This Reactored Rax FE gives you enough Marines to stay safe vs early Protoss pressure, while kick starting your midgame economy, and then transitioning into a fast Marine/Widow Mine drop to bring the pressure back on your opponent.
- 10 – Supply Depot
- 12 – Barracks
- 15 – Refinery
- 16 – Marine (up to 2)
- 17 – Orbital Command
- 17 – Supply Depot
- 20 – @100% 2nd Marine, start Reactor on Barracks
- 20 – @400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center
- 20 – @100 Gas, start Factory
- @100% Reactor, start constant Marine production (build bunker here if you have not scouted your opponent expanding)
- @100% Factory, start Starport and Widow Mines (up to 2)
- @100% Starport, start Medivac
- When your first Medivac pops out (@7:10ish), drop your opponent with 2 Widow Mines and 4 Marines
- Benchmark: When that Medivac pops out (@7:10), you should have 29 SCVs, 12 Marines, 2 Widow Mines, and 1 Medivac
This build is a reasonably safe build to do versus anything your opponent can do early on because it gives you a Reactored Barracks to pump out Marines two at a time. Also, if you are feeling unsafe, you have the minerals after your reactor finishes to place down a Bunker at your natural. If your opponent is doing a later all-in, then instead of being aggressive with your Marines/Widow Mines, you can place them further back and defend your Bunker/main as well as constantly produce Widow Mines to keep replenishing your defenses. Scouting your opponent’s natural expansion timing with an SCV is huge (if your opponent does not have an expansion by 6 minutes, expect an all-in). Besides that, the rest of your midgame scouting will come from seeing how your opponent defends the Widow Mine drop.
This build is transitions rather smoothly into standard Bio play or Mech play easily enough. Also, if you are feeling particularly safe, you can avoid taking your 2nd gas for quite some time, and throw down a 3rd command center just before your Medivac pops instead of getting your midgame infrastructure.
If you want to transition into Bio play, then get your 2nd gas, 2 more Rax, an Engibay, a Tech lab on your Factory, and a Reactor on your Starport. This way, you can swap off your initial Barracks onto the Factory’s Tech lab and start Stim, start getting +1 attack from your Engibay, and get enough bio units to support a midgame timing.
If you want to transition into Mech play, then get all 4 Refineries, a Tech lab onto your Factory, 2 more Factories, and an Armory. Once you have three bases secured, you can finally push with 5 factories pumping out Siege Tanks/Hellbats as reinforcements.
Pros and Cons
This build is strong because it gets a good economy, but also enough Marines to defend early game Stalker + Mothership core harass. Then, the Marine/Widow Mine drop gives you complete map control AND keeps your opponent in the dark as to what followup you are doing (Mech/Bio/3CC). Not to mention that if your opponent is not careful, this build can get Widow Mines in your opponent’s mineral lines and land some huge hits on Probes.
However, this build is more vulnerable to later all-ins such as Void ray or Blink+Mothership core all-ins than more standard bio play, so be sure to position your Widow Mines defensively and add on more bunkers vs an opponent that you have scouted isn’t expanding. Also, with poor Medivac control, you can very easily lose your Medivac and all the Widow Mines if you fly directly into stalkers or a planetary nexus. Be sure to prioritize keeping the Medivac alive above all else. Lastly, this build is not quite as economical as a 1rax FE build, but it still gets a pretty reasonably fast expand, so it’s not too far behind a 1rax FE build in terms of economy at all.
- Early game Stalker/Mothership Core pressure may be hard to deal with, but just hold on until you get out a Widow Mine and then you can defend your base.
- Once you have pinned your opponent on an aggressive build (for instance, by scouting a Stargate/proxy Pylon/lack of Nexus), do NOT move out–instead be sure to posture your widow mines in an appropriately defensive position.
- Oracles flat out destroy marines, so if you are fighting an opponent going for Stargate, position your Widow Mines by the mineral line and even consider getting out one turret per base.
- When committing to an attack, boost in and drop one Widow Mine at your opponent’s main-to-natural ramp in order to trap his army on one half of his base.
- Once you have his ramp locked down, you will have several seconds of complete control of the half of his base where his army is not located . Use these seconds to kill workers and/or position a mine in a crucial location.
- Above all else, the strength of this build is non-stop harass/pressure. Do NOT lose your Medivac or your entire map control will disappear.
This build is strongest on smaller maps with room to drop, as well as on maps with a safe natural so that your opponent is more likely to expand instead of try to all-in you.
- Star Station
- Newkirk Precinct