This is arguably one of the best TvT builds out there now. It has a deadly timing attack with Auto Turrets, Tanks, Marines and Medivacs. But at the same time, it has a strong economy back up for a macro game.
It was highly celebrated since IEM Toronto, after both Taeja and Bunny used it against each other. QXC certainly makes sure you know it is the metagame build now.
Watch game 1.
10 – Supply Depot
12 – Refinery
13 – Barracks
@100% Barracks – Marine and Orbital Command. Factory (Next to Barracks)
@100 mineral – Supply Depot
Constant Marine production.
@75 mineral (around 50% Factory) – Refinery
@100% Factory – Starport. Tech Lab on Factory
23 – Supply Depot
@100% Starport – Swap it on the Tech Lab and get a Raven
30 – Supply Depot
@50 gas – Reactor on Factory
@400 mineral – Command Centre
@100% Reactor – Swap Barracks on Reactor, and Factory on Tech Lab.
Constant Marine production. Produce 2 Tanks and 2 Medivac. (Produce Vikings after that)
When you can afford it – Barracks or Engineering Bay
Load up 2 Tanks and 8 Marines for drop with 2 Medivacs. Put down 3 Auto Turrets for the attack.
It opens up with a standard gas first opening, which is the most common opening now. There are several aggressive variations, for example, Banshee and Hellion Marine drop. It can also open up for defensive macro. It is hard to be conclusive on what is coming.
The build order then shapes up to a Raven. With the Raven, this build is safe against Banshee openings. The rest is pretty straight forward. In the game, Taeja squeezed out a Hellion before he built a Reactor. I did not include it in the build order because it’s not as “prototype” as Bunny’s. Taeja simply delays the Marine (he actually cancelled it) and Reactor for scouting information.
One thing that I really like about the build is the timing of the Command Centre. It allows you to expand reasonably early for a gas first opening. Often I don’t find myself ahead economically against a gas first opening when I’m not doing a gas first myself. After defending against the early attack, it usually breaks even. So I agree with what Bunny said about gas first opening.
This build has quite a number details that make a big difference.
Loading and unloading
Two Tanks and eight Marines are loaded into the 2 Medivacs. You do not just select everything and right click on the Medivacs. Don’t do it.
The unload speed is unaffected by the cargo space, and hence, it is only the number of unloads that matters. You want to minimise the total number of unloads. If you load two Tanks in a Medivac, and eight Marines in another, it will take a total of eight unload cycles (eight Marines). So in order to minimise the number of unload cycles, load only a Tank in each of the two Medivacs. My choice is to load a Tank in each Medivac, then the Marines. Consequently, the Tanks get unloaded first, and this maximises the dps.
Approaching opponent’s base
You move out by flying the two Medivacs and a Raven over. It is important to note that they have different movement speed, with the Raven being slower than the Medivacs without boost. In order to ensure they reach at the same time, you either wait for the Raven to catch up with the Medivacs near the unload spot, or let the Raven lead the way with the Medivacs playing catch up.
If opponent goes for a 15 gas into Vikings for defense, you may lose your Raven.
You need to unload everything and put down three Auto Turrets from the Raven. As it shows in the vod, it is better to not siege up the Tanks. Tanks have higher dps in unsiege mode. However, the main reason not to siege is not about the dps itself, but it gives you much more room to micro. To defend against this build (without Viking interception), you need to pull everything to fight. The primary targets tha are the two Tanks. Therefore, from the execution perspective, keeping them alive is the key. The Tanks are like the Immortals of soul train build in PvZ. As long as you can keep them alive with Force Field and Warp Prism, you win. Look at how Taeja did the Tank Medivac drop micro.
Another detail is the Auto Turrets placement. Ideally, you want to use them as a wall to protect the Tanks too. But like I said, it is difficult to make sure the air units approach opponent’s base at the same time to drop the Auto Turret at the right place right time. You can queue the Auto Turret drops (shift click) while approaching opponent’s base, as this allows you to focus solely on the Medivacs and Tanks.