Medivacs are a very useful tool for guerrilla attacks. Terran players often use them to deploy siege tanks, marines, marauders, hellions, or ghosts behind enemy lines—particularly mineral lines or higher ground where they can cause significant damage—and then run. Additionally, medivacs provide a significant boost to the survivability of a biological army – allowing them to stim more frequently and tank more damage.
MMM – Terran Bread and Butter
The most standard army composition in the game is the combination of marines, marauders, and medivacs. The two biological units are both high in damage and mobility, and are capable of using stim packs to further that advantage. Marines deal the majority of the damage, and marauders tank enemy hits while slowing their advance through the concussive shells upgrade. With the addition of medivacs, these units become even more formidable. The disadvantage to stimming – the 10 HP cost – is virtually negated, and the auto-healing adds considerable survivability – particularly for marauders. With proper splitting, kiting, and positioning, an MMM army can take on most enemy compositions.
The Standard Octa-Drop
By far the most standard and inexpensive drop, this attack consists of eight marines loaded into a single medivac. Because of their high damage-to-cost ratio, dropping eight marines in the back of an enemy base is an excellent way to cause all sorts of havoc for relatively low risk. Especially once upgraded with stimpacks, the eight marines can easily take out a worker line or key structures such as pylons, production facilities, or tech buildings.
Hellions are very maneuverable and excel at killing workers with their infernal flamethrowers, which can damage multiple units in one shot. If you find expansions or main bases that are lightly defended, you can drive in, eliminate all the workers and make your escape.
A medivac drops 4 hellions, which go on ahead and roast many protoss probes
Thors are the second most expensive unit in the terran arsenal (after the Battlecruiser), and as such conserving them is extremely important. Though it might not look possible, a single Thor can actually be loaded into a medivac. In doing so, a damaged Thor can be evacuated from battle. This technique is extremely important during late-game battles, as an evacuated Thor can be placed in the back ranks of your army so it can continue firing. The extra damage could be the difference between victory and defeat, so don’t leave him hanging! See the technique in action.
Medivac attack locations
Here are some troop deployment tips to use against the enemy.
- The juiciest target is right behind the mineral line. Just watch out for anti-air defenses.
- Straight routes are not always the best. Try to avoid being spotted en route to the enemy base.
- Manage the flight path of your medivacs. If you are not careful you may lose them along the way.
- Drop in two different locations simultaneously to tax your opponent’s multitasking. For example, in both the main base and the expansion.
- If, on your way to your target, your medivac flies over an enemy structure or into an overlord, abandon your attack and kill the offending target. Continuing your drop is risky, as they have now scouted your attack.
- Destroy lone pylons. This will hinder your enemy's ability to create more troops and will disable any structure not in the range of a pylon's energy field.
- When dropping the main, look out for "Artosis pylons" – a single pylon powering several key structures all on its own. If you can de-power your opponent’s production, they will be unable to warp in units to repel your drop.
Attack the main base and take out key buildings like the spire, hydralisk den, roach warren, or spawning pool. This will limit the unit types your enemy will be able to produce.
- Keep your units, especially marines, separated and in smaller clusters (as opposed to one big ball). Position your marauders at the front and try to use them to soak baneling damage.
- If the front door has minimal defenses, you can try pushing in through the front with 16 marines and 2 medivacs. Keep those stimpacks handy.
- Drop on top of enemy siege tanks to prevent them from firing, or to have them take damage from other tanks' shots.
Unit Control Tips:
- Save injured ground units by loading them onto your medivacs and unloading them behind the assault group. Position your medivacs in such a way that any unit that is near death can be loaded instantly.
- Use the terrain to your advantage. Find narrow choke points between minerals or enemy structures.
- You can tank some of the damage with your medivacs if you place them slightly towards the front. This is not recommended against big groups, and you should micromanage the medivacs to avoid losing them.
- Hit those stimpacks regularly, that's the stuff! Medivacs can heal the damage inflicted, so feel free to stim away. However, hitting them too often is a common mistake of new players, especially if their medivac count is low.
- Don't be afraid to drop marines on spots where you can cause significant damage. If ground attack units come hunting for you (zerglings, for example) you can just load up and fly away.
- Go for key targets hard and fast, because you'll have a limited time window before enemy reinforcements arrive. Examples: workers, spire, spawning pool, pylon, supply depots, etc.