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Tuesday, July 28, 2015
We're gonna talk about strategy. Like baseball, Starcraft is most interesting at the highest level, so we're gonna talk about that. Also, series are more interesting than single games, so we're talking about series. Starcraft series strategy between high-level opponents. In this case, TvZ.

The first thing I have to say is hellions suck. Actually, I was gonna say Zerg is better at macro, but listen: hellions suck. They're good against Terran, and they have uses against Protoss, but against Zerg, there is a massive value misunderstanding.

A lot of it relates to our first paragraph. Hellions are popular because they wreck less-talented players. They get in there, in the mineral line, and roast Drones for days. But we're not talking about less-talented players. We're talking about top players. And against top players, Hellions are not good. Let's examine this.

They're good against light units, and they get into mineral lines, so their strengths, it would seem, are against Zerglings and Drones. But Zerglings are so cheap that killing them essentially doesn't matter. And Zerglings with speed are faster than Hellions, so they can surround and overwhelm, reversing the Hellions' advantage. As for Drones, Zerg, due to their Special Awesome Zerg Powers, can make as many as they want at a time, assuming resources and Larvae, so killing them doesn't make much difference either. You have to kill a ton for it to matter. And we're playing top players, so you're unlikely to do that. Effectively, you're rolling the dice, with very bad odds.

What else is bad? Reapers. That's right: I said it. The most common opening, in Terran vs. Zerg, is bad. Reapers are bad across the board, and I'm gonna tell you why.

What are Reapers good for? They're good for scouting. I was excited about this when they came out. The idea of a unit that scouts is a good one, as scouting is key to the game. But Reapers are too expensive to be scouts. If you're spending that much gas, your unit better kill shit. And Reapers don't kill shit.

Sure, technically they do nonzero damage, and they wreck weak players. But we're not talking about weak players: we're talking about top players. And top players do not lose units to Reapers. So that leaves Reapers as scouts. And the problem, when you scout with a Reaper, is you also scout yourself for your opponent. They know what you did: you built a Reaper. It's too expensive for you to have done anything else.

So that's why I think Reapers are bad in all matchups. And when I see Reapers and Hellions fight Queens, I throw up a little in my mouth.
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