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Thread: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

  1. #1
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    Default Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    Hi guys, I just need suggestions on how to do this... ie. using just stalkers and templer (maybe with some cannons) to fend off pesky mutas.

    Before anyone starts blabbering that phoenix's are the counter to mutas... let's just say that I've decided to give up on the unit. True... whenever he has mutas and I have phoenix's out, I win. However, I've had so many instances where I was faked out.... I saw a spire tech with my scout, I start 2 star gates with weapons upgrade straight away, and the next thing I know, I have a tonne of roaches and hydras at my doorstep with no colossi or storm researched coz I pumped so much gas into stargate tech.

    So now, I wanna learn how to use units which are generally all rounders against zerg vs mutas. My problem, blink stalkers handle mutas fine in small numbers, but once these numbers pick up, the stalkers just fold and die. Positioning templers at the mineral line often result in them being picked off first while my attention is elsewhere... and when I do get a storm off, I either miss the mutas completely due to the templers fantastic sprinting abilities, or I pretty much storm all my probes to oblivion. I've seen Huk sacrificing quite a few of his probes in his attempts to kill the mutas... obviously he has a lot more success than I do. So, any suggestions on how I can improve? Unit positioning? Storm placement? Some voodoo dance I must do when i see mutas etc...

    PS: I'm mid level diamond so kindly not suggest basic stuff like macro more or pressure his expo etc... I already do all that. I don't have lightning quick hands as I'm old and rickety so I make do with a low APM (my APM in the first minute of the game is in single digits, average is about 40, and I spike to 150 in combat at best :P) and somewhat intelligent strategy planning.
    Last edited by masakari; 12-23-2010 at 03:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    I put 3-4 cannons in the mineral line to deter muta harass. It's the only way you'll maintain map control if you didn't go stargate.

    Once you have your mineral line down pat, you force him to defend. Mutas aren't very strong in a pure army fight. Guardian shield will drop muta DPS by 30% or so. Line up a good storm and you can easily bring the mutas down to 80 HP, which is a big deal. Storm also obliterates lings, which is the key component in muta/ling strategies.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    Figured that was one of the solutions, but not having too much success with it. Either muta numbers are big enough to pick off the cannons, or they just start hitting the rest of my base/tech and its a bit expensive to start building cannons all over the place. Invariably I lose at least 300 minerals + gas worth of stuff and if I'm lucky, I take out maybe 1 muta... not a good exchange. Meanwhile, zerg is macroing like crazy. True, when I finally do get to move out, mutas are terrible in straight out battle.... but a good muta harass keeps me almost permanently locked in at 2 bases while the zerg gets a 3rd and 4th. Against a poorer player, I can win... but against someone of at least equivalent skill, I almost always lose.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    I am going to give you advice more in the realm of killing mutas w/o phoenixes as a whole. Mostly because when I went through a similar process of wanting to depend on phoenixes less I tried to not limit myself to using only stalkers or templar, but more let myself explore any available option. (This is probably going to be a larger post, may want to get comfortable, get some popcorn, and your HuK Pillow).

    In watching pros play, I noticed two very different ways of defeating someone going muta tech. The first one being:killing them before they can get mutas to begin with. It is a very simple concept, if you spot the opponent doing spire tech or have tell tell signs of it (many spine crawlers at natural often tends to mean spire tech) you just flat out go kill them before they can get a chance to get mutas out, or at the very least you get there when the first mutas hatch and they have to use all of them to try to defend. There are a few builds that have this idea in mind; 4gate, 3 gate expand into 5 gate, 6gate forge expand, 4gate blink stalker. All of these abuse certain spire timings; when the spire is not done and the zerg players has to spend extra money to build lings or send workers to defend thus causing there to be less mutas when they can be made; you arrive just when the spire finishes so that the mutas will arrive late and not be able to harass and their army is weaker than it could be.

    The second way I have seen players deal with mutas is to force the zerg player to not be able to harass with them, or make harassment very difficult or not cost efficient. The two most used ways to do this are either applying pressure, or feigning pressure. The difference being applying pressure involves attacking while feigning just means moving your army towards their base. Both will cause the zerg to pull back any harass attempts, if they do not they will die. In either case throwing down at least one cannon at your bases to inflict damage to the harassing units can give you just enough time to either pull your forces back or apply or feign pressure and warp in some reinforcements at your base that is under attack. This style depends alot more on map awareness than the first one since the game could go on longer which would lead to more possibilities, I will get into map awareness in the last bit later.

    As for the situation you described where mass numbers of mutas could come and destroy your cannons it takes a different type of game plan. If you are completely locked into your two bases you need to start to over defend. The zerg has such map control that it you will not be able to leave your base or it will die. At this point you start to cannon up like crazy, leave you anti air at your mineral lines and just start to build up to a big 200/200 death ball. You need to bank on the fact that your capped army will be stronger than his army (which it will be if you do it soon enough). If they are 200/200 with nothing but ling/muta, stalker/colossi will absolutely crush them. Try not going into a game to end up like this though, this is more of a last resort to deal with this certain type of situation.

    As for units; blink stalkers, high templar, and cannons really are the best units to push back muta harass. It really comes down to having good map awareness. Not only good map vision, but constantly being able to see and react to what you see on the minimap. Do not get pissed if you do not have perfect map awareness, and even if you did there will be times that you simply can not get back there in time. Just try to be as vigilant as you can be in what you see and how you react to it. You do not need super high apm to have good map awareness, all you need to do when you are getting attacked is hit spacebar and it will send you to where you are getting attacked anyway.

    Since there are not any special voodoo dances (that I am aware of) I can at least share a few tips that can help you fend off harass a little easier. If you are going to use cannons to defend mutas (which there is no reason why not to, they are good) try to position them on the "outside" of the nexus. Let me try to describe what I mean. Imaging you are on the south spawning point of Lost Temple. The "outside" of your main Nexus would be the left side of the Nexus, the "outside" of your natural would be the right side. In other words, the "outside" is generally the place where drops or harassment come from. If they come from either of the outsides to attack your probe line, they have to fly over the cannons to get to them. If the mutas stop to kill the cannons you can quickly move your probes to the other base to work while you can either move your army towards the mutas, or warp in units on the "inside" of your Nexus away from the splash in order to take out the mutas. If they decide to fly over the cannons and go from the other side, they have trapped themselves and your anti air units can come in and mop up.

    If you do decide to pull back your anti air from your main force, leave all of your ground only army where it is and only bring your stalker and templar (you can bring a few sentries as well, but they are so slow and weak they may be better off staying with the other part of the army). This way, if they try to do a ling run by while harassing, your ground units can easily dispose of the zergling while your anti air focus on the mutas.

    If you let the zerg mass up mutas, it will put you in a very disadvantageous position if you decide to not go phoenix. So do all you can to try to end it before a huge number of mutalisks can appear on the field and you should be fine. Im off to slumber now, I have fried my nerd brain for today.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    Uppgrade +25 starting energy with storm so you can warp in 1-2 templars asap to defend with. Your other army should be pushing, but get a few zealots as well or zerglings will tear you apart.

    Now if he decides to still try to harras you, you can hit at least 1-2 storms and weaken his army. This way your main army is going to destroy him quite fast even though your economy is halved (you need at least 2 expansions to maintain this playstyle, but the mass warp in also allows it)

    If he instead decides to defend, just watch out for zerglings and try to land a few storms on the mutas. But don't run out of energy unless he really attacks, he might try to "bait" a few wasted storms.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    Well considering you try to tech to blink already. What I do is just leave half my stalkers at expo on one hotkey. Leave the other half at main on a separate hotkey. This is earlier in game so like 3-5 stalkers at each spot. And like silenc was saying leave a good number of zealots and sentries up front in case any lings try to push. Then once i have my forge i don't focus on cannons. I get upgrades. Mutalisks typically don't go beyond 1-1. In most cases only have 1 upgrade to weapons or none at all.

