Build Order Notebook: 6 advanced Terran ladder builds



Thu 3rd May 2012 - 7:27pm

In this article, we'll be looking at some of the most popular and stable Terran builds from the ladder. There are two builds for each matchup, one aggressive and one defensive, so you can find one that fits your play style. As well as the build order itself, I'll have a few notes on its characteristics as well as how it develops, as well as links to more complete guides if these exist, where you can find additional detail and often replays too.


MMA's Hellion / Banshee - solid.PhanT on Team Liquid

This build focuses on economic damage in order to win the long game against a Zerg opponent.

10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
16 – Marine
17 – Orbital Command upgrade
17 – Command Center
17 – Refinery x2
18 – Supply Depot
20 – Marine
21 – Bunker
22 – Factory
22 – Reactor on Barracks
23 – Orbital Command upgrade
25 – Starport
25 – Give Reactor to Factory
27 – Hellion x2
33 – Supply Depot
33 – Tech Lab on Barracks

From here, you should move out with your first four Hellions and try to control the map and do damage to Queens laying creep tumours. Produce Banshees and Cloak as soon as you are able, as well as taking a third Command Center. From here, you can proceed into a normal Mech or Tank / Marine mid-game.

Marauder Hellion All-In - Doctor Funk on Team Liquid

This is a powerful all-in strategy that can be effective against unprepared Zerg opponents, particularly in a tournament BO3+ situation. It's an old build easily countered with quick Mutalisks, but it is well distinguished as a very standard reactor Hellion expand and thus can still find success.

10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
13 – Refinery
16 – Marine
17 – Orbital Command upgrade
17 – Barracks
17 – Supply Depot

At this point, I'll specify each SCV as it is built, as the build is a bit precise. At lower leagues, this won't make too much of a difference though!

17 – SCV
18 – Marine
19 – SCV
20 – Factory
20 – Reactor on Barracks
Pull one SCV from the Refinery
20 – Tech Lab on Barracks
20 – SCV
21 – Supply Depot
Swap Reactor from Barracks to Factory ASAP
23 – Marauder
25 – SCV x2
27 – Hellions x2
31 – Supply Depot
31 – Tech Lab on Barracks
32 – SCV
33 – Hellions x2
Pull another SCV from the Refinery
37 – Marauder
39 – Marauder
41 – Last SCV
42 – Hellions x2
46 – Supply Drop
46 – Marauders x2
50 – Supply Depot

From here, you should be producing constantly from your buildings and rallying to your units as they move out across the map. With luck, your Zerg opponent won't expect the extra Marauders, which will do well against the Queens, Spine Crawlers and Roaches that are the usual answer to Hellion pressure. Be aggressive and capitalise on your opponent's unreadiness.


MarineKingPrime’s FE into MMM - Sember on Reddit

This is a relatively safe Fast Expand that transitions into an early attack with a Marine, Marauder and Medivac force that puts pressure on your opponent, dealing damage and securing your third base.

10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
15 – Orbital Command upgrade
15 – Marine
16 – Supply Depot
17 – Command Center
21 – Bunker

From here you’ve got a relatively safe Fast Expand up. Remember that bunker, as it’s critical to holding early pressure. Now, MKP transitions into his favoured MMM against Protoss. Remember to scout for pylons around the 7 minute mark; if you suspect a Warp Gate push then build a second and third bunker and pull SCVs.

22 – Barracks x2
23 – Refinery x2
24 – Orbital Command
28 – Tech Lab on Barracks
34 – Stim Packs
45 – Factory
48 – Techlab and Reactor on Barracks
55 – Reactor on Factory
64 – Switch Starport with Factory
64 – Concussive Shells research
64 – Engineering Bay
69 – +1 Infantry Attack upgrade

You should move out for an attack with your first two Medivacs; by the time you get to your opponents base you should have your +1 upgrade done. Use your Medivacs to rescue units from forcefields. Follow up with a third base, more upgrades and more Barracks.

