Heart did really well to claim a silver in the recent WCS America. His wide range of TvZ builds were quite refreshing. In particular, his two base all-in was worth discussing.
As I have mentioned in the last post, there is a two base all-in trend recently. This post covers the style that Heart played against HyuN and Scarlett. More specifically, I’m discussing about the one that does not involve Hellbats (Scarlett game 1).
Minor adjustments are made to show only the core build order without any reaction adjustments.
10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
12 – Refinery
15 – Orbital Command and Reaper
@100% Reaper – Command Centre and Reactor
@100 mineral – Supply Depot
@100 gas – Factory
This opens up with a standard one Reaper expand in TvZ.
@100% Reactor – 2x Marines
@100% Factory – Swap Factory onto Reactor and produce Hellions. Tech Lab on Barracks (@100% – Stim). A Starport.
@100% Command Centre – Orbital Command
@100 mineral – Supply Depot
@50% Starport – Refinery
@100% Starport – Viking*
Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter. There is a choice of either a Viking (Scarlett game 3) or Medivac (HyuN game 1) first. I will explain in details later. Constant Hellion and Marine production.
@150 mineral – Barracks
@100% Viking – Medivac (@100% – another Medivac)
@ 250 mineral – Engineering Bay
@100% Barracks – Swap it onto the the Reactor. Build another Reactor with Factory, and a third Barracks next to it.
@100% Medivac – Load 8 Marines for a two-pronged attack
@100% 3rd Barracks – Swap it onto the new Reactor from the Factory. Build another Reactor with Factory. 4th and 5th Barracks.
@100% Stim – Combat Shield
@100% Medivac – Reactor on Starport
@100% Engineering Bay – +1/+1 and 2x Refinery
@100% 4th and 5th Barracks – Reactor on both
The build order basically ends here as it has reached the convergent point of
– 5x Barracks
– 1x Factory
– 1x Starport
It opens up with a single Reaper expand into 1-1-1. Nowadays, single Reaper expand is more popular than double Reaper expand, while each has its own merits. With a 1-1-1 follow up, there are several main variations. First, it’s the contemporary 7 Marines drop with Hellions run by. Second, a Cloaked Banshee. Third, Polt style map control into two Medivac drop. It can also shape up to other Hellbat builds. What Heart did is revolving around the first and the third variation.
As I’ve mentioned above, there is a choice of either getting a Viking or Medivac first. Subsequently, you just get the other unit that you did not produce in order to have a Viking and a Medivac. The Viking first path is close to the map control style. The Viking is used to kill Overlords to deny vision, and it sets up for a double Medivac Stim drop in the main. The difference with this build is that it doesn’t get a third Command Centre, and instead shapes up to a two base all-in convergent point. Something that Heart did against Scarlett in game 3.
In game 1 against HyuN, Heart chose to get a Medivac first before Viking. Although the casters were suggesting that Heart was doing the Marine drop and Hellion run by, that wasn’t the case. First of all, Heart’s build details show that he did not plan to do that. For the Marine drop and Hellion run by build, four Marines are produced instead of two from the Reactor Barracks. Subsequently, after the Factory is swapped on the Reactor, no Tech Lab is added on the Barracks. This is to maximise the number of Marines you can have when the Medivac is out. What Heart did is a more standard two Marines from the Reactor Barracks before swapping, this does not delay the Hellion production. In general, if you’ve used a single Reaper expand build, you would have realised that the second Marine production cycle (3rd and 4th Marine) is still ongoing while the Factory is already completed. Therefore, unless you plan to do a certain timing with the Marines, only a pair of Marines is normally produced before swapping the Factory on the Reactor. A Tech Lab on the Barracks after the add-on swapping is done shows that Heart has no intention to execute the Marine drop and Hellion run by timing. Not trying to pin point at the casters’ mistakes, but it’s a good opportunity to highlight on some of the minor details.
In line with the difference I just discussed, the early Medivac does not carry Marines. Heart attempted to do a Hellion drop, which is unlikely to work nowadays. To make it work better with a two-pronged Hellion attack, eight Hellions were produced to split up in two locations with four each. Just a minor shuffling to make the build order works better. Nevertheless, no matter whether you chose to get a Viking or a Medivac first, you want to reach the one Viking and two Medivac check point. The purpose of the single Viking has already been discussed. The two Medivacs provide much threat to pin the Zerg at their side of the map. Heart just keeps dropping and maneuvering around to ensure the Zerg stay in base as much as possible. A simple way would be dropping in the main and have Hellions running to the third.
No matter what you do, the general game plan is to be more proactive with drop to pin opponent in base, while the Viking is clearing the Overlord. The key is not to trade, so it is important to load up and run away when the Zerg want to engage. Simply make the best out of the mobility from the Medivacs and Hellions. From a Zerg perspective, it is hard to make a decision of how many battle units should be produced to not take damage from the aggression. While doing hit and run, macro at home to ensure you can hit a 12:00 Stim, Combat Shield and +1/+1 timing. Only produce Marauders when you are about to move out.
It is not easy to execute this all-in. All it takes is a micro misstep for everything to fall apart. You are forced to engage on creep because you are hitting a timing whereby you have more units from the two base all-in convergent point. There is no time to clear creep and back off. As simple as it may sound by producing and rallying Marines, Marauder, Medivacs and Widow Mines forward, it requires good control to pull it off.