qxc/MVP’s Terran bio build orders for HotS

(Update: check out my updated guide for playing Terran for the maintained version of this post)

Having already written up a few Heart of the Swarm (HotS) build orders for Protoss and Zerg, I thought I would also write up a few Terran builds as well while I’m still waiting for my copy of HotS to arrive tomorrow (if Amazon is to be believed). For this batch, I watched qxc’s stream.

Despite not having many big results in tournaments, I am still a big qxc fan. He’s very thoughtful and shows what you can do with excellent control. The caveat is that these builds are probably more specific and advanced than what I wrote up for Zerg or Protoss. Still, they’re pretty cool builds that he is copying from watching MVP and other Terrans at IEM Hanover.

Before I get into all of that, let me write down a standard Wings of Liberty (WoL) Terran opening. I’m guessing this might not be so standard nowadays, but it’s a starting point for newer players.

Standard WoL Terran Build Order

  • 10 Supply Depot at Ramp
  • 12 Barracks at Ramp (scout with the 12th SCV)
  • 14 Refinery
  • 15 Orbital Command
  • 15 Marine
  • 16 Supply Depot to complete wall
  • 16 Marine
  • Factory with the builder SCV
  • Reactor on the Barracks
  • Swap the Reactor onto the Factory for 2 Hellions

Usual rules of reading build orders apply. I don’t write it in, but you should get Orbitals on your Command Centers as soon as they finish. Also, qxc stops SCV production at quite a few times to squeeze buildings out a little sooner. Just follow the supply counts and fill in the gaps, and you should be fine.

Note that all of the builds go into bio (Barracks units, not Factory or Starport units). qxc likes bio. If someone wants me to write up mech builds, I can find someone else to watch and look at that, too.

Terran Versus Protoss

Like in Wings of Liberty (WoL), bio is still viable against Protoss. Widow Mines, however, are a nice addition to the army for extra map control and damage. To take advantage of that, this build uses an early Factory and Starport for Widow Mine drops. One quirk in the build is that the Refinery is delayed slightly. He makes a point of mentioning it in the video, so I trust him.

qxc/MVP’s TvP Widow Mine Drop into Bio

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 14 Scout (look for gas and the 3rd Pylon to guess if there’s a proxy)
  • 15 Refinery
  • 15 Orbital Command
  • 15 Marine
  • 17 Supply Depot
  • 19 Reactor (constant Marine production)
  • 20 Command Center (in base)
  • 21 Factory (constant Widow Mine production)
  • 22 Marine, Marine
  • 24 Supply Depot
  • 30 Starport
  • 30 Widow Mine
  • 33 2nd Refinery
  • 43 ~6:20 Medivac (done around 7:00; load with 2 Mines and Marines to either drop or push. Thanks pball4ever)
  • Followup with Bio

Terran Versus Zerg

In TvZ, Reapers seem to be the standard opening. If Zerg gets greedy, or has poor Zergling micro, or doesn’t position their Queens well, you can do some damage. Using Reapers, Hellions, and Widow Mine, you can take map control and go up to 3 bases quite quickly. Note that this assumes your opponent is going up to 3 bases quickly, so if they don’t, you can delay the last CC.

I would explain it more, but qxc actually gives a really good explanation of it at the beginning of this video where it uses the build. I’ll shut up, and you can follow the link.

qxc/MVP TvZ Reaper Hellion into 3 CC

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 12 Refinery
  • 15 Orbital
  • 16 Reaper (harass)
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 18 Reaper (harass)
  • 19 Command Center
  • 20 Factory
  • 21 Reactor on Barracks
  • 22 Supply Depot
  • 24 Command Center
  • 25 Hellion, Hellion with Reactor on Facotry
  • 35 Supply Depot
  • 2 more Hellions for 4 total
  • 2 Widow Mines (placed aggressively)
  • Transition into Bio

Terran Versus Terran

TvT has also been changed by the presence of the Reaper. Similar to TvZ, you can use 2 Reapers to harass for scouting and catching your opponent being lazy. qxc goes for a very similar build to TvZ, except the CC is delayed. I’m not sure how standard this is, but he does this 2 games in a row. Again, watch him for the full effect.

qxc TvT Reaper Hellion (game 1, game 2)

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 12 Refinery
  • 15 Scout
  • 15 Orbital Command
  • 15 Reaper (harass)
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 17 Reaper (harass)
  • 20 Command Center
  • 20 Factory
  • 21 Reactor on Barracks
  • 23 Supply Depot
  • 24 Hellion, Hellion from swapped Reactor
  • Tech Lab on Barracks
  • 29 Starport
  • 30 2nd Refinery
  • 31 Hellions, Hellion (poke with all of the Hellions and Reapers
  • 37 Supply Depot
  • Stuff
  • 8:00 3rd Command Center
  • Transition into bio

I think that’s it for this post. Like the others, let me know if you see any issues, or want me to expand on anything. I’ll note that my knowledge of Terran is far behind that of the other races (which is admittedly still not great), so I’ll need to study more to get you answers.

5 thoughts on “qxc/MVP’s Terran bio build orders for HotS

  1. Do you know of any working build order testers that are compatible with HOTS?

    Thank you for putting time into these posts, they are very helpful.

  2. I would like to add that Banshees are still a viable option against all races. In addition to harrass, banshees can provide a last line of defence against eg. an early push of zerglings/banelings. Especially in a TvT game, it is underestimated how much economic damage you cause just by making your opponent use scans rather than mules.

    • That’s a really good point; I think Banshee harass has gotten overshadowed recently by Reapers and dropping just about anything. Back in WoL, Apollo was using Banshees in TvZ http://starcraft.kevinleung.com/?p=233, but it certainly works in the other matchups as well.

      I’m curious to see whether the pros go back to Banshees with the upcoming patch that decreases the cost of Cloak. I’ll put it on my watchlist to update the Terran strategy guide if that becomes popular. Thanks for pointing this out!

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