StarCraft® II

Updated Raven Build: How to Tan Toss

Posts: 3,236
I realize by posting this that protoss will figure it out pretty fast and figure out a counter to it but I'd like to share this anyway. I've only saved about 3 replays of this build but as I get more toss matches I'll make sure to save and upload those replays and add them in.

I started doing this build specifically because 1-base protoss play has become a staple of diamond level play. When you're watching some of these replays you may notice that the majority of these tosses are going for some very cheesie early game all in time build until they see I'm all bunkered up and then they decide to expand.

Thank you to HNN who introduced North American forums to this cheese roughly 3 months ago. Since then this build has had some adjustments to make it not a cheese but instead just a powerful group of units that destroy protosses. This build literally works against every possible collection of toss units and so the protoss player can only win really on micro. I should note that since starting on this build I've lost to one protoss who probe rushed me (today) and I really my mistake because I knew it was coming and had my buildings built to the left a bit too much and didn't form a full wal off.... anyway.

The basis of this build revolves around two units: raven and siege tanks. I saw this build executed first at the GSL ro64 but paid more attention to it in the Ro32 when NSPGenius (potentially the best protoss player in the world) was executed by TSLRain (a great terran but by no means a 'best'). TSLRain did it by this amazing 1-base play that I've since taken on and crushed through protosses with.

The Build

With this updated build, like the old one you are going to open 1-1-1. You build a rax get some marines out and reactor it, nonstop marine production. You get a factory and nonstop siege tank production. Note, do not get siege mode until you're almost ready to push out. If you get siege mode you're going to slow down building your raven. From the starport you're going to first build a raven and then a banshee.

In some of my replays I prefer to get the banshee out first as the banshee provides scouting information. At some point your SCV production has to stop (around 26 SCVs total). You should either throw up more rax (for the push) or an expansion (although I've found this not to be necessary at all).

So unit mix is going to look like:
Mass Marines without stim
5 Siege tanks
2-3 Banshee
1 Raven

You push out and rally your forces either into his base or on one of your siege tanks.
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Posts: 3,236
Strategy/Psyche

At a diamond level of play people can figure out people's builds with pretty limited information. As this build becomes more popular more people are going to figure out that spotting siege tanks = this build. As people try to figure out things it'll become more and more important to try and hide tech and units. For now though leaving everything in the open is pretty fine. Eventually though you'll want your factory to be off to the side and have the starport out in the open for him to see.

The banshee harassment is a pretty important part of this particular build. Banshee harassment always makes protoss players invest in a robotics facility and more detection whether it be photon cannons or observers. That's a lot of gas and minerals the protoss player won't have more making units to stop this push. However don't get too zealous with your banshee harassment. Your goal in the harassment is to simply SHOW HIM that you have banshees. Kill a couple of probes, take a few hits at a pylon. Do the kind of stuff that makes this protoss player think OMG I CAN'T LEAVE MY BASE.

Make sure you have a bunker up at the front of your base. A terran who is turtling hard and is heavy on marines usually signals towards banshees. When you show him the banshee he'l go OOOOOOOOH I WAS RIGHT!

The push is simple and as you'll see from replays, insanely low APM (much like 99% of TvTs). You scan ahead to see where his army is and just siege up slightly away from it. You use your banshees (I use banshee and raven because I"m lazy and keybind all my air units to one key).

From here it's a slow siege push, that is taking 1-2 siege tanks from the back and moving them up front and sieging them up. Continue to rally in marines, siege tanks and banshees from your base. The protoss player will be able to produce more units than you but you'll have two things on your side:
(1) Raven point defense drone will negate any and all stalker damage.
(2) Siege tank damage is stupidly high.

Is This Cheese?

Artosis in his synopsis of the TSLRain vs NSPGenius matched declared that TSLRain won using some "cheesie tactics." This is NOT an all-in attack. If it dies you can still expand, you can still make units and you can still be effective against anything he brings.

The reason why this build is so potent is because there is a perfect balance of units that deals with nearly all possible unit compositions a protoss player can do. This push will fail if your micro and positioning is off. That is, if you're bad at TvT than maybe this push isn't for you.

Replays:
Troublmaker vs apple: Raven build vs Colossus
http://www.sc2replayed.com/replays/110907-1v1-terran-protoss-xelnaga-caverns

Troublmaker vs TheMelkMan: Raven build vs Chargelot/sentry
http://www.sc2replayed.com/replays/110912-1v1-terran-protoss-steppes-of-war

Troublmaker vs Dave: Raven build vs Blink stalkers/immortals/high templar/dark templar
http://www.sc2replayed.com/replays/110916-1v1-terran-protoss-delta-quadrant

Troublmaker vs ZBL: Raven build vs. Stalker/void ray push
http://www.sc2replayed.com/replays/112825-1v1-terran-protoss-delta-quadrant

Updates:
December 5, 2010: Added a replay of this build vs. void ray/stalker.
Edited by Troublmaker on 12/5/2010 9:03 AM PST
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Posts: 17
Will try it, thanks for sharing.
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Posts: 968
Liked, I'll attempt this vs protoss, seems like it could work, gonna watch them replays now.
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Posts: 1,288
Hmmm...I'd been experimenting with a banshee/marine/marauder push that worked great, but this....I will try tomorrow after that damn Spanish Oral exam.....no me gusta
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Posts: 1,288
3-0 so far with this build. It is brutal
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Posts: 12
Interesting. I've been refining a marine/banshee/raven build that has also been extremely successful against Toss, albeit at lower levels of play (it got me promoted from high silver to #1 gold and it looks like to platinum soon as well). I'm curious about the value of siege tanks as opposed to massing a higher number of banshees or more ravens. I love using marine tank banshee in my tvt matchups but haven't had a whole lot of success with tanks in my tvp and would be really interested in hearing your thoughts. Thanks for posting!
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Posts: 435
Sounds like a lot of fun, I look forward to giving this a try tonight.

BTW - You really need to get a stream up one of these days!
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Posts: 4,065
I wouldn't call siege tank damage stupidly high

they are actually quite bad against zealots

i could see this being good on some maps though, but still think i like the Polt style PDD pushes a little better myself

the main thing is just your lack of mobility, if he has a proxy pylon anywhere on the map, or is able to warp units onto the low ground outside his base (like on Xel naga or metalop) he can counter attack your main or just attack you from multiple sides with zealots

same thing with a void ray build, if your sitting outside his base, a couple voids is going to be more than the few marines that are spawning from your barracks can handle, and you are forces to run home to defend
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Posts: 3,236
Siege tanks do 20.01 DPS and 24 DPS vs armored units. Colossus do 20.91 DPS.

Siege tanks almost do double the DPS of a colossus (for cost). So siege tank DPS is quite good.

What i would say is this build is very micro oriented. You need the right units to deal with the right things. You won't have stimmed marines so you need to engage void rays directly. The banshee scout SHOULD pick up any void ray play so you can prepare for that.

USUALLY toss who go 1-base void ray do a void-ray stalker push pretty early on. The siege tanks take care of the stalkers and the stupid amount of marines will cover the void ray. If you micro properly defending the early ray push won't be bad.

There's about a 300 mineral per minute bonus you get with this build and as I said you can use it to make more rax, an expansion or if you suspect that void ray counter attack you can build turrets in your main (and turrets on your siege/bunker push).

I can definitely see your point on maps. This probably wouldn't do so hot on Shakuras Plateau. But on other maps proxy pylons should be spotted by your scouting fake harassment banshee.
Edited by Troublmaker on 12/2/2010 7:25 AM PST
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Posts: 518
I can see this being effective against other races as well, since the PDD will stop marauder/viking/hydra/muta. Do you use this vs. Z/T also?

Seems like if the opponent is terran and has tanks, if nothing else you can set up a contain at his front door, switch to viking production and be ahead in the oh-so-fun tank match.

If the opponent is zerg you can clean up all the creap outside of his base with the raven's vision and probably take out the expo, one base roach would fall pretty hard, ling/bling would depend on the player imo. PDD again is useful here as the 30 marines will be able to take out any mutas that he throws at you, and your tanks are in position to take out however many banes he has.

Am I off here?

I enjoy your posts Troubl, thanks for sharing this.
Edited by Corebot on 12/2/2010 9:06 AM PST
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Posts: 139
I can see this being effective against other races as well, since the PDD will stop marauder/viking/roach/hydra/muta. Do you use this vs. Z/T also?

Seems like if the opponent is terran and has tanks, if nothing else you can set up a contain at his front door, switch to viking production and be ahead in the oh-so-fun tank match.

If the opponent is zerg you can clean up all the creap outside of his base with the raven's vision and probably take out the expo, one base roach would fall pretty hard, ling/bling would depend on the player imo. PDD again is useful here as the 30 marines will be able to take out any mutas that he throws at you, and your tanks are in position to take out however many banes he has.

Am I off here?

I enjoy your posts Troubl, thanks for sharing this.


PDD does not stop roach or marauder...

Also, ravens work better in TVT when you use them to harass mineral line with turrets
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Posts: 518


PDD does not stop roach or marauder...

Also, ravens work better in TVT when you use them to harass mineral line with turrets


You're right about roaches, wrong about marauders.

http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Point_Defense_Drone
Edited by Corebot on 12/2/2010 9:06 AM PST
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Posts: 50
Siege tanks do 20.01 DPS and 24 DPS vs armored units.



Your numbers are off: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Siege_Tank

Siege tanks suck against zealots. Their siege mode DPS sucks overall, and if it weren't for splash, siege mode would be nearly useless.
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Posts: 1,288
One thing. 3 DT rush will own this build if you don't get the raven out in time and if you have less then 20 energy on your CC
Edited by WinterBorn on 12/2/2010 9:48 AM PST
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Posts: 3,236
Siege tanks do 20.01 DPS and 24 DPS vs armored units.



Your numbers are off: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Siege_Tank

Siege tanks suck against zealots. Their siege mode DPS sucks overall, and if it weren't for splash, siege mode would be nearly useless.


From your own link:
Siege tank DPS: 24 DPS 26.9 vs armored
Sieged DPS: 16.7 DPS (18.4 DPS vs armored)

They're slightly different from the source I was using:
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=115345

Your source actually says tanks are better than I was saying.

Once again not saying this build doesn't have vulnerabilities yet... but it doesn't have a lot. Going super fast DT rush is pretty uncommon simply because protoss are largely afraid to tech. A DT rush could go quite poorly for the toss if the terran for example was just going cloaked banshees and would have to either choose to delay DTs or not have detection (third option forge+photon cannon).

Really if the only thing that's beating this so far is fast DT I'm feeling pretty comfortable about it.
Edited by Troublmaker on 12/2/2010 11:46 AM PST
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Posts: 788
Got crushed by a charglelot/sentry build today. I was using my 1rax fe build. How well does this build deal with that? I know you have 1 replay but are those results consistent?
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Posts: 700
Ty for this build ive wanted to see it broken down for a while. Also can be used against Zergs that go Hyrdas since you show banshees...Marines+PDD+tanks hard counters hydras.

This popped up in GSL 2 towards the end...i forget who it was though but a TvP on Metalopolis. Started trying to use it but with more mauraders over seige tanks. Ill try with seige tho
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Posts: 4,065
just thought i would mention i have been playing around with tanks without siege mode

they are basicly like maruaders on crack (more dps than a stimmed marauder with 1 more range) and you can repair them

pushing with 1 raven with just enough for PDD, marines and a few tanks with scvs for repair is pretty strong, i ignored siege mode all together and just FF down stalkers and was very impressed
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Posts: 435
Ty for this build ive wanted to see it broken down for a while. Also can be used against Zergs that go Hyrdas since you show banshees...Marines+PDD+tanks hard counters hydras.

This popped up in GSL 2 towards the end...i forget who it was though but a TvP on Metalopolis. Started trying to use it but with more mauraders over seige tanks. Ill try with seige tho


Playing against a zerg that goes hydras is pretty much an auto-win anyway.
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