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Starcraft 2 Strategy Guide: Terran Units

by: M.S. Smith ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

The Terrans are the humans of Starcraft 2, far away from any mention of Earth but never the less fighting on. This guide to the Terran units covers everything in the Terran arsenal so that new players can figure out which units they need to use to achieve victory.

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    Starcraft 2 Terran Units

    The Terran in Starcraft 2 are the most defensive race in the game. Their ability to lift their buildings and move them to new places means that it is very common for Terran players to play a turtle strategy in which the Terran player harasses his opponent's economy while expanding his own by building Command Centers in his base and then lifting them to expansions.

    Terran's units also tend to vibe with this strategy. One the one hand, the Terran can be difficult in direct combat due to having many moderately strong units. On the other hand, the Terran player has many units which are quick and difficult for other races to pin down.

    This guide provides information about all of the Terran units in the game. If you're a new player trying to figure out what your Terran units are good for, this Terran unit guide is the perfect place to start.

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    Banshee

    • Cost: 150 Minerals / 100 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Units  
    • Supply: 3
    • Build Time: 60
    • Hitpoints: 140
    • Attack: 12x2 Ground
    • Type: Light Mechanical

    The Banshee is a fast gunship which is dedicated to harassing enemies which do not have a good anti-air defense set up. "Banshee rush" is a popular Terran harassment strategy in which a Terran player builds one or two Banshees and immediately sneaks them into an enemy's resource line to kill workers. Obviously, this works best against players who haven't built much anti-air. A rushing two-gate Protoss focusing on Zealots, for example, will be a good candidate for Banshee counter-attack.

    Banshees can also cloak when the appropriate tech is researched. This ability is very powerful against anyone who has not remembered to make good use of detectors. It also is powerful as support to your ground armies, since enemy anti-air won't be able to attack your Banshees unless they bring a mobile detector (and most players don't).

    Obviously, the Banshee's lack of air-to-air weapons makes it very vulnerable to other air units. The Protoss Phoneix is the worst. It receives a bonus to attack against light units and is capable of attacking while on the move. Despite this disadvantage, the Banshee is one of the most effective Terran units for harassment.

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    Battlecruiser

    • Cost: 400 Minerals / 300 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Battlecruiser  
    • Supply: 6
    • Build Time: 60
    • HP: 550
    • Attack: Ground 8 / Air 6 (Very fast fire rate)
    • Type: Armored Mechanical Massive

    The Terran Battlecruiser is an expensive but extremely powerful late game unit. Heavily armed and armored, and capable of defending itself against both air and ground attack, the Battlecrusier can be used as a flagship of your force or as a super-heavy expansion attack unit. The biggest advantage of the Battlecruiser simply comes from the fact that players rarely have the anti-air capability to defend against them well. The obligatory defense of one missile turret of cannon used to discourage Banshee harassment just doesn't work against Battlecrusiers. Battlecrusiers can also really throw off the unit mix of your fellow Terran or Zerg players. If he has dedicated himself to a ground push he'll probably have to respond with a mass of anti-air ground units, but you can ruin his day if you already have some Siege Tanks ready to go.

    Battlecruisers can be upgraded with the devastating Yamato Cannon. The Yamato does 300 damage and is an excellent way of using the Battlecrusier to take out similarly strong enemy units - Protoss Carriers and Motherships come to mind. The main weakness of the Battlecrusier is other air units. The laser on the Battlecruiser is less effective against air. Void Rays and Vikings in particular can ruin your Battlecrusier's day.

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    Ghost

    • Cost: 150 Minerals / 150 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Ghost  
    • Supply: 2
    • Build Time: 40
    • HP: 100
    • Attack: Ground/Air 10 +10 vs. Light
    • Type: Biological - Psionic

    The Ghost is essentially a secret agent. Although the attack of 10 +10 vs. Light makes it seem as those the Ghost would be decent in straight combat, the Ghost's slow firing rate makes this less attractive than you'd think. The main mission of the Ghost is to perform covert ops, and the Ghost has several abilities to this end.

