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Photon cannon rush counter

 by Brazuca

PCR (Protoss Cannon Rush)

You guys already know what I am talking about especially if you are a Protoss player.

There's some guys that play Protoss and exclusively use this strategy versus other Protoss players.

A guy used this on me so I checked his profile, he is a Gold 1v1 with over 80 wins and 60 loses. So I decided to check his matches, and I saw that every single match he had against a Protoss player, He Photon Cannon Rushed them and won.

Here's the basic Strategy for this and what you could be thinking of doing as it happens to you:

1 ) Enemy builds a Pylon, then Forge at his base.
* Whether you scouted it or not. Lets assume you know 100% that the guy will try to photon cannon rush you.

2) Enemy reaches your base with a Probe.
* You cant stop the probe by building structures before he gets there and after he does he, he just micros, it and he brings more probes in as well.

3) Enemy proceeds to build 2 pylons on your base.
* Even if you destroy those pylons, you have to keep sending in more and more of your workers do to so. The enemy will just continue building more and more pylons, and as soon as you are overwhelmed he will begin building cannons. Your economy is going no where and its obvious he has the upper hand.

4) He proceeds to build cannons and gain control of your base.
* Even if he is unable to beat you. He already owns an entire section of your base. Not only that all he needed was 1 - 3 probes to do this. While you needed almost all of them to stop his probes, cannons and pylons.

Insufficient Strategies

1) "Fight Fire With Fire"
a. Do the same thing he does. Photon Cannon rush his Nexus and Probes, while he does the same to you.
b. Just make sure you have 1 probe survive and build a nexus else where.
* This strategy is stupid. I don't think it should even be considered.

2) "Zealots and Nexus Sacrifice"
a. Build a pylon and Gateway near his base. Build 2 Zealots. Take 1 Probe to safety with 400 Minerals.
b. Attack enemy base with Zealots, build a new Nexus with that Probe.
* This one is just plain hopeless, all the guy has to do is build some cannons and send his probes to kill your Zealots then your at a really big disadvantage.

3) "Zealots Defend till Immortal"
a. Build a pylon and Gateway and send out Probes to stop him for as long as you can. quickly build out 2 Zealots to stop him as long as you can.
b. Build an Assimilator and  Robotics Facility and try to build an Immortal quickly then use it to take out any Photon Cannons he builds. Keep retreating it when its hurt.
* This one is difficult to pull off and if the enemy builds his Photon cannons close to each other and gets them near your Probes then you will be finished.


Photon Cannon Rush Counter

On an optimal setting where the ramp to your base can be blocked off by
"You Shall Not Pass"
A. Build a Pylon near your ramp.
B. Put 3 probes in front of your ramp and put them on "Hold Position" to stop any of his probes from entering your base.
C. Build a Forge then as soon as it's built, build a Photon Cannon to block the ramp.
F. After the Photon Cannon is built send your probes back to gather minerals and such.
* You will be at a starting disadvantage after this. So be warned.

For every plan I came up with not one resulted in the player ending up in a better situation than the PCR. The only method I found at all useful was this one:
Lets consider the worst possible scenario. Its a map with a large ramp and large area around your Nexus and the enemy player is a Diamond player that perfected this rush.

"The Best Defense is a Good Offense"

A. Hotkey 1 Probe and make it build a Pylon near the ramp just so the Matrix fills up half of the Ramp so you'll be able to see any scouting Probes.

. Now send that Probe to patrol the middle of your ramp left and right until the Pylon is built. After it's built then send it back to gather minerals. Until the Pylon is built this Probe will be your PRIORITY. As soon as you see an enemy Probe near it, make it attack it, and leave it at that unless the enemy Probe retreats.

Build your Forge as close to your Nexus as you can. Then make sure you have at least 100 minerals with you at all times. After the enemy builds a pylon you will need to build one near his as well. After the enemy has built a pylon make sure to save up for 150 minerals. From this point on you need to always have exactly 150 minerals to spare until his Probes retreat. If it goes above 200 build a Probe and chrono boost it.

D. Select that Hotkeyd 1 Probe on your base and Hotkey 3 Other Probes. Now get ready if the enemy does indeed Photon cannon rush you, you will have to micro both these groups at once.

E. If after the Forge is built you did not see any Probes go up your ramp then immediately build a Photon Cannon infront of it. After its build and no enemy probes are in your territory then you are safe from any PCR. Otherwise continue with the other steps.

