Hellion into Thor (vs. Zerg)

From Liquipedia Starcraft 2 Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
TerranIcon.png0/3 Hellion/Thor
Matchups: TvZ
Type: Full build
Creator: Synystyr



Overview[edit]

This is a very turtle-style build, so if that is not your style, then this may not be the build for you. Because of its map dependency, you will find results to be much different if you were to double expand vs a single expand.

This army composition is potentially superior to Marine/Siege Tank/Medivac in any standing fight. Instead of having tanks destroy Speedlings and Banelings, you focus on blue flame Hellions to roast them. Thors are the main damage dealing unit that cover both anti-air and dealing with armored Zerg units along with tanking massive amounts of damage. Marines or Marauders are used as a support unit to deal help deal with either Mutalisks or Roaches.

Goal[edit]

The goal of this build is to quickly establish a phenomenal economy off of a 2 Barracks single or double expand. Because of the nature of double expanding, this opener is only viable on certain maps. After successfully securing a powerful economy, we aim to get a 200/200 army comprised of 0/3 Thors, Blue Flame Hellions, and Marines or Marauders with their respective Tech Lab upgrades depending on whether Zerg went Roach/Infestor or Muta/Ling/Bane.

0/3 Upgrades[edit]

One of the best counters to Thors are Infestors with Neural Parasite. Without control of the main portion of your army, you die incredibly quickly. With 0/3 upgrades, when your Thors get NPed, they both take and deal less damage. This is absolutely critical as it reduces the amount of friendly fire dealt immensely while also making your Thors super "tanky" against the Zerg army. With repairing SCVs, your Thors become almost unstoppable, even if Neural Parasited. Attack upgrades on mech make very little difference and only hurt yourself more with this build.

Build Orders[edit]

Double Expand Variant[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • This opens with a 2 Barracks Double Expand. The 2 Barracks allows lots of Marines to defend against early pressure and forces early lings from your opponent. Applying pressure is optional. You expand once at 23 supply and again at 27 supply. Your first CC will be built in-base in the direction closest to your nearest third and the second CC will be at your natural. See Execution for more details on expanding.
  • Once you have established your expansions, you want to do a 3 Bunker wall-off and move your Barracks accordingly to defend against early Bane/Ling aggression. See Execution for more details on placement. These wall-ins are extremely robust and should hold against even the strongest of Baneling busts once you get your Hellions out.

Scouting[edit]

Scout early on to determine whether or not you will want to use your Marines for early defense or early pressure. Any further scouting can be done through a Scanner Sweep once your expansions are established.

Execution[edit]

Once you have established your second and third bases, the next step is to begin teching. You want to grab both gasses at your main and quickly saturate them so that you can begin your Factory as soon as possible. Once the Factory is done, go straight for a Tech Lab for Blue Flame and an Armory for armor upgrades and Thor tech. Add double gasses to your natural and third as you start to need more. Add 4 more Factories for a total of 5 and build Tech Labs on all of them. With 5 Factory production, you will always be able to spend your money well. Thors will soak your gas and minerals and anything spare will be able to go into Hellions, which is perfect off of 3 bases.

Expansion Locations[edit]

Legend

  • Green: Your initial spawn
  • Blue: Primary 3rd base location
  • Red: Alternate 3rd base location if Zerg spawns in Yellow location
Wall-In Examples[edit]

Adaptation[edit]

Once you have established your three bases with the opening, you need to find out what the Zerg is doing. With 3 Orbitals, a scan is practically free. Scan the main first and if you do not glean any information, scan the natural. Checking both places should allow you to figure the tech tree out. Place add-ons to your 2 Barracks and add Marines or Marauders with their respective upgrades accordingly. Your goal is to defend until you are at 200/200 and Lv. 3 Vehicle Plating is finished. Push out at this point as you take your 4th base.

Maps[edit]

This opener is only viable on the following ladder maps: The Shattered Temple, Shakuras Plateau, Tal'Darim Altar LE, and Typhon Peaks.

Single Expand Variant[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • As you can see, this build order is extremely similar to the first. Because you cannot double expand, your gas intake is lower and you can only afford production off of 3 Factories. Double Tech Lab Factories + one reactored Factory allows for easy money allocation.
  • Once you have established your expansions, you want to do a 3 Bunker wall-off and move your Barracks accordingly to defend against early Bane/Ling aggression. These wall-ins are extremely robust and should hold against even the strongest of Baneling busts once you get your Hellions out.

Scouting[edit]

Scout early on to determine whether or not you will want to use your Marines for early defense or early pressure. Any further scouting can be done through a Scanner Sweep once your expansions are established.

