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Reaper/warp guide

Drop ship guide

Dropping units on mineral lines is an fine art to most Protoss players.  Reavers and High Templar both have the ability to kill workers before the other player can even respond, thus quickly shifting the balance and garnering props from most Starcraft players. However in Starcraft II we are missing a few units. The Shuttle and Reaver have been removed and in their place we get the Warp Prism and Colossus.Now many new players may be confused about how the Warp Prism works, I know this was the case for me because I thought that warping was the new drop mechanic for Protoss. However this is far from the case as Warp Prisms can carry units as well as warp them in. However it can only carry a single Colossus, so get used to building them in pairs if your trying to recreate some nostalgia.

The question that you maybe thinking is why would I ever drop when I could warp in? Well keep in mind that only units from a Warp Gate can be warped. Here is a quick list.


  • Zealot

  • Stalker

  • Sentry

  • Dark Templar

  • High Templar

Not a bad list to choose from, however you don't get to warp in Immortals or Colossus so its obvious that you should carry these units while warping in Stalkers for anti air support. But I should also add that you should not warp in High Templar but rather you should carry them if your planing on storming a worker line early. The reason for this is that a warped in High Templar is not going to have enough energy for a Psionic Storm right from the start unless you get the Khaydarin Amulet upgrade for 25 more starting energy.

Now I would recommend that you warp in a few Sentry's  because they can cast Force Field to trap the mineral line so nothing can get in or out. Or if you expect to get some fire coming your way, you can drop them in so you have Guardian Shield ready for when you arrive.Keep in mind that this takes some practice getting the timing right, but it is worth it just to make sure you kill as many workers as you can. Also if your going in with a pure warp in drop remember that if things get hot  you can always load your selected units back into the Warp Prism for a quick dash.



Fear the Reaper

While the Reaper is a very enjoyable unit and a great concept, it has come to my attention however that this unit is clearly on the wrong tier. While I know that most cries of "overpowered" are simply players that are losing due to their own lack of skill during a particular game, I will show that this is not the case. There really is a very large balance issue with this unit. It comes down to Blizzard's philosophy of each unit being useful. This was the reason behind the combat shields for Marines, charge for Zealots, and the various upgrades for the Zergling.

In original Starcraft the aforementioned units become rather stale when moving into mid game and downright useless in late game. The aim of the plethora of upgrades is to keep these early tier units useful moving into the game. They are a player's first unit in almost every game and as such should be worth at least a little bit. This, however, is not the case when it comes to the Terran and their Marines. These poor units are, and should be, completely skipped. They are vastly out shadowed by their nearest cousins the Reaper.

The proof here is simply in the math. According to the Unit Database, a Marine requires nothing but a Barracks to build and takes 20 seconds to build. Compare this to the Reaper's requirement of a Tech Lab (30 second build time, 50 minerals, 50 gas) and it's identical build time you end up with the following statistics. Your first Reaper, in time and money equates to three Marines and an additional 75 gas. That isn't much of a tech difference. This wouldn't be too bad if the Reaper itself wasn't extremely stacked.

All early game units (Zerglings, Marines, Zealots) are light armored units. This means that the Reapers bonus damage kicks in. A single Reaper will deal 16 damage per attack, for comparison a single Marine only does 5. This means that a single Reaper is worth three marines as far as damage against light units goes. This damage bonus applies to workers as well making them extremely powerful against resource lines. Even worse than this is the fact that their secondary attack does very large damage to buildings.

The brand new D-8 charge, which is really just a second attack, now allows the Reaper to deal a whopping 40 damage per attack to buildings. To illustrate the level of damage this is, a Bunker only has 400 hit points. This means that a small pack of 5 Reapers is able to kill said Bunker in only two attacks. This makes Reaper's deadly for attacking Supply producing structures or even major tech buildings.

How about a counter, everything has a counter in Starcraft! This is true, the Reaper can be countered. The major counters for it though are mid game, tier two units like Stalkers, Roaches, and Hellions. It is nearly impossible for anyone to attain these counters before a Reaper strike occurs on any map that is not specifically designed to counter cliff walking. Oh, did I not mention that Reaper's are able to jump up and down cliffs? Well in fact that is their Passive ability. It requires no research and no resources. Simply by building a Reaper, you are able to completely bypass any early game defenses and go straight for a mineral line, thus crippling your opponent.



(typed this stuff up on vacation =p)


29 Mar 2010 | Comments (1)
Tags : combo guide  

Pastadiablo wrote (2010-03-30 07:39:23)

avatar Zergling

While I agree that your math does make sense, a few things have changed.  The reapers only do 30 damage with their D-8 charges (although that is still quite hefty), but they are relatively weak, with only 50 hit points, 5 less than a marine with the shield upgrade.  Also, marines can attack air units, whereas reapers are completely defenseless against air.

That being said, though, as you mentioned the only counters seem to be later on in the game (such as air units).  However, I don't believe Roaches and Stalkers are tier 2 - I think they are tier 1.  Namely because Roaches don't require a lair, and Stalkers only require that a Cybernetics Core be warped in after the Gateway.  While it's true that these buildings take longer than a Tech Lab at a Barracks does, generally the Reapers are most effective with the speed upgrade, which means if you consider the time it takes to produce Reapers with the speed upgrade, the enemy player (Zerg or Toss) should be at the point where they can and [should] have built Roaches and Stalkers.  

If the terran player does not wait for this speed upgrade though, he is likely only able to get 1 or 2 reapers into his enemies base before they produce the counter unit to stop them.  Building up a large force of 10 or so reapers would be pointless because by that point there would be maybe 4-5 counter units in the enemies base, easily able to prevent this force from being too destructive.



Also, the Zergling didn't cross the road because there was a siege tank on the other side :p

+3 up rate down rate

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