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In HotS, Blizzard will be removing the D-8 charges from reapers (the special attack that makes them effective against buildings). Currently, I like to build a pack of reapers (6-8) and use them to plow through an enemies base when he doesn't have troops there or is distracted. Now, I'm wondering how I can use them effectively in a different way (especially when HotS comes out).

I've tried adding them to my bio unit composition, but just marines + marauders seems much more (cost) effective, especially with upgrades. I can see them uses as an early harass / annoyance, but that probably works only against Protoss and only before they have stalkers.

Blizzard said at one point that they nerfed them too much in WoL, and want to bring them to their full potential in HotS. So I assume that they do have a valid use besides as an anti-building specialist, but what is that?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Reaper are neither a meaty nor a support unit, meaning they are not good in an army composition. This is because of their cost and their build time. Reapers are good scouts and harassment units.

There are a few timing attacks that are nasty, but actually mass Reaper is not viable. So Reaper are reduced to:

  • Scouting: especially with speed they are a cost effective scout compared to scans or slow units like Marine / SCV that get killed all the time.
  • Harassing: Having a few Reaper that regularly visit the opponents mineral line can be compared to drops. The opponent has to stay in his base or he risks loosing his economy.

But you also need a real army, that can finish you opponent.

In HotS the Reaper has exactly the same role. Their building damage is reduced, but they get an out of combat healing ability, so they can harass more often without dying.

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Take this with a grain of salt, but making 6-8 reapers is never really a good idea just because of the risk that comes with it (unless you're doing some high level build that I do not know about, which is highly unlikely). The thing about reapers is that whether you have 1,3, or 8, they can all be gone in 3 seconds if your opponent has any kind of defensive setup. I'm not sure what will happen in HotS but I doubt this nerf will have a serious impact on the use of reapers because they're usually used in the early game in TvT and TvZ.

If you like them, my advice would be to open with reapers (1-3 depending on what you see and what you feel you can accomplish) in TvT, expand, then go for marine/tank or bio depending on what you see your opponent doing. In TvZ, you can try and get a bunker down between the hatcheral and the mineral line if you have good scv build micro. If you get a reaper in there it's almost game over especially if you expand. Good luck!

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As mentioned above, it's more for harassment than for open field combat. Early game, if your army can hold up against that of the enemy's a few reapers would tip the balance in your favor by using them as resource gatherer harassers.

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They're extremely strong harass units early in the game as they're able to kill Marines, Hellions, Zerglings, Zealots, Sentries, and workers with ease. They can thus be used to achieve map control in TvZ and TvT.

I've personally developed a TvT build that hits with a timing of 3 Reapers that also protects a quick expansion. While the 3 Reapers are completely useless against an opponent's Marauder or Tank, these are uncommon at that point in the game. I created a Liquipedia page about the build here that also has a few replays, if you're interested. The timings are pretty tight, though.

In HotS they're being buffed with an upgradable regeneration, but I believe they're also increasing Reaper range. Either way, this will allow them to whittle down Queens over time and just generally be annoying, as long as you don't lose them.

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