IMO SC guides are too long to read. But because I’m an addict, I read them anyway. And I edit them to make them probably 75% shorter.

So here’s an edited down version of drewbie’s awesome terran strategy guide (originally posted on and discussed on Liquid and Gfever’s guide to improving mechanics (




4 player maps: scout @ 13 – 14, depending on size.
2 player maps: scout when rax finishes.
Leave @4.00 (when Stalker is about to pop out)

If 1 gas: one gate fast expand or
3 or 4 gate push
Come back at 5-5.30 to confirm if its a push or a fast expand.
If one base/one gas push: 2 bunkers + SCV repair

If 2 gas: Dark Templars (DTs) or Void Ray or 3 gate robo timing attack
DTs arrive @ 7.10. You need to start an engineering bay @6.00.
IF you are not sure what 2 gas build he is doing, scan @6.00, after OC finishes.
If one base/two gas push: 3 bunkers + SCV repair. P is all-in, do not hesitate to use 12 SCVs for repair.

10SD 12 RAX 13 GAS 15OC 16SD (from now on called 15OC). 1SCV builds all buildings, including 2nd CC.
24 SD
MEDIVACS non-stop.

If you want a fast 3rd, 3gas not 4.
If not, 4 gas, 2nd eng bay and ghost academy.

Engage, engage, engage. P gets more cost-effective over time. T gets less cost-effective.
3 saturated bases is all you need.

1 zealot = 2 marines 1 colossus = 3 viks
1 HT = 1 ghost 1 stalker = 1 rauder
1 Archon = 2 ghosts

Deny P’s 4th base or it’s GG.
Split his army with drops.

Maybe use 1 ghost.cloack/nuker to deny 4th.

3 production buildings per additional bases (more once you have 3 saturated bases).
AGGRESSION is key. The P army gets more cost-effective over time.
Abuse drops: drop when he moves out and drop to split his army.



15 OC (no wall)
Infinity rines.
16 SD
18 fact + 3 hellions
20 ref
22 SD
25 Starport
8 marine, 3 hellions, 1 medivac push.
Push at ramp or drop hellions.

Scout and adapt to his composition.
Scout with the first hellion: if you see a hellion, prepare for cloacked banshees.
If you see only a couple of marines at ramp, they are teching.
If you do not know what they are doing, scan @6.20.

Strong 1 base play with banshees or tank push.
Counter banshees with vik / raven.
Cut production and expand while dropping.

Mid game: marine / tank.

3 production facilities per base.

Standard marine tank: 3 rax (2 reac 1 tech lab), 2 fact, 1 star/reac on 2 bases.

15 OC + wall
16 SD
2 rines then lift rax into main then 2 more rines
18 CC in base
19 double gas
21 bunker @ramp (where rax used to be)
25 factory (asap)
27 OC 2nd CC
28 tech lab (at half factory)
30 depot
31 starport (asap)
Reac on rax
6:20 – scan opponent.
Double gas on expansion asap.

Scout @13-14 and adapt to his composition: no gas? gas first? 13 gas? Reapers?

If fast expand, switch starport to techlab and go cloacked banshee + make OC at expansion not in base + a bunker @ natural.

If fast gas: fast blue flame into mech (rare after the nerf) or super fast banshee or reaper
Make an eng bay at 5.00/5.30, and 1 turret in minerals / 1 turret in production buildings. Then viking. You how have a massive eco lead, and loosing a few scvs isnt catastrophic.
If reapers, one rine in bunker, 3 rines to predict where the jump will take place.

if standard 15 OC: marine timing push or cloacked banshees. Scan @6.20.
Go tank vikings, with superior viking numbers for air dominance. 1 or 2 tanks are enough to stop the push, + SCV repair.

Marine/Tanks/Meds are great, unless he is meching (hellions, tanks vikings). Counter mech with rauders in your mix.
Pressure once stim, combat shields and meds are available.

