Starcraft 2 Combat Shield Push Build Order (TvZ)
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The Combat Shield Push is a Starcraft 2 Terran timing
attack that excels in Terran vs Zerg matches. This build involves getting out a lot of early Marines with
Combat Shield and making an attack on the Zerg base.
The Combat Shield Push is designed to hit a Zerg who grabs 3 quick bases before they can get out Banelings (or
at least not very many Banelings). Combat Shield is the upgrade of choice here instead of Stimpack because Medivac
support will not be available by the time this attack hits.
While this build excels against a 3 base Zerg, it can still work on 2-base Zergs. The strong counter to this
build is a Zerg player who goes for some sort of Roach or Baneling Bust.
When to Use the Combat Shield Push
Use your scouting SCV to spot the expansion versus gas timing. If the Zerg has their first Extractor before
getting their natural expansion, the Combat Shield Push should be avoided. If the Zerg player gets their natural
expansion before getting their first Extractor, you are good to move forward with the build. If the Zerg takes
a third base before adding on any gas, the Combat Shield Push is practically a guaranteed win.
Combat Shield Push Build Order
The beauty of this build order is that an initial scout from a Zerg might lead the Zerg to believe that the
Terran is playing an econ-focused game. The expansion-first nature of the build often coaxes Zerg players to take
an early third. This makes the Zerg vulnerable to the Marine timing attack.
10/11: Supply Depot
15/19: Orbital Command
16/19: Command Center
17/19: Supply Depot
19/19: Bunker (at your natural expansion)
20/27: Barracks (hide this one in the main - try not to let an Overlord scout this)
25/28: Orbital Command
28/38: Marine x2
28/38: Supply Depot
31/38: Tech Lab
36/46: Supply Depot
41/46: Combat Shield*
46/54: Supply Depot
47/54: Command Center (macro CC)
54/62: Supply Depot
56/62: Marine x2
57/62: Refinery x2
*Marines and SCVs are pumped out of all 3 Barracks and 2 Command Centers respectively for the duration of the
build. Your subsequent supply counts as you make Marines may vary slightly from player to player, so do not read
into that part too much.
After starting your final 2 Refineries, you should move out with your Marines and go to attack the Zerg player.
If you are fast, this is at around the 7:30 mark. Continue to pump Marines and rally those Marines to reinforce
your attack. you should have about 20 Marines by the time you move out.
Strategies for Using the Build
As mentioned previously, you only want to use this build if the Zerg gets a Hatchery before gas. When Zerg
players go for this build, your Marines will hit just as Zergling speed is finishing (or even before Metabolic
Boost if the Zerg went for 3 fast Hatcheries). There will be no Banelings available for the Zerg player. Twenty
Marines with Combat Shield will be able to handle any Zerglings and Queens the Zerg player might have.
From here, all you have to do is attack-move the natural expansion. Use stutter-step micro to reduce damage
intake from Zerglings. If there are any Spine Crawlers, focus those down before taking out a lower DPS target like
There are only 3 ways for the Zerg player to survive your attack: a Baneling hit, attacking into a lot of
automated defense, or getting surrounded by Drones and Zerglings.
- Banelings: No matter what, the Zerg is not likely to have more than a couple Banelings at
this point. These Banelings certainly will not have the speed upgrade. You can focus-fire down most Banelings
before they can get into range with good micro. If there are a lot of Banelings, you can spread your
Marines a bit to make sure that all your Marines do not take damage should a Baneling connect. With 55 HP and
no Stimpack, Marines can tank a single Baneling hit.
- Automated Defense: Spine Crawlers do well against Marines. With Combat Shield, Marine
survivability against Spine Crawlers improves significantly, as a Marine can take 3 hits from a Spine Crawler
before dying instead of just 2. You should be able to focus-fire Spine Crawlers down. Just do not try to move
in against multiple Queens, Spine Crawlers, and Zerglings all at once. Kite as best you can when the enemy
sends in Zerglings and take the Spine Crawler down when no Zerglings are around.
- Getting Surrounded: If the Zerg pulls Drones, they might be able to surround your Marines,
especially if they make a wave of Zerglings with Metabolic Boost. Try to stutter-step as best you can to avoid
this, but even if you do get surrounded, it is okay. With 20 Marines with Combat Shield, you will be able to
kill a huge number of Drones and Zerglings before losing your units. Since you already started a macro Command
Center, you can come out ahead of the Zerg player entering the mid game in prime position to win the game with
a higher tech attack in a few minutes.
Even if your attack does not result in a win, you should be able to deal major damage. Ideally, you will at
least take out the natural expansion before your units get cleaned up. From here, make more Marines at home, get
Stimpack, add on production facilities, and use your macro CC to saturate the main and natural. Eventually, you can
move out and take your third with that Command Center.
Once that is up and running, you should be poised to make an attack with 1/1 Marines, Marauders, Medivacs, and
Widow Mines. The Zerg player will be so delayed from your initial attack that they will not have enough Mutalisks
or Banelings to stop this push.