MVP’s 2 base Marauder/Hellbat/Marine All In

Game 3

Game 4

If you weren’t watching the WCS Europe Finals, you were missing out. I myself happened to only catch the finals after sleeping in, which were some fun games. Games 1 and 2 were pretty standard, but in games 3 and 4, MVP came out with a sick 2 base all in.

It starts with Hellbat drops shortly after 7 minutes, which is relatively normal and can do some damage. From 7 to 10 minutes, MVP gets a Hellbat Marauder composition, which can defend against Roach Zergling pushes (especially if the Hellbat drops force the Zerg to go all in). Then, he cranks out 4 Marines at a time with 2 Reactored Barracks to have Marines ready for 11 minute Mutalisks. The push then goes out slightly after that.

So here are the builds.

MVP v. Stephano, WCS Europe Finals Game 3, Newkirk District

Hellbat drops into a 2 base Marauder/Hellbat/Marine All In

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 13 Refinery
  • 15 Marine, Orbital Command
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 16 Marine
  • 18 Factory
  • 19 Reactor
  • 22 Command Center (low ground)
  • 4:45 Swap, Hellion x2, Supply Depot
  • 5:15 Armory, Hellion x2
  • 32 5:50 Starport
  • 6:00 Barracks Tech Lab
  • 6:10 Orbital Command, Refinery
  • 6:15 Hellbat x2 (continuous)
  • 40 6:40 Medivac (continuous)
  • 7:15 Stimpack, Marauder (continuous), Hellbat drop goes out
  • 8:00 Barracks x2
  • 9:15 Barracks Reactor x2
  • 10:00 Marine x4 (continuous)
  • 10:50 Concussive Shell
  • 110 11:15 Push, SCV pull

Some notes:

  1. MVP never gets a Reactor on the Starport. I think Terran players just instinctively swap, but he wants the Reactor for the Hellbats.
  2. There’s no 3rd Refinery, which may contribute to the lack of Medivacs
  3. There’s also no Engineering Bay
  4. He cuts SCVs from 7:30 to 9:00, then again after 10:00. He has the money, so maybe it’s a mistake, but this is MVP, so maybe he really need the money

And the second build. It starts with Reapers, but the rest of the build turns out similarly.

MVP v. Stephano, WCS Europe Finals Game 4, Star Station

Reaper Expand into Hellbat drops into a 2 base Marauder/Hellbat/Marine All In

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 13 Refinery
  • 15 Orbital, Marine (canceled for Reaper)
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 18 Reaper (both out to harass and scout)
  • 20 Command Center
  • 21 Factory
  • 23 Barracks Reactor
  • 24 Refinery
  • 26 5:30 Swap, Hellion x2, Armory, Marine
  • 6:00 Starport
  • 6:15 Hellion x2
  • 6:50 Barracks Tech Lab, Hellbat x2 (continuous), Medivac (continuous)
  • 54 7:30 Stimpack
  • 7:45 drop goes out
  • 8:00 Marauder (continuous)
  • 8:15 Barracks x2, Bunker
  • 9:25 Reactor x2
  • 9:45 Barracks x2
  • Marine x4 (continuous, x6 with
  • 10:55 Combat Shield
  • 120 11:15 Push, SCV pull

Some notes:

  1. The big difference is that he goes for a Reaper opening in this game. He doesn’t cut the 13th SCV to get out a faster Refinery, though, so perhaps it’s not too important
  2. Compared to the last game, he isn’t cutting as many SCVs. Again, not sure how to read that.
  3. At 9:45, he gets out 2 more Barracks for more Marines. Again, I’m not sure how to read this choice.

I like the build a lot, and because of that, Zerg players beware: you might be seeing a lot of this on the ladder.

Flash build orders from Proleague (TvZ Hellbat drops!)

At some point, my friend George told something like, “It just doesn’t feel like real StarCraft unless it’s Proleague.” Well, thanks to Fantasy Proleague, I have really gotten into Proleague, and it’s just about all I watch.

