taking out marines/units.
  • Start that midgame transition BEFORE you focus on the harass in your opponent’s base so that after the Oracle harass has finished, you will already be halfway to your desired midgame tech.

Pros and Cons

This build gives you map control and hits your opponents with a lot of early game Oracles to destroy a mineral line.  It is strong because Oracles absolutely destroy un-upgraded marines, and are maneuverable enough that they can track down and run after SCVs.

However, opening with this build delays your expand a lot more than if you had opened straight 1gate FE.  Because you have less economy, the midgame Terran timing attacks with medivacs are even scarier than normal (unless you do damage with your Oracles), so you actually have to do damage to attempt to transition into the midgame.  Remember that Oracles have very little health, so you have to babysit your units if you have any hope of not losing them instantly to a well placed Missile Turret/Widow Mine.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on larger maps with lots of airspace.  This way your Oracles have a lot of maneuverability and escape routes, and if your opponent does choose to counter attack, you have a lot more time before they get to your base and you have to worry about defending.

  • King Sejong Station
  • Catallena
  • Nimbus

Replays

MC beating MVP with this build at MLG Dallas 2013

Mid Masters Example Replay of this build in action

MC’s Oracle Expand Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI