• Starcraft 2 TvP Standard Macro Bio Opener Build…

    Home –> Starcraft 2 Terran Guide –> Terran Build Orders –> Macro Bio Build Order

    Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodWhile the name of this article is a mouthful, I assure you that what you will find below is a standard, relatively safe, and effective opener for Terran players to use in Terran vs Protoss matches.

    What this build does is provide Terran players a safe opener in TvP that is designed to quickly get the natural expansion up and running without risking a build order loss to early Oracles or an attack with Gateway units at the front door.

    This build is bio focused, as this allows the Terran player to be able to attack the Protoss player around the 10:00 mark before the Protoss has access to a full suite of anti-bio units. If you prefer to play as mech, this is not the build for you.

    TvP Standard Macro Bio Build Order

    10/11 – Supply Depot
    12/19 – Barracks
    16/19 – Orbital Command
    17/19 – Marine
    17/19 – Command Center
    17/19 – Supply Depot
    19/19 – Bunker (at entrance to natural)
    20/27 – Marine
    21/27 – Barracks
    22/27 – Barracks
    23/27 – Marine
    23/27 – Refinery x2
    24/38 – Orbital Command
    28/38 – Marine x2
    28/38 – Tech Lab (on Barracks)
    32/38 – Marine x2
    34/38 – Stimpack
    34/37 – Supply Depot
    36/38 – Marine x2
    36/46 – Factory

    From here, you can focus on saturating both expansions with SCVs and getting out Marines as needed. With three Barracks total, you can start adding on units that can defend against any early attack. If you continue to remain unthreatened, add on Engineering Bays and start getting Infantry upgrades. Add on a Missile Turret in each mineral line to prevent Oracles from harassing. Add on a Starport with a Reactor to initially produce Medivacs and ultimately Vikings if the Protoss goes up to Colossus tech. Once your minerals start building up you can build additional Barracks as well.

    When opening with this build, note that you cannot easily make any attacks as you are using bio forces and have delayed vespene intake. Bio forces really need Stimpack, Combat Shield, and Medivac support to be effective. We delayed vespene in order to ensure a healthy Marine count (plus the ability to produce more Marines) without delaying the expansion timing. This large number of Marines is needed to protect from early Protoss attacks, but prevents us from attacking early ourselves.

    How Many Marines to Make?

    Producing just the right amount of Marines makes this build work a lot better. The proper amount depends on your opponent’s action. If the opponent has an expansion finished or at least under construction, you will not need too many Marines as investing in an extra Nexus will delay the opponent’s ability to make any sort of attack. If the opponent is on one base, there a good chance you will see early Oracles or other timings like 3 Gateways + 1 Stargate. You will need a lot of Marines to fend off a timing attack like this.

    Not overproducing Marines is relevant because the resources you spend on Marines could just as easily be spent on an Engineering Bay and the 2 Refineries at your natural expansion. The less resources you have to spend on Marines, the better. You can always add on Marines later with no penalty, but delaying your upgrades is something that will cost you the rest of the game.

    Please note that the early Bunker to the entrance of the natural expansion is not optional. Without this Bunker, a good Protoss can whittle down your Marine count without taking damage with a well microed Stalker and Mothership Core. This can make you very susceptible to Oracles or a Gateway timing attack (or both). The Bunker prevents this hit-and-run tactic.

    Making an Attack

    A great time to attack with this build is right after you finish up Stimpack and Combat Shield. If you added on 2x Engineering Bays early enough you should have been able to finish up +1 armor and weapons as well. Concussive Shield helps too but you do not have to wait for it to make an attack. You will need a few Medivacs as well to make a solid attack. This attack should made around the 10:45-11:00 mark on the game clock if you have decent macro.

    You do not have to worry about Vikings yet because if you attack early enough there is no way the Protoss will have out Extended Thermal Lance just yet as it is an expensive upgrade tthat takes a long time to research. The Protoss opponent will have at most 2 Colossi (if any at all), which without range are simply fodder for your Marauders if you focus fire.

    The problem with attacking Protoss players here is that Force Field will split your army in half if you try to attack from the front. Instead, load up 3-4 Medivacs full of Marines and Marauders and drop them either in the natural or main base. This allows you to bypass the enemy’s frontal defenses. As an added bonus, dropping on top of buildings and in crowded areas has the added advantage of shielding your bio units from Zealots. It is hard for the enemy to surround all your forces with Zealots if you drop in a crowded area.

    Late Game Play

    Playing bio in the late game requires the addition of Ghosts and Vikings in just the right amounts. Failure to include these units will result in your quick demise due to High Templar or Colossi. This depends on your enemy’s unit composition. See our guide on Terran vs Protoss strategy for more specifics on balancing your army in TvP.

    Weaknesses of the TvP Macro Bio Build

    There are three main weaknesses of the build above:

    • Oracles: Early Oracles are a threat to any Terran player. This build can handle Oracles, but I list Oracles as a weakness because these attacks require excellent Marine control from the Terran player in order to minimize Terran losses.. You can chase off Oracles with 5 Marine clusters, but the Marines need to be clustered and well-controlled. You will need 2 packs of Marines – 5 at the main and 5 at the natural expansion. This build gets you up to 7 Marines pretty early. If you spot Oracles, you will want to start producing Marines off of all 3 Barracks so you can get 2 clusters of 5 Marines at both the main and the natural. You will also want to try to keep a loaded Bunker near the natural expansion to ward off front-door Gateway attacks that often occur at the same time as an Oracle harass.
    • 1-Base Gateway Rushes: In addition to Oracles, a Protoss player may use an early rush with Gateway units such as the classic 4-Gate or even 2-3 Gateways and a Stargate. Since this Terran build delays Factory production significantly, you will have no Widow Mines to help defend. However, you do get 3 Barracks. In the event of an early attack, do not be afraid to lift off the natural expansion, pull your SCVs back, and build off of your three Barracks until you have enough units to push away this attack. A few Marauders can quickly shut down any Stalker kiting of your Marines. Sitting out for a bit at your natural expansion will not put you behind if your opponent is on one base.
    • Lack of Early Vespene: In order to grab a quick expansion without exposing the Terran player to a loss from early Gateway or Stargate units, this build delays harvesting of vespene gas until much later than typical for a Terran player. This means that your important bio tech like Stimpack, Combat Shield, and even Medivac support will be delayed. To account for this, try not to be too aggressive early in the game. You can feign attack, but unless the Protoss grabs a third, do not try to be a hero until Stimpack finishes up and you get a couple Medivacs on the field.


    This standard Terran opener is an excellent build to use against Protoss players if you want to play a safe macro game using bio units. It works well on both big and small maps, both 2 and 4 player. While slightly slower than the Command Center First build, the opener in this guide is much safer to use against Protoss players.

    Click Here for The Osiris Method

    Original article:
  • AllThingsTerran

    Hi! I am a new player that has already poured close to a day in Starcraft two(been playing a week). I am looking for a terran build order that will work against all three races, whether it be defense based or blitzkrieg. Any videos or written orders will be appreciated.

    Original article:
  • Spawning Tool Winter Terran Beginner Build Order Guide…

    Spawning Tool is constantly iterating to be better. If you have any bug reports, feature requests, criticism, comments, or other feedback, send it along!

    Enter the name of one of the three StarCraft races

    Original article:
  • Spawning Tool PvX

    Comments (14)

    On Jan. 13, 2019, 2:33 p.m., PashkaTLT  said:

    After playing a lot of games with this build order (and I love it!) I feel like although the observer is built pretty early, often it’s still not early enough, especially considering it can be delayed when the game doesn’t go as planned. So I modified the build order a little bit, to build a sentry after 4 stalkers and send a hallucination around 4:05 – 4:10 and I find the earlier hallucination scout very useful!

    On Jan. 11, 2019, 3:06 a.m., zuka  said:

    I did the change 😉

    On Jan. 10, 2019, 6:27 p.m., PashkaTLT  said:

    Can you please update the title of your build order to include stalker/colossi, because it can be difficult to find your build order if someone decides to search by “stalker” or “colos”.

    On Dec. 14, 2018, 2:55 a.m., zuka  said:

    – Against oracle push, you should be able to scout them : like with your first obs.

    On Dec. 14, 2018, 2:55 a.m., zuka  said:

    Well, about the third their is some points to know :
    – If the opponent did a push and failed it: You can expand
    – If you see as fast third from a terran or a protoss: You can expand
    – If you don’t find the third from a Zerg : Don’t take it
    – Against a Protoss: Try to count buildings like robo/sg/gates: If you see less than 4 in total of them : You can totally expand, if their is a gate explosion (like +4 gates), you should expect an all-in
    – Against a mech playstyle (terran), you can totally take it fast because he can’t really attack you
    – If you delay your third, it’s not a big problem if you didn’t cut the probe production : You will have 26 or 28 probes on your 2nd base => Transfer them and it will be good 😀

    You know that your are safe if, by watching is army you feel confident about killing it 1min later. If you are like “wow, their is to much”: Add gateways and shield batteries.
    You can

    On Dec. 9, 2018, 12:48 p.m., PashkaTLT  said:

    I also like the build has early 3rd base. I still can’t get used to build 3rd nexus so early, it’s scary for me. But I try to make myself do it, and it often turns out to be a right idea.

    Thank you very much zuka for this build order and for the series.

    A couple of questions though:

    1) Can you please help me feel more confident with building the 3rd base so early. How do you know if it’s safe or not safe? Often I delay it for about a minute, because I’m scared.. 🙂

    2) Against protoss I often get punished by 2 fast oracles that I couldn’t scout (either proxy or closed ramp). I build battery in my minerals, but it’s not enough against 2 oracles. Any advice?

    On Dec. 9, 2018, 12:43 p.m., PashkaTLT  said:

    Excellent build order! I used to be a weak plat player and after a few days playing this build order I feel confident in plat.
    It has many benefits:
    – it’s safe and aggressive at the same time (I always attack with my first 2-4 units and sometimes it’s an instant win or I cripple my opponent’s build order and economy)
    – it has early observer and scouting is essential in Starcraft
    – colossi are very powerful, game winning units, very easy to control
    – stalker/colossi composition is really great
    – it’s macro oriented and macro is essential in Starcraft as well
    – it really works against all races, but the more you progress the more you will see how it can be tweaked against different races. For example, against Protoss I often make 2 immortals before I start doing colossi, and also I often open with 2 adepts against protoss to try to kill probes early.
    – I really like that simple rule: much minerals – built gateways. Also, much gas – build archons.

    On Aug. 12, 2018, 11:56 a.m., 0101sc2  said:

    Thank you very much for answering. I’ll try with the adepts. 🙂

    On Aug. 12, 2018, 10:57 a.m., zuka  said:

    You can totally open with 2 adepts first. It’ pretty powerful and if you are good with the shade, you can kill many drones. But it require more micro.

    On Aug. 11, 2018, 12:22 p.m., 0101sc2  said:

    When I played this build against zerg, the zerglings surrounded my stalkers in the beginning. What adaptations should I make? If I make zealots, will this change the build too much?

    On June 22, 2018, 4:16 a.m., zuka  said:

    Woops sorry 😀 Total mistake from me 😀
    I though that this comment was on the other replay.

    Well with this build order you are able to hold a mana build. Simply because you open with a fast robo and fast immortal. But you need to scout it.
    When i explain the build order, i explain the “basic things” but there is some adaptation that you can do. For example, holding a 12 pool require tu chronoboost a zealot before the 2 stalkers. Holding some cannon rush require using probes.
    Against a Mana build (3G warp), you can hold by only chronoboost immortal, adding battery shield a little earlier. I lost recently against this kind of opening (my PvX build so a 4 stalkers, expand robo) using the mana build. It wasn’t even close : When i came, he had 2 battery shields and 2 Immortals.

    On June 22, 2018, 2:59 a.m., Stormsurger  said:

    I think you’re thinking of the fake stargate into DT rush opening you posted recently 😀 Or am I misunderstanding? This is the macro style beginner build from a while ago.

    On June 22, 2018, 2:37 a.m., zuka  said:

    To be honest, this kind of build is a total counter to DT opening so it’s a lose most of the time.
    I already play against a similar things and won. my first DT forced a recall then i had time to do my zealot charge and i was able to win by focusing warp prism with stalkers.

    The best build to counter this is proxy robo or robo all-in without expand.

    On June 21, 2018, 6:13 p.m., Stormsurger  said:

    Have you played against Mana’s 3 Gate 1 Robo with this build? How did it fare? What would you do against it?

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    Original article:
  • PVTBuilds

    The following article lists all relevant build oders and techniques for the Protoss vs. Terran Match Up.

    To read more about Protoss strategies in general, see also Protoss Strategy the symbol marks beginner friendly and important articles.

    General Overview[edit]

    The Build Orders in Protoss vs. Terran have not changed much over time. Most of the more aggressive openings are chosen by Protoss, while Terran has little possibilities to hide rushes or early timed attacks. In modern Protoss vs. Terran most openings from both races are designed to expand early preparing both sides for a strong position to start into the mid game. The following article lists all currently added Build Orders.

    To read on Protoss vs. Terran general patterns, see also: Protoss vs. Terran Guide

    Build Orders[edit]

    The first category of Build Orders introduces various openings designed for the early game. The articles don’t include longer explanations for the mid-game to end-game transitions.

    The second category lists harassment openings, designed to punish careless play by Terran. They’re usually played off One Base with a delayed expansion.

    The third category covers Build Orders which aim to transition into the mid-game and exotic openings designed for special maps or situations.


    The following techniques describe special situations in the Protoss vs. Terran Match Up.

    • Technique to cause damage with Shuttles and Zealots
    • Technique to cause additional damage against a Terran army
    • Discussion about when and how to use the spell
    • Explanation of Reaver Drop micromanagement

    How To: Read Build Orders

    External links[edit]

    PvT Guide by Crescendo
    • Explains the basics of PvT


    Original article:
  • SC 2 Terran Build Order

    Terran Build OrderI find getting a good Terran Build order is the most important part to any good Terran Strategy.

    You need to protect yourself from a rush while making sure you maximize all your units.  I am going to share some proven tips that I use when playing with Terran in SC 2, and the most common Terran build order I use.

    The Most Common Terran Build Order

    Start by building 9 SCV’s.

    Tip: Make sure you don’t sit idle and that all of your SCV’s are set to a task when they have been created.  You also need to keep your control centre busy at the start of the game.

    As soon as the 9th SCV is ready, build a Supply Depot.  Once the Supply Depot is finished, the 11th SCV will be ready, so get him to build another supply depot straight away.

    As soon as the SCV has finished the second Supply Depot, set him building a Barracks and another SCV building a Supply Depot when he comes out.

    Top hint: Build your Supply Deports to help block the entrance/ramp, but make sure you leave room for defence, i.e. Bunkers, and Siege Tanks.
    Basically you want a wall that will help in defence so you won’t be overrun early, and place your units to defend.

    Once your 14th SCV is ready set him to build a Refinery.

    After the 14th SCV is ready, don’t backup too many more, because as soon as the Barracks are complete you want to get Orbital Command.

    At around this point I always get the Mule to help with economy because at this stage of the game you are a bit short of minerals.

    Get some Marines out to defend against any enemies.  When the Refinery is ready, set another 2 SCV’s to start mining gas.

    If you really want to get a good defence setup, adding another Barracks will help increase the amount of Marines.  I also like to include 2 Bunkers because they are great for defence.

    Now that you have maximized the start you now need to decide what strategy you want to use.
    A lot of players will use the MMM (Marines, Marauders, and Medivacs) Strategy. This is a superb strategy to use if you want to CRUSH your enemies.

    To learn this strategy plus loads more tips, tricks and techniques, check out Shokz Starcraft 2 Guide.  With this exceptionally informative and comprehensive guide you will quickly enter Platinum, Diamond, and Pro leagues.  It really is that easy!

    Whatever your skill level this guide will teach you:

    • Terran, Zerg and Protoss Strategies
    • Campaign Guides
    • Unit Guides and Build Orders For All Races
    • 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 Strategy Guides
    • Map Editor Guides
    • Step By Step video guides
    • How to dominate and CRUSH your enemies
    • Plus loads More SC2 Strategies

    Stop getting overrun and learn how to crush your enemies by getting your copy today.

    (Try it risk free with their 60 day money back guarantee)

    Original article:
  • Starcraft 2 Terran Units Strategy Guide

    PC – Starcraft 2

    By: Furious Paul – October 31, 2013

    Starcraft 2 TerranGeneral Terran Tips:
    You should always build your first supply depot and barracks at your chokepoint, and your second supply depot at your choke point to totally block it off.  You can raise and lower supply depots so your units can move past them.  You will need to do this to stop any kind of rush, especially zealot or zergling rushes.  So totally blocking your choke point as Terran is an important thing to do.

    PLEASE NOTE:  For all SC2: Heart of the Swarm specific strategy, Shockz has you covered.

    Sometimes if the opposing protoss player is building gateways just right outside of your base, you will be flooded with zealots quick.  In order to stop that, you will NEED to build bunkers and quick.  If the protoss player has his gateways inside your base, then build a bunker right next to your command center.  If it’s right outside of your base, then build a bunker right behind your chokepoint.  Remember, you can have your rally point for your barracks go right into your bunker.

    Remember if your choke point buildings are being attacked, quickly send an SCV (or two) to go repair it.

    You should generally always upgrade your first command center into an orbital command.  And I recommend doing that when you have about 15-20 SCVs out.  You will want to start getting energy built up on your orbital command so you can crank out MULEs.  MULEs bring in 30 minerals each time they mine, so you can gather resources very quick with them.  I would only use the Extra Supplies on your orbital command if you are running out of resources to mine, or if you need farm space really QUICK, such as you are about to be under attack soon and need the ability to be able to build more units like right there at that instant.  And of course the scanner sweeper comes in handy a lot, especially if you need to use it to reveal cloaked or burrowed units.  Using the scanner sweeper on your opponents base to see what they are building occasionally is a wise thing to do as well.  I would focus more on MULEs early on, then once the game gets going more switch to use the scanner sweeper more often to spy and see what units they are building.

    TIP: When getting MULEs out working quicker: After clicking on your command center, press “E”, then simply click on a mineral patch, the MULE will start mining immediately.  A MULE and an SCV can both be mining the same mineral patch at the same time, this makes MULEs really efficient at mining minerals.

    The command center can be upgraded to a Planetary Fortress rather than an Orbital Command. A Planetary Fortress turns it into a big defensive tower.  I would only upgrade to a Planetary Fortress for your expansion bases, only if you know it might get attacked.

    Remember every unit producing building the terrans have can all lift up and fly, and then land somewhere else.  Here are a list of reasons why you would want to fly your buildings:

    1. When expanding, you can build your command center behind your choke point inside your base, and then once it’s built, just fly it to the expansion site and land there.

    2. If your buildings are being attacked by units that can only attack ground, you can raise your buildings up so they cant get hit.  Remember though to keep your barracks at your choke point still so the enemy can’t get inside your base.

    3. You can transport your buildings to an area where you have built better defenses to protect them better.

    4. You can fly your buildings close to your enemy to get units out faster to attack them.

    5. You can load units into your command center and then fly it to an island to create an expansion base.

    6. You can fly your buildings to different “attachment buildings”. For example, if you have a Starport and have created a Tech Lab, and now you want a Reactor instead but don’t want to build another starport, you can simply lift up your Starport, land someplace else and then build a Reactor.  You can then always fly back to your tech lab if you need that.

    Keep in mind any reactor can be used on any barracks, factory, or starport.  So if you built a reactor for your barracks early on, and then later want your factory to have a reactor, you can simply lift your barracks up, and then fly your factory down on that reactor.

    Remember that Terran buildings will keep burning if they are in the “red” zone and then explode if you do not repair it in time.

    All mechanical units can be repaired by SCVs, so any unit produced by the factory or starport can be repaired by SCVs.  Sometimes it’s a good tactic to bring a few SCVs with you in your army to repair units when they get damaged during battle.  Just right-click on the repair button to put it on autocast, and they will automatically repair units when they get damaged.

    TIP:  Remember MULEs can also repair mechanical units too.  During a battle, simply call down a bunch of MULE’s and set repair on autocast, and let them repair any mechanical units that are damaged or getting damaged.