The timing is not terrible. Friday and Saturday nights work well, and I’m willing to stay up Sunday/Monday night until 1 watching games. The gaps between games give me time to take care of chores and get ready for bed. But of course, the real draw is that these are the best players playing high stake games and are willing to do all sorts of crazy all-ins, map-specific strategies, and builds tailored for the matchup.

This past weekend was the start of round 5, which is an all-kill round. Instead of each team picking a full lineup of 7 players, the winner of each match stays on while the losing team picks another player. There’s more variance for Fantasy StarCraft, and you don’t get as much exposure to new players, but the aces come out for more games. Innovation looked good in an all-kill of EG-TL, but I think the bigger bounce-back was Flash, who did poorly last round and got knocked out of his GSL Code S group of death (Life, Innovation, Parting, and Flash).

I have a few Flash builds written up. Let’s jump into them.

Flash’s Standard TvP

(v. Terminator on Neo Planet) (TwitchYoutube)

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks, Refinery
  • 15 Reaper, Orbital
  • 17 Command Center, Reactor
  • 18 Supply Depot
  • 19 Bunker
  • 20 Engineering Bay
  • 20 Marine x2 (continuous)
  • 27 5:20 +1 attack
  • 30 5:45 Barracks
  • 6:20 Barracks
  • 6:35 Refinery
  • 6:50 Tech Lab
  • 7:10 Factory
  • 7:15 Refinery
  • 7:20 Stimpack
  • 7:30 Tech Lab
  • 7:55 +1 armor
  • 8:15 Reactor (on Factory), Starport
  • 8:35 Combat Shield
  • 9:15 Medivac x2
  • 9:40 Armory
  • 9:45 pushing out, delaying Protoss 3rd
  • 10:00 Command Center

This build should look pretty normal: Reaper opening into Bio. The funny part of htis build is the very early Engineering Bay. This lets him get out +1/+1 upgrades for the usual 10-11 minute push. Otherwise, this should be reassuring since it looks like Apollo’s progression.

Flash’s TvZ Hellbat Drops into Mech
(v. Roro on Akilon Wastes) (Twitch, Youtube)

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 14 Command Center
  • 15 Barracks
  • 16 Refinery
  • 19 Marine, Orbital Command
  • 22 Refinery, Factory
  • 23 Reactor
  • 26 Supply Depot
  • 27 Bunker
  • 29 Starport
  • 6:00 Swap, Hellion x2 (+ a few more), Marine
  • 6:10 Armory
  • 6:35 Medivac (continuous)
  • 7:15 Hellbat x2 (continuous)
  • 7:30 Factory, Tech Lab (will swap onto Factory)
  • 8:00 First drop out, Refinery
  • 8:45 Siege Tanks start
  • 9:00 Command Center
  • 9:20 2nd drop arrives, Refinery
  • 9:35 +1 Attack
  • 10:05 Factory

I myself have been looking for a Hellbat drop build, and it looks roughly like what I should have expected. CC first if you like, or maybe don’t: I certainly won’t. Otherwise, it looks like Polt’s drops, but you add in an Armory for the Hellbats. Disclaimer: none of us can micro like Flash, but Flash was continuously dropping at 2 locations. The Starport and Reactored Factory are an endless stream of drops, and even Roro was losing tons of workers. This is a great way to punish quick 3 bases from Zerg.