    So i just upgrade weapons. Chronoboosted. Keep making stalkers (distributed well between mineral lines) and some zealots. Once I have blink and 1-1 upgrades I can pretty much defend both expos. Then it's possible to expand to a nearby base and set up 3 groups of stalkers. I get up to 2-1 or 2-2 on upgrades (with 2 forges) while getting templar with storm. At the same time while defending with stalkers I either send out small groups of zealots or DTs to harass.

    Then when i've got my 2-2 and storm ready, I just move out with templar stalkers zealot sentry DTs. At that point I'll have like 10-12 warp gates. Even more if there's a third base I could expo to. Zerg would have been expanding and macroing. But a bit low on attacking units. I just go for the expos with most saturation then just kill his main. In most cases he'd have 2-2 Ultras or something like that. But by then I'd usually have 3-3-0 or 3-3-1. All that time have another expo setting up. Possibly even double expanding. Then just win.

    So far this tactic has worked really well for me against mutaling players.
    Last edited by JackhammerIV; 12-23-2010 at 08:01 AM.

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  7. #7
    spychi's Avatar SC:L Addict
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    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    if you go for templars, it's better to go for DTs, kill his spire, make as much damage as you can and if you see that Z is morphing an overseer pull your dt's to your main and merge them in to archons with stalker combination it's deadly because the Archon can either tank all the damage or kill alot of mutas/lings, adding two sentries with guardian shield is also a good idea
    I mostly go for stalker/phoenix/dt and maybe a sentry or two
    Attachment 1718
    this will be helpful i think
    Last edited by spychi; 12-23-2010 at 08:24 AM.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    Quote Originally Posted by masakari View Post
    Hi guys, I just need suggestions on how to do this... ie. using just stalkers and templer (maybe with some cannons) to fend off pesky mutas.

    [...]My problem, blink stalkers handle mutas fine in small numbers, but once these numbers pick up, the stalkers just fold and die.
    it may not be what you want to hear, but the simplest answer to mutalisks when you already have blink is undoubtedly more stalkers.

    .... if you get outmatched by mutas using stalkers youre either not taking careful enough defensive positions, resulting in critical losses to harassment, or you arnt assessing the situation correctly; if you get outmatched by mutas straight up, youre either not committed enough to getting a strong stalker-count, or your opponent has been allowed to out-resource you significantly for some time. Jackhammers way seems good, but ofocurse how you get there is important.

    keep in mind that stalkers outmatch mutas with concerns to cost, in terms of damage efficency, range and durability. its ahrd to hit mutas with storm so if mutas and not groudn support is the main problem, id focus on stalekr numbers (=focus on mienral mining and upoing that saturation asap) ... also remember how good sentry support is in large scale close slaker SV muta; the guardian shield recuses each of the three bounces of the mutalisk attack by 2. (stacking this with armor from upgrades it ads up to alot, eveon from the main attack)

    your problem might lay in earleir stages of the game; if you tech before you expand you aught to use it to apply pressure. if that seems hard, consider expanding sooner, maybe alot sooner. once you have a 2-base economy and your blink stalkers, what matters most is not to get harassed to pieces while not getting pinned back for long enough to get dominated on economy as the enemy is allowed to spread.

    get econ up, get army up, push out, win!

    canons can help, especially to cover your ass when you gather your forces to move out aggressively.

    ... zerg players that go heavy on the mutalisks are either far ahead already or extremly weak in full-frontal combat. they might try to remedy that with lots of spine crawlers, but then at least, aggression from you will deny further expansion.


    im no E-sports-jock, but 40 average APM sounds low; you could probably improve alot overall by working on your basic mechanics, thought its hard to say anything specific without seeing how you play or knowing more. you can make alot happen with just 60-70 average APM (where im at), but going lower, i think ability to keep up with macromanagment and multitasking during later stages of the game might suffer significantly. ofcourse, its all relative; depends on what those actions are...


