TvT 4 Hellbat Drop

Disclaimer

With the Hellbat patch of July 11, 2013 (Hellbat attack damage decreased from 18 (+12 Light) to 18), Hellbats will not be as good at killing SCVs nor Marines.  Note that this build is a lot weaker than it used to be because of this direct Hellbat nerf, and therefore you are advised to use this build at your own risk.  It is also suggested that instead you learn a more “modern” TvT build such as TaeJa’s HotS Banshee Build.

General Overview

This build opens with a very fast Starport and Armory for a strong, early-game Hellbat drop.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 13 – Refinery
  • 17 – 1st Marine
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – Supply Depot
  • 18 – 2nd Marine
  • 18 – Factory
  • 19 – 2nd Refinery
  • 20 – @100% 2nd Marine, start Reactor on Barracks
  • @100 Gas, start Armory
  • @100% Reactor, swap Factory onto Reactor (start 2 Hellions)
  • @150 Gas, start Starport and Reactor on Barracks
  • @100% Armory, start constant Hellbat production
  • @100% Starport, swap Starport onto Barracks’ Reactor (start 2 Medivacs)
  • Double drop 4 Hellbats when your first 2 Medivacs finish (@7:00ish)
  • Benchmark: When your first Medivacs pop (@7:00ish), you should have 26 SCVs, 2 Marines, 2 Hellions, 4 Hellbats, and 2 Medivacs

Scouting

This build keeps you safe in the early game from most Reaper or Hellion shenanigans if you position your Marines correctly, so performing this build without SCV scouting is totally acceptable.  Up until Banshees are out, there is nothing that is any particular threat to this build; however, even if your opponent is opening with Banshees, at home, starting a reactive Engineering Bay (for turrets) and 2 Vikings as soon as your first 2 Medivacs pop should be enough to keep you quite safe.

Transitions

This build transitions smoothly into Marine/Tank or Mech play.  While your Hellbat drop is moving out (and assuming you don’t need to produce reactive turrets or vikings to defend a Banshee from your opponent), build a Command Center as soon as possible to start any transition.

For a Marine/Tank transition, start a Tech lab on your Factory for Siege Tank production as soon as possible because Siege Tanks will keep your safe from most early mid-game timings.  Then take your third gas geyser, start 2 more Barracks, and add on a Engineering Bay for upgrades.  Focus on spending your gas on Siege Tanks and upgrades (NOT on Medivacs) until you have a large Marine count.

For a Mech transition, continue Hellbat production from your Reactored Factory as you take all four Refineries.  Adding on 2 more Factories with Tech labs, start +1 Mech attack, and working on Viking production will start your transition into Mech.  Alternatively, you can instantly stop Hellbat production, and throw down a 3rd Command Center very quickly before getting all your Refineries and Factories.  This transition will yield a late-game focused, turtling Mech style that is much more well suited for maps with easy-to-defend third bases.

Pros and Cons

This build hits your opponent with a quick Hellbat drop to kick start an aggressive game.  With the Hellbat drop, you can outright kill certain builds that are short on defense in the early game.  Finally, this build is quite versatile when it comes to transitions because opening with a 1/1/1 grants you the freedom to transition into nearly anything.

However, this build sacrifices all early-game map control to Reaper or Hellion openers.  Also, if your opponent defends the Hellbat drop(s) with a 1rax FE (a difficult feat to pull off), then you will behind economically going into the midgame.

Favorable Maps

This build is strong on maps with fewer cliff ranges that Reapers can jump up and down, discouraging Reaper builds.

  • Akilon Wastes
  • Bel’Shir Vestige
  • Derelict Watcher
  • Whirlwind

Replays

Lucifron beating Center with a less safe variation of this build at the Acer Team Story Cup

4 Hellbat Drop Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI

 

Nathanias’ YouTube Tutorial