Terran Guide


For your opening build strategy you may choose to do a safe all-encompassing build that easily transitions based on the first few moves your opponent makes and what your scouting reveals. You may also plan your first couple moves by building for what your opponent is likely to do based on which race they are.

Whichever your strategy you need to know how you plan to transition down several different paths based on how those opening minutes progress. Having this all planned out ahead of time so you're not second guessing yourself when it comes time to make those decisions is crucial.


A biological opener is probably the most common opener for a Terran player in StarCraft 2. It encompasses the production of many tier 1 and tier 1.5 (tier 1 + gas) units for either protection or offense and because of its versatility thereafter it is the safest opener.

A 2 or 3 rax build is often used to achieve this type of composition with focus on just marines or marines and marauders. From there a transition into MMM adding Medivacs or focusing more heavily on Marauders when facing a Protoss player is common and easy to implement.

When your opponent is sticking with ground units you can drop a tech lab on your factory and pump Siege Tanks.


One of each should do the trick

The other common safe opener is the 1-1-1 build; 1 Barracks, 1 Factory, and 1 Starport. It's the most flexible build though it does sacrifice that heavy tier 1 production to either rush or defend a rush with. However, it gets you air units quickly to either go Banshees for some harassment or Medivacs for an early drop.

The transition options are wide open given you've already produced one of each primary production structure.

Look to add Tech Labs and Reactors as appropriate and more Barracks or Factories as appropriate. Try not to break the rule of acquiring more than 4 or 5 production structures per base and secure your expansion soon, adding bunkers if prudent.

Vs. Zerg

When considering that a Zerg player is likely to have early compositions of Zerglings and/or Roaches a mechanical build (Factory units) is the most appropriate when opening against a Zerg.

Getting quick Hellions with the Infernal Pre-Igniter upgrade can end a match quickly versus a Zerg player going Zerglings.

It's advised to include 1 to 2 Siege Tanks in your push to account for any Spine Crawlers or a few roaches. If you scout early roaches increase this to 2 to 3 tanks sacrificing the Infernal Pre-Igniter upgrade.

This build transitions very well to Thors if the match progresses to the Zerg player building Mutalisks or sticking with Roaches or even Bannelings.

Vs. Protoss

A typical Protoss build will be comprised of any combination of Zealots, Stalkers, Sentries, Colossus, or Void Rays.

Marauders are your best unit for facing Stalkers, and even versus Colossus to a degree (3 marauders can take down 1 Colossus; more successfully so with Stimpacks).

It's advised to get air units for the midgame with a Protoss player having a variety of air options and your need to hard counter Collosi. Opening with a 1-1-1 build to secure an early Starport for a couple Medivacs early and Vikings as you need them is a safe opener as is a 3 rax with 2, even all 3, attached tech labs for Marauder production.

One of our favorite openers against protoss is to get quick cloaked Banshees. If you open with a 2 rax and save all your gas for a Factory, 2 Starports, and Banshees the combination of marines and Banshees can often end the game in under 10 minutes particularly if the Protoss player has limited or no detection.

Vs. Terran

As a Terran player will often go for a biological army a mechanical build can be just as effective against Terran as it is against Zerg. See above for the description.

Keeping this in mind, Siege Tanks can be a better use of gas expenditure early on than going for Marauders. Siege Tanks will turn back any rush and allow you to overcome just about any bio push the opposing Terran player is attempting on the ground.

A strong MMM can be overwhelming if you don't have the mechanical units to combat it so make sure you've got the right technology factored in to your build to pick it apart.

Next we'll look at transitioning into the mid game Next>>>

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