I'm at a complete loss against the other two races

I’ve always loved Protoss, and still do. But I am at my wits’ end trying to play against any zergs or terrans lately, to the point I feel like simply exiting the game and only playing PvPs. Please note this is NOT my effort to complain about balance, I am just trying to express my personal frustrations with the matchup and learn where I am going wrong.

I recognize I am not a great player and this is obviously a big part of it, but I thought matchmaking would at least allow me to have a chance, but it hasn’t felt that way. In fact, playing zerg and terran makes me feel GREALY outclassed as they run circles around me and its like they don’t even have to try to beat me. Add to that the pro-scene’s lack of heavy-hitting protoss lately and I am confused.

Generally, I try to play defensive enough early game to easily and fairly quickly get a natural (usually after my cyber-core unless I see the opponent fast-expand). I try very hard to scout any way I can (sentries, sending my first couple units to poke/prod, probes, anything) and then try to prepare a counter for what I am seeing.

But no matter what I do or see, I lose to pretty much anything they throw at me. I go gateway/robo tech and mass marines or mass ling/bane wreck me. I try to go air fairly quick and I get wrecked by marines/mines and mass hydra. I feel like I can’t safely expand because my army is either too slow to respond to zerg/terran multi-pronged aggression, or if I divide my forces to defend I don’t have enough when all their army smashes my one base before I respond to scouting.

The only glimmer of hope I’ve had is the use of sentries, mostly against zergs, and force fielding like crazy. I admittedly have won a few games with that, but more often I will run out of force fields and simply get over-run.

So what is the secret to beating these guys? I was always under the impression that zerg is the ‘swarm’ of cheap, fast, easy units’ that are rather weak, and I will win engagements with my stronger, stouter, protoss army, but that zerg will replace their lost army instantly, evening the odds. But I am never still standing after zerg’s army crashes into mine. (I hate banelings)

As for Terran, I believed them to be the versatile humans capable of different tactics. Decent units, but reliant on siege and positioning. But without Tempests I don’t know how to fight against a terran, and even then they tend to have plenty of vikings to rule the skies, and marines melt sky-toss.

I always thought Protoss was the ‘strongest’ units, more expensive for that reason, and that if I can simply stand my ground until the late game I should power through anything with my ‘superior technology’ philosophy (that it should be rightfully hard to get to that point because of constant attacks and aggression against me). But if I look at the meta right, protoss have to act like a thief or rogue, trying to sneak around the opponent carefully and not take engagements head on? And whats more, win before a 3rd or 4th base goes down and late game hits?

Is there anyone who can set my head straight? I apologize for my rant, but I am as lost as can be (could you tell?). Apparently my combination of poor APM/skill and lack of general knowledge of races is making this game almost unplayable for me.

P.S., the few games I do win against terrans and zergs are generally all-ins that they throw at me (mostly proxies or badly done roach/ravager timings). I always probe scout, and I generally am okay at getting shield batteries up with enough units to hold.

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we can pratice if you want my battlenet tag is wilmer#2732 and my discord i s wilmer#4046. I am a zerg player but i know abit about the other races and how theyre builds are executed.

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Mainly online on EU Server.
Protoss low Master rating here.

I still have tons of stuff to learn but maybe we can have a talk and you throw some replays at me that we can watch together :slight_smile:

I could try to explain every single situation to you now, but I think it’s easier to isolate some core problems when we see them at hand in a replay of yours.

If you don’t want to get into personal contact, you can also post it here and some people in the forums here can respond to it.

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It is alright to be frustrated. To be fair, I feel that this post has more substance than most that are on the forums because your focus is on how to get better. Rather than many of the other posts that just want Blizzard to change the units to suit them.

When it comes to Z, it is important to note that you MUST harass. Z can very quickly out-macro the other 2 races because of how their production works. Know that every time you harass and they make units (even if you don’t kill much), each unit is 1 larva lesser for them to make a drone.

Z is actually a very reactive race. That means that they will scout constantly to find out what you are building so that they can make the counter composition against your army. The few times when Z is vulnerable is when they dumped all their larva for a wave of drones. That also means that their army is going to be much smaller when you hit during those timings.

Z suffer most of their loses when the enemy has managed to claim a hatch after a battle and you should generally push forward. Them losing the army will also mean that they are spending their larvae making replacement units and this loss tend to snowball for Z (unless they have a tech switch available).

Lastly, Z thrives on out-macroing, throwing their entire army at you, then re-maxing. That is the key advantage for Z. Don’t let them reach that stage.

You should rarely go air against a T unless it is the late game and you managed to tech switch to a set of carriers fast. They just have too many things that can take air units out (especially the Thors). If they have lots of vikings, stalkers and storms are your go to. If they have a relatively decent bio ball, you can consider colo or disruptors (though the latter is much better but requires more APM).

