Race Match-Ups in Starcraft 2
Starcraft 2 Strategy Guide --> Race Match-Ups (you are here)
Naturally, Starcraft 2 strategies will differ based on your enemy's and
your current race. Additionally, your strategies will and should vary from game to game as your opponent's
strategies also differ.
With that said, there are some recurrent themes among games the same race match-ups in Starcraft 2. By
understanding these general strategies, you can more effectively pick a strategy to use against your opponent.
Note: For specific Race vs Race strategies, see the individual articles on the left-hand side bar for each
Zerg vs Terran
For the Zerg player, Zerg vs Terran is all about getting a big economy. Zerg units simply are not as
strong as Terran units, end of discussion. You will need more units if you want to win.
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With that said, it is also up to the Zerg player to build units which counter the Terran's selection. Banelings
and Infestors should be in your army when playing against Infantry/Bio, and you will need advanced tech (like
Ultralisks or Brood Lords) if the enemy gets a lot of Mech units.
For the Terran player, this match-up is all about pressure. You cannot sit in your base and tech up against a
good Zerg player. You need to constantly apply pressure, whether that is through Reapers, Hellions, or a simple
push. This will slow down the Zerg's economy and prevent him from teching up. Do this and you will win every
Terran vs Protoss
In this match-up, Terran do very well versus Protoss units by opting for a bio push (Marines, Marauders, and
Ghosts). Early pressure is expecting out of Terrans in this match-up, so if you are a Protoss player you should be
ready to be on the defensive.
The key to this match-up at high levels of play is the Colossus and High Templar. If allowed to run rampant,
either of these units will wreck Terran bio. The appropriate Terran counter is EMP (for the Ghost) and/or Vikings
(for the Colossus).
Zerg vs Protoss
As a Zerg player, your first priority is to figure out whether or not you are getting Zealot rushed. If you see
a Cybernetics Core, you can feel free to fast expand. A typical Zerg army well suited to the Protoss consists of
Hydralisks and Roaches (more than the enemy has supply for supply) along with a handful of Corruptors (if the
Protoss player gets Colossi).
On the other hand, Protoss players simply have to get Colossi when playing against Zerg ground masses in any
late game. Your job as a Protoss player is to get some Colossi and protect them as you push forward. Having 3
Colossi on your side is decimating for Zerg ground forces.
When facing a Protoss vs Protoss match-up, a 2-4 Gate / Robotics Facility build is almost always the most
effective. Almost all Protoss players will opt for this build and you can win a majority of your mirrors simply by
adding Immortals if the enemy gets a lot of Stalkers or Colossi if he gets a lot of Zealots and Sentries.
Terran mirrors are almost entirely decided in the air. Terran are a very slow race, so air harassment via Viking
hit and runs, Banshee tank sniping, and Raven drone harassment should be used often.
In this match-up, constantly busting the enemy's mineral line is key to winning games, because if the enemy can
keep pumping out Siege Tanks and Vikings, this match will be a stalemate.
When faced with a Zerg mirror match, you can expect to be rushed the majority of the time, especially at a small
map. A simple 8-Pool Zergling rush is highly effective and easy to execute in Zerg vs Zerg match-ups, so come
An easy way to pick up a win here is to mass Roaches early and move in versus the enemy. If they went for a
fast expansion, you should clean up. If they went for Zerglings, you will also do very well.
Going into a game, you should already have an idea of what to expect from your opponent. If you are ever
uncertain about what to do versus a certain match-up or "hate to play" against a certain race, odds are you will
lose this match-up often. Pick up some strategies and watch some replays in order to get more comfortable with the
match you understand the least and your record will improve accordingly.
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