TaeJa’s Gas First TvP Aggression (Part 2)

taejatvp

Taeja’s gas first TvP aggression build is so successful and celebrated that the build has been well studied and countered by Protoss.  Despite this, Taeja continues to mix this unique build in his games, but with a twist.

Background

This build is more than a year old. I didn’t realise how old it is until I search it in Terrancraft itself. I blogged about this build on 15 August 2013, and it has often been cited whenever someone asked for help in TvP on reddit (thanks!). I will not go too in depth about it in this post, as you can read it HERE. You must read this before you continue to read further.

Long story short, this build is different from any typical TvP build (i.e., macro-oriented opening), and opts for early aggression before transiting into a standard macro game. Since this build relies on the surprise factor to a large extent, it is usually done on a four player map. In another word, you hope that the Probe does not get into your base before your first Marine denies the scout.

However, the Probe may still be able to scout your opening, depending on spawn location and scouting route. Subsequently, with the information, Protoss can defend this build easily and Terran will be behind because the aggression achieved little. This post is about how to react when Protoss scouted this build.

Original build order

10 – Supply depot
12 – Refinery
13 – Barracks (@100% – Marine and Factory)
16 – Orbital command
@100 mineral – Supply depot

Constant Marine production

@100% Factory – Widow Mine and Starport
25 – Supply depot
@100% Starport – Medivac
@100% Widow Mine – Hellion (produce two)
32 – Supply depot

@100% Medivac – Load up 1x Widow Mine and 6x Marine. Build a reactor on Barracks
@400 mineral – Command centre

Drop with Widow Mine and Marine. Hellions move in to the Protoss base accordingly.

Units at this point

1x Medivac
1x Widow Mine
2x Hellion
6x Marine

Shape up to a standard game subsequently

Build two Barracks next to the Factory and Starport. Use the Factory and the Starport to build a Tech Lab each, then Swap the two Barracks on them.

Adaptation

If this build is scouted early on, you should not stick to the build order as it does more harm to you than the opponent. Then, what is next?

This situation happened in Dreamhack Open Summer 2014 (vs. Patience on Frost) and more recently in IEM Shen Zhen (vs. Zest on Deadwing).

First, you need to sell the story that you are still doing this build while Protoss still has the vision in your base. That is, stick to the build order until the Probe leaves your base. Next, remove the Scvs from the Refinery. This is because you want to shift to a stand macro-oriented build. If you keep mining gas, you more or less must tech to Starport. Then, you either stick to the original build order (which like I said is not effective), or Banshee. A Banshee will be countered by the Stalkers and Observer, which are meant to defend the original build order anyway. Therefore, there is no good follow up option with the gas, so you simply just remove the Scv from the Refinery.

The image below shows how Patience was anticipating the original build order by getting Stalkers and positioned them to defend against the drop. At the same time, he was getting a Robotic Facility for an Observer.

patiencetaeja

By then, you should have 50 to 100 gas, depending on how long the Probe stays in Terran base. In the two examples that I linked above, Taeja did a different follow up. He went for a Reactor Hellion expand against Zest, and a more conventional expand against Patience. Both builds do not require you to mine more gas. The crucial thing is to put down the Command Centre asap and moves toward the convergent point of

– 2x Command Centre
– 3x Barracks
– 1x Factory
– 1x Starport
– 1x Engineering Bay

There are many paths you can take to reach this convergent point, and it all depends on your understanding of reaching the game. If you aren’t sure, follow this simple one:

10 – Supply depot
12 – Refinery
13 – Barracks (@100% – Marine and Factory)
16 – Orbital command
@100 mineral – Supply depot

Take Scvs out of Refinery after Probe leaves the base. Continue from the original build above, by constantly producing Marine from the Barracks and make sure you deny a second scout.

@400 mineral – Command Centre
@100% Factory – Reactor
@150 mineral – Barracks and put Scvs back into the Refinery

Build Supply Depot accordingly here after

@100% Reactor – Swap the first Barracks onto the Reactor and continue to produce Marine. Build a Tech Lab with the Factory.
@100% Tech Lab – Swap the second Barracks onto the Tech Lab to research Stim and take a second Refinery

Put down a third Barracks and Engineering Bay accordingly.

@150 gas – Starport. Build a reactor with the Factory (Swap Starport onto Reactor for Medivac)

The above is a butter cutter follow up build, and it is not perfect. You have to react accordingly based on what you scout. For example, an Engineering Bay if you think that there will be Oracle. There are just too many options for me to list them. You can get one or two Widow Mine for defense, or a Hellion to scout. It is really down to your own understanding.

Since Protoss have been getting many Stalkers, they are likely to follow up with either a Gateway all-in or aggression instead of chilling them in their base. Therefore, if you cannot get much information, you need to play extra defensive with Bunkers and Widow Mine.

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