TvP: Two Base Raven Tankivac

Tankivac has redefined the Terran mirror and Terran versus Zerg match up in Legacy of the Void. Now, it has also found its way to the Terran versus Protoss match up that previously utilises Tank the least. I am going to discuss the inclusion of Tankivac in the two base attack build that has been popular recently.

Background

Tank has also been a fringe unit in the TvP match up, because it is never included in the main army composition which usually is more about mobility. While it is not a main unit, it still has its place in the match up in specific situations. For example, Tank is the top choice against Blink Stalker build if you use an 1-1-1 variant, and it has also been used on specific maps that allows Tank to be sieged at a sweet spot.

Interestingly, some players had tried to include Tankivac into the main composition in the match up, but there was little success in the early Legacy of the Void days.

Two base timing

The way the Tankivac being used recently is very different to what I linked above. In contrast to the tried-and-failed defensive approach, the current offensive approach focuses on getting the best of the Tankivac in the time frame when Protoss do not have an effective answer. Subsequently, you still make a minor transition to move back to the usual composition.

This is a good metagame build, because Protoss almost always take the third early against Terran. The two base timing push can be effective since Protoss do not have enough, and it has the potential to just win the game.

The two games below are played recently by the Terran players of MVP, and the early game composition is Marine, Medivac, Tank and Raven. GuMiho showed what the build order plan was by attacking at a specific timing, while Ryung was delayed by Protoss’ aggressive maneuvers. This build was also picked up by MaSa in his game against puCK in Dreamhack Austin (vods are not available yet).

The build basically is a 1-1-1 expand into Raven, and converge to a standard 3-1-1 with Marine, Medivac, Tank and Raven. You then move out to hit a timing when you have Medivac and Stim, and you should have four Tanks at that timing. The Stim and +1 infantry attack upgrade are aligned nicely with the timing too.

GuMiho moved out slightly earlier, and it is what I like to call the Korean way of hitting a timing. He moved his Marine, Tank and Raven across the map before the Stim and Medivac were ready. Although it looked like he moved out too early, the Medivac would have caught up with the main army before he reached the entrance of opponent’s base. In the game, Super moved his units out to force an engagement outside of his base, after his Stalkers and Observer spotted the Tank push. This is a common decision for Protoss when they saw a Tank push, because they want to delay the push by forcing Terran to siege up along the way. This also indirectly made GuMiho’s timing looked off, but it was still decently executed based on the circumstances.

There are minor differences for their builds, and I will explain later.

Build order

14 – Supply Depot
16 – Barracks
16 – Refinery
@100% Barracks – Orbital Command and Marine
@400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
@100% Marine – Reactor then Supply Depot (constant Marine production)
@100 gas – Factory then Refinery
@100% Factory – Starport and Tech Lab on Factory, then Supply Depot

Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter

@100% Tech Lab – Lift up Factory and Widow Mine
@100% Starport – Swap Starport onto Tech Lab for Raven
When you can afford (in this order) – Tech Lab on Factory, 2x Barracks, Refinery, Engineering Bay (@100% – +1 infantry attack)
@100% Tech Lab – Tank
@100% Raven – Lift Starport and build a Reactor
@100% Barracks – Swap one onto Tech Lab for Stim, and Reactor on the other
@100% Reactor on Starport – Medivac

The build order is mainly taken from GuMiho’s vod, and Ryung did something different. Ryung went for two Tech Lab and one Reactor instead of two Reactor and one Tech Lab. This is because he wanted to line up Combat Shield along with +1 attack and Stim for the timing, and he would have fewer Marines for his build. It is hard to say which is better, unless you do some test with it.

Raven is less common in TvP builds, but it does have its place in this build. You want to kill the Observers in order to hide your intention for as long as you can. The Auto Turret also contributes to the timing. Of course, it helps against Dark Templar. The Widow Mine smooths the build up, and it helps defensively.

The build is not meant to be an all-in, because you will want to have two more Barracks for a 5-1-1 if you do. Both GuMiho and Ryung took a third behind the attack.

I believe this build may only be a temporary thing, because it is not effective if it becomes popular in the metagame.

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2 thoughts on “TvP: Two Base Raven Tankivac

  1. Hi, What if instead of the raven (with i think is a little useless, at least on the lower league) we save enough gas to add two liberator in the push?

    1. I presume you need a reactor on the starport for the liberator, and that doesn’t line up well in build order with tank production. Also, the focus of this build is the tank, so you can switch the raven to something else if you can fit the build nicely.

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