Execution[edit]

With this build, you have two options once the three Factories are complete.

2 Base All-in[edit]

Similar to the double expand variant, you max out with 0/3 upgrades and push. You need to do absolutely critical damage to the Zerg because your army is not replaceable. Bring more SCVs than you normally would to help sustain your army. Reinforce with Hellions only.

Take a Third Base[edit]

Once you get a few Thors, you can safely take a third if you so choose to. Beware of the mobility of Mutalisks because Thors are slow and are your source of anti-air. An Engineering Bay at this time is not a bad idea. Turtle up to 200/200 and push at 0/3.

Maps[edit]

This build order is for maps that are a little harder to double expand on. Not as powerful, but is a viable build on all ladder maps.

Aggressive Planetary Fortress Double Expand[edit]

This is a build for close spawns on The Shattered Temple.

Notes[edit]

  • This build is modified from the normal double expand variant specifically for close spawns on Shattered Temple. This is because you can safely place a third there, even though it will be scouted. The rocks in between the bases allow you to get a PF up before Zerg can break those rocks down. With this in place, you have an incredible rally position to launch attacks from as well as a super robust wall guarding your natural. Missile Turrets allow you to defend against Mutalisk harass at that base as well. The benefits of establishing a PF here are gamebreaking and pretty much guarantee a win.

Scouting[edit]

Scout early on to determine whether or not you will want to use your Marines for early defense or early pressure. Any further scouting can be done through a Scanner Sweep once your expansions are established.

Execution[edit]

Same as before, push out at 0/3 upgrades and 200/200.

Overall Execution[edit]

You want to immediately push the natural of your opponent as soon as you are ready. The reasoning behind this is because you need to do incredible damage and taking the natural and pushing the main is the best way to do that.

Thors are at the front of the army with your Hellions and bio layered behind them using a follow command. This allows streams of Zerglings to get roasted without being able to touch the Hellions or do any damage. Marines stop magic box Mutas easily and Marauders + Thors crush Roaches.

You MUST micro your Hellions. They are extremely important for killing off lings quickly and can die to Banelings or reinforcements if you aren't careful. Do your best to keep your Hellions behind your Thors and out of harm.

Reinforce with units according to what you lose. You want to keep a critical mass of Thors but also have enough Hellions to quickly roast Zergling reinforcements. If your opponent went Roaches, add more Barracks and keep Marauders flowing in. If you need to send more SCVs, feel free to do so and also spend extra OC energy on MULEs to repair as well.

Overall Adaptation[edit]

Zerg Tier 3[edit]

Brood Lords
At a glance, one would assume that Brood Lords would roll over this entire composition because Thor AA simply is not sufficient. However, that is not the case. Thanks to Griffith, we have this method detailed in this link to help us fight this:

Hellion/Thors vs Blords

Ultralisks
Ultralisk vs Thor is a very close match-up where the Ultra wins by the smallest of margins. However, with auto repair and Marauder support, you shouldn't have to worry about them. Your Thor number will most likely be larger as well. Because of your unit composition, you will never have to worry about dealing with the BL/Ultra tech switch that punishes Viking production so hard.

Losing the Third[edit]

Luck plays a part in having a double expand work. Your real factor in this is time. You shouldn't expect your third to stay alive forever, so you are trying to get as much out of it as you possibly can. At the very least, you should be able to make up your initial investment of a Command Center and save it by lifting off.

Regardless of what happens to your third, you should still maintain the same course of action. Just cut down your Factory production a little bit to match your 2 base income instead of 3. Remember that you have already gained a lot of benefit for having a third for any substantial amount of time and retake it when you see fit. Losing it does not put you as far behind as you would imagine.

Transitioning[edit]

There isn't very much flexibility in this build unfortunately. Your tech tree is dedicated deeply into Mech and very little into Bio. Starport tech is nonexistent. A possible Marauder tech switch is possible to counter mass Roaches, but that is as flexible as you can really get.

Counters[edit]

The most potent counter to this build is Roach/Infestor. Roaches do the best at tanking and dealing damage for its cost against this army and nullifies the Hellion portion of the build well. Infestors with Fungal Growths and Neural Parasite can turn the tide in Zerg's favor as well, which is why you attempt to cushion this by going 0/3 upgrades.

Your best means of dealing with this is keeping up Thor and Marauder production with a heavier concentration on Marauders. Instead of pushing the main, aim for crippling Zerg's economy by denying and sniping other expansions.

Replays[edit]

Source[edit]

TeamLiquid strategy thread by Synystyr

Personal tools