TvT Maru’s Anti-Banshee Expand

General Overview

This fast expansion build created by Maru uses a lot of scouting in order to stay safe against Reapers and Banshees, getting out enough Marines and the infrastructure needed to defend all sorts of aggression that early-game TvT can have.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 15 – Refinery
  • 16 – Marine (up to 2)
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – Supply Depot
  • 19 – @100% 2nd Marine, start Reactor on Barracks
  • 20 – @400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center
  • 21 – @100 Gas, start Factory
  • @100% Reactor, start constant Marine production and 2nd Refinery
  • @100% 3rd/4th Marines, start 3rd Supply Depot
  • @100% Factory, start Starport and Tech lab on Factory
  • @100% Starport, swap off onto Tech lab
    • If you have suspect your opponent has opened with a Banshee, start a Raven and a Widow Mine.
    • If your opponent is NOT opening Banshee, then you can start delayed Cloaked Banshee OR Siege Tank production of your own instead.
  • Benchmark: When your Raven pops (@7:15ish), you should have 30 SCVs, 12 Marines, 1 Widow Mine, and 1 Raven

Scouting

Figuring out your opponent’s opening so that you can react appropriately when you are performing this build is crucial.  Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you SCV scout around 12 or 13 supply in order to see whether your opponent has opened gas first or not.

If your SCV gets into your opponent’s base and sees that your opponent’s Barracks is delayed compared to yours, you know that they are opening gas first – the most likely scenario being Polt’s Gas First Banshee Build.  However, there are some Gas First Hellion openers, so stick around until the first Marine pops so that you can see what add-ons your opponent is making. A fast Tech lab usually will be swapped off onto the Starport for a fast Banshee.  A fast Reactor can be used to swap off and go for Hellions.  Against Hellion play, build your Command Center and keep your Marines on the high ground.

If you get into your opponent’s base and see that your opponent has mined more gas than you have, the most likely scenario is that they are opening with Reapers.  Note that even if you do not get into your opponent’s base, you can still tell a Reaper is coming by leaving your scouting SCV next to your opponent’s Barracks to spot whether the first unit to pop out is a Marine or a Reaper.  Against Reaper play, build your Command Center and position your Marines on the high ground.  If your opponent commits to 2rax Reaper or Mass Reaper play, transitioning into Innovation’s Marine/Hellion Expand to stay safe (instead of taking a 2nd gas and instantly opening with a Starport) is a common reaction.  With the Reactored Hellion follow-up you can seize map control and deal with Reapers quite easily.

If your opponent is opening with an expansion of their own or has mined the same amount of gas as you have, then consider cutting the Raven and going into delayed Cloaked Banshee OR Siege Tank production of your own.  Whichever you choose is personal preference.

When your second Orbital Command finishes and you are still worried about a 1 base play, consider scanning your opponent’s main base.  Against 1 base non-Banshee play, starting Siege Tanks and using your Raven for Seeker Missile is an easy way to stay safe.  Against 1 base Banshee play, position your Marines and Raven near your production or mineral line as you start a Viking or two for extra defense.

Transitions

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

When transitioning into Marine/Tank play, against Mech and 3CC builds you can get away with starting your 3rd Command Center right away and following-up with 2 Barracks with Tech labs (to start Stimpack/Combat Shields), 3 Refineries, and 2 Engineering bays.

Against a player opening straight into Bio play, however, it is necessary to start a Tech lab on your initial Barracks as soon as possible for a quicker Stimpack.  Then, after taking a 2nd Refinery, you can build a 2nd Barracks onto the naked Reactor and start Siege Tank production to take yourself into the midgame. This is followed up by a 3rd Command Center (between 8:00-8:30), 1 more Barracks, both Refineries at your natural expansion, and 2 Engineering Bays.  Not having Stimpack completed in time for the inevitable 10ish minute drop play can be a game changer because with the new Medivacs boosting around your main and natural, it is very easy to get caught out of position and take a lot of damage for free.

Another possible follow-up is going for Mech play.  By starting a 3rd Command Center instantly, getting all 4 Refineries, and making 2 more Factories and an Armory, you’ll instantly be at the midgame infrastructure you need.  Be sure to make Vikings for drop defense and start your Siege Tank production instantly so that you have a healthy Siege Tank count to defend any early drops/pressure.

Tips

  • Fully read the Scouting section of this build before performing it in a game.  The reactions to scouting information as presented in the Scouting section must be learned before this build is even worth performing in a real game.
  • SCV scout with this build at 12 or 13 supply.
  • If you are absolutely sure your opponent is not opening with Banshee play, then starting delayed Banshee production of your own instead of the Raven is a great way to get midgame map control and a lot more scouting information.
  • Against the first Banshee, you might need to pull all of your Marines to your production or mineral line while you wait for the Raven to pop.  This is completely fine – try to minimize damage by pulling all of your SCVs to one location so that your Raven provides detection over all of your vulnerable spots once it is out.
  • Anticipate how many Banshees your opponent is making and either continue to produce Vikings or stop after 1 or 2 for safety.
  • Be sure to transition into your midgame infrastructure as soon as you have successfully defended the Banshees.

Pros and Cons

This build defends early pressure quite easily, while getting a quick expansion and going into the midgame.  Also, this build is incredibly versatile when it comes to transitions, for opening with a 1/1/1 grants you the freedom to transition into nearly anything.

However, this build requires a lot of scouting in order to be performed effectively.  The reactions and transitions you must perform depend entirely on your scouting information and interpretation of your opponent’s build order.

Favorable Maps

This build is very strong on maps with smaller cliff ranges that Reapers can jump up, encouraging Banshee play.

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

Replays

Maru defending MMA’s Banshee play with this build at WCS Season 3 Finals

Maru’s Anti-Banshee Expand Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI