tldr: reaper FE into 2 widow mine drop into raven into 3/1/1 into 3rd CC, 2 base MMM + tank timing
This is a good, solid TvP build for Platinum and Diamond players looking to learn how to play Terran Bio. Recommended for players that are race switching or only have a limited repertoire of openings, such as ViBE's B2GM Mech build.
This build plays similarly to builds we see in pro play. It opens with a Barracks first Reaper FE into 1/1/1 with an SCV scout at 18 supply. For our Factory and Starport, we start out with 2 Widow Mines and 1 Medivac, followed by Tech Labs on both afterwards. After the Tech Labs are complete, we begin Siege Tank production and go for 1 Raven while also getting our 2 extra Barracks and Engineering Bay. The next stage involves building Siege Tanks while researching Stimpack, Combat Shield, and +1 Attack, preparing for a big Bio Tank push with two Medivacs.
After getting to the 3/1/1 setup, we finish saturating our two bases with up to 46 SCVs (Note: with good macro, this number is reachable by 5:30). After that point, we stop building workers and we have two choices in transition. We can either take a third CC or add two extra Barracks and go all-in with 5/1/1. For this TvP build in particular, I think going for a third CC is stronger, so I would recommend it. From there, we can play standard by going for a 4th CC + higher tech, or newer players can opt to go up to 8 Barracks on 3 base and just all-in until the game is over.
Build order inspired by HeroMarine's gameplay in game 1 on 2000 Atmospheres here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISKfmAke7Nk
For any questions or feedback on Pfoe's build order series, visit the #terran-discussion channel in the SC2Swarm Discord here: https://discord.com/invite/bbPrHrB
-SCV scout at 18 supply. If you do not see a natural Nexus by the time your SCV arrives, do not continue with this build. Instead, build your CC on the high ground and prepare for a cheese defense against a one base Protoss. (Anti-cheese guide not included here)
-In 2020, many Protoss players will open with a Core before Nexus, meaning they might rush an Adept across the map quickly. To counter this, Terran players have been building a Bunker at their natural before the second Refinery. This is what I recommend so that your Bunker will be complete by the time the first Adept arrives at your base. Try to still build the second Refinery without delay, at 24 supply.
-Use your Reaper to try to scout the Protoss tech tree (Twilight Council, Robotics Facility, or Stargate). I would stay with the same tech unless I see Stargate, in which case I believe the simplest is to leave our two Widow Mines at home and build a Viking instead of a Medivac. Against Stargate, the Raven can try to sneak out onto the map and plant Turrets, trying to bait the Phoenixes into going home. However, even if you do the Widow Mine drop against Stargate, it's not even that bad unless the opponent plays extremely well.
-For the Widow Mine drop, our Medivac will finish at 4:00 and has the potential to arrive at the Protoss natural at around 4:40. This is a good timing, but with Nexus before Core + Twilight first the Protoss can theoretically finish Blink by that time if they do 2x Chrono. If the opponent has Stalkers in position, do not drop. Instead, keep the Medivac nearby in order to intimidate the opponent, discouraging them from moving out on the map with their Stalkers. Whenever a Widow Mine drop is lost, Protoss players will often try to move out with Stalkers to try to deal counter damage, so be very careful when you decide to commit to the drop. If you do get the drop in, always try to unburrow the Widow Mines and put them back into the Medivac immediately after they shoot, then save the Medivac for additional pressure later on.
-Starting around 4:10, when we have 9 Marines, we will cut Marines for roughly two production rounds (~36 seconds). This type of early Marine cut is common in a lot of pro Terran builds, since having 7-9 Marines and a Bunker early on is enough for early defense. We do this in order to set up our infrastructure very fast at this critical point in the game. We have to build the following at this time: 2 extra Barracks (4:20), Raven (4:23), Engineering Bay (4:30), Siege Tank #2 (4:40), Refinery #4 (4:43), Depot #6 (4:45). We need this infrastructure quickly in order to get our key upgrades done by the time we attack. Resume Marine production after Depot #6. After the 5:00 mark, our extra production will be ready, so need to produce depots 2 at a time (i.e. depots #7 and #8 are at the same time).
-At around the 5:00 mark, our priority is to start our three upgrades. Our gas should be spent in the following order: +1 Attack (4:45), Stimpack (5:13), Siege Tank #3 (5:20), Starport Reactor (5:24), Combat Shield (5:32). There is a small (~8 seconds) delay on the third Siege Tank because we prioritize the Stimpack upgrade. During this phase, only produce Marines out of the Barracks. Once Combat Shields have started, we may begin 2x Marauder production, aiming to have 4 Marauders ready for our push.
-For the build, we aim to have 2 Medivacs, 4 Siege Tanks, 4 Marauders along with a lot of Marines at the opponent's base by 7:00.
-Send your army out shortly before your 2 Medivacs spawn. Use your 2 Medivacs to carry one last round of units and boost across the map to meet the rest of your forces. See replay for demonstration.
-When attacking into a timid Protoss player, use the 4 Marauders in front to hit random Pylons, as Marauders have enough HP to soak hits and have more range than Marines. See the VOD linked above (HeroMarine vs PtitDrogo) for demonstration.
-Immediately after your first two Medivacs, build two more Medivacs. Rally your units at your base, then when the two Medivacs are ready, use them to boost these units so you can reinforce quickly. You can use these Medivacs to supplement your main push or to harass elsewhere. See replay for demonstration.
-After the 4th Siege Tank is done, I recommend to stop Siege Tank production. Instead, lift the Factory and build a Reactor while building your 4th Barracks on top of the Tech Lab and 5th Barracks beside the Factory. After this point, SCVs may be produced sporadically whenever you have the money. After third is landed, SCV production should be prioritized until full saturation.
Previously, I had recommended a similar build order where the Terran player goes for a Hellion and Cyclone instead of a Widow Mine drop, as seen here: https://lotv.spawningtool.com/build/135200/
However, after playtesting, it turned out that the build was not performing up to standard. Here are some thoughts comparing these two builds:
-In most low league games, the early Hellion and Cyclone were not providing much value. They are not useful in the main timing push at 7:00, and microing the Hellion is a lot of work in the low leagues for not much gain. It is true that the Hellion can provide scouting info, but in playtesting I did not see players making use of this well, not to mention opponents may just play some random build at this level so it's hard to tell what they are doing based on small clues from a Hellion scout.
-A Cyclone is usually only built against Stargate in TvP. It is complete garbage against any other opener except maybe a Warp Prism Gateway rush. Initially I thought it wasn't going to be a big deal going for the Cyclone in low leagues, but the lack of offensive pressure seems to be making it too easy for opposing Protoss players.
-In contrast, a Widow Mine drop offers an immediate challenge to opposing Protoss players. The Protoss must invest Chrono Boosts into completing Blink by 4:40, or else it is likely that the Medivac will be able to drop and save the Widow Mines afterwards. The downside is that the Widow Mine drop is an intense micro/multitasking experience for low league players, but I judge that it's worth it because it causes a similar level of stress for the opponent.
-TvP is a build order-based matchup. It is hard to come up with an all-rounder build that is good against everything. This build is no exception, because by skipping Hellion and going blind Widow Mine drop, you may end up shitting yourself when you arrive at the Protoss base and 4 Phoenixes show up to greet you. However, playtesting has shown that macro Stargate is the least played opening in PvT below master league; players have a hard time controlling Phoenixes/Oracles actively while maintaining their macro, and would rather play it slowly with an easy Blink/Colossus opener. Thus, based on expected value, I believe this opener is as good as it gets.
-Hellion first into either 1 or 2 Widow Mines is also an option with this build if you value the utility of the Hellion. In this circumstance, you are losing 21 seconds of Factory production time for the Hellion, so your options are either going for the same followup but with 3 Siege Tanks instead of 4, or only dropping with 1 Widow Mine instead of 2 (not ideal, but has been done in pro games; usually this is sort of a bluff play where Terran shows the Medivac and doesn't drop, pretending that there could be more than 1 Widow Mine in it).
-Another build that might be strong against this is a well-concealed Dark Templar rush. With a Nexus before Core and 3 units built to start, Protoss players can warp in DTs with a Warp Prism near the Terran base at around 4:30, probably arriving at the Terran base by around 4:40. This is a small issue for this build because we made a Medivac before Raven, so our Raven is going to spawn at around 5:06 instead of on time, as it was with the previous build. If DTs are suspected (e.g. no Sentry, 2x Adept first, Robo faster than 3:00), it is recommended to save scans starting at 4:00 while doing the rest of the build as planned. The gameplan against DTs is to use scans to buy time for Turrets and our Raven to get up.
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