    One is Sniper Round, which does 45 damage. Or, in other words, enough damage to kill any worker in one shot. A second is EMP shot, which does 100 damage vs. shields and drains 100 energy from all units in the blast radius (obviously, great against Protoss). But the most infamous is Tactical Nuke, which does huge damage (300+200 vs. Structures) in a large radius. Tactical Nuke is well loved, as it usually catches the enemy off guard (they have little warning) and can instantly wipe out all of the workers in a base and do massive damage to structures.

    Ghosts can also cloak, but this upgrade must be researched. Cloak is considered an essential upgrade by anyone who intends to use the Tactical Nuke option. Without Cloak it is very hard to get a Ghost into a position where it can perform a Tactical Nuke before it is killed. The main weakness of the Ghost is the unit's relative weakness (for the price). If caught without support the Ghost is very easy to overwhelm.

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    Hellion

    • Cost: 100 MineralsStarcraft 2 Terran Hellion
    • Supply: 2
    • Build Time: 30
    • HP: 90
    • Attack: Ground 8 +6 vs. Light
    • Type: Light Mechanical

    The Hellion is a very fast unit with a powerful flamethrower which can deal damage to multiple enemies at once. The main purpose of the Hellion is to kill off rushes of early game units - melee units in particular. Zerglings, for example, absolutely melt away in the face of the Hellion. And because the Hellion is fast, they have little chance of catching up with and surrounding the Hellion. The Hellion becomes even better when the Infernal Pre-Igniter is researched - this changes the +6 vs. Light to +16 vs. Light!

    The Hellion's downside is that it has low hitpoints for the cost and is very vulnerable to ranged damage. The Hellion is pretty poor against Terran players, as large masses of Marines and Marauders will counter it early in the game. The Protoss also becomes rather immune to it once they start massing Stalkers. Still, an early Hellion push can be very effective and is an excellent way of gaining early map control against a Zerg player.

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    Marauder

    • Cost: 100 Minerals / 25 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Marauder  
    • Supply: 2
    • Build Time: 30
    • HP: 125
    • Attack: Ground 10 +10 vs. Armored
    • Type: Armored Biological

    The Marauder is a heavy infantry support unit. The Marauder can be upgraded with a shell which slows down the speed of enemy units, making it more difficult for them to escape. By and large, the Marauder is used in the early game as a counter vs. Zerg Roaches or Protoss Stalkers and (in large numbers) as a late game counter against most high-tech units, particularly from the Terrans and the Protoss.

    However, the Marauder isn't as much of a hard counter against armored units as you'd think, and it is a common mistake for Terran players to invest in them too heavily. For example, while Marauders kill Stalkers easily on paper, Stalkers can actually just blink right past a Marauder force. Marauders are not very quick and don't have a good chance of catching them. Over-building Marauders against Zerg is also a common mistake, because while they're good against Roaches they die easily once Hydralisks enter the picture.

    The Marauder can use the Stimpak ability to increase damage in exchange for taking twenty hitpoints off the Marauder's life. This is very effective in certain situations - for example, if you need to kill an expansion and then retreat before the enemy army can respond.

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    Marine

    • Cost: 50 MineralsStarcraft 2 Terran Marine
    • Supply: 1
    • Build Time: 25
    • HP: 45
    • Attack: Air, Ground 6
    • Type: Light Biological

    The very standard marine is a versatile low-end Terran unit which is the bread-and-butter of many builds. The strength of the Marine comes from his low cost and versatility. Marines don't hard-counter anything, but there are not that many things which hard-counter Marines. And because they have no Vespene cost they can be built in-mass during periods of the game where your Vespene income is not keeping up with your mineral income.

    The few things which do really tear Marines apart come in the form of AOE attacks. Zerg Fungal Growth and Protoss Psi Storm attacks are examples. Marines also need to really watch out for the Protoss Colossus - the beams will sweep back and forth across the Marine ranks and absolutely devastate them. Terran Siege Tanks in siege mode can also do terrible damage to groups of Marines.

    The Marine can use Stimpaks, for a penalty of 10 hitpoints, and the usefulness of this is the same as the Stimpak on the Marauder. There is also a special Combat Shield upgrade which increases Marine HP by 10. That doesn't sound like a lot, but remember, Marines are plentiful. An increase of 10 can sometimes mean the difference between victory and defeat.

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    Medivac

    • Cost: 100 Minerals / 100 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Medivac  
    • Supply: 2
    • Build Time: 42
    • HP: 150
    • Attack: NA
    • Type: Armored Mechanical

    The Medivac serves two roles. First, it is the Terran's dropship. It can be used to move ground units to places they normally would not be able to reach or to quickly move them behind enemy lines (dropping a Ghost off to use a Tactical Nuke, for example). In this role the Medivac works about as well as you'd expect. It gets the job done but isn't overly exciting.

    However, the Medivac can also heal friendly biological units, giving the Medivac a second role. The importance of this role shouldn't be under-estimated. One Medivac won't change the outcome of a battle, but if you have laid siege to an enemy player's base and are having to gradually poke your way through his defenses the Medivac can be great, as it will heal your units each time they have to retreat. Mass numbers of Medivacs, on the other hand, can quickly heal your army even during battle as long as the opponent does not have the anti-air required to shoot them down.

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    Raven

    • Cost: 100 Minerals / 100 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Raven  
    • Supply: 2
    • Build Time: 60
    • HP: 140
    • Attack: NA
    • Type: Light Mechanical

    The Raven is a special support unit and a mobile detector. It has no attacks of its own, but it does have numerous special abilities.

    Two of these abilities are deployable gun turrets. One is called the Auto-Turret. It is basically a small cannon which lasts 180 seconds. It does quite a lot of damage. While this can be used as a defense if you are desperate, it is most often used for harassment. Placing an Auto-Turret in your enemy's resource line can deal a lot of damage to his workers. Another deployable is the the Point Defense Drone. This drone shoots down incoming munitions. It can be used in assistance of a large-scale Banshee or Battlecruiser attack to negate enemy anti-air, allowing your units to immediately focus on enemy resource structures. It also can be used in a large battle to minimize the effect of enemy ranged units.

    The Raven can also use the Hunter-Seeker missile. This is a large missile which will track down a targeted unit for up to 15 seconds. When it explodes, it does heavy damage to both the targeted unit and any nearby. The Hunter-Seeker missile is best used against heavy enemy targets or large groups of enemy targets, and it allows the Raven the ability to do direct damage to enemy forces without getting too close to them.

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    Reaper

    • Cost: 50 Minerals / 50 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Reaper  
    • Supply: 1
    • Build Time: 45
    • HP: 50
    • Attack: Ground 2x4 +5 vs. Light
    • Type: Light Biological

    The Reaper is an extremely fast Terran harassment unit with the ability to jump up and down cliffs using jetpacks. The "Reaper Rush" is a favorite early game attack, particularly against Zerg and Protoss players. The Reaper's speed means it is hard for either to catch using the early game melee units each has access to, and the Reaper's fast-firing weapons can kill workers very rapidly. The Reapers are not very tough considering their cost, however, so they are poorly suited for head-on attacks.

    Reapers can make use of Stimpaks, which further increases their harassment ability. They can also use the D8 Charge once it is researched. This is a charge which is thrown on the ground and, once it explodes, does area of effect damage. This can also be used to harass an enemy's base, but it is very difficult to use against enemy ground units, as they will usually kill the Reaper before it has a chance to lay down a charge.

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    Siege Tank

    • Cost: 150 Minerals / 125 VespeneStarcraft 2 Terran Siege Tank  
    • Supply: 3
    • Build Time: 45
    • HP: 160
    • Attack: 15 +10 vs. Armored (35 +15 vs. Armored in Siege Mode)
    • Type: Armored Mechanical

    The iconic Siege Tank is a heavy armored unit which is very effective against enemy armor of all types. In particular, the Siege Tank is a perfect early game counter against Zerg Roaches and Protoss Stalkers. The Siege tank is fairly maneuverable despite its size, and can be used as back-up to Marines in early to mid game pushes.