Flash’s TvT Mech
(v. Reality on Whirlwind) (Twitch, Youtube)
10 Supply Depot
12 Barracks
15 Refinery
16 Marine, Orbital Command
17 Supply Depot
17 Marine
19 Marine
20 Command Center, Reactor
22 4:20 Factory, Supply Depot
23 4:50 Marine x2
5:20 Starport, Refinery, Swap Reactor, Hellion x2 (continuous)
Orbital Command
6:10 Viking (defend drops)
6:50 Tech Lab (Barracks)
7:20 swap onto Starport, Raven
7:50 fends off a drop and run-by (takes some damage)
? 9:00 Hellion pressure
8:30 Command Center
9:00 Armory x2
9:45 Refinery x2
9:50 Factory x2
10:30 +1/+1 vehicle
11:00 Siege Tanks x2, Hellbats x2 start
11:20 Engineering Bay
12:00 Medivacs, Missile Turrets

I don’t have much to say about this build: it kind of speaks for itself. I have just 2 things to draw attention to. First, there’s the early Raven. I have been looking at ways to integrate a single Raven into my own builds (great in TvZ for clearing creep, right?), so I guess the answer is just to go for it. Second, Siege Tanks start really late for mech play. Barring any signs that you need the defense, I guess it’s okay to go up to 3 bases before getting Tanks. I guess it worked in this game because Reality revealed his hand in the 7:50 Marine/Hellion pressure, but even so, that’s really late.

I hope you like the builds. To be honest, all Terran play is starting to look very similar to me, but I guess that makes it easier to put together a guide. On that note, I heard that Apollo will be doing another set of videos, so you should look forward to those. On a related note, I’m feeling good enough to write up a Terran guide at this point. Maybe you can look forward to that.

Finally, Blizzard is getting serious about replay analysis, and I’m very excited. They apparently have enhanced the data provided and released an open source library for parsing that data. I have already put together a tool for extracting build orders that I’m calling the Spawning Tool, so check that out when you get a chance. Note that this is primarily just a proof of concept, so there are a lot of bugs. I would go into more detail, but that’s not really what this post is about, so expect more news about that soon!

TvX Reaper opening into Mine drops into bio

In my posts so far, I have emphasized a macro-focused, reactive style. I think focusing on macro is the best way to learn how to play, but nailing your build and keeping your money low alone isn’t going to win you games. To play reactively, you need to scout and know how to respond to what you see, but even more importantly, you need to micro to deal with it.

That’s kind of where I’m at in my development, and unfortunately, it’s not going so well. I don’t play particularly quickly, and I’m not good at switching back and forth between micro and macro. Repeating reactive, safe builds hasn’t helped me develop that, either, because not enough of my games turn to micro-intensive styles.

Since I’m playing Terran nowadays, I’m using Reaper openings now. I feel cheesy doing it, but it’s astoundingly good practice to micro 2 Reapers around your opponent’s base while executing your build. The build gets a quick expansion and uses Widow Mine drops and Hellion harass into the midgame to keep your opponent off-balance. That gives you the opportunity to transition into your favorite bio composition.

Even better, the opening generally works against all races. You may tweak things slightly depending on what you see, but good harassment is good. Things probably start to diverge around 6:00.

Here are the build orders from 2 games from Polt that he posted to YouTube.

Polt’s TvT Reaper opening against Mech

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 11 Barracks (I think this was a mistake)
  • 12 Refinery
  • 15 Orbital Command, Reaper
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 16 Reaper (lost a worker, sees no gas)
  • 19 4:10 Command Center
  • 4:25 20 Factory
  • 4:40 Reactor
  • 21 Supply Depot
  • 22 5:05 Barracks (poke in with Reapers)
  • 5:25 Starport (start Marine production), Widow Mine
  • 6:15 tech lab on Barracks, Refinery
  • 6:50 Medivac
  • 7:00 Barracks, Refinery
  • 7:30 tech on Stim
  • 7:40 1 Widow Mine drop (other Mine at opponenemt’s ramp)
  • 8:00 Engineering Bay
  • 8:30 Mine drop, sees mech, Siege Tanks
  • 9:30 push out with army, drop in back
  • 10:30 Command Center
  • Marine/Marauder/Tank/Medivac
  • 14:00 4th base

And the M4 Carbine against Zerg:

Polt’s TvZ Reapers into M4 Carbine

  • 10 Supply Depot
  • 12 Barracks
  • 12 Refinery (delay SCV slightly)
  • 15 Reaper, Orbital command
  • 16 Supply Depot
  • 18 Reaper (attack with both when done
  • 20 Command Center
  • 21 4:20 Factory
  • 22 4:30 Reactor
  • 23 Supply Depot
  • 25 5:40 Swap, Bunker, Hellion x2 (to 6, then Widow Mines), Tech Lab
  • 5:55 Refinery
  • 30 6:05 Starport
  • 7:00 Viking
  • 7:10 Stimpack
  • 8:00 Medivac, harassing with Hellions and Reaper
  • 8:20 Command Center
  • 8:30 Drop leaving with Medivac and 2 Mines
  • 8:50 Engineering Bay x2, Refinery x2
  • 9:10 Barracks x2
  • 9:50 Barracks x2
  • 11:00 Tech Lab x2, Armory, Barracks x4, moves out to 3rd base
  • 12:00 Factory

Just a few notes:

  • Feel free to lose the Reapers at your discretion. If they survive, you can watch for expos or take towers with them
  • Your money will get high when you supply is in the upper 20s before you can blow it all on Hellions. I think you can get a Bunker, earlier 2nd Refinery, and 2nd Barracks in that gap
  • An alternate build is to go for a quick 3rd Command Center around 5:00 with those extra minerals. See Reality’s build in TvZ (youtube, twitch)
  • There are lots of units being cranked out all along the way that I’m not noting in the build

Finally, here’s a game from yours truly against Protoss. My Reaper harassment works okay, and their Oracle harassment works even better. A few Widow Mines in my base and a poorly timed push from my opponent seals the victory for me. Overall, it was pretty gratifying seeing the new build work, especially in TvP, which I have recently been having difficulty with.

To recap, at some point, you need to learn how to micro while sticking with your build/macro, and trying out harass-heavy builds, like Reaper openings, are a great way to do that. Reaper openings are surprisingly versatile and can definitely lead into any type of bio build.

(edit 5/4/13: adding reference to 3 base build)

PvZ Skytoss from Dear

YouTube VOD and English VOD (subscription required)

If you’re not watching Proleague, you’re missing out. I wasn’t watching too closely for the past few rounds, but then I started playing Fantasy Proleague, and it’s now consuming my life. If you’re not familiar with Proleague, it’s a team format where 8 teams play best of 7 matches once or twice a week. Each team comes up with their lineup based only on the maps, and they spend the week practicing that map. Because the lineups are announced early, this leads to very different games from the individual, weekend tournaments. Instead of just needing to be in good shape for any games you might play, you can prepare a specific build for a specific map for a specific opponent for one week.

Last night, STX Soul’s Dear came ready with a 3 base Skytoss build against SK Telecom T1’s Sacsri on Naro Station. This build looked great on Naro Station, where the natural has 1 choke and another path, which leads to the 3rd, blockable by collapsible rocks. The 3rd also has 2 entrances, with rocks at one of them. Dear walls off the natural, then quickly moves to take the 3rd and walls that off as well. And the best part of Skytoss is that the 3rds are close by air, so Tempests can almost shoot from your 3rd into your opponent’s third.

Anyways, here’s the build. You can probably follow it up till around when the Tempests start at 9:20. The rest should be reactive.

Dear’s PvZ Skytoss on Naro Station

  • 9 Pylon (in base)
  • 16 Nexus
  • 17 Forge (in base)
  • 17 Pylon
  • 19 Gateway (wall natural )
  • 19 Cannon (at natural)
  • 21 Assimilator x2
  • 4:20 sees 3rd base
  • 27 4:30 Core (wall nat)
  • 29 Zealot
  • 31 Pylon
  • 5:30 Stargate
  • 38 5:40 Assimilator x2
  • Sentry
  • Warpgate
  • Sentry
  • 50ish 6:40 Void Ray
  • Mothership Core
  • Void Ray
  • 7:30 Nexus (3rd)
  • 7:45 Gateway x2 (walling on 3rd)
  • Void Ray
  • 8:10 Fleet Beacon, Stargate
  • 8:10 (Zerg starts Spire)
  • 8:35 +1 Air Weapons
  • 9:20 Tempest x2 (continuous)
  • 9:20 (Zerg starts Hydra Den
  • 10:40 Stargate, Tempests attacking 3rd
  • Cannons
  • 11:40 +2 Air weapons
  • 12:20 Sees Mutas, Switches to Phoenix
  • 14:10 Zealot Leg speed
  • 15:30 Back into Void Rays (maybe 12 Phoenix at this point?)
  • 16:20 Templar Archives

