Planetary Fortress in PvT - How to deal with?

En Taro Zeratul,

In mid-game (6:00-10:00) aggression can be very valuable tool to deal nice damage (atleast in my league - Diamond 2).
If my opponent has little vision and map control, I can surprise him by an attack and deal significant damage, if he is out of position.

This way sometimes I am able to destroy Nexus, Hatchery and Command Center for free, while avoiding combat with my opponent.

However, if Planetary Fortress is built, it is pretty difficult to deal with for me. It has 2 more armor, so receives significantly less damage from zealots, and with repair it has really decent surviability.
My army at this time has around 0-2 immortals, 2-3 colossus and some gateway units (probably 1-3 sentrys, but it is difficult to micro sentries (low move priority) to a position when they can wall away opponent’s army).

How do you destroy planetary fortress in mid-game scenario?
What units you build to deal with it? Is it worth the effort, or should I focus on something different?

Assumptions: Dark Templars are not available. I have defended push and feel initiative. Opponent is out of position - reaction time. I do not feel comfortable with fighting my opponent in his base. If assumptions are bad, how differently can I approach the problem of mid-game fights?

Another situation.
How to destroy Planetary Fortress in late-game?
Zealot run by can destroy a hatchery, but with repair SCVs it’s a bit more difficult. What is a “counter” to Plantery Fortress? Is DT the only viable choice? I don’t create Dark Shrine frequently, because I am bad at using the unit and finding a purpose for it.

Assumption is my main army is busy doing something different, and opponents army may be busy as well.

Can you help me please with these 2 questions? Thank you very much.
[Unfortunately relevant replays are not available.]

Adun Toridas.

Get splash damage against the SCV repair, and if you have colossus, focus down light units rather than a-moving against the fortress. If it is repairing faster than you can kill it, back off, you don’t have enough units (or if you’re damaging it at a very slow rate). In terms of runbys, you’re not going to kill a planetary fortress with just zealots unless you get a near full surround at the minimum. If you just do zealots, you need to just focus down scvs. You are better off doing warp prism harass or trying to sneak inside the Terran’s base. Same thing for DTs, but DTs have a better chance at beating PFs.


Hi! Diamond terran here, I can give you the perspective from the other side.

The short answer is: don’t. Just leave them. Read below for the reasoning.

In the lower leagues it is really tempting to build PFs because lower level players don’t know how to deal with them and headbutt into them a lot. As a result, lower level terrans such as me did build PFs a lot, especially at the third and sometimes even at the natural.

However, you have to understand, that PFs really slow down the economy and puts the terran player significantly behind, the earlier the PF goes up. So in games where natural and third are PFs, just expand and build your army. Eventually you will be so far ahead that you can straight kill the terran. Especially air toss. So I found out the hard way that I am way behind even in plat and low diamond, if my third base is PF.

So if you see PF in the early game, just leave it, they put themselves behind, build probes and expand. PFs are also ridiculously expensive, so they probably don’t plan to move out soon.

In late game, if you attack with your whole army the PF will not stand a chance. If you do small squads, focus on the SCVs and the PF will fall shortly after. It is tempting to kill it first, but it is easy to underestimate the repair power of 16 SCVs.

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Units that help protoss wreck PFs

The best is storm. Use it on clumped scvs and they go down. Disruptors also work. I’ve single shotted PFs with a bunch of disruptors and their high burst damage with the rest of the protoss army.

Immortals actually do incredibly well vs PFs and a single immortal can outdps the mass heal. One or two can counter the mass repair and take the building down.

Void rays are a natural counter.

Pros like to do 8 DTs with blink which wipe them out before the Terran can respond and also block the scvs from healing.

Those are the basic strats to take down a PF. But yeah don’t approach unless you have storm or a bunch inmmortals or something like that

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Copied from another thread because I was asked and it might be useful:

To add to this thread in particular; since it’s mid game:

  • Putting up an early planetary does slow down the Terran player’s economy a bit; so there is a trade-off that you might be able to exploit in some cases by attacking elsewhere or expanding more aggressively. This isn’t as much of a factor on the 4th and later expansions though.
  • If you don’t have the forces to kill the planetary quickly, it might be better it to kill workers and move on to the other expansions or the opponent’s army, if you can do that.

It would take a lot of Zealots to take that down, so you might be better off targeting the SCVs and ordering the Zealots to move on to another target.

One option you could try is to include a few Stalkers or Adepts in that attack and order them to Blink/Shade behind the mineral line out of the PF’s range to deny mining (Adepts may be preferable based on the cost, shade, and their worker damage). That alone leaves you several options with the Zealots:

  • Try to kill the workers at the expansion or as they flee.
  • Order the Zealots to the next expansion or into the Terran player’s production to cause problems elsewhere.
  • Use the Zealots to intercept and annoy whatever clean-up crew the Terran player tries to respond with.
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