Replay Spotlight 9: Bly vs Mana


Bly vs Mana

I found this week’s pro replay while searching for recent Grandmaster level games using the Sc2ReplayStats replay search.  It was played for the Gauntlet Season 2 Weekly #1 on Galactic Process.

Initially, I was searching for high level games that had cool hero units displayed in the statistics:

Hero Units

 

But after finding this replay I remembered I had actually caught it live — and I’m not surprised to see an Immortal (“Donnie the Final”) made Hero status.

Atypical openings and an even match

Bly, known for his aggression, opts for a 3-Hatch opening instead. Mana isn’t tricked into being overly defensive and goes for Gate-Nexus-Core.

The early-game is largely uneventful — Bly works on some rocks with a few early speedlings, and Mana tries to go for some Adept harass but Bly full walls with 3 evolution chambers to buy time for enough units to defend without taking damage, as seen above. By the 6 minute mark both players are tied with 3 bases, 52 workers, and a similar value army for each player.

First blood!


Mana sends his Mothership Core away from the damaged rocks just as Bly makes the first move to launch an attack there. A Probe comes just in time to see the rocks fall, but it’s too late: Mana was halfway across the map to make an attack of his own.

Mana opts to recall, but sadly, chooses the wrong Nexus: He recalls directly into the Zerg army, allowing Bly to snipe all of his high-cost Sentries before they can cast Forcefield or Guardian Shield. Additionally, this makes the Mothership’s Pylon Overcharges too late and out of range.

It’s a rough fight, but not devastating: Mana survives, ahead in economy.

The real loss is that this fight made Mana pull back his Observer, and the loss of so many Sentries (and Sentry energy) means Mana doesn’t use Hallucinations to scout Bly’s spire.

A Nasty Surprise

By the time Mana finds out, it’s too late to prepare.

Things could be worse. Despite not scouting the Mutaslisks or Spire, Mana isn’t defenseless: his natural and third each have three cannons, and he has Blinkstalkers and Psi Storm.

Nevertheless, they still pose a serious problem. Not only have they shut down aggression from Mana, they also make it difficult for Mana to secure his already late forth by splitting up his forces and attention.

It’s 14:30 before Mana has secured his forth base, and Bly is on 5 bases taking his sixth. Things are looking rough for Mana, but he’s managed to avoid falling too far behind in army supply or upgrades.

Despite his viscous fight to stay alive, Mana’s scouting comes back to bite him again.

There’s only one thing Mana can do: send all of his army across the map to base-trade while desperately chronoing out Tempests. A Protoss army with 9 Immortals kills buildings almost as fast as 10 Brood Lords, and Zerg have fewer buildings than Protoss. Bly recognizes this and, after doing some damage, starts to send his Brood Lords back.

Mana recalls his army — a brilliant choice that almost makes up for the bad recall earlier. Now Bly’s army is split up, giving Mana a small window of opportunity to kill Bly’s anti-air, leaving his Broodlords defenseless to the Tempests.

Sadly, the opportunity is missed. With slightly better Storms or a few hits from Archons the Corruptors would have died and we’d have a game on our hands. Unfortunately, Mana is forced to tap out.

Still, it was a close-fought game and both players played well. Mana and Bly have quite a history, with their overall record being MaNa 32–50 Bly with their record this year being Mana 6–17 Bly. Something about Bly seems to give Mana trouble: Perhaps Bly’s aggression just makes Mana make small mistakes that cost him the game, like the lack of scouting that led to Mana’s loss in this one.

Player Stats

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- Sc2replaystats.com staff

 Post written by Justin “TheSkunk” Purdy

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