Alright; so I'm a lowly diamond Terran...
Though if you've been out of the loop, then this will definitely be some great help.
If you've played Terran on ladder, I'm sure you've already noticed: reapers.
3 Rax into mass reaper is insanely common in TvT, mainly because it's hard to defend - even if scouted.
The rough outline of the build is depot->rax->gas->rax->rax->gas => reaper reaper reaper...
Best ways to defend:
First off, you need to scout ASAP. I like to scout after my first depot (regardless of 2 or 4 player maps).
The most common way to defend is either going 3 rax yourself, or going into 'concussive shell marauders'.
It's notably easier to defend with going 3 rax yourself - as you can harass if you somehow out macro him in reaper production.
You can also go for a gas first 1-1-1; make 1-3 reapers and make hellions-> apply pressure; going 1-1-1 will put you economically behind, so you need to be aggressive with it. Try going for a quick medivac drop, or preferably 1-2 banshees.
So, once you survive the first intense 5 minutes of the game; the most common army composition is Marine-Tank.
It's a Micro-Intensive unit composition; that requires lots and lots of practice. Don't be angry if you die with it a lot at first... It's gonna be tough to get used to.
You can also try Mech.
Mech is kinda in a weird spot.
In LotV TvT; drops are really good b/c of the new economy system. A few worker kills early on can be game ending damage... Because of this - you need to play super defensively with mech. You cannot move out unless you've got missile turret rings on your main, natural and even third on some maps. (4th base and beyond should be Planetary fortresses - missile turrets not necessarily required)
A bio player will have a larger army faster than a mech player. So please, please please, take good engagements and have good positioning with your tanks!
The current patch (3.1.1 - 1/22/2016) adepts 2 shot SCVs, and marines.
Pylon overcharge can shut down almost any early-midgame aggression.
Protoss can take their third base at ~3:30 and easily defend any aggression with Pylon overcharge.
It's difficult to play vs a Protoss right now - Blizzard has acknowledged (recently) that adepts and pylon overcharge are overpowered...
Anyways, what a lot of Terrans do;
Reaper FE -> 1 cyclone to defend/kill warp-prism.
You're going to be taking your third after either getting 1-1-1 done, or 3-1-1. 5 minutes latest... Even then is a bit late... It's circumstantial, but taking your third too early vs P isn't viable right now.
Marine-Tank is common amongst higher leagues. (diamond+), marauders don't make the cut anymore...
But any league under Masters, can definitely still go Marine-Marauder.
Also keep in mind: have widow mines in your composition. It's extremely beneficial in engagements.
This depends on the state of the game; people like to add in Liberators. It's up to you when you want to add them.
Liberators can force Protoss to not take an engagement; hence allowing you to survive a bit longer. You can also use them to harass mineral fields, etc.
Mech is not-viable in TvP.
It's too slow to defend against Warp-Prism harass. & various other reasons...
A lot of TvZ builds are map dependent...
Some maps you can get away with CC first, others you can't.
I'd suggest sticking with Reaper-FE.
Do not suicide your reaper. You need it for scouting more than ever.
Common things in TvZ to look out for:
- Early ling harass - you might as-well build your natural on the high ground.
- Roach-Ravager timings - you need to scout the roach warren, or at least scout gasses. I'm being a bit vague here b/c it's honestly difficult to scout.
- Bane busts - It'll come so fast... It depends on the map, but I'd honestly suggest that when you scout it -> fly your natural CC back into your main. and build walls ontopof walls. Get marines and hellions ASAP.
- Lurkers - you need to get more tanks out, & or liberators. You can't win against lurkers with pure bio. (unless you catch it early)
- Ultras - It depends, but usually around the 10 minute mark Zergs will have Ultras out. They are OP vs a heavy bio comp. Make ghosts and liberators to defend. Use ghost's snipe ability to kill Ultras. Also; having widow mines helps - try to spread them out though.
- Nydus -> roach-ravager-queen : it's hard to stop if you don't scout it. Not having tanks is basically the end of the game. It's become less common, but beware...
Marine-Tank is most common in this matchup.
You need to be constantly harassing and taking engagements in the middle of the map - otherwise Z will just tech straight to ultras.
Most players don't make marauders in this matchup anymore - You'll see lots of Roach-Ravager compositions. Just make tanks and marines.
Do not fall behind in bio upgrades.
Falling behind in upgrades vs Roach-Ravager is game ending.
I hope this post has been informative!
I plan to do this every time a new patch comes out. (that means never again. Kappa.)
Another place to find some help:
Post a question; tons of great players over there willing to help.
He's a Pro-Gamer; plays standard. You'll instantly fall in-love with him.
He's a Top-GM player; plays mostly standard, but does deviate once in awhile.
He also does play mech (he's currently doing only mech games until he reaches GM on his smurf account)
Thanks for reading!