In Starcraft 2, there is a "best counter" for every unit. This is in my opinion even more true for Protoss. Unit choices are even more crucial for them, for one simple reason: every protoss unit is relatively expensive, so you better produce the right units at the right time 😉
This is also why I love protoss, it's my favorite race.
In this guide I will give detailed information for Protoss players to counter every Starcraft 2 Zerg units.
Please keep in mind that this is a general terran unit strategy guide, it is based on pure unit statistics. So you must adapt depending on the situation in-game. For example, if I say that Phoenixes are the best unit counter against Mutalisks, don't go for them if you haven't even started building a Stargate as your opponent shows up with 6 mutalisks, you won't have time for that, produce stalkers, sentries and/or photon cannons instead and then build a stargate if you manage to hold off the first mutalisk batch.
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, 3rd or 4th best.
With that said, let's get started with this guide!
Table of Contents
Early game: You will always be at a disadvantage against Zerglings if you fight them in an open field. Always try to fight them in a narrow chokepoint, such as the ramp to your base, or in between buildings in your opponents base.
1. High Tem- Psionic Storm takes care of a bunch of Zerglings in only 2 seconds, before your opponent even gets the time to move them away. Of course, never send templars alone, have a wall of Zealots in front tanking the Zerglings.
2. Colossus - They kill zerglings really quickly and efficiently. However, just like with High Templars, you need a wall of Zealot tanking them while your Colossus burns them alive.
3. Archon - They do exactly 35 damage per attack against biological units, which is exactly enough to kill Zerglings in one shot. Plus, they do splash damage. Pair them with a few Zealots for maximum efficiency.
4. Zealots - It's like Zealots were made to tank and to kill Zerglings. Just make sure you fight them in a narrow passage, such as your base chokepoint, and you're golden. Tip: With a single weapon upgrade, your Zealots will kill Zerglings with only 2 rounds of attacks, instead of 3.
5. Photon Cannon - Cannons only need 2 shots to kill a Zergling. It's a great way to deal against early Zergling rushes while you're teching up. Place them at your chokepoint and place 3 or 4 zealots in front and they won't be able to go through.
1. Phoenix - They are the perfect Queen killers. Queens are generally found near their hatcheries, alone. Go in there with a few Phoenixes, graviton beam and kill them without taking a single damage. 4+ Phoenixes is best, because with 4 Phoenix, you'll need only one use of Graviton Beam to kill the Queen before Graviton Beam wears off.
2. Archons - They kill them very quickly, and it's difficult for Queens to kite Archons around a hatchery, like they do with Zealots.
3. Dark Templar - They kill Queens in 4 attacks only. Of course, if your opponent upgraded his Overlords to detect cloaked units, this won't be a viable strategy, but if they haven't, this is a quick, free kill.
4. High Templar - Feedback kills a Queen in one shot if she's got 175+ energy left. It's always fun to watch 😉 Of course, it doesn't happen very often, but if you see an opportunity, don't forget that Feedback is perfect against Queens.
Note: In any case, no Zerg opponent will ever mass produce Queens, so you shouldn't build the above units specifically to counter 1 or 2 Queens. However, it's still good to know what units work best against them. Producing 4 Phoenixes is almost never a waste of ressources, as they're quite useful against many zerg units, and they can go Overlord hunting.
1. Sentry - Guardian Shield is a must against mass hydralisks. Example: A hydralisk needs to shoot 14 times to kill a zealot without Guardian Shield. 17 Times with Guardian Shields. On a large scale battle, that makes a huge difference. You should always bring 2 Sentries at least when you're up against mass hydras, this will keep your units alive much longer. Plus, you can also distrub them by placing a few force fields in the middle of them, force them to move and reposition.
2. High Templar - Psionic Storm is great against Hydras, they like to stand and shoot, Psi Storm should disturb that and hurt them plenty.
3. Zealot - You'll always need a bunch of Zealots at the front to take the damage for the rest of your units, and they deal pretty good damage to hydralisk as well. Protected by Guardian Shields and backed-up by Psi Storms, they'll win the battle for sure.
4. Dark Templar - They do 45 damage a pop, so they only need 2 attacks to kill a Hydralisk. Of course, this only works if your enemy doesn't have anything to detect their perma cloak.
1. Archon - It's like Archons were made for Banelings. They only take 15 damage from them (no armor type), and they do exactly 35 damage per attack, just enough to kill 1 baneling per attack. It will take a truckload of banelings to kill a single archon. A very good deal.
2. High Templar - Just like with Zerglings, Psionic Storm obliterates them in 2 seconds. Plus, High Templars also take 15 damage only per Baneling (no armor type). It will actually take 6 banelings to kill a single High Templar, despite their known frailty.
3. Immortal - Those can survive an army of banelings, they only take 10 damage per baneling explosion as long as their shields are up, and then 15 damage only.
Tip: If you see a bunch of banelings rolling towards your army, put your zealots behind, and place your Archons or Immortals infront, let them soak the damage from Banelings. It's a great trade-off.
1. Immortal - By far the best unit in the game to deal with roaches. It's almost funny how overpowered they are against roaches, killing them in 3 shots, while taking a ridiculous 10 damage per attack.
2. Observer - The worst thing that can happen is to let a roach burrow and regenerate. Produce an observer quickly to prevent that.
3. High Templar - Roaches got a lot of HP, and Psionic Storm takes out a lot of HP very quickly. See the connection?
1. High Templar - Feedback those things immediately. There's a high chance you'll instantly kill them before they get to cast anything.
2. Immortal - They kill them in 3 hits, enough said.
3. Observer- They like to burrow and crawl under the earth. Detect them and kill them before they get to cast anything.
1. Phoenix - With their +10 dmg bonus vs light units, Phoenixes do 20 damage per round of attack against Mutas. A great counter.
2. Stalkers - Because you won't always have the time and the gas to build enough Phoenixes. Stalkers do fairly well against Mutalisks, especially with the blink upgrade.
3. Archon - They're actually better than the above two units, they really own Mutalisks, especially when they are stacked. However, their lack of mobility and range is a problem against a good player with good Muta micro. Hence the spot #3 on this list.
1. Stalker - They benefit from their bonus vs armored units, and they can't be hit by Corruptors, since those can only hit air targets.
2. Void Ray - They do reall well against corruptors. However, if you have a lot of Void Rays, don't make them all focus the same target, it's overkill and it doesn't exploit the full capacity of your Void Rays' beams. Put 2 Void Rays per corruptor. Trust me, this micro pays off big time. If for example you have 4 Void Rays and you're up against 6 Corruptors, put 2 Void Rays on a corruptor and your 2 other Void Rays on another corruptor, rinse and repeat.
3. Archon - They easily kill Corruptors, but once again, lack of mobility and range makes it hard to catch those corruptors if your opponent knows what he's doing.
1. Immortal - The perfect counter. They take 10 dmg max while dealing about 50 per attack. A great counter against Ultralisks.
2. Void ray - They do significant, long range damage to ground units and can't be harmed by Ultralisks. If you see your opponent teching for Ultralisk, make sure to bring a few extra Void Rays into the fray.
3. Mothership - Vortex the rest of your opponent's army while you deal with his Ultralisks, or vice versa. Use it properly and it's a GG.
4. Stalkerss - With their damage bonus vs Armored, their long range and blink, they can really drive an Ultralisk crazy, as long as you micro them well. Don't forget to spread them out to avoid the splash cleave damage.
5. Carrier - They fly and they hurt ground units.
Tip: Always spread out your ground infantry units as much as possible when going up against an Ultralisk to minimize the effect of its Splash Cleave.
1. Void Ray - Best possible counter against armored air units with a lot of HP. This is where Prismatic Beam really shines.
2. Carrier - Huge range and high damage. Great against Brood Lords.
3. Phoenix - Not as good as the Void Ray for this job, but still great anti-air.