After playing Starcraft: Broodwar for nearly eight years, as well as playing intensive melee for two years, there are some patterns in each type of match up. Before getting into those, let’s look at the general advantages of each race.
Terran – highly efficient but not powerful nor weak. The “middle” of the three races, if such a thing is possible.
Protoss – extremely powerful but expensive. Quality over quantity in this case.
Zerg – extremely weak unit-wise but can be produced at a rate faster than the other two races.
This article will cover three of the six combinations: Protoss vs Protoss, Protoss vs Zerg, Zerg vs Zerg
Protoss vs Protoss: A somewhat boring mirror match up, the most common strategy is to mass Zealots and Dragoons with a basic ground battle. Reavers and High Templars serve as the support units. There is usually no “end game” because the game is often decided by whoever gets more units in the beginning. Reaver drops is one of the more common techniques to end games quickly as one successful attack will cripple the enemies’ economy and win the game. A well placed Psi Storm will do the same. An early Dark Templar can be used to end games if the enemy still has no detector; this works if it is early enough as Observers and Photon Cannons are rare in the early game.
Units rarely used by both: Scouts, Corsairs, Carriers, Arbiters, Dark Archons.
Protoss vs Zerg:
Protoss – Zealots and Dragoons still form the backbone of the Protoss army; however, unlike going against Terran, Zealots need to outnumber the Dragoons at least three to one due to the number of units from Zerg and the damage type of Dragoons. Reaching to High Templar is crucial as Psi Storm is the most effective weapon against Zerg, capable of killing up to fifty Zerglings with one shot and doing a substantial damage to everything else. A few Dark Templars are often used to serve as Scouts in lone expansions. It is advised to create Photon Cannons near all Probes because of Protoss’ lack of anti air against light units such as Mutalisks. In late game, it is usually a combination of Archons, Zealots, Dragoons and High Templars against the Ultralisk and Zergling combo. If resource permits, Dark Archons provide an effective way to neutralize the Ultralisks as Maestrom can stop the Ultralisks while the Zerglings continue and are killed instantly because of the lack of a damage soaker. This strategy is difficult to use because of the cost but is extremely effective.
Zerg – Massing Zerglings is the most common setup at the beginning while teching to Mutalisks. Because Protoss lacks anti air units early game, Mutalisks provide an excellent way to harass not only Probes but lone ground units and Pylons. The combination of Mutalisks and Zerglings can take on most of what the Protoss can create before reaching High Templars because of the Zerg’s ability to recreate so quickly. Lurkers are sometimes used at choke points but are far less common the Mutalisks and Zerglings. Eventually, teching to Ultralisks and Zerglings is required because of High Templars’ ability to destroy Zerglings with relative ease. Defilers are used much less often than the Zerg vs Terran match up; however, they are still a viable spellcaster for the Zerg. The Queen may also be used with Ensnare to slow down enemy units and Spawn Broodling, which can kill Dragoons, or more importantly, High Templars in one hit.
Units rarely used:
Protoss – Scouts, Arbiters, Carriers and Corsairs (used in very specific situations)
Zerg – Devourers (used in very specific situations)
Zerg vs Zerg: This match up is much less focused than the other two mirror match ups as there are actually more than one viable strategy. Hydralisks, Mutalisks and Scourge tech work well equally if used correctly. Hydralisks with Zerglings create a formidable ground force while Zergling with Mutalisk will create the same general attack strength with air units, a slight advantage that is offset by the large number of Vespene Gas required. Both of these strategies are often used with Scourges which usually go after Overlords, destroying the supply of Zerg and greatly slowing their economy or Mutalisks, dealing 110 damage and leaving it with ten hit points, an easy kill for any unit that can attack air. Going higher into the tech tree is rare as the Mutalisk – Zergling combo or Hydralisk – Zergling combo work extremely well all the way to the end. Queens are used as the more common spell caster because of Ensnare in later game. Note that Sunken colonies can be built on enemy creep allowing a single drone to destroy an expansion of the opponent is not paying attention.
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