So, a few notes on how this game went.

The 3rd base comes very quickly, and this build depends on being able to secure this. Of the current ladder map pool, I think Akilon Waste is maybe the only viable map to use this build on. Maybe Newkirk Precinct if you’re lucky.

Dear doesn’t harass with his early Stargate and instead gets Void Rays. I can’t really explain that. Please comment if you know why.

For defense, Dear walls in a lot and gets lots of Cannons. This does leave his main open for Mutalisk harass, but some emergency Stalker warp-ins and bringing the Void Rays home rescue that. The Mothership Core will also be a huge help in defense.

In the midgame, he switches into 3 Stargate Phoenix, which locks things down. They’re good against both Mutalisks and small numbers of Hydralisks.

In the late game, he has a Tempest/Void Ray force with Phoenixes, High Templars, and Zealots (the mineral dump). The High Templar can deal with the Hydralisks and Abducting Vipers.

Dear doesn’t take a 4th until 19 minutes into the game. I guess that’s not part of the game plan as he depends on good control and retaining his core, valuable air units.

Sacsri never builds Corruptors, and I’m assuming this is because of the Void Ray count and the new Prismatic Alignment ability.

So, try it out and let me know how it works. It’s a little wacky, but this is Proleague: you will see strange, but very well optimized and thought-out builds.

Aggressive Artosis Protoss builds

Artosis claims to play a safe, reactive style, but it doesn’t mean he goes into a game passively. I think his default builds are relatively standard, but he also mixes in some interesting all-in builds and experiments quite a bit.

Since I’m moving onto Terran now, I thought I would drop in a few interesting build orders that he used. I don’t have good enough notes to actually indicate how well they worked or what change he would make, but they could be an interesting starting point for you.

First up is a Dark Templar rush. The Dark Shrine is now 150 Minerals and 150 Gas (instead of 100/250 from WoL), so it could be worth throwing into Blink play just to catch your opponent off-guard. This particular build seems very fast.

Artosis PvP DT Rush

  • 9 Pylon
  • 13 Gateway
  • 15 Assimilator
  • 15 Pylon
  • 18 Core
  • 19 Assimilator
  • 20 Gateway
  • 21 Warpgate, Stalker
  • 23 Pylon, Twilight Council
  • 24 Stalker x2
  • 29 Dark Shrine, Proxy Pylon
  • 30 Gateway
  • 6:30 Blink
  • 6:55 Dark Templars (at proxy)
  • 7:30 Nexus
  • 7:45 Gateway
  • 8:00 Gateway

Artosis also claimed that he wouldn’t be doing any more Void Ray all-ins, but he did. This particular one seems pretty standard, but if you’re like me and had never seen one before, expect a pre-10:00 attack.

Artosis PvP Void Ray all-in

  • 9 Pylon
  • 13 Gateway
  • 15 Assimilator
  • 16 Pylon
  • 17 Core
  • 19 Assimilator (cut probes)
  • 19 Gateway
  • 19 Stalker, Warpgate
  • 21 Pylon (starting probes again)
  • 23 Stalker (cut again)
  • 25 Stalker (start again)
  • 28 5:10 Stargate
  • 29 Mothership Core
  • Void Rays (up to 3)
  • 7:30 Gateway x2
  • 9:30 push

Switching matchups, Artosis also showed off a Stargate opening in PvZ. Elsewhere, I always advocate the Robo opening, but Stargate openings are also quite common. The Oracle is all the rage nowadays, but you can still go Phoenixes, or you can even do the old school 1 Void Ray and 2 Phoenixes if you really want.

