TvT: Proxy 2-Rax Reaper into Bio (Terran vs Terran)
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Build Order
- 3. Execution of the Reaper Opening
- 4. Transitioning out of the Reaper Play
- 5. Conclusion
- 6. Changelog
At IEM Katowice 2018, one of the biggest StarCraft 2 tournaments of the year, one Terran vs Terran build was used a surprising number of times throughout the matches. The proxied 2 opening was seen from top players such as Maru, TY, SpeCial and GuMiho multiple times over throughout the group stages of the tournament. It is not common that a "cheesy" proxy play is seen so often - and that is because there is a lot more to this build than just hunting for quick wins.
This opening is more of what I like to call a pressure-build than an actual cheese or all-in. The difference is that this build does not require you to do masses of damage to continue into a normal game because you have strong follow-up options which can put you in a good position after your pressure. While sometimes the build can just straight up win, you are left with multiple ways to transition into the typical TvT mid game of three s and multiple for a bio-focused style.
This build is going to be particularly powerful if you are confident in your unit control - it is the sort of build where the better players will make it look somewhat unfair if they play someone slightly weaker because the control is critical to the success. Definitely steer clear of this one if you are looking to sit back and macro up and nothing more for the first minutes.
In this build order, especially early, take note of the supply counts as sometimes buildings will be placed earlier by slowing SCV production. Rough in-game timer points have been added at points of the build. Because this build is extremely aggressive from the early stages, supply counts may not always be exact due to unit losses. However, the order of the build will stay very much the same.
This build order looks at a variation used specifically by SpeCial and TY to take a faster in their follow-up.
The Proxy 2-Rax Opening:
- 13 — moves across the map to your chosen proxy location at around ten seconds into the game.
- 14 — Build .
- 15 — #2 moves across the map to your chosen proxy location.
- 15 — Build #1 in proxied location.
- 15 — Build .
- 16 — Build #2 in proxied location.
- 18 — Recruit . SCV which has finished building Barracks #1 can head home to resume mining.
- 19 — Upgrade your to .
- 19 — Build .
- 19 — Recruit . SCV which has finished building Barracks #2 goes toward opponent's natural to scout and assist your first .
- 21 — At this point (~2 minutes in-game) you will continue to build two more s when needed, while starting to attack with your Reapers.
- 24 — Build on natural location.
- 26 — Build #2.
- 26 — After s #3 and #4 you can build 2 x s and rally them home, before lifting the and moving them home.
- 27 — Build . Further supply depots are omitted from the build order; build as required.
- 29 — Build .
- 30 — Upgrade to .
- At this point, around 3:30 in-game, you should have had 4 s to harass and apply pressure, your is on the way and your are floating home, where you also have 2 s and ~25 s.
- 31 — Build #3.
- 31 — Build when is finished building.
- 31 — Build .
- 32 — Build in front of natural to help deflect counter attacks.
- 35 — Recruit as the moves away from the tech lab.
- 37 — Build on the Barracks #3 which was built in-base.
- 40 — Recruit from the completed which floats onto the tech-lab previously built by the Factory.
- 44 — Build .
- 46 — Build #3.
- 46 — Build 2 x on the which will now be landed back in your main base.
- 50 — Research .
- 50 — Build s in mineral lines in case of play from opponent.
- 54 — When the finishes, move the back onto the tech lab, while the starts a .
- 54 — Research Infantry Weapons Level 1.
- You are now in a strong set-up to continue playing your macro-focused game. You can start up constant - - production to create the traditional Marine-Tank composition seen in TvT, with bio upgrades coming up to reinforce it. You will have the option to play very aggressively as you have ended up with 3 before a third - so put this to use once has finished and s are on the map.
Significant additions from this point:
- You will want to head up into a third when your minerals allow for it.
- Make sure to start when completes.
- For upgrades you will start +1 Armor after +1 Attack, and halfway through add a second and an so that you can start +2/+2 upgrades at the same time.
- After the third you will want to go up to 5 x in total and a second .
Execution of the Reaper Opening
The way you want to play with the opening will depend a lot on how your opponent is opening as there are a few ways in which you can change up your approach based on what your opponent has and does (as well as somewhat on the map). One of the first things you should be aware of is whether your opponent knows that you are opening with this build, or in other words, whether they sent out an scout. If they did, it is not a massive issue. This build is used frequently when players know that the majority of the times players do SCV scout. Even if the SCV does not scout the proxy directly, when they arrive at your base, the lack of Barracks should give up your plan.
One thing you can take advantage of if they do not scout is that you can wait with your first until you have a second one, as the surprise factor can be a bit more damaging and it can even cause your opponent to have their units out of position compared to if they have time to start responding to the first reaper. If they did scout however, you are only giving up potential damage time and the chance to delay SCVs from building if you wait for an additional Reaper.
You should use the you kept on your opponent's side of the map to fight with your first - an SCV chasing your opponent's Reaper can cause a lot of issues for them and will make them have to continue microing it around more than usual - it can also turn the tide of battle if it manages to get one sneaky drill off, giving your Reaper the health advantage. This is a opening which can snowball very quickly if you make some early pick offs, so the more you can do to create that opportunity the better.
Whether your opponent has walled off or not is also a very decisive factor in terms of what you are going to be able to get done. With a wall off, you are going to be much more limited with where your Reapers can go, which is actually fine. With this build especially, you are not necessarily in need of hitting the mineral line and killing multiple s. You can actually be just fine sitting on your opponent's ramp and picking away at a for example. You will have already forced the cancel on their natural , which means you are going to have your own expansion up and mining before they do, which is one of the key goals of the opening.
Pushing into the base gets very dangerous if they have a wall because you can very quickly become trapped and lose your units without getting enough done. The less you get done the more danger you are going to be in when it comes to your opponent's possible counteraattacks and follow-ups. So sit back, skirmish with your opponent's units and delay them as much as possible. Try and find as much value as you can (force fights by picking away at the wall off and so on). Losing your Reapers is not the end of the world, but you want to buy as much time as possible for your and to be up at home to help with defense.
If there is no wall off, you can definitely push the issue a little more easily and this is where you might be able to get a couple of extra worker kills in comparison. These are the scenarios where things may begin to very quickly get out of hand and you can start to snowball - if this is the case (multiple unit pick offs and SCVs spending a lot of time chasing you down), you can delay your at home to add on additional s, to keep up the pressure and to maximize damage. If you are already killing units without losing your Reapers, it means that their counterattack is already going to be heavily delayed.
Again your overall goal with this variation is mostly to get your own natural mining faster than your opponent and from there being able to defend well enough so that you keep that lead which you have established.
Transitioning out of the Reaper Play
So the attack is over, what comes next? If you have followed the build order, you are already setting up very nicely to defend most things which are going to be coming you way. You get a to help push back ground attacks and you have a to help as well, plus providing detection. There are definitely some variations from the listed build that you can go for and you can play around with possibly getting additional Cyclones or going into a as well as the Raven. In general, the Cyclone-Raven combination is going to keep you safe while you catch up on production cycles. (Remember your and were later than your opponent's.)
Most games are going to be different, because of how differently the attack with the s can go. You are going to kill more in some games and less in others, so it is important to keep thinking about the situation you put your opponent in and to think about what that means in terms of what they can do next. Some form of air-based pressure is very common (sometimes even from a proxy ), which is why the Raven and Cyclone are so important to help defend initially.
It really becomes a much more normal game than you would think, however. Everything that is true in the usual TvT is true in this scenario as well: there could be drops coming, there could be a fast third from your opponent, they could be going mech or bio. This guide is not here to talk about all those possibilities, but we do want to remind you that you really do enter the mid game in a very normalized position, but hopefully with an advantage that you created from the opening. You also have the benefit of potentially putting your opponent outside of the comfort zone and outside of their usual build order as they will have likely had to change things up to be able to deal with your initial attack.
It is funny that a build that is so aggressive can be seen as standard, but there is a reason that many players are using this at the highest level of play in some of the most important tournaments in the world on a regular basis. It is an opening which allows you to dictate the pace of the game and it puts the game into your control when it comes to how well you control your units.
The variation we looked at here (taken from TY and SpeCial) prioritizes a faster expansion to enable you to head into a stronger economy-focused mid game, rather than more aggressive follow-ups which are seen more frequently from players such as Maru or INnoVation. It is really interesting that the generic build "Proxy 2 Rax Reaper" has actually developed into a build which has multiple different ways to be played out. Again, if you are comfortable with early game control and aggression, this is a great build for you to dive into and practice a bunch to change things up a bit in your TvT. It frequently leads into a more macro-oriented mid game than you would expect, which allows you to still play the TvT styles you are comfortable with while having a different route to get there.
- 27 Mar. 2018: Added a new TvT build, the Proxy 2 Rax Reaper, which actually has more focus on the mid-game than you would usually expect.
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