Starcraft 2 Marines, Marauders and Medivacs
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An Overview of the Popular "MMM" Composition
Whether you have seen the term MMM thrown around on the
Starcraft 2 forums and have no idea what it meant or already know all about this unit combination and want
some tips for using or countering this combination, you are in the right place.
This article will cover what exactly MMM is, the strengths and weaknesses of this unit composition, how to
balance the composition, which units to add on for support, how to effectively control this army in battle, and how
to counter it with all three races.
What is MMM in Starcraft 2?
MMM refers to the common Terran unit composition of Marines, Marauders, and Medivacs. It is a very popular and
effective combination that can take on most army compositions, particularly in the early game.
Strengths of MMM
MMM is an excellent unit composition because it is strong against most enemy unit compositions in early game.
Players of all races have to tech up to at least tier 2 units or upgrades (and possibly more) in order to
effectively crush MMM armies. The end result is that the Terran player can open with MMM and dictate the pace of
the game from there.
Another strength of MMM is its mobility. While MMM armies can attack directly, it is just as viable to load up
all the units into the Medivacs and drop them in the main base. This is particularly annoying for enemy players
when the Terran goes back and forth between the high ground in the main and the low ground at the third expansion,
forcing the enemy army to run back and forth to get in range.
The final strength of MMM is its cost - it is very cheap! Getting out a huge Marine and Marauder ball is
inexpensive. Combined with the MULE, Terran players have a lot of extra resources that can be used to build big MMM
armies. Terran players using MMM often attack at around the 140-170 supply mark, as this is a time period where
Terran players have a big MMM ball but the enemy has not yet generated enough resources to build up a
comparatively-sized army due to not having enough time to build up resources.
Weaknesses of MMM
While MMM is strong all-game long, there are a few enemy units and unit combinations that spell trouble for
this combination. For example, no matter what race, MMM is not good versus big air units. Brood Lords,
Battlecruisers, and Carriers all shred MMM. Vikings are needed to chase away these large air units.
In general, MMM is weaker in the late game once tier 3 units enter the match. MMM has no splash damage, so it is
unable to dish out comparable damage to very large armies like Siege Tanks can. Specific encounters are discussed
later in this guide.
Balancing the Composition
In order to use MMM effectively, you need to have a good ratio of Marines, Marauders, and Medivacs. Balancing
Medivacs is easy: get as many Medivacs as necessary to fit your entire army. This means 1 Medivac for every 8
Marines and 1 Medivac for every 4 Marauders. Any less Medivacs means that you will lack healing power and too many
more Medivacs may result in not enough offensive firepower.
Deciding on the right number of Marines and Marauders to make is a bit more difficult. Most MMM combinations are
very heavy on Marines and only a handful of Marauders are added, as the gas is needed to research weapon and armor
upgrades, build Medivacs, and get Infantry tech upgrades. Marauders may begin to be favored though is gas builds up
or if the enemy's army starts using armored ground units that the Marauder is strong against.
Order of Upgrades
There are three important upgrades for the MMM build that you need to get in order for it to be effective:
Combat Shield, Stimpack, and Concussive Shells. Since some of these upgrades take awhile to finish and players will
typically only have 1 Tech Lab early in the game, you will have to select an order in which to research these
It is generally recommended to go for Stimpack first, Combat Shield second, and Concussive Shells third. The
reasoning behind getting Stimpack first is that with Stimpack, your MMM army can avoid dangerous units like
Banelings as well as chase down annoying flyers like Mutalisks and Oracles. Without Stimpack, dealing with this air
harass is very difficult.
Adding Support Units
While MMM gets weaker late in the game, it can be used all game long with the aid of a few key support
Ghosts are used to help combat enemy casters as well as Protoss Templar tech. Ghosts can use EMP to drain enemy
caster energy as well as Snipe to take down High Templar and Infestors, two casters which are very dangerous to MMM
compositions. Using EMP is key to taking down Archons with MMM.
Vikings are used to take down large enemy air units like Carriers and Brood Lords.
Siege Tanks or Widow Mines can be used to help take down enemy Banelings.
Controlling the Army in Battle
MMM can be effective with poor control, but in order to take down certain unit compositions, are you going to
have to control these units.
Stimpack is key to this unit composition. Before going in for a fight, stim and give your Medivac a few seconds
to heal up most of your units.
Stimpack also helps you move faster, allowing you to perform "stutter step micro" more effectively. This is
essential to attacking enemy melee units as well as chasing down fleeing units.
You can reduce the amount of damage dealt by melee units by kiting. To kite, click away from the enemy unit,
stim up, right click on the ground away from the enemy unit, then hit the "H" key. Alternate between right click
and "H" for hold position very quickly. Each step you will sit there just long enough to fire off a single shot.
The movement will interrupt the enemy's melee attacks, as when the enemy is moving he is not dealing damage.
The same process is used to chase down fleeing units, but you click towards the enemy units rather than
Splitting Units Against Banelings
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of controlling an MMM army is splitting up our units against Banelings.
Banelings can quickly wipe out Marines. This video below (among other strategies for countering Banelings)
discusses how to split up your Marines to reduce the damage dealt with Banelings via Patrol micro.
Controlling vs Ranged Opponents
Against ranged army compositions, you can typically just use "attack move" if you believe you have an advantage.
Ideally, you want to get a good "concave" where all your units can attack. Since Marines have a range of 5 and many
enemy units have a range of 6, you may want to stim your ball forward and push into range of all the enemy's forces
if they do not have any dangerous units (i.e. things that deal splash damage).
With Stimpack and Medivacs, if you do not get a favorable engage, you can always use Stimpack and Ignite
Afterburners and get to safety.
Drops are another key aspect of the MMM combination. Discussing all the ways you can perform drops is beyond the
scope of this article, as drops can use Hellbats and other units as well. Just know that dropping is almost always
a good idea and that you can drop both your entire army as well as just a single Medivac or two worth of units with
Countering MMM can feel tough, but it really is not all that difficult if you quickly get up to high tier
Zerg players can use Brood Lords, Fungal Growth (via the Infestor), Banelings, Zerglings and even Ultralisks to
counter MMM. This does require some balancing though. Zerglings are good versus Marauders, and only so-so against
Marines. Meanwhile, Ultralisks and Banelings are great against Marines, not so great against Marauders. Tailor your
army composition to the opponent's forces with these unit strengths in mind.
Protoss players have an easy time stopping pure MMM combinations: Archons, Psionic Storm, and Colossus are all
good choices. The tricky part is protecting your Colossus from Vikings and your Archons and High Templar from