[MBO] October 2018

I’m collaborating with Spawning Tool for the October 2018 entry of Metagame Build Orders

Vs. Protoss

The recent TvP builds usually fall within the proxy category, and the one I’m discussing here is no different. While the TvP proxy strategy is labelled by Blizzard as too varied for Protoss to handle, it requires players to be very knowledgeable in many aspects of the game and are able to make decisions on the fly. Like the one I shared in September, this build is relatively easy to manage because there is a clear framework. TY used this build against Neeb in the WCS Global Finals few days ago.

The build uses a fake proxy opening, which places the production buildings near Terran’s base but they are hidden from Protoss at the same time. Read this article for more information.

The goal is to attack with five Cyclones and the support of Widow Mines.

14 – Supply Depot
16 – Barracks (fake proxy)
16 – Refinery
17 – Refinery
@100% Barracks – Reaper and Orbital Command
@100 gas – Factory (fake proxy; near Barracks)
20 – Supply Depot; then pull 2x Scv off the Refinery
@100% Reaper – Reactor
@100% Factory – Cyclone
@400 mineral – Command Centre (Put 2x Scv back to Refinery; @100% – Orbital Command)
@100% Cyclone – Swap Factory onto Reactor for 2x Cyclone; Marine then Supply Depot
Constant Marine product
@100% 2x Cyclone – 2x Cyclone
@2x Cyclone – 2x Widow Mine (rally to the push)
Commence attack with 5x Cyclone, 3x Marine, and some Scvs; Constant Widow Mine production

The opening is very similar to the double Refinery expand in TvT, whereby you take two early gas for Factory tech then pull Scvs off gas to expand. This build is also comparable to the mass Cyclone build in TvT, and I have previously discussed how that can be done with the double Refinery expand opening.

The twist to this build in TvP is the reinforcement of Widow Mines, whose effectiveness is best illustrated by thinking from Protoss’ perspective. Protoss’ answer to a Cyclone attack is to use Shield Battery to sustain Immortals and Stalkers in a face-to-face battle to take out one Cyclone at a time. Depending on micro and positioning, the support of Shield Batteries is usually sufficient to help Protoss to out last Terran’s firepower. Bypassing Shield Battery’s healing is where Widow Mine shines. Widow Mine instantly kills a Gateway unit and it renders Shield Batteries useless.

Why not reinforce with more Cyclones? I am sure many are quick to point out that Widow Mine has a shorter production time than Cyclone. However, Cyclone also has a slightly faster movement speed. While all these factors contribute to the choices, the key reason is the diminishing benefit of having additional Cyclones. It is difficult to have seven Cyclones attacking effectively because of the choke at the natural. When you try to ensure those at the back are attacking too, those at the front usually get too close to the opponent. In game 1 between Maru and Neeb (see vod below), Maru also reinforces his Cyclone push with Widow Mines even though the build is different. All-in-all, Widow Mine is a good choice in this scenario.

You can find this build on Spawning Tool here.

Vs. Terran

There was no TvT in the group stage of WCS Global Finals and GSL Super Tournament, so I have to take a TvT build elsewhere. The TvT builds in the last GSL knock out stage are either extremely standard (e.g., Reaper expand into 1-1-1 or Double Refinery expand into 1-1-1) or double Barracks Reaper proxy. I eventually picked a build used by TIME against HeroMarine from WCS Montreal.

14 – Supply Depot
15 – Refinery
16 – Barracks
17 – Refinery
@100% Barracks – Reaper, Orbital Command and Factory
20 – Supply Depot (pull 2-3 Scvs out of Refinery)
@100% Reaper – Reacter
@400 mineral – Command Centre (put the Scvs back in to saturate both geysers; @100% – Orbital Command)
@100% Factory – Cyclone
27 – Supply Depot
@100% Cyclone – Swap Factory onto the Reactor for 2x Hellion
@100% 2x Hellion – Attack with all units; 2x Cyclone

This is a pretty standard double Refinery expand opening. The interesting part is the two Hellions for the timing. This hits earlier than a push with three or five Cyclones. It is quite clear that HeroMarine didn’t expect this. If you like to use the double Refinery expand opening, this is something worth trying.

You can find this build on Spawning Tool here.

Vs. Zerg

I was lurking around some discord channels before the WCS Global Finals stream was live, and there was a discussion about MarineLorD using Marauder Hellbat attack in TvZ. TY pulled a Marauder Hellbat attack against Lambo later against Lambo. This is the build used.

14 – Supply Depot
16 – Barracks
16 – Refinery
@100% Barracks – Reaper and Orbital Command
@400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
@100 mineral – Supply Depot
@100% Reaper – Marine
@100 gas – Factory
@100% Marine – Reactor
@100% Factory – Starport and Refinery, swap Factory onto Reactor for 2x Hellion, and build a Tech Lab with Barracks next to the Starport (in this sequence)
Continue Hellion production (stop at 8)
@100% Starport – Viking; Supply Depot; Marauder; Concussive Shell (in this sequence)
Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter; Constant Marauder product (stop at 3)
@100% Viking – Medivac
@100 mineral – Armory
@100% Medivac – Liberator
Commence attack by loading the three Marauder into the Medivac

Currently, Zerg tend to not research Overlord speed for early scouting, and this gives opportunity for Terran to mix in some variations to gain an advantage as the game progress into the mid game. The build order is simple, but its execution is not.

The first part of executing this build is to sell that you are doing a non-threatening standard Reactor Hellion 1-1-1, which is the bread and butter of this match up. The Viking has two main goals. The first is to deny scouting, and this is in line with the goal to hide the build from the opponent. The set up of Reactor on Factory, Tech Lab on Barracks, and a naked Starport is very common now, and this usually shapes up to a Liberator and Hellion run-by two pronged attack. The vod below shows a recent example of how that usually plays out at the top level with Zerg anticipating the Hellion to commit. Interestingly, Viking is a rare choice nowadays after Overlord’s Mutate Ventral Sacs upgrade requirement is moved from the Evolution Chamber to the Lair, and you can read more about the implications in this article. The Viking may now in fact put Zerg on alert for potential curve balls.

The second goal of the Viking is to use one production cycle of the Starport. If the first Starport unit is a Medivac, the preparation for Marauders is not ready by the time the Medivac is out. The Medivac becomes an awkward choice. If you want to attack at the timing of the first Medivac, it is better to just execute a normal Hellbat attack as things line up better. Viking fills that production gap well.

Also, Zerg cannot tell whether the research on Tech Lab is Stim or Concussive Shell, so it is hard to tell there are Marauders unless they see one. TY did a good job hiding that.

The second part of the execution is how to trick Zerg to engage the Hellions with Queens. Queens are the ideal defensive tool against Hellions, and it is instinctive for Zerg to attack Hellions with Queens when they saw the Hellions are on creep. Once the Queens commit to attack the Hellions, the Medivac boost in from the side to unload the Marauders with Concussive Shell. This surprise move can kill off the overextended Queens. The Armory should be ready by then, and Zerglings alone are not the answer against Hellbats. This could be a game ending attack.

You can find this build on Spawning Tool here.


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3 thoughts on “[MBO] October 2018

  1. Hey there! I’m confused about why the Special vs Nerchio series is here…. in both games, he went stimmed marines, not marauder. Is that to show what Zerg has been expecting lately?

    1. Stim is the standard, and Concussive Shell Marauder is more of a cheese. Even if you cheese, you should converge to the standard framework and get Stim. SpeCial just played standard.

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