Position position position for siege tanks. Drops with a single medivac.
PLAY SAFE. Be cost effective.
Upgrades are key. A +1 attack tank kills a tank in 3 shots instead of 4.
USe nukes to push enemy back. Move in your tanks after the nuke.
If the match is even and long, don’t worry about taking new bases as fast as possible. Make sure you have 3 bases and secure them with turrets and sensor towers.
At one point, you need to switch to air: BC, RAVEN, VIKING, THORS. Don’t be too quick about it though, you will want to be able to reproduce if you trade your tank/rine army.
BCs are useless and get killed by 3/3 marines before they have 2/2 or 3/3. Marines barely hurt 3/3 BCs.
Have 6 to 8 BCs max. Rest is vikings.
Have 2 to 4 ravens to suicide seeker missile the vikings.



15 OC
16 depot
2 marines only
18 factory
19 reactor
21 Command Center
22 depot (from fact scv)
FAct reac switch
23 2 hellions
27 tech lab on rax
When 2 hellions are done, switch fact to tech lab and rax to reac => marine tanks non stop
Use hellions to scout and deny creep spread / scout roaches
35 2nd + 3rd barracks
39 2nd refinery
39 depot
Tech lab then combat shield
Wall off natural.
9.30: push with 4 tanks and combat shields.
While pushing, 3rd gas, 4th rax, 2nd factory and reac on 3rd rax.

Pushing at 9.30 means that if Z is making mutas, he will need to use them to defend and will not contain you.

Spread out your marines and tanks vs roaches / banes. Siege one tank ahead of the others. Bait with 5 or 6 rines.
Kill creep tumors.
Scout for a 3rd base while pushing. If you destroy the creep and the 3rd, you are in a good position to kill the Z with a new push.
Abuse position.
Push over and over again. Constant agression. Force units, not drones.

10 SD
12 barracks
15 OC
6 rines
16 SD
18-19 CC
20-21 double gas
23 bunker @nat
24 SD
27-29: fact (asap)
28-30: 2nd fact (asap)
Reactor on rax
OC at 2nd CC (30)
Tech lab switch on first fact (31)
switch 2nd factory with barracks reactor
36 supply depot
Pre-igniter when techlab finishes
Hellions from both factories
42 SD
Start making SDs 2 at once.
52 engineering bay + armory
52 2 gas @ expo
attack with hellions right when pre-igniter finishes (60)
62 after you move out to attack,lift off factory with a reactor and make a techlab

Then go mech or marine/tank.

3rd factor (hence 2 techs 1 reac)
3rd CC into Planetary Fortress
Harass with hellions. Tanks + Thors.
If roaches: only tanks + hellion drops
Always siege in good defensive positions + use SD walls so the roaches cant reach your tanks.
Constantly scout. Critical. Z will transition to mutas or broodlords because roaches are horrible late game.
Scout every 2 minutes once Z has 3 bases.
Turret your bases, even if Z isnt going mutas (counter to nydus worms and Z scouting)
Go to late game with a huge unstoppable death ball.
IF mutas, get 2 thors out and dont over spend on turrets. Leave one Thor at each base.
Push timing: when Z makes the Hive (because Z will be saving money for broods and corruptors). If you miss it, ghosts + viks counter broods.

You could take half the map and never attack and still win.

Get a tech lab on rax when you move out with hellions and get stim asap.
3rd CC
Map control, pressure and build production buildings (3 per bases).
+1 attack eng bay and +1 attack factory.
If mutas, thor + turrets at each base.
If not, tanks.
Dont engage on creep. Spread before engaging.

3-3 marines own everything.
Ghosts-viks for brood lords.
Tanks/Thors vs Ultralisks.
Make sure you always scan to see the Hive coming and adapt.
Study the composition and size of his attacking forces. IF his force is dwindling, he is preparing brood lords.

Once you get to the late late game agaisnt zerg you need to have a nice balanced army. You are going to need Marines / Tanks / Thors / Ghosts / Vikings / Medivacs.
Good Zerg players usually start off by going Broodlord Infestor, and forcing you to make a lot of thors and vikings and then transition into Ultralisks. Having Ghosts in your army. Snipe, which outranges BroodLords and EMP the Infestors. Snipe is also pretty good agaisnt Ultralisks, but you will need more than just Ghosts to do good DPS. Tanks and Thors are your best bet. If you can stay cost-effective agaisnt Zerg in the late game, and get a nice Ghost count of around 12-18 Ghosts you should be able to take the game.

Spire finishes @10.


Hotkeys for T:
123 units
4 CC
5 Raxes
6 Factories
7 STarport
The point of having hotkeys is to be able to do the things that you need to do in the least possible amounts of clicks. When I’m giving lessons and my students don’t hotkey their army I get so frustrated. Their opponent attacks them and they have to left click on the minimap and then drag the mouse over their whole army, then tab through to find stim and find their ghosts to emp. It takes like 5x more clicks than it should. If i want to EMP a protoss army all I have to do is go 3 e leftclick e leftclick e leftclick 1 T A leftclick. There I just emp’d a protoss’s whole army and attack moved my bio at them in 11 clicks. You can do that in 2 seconds. EZPZ

Rally points:
The rally point should be a safe spot, but it should be as far out into the map as possible, so that your units reinforce faster. So many times I see people move out and set a rally point on their units, then they have 20 units on move command in the big fight not attacking because they aren’t hotkeyed. Or the unit that has the rally point set on it dies and then all the rally points get reset, and 2 minutes later you wonder why you have no army, only to look back at your base and find 100 units sitting there around your production buildings.

Keep your base organized. Its easier.


Greed is the key in SC. Intelligent greed, not blind greed.
How to improve: practice without sound (just music) for several weeks. Will improve macro and awareness.
Practice your worst builds or builds that are not great in specific matchups.
Hotkeys. Use them. 3 army groups minimum.
Location keys (F1 to F4), for expansions. Use them. Absolutely key for T.

use low settings. Health bar always on. Flyer helper on.
Hide menu bar.
Game timer on.
Control groups: hidden or unclickable.
Display build grid.
Turn off alerts.

SCVs: max of 20 scvs for minerals and 6 for gas total of 26 for each base. (16 on minerals is optimal but you need builders). Stop SCV production at 2 full rows of SCVs per mineral line per base. Having not spend resources on useless scvs and spent them on starting an expo or more production would change the flow of your mid game quite significantly.
Do not queue. Units, upgrades, SD…
Build your production tightly together and your upgrades inbetween your main and natural.
Place depots on edges of cliffs to stop drops.
Never chase your enemy’s scout.

Box from top right to bottom left. You’re cursor will be closer to the minimap that way.
Dont scroll much.
If want even more edge, you may want to fix your mouse to 1:1 pixels so your mouse clicking is more accurate and you have more control with your mouse. You should play with a mouse with 1600 DPI atleast.
Mouse speed to the max.
You can halt the scv building on a structure by click on T, then tell them to build the structure again by click on the structure. This will rotate the scv around the building if timed right. If you continue to do this, your scv will rotate in a circle randomly. That way in some cases you don’t need to pull a 2nd scv for the probe harassment and lose mining time. You can also use this tactic to keep your scv on the inside of your base so that he doesn’t get attacked from the outside. This is especially useful if you find yourself in a situation where melee attackers are attacking your wall but your wall is not entirely complete or started late.
If your enemy worker sneaks into your base and you are donig a build that requires both gases and your enemy has the potential of stealing your gas. Place a worker on hold position on one of the 4 corners of your unmade gas geyser. This will prevent your opponent from stealing your gas and doesn’t require you to create your 2nd gas geyser so early. Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, are the possible positions to block. You can also do this aganist your enemy’s 2nd gas to delay them. Usually good to do aganist a protoss before the 4:10 stalker or his first zealot comes out.

Watch replays. Study them. Understand them.If you did any mistakes in the first 10 mins its very important you fix them before moving on.
Learn timings. Do you know when a standard stalker should come out? Do you know the proper time for an expo to start for a 1 gateway expand? Can you identify when speed finishes? When should mutas come out? When would the first standard banshee come out? Things like a general time for a 3rd expo and whether is that 3rd actually a greedy one? A lot of the game sense can only be gauge by the gas usage and whether they take the 3rd and 4th gas quick or not can show a lot. Generally I don’t learn specfic timings of attacks. Only things I memorize are things I know if they play standard it should not change. Such as DTs, Void rays, banshee, baneling/hatch cancel, mostly from 1 base