Pure Sky Terran TvP - Yoshi on Team Liquid

This is an incredibly unusual build that transitions from a 1/1/1 cloaked Banshee build into a full 'Sky Terran', using Starport units almost exclusively. It's so weird that I almost didn't include it, but it's great for ladder because almost no one will have encountered it before. However, it's not stable enough to be a primary strategy - mix this in with more reliable strategies such as Marine King's FE into MMM.

10 – Supply Depot
12 – Refinery
13 – Barracks
16 – Orbital Command upgrade
16 – Factory
16 – Marine
17 – Supply Depot (at ramp)
19 – Marine
Stop Marine production here
20 – Bunker
20 – Starport
20 – Hellion
22 – Refinery
24 – Tech Lab on Barracks, swap to Starport
25 – Banshee
27 – Cloak Research
27 – Supply Depot

From here, you've just done a standard cloaked Banshee build. This is where it gets interesting. The supply count can vary substantially due to enemy pressure (or lack thereof), so we'll omit them from here. You'll want to be trying to poke the enemy with your cloaked Banshee, but without losing it. Economic damage is great, but keeping your Banshees alive takes precedence.

– Starport
– Banshee
– Raven
– Viking
– Command Center
– Engineering Bay

Now, you'll have two Starports and a Command Center. From here, float the Command Centre to the low ground and turn it into a Planetary Fortress. With your air power, you'll have trouble defending - so the uncharacteristic PF actually makes a lot of sense. From here, you'll want to continue into a Banshee / Raven / Viking composition, adding two Starports per base as well as a pair of Armories for upgrades. In terms of gameplay, you'll want to harass him as much as possible whilst expanding - winning the economic long game with Planetary Fortresses and air power.


Slayers Marine Hellion Elevator Push - Jason_Boom on Reddit

This aggressive TvT build forgoes an early expansion to pressure your opponent with hellions and marines away from his bunkers.

10 – Supply Depot
12 – Barracks
13 – Refinery
17 – Orbital Command upgrade
17 – Supply Depot
18 – Factory
19 – Reactor on Barracks
Constant Marine and Hellion production
21 – Starport
25 – Medivac

At this point, you have 8 Marines and 3 Hellions to attack with. Walk to your opponent’s base, near one of the cliffs of his main. Load up the Marines and drop them into the main, with the Hellions left as close as possible to the cliff to cover. Once the Marines are up, transfer the Hellions up as well.

Once your damage has been dealt, expand into a Marine Tank composition or go for a Banshee with Cloak to capitalise on damaged SCVs and maintain the pressure.

Drewbie's One Barracks Fast Expand - Drewbie on ComplexityGaming

This one Barracks Fast Expand gives you a good economy and transition into the mid-game, where you can go Mech or Bionic depending on your preference.

10 – Supply Depot (at wall)
12 – Barracks (at wall)
13 - Send SCV scout
15 – Orbital Command upgrade
15 – Marine
16 – Supply Depot (at wall)
17 – Marine
18 – Command Center

After the second Marine is finished, float your Barracks back into your main base and construct two additional Marines, remembering to continue to build SCVs too.

19 - Refinery x2
21 - Bunker (at wall, where Barracks once was)
25 - Factory
27 - Orbital Command upgrade
28 - Tech Lab on Barracks (for Factory)
30 - Supply Depot
31 - Starport
31 - Reactor on Barracks (for Starport)
6:20 - Scan opponent's main base

At this point, you can react accordingly to your opponent's build:

Fast Expand, No Gas -> Banshees and Cloak
Gas First -> Engineering Bay at 5:30, Turret in minerals and production area
Reapers -> Keep one Marine in Bunker, the rest in a group to intercept
Cloaked Banshee -> Viking, save for scans
Marine / Tank timing attack -> Tank / Viking


So that's it - six Terran build orders for you to add to your notebooks. I hope you found them useful. If you have any corrections, contributions or comments please share them below. I’ll be posting next with Zerg build orders, so stay tuned for these ones Zerg Players! If you're a Protoss, then I've already posted six ladder builds right here. Thanks for reading.