PiG Daily Articles
Welcome to the PiG Daily strategy article! The PiG Daily is a show by Jared "PiG" Krensel that focuses on StarCraft 2 strategy and becoming a better player. We've joined forces to create an article series that summarizes his dailies into short, digestible articles that provide insight on builds, tactics and game sense. By combining with Spawning Tool, this series will bring you the most comprehensive learning experience for build orders and strategies.
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We highly recommend using Spawning Tool in order to follow the basics of these builds. The PiG Daily and our strategy articles will serve as supplementary guides to understand the subtleties behind each decision.
PiG gives the Terran players some love with this handy dandy TvT guide. Air superiority is one of the key factors in tank wars, and this opening gives you early pushing power to take the initiative.
Link to the Spawning Tool Build
Air Superiority Tank Pressure in TvT
This is an aggressive opening that lets you control the tempo of early game TvT and navigate your way safely to the midgame. In the first phase of this build, you'll have reapers and cyclones for your initial defense, but they can potentially inflict massive damage once sent to the other side of the map. The second phase involves a raven and vikings to defend against banshees and drops before you go on the offensive with your first two tanks. It's a very powerful tank push that relies on air superiority—one of the key factors in TvT tank wars. This will rarely end the game, but it can cripple a greedy player and force him to show his hand. All the while, you will be setting up your strong 3-base marine-tank production and upgrades behind the pressure.
Air Superiority Tank Pressure
|19||Orbital command + reaper|
|20||Supply depot||@100% 1st reaper -> 2nd reaper||SCV queues up another depot and goes off to build 2nd CC||@100% factory >- cyclone and starport (next to rax)|
|30||2nd CC (at the natural)||@100% 2nd reaper -> tech lab on barracks|
|33||Hellion||Starport and barracks swap||Barracks adds reactor||Starport builds raven||Barracks swaps off and builds another reactor then constant marine production||Starport swaps onto reactor and builds 4 vikings||Factory swaps onto tech lab and constant tank production|
Once your two tanks complete, it's time to put on the pressure.
After the tank pressure, there are three possible ways to transition. If you do good damage, specifically to their army, and want to play it Artosis-style ("when ahead, get more ahead"), then you can drop your 3rd CC for heavy macro. They will not have as many units as you, and you can expand knowing that you're safe. Make sure to scout just in case his plan is a desperate all in.
If you feel like you can easily close out the game with the amount of damage you've inflicted, then put down 4 raxes for an all-in on 2 bases. You'll be moving back into a standard marine-tank based army, so don't forget your marine upgrades.
My preference is a conservative middle ground, where I still take a 3rd base but bulk up my army. This gives me the safety to tech up and get ahead on upgrades and workers while leaving the opportunity open to exploit holes in my opponent's defense. If the tank pressure fails to do much damage, this is often the safest choice.
PiG's conservative transition
|2x barracks + 3rd gas||3rd CC when you can afford it.||4th gas||2x engineering bays||2x barracks (now a total of 5)||Start 1/1 for your bio||@60% 1/1 upgrades -> start your armory|
- When in doubt (whether you'll win a reaper skirmish), run home! Keeping reapers alive is more important than killing opposing reapers.
- Do not sacrifice all your reapers to try and get some SCV kills. Unless you are certain his units are out of position, the threat of reapers is more valuable than the 2-3 SCVs you might kill.
- Poke in with care. If they aren't watching (you can tell based on how the units move or aggro) then you can land the first reaper grenade and obliterate their force. Cyclones and reapers do damage very quickly, and a big win in your favor will allow you to do even more damage.
- Your raven should only be sent to harass if: 1.) they are NOT going cloaked banshee; 2.) they are going for an early expansion. The raven can help defend almost any kind of harassment or pressure.
- If your opponent has banshees, make sure to drop a fast single ebay around the time of your 2nd and 2rd rax. The raven is an integral part of your push, so it's important to have turrets ready before moving out.
- Never feel the need to take big risks when pushing with your small tank force. This is not an all-in, only mid-game pressure, and all of your units will be useful in the future if you keep them alive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if they’re also delaying their expansion? Can I still pressure?
Even if they are delaying their expansion, you should still look for opportunities to apply pressure with your reaper-cyclone. Search for a moment of inattention from your opponent, but be VERY careful not to lose units. You're mostly just making sure they aren't expanding freely or building workers without worry. Bonus points if you can get them to panic and change up their build. Jump on any free units that you can, but if there are no openings, don't risk it. If they have enough units to defend, just siege up for a while outside their natural, then pull back home once you think they might be counter-dropping.
Do I always push with the tanks? How hard do I commit here and when should I pull back?
The type of pressure that you can apply will often depend on the map architecture. There are a few spots per map where sieging up is ideal, and you'll want to get to areas that can deny the mining in their natural. This is usually the best outcome you can get unless they are particularly sloppy or rattled. Don't forget to scout ahead with your raven and vikings so that you can identify whether your opponent is vulnerable.
Here's a quick checklist that will help you determine if you should pull back.
- Mass hellions — while hellions aren't great against tanks, mass hellion can quickly surround your tanks and take them out while your vikings try to land a little too late.
- 3+ cyclones — cyclones are very good at countering viking builds, and losing air superiority will spell the death for your small force.
- A bigger army that's on its way to intercept you — obviously no reason to fight here, just run!
Establishing a contain with such a small army might sound appealing, but you should never overstay your welcome. A big drop behind your back might be difficult to defend if you have your units rallied to the front, and your measly squad will get jumped on once their army gets bigger.
A good rule of thumb is to never stay more than 1 minute beyond the point when you last caused direct army or infrastructure damage. Other things held equal, they will have an army that can crush your contain (because your units will be trudging from across the map) . You need to retreat before he moves out, or you will be forced to take as good a trade as you can manage before your army is flattened.
Brought to you by the TL Strategy Team
Writer: PiG/TL Strategy
Writer: PiG/TL Strategy