    Reaper Rush

    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergBrood Lord, Mutalisk, UltraliskBaneling, RoachHydraliskZergling
    protossCarrier, Mothership, Void RayArchon, Colossus, Immortal, StalkerDark Templar, High Templar, SentryZealot
    terranBanshee, BattlecruiserMarauder, Siege Tank, Thor, VikingGhost, Hellion, Marine

    Reapers are great harassing units in the early game.  They have the ability to walk up and down cliffs, and do bonus damage to light armored units.  They are relatively quick, and can be even quicker with the Nitro Pack upgrade from the Tech Lab.  They are great at hitting-and-running vs melee units such as zealots, but not so much of zerglings due to the fact that zerglings can be faster then reapers.  They have a secondary attack that is very strong against buildings, which makes them even better at harassing in the early game.

    When harassing early on, your prime targets should be first their worker units, then I would go after weak buildings such as farms, or you can even try to take out their “town hall” building (nexus, or hatchery, but no so much the command center, I explain why below), if you can manage to do that then it’s GG for you.

    Although reapers are great early on, they are generally not a great unit to mass out, or even build at all in the mid-to-late game.  They are generally only used to harass early on, the Marauder is much more cost effective and a better all around unit to have in the mid-to-late game.

    I generally start all my terran builds with a few reapers, send them right over to your opponents base and keep harassing.  I generally do not mass reapers out, I only recommend getting a few at the very start of the game to harass.  If the harassing is working for you, then keep sending more reapers.  All through out the game, you can have a couple reapers for scouting purposes and to harass even more to throw your opponent off track, but I would not build reapers to include them in your ultimate army.

    I have won a few terran games with reaper rushing.  But it can be easily countered.  Here is a rundown of reapers vs different races:

    Vs Protoss:  Reapers are great against protoss if they are building zealots in the early game, because the stalker is the best counter to the reaper early on.  If you see they have a stalker, then you need to stop harassing with reapers and move on to something else.  But if they have zealots your in luck.  With some skill you can harass with reapers against zealots all day without getting hit from the zealots (as long as they do not have the charge ability), just keep hitting and running from them.  Keep trying to take worker units out, or even their zealots out.  You can even try to take some pylons out as well.

    Vs Terran:  Reapers are okay against harassing another terran early on.  Try to take out as many worker units as you can, or even supply depots.  I would not bother to try and take out a command center or barracks, simply because the terran player can lift them up and then reaper wont be able to hit them then.  So focus on worker units and supply depots the most.  Watch out for marauders, or a pack of marines.  They can easily take the reapers down.  Just keep hitting and running, attacking anything they got to throw them off track.

    The best way for a terran player to counter the reaper early on is to have fighting units guarding the worker units, marauders work best since they do not take extra damage from the reaper.  Marines in numbers also work okay against reapers. I would also consider building a bunker at your choke point to protect that as well.

    Vs Zerg:  I generally never send reapers over to a zerg base.  Zerglings can easily catch up to reapers and take them down, especially when they have the movement speed upgrade.  Roaches will also take down reapers quickly as well.  Reapers cannot kill their overlords either since they are air units.  Queens pose a big threat to reapers as well.  Plus the zerg can get spine crawlers quickly which will pose another threat to them.  If you see you are playing a zerg player I would not even bother with reapers.

    Super Reaper Rush Build Order

    If you want to get a reaper out ASAP, here is the best way to do it:
    7 – SCV
    8 – SCV
    9 – SCV
    10 – SCV – Barracks – Refinery
    11 – SCV – Depot
    As soon as the refinery is done make sure 3 SCVs are mining it.
    As soon as the Barracks is done build a Tech Lab.
    As soon as the Tech Lab is done build a Reaper.

    Hellion Rush

    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergBrood Lord, Mutalisk, UltraliskBaneling, RoachHydraliskZergling
    protossCarrier, Mothership, Void RayArchon, Colossus, Immortal, StalkerDark Templar, High Templar, SentryZealot
    terranBanshee, BattlecruiserMarauder, Siege Tank, Thor, VikingGhostMarine, Reaper

    The Hellion is a new unit in starcraft 2 which is designed to function similar to the firebat in starcraft 1 (even though it does look a lot like the vulture from starcraft 1).  It is a fast moving unit that can be produced from the Factory without any other requirements, and can be built 2 at a time with an optional attached reactor.  It does bonus damage to light armored units.  The Hellion is a great harassing hit-and-run unit early on and is great for killing worker units, even better than reapers in that case.  They do not cost any gas, so if you have a lot of minerals but low gas, then consider building a lot of hellions.

    IMPORTANT: I would not just start a game with the plan on rushing with Hellions.  The best way to stop a hellion rush is a blocked off choke point.  So as you scout out early on and see that your opponent is not smart enough to block off their choke point, then hellions could be a wise choice to get.  However if the choke point is blocked, then don’t bother rushing with hellions.  There are other factors involved too, with specific races, in which case hellions are worth getting or not.  Here is a rundown of why you would want to build hellions vs specific races:

    Vs Protoss: Most protoss will go with stalkers right from the start vs terran, and stalkers are a huge threat to the hellion.  And most decent protoss players will have their choke point heavily guarded. So hellions are not a wise choice against them.  If you see they are building zealots without a blocked choke point, I would definitely go for hellions.  Remember the worker units should be your number one goal when attacking, if the zealots come, just keep hitting-and-running from them.  If they start getting stalkers, use marauders to take them out.

    Most terran vs protoss battles in mid-to-late game will usually involve mass zealots (with some back up units) vs marines/marauders/medivacs.  You can trick your opponent by massing out a bunch of upgraded hellions with your army to take out the zealots quickly, especially with the Infernal Pre-Igniter upgrade from the tech lab.  Hellions are also very quick to dodge the PSI storm from the high templar, which the protoss should have against the Marine/Marauder/Medivac army.

    Vs Terran: Hellions work great against marines, however getting through the terran’s blocked off choke point makes rushing with hellions not worth it.  However hellions are great to include in your army mid-to-late game for backing up your other units, and dealing massive damage to light armored units.  Watch out if the opposing terran is massing marauders or siege tanks, in that case, don’t bother building hellions since those units are a big threat to them.

    Vs Zerg: Hellions are okay against zerglings, but in larger numbers, zerglings can out match hellions with little problem at all.  The biggest threat early on for the hellion is the roach, or spine crawlers. Hellions are about an even match against hydralisks.  If the zerg player tries a fast expansion with massing zerglings early on, it will not hurt to try a hellion rush against them.  In that case you will want to use a reactor and crank them out in masses.  In mid-to-late game hellions are generally not worth getting vs zerg.

    How to effectively do a Fast Hellion Build Order:

    The best way to get a lot hellions out quick, is to start off building a barracks with an attached reactor, then once you get your factory up, swap your barracks for your factory, so your factory has an instant reactor.  Then you can immediately start cranking out hellions 2 at a time.

    Hellion Drop (Very Effective Strategy.)

    One of the best ways for terrans to quickly take out worker units, is to do a hellion drop.  Hellions can take out worker units QUICKLY, so if you load up a medivac with hellions, and then drop them off at your opponents workers, you can easily take them all out fast.  This is a very effective strategy and I have seen a lot of people do this in the beta and it’s hard to stop.  I’ve had people do this on me, and in an instant I have no workers.  So I started doing this myself, and yes it does work.  And yes the hellion is definitely the ground unit of choice the terrans have to take out worker units the quickest.

    Hellion’s also make for decent scouts, since they are very fast, you can scout around very quick with them.

    Hellions VS Reapers

    Both of these units are great hit-and-run units that serve similar purposes, but which is better? In most cases reapers are actually more useful early on.  They are better at harassing thanks to their ability to walk up and down cliffs, and to take buildings out quicker.  Hellions are better in masses for battles vs light armored units.  Hellions don’t cost any gas, so if you have a lot of extra minerals to spare, consider building a a bunch of hellions.

    Marine Rush

    Marine Rush
    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergUltraliskBaneling, Brood LordHydralisk, Mutalisk, Roach, Zergling
    protossColossus, High TemplarArchon, ZealotCarrier, Dark Templar, Mothership, Sentry, StalkerImmortal, Phoenix, Void Ray
    terranHellion, Siege TankBanshee, Battlecruiser, Ghost, Marauder, Reaper, Viking Thor

    Marines are great units to have throughout the whole game.  They can attack both ground and air units, and have several upgrades to make them even more effective.  Marines by themselves are not that great but when combined with marauders they work synergistically together to create a powerful army (more on that later).  They can also be teamed up with medivacs for constant healing.

    Marines can be loaded into bunkers for protection and an additional +1 to attack range.

    Here is some notes on their various upgrades marines have:

    Stimpack: Researched from the Tech Lab.  This increases the movement speed and firing rate for both the marine and marauder for the cost of 10 HP for marines and 20 for marauders, and lasts 15 seconds.  When used right the stimpack can be very deadly and worth the minus 10 hitpoints it does.  It basically doubles the amount of damage and movement speed the marines and marauders do for 15 seconds. Which could very well mean the tide of the battle for you.

    Here are some tips for using the stimpack:

    • The main purpose you would want to use stimpacks for is the start of a battle, you will get the most use out of stimpacks during battles.  Think of it this way, if you feel you can get use out of stimpacked marines for their full duration of 15 seconds, then it’s worth it.
    • Stimpack does not stack.  This means casting it twice in a row does not quadruple the firing rate or movement speed, the only result is losing twice the health.
    • Upgrading the Combat Shield ability at the tech lab adds an additional 10+ hitpoints to all marines, which then pretty much puts the marines at their default hitpoints when using a stimpack.
    • When combined with medivacs, they can be constantly healed, thus countering the loss of hitpoints they take from the stimpacks.  Keep in mind you want to save most of your medivacs energy during main battles so they can be healed during battles, so use stimpacks wisely.
    • Remember, when you cast a stimpack, a green lightning bolt will flash on each unit, and when it runs out and red lightning bolt will flash on each unit to tell you it’s over.
    • In 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4 games, you can use stimpacked units to run where the battles are at quicker to help your allies out sooner.

    Combat Shield:  This is a great upgrade that gives an additional +10 hitpoints to all marines, and it’s definitely worth getting if you have at least about 10-15 marines out.

    General Weapon and Armor Upgrades:  Upgrades from the Engineering Bay dramatically help marines out a lot, since they are only 1 farm space unit, and have a good attack rate, weapon and armor upgrades are well worth it.

    Like I said just rushing with marines alone is a bad option, you are better off getting a mix of marines, marauders, and eventually some medivacs in your army.  Here is a rundown of their effectiveness vs different races:

    Vs Protoss:  Marines are great support units to have against the protoss.  However the protoss have many ways to counter the marine. You will have to watch out for colossi, which can take down marines very quickly. You also have to watch out for high templar using PSI storm, which is also very deadly against them.  Zealots with the upgraded charge ability work great against them as well, as long as it’s in the open and marines can’t hide behind something from the zealots.  If you see the protoss is building colossi, high templar, and zealots, then you will be better off switching to hellions and vikings. Marines work great against immortals and stalkers.

    Vs Zerg:  Marines are a must vs zerg, and can work great against any zerg unit.  When you combine marines with marauders, and even some medivacs, and you will generally always have the upper hand against the zerg.  The zerg actually have a very hard time stopping the marine/marauder/medivac army.  The best way for the zerg to stop it would be for them to simply tech up quicker to units like the ultralisk, or go a brood lord/hydra build.  The zerg may also try to stop you with banelings (with upgraded movement speed), which can work as well.

    Vs Terran:  This is probably the least case where you would want to build a lot of marines against, simply because siege tanks can rip marines apart like nothing.  Marauders can take them down as well.  Hellions can melt them away too.  Marines are effective against vikings though.  You generally only want to get marines in your army as support units to back up your siege tanks and marauders.


    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergBrood Lord, MutaliskHydralisk, ZerglingBanelingRoach, Ultralisk
    protossCarrier, Mothership, Void RayArchon, Dark Templar, Immortal, ZealotColossus, High Templar, SentryStalker
    terranBanshee, BattlecruiserSiege TankGhost, Hellion, Marine, ReaperThor, Viking

    An armored ground unit that can attack only ground, can be built from the barracks after a tech lab is built. Does good bonus damage to armored units.  They can take advantage of stimpacks and also have the Concussive Shells upgrade which slows the movement speed of any unit (besides massive units) they hit by 50%.

    The Marauder works very well in conjunction with marines and medivacs.  Marauders have to watch out for light armored units early on such as zealots or zerglings.

    Vs Protoss:  Marauders work great against stalkers, immortals, and colossi.  They need backup against zealots and zerglings though, usually from marines or hellions, and later medivacs.  The use of the Concussive Shells upgrade works extremely well against the protoss, especially when they try to retreat from a battle, they won’t get away.

    Vs Terran:  Marauders are the least used against the terrans, they have no prime targets worth getting for early on.  Plus siege tanks can take them out quickly.  Marauders work great against Thors later on though.

    Vs Zerg:  Marauders will be very important for your struggle to fend of roaches.  Marauders work great against roaches, but will fall short to zerglings.  It is best to use the famous marine/marauder/medivac army to take out any combination of zerg armies..

    Marine/Marauder/Medivac (MMM army)

    Sometimes people refer to this as MMM for short.  This is the basic army the terrans usually build in most games.  It is a very powerful combination and is hard to stop.  I recommend using this strategy a lot.  I have won a lot of games thanks to these combination of units.  There are some decent counters out there to stop it however.

    Vs Terran:  This can be very deadly against another terran player, but in most terran matchups you are better off getting more siege tanks in your army relative to marauders and marines.  Siege tanks can stop this build, so you need to be careful about that.

    Vs Zerg: This is probably where this strategy is best against.  The zerg have the hardest time stopping this build.  The zerg would have to get a lot of upgraded zerglings, and try to get hydra out to kill the medivacs.  Roaches aren’t too effective against this since the marauders will take them out like nothing.  The best way for the zerg to stop this is a combination of hydra and brood lords, but that is more costly and time consuming to get than the terran army can get the MMM army early on.  You can try a muta/zergling build against this.  If the zerg can manage to kill the terran’s worker units with the mutas, then it could be GG for the zerg.  If you see the zerg getting a lot of zerglings, then get a bunch of hellions in your army to burn them up.

    Vs Protoss: This can be very deadly to the protoss if the protoss is going just zealots and stalkers.  The protoss can easily counter this with halting the stalker production and saving their gas for colossi and high templars, along with a lot of upgraded zealots and maybe a few sentries for the Guardian Shield.  The high templar can use the FeedBack ability on the medivacs to take out their energy and PSI storm the marines and marauders, then the zealots can eat up the rest.  If you see the protoss switching to colossi and high templars, then get a lot of hellions in your army relative to marines and marauders, that will work much better against the zealots.  If they are going with a lot of high templar, then get some ghosts to join your MMM army (more on that below)..

    Ghost and Nukes

    The Ghost requires a Ghost Academy and an attached Tech Lab on a barracks.  The ghost is not built for his regular attack, but for his special abilities.  So I would not “mass” these units out. The Ghost has four special abilities, here is some notes on them:

    Snipe:  The Ghost snipes a single target for 45 dmg (ignores all armor), and has a long range of 10 . This ability can be queued for multiple instant snipes.  When microed right, you can do a lot of “sniping” damage thanks to the queuing up of multiple units to snipe.

    Cloak:  The unit becomes invisible until it runs out of energy or the player cancels Cloak.  This works very well with the rest of his abilities, especially for launching a Nuke.

    EMP Round:  The Ghost fires an AoE EMP Round that removes 100 energy and shields from any unit within the AoE. EMP Round also reveals cloaked units.  This is the ghost’s most overall useful spell in my opinion, especially vs the protoss (more on that below).

    Tactical Nuke:  The Ghost launches a nuclear missile at the targeted spot that deals 300 dmg (+200 to buildings) in a 10 range radius.  It does more damage in the center, and then less outwards from the center of the strike.  You need to build a nuke first at the Ghost Academy before a ghost can launch a Nuke.  Nukes can be very powerful, but can also be countered decently by good players.  You should always get the cloak first before launching a nuke to reduce the chance of it being countered.

    Here is how ghosts work vs different races:

    Vs Protoss:  This is where Ghosts shine the most.  Ghosts supplement your MMM army very well by pretty much making high templar useless.  Simply cast EMP on the high templar, maybe twice, and the high templar will then have no energy to cast feedbacks or PSI storms.  Get enough ghosts in your army to cast EMP on all of the protoss’s units to get rid of all their shields, and to prevent the high templar from doing anything.  Make sure you target any immortals as well to get rid of their (hardened) shields.  Every time I start a terran game vs protoss, ghosts are the first thing that pop in my head. Ghosts are almost a must against them in most games.

    Vs Terran:  Ghosts have little use here, I would only consider building ghosts vs terran for nukes.

    Vs Zerg:  Same thing as terran, I would usually only build ghosts for nukes.  However, if the zerg is not going for roaches, I would consider building ghosts for the Snipe ability, and snipe any hydralisks you see.  You will also take advantage of the ghosts bonus damage to light armored units (like zerglings, hydras, and mutas).  Snipe works well on mutas too.  And later on snipe works well against units like brood lords or ultralisks.  Remember to get snipes out quickly, just highlight all your ghosts and hold down the “shift key” and then press “R” on a bunch of units, and your ghosts will snipe them all doing a bunch of damage.

    Viking Rush

    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergHydralisk, ZerglingBaneling, Corruptor, Roach, UltraliskBrood Lord, Mutalisk, Overseer
    protossImmortal, StalkerZealotArchon, Dark Templar, High Templar, SentryCarrier, Colossus, Mothership, Void Ray
    terranMarauderMarine, Siege TankGhost, Hellion, Reaper, ThorBanshee, Battlecruiser

    The Viking is a great all around versatile fighting unit, and they are the best anti-air units for the terrans.  They have two different modes of attack, fighter mode, in which they become an air unit and can only attack other air units.  Or Assault mode, in which they become a ground unit and can only attack ground units.  They are more useful in the air to attack other air units, but still have the option to go on the ground to attack only ground units.

    While playing in the beta I have seen a lot of terran players rush with vikings, and only vikings.  It is an effective strategy, but I can’t really say it’s a really effective strategy.  If you rush with Vikings you will be well prepared for any air units, but you would be in trouble if the enemy goes with a mix of ground support units, such as an army of stalkers and zealots, or zerglings, roaches and hydra, or marines and marauders.  Viking rushing comes in handy when teamed up right in 2v2 games.

    I suggest only build vikings to counter air units.  If you know the enemy is building a lot of air units then it will not hurt at all to mass vikings out. Even if they do get some ground units, it wont be enough to tackle an army of grounded vikings in Assault Mode since they are spending a large portion on air units.

    TIP:  During a battle, simply call down a bunch of MULE’s and set repair on autocast, and let them repair any damaged vikings.

    Vs Protoss:  Vikings can take out Colossi very well (since air units can hit Colossi).  Vikings also come in handy to kill Phoenixes.  One strategy you can do against the protoss is start off harassing with banshees and then the protoss player may go with Phoenixes to stop the banshees, you can then counter that by getting a mix of banshees and vikings to easily counter the Phoenixes, and you can continue to harass with no problem.

    Vs Terran: Vikings aren’t used a whole lot during a terran game, however they do become useful later on when high tier units come into play. If the opposing terran player decides to go mass thors and battlecruiser, then you can go mass vikings to counter it.  If they have a lot of thors, then it wouldn’t hurt to get some siege tanks in your army to help fend them off.

    Vs Zerg: Vikings aren’t used a whole lot against the zerg, the zerg can easily take them down with hydras. It wouldn’t hurt to get a few vikings out to fend off zerg players harassing with mutas. Mutas are very fast, but vikings can shoot a VERY long distance, they can act as moving air towers against mutas to help protect your worker units. Vikings also make good scouts against the zerg, just have a viking or two fly around the map and pick off overlords everywhere to put the zerg’s farm count in a hole.  You can even fly around their base and try to kill any overlords there, thanks to their long range you can stay out of harms way, plus they even do bonus damage to overlords.


    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergCorruptor, MutaliskHydraliskQueenBaneling, Roach, Ultralisk, Zergling
    protossCarrier, Mothership, Phoenix, Void RayArchon, Sentry, StalkerHigh TemplarColossus, Dark Templar, Immortal, Zealot
    terranBattlecruiser, VikingGhost, ThorMarineHellion, Marauder, Reaper, Siege Tank

    The Banshee is a light armored air unit that can only attack ground units, it has an optional upgrade for cloaking.  The Banshee is mostly used for harassing purposes, for killing worker units or to catch your opponent by surprise when they do not have detection to detect them when they are cloaked.

    TIP:  You can hide your starports somewhere on the map where you think your opponent would never look, build a small army of banshees with the cloak upgrade you can even include a few vikings for backup support, then move over to your opponents base and take them out.  I would first try to take out anything that would create detection, such as a protoss’s Robotics Facility or photon cannon, terran’s command center or starport, and zerg overseers or spore crawler.

    Banshees work well when combined with vikings, you will have both ground and air covered pretty well, they are especially great against the protoss.

    Vs Protoss:  An army of banshees backed up by vikings are very powerful against the protoss. The only way for the protoss to stop that would be for them to go mass stalkers.  Another way for them to stop it would be for them to go mass carriers.

    Vs Terran:  Banshees are used less often vs another terran.  They can be effective really only for harassing worker units.  The terran can easily get missile turrets up to stop them, or even vikings can take them out with no problem.

    Vs Zerg:  Pretty much the same as terrans, the zerg can get hydras and spore crawlers up quickly which can take the banshees down.  They can quickly get overseers to get detection, and mutas can fend them off quickly as well.

    Siege Tanks

    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergBrood Lord, MutaliskZerglingBaneling, Roach, UltraliskHydralisk
    protossCarrier, Mothership, Phoenix, Void RayDark Templar, Immortal, ZealotArchon, Colossus, High Templar, Sentry, Stalker
    terranBanshee, BattlecruiserGhost, Hellion, Marauder, Reaper, Viking, ThorMarine

    Siege Tanks are built from the factory after a tech lab is built, and the siege tech must first be researched in order to be in siege mode.  Siege mode, plants the tank to the ground and becomes extremely deadly doing massive splash damage at a long range, but it cannot shoot up close, so units that stand right next to a siege tank will not get hit by it.  Siege tanks provide excellent support for your bio army (MMM army).

    Siege tanks can actually shoot a little further than their own vision, so having support units in front of your tanks to reveal more of the map becomes useful, or using a scanner sweeper helps too.  Tanks can also shoot up on cliffs provided that they can see up there, so using an air unit or scanner sweeper to reveal up cliffs so tanks can shoot is a smart idea.  If you are next to an Xel’Naga tower, you can use it to increase your tank’s field of vision to shoot further as well.

    Siege tanks are great for killing other ranged units, but fast melee units are their greatest ground threat, and of course tanks cannot attack air, so any air unit is a threat to them.

    Vs Protoss:  Tanks are very powerful against stalkers, you just have to watch out for stalkers blinking right up next to your siege tanks to hit them without being hit.  Siege tanks are great for killing colossi, high templar, and sentries too.  Siege Tanks are not that great against immortals, because immortals have the hardened shields which prevent any damage over 10 to revert to 10. You can counter that with ghosts to use EMP to take out their shields, then have your tanks hit their “hitpoints”.  The main counter to siege tanks are zealots with charge, immortals (if you can’t get EMP out to get rid of their shields), and void rays of course.

    Vs Terran:  I usually always get tanks vs another terran player, they become very useful for killing MMM armies.  They support any combination of terran units.  Tanks can kill Thors very easily, and they also support your own thors very well too.

    Vs Zerg:  Siege Tanks work very well against the zerg, especially if they are building a lot of hydra, or even roaches. You have to watch out for speedlings though.  One combination I like to use against the zerg who is going for a zergling/muta build is vikings and siege tanks, this way you are covered if they go mutas and you can land your vikings on the ground to stop the zerglings from getting to your siege tanks, and you will be well prepared for any roaches or hydra they build.  Plus you will not get hurt too much if they get a lot of banelings to try to blow you up.


    The raven is the unit that replaced the Science Vessel from starcraft1, it has a ray of abilities that can be very helpful for many situations.

    The Raven has 4 special abilities:

    1)  Detector:  The Raven comes with detection to see any burrowed, invisible or hallucinated units.

    2)  Build Auto Turret: Drops an Auto-Turret at the target location, last 180 seconds (can last longer with an optional upgrade from the Tech Lab, and another one that increases it’s range from the Engineering Bay).  Auto turrets can also act as walls to block your enemies temporary.

    Vs Protoss:  Great against zealots, but will get killed quickly to immortals and colossus.  I generally don’t use auto turrets against the protoss.
    Vs Terran:  Not used a whole lot here.  They can be used to drop on siege tanks so other siege tank’s splash damage will hit it and kill it.
    Vs Zerg:  You are better off using Seeker Missiles against zerg, but you can use a few auto turrets to provide extra damage against them and to draw fire from units such as banelings.

    3)  Build Point Defense Drone:  Drops a Point Defense Drone at the target location that lasts 180 seconds and starts with full 200 energy.  The drone cannot move or be controlled by the player, it simply sits there and will stop most ranged attacks at the cost of 10 energy each, which will stop 20 ranged attacks before losing all it’s energy.  This drone is especially useful against units that do a high range attack damage like battlecruiser, but not very good against a carriers interceptors.  The drone does regenerate energy about twice as fast as any other energy containing unit in the game.  This drone has several upgrades:

    • Hi-Sec Auto Tracking (at the Engineering Bay), to increase it’s attack range by +1.
    • Building Armor (at the Engineering Bay), to increase it’s armor.
    • Durable Materials (at the Tech Lab), to increase it’s duration to 240 seconds (from 180)

    Here are the units these are best against:
    Protoss:  Photon Cannon, stalker, Phoenix
    Terran:  Battlecruiser, Thor, Missile Turret, Marauder
    Zerg:  Corruptor, Queen, Spore Crawler, Hydralisk

    4)  Seeker Missile:  This is a very powerful projectile that flies towards a target and explodes dealing splash damage.  Very useful against:

    Protoss:  High Templar, Observer, Carriers, Mothership
    Terran:  Thor, Battlecruiser, MMM packs.
    Zerg:  Queen, Broodlord, Overlord, Roaches, and Hydralisks


    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergCorruptorHydraliskMutaliskBaneling, Brood Lord, Overseer, Roach, Ultralisk, Zergling
    protossArchon, Stalker, Void RayCarrier, High Templar, Mothership, Phoenix, SentryColossus, Dark Templar, Immortal, Zealot
    terranVikingGhost, Marine, ThorBanshee, Hellion, Marauder, Reaper, Siege Tank

    A Battlecruiser is the highest tier unit a terran can produce, it is a slow moving air unit that does a lot of damage to both ground and air.  It has a lot of hitpoints and armor, so it takes a lot to take one down. It can use the Yamato Cannon (after you research Weapon Refit from the Fusion Core), which fires an intense blast of concentrated energy at the target, dealing 300 points of damage.  The Yamato Cannon has a range of 10, so it can be used to break through defensive structures, and is very powerful for units that have a lot of hit points like carriers, thors, or other battlecruisers.

    The Battlecruiser is rarely used is SC2 since it is a very slow moving unit and is very costly to get out.  I think it has better usage in FFA games, where you can secure enough expansions to mass these out.

    TIP:  During a battle, simply call down a bunch of MULE’s and set repair on autocast, and let them repair any damaged battlecruisers.

    Vs Protoss:  Battlecruisers are very effective against the protoss.  The protoss does not have many choices to counter it, they would have to get stalkers and voidrays to counter them.  If they see they are going mass stalkers, then get some marauders to help counter the stalkers.  If you see they are going mass void rays, switch to vikings to counter the void rays.  The protoss can also attempt to vortex your battlecruisers with their mothership.  If you see they use a vortex on you, simply fly the rest of your battlecruisers into the vortex where they will be safe until it wears off.

    Mass Battlecruisers with the Yamato Cannon will beat mass carriers as long as they get enough Yamato Cannon shots out.  Yamato Cannon also works well against colossi.

    Vs Terran:  Battlecruisers are not seen a whole lot vs another terran, because vikings can take them out quick.  Sometimes in FFA games, a mass Battlecruiser vs mass Battlecruiser battle may arise, in this situation, whoever gets the most out of the Yamato Cannon will come out victorious.

    Vs Zerg:  Battlecruisers are not that effective against the zerg.  The zerg can get hydras, which is a good counter to them.  Or worse the zerg can go corruptors, which does bonus damage to massive units like Battlecruisers.  Battlecruisers work well to fight off mass brood lords and ultralisks though.


    race:Super Weak againstWeak againstOkay againstStrong Against
    zergZerglingBrood Lord, Hydralisk, MutaliskBaneling, Roach, Ultralisk
    protossImmortal, Void Ray, ZealotCarrier, Dark Templar, High Templar, StalkerArchon, Colossus, Mothership, Sentry
    terranBanshee, Marauder, Marine, Siege TankBattlecruiser, Ghost, Hellion, Reaper, Viking

    The Thor is a high tier unit that can attack both air and ground, has high hit points, and is the single most powerful unit in the game.  It is very strong against other single strong units (except the Immortal), but is very weak vs a lot of weaker units. It has a special ability called “250mm Strike Cannons” that does 500 damage to a single target over 6 seconds, and stuns them for 1 second.  This is of course is especially used for units that have a lot of hitpoints, such as other high tier units.  It can also be used on buildings.

    TIP:  During a battle, simply call down a bunch of MULE’s and set repair on autocast, and let them repair any damaged Thors.

    Vs Protoss:  I would never recommend building thors vs a protoss player. The protoss player can use immortals to take them out quick. A bunch of zealots are a big threat to them, and thors have problems getting to colossi thanks to the colossi’s long range. However thors “250mm Strike Cannons” can be useful for killing the following protoss units or buildings in just 1 hit of the cannon: pylon, photon cannon, colossus, immortal, archon.

    Vs Terran:  Thors can work well in a Terran match up, they can be used to kill siege tanks, since they are so large the splash damage will not effect a group of thors.  Thors combined with siege tanks works well too, you will be well prepared for air attacks from banshees, and can fight off an MMM army okay.  One shot of the “250mm Strike Cannons” is useful for taking out the following units or buildings: supply depot, missile turret, bunker, or thor.

    Vs Zerg:  The Thor isn’t used a whole lot against the zerg due to the fact that they can get a lot of small units out like zerglings and hydras to quickly take them down.  However the thor can be used to support your MMM army against the zerg to act as cannon fodder or to take out spore crawlers quickly with the “250mm Strike Cannons”.  Thors do work well against mutas, however so do vikings.

    TIP:  4 Thors can be loaded into medivacs and then taken over to your opponents mineral mining bases to quickly kill their town hall buildings.

    Disclaimer:  The following sections will describe the Terrans in typical matchups vs different races and type of games.  Please keep in mind that this information may change over time as new strategies will develop and new strategies will come into play.  This section will be expanded more over time with replay commentaries etc.  Also please keep in mind most of the information below is already covered in the information above, but I have it organized if you need to quickly learn what it takes to do the various matchups without reading ALL the info above.  PLEASE NOTE:  For all SC2: Heart of the Swarm specific strategy, Shockz has you covered.

    Opening Strategy:

    The Terrans have several opening options to chose from.  They could go into a super reaper rush, and get a reaper out ASAP to go harass the protoss workers.  They could also try a proxy rush against the protoss, which involves building a barracks at the protoss base and send a flow of marines in to attempt a quick win.  If the proxy rush fails, you can always try to fly the barracks back to your base.  But first, here are some things to watch out for that the protoss may do to you:

    You have to watch out for the protoss proxy rushing you, which means the protoss will build 2 gateways next to your base and send a flow of zealots in, this is very deadly and sometimes hard to counter.  You need to scout extra early to make sure the protoss does not build inside your base, if so kill the probe immediately before it builds a gateway.  If the protoss builds the gateways inside your base, then quickly get a bunker up next to your worker units with marines in it ASAP and keep repairing it as the zealots are hitting it.  Keep sending wounded SCVs back to the minerals or even inside your command center for safety, and fresh ones to the bunker to repair it.  I would highlight all your SCVs and turn repair on autocast so even your SCVs will get repaired as they are getting attacked.  If the zealots attack your barracks or command center, simply lift them up before they hit into the red “zone” so they cannot be hit by the zealots.

    If the protoss builds 2 gateways just right outside of your base, then you need to make sure your choke point is blocked completely and you build a bunker behind it with marines, and keep repairing all your buildings with SCVs.  With little skill you can easily stop a protoss proxy rush, it might take a little practice however.

    If the protoss builds 2 gateways in their base and attempts to zealot rush you, you should be okay as long as your choke point is blocked and protected by marines/marauders.

    Here is what you can do against the protoss early on:

    Reaper Rush:  You can try a super quick reaper rush, which can be very effective agasint the protoss as long as they are not teching quick to stalkers.  Just one stalker is enough to stop reapers.  One photon cannon is also enough to stop a reaper rush as well.  But you can hit-and-run from zealots without getting hit, so if they are building only zealots you will be fine with a reaper rush.  I would build no more than 4 reapers, after that you need to change strategies depending on what the protoss is doing.  With little luck you may beat them with just a reaper rush.  Remember to try and kill any worker units with the reapers as you can.

    Hellion rush:  If you scout out their base early on and see the protoss does not have his choke point blocked good and you see they are massing out zealots, it is to the best of your abilities to mass out hellions to counter the zealots.  Remember Hellions are the best ground units the terrans have to quickly kill worker units as well.  If they get stalkers then cut off your hellion production as stalkers can take them out easily.

    Proxy rush using a barracks:  This strategy is not as effective as the protoss proxy rush, but it can be effective, especially if the protoss is teching to stalkers.  Simply send an SCV over to the protoss base right at the start of the game and build a barracks with an attached reactor and crank out marines and send them in to kill them.  If it doesn’t work simply fly the barracks back to your base to save it.

    Mid Game Strategy

    In the mid game, you can rush them with an MMM army, you should beat them with that as long as they are building a lot of stalkers. In order for the protoss to counter an MMM army, they will want to make sure their army is comprised of mostly zealots (upgraded with the charge ability).  Instead of them spending gas on stalkers, they would have to switch over to getting high templar.  The protoss will use the High Templars to first use the Feed Back ability on the Medivacs to drain their energy out, then followed up by PSI storm on your MMM army.  They might also get some Colossi in their army, as they work VERY well against an MMM army.

    In that case you will have to change strategies to compensate for all the zealots.  I recommend massing out hellions to counter the zealots.

    If you see they are still just cranking out stalkers, it is best to build a lot of siege tanks to counter them.  Although watch out, the protoss may get Immortals to take out the siege tanks.  The immortals will take a lot of reduced damage from the siege tanks with their hardened shields.  The Terrans may counter that by going with a bunch of ghosts to use EMP to take out the Immortals hardened shields.  The protoss can recounter that by simply not producing immortals and instead just massing out zealots with charge.  The protoss may also get a few Phoenixes and beam up the siege tanks to disable them.  Use a few vikings to take out the phoenixes.

    Banshee Rush:  You can attempt to rush them with a pack of cloaked banshees.  Try to kill workers units first, if the stalkers or void rays come turn on cloak field, if you get detected just run away quick, then keep harassing with the banshees while focus on your main strategy.  You can get a raven in your army to kill any observers, or even try to quickly take out their Robotics Facility so they can’t build observers.

    Viking Rush:  I generally do not recommend viking rushing a protoss player, they can get a mix of stalkers and immortals which will easily stop vikings.  Although it doesn’t hurt to mass these out if they are going mass void rays, vikings should be able to counter the void rays.  If you do go mass vikings even though they are not going void rays, then you could use a small pack of them to harass, simply fly them into their base, land and kill anything you see, when they come lift up and fly away.  You could also get a mix of vikings and banshees to harass as well.

    Vikings can take out Colossi very well (since air units can hit Colossi).  Vikings also come in handy to kill Phoenixes.

    Late Game Strategy

    Thors:  Read Vs Protoss above.

    Battlecrusiers:  Read Vs Protoss above.

    Opening Strategy:

    You can start off with a proxy rush vs the zerg, or attempt to stop a zerg rush at your base.

    Proxy rush using a barracks:  Simply send an SCV over to the zerg base right at the start of the game and build a barracks with an attached reactor and crank out marines and send them in to kill them.  If it doesn’t work simply fly the barracks back to your base to save it.  This strategy is not very effective against the zerg.  The zerg can quickly get zerglings out to kill the marines, or even spine crawlers.  So I actually never proxy rush a zerg player, but it can be attempted, you may win if the zerg tries to fast expand and get his economy going hard core.

    When the game starts make sure you quickly build a supply depot, barracks and another supply depot to block off your choke point to prevent zerglings from rushing you early on.

    Reaper Rush:  Please read Vs zerg above. Generally this is not recommend vs zerg.

    Hellion Rush:  Please read Vs zerg above. This generally works well vs mass zerglings.

    Vs Banelings:  If you see the zerg getting banelings, you should counter them with marauders.  If you see them burrowing banelings, you should quickly tech to ravens to detect them before they explode your army when you walk over them.

    Mid Game Strategy

    In the mid game going with an MMM army is generally very effective against the zerg.  The zerg have very little choices to counter it.  Their best chance to counter it would be for the zerg to go for a muta/zergling build or tech up to brood lords and corruptors.  The zerg may also try to stop you with banelings (with upgraded movement speed), which can work as well.  In that case, simply get more marauders rather than marines to handle that.  You can read more about this in the MMM section Vs Zerg.

    Against Roaches:  If you see the zerg player going mass roaches, then use marauders to counter them, just watch out for them to recounter you with zerglings, in that case, use hellions or upgraded marines to help take out the zerglings.  You can also back up your marauders with siege tanks to help kill off the roaches, or even hydras as well.

    Against HydraSiege tanks or hellions can take them out quick.  But hydras will take down an MMM army decently.  Hydras will also take down vikings, marauders, reapers, marines, and thors with no real problem.

    Against mutas and zerglings:  Mass marines is a decent counter to this, but the terran player will have to try to get a bunch of hellions to support the marines to take out the zerglings and to protect the marines to take out the mutas.  I would also consider getting some vikings to protect your base from muta attacks, along with a few missile turrets to protect your workers.

    TIP:  I would consider flying a viking or two around the map to kill off any overlords that are hanging around.  Just hold down shift and press “a” at each mineral site location and they will kill any overlords in their way.  This could really hurt the zerg’s food supply.

    Viking Rush the zerg?  I generally do not recommend this, please read more about this at Vikings Vs Zerg.

    Ghosts and Nukes:  Please read Ghosts Vs Zerg above.

    Banshees against zerg:  I generally do not recommend this vs zerg.  The zerg can get hydras and spore crawlers up quickly which can take the banshees down.  They can quickly get overseers to get detection, and mutas can fend them off quickly as well.  You can attempt to bring some vikings along with you to kill any overseers they have then let your cloaked banshees lay waste to their worker units.

    Late Game Strategy

    Against Ultralisks:  Ultralisks can chew up marines and hellions easily.  But they can be taken down quickly with marauders and siege tanks.

    Against Corruptors:  Corruptors cannot attack ground, so if you have marines you will be good against them, however if they morph their corruptors into brood lords, you will want to get vikings to counter that.  Vikings are also okay against corruptors, it’s about an even match.  I would not want to use battlecruisers against corruptors or brood lords, since they can get corruptors to quickly take down the battlecruisers.

    Should I build Thors against the zerg?  Please read Thor Vs Zerg above.

    Against Brood Lords/Hydra:  This is a tough one. Hellions and Siege Tanks on the ground, to handle the Hydras and Broodlings, with Vikings in the air.  Just have your Hellions guard your Siege Tanks from the broodlings while they lay into the Hydras then have your Vikings deal with the broodlords.  Mass battlecruisers could also deal with this as well, but in most games it’s hard to get enough of them out quick enough to be effective.

    Hydras will be too worried about all the splash damage from the siege tanks to hurt your Vikings while they have free reign of the air at the Brood Lords.

    Mass battlecruisers against zerg?  Battlecruisers are not that effective against the zerg.  The zerg can get hydras, which is a good counter to them.  Or worse the zerg can go corruptors, which does bonus damage to massive units like Battlecruisers.  Battlecruisers work well to fight off mass brood lords and ultralisks though.

    Opening Strategy:

    I generally would not proxy rush another terran player, they can get bunkers up quick to kill off the marines, however a reaper rush works good against them.  I generally start all my terran vs terran match ups with sending a few reapers over to harass early on.

    Reaper Rush:  Please read Reaper Rush Vs Terran above for all the info you need.

    Hellions vs terran?  I generally do not build hellions vs another terran, only unless they are massing out marines, but that usually never happens.  And even if they mass out marines, siege tanks are a better alternative to take them out.

    You could consider loading up a few hellions into a medivac and drop them on the enemies worker units to take them out quick, other than that I would not build hellions vs another terran.

