Starcraft 2: Terran strategy – Best Counters vs Protoss units
Written by Jame of Starcraft-Replay
In Starcraft 2, there is a “best counter” for every unit. This guide has detailed information for Terran players to counter every Starcraft 2 Protoss unit.
Please keep in mind that this is a general terran unit strategy guide, it is based on pure unit statistics and my own experience. So you must adapt depending on the situation in-game. For example, if I say that Vikings are the best unit counter against the Colossus, don’t go teching for Vikings if you haven’t even started building a Starport as your opponent shows up with a couple of Colossi, you won’t have time for that, produce marauders and siege tanks instead.
My point is, adapt this information to your game depending on the situation, you can’t always produce the best unit counter in time, so sometimes you’ll have to go for 2nd or 3rd best.
With that said, let’s get started with this guide!
Table of Contents
- How to Counter Zealots
- How to Counter Stalkers
- How to Counter Sentries
- How to Counter Immortals
- How to Counter Phoenixes
- How to Counter Void Rays
- How to Counter Observers
- How to Counter Warp Prisms
- How to Counter High Templars
- How to Counter Dark Templars
- How to Counter Archons
- How to Counter Carriers
- How to Counter Motherships
- How to Counter the Colossus
1. Hellion – Easily the best early counter against Zealots. They do 14 damage (in an area) to light units. With the Infernal Pre-Lighter upgrade, this goes up to 24 damage per attack, and then they really dominate Zealots. Not to mention, with their incredible mobility and good micro, they can kite zealots (hit and run). This only works as long as Zealots don’t research the charge ability though.
2. Reaper – With their bonus vs light units, Reapers deal 18 damage per attack vs Zealots from range. With proper micro, they can shoot and run, or hide on a cliff nearby if possible. Definitely a great counter vs Zealots.
3. Walling – Early zealot rushes are easily stopped by terran players. All you have to do is to wall off your base’s choke point with buildings quickly (Barrack + Supply depot is enough), produce a few marines and put them behind your structures. This should hold off any early Zealot rush attempt and give you time to tech for Hellions or Reapers.
1. Marauder – Marauders do 20 damage per attack against armored units, which is 6 damage better than what Stalkers do to them in response. Equal range, but Marauders concussive missiles snare Stalkers, which makes it harder to micro them. They are also cheaper and quicker to produce.
2. Marine – 3 Marines = 150 Minerals 1 Stalker = 125 Minerals 50 Gas. 3 Marines = 135 HP(3×45) and 18 Damage (3×6) Attack Speed: Fast 1 Stalker = 160 HP and 8 Damage, Attack Speed: Normal. Marines attack about twice as fast as Stalkers, so effectively they’ll do 36 damage everytime the stalker does 8 damage… The math speaks for itself. Mass marines will always beat mass stalkers.
3. Siege Tank – Superior range, firepower and HP.
1. Ghost – One EMP Round and the sentry is going to be as weak as a single marine, despite costing so much gas. EMP Round will destroy the Sentries’ shield, and also drain its energy down to zero. A perfect counter.
2. Hellion – Sentries are generally hiding behind a wall of zealots and other units, providing support with Guardian Shield. Hellion can quickly go around the front line and make a quick work of sentries, especially with their bonus vs light units.
3. Reaper – Not as good as Hellions for this, but still pretty decent with their 18 damage vs light units.
4. Banshee – In big fights, Banshee will easily fly over the front line and deal with sentries swiftly before they get a chance to turn the tide of battle with Guardian Shield and Force Field.
1. Ghost – Once again, EMP Round turns Immortals into a very vulnerable and expensive unit. It effectively removes all their shields and thus deactivates their Hardened Shield, making them vulnerable to heavy attacks from Siege Tanks or Marauders.
2. Marines – Marines deal less than 10 damage per attack, thus ignoring the Hardened Shield ability. And they attack fast, about twice as fast as Immortals. Plus they are light units, so Immortals don’t benefit from their huge bonus against them. It will take 3 shots for an immortal to kill a single marine, which is a really bad deal for your opponent.
3. Reapers – About the same deal as marines, just not as good.
4. Banshees – If your opponent is going Immortal + Zealots and neglecting anti-air, this will teach him a lesson. I learned the hard way when I played protoss.
1. Thor – They outrange Phoenixes severely and are also immune to their graviton beam. Easily the best counter.
2. Vikings – Don’t believe the in-game unit information, it’s outdated. Vikings are great against Phoenixes. They do twice as much damage and have a much bigger range. Plus they cannot be affected by Graviton Beam, since they fly.
3. Missile Turret – Your opponent is harassing your SCVs with a bunch of Phoenixes? A couple of turrets will quickly solve this.
4. Battlecruisers – Not the cheapest option, but definitely effective. Phoenixes are especially good against light units, whilst the Battlecruiser is arguably the most heavily armored unit in the game…
1. Vikings – With their +4 damage bonus vs armored units, Vikings do 24 damage per attack against Void Rays. They also outrange them and are much cheaper to produce. Oh, and they’re faster.
2. Marines – Void Rays are great against big armored units which have a lot of HP, because it allows their Prismatic Beam to use its full potential. Marines are the total opposite of “big unit with a lot of HP”, making them a great counter vs Void Rays.
3. Missile Turrets – With their +7 damage bonus vs armored and their really fast attack speed, Missile Turrets do 28 damage per round of attack against Void Rays, and they do that at a very quick pace. However, Void Rays also kill buildings very quickly, so you will need more than one turret to make this strategy efficient. 2 or 3 Turrets placed side by side for maximum efficiency. But honestly, Vikings and Marines are a better deal, so only make turrets if you have spare minerals and want to have defenses at your base while your forces are on the move.
1. Missile Turrets – If a game reaches the mid-way point, you can be sure that a competent protoss opponent will be scouting you heavily with these. Start placing Missile Turrets strategically in your bases to prevent this.
2. Raven – A mobile detector. Pair it with a few vikings and sweep the area around your bases for a few easy observer kills.
3. Orbital Command – If you got some spare energy, scan your base from time to time, you can bet you’ll find an observer there every now and then.
1. Viking – Vikings kill these transporters quickly and they also chase them with ease.
2. Missile Turret – Your opponent likes to do some Immortal drops on your economy? Place 2 turrets carefully around your minerals, problem solved.
1. Ghost – By far the best counter. EMP Round first to drain all their energy and shields, preventing them from using Feedback on your ghost. Followed by two normal attacks by your ghost (20 damage per attack vs bio units) and you’ll have a dead High Templar.
2. Hellion – With their high mobility, they can dodge most of the Psionic Storms your opponent will cast. And they’ll also make quick work of them with their nice bonus vs light units. Plus, they have just enough HP to survive a full Psionic Storm.
1. Raven – Mobile detection. Enough said.
2. Ghost – EMP Round reveals them for a short period of time, and also removes their entire shields. With only 40 HP left, they should be quickly dealt with before they become cloaked again. A great counter if you don’t have a Raven.
3. Orbital Command– Dark Templars aren’t very resilient, one quick scan and they should die fast before the scan effect wears off.
4. Missile Turret – Detection.
1. Ghost – EMP Round once again. You should produce about 4 ghosts and EMP round until you’ve burned through the whole shields. If you do this quickly at the beginning of a fight, Archons will not even get time to do any damage to your troops.
2. Thor – Not biological, and they deal 90 damage per round of attack against ground units. Better, use their 250mm Strike Cannon ability to stun and kill the Archon before he gets to do anything.
3. Siege Tank – Not biological, so no bonus for the Archon. Plus, they’ve got a lot of HP, and Siege Tanks deal heavy damage. Makes sense if you don’t have ghosts or Thors available yet.
1. Viking – Easily the best counter against this very annoying unit. With their 28 damage per round of attack vs armored units and their superior speed, their are the best choice, by far.
2. Thor – Thanks to their huge range and their decent damage vs air units, Thor is the second best. But still leagues below the Viking.
3. Marines – They’re not great vs carriers, but in the worst case scenario, it’s better than nothing, and it’s still the 3rd best choice.
1. Viking – Easily the best counter against the Mothership as well. With their 28 damage per round of attack vs armored units and their superior speed, their are the best choice, by far.
2. Ghost – EMP Round this quickly before they get to cast Vortex. Keep casting EMP Round until their huge shields are down, half the job done.
3. Thor – Thanks to their huge range and their decent damage vs air units, Thor is the second best. But still leagues below the Viking.
4. Marines – Once again, not great against this huge flying vessel, but if your factory and starports are on full production and you’ve got spare minerals, it’s still better than nothing.
1. Viking – Tired of seeing this unit at the top? Can’t be helped. Vikings not only deal a spanking 28 damage vs Colossus, but they also can’t be hit back by them. Not to mention, they don’t have to go through the swarm of zealots, stalkers and co. that you generally find in front of a Colossus.
2. Banshee – Not as good as Vikigns, but they also do pretty decent damage (24) vs Colossus, and they can’t be hit back by them as well.
3. Siege Tanks – Superior range and big damage is exactly what you need vs Colossus. In Siege Mode, tanks severely outgun a Colossus.
4. Marauders – +10 damage vs armored, bringing the damage per attack to 20. Make sure to spread your Marauders well so that they don’t all get caught by the Colossus’ beams at the same time.