TvP DeMusliM’s Reaper FE

General Overview

This HotS Reaper FE, optimized by Flash and DeMusliM, gets out exactly one Reaper for scouting and a ridiculously fast Engineering Bay for an early +1 Infantry Attack in order to hit a 10 minute timing with +1/+1, Stimpack, and Medivacs.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 12 – Refinery
  • 15 – Orbital Command
  • 15 – Reaper
  • 17 – After first 100 Gas is mined, stop mining all gas
  • 17 – @100% Reaper, start Reactor on Barracks
    • You should now be at 0 Gas
  • 17 – @400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center
  • 18 – Supply Depot
  • 20 – Bunker, and put 3 SCVs back in the Refinery
  • @100% Reactor, start Engineering Bay
  • @100% Engineering Bay, start +1 Infantry Attack
  • Benchmark: When you start +1 Attack (@5:10ish), you should have 20 SCVs, 1 Reaper, and 2 Marines
  • @100% 2nd Command Center, start Orbital Command and 2nd Barracks
  • @100 Gas, start Factory and 2 more Refineries
  • @100% 2nd Barracks, start Tech lab
  • @100% Tech lab, start Stimpack Research
  • @100% Factory, start Starport and Reactor on Factory
    • Can now start Marauder production
  • @100% +1 Infantry Attack, start +1 Infantry Armor
  • @100% Starport, swap off Starport onto Reactor and start Reactored Medivac production
  • Push out when your first 2 Medivacs pop (@9:20ish) with 2 Medivacs, 45 SCVs, around 20 Marines and 3 Marauders, (and a Reaper)
  • @200 Gas, start an Armory, Combat Shields, and a 3rd Command Center
  • Benchmark: When your Stimpack finishes (@9:50ish), you should have 4 Medivacs, 48 SCVs, and around 22 Marines and 3 Marauders


This build has a fragile beginning (opening with a Reaper FE means that you only have 1 Reaper for quite some time), so scouting with this Reaper is absolutely crucial.  You CANNOT lose your Reaper.  Instead, use it to spot how many Assimilators your opponent has taken, when they expand (or note if they do not get a fast expansion by around the 5 minute mark), and how many early game units they are defending with.  You must keep the Reaper active on the map to spot for any early aggression and also to prevent your opponent’s first Stalker or Zealot/Stalker from getting to your base and doing damage.

If your opponent has not expanded by around the 5 minute mark, then prepare to deal with 1 base play.  Also, if you do not know whether or not your opponent has built a Stargate, taking advantage of your ridiculously fast Engineering Bay to build a Missile Turret is not a bad idea too.


This build can only transition into Bio play, for you have committed all your resources and time into getting the Infantry upgrades and Medivacs.  After this build, secure your 3rd Command Center, continue your upgrades with +2 Infantry Attack, build 6 more Barracks (for a total of 8), and a Ghost academy/2nd Starport to go into a strong, late game army.  Your fast third Command Center and early upgrades means that your late game army will be much stronger than your opponent’s assuming that you are able to deny their third base with your initial Medivac poke.


  • The gas timing of this build is quite important – be sure to mine exactly 100 Gas so that you have enough for the Reaper and Reactor and no more.  Getting your natural Command Center up before the 2nd Supply Depot is a major strength of this build.
  • Early game Stalker + Mothership Core pressure can be game ending if you lose your initial Reaper.  Do NOT lose your Reaper.
  • If you believe your opponent is playing with an aggressive 1 base build (for instance, if you scout a Stargate/proxy Pylon/lack of Nexus), add a 2nd Bunker at the front, and consider getting a Missile Turret in each mineral line.
  • Oracles, even with an expansion, massacre un-upgraded Marines, so if your opponent has a Stargate, you have to instantly get out one Missile Turret per mineral line.
  • The gas timings of this build are somewhat more delayed than what you might be used to if you usually play with a gasless 1rax FE.  Therefore, be sure to cut all Marauder production until after your Starport has completed.
  • Try not to take any huge engages against your Protoss opponent with your initial Medivacs unless you are sure you can do damage.  With only 2 Barracks producing units, and such a fast 3rd Command Center, your army is not designed to outright win the game – rather to further your economic and upgrade advantage in order to win the game at a later point.

Pros and Cons

This build is strong because it gives you the economy and infrastructure on par with a Wings of Liberty style 1rax FE.  Also, this build makes a fast Reaper to scout throughout the early game.  Not to mention the fact that you also get a ridiculously early Engineering Bay in order to kick start your Bio upgrades very early.  This build also takes no detours and goes directly into Bio+Medivac play, so your Stim+Medivac aggression happens much sooner than if you go for early Widow Mines.

However, this build is quite vulnerable to early Protoss pokes, especially if you lose your Reaper.  Another problem with this build is that with such a low Marine count in the early game, fast Oracles can do a lot of damage if your scouting/Missile Turret timing is not perfect.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on larger maps and also maps with lots of cliffs on the main base so that a Reaper can jump up and get lots of scouting information.  Also it works well on any maps with a safe natural so that your opponent is more likely to expand instead of try to all-in you.

  • King Sejong Station
  • Catallena
  • Deadwing
  • Foxtrot Labs
  • Nimbus


Relevant Day9 Daily

Flash performing this build against Parting in the WCS Korea Group of Death (Game 1 and 2)

Innovation beating Myungsik with this build in the IEM KR qualifiers

DeMusliM’s Reaper FE Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI