Timings and Benchmarks

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To understand Timings and Benchmarks is an important step to become a more solid player. One of the most popular Builds in WoL and HotS was the 4-Warpgate-Rush.

It's very important you do benchmarks all the time.[1]
Day[9], Daily #274

Everybody would know that a 4Gate that hit at ~5:50 would do more damage, than an attack at ~7:30. To find mistakes in Timings and Benchmarks is not an easy task. It requires intense knowledge about the BO and how to analyze Replays.

It is absolutely key that whichever goal you choose can be measurable in some way. Having a measurable goal allows you to take pragmatic steps to achieving your goal, which is in reality the only way anything is ever achieved; by taking the necessary steps to do so.[2]
Randy „CecilSunkure“ Gaul

Set your goal[edit]

In the example (see below or video Dark-vs-Byun) Byun's Medivacs are leaving his base at 4:38. To accomplish this you have to practise this BO a ton. But there are some other factors, which are often overlooked in the lower leagues:

Day9 uses the MCL (Mental Checklist) to play a BO more effizient. He uses the MCL to improve his Mechanics and the execution of his improvised Build. To execute this BO and the MCL like Day9 is really, really hard.

Taking an improvised BO and refining it, so it cannot be played any better, that's the hard part.

And that's one of the key strats of SaSe. He is so thorough with his build – he actually goes over them with pen and paper consistently finding out mistakes.
Apollo at "DreamHack Summer 2011" – Game 1 - SaSe vs Kas

To set your goal you need patience and the willpower to find all the mistakes, which lead to a few seconds here and there.

Mechanics[edit]

To focus on Macro & Mechanics is very important in StarCraft 2. Fundamentally, your Mechanics, as a player, represent the degree to which you have bridged the divide between mind and game - that is, your ability, as a player, to do what you want to do. A strong Build Order is useless if performed sloppily. Mechanics means pressing the right buttons at the right time. When you are playing a StarCraft II match you will be managing a lot of things at the same time.

Some players in the lower leagues focus too much on Micro, forget about their BO, forget to spend their money and so on.

Load up a replay of yourself. Click on the nexus/CC (harder with Z - but click on hatchery and watch the larvae / minerals) and just watch the probe production. The nexus should never stop building. It should always have 1 queued. Particularly early -mid game. If you need to ask 'when do i stop building them' you aren't at the stage in skill to EVER stop!

Many, many players from Bronze to Diamond struggle with constant worker production and they struggle with executing a BO perfectly.

We obviously see that Brun doesn't have smoothness of play. (...) Smoothness is always the most critical thing; which is: Never forget a depot, never have money stockpiling my bank, always making SCVs. Smooth, clean, crisp (...) things plugin into each other nicely, yeah.[3]
Day[9], Daily #274

Worker stack[edit]

Byun builds his first Barracks at 16 Supply and 40 seconds (see video Dark-vs-Byun). Many players in the lower leagues struggle with the first two buildings and hitting that timing.

Main reasons:

  • Senseless spamming
  • No worker stack

See how Fenner builds his Pool five seconds earlier, because he does a decent worker stack.

Example Byun vs Dark[edit]

A Reaper-FE into Double-Medivac-Drop at around ~4:40 was Meta a few weeks/month in TvZ. All Timings and Benchmarks are taken from the video below.

Build orders are extremely important, it doesn't matter what league you are, they can give you huge advantage in your games, no matter what your league is in Starcraft II.[4]

In the BO below some steps are missing to make it more readable.

Supply Timing Building or Unit
16 -- Barracks
19 -- Orbital Command Upgrade
20 1:40 Command Center
20 1:51 Barracks
23 2:24 Factory
32 3:16 Starport
50 4:04 2x Medivac
60 4:36 Load Marines into your Medivac

So let's assume a Gold player tries to copy this build. His first Rax is 5 seconds too late. This means his Orbital Command is at least 5 seconds to late and his first Mule is ... you guessed it ... also 5 seconds too late. Then he builds too many SCVs, building his Factory not at 23 Supply, instead it is build at 25 and instead of 2:24 it is started at ~2:40. This means a later Starport and so on and so forth.

You want concrete benchmarks of how the annoying strategy works. You do not want your fears telling you how this strategy works (...) you want clean, clear numbers. And it's so important, that you use numbers a lot.[5]
Day[9], Daily #272

Byun attacks Dark's Queens at 4:58. The Gold player attacks at 6:15 and gets crushed by Banelings. He is frustrated and posts in a forum "Double-Medivac-Drop does not work in Gold anymore. Should I try Cyclones?"

But the reason for his failure are mistakes with Timings and Benchmarks and nothing else.

References[edit]