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A 1/1/1 Terran player has Ghost and Raven easily available to him, but I'm barely using them...

How can I best practice to get used to them? Should I build Ghosts a few matches and Raven a few?

What should be my (natural) reflex to decide to build those units? And when should I use what ability?

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3 Answers

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How do you make it a 'natural reflex'? Practice. One very good way of doing so is to get a Protoss partner 1-2 leagues higher than you (for example, if you're in Gold league, try to find a Diamond friend to play a custom game with you). This will allow you to play with Protoss few games in a row (otherwise, in general only 1 game from 3 will be against Protoss.

The second thing is to try to figure out a build that works well for you and practice it in each game. I see two good choices:

  1. 4 Barracks opening (1 Rax Marauder (vs. Protoss)). Here is its description with some of my modifications. 9(10) supply - scout then, 11(12) Rax, 11(12) Refinery. Once the Barracks is completed, make an Orbital Command. From 1st Rax, if you have 25 gas, build a tech lab (this is very good to have). If you don't, train one marine, then make a tech lab. When the 2nd Rax is ready, you should see if the Protoss player built a cybernetic core. If so, build a tech lab for each Barracks and research concussive shell. Build mass marauders. Using this build you should have enough army to hold off/push forward with attackd. It would be reasonable after your 2nd or 3rd Rax to build a Ghost Academy. Build one or two ghosts, no more. Two should be enough.

  2. 1-1-1 opening (1Rax 1Fact 1Port). I can't say a lot here about this build from my own experience, but it will be more reasonable to use it on big maps or in those cases when you want to counter an opponent's Zealot push (be sure to have enough of an army to protect your wall though). Here you will want to get a quick Raven and use him to block Stalkers' shouts for a while. As a result, you will kill their army without significant losses.

Chose one of these choices (if you are not platinum/diamond I would suggest to practice the first, it will improve your micro significantly too) and try to use this build 4-6 times in order. Afterwards, look at each replay and see what are you doing wrong. In the meantime you will have your 'reflex'.

Also, don't forget to scout, as sometime you will need to change your build depending on your opponent's actions. For example, let's say they made an early Robotics Facility. If you have a lot of marauders that means he's going to follow with Robotics Bay and some Colossus. To accomplish this, Protoss will have invested 900 minerals and 700 gas into getting their 1st Colossus with a big range. Here you have 2 options:

  • get nine more marauders and push to kill the Protoss player (or at least damage him significantly), or, if you can't push,
  • get a Starport ASAP in order to counter the Colossus.

Another idea to become familiar with Ravens is to practice 'Raven/Banshee' against Zerg. Raven protects banshee from both queens and Spore Colonies and can safely kill Queen/Drones/Extractors. This works especially well if the Zerg player expands early. In this case (from my experience), you are protected from early harassment and have some time for teching up to getting Raven/Banshee (the only precaution: don't forget about making a land army when it's crucial). In this case, usually 1 Raven is enough.

One more thought: instead of an early Raven, you can invest in Banshee Cloaking shield. Often it work better as you can get two cloaked banshees instead of banshee+raven.

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Most of this has nothing to do with HOW to use Ghost and Raven in these matches to better effect. The original question is not about build orders. –  lilserf Jan 24 '11 at 18:53
    
I did not describe build orders only. General idea is to chose one tactic and try to use it in several matches in the row. Also, it has description how to react on opponents actions: it doesn't 100% require using Ghosts. Probably I am wrong (I still not a diamond), but that is my vision. –  Budda Jan 24 '11 at 18:58
    
@Budda: Your question does contain some useful information, but the BO approach isn't pretty given that I know how to build it. I just don't know well enough when to build them (againt every race) and what abilities to use. Just as an example, Eric comes up with Hydras (and Mutalisks) which is nice to know as I now do believe Ravens are an useful extra benefit against a Hydra/Roach army. –  Tom Wijsman Jan 25 '11 at 1:27
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Not sure how I missed this question... @Tom don't shoe horn Ghost/Raven into a build you already have. If you want to learn them well, then you should be using a build which takes advantage of them. 3 Rax PPD timing push is a good way to learn how to use Ravens. Randomly adding them into a 1:1:1 build (which is based on switching between offense and defense) is not. –  tzenes Jan 25 '11 at 2:06
    
You wanted to say 3 Rax PDD? Ye... probably you are right. –  Budda Jan 25 '11 at 20:47
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If you're going to use a ghost, make sure you're playing protoss, because their EMP ability can definitely turn the tide of the game. Personally I don't use the ghost, but I have seen the effects, and it is devastating. Maybe you should experiment more with your unit composition. It sounds like you don't adjust very well to what your opponent does. As for Raven, I don't know why you don't always have one. They are just complete dominators of the battlefield. They can detect units, hit strong enemies such as Thors with their Raven Missile, and drop turrets in the backfields by your opponents mines. I've actually been beaten by straight Ravens before. He just massed straight Ravens, very embarrassing. Ravens can also see cloaked units if you didn't know. They're very expensive, so you may want to keep them in their own hotkey.

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Ghosts are useful against loaded templars. If your opponent didn't go templars then they are not as useful so its ok to overlook them most of the time.

Ravens are pretty useful against anything ranged with "missile" attack. Huge stacks of stalkers are common, hydras and mutalisks.

Also, seeker missiles are a big threat to large protoss balls since they more relatively slowly (compared to zerglings for example or roaches on creep).

I would suggest going for these units only if you have vespene surplus after both your barracks and factory are already producing units. Remember that you need a core army to get support otherwise these guys won't be supporting anything!

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