    Mass marauders vs terran?  Marauders are the least used against the terrans, they have no prime targets worth getting for early on.  Plus siege tanks can take them out quickly.  Marauders work great against Thors later on though.

    As you can see most early terran matchups involve a quick reaper rush, followed by fast expanding as soon as you can.

    Mid Game Strategy

    Terran vs terran in mid game can get confusing.  An MMM army is okay against another terran, however siege tanks can rip them apart.  And yes if you see another terran going with an MMM army against you, then fight back with siege tanks.  I generally always focus on getting siege tanks in a terran match-up, as they prove very useful for just about everything.

    Are ghosts useful against another terran?  Ghosts have little use in a terran matchup, I would only consider building ghosts vs terran for nukes.  However nukes can quickly be countered with the scanner sweeper, so I personally never bother with ghosts in a terran match up.

    Viking Rush?  Vikings can be useful during a terran game, however they do even more useful later on when high tier units come into play. If the opposing terran player decides to go mass thors and battlecruiser, then you can go mass vikings to counter it.  If they have a lot of thors, then it wouldn’t hurt to get some siege tanks in your army to help fend them off.

    TIP:  Vikings can also take out siege tanks okay by landing on them and attacking them then.

    Harass with banshees?  Banshees are used less often vs another terran.  They can be effective really only for harassing worker units.  The terran can easily get missile turrets up to stop them, or even vikings can take them out with no problem.  You can try a mix of banshees and vikings to harass with, which could work very well.

    Late Game Strategy

    Battlecruisers?  Battlecruisers are not seen a whole lot vs another terran, because vikings can take them out quick.

    Thors?  Thors can work well in a Terran match up, they can be used to kill siege tanks, since they are so large the splash damage will not effect a group of thors.  Thors combined with siege tanks works well too, you will be well prepared for air attacks from banshees, and can fight off an MMM army okay.  One shot of the “250mm Strike Cannons” is useful for taking out the following units or buildings: supply depot, missile turret, bunker, or thor.

    In FFA games, camping in your base while teching is not a bad strategy at all.  Unlike Warcraft 3, where if you camped in a FFA your heroes will be far behind in level and you would probably lose.  Well in Starcraft 2 there are no heroes or upkeep, so camping is okay in starcraft 2.  I know this I have played over a 100 FFA games in starcraft 2 beta and my record is about 90 wins, 10 losses.

    You should start off every FFA game with a fast expansion.  build supply depots and bunkers at your natural choke point and get your second base going pronto.

    From there you will be safe from any rushes while teching to higher tier units and upgrades while your economy is jump started.  Then you can get a 3rd expansion later once you get your army going strong.

    I recommend trying a reaper rush in FFA games, just don’t go crazy and spend a lot of money into this, just get a few reapers and harass early on to throw your opponents off and to scout and see what they are doing.  While you are harassing with a few reapers focus on expanding your base and teching to higher tier units.

    Here are the build order options you can do in FFA with terran, starting with the least overall recommended strategy to the most powerful overall strategy in my opinion:

    4.  MMM Rush:  This is okay, and you might kill off a few players with this, but you will probably lose to someone who is teching to even higher tier units.

    3.  Mass Viking with some Banshees:  I think this is a better overall FFA strategy the terrans can do, it can stop more higher tier units in starcraft2 more effectively than an MMM army.  You can harass very well with this and stop a lot of stuff in this game with this combination.

    2.  Mass Vikings with Siege Tanks:  This can be very deadly, you have both ground and air covered nicely.  If the enemy has a lot of ground units, just land your vikings in front of you siege tanks, and let your siege tanks fire safely from a distance dealing a lot of damage to them.  Just make sure you scout and see what the enemy has.  If they have 100% all air units, then don’t bother with siege tanks, just go mass vikings instead.

    1.  Mass Battlecruisers with the Yamato Cannon:  I think this is overall the most powerful strategy the terrans can do.  This strategy is only effective if you have the Yamato Cannon and your battlecruisers have their armor and weapon upgrades going.  This can stop most things in this game with very little problem.  The major drawback to this is that the battlecruisers are VERY slow moving, so you will need to have scouts around the map so you are aware of where your enemy is at all the time.  If come across a zerg player going mass corruptors, then I would switch to mass vikings.

    I would also throw in a couple of ravens for detection and support.

    TIP:  During a battle, simply call down a bunch of MULE’s and set repair on autocast, and let them repair any damaged battlecruisers.

    NOTE:  Once you get your economy going good, it will not hurt to build ghosts for the purpose of nukes, you have the potential to do a LOT of damage with nukes and when you have a lot of money to spend it doesn’t hurt to keep trying to throw nukes out in FFA games.

    (2v2, 3v3, 4v4)

    In team games it is recommend that you focus on rushing as much as possible and keep your enemies from reaching your base.  You ultimately want to try to kill off worker units to put their economy in a hole.

    In team games I recommend getting a plan going right from the start, communicate with your allies and ask them what they are building.  Focus on massing out only like 1-2 units only, have your ally do the same, get a good mixture and you will be good.  For example, you can have your allied zerg player go mass zerglings with some mutas later, while you go with an MMM army.  You got both ground and air covered nicely.

    You can take a risk and tech up in 4v4 games as long as your allies are not teching too.  By teching I mean fast expanding while having the focus on skipping zealots/stalkers and go into something else such as mass void rays, which can be a very powerful strategy, but you will be weak early on, so you will have to rely on your allies to protect you for awhile.

    PLEASE NOTE:  For all SC2: Heart of the Swarm specific strategy, Shockz has you covered.

    Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

    Original article:
  • StarCraft 2 guide 2017

    Our Starcraft 2 guide 2017 contains beginner tips and tricks, free to play details, strategy advice and build orders for the Terran, Protoss and Zerg races.

    StarCraft 2 is about to be re-released as a free to play title, allowing everyone to get a complete piece of the multiplayer action, as well as play through the Wings of Liberty Campaign. Although Blizzard’s RTS isn’t quite the competitive powerhouse it once was in the wider esports picture, it still has a thriving community of players – and that should only get bigger with the relaunch in front of us.

    Whether you’re a lapsed player who’s forgotten everything they ever learned about the game, or you’re completely new to the franchise, we’ve got a guide that will get you up to speed on all of the basics of playing StarCraft 2. If it proves popular, we’ll expand on it over time with more advanced guides, although for now we think this’ll get everything up to speed nice and quickly.


    Use the following links to quickly navigate to the section of the guide you’re most interested in right now!

    1. FAQ – General and Free to Play

    2. Races – Terran, Protoss and Zerg

    3. Economy

    4. Macro and Micro

    5. Build Orders

    6. Hotkeys and Control Groups

    7. Tips, Tricks and Strategy Advice

    FAQ – General and Free to Play

    Before we dive into the detail, here’s what’s what about both the game and the free to play re-launch.

    StarCraft 2 General FAQ

    • StarCraft 2 is a real-time strategy game developed by Blizzard
    • There are three races you can choose from in StarCraft 2: Terran, Zerg and Protoss.
    • The objective in any given match is to eliminate the opponent’s structures and units using your own collection of fighting forces.
    • You begin each match with a number of worker units who are capable of gathering basic mineral resources for you. These can be used to start harvesting other materials, and combined these resources are used to build increasingly powerful units and structures.
    • A supply cap exists in the game, forcing you to build supply structures in order to continue building new units.
    • As you progress into a match, you gain the ability to research new technologies to increase your unit options. Each race has its own tech tree to explore in this regard.

    Free to play FAQ

    Here’s the lowdown on what the free to play version of StarCraft 2 entails, both in terms of what it provides, and what its limitations are:

    • If you’ve not purchased the game before, you’ll be able to download the first of three single-player campaigns for the game called Wings of Liberty.
    • Those who have previously purchased Wings of Liberty will be able to download the Heart of the Swarm campaign for free as an alternative. If you want to buy any of the other single player campaigns, they’ll cost $15 each.
    • All players who have purchased an expansion in the past will receive a handful of new in-game portraits, as well as an exclusive Ghost skin.
    • Regardless of what you might or might not have purchased in the past, everyone will have full access to the multiplayer element, including all units from every expansion. Nothing from the StarCraft 2 experience will be locked out in this area of the game.
    • To preserve the integrity of the experience, accessed to Ranked mulitplayer will only be unlocked once new players have won at least one AI or Unranked multiplayer match across 10 separate days.
    • In Co-Op mode, players will be able to use three free Commanders: Artanis, Kerrigan and Raynor. You can play other Commanders up to Level 5, however you’ll have to purchase them after that.


    As mentioned at the start of this guide, there are three different races in StarCraft 2. Each one has a different selection of units to produce as the match develops, as well as a tech tree to pursue which lets you manufacture new units and structures.

    Here’s the lowdown on each one. Whichever one you decide to start with, we highly recommend that you spend some time studying the pages we’ve linked to over at the official Blizzard site. Although it’s not essential that you memorise every last detail, you are strongly encouraged to at least familiarise yourself with the concepts in each case.


    Terrans are the Humanoid race in StarCraft 2. They have a rather average unit cost, and their buildings can be built pretty much everywhere. They have good defense and mobility overall, and can repair both buildings and units.

    You can find out more about the Terran – and its individual units and tech tree – by visiting Blizzard’s official Terran page.


    Protoss units cost more on average but are extremely powerful. Any buildings created must be within a certain range of a Pylon, units can be warped into combat, and all structures and units have a shield which regenerates over time.

    To learn more about the units and research options for the Protoss, take a look at Blizzard’s official page for the race.


    The Zerg race produce low-cost units in mass quantities and have one production building to manage. Buildings have to be built on a surface called creep, but this provides a speed advantage to friendly units travelling upon it.

    For an overview of all of the units and tech tree lines available to the Zerg, head over to the official StarCraft 2 site.


    There are three important elements to consider in the StarCraft 2 economy: Minerals, Vespene Gas and Supply. Minerals are the most primitive resource, Vespene Gas is used to build advanced units, and your Supply level limits how many units you can field at any given time.


    When you begin a match, you’ll have a patch of minerals to harvest and units to start the harvesting process. You are encouraged to keep building a number of workers to ensure the harvesting rate increases over time. Note that certain yellow-coloured Mineral fields grant a greater yield, although you shouldn’t worry too much about this in your early days.

    Vespene Gas

    The green Vespene Gas geysers allow you to harvest a second mineral, but each race has to build a specific structure on top of the gas patch first. Get extraction of the gas up and running very quickly in each game, as you’ll need it sooner rather than later.


    You can increase the Supply value of your base by building certain structures nearby. Should you find yourself unable to build a new unit because you lack Supply, you are considered Supply-capped. You should avoid this situation at all costs!

    It is vital that you grow your economy continuously throughout each match, harvest more and more resources, and ensure you have the necessary Supply infrastructure in place at all times. By managing all three of these elements, you hope to use your resources and production in as efficient a manner as possible.

    It’s a lot to juggle, and our Macro and Micro section below contains more information about building out your fighting force.

    Macro and Micro

    Two of the terms you’ll hear mentioned a huge amount in discussion of StarCraft 2 are the twin pillars of the game’s strategy: Macro and Micro.

    Put very simply, Macro concerns the maintenance of your economy (keeping workers busy, resources flowing and so on), as well as the growth of your overall fighting force, pursuing whatever pre-determined strategy you’ve decided to work towards.

    Micromanagement, on the other hand, refers to the more fiddly business of controlling individual elements of your army, or groups of fighting units.

    It is absolutely vital that you pay close attention to both of these elements, and continue doing so at every stage of any given match. Fail to do so and you might find yourself starved of resources to rebuild after a fiddly, losing battle. Spend too much time playing SimCity, on the other hand, and you’ll lack both the intel and means to defend against your opponent’s mounting forces.

    Take comfort from the fact this process comes naturally to nobody, and in each match you should simply focus on trying to do one thing better than you did in the previous match. If you keep practising in this way, then you’ll eventually find yourself passively improving at monitoring both elements of the game. It’s a painful learning process, but a necessary one and you will get better if you persevere.

    To make things a little easier on yourself, it’s important to go into each game with something called a build order in mind. The following section contains a little more information on this point, as well as a beginner’s example for each race.

    Build Orders

    Build orders are quite simply your pre-determined production plans for the earliest stages of the game – what you’re going to build and when you’re going to build it. This ensures you have a goal to work towards, and helps you work efficiently towards achieving it.

    There are more build order options out there than we could possibly summarise in any one guide such as this, but we wanted to highlight a solid starting list for each race that you can use to get going with. In each video you’ll find a versatile build order that should serve you well in all of your early match-ups.

    This is one area where you can take a little time to play against the AI, getting the flow of your hotkey and control groups together (see further on in this guide), while starting the process of building a super-efficient and robust economy. Again, just don’t get addicted to stomping easy AI opponents in this way, and get back into real multiplayer at your earliest opportunity!

    If you commit your chosen build to memory, you will find yourself at a huge advantage in the early stages of the ladder climb. Having a solid plan in place will also free you up to focus on honing your other skills in the early days.




    Hotkeys and Control Groups

    If you do not make use of hotkeys, you are always going to be at a permanent disadvantage to anyone who does – even if (all things being equal) they’re an inferior player to you. It takes time to move between multiple UI elements, after all, moving your mouse and then clicking. How much better it would be if you could simply tap a button and head straight to your unit or structure of choice!

    Fortunately, StarCraft 2 provides an extremely flexible system for assigning hotkeys on the fly, and you are strongly encouraged to do so right from the very beginning of your time with the game. That way you minimise any bad habits you might pick up, and reduce the amount of time between the decisions you make and the actions you take.


    If you examine the StarCraft 2 interface then you’ll notice that every unit and structure has a hotkey assigned to it. You should commit every one of these to memory, and then get into the habit of using them – no mouse! – to select and then execute your desired production. This will help you spend your resources efficiently, without wasting any time either looking down at the keyboard or introducing unnecessary and time-consuming mouse movements to the production process.

    Although not as precise or useful, you can also assign location-based hotkeys using the F5-8 keys. Just hold down Control when you’re at a location you want to remember and hit one of the available F keys. This way you’ll be able to tap on the key whenever you’re somewhere else, and come whizzing back into view.

    Control Groups

    Control Groups are another vital element of playing StarCraft 2 competitively. Entire guides could be written on the subject, but for the purposes of our beginner’s guide we’re going to give you a basic overview. We’ll expand on this section if the guide proves popular.

    Put simply, Control Groups allow you to assign units and structures – individually or as groups – to the 0-9 keys, which in turn allows you to very quickly jump to whatever area of the game you need to oversee immediately. You might want to keep tabs on a scout you’ve sent patrolling for example, jump quickly back to your base to check on your resource situation, or just keep the factory lines rolling with new production orders.

    To assign a unit to a Control Group, simply select it, then hold down Ctrl and 0-9. To add additional units to that same group, select them and then hold down Shift and the number in question. It’s a bit fiddly at first, but you’ will’ll get used to it quite quickly.

    (Note that if you want to select multiple units of the same type very quickly, double-click one of them. This will add all of the units of that type that are currently visible on-screen to the selection. You can also hold down Ctrl and click one of the target units to achieve the same result.)

    Control Group Suggestions

    There are many, many ways of assigning Control Groups, but here are a few selections that are generally considered very useful to have quick access to. Remember that a double-tap will zip the screen right over to the item you’ve assigned.

    – If you’ve decided to send one of your workers out early on as a scout, have them on a Control Group. This will allow you to quickly zip over and find out what they’ve uncovered about the enemy’s plans.

    – Have your Command Center, Hatchery or Nexus assigned to a Control Group. This lets you get back to base quickly to check on the state of production and resource gathering.

    – If it produces a fighting unit, have it on a Control Group. This will allow you to keep production rolling rapidly, without you having to revisit the base. Simply select the group then choose your production option using the hotkey options.

    – Your individual armies should be assigned to their own Control Groups as well. That way if they run into trouble you can quickly jump over there and undertake some vital Micro work, or just ensure they live to fight another day by cleanly running away! Having these units on groups also means that if you send out an attacking force yourself, you don’t have to anxiously babysit them the whole way there, when you could be doing something more productive.

    Tips, tricks and strategy advice

    Here are some general tips and tricks that the starting StarCraft 2 player would be well advised to take on board!

    1. Master hotkeys and Control Groups – we mean it!

    This will allow you to assign multiple units to the same shortcut, which you can then easily switch between to stay on top of the action taking place right now. If you have access to the single player mission content, we actually recommend playing through the campaign using your preferred hotkeys and control groups.

    Take our challenge and advice here: from your first multiplayer game onwards, select nothing with your mouse. You’ll suffer for it in your early games, but will be highly incentivised to get on top of things much more quickly. Pain is a great teacher, after all…

    2. Avoid playing the AI

    Do not spend too much time playing against the computer when you first fire up StarCraft 2. By all means rattle off a couple of AI matches to get used to the basics of playing from a fresh start, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting stuck into matches against real-life opponents.

    Yes you’re going to lose a few at first (read: a lot), but you will learn so much more this way. You’re not here to dominate – not yet at least – rather, you’re here to learn something new each match, and which you’ll take with you into the next battle.

    3. Deal with players who turtle

    You are going to go up against opponents who turtle (that is, hide themselves within ludicrously over-defended bases) from time to time. Don’t waste all of your precious fighting forces – and by virtue of those, your resources – sacrificing everything into their heavily fortified defenses on a rolling basis.

    Play the long game instead and be a little more daring. Get out there and expand mercilessly, with more bases and units so as to drop an overwhelming show of force onto them once you’ve dominated the map. There are limited resources in every match, and whoever owns the greater share of them generally wins in the long run.

    4. Use Attack-Move

    Assuming you are moving on the offensive and not running away from a badly lopsided encounter, always use Attack-Move instead as this ensures that your army gets to fire first when it comes across an enemy unit.

    The only exception to this rule (beyond when you’re running away), is if you need your units to target something particularly problematic in the opponent’s army before mopping up the rest of their units. In general though, Attack-Move will give you an advantage in low-level matches. Make it your default action, then learn when to break the rules to suit.

    5. Get used to Shift-Queuing

    Take some time to master the concept of Shift-Queuing, as this will take much of the pain out of your Macro game (see further up the page). This powerful system allows you to assign an activity to one of your units, then have it scoot off and start another job immediately after completing the first task your assigned

    To Shift-Queue, simply select the unit, hold down Shift, issue one order, and then issue another order without letting go of Shift. This is especially useful in the early game when you’re racing to set up a robust economy, and where you don’t want to lose a fraction of a second in efficiency to your opponent.

    That wraps up the first edition of our beginner’s guide to StarCraft 2. If the guide proves popular, we’ll expand on it in much greater detail in a future update.

    Original article:
  • StarCraft A beginner’s guide
    StarCraft: A beginner’s guide
    StarCraft: A beginner’s guide

    The focus of this page is on winning against other human players on Battlenet. I am also assuming you are playing Brood War which is better balanced than the original and has more interesting units with which to play.

    Get the general idea

    You should play enough to know the build tree of your race as well as others. If you don’t know how to build a particular unit and don’t know the utility of a particular unit, you are going to get burned by it sooner or later.

    In ideal games between evenly matched players given even mineral consumption, the game should come down to who makes the most efficient use of their resources. The winner should be the player that lost the least minerals in their units lost in battle.

    In popular maps like Big Game Hunters or in maps where the number of players is less than the number of players that the map was designed for (such as a 2 player one on one in The Lost Temple) it comes down to who can build units the fastest.

    In most games, however, the skill levels are not equal, and (sneaky) tactics of the moment will tend to dictate the actual outcome of a game. Learning the utility and strengths and weakness of each unit will be crucial.


    Like most resource-build army-things mostly equal kind of games, you wont get very far by simply sending your armies into one on one battles with the enemy. All things equal such battles will end up being a draw. As with any ordinary military tactics, you usually want to over power your enemy by attacking stategic weaknesses with strength, and delaying the attacks from your opponents strength.

    What this means in StarCraft is that you want to build up big armies, and attack your opponent’s smaller armies, and weakly defended buildings. A common strategy to this end is the drop. Where an overlord, dropship or shuttle is used to deliver your army to an approach angle to your enemies base which they have not strongly defended. Similarly, though, if your enemy has more than one base, it is usually best to attack the weakest first.

    Among beginners, a common problem is that they don’t know how to build at top speed. So a skilled player can simply railroad a weaker player by building an small army at top speed and sending them to attack the opponent’s base before they have build up an adequate army/defence of their own.

    So an essential skill is the ability to build quickly. This is achieved by making sure you have the fastest possible resource collecting stream as well as building in units and buildings simultaneously with each other. Here are a few rules of thumb that should be follow roughly in order:

    1. If you have less than 1.5 peons (probe/scv/drone) per mineral patch, then you must build more peons.
    2. If your gas stream is not continuous then send more peons to collect gas. There should be one peon waiting to collect gas before the one in the gas collector returns to the base with the gathered gas (so the closer your base is to the gas, the fewer peons — as few as, and typically, four — are required to extract a continuous stream from the gas geyser.)
    3. Do not horde minerals, if you have lots of minerals (more than 500 or 1000) then build towards making a more powerful army or bolster your defence. Be sure to be constantly upgrading your existing and intended army units. Think of upgrades as having a multiplicative effect on all your units.
    4. Don’t forget to build unit limiters (overlord/pylon/supply depot). Always try to lead in unit limiter building so that you are building your army continuously.
    5. If none of your army generating buildings are idle and you have the resources, then build another army generating building.
    6. Upgrade your army. For most units, it is most beneficial to upgrade one level of their defence, before offence (so they live longer while they are attacking or defending) however in the long run you need to max out on all defence and offensive upgrades.
    7. As soon as you are building smoothly, and you have enough excess minerals, expand to a new mineral patch. Depending on your strategic tastes or situation, you may wish to expand speculatively (i.e., without sending an army to defend it) in the hopes that your opponent does not notice the expansion, or you might send your army to defend the mineral patch area first before expanding. The benefit of building speculatively is that you collect minerals sooner and need not divide your army among several bases, however it is risky. A more conservative approach is to always build at adjacent resource mines/geyesers and build defences before or at the same time as your new base, as well as sending a sufficient army there. This takes more time and resources, and therefore, in of itself carries with it some long term risk.
    8. If you are still building your tech tree, it is better to let the StarCraft AI handle any battles that you might be in rather than micro-managing them. Since growth in StarCraft is explosive at the beginning, you will gain more from tech you build now than the few units you save by wasting time accurately playing out minor battles.

    There are certainly exceptions to the above rules. Different maps will dictate that you modify your strategies accordingly.

    In addition to these basic rules, the beginner needs to be aware of how to perform many actions at once. Queueing up commands with the shift key is essential. For protoss and terran, your peons (scv/probe) should return back to gathering minerals or gas after commanded to create a building automatically by virtue of queued commands. Setting rally points are essential for organizing your troops later in the game, but at the beginning of the game (when you are spending time waiting for peons to build), they are effective for sending your peons to the mineral patches at the very instant they are created. These saved fractions of a second do accumulate and thus it is worth it to redefine your rally point to a new mineral patch after each peon is created at the beginning of the game.

    The beginner must also become accustomed to the keyboard short cuts. Navigating the menus with your mouse while you are in the middle of a battle or other micromanagement is an unacceptable waste of time. Learn the short to building peons (terran: ss, zerg: sd, protoss: p) as well as making your common buildings (protoss probe: bp – pylon, bc – canon; zerg drone: bc – build creep, bh – build hatchery; terran scv: bb – build barracks, bu – build bunker) and common units. Look at the highlighted character in the menus to see what each key does. Press a to send a selected army to attack (to attack a sequence of points just hold down shift and queue the attack pattern up!) Also remember that audio queued events can be zoomed in on immediately by pressing the space bar.

    A common mistake for protoss and terran players is to load up the unit queues in each of the buildings as much as possible at the beginning of the game. At the beginning of the game, when you have relatively little money, and little to micro-manage, you should instead queue up two units at each building and increase the queue as each unit is built. This is essentially “cash management”. Doing this will leave you with more minerals on hand to build more buildings while not slowing down your unit build rate. Ordinarily the goal is to put those minerals towards making more buildings that will in turn let you make more units at once (it is better building 2 units in each of 5 unit generating buildings than 5 units in 2 unit generating buildings). Once this micro-management starts becoming overwhelming, use the full building queues (5) to maintain maximum build rate.

    In Big Game Hunters (or a two player match on a four player map) as a rule of thumb, protoss should build towards having about 4 nexus’, zerg should expand to 9 hatcheries, and terran should build towards about 3(?) command centers. The protoss are a special case, since its possible for them to be building multiple races at once (Dark archon can mind control friendly or enemy peons for other races and start building thier race as well.) A protoss player should, of course, also be trying to build 9 hatcheries and 3(?) command centers as well (if your brain doesn’t explode from handling that much stuff at once.)

    Then you should be building towards a situation where you can pump out units and constantly sustain a near 200 unit-slot limit while you are doing battle with your enemy. With the protoss, you should build about 8 gateways, or a similar number of telportation ports, and make sure the build buffers are always full. (These are late game suggestions that don’t apply to the beginning of the game.)

    Building units quickly

    Building units quickly is different for zerg than for the other races. For zerg, you need to build lots of hatcheries. You know you are being inefficient if any hatchery has three larva that are not mutating to units. The reason is that the speed of building units will be limited by the number of available larva, and once your hatchery has three larva it will stop building more larva. Taken to the logical conclusion, what this means is you should be building units evenly over all your hatcheries, rather than building units out of your hatcheries one at a time. This applies mostly to the beginning of the game when you are trying to build drones to collect more minerals to build more hatcheries. Once you are really building later and in the middle of the game, you should either be at your 200 unit limit, or should not have 3 idle larva anywhere.

    For protoss and terran, the army builders (barracks/gateway and spaceport/teleportation port) have a build queue. It is temping to simply fill these queues, and let the build process take care of itself, however this is not a good idea at the beginning of the game. Instead you should build lots of ground army builders (gateway/barracks) and build evenly in each. In this way, more of your mineral resources are dedicated to units that are about to be built, rather than on units that you wont see for a long time down the road. In this way you are pushing for simultaneous building rather than sequential building. You units will pop out faster relative to the minerals put into building them. Later on, your mineral production and the number of army builders should make this amount micro-management prohibitive. At this point you should switch to simply filling the queues of your numerous army builders.

    Standard armies

    You should learn the standard armies for each race, just to give you a baseline for the minimum you should expect from an opponent. If you are a beginner, you should start just by building these armies, to get a feel for them.

    Standard armies (offence motivated)
    1. Dragoons, dragoons, and more dragoons. Dragoons can attack both air and ground, are fairly tough, and in enough numbers can slice through standard ground defences (cannons, sunken colonies, bunkers+tanks.)
    2. Carriers (6 or more). Like the dragoons they can attack both air and ground. They are *very* tough, and requires micro-management of the part of the defence to effectively hurt them.
    Most effective protoss armies will be supplemented by a few reavers (to provide a lot of extra effective ground attack and defence), and observers (to spot lurkers, wraiths, and dark templars.)
    1. Zerglings, lots, and lots of zerglings. You should wait until they are fully upgraded (at spawning pool and technology bays) before attacking with them. They offer no air attack or defence, however the goal is to make an enormous swarm of them. They are their own decoys and scouts. They can take down buildings and armies in short order.
    2. Hydralisks, lots of them. Hydralisks are like dragoons (they are about as strong, relative to cost, as well.) Their primary advantage over dragoons is that they can fit through thinner passages so they can bypass decoy buildings more easily, and invade the enemy’s base more easily.
    3. A group of Guardians (8 or so). Rips up the ground units of an unprepared opponent. Usually supplemented by mutalisks and devourers to protect them from air attacks.
    Most effective zerg armies now include a group of lurker units. They can stop armies at a choke point, keep zealots and dark templars away, and take down buildings. Overlords are required to spot dark templars, wraiths and lurkers.
    1. Marines and medics. With the advent of the medic unit, marines are now very tough customers. Marines can effectively enter a fight stimmed without the health sacrifice. Effective defence requires micro-management.
    2. Marines (and medics) with Tanks. Tanks by themselves are too vulnerable (peons can kill them, when they are sieged), so a front line of marines slows the enemy down enough to allow the seiged tanks to be maximally effective.
    Most effective terran armies include a science vessel to wipe out annoying guardians, take out a protoss army’s shields and detect dark templars, wraiths, and lurkers.

    Despite claims or theories to the contrary there are no unbeatable armies. There are no unfair units. Every attack has a counter attack that can beat it. You need to build up experience to learn how to beat any given individual attack. If you find a certain kind of attack difficult to deal with, adopt that attack yourself and see how others deal with it.

    However creating a successful defense or counter attack to any impending attack requires reconnaisance to know what your enemy is up to. Also remember that an experienced opponent will also be trying to observe what you are up to.

    The Rush

    A lot of players are perturbed by some of the highly skilled players who will build an army as quickly as possible and send them straight at them. Just as they are starting to build up their tech, they are met with 4 zealots, or 6 zerglings versus no appreciable defence whatsoever.

    These players typically complain or request a “no rush” time period at the beginning. But there is no enforcability in battlenet, and more to the point, its part of the game. The right response to a rush is: have a defence.

    There are suitable defences for all variations of the superfast rushes (a handful of offensive units built at the very start of the game and sent to attack).

    Suggested defences for the superfast rush.
    ProtossBuild 2 probes, then 1 pylon …
    • then a gateway, a probe, a gateway, then probes and zealots as fast as possible. Direct your zealots to your choke points. This should handle any one player rush.
    • then a forge, a probe, a gateway, then two cannons in your base then probes and zealots as fast as possible. Direct your zealots to a distance away from your cannons so that the attacker is hit by them both at once. This can handle a two on one superfast rush.
    ZergBuild two drones, then three sunken colonies surrounding your base. This should hold off one or two player superfast rushes.
    TerranBuild two SCVs, then a barracks, then a bunker near your base, then a second barracks, then a second bunker, then marines as fast as possible (as well as supply depots as necessary. Send the marines to the bunkers of course.
    Slow rushes.
    • A handful of dark templars. If the opponent has not adequately guarded themselves from invisible units, you can quickly take down the enemy main base without being noticed until its too late.
    • Drop of reavers into enemy base. Defeating reavers requires a tough army, and stopping the shuttle with anti-air building is not going to happen in the early game.
    • A group 12 or more zealots. Self explanatory. Can take down inadequate defences.
    • A group of Lurkers. If the opponent has not adequately guarded themselves from invisible units, you can quickly take down the enemy main base and his/her drones without being noticed until its too late.
    • A handful of mutalisks, to take out enemy peons. If the opponent has no anti-air defence, this can set back the opponent’s build which will mean they will fall behind in the tech tree.
    • A small group of wraiths. If the opponent has not adequately guarded themselves from invisible or air units, you can quickly take out enemy peons.
    • Drop seige tanks (or marines) in enemy base.

    Updated 08/17/06
    Copyright © 1999, 2006 Paul Hsieh All Rights Reserved. This html page may be freely distributed or mirrored so long as the source contents are not modified.

    Paul Hsieh's Home PageMail Paul Hsieh
    Original article:
  • Bombs’ Build Orders Terran 1-Base Timing Attack

    Starcraft II, Video By Felipe ‘Bombs’ Prado On May 31, 2017 No Comments

    Hey guys! This is Bombs reporting in with my StarCraft II guide to the Terran All-Purpose Build Order (1-Base Timing Attack). I’ll walk through the key details and main points to be aware of. This is a very powerful 1-base timing attack that has an easy time defending against early aggression. With a simple game plan and well-balanced army, it’s also a perfect way to fight your way out of lower leagues. Here’s the video!

    build order

    • Tech as quickly as possible.
    • Focus on killing tech units with the Banshee.
    • Move out at 5:00 (usually right after the first Banshee’s energy is depleted).

    • From the Barracks you only produce Marines.
    • From the Factory you only produce Siege Tanks.
    • From the Starport you only produce Banshees.
    • If you do the build order very well, you should arrive at the enemy base at around 4:20.
    • Make sure you stop making SCVs when you fully saturate your main base!

    Good luck on ladder! If you want help mastering this build, make sure to check out my profile.

    Book with this Sensei now!

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    Tags: Bombs, build order, guide, Starcraft, Starcraft II, Terran, Video

    Related Posts

    By Gamer Sensei On September 13, 2017

    Original article:
  • Zerg Strategies



    Zerg Hex places 2 Zerg players against 6 Terran players, (see Map). It’s recommended that you play a few games of Terran before attempting Zerg to learn the mechanics of the game mode. The Zerg team wins by destroying the Command Centres of all Terran players. If a Zerg player quits you’ll receive all unit control and resources which is a good thing if you had an unskilled teammate. Ways to win with Zerg will be outlined below but it involves a fine balance between Economy and pressurising the Terran.

    Income Calculator (new)

    (Patch 2.14, Feb 2020) Here is a Zerg income calculator preset on how to generate the maximum possible income. (It just comes down to keeping spawners and spires in balance in terms of income). It’s a spreadsheet that you can download in the File Tab, so you can modify it yourself. I gave everyone Edit rights so you can keep it up to date and improve the formulas within it. Consider making new sheets for different strategies, etc.

    Quick Tips

    1. For each player path a spawner to each of their side gas and then into their base. This will slow their early game expansion and give you vision of what they are doing. Do this by selecting the spawner, hold shift, then right click on the side gas, then right click up the ramp of the terran.
    2. Mineral Extractors give you 30 resources per min and you get 1 mineral per spawner on the map (team mates spawners count as well).
    3. Build early game spawners close to / behind your front line spawners. On the front line they are more efficient as units don’t need to travel as far, however they are also more vulnerable later.
    4. Upgrading spawners will increase the uptime of its production when built far enough away that they would otherwise reach the maximum unit count before the first produced unit dies, but give you no additional resources. Upgrade when you know it’s going to do something (force more terran spending on defense, stop terran pushes, break through the wall of a terran etc).
    5. Build more valuable / upgraded spawners further back near Large Spines Crawlers so they can be safe. Always upgrade these the moment they’re done.
    6. Build your Mineral Extractors in base.
    7. Avoid building Firelings or more spines. They are expensive and tricky to utilise. Resources may better be spent on spawners or Mineral Extractors if you’re not well experienced. Learn how to use firelings before you waste resources on them. If you really need an early defensive unit and are unsure about the firelings, then make 2 Hydralisks and use them to deter Terran offensives (especially reapers). Note: Hydralisks are slower and take damage off creep.
    8. Minerals income (per minute) = 80 (Hive) + (30 + [spawner count, including allied]) x Mineral Extractors —- In a side note; you get fined for a few hundred minerals when a terran dies/leaves before 11 minutes— In short, you always want to build some spawners, even if you just want to maximize your income.
    9. Never build mineral extractors when each mineral extractor gives less income than building four slowling spawners. You’d help your teammate’s income, pressure terran, AND have more income yourself.

    Sample Build Order (Credit to Moander)

    If you want to mass Strikelings, then build them to the Right/Left hand side of your Hive (the big open space with a Hatchery).

    This gives a massive income and relatively low pressure. Strikelings can be massed to destroy undefended buildings/ walls quickly, push players that are running out of energy, or to assist in defending against a Terran push. They are, however, totally useless against a defended wall.

    However, this gradual increase in pressure is easy to deal with as terran if they noticed the trend, so against experienced terrans this will most often fail to deny lowground gas. You will need to survive the large midgame push by massing spawners or teching up to primal roaches before they hit.

    Hyper Aggressive Opening (Credit to DroneRush)

    This build is designed to sweep pro and mediocre terrans off the lowground hard and fast.

    This build depends heavily on your control and map awareness, as the execution requires some micro and fast decisions on when to switch target. Send your 6 extra spawners first to mid, then to the sides, only changing targets if the terran built a wall or was pushed up the highground. If you’re lucky (or against average terrans), you will also kill a few army units before they notice the mass of creepers heading their way.

    Against only mediocre terrans, split the 6 spawners to two terrans. Only some of the best terrans can defend the original 4 spawners plus the extra 3 right from the start, and even then it’ll massively slow down their expansion.

    While you basically slowed your income by slightly over a minute, terrans will lose more than a few minutes worth of income due to the lack of refineries and losing whatever they built on the low ground, freeing you up for a large number of extractors before you need to go back to spawners.

    Most of the actually competent terrans will not wall off early, so you can quickly push one back up the ramp then switch target without giving the second terran time to wall up. This can potentially be game ending, as many mediocre terrans will start turtling after being pushed back a couple times, and this leaves you to deal with the pro terrans without threat of the terrans being able to punish you.


    Early / Mid-Game

    • Use left and right front spawner pathing to path past side gasses so you spread the Terran force and then when you see an opportunity, manually attack gas expansions.
    • Watch for low energy, upgrade spawners or pull some units to push the weakened player back into base / destroy them.
    • Deny Terran Gas expansions: This is a Zergs Top-Priority! Terran will attempt to expand outside of their base and secure gas. Zerg have a number of gas blockers around the map in more remote locations that may be attacked later. Make spawners and rally them through these Gases if the blockers are destroyed.
    • Don’t abuse F2, it will give other Terrans an opportunity to expand and build walls if you pull all your units. Rather manually select a bunch and send them so you still maintain some pressure.
    • Always check the terrain bridges to the left and right, you can leave a drone or rally a spawnling through there. It’s a favourite place for terran to place some farms and sheep if they feel confident. Alternatively don’t check straight away in the hope that they will have some sheep to eat when you get there.
    • Be sneaky: Use micro to attack batteries / sheep / undefended walls. Killing batteries is huge as it denies Energy to the Frontline
    • Don’t get tunnel vision, look for opportunities and have map awareness.
    • Be sneaky: When you tech up to stronger Zerg units it can be a good idea to hide the fact. Create a number of spawners and upgrade but don’t path them to the enemy just yet. Collect a strong force and then path spawners and send in the large mass. You’ll often wipe out a player or force them back into base because of the huge increase in damage and armour.
    • Be careful getting unit upgrades when you don’t need them, rather lull Terran into a false sense of security and then drop a bunch of upgrades at once to completely destroy or push someone back.
    • Attack upgrades aren’t useful early game, as your units rarely get to attack anyways and when they do, it’s usually due to a lack of energy, so you have plenty of time to deal Damage.
    • Balance economy and spawners.
    • Speed upgrade basically increases the rate your units spawn when your spawners are idling for a significant amount of time.


    • Primarily try to get mass slowlings for income and only enough brutalisks to push the terrans back up the ramp. Once all terrans are turtling, creep forward and either break the wall with omegalisk or snipe the defending units with hydralisks with the help of the special ability of Nests to grant highground vision.
    • Attack upgrade helps when your units are chewing on the wall but not breaking through, but otherwise it is still useless.
    • Hydralisk can be very useful when you have a lot of units pushing, but are somehow being held back. Use them to snipe units / batteries or help destroy walls. They get more lives over time, or can be upgraded to start with more.


    1. Slowlings: Make a stupid amount of slowlings. It doesn’t sound that threatening, but it’s ridiculous. Seeing is believing. In the event Terrans can actually hold, the mass of bodies will prevent them from pushing. This is a not Troll strategy, it works very often as Terrans have a hard time getting Gas Expansions as you are constantly adding more lings. Even if you didn’t kill the terran, the massive number of spawners makes your mineral extractors extremely efficient, and will drain the energy of the terran.
    2. Banklings: Tech Armor 1 early and evolve Banklings, then use the Banklings for eco. This is similar to the slowlings, but more risky as the terrans have a window of free time at the start of the game. It is also a unsustainable strategy, as the extra income each bankling spawner provide doesn’t increase with the Mineral Extractor count while the base income of each spawner does, and tankling spawners costs more supply than slowling/creeper spawners. Effective against a terran massing reapers without an Armory.
    3. Adaptive: Using the Build order above as a guide, make spawners when Terrans are being too threatening and Eco when you can. Focus on denying Gas, rather than actually killing much. Aim to start teching at around the 3k mark.
    4. Vanilla: Vanilla as in this is how you play zerg in versus: build extractors in waves of multiple supply upgrades, then build spawner the same way. When you build a wave of spawners, you will often catch a terran by surprise and do actual damage to their infrastructure, and when you eco the terran’s overreaction over your mass spawner will cause them to make excessive defense that’s useless as you didn’t increase pressure.

    Base Design

    Use Tier 1 buildings for shielding the Nest. By placing them between your Nest and the Terran base, you make it harder for the Terran to Snipe your Nest.

    Use Tier 1 buildings for shielding the Large Spine Crawler. Building Spawner around them makes it a bit harder for Terran to Snipe. If you’re lucky, the Terran army eats a hit or two more.

    Original article:
  • HelpReading Build Orders

    A build order is a specific series of steps that one takes in the early game to achieve a specific strategy. By using a well-defined build order with every game, a player is able to perform a solid opening which is time-tested and approved. All build orders dictate which actions to perform based upon supply and events.

    This article aims to provide a beginner with the knowledge required to fully understand the abstract concept of build orders in a way he can fully realize strategies in game.


    Every Build Order article will contain a box or a list of actions the player has to perform depending on either events occurring during the game or if a specified supply limit is hit. The actions are always written on the right side of the box, while the supply count/events are written on the left side. The build order starts on top and ends on the bottom.

    Events or Supply Counts are used instead of time units (seconds, minutes), since they’re independent from technology issues and can easily be adapted to overall game flow. For example, minute marks might change if the game lags or a game speed other than fastest is used, but supply counts and events would still hold true. Furthermore, most competitive leagues and ladders forbid the use of an in-game time plug-in and consider such an add-on as cheating.

    Supply Notations[edit]

    The table above displays an excerpt of a standard Build Order for Protoss. In this example “8/9 – Pylon” tells a player that he has to build a Pylon when he hits 8 out of 9 Supply and the required amount of minerals (100).

    A Protoss player starts with only 4/9 supply. If nothing else is noted in between two Supply marks – in this case 4/9 (Player spawns) and 8/9 (Player has to build a Pylon) – the player should build Probes and send them to mine. This is done to avoid adding redundant information.

    In later stages of the game, any player should not only fill the gaps in the notation with worker production (SCVs, Probes, Drones), but also with constant production of fighting units. However, it should be noted that Zerg in particular has to be careful about when to stop Drone production, following the Zerg Economic Guidelines.

    Event Notations[edit]

    The second way to describe a time in the game at which a certain action has to be performed is with events. Events are always noted in relation to the game flow.

    In the exemplary table above an ordinary event is listed. The player is told to morph one of his Hatcheries into a Lair when he has one hundred gas (@ 100 Gas) and after he built his second Hatchery.

    The line “@ 50% Lair – Hydra Den” is a bit difficult for beginners to perform and to understand. First off, the player has to closely observe the progression of the Lair upgrade, so he knows when the progress bar is about halfway done. Furthermore, he has to save up enough Minerals and Vespene Gas to build the Den. However, if the instruction is followed closely, both Lair and Den will finish at the same time, thus enabling the player to upgrade Lurker Aspect without further delay.

    Event Notations often follow this underlying principle of knowledge, which isn’t noted elsewhere in the build order to save space. As a result, a player often has to think through why an Event Notation has to happen at this exact timing. However, since these special Event Notations often combine complex thoughts and experiments, the more crucial ones are often explained in the context of strategy articles.

    “Exemplary Build Order, Events 3”
    • 8/9 – Pylon
    • 10/17 – Gateway
    • Send Scouting Probe

    How To: Read Build Orders

    This last example shows when a Protoss has to send out a Probe to scout (gather information). This kind of information is often left out or explained outside of the Build Order Box in a special paragraph. However, if an Event Notation suggests to handle a unit in a special way (in this example to Scout), it means the Build Order slightly varies from overall matchup procedures and should be followed closely.


    To leave out redundant information and to not repeat general knowledge, some actions are left out in Build Orders:

    • Generally speaking, Terran and Protoss will produce workers over the entire game. Zerg players balance out their Drone-to-Hatchery Ratio according to Zerg Economic Guidelines
    • If Terran or Protoss is told to build a Nexus or Command Center, respectively, it is assumed they build it on expansion spots
    • Whenever a Nexus or Command Center is completed, Workers have to be sent to mine there immediately without further instructions
    • Unless specified otherwise, the time of when an attack has to performed is left to the player
    • Unless specified otherwise, a Protoss scouts after building his first Pylon, a Terran after building his first Supply Depot, a Zerg with his first two Overlords and one of his first three Drones after building the second Overlord (10-12 Supply)

    Advanced Understanding[edit]

    Any beginner must realize that Build Orders, especially the Build Order List/Box, are mere instructions. They are written down to help memorize a simple list, which could be compared to using a recipe to cook a certain dish. However, the entire Build Order must always be adapted to the overall game flow and a number of different factors. The most important ones are usually described in the Build Order articles; others, especially subjective ones, depend on the skill of each individual. It’s trivial that almost any player might be able to perform a 5 Pool Build order, but almost nobody can play a difficult strategy involving a Corsair/Reaver combination.

    Build Orders of Choice[edit]

    A universal Build Order able to counter or to describe all possible outcomes does not exist. A general rule of thumb states that a beginner should focus on the more macro-oriented build orders. These usually dictate the game to the latest stages, most times describing actions up to the 150 supply mark. The longer a list is, the more possible scenarios can be handled. At the same time, a beginner needs less time to think about what to build next and can focus on performing the actual tasks without any kind of distraction.

    Build Orders dictating rushes or exotic play can be viable and more fun to execute, but will make the learning process harder at times. Games end sooner and a beginner has fewer opportunities to train all mechanics needed to effectively control his units or to manage a bigger base.


    A Build Order has to be learned and it will take more than a dozen games until a beginner (or an experienced player) is able to fully understand it. It is recommended that every replay of a game using a specific Build Order is analyzed. However, especially beginners tend to make mistakes.

    As explained above, no Build Order is invincible. In some cases a Build Order can be followed perfectly, but will still be countered by the opponent. While it’s easy to recognize why an exotic Build Order failed, some of the more complex Build Orders might be harder to grasp. It might help to understand a Build Order by comparing it to the ones listed in the “Weak/Hard Counter” sections. This way, the full picture is easier to see.

    Following the logic of gathering as much information as possible, a player should also try to find VODs or Replays of a Build Order on different maps performed by good players. With that help he might be able to reconstruct the exact time when he first made a mistake. Comparing one’s own game to an absolute standard is good way to see a contrast.


    Any Build Order needs to be adapted. Oftentimes a beginner will face an aggressive opening or an opponent who makes up a build order. In either case, the original game plan must be adapted. The more complex Build Orders usually suggest how to react. However, if there are no suggestions, the player should realize he has to change the plan on his own.

    For this, some of the following advice is generally true:

    • Time windows for attacks

    Depending on the Matchup a player has certain attack frames. A Terran will have two time windows after Fast Expanding against a Zerg during which he is most likely to deal an optimal amount of damage. The first is while the Zerg is switching from Mutalisk harass to Lurkers, as he won’t be able to fully stop a Marine&Medic Push. Later in the game, Terran has Vessel and Tank support, which counter Lurkers until the Zerg gets Defilers with Dark Swarm. If a Terran is denied his first time window, he should try to realize his second window.

    • Weakness of the opponent’s Build Order

    If two players use complex and macro-oriented builds, neither will have to adapt their Build Orders much. Only when two players face each other with radically different Build Orders will they have to change their plan more drastically. Each player’s goal in this scenario would be to completely exploit the opponent’s weakness. An example would be a fast expanding player meeting a player going for a 5 Pool Speed. If the fast expanding player defends the rush without suffering huge economic damage, he will come out on top—therefore, canceling the Fast Expansion altogether is an understandable reaction, despite the Build Order telling otherwise. This example is one of the most radical ones. Please note that the same might hold true for a Fast Expanding player meeting an aggressive player who isn’t aiming for an all-in. The same idea holds true nonetheless.

    • Map Specifics

    Most of the Build Orders are designed to work on popular maps such as Python or Fighting Spirit. However, when new maps are introduced, the Build Orders may not work as well on them. The same holds true if a player uses any kind of exotic or outdated map. Especially on two-player maps, it might be sensible to use different scout timings to find out about hard all-ins early on.

    Original article:
  • Metagame Build Orders

    Readers often ask if I can post more about “up-to-date” build orders that they can use. This project aims to fill this gap and provides a build order for each match up periodically.

    Most of my articles that analyse builds focus on the rationale and metagame implications, and I usually do not just provide a simple build order. The Metagame Build Orders posts emphasize on the build order itself, and less on the explanation. You can read more about the specific analyses in other TerranCraft articles.

    This page serves as the library of this project. These posts will be tagged with [MBO].

    Original article:
  • TvP Build Order 2-1-1 Marine-Medivac Timing into Tank…

    Table of Contents


    The 2-1-1 is a build which was actually popularised in the Terran vs Zerg match-up, in the first half of 2016. It was a build which quickly became the go-to opener for Bio play in TvZ due to its ability to create early game map control, denying creep and forcing units for the Zerg. The build became very figured out in the match-up, but due to its power it was still successful even if shut down perfectly and was particularly useful due to all of its potential follow-ups.

    The build can be applied to the Terran vs Protoss match-up and, in this guide, we will cover a variation with an offensive Siege Tank Icon Siege Tank follow-up, which makes this build a difficulty for Protoss players to hold against, especially punishing very fast third bases. This build works great on maps with a shorter rush distance by ground, mostly due to the power of the follow-up tank push, though the initial Medivac Icon Medivac drop can also work well on larger maps, due to the speed of Medivacs and boosting.


    Build Order

    As with all of our build orders, constant worker production is assumed unless mentioned otherwise and so all builds are based on supply count timings. Rough in-game timer points have been added at points of the build.

    Start with a standard Reaper Expand:

    • 14 — Supply Depot Icon Supply Depot as part of wall (rally first worker made from Command Center Icon Command Center to the ramp);
    • 16 — Barracks Icon Barracks #1;
    • 16 — Refinery Icon Refinery;
    • 17 — worker scout (you are looking to identify a standard Natural Expansion timing of the Protoss, which starts at 1:25 — lack of a Nexus Icon Nexus means potential cheese);
    • 19 — Orbital Command Icon Orbital Command;
    • 19 — Reaper Icon Reaper;
    • 20 — Command Center Icon Command Center (generally built on low ground).

    Continuation of 2-1-1:

    • 21 — Barracks Icon Barracks #2 (keep away from wall, to deny possible scouting by a unit moving up your ramp & in case of early attacks which could force it to move before upgrades complete);
    • 21 — Reactor Icon Reactor on Barracks #1, reaper goes across map to scout;
    • 22 — Supply Depot Icon Supply Depot (completes wall);
    • 23 — Refinery Icon Refinery;
    • 24 — Factory Icon Factory;
    • at this stage, Marine Icon Marine production begins on Barracks: constant Marine production from here on;
    • 26 — Tech Lab Icon Tech Lab on Barracks #2;
    • 31 — Use Stimpack Icon Stimpack research on Barracks Tech Lab;
    • 35 — Starport Icon Starport (built next to Factory, this should be starting instantly as your Factory finishes);
    • 35 — Reactor Icon Reactor on Factory
    • 40 — Supply Depot Icon Supply Depot (from here supply depots are omitted from the build order, build as required);
    • 43 — Engineering Bay Icon Engineering Bay;
    • 46 — swap Starport Icon Starport onto Reactor Icon Reactor built by Factory Icon Factory;
    • 49 — 2x Medivac Icon Medivacs on Reactored Starport;
    • 54 — +1 Attack;
    • 56 — Tech Lab Icon Tech Lab on Factory;
    • 57 — Refinery Icon Refinery;
    • 61 — Medivac Icon Medivacs complete, lift 15-16 Marine Icon Marines and move across map, in-game time ~4:45

    From here the initial build order is completed and you have two full Medivac Icon Medivacs on the map to apply pressure.

    Significant additions after this time:

    • start researching Combat Shield Icon Combat Shield when Research Stimpack Icon Research Stimpack finishes;
    • prioritise your gas onto constant Siege Tank Icon Siege Tank production, then onto Medivacs;
    • as your minerals stack up from full two base saturation you can add on a third Command Center Icon Command Center or Barracks Icon Barracks #3-5, depending on how aggressive you want to be with your follow-up (see later section);
    • start +1 Armour when +1 Attack finishes — if the game does not end with aggression, add one Engineering Bay Icon Engineering Bay and an Armory Icon Armory when armour upgrade is half way done, to start +2/+2 at the same time.


    Scouting & Adjustments


    Initial Worker Scout

    The initial worker scout has one extremely important job: to confirm the presence of a Natural Expansion at a standard timing (placed at around 1:25 for a standard Gate-Gas-Nexus expand, slightly later for some forms of double gas expand for faster tech or earlier cybernetics core to apply early gateway pressure (in this case add a bunker.) Upon seeing the Nexus Icon Nexus, you can continue with your build without adjustments.

    If you see a lack of Nexus Icon Nexus, you next check in the main base for two things: gas and Pylon Icon Pylon count. If the Protoss has no Nexus and one gas, they are either going for a high number of Gateway Icon Gateways and attacking early, or potentially hiding their expansion on the map (95% of the time in this situation, they will have two gases) The second Pylon of a Protoss player goes down at around 1:50 in-game time. If there is not a second pylon in the main base at this time it is probably on the map for a proxy.

    In the case of a proxy you want to abandon the 2-1-1 build, as additional Marine Icon Marine production and the fast Use Stimpack Icon Stimpack upgrade is not the strongest way to defend early aggression. Your scout timing should allow you to build a faster Engineering Bay Icon Engineering Bay instead of the second Barracks Icon Barracks (to allow for Missile Turret Icon Missile Turret production against Oracle Icon Oracles and Dark Templar Icon Dark Templar). You should add on the Factory Icon Factory as soon as possible as well as a second gas when the factory begins, then a Starport Icon Starport as the Factory finishes. Generally holding on one base will make your life a lot easier than defending on two bases, so bunker up on top of your ramp and lift the natural Command Center Icon Command Center to the main when possible.

    Try and scout for the proxy as this information can change how you react. In most scenarios a Cyclone Icon Cyclone will be useful for earlier defense against Oracle Icon Oracles, Siege Tank Icon Siege Tanks will be great vs larger pushes, such as a continued one base play (scout with Reaper Icon Reaper to confirm). On the Starport Icon Starport, a viking is a good choice vs Stargate Icon Stargate pushes and Liberator Icon Liberators a good choice against other ground based attacks.

    With the scouting worker you can build an Engineering Bay Icon Engineering Bay to block the natural of your opponent, as a way to keep a continuous scout and information on when they might try to take the expansion. This can help a lot with knowing how your opponent is aiming to follow up their aggressive opening.


    Reaper Scout

    The Reaper Icon Reaper scout is your next scout after the initial SCV Icon SCV. Generally what the Reaper sees is not going to change your choice of build. The first Protoss tech building will go down at 2:30-3:00. You are looking for one of three things: Robotics Facility Icon Robotics Facility / Twilight Council Icon Twilight Council / Stargate Icon Stargate.

    Versus Robotics Facility Icon Robotics Facility and Twilight Council Icon Twilight Council, the build can continue as normal. An early Twilight Council could mean Dark Templar Icon Dark Templar, which is one thing you should prepare for (consider an earlier Engineering Bay Icon Engineering Bay for a Missile Turret Icon Missile Turret or saving energy for an initial scan).

    Versus Stargate Icon Stargate make sure to position marines well for versus Oracle Icon Oracle play. You can even invest in an earlier Engineering Bay Icon Engineering Bay as well for a turret to help cover your mineral lines. You will need a Missile Turret Icon Missile Turret in your mineral lines against an oracle when you move out just before 5 minutes anyways, as you do not leave any units at home once the Medivac Icon Medivacs leave to push across the map.


    Initial Push

    The initial push with 2 Medivac Icon Medivacs and around 16 Marine Icon Marines should leave your base a 4:45-5:00, depending on your execution of the build. This means it arrives at your opponent’s base just as Use Stimpack Icon Stimpack finishes. The most important part of this push is that you do NOT lose your Medivac Icon Medivacs or trade inefficiently. This may seem obvious, but the power of the follow-up push is reliant on maintaining a good unit count initially, unless you were able to deal a large amount of damage.

    The beauty is it will generally be a fairly simple retreat in most scenarios to lift up your Marine Icon Marines and boost away. The two things that will shut-down your getaways will be the Blink Icon Blink upgrade on Stalker Icon Stalkers, or multiple Phoenix Icon Phoenix as a follow-up to Stargate Icon Stargate play. In the case of an early Twilight Council Icon Twilight Council, Blink will be finished before your push arrives, so approach on the ground with your Medivac Icon Medivacs in the back and boost ready so you can Use Stimpack Icon Stimpack and boost away. Versus Robotics Facility Icon Robotics Facility first into Twilight Council, Blink should finish around 6 minutes, giving you a minute or so to find openings and deal damage safely.

    You will generally never want to fight within range of a Shield Battery Icon Shield Battery, as this is the number one way in which a Protoss will be able to create an efficient trade. Your goal with this first push is to create your own map presence and to test that they are not being too greedy and cutting corners by skipping out on units. You can also test their map control, by dropping into the main base (especially if they have a dark area where you can unload freely) or by just poking at the front / third base.

    Sometimes you can create a good fight by engaging at the third and forcing units to come and protect it — perhaps they run in with one or two units before the rest arrives, allowing for a free pick off. If they have to cancel the third you should back away, you have already put yourself in a great position from this.

    If you are dropping into the main, aim to pick off something quick and easy, which gives you time to then pick-up and leave before units can respond (think Pylon Icon Pylons powering important buildings, or probes which you can kill a few of in a couple of seconds). Remember that retaining your units is one of the most important parts of this build and that it is much better to back away from a fight you cannot win or only trade evenly in, than to fight at all.


    Follow-up Tank Push

    If your production and build is on point, at around 6:15 you will have two Siege Tank Icon Siege Tanks and one extra Medivac Icon Medivac, allowing you to move across the map for an attack just as Combat Shield Icon Combat Shield is finishing. Behind this push you will be adding on either a third Command Center Icon Command Center (which you can build in position, due to this build giving you dominant map control) or a third, fourth, and fifth Barracks Icon Barracks, if you want to be much more aggressive and keep on attacking with what is essentially a two base all-in (though you can build a delayed third behind it, which means you will generally want to delay the Protoss third or deal some severe economic damage).

    The power of this army lies in the Siege Tank Icon Siege Tanks and how great they can be at supporting Marine Icon Marines, especially against a Gateway Icon Gateway focused army. As you push, you will probably find yourself dancing with Stalker Icon Stalkers, perhaps even having to siege up your Tanks earlier than expected if the Protoss threatens to fight (one thing to be very careful of in this situation is to not allow Stalkers to blink forwards and grab a free Medivac Icon Medivac or Tank, keep these important units at the back of your army. If you can push yourself into a position on the third base, you should be in a good position to get a cancel or a kill. The danger really arises when Protoss starts adding some extra tech into their army, such as a Colossus Icon Colossus.

    This push is still, really, about patience and knowing your fights and positions. If you can get those Tanks sieged and supporting a stim rush into the third, you will find a lot of success. But be aware — if the Protoss can slow you down a lot and stop you from taking a fighting position (maybe you siege out of range of the third base), then you do not want to stick around forever. The more time passes, the more the Protoss is reinforcing instantly while your own units have to traverse across the map to join your main force, creating more chances for the Protoss to win a fight convincingly and gain a lot of momentum.

    The game can continue from here into your standard bio play and all the rest of it, or into that big two base push if that is what you were aiming for. Remember to position well, take the fights you can win and most of all to be patient — there is nothing wrong with heading back home and continuing to macro if you do not feel like the opportunity is there to create the fights you want.



    This is a really interesting adaptation of the infamous 2-1-1 TvZ build, taking the strengths of the traditional 2-1-1 and intertwining them with the power of typical Siege Tank Icon Siege Tank pushes in the early and early-mid game of TvP. You have two waves of pressure in which you can find openings and chances to slow your opponent down while heading into a strong macro follow-up at home or into a deadly push just minutes later. The build can be quite precise and can take some practice to get right, especially for figuring out when and where is good to fight on each map — but is that not part of the fun in StarCraft?



    • 23 Jan. 2018: Added our first build order: TvP 2-1-1 Marine-Medivac timing into Tank push.
    + show all entries – show only first 2 entries
    Original article:
  • Starcraft Strategies Tips For Fastest Possible Map Ever

    Basic Starcraft Strategies & Tips for Fastest Possible Map

    Miner Stack
    To move your miners in a stack as if they are a single unit, select a group of miners then right click on a vespene geyser. Straight after this, hold down shift and right click on the geyser again. Then while still holding shift, right click the spot you want the miners to move to. They will move as if they are floating so they won’t get in each other’s way. This can be useful if a drop comes and you want to move your miners quickly.

    If you want the miners to attack in a stack then instead of right clicking a spot to move to, tell them to attack a unit or building or you can tell them to attack move to a spot.

    Dodging Drops
    You can use the miner stack tip above to quickly move your miners out of the way when a drop comes. Another way to dodge drops is to send your miners to the geysers next to your main. The miners will move quickly because they are in float mode so if the enemy psi-storms the mineral stack then the miners will be safely out of the way.

    Another method is to have a unit or building in another base location with vision of the mineral patch or geysers. When a drop comes tell your miners to move to the minerals or geysers in the other base and they will quickly dodge out of the way of the drop. You’ll need to set a few groups of miners to hotkeys so you can quickly dodge many miners out of danger.

    Hit Main
    Don’t ever lose your main nexus/command center/hatchery or your income will be a lot slower than your enemy’s and you will probably lose the game. Build enough defence around your main so your opponent cannot kill it. Likewise if your opponent’s main is not well defended then try to take it out. If you manage to kill it then you should be able to win by outmassing him.

    Triple Up
    Once the opening-game rush stage is over build one or two extra nexuses or command centers. If you build an extra nexus or two and your opponent doesn’t build any then you will produce many more miners meaning you get money faster and therefore you will outmass him.

    Starcraft Strategies for Protoss on FPM

    The usual strategy for Protoss on Starcraft Fastest Possible Map Ever in 1v1’s begins with zealot rushing the opponent. If the enemy survives the rush then the Protoss player masses units and attacks while continually templar dropping the opponent to send them broke. A good player can drop about once per minute while continually attacking the opponent with maxed supply.

    Templar Drop
    Set a high templar to a hotkey (eg. group 1). Load it into a shuttle along with three zealots. Fly the shuttle to your enemy’s mineral patch. When your shuttle comes near cannons or enemy units drop a zealot as a decoy to take the hits. When you get to his minerals drop the templar and psi storm his mineral patch (eg. press “1”, then “t”, then click on the mineral patch). Any miners on the patch will die, hopefully leaving him broke. Send extra shuttles or corsairs with your drop if you need some more cover to keep your shuttle alive. You can also use two templars instead of one if you like.

    Stasis their Drop
    In late game keep an arbiter above your main nexus. If a templar drop or recall comes use it to stasis the enemy shuttle. If you don’t get the shuttle in time you can still stasis your own probes instead which will protect them from being psi stormed.

    Select an arbiter with enough energy for a recall and get high templars to make a good number of hallucinations of it. Send the hallucinations and the real arbiter towards your enemy’s main, keeping the real arbiter towards the back of the group so that the hallucinations take the hits. When you are at your enemy’s main recall units (eg. reavers) onto it and kill the main.

    Starcraft Strategies for Zerg on FPM

    On Starcraft Fastest Possible Map Ever Zerg is at a disadvantage at the start of the match so the usual strategy for Zerg is to turtle (defend hard) at the beginning of the game with lots of sunken colonies at the choke while building many hatcheries and teching. Besides protecting their choke, Zerg also needs to defend their miners from drops. Once Zerg is set up they pump out mass units, continually attacking their opponent.

    Lurkers and Spores
    Put the lurkers defending your base near spore colonies so that it will be hard for the enemy to fly their observer units close enough to see them. Often the enemy will fly too close and lose their observer units.

    Guardians on Main
    Keep any spare guardians above your mineral patch. When a templar drop comes if there is enough guardians they will often kill the templar before he has time to cast a psi storm.

    Build a nydus canal at the front of your base and put the other end at your main. When a drop or recall comes put all the hydras defending the front of your base through the nydus so they can own the drop.

    Starcraft Strategies for Terran on FPM

    Against Protoss, Terran generally has to defend the first attack and then try to kill the enemy by countering using tanks and marines/goliaths. Carriers are particularly difficult for the Terran to defend in late game.

    Against Zerg, the Terran usually tries to rush them as fast as possible using a tank push on their choke or a marine rush. If they can get in before the Zerg is ready they will win. Usually in late game vs Zerg, the Terran uses goliaths + tanks + about 12 science vessels.

    Block Minerals
    Against Protoss or Zerg in early game float a barracks or engineering bay over their minerals so that the opponent can’t send miners to the mineral patch. You can also use it to scout their tech.

    Toasted Miners
    Near the beginning of the game you can run a firebat or two into your opponent’s base and torch their miners. Because the firebats do splash damage you can often take out all the enemy miners in a few shots leaving the enemy broke and easy to finish off. If the enemy has blocked their choke so you can’t get bats in you can try floating a barracks into the enemy’s base in a spot they can’t see and then build the bats inside.

    Floating Buildings
    Float buildings such as engineering bays off the edges of your base to give you vision of incoming drops.

    Irradiate Miners
    Fly one or more science vessels into an enemy terran or zerg base and cast irradiate on one of the miners on the mineral patch. Because irradiate does splash damage it will also kill the rest of the miners on the stack.

    Increase Tank Range
    Tanks have a longer range than their sight so floating a building (eg barracks, engineering bay) or science vessel ahead of them to give vision will mean they can shoot further.

    Float Building at Choke
    It can help to float a barracks in front of your choke. When you are attacked units like hydras or dragoons will stop to attack the barracks instead of attacking your units and the enemy’s mass will get clogged. Meanwhile your tanks (which are also given extra range by the barracks’s vision) will be sieging them to death.

    The terran upgrades are the most powerful in the game so make sure you upgrade your units. If you are going metal (goliaths and tanks) prioritise upgrading the vehicle upgrades at the armory, making at least two armories so you can upgrade weapons and armour at the same time. If you are going for mass infantry with some tanks thrown in then focus on the infantry upgrades from the engineering bays, building two bays so you can upgrade weapons and armour at the same time.

    Original article:
  • rAllThingsTerran

    Hey guys, I’ve been struggling to detect 5min early push in time. And I’m wondering, when you detect an early robo + twilight with your reaper, do you always assume it’s a big 5 min push (typically with blink stalker, or with chargelots)? In the past when I saw that i continued with my normal 3-mine drop into 3-1-1, but I’m wondering if that was a mistake and I should have made tanks to defend

    Original article:
  • Terran vs. Terran Guide
    This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone or spelling. You can assist by editing it now.

    Like all mirror match ups, wins in Terran vs. Terran are determined by a player’s ability to react to their opponent and adapt.

    Branch I: Two Factory Pressure[edit]

    This build allows for early game aggression, and has been a staple build in this match-up for years.

    Map considerations:

    • Short paths between the bases, so that the first few Vultures can punish Economy builds.

    Initial Build Order[edit]

    The initial build order listed here is the most common Two Factory opening. Note that this build, like all builds in this article, are printed assuming that the build is the most viable option. Be sure to check the Adaptations section of this article and the Terran vs. Terran Timing article to see the best options for coping with different scenarios.

    • 9/10 – Supply Depot
    • 11/18 – Barracks – One Marine only
    • 11/18 – Refinery
    • 15/18 or 16/18 – Supply Depot
    • 15/26 or 16/26 – Factory
    • @100% Factory – Vulture and then Machine Shop
    • 18/26 – Factory
    • @100% Factory – Machine Shop
    • 23/26 – Supply Depot
    • @100% Machine Shop – Research Speed and mines and pump Vultures
    • 28/34 – Supply Depot
    • Attack when you have 6-8 Vultures

    Intermediate Goals[edit]

    The whole point of the Two Factory is it allows you to be aggressive in the early game, and try to punish any Tech heavy build. It allows you to take initiative, and at the very least be in a strong position if your opponent went One Factory Fast Expand. If your opponent also went Two Factory you can win with better micro or back off and try to Tech faster.

    The next steps in the game are:

    1. Make sure that your opponent is punished if they took a Tech lead.
    2. Choose the next transition
    3. Scout your opponent

    It is important to remember that while a Two Factory build is effective against both a Fast Expand and a Tech build, One Starport Wraiths will come back to haunt a Two Factory build if a player is not careful. As always, scouting is key. Once Terran is able to implement their Vulture rush they should move to take their Natural Expansion and transition to mid game.

    Transition I: Starport First[edit]

    A fast Starport against a One Factory Fast Expand or a fellow Two Factory build can be an effective early to mid-game strategy as it opens up a variety of options for Terran to implement:

    • Wraith or Cloaked Wraith play
    • Early Dropship Play
    • A hidden island expansion

    As with most options in mirror match ups these choices offer a spectrum of options ranging from aggressive to defensive to economical. It is important however that Terran know the repercussions for following one of these paths as they may cause interesting game variations down the line.

    Mid Game Wraiths[edit]

    Mid Game Wraiths are meant to prevent the movement of an opponent’s army by either making Dropship use ineffective or by using Cloak to slow down ground forces, and forcing them to build more Goliaths, which are weak against tanks. They can also be used to harass mineral lines, though this ability is limited in Mid Game by the amount of detection players are likely to have. Wraiths are not usually meant as a killing blow in Mid Game unless an opponent attempts something unorthodox like a double expand. Once Terran is able to implement a harass or a contain they will need to transition by taking a Third Gas Expansion and moving to Late Game Tech.

    Mid Game Dropship[edit]

    While Terran vs Terran revolves around Dropship play this usually does not come until Late game. Terran can throw a curve ball and make use of things like high ground for Siege Tanks by playing with early Dropships. The drawback to this is that their opponent can play some kind of Five Factory build and with more units cause some damage to a Terran’s economy. Fast Dropships are meant as a defensive play, though dropping expansions can be a good screen for taking the Third Gas Expansion.

    Island Expansion[edit]

    By using fast Dropships Terran can move to take a very fast Third Gas Expansion in order to gain a swift economic advantage. A fast Island is viable against an opponent that is unwilling to scout or adapt their build. Terran can however run into some trouble if their Fast Third is scouted or their opponent attempts a Five Factory push, a build meant to punish a fast expansion.

    Transition II: Five Factory Play[edit]

    Rather than opting for mid game Tech Terran can instead choose to put the pressure on again in mid game by quickly moving to five factory play. Applying early mid game pressure can be a great way of punishing greedy economic or Tech builds as well as provide a good screen for taking a Third Gas Expansion and transitioning into late game. Terran is also able to use a Five Factory Timing Push in order to pressure an opponent playing a Tech build or punish a Fast Third Expansion. While Five Factory play is an aggressive build it is probably the closest to being considered “Standard Play.”

    Branch II: One Factory Fast Expand[edit]

    The one Factory Fast Expand build is fairly standard, and has a few distinct variations. Below is the build that is the most common (Machine Shop before Expansion) with others being listed under One Factory Fast Expand.

    Initial Build Order[edit]

    • 9/10 – Supply Depot
    • 12/18 – Barracks
    • 12/18 – Refinery
    • 15/18 – Supply Depot
    • 16/26 – Factory, take 2 SCVs off gas
    • 20/26 – Machine Shop, put 2 SCVs back on gas
    • 22/26 – Siege Tank and Siege Mode Upgrade
    • 23/26 – Supply Depot
    • 28/34 – Command Center
    • 28/44 – Supply Depot
    • 32/52 – Factory

    Note that this build assumes that you will not be pressured with a Marine Vulture Rush. In this case Terran will need to build more Marines in order to hold their ramp. As with all mirror match ups it important to be able to react to your opponent. Siege mode upgrade can be delayed for a faster command center if there is no threat of a committed rush or contain.

    Alternative Build Order[edit]

    • 9/10 – Supply Depot
    • 12/18 – Barracks, build 2 marines, lift to scout when done
    • 12/18 – Refinery
    • 15/18 – Supply Depot
    • 16/26 – Factory, take 2 SCVs off gas, build vulture when factory done
    • 21/26 – Command Center
    • 24/36 – Factory + Machine shop on first factory
    • 26/36 Academy and Armory
    • 28/36 Tank

    Note that the supply stop at 26 is very important for this build to work. This allows you to transition into the mid game as quick as possible with the minimum amount of units to defend everything. The Academy and Armory provide wraith defense and the quick two factories should deter a 2 factory rush. This requires being able to micro well because scouting is given up for preparation for all scenarios. The low SCV count is a definite drawback to this build order, but the tech, expansion, and factory count make it worth the loss.

    Intermediate Goals[edit]

    Because One Factory FE is sort of a middle of the road build it is important that Terran makes use of the versatility of being able to play a more aggressive or a more economical build by scouting their opponent. For instance, If Terran scouts an even faster expansion they can switch over to a two factory build or use Siege Tanks and Vultures to contain their opponent’s Natural expansion. Alternatively if Terran scouts a Tech build (like one Starport Wraiths) Terran can take a faster expansion and get detection/anti air before their opponent can make use of their Wraiths. Adaptation and versatility are key in StarCraft, even more so in the mirror match ups.

    The next steps in the game are:

    1. Make sure that your opponent is punished if they took a Tech lead.
    2. Choose the next transition
    3. Scout your opponent

    Transition I: Starport First[edit]

    Mid Game Wraiths[edit]

    Mid Game Wraiths are meant to prevent the movement of an opponent’s army and by either making Dropship use ineffective or by using cloak to slow down ground forces. They can also be used to harass mineral lines, though this ability is limited in Mid Game by the amount of detection players are likely to have. Another very common use for wraiths is sniping tanks. This early in the game, you need 3 sieged tank shots to kill one tank. However, the first two tank shots leaves the first tank with about 14 health, so this makes using wraiths extremely useful. Wraiths are not usually meant as a killing blow in Mid Game unless an opponent attempts something unorthodox like a double expand. Once Terran is able to implement a harass or a contain they will need to transition by taking third Third Gas Expansion and moving to Late Game Tech.

    Mid Game Dropship[edit]

    While Terran vs Terran revolves around Dropship play this usually does not come until Late game. Terran can throw a curve ball and make use of things like high ground for Siege Tanks by playing with early Dropships. The draw back to this is that their opponent can play some kind of Five Factory build and with more units cause some damage to a Terran’s economy. Fast Dropships are meant as a defensive play, though dropping expansions can be a good screen for taking the Third Gas Expansion. The port is built right after you finish the second factory or whenever you have enough gas to start it after you are massing tanks. You should have enough gas after you have 4-5 tanks if you are mining from two refineries. After that, 2 more factories are added after the first Dropship for a grand total of 4 factories and 2 shops.

    Island Expansion[edit]

    By using fast Dropships Terran can move to take a very fast Third Gas Expansion in order to gain a swift economic advantage. A fast Island is viable against an opponent that is unwilling to scout or adapt their build. Terran can however run into some trouble if their Fast Third is scouted or their opponent attempts a five factory push, a build meant to punish a fast expansion.

    Transition II Five Factory Play[edit]

    Rather than opting for mid game Tech Terran can instead choose to put the pressure on again in mid game by quickly moving to five factory play. Applying early mid game pressure can be a great way of punishing greedy economic or Tech builds as well as provide a good screen for taking a Third Gas Expansion and transitioning into late game. Terran is also able to use a Five Factory Timing Push in order to pressure an opponent playing a Tech build or punish a Fast Third Expansion. While Five Factory play is an Aggressive build it is probably the closest to being considered “Standard Play.”

    Three Factory Play[edit]

    Trying to get 5 factories up and running quickly usually means sacrificing map control, economy, unit count, or a combination of the three. In order to avoid this easily exploited timing, many Terrans have opted for using vultures and 3 factories to secure map control with mass vultures. After the initial 1facFE, you add your third factory a little after you have started your 2nd factory. This will allow you to quickly mass vultures, secure a 3rd expansion, and also provides extra gas for upgrades and more factories. After this opening, the most common follow up is a 6 Factory mass with 3 shops, massing tanks and Goliaths. Usually, this is done with one shop with your initial 3 factories, with speed upgraded first and then mines. Upgrading speed first maintains map control a little more efficiently than mines and it threatens the opponent with a back stab, which provides time to upgrade mines. This doesn’t work as well if mines are upgraded first.

    Branch III: One Starport Wraiths[edit]

    TvT allows a Terran Tech build to be viable. You can choose to Tech past Factory units and straight to Wraiths or Cloaked Wraiths at the expense of taking a faster expansion. A Tech build can be a good alternative to a One Factory Fast Expand against a Two Factory build if Terran is able to hold their ramp (or choke.) Once Wraiths come out Terran is able to abuse an Aggressive build as their opponent attempts to take their Natural Expansion without any anti air.

    Initial Build Order[edit]

    The initial build order listed here is the most common One Starport opening. Note that this build, like all builds in this article are printed assuming that the build is the most viable option. Be sure to check the Adaptations section of this article and the Terran vs. Terran Timing article to see the best options for coping with different scenarios.

    • 9/10 – Depot
    • 12/18 – Barracks
    • 12/18 – Refinery
    • 15/18 – Supply Depot
    • 16/26 – Factory
    • @100% Factory – Vulture and Machine Shop
    • 24/26 – Starport
    • 24/26 – Supply Depot
    • @100% Starport – Control Tower or Wraith
    • 28/34 – Supply Depot

    Intermediate Goals[edit]

    Playing a Tech build in a mirror match up can be tricky business. If an opponent is aware far enough in advance that Terran will be attempting a One Starport build they can either prepare defenses such that the build will be ineffective or simply run them over with a two/three Factory build. Because of this, Terran might end up having to bail out of a one Starport opening if their opponent is bringing too much pressure. As with all mirror match ups, it is important for a player to remain versatile lest they be defeated by their own inability to adapt.

    The next steps in the game are:

    1. Make sure that your opponent is punished if they took a tech lead.
    2. Choose the next transition
    3. Scout your opponent

    Transition I: Starport First[edit]

    Mid Game Wraiths[edit]

    If a Terran opened with One Starport Wraiths, continuing such a build in mid game is not really a viable option. There are, as with all things in Mirror Match ups, a few exceptions to this. If opening without cloak, it is possible to upgrade cloak, and to go 2 starport wraiths. This can occur if the opponent is not making a move to get detection, hopefully because Terran was able to make their opponent think that the danger of Wraiths had ended. Other than that, Terran should be moving towards playing Factory units at this point unless they plan on making Battlecruisers.

    Mid Game Dropship[edit]

    While Terran vs Terran revolves around Dropship play this usually does not come until Late game. Terran can throw a curve ball and make use of things like high ground for Siege Tanks by playing with early Dropships. The draw back to this is that their opponent can play some kind of Five Factory build and with more units cause some damage to a Terran’s economy. An additional drawback exists in playing Dropships in mid game after a Wraith Opening as Terran’s opponent will be playing with early anti air out and may even expect fast Dropships. Fast Dropships are meant as a defensive play, though dropping expansions can be a good screen for taking the Third Gas Expansion.

    Island Expansion[edit]

    By using fast Dropships Terran can move to take a very fast Third Gas Expansion in order to gain a swift economic advantage. A fast Island is viable against an opponent that is unwilling to scout or adapt his build. Terran can however run into some trouble if their Fast Third is scouted or their opponent attempts a five factory push, a build meant to punish a fast expansion. Furthermore, playing a fast island expansion build after One Starport Wraiths can be somewhat of a double edged sword. While Terran’s opponent will be less likely to play with Starport units themselves, making them less likely to be able to scout or engage an island expansion Terran is still likely to be somewhat at an economic disadvantage coming off of a one Starport build and delaying unit production even further by taking a fast third expansion may put them too far behind to recover.

    Transition II: Five Factory Play[edit]

    Rather than opting for mid game Tech Terran can instead choose to put the pressure on again in mid game by quickly moving to five factory play. Applying early mid game pressure can be a great way of punishing greedy economic or Tech builds as well as provide a good screen for taking a Third Gas Expansion and transitioning into late game. Terran is also able to use a Five Factory Timing Push in order to pressure an opponent playing a Tech build or punish a Fast Third Expansion. While Five Factory play is an aggressive build it is probably the closest to being considered “Standard Play.”

    Branch IV: Cheeses[edit]

    Cheeses are defined as builds that are pre-planned, and that have a high probability of winning if not scouted, but are defendable if they are. Certain Cheese builds are therefore usually considered all-in, and a scouted or failed cheese usually leaves the aggressor too far behind to catch up. Other Cheese builds can give the aggressor a huge advantage if successful, but won’t lose them the game immediately if failed.

    Proxy Double Barracks Build Order (Barracks-Barracks-Supply BBS for short):

    • 8/10 – Send 7th SCV to proxy location (Map specific, bigger map may require earlier SCV)
    • 8/10 – Send 8th SCV to proxy location (Again map specific, some maps may require LATER SCV)
    • 8/10 – @ usually 150+ minerals, construct 1st barracks with 7th SCV (priority on making barrack @ proxy location)
    • 8/10 – @ 150 mineral, construct 2nd barracks with 8th SCV
    • @50 mineral – construct 1 SCV
    • 9/10 – @ 100 mineral, construct supply
    • @1st barracks finish – Marine, 7th SCV scout
    • @2nd barracks finish – Marine, 8th SCV scout

    Supply depot finishes when 2nd barracks is online. Continue marine production, and when there are extra minerals, construct 2nd supply. If your opponent hasn’t scouted you by now, move your marines into position after a group of 4 or 5 (critical number for killing defensive SCVs). Apply offensive bunker with initial scouting SCVs.

