TvZ Maru’s Hellbat Banshee Timing

General Overview

This Reaper FE transitions into a fast 2 base Hellbat Banshee timing in order to crush your opponent early regardless of whether or not they open with Roaches.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 13 – Refinery
  • 15 – Orbital Command
  • 15 – Marine
  • 16 – Supply Depot
  • 16 – Reaper
  • 20 – @100% Reaper, start Reactor on Barracks, and 2nd Command Center
  • @100 Gas, start Factory
  • @100% Factory, swap onto Reactor, start Reactor on Barracks, Starport, and 2nd Refinery
    • Constant reactored Hellion and Marine production
  • @100% Starport, start Tech lab on Starport
  • @100% Tech lab, start Banshee Cloak
    • Constant Banshee production
  • @100 Gas, start Armory
  • Attack your opponent when your first Banshee reaches your opponent’s natural (@8:30ish) with around 11 Marines, 8 Hellbats, 1 Banshee, and 1 Reaper.

Scouting

Use your Reaper to poke around your opponent’s natural and ascertain whether or not they are performing an early all-in.  Later, when you have Hellions out, poke the front to ensure that your opponent is taking a 3rd base and not performing some delayed 2 base all-in. Favor keeping your Hellions alive over getting more scouting information/killing Drones because you will need every Hellion later for the Hellbat Banshee timing.

During your actual attack, be sure to note whether your opponent is defending with Roaches (which means a potential Roach/Hydra midgame, or at the very least delayed Mutalisks) or with Ling/Bane (which means a probable Ling/Bane/Muta midgame, and a more standard Mutalisk timing).

Transitions

This build opens with a 1/1/1 and therefore does not yet commit to a Bio or Mech midgame.  It can in fact transition into either quite easily.

For a Bio (+Hellbat or Widow Mine) transition, start your 3rd Command Center as you swap off your Barracks onto the Starport’s Tech lab in order to start Stimpack research, 2 Engineering Bays, and 4 more Barracks. Use non-Stimpack Medivac drops to delay your opponent while you get up the necessary midgame infrastructure.

For a Mech transition, start your 3rd Command Center, 2 Factories, and 2 more Refineries. Continue Banshee production to deal with a Roach counter-attack as well as take advantage of the delayed Mutalisk tech.

Tips

  • Use your initial Marine to try and pick off an early scouting Overlord as well as deny early Drone scouts.
  • Your Reaper is not meant to deal damage, but rather give you some basic scouting and map control.
  • Do NOT over-commit your Hellions while scouting around your opponent’s base; you will need all of them for the followup Hellbat Banshee timing to be effective.
  • Try and position a Marine or two inside your base to shoot down any scouting Overlords.
  • During the actual Hellbat Banshee attack, be sure to stutter step into Roaches and Queens, and spread/kite Zerglings and Banelings.

Pros and Cons

This build is a strong 2 base all-in that can outright kill an unsuspecting Zerg opponent, and at the very least forces a huge response in order to defend. By forcing your opponent to make an army, you keep both of your economies low and extend the midgame (where Terran is arguably best in TvZ). Also, this build is better than an exclusively Hellbat attack because of Banshees effectiveness against Roaches.

However this attack requires a lot of micro in order to keep up with a rally of Hellions and Banshees. Also, it is a 2 base build, so has a much smaller economy than standard macro play.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on maps with a small rush distance. Also, maps with a smaller natural expansion give your opponent less room to maneuver and kite the Hellbats.

  • Overgrowth
  • Merry Go Round
  • Catallena
  • Nimbus

Replays

Relevant Day9 Daily

Maru beating Soulkey with this build in the GSL 2014 Season 2

Maru’s Hellbat Banshee Timing Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI