Starcraft 2: Terran strategy – Best Counters vs Protoss units

Starcraft 2 Terran's 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

  1. How to Counter Zealots
  2. How to Counter Stalkers
  3. How to Counter Sentries
  4. How to Counter Immortals
  5. How to Counter Phoenixes
  6. How to Counter Void Rays
  7. How to Counter Observers
  8. How to Counter Warp Prisms
  9. How to Counter High Templars
  10. How to Counter Dark Templars
  11. How to Counter Archons
  12. How to Counter Carriers
  13. How to Counter Motherships
  14. How to Counter the Colossus

Best Terran Counters vs Zealots

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Stalkers

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(3x45) and 18 Damage (3x6) 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.

Best Terran Counters vs Sentries

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Immortals

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Phoenixes

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...

Joana's Legendary Starcraft 2 Strategies

Best Terran Counters vs Void Rays

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Observers

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Warp Prisms

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.

Best Terran Counters vs High Templars

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Dark Templars

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Archons

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.

Top Starcraft II Strategy GuideBest Terran Counters vs Carriers

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.

Best Terran Counters vs Motherships

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.

Best Terran Counters vs the Colossus

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.

18 Responses to Starcraft 2: Terran strategy – Best Counters vs Protoss units

  1. Infinite.universe says:

    Great guide, it will help me against those annoying protoss !

    My name is my player ID in Sc2 beta feel free to add me !

  2. Torque says:

    Man I hate terrans. Like you have shown, vikings counter the majority of Protoss units. Immortals are good against them but they can easily escape by air. Seems too simple to be a terran vs a protoss, vikings = win.

  3. Kanes says:

    Well, vikings can go down to many stalkers and zealots. Vikings are pretty expensive anyhow

  4. me says:

    Vikings are the ultimate answer to an enemy protoss.
    Double building them with a reactor should be scrapped ASAP!

  5. mike o says:

    Awesome guide. Thanks for putting this together. I think most would agree with me when I say that Terran are the most versatile race.

  6. james says:

    mate, it would be vikings if it reached midgame-late game but if its early…ghosts + mnm are the way to go

  7. Sean says:

    Carriers always destroy me late game never can get the vikings to stop auto attacking the pesky little flies.

  8. Bangalore says:

    I have also found that BCs tend to mop the floor with Carriers and Motherships. A few well placed shots from the yamato cannons will down a mothership and using 2shots per carrier will make it so you can quickly eliminate a large number of carriers in a matter of seconds. Not to mention the BC has 550hp and its ATA/ATS laser batteries do 10dmg (.225 attack speed) making that around 44dps. While the carrier’s interceptors do 10dmg every 3sec. (10/3*8) is around 27dps. More health more dmg. and a battle changing ability…nuff said.

  9. Notasdumbastheguyaboveme says:

    Target the carrier instead of letting them autoattack….duh….

  10. Al says:

    Protoss needs a buff.

  11. Tron says:

    The low range of the BCs is a huge problem here, I don’t see any chance to win such a battle, even if all yamatos are placed very well which is hard enough. And your calculation ignores the time the yamato needs to charge. I would not recommend to go BCs at all.

  12. omnimoeish says:

    Call me a whiner, but pretty much any competent terran who has taken the 5 minutes to read this guide are so hard to stop as protoss. First of all, reapers are pretty much free kills as it takes at least 5 mintues to get out a ranged unit. Marauders w/concussive shells are good against every gateway unit. Protoss armies must be bunched up to be any good as every unit is a supporting unit, except MAYBE stalkers. Everything terrans have counter zealots with even mediocre micro (marines, marauders, hellions, banshees, even tanks are still pretty good). EMP is just the gayest thing. Takes away energy AND shields? As more terrans use EMP, we’ll see TvP become increasingly one sided. I played a TvP today. He made 3 ghosts, whenever I attacked him, he would just EMP me which means instant loss for me. Whenever he attacks me, he EMPs which again, means instant battle loss. We got our naturals around the same time but he had mules so of course he maxed out about 3 minutes ahead of me. He had 70% marauders, 30% marines, I had about 10 immortals, 10 zealots and 10 stalkers. I didn’t bother going HT because you can dump so much resources into a Temp Archive, 200/200 for storm/ 150/150 for kidarin, 50/150 for each templar and one EMP and not only is their energy gone but they are 40 HP from death. Colossus aren’t good against marauders when stimmed that many wiill take out 3 Colossi in a few seconds no problems. Well, upon laying down 2 EMPs, my immortals had no shields, none of my units had shields actually, it took literally 3 seconds for 150 of my supply to drop to about 40, just my workers. He lost maybe 5 or 6 guys. Void rays are a joke now, marines drop them in no time and they’re so slow. Everything protoss have is super slow except Stalkers. Protoss air units are just terrible against terrans. Vikings are impossible to beat cost for cost and they can land wherever they want and harass. Instant scan whenever there is trouble means dark templars are pretty much worthless. Medivacs are just perfect for drop harass as they not only are fast and durable, but heal and then get out and unless you just happen to have Phoenixes, they’ll just pick up and leave.

    Anyway, I hate to do it, but I’m switching to Zerg. Terran is probably the best race right now, but

  13. SomeMasterToss says:

    Although pros somehow manage to pull it off…the amount of micro required between the two races when they fight is kind of….funny.

    I have lost to many lower skill players simply because they play Terran. A lot of what the person ^ said is true, they have an advantage in almost every single situation.

    Early game is whack and can literally hang on the placement of forcefields (not kind of…TOTALLY). Leave a hole and you’re gonna get punished.

    EMP is just completely ridiculous and can be spammed…good luck splitting your high temps and sentries, LOL. Oh yeah, they can cloak too and drop an EMP bomb on your huge temp investment, no problem. Colossus? Better have some serious micro, you’re going to need it.

    I think PvZ is balanced. Fighting terrans as a toss if they are skilled is horribly stressful.

    I will stay toss and am awaiting marauder nerf -.-

  14. Khrono says:

    Quite possibly the dumbest “terran is imba” comment i’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve heard complaints of marauders, marines, medivacs, thor, siege tanks (all sensibly argued), but I’ve never heard viking = win. Vikings don’t counter stalkers, immortals, or DTs, and aren’t useful vs carriers until they are in critical mass and that only applies if you have fewer than 4 carriers. Also the idea that vikings counter phoenixes is completely incorrect. Viking marine > phoenix but a viking alone loses to a phoenix 1v1 and as the numbers increase the phoenix wins out more handily. By no means is this match up imbalanced, it’s actually very much even right now on most maps.

  15. asdzxc321654 says:

    Lol, what made you think that Terran is the best race for now? you guys are bunch of noobs, click the question mark button at the menu screen and you will see the weaknesses of each unit, so your telling me that all of the terran units are the best thing in the game? FOOLS! have you ever though why most protoss player focuses on colossus + Stalkers + Sentries + HT ? Because it dominates, having a set of Zealot + Stalkers + sentries agains at MnMM, will crush the MnMM and i havent included the legs for the zealot, also Vikings!?!? F*** YOU!, stalkers pawn Vikings, and i can just let my Collosi tank your Stupid MnMM army, Collosi are though units, having 4 collosi can tank 30 units composed of MnMM, than i would let my stalker pawn your stupid vikings, than after that, you may put down the collosi but look at my stalkers, You guys are bunch of noobs, i bet you dont even know the mechanics of the game. Protoss units are comoposed of that because each unit are so powerful that it crushes each Piglets like you!

  16. omegarockz says:

    Mass stalkers v Mass marines.. i tested that and full stalkers and full marines ( supply) … stalkers won..

  17. rosh says:

    well i skipped the zealots one
    i went to the stalker one.
    now the rest of the guide might be right, but that is horribly wrong. you didnt account for many things. in sc2 you can never say anything like ‘mass marine will always beat mass stalker’ theres too many variables. terrain, upgrades, whether the stalkers have blink, choke points, etc. not to mention the players micro skills. in sc2 you cant make a judgement like that. the way the game is created, you dont really find counters that work out too well.

  18. Spitt says:

    If you take out the human equation, then these are the best counters for those units. On the other hand, if you add back in the human equation, then with harassing, it’s conceivable that any ground to air unit could take out a mothership. These are simply the best counters for a unit, minus the human equation.

    Some of this may change, with nerfing of course. I want to point out the date, when this guide was actually created. There have been a few patches, since then.

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