    ... i gotta also say i question the call to give up on phoenii if mutas are so hard for you; phoenii mobility makes them a good addition to any P army that faces mutalisks.. just dont relly too ehavily on them before you know whats up; one stargate to begin with is plenty, seeing a spire. then chorono out a few phoenii as you see mutas, make keeping them alive and covered above stalkers a priority and their numbers & usefulness will build over time....
    Last edited by Todie; 12-23-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    @silencbank... thanks for the rather long read. Guess I'll give some of it a try..... that's a lot of strategies to 'try' though... will keep me occupied for some time.

    @Jackhammer... Splitting stalkers is a good way to get them killed. As I mentioned, useful in small numbers, but once the numbers pick up, you need your stalker ball together else you are just gonna lose 3-5 stalkers each time.

    @Todie... Equal cost stalkers still have problem vs mutas simply because of mobility. If I'm defending one expo, they hit the other. If I split, I lose. Blink mitigates this somewhat... but not by a lot. I actually often start with blink stalker pressure to expo... buys me some time, but I can still expect mutas soon. I've tried all combinations with phoenix's and I find 1 stargate chrono just too slow to deal with it. By the time 10 mutas are at your base, each stargate would have produced just 1, maybe 2 phoenixs. Another reason why I'm giving up on them is that corruptors totally negate their small range advantage... and phoenix void can't take on muta corruptor. Regarding APM, unfortunately, I don't move as fast as I used to :P. Having said that, it seems to be peculiar to protoss as I get easily 60 with terran and 70-80 with zerg. Oh well, never gonna be winning any fastest-fingers-first games, but SC2 thankfully doesn't need that too much.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Any tips on countering muta with stalker/templer?

    Equal cost stalkers still have problem vs mutas simply because of mobility. If I'm defending one expo, they hit the other. If I split, I lose. Blink mitigates this somewhat... but not by a lot. I actually often start with blink stalker pressure to expo... buys me some time, but I can still expect mutas soon.
    at this point, peaking at a replay or two would help pinpoint the source of your problem much easier and more precisely..

    keep in mind that one mutalisk cost 2x the gas that a stalker does. if your pressuring is moderately effective this will even the score economically; if hes still causing you trouble by full spending on mutalisks and full attention on being aggressive with them, just throw down enough canons to be safe and mass up for a push; it takes too long and too heavy mutalisk losses for him to take out all canons at a base when your army is marching to end him. yet mutas are too weak for cost head-on to make enough of a dfferance in defending your frontal assault.

    Finally i must note that getting dominated by mutalisks is often a symptom of getting outplayed; Mutalisks is a great tool for someone who's ahead to use to keep you in your place (but the mere use of mutas make someone leap ahead)

    if mutas catch you offguard, you didnt scout for them well enough.

    if mutas and ground units win over your army in a "fair fight" you got outmacroed; didnt do enough with your earlier pressure and/or didnt move out in time / didnt move out with the optimal composition.


    ... from personal experience of the zerg side: unless i attain a clear early advantage, im VERY anxious about counter-attacks whenever i go muta against p, even if its crossmap on Meta or something, (and i rarely even get as many as 10) ... this is the case even against robo-tech. if im met by EARLY blink tech ill more or less soil myself and give up on doing anything significant with mutas.


    ... you seem to claim to not be missing anthing, yet our perceptions are so different; youre either getting outplayed in a fairly striaghtforward way and not getting it (like, doing many small things slightly wrong when opponent does similar small things slightly better), or missing something fundamental in why these games play out the way they do. reps would help.

    edit: about HT's storms on mutas are more of a bonus; i wouldnt count on it doing much of a difference compared to raw stalker and canon presence; the timing of your counter-attack is infinitely more important than getting cute with defending mutalisk harass using psi-storm. im not saying dont do it; it can probably be effective. just keep your eyes on the goal!

    merry Xmas.
    Last edited by Todie; 12-24-2010 at 06:20 AM.
    I am an enthusiast of good strategy games, sc2Esports and rollplay, although i dont really play anything atm.
    I work an internship at a government agency this fall, and have a good time at it.
    I'm being more social, active and honest lately. in all forums.

    Hi.

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