The recent patch gave Hellbat a buff by allowing easier transformation. I was watching INnoVation’s stream just now, and his new ideas of using the post patch Hellbat are very interesting.
Recap on the new patch
- Removed Transformation Servos upgrade
- Changed Hellion/Hellbat transform requirement to Armory
The Transformation Servos upgrade belongs to the museum (sorry, too much Hearthstone), and no one really uses it except GuMiho. This is because the blue flame upgrade is of much higher priority (both research on Tech Lab). By the time you can upgrade transformation, you will simply just produce Hellbat anyway. Hellbat is superior than Hellion as the game progresses. With this patch, the transformation is more accessible and does not crash with blue flame upgrade. This opens up to many possibilities in the early game. The most intuitive and perhaps most discussed is the possibility of transforming Hellions to Hellbat for a push at the usual 10:30 – 11:00 timing in TvZ. Indeed, it seems like TvZ is the only match up that will benefit from this patch because of the adoption of Hellions in the early game. Many suggest a Marauder, Hellbat and Medivac timing by transforming the Hellions. This is certainly a fruitful direction to look at and I expect a build designed for this in the near future. Interestingly, INnoVation has other ideas, and this is what I want to talk about.
1. Blue Flame Hellion Transformation
This is based on the fact that blue flame and transformation no longer crash. INnoVation opened up with a standard 14CC into Reactor Hellion. He takes an early second gas at 25 supply while the first Factory is building. After he swapped his Factory onto the Reactor (Hellion production), he builds a second Factory and uses the Barracks to build Tech Lab next to it. This is clearly shaping up to a blue flame build. The interesting part comes when he swapped the second Factory onto the Tech Lab for upgrade. At the same time, he puts down the Armory.
When the blue flame upgrade is done, he goes to the Zerg base and transform his Hellions to Hellbats for an attack. The result was not as effective as expected. Subsequently, it just transits to a normal game. It has the potential to just go for a run by and transform at the mineral line.
2. Constant Hellion Production
Since the end of Wings of Liberty, the standard TvZ involves having six Hellions at the beginning for zoning, scouting and denying creep. This is applicable for both 14CC and Reaper opening. For Reaper expand, you simply have Reapers with your Hellions. The traditional Reaper opening usually stop at two Reapers, but the more contemporary TvZ Reaper opening stops at three. No matter how many Reapers you produce, you still produce six Hellions because it will eat into your Barracks and bio production. That will indirectly delay your first push with Medivac and Stim. Of course, you may react accordingly to produce more Hellions if necessary.
INnoVation simply keeps producing Hellions and pressures the opponent.
He produces 10-12 Hellions. While he is pressuring with the Hellions, he lost some. At his base, he continues to shape towards the convergent point to make a push with Medivacs and Stim. Before he pushes out, he repairs his leftover eight Hellions. I notice that he built his Armory marginally quicker than the perfect timing. For clarification, in order to line up your +2/+2 right after +1/+1, the Armory starts to build at 50% of the +1/+1 upgrade. He puts down the Armory when +1/+1 is only 1/4 completed. This is to line up for the Hellbat transformation push.
The timing hits later than usual as I have mentioned earlier, but it is still early enough to be effective before 12:00.
I don’t have time to watch more, so I only pick these two out. It is obvious that the builds are still at the early developing stage, so expect improvement in his upcoming Ro16 GSL games. One thing is for sure though. Hellbatman is back.
4 thoughts on “New Hellbat Usage by INnoVation”
Thanks for this man, Ive been wondering where you have been but glad to see you still making stuff :D
Also featuring INnoVation is pretty awesome!
Yup, I’m getting more free time now. Expect more to come. Send me emails for certain things that you have observed (with vods if possible) and I will post them if relevant =)
When I first started making builds using the transform buff I also noticed that making ~10 hellions lets you put non-stop pressure for the entire early-mid game, the only problem I have is optimizing mineral and gas income so you can get:
-3 rax (total)
From what Korean terrans are doing right now, it seems like the first hellbat attack is optimal without a lot of bio and either supported by banshies, a few marauders, or the blueflame upgrade. I have a feeling more refined builds are yet to come.
Right now I prefer a vey mineral heavy alternative
One rax FE into immediate SINGLE gas to get out:
-3rd cc before factory
-Stim, double rax double ebay,
then take remaining 3 gases at once (or the second gas slightly faster lined up with stim)
The first pressure with medivacs feels very strong after harassing with 10 hellions because zerg simply cannot drone up a 3rd base vs 10 hellions without investing in considerable defenses.
The way I see your build is that it’s generally same as what INnoVation did, but you don’t open up with Reaper. Unless you do a Command Centre first, it’s extremely hard to argue that any other build is as good as Reaper opening for the current metagame. One barracks expand without Reaper is inferior to 14CC or 12/12 Reaper opening.