Starcraft 2 Swarm Host Unit Counter

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Click Here to Get The Osiris MethodThe Swarm Host is a Zerg Heart of the Swarm unit with an unusual function. It has no attacks of its own but instead can burrow to produce Locusts. Locusts are short-lived ground units with a short-range, high damage attack but have no anti-air attack.

By default, the Swarm Host has no anti-air attack. Technically all air units are a counter to the Swarm Host. However, it is good to know some counters that work in all tech trees so you do not have to go up to air every time the opponent gets Swarm Hosts.

Furthermore, Zerg players often use Queens and even forward-positioned Spore Crawlers to help defend their Swarm Hosts against air units. For help dealing with this unit combination, check out the video at the end of this article.

Protoss Swarm Host Counter

The Swarm Host has been most successfully used against Protoss players:

  • Colossus: The easiest way to counter Swarm Hosts is to have Colossi with Extended Thermal Lance. You need 1 Colossus for every 2-3 enemy Swarm Hosts and a minimum of 3 Colossi. With this many, you can easily kill Locusts before they ever get in range. Colossi also excel at destroying Queens, Hydralisks, and Spore Crawlers, which are the units most commonly used for Swarm Host support. 
  • Void Ray: Swarm Hosts are armored and cannot hit air units, so Void Rays make quick work of Swarm Hosts. The problem is when the Swarm Host has Queen support.
  • Warp Prism: Immortals kill Swarm Hosts very quickly, but are weak against Locusts. Warp Prisms can also warp in a wave of Zealots or Stalkers to flank the Swarm Hosts.
  • Tempest: Tempests can easily outrange any Queen or Spore Crawler. Tempests also perform well enough against all Zerg anti-air that you do not have to worry about building too many of them.
  • Phoenix: Phoenix can pick off completely undefended Swarm Hosts, but Swarm Hosts do stand up quite well to Phoenix attacks. This will not work with Spore Crawler or Queen Support.
  • Blink Stalker: Extremely well-controlled Blink Stalkers can dodge Locusts and snipe off Swarm Hosts. Certainly an advanced counter.

Terran Swarm Host Counter

Swarm Hosts are most commonly used against Terran mech since bio forces are a bit too mobile for the Swarm Host. Fortunately, there are methods for Terran players to counter the Swarm Host in all 3 tech trees.

  • Raven: Ravens (which are a key mech support unit) can easily detect Swarm Hosts and use Seeker Missile on burrowed Swarm Hosts. The Swarm Host has no chance to evade this attack due to the time it takes to unburrow. Make sure you have several Ravens since some splash damage is needed to kill off the Swarm Hosts.
  • Banshee: Using Banshees to pick off Swarm Hosts works well. It works particularly well if you use Vikings to pick off Overseers and then swoop in with a cloaked Banshee or two. Use Scanner Sweep to reveal the Swarm Hosts.
  • Marauders and Medivacs: Drop a handful of stimmed Marauders on top of Swarm Hosts and its game over. Use Medivacs to avoid Locusts. Use Scanner Sweep to reveal Swarm Hosts.
  • Battlecruiser: Any form of SkyTerran is going to walk over Swarm Hosts. Battlecruisers can use Yamato Cannon to help take down any Spore Crawlers.

Zerg Swarm Host Counter

Swarm Hosts versus Zerg can be used as a defensive unit. Zerg players can turtle in their base and use Swarm Hosts and Spore Crawlers to slowly take their third expansion. Swarm Hosts also have a great range on offense since enemy Zerg creep will speed up your Locusts' movement speed as if it was your own creep.

  • Mutalisk: The speed of the Mutalisk makes it easy to snipe out enemy Swarm Hosts. Be careful of Spore Crawler support though.
  • Brood Lord: To attack Swarm Hosts from the front, Brood Lords are the best choice. Swarm Hosts can always run away from Brood Lords though. Best for breaking a contain or a turtle.
  • Ultralisk: The Ultralisk is the only Zerg ground unit that can attack-move against Swarm Hosts. Locusts fall in a couple hits and then Ultralisks are fast enough to chase down enemy Swarm Hosts.
  • Zergling: Zerglings themselves are terrible against Locusts, but if you can use the Zergling's speed to avoid the Locusts and catch the Swarm Hosts in between cooldowns, the Swarm Hosts have no chance of escape.

Swarm Host Counter Video Guide

Below, you will find a video guide demonstrating many of these counters in action. I also consider counters where Spore Crawler and Queen defense is present.


When playing against Swarm Hosts, remember to be patient. There are only a couple units that can attack Swarm Hosts head on. Most of the time, you will want to avoid Locusts by flanking the Swarm Host, going around Locusts, or using drops or air units to fly over top of Locusts.

Click Here to Get The Osiris Method