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It seems to me that if you send out an early probe (say, before your first pylon) you could steal both of your opponent's gas geysers before they would usually get one. You would have to delay your gateway until about 14 supply. But this should allow you to get warp gate much earlier than your opponent, as well as gas units like stalkers when it would be difficult for your opponent to get sentries to FF your units. This seems even more potent since in PvP, the mantra appears to be "Expand first, lose first"

So, the question is, is this a viable strategy? You could transition from this into a 3-gate-robo, or even into a 4-gate. Yet I have never seen this strategy used at a pro level of play. Is there any reason why this build order is bad? Additionally, what is the best way to counter a double gas steal, if, in fact, there is a very easy counter?

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4 Answers 4

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No it is not.

He would have a huge economical advantage, as you send out your probe so early and You invest in 2 gas without using them. But a good opponent would immediate take his second gas once he sees the gas steal to prevent this.

This way you are stuck with a really bad economy, he still can tech to Stalkers, add 1-2 gates and push you with his first units. You will have lost more than 150 minerals with your strategy.

But even if you steal both gas he can add more gates and push you with pure Zealots. Depending on your micro you can kite those with Stalkers, but as everything is delayed you will have too few units to be efficient. He will have 4 Zealots while you have 1 Stalker. 2 Zealots attack your probes and 2 chase the Stalker. Even if you can defend your economy will be screwed.

During this time your opponent will have either expanded or killed your 2 gas in his base.

This is if you opponent can cope with the situation and knows how to react. Up to gold or platinum league you might throw off your opponent because he does not know how to react and win.

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So, say I send out my probe at around 8 supply on a 2-player map. Then I would only lose about 20-30 minerals compared to if I send out my (scouting) probe after throwing down my first pylon at 9 supply. Now if I continue building probes, and take both of my opponent's gas (instead of gateway), chrono boost my 13th and 14th probes, I should be able to get a gateway down at 14 supply, grabbing gas around 15 supply. By this count, I've only lost about 200 minerals to deny my opponent's gas. If I wall with a zealot and go into a 4-gate, I still don't understand why this wouldn't work. –  Teofrostus Jun 13 '12 at 0:56
    
The problem is that "only" 200 minerals this early will snowball quite heavily. That makes a potential expansion almost "free". But by all means try it. My estimate is that you will fail at higher leagues. –  ayckoster Jun 13 '12 at 1:19
    
@Teofrostus Like ayckoster said,you can do this,but 50 minerals for the probe you're not using to mine, 150 for 2 assimilators and all the minerals your probe did not mine, that is over 300 minerals. He can just go 1 gate expand since you harmed your economy sooo bad, you can't really rush him. He would thus have time to even recoup some of the minerals invested in the expand by the time you attack. If he survives without taking much damage,the game becomes very one-sided. You also can't just strait up expand since you are behind, you need to do damage. Maybe DT rush?but he should have cannons –  Kalec Jun 13 '12 at 4:58

Double gas steal is never a good idea unless you know your opponent inside out and know he's teching to gas intensive early on. If not, you're way behind early on.

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1 vs 1 no, 2 vs 2 or more, could be dangerous if the enemy rush you in the confution, for example a probe it is playing to be annoying , meanwhile his partner puts you a proxy ... this strategy it is very useful for distraction from another attack and with luck catch the enemy units far away from the entrance.

however, I usually do it when my worker it is trapped inside of enemy base and the enemy it is about to kill it (playing as zerg)

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It's not used because Protoss's gas timing is so standard regardless of build and you'll have to cut probes and scout extremely early to get there in time, in most cases. I imagine the standard counter is just to drop another Gateway instantly and chrono out Zealots that will do huge economic damage. The only way I see this working is if you manage to do it on a 2 player map with proper timing on your Probe scout while walling off your ramp back at home and probably 4-gating or 3-gate expoing while using your superior Stalker numbers for map control.

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