I understand that Tactical Tuesdays and Thursdays usually showcase other players’ amazing strategies, but I’m going to eschew that parameter today because I feel like it. Today we won’t be taking a look at the latest way to beat Tetris* or fly a Battlefield helictopter or backstab Scouts. Instead, I’d like to use this time to insist that every Protoss player in Stacraft 2 team games must construct additional pylons.
“But WiNG,” you begin to stammer in a thick, Korean accent, “I already construct just the right number of pylons! I am rarely, if ever supply blocked. And I place my pylons around my base, granting me adequate sight while also creating redundant Psionic Matrix grids!”
That’s all well and good, but I’m not talking about pylons in your own base. Or proxy pylons halway across the map. Or manner pylons.** I’m talking about a pylon seemingly missing from most team games: the cavalry pylon.
So, what the hell is a cavalry pylon?
It’s a pylon you build in your teammate’s base, allowing you to warp units into his/her his base once you’ve researched Warp Gate technology. It doesn’t cost additional resources, since you need to construct additional pylons*** anyway. At worst, it just adds a bit of probe travel time. Yet for this tiny inconvenience, you’ll be able to instantly reinforce your ally for the rest of the game, especially since most harassing forces are unlikely to target the off-race pylon amidst your ally’s workers and crucial tech structures.
There’s nothing complicated about a cavalry pylon; yet, after playing a few dozen arranged and random team games in each team league (and at levels ranging from gold to diamond) I have been astounded to see a total of zero teammates employing them.
It’s such a simple idea: being able to warp stalkers, sentries, and templar directly into your friend’s mineral line. And while I’m by no means a great good Starcraft 2 player, I haven’t seen a single Protoss user, other than me, do this… ever. You’d think after playing with a few hundred allies, I’d see at least a few capitalizing on this flexibility!
The benefits of building cavalry pylons are many:
- Defend teammates from harassment
- Block off chokes/ramps with Force Field
- More quickly supplement teammate-led pushes
- Sandwich attackers between front-end reinforcements and warped-in units
- Provide psi matrix for hiding additional warp gates
- Pylons are adorable
Building pylons in your allies’ bases isn’t a high level strategy. But it’s easy enough to do that anyone who understands warp gates should be able to quickly incorporate it into their pylon placement plan. And, if it saves just one of your ally’s buildings or units, it pays for itself. Just don’t forget to demand that your pal send you minerals and vespene every time you save his ass. It’s only fair.
*First achieved by Justin Wong at EVO 2006.
**Admittedly, manner pylons are hilarious.
***According to New Jersey state law, residents must always pronounce this phrase in as epic a tone possible.