There seem to be this misconception that carriers are really good. It is true, only if your opponent doesn’t know how to counter them. If you are considering carriers still, plan to include some archons / high templars (storms / disruptors to go along with them. You will then have a strong composition to face what the T army has.

T’s weakness is that if you manage to get a warp prism in their production line and start warping in zealots, it is a major headache for them to clean up (plus your warp ins will likely be stronger than that single unit that comes out from each production facility).

The minor issue P might face against T will be multiple drops. For that, you need to remember to place some cannons and batteries, and if necessary, warp a few chargelots / stalkers to deal with the drops.

It is tough to have a losing streak and sometimes taking a break will help. You can also consider watching replays to learn newer strats and meta.


No sarcasm, best bet is to quit toss and reroll zerg or terran. Toss isn’t weak in a balance sense but you have to take it for what it is, a meme race. Warpgate kinda screwed up the game design for toss in SC2 because it removes defenders advantage and forced them to make all gateway units trash or 4 gate would be OP in every matchup. Ever notice how all gateway units suck without a twilight upgrade?.. yea blame warpgate for that.

The result is toss is an insanely vulnerable race early on. Toss has to literally hide behind a wall to just not die against even slight early game pressure from zerg? Again blame warp gate.

Pro’s are really good at spotting early aggression and mircoing/rewalling to counter it. The NA ladder is also 90% troll builds or cheese and toss is by far the most vulnerable to that. The other 2 races in contrast have strong defensive capabilities early on. If you play toss you’re just going to die to stupid crap on the NA ladder a lot more than any other race. If that tilts you like it does me… toss is not a good fit for you.


Thank you all so much for your help and advice. I apologize it took me a while to respond, but work just started back up for me this month so I ended up taking a break from SC2 as was suggested above. Now that I am getting back into a routine I am at it again.

I am embarrassed to post replays because I know I make LOTS of mistakes, As I mentioned, my frustration is not from losing, but from matchmaking seemingly placing me against far superior opponents. I know I am wrong, but it is the feeling I get.

This past week that I’ve started picking things up again, I admit my games have gone a little bit better. I’d say I am definitely close to 50/50 win rate vs protoss, so I enjoy that matchup a lot because I feel like I have a chance every game. And I’ve been beating more zergs and terrans recently too for some reason, so my overall on the season is starting to even out (low-mid 40% range vs terrans and zergs now! :smiley: I think my zerg was down in the 20s last month or two ago)

Kyrie, your explanation of the various races and how they operate is exactly what I was looking for. I struggle to see the other side’s point of view and get tunnel visioned into my own style, so I tend to play too passively I think. Zerg’s simply overpower me because I rarely harass, and that makes sense to me now. I think it will take me a long while to figure out ‘how’ to harass well, since I’m not a high APM player (maybe an average of 105?), but at least I know now.

For Terran I recognize now I do not build enough static defense. I feel I haven’t done it because I haven’t had the money, but in hindsight I don’t have the money because terran drops wipe out my probes. lol I thought I had to go SG with a few phoenix to stop terran drops. I think a few cannons and shield batteries make more sense. If I can hold out to mid-game though, is it worth getting a couple tempests with my ground army to try and zone out against siege tanks and libs? Or is that a waste of resources in this matchup better spent elsewhere?

I still have games where I feel like I wasted my opponents time with my ‘bronze’ play to his/her ‘masters’ play, and I hate those. But if I can level it out and at least lose after a competitive game, I feel all right.

One question I have is, can APM improve very much? The more I play, does it follow my APM improves? Or is it something you either have or don’t have? I want to set my expectations so I am not too hard on myself. If I cap out as a platinum player I’m okay, it is what it is. But if I can consistently improve to diamond (which I am so close) that’d be exciting.

Thank you again for your kindness everyone. It is greatly appreciated!

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If you have around 100+ APM, then yes, a lot more static will be good for you. If you have about 150+ APM, then perhaps you can consider just building 1-2 cannons and 1-2 batteries. The whole point of static is to free your APM up for other things, while giving you just enough time to respond when an attack happens. But the flaw with static is that well, it is static. It also means that that’s minerals not being able to pump into a walking unit that is flexible to cover multiple areas.

The usual for dealing with drop is to warp in chargelots. So it has somewhat of a similar flaw as the Zerg - when you have just warped in a whole set of units in your front lines and warp is on CD.

You can consider Nix, though it isn’t too effective (the damage isn’t high) and they can drop the Rines to shoot your Nix. Let’s not forget that Nix is a very expensive unit that is useless against ground when they run out of energy. In a 1:1 setting, it is difficult for Nix to actually pay for themselves.

