Flash has been doing a weird opening for TvP on Whirlwind lately. It involves getting a pair of Reapers from an early reactor. I cannot really make sense out of it.
Build order (Basic)
10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barrack (@100% – Reactor)
12 – Refinery
15 – Orbital Command
16 – Supply Depot
@100% Reactor – 2x Reaper
@400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
@100 gas – Factory then Supply Depot
@100% 2x Reaper – Marine production
@75 mineral – Refinery
Build Supply Depots accordingly.
The build order diverge from here.
@100% Factory – Starport. Produce 2x Widow Mine
@100 gas – Armory
@100% Starport – Medivac
@100 mineral – Bunker
@100% 2nd Widow Mine – Swap Factory on Reactor for Hellbat production. Build Tech Lab on Barrack.
@100% Factory – Starport, and swap Factory on the Reactor to produce Hellions.
Constant Marine production
@100 gas – Armory
@100% Starport – Medivac (Cancelled and produce Viking*)
After 6x Hellions – 2x Widow Mine, then 2x Hellbat
The interesting part about this build is the production of Reapers from the reactor. 12/12 barrack refinery is a standard Reaper opening build order, as you will have 50 gas when barrack finishes. Flash builds a reactor using that 50 gas instead of the Reaper. Then, interestingly, he gets two Reapers when the reactor is done.
First of all, it is considered to be risky as you do not have any units until the two Reapers, which do not exactly help much if things do not go your way. Another issue with this build is the timing of the Reapers. That is the reason why Flash only does it on Whirlwind.
For standard 12/12 Reaper build, the Reaper can get into opponent’s base and scout without any difficulty as there is nothing to stop it but a Zealot. By producing Reapers after the reactor is built, the delayed Reapers cannot get any scouting information since the Mothership Core and Stalker will be positioned at the entrance. I simply cannot make sense out of this. The best reason I can give is to gain map control with that two Reapers. But there are better options for map control. For both games, Flash did a poke at the front with the Reapers and the rest of the units. Do the Reapers make a difference? I will say no. I rather do a standard one Reaper production and follow up with a reactor. Marine production starts the same time for both variations as both require a round of Reaper production and the construction of the reactor. Thus, the reason to have more units at that point seems unconvincing.
Bong’s Probe scouted the 12/12 barrack refinery timing. Flash then did this build. I thought the production of Reapers from reactor was improvised on the spot. That is, Flash wanted to trick the opponent that he wasn’t getting a Reaper but mass Marines early on instead by getting the Reactor. Based on his game against Jangbi, it seems like that was a planned build order.
Flash forced the activation of nexus cannon at the natural by poking with the two Reapers and some Marines. This makes his Widow Mine drop follow up in the main more effective. He then followed up with a Hellbat drop. After his Hellbat drop, he dropped with his bio.
Simply outplayed Bong.
Flash produced Hellions after Reapers. I believe he wanted to force a nexus cannon with the units poking from the front, before a two pronged attack with a drop in the main. However, his plan was disrupted by Jangbi’s Oracle as he was forced to cancel his Medivac and produce a Viking since he had all his units at opponent’s natural entrance. Flash reacted by attacking right up front with the Reapers, Marines and Hellions. I would have done the same thing instinctively as you are forced to deal damage at his end since he has the Oracle in your base. However, instead of using the units at the front to bait the nexus cannon, they are actually engaging with the nexus cannon active at the natural. It definitely didn’t go well for Flash.
The momentum was favorable to Jangbi after that trade, and it just snowballed down until Flash tapped out.
I just cannot appreciate the two delay Reapers. But I like the idea of forcing a nexus cannon before doing a two pronged attack by dropping in the main. I am going to adapt this concept in the basic one Reaper opening and Widow Mine drop follow up for TvP.