This variant on the standard 1rax FE build gets the midgame infrastructure up much earlier for a lot of midgame aggression, while sacrificing early safety against one and early two base Protoss attacks.
- 10 – Supply Depot
- 12 – Barracks
- 16 – Marine (only 1)
- 17 – Orbital Command
- 17 – 2nd Command Center
- 17 – Supply Depot (Resume Marine Production)
- 20 – Bunker at Natural
- 22 – 2 more Barracks
- 24 – 1 Refinery
- 26 – 2nd Orbital Command
- 30 – @25 Gas, start Tech lab
- Build 2nd bunker at natural if you fear any pressure
- @100 Gas, start Stimpack Research and 2nd Refinery
- @100 Gas, start Factory, Engineering Bay, and 3rd Refinery
- @100% Engineering Bay, start +1 attack
- @100% Factory, start Reactor on Factory and Starport
- @75 Gas, start Tech lab and Reactor on Barracks
- Start Marauder production and Combat Shields/Concussive Shells
- @300 Mins, start 4th and 5th Barracks
- @100% Starport, swap off Starport onto Reactor and start double Medivac production
- Push out with your first 2 Medivacs (@9:45ish), to take map control with Stimpack, +1 attack, Combat Shields, Concussive Shells, 2 Medivacs, and around 25 Marines/Marauders
- Do NOT engage Protoss yet
- @100% 4th and 5th Barracks, start Reactor and Tech lab
- @400 Mins, start your 3rd Command Center
- Engage Protoss once 1 or 2 rounds of your extra Barracks have arrived and with nonstop reinforcements (@10:45ish).
When you send your scouting SCV, look for the number of gasses your opponent has, their Nexus energy, and also the units they are producing out of the 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 early attack. The different common responses to standard Protoss builds are:
Nexus First: Bunker rush with 4 Barracks instead of getting your 2nd CC OR Stop making marines at 3, get your 3rd CC, and go straight into double upgrades to get a leg up in the macro game.
Confirmed 1 Gate Expand: Play normally – be fearful of early 3gate follow-up attacks.
Everything Else: Get the 2nd bunker up at your natural and be very inclined to pull SCVs to repair bunkers if pressure does arrive at your front.
- To confirm that your opponent is not all-inning you, have an SCV (or scan) go to his natural just before the 6 minute mark. A 4gate will hit before this timing, but 2 bunkers and repair should be able to hold a 4gate easily enough; all other all-ins hit much later and this scout will give you enough time to mount an appropriate defense.
- You cannot afford Marauders with this build until you start the Starport.
- The 100 extra minerals and 50 gas from making 2 Marauders at a time will slow down the push by over a minute.
- Take map control when you initially poke out with your first two Medivacs
- Do NOT engage Protoss yet though.
- This build sets up your infrastructure for a lot of reinforcements, but does not increase your army size until those reinforcements have actually arrived.
- Once the first or second wave of units from all 5 Barracks have popped (you should be making 3 Marauders and 4 marines at a time), straight up fight Protoss’ army.
- Spread your army, kite Zealots, pick up units trapped between forcefields and zealots with Medivacs, and dodge storms as best you can.
- However, do not forget to build reinforcing units, and do not stop the aggression unless you are forced to.
- During this aggression, you also get to see what army composition your opponent has. Get a 4th Refinery. Then react appropriately to Colossus by making Vikings (and possibly a 2nd Starport) and to High Templar by making Ghosts.
During the fighting, place down your 3rd CC, 2nd Engineering Bay and Armory, and Ghost academy or 2nd Starport to counter your opponent’s HTs or Colossi. Fighting your opponent across the map forces them to reveal which tech path they’ve gone down and safely give you the time you need to counter it before it comes to your base.
Pros and Cons
This 1rax FE variant cuts many early-game corners compared to other 1rax FEs. Delaying the 2nd Refinery means that you cannot afford any Marauders at all until after your Starport has been started. Thus, in case your opponent does an early-game attack, you have to rely on Bunkers and SCVs to repair and tank damage much more than you would in other builds.
However, what this build lacks in the early game it more than makes up for in the mid game. Getting five Barracks up that fast means that you can apply a lot of midgame aggression against your opponent. With proper micro, it’s entirely possible to overrun the front with pure Marine/Marauder/Medivac even against Colossi or HTs, simply because of how many units you are reinforcing with.
Because this build start hitting your opponent hard in the midgame around the time they would normally like to be taking their third, it is a particularly strong build on maps with vulnerable thirds. Likewise it is much stronger on maps where walking between the natural and third exposes the Protoss army. Also, it is much stronger vs Colossus builds than High Templar builds (you can start Viking production instantly without having to add-on any more infrastructure), so it is better on maps that favor Colossus.
- Condemned Ridge
- Akilon Flats
- Antiga Shipyard
- Entombed Valley