    To insure a higher success of this build, make sure to kill any SCVs that are constructing bunkers. Because SCVs have 60 health, make sure that before reaching 8+ marines, run away from enemy SCV surrounds. Finally, kill any SCVs that are constructing factories.

    This strategy is countered by:

    – 1 bunker (Hard counter)

    – SCV defense

    – vultures (if factory is allowed to finish)

    8-Rax-Mech: (Similar to TvZ 8-Rax-Mech)

    • 8/10 – immediately send 7th SCV to proxy location (Map specific, bigger map may require earlier SCV)
    • 8/10 – construct barrack at proxy location
    • @50 mineral – continue SCV production
    • @100 mineral – construct supply depot
    • @barracks finish – Marine, SCV scout
    • 15/18 – Gas
    • @gas finish – 1 SCV to Gas
    • @100 gas – Factory
    • @Factory finish – vulture
    • after 1 vulture – Machine shop

    This build creates marines at the same time as the BBS build, and with the initial SCV can usually put out harass damage if your opponent skipped building extra marines. The goal of this build is to get your opponent to pull SCVs to defend a BBS build, and to possibly kill the SCV constructing factories (most Ideal). The number of marines to build for the first attack is up to whether your opponent is successful at deflecting your attack: the better he does, the less marines you should build. With your 1st vulture you should harass workers if possible, but if your opponent has defended well, wait for mines and set up contain.

    This strategy is countered by:

    – Successful Defense (Bunker might actually put the defense behind because it’s not required to stop 1 proxy barrack)

    – decent defense transitioned into double factory (tech advantage will allow him to push back easily)

    In this match-up it is very difficult to cheese, have the cheese fail, and then come back to win the game. On the other hand, Cheeses can be very powerful, and can lead to victory easily if your opponent does not scout correctly.


    • 9/10 – Supply Depot
    • 11/18 – Barracks – One Marine only
    • 11/18 – Refinery
    • 15/18 or 16/18 – Supply Depot
    • 15/26 or 16/26 – Factory
    • @100% Factory – Vulture and then Machine Shop
    • 18/26 – Factory
    • @100% Factory
    • 23/26 – Supply Depot
    • @100 gas – 3rd Factory
    • @100% Machine Shop – Research Speed and mines and pump Vultures

    This build, on maps without ramp chokes, is a hard counter to 1-fact expand. On maps with chokes it will generally stop 1-fact expand and allow very easy containment. The 1st vulture should make sure no scout arrives at natural to check for an expansion, and the rest of the vultures should be hidden as well as possible. Once speed finishes, rush opponent with vultures.

    While tanks can stop vultures easily, the speedy production and reinforcement of vultures can overwhelm 1-factory tank builds. Once mines finish researching, they should be placed as close to your opponent as possible, allowing you to get expansion up before your opponent.

    This strategy is countered by:

    – well placed bunker (vultures do 1/4 damage to buildings)

    – 2 factory expand (may put you behind way to much economically)

    – 1 base wraith build (Hard counter if it’s two starports)

    Original article:
  • The Best Starcraft 2 Strategies for Beginners

    Starcraft 2 Strategy Secrets

    Many new players to Starcraft 2 multiplayer mistakeningly think that good Starcraft 2 players are good because of their ability to think up awesome grand strategies. In truth this is only a minor part of being good at Starcraft 2. Yes, creating a wonderful and unexpected strategy can really destroy your opponent, but you can’t do that until you develop more basic Starcraft 2 strategies.

    Below are some extremely basic strategy concepts that you should keep in mind whenever playing the game in ranked play. If you are able to master these basics you’ll already be better than average and well on your way to the upper leagues.


    Starcraft 2 is a fast game. The speed is part of the challenge. Most new players find themselves easily overwhelmed by the speed, resulting in a massive stack of resources that isn’t getting spent. They can’t execute any strategy at all – they freeze up.

    The best way to counteract this is to create a system in your head. The first thing you should do in every game is assign your main building structure (Nexus, etc) to a hotkey. You should also do this for every category of unit producing structure. For example, I play Protoss. I usually put my Nexus on hotkey 4, my Gateways/Warp Gates on 5, my Robotics Bay on 6 and my Stargate on 7.

    Once you have these structures you can begin to cycle through them. If I am ever idle in the game I immediately hit 4 to see if I am building workers. If not, I put some in queue. Then I hit 5 to see if I’m making units. Then I hit 6, and so on.

    As you develop a better ability to focus you should begin trying to do this all the time, even in battles. But don’t get ahead of yourself. SImply making sure that you hotkey your structures and developing a habit of checking in on them will give you an edge.

    But don’t build everything!

    Starcraft 2 Strategy Guide

    New players often use very grand Starcraft 2 strategies. This is why low-level replays usually consist of two players building their bases for thirty minutes before venturing out to test the enemy defenses. Each player is trying to develop the perfect combination of units and upgrades.

    There are two problems with this. The first is that the tech structures required cost time and resources. This is not SimCity. Your very nice base can easily be dismantled by a player who has devoted resources to building units instead of teching up.

    The second is that new players don’t really have the skill required to handle many different units at once. Let’s imagine two forces. One consists of Marine and Marauders. The other consists of Marines, Marauders, Siege Tanks, Banshees, and Medivacs. Which is easier to control?

    A simple strategy is often the best strategy for new players. Instead of trying to build everything, just try to build a few units. For example, I might decide that I’m going to build nothing but Stalkers the entire game. That’s it. It seems silly, but by doing this I can devote more attention to using what I have effectively. If you manage to become a real pro at Starcarft 2 you will, of course, be able to use all kinds of units at once. But until then, keep thing simple.

    The Timing Push

    Starcraft 2 Multiplayer Strategy

    One very popular Starcraft 2 strategy that new players can easily execute is the timing push.

    The timing push is simply an attack that takes place at a time that is beneficial for you. For example, let’s say that you are researching a +1 armor upgrade early in the game. Obviously you don’t want to attack before the upgrade is finished – your units wouldn’t gain the benefit of it. But you don’t want to wait forever because your enemy will probably be doing research as well, negating your advantage. The key is to attack as soon as the upgrade is finished.

    Timing pushes are also frequently used in conjunction with expansions. For example, let’s say you want to expand to your closest (natural) expansion. Sending out an attack while you are building your expansion is often a good idea. It makes it harder for your enemy to expand, makes it less likely your opponent will be able to scout your expansion, and prevents the enemy from attacking your expansion without warning.


    Starcraft 2 Multiplayer Guide

    New players rarely rush because rushing can be very risky. If you rush out and attack you may win – but you may lose. There is an immediate chain of events that is easily to recognize. You rush. You engage your opponent. You win or lose.

    What new players rarely realize is that attacking, risky though it may be, is the only way to gain a significant advantage over your opponent. That dosen’t mean you should commit to stupid attacks (if your enemy has five siege tanks on the high ground and you have a bunch of Marines, back off) but it does mean you should put the pressure on your opponent.

    You can win many low-league matches almost by default if you are fairly aggressive. Build a small force in the early game. Push out and attack. Your opponent will be doing one of two things: teching up or building defenses. If they’re teching you can just destroy them in most games. If they’re playing defensively you simply have to harass them while taking over the map. This is called map control.

    Either way, you win, and you’ll be able to rank up quickly.

    Original article:
  • Builds for Beginners and Intermediate Players

    Some readers asked me for an updated version of the one build for three match-ups I posted previously. There is also an increase in demand for beginner builds on /r/allthingsterran recently. This post covers builds for beginners and intermediate players.


    The biggest challenge to create simple builds for so-called “less advance” players is to ensure it is the optimal difficulty for learning. One feedback I had for the last one build for three match-ups build is the difficulty of switching add-ons. Others had also mentioned about the difficulty to understand how different tech units work together. This got me thinking about the premise I had, which was to provide a stepping stone for players to understand the key aspects of Terran builds in general.

    Most “standard” builds start with a Reaper expand into 1-1-1. Getting comfortable with this set up was the goal of my previous beginner build, but a 1-1-1 set up inevitably involves switching add-ons and managing tech units. After all, flexibility with add-ons is the main strength of 1-1-1.

    My solution is to have two builds; one for beginners and one for intermediate players.


    The motivation behind these builds is to allow newer players to start from something simple and then progress to more difficult builds. Newer players can start from the beginner build and move on to the intermediate build.

    These builds are designed to be used in all three match-ups. If you can point out the weaknesses of the builds in selective match-ups, then you are not the target audience. Using one build for three match-ups is an effective way to learn for beginners.

    The two builds share the following common features:

    • One Barracks expand
    • Bio composition
    • Converge to a 3-1-1
    • Move out when Stim is ready

    One Barracks expand is a staple of Terran builds. It is almost impossible to play with one base in Legacy of the Void, so even beginners need to get comfortable with macro-ing on two bases.

    Terran can use either bio or mech as the main composition in all match-ups. I believe bio is easier to learn and execute than mech for newer players. Mech production requires decision making. For instance, one needs to decide whether to produce Siege Tank, Cyclone, or Thor with the Factory on Tech Lab. With bio, the production buildings and add-ons automatically decide the unit ratio.

    The 3-1-1 convergent point is extremely crucial. Players using this build should keep in mind that this set of structure is the goal of the builds.

    Stim upgrade completion is an easy-to-follow check point that signifies to the player it is time to move out and attack. It is an important power spike that every Terran player needs to be familiar with.

    I break the build orders into different blocks for easier learning (for reference).

    Beginner build

    Build order

    Opening block – One Barracks expand

    14 – Supply Depot
    16 – Barracks
    16 – Refinery
    @100% Barracks – Reactor and Orbital Command
    @400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
    @100 mineral – Supply Depot

    Build block – Three Barracks then Factory and Starport

    @150 mineral – Barracks (second)
    @100% Reactor – 2x Marine (continuous Marine production)
    @100% Supply Depot – Bunker
    @150 mineral – Barracks (third)
    @100% Barracks (second) – Tech Lab
    @100% Tech Lab – Stim
    @100% Barracks (third) – Reactor, Supply Depot, and Refinery
    Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter
    @150 mineral – Factory
    @125 mineral – Engineering Bay (@100% – +1 Infantry Attack)
    @100% Factory – Reactor and Starport
    @100% Starport – Swap Starport onto Factory’s Reactor for 2x Medivac; 2x Refinery; Tech Lab with Factory


    The primary goal of this build is to help players get comfortable macro-ing on two bases. As mentioned at the start of the article, 1-1-1 maybe too difficult for beginners, so this build goes for a simple three Barracks path. After you have executed the opening block, you put down two more Barracks when you can afford. You add add-ons to all three Barracks right when they are completed, so there is no add-on switching. You simply focus on making Scvs and Marines at the start.

    The only tricky part of the build is the Factory and Starport. You almost always want to have Medivacs when you move out with Stim. A common way to get that is to have the Factory to build the Reactor for the Starport, so you can produce two Medivacs at the same time later.

    You focus on powering up with as many Marines as possible, and you can use Marines to defend before you are ready to move out. You move out when you have two Medivacs and Stim. You can later add a third Command Centre and two more Barracks to converge to the standard 5-1-1 on three bases. The Tech Lab on Factory is designed to allow you to add Siege Tank in the mid game. No decision is required for production. You just keep making Marines, Siege Tanks, and Medivacs.


    Build order

    Opening block – One Barracks expand

    14 – Supply Depot
    16 – Barracks
    16 – Refinery
    @100% Barracks – Reaper and Orbital Command
    @400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
    @100 mineral – Supply Depot
    @100% Reaper – Marine

    Build block – 1-1-1 then two more Barracks

    @100 gas – Factory
    @100% Supply Depot – Bunker
    @100% Marine – Reactor
    @75 mineral – Refinery
    @100% Factory – Starport; Tech Lab on Factory
    @100% Reactor – 2x Marine (constant Marine production)
    @100% Tech Lab – Cyclone
    @100% Starport – Barracks (second), Viking, and Supply Depot
    Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter
    @100% Cyclone – Lift Factory to build a Tech Lab
    @100% Viking – Reactor and Barracks (third)
    @100% Barracks (second) – Place it on the unused Tech Lab and upgrade Stim; Engineering Bay; Refinery
    @100% Tech Lab – Siege Tank (constant Siege Tank production whenever you can afford)
    @100% Barracks (third) – Lift Starport to build another Reactor; Place Barracks (third) on the unused Reactor
    @100% Engineering Bay – +1 Infantry Attack
    @100% Reactor – 2x Medivac


    This is a step up from the beginner build earlier. The opening uses a Reaper instead of a immediate Reactor. Reaper expand is undoubtedly the opening to learn, so it is a natural progression from the Reaper-less one Barracks expand opening. The default Barracks production sequence for a 16 Refinery Reaper expand is Reaper-Marine-Reactor (learn more here).

    The build converges to the same 3-1-1 set up, but this tech up to 1-1-1 before adding more Barracks. There are countless options with a 1-1-1 set up, and I pick Cyclone and Viking for this build. The rationale is to not diverge away from the beginner’s build in regards to the general focus. You still focus on powering up by producing as many units as possible, but you can now use Marines, Cyclone, and Viking to defend. I decide not to include a harassment option (e.g., Widow Mine drop), so you can focus on macro. Just a side note, you can use the Viking to hunt Overlords in TvZ, because you won’t need a Viking to defend in the early game against Zerg.

    The relatively complex add-on switching is intentional. Add-on switching is an integral aspect of Terran, so one has to take up the challenge eventually. Nevertheless, you still end up with the same set of structures as the beginner build:

    • 3x Barracks (2x Reactor and 1x Tech Lab)
    • 1x Factory with Tech Lab
    • 1x Starport with Reactor

    Similarly, you move out when you’ve Medivacs and Stim, then you put down the same additional buildings for a macro game. You still produce Marines, Siege Tanks, and Medivacs. Once you get comfortable with this, you can move on to learn one dedicated build for each match-up. The monthly Metagame Build Orders is a good place to start.

    If you enjoyed this article, I’d love you to share it with one friend. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you really like my work, you can help to sustain the site by contributing via PayPal and Patreon. You can also support me and enjoy quality tea with a 15% discount at AFKTea by using the “TERRAN” code. See you in the next article!

    Original article:
  • Starcraft 2 Protoss Strategy Guide Protoss Builds

    Learning Build Order Strategy

    One of the most critical aspects of strategy in Starcraft 2 is your “build.” A build is simply the rough order in which you choose to construction your buildings and units.

    Having a build results in two things. First, the build gives you a basic plan. This is critical for players stuck in Bronze, who often don’t even have a plan when they go into battle. Having a build will give you more confidence and keep you from playing too passively throughout a game.

    Secondly, having a build will give you certain advantage and disadvantages as you progress throughout the game. Playing to your build’s advantages will give you an edge against your opponents.

    Before we proceed, let’s get some more technical jargon out of the way. The unit of measure in a build is usually supply. In this guide, and in general, stating that you want to get a Gateway at 13 supply means that you ideally want to build the Gateway as soon as the supply counter reaches thirteen. Also, it is assumed that your supply is increasing because you are building probes, which you should always be doing.

    Now, let’s discuss some common Protoss builds.

    Protoss Build: Early Gateway into Cybernetics Core

    Starcraft 2 Strategy

    This build requires that you build the following:

    • Pylon at 9 supply
    • Gateway at 10 supply
    • Gas at 15 supply
    • Cybernetics Core as soon as Gateway is finished

    This build calls for a Gateway at 10 supply, which is early by most standards. However, this is not a rush build. The only reason this build puts up a Gateway early is to be able to get up a Cybernetics core as quickly as possible. Usually, this means you won’t even build a Zealot before your Cybernetics Core is finished, instead cranking out a Stalker as your first offensive unit.

    The reason to go for this build is to quickly move up the tech tree. This can be very effective on large maps where you find it unlikely that your enemy will rush you. On smaller maps this build can be very iffy against Zerg and Protoss, because both races might rush you. However, this build is very effective against Terran because Terran players almost never rush unless it is with Reapers – in which case you want Stalkers as soon as possible anyway, because Zealots have no hope of chasing down a Reaper.

    Once you get out your first Stalker, where you go is up to you. Nony, a popular player, has uses a build like this to quickly tech up to Phoenixes, which can be used to pick up your opponents workers with Gravitron Beam and kill them. You might also try to do a quick Immortal drop, or make a bee-line for Colossi.

    Protoss Build: Standard One-Gate

    Starcraft 2 Gateway

    This build requires that you build the following:

    • Pylon at 9 supply
    • Gateway at 13 supply
    • Gas at 15 supply
    • Pylon at 16 supply
    • Cybernetics Core as soon as Gateway is finished

    This is a very standard build order which maximizes economy while protecting against all but the earliest rushes. The main advantage of this build is the fact that you’ll be building so many probes in the early game compared to someone who goes for a Gateway at 9 or 10 supply. This will allow you to build more units in the mid-game and make it easier for you to afford an expansion.

    You’ll also have a more diverse force with this build. Usually you’ll want to build at least two Zealots once your Gateway is up, and after your Cybernetics Core is finished you can add Stalkers and Sentries. This gives you a unit composition which works very well against enemies who is going all-in on Zealots or Zerglings. You can use Force Fields to block enemy melee units and pick them apart from afar.

    The only downside with this build is that you will be vulnerable to very early rushes. If a Zerg goes six-pool he might have Zerglings to your base before your first Zealot is done. You’ll also have a very hard time defending against a Protoss player who decides to go two-gate – you’ll have to just seal yourself in with Sentry Force Fields as soon as possible. If you can survive an early rush, however, you’ll likely win the game because your economy will be far superior.

    I highly recommend that new players just use this build. It can be exciting to rush, but the degree of unit management required for that is often too much for new players to handle. This is a simple build which results in a good economy and helps you build up your macro-management skills.

    Protoss Build: Early Two-Gate

    Starcraft 2 Forge

    This build requires that you build the following:

    • Pylon at 9 supply
    • Gateway at 10 supply
    • Gateway at 11 supply
    • Zealots as soon as possible
    • Pylon at 14 supply
    • Forge at 16 supplyGas as soon as minerals are available

    This is a very aggressive rush build. You’ll be spending a large amount of your early game resources on Gateways and Zealots, which virtually guarantees you are going to be behind economically. If this build goes well, you won’t even get to the part where you have to get a gas running, because you’ll have already won the game.

    This build is more effective against Zerg and Protoss on small 1v1 maps. It can also be effective on medium size maps with 4 spawn locations so long as you start scouting early (preferably with the scout that builds the pylon at 8 supply) and are able to find your opponent. Some players will make up for the size of the larger maps by building the gateways physically closer to the middle of the map, which is effective but requires that you plan ahead and send out probes very early to build the structures. Doing this will also really tip your hat to the opponent, since your opponent will be more likely to see your structures early on.

    Terran can give you problems with this build if they have their wall-in going. While four or six Zealots can very quickly take your a Supply Depot, you’ll be at fired upon by Marines who have cover at least until the Supply Depot goes down. And if your opponent sees what you are doing and puts a Bunker in the wall-in you could really be in trouble.

    Unit control is a very important part of this build, and if you’re a real newbie you probably shouldn’t use this build. It is very easy to become so obsessed with your rushing units that you forget to build new units for reinforcement. The Forge becomes an important part of this build if your initial rushes don’t pay off, as you can use the Forge to build cannons for defensive against a counter-attack and you can upgrade your Zealot’s weapons, which makes them much more effective overall.

    This post is part of the series: Starcraft 2 Protoss Strategy Guide

    Are you new to Starcraft 2? Do you want to learn how to play the Protoss well? This Protoss strategy guide will help you get the hang of the basics.

    1. Starcraft 2 Protoss Strategy: The Basics
    2. Protoss Builds and Strategy for Starcraft 2

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  • rallthingsprotoss – PvX

    AllThingsProtoss is a subreddit dedicated to the discussion of Starcraft 2, focusing in particular on the Protoss. Everything from the most basic of questions to complex, in-depth theorycrafting can be found here. We encourage Protoss players of all skill levels, from Bronze on up to Grandmaster and professional gamers, or players looking to switch to Protoss, to subscribe and get involved in the conversation.



    Created Feb 16, 2012
    Original article: