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I'm a new SC2 player trying to learn Terran. Right now, I'm practicing pretty basic builds like a standard OC opening, 1Rax FE, 1/1/1 with the Cloaked Banshee harass, etc. I've exercised most Terran units in the builds I've practiced so far with the very notable exceptions of Ghosts and Battlecruisers. I'm less interested in the Battlecruisers at the moment and am particularly interested in when Ghosts are effective and what I should be looking for to know when it is an appropriate time to transition into building a Ghost Academy and producing some of those units.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Since the recent Snipe nerf, the only matchup where you get ghosts is TvP. A good timing for getting the ghost academy and starting ghost production is around when you take your 5th and 6th gas. Before that you won't really have enough gas for upgrades, ghosts and constant medivacs/vikings and the Protoss won't have High Templars and Archons out anyways.

However, no matter the game state, as soon as you scout either High Templars, Archons or a significant number of immortals, you need to get Ghosts ASAP.

PS:
Forget about BCs, except for the very gimmicky BC rush they have easy to get hardcounters in all matchups (vikings, corruptors, voidrays), making them almost completely useless unless you somehow manage to suprise the opponent.

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That's exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. Thanks. –  Jeremy Privett Apr 10 '12 at 13:47
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Actually, you will also want Ghosts when your Zerg opponent gets Ultralisks. Also, Void Rays aren't very effective against Battlecruisers. Battlecruisers are good, but only once you get them to 3-3 and have a critical mass of them, which takes a long time. PvT, the Protoss won't get "a significant number of Immortals" unless you go hard Tank. –  mkaito Apr 10 '12 at 14:21
    
@mkaito Do you mean infestors and not Ultralisks? The snipe nerf made them less effective against Ultras. –  Sorean Apr 10 '12 at 16:39
    
@Sorean I agree. Snipe made them useless against Ultras, Marauders are a lot more cost effective. You can get them against Infestors but a lot of players prefer to focus fire Infestors with tanks instead. –  dbemerlin Apr 11 '12 at 10:28
    
@mkaito Void rays cost for cost are quite effective against BCs. Yes, a critical mass of 3/3 BCs with yamato will beat almost everything but the transition to that will leave you so open that the enemy can just kill you straight up. –  dbemerlin Apr 11 '12 at 10:29
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