Note that he still goes Robo anyways. Go figure.

Artosis PvZ Stargate opening

  • 9 Pylon
  • 16 Forge (Drone blocked Nexus)
  • 17 Nexus
  • 17 Pylon
  • 17 Gateway (sees Spawning Pool)
  • 17 Cannon
  • 19 Assimilator
  • 20 Assimilator
  • 21 Core
  • Stalker, +1, Warpgate
  • 6:00 Gas
  • Mothership Core
  • 8:00 Stargate
  • 9:00 Robotics Facility
  • 10:30 Fleet beacon (reacting to Mutalisks)
  • 11:00 Gateway x2
  • 11:15 Robotics Support Bay

Finally, a PvT build. I’m actually really not sure what the intent of this build is, so I guess I included this just to show you what’s possible.

Artosis PvT Fast Colossus

  • 9 Pylon
  • 13 Gateway
  • 15 Assimilator (2 in gas)
  • 15 Pylon
  • 18 Core
  • 18 Zealot
  • 23 Nexus (3 in gas)
  • 24 Stalker
  • 26 Pylon
  • 26 Assimilator
  • 26 Warpgate
  • 27 5:20 Robotics Facility
  • Assimilator
  • 6:30 Robotics Support Bay
  • Mothership Core
  • Observer
  • 7:45 Colossi, Gateway x2
  • Sees mech, goes for Stargate instead
  • Assimilator

Watch Artosis when you can. He’s not quite Code B level, but you can still learn a lot from him.



Early game aggression in PvT

I have been watching Apollo and Artosis for Protoss recently, and they both play a defensive, reactive style. They open with a 1 Gate Expand, maybe do some Oracle harass, then transition into a Colossus-focused army for a fight in the 10 to 15 minute range.

I think Terran players have been getting greedy in the meantime. Specifically, Terran can go for a 1 Rax Expand and get whatever they want. Maybe that’s really fast Stim and Starport for Marine drops, or maybe there are Widow Mine drops. Behind this, they’re getting +1/+1 because they feel safe behind one bunker and the knowledge that as long as there’s a Missile Turret to prevent DTs, they will be okay.

Okay, maybe not all Terran players play like this, but I certainly do. And as Protoss, I would like to apply some pressure. My current favorites to watch aren’t doing it, but there is one guy who will: EGHuK. I have watched a few of his games, and it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but he’s willing to march up a ramp early and punish Terran players who just have Marines. Here are 2 builds I wrote down. As a disclaimer, he fizzled and lost both of these games.

EGHuK PvT on Whirlwind, laddering

  • 9 Pylon (no scout)
  • 13 Gateway
  • 15 Assimilator (2 in gas)
  • 16 Assimilator (2 in gas)
  • 16 Pylon
  • 17 Cybernetics Core
  • 20 Warpgate, Stalker (chrono)
  • 24 Pylon
  • 24 Nexus (3 in each gas)
  • 24 Mothership Core
  • 27 Stalker
  • 29 Robo
  • 31 Gateway x2
  • 3 Observers, constants Stalkers
  • 36 lots of Obs, Stalkers
  • 61 Assimilator x2
  • Stalker pressure
  • transition into immortal
  • tries to punish terran greediness

Here’s the 2nd game.

EGHuK PvT on Neoplanet, Laddering

  • 9 Pylon
  • 12 Gateway
  • 15 Assimilator x2 (none in gas yet)
  • 16 Pylon
  • 17 Cybernetics Core (2 in each gas)
  • 20 Warpgate, Gateway
  • 23 Pylon
  • 23 Nexus (3 in gas)
  • 26 Mothership Core
  • Stalker
  • 34 5:40 Gateway x3
  • 6:40 Robotoics
  • 10:00 Stalker Heavy push (fail), 4 Zealots, 2 Sentry
  • 11:30 Gateway x2, Twilight Council

A few things to note here.

First, HuK does a slightly different opening to get to his Nexus. Specifically, he builds the Assimilators early so he’s gas-ready for Stalker/Warpgate/Mothership Core, but he doesn’t get all of his workers in there so he can get the Nexus out faster. It probably also helps that it isn’t really a tell for what sort of build he’s doing based on his gas timings.

Second, he can pressure off of 3 or 4 Gateways. As Terran, I was always worried about the 6-7 Gateway attacks, and scouting that would immediately trigger my defensive instincts. If you stay on top of your macro, though, you can give a good scare with a lot of Stalkers from 3 or 4 Gateways. You don’t have to wait for Robo.

Third, I admit that this isn’t as good as it used to be. Since Siege Tanks no longer require the upgrade, there isn’t that same pre-siege window for attack. Tanks on the high ground raining upon the natural can be brutal.

So consider it. It’s tempting to wait for Colossi, but I think things just get more exciting with early aggression. And if things go poorly, you can always Recall out.

Dealing with a 3 Hatch opening in PvZ

I’m playing random on HotS right now until I figure out my best race. I’m feeling okay with all of the match ups, except PvZ. Gosh, I just have no idea what’s going on. I know that I need to open with a fast expand as Protoss, but the Zerg just goes up to 3 bases when they see that. And then a few minutes pass, and all of a sudden, an army of arbitrary composition but immense size rolls up and kills me.

The problem is that I don’t know what I’m to do from about 4:00 to 12:00. Pros do Stargate openings, so maybe that? Oh, but I should take a 3rd base at some point. How much army do I need? Maybe I should poke with my 1 Zealot, 1 Stalker, and 1 MsC. It’s pretty disastrous.

Thankfully, I’m currently watching Apollo’s Protoss Tutorials REVAMPED from WoL, and he has an excellent video showing what I think is the prototypical Protoss play against 3 bases. Admittedly, I haven’t watched enough PvZ in HotS to know if things have changed a lot, but I’m inclined to believe that things haven’t changed too much yet.

So check out this game (24:00 into the 2nd Protoss video), with the build order written out below. The keys here are timing attacks. First, he goes in with 4 Zealots and 4 Stalkers with +1 attack around 8:15 (you can even add the Mothership Core too). It doesn’t look big, but I’m certain that the early pressure is very important. At my level, I think Zerg knows to get to 3 bases, but they have difficulty knowing how to time aggressive Droning and enough defense. Second, he goes up to Colossi and attacks around 15:00, which is slightly earlier than classic deathball pushes. This timing might have changed as Zerg are looking to get to Hive sooner with Roach/Hydra/Viper, so let me know if that doesn’t work out as well.

The build order writeup is a little sketchy, but it’s a good outline. Just watch the game: it’s only about 11 minutes of real time.

Apollo’s Prototypical PvZ from WoL (Oct 2012)

  • 9 Pylon
  • 11 Chrono into probes
  • 16 Nexus
  • 16 Forge
  • 16 Pylon (resume Probe production + Chrono)
  • 20 Cannon
  • 21 Assimliator x2
  • 26 Cybernetics Core
  • 28 Zealot
  • 32 +1 Attack upgrade (with first 100 gas)
  • Warpgate
  • (Sees 3 base)
  • 6:30 Gateway x3
  • 7:10 Assimilator x2
  • Robotics Facility
  • 8:15 attack on 3rd with 4 Zealot/4 Stalker
  • +1 Armor upgrade
  • Observer
  • Sentry x4
  • Immortals
  • 9:30 Gateway x2, Twilight (for more upgrades)
  • 10:30 Nexus at 3rd
  • 11:30 Robotics Support Bay(seeing Reach/Ling), Robotics Facility
  • 13:00 Gateway x3
  • Gateway x4 (shooting for 12 total)
  • 15:00 Attack (timing attack before Hive)

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.