Fear the Reaper Man (mass reaper)

  (Edited: )

So, I got the idea a while ago to go mass reaper in 4v4's, because I always do troll builds in team games (used to be proxy carrier or mass ghost). It worked incredibly well, because my allies could defend me while I wrecked my opponents' economies. Then I got the idea to try it in 1v1. I decided to try in on unranked for obvious reasons. I had enormous success against silver/gold players, and decided to see how far I could get with it. As of the moment, my mmr is low-mid diamond, and I'm still winning 80-90% of my games with it.Over time, I have refined my build order and strategies for it, and I believe I have perfected the build order (although some of the strategic points may yet be undiscovered). So here it is:

12 - gas (3)
13 - rax
15 - second rax (delay scv)16 - gas (2)@100% rax - reaper (delay scv)delay orbital, keep building scv's@100% rax - reactor, 3rd into gas19 - orbital

@100% reaper - reactor 
19 - supply depot
continuously build reapers and scv's@100% supply depot - supply depot31-expand (should be around 5:40)31-depot (delay scv)

Beyond here is very difficult to map, as macro tends to slip while microing reapers. But it's worth noting that each base can support 4 reapers at a time

You will get supply blocked for a bit with this build, don't panic when it happens. This is definitely not the most economic opener out there, but if it gets some reapers on the field (which shouldn't die unless you screw up your micro) and unless you opponent gets some pretty reasonable defenses, you can either do large damage or outright win (I probably win 30-40% of my games immediately)

Scout with your first reaper, it's not suspicious because it looks like a reaper expand. Snipe a worker if you can (is always possible if your opponent is bad, never possible if he isn't unless he has absolutely no defenses). If you're trying to win, respond accordingly if you see something dangerous, such as banshees or blink (both are pretty good against reapers). If you're trying to have fun with mass reapers (and this doesn't necessarily mean you're going to lose. I've beaten both blink and banshees with pure reaper before), then you just keep building reapers and, if you scout an all in, ninja your expansion instead of placing it at your natural. The rest of this will assume you're committed to reapers

you should get an engineering bay for +1 regardless, but get it earlier if you scout an all in or air. In this scenario, you will want to morph your expo into a planetary fortress (all in) or build missile turrets (air), and the early upgrade is nice as well. Keep building reapers, and as soon as he leaves his base charge in and kill his economy. Don't worry about static D, you can handle a cannon or two if you have enough reapers.

Photon overcharge is an issue, as you can't really engage a nexus with fewer than 20-30 reapers, which you won't have this early. Try to force overcharge as often and early as possible. If your opponent has expanded, try to get him to overcharge both nexi if possible.Against zerg, a common, and correct, response is mass speedling. If you face this, stay very close to a cliff at all times; if your reapers get surrounded it's gg. You can use a single reaper as a spotter to see if lings are coming to enable you to retreat sooner, but they're incredibly fast on creep, so even that isn't too safe.

If he has a siege tank, that has to be your highest priority. It's okay to trade 4-5 reapers for a siege tank; those things MUST DIE. widow mines should be avoided, obviously. Hellions aren't too big of an issue, despite popular belief, because if you micro properly you can prevent splash damage, and it's unlikely he will be able to get enough by the time you arrive to stop you. Banshees are a problem, but you can still win if you run around them and just keep harassing. if he heads for your base, you can kill his while getting a turret somewhere. If he stays home, you can just keep expanding and harassing

You want to keep expanding when you notice you're floating some money. Remember, 4 rax per expansion.

After the early game, scan before jumping up a cliff that's anywhere near your opponent's base

reapers in large numbers can kill other units in small numbers. If you see an isolated unit, kill it

If he splits his army in half, engage one of the halves. It won't be incredibly efficient, but your economy should be larger so it's acceptable.

If your opponent attacks you, kill his base and prepare for a base race. Reapers are very good in base races because they're so fast.

Upgrades are huge, never forget upgrades.

Be sure to wall in against zerg, or you will die to zergling counterattacks (one of the very few units faster than reapers)

After your second base, get planetaries, not orbitals. You won't be starved for minerals and the defenses will come in handy in a base race (which is guaranteed to happen if you don't win immediately and your opponent isn't bad)

Once you reach a certain point (use your own judgment), build a sensor tower outside his base. This will allow you to see if you can dive in and kill stuff, or if he's attacking. If he moves out to kill the tower, go in and kill his base. If he splits up his army, engage the smaller half. Against protoss you also need a missile turret to prevent a mothership core from killing it. This feels really stupid and really bm, but it actually works

If he gets large amounts of air, you have no choice but to get marines... or ghosts :D.

Currently I am having difficulty with the following:

  1. Blink stalkers. I can't harass because the stalker will catch me, and then easily pursue me. If I sit back and wait for him to leave his base, he can easily tech to colossi/air
    1. I'm considering the idea of getting a few widow mines, burrowing them next to my opponent's base, And then getting him to chase me. He will blink down the cliff on top of the widow mines and get wrecked :)... that's the idea anyway
  2. Mutalisks. I really don't want to have to get non-reaper units, but if I did these might not be such a problem
  3. Not greedy banshees. If he goes 1/1/1 with constant marine production, then I can't kill him immediately and the banshee will give me trouble. If he doesn't constantly produce marines, I can just overwhelm his army and kill all his workers and then win.
  4. Mass roach. Roaches are incredibly fast. they're faster than stalkers, and only slightly less fast than reapers, even off creep. Reapers have more range, and so can easily kite before speed finishes, but after it does it becomes very difficult. A marauder transition would probably be very effective. But then, marauders aren't reapers.
  5. Siege tanks. These things are really good. I can snipe them if the army moves away, but that relies rather heavily on him messing up and becomes less effective as the game progresses
  6. Bio drops. I can't kill the medivacs, so he can just sit there with medivacs until my reapers leave. This prevents me from being aggressive
  7. Recall. When I see my opponent moving to attack, I immediately lift all my buildings and fly away. So when he recalls, I'm left in a very awkward position. I think I might have to just wait longer before flying away
  8. Losing production. During base races I tend to lose my production capabilities and get stuck floating a lot of money. I think ninja-ing my production could fix this, although it seems weird
  9. Mass speedling. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if I didn't keep forgetting to wall off. It's difficult to punish a fast 3rd with mass speedling as well.

It seems like a lot, but most of them are fairly small issues, or have a proposed fix that I plan to implement

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please share them. If somebody who actually plays Terran would like to share an opinion and/or give advice, that would be great. I get the idea the skill ceiling for this is enormous, and I'm probably nowhere near it.



I stream this here on weekdays when I have the time, or weekends if I get tired of cannon rushing or go on tilt