TvZ: 7:00 Hellbat timing

hellbat

Welcome to another Hellbat article for TvZ. I have said all there is to say about the last patch and Hellbat builds in a previous post, so I won’t go into that. This post is about the recent early Hellbat timing.

Background

First, read the link I’ve provided above to know more about the common Hellbat builds if you haven’t done so.

The TvZ match up has been on the other side of the spectrum in terms of how much innovation we see every now and then. The last patch on the Hellbat has shaken this match up, as Zerg needs to scout whether Terran is doing a Hellbat timing. Previously, Zerg could get greedy until the mid-game as Terran usually went for an early third Command Centre and not move out until 11:00. With the last patch, the Hellbat timing attacks usually hit at 8:30 with either Banshee, or Medivac and Marine. Zerg has to keep this potential attack in mind and not get greedy blindly. This makes this match up more dynamic in the early stage of the game. Since then, Terran has been mainly mixing different Hellbat builds up with other more economical builds, and Zerg will have to prepare for the potential attack accordingly.

Interestingly, there is a new build that leverages from this thinking. It is a new Hellbat timing that hits before 7:00.

Build order

10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
15 – Refinery
@100 Barracks – Marine and Orbital Command
16 – Supply Depot
After the second Marine – Reactor
@400 mineral – Command Centre
@100 gas – Factory
24 – Supply Depot

This is the usual 15 gas build. The interesting part comes after the Factory completes.

@100% Factory – Armory. Swap the Factory onto the Reactor and produce Hellions. Constantly produce one Marine at a time.

The Armory finishes while the second pair of Hellions is still in production. Move out with all the Marines and six Scvs when the Armory is about to finish. Once the Armory completes, transform the first pair of Hellions into Hellbats and attack with Marines and Hellbats (with Scvs support). Subsequently, reinforce with Hellions for the attack, and transform into Hellbat at opponent’s base.

Explanation

The unorthodox timing can surprise the Zerg, since it hits much earlier than the usual Hellbat timing at 8:30. The timing involves pulling Scvs to repair and protect the Hellbats, while the Marines do their job.

If you attack immediately after the Armory completes, the timing hits before 7:00. Look at how TY did it.

Alternatively, you can wait for the second pair of Hellions to join up, then attack at 7:00. Look at how Bbyong did it.

The execution may seem as easy as 1A, but it is not if you look closely. The job of the Scvs do not just repair the Hellbats, they serve as meat shield to prevent the Zerglings from attacking effectively. The Scvs also attract the AI to attack them when they are repairing. If you put them on auto-repair and 1A, the Scvs may end up repairing each other and not the Hellbats. Most importantly, all the units should stay as a ball (tiny deathball), because the Marines need to be protected by the Scvs and Hellbats. The primary attack targets are the Queens. If your micro is good, the Scvs can even be used to block the Queen, while the rest deal the damage.

This is quite a cut throat build. If Zerg is not prepared for this, the game ends.

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7 thoughts on “TvZ: 7:00 Hellbat timing

  1. thanks for sharing ! this is pretty effective, thus you have the tools (2 marines) to deny the plan ;) moreover I have been succesfully experimenting smalls variations : producing a techlab with the rax for 1x marauders cycles asap after starting armory. @100 gas startport for delayed medivac rallied to the fight. everything off 1 gas ;)

  2. Very nice writeup! I would have never thought of pulling SCVs. I’m wondering why not gas first though?

    10 depot
    11 gas
    13 rax
    16 OC
    16 factory
    16 reactor
    16 depot
    19 armory
    19 swap and produce hellions
    24 depot

    Marine count should be 2 to 3 to make for a crazy 6:15ish push. Of course, you cannot deny a scout, but most zergs only scout the main ramp and move back. In diamond, I would often choose not to wall and use a 2 factory hellion build (which gets no defense until 4:15), and zerg has never entered main with overlord or sent lings in base with hatch first before I finished walling.

    10 depot
    12 gas
    13 rax
    16 OC
    16 factory
    16 marine
    17 depot
    17 reactor
    20 armory
    20 swap and produce hellions
    25 depot

    will delay the push by 15 seconds, but gain an extra marine and completely deny any scouting whatsoever (unless zerg decides to sacrifice his first overlord). Very likely, Zerg will think in base CC, and given the number of maps with in base naturals in the current map pool. Also, based on similar gas first builds vs protoss, it is easy to all in transition to starport for medivacs (you will have the gas available off 1 gas at 5:30) or banshees by adding on a second gas and starport.

    1. A gas first is basically telling Zerg that you are up to something. So it takes away half the surprise.

      The Marine count matters, as they’re the main damage dealer. The Hellbat does the tanking.

      6:15 is not a good attacking timing as Zerg has not taken a 3rd or saving gas to get a Lair. The original timing hits at the time that Zerg has invested the resources on something else.

      The lack of an early Command Centre in TvZ is an issue. You basically cannot be aggressive and expand behind it.

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