Terran Strategy

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Ticon.pngTerran Strategies
DoubleArmory.pngA Terran Base
Matchups: TvZ, TvP, TvT
Type: Racial Overview Page

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The following article lists all relevant build orders and strategies for Terran.

To read more about strategies in general, see also Strategy Overview
To find an overview about Terran Beginner Strategies, see also Category:Terran Beginner Strategy


This article depicts how the Terran Strategy information is organized in Liquipedia. It serves as a starting point for Terran strategy information and links to all the major articles relevant to Terran gameplay. Additions should consist in adding further links, for detailed strategic information, consult the Matchup Guides

Key Ideas[edit]

Playing Terran involves some key concepts that are vital throughout all three match-ups, Terran vs. Zerg (TvZ), Terran vs. Protoss (TvP), and Terran vs. Terran (TvT).

Mining the Map[edit]

Vulture Spider Mines often play a large part against all races. Typically, a Terran player will place Mines in choke points and pathways, slowing the enemy down. Mines can be placed at expansions to prevent anyone from building at that expansion. Mines are permanently cloaked, so they force a player using ground units to mobilize an army under detectors. This creates another task and slows the enemy.


The term Push refers to the Terran tactic of using Factory units to slowly "push" across the map, most frequently against a Protoss opponent. Some common qualities of the Terran push include "leapfrogging" Tanks(sieging and unsieging Tanks in such a manner that the Tanks pushing forward are always covered by those farther back), using Vultures to place minefields in front of the Tanks to prevent rushing Zealots, and building Turrets or using Goliaths as anti-air defense. Though the Terran Push is usually confined to the Terran vs. Protoss match up, it has uses in Terran vs Terran before Dropship Play begins and has gained popularity as an alternative to Bionic Terran vs. Zerg play.

The "Ball"[edit]

The Terran Ball refers to a critical amount of Terran troops, usually a mixture of Marines, Medics, Tanks and/or Science Vessels in TvZ or a mixture of Vultures, Tanks, Goliaths and Science Vessels in TvP, that is powerful enough to move around the map without additional support. This accumulation of units appears as a "ball" on the mini-map, and is known for its fast-paced play as well as for its mobility on the battlefield.

Because of their ranged attacks and useful abilities (example: Siege fire splash) Terran units are generally weak in small numbers, but the attack power increases exponentially as the army size increases. Therefore, control groups of a mixture of units must be established before moving out.

Playing the "Ball" strategy has been associated with a greater demand on micromanagement in contrast to the methodical and mechanical nature of factory push strategies. The "Ball's" success depends upon its focused firepower and coordination, rather than sheer numbers.

Dropship Play[edit]

Dropship Play refers to using Dropships to bypass reinforced positions in order to hit weaker spots. Most commonly this is used as a mid-late game strategy in Terran vs. Terran. In the Terran vs. Zerg and Terran vs. Protoss match-ups, the Dropship is mostly used for harassment, by dropping small contingents of Tanks, Infantry or Vultures.

Terran Matchup Guides[edit]

The Terran match-up guides provide in-depth explanations of each of the three match-ups as well as offer timing information on the strengths and weakness of different play styles.

The Bionic Terran vs. Zerg Guide discusses the game flow of the Terran Ball against Zerg Ultralisks and Zerglings supported by Defilers. It is supplemented by a Timing article. The second branch that is gaining popularity is Mech Play.

The Terran vs. Protoss Guide discusses the game flow of the Terran Push against a Zealot/Dragoon army as well as the transition to Goliath vs. Carrier play. It also has a Timing Guide.

Finally the Terran vs. Terran Guide depicts the Rock-Paper-Scissors game-flow of the Terran mirror match, including various openings as well as Mid-Game Transitions, along with Timings.

Specific Strategies[edit]

Match-up-specific strategies provide in-depth discussion on opening builds, Mid-Game transitions, and Late-Game theories.

TvZ Builds[edit]

Terrans have quite a few opening options against Zerg. Standard openings for Bionic are the staple 1 Rax FE, or 2 Rax FE if you prefer more early pressure, both include fast expanding. Follow ups to FE include TvZ 9 Minute Push and +1 5Rax.

For early aggression Terrans can choose to use Proxy Rax (BBS) or Bunker Rush, or an aggressive 8 Rax. Should you choose to tech up to Mechanical Units or Wraiths, use the 1 Rax Gas opener. This is mostly a variation of one base play. On some maps, even the most economic opening might be appropriate, the 14 CC.

More advanced descriptions comprise the SK Terran strategy for playing late game TvZ without Factory units, the early Sparks Terran attack to break the initial Sunken Colonies and the Fantasy Build that leads you through a basic mech opening. Another mech opening is the 2-Port Wraith Build however it can be transitioned into either mech or bio. The iloveoov Fake Mech build is another fairly common opening that involves quickly transitioning between mech and bionic play to keep the Zerg in the dark. Finally the exemplary gameflow against 2/3 Hatch play should interest you.

TvP Builds[edit]

Against Protoss, you generally have the choice between expanding from a single factory or pressuring with a double factory build. The most standard single factory expansion is the Siege Expand, formerly standard was the Fake Double (FD). These can extend to even a 1 Factory Double Expand. Sometimes you might even get away with expanding without a Factory, with the 14 CC and 1 Rax FE (vs. Protoss). Options for cheese also exist, the Bunker Rush and the Proxy Rax (BBS).

Aggressive 2 Factory openings include 2 Fact Vult/Mines, and several build orders named after their creators, the Gundam Rush, the JoyO Rush, and the Nada 2 Fac.

Long term game plans are covered in the Double Armory build popularized by Flash and the Iloveoov build. A bionic strategy of old is the Deep Six, which still makes an occasional appearance.

It is good to keep in mind that heavy mechanics are necessary to win a game as the terran race. Flash used to say: "I know the macro" in one of his older videos.

TvT Builds[edit]

In the volatile, strategically deep TvT match-up, you can play safe and One Factory Fast Expand, go aggressive with Two Factory Vultures or airborne with One Starport Wraiths. A risky but otherwise rewarding opening is the 14 Command Center.

Matchup Techniques[edit]

For each match-up, mastering some micromanagement techniques and learning basic moves of adaptation is vital. We cover both of them as Techniques. For all match-ups, you need to know how to wall in.

TvZ Techniques[edit]

You need to have reactions prepared against the aggressive openings, such as 4 Pool, 9 Pool, 2 Hatch Pressure, as well as against greedy build orders. In midgame you might have to deal with Lurker Contains and Mutalisk Harassment. In late game, Doom Drops become a problem too. A vital attack device to learn is the Timing Push, that tries to hit the Zerg at a weak point of his build order.

TvP Techniques[edit]

Against Protoss, you might have to deal with Proxy Gateways, as well as with early-game pressure in general. In case he techs up quickly, you will face Dark Templars and/or Reavers. The Protoss might also perform a 14 Nexus.

Pushing remains essential both as a Timing Push and as a Late-game Technique. The most important micro technique might be Vulture Micro against Zealots.

TvT Techniques[edit]

Mastering the general Drop Techniques is essential to success in TvT. Cloning might be needed for Battlecruiser encounters too. Finally, the Yamato/Siege Tank combination is simple but effective.

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