I see a lot of Protoss going blink early, maybe due to HuK's popularity and his innovative blink play. I usually see twilight council after the first gateway. Usually they will have blink researched before they even begin attacking. I feel that this is TOO early but I am not at the level to be criticizing pro build orders. When I do a blink rush, I get the twilight after my 2nd or 3rd gateway and blink is ready during my first engagement with 9-12 stalkers.
The thing is, delaying blink as long as possible gives you room to adjust your build depending on what you scout. The moment you plop down the twilight council, you're getting pretty committed to an expensive early tech. With regards to tech, isn't the rule of thumb to delay it as long as possible until you can actually use it?
In other words, the way I see it, the pros are getting blink almost a minute before they actually need it.
The only reason I can think of to have blink ready before the start of the battle is to get around a wall or forcefield, either to force an engagement when you know they're not ready or to get instant vision of high ground for warping in. Even though that's extremely risky, the pros do it successfully. I don't :)
There are of course many other uses of blink, including:
- Sneak cliff jump into opponent's base. For this though you either need a hallucinated air unit or an observer, which is irrelevant at this stage of the game.
- Blinking back injured units. But this is also not very useful so early. This blink-back micro is not really necessary if your stalkers have a clear path to retreat. At this point in the game you can't have many stalkers, and you can just walk them back just as easily as you can blink them back. Later in the game when you have so many units that stalkers are clumped up and there's no clear path to walk backwards, THEN blink-back becomes effective. Yes, there are nice tricks with blinking to low ground or around buildings that aren't possible without blink, but this is a good reason to have blink ready DURING the engagement, not before.
- Retreating or chasing. Again, this is not something that will be necessary at the start of your engagement.
So is that risky forcefield jump the only reason people get such early blink? What makes HuK's or Kiwikaki's blink rush builds better than mine?