As one of the three basic free starting commanders, Raynor is one of the most played co-op commanders in the game. With access to most of the standard Terran units from Wings of Liberty, Raynor also resembles Terran ladder play more than any other commander. That being said, Raynor is one most difficult commanders to play, mirroring the difficulty of apm-intensive Terran play typically found in multiplayer.
Generally speaking, there are two ways to play Raynor; an offensive Bio-based styles of play and a more rarely-seen defensively oriented mechanical mode of play. Using an army of relatively fragile Bio units, it’s up to the player to keep his force alive and deathball it to victory. With mechanical units, Raynor can hold a position indefinitely, especially against ground forces.
Raynor Bio compositions have the smoothest power curve in the game. He is carried by his two calldowns in the early game and gradually powers up throughout the game. Eventually, Raynor’s Bio composition becomes highly powerful as it is able to shred down all enemy units and buildings very quickly. Vulture Mines are able to take down any ground wave instantly. Also, because Mines don’t cost any supply, Raynor can inflate the power of his standing army indefinitely.
Pure Mech has a slightly bumpier ride as Raynor needs a few more minutes to get the necessary number of Spider Mines out on the field. He’ll also have a hard time dealing with air compositions early on with Mech.
Viable Unit Compositions
Generally recommended on offense-oriented maps where you push into an enemy base. Bio-based play consists entirely of a mix of Marine/Medic with circumstantial Firebat/Marauder support. Marauders survive AoE attacks better than marines and do well against armored ground compositions. Firebats are generally a very good choice against Zergling-based Zerg compositions and on Miner Evacuation and Dead of Night, but not to be used in other situations.
This is the same as the Bio composition, with the exception that a few Vultures are added on in a separate control group for the sole purpose of laying Spider Mines. Mines are laid all over the map to cover alternate enemy attacking paths while you push down objectives. This composition is useful for larger maps where you have to be in more than once place at a time, such as Mist Opportunities, Oblivion Express, and Vermilion Problem.
Mech (Vulture/Siege Tank/Viking OR Vulture/Banshee/Viking):
Raynor can effectively utilize a defensive mechanical composition consisting of Vulture/Mine on the ground and Viking/Turret for the air. Siege Tanks or Banshees can be supplemented in order to clean up anything that the mines missed. This composition is best utilized on defensive maps. One or two Medics should also be added into this composition in order to heal your Mechanical and your ally’s units.
Mid-game Pushing Power: Raynor excels at pushing encampments in the mid-game with a bio composition. Bio units, with a backbone of Marines and Medics, provide the necessary DPS and sustainability required for these pushes. On the majority of maps, Raynor has the fastest clearing potential of any commanders.
Defensive Ground Ability with Mines: Mines are one of the best defensive options in the game, rivaling Karax Cannons, Swann Tanks, and Zagara Bile Launchers. See the Vulture section for more info.
Unlimited Mineral Income: The extra income provided by Mules allow Raynor to resupply his Bio force rapidly and to ramp up quickly, letting him build an excess of static defense (Mines/Turrets).
Area of Effect Damage/Mutators: Raynor’s Bio gets torn up by some AoE mutators such as Blizzard, Twister, or Orbital Strike. In the hands of a less-skilled player, he’s also weak against enemy waves with heavy AoE such as the Reaver/Disruptor wave or Terran Mech. In addition, Raynor doesn’t have many good answers to mine-clearing mutations like Minesweeper.
Difficult to Master: Raynor is one of the hardest commanders to play well. Due to the diverse set of skills Raynor’s playstyle demands, newer players without strong StarCraft mechanics will struggle to do well with Raynor on the higher difficulties.
- You should generally aim to construct multiple Orbital Commands to increase your income. Refer to the Orbitals and Macro section for details.
- Opening almost exclusively a 3CC or 4CC build (three to four Command Centers before any units) is completely safe in most situations with the help of your two calldowns. This gives you a booming initial economy, which allows you to snowball the game.
- Spider Mines are Raynor’s most powerful “unit” and they annihilate ground armies. They should be used against ground waves on any map with a defensive component.
- Alternatively, massing Missile Turrets with your excessive mineral bank is also effective against air waves.
- Improve your multitasking. Multitasking Bio, Mines, Mules, production, calldowns, and upgrades can be tricky for newer players. Raynor is a very demanding commander to play, so get practice and improve.
- Use calldowns when they’re available instead of leaving them for emergencies. This especially applies to Dusk Wings with a full Mastery upgrade as you can have them on the field 50% of the time. (They last 1 minute and have a 2 minute cooldown.)
- Do not leave the Hyperion idle. It is a very powerful calldown with both its active abilities and can take out key objectives.
- Mech upgrades affect both of Raynor’s calldowns.
- Set up your Bio in a concave before engagements. This lets all of your army start firing more quickly and mitigates splash damage.
- Raynor fares better against Protoss defenses than Terran or Zerg defenses. Specifically, Tanks and Vipers give Raynor a lot of trouble when he’s assaulting an enemy base.
- Learning the stutter-step technique will slightly improve the efficiency of your Bio army.
- Learning the rapidfire technique will help you plant Spider Mines more quickly and greatly improve the effectiveness of these units.
Calldown and Unit Overview
33.93 DPS x 5
With full mastery points, you’ll be able to call Dusk Wings every two minutes (instead of four) starting at the four-minute mark. Dusk Wings are fully cloaked and do immense area of effect damage. They are powerful enough to take down almost every ground-based attacking wave until the very late stages of the game, allowing your armies to push bases without retreating. They’re also useful for killing the initial rocks at the expos and the 1st attack wave. Note that the Dusk Wings deal 50 damage to all enemies at the location they are summoned.
The Hyperion is the other, more robust calldown that you call down every six minutes, starting at the five minute mark. With full mastery points, you’ll be able to call it down every four minutes and thirty seconds starting at the five-minute mark. While it has a long cooldown, the main advantage it has is it can attack air units. It also has much better survivability against fortified areas. Its abilities include:
- Hyperjump: Teleports the Hyperion to any location on the map, even unexplored areas.
- Yamato Cannon: 600 damage single target ability with some AoE damage. You’ll most often want to kill the most dangerous units to Raynor’s Bio with your Yamato. This includes all forms of splash damage and capital ships.
- Point Defense Drone: Prevents projectile damage, 4 charges, 5 second cooldown, lasts 3 minutes. Make sure to use all the charges during its duration.
- Advanced Targeting Systems: Friendly units near the Hyperion do +2 damage. This lets the Hyperion scale with your army as it highly increases the damage output from a group of Marines.
Units and Buildings
No Stim: 8.02 DPS at 0/0
With Stim: 14.04 DPS
The bread and butter of your Bio force, Marines are an all-purpose unit that deals immense single target damage for its cost and supply. They are very susceptible to AoE, however, and must be supplemented with other Bio units when necessary.
Without Stabilizer Medpacks: 9.00 HPS
With Stabilizer Medpacks: 12.00 HPS
Medics are Raynor’s healers and can heal both Biological and Mechanical units. Generally you’ll want one Medic for every four non-Medic Bio units. Against heavy AoE mutators, you will want to increase this number. For a mechanical force, two Medics are sufficient to heal up between fights.
No Stim: 7.52/ 15.03(vs armored) DPS
With Stim: 13.15/ 26.31(vs armored) DPS
Premier Bio composition support. They are mainly used to prevent your Bio ball from being too vulnerable to area-of-effect damage, such as against Infestors and Colossi. Although you should make them against all compositions if doing a Bio composition, you should only prioritize them against ground-only compositions.
No Stim: 6.39/9.58(vs light) DPS
With Stim: 11.18/ 16.77(vs light) DPS
Firebats have a lot more HP/armor than the other Bio units, but they’re also much more situational than Marines or Marauders, due to having a small attack range and low single-target DPS. Firebats are only ideal in only two situations: against the two Zerg compositions that start with Zerglings and on maps with infested such as Miner Evacuation and Dead of Night. They are also viable, though not necessary, against certain Protoss compositions that don’t include Immortals.
6.97/17.42(vs light) DPS
Though they’re not powerful attacking units, the ability to lay an unlimited number of Spider Mines supported by masses of Orbital Commands and Mules makes Vultures one of the most powerful units in the game. Spider Mines in a mech composition make defensive missions such as Temple of the Past, Oblivion Express, and Mist Opportunities trivial.
Tank Mode: 16.59/27.64(vs armored) DPS
Siege Mode: 13.42/19.17(vs armored) DPS
On the ground, the Siege Tank is mostly outclassed by either a bio ball or the Vulture’s Spider Mines. Even with the unsieging speed upgrade, Siege Tanks don’t provide enough of a benefit when mixed with bio units. The main use for them is as supplementary units in addition to Spider Mines on a defensive mission such as Temple of the Past or Oblivion Express. On these maps, Siege Tanks will be able to clean up stray units that have slipped through the Spider Mines. Siege Tanks can also work on maps with prolonged assaults such as Miner Evacuation and Dead of Night.
Vs Air: 11.50/16.50(vs armored) DPS
Vs Ground: 13.80 DPS
The counterpart to the Vulture’s Spider Mines, Vikings are used to clean everything up in the air that Vultures do on the ground. Note that because Vikings are fragile units, you’ll need Missile Turret support to deal with heavy air waves without taking significant losses. In most cases, adding Vikings to a bio army for anti-air purposes isn’t as effective as simply adding more Marines.
Best used in combination with Vultures and Vikings to provide additional support to Spider Mines on the ground. As an alternative to Siege Tanks, Banshees are more mobile and can more easily deal with some bonus objectives. However, the tradeoff is that Banshees are incredibly fragile and vulnerable to AoE effects. Banshees can also be used against certain compositions that lack solid anti-air such as the Protoss “Gateway” composition, especially when mutators such as Blizzard hinder the use of Spider Mines, but this is a very niche use case.
Vs Air: 31.36 DPS
Vs Ground: 41.82 DPS
Typically, Battlecruisers are outclassed by any and all of Raynor’s other options. Battlecruisers are very slow to get out, have low range, and don’t put out any area of effect damage. With either a Swann ally to provide additional gas, or a Karax ally to help heal your capital ships, you can reconsider this option, but it’s almost certainly still an inferior choice. Battlecruisers are most often paired with Vultures as the minerals dump.
6.98 DPS (Empty)
63.14 DPS (4 marines with Stimpack)
91.22 DPS (6 marines with Stimpack)
Bunkers are generally not a good defensive option outside of early game due to their low DPS. In the early game, it can sometimes be wise to produce one Bunker as a defensive measure against the first wave if you either don’t have Dusk Wings unlocked or you’re playing on a map where Dusk Wings aren’t available before the first wave. The best example here is on Dead of Night, where Bunkers are essential to a strong defense.
In addition to mines and Bio, Turrets are another good mineral dump for when you have massive numbers of Orbital Commands. This is especially true when you’re going Mech and relying on Vikings as your anti-air. Turrets are especially useful on maps such as Void Launch and Temple of the Past where you have to defend against hoards of predictable air units.
Raynor’s build doesn’t change much as he levels up. For players at level 1, you’ll either have to rely on your ally to defend the first wave or skip the third CC in favor of a Bunker to defend the first wave. The ability to instantly build Supply Depots marginally speeds up this build. The following is a generic build for Raynor on maps with rocks. This build must be adjusted on maps without rocks at your expansion. Refer to the attached replay pack for additional details.
- 14 Supply Depot
- 16 2nd Command Center (at rocks if available)
- 19 Barracks
- 20 Orbital Command on first CC
- 20 3rd Command Center (at rocks if available)
- 21 Orbital Command on 2nd CC
- 21 Refinery
- 22 Refinery
- 25 4th Command Center (at main base, optional)
Orbitals and Macro
Figuring out the right number of Orbital Commands and production structures can be tricky. Having more Orbital Commands will allow you to have greater income later in the game, but they cost time and money to build early on, leading to delayed army production and greater vulnerability in the early game. If you build too few Orbital Commands, then the reduced income will make it difficult to maintain your army when faced with later attack waves as well as when pushing into the more heavily guarded enemy bases. However, If you build too many you will not only risk being unable to contribute to the match in the early game — meaning that your ally will have to cover for you — but you will also prolong the mission, forcing you to face more dangerous attack waves that could otherwise have been avoided. A good example is when speedrunning Lock and Load, in which case the optimal number is 3 Orbital Commands - building just 2 makes it very difficult to assault the fourth Celestial Lock, while building more than 3 means will likely cause you to be unable to finish before the double attack waves begin spawning, thus adding additional difficulty that may quickly snowball out of control. Therefore, balancing the early game opportunity cost with the long term economic advantage is a very important aspect of playing Raynor optimally.
A good general rule of thumb for deciding upon the right number of Orbital Commands is to simply add one extra Orbital Command for every 5 minutes of the expected game length. If a mission will last between 10 and 15 minutes, build 3; if the mission will last between 15 and 20 minutes, build 4. If you will be using Vultures and their Spider Mines, add one more. If facing Terran or Zerg, you may also be advised to add an additional Orbital Command. One exception is Oblivion Express, on which 6-8 is recommended. For mutations, add up to 4 more depending on the circumstances - easy mutations may only require one more than usual, while medium difficulty mutations or mutators such as We Move Unseen or Shortsighted may call for 2-3 more than usual, and very difficult mutations may need 4 more than usual.
Keep in mind that any Orbital Commands you decide to build must be built as soon as possible to maximize their effectiveness. It is usually safe to build up to 4 before adding additional Barracks beyond the first, but anything beyond that will require you to wait until you find a breather between objectives and attack waves. Usually, one will use the 4CC opener, followed by going up to 3 Barracks to get a small bio force going. The 5th+ Orbital Commands will then be added after the first objective and the following attack wave. Exactly when to add additional Orbital Commands beyond the 4th will be heavily dependent upon the map and how you (and your partner) are faring and thus will have to be determined based on experience.
Now that you have the Orbital Commands, how many Barracks should you build to support the income? A good general rule is to build one Barracks per Orbital Command, and then add 1-2 more after finishing worker production. The first three Barracks should have Tech Lab, Reactor, and Reactor. Afterwards, you should alternate between Tech Lab and Reactor. If you intend to build Firebats, your first three Barracks should instead use Tech Lab, Tech Lab, and Reactor, after which you alternate. Naturally, this assumes a certain level of macro skill, so if your macro is not optimal you may want to add additional Barracks as necessary. If you find yourself floating a lot of resources with the Barracks’ queues full, build more; if your Barracks are idle too often, reduce how many you build. Practice this macro thoroughly.
In conclusion, we have provided what we consider to be the optimal macro setup for Raynor, but it is important to consider your own limitations and adjust as necessary. However, no matter the skill level, we would not recommend building over 8 Orbitals in regular brutal missions, and no more than 12-14 Barracks. 6 Orbitals and 6-8 Barracks makes for a good spot for most general purposes for those who do not care about tweaking builds individually for each map.
The Dusk Wings may seem fragile and not very useful past the early stages of the game - many players simply summon them into the middle of enemies, often without bio support, and completely forget about them; this results in the Dusk Wings quickly getting shot down.
One should remember that the Dusk Wings have quite good damage output and, assuming that they survive for their full duration, can be active for 50% of the time with max mastery, which is by far the best uptime out of all unit calldowns in Co-op. Since Raynor has access to such a constant source of damage, it would be a shame to let that go to waste.
To make full use of the Dusk Wings, one need merely follow a general rule that actually applies to all calldowns: always try to use them as soon as they are available if the situation allows. While it feels reassuring to have calldowns ready for emergency situations, one should also consider the opportunity cost of not using the calldowns. By using the calldowns right away, pushing a base could have been much easier or done much sooner, and perhaps using them earlier would have meant you could have fit one more use of the calldown into that game. This consideration is especially important for the Dusk Wings due to the sheer amount of time they can be on the field. In a 15-minute game, for example, you can fit 6 uses of the Dusk Wings — translating to 6 minutes of high damage air support for your forces. Holding off on using just one cast of Dusk Wings means that you lose out on about 17% of their total effectiveness. But you certainly don’t want to call them down when there are no enemies to kill simply for the sake of calling them down. Try to familiarize yourself with the maps so that you can better coordinate your use of Dusk Wings and minimize any wasted downtime.
Though the Dusk Wings have good damage output, they are also very fragile, unlike many other calldowns. If there is a large amount of anti-air, the Dusk Wings by themselves will be shot down long before their 1-minute duration is over. Though they are uncontested in the early game, they may be more easily threatened by the enemy as the game progresses, you may want to summon them behind your primary forces even though this means wasting the 50 damage area of effect that occurs during the summoning animation. If the Dusk Wings are too far forward, many anti-air units, especially air-to-air-only units, will focus on them and quickly destroy them, so it is much better to keep them slightly behind your front line while your ground forces target down enemies that are actively attacking the Dusk Wings. In general, the Dusk Wings will begin as targeted strikes on weak enemy groups and then transition into serving as damage support for your army.
Instead of A-moving the Dusk Wings, you can hotkey them and use them to target fire dangerous enemy units. They can take out Colossi and other ground units that threaten your Marines very quickly. If you spot a clumped group of enemy units, take advantage of the Dusk Wings’ splash damage. This can be particularly useful against approaching Zealots or Zerglings/Banelings. When sniping key enemies, it is worth noting that a lot of the enemy units with splash have long range, and you will have to bring the Dusk Wings forward to deal with them. You can either snipe them and dart back to safety with your Dusk Wings, or you can snipe and then stutter-step your army forward to provide cover. Against Hybrid Dominators, a Dusk Wing must be sacrificed as the Hybrid will prioritize using its Plasma Blast on one if it has not yet cast Psionic Storm - this actually makes for a great way to take out Hybrid Dominators without suffering significant losses, since the Hybrid cannot use Psionic Storm for a few moments after casting Plasma Blast, giving you a good opportunity to kill it before it can cast Psionic Storm on your Marines. Keep in mind that the Plasma Blast deals some splash damage, so you should separate your Dusk Wings when you see the Plasma Shot being charged. Additionally, you should not expect the Dusk Wings to be smart about which units they automatically attack, since they will prioritize units with anti-air attacks, meaning you may for example find them attacking a single Photon Cannon while a Colossus destroys your Marines. Also, refrain from stutterstepping your Dusk Wings together with your Marines as their attacks do not sync well. With proper management of Dusk Wings, they can add quite a punch to your army, giving them a lot more pushing power than you might expect.
The Hyperion isn’t a consistent source of support for Raynor due to its long cooldown, but its raw strength means that one should absolutely try to make the most out of the Hyperion’s lifespan.
We recommend that you dedicate a large portion of your APM to the Hyperion whenever it is available, even if it means that your macro may slip a little. You want to make sure to use the Yamato Cannon as soon as the cooldown is ready, and you want to spend every single Point Defense Drone.
When using the Hyperion, look out for units that its PDD cannot negate. This includes Marines, Void Rays, and even Thors to an extent due to their multiple projectiles. Marines are particularly dangerous due to their high numbers and DPS - you should be cautious when moving the Hyperion over a location fortified by Bunkers. You also do not want to summon the Hyperion in the middle of the enemy; due to the Yamato’s Cannon’s splash effect, it is better to summon it off to the side, aggroing the enemies such that they bunch up as they try to attack the Hyperion. Finally, when you deploy PDD, try to deploy them a short distance away from enemies, as they may draw fire from any non-projectile attackers and be destroyed as a result.
The Hyperion is very useful for punching holes into fortified areas. It can clear an area entirely on its own, or severely weaken multiple areas, allowing you to clear them out much easier with Dusk Wings or your bio. If you plan to later call down the Dusk Wings, your main goal with the Hyperion will be to get rid of as much enemy anti-air as possible, particularly air units that the Dusk Wings cannot fight against, and leave a PDD behind to provide vision for summoning the Dusk Wings. If you plan to clean up with bio forces, then you want to target splash-dealing units such as Colossi, Siege Tanks and casters. With Hyperjump, the Hyperion can weaken multiple enemy locations, and it may therefore be wise to plan out your intended pattern of attack to make full use of its duration. One neat trick is to use one last jump near the end of the Hyperion’s timer to warp to another location and use the Yamato Cannon to snipe one final unit. A good example of the Hyperion’s amazing early power is its use on Lock and Load, where it can severely cripple the defenses at two Celestial Locks and then take out a Colossus or Carrier guarding the northeastern Celestial Lock as well.
Later Hyperion usages will include handling attack waves while bio forces push forward, since later attack waves tend to get more dangerous for your bio. The Hyperion can then Hyperjump to join the rest of the army as support as you push into enemy territory. Unlike the Dusk Wings, the Hyperion should be placed in front of your army in order to draw enemy fire. The Hyperion can act as a tank by blocking enemy fire with the PDD and boosting the damage of your Marines with its Advanced Targeting Systems aura, giving you tremendous pushing power.
Using Vultures and Spider Mines
Spidermines can be mass-produced at a small cost - you typically want around 8 to 12. Through their Spider Mines, they are capable of wiping out entire ground attack waves, no matter how large they may be. However, due to the extremely low health of each Spider Mine and the fact that the enemy can attack them if they have detection, you may find that their use is a little trickier towards the end of the mission when the enemy comes with plenty of splash or raw firepower from the sheer number of units.
This huge weakness makes laying Spider Mines in the path of attack waves more and more impractical as the enemy wave size increases. You’d need an overwhelming number of Spider Mines that are sufficiently spread out such that the enemy attack wave cannot shoot enough of them down before the Spider Mines connect. Early on, this is perfectly manageable, which is good as you have no other options at that stage, but later on, the number of Spider Mines needed to take out each wave grows impractical, even when using rapidfire and lots of Vultures. This problem is made worse by late-game waves that include splash damage. One notable exception is the Zerg ground composition, whose units aren’t very well equipped to deal with Spider Mines.
For other late-game ground compositions, you will have to resort to laying Spider Mines at enemy spawn points in order to continue using them effectively. Enemy forces have a short delay when they are spawned, and with Spider Mines covering the enemy landing zone, they have very little ground to cover before activation, leading to total annihilation of enemy forces before they can respond. The only problem is that enemy spawn points tend to be defended by enemy encampments and thus require a fighting force to secure those spawn points.
Fortunately, Raynor is a highly-aggressive commander and shouldn’t have many problems pushing to secure these spawn points. With enough map knowledge and planning, one can secure spawn points before the attack waves reach a size that is problematic for Spider Mines when used normally. Some spawn points are extremely easy to secure, such as with Void Launch and Malwarfare. Others such as Temple of the Past and Oblivion Express are a bit more challenging. Many players tend to be quite timid in their play, but we encourage all players to try to be more confident and aggressive with Raynor’s army. The provided replays and VODs show how spawn points are secured and used for maps where they are applicable, particularly defensive maps. On offense-oriented maps, you will probably not need to secure spawn points since Raynor can end those maps before late-game waves become problematic, but it is still useful to practice doing so every once in a while in case the game drags on.
That being said, spawn camping will not solve all of your late-game ground wave scenarios. Maps like Chain of Ascension have spawn points (reinforcements) that are constantly pushed back as you progress, and you may have to mine the attack paths until you can secure the newly-designated spawn point. The spawn points on The Vermillion Problem and Lock and Load require clearing out the enemy bases, which is quite a detour. On mutations, spawn camping may not be viable at all due to environmental mutators. In those situations, you will simply have to deal with the Spider Mines’ weakness. One exception is the Speed Freaks mutator, which actually helps your Spider Mines due to the fact that the enemy just runs right into them before stopping to attack the Spider Mines, making them even better when placed on attack paths.
One last point to make about Spider Mines is that there is no need to rush them in most situations. Often a Raynor player planning to make use of Vultures gets very early Refineries to rush out the Factory and a few early Vultures. Raynor has powerful calldowns to carry his early game, so Raynor should first focus on getting a decent mineral income both in the short term and the long term by constructing Orbital Commands and saturating mineral lines, even when going for a mech-oriented build - Spider Mines cost a lot of minerals, after all. When mining spawn points, there is absolutely no need to go over 8-12 Vultures, since they can easily produce enough Spider Mines to destroy any attack wave, and the remainder of your resources are better spent on bio forces that have the pushing power that Vultures lack. In a game like Starcraft that is so economy-oriented, you want to only put up defenses you need while your economy is growing - and a Spider Mine defense is definitely not necessary early on.
Refer to the Replay Pack for more specific examples.
Raynor is one of the most powerful commanders at low levels as most of his strongest traits (Marines, Mines, Orbital Commands) are accessible even at level 1. However, Raynor still receives a few power spikes at the following levels:
Level 2: Banshee Airstrike: Allows Raynor to clear rocks and kill off the first wave without having to commit to units.
Level 4: Infantry Upgrade Cache: Upgrades his Bio play immensely.
Level 8: Orbital Drop-Pods: Supplements Raynor’s Bio pushing power greatly.
Level 15: Mercenary Munitions: One of the best level 15 masteries, giving Raynor a 15% attack speed increase to his entire army.
Power Set 1:
- Stimpack Duration +2%-60% (+2% duration per level)
- Speed Increases for Drop Pod Units: +2%-60% (+2% speed per level)
Power Set 2:
- Hyperion Cooldown: -3s - 90s (360s down to a minimum of 270s)
- Banshee Airstrike Cooldown: -4s - 120s (240s down to a minimum of 120s)
Power Set 3:
- Medic Heal Additional Target: +3% - 90% (-3% heal per level)
- Damage Reduction during Medic Heals: +0.5%-15% (+0.5% damage reduction per level)
KerriganUtilizing Kerrigan’s Omega Worms allows Raynor a more mobile ground force. Medics can heal Kerrigan’s units, which is particularly useful in the case of Ultralisks and Kerrigan herself. Malignant Creep also offers a flat health regeneration bonus to all units it affects, so it benefits Marines greatly.
ArtanisArtanis is Raynor’s favorite partner. His Guardian Shell grants Raynor’s bio units much better survivability. Meanwhile, Raynor lends Artanis some much-needed healing in turn. Shield Overcharge is also fairly useful on Raynor’s numerous low-HP units. That being said, both commanders’ ground armies take up a lot of space and tend to trip over each other, unless Artanis goes for an air-based army.
SwannRaynor doesn’t especially appreciate Swann’s extra gas income unless he’s going Mech and even then, it’s not a necessity. Scans can synergize well with Swann’s Laser Drill. Raynor can use Swann’s Tech Reactor, but it’s generally not worth Swann’s time to create extra add-ons for Raynor.
ZagaraZagara’s Mass Frenzy greatly increases the effectiveness of Raynor’s units more than she does any other commander. At the same time, Raynor’s Hyperion buffs Zagara’s Zerglings more than any other unit in the game. Zagara’s Baneling and Scourges help to decimate most of the threatening units in a heavily-fortified base, before Raynor’s high-dps biological army takes over to clear up the remnants.
VorazunVorazun’s Emergency Recall can save cloaked Banshees and Dusk Wings, but this is generally not a huge draw. The Dark Pylon’s Recall can help Raynor’s army greatly with mobility.
KaraxRaynor greatly appreciates Unity Barrier, which can allow his bio forces to shrug off a high damage hit that would otherwise kill them. Also, Karax can snipe dangerous AoE units with his Spear of Adun abilities to prevent them from dealing devastating damage to Raynor’s army. An interesting strategy to note is that Raynor can easily provide vision for Karax with the use of drop pods, Scan or Hyperion Warp, so that Karax can instantly kill dangerous units or structures (such as Void Rifts).
AbathurMend tends to help Raynor’s Mech more than his Bio compositions. Medics help heal Abathur’s units, especially Brutalisks, which Abathur’s Queens can be slow to heal.
AlarakAlarak can overcharge Raynor’s floating structures, which represents about as much power as the Hyperion. Raynor’s small and compact army can serve to boost Empower Me greatly.
NovaDefensive Drone has great synergy with Raynor’s bio army as its main issue is survivability. Tactical Airlift can also ferry Raynor’s units across the map instantly. Raynor can help give vision for Nova’s powerful abilities. Medics provide another layer of survivability to Nova’s already robust units, and can be helpful during the leveling process before attaining sufficient mastery points for Unit Life Regeneration.
StukovRaynor and Stukov’s calldowns can tag team down enemy waves and structures. Other than that, Raynor and Stukov are two of the least synergistic commanders in the game.
FenixFenix is able to Recall Raynor’s Bio force, greatly increasing Raynor’s mobility.
DehakaDehaka the hero acts as an effective tank for Raynor's army. In addition, his healing aura and his Tyrannozor's armor aura both greatly extend the life of Raynor's fragile army, while Raynor helps Dehaka by bringing effective damage.
Chain of Ascension
- Building a Bunker by Ji’nara can hold off the enemy reinforcements while you power up and build CCs. Build it after the 3rd CC is started, and it will be up in time for the first wave.
- The first Dusk Wings can handle first attack wave and the expansion. If there are air units, you will have to lure them to the Bunker.
- Save the first Hyperion for the large second attack. Most of the time you should still have time left at the end to teleport it to the second fortified base and clear some dangerous units.
- Use Vultures to mine the areas where Hybrid waves spawn so you’ll have a much easier time dealing with them.
- Dusk Wings should be used to clear out the first, second, and third Hybrid spawn areas while Bio forces push forward.
- You should be able to get Vultures out before the 9-minute spawn trigger for the first set of Hybrids.
- Vultures can sneak past the last fortified base by moving below them.
- Don’t forget to mine up the reinforcement attack paths.
Dead of Night
- Make use of the Hyperion and Dusk Wings during the first night. The Hyperion especially can be quite useful because its PDD can distract Spotters even when placed far away.
- Marines, Medics, and Firebats should be the core of your Bio forces, Firebats are great for tanking and dealing with the massive numbers of Infested both during the day and at night.
- A split Bio force during the third day can cover the map a lot faster than a single, large force.
- Tanks can help greatly against the third night and later, but you really should try to finish before that or shortly after third night begins.
Lock & Load
- Dusk Wings can take care of expansion rocks and first attack/lock but may not be able to clear everything if they have to destroy the Vespene rocks.
- The first Hyperion can accomplish a lot. Delay it for about 20s and then summon between the left lock and the forces guarding the lock. Drop PDDs as necessary while destroying dangerous splash and scanning to target down the cloaked/burrowed units (Terran Banshees won’t cloak). Once the dangerous units are taken out, teleport to the bottom-right lock and target the anti-air so that your Dusk Wings can clean up. With the remainder of the Hyperion’s time, teleport it to the lock area directly above and use one last Yamato to take out another dangerous unit; when Dusk Wings are done clearing the bottom-right lock, they can be suicided to clear more targets right above. If done right, your forces should be able to easily assault the left lock, the bottom-right lock should be completely cleared, and the upper-right lock should have slightly weakened defenses.
- Vultures can be useful for defending double waves if the game goes on too long.
- With a 4CC opener, the first lock can be defended by the first Hyperion, or by a couple of Bunkers right under the lock if you have the multitasking to send the Hyperion elsewhere. Make sure to build bio forces even after Bunkers are full, as you’ll need the extra forces for the first Tower.
- Save the second set of Dusk Wings until the first Tower, which spawns at 7 minutes. Leave one Bunker full in case an attack comes from behind.
- Recommended use of gas in the early game: 1 Tech Lab, 2 Reactors, Combat Shields, +1 Weapon upgrade, and then a Factory. This should get 5-6 Vultures out in time for the second wave, with both Vulture upgrades going.
- One round of Dusk Wings can clear a bonus area on their own. Applies to both the first and second bonus areas.
- Your Vultures should be lagging behind your main forces, laying mines as the spawn points are cleared out. Between 24-36 mines at each spawn point should be sufficient to start, and then reinforce as necessary.
- Some spawn points cannot be mined early unless you really make the effort to clear them quickly: past the ramp to the right of the second lock, and the bonus area below the third Lock. Because of this, expect many attacks to come from those directions, and place extra mines accordingly.
- Against heavy air compositions, it’s better to go full-bio instead of splitting attention with Vultures. Unfortunately, against Zerg and Protoss, you won’t know until the second wave arrives.
- Marines, Medics, and Firebats should be your units of choice for this mission. Firebats are ideal to burn and tank against the hordes of Infested.
- One of the Eradicators can take out the Dusk Wings. The Hyperion is recommended to finish it off first. Do not attempt to kill off Eradicators with Bio forces as you’ll suffer heavy losses.
- Try to have a second Bio force going around the map clearing stuff, since you don’t need a full army to defend ships.
- The Hyperion can protect the first bot as well as clear some of the second and third bot areas. The 6-minute Dusk Wings can further clear the third bot area.
- You should be able to get a few Vultures out by the second bot wave, even with a 5-6CC opening. Dusk Wings will help until you can start laying mines.
- Lay mines all over the map, especially at spawn points if you can memorize them. Building Missile Turrets at the final spawn points helps against masses of air units as well. You can defend without resorting to spawn camping fairly well up until the third wave of Harvesting Bots, but afterwards the amount of splash from ground compositions may be hard to handle without Spider Mines at enemy spawn points.
- Hyperion can take out first train on its own as well as warp over to the attack wave that follows shortly after.
- Due to the late first attack wave as well as the late first objective, you can build up to 6 Orbital Commands before adding additional Barracks.
- It’s useful to push into the train spawning locations to lay mines at the escort spawn locations. If you can’t push both, then at least push the upper train location since that’s also where some attack waves will spawn.
- It may help to build a Bunker and Turret at locations that the AI builds on, so that you can maintain control over those areas. The other option is to just fully-clear the map.
- You will need to focus a lot more on laying Spider Mines, as well as maintain a slightly larger force of Vultures. Due to the sheer number of Spider Mines needed to take down Trains, it is advised to build 7-8 Orbital Commands on this map.
- If going against air compositions, particularly Terran air, it’s useful to have a moderate fleet of Vikings, since Marines out of range tend to attack the train instead of running to attack the air units.
Part and Parcel
- When facing Terran or Protoss, you will find a bunch of undefended Parcels in the western area. You can build a Marine or two with your first Barracks and get a bunch of free Parts while you work on your infrastructure. Against Zerg, this is not possible due to the Defense Bots that defend this area.
- The Dusk Wings can clear out some enemy forces between the main and expansion, as well as the expansion itself. You may need a final cleanup crew for the upper expansion, though.
- The first Hyperion can defend against the first attack wave, but you may need to distract the enemy or let them attack a structure while you repair it for a short while. After destroying the attack wave, Hyperjump it over just to the east of the expansion area, where you can use it to take out a Hybrid Reaver. You can then move it elsewhere to clear out even more units - the defenses near the second Hybrid Experiment is a good choice.
- It is recommended to use a 3CC opener instead of the 4CC, since you need to build an early force to roam around the map for Parts. Go up to 3 Barracks after the 3rd CC, and add the 4th CC around the second attack wave.
- Your army can output more than enough damage to wait with taking on the first bonus Train near the end of the tracks, assuming you retain a sizeable force. You can gather enough Parts to trigger the first Hybrid Experiment objective before you engage the bonus if you route correctly.
- You should tech up to Spider Mines and begin Vulture production around the time you engage the first Hybrid Experiment. Spider Mines will make the second and third fights very easy with their burst damage; make sure to spread them out, so that they can hit the Hybrids Experiments’ Shades. You can also place Spider Mines at enemy spawn points if you are facing a ground composition.
- The southeastern area has very few anti-air defenses, making it a perfect target for Dusk Wings if you lack other targets for them.
- The Hybrid Experiments’ abilities are fairly dangerous to Raynor’s fragile bio, including the stasis which is paired with enemy summons that can shred through your non-frozen forces.
- Try to finish before the 24-minute mark - a very powerful wave will spawn at this time, so it is best to avoid that if possible.
Rifts to Korhal
- Unlike every other map, you will need a Bunker with Marines to take the first wave. Your Marines can be rallied to your rocks until 2:20 or so before they have to get to the Bunker.
- Delay the first Hyperion for about 20s and spawn it on top of the second attack wave, after which you should target down dangerous units and some air in the second area. Dusk Wings then will be able to clear even more units.
- Enemy attacks always come from the same direction - Vultures can lay mines if you see a lot of splash coming.
- In the last area, taking out the Nexus/CC/Hive near the frontmost shard can give you more micro room.
Scythe of Amon
- Dusk Wings can take out the first attack wave. Send them to the mini-base between the main and the expansion Void Sliver to clear the area, and then snipe the Void Rift and any defending units that are nearby. Make sure to float an Orbital Command to the cleared mini-base, as well as newly-constructed SCVs, as you will be taking the expansion very soon.
- Summon the first Hyperion just below the first bonus area and begin attacking it. With careful control, you should be able to clear everything and have some time left over to warp it to one last area for a quick snipe.
- While the first Hyperion is active, rally Marines right outside the Void Sliver at the expansion area. When your second use of Dusk Wings become available, summon them to help the small Marine force to take out the Void Sliver guarding the expansion. Don’t worry about the timer running out, you have plenty of time.
- Your third cast of Dusk Wings can help repel the second attack wave, but if the first enemy wave came from the north, you may want to delay expanding since the second attack will then pass through the expansion and will hit it before Dusk Wings are available.
- Dusk Wings can help greatly during attacks on the Void Sliver by taking out dangerous enemy units with splash as well as sniping Void Rifts and Death Grip Crystals, but make sure they don’t get too far ahead of your bio as they can be shot down by the enemy very quickly.
- The map is big. Raynor wants to minimize travel time. The recommended order, accounting for bonuses, is the expansion Void Sliver -> first bonus area (Hyperion) -> the eastern Void Sliver -> second bonus area -> northern Void Sliver -> third bonus area -> northwestern Void Sliver -> western Void Sliver.
- PAY ATTENTION TO THE BLUE CIRCLE OF DEATH
- SERIOUSLY, PAY ATTENTION TO THE BLUE CIRCLE OF DEATH
Temple of the Past
- Float the starting Barracks to top of main ramp to stall enemies until Dusk Wings come online. Against Zealots or Reapers, add a few SCVs to repair.
- Use the Hyperion for the second attack and teleport to lower-left corner base to begin attacking. Leave some PDDs in the area for vision to summon Dusk Wings on the 3rd attack wave.
- With a 4CC opener, you should be able to get out a Factory in time to make some Vultures to assist with the fourth and fifth attack waves.
- After the first Void Thrasher, you can add two more OCs for safety or push the side lanes if rushing for a full clear.
- Clearing lanes is very important for laying mines at Thrasher locations.
- By the end of the game, you can have your entire base covered with Spider Mines and Missile Turrets for an impenetrable defense.
- Since the Spider Mine nerf, it is highly advised to clear out all the lanes in order to place Spider Mines at the enemy spawn points. If spawn points cannot be secured, you will need to lay a lot more Spider Mines to overwhelm the enemy forces.
- Full mech is also very viable on this map if the goal is to not clear the map. Vultures, Tanks, Banshees, Turrets, and Vikings are all excellent choices for defense.
The Vermillion Problem
- Dusk Wings can defend against the first attack wave and then move directly to the expansion area. If you can take out the enemy detection quickly enough, the Dusk Wings can take out the enemy CC/Nexus/Hatchery, or at least severely damage it. The Hyperion can clear out dangerous units and then Hyperjump to another area - center vs Protoss to take out Disruptors, left vs Terran to clear tanks, or anywhere with Vipers vs Zerg - as you float your CC over. Your second cast of Dusk Wings can finish clearing the expansion while you rally Marines to intercept the attack wave where the enemy lands transports in your main base. You can also choose to save your Dusk Wings to defend against this attack if you aren’t sure if you have enough Marines.
- If you have Xenon Crystals spawned far apart from each other, just get the closest one and use Dusk Wings to deal with the other one while dropping a few Marines if there are air units.
- Use Spider Mines for defense, especially when you have access to the two AI bases at the northeast and southeast, since those will be the enemy spawn points towards the end of the game.
- The Hyperion can solo the first Shuttle wave and the attack that follows shortly after.
- Placing a Barracks near the main ramp can hold off the first attack wave until Dusk Wings become available, but it will need to be repaired for a while. If this makes you nervous, build a Bunker after your Barracks is finished.
- If you use a 3CC opening and then begin unit production, then you can use the Hyperion to handle the second attack wave as well as clear out a lot of either the second or third bonus area. You will have enough forces to take the first Shuttle wave even without the Hyperion.
- Vultures can be out by the time you need to defend the first bonus and destroy second Shuttle wave, even with a 5-6CC opening. Be warned, however, that the Hybrids spawn a little after the main enemy units, meaning that after the Spider Mines kill the main attack force, the Hybrids may be able to AoE the Spider Mines as they try to reburrow.
- Try to clear out the enemy bases as quickly as you can and build Missile Turrets around the Shuttle Launch Bays.
Towards the end, after you’ve sufficiently mined up the attack spawn points, you can destroy all your Vultures and Marauders in order to build more Marines.
- The Hyperion summoned at the right edge of the third Thrasher area can take out most of the anti-air for Dusk Wings to safely take out two of the three Thrashers. A second round of Dusk Wings will handle the third Thrasher and some of the ground forces. Try to leave the Hyperion’s final PDD in a safe area so you have vision for the second round of Dusk Wings.
- Try to skirt around the edges of the final area to avoid aggroing all the dangerous units at once.
Replay PackAttached is a replay pack of the record speed runs for Raynor on each map. These replays provide a demonstration on how to play Raynor. In addition, we have broken down which compositions you'll be able to find on each run:
- Marine/Maraurder/Medic: Lock & Load, Rifts to Korhal, Scythe of Amon, The Vermillion Problem, Void Thrashing
- Marine/Maraurder/Firebat/Medic: Dead of Night
- Marine/Maraurder/Medic/Vulture: Chain of Ascension, Malwarfare, Mist Opportunity, Oblivion Express, Temple of the Past, Void Launch
- Marine/Maraurder/Firebat/Medic/Siege Tank: Miner Evacuation
Other Commander Guides
Writer: LilArrin, monk
Editors: Aron, LilArrin, Maguro, monk, Raincamp, T.Chosen, Yuriprime
Editors: Aron, LilArrin, Maguro, monk, Raincamp, T.Chosen, Yuriprime