You cannot expect to break into the upper leagues of Starcraft 2 if you cannot counter cheesy plays. Cheesy strategies are uncommon especially in the upper leagues. Chances are every Starcraft 2 player has faced a cheesy play. The first few times always suck because at first it seems impossible to counter.
In this guide I am going to teach you how to counter a few cheesy plays. You do not have to learn how to counter every cheesy strategy in the game. In fact once you get the hang of it you will be able to figure out how to counter any cheesy play on your own.
Cheesy strategies are usually all-in rushes that may involve sending workers in to distract whatever combat units you have to defend. Players can get creative and be successful at executing a cheese. This is even true in the upper leagues. Pro players get curve balls thrown at them all of the time.
Cheesy plays are the schemer’s way of winning more games. Sure they may get to the gold or even the platinum league but if they do not have the mechanics or strategy to back it up they will immediately hit a plateau. So lets get into it.
One of the main reasons a player loses to a cheese is because they did not scout their opponent early enough to see what is going on and then immediately work on a strategy to counter it. Remember you may have a good idea of what strategy you want to go for. But that plan will instantly change if your opponent is doing something sneaky.
The other main reason why players lose to a cheese is because they had no idea how to counter it. It is not that difficult but it does require some practice and a good attitude. Cheesing may be the number one cause for rage in SC2. You do not want to get frustrated. Good players learn to deal with situations like these with a positive attitude.
So the first thing you must do is scout. Scouting is always a very important aspect of Starcraft 2. Always be scouting. Start with the early worker scout at around 10 supply count. The point of sending a worker out is to not only find your opponent on a 4 player map but to see if they are going to throw a curve ball at you.
Then of course you need to know how to counter whatever cheesy play your opponent is executing. For example let’s say you are facing a Protoss player who is going for the 4 Gate Rush.
Protoss Strategy – 4 Gate Rush
This is very common among Protoss players. Getting 4 warpgates is the standard build for Protoss but they can also turn it into a rush. It is very easy to use and goes good against any race. Don’t confuse a 4 Gate rush with a standard 4 Gate because he is taking a big economic risk. All you need to do is basically survive the wave of units at your base as I will explain.
So how can you tell if he is making the move? Make sure to keep your scouting worker around his base long enough before getting killed by the early stalker. One good indicator is if his chrono energy at his Nexus is over 60 once his Cybernetics Core is complete. Another hint is if there is no 3rd pylon in his base as he could be proxying the other gateways. If you can some how get vision of his Cybernetics Core then you will be able to tell for sure if he is rushing since all of his chrono boost will go to researching Warpgate Tech.
How to Counter
Terran: This is quite an easy counter for a Terran player. The key is obviously seeing the rush coming early enough because you will need to build a couple Bunkers at the top of your ramp.
Then once you see his units bring all of your SCVs over to repair the Bunkers. Of course you need to pump out Marines and Marauders with a couple of Barracks. Then once you survive be sure to take some time to build up an army to finish him off as he will be too far behind in resources to hold up.
Zerg: One word, Roaches! The second you suspect a 4 Gate Rush put down a Roach Warren and build up a Roach/Ling army. Just mine off of one gas. Also get a couple of spine crawlers to help defend your expansion. Remember, Roaches do well against Zealots while Zerglings are good against Stalkers.
Zerg Strategy – 6 Pool Rush
This has been one of the most common strategies a Zerg player will use. It works like this. A zerg player will stop making workers once he has 6 or 7 so that he can save up for an early spawning pool. Naturally this will set him back big time with his economy. So again you just need to survive to basically win the game.
Always be sure to scout a Zerg player early on. If you see he only has 6 or 7 workers while you have around 12 then you don’t even have to see the Spawning Pool. But if you must be extra sure feel free to find it probably behind his mineral line.
How to Counter
When facing a Zerg player as Terran or Protoss you should always wall off to avoid getting lings in your base. To wall off as a Terran player you just build two supply depots and a Barracks in between like so.
Be sure to use a second SCV to build the second supply depot before getting a refinery. Right when the barracks is finished get out a marine to defend behind the wall. You may need to use a few SCVs to repair the supply depots.
As a Protoss player you should wall off by building two pylons and a gateway only you should make sure to leave a grid of space somewhere in between. Then get a zealot out to hold position in the gap. That way they have no chance of getting through. If the pressure is on then you should get out a sentry or stalker to shoot from behind.
Terran Strategy – Blue Flame Hellion Drop
This is more of a tactic than a cheese. Those pesky Terran players want to be as sneaky as they can be. And why not, they sure have the units for it. Hellion harassment has been very common as they are the best units to get to take out lots of workers at a time. With the blue flame upgrade they can one shot workers making an unexpected harassment lose you the game.
If your Terran opponent is staying on one base and is trying hard to prevent you from scouting inside then you should already be prepared for a sneaky tactic like this. It could be a different strategy such as cloaked banshees but hellion drops are more common. A hellion drop usually happens at around 8 or 9 minutes into the game.
How to Counter
This is a tactic that is strong against any race. If there is no early push and he is being a turtle then you should already prepare for something like this. I like to have a unit watching the front of my base for an army.
Make sure to guard your mineral line as that is where he will be heading. They always try dropping them at the far corner of your base then ride them right into your mineral line. Not having units there and ready to attack can easily lose you the game. Ideally you do not want to lose more than 5 workers. On top of having units around your mineral line you can also build a sim city to make it difficult for the Hellions to move around.
Be sure to practice these counter attacks. You won’t face cheeses that often. But if you keep playing chances are you will go up against some cheesy plays even in the advanced leagues. Be prepared and you will come out on top.
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