    Of course, Siege Mode (which must be researched) is also a very important attribute of the Siege Tank. In Siege Mode the damage of the Siege Tank increases to 35 with a medium amount of splash and a +15 bonus to against armored units. While in Siege Mode, and the Siege Tank can't move. When used in this mode the Siege Tank becomes great for defense, but it is also a great Terran unit for offense. For example, you can set up Siege Tanks outside an enemy expansion to take it out while your Marines or Marauders act as a sort of meatshield preventing enemy units from getting to them.

    Siege Tanks prove weakest against opponents with an advantage against armor. The Protoss Immortal in particular needs to be avoided at all costs.

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    Thor

    • Cost: 300 Minerals / 200 GasStarcraft 2 Terran Thor  
    • Supply: 6
    • Build Time: 60
    • HP: 400
    • Attack: 30x2 Ground 6x4 Air +6 vs. Light
    • Type: Armored Mechanical Massive

    Ah, the Thor. This huge mech is a devastating all-purpose attack unit. The huge damage numbers that the Thor puts up really say it all. The Thor can kill most units in the game very, very quickly. The Thor is particularly good against enemy units which are slow or expensive. Terran Siege Tanks go down quickly, as do most ranged Zerg units, and virtually everything the Protoss has. The existence of the anti-air cannons also ensure that the Thor can't just be taken out by a few Mutalisks or Banshees.

    The Thor can be upgraded with 250mm Strike Cannons, which are capable of doing 500 damage in 6 seconds against a structure. They also have very long range. One common Terran strategy is to do a "Thor Drop" where a Thor is drop-shipped onto an inaccessible cliff overlooking an enemy expansion. Thanks to the Thor's range and 250mm Strike Cannons, the Terran player can kill the expansion with little risk of return fire.

    The Thor isn't invincible, however. The Protoss Immortal's Hardened Shields and huge bonus against armored units makes it a troublesome foe. The Thor also can be swarmed by melee units which can surround the massive mech. Finally, the Thor is vulnerable to attack by heavy air units like Battlecruisers and Carriers as the Thor's anti-air missiles receive a bonus only against Light air units.

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    Viking

    • Minerals: 150Starcraft 2 Terran Viking
    • Vespene: 75
    • Supply: 2
    • Build Time: 42
    • HP: 125
    • Attack: 14 (Walker Mode) 6x2+8 vs. Armored (Air Mode)
    • Type: Armored Mechanical

    The Viking is an interesting dual-role unit. It has the ability to literally transform from an air superiority fight into a walking mech and then back again. It has specialized weapons in each mode. As a Walker, it can only hit ground targets, and as a fighter it can only hit air targets.

    This gives the Viking a unique ability to harass the enemy. Vikings are usually built at first for air cover, but when not being used in that role they can fly to the rear of an enemy base and transform into walkers to kill enemy workers. Even if the enemy builds anti-air defenses, the Terran and Zerg anti-air defenses are only good against air units - so once they turn into walkers, those defenses become useless. Vikings are also often used in support of Siege Tanks. They can spot for the Siege Tanks (because the range of Siege Mode is greater than the Siege Tank's line-of-sight range) and provide air cover.

    As air superiority fighters, the Vikings are actually best against heavier units like Carriers, Brood Lords and Battlecrusiers. They are okay against the Mutalisk and the Phoneix, but those units are considered light air units, and so the Viking's significant bonus damage does not apply to them.

Starcraft 2: The Complete Unit Guide

Are you a new or semi-experienced player looking for more information about the units in Starcraft 2? Look no further. This guide covers all of the units in Starcraft 2 and provides detailed information on their strengths and weaknesses.
  1. Starcraft 2 Strategy Guide: Protoss Units
  2. Starcraft 2 Strategy Guide: Terran Units
  3. Starcraft 2 Strategy Guide: Zerg Units


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