{F and G are simultaneous It just explains how you will always have 3 probes attacking enemy Photon Cannons and 1 Probe building and attacking when he is not building. After all 4 Probes are in range of each other just select them all and always send to attack incoming Photon Cannons and whenever you need to build something the closest one will do it for you.}

F. Leave that 1 probe Mining for now, but as soon as the enemy probe enters your base. Send him to harass it. If the enemy probe builds a Pylon then you build one right next to his. Then you begin counter building Photon Cannons  to counter any Pylons and Cannons he will try building.  Only build more Pylons if he builds Pylons far away from your other Pylons. When he is not building cannons send it to help the other 3 Probes attack another Cannon. For your Cannons Do not worry about his Pylons just keep destroying his Cannons and building enouhg Counter Cannons and Pylons when needed. Always make sure you have enough Photon Cannons to stop him if he warps in too many at once.

G. Leave the 3 probes mining for now. As soon as the enemy Probe builds a Pylon and it is almost complete. Send them near it. As soon as the enemy warps in a cannon send them to attack it. You have less than 5 seconds to get your 4 probes to start attacking that cannon. You NEED 4 Probes attacking each Cannon. Do not attack any enemy Pylons as it will be a waste of time. Keep sending them to attack all cannons he warps in, Everytime he builds 1 before it spawns and let your other 2 cannons get rid of it. Proceed on using these 3 to destroy any Cannons he will start building.

H. Make your Photon Cannon's priority to kill the Probes, after that the enemy Photon Cannons. Otherwise let it default attack the enemy pylons when the rest aren't in reach..

After you manage to destroy his probe or ward it off, build a Cannon near your ramp. Then send your Probes around your base to scout for any additional Probes he brought in. As soon as the Cannon is built you have survived the PCR. You have many additional pylons and cannons at your base while the enemy lost many minerals that he can not make up.

You may have lost the time your Probes could have been mining however, he lost a lot more minerals with his destroyed Cannons and Pylons and you now have a few Pylons and Cannons at your base.

*Now somethings you should know*

Your wits will be what gets your through this. You have to observe what the enemy is doing above all else DO NOT let him build any Photon Cannons.

You need exactly 4 Probes attacking a Cannon can destroy it. You need at least 3 of them to reach the Cannon before 5 seconds after it is warped to make it effective.

Do not bother with destroying Pylons with your Probes as by the time it finishes building it will have most of its health. Just concentrate on the Cannons and his Probes.

Keep a look at your mineral count. Only build 1 worker at a time (chrono boost) and make sure you have enough Minerals to build Pylons and Cannons.

Be careful encase the enemy is just pulling your leg and making you waste your time using 4 probes to chase it down. Build additional Pylons covering the area he is patrolling encase he is waiting to swarm you with Pylons and Cannons.

If the probe he was using to build Pylons and Cannons stopped building them then he may be bringing another Probe to build them where you aren't looking.

When the enemy appears to be pulling your leg send 1 probe to build a Cannon infront of your ramp in order to defend against any other probes that may try to sneak it.

18 Aug 2010 | Comments (2)
Tags : pcr  photon  cannon  rush  counter  

Tona wrote (2010-09-22 03:25:26)

avatar Zergling

I have always countered the Cannon Rush with a proxy gateway and some zealot rush inside his base. If you do this early on you'll be able to destroy his enough probes of your enemy early enough to prevent him of doing many more Cannons. With this in mind gather 400 minerals and be sure to have at leas one probe outside your base so you can rebuild your nexus.

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Micouz wrote (2010-09-09 17:48:20)

avatar Zergling

Now, let's assume YOU DON'T KNOW that the guy will photon rush you. Imagine you even forgot to scout around and you now face a pylon and a warping cannon.

First, if you don't have a forge, build one as far as you can from his cannon. Then start building your own.

Your aim will be to prevent him from getting closer. It's a strange game where the first probe to warp a cannon wins. Sometimes you'll need to warp 2 cannons, they'll start firing a bit later than your opponent's but the number will do the trick.

Another objective is to prevent him to be able to get in or out of your base. You want him stuck here, not being able to bring in new probes without getting shot at.

And the last objective is to have one of your own probes escape and do the same trick in his own base. I even once managed to destroy my opponent's nexus that way ! And if he blocks you, you'll have nulled the advantage he gained using this strategy.

DO NOT try to break the blockade with zealots, you'll just die. At this point it's too late, just keep on building probes with the spare minerals you got, you'll need them in the long run. Wait till you got Immortals or Void Rays to break out.

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