TvZ Innovation’s Reactor Hellion 3CC

General Overview

This CC First build gets a ridiculously fast 3rd Command Center, taking your economy immediately into the midgame.  Using Reactor Hellions for map control and scouting information, this build is also reasonably safe; your Hellions let you quickly react to any Zerg all-in and Widow Mines + 3 Orbitals provides a reasonable defense.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 14 – Command Center
  • 15 – Barracks
  • 16 – Refinery
  • 18 – Pause SCV production
  • 18 – @100% Barracks, start Orbital Command and 1st Marine
  • 19 – @100% 2nd Command Center, start 2nd Orbital Command
  • 20 – @100% 1st Marine, start Bunker and start 2nd Marine.
    • Resume SCV production
  • 22 – @150 Gas, start Factory and Reactor on Barracks
  • 24 – Supply Depot
  • 28 – @400 Mins, start 3rd Command Center, swap Factory onto Reactor, start constant Hellion production, and start Tech lab on Barracks
  • @100% Tech lab, start Stimpack Research, constant Marine production, and 2nd Refinery
  • Benchmark: When you start Stimpack Research (@6:35ish), you should have 30 SCVs, 2 Marines, and 2 Hellions
  • @300 Mins, start 2 Engineering Bays
  • @100% 6 Hellions, start a new Reactor on Factory
  • @100% Engineering Bays, start +1/+1, 2 more Barracks, and 2 more Refineries
  • @100% Factory’s Reactor, start new Reactor on Factory, a Starport, and 2 more Barracks
  • @100% Starport, swap off onto Factory’s Reactor, start Armory, start Combat Shields, and start constant Medivac production
  • Benchmark: When your first Medivacs pop (@10:30ish), you should have around 65 SCVs, 13 Marines, 6 Hellions, 2 Medivacs, Stim, and +1/+1.


Instead of worrying about early game Zerglings, Innovation just builds his Command Center on the high ground, and finishes a wall-off with the initial Barracks.  Thus, Innovation does not scout at all until his first Hellions pop.  With these Reactor Hellions he takes map control, clears out any Zerglings at watchtowers, and pokes Zerg’s front to spot the Zerg’s third base, any buildings at the front, and any units that Zerg is making.

  • If you see a ton of Speedlings, then make sure your Hellion micro is on point.  Feel free to pull back behind your natural wall in order to more effectively deal with Speedlings.
  • If you see Roaches, then immediately cut Reactor Hellion production and start making Widow Mines two at a time.  Make a Marauder, and consider cutting SCVs in order to complete a wall-off at your natural and prevent your opponent from running past your Bunker/Widow Mines.
  • If you see two Evolution Chambers, then assume your opponent is playing a macro game.
  • Alternatively, if you see a third base, then you can also assume your opponent is playing a macro game.

After any early pressure is spotted or not spotted, lift off your third Command Center and take your third.  Use your Hellions and Marines (now with Stim) to secure it.  All mid-game scouting will come from your incoming push with your first Medivacs.


This build transitions well into both Marine/Tank or Marine/Marauder/Medivac/Mine because it sets up the basic infrastructure needed for either of those and gets Stim, +1/+1, and Combat Shields.  It’s infeasible to transition into Mech because of how much infrastructure and time you have already committed to into Bio upgrades.

For either transition, secure your third base, take both Refineries at your third, start +2/+2, and produce a lot of Marines.  When transitioning into Marine/Tank, start a Tech lab on your Factory as well as a second Factory to kick start your Siege Tank count.  When transitioning into Bio/Widow Mine, produce a Reactor on your Factory and start cranking out Widow Mines as you abuse your mobile Marine/Medivac force to apply pressure to your opponent.  A +2/+2 timing attack with several Siege Tanks or several Widow Mines, and a lot of Marines is a very strong timing to hit.

Pros and Cons

This build opens with a ridiculously economic opener – CC First into 3 CC.  However, this build gets Reactored Hellions quite quickly in order to take map control as well as stay safe against early Speedling timings.  Also, your Hellions are quite useful in terms of the scouting information they give you.

However, this build is somewhat weak to early Roaches.  Also, you can only apply very light pressure to your opponent with your initial 6 Hellions – all other harass will have to come later once Medivacs are out.

Favorable Maps

This build is quite strong on most default maps, for it benefits from both tight naturals (so you can fully wall-off against Speedlings or Roaches) as well as open maps (so that Hellions and your mobile Marine army have room to maneuver around).

  • King Sejong Station
  • Overgrowth
  • Catallena
  • Merry Go Round
  • Deadwing
  • Foxtrot Labs
  • Nimbus


Innovation beating Life with this build in the WCS KR Season 1 Group of Death

Innovation demolishing Soulkey in Proleague with this build

Innovation beating Soulkey with this build in Season 2 of WCS KR

ForGG losing against Nerchio with this build at DreamHack Stockholm 2013

Innovation’s Reactor Hellion 3CC Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI