A guide to StarCraft mode Direct Strike. If you struggle to counter specific Protoss unit in Direct Strike this can help you.
How to Counter Zealots
In general, build anything that has bonus damage against light units.
- As Terran go to T2 and build a ton of Hellbats and upgrade blue flame (Infernal Pre-Igniter) which improves damage against light units. Do not build all the hellbats in a single line, use some circle-based formation.
- As Zerg just build banelings to blow the zealots and some lings or roaches to clear the injured survivors. Do not build just banelings – if there is a zealot with 1 HP left you don’t want to use a baneling to finish it.
- As Prottos build Adepts and research Resonating Glaives to give them attack speed bonus. Adepts have bonus damage against light units and they can shade away before being killed. If you are lucky you can kill all the zealots without losing any adepts…
How to Counter Stalkers
Stalkers are tricky because of the blink upgrade. They can blink back and suddenly you’re fighting not just Stalkers but also the bunker or the following wave. The key is to kill them fast enough. They are armored units.
- As Terran build Marauders. They are quite strong and they have bonus damage to armored units. Research Stimpack and then Concussive Shells.
- As Zerg go either speedlings (zerglings with the speed upgrade) or go to hydralisks. Both are pretty good but hydralisks are better in the long term. If you overbuild zerglings then the blink Stalkers will eventually win the fight. Because the more lings you have the more surface area you need to be able to attack. If you have 200 zerglings not all of them will be able to fight. On the other hand, Stalker is a range unit and does not suffer the same problem.
- As Protoss build Immortals. Immortal does insane damage to armored units. In pure Stalker vs Immortals fight the Stalkers won’t be able to kill a single Immortal before they are all dead.
How to Counter Adepts
Adept is a light unit with bonus damage against light units. Be aware that a Protoss player often builds at least one Sentry for the guardian shield making your range units weaker.
- As Terran it can be tricky to properly counter a flock of Adepts. All your ground units are ranged units hence you should expect a Sentry with the guardian shield. Marines have incredible damage output but they are also light units. Marauders have bonus damage against armored units which Adepts are not. But Marauders are armored units and Adepts are weak against the armored unit. One of the ways is to ignore ground units and build air units: Raven for turrets and Liberator for the defender mode. There is no safe choice here.
- As Zerg go anything you want. Even Zerglings as a light unit beat Adepts. But Roaches are the safest choice. You can later add Hydralisks for higher damage output.
- As Protoss build blink Stalkers. Stalker is not a light unit thus Adapt cannot benefit from its bonus damage against light units. And blink is just better than the Adept’s shaping.
How to Counter Immortals
Immortals are armored units with a Barrier “spell” that can absorb an additional 100 damage. In general, Immortals are good against big armored units because they do insane damage to armored units but their attack rate is slow.
- As Terran build Marines or Liberators. Immortals don’t have bonus damage against Marines and Liberators are obvious – Immortals can’t hit them and Liberators will obliterate them quickly. You can even add some Ghosts into the mix to EMP them.
- As Zerg just do not build Roaches. The best unit to counter Immortals is Zergling. Pure Immortals cannot do anything against Zerglings. But the Protoss player won’t have just Immortals so you need to mix it with something else. You can try Hydralisks. They are perfect when not being under attack and they do a high amount of damage. You can also try Ravagers as they are not armored units. But control the Corrosive Bile spell to ensure hitting the Immortals.
- As Protoss you can try many ways. You can build Zealots as Immortals do nothing to Zealots and you can build three Zealots for the price of a single Immortal. You can opt for Immortals of your own and build Phoenixes to lift the enemy Immortals up. You can also ignore the ground army of the enemy’s Immortals and try Void Rays. They don’t kill Immortals quickly but they will eventually destroy them and they can help with the following wave.
How to Counter Archons
Archon is a special Protoss unit – it has 10 HP and a lot of shields. It’s a massive unit that has bonus damage against biological units. It deals with splash damage.
- As Terran go for Ghosts because of the EMP Round spell as it destroys 100 shields instantaneously. Liberators are good because Archon’s range is only 3 and it’s quite a clunky unit.
- As Zerg go for Roach/Hydra. Roaches tank some damage and Hydralisks destroy the Archons.
- As Protoss go primarily for Immortals and mix it with Sentries, Disruptors, and some Archons of your own. Diversity wins. You can also opt for Zealots but they offer less utility in the late game.
How to Counter Void Rays
Void Ray is an armored mechanical air unit. It can enable Prismatic Alignment to get additional bonus damage to armored units. The biggest vulnerability of Void Rays is they tend to clump up and thus they are an easy target for AoE damage.
- As Terran go for Marines. They are not armored units, the Prismatic Alignment does not affect them. Research Stimpack and Combat Shields. Mix it with a few Widow Mines for the AoE damage or with Ghost for the EMP.
- As Zerg go for Queens. It will be a never-ending battle because Void Rays do little to Queens and they heal each other and Queen’s damage isn’t exactly overwhelming. You can add Infestors to Fungal the Voids and later build Vipers for the Parasitic Bomb. One Fungal Growth and one Parasitic Bomb destroys a flock of Void Rays on its own. Even Hydralisks trade pretty well against Void Rays. Basically anything ground that shoots air destroys Void Rays. Don’t build Corruptors as they are armored and Void Rays eat them in a second.
- As Protoss build High Templars to storm the enemy Voids and then use Void Rays of your own or even Archons.
How to Counter Phoenixes
Phoenix is a light mechanical air unit. It can lift up other non-massive ground units.
- As Terran go for Marines. One Phoenix costs as much as three Marines so your army will be three times bigger. Research Stimpack and Combat Shields and relax.
- As Zerg go for Hydralisks. Phoenix has bonus damage to a light unit but it does not matter. Phoenixes are excellent if they can lift up the majority of units. But Hydralisks are cheaper -> there will be more Hydras than Phoenixes. You can also use Infestors to slow them down using Fungal Growth.
- As Protoss use Archons and Void Rays. Archons are massive units and thus cannot be lifted. Add some High Templars for the Psionic Storm.
How to Counter Carriers
Carrier is an armored, massive, and mechanical air unit.
- As Terran go for Thors and enable High Impact Mode (click on the actual unit and then enable it). It deals a critical amount of damage to a single target and it also prefers air units. Thors destroy Carriers.
- As Zerg go for Corruptors. They deal bonus damage to massive units.
- As Protoss go for Tempests as they also do massive damage to massive units and they are cheaper.