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"You could no more evade my wrath than you could your own shadow."

- Protoss dark templar(src)

Dark templar are protoss stealth infantry. They were present as special units in the original StarCraft and could be built in the expansion.

The unit was voiced by Allen Adham.[1]

Game Unit[edit | edit source]

Dark templar are represented as permanently cloaked infantry with extremely powerful attacks.

Dark templar are permanently cloaked, like observers, and their effectiveness is heavily dependent on it. If the enemy has adequate detection capabilities it is more efficient to attack with predominantly zealots. Although zealots deal significantly less damage, they are more likely to survive the charge and last long enough to make a difference (as well as being much less expensive).

Dark templar used powerful warp blades, based on modified psi blade technology. [2]

The single-blade design was originally intended for Zeratul's character only, but due to time constraints, the same unit design was used for all dark templar.[3]

StarCraft[edit | edit source]

Main article: Dark templar (hero)

Dark templar could not be created in the original StarCraft. They were given to players as special units at the start of "Homeland" and "Eye of the Storm" (and acted as enemies in "Eye for an Eye"). They had slightly different stats from the Brood War version, and could not create dark archons.

In Brood War, dark templar were buildable units (statistics apply to Brood War units). They were frequently used in rushes against terran, in which the attacking player tried to destroy their opponent before they could develop adequate detection. They are sometimes fondly referred to as "dt"s.

Dark Templar are available for the player to construct in the campaign with the mission "Dunes of Shakuras" in Episode IV.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Dark templar are both great harass units and great deterrents.

Dark templar can deter an attacker who doesn't have ready detection. In Protoss vs. Protoss, sniping the enemy's observers will force the enemy to retreat before even one dark templar. In Protoss vs. Zerg, keeping overlords away from the battlefield makes dark templar unstoppable. This naturally leads to the corsair/dark templar strategy, which dominated the pro leagues in 2007.

Dark templar are also fantastic harassers because they can kill probes or drones in one hit. Units that are killed in one hit do not send a "You are under attack!" warning to the opponent, which means a dark templar can frequently destroy a distracted opponent's economy without the opponent ever knowing what happened. Dark templar are thus one of the units protoss turns to get back in the game unless an opponent is prepared.

To get them into the opponent's base, shuttles are a frequent companion of dark templar. Shuttles can bypass frontal detection and base defenses and put dark templar right near the mineral lines, forcing the opponent to defend multiple fronts. It's not uncommon to see shuttles with even four dark templars or a few dark templar and zealots strike a base late in the game, hoping to eliminate the detection before help arrives.

Dark templar are frequently paired with an arbiter build against terrans, since they force the terran army to waste ComSat sweeps to detect them and thus have none left when the arbiters arrive.

Dark templar may be spotted by their visual distortion, and distinguished from observers by the unit's pathing, but detectors are needed to effectively attack them. Having a forge or engineering bay before dark templar appear allows photon cannons or missile turrets to be placed as required. It is difficult to build both the detector and the prerequisite building in time to meet a sudden appearance of dark templar.

The best counters for dark templar involves detection and ranged units like marines and hydralisks.

Matchups[edit | edit source]

Dark templar rely on stealth to compensate for having less health than zealots. Mixing dark templar with a larger force may mask their presence and attacks.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Permanent Cloaking

This unit is permanently cloaked. They cannot be seen or directly attacked by enemy forces, unless they have detector support.

Two dark templar can sacrifice themselves, transforming into a dark archon.

Cost 20 seconds 2 dark templar

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

  • +2 cumulative bonus per attack per level for zealots and dragoons.
  • +3 cumulative bonus per attack per level for dark templar and archons.
Purchased from Forge
Hotkey W
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 150 Minerals 150 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Templar archives
Level 3
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Templar archives
Purchased from Forge
Hotkey A
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals 100 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals 175 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Templar archives
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals 250 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Templar archives
  • +1 armor bonus to shields per level for all units and structures.
Purchased from Forge
Hotkey S
Level 1
Cost 200 Minerals 200 Vespene gas 266seconds
Level 2
Cost 300 Minerals 300 Vespene gas 298seconds
Required Cybernetics core
Level 3
Cost 400 Minerals 400 Vespene gas 330seconds
Required Cybernetics core

Dark Templar Heroes[edit | edit source]

Quotations[edit | edit source]

See: StarCraft Dark Templar Quotations

Development[edit | edit source]

From a development perspective, the dark templar unit was the "protoss ninja" of their faction.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 2017-05-12, The Sounds of Koprulu. Blizzard Entertainment, accesed on 2017-05-13
  2. Underwood, Peter, Chris Metzen and Bill Roper. StarCraft: Brood War (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  3. 2008-05-02. BlizzCast: Taking You Deeper into the World of Blizzard: Episode I. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-01-10.
  4. 2017-04-27, Rock and Roll Days of StarCraft: a Development Retrospective. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-04-29
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