This variant of the standard 1rax FE build sacrifices early infrastructure for very fast upgrades, making mid and late game pushes much more effective.
- 10 - Supply Depot
- 12 - Barracks
- 16 - Marine (only 1)
- 17 - Orbital Command
- 17 – 2nd Command Center
- 17 – Supply Depot (Resume Marine Production)
- 21 – Barracks(2)
- 21 - Refineries x2
- 24 – Bunker at natural
- 25 – Orbital Command(2)
- 26 – @75 Gas, start Techlab and Reactor
- @100% Techlab, start Stimpack Research (and constant Marine production)
- @250 Minerals, start Engibays x2
- @100% Engibays, start +1/+1 Infantry Upgrades
- @100 Gas, start Factory, and 2 Refineries at natural
- @100% Factory, start Reactor on Factory, Starport for later swap off, and Armory
- @100% Stim, start Combat Shields
- @100% Starport, swap off onto Reactor and start double Medivac production
- @100% Armory, start +2/+2 Infantry Upgrades
- @9:45, Push out with stim, 2 medivacs, +1/+1, and around 30 marines
When you send your scouting SCV, you want to look for gasses, nexus energy, and the units he is producing out of his 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 and you don’t scout an expansion by 6:00, then be wary of an all-in. The common responses to standard protoss plays are:
Nexus First: Play normal. However, you also have the option to either bunker rush with 4 Barracks instead of getting your 2nd CC OR stop making marines at 3, get your 3rd CC before 2nd Barracks, and resume this build using the extra base for more SCV production and mules in order to get a leg up in the macro game.
Double Gas: Favor Thorzain’s TvP build if you feel unsafe. Thorzain’s build opens the same way and makes more marauders and early game units to stay safer against early aggression.
Double Gas, No Expansion by 6:00: If you still have stuck with this build after scouting double gas, then get 3 bunkers (and a missile turret if you haven’t ruled out DTs). Pull SCVs to repair and provide a meat shield as necessary.
1 Gate Expand: Play normal. Be wary of early 3 or 4 gate attacks off of 2bases that hit before stim, so throw down another bunker if you feel uneasy.
- Because this build produces less units in the early game than most other 1rax FEs in order to afford the double upgrades, scouting 2 gas geysers or dealing with an aggressive toss player means you will most likely be unsafe. Instead, switching over to Thorzain’s TvP build (which has the same opening up until you finish your first Techlab and Reactor) if you feel unsafe is a good way to continue playing standard but with more units for safety.
- To confirm that your opponent is not allining you, have an SCV (or scan) go to his natural just before the 6 minute mark. A 4gate will hit before this timing, but 1 bunker and repair should be able to hold a 4gate easily enough; all other scary allins hit much later and this scout will give you enough time to prepare an appropriate defense.
- Getting double upgrades this fast and staying on two rax really weakens your army early on – so that the standard timing attack with two medivacs for this build is not designed to kill your opponent, but rather take map control.
- Also, in case their is a fight with your first two medivacs, favor keeping your units alive over sacrificing them for a nexus or robo snipe. With such low infrastructure, you can’t actually afford to replace lost units that quickly. Until you have all 5rax completed with addons, your ability to replenish your army is much smaller than other 1rax FEs (especially Bomber’s variation).
- The major strength of this build is the very fast upgrades. Do NOT miss +2/+2 or +3/+3 going into the mid and late game. Take advantage of this by timing your aggression to line up with upgrades completing.
As you’re pushing out, you will need to place down your 3rd CC, 3 more rax, and a ghost academy or 2nd starport to counter your opponent’s HTs or collosi. With your fast upgrades, try to place down the 3rd CC first in order to rush to the late game with an upgrade advantage. However, if you’ve lost a lot of units due to protoss pressure or a failed drop, then adding on extra rax earlier and going for a 2base allin timed with +2/+2 can be very effective. Transition into 3 base bio with ghosts/vikings when you have the money.
Pros and Cons
This 1rax FE variant really focuses on being more passive earlier on in the game than the standard 1rax FE. You kickstart double upgrades ridiculously quickly, almost ensuring that you have the upgrade lead in battles during the mid and late game. Upgrades in TvP are surprisingly effective (try fighting chargelots with MMM while down on upgrades and you’ll understand), so having a lead in the upgrade battle increases both the survivability and potency of your army in mid and late game attacks.
However, in order to afford these early upgrades, this 1rax FE variant can afford only 2rax before medivacs and is very susceptible to 1 base allins such as voidray allins and 4gate blink+obs allins. Because of this, scouting 2 gas from your opponent is usually a good sign to switch over to Thorzain’s TvP build (which has the same opening up until you finish your first Techlab and Reactor) for more safety. Even 1gate FE -> 3 or 4gate pressure is hard to deal with because the low barracks count and the fast addons means your army is very small early on. Also, once you push out with your initial medivac timing, you don’t have the standard 5rax to fall back on in case you lose your army or a drop goes awry. Those extra 3 barracks have to be added on a lot later than a normal 1rax FE because of the earlier upgrades, so losing your army to a good blink, a nice forcefield, or unexpected colossi will result in a quick loss to any counter attack at all – up until all 5 rax and their addons are established.
Because this build is so incredibly weak vs 1 base pressure, it is much stronger on maps where your opponent is less likely to all-in you. Also, it is a macro-oriented build, so it is also much better on larger maps where mid game pressure is harder to pull off.
- Entombed Valley
- Condemned Ridge
- Antiga Shipyard
- Newkirk District