Thorzain’s TvT Build

General Overview

This 1rax FE gives you an insane economy, while making enough Marines to both keep you alive against early all-ins or tech plays and have a very strong +1 Infantry Attack/Stimpack/Combat Shields push with 2 Medivacs.  This is a Marine and Medivac only opening and is strongly recommended for newer players just branching out from basic builds such as FilterSC’s guides.

Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 16 – Marine (Only 1)
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – 2nd Command Center
  • 17 – Supply Depot (resume Marine production)
  • @150 Mins, start 2nd Barracks
  • @150 Mins, start 2 Refineries (only place 2 SCVs in each Refinery)
  • @100% 2nd Barracks, start 3rd Barracks
  • @50 Gas, start Reactor on 2nd Barracks
  • @25 Gas, start Techlab on 1st Barracks
  • @100% Techlab, start Combat Shields
  • @100% 3rd Barracks, start 2nd Reactor
  • @100 Gas, start Factory, Engineering Bay
    • Put 3rd SCVs in each Refinery, and get your 3rd Refinery
  • @100% Combat Shields, start Stimpack Research
  • @100% Factory, start Reactor on Factory, Starport, and +1 Infantry Attack
  • @100% Reactor, swap Starport onto Reactor and make 2 Medivacs
  • Push out when your first Medivacs pop (@10:00ish) with 100ish supply, +1 Infantry Attack, Combat Shields, Stimpack, 2 Medivacs, and 53 SCVs at home.


This build is only truly weak vs early, aggressive tech openers from your opponent (tank, banshee, marine/hellion elevator, etc play).  Thus, scouting whether your opponent has taken gas (or gone gas first) is crucial.  No bunker is needed against opponents who do not take gas.

If you have confirmed that your opponent has gas, your first 50 energy from your 2nd orbital command (AKA as soon as your natural expansion has finished upgrading) should be spent on a scan of your opponent’s base.  Hopefully you can glean exact information, but seeing how many gas geysers or what units they have will also help you determine what they could possibly be building.

Banshee opener: You just need to move your marines to your two different mineral lines so that you have enough to ward off a banshee with sufficient stutter stepping.  If your opponent has invested in cloak, then feel free to make 1 turret in the center of each mineral line, and save some scans in order to catch him in the middle of your base cloaked.

Tank opener: You should be able to see this push coming with the watchtower or with your scan if it was lucky enough to spot the buildings themselves.  Keep in mind that combat shields early game in marine vs marine battles is ridiculously powerful.  However, don’t commit to any fights if he’s sieged until you’re ready.  Also, because you will most likely be able to hit your opponent’s tanks without fighting a huge amount of marines, this is one of the few times where marauders are actually good in TvT.  Be sure to make some marauders to make killing the tanks a lot easier, when you do decide to break out.

If he has a 1/1/1 with marines, tanks, and banshees/vikings, you must pull back to a bunker that is as far back away from the ramp as possible, while still being able to hit any SCVs trying to sneak up the ramp.  This way, 4-5 SCVs autorepairing this bunker from behind will not be able to be hit from a sieged up siege tank on the low ground (only the bunker can be hit), and your marines in the bunker itself should be able to hit any viking/banshee that gets too close to the bunker for total high ground vision for your opponent.  This (and maybe one more bunker depending on your opponent’s exact build) should buy you enough time to get out stim and medivacs.  Then, double drop 16 marines outside your base, pull all your SCVs from your natural to tank some siege tanks shots, and surround his army with a spread, stimmed marine/marauder/SCV/medivac force.

If he does a 3tank push with no spotting vikings, then you might be able to break him with just your combat shield marines and natural SCVs when he’s initially setting up his attack: pull all your natural SCVs again to tank some damage, spread our your army, and go kill him.  This is a much less common build, but assuming you have taken the watchtower, it is pretty easy to stop.

Reaper Hellion Medivac into Banshee: You’ll be able to spot this very easily after seeing the reaper and then noting he has double gas in his main by scanning with the first 50 energy of your natural expo. You hold this push with scvs and combat shields. Place one bunker in the front with 2 marines in it, and the rest ready to stop him elevatoring in the main.  Be prepared to throw down those turrets in your main once you’ve confirmed your opponent on a banshee followup.

Marine Hellion Medivac: Again, hold this push with SCVs and Combat Shields.  Place one Bunker in the front with 2 Marines in it as the rest of your Marines are positioned ready to stop an elevator in the main.


Follow this build up with a third Command Center, 2 more Reactored Barracks, and a second Factory to produce 2 Siege Tanks at a time.  Build a second Engineering Bay and Armory when +1 is nearly complete.  Standard marine tank (or MMM if you are facing against mech) is the only follow up from this opener.  You cannot go into mech once you’ve invested so much into marines and the upgrades for bio.

Pros and Cons

This build is strong because it gives you complete map control once you have your two Medivacs.  It also starts your upgrades very early and gives you all the midgame infrastructure you need earlier than usual.  Also, you get Combat Shields incredibly early in order to deal with Reaper or Banshee pressure of any sort, as well as an Engineering Bay which lets you place down turrets in case your opponent has invested in cloak research.

This build is weak against early Blue Flame Hellions because you are getting mass Marines.  You also have a hard time against Siege Tank all-ins (such as Marine/tank/Banshee pushes), but as long as you hold out until you have Stimpack and Medivacs, pulling all your SCVs and spreading your units to reduce splash damage will result in easy wins.  Once you have confirmed that your opponent is going Mech, you should swap off one of your Barracks in order to get 2 Barracks with Tech labs for Marauders, and follow up with Bio play abusing the map control and mobility this build gives you.

Favorable Maps

Because this build is a macro build designed around defending with Marines until your upgrades can finish and your 2 base economy can kick-in, this build is strongest on bigger maps that are hard to elevator into the main on and/or have less air space for Banshees to fly through.

  • Entombed Valley
  • Daybreak
  • Condemned Ridge


Relevant Day9 Daily

Thorzain’s TvT Build Tutorial Replay vs Very Easy AI

Thorzain’s TvT Build Youtube Tutorial

Mid Masters Example of Thorzain’s Build in Action.  Ignore the poor handling of drops.