TvT FanTaSy’s Widow Mine Drop into Banshee

General Overview

This aggressive build hits your opponent with relentless harassment, either outright winning the game or giving you a considerable economic advantage before even entering the midgame.  Also, with Widow Mine and Banshee play, this build force a lot of scans – giving you another sort of economic advantage going into the midgame.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 13 – Refinery
  • 16 – @100% Barracks, start constant Marine production
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – Supply Depot
  • 18 – @100 Gas, start Factory and 2nd Refinery
  • @100% Factory, start Starport, Reactor on Barracks, and Widow Mine production (up to 2) from Factory
  • @100% Starport, start a Medivac
  • @100% Medivac, start a Tech lab on Starport
  • Drop your opponent when your Medivac finishes (@6:00ish) with 4 Marines and 2 Widow Mines
  • @100% Tech lab, start Banshee Cloak and Banshee production
  • @400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center
  • Benchmark: When your first Banshee finishes (@7:30ish), you should have 10 Marines, 2 Widow Mines, a Medivac, a Banshee, and around 28 SCVs.

Scouting

SCV scout after you start your 1st Refinery so as to check whether your opponent is opening Reapers or not.  Against a Reaper player, be sure to position your Marines on the high ground where your opponent’s Reaper(s) are most likely to hop up.  Against a non-Reaper player, feel more safe and try to deny your opponent vision of whether you have taken gasses in your main or an expansion at your natural with your first Marines.

Your next scout will come with your Widow Mine Drop.  With this drop you can check what your opponent’s opener is.  Against a Banshee player, you can following through with the build and trying to out-micro him in Banshee vs Banshee harass, or you can cancel your banshee and start a Viking and Engineering Bay for a Turret to play safe.  Against a Hellbat Dropping player, make a few more Widow Mines to position them defensively against any incoming drop as you use your Widow Mine Drop and incoming Banshee to out-harass him.  Against a player going for a similar Widow Mine Drop, you can either pull back and try to defend or attempt to do more SCV damage with your drop than he does with his.

Finally, when your first Banshee starts its harass, you will get a good look at everything else your opponent is doing when trying to transition into the midgame.  Keep an eye out for multiple Factories (signalling Mech play) or a researching Barracks Tech lab (signalling Bio play).  Also be sure to keep tabs on your opponent’s base count: if he has not started a natural expansion before your Banshee has finished its harass, start Siege Tanks of your own as soon as possible to defend a 1 base all-in incoming your way.

Transitions

Because this build opens with every tech building, this build transitions quite strongly into either Marine/Tank or Mech play quite easily.

When transitioning into Marine/Tank play be sure to start your Siege Tank production early in order to have a safe defense and later strong army going into the midgame.  When you can afford it, start 2 more Barracks with Tech labs for Stimpack and Combat Shields and an Engineering Bay to start your Infantry upgrades.  If you see your opponent playing Mech, then you can go for either a Marauder/Tank build like Polt is famous for or going for a pure Bio play style with 8+ Barracks pumping out as many Marauders as you can afford.

When transitioning into Mech play, the most standard follow-up is starting your Siege Tank count while you take a quick in-base 3rd Command Center.  Then, starting 2 Factories and an Armory to start your Mech upgrades will take you into the mid game.  Be sure to take all your Refineries before you need the gas, and try to safely secure your 3rd base with a healthy tank count in order to mine from the 6 gas geysers you need to fund a strong Mech army.

Tips

  • If you scout your opponent going for early Reapers, be sure to position your Marines on the high ground above a hop-up ledge that your opponent is most likely going to use.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for any burrowed Widow Mines your opponent might be using defensively to stop a drop or Banshee.  Do NOT drop on top of an active Widow Mine.
  • With your initial Widow Mine drop, avoid Turrets at all costs.  The main purpose of the drop is to force multiple scans, with a side goal of dealing crippling economic damage.
  • Use your Banshee to pick off any enemy SCVs that were already weakened by the initial drop before attacking any of the full health SCVs.
  • If your opponent has a Missile Turret already set up in his mineral line, then do not worry.  Instead, camping a Terran’s production with a Widow Mine and several Marines can be just as effective–especially with the Banshee follow-up that hits soon after.
  • Always favor keeping your Medivac and Banshee alive over doing a little bit more damage.  The promise of continued harass is a lot more useful than an extra SCV kill or two.
  • If during your harass you scout your opponent going for a 1 base all-in, then start Siege Tank production as soon as possible in order to hold your natural.  You can also use your Banshee(s) to delay the attack for quite some time unless your opponent created a Raven.
  • Do NOT produce more than 4 Banshees.  Each Banshee you produce takes a considerable amount of gas that could otherwise be spent on beefing up your midgame army such as by getting Stimpack, Siege Tanks, or upgrades.

Pros and Cons

This build is a very strong, aggressive play style that opens up with unrelenting harassment before even entering the midgame.  With a Widow Mine drop and Banshee follow-up, you can kill many SCVs and also force your opponent to scan often – giving you another type of economic advantage.  Finally, this build is quite versatile when it comes to transitions, for opening with a 1/1/1 grants you the freedom to go into nearly anything.

However, this build sacrifices upgrades in favor of tech, as you will often be behind in the Stimpack research or Engibay/Armory upgrades.  Also, if your opponent defends this build with a 1rax FE without taking any damage, then you will have a tough time trying to deal with midgame bio timings and drops unless you position your Siege Tanks quite defensively.

Favorable Maps

This build is very strong on maps with smaller cliff ranges that Reapers can jump up, encouraging non-Reaper builds and 1rax FEs.  Also it is stronger on maps with large mains so that there are more potential drop locations and air space for Banshees to sneak through.

  • Catallena
  • Overgrowth
  • Merry Go Round

Replays

FanTaSy using this build against Innovation in Proleague

Mid Masters Example Replay of this build in action

FanTaSy’s Widow Mine Drop into Banshee Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI