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Tip of the Week #88 - Countering Dev/Corr as T-59

By vOddy - 8th February 2010 - 08:56 AM

This guide will teach you what to do when facing a Dev/Corr strategy as Traveler-59. There was an earlier tip about countering Dev/Corr + MCV move, but as no solid counter-strategy for T-59 had been invented at that time, it did not cover that faction, but instead left the players with a bitter message: "As T-59, you are pretty much screwed".

Date: January 27, 2010
Game: Kane's Wrath 1.02
Author: vOddy
There are many variations to the Dev/Corr rush, so you will not be able to follow this guide blindly in every situation. It will, however, give you a basic idea of what to do, and it will teach you exactly how to counter some of its variations.

The maps on which I tested my counter strategy were Small Town USA and Tournament Tower, so it should work on any map, since those are the best maps for the Dev/Corr rush.

Start with a standard build order as you would in any game.

Reactor, Portal, Buzzers + Assimilator(s) to grab the Tiberium Spike(s), Extractor, and Buzzer scouting. Go for the standard 5 Harvester/ 2 Extractor build. And then, WOOT! ZOMG! Your scouts spy a fast Nerve Center at your opponent's base! IT'S CHEESE!!!

Basic Dev/Corr rush

Now you have two options.
  • Cancel your Harvester from your Warp Sphere, place your second Extractor, and get a Reactor, a Stasis Chamber, and a Nerve Center (always get the Stasis Chamber first versus Dev/Corr, as it will allow you to start the Advanced Articulators upgrade).
  • Or cancel your Extractor, get your third Harvester out, and then proceed to get a Stasis Chamber and a Nerve Center.
The first option gives you a better economy it supports two Portals making Cultists, whereas the second option gives you your first Cultist faster, but doesn't support a Cultist spam later on like the first option does.

I prefer the first option, because while it is a bit scary early on (you get Cultists later), once you survive that scary time period, you've pretty much won if you can micro correctly. You will have so many Cultists and such an awesome economy to spam Photon Cannons later if needed. You also won't die if he manages to block your one single Portal with some units or a Buzzer Hive or a bunch of Buzzers or something, because you will have another. Also, if his use of the Swarm kills your first Cultist squad entirely, it's not as bad.

After choosing your option, it's just a simple matter of getting some Gun Walkers out, 24 depending on what he does and whether you go for 2 Ref or 1 Ref, and then lots of Cultists. Once you have enough Gun Walkers, sell your Warp Sphere. He will try to use the Swarm run away from this as soon as you see it. Upgraded Cultists are faster than Buzzers, so you should easily be able to outrun them while your Gun Walkers save your Cultists. Take over his units, push into his base, steal his Harvesters, win the game.

Drone Platform move version

If he also moves his Drone Platform to your base, you will basically do the same thing, but there are many variations of this theme. (So just use this text as a general guideline think for yourself when you are actually facing the rush.) It will require a lot of APM and very fast building placement. Every second counts!

If he starts with 2 Devourers and sends them with his Drone Platform, just get 24 Gun Walkers (and then sell your Warp Sphere). After that, mass Cultists from 2 Portals, assuming you went for the 2-Ref option. Dodge the Buzzers from his Buzzer Hives, and send in Cultists from multiple directions. Grab units, and run out, then use the units you mind-controlled to destroy Buzzer Hives. Your Gun Walkers will also help in negating the Buzzer Hives. If you went for Seekers, you can actually destroy the Buzzer Hives with them. 4 Gunwalkers are capable of doing this as well, but in many situations it's better to just let them shoot at Buzzers.

The Swarm will probably kill or severely damage one Cultist squad, but once the Swarm has been used, you can confidently micro your way to victory knowing that he has used his one and only trump card.

If he starts with 2 Corrupters, you have to act fast. He will probably try to burn down your Stasis Chamber! Go for Seekers first instead of Gun Walkers. Intercept the Corrupters with your Seekers, and block their path by constantly positioning your Seekers in front of his Corrupters.

If he starts with Shard Walkers, I would personally start with Gun Walkers as they protect your Cultists versus Buzzers and clear out the Swarm, but you can start with Seekers and intercept the MCV, as the Shard Walkers might not be able to stop your Seekers in time. You will force the Drone Platform to deploy in an awkward position, or even take it out if he's greedy. Do not get more than 2 (If you are confident in your micro, just 1 will do) because you will need Cultists as soon as possible.

If he sends his Drone Platform out alone without units protecting it in time, you can actually go for a few Seekers and kill the Drone Platform, or at least damage it so much that you can kill it once it has landed. This is quite hilarious.

If you have more Cultists than needed (say you have 6 of them and he is not massing Shard Walkers) you should stop making Cultists and transition into Photon Cannons. Why? If he's making Photon Cannons, you wanna be making Photon Cannons, too. But you need to make them in time. If you start when you see the first Photon Cannon, things could get ugly, as you don't have a Warp Sphere to help your Photon Cannons get an edge over his.

However, you might not even reach this point, because as soon as you don't feel pressured anymore (or have more Cultists than needed), flank with some Cultists to his base and steal his Harvesters. Without Harvesters, there can be no Photon Cannons.

If you see him going Photon Cannons, it means he's gonna have fewer units and more static "defense", so always flank with some Cultists to his main base to disrupt his economy, since Cultists are useless against Photon Cannons anyway.

Now, there are a lot of things that could happen. He could camp outside of your Portal with one Corrupter, hoping to kill any Cultist squad that comes out, or he could see what you are doing and go pure Corrupters + Buzzer Hives without any Devourers in the early game. I cannot list every counter to every variation, as there are so many. Instead I will provide you with some fun facts reach your own conclusion based on this knowledge.
  • A Corrupter camping outside a Portal can be captured by the emerging Cultists if you act quickly. Constantly drag a box where your Cultists will emerge, and make sure the end of the box (where your mouse pointer is) ends at the Corrupter, so that you can just click to instantly mind control it. I haven't used the Dev/Corr rush on any T-59s doing this, so I don't know if it was just poor micro from my opponents that made this work, or if there's actually nothing the rusher can do with his Corrupter to kill the Cultists in time.
  • Cultists outrun Buzzers and can dodge Buzzer Hives forever if micro'd properly. Just keep running around, and don't get flanked or cornered. The tricky part is getting in to actually grab something. Try to run in an arc, or like an 'L', instead of running in straight.
  • Properly micro'd Cultists beat Shard Walkers, Corrupters, and Devourers cost-effectively.
  • Normal Buzzers are much better versus Hive Buzzers than Hive Buzzers are versus normal Buzzers. You want to save your first 4 scouting/Assimilator-guarding Buzzers. They can come in handy with blocking enemy Buzzer Hives for a while.
And lastly, if this doesn't work, you are probably not doing it right, but don't give up. It's a difficult strategy to pull off. It takes a lot of APM and multitasking. I've done it myself versus players who really know how to Dev/Corr, and it works fine for me. It may stop working in the future due to metagame changes or innovations, but for now, it really does work.

Editor's note: My voice gets really weird because playing and talking at the same time is HARD for me. I'm a guy, I can't multitask.

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