This 1-1-1 7 minute timing TvZ build is really popular recently. Taeja and Flash have been using this build recently in Redbull, WCS, KeSPA Cup and IEM. I am going to discuss this build based on the build order block method.
I will start with the detailed break down of the build order.
It starts with a Reaper (single) expand into Hellions
10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
12 – Refinery
15 – Reaper and Orbital Command
@400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
@100% Reaper – Reactor and Supply Depot
@100 gas – Factory
@100% Reactor – Marines (2 pairs)
@100% Factory – Swap it on Reactor and produce Hellions.
Next it lines up for a 1-1-1
@100% Factory – Starport then Supply Depot
Constant producing Marines (without add on)
@100% Starport – Medivac
Load up the seven Marines you have and move towards Zerg’s natural. At this time, the 3rd pair of Hellions is still in production. Gather the six Hellions to line up with the Marine drop in the natural.
@100% Medivac – Viking
Move back to the next convergent point
WCS and GSL
Build order blocks
The convergent points are the same as those I mentioned in the last build order block post. I will focus on the block between the first and second convergent point here.
There are four main choices in the second block. The decision has to be made when the Factory is building, before the first convergent point is reached. This build goes for a Starport. There are three main units you can get from the Starport at that point of time: Banshee, Viking or Medivac. You don’t need to add anything in the opening block unless you get a second Refinery for Cloaked Banshee. This is because you only have 125 gas, which is enough for a Viking or a Medivac, when the Starport completes at that point. 200 gas is needed for Cloak research and a Banshee. The Viking build was popularised by Polt. It aims to clear the Overlords to set up for a two Medivac bio drop in the main, while the Hellions do a run-by at the natural. Read my review on MMA’s WCS TvZ games last year for more information about the Viking build.
This build that I’m discussing now goes for an early Medivac. In order to utilise the Medivac fully, you need more units (i.e., Marines). Thus, you need to do a single Reaper expand build, but not a double or triple Reaper expand. This is because you get to produce two pairs of Marines before Hellion production starts with a single Reaper opening. By the time your Medivac is out, you have seven Marines. If you do a double Reaper expand, you have only 3 Marines. Then there is no point in doing this build. There are other implications in regards to the number of Reapers in a TvZ opening.
First block (opening): Single Reaper expand
Second block: Starport
The Viking after the Medivac is a nice touch. It is used to clear Overlord obviously. The key is to utilise the Starport instead of letting it idle there. A Viking is better than a second Medivac simply because you do not have units to go with it.
Again, clearly, I left out some details like Supply Depot, additional Refineries and add-on swapping. You can just apply what you already know from any standard TvZ builds. As far as the build order goes, that is it.
The timing hits at around 7:15~7:30 (Medivac move out at 7:00). At this time frame, Zerg usually is producing Drones and getting upgrades. Zerg’s attention is at the front door to spread creep and combat the typical zoning Hellions. The Medivac drop with 7 Marines will come in as a surprise. The Queens have to move to the natural to defend the drop, while the Drones are being pulled away. This sets up well for the Hellions to run-by into the main. There is just not enough Zerg units to hold this attack.
This build has high mechanics requirement. You need to micro your Marines and Medivac, and make sure you don’t loss the Medivac to Queens. At the same time, you need to micro the Hellions run-by. At the same time, you need to put down multiple buildings at home. It is not easy.
The build works better on maps that have the natural mineral line facing towards the opponent. For example, King Sejong Station and Nimbus. It gives you more room to maneuver the Medivac and gives Zerg less reaction time.
The biggest strength of this build is that it is hard for Zerg to see it coming. Going back to the convergent point flow charts above, you can see that you do not know what the build is until the Starport goes down. More specifically, Zerg is likely to let his guard down when he saw the lack of a second Refinery. This is because you can deduce that there will not be a Hellbat timing, Cloaked Banshee or even three Barracks timing. It is 9/10 an early third Command Centre opening.
Even if you know it is coming, it is still not easy to deal with. Just watch the IEM vods I linked above, whereby these Zerg players obviously know this popular build.
The build is not without weakness. Apart from the opportunity cost of late upgrades (including Stim) and late third Command Centre, it is vulnerable to counter attack after the Hellions are traded away. The build relies heavily on trading well at that timing.