Bomber’s Reaper Opening for TvP

vs protoss

This post is about a TvP build used by Bomber against Creator during GSL Code S 2013 Season 2 in Group A. Bomber is perhaps one of the best TvP players, and I feel that his Reaper opening is what I’m looking for.


While 15 gas was the most popular build for TvP in recent major tournaments, Reaper openings are commonly used in the match up. Reaper openings can shape up to a various builds. The one that I’m covering in this post is basically a one barrack expand with a touch of Heart of the Swarm. One barrack expand is one of the most common build for TvP in Wings of Liberty, and it is definitely still viable. Bomber adapted to the metagame and implemented Reaper into a one barrack expand. It is important to note that Bomber may not be the first one who uses this build, but I refer to his for two reasons. One, I’m his fan. Two, he used this build for multiple games against Creator. It is more reliable when multiple games are played with the same build. More importantly, it is easier to note down the intended build order if it is perfectly executed.

Build order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barrack
  • 12 – Refinery
  • @100% Barrack – One Reaper
  • 16 – Orbital Command
  • @50 gas – Pull all scvs out of Refinery (i.e. no scvs mining gas)
  • @100% Reaper – Reactor on Barrack (@100% – constant Marine production)
  • @400 mineral – Command Centre
  • 18 – Supply Depot
  • 19 – Barrack
  • 20 – Bunker
  • @75% Barrack (the second barrack) – Put 3 scvs back into Refinery
  • @100% Barrack – Tech Lab (@100% – Stim)
  • @100% Command Centre – Orbital Command
  • Build Supply Depot when fit from here on
  • Constant Marine production
  • @200 mineral – Engineering Bay and Refinery (approximated timing)
  • @100 gas – Factory
  • @100% Refinery – +1 Attack and Refinery
  • @100% Factory – Reactor on Factory, Starport,  Barrack and Refinery
  • @300 mineral – 2x Barracks
  • @100% Starport – Swap Starport onto the Reactor built by the Factory – 2x Medivac
  • @100% Stim – Combat Shield and Marauder production from the Barrack with Tech Lab
  • @100% Barrack (third) – Tech Lab
  • @100% 2x Barracks (fourth and fifth) – Tech Lab (@100% – Concussive Shell) and Reactor
  • @100% +1 Attack – +1 Armor

Move out when the first two Medivacs are out. Build a third Command Centre while moving out.


The build basically shapes up into standard bio play for a TvP. It opens up with a 12/12 Reaper Opening. The key part of the opening is pulling scvs out of the Refinery when there is 50 gas for the Reactor, which makes it a variation of one Barrack gasless expand. If the scvs stay in the Refinery, a Factory has to be built in order for the build order to make sense. Subsequently, the best variation will be a 1-1-1 with Widow Mine drop. Personally, I think that Widow Mine drop is less effective now since Protoss players have adapted to it.

It is definitely better to mine that extra 50 gas for the Reactor instead of pulling scvs out to have just enough gas for the Reaper only. Since you have invested in the Refinery early, it is more economical to get the Reactor on it rather than building another Barrack.

I must highlight the timing of the second Supply Depot. It is built after the Command Centre. If you want to build two or more Reapers, say TvZ or TvT, the Supply Depot has to be built before the Command Centre. Since the Reactor takes time to build, it is better to build the Supply Depot after the Command Centre. If you know about the two Barracks pressure TvP build, this is basically applying the same logic. I notice that even some GM players do not do what Bomber did. It is minor, but it is good to know.

The next thing to note is when do you put the scvs back into the Refinery. Bomber did not follow the above build order perfectly, and vary slightly here and there due to his Reaper micro etc. In line with what I mentioned earlier, it is better to look at multiple games played by the same player using the same build since you can craft out the build order better. The timing that you put scvs back can vary a little as long as you can build the Tech Lab when the second Barrack finishes.

There is a reason why the third barrack is not built earlier as it should if you follow the general build order of a one barrack gasless expand. The first barrack has a Reactor on it, and hence, it equates to two Barracks without add-on. The rest of the build is self-explanatory. Although it is a Reaper opening, the move out timing of two Medivacs is close to one Barrack expand.

Although many will say that the fourth and fifth Barrack can be a third Command Centre, I think it is better to get the additional Barracks first. The Ignite Afterburners encourage more aggressive play in the mid game. I think it is better to make use of the time window with more aggressive drop play before Protoss’ tech kicks in.


The Reaper is a key component of this build. Bomber managed to kill quite a number of Probes in the games against Creator, which shouldn’t happen normally. The Reaper allows you to scout beyond the first scv scout. It makes it more awkward for the Protoss player to all-in, as they are flipping the coin to assume that the Reaper will not be able to scout it.

After Bomber scouted around the map with the Reaper and found a Pylon (fake all-in) in “game 1” against Creator (they played 6 games), he immediately built two more Bunkers. While in “game 2”, Bomber positioned his Marines accordingly after scouted the Stargate with Reaper. This demonstrates the benefit of this build compared to a traditional one Barrack expand.

I am not sure if Bomber’s 2x Ghosts, 6x Vikings and scv train are a “reaction”, as I believe it is planned to a large extend.


This is the contemporary one barrack expand build. If you like one barrack expand, this is definitely for you.

vod button


6 thoughts on “Bomber’s Reaper Opening for TvP

  1. I’m very glad to find this as it helps me a lot!
    one question about the timings: how can you get off stim+factory+ +1 attack with only one refinery? I tried it but I find me missing about 100 gas
    Help would be aprecciated

  2. The build order shows that all four refineries of the two bases are taken before the move out timing. You should have sufficient gas to get those upgrades.

    @200 mineral – Engineering Bay and Refinery (approximated timing)
    @100 gas – Factory
    @100% Refinery – +1 Attack and Refinery
    @100% Factory – Reactor on Factory, Starport, Barrack and Refinery

  3. I used this build as my standard TVP opener; however, i find it really hard to deal with 10 gate fast pressure as my bunker wont be ready when the first zealot comes. Any suggestion for how to deal with this kind of poke. Thank you very much for answering.

    1. By “10 gate early Zealot poke”, I suppose you’re referring to an early chrono-boosted Zealot without proxy.

      For a normal Reaper opening in TvP, do not build your command centre at the low ground. This is because you will be very vulnerable to early Zealot, Stalker and MSC pressure. If you follow the build order and build the bunker on top of your ramp, you should be safe.

      When you see the Zealot, you can kite it with your Reaper. If the Zealot really gets to your base much earlier than expected, you have to pull a few SCVs accordingly and attack with the Reaper.

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