I’d say you are better off using Blink Stalkers, or High Templar Feedback (if you have sufficient APM). The same Blink Stalkers will be fantastic for Liberators / Siege Tanks as well, as compared to Tempests. If the opponent is Bio, then your Tempests are pretty much useless most of the time due to their low aspd.

If you are being paired with someone who is higher, then it is likely it is a possible promotion match. That will be the reason why they do so.

APM can be practiced, but just my personal opinion, it comes down to:

  1. Knowing how to judge what is a win / loss battle. You can then quickly pull your army back or push forward when needed.
  2. Learning to queue with Shift. I can’t emphasise more how crucial this is to freeing your APM up for lots of other stuff.
  3. Hotkeys for production, and armies (including casters). You need to reach a level where you are comfortable training units while not returning the screen back to base. This will of course involve remembering what tech you have, or what tech you have yet to research, etc, too.
  4. Don’t be OCD. I, personally, still have this problem occasionally. You need to be comfortable that building placements aren’t perfect, or that you have that idle probe not doing anything. Granted that being precise and perfect will all contribute to a more efficient gameplay, even pros tend to prioritise what is required as opposed to finding that missing 1 unit, etc.

I am sure there are other factors to take into consideration, but just learning these few will go a long way in making your game play more efficient.


+1, alot of truth in this post.

I still think you can say that toss is weak in a balance sense, since you have no real active tools in casterplay (activity is getting locked down by countercasterplay ghost or viper initiative), while your corelayout in units (zealots/adepts/stalkers/sentries) are the worst scaling core unit layout.

Toss is super technical and one mistake and you are out.
It’s way way less forgiving on the other races cause, from a balance sense, they are in a weak spot in general.

Warpgate as a whole definetly plays a role into that.

Thank you again Kyrie. I struggle to warp fast enough against terran drops, so a few shields/cannons would help my poor APM until I can get those units warped in. For zerg I think I need a better unit comp most of the time.

Thanks Cammy, it is interesting to hear your thoughts because so many people say protoss is ‘too easy’, but I feel like you make a good point. I do not want to give it up though, because protoss has always been my favorite in the story and lore of the sc2 universe. They spark my imagination the most, I guess.

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I forgot to mention that I don’t think this is possible? I’m so far below my rank its ridiculous. I somehow managed to win/squeek my way into diamond 3 (I don’t know how?), and since then I’ve dropped almost to gold, then fought back and am hanging around plat 1 and 2 mmr. I’ll be demoted before I’m ever promoted lol.

Funny story though, had a ladder game with a terran that went 95% monobattle widowmine. I tried collosus/blink stalker and was struggling vs his sheer numbers and speed. Tried mass air/tempest heavy and was too slow. They walk super fast and had the burrow/armory upgrades and my whole kept getting wiped no matter what I tried. Shows just how bad I am lol. That was an oddity though, meant to be a funny story not a complaint.

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Scratch that, after 1-14 record today on ladder, I’m back to plat 3 and dropping lol. Mostly against zerg and terran again.

Feels like I’m playing okay too, but no matter how many bases I kill, or how good my trades are, they always get more money and more units (or simply run around my army and kill my base while my recall is on cooldown). If I try to focus on my econ, they swarm me. Hopefully I can start playing against some fellow gold players, as I do think that is my level of sc2. Then maybe I can have more success practicing the tips in this thread.

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At koro,
Recommend getting a personal coach. Lots of free coaching out there and lots of cheap coaching from GMs also out there.

At the plat level your problems have nothing to do what units you’re making. You can go on YouTube and watch a guy called beastyqt go from bronze to GM only building sentries.

Your problems are likely mostly macro related meaning not building the right things at the right time and in the right number. Get a coach and they will point out all of your basic macro issues. The other thing you’re probably lacking is an understanding of how to read the other player for abnormalities that tell you they are not playing a standard game. If you can’t do this you will feel hopeless because everything that happens will seem so random.

There is a guy called vibelol who has a series online called protoss bronze to GM. He is a great teacher and you can see him play people at your level and climb the ladder slowly. He literally plays from bronze level to the GM level with all the races, protoss included. He comes across all sorts of cheese you see on the ladder and explains what he saw and why he reacted a certain way. I think anyone who is play should watch that series.

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You’ll always want to post replays if you want precise feedback that will help you a ton.

–> upload your replay (1 or more) to _drop.sc and then post the _link here.


Are we standing ground defensively or economically? It sounds like your getting out macroed, especially against Zerg. But specifically about banelings, forcefield and storm are great options, and they don’t trade well against immortals or archons