The title says it all. Vs zerg opponents, protoss will grab Templar tech as a little stepping stone, and just 2 base mass archon/zealot. I've only run across it a few times, and in 2v2, but each time left me spinning.

They never gave me trouble before, but with the post-1.3.3 range, and in these configurations where each opponent has 6 or more of them, it gets really hairy for poor bio mass zerg.

I would like the answer to submit the strongest zerg unit mix vs. Archon/Zealot. I would prefer an answer that does not rely heavily on micromanagement, as I am trying to determine a unit mix more than a tactical approach. For instance, dont say something like "mutas are the answer, but only if you keep them spread out".

Also, please avoid the standard "Dont let them get so many of those units" non-answer.

  • Zerg has the advantage of having few units with bonus damage, so there's no hard counter (except perhaps broodlords hovering outside of archon range) Commented May 25, 2011 at 2:57
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    "The title says it all" followed by four paragraphs :)
    – user7220
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 9:11
  • Archons are never the "meat" of the army - they are almost always the minority in an army. So any attempt to counter them would be naive to ignore the rest of their unit composition.
    – tenfour
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 11:56

5 Answers 5


If they are archon/zealot heavy, roach infestor will work just fine. Roaches are beefy units that can take a lot of hits from the protoss, and the infestors can use fungal to keep them out of range anyway. Alternately, you can neural the archons and use them to help you take out the zealots.

Pure roach is decent but not fantastic against it.

Mutas work well if they don't have too many archons, but as you mentioned you do need to magic box them (although that really doesn't take that much micro if you know how to use the technique)

Broodlords are great if you can get them out in time.

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    Anytime a small force of big units come into play (or even, a large force of small units (or in this case, both)), the infestor is the way to go.
    – Resorath
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 6:12
  • What about Roach+Hydra? It's less micro-intensive and seems to be pretty effective. Hydralisks can deal huge damage, staying safely behind the roaches. Hydraliks may not be so good if the Protoss player uses Psi Storm though.
    – Rotsor
    Commented May 28, 2011 at 8:40

Brood Lords, or Infestors to NP the Archons both will do pretty well against Zealot/Archon. Fungal Growth will be good too- both of those units have relatively short range. Archons hurt but they're an awful lot of gas.

  • Are Brood Lords really effective? I thoughts Archons can one-shot multiple broodlings, which makes the Archons actually a great supplement to Stalkers when fighting Brood Lords.
    – Oak
    Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 20:20
  • @Oak This is asking about archon/zealot. With no stalkers to assist, they are pretty awful vs any more than a couple broodlords, as they need to get extremely close to do damage to the broodlords, and even then will generally not be hitting multiple broodlords. If they a-move they spend their time trying to kill the endless broodlings, if they try to focus down the broodlords, they quickly get trapped by broodlings, usually out of range of the broodlords. Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 21:41
  • no more neural parasites on massive :(
    – jzn
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 4:05

Ultralisk - has splash damage that works well against mass of zealots. Due to big size is also good versus archons.

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    Protoss players make archons to counter ultralisks... Commented May 25, 2011 at 3:16
  • Also the Zealot is a hard counter to Ultralisks...
    – bummzack
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 5:55
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    Actually Zealots are not so good against fully upgraded ultralisk as they do 10 damage per attack (with 3 upgrades to attack)
    – Meta
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 7:27
  • Zealots suck pretty hard against Ultralisks. Their low damage after the Chitinous Plating upgrade and ease of AoEd makes them pretty weak.
    – DeadMG
    Commented May 25, 2011 at 9:42
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    @bummzack Zealots make a pretty good meatshield for the rest of the protoss army as they have high HP and don't take bonus damage from the ultra. This means an ultra with +2 attack vs a zealot with no armor ups still takes 9 hits to kill the zealot. Pure zealots are not the best vs ultras, but you can make a lot of them for the cost of an ultralisk so they aren't that bad against them. Commented May 25, 2011 at 21:33

Archons are slow. Exploit the immobility of the Archon with drops and counter-attacks.

  • Actually, they're pretty fast. With 2.8125 speed they're almost as fast as stalkers and way faster then hydralisks off creep, for instance. Commented May 2, 2012 at 11:13

Ultralisks can fall pretty hard if they get surrounded by zealots. Brood lords are good if you can deploy them such that the archons are out of range. Their size means that no splash damage will be taken as with muta, and unless the opponent focuses on a BL, the archons will attack the broodlings instead. Also, broodlings benefit from ground upgrades, so armor will allow them to survive vs archons for a longer period of time.

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