TvP 3OC Build

General Overview

This 1rax FE build cuts early game units in favor of getting a ridiculously fast third command center and faster upgrades.  Assuming you survive going into the midgame, your ridiculously strong economy will let you walk over non-greedy opponents.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 16 – Marine (only 1)
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – 2nd Command Center
  • 17 – Supply Depot (Resume Marine production)
  • 22 – 3rd Command Center (in base)
  • 25 – Bunker at Natural
  • 26 – 2nd Orbital Command
  • @300 Mins, start 2 more Barracks
  • @150 Mins, start 2 Refineries
  • @25 Gas, start Techlab and Engineering Bay
  • @100 Gas, start Stimpack Research, and 3rd Refinery
  • @100 Gas, start +1 Infantry Attack
  • @100 Gas, start Factory and 4th Refinery
  • @75 Gas, start Reactor and Techlab on naked Barracks
    • Start Marauder production
  • @100% Factory, start Reactor on Factory and Starport for later swap off
  • @300 Mins, start 4th and 5th Barracks
  • @100% Starport, swap off onto Reactor and start double Medivac production
  • @100% Stim, start Combat Shields and Concussive Shells
  • @100% 4th and 5th Barracks, start Reactor and Techlab
  • @100% +1 Attack, start +1 Armor, 2nd Engibay, and Armory
  • Push out when your first 2 Medivacs pop (@10:30ish) to secure your 3rd base with Stimpack, +1 Infantry Attack, Combat Shields, Concussive Shells, 2 Medivacs, and around 28 Marines/Marauders
    • Do NOT engage toss yet

Scouting

When you send your scouting SCVs, you want to look for gasses, nexus energy, and the units he is producing out of his gateway.  If he only has 1 gas before his stalker pops, check to see whether your opponent gets his natural at around 5:15 (You can hide your SCV nearby and then run it in around 5:30 to check for an expansion later if need be).  If he has 2 gas or is not spending his chronoboost, then be wary of any sort of attack.  The common responses to standard protoss builds are:

Nexus First: Continue with this build as normal.  If your opponent throws down a Forge early, then go straight into double upgrades to get a leg up in the macro game.

Confirmed 1 Gate Expand: Play normally – be fearful of any sort of early followup attacks.

Everything Else: Get that 2nd bunker up at your natural and be very inclined to pull SCVs to repair bunkers if pressure does come.  This build is not safe vs most 1 base allins, but while defending, bunkers and SCVs can be thrown away as long as you live due to how effective three mules at a time are.

Tips

  • Going into a TvP on ladder, start off doing one of the standard 1rax FEs.  If you scout him unit-less 1rax FEing (where your opponent skips the first stalker and you confirm him placing down his nexus with your scouting SCV) or 17 nexusing, then proceed into this build.  This build is not safe vs basically every 1base allin except for DT drop.
  • This build is completely safe against a 17nexus, EXCEPT if he follows it up with a 6gate allin.  Therefore, be sure to scan your opponent’s main and natural around the 7 minute mark until you’ve seen some tech besides gateways.  If you do not see any of this tech, then bunker up and be willing to pull lots of SCVs to defend the gateway allin.
  • Take map control when you initial poke out with your first two medivacs, but do NOT engage protoss.  This build sets up your economy and infrastructure for a lot of reinforcements, but does not increase your army size until those reinforcements have actually arrived.

Transitions

There are two default play styles you can follow up this build with.

  • The first is a Thorzain-esque style, where you focus mainly on getting earlier gas geysers and tech in order to reach a maxed out Terran death ball with huge economy, mass infrastructure, and a lot of ghosts.  Follow up your push with a quick 4th Command Center, be sure to get your 5th and 6th gas geysers down quickly, and start your 2nd Starport and ghost academy at the same time.  Favor keeping units alive rather than trading cost effectively using drops.
  • The second is a Taeja-esque style, where you stay on a lower gas count in order to pump out of a lot more barracks and hopefully crush your opponent earlier – before they’re maxed.  Follow up your push with 3 more Barracks, and only one more gas geyser.  Keep pumping out Marines/Marauders/Medivacs/Vikings and constantly trading in order to overwhelm your opponent with numbers, rather than tech.  Favor trading units cost effectively in engages or via drops, than sitting back and getting a huge ghost/base count.

Pros and Cons

This 3OC build cuts many corners in terms of early safety compared to standard play.  It gets so few units early game, that this build truly should only be used against a unit-less 1gate FE or a 17 nexus.  Any sort of 1 base attack will be near impossible to hold. Also, your 2-Medivac push is not quite as strong as other builds because getting that third CC delays your barracks and factory timings by about a minute.

Getting that fast third orbital, however, gives you an incredible economy, and gets you maxed on SCVs by the 11 minute mark.  Going into the midgame, you have your upgrades a little bit earlier than normal, and more importantly – you already have the production of a 3 base TvP when you’re first moving out.  This means that once you start attacking, you have the production and economy to either keep up nonstop aggression against your opponent’s third, or take a quick 4th and max out with Marines/Marauders/Medivacs+Ghost/Viking several minutes before you otherwise could.  With strong upgrades and early infrastructure, this build literally lets you walk over non-greedy opponents.

Favorable Maps

This build is as macro-oriented as you can get, so is very favored on larger maps with easy to defend third bases.

  • Entombed Valley
  • Daybreak
  • Condemned Ridge
  • Cloud Kingdom

Replays

3OC Tutorial vs a Very Easy AI

Mid-Masters Example of 3OC Build in Action (Note – Scanning and seeing the double Forge and Robotics Facility made me feel incredibly safe in the midgame, so I cut all Marine production to push the upgrades and Factory timing earlier).