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StarCraft II - The Top Multiplayer Strategies for Launch

Posted Mon, Jul 26, 2010 by Stow

We’re mere days away from the launch of one of the most anticipated games in PC history.   If you weren’t in the beta for StarCraft II, I feel sorry for you.  The reason being that you might come matched up against one of us who has played the beta for months and understands every aspect of the game.   To even stand a chance, you need a strategy, or at least a general plan.  You have to adapt, but having an initial emphasis can make your units that much more threatening, and make your opponent react to you instead of vice versa.

The best defense is a good offense.  Remember that and pressure your opponents into making mistakes and giving you control over key resources and points on the map.


Terrans


M&M – The basis of the Terran army lies in the infantry.  Marines are a powerhouse en masse, or with something to distract your opponents from killing their fragile behinds.  Marauders are tough and posses the ability to slow units, which make up for the otherwise slow infantry.  They benefit from the same upgrades.  They can both stimpack.  They were designed for each other.  You can even add another M in the Medivac to provide mobility and healing support, necessary once you start hammering Stimpacks.

Reactor Rush – This build concentrates on two things—Marines and Hellions, and nothing else.   While it may sound like you don’t have good anti-armor units, Marines are more than a match for the first Armored units that hit the floor.  Your main goal is to strike hard and fast, and don’t let the game progress to higher tech units.    Higher tech units laugh at Marines and Hellions generally.  You can win the game with superior range and unit control rather than a real strategy!

Fast Banshee – Involves an extremely fast refinery build, and  from there straight into the tech required to hit Banshees.  This dominates if not scouted, and loses badly when it is.  So your goal is not to let your opponent get any intelligence on you while you go for this.  You’ll have to manage your SCVs very carefully, making sure you have enough minerals to produce more SCVs to match your mineral and gas needs as they arise.  Don’t bother with cloak and hit your opponent hard and fast.  One banshee will beat one Queen, so this can outright kill an unprepared Zerg player!



Zerg

The Baneling Bust – You only have two units for this strategy, Zerglings and Banelings.  All you need is Zergling speed to make this work.  Start massing up for this as fast as possible, and move out when you have about 15 zerglings and 7-8 extra to convert into banelings on site.  You want to hide the Baneling nest, and research Zergling Speed as you build the Baneling nest to establish map control and kill scouts.  This works best against Terrans, but can work against Protoss that wall off as well.  Send in two Zerglings with your Banelings to act as a distraction for units and defenses, and blow a hole in their wall effortlessly with the Banelings.  From there, gauge if you can surround and kill the defenders (likely if they teched) or you can otherwise make the most of your new situation, such as by expanding.

Roach/Hydra – There isn’t a lot of tact to this strategy—your Roaches absorb the punishment, and your Hydralisks dish it out.  When executing, you want about an even number of each unless your opponent is  heavy on anti-armor or air, and then you want to favor Hydralisks slightly.  Positioning is the key to success, and making damn sure you don’t get flanked or cluster your units too closely when AoE comes into play.

Fast Mutalisk – The hardest part about executing a fast Mutalisk build is surviving that long.   Once the first batch of mutalisks is out, you have to pick and choose your targets carefully.  You won’t have all day before your opponent’s anti-air begins to pose a threat, and then forces a retreat to your main forces.  Hit them hard and fast, and expand while you have their attention.

Protoss


The Sentry Counterattack - Your goal with this is to catch your opponent on unfavorable terrain.  Get in there and force their units to behave in ways they don’t expect.  Most of all, deny retreats!   Slaughter those left behind in no time, then take the fight to your opponent while reinforcing  and setting your rally points at their front door.

Air Rush – Obviously this goes along the same lines as the Banshee build.  Keep it hidden!   The sooner you get out that first void ray, the sooner the game will end.  One way or another, games will be short with rushed air.  If you don’t like the idea of charging a laser every time you want to attack, Phoenixes can do the same thing, but not to buildings or massive units.  If you are having trouble building a charge, remember that you can attack your own units to build it.

Stalker Break – Terrans love to wall in, but just like StarCraft 1, a few Stalkers can hit them hard early and force repairs.  Do what you can to pick off any repairing workers or units as they spawn.    This is rarely a strategy that can kill an opponent, but you sure as hell can delay their tech pattern.  The number of Gateways you go for on this will determine how intense (and vulnerable if it fails!) your attack will be.

Want more details and strategies? Head over to the StarCraft II Guide Portal!
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