TvT Marine Hellion Elevator

General Overview

This build gets a very fast Marine Hellion drop to harass your opponent (and potentially win the game). It also keeps your opponent’s army in his base, allowing you to tech up and focus on economy going into the midgame.  It also gives you the flexibility to react to any opener your opponent uses, and can even transition into a 1/1/1 Marine/Tank/Viking all-in if your elevator scouts your opponent playing too greedily.  This is a very standard and versatile TvT build.

Gas First Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Refinery
  • 13 -Barracks
  • 17 – Marine and Factory
  • 18 – Orbital Command
  • 18 – @100% Marine, start Reactor on Barracks
  • 18 – Supply Depot
  • 20 – @100% Factory, start Starport, constant Hellion production, and constant Marine production
  • 25 – Supply Depot
  • 31 – @100% Starport, start Medivac
  • 40 – @100 Medivac, start Viking
  • Elevator into your opponent’s main (@6:30ish) with about 6 Marines, 3 Hellions, and a Medivac

Barracks First build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 13 – Refinery
  • 16 – @100% Barracks, Constant Marine Production
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – Supply Depot
  • 18 – Factory
  • 24 – @100% Factory, start Starport and constant Hellion production
  • 33 – @100% Starport, start Medivac
  • 40 – @100% Medivac, start Viking
  • Elevator into your opponent’s main (@7:00ish) with your 7 Marines, 3 Hellions, and a Medivac

Why Use This Build?

This build is safe against a lot of builds that your opponent can do, and it also allows you to be aggressive with your first push (killing probes, denying mining, etc).  It is safe to follow up your aggression with an expansion in order to not fall too far behind opponents that fast expand.  Your opponent will constantly be dealing with your harass and won’t be able to leave his base (with the exception of a banshee) until he deals with your medivac and hellions, so you can feel reasonably safe back at home to be greedy behind your attack assuming you don’t lose the medivac.

Scouting

With your initial SCV scout, see if your opponent is fast expanding (no gas) or is teching up (gas). If he is doing a gasless FE, you can focus more on rallying your units straight to his base and being very aggressive with your initial hellions.  If he has gas than you need to be more conscientious of early game units – make sure not to lose workers to reapers, and rally your first or second viking to your own mineral line to defend against early banshee play.

Besides early game scouting, your first marine hellion elevator will reveal your opponent’s build – his units have to be collected in order to defend, and you can tell how many rax/factories he has as well as if he’s going banshees by what he sends your way.  If he is making banshees of his own, then rally a viking to your own mineral line and position rallied marines appropriately.  Just react to counter whatever early game strategy your opponent is employing – you have all the buildings you will need in order to defend; you just need to make sure you’re making the correct units.

Transitions

You can transition into anything after your initial aggression.  You can follow up your marine hellion elevator with Mech play by starting a reactor on the barracks, creating two more factories, and getting the standard 3 factory (2techlabs, 1reactor), 1 reactored Starport setup behind your expansion.  Also, you can follow up with marine tank by expanding, starting a Tech lab onto the factory for Siege Tank production, and adding two more barracks for marines and their upgrades.  Lastly, you can go all-in with the 1/1/1 by starting a Tech lab on your factory and reactor on your barracks during the attack (before expanding), and making Marines (Reactor Barracks), Siege Tanks (Tech lab Factory), and Vikings (Naked Starport).  This build truly is one of the more versatile of all TvT openers there is.

Tips

  • Remember that this build is an elevator build.  That means that when you push your opponent, you want to hide that fact that you have a Medivac until you’ve completely unloaded all your troops into their main base.  Find a corner where your opponent does not have vision, and unload everything there. If your opponent swamps you with SCVs before you have fully unloaded or have any room to kite them back, be sure to save the hellion and Medivac over all other units.
  • Hellions absolutely destroy SCVs.  Try your best to line ’em up!
  • If you see that your opponent is making banshees, then be sure to make a 2nd viking (if it was gas first banshees, rally your first viking to your own mineral line – if it was rax first banshees, then rally your first viking to the attack, and rally your 2nd viking to your own mineral line).  If you have the opportunity – kill Banshee Cloak if it’s being researched.
  • Hide your factory and Starport in the corner of your base so that they don’t get scanned.  Being on one gas and doing a 1/1/1 can only mean a marine hellion elevator, so if they scan this, your opponent will immediately know what build you’re doing.

Favorable Maps

This build elevators all of your Marines and then Hellions into your opponent’s base and then kill SCVs and Marines in your way.  Thus, this build needs a map with a ledge in the corner of the main for which you can elevator over.

  • Ohana
  • Antiga Shipyard
  • Cloud Kingdom
  • Akilon Flats

Replays

Gas First Marine Hellion Elevator Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI

Gas First Marine Hellion Elevator YouTube Tutorial

Mid-Masters Example Replay of Gas First Marine Hellion Elevator in Action

Barracks First Marine Hellion Elevator Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI

Barracks First Marine Hellion Elevator YouTube Tutorial