TvZ Polt’s Map Control Build

General Overview

This Reaper FE opens up with every map control unit Terran has – Reapers, Hellions, a Viking, and a Medivac.  Once you have map control and feel safe, this build can transition into either Marine/Tank or Marine/Marauder/Medivac/Mine.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 12 – Refinery
  • 15 – Orbital Command
  • 15 – Reaper (up to 2)
  • 16 – Supply Depot
  • 20 – @400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center
  • 22 – @150 Gas, start Reactor on Barracks, and Factory
  • @100% Factory, start Starport, swap Factory onto Reactor, and start Tech lab on Barracks
    • Begin constant Hellion production
  • @100% Starport, start a Viking
  • @100% 4th Hellion, start Widow Mine production
  • @100% Viking, start Medivac, 3rd Command Center, and 2nd Refinery
  • Benchmark: When your Medivac starts (@7:45ish), you should have 2 Reaper, 4 Hellions, 2 Widow Mines, 1 Viking, 2 Marines, and 34 SCVs.

Scouting

Because this build opens with as many different map control units as Terran has, there is no need for super early SCV scouting.  Your initial scout comes from your Reaper(s) poking into your opponent’s base.  Check for a lack of a natural, early gas, or any quick tech buildings.  Consider cutting Hellions and getting Widow Mines instead if your opponent is going for a very early all-in.

The next scout comes from your Reapers and Hellions poking the front.  You should be able to spot a 3rd base and your opponent’s Queen count.  If you see a lack of Queens and no 3rd base, then be prepared for a 2 base all-in of sorts.  Extra bunkers, a full wall-off, and Marauders/Siege Tanks are the best ways to defend most Roach or Baneling based all-ins.

Finally, your last scout comes from a Medivac drop and your Viking.  Use your Viking to kill Overlords blocking your 3rd base or scouting around the map.  You can also use the Viking to keep tabs on your opponent’s base count up until they have any anti-air (usually Mutalisks).  Be sure not to lose the Viking to Queens, however, so stay off creep.  Also, use your Medivac drop for map control at the front.  Scan, kill creep, and pick up and leave with your 8 units up everywhere your opponent is spreading creep until your opponent has Mutalisks.

This build gets you map control in every way: initial ground control comes from your Reapers; follow-up ground control comes from your Reaper/Hellion pokes; follow-up air control comes from your Viking on Overlord-killing duty; and follow-up creep control comes from a squadron of Marine/Marauder in your Medivac.  Be sure to use all of these to their fullest in order to have maximum scouting information.

Transitions

This build transitions well into both Marine/Tank or Marine/Marauder/Medivac/Mine.  It can also transition into Mech, but anyone who watches Polt as a player knows that he never goes Mech in basically any matchup, so I have opted not to write-up the Mech transition.

For either transition, start Stimpack research and 2 Engineering Bays so that your midgame army will have some staying power on the field.  Once you have minerals, throw down up to 7 Barracks and an extra Factory to reach the 3 base infrastructure that you need to out-produce your Zerg opponent.  Start producing Siege Tanks or Widow Mines from your initial Factory to get a healthy unit count while you are building up your Bio army.

Lift up your third base and take your third once you feel safe, starting an Armory so as to continue your upgrades.  Remember to stay on top of your huge mineral count.  Because this build only stays on 3 buildings for unit production for quite some time, but gets you a similar income, your mineral income will seem much larger than you think.  Start those Engineering Bays and Barracks as soon as you can afford them for a strong midgame army.

Tips

  • Do NOT over commit your initial Reapers by trying to kill Drones.  Use them more for scouting and prioritize keeping them alive so as to keep your opponent’s early game units back at home.
  • Do NOT over commit your initial Reaper/Hellion poke by trying to kill Drones.  Again, use them more for scouting and prioritize keeping them alive unless you see a huge opening that you can punish (such as spotting your opponent’s Queens off creep and knowing that your opponent does not have Zergling Speed).
  • If you spot your opponent going all-in, then be sure to stop map-control-unit production and instantly begin Widow Mines and Marauders.  Adding an extra Bunker and/or completing your wall-off at your natural will help provide buffers against any incoming attacks as well.
  • When your Viking pops, be sure to shoot down as many Overlords as you can.  Simply shift-queue up an attack route around all of your side of the map in order to kill any Overlords your opponent has that are off creep.
  • Use your initial Medivac and several Marines/Marauders for creep-killing duty.  Scan, kill creep, and pick up and leave with your 8 units up everywhere your opponent is spreading creep until your opponent has Mutalisks.  Try and pick off a Queen if you can.
  • Once you throw down your 3rd Command Center, you are going to have A LOT of minerals.  Be sure to transition quickly by starting the Engineering Bays, Barracks, and Refineries as soon as you can afford them.

Pros and Cons

This build is quite strong because of its ability to scout and harass early on.  With Reapers, Hellions, Vikings, and Medivacs all being used to take map control, and a 1/1/1 at home with the versatility to react to whatever units your opponent seems to be making, this build is also quite safe against any early all-ins that your opponent might try to do.  Finally, if your opponent ever slips up and does not adequately prepare for your continuous production of map control units, you can quickly kill many Drones and take a huge economic advantage as what happens in game 5 of Polt vs HyuN.

However, this build is not quite as economical as a 3CC build such as Innovation’s Reactor/Hellion 3CC build.  It also requires a lot of APM in order to micromanage all of your early game harassing/map control units while keeping up your macro at home.  Finally, it delays Stimpack by several minutes when compared to most other builds, so all of your early aggression must come from Stimpack-less Bio units and your map control units.

Favorable Maps

This build is strongest on maps with lots of cliffs so your Reapers have more ways to stay alive, as well as maps with a large natural wall-off so that your Reaper/Hellion pokes can actually kill some Drones.

  • King Sejong Station
  • Overgrowth
  • Merry Go Round
  • Deadwing

Replays

Polt beating ByuL in the Grand Finals of WCS America 2013 Season 3

Polt beating HyuN in the best TvZ of MLG Anaheim 2013

TaeJa beating Life in the Semifinals of Dreamhack Bucharest 2013

Polt destroying HyuN in the Grand Finals of MLG Anaheim 2013

Polt’s Map Control Build Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI