Hellion Drop (vs. Protoss)
This build incorporates a fast Hellion drop, and a Marine/Bunker defense into two-Starport play which allows counters to be easily produced. The build is very lean, holding off on the second Refinery until after the first Starport begins construction, creating mineral-only units, and forgoing any addons until two Starports have been produced.
The focus of the build is on efficiency, creating an economic advantage through Hellion harass, and creating an army while spending the least possible amount of resources and worker time on unnecessary structures and Tech.
Basic Build Order
- The Medivac completes around the timing your third Hellion is ready. Drop into his mineral line.
Hellion drop gives great scouting info and allows you to adapt with your 2 Starports.
Your default units on your Starports should be 2x banshee. The 2x Banshee+Marine build is incredibly powerful, and can beat any composition that does not include storms. The Hellion drop provides a well-timed opportunity to scout your opponent and adapt, if necessary:
Protoss Fast Expand builds
Countering a Protoss FE first requires understanding the limitations of the Protoss FE build and then requires you to exploit those limitations-based on scouting information. The 1/1/2 Hellion drop is very versatile, allowing you to adapt to exploit your opponent's weaknesses following the first Hellion drop.
There are several facts which must be realized to understand the counter:
- 1) The opponent must have both a Robotics Facility and either a Stargate or a Templar Archives to counter cloaked and uncloaked Banshees, respectively.
- 2) The opponent must have either a Robotics Bay or a Templar Archives and Psionic Storm to counter a mid-game bio + Ghost ball.
- 3) The Protoss FE does not pay off immediately. As a result, the Protoss player must invest in defense early or risk being killed by an all-in push.
Given these facts, it is crucial that you are able to scout adequately and adapt.
Keep building Marines, and open with two Vikings into 2x mass Banshees. Focus fire any Colossus. If there are no Colossus, the Robotics Bay is a wasteful gas sink and will set your opponent behind, as no other robotics-based units are effective against Marines or Banshees.
The two Vikings are essential to keep Colossus from abusing their superior range (for example, by burning down your Bunker from safety. However, once this deterrent is created, Banshees are actually the better anti-Colossus unit.
Banshee DPS vs Colossus: ((12 damage per rocket - 1 Colossus armor) * 2 rockets) / 1.25 firing speed = 17.6 dps Viking DPS vs Colossus: 13 dps
Void Ray harass
Assuming you have been making Marines the entire time (which you should be), you should have 8-9 Marines by time the first Void Ray hits. The Void Ray can either hit your wall-off or it can attack the back of your base while units attack your ramp. Both are easily stopped by this build.
As soon as you see Void Rays or a Stargate, do the following:
- 1) Take any Marines not in your Bunker (you should have ~4-5 extra) and prepare them at the back of your base.
- 2) take 4-5 SCVs, turn on auto repair, and move them next to the Bunker by your ramp.
- 3) Queue up one Viking on each Starport. In one production cycle, you will have two Vikings, and then you're easily able to hold off any Void Ray-based play.
- 4) Follow up with cloaked Banshees. Most Void Ray rushes neglect a Robotics Facility and you can force your opponent into a wasteful Tech structure or force them to lose outright.
Dark Templar builds
The answer is obvious here - just make a Raven first. But what if you do not get the Tech out in time? It is advisable to save the third set of 50 energy on your Orbital Command until you can be sure no DTs are coming or until you get a Raven. Also, keep a control group of SCVs on auto repair, so you can pull quickly to your wall to repair until a Raven comes out.
Open with two Vikings instead of two Banshees. Your Marine army + range from the Viking will prevent any Phoenix harass. Phoenixes will be shot by Marines if they attempt to engage the Vikings.
High Templar Opening
High Templar 'opening' is somewhat of a misnomer. High Templar take absolutely forever with storm Tech, and your first push (2-4 Banshees + Marines) should occur before storm Tech. If they rush storm as soon as possible, they will lack detection, and you can punish this with cloaked Banshees.
Any Twilight Council opening
If you spot a Twilight Council with your Hellion drop, just open into cloaked Banshees. This will force the Protoss player to decide between very fast storm and detection. Cancel cloak before it is finished if you see a robo being constructed and spend the money on a Fusion Core.
4 Gate Push
If you know that your opponent is 4 Gate all-inning you, build an extra Bunker, pull 6-7 SCVs to repair, and rush to cloaked Banshees. If they add a Robotics Facility, cancel your cloak upgrade and continue with the standard build.
On Blistering Sands build a second Bunker pre-emptively at your destructible rocks after your Factory