TvZ 3CC Defensive Banshee (Part 2)


The 3CC defensive Banshee build has been adopted by every Terran player now, and is a big part of the metagame. This post is about some of the details that I did no cover in the previous post, and how to deal with the build’s weakness.

I have received quite a number of messages regarding how useful this build is, and how different pros are using this build. This build has been posted on various forums and is called “defensive banshee build”.  I will like to shamelessly think that I come up with the term, and others adopt it. (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

General idea

Before you read any further, you need to read part 1 of this article. In part 1, I have discussed about the rationale behind the build, and I will summarise the key take away here.

This build is basically a macro focused build with a standard early third Command Centre and reactor Hellion. The defining part of the build is the Starport right after Factory, and this allows you to get a Banshee. However, given that you only took one geyser in order to have enough mineral for the early third Command Centre, there will not be enough gas for cloak research, stim or Armory. The rationale of getting a Banshee and delaying bio production and upgrade is to be relatively safe against all-ins. Banshee works well against Roach all-ins, and Hellions are the best answer Terran can have at that stage of the game against Zerglings and Banelings. Therefore, this build is essentially the safest economical build in TvZ.

The Banshee is meant for defensive and control purpose, so it works fine without cloak. If you scout an all-in, just keep producing Banshee to hold it off. If not, make a Viking to hunt Overlords around the map after the first Banshee.

Build order

Read the part 1 for the detailed build order. More importantly, I want to discuss how some openings are slightly better than others for this defensive Banshee build. By applying the building block logic, you basically have an “opening” that allows you to expand normally and get triple Command Centre with Reactor Hellion, then follow the build order below.

@100 gas – Factory
@50 gas – Reactor on Barracks
@400 mineral – Command Centre
@100% Factory – Swap Factory on Reactor for Hellions. Starport and Tech Lab on Barracks. Refinery, then Supply Depot.
Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter
@100% Starport – Swap Starport onto Tech Lab for Banshee

After trying this build with different openings, I conclude that some are better than others in terms of how the resources line up. Here are the main macro TvZ openings you see,

– Command Centre first
– Single Reaper expand
– Double Reaper expand
– Triple Reaper expand
– 15 gas expand

Clearly, the list is not exhaustive, but it covers the main ones. 15 gas expand is rarely used in TvZ, because it’s equivalent to a single Reaper expand but you trade the Reaper for two Marines. In TvZ, unless you go for a very early push (for example, 7:00 Hellbat timing), the Reaper is better than the two Marines in general. Out of the remaining four openings, Command Centre first and triple Reaper expand are the better openings for this build.

Single Reaper expand doesn’t allow you to get the third Command Centre as smoothly as other openings. Although double Reaper expand does get you a third Command Centre nicely, you do not have the mineral nicely line up to get a pair of Hellion, build a Starport and upgrade the natural’s Command Centre into Orbital Command when the Factory has just completed. The Command Centre and triple Reaper expand line up the resources better to get these key parts.

Dream is perhaps the go-to player to study this build, and he only does this build with Command Centre first and triple Reapers.

Two-base Mutalisk

This build is weak against two base Mutalisk. Unlike typical three Command Centre build without early Starport, this defensive build does not transit to bio production early and focuses on tech units like Banshee. Consequently, there are insufficient units that shoot up when the Mutalisks arrive at 10:00, and this can be game ending. Below are two vods of how triple Command Centre Banshee build interacts with two-base Mutalisk build.

In these two vods, Dream did not exactly do the standard defensive Banshee build I have been discussing, as he went for more Hellions and Banshees for aggression. Nevertheless, these vods highlight the issue of two-base Mutalisk. Personally, I lost against two-base Mutalisk often when I just discovered this build. What happened in game was that I would have my Engineering Bay done and Missile Turrets building or built. However, I do not have the Marines to zone the Mutalisks. Thus, even though I may have Missile Turrets at my mineral line, my production buildings area still took much damage.

The next vod I want to show is how you can deal with two-base Mutalisk with a defensive Banshee build order.

When the Mutalisks arrive, the Terran player does not have more than five Marines (even if the two Marines did not die earlier on). A bronze league player will know how one sided it will be if you have five Marines fighting six to eight Mutalisks. In the above vod, Dream showed how you should react against two-base Mutalisk. He produced a Viking after the Banshee, and this is the standard build order if opponent is not doing an all-in. The key is that he then swapped the Starport onto the Reactor for two more Vikings. The total of three Vikings, along with Missile Turrets, can zone out the Mutalisks while you transit into bio.

My next post will sort of build on what I have mentioned here. It is regarding how you can shuffle the resources slightly for a “different build order”.


4 thoughts on “TvZ 3CC Defensive Banshee (Part 2)

  1. What about 2 bases Mass Roaches all-in with Speed? The banshees can’t kill roaches fast enough to not take much damage.

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