This 2 Barracks with Reactor/Tech lab push is an aggressive build that allows you to punish a Protoss fast expand, as well as get an early map presence. This build attacks early with a handful of Marines and Marauders to take advantage of the strength of early game Concussive Shells against Gateway units. You can also damage your opponent’s economy if he is not prepared.
- 10 – Supply Depot
- 12 – Barracks
- 14 – Refinery
- 15 – Marine
- 16 – Orbital Command
- 16 – @100% Marine, start 2nd Barracks and Reactor on 1st Barracks
- 17 – Supply Depot
- @100% 2nd Barracks, start Tech lab
- @100% Techlab, start constant Marauder production and Concussive Shells
- Push out when your Concussive Shells upgrade finishes with 2 Marauders as you start Stimpack Research
If you have confirmed that your opponent is 1gate FEing (nexus has actually been spotted), then push out when your first marauder finishes to hit before 2nd and 3rd gateways finish. Otherwise, push out as soon as your 2nd marauder finishes. Your goal is to actually attack his units – do not waste shots on buildings or his nexus. Your army is much better in straight up fights in small numbers, but if you let your opponent get too large of an army before whittling it down, then you will be overwhelmed, and your reinforcements will be picked off. Avoid ramps unless you are certain your opponent has no sentries, and avoid locations where your probes can mineral trick in order to surround your army as well.
Scouting with this build is minimal – most of the information you get about your opponent is through your initial push and what units/buildings he reveals to you during the engagements that follow. However, confirming that your opponent is 1gate FEing with your initial SCV scout can be nice because it lets you safely push out a little earlier than normal in order to hit your opponent earlier when they have less early game units.
During all the aggression and picking off units, you can choose to either all-in (start factory and 2nd gas almost as soon as you leave your base) for a 2 Barracks+Reactored Medivac attack OR play the macro game by delaying your 2nd gas and starting a CC before your factory. Constantly apply pressure against a toss player after you open up with this build in order to abuse your small army advantage (MM > gateway units before charge/blink). Just remember to react to what your opponent is doing during these fights, getting ghosts or vikings at the correct time depending on whether you’re facing charge and HT or Colossus.
Pros and Cons
This build gives you a strong army that can beat your opponent in a straight up fight, with some decent stutter stepping, as well as starting your upgrades for a powerful midgame followup.
Your economy, however, is not nearly as strong as if you had 1rax FEd, but the damage you can inflict on a fast expanding Protoss is designed to even it out.
- Don’t build your initial Barracks at the front. It makes it much harder for your opponent’s scouting probe to scout your add-on if it is not at the front.
- Directly engage your opponent as fast as you can. Your army is stronger than Protoss’ until WarpGate Research finishes, and you need to take advantage of early concussive shells to pick off individual units and gain the army advantage. Do NOT waste shots on buildings or the opponent’s nexus.
- Rally units to the fight. However, rallying them directly onto a unit will cause all of your rally points to be reset if that unit dies. Therefore, it’s a lot smarter to rally to your opponent’s natural and manually send them to fight than to rally to an actual unit.
- Be wary around ramps unless you are certain your opponent cannot force field you in half either due to lack of sentries or lack of energy.
This build is all about the early game pressure, so should be used on smaller maps.
- Cloud Kingdom
- Antiga Shipyard
- Akilon Flats