This post discusses a standard Reaper expand build for TvP. It is suitable for players of all levels.
Terran have a power spike with Stim and Medivac. This usually marks the beginning of the mid game stage, as Terran are empowered to take control of the map and be aggressive.
Terran usually can choose between a bio-oriented or a tech-oriented build path in TvP, and both converge to the same Stim and Medivac move out. The former builds up a bigger bio force for the move out by getting multiple Barracks before tech-ing up to Medivac. In contrast, the latter goes for tech first to harass the opponent, and then put down more Barracks. Before Legacy of the Void, these two approaches were well defined in a mutual exclusive way that, you have to pick either one (for reference: 3 Barracks vs. 1-1-1 Widow Mine drop). However, due to the accelerated resource gathering in Legacy of the Void, these two approaches become slightly overlapped. This is best illustrated in the variations of 2-1-1 builds.
The conventional three Barracks approach is rare in Legacy of the Void for a number of reasons. First, without tech units, Protoss can shave off the Marines before the power spike kicks in, so the first move out timing is not that powerful. Second, there is a time frame when Protoss can just all-in Terran before Stim, and bio units alone cannot defend well. Third, It is straightforward to play against a three Barracks build, because there is no complexity to what Terran can do. All you have to do is to watch out for the move out, and Protoss can cut as many corners as they want.
However, while it appears that a tech-oriented approach is the better choice for the above reasons, we have come to the conclusion that Terran are limited in what they can achieve offensively with 1-1-1. For this reason, early three Command Centre could become more common in the future, because Terran are confident in neither of the two common approaches.
A good way to accommodate the problems of bio-oriented and tech-oriented approaches is to use a few tech units for defence and focus on gathering a big bio force. This is what the build I want to talk about in this post do.
14 – Supply Depot
16 – Barracks
16 – Refinery
@100% Barracks – Reaper and Orbital Command
@400 mineral – Command Centre (@100% – Orbital Command)
20 – Supply Depot
@100% Reaper – Marine
@100 gas – Factory, then Refinery
@100% Marine – Reactor
@150 mineral – Barracks
@100% Factory – Tech Lab
@100% Reactor – Marine (constant production)
@100% Tech Lab – Cyclone
@100% Barracks – Tech Lab
@100% Cyclone – Widow Mine, Stim, Engineering Bay, Supply Depot
Build Supply Depot accordingly hereafter.
@100% Widow Mine – Lift Factory, and build a Barracks on the Tech Lab
@100% Engineering Bay – +1 Infantry Attack
@150 mineral – Starport, then Reactor on Factory
@100% Barracks – Combat Shield and Refinery
@100% Starport – Swap Starport onto Factory’s Reactor for 2x Medivac
You move out when the two Medivac join your army. Put down the third Command Centre to transition to a standard macro game.
This is a must learn macro build. It is likely to withstand the test of time.
It starts with a Reaper expand into 1-1-0, and you add two more Barracks for a 3-1-0. Then, you put down a Starport to converge to a standard 3-1-1 for a Stim and Medivac more out.
The execution is straightforward. You start with a standard Reaper expand, and then you defend until you can reach your power spike of Stim and Medivac. The purpose of the Factory is to get Cyclone and Widow Mine for defensive purposes.
Cyclone is a good well rounded defensive tool in the early game. It is effective against Oracle (see first vod below), and it can be used to pick off a Gateway unit (see second vod below). That gives you breathing room to build up a sizable bio army.
Widow Mine is the next Factory unit produced. Consistent with the idea to use Factory units for defence, Widow Mine is a simple and effective tool against Oracle and Gateway units. You can choose to build a second Cyclone to replace the Widow Mine.
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