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Starcraft2 3v3 Combinations

Updated on September 22, 2011
ZTP army attacking a Zerg base.
ZTP army attacking a Zerg base. | Source

3v3 Strategy and Early Units by Race

Before we discuss unit combinations, let's take a look at some of the early units and their strengths and weaknesses:

Zerg:

Zerglings: A high-damage, highly-mobile unit that can be fielded in large numbers.

Banelings: A counter-unit and great worker-killer. Strong against Marines and Zerglings. Can be used against Zealots in a pinch, but due to shields, they are less effective this way.

Roaches: A very tough ranged unit for their cost. Generally used to tank for high-dps units and can use their bulk to block ramps.

Protoss:

Zealots: High-damage melee unit. Can be kited, but eat up workers and Zerglings with tremendous speed. If in an enemy base, they should spend time killing buildings or workers rather than chase ranged units. They can and should also be used to protect ranged units from melee attacks.

Stalkers: Fast ranged unit. Great for hit-and-run due to speed and attack range, but weak to Speedlings. Decent against most other unit types and provides early anti-air. Rechargeable shields help them stay strong over multiple battles. Due to their large size, they need to achieve decent positioning in larger battles, but in small numbers their good attack range allows most of them to fire at an enemy regardless of position.

Sentries: Not a popular rushing unit, but can and should be used to slow enemy reinforcements by blocking other players' ramps when they attempt to come to the aid of their ally.

Terran:

Marines: High-damage versatile early unit. They can kite some melee units, but are weak to Banelings and to Zerglings depending on their relative numbers. One of their main strengths is their small size, because it is easy to get them all firing at a target without relying on positioning in a concave.

Marauders: One of the most devastating of the Tier1 units against armored targets. They are very strong against Stalkers and Roaches, and can tank decently well even against Zerglings.

Reapers: I believe these units are underused in 3v3s, largely because they have become less popular in 1v1. They have very high damage, especially against structures, and since you can have more than one player making them, you can get a critical mass of them VERY fast. They are highly mobile, and can escape easily before they are overwhelmed.

3v3 Rush Combinations

Some Double-Combinations to start off your 3v3 Strategy. The third player should expand or tech (or both). Your goal with these double-early rushes is to allow your team as a whole to get ahead in economy and field some dangerous tech.

In case this convention is confusing, P=Protoss, T=Terran and Z=Zerg, so PP would be double Protoss, for example. X would be the third (unspecified) teammate.

PPX

  • Double Zealot Rush: Zealots are tough, only cost minerals, and do a ton of damage.
  • Stalker Massing: Stalkers improve with numbers, and can kite almost any unit in the game. Use their mobility and the best micro on your team to pick away at enemy forces.

ZZX

  • Double 10-pool with one player going Baneling, the other early Speedling
  • Double Roach Rush, where the third player adds a high-dps unit.

TTX

  • Double Reaper Rush: While the Reaper is now an underused unit, a 2-against-1 early Reaper push can kill almost anything one opponent can field. Reapers do massive amounts of damage to structures, and can easily flee down a cliff when the targeted player's allies arrive.

ZTX

  • Roach-Marine Rush - Roaches tank very well for marines, combining a very tough unit (Roaches) with a high dps unit (Marines). The Marines should get attack upgrades, and the Roaches should get Carapace. While in 1v1, you would get Ranged Attack for your Roaches, their function in a 2v2 or 3v3 is to absorb damage for other units.

PTX

  • Zealot-Marine: Similar to Roaches, Zealots tank very well for the high-DPS marines and have decent DPS themselves. Both units inflict good damage regardless of target type.

ZPX

  • Zergling-Stalker: Both units are extremely fast, and are great at hit-and-run. These should be used in smaller numbers to make your enemies build static defense and to discourage them from combining their armies lest you hit one of their bases with your mobile force. Your third player should expand or tech.

Looking at all these double-combinations, many 3v3 combinations should occur to you:

PPZ: Stalkers and Zerglings, for a highly mobile force. You should be able to pick a single opponent, do damage, and escape without losing your army to the counterattack.

TTZ: Marine-Marine with Banelings. Marines can kill almost any other early units except Banelings and Zerglings, their counters. The addition of Banelings eliminates that weakness.

ZZT: One Zerg Player should go Roach to protect the marines, while the other goes with Speedling-Baneling to counter other dangerous units and add high-damage units.

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