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Dark Archon

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Protoss Dark Archon
Unit Information
Large Ground Unit
Minerals 0 (250) Vespene Gas 0 (200) Build Time 12.6 Supply 4
Unit stats
25 200 1

The Dark Archon is a Protoss spell-caster that does not have the ability to attack directly. Rather, it is a supporting Protoss unit that is capable of three powerful spells. It is formed by merging two Dark Templars, which are produced by the Gateway.

Because of its high cost, both in terms of minerals/Vespene Gas as well as the loss of two powerful Dark Templars, and its limited abilities, they are not commonly produced during competitive play. Rather, they are produced for relatively specific applications in the late game.


 100      100      63 (fastest)
Allows Dark Archon to temporarily immobilize all organic units.
Mind Control
 200      200      75.6 (fastest)
Allows Dark Archon to irreversibly transfer control of an enemy unit to the player casting the spell.
Argus Talisman
 150      150      104.58 (fastest)
Increases the Dark Archon's maximum Energy to 250.


Cost: 50

Range: 10

This spell will reset the target unit's energy to zero and deal damage to the target unit equal to the total energy removed.
Cost: 100
Range: 10 Effect-Radius: 3
Duration: 7.48 s
This spell will freeze all organic units in a small radius of the target location for a short duration. Since all Zerg units are organic units, Maelstrom is extremely powerful against Zerg - particularly Ultralisk/Zergling, or stacked Mutalisks. Units frozen by Maelstrom are not protected from damage - in this respect, Maelstrom is similar to the Ghost ability Lockdown.
Cost: 150 All Available

Range: 8

This spell will instantaneously place the targeted unit permanently under the control of the casting player. The player is granted any upgrades the target unit has except for attack, armor, and shield upgrades. The Dark Archon casting Mind Control loses all shields.

Competitive Usage[edit]

versus Zerg[edit]

Dark Archons may be able to counter a Zerg Mutalisk Harass with a Maelstrom. This freezes the Mutalisks in place while High Templar (casting Psionic Storm,) Archons, or Corsairs deal damage to them. To maintain mobility and keep the vulnerable Dark Archon protected, a Dark Archon and Archon can be stored in a Shuttle to quickly reach the Mutalisk stack, followed by a Maelstrom while the Archon provides cover.

Dark Archons are occasionally seen in long PvZ matches. Supported and defended by a combination of Archons, High Templar, Reavers, and Zealots, the Dark Archon is safe to cast its spells against late game Zerg armies. Maelstrom can effectively freeze packs of concentrated and fast-moving Zerg units such as Ultralisks, Zerglings, and Overlords (preparing for drop-play,) leaving them vulnerable to Psionic Storms and other Protoss attacks.

Less commonly, Dark Archons may use Feedback against Defilers, often killing them instantly with their own energy. (Defilers often maintain high energy levels by Consuming nearby alies.)

Mind Control isn't used as extensively as the other two spells, but can serve some utility in taking control of high value Zerg units such as Ultralisks or Defilers. Notably, an Overlord that is Mind Controlled while transporting other units will result in the Protoss player controlling the carried units in addition to the Overlord.

For an extensive discussion on Dark Archon use in the modern PvZ match-up, see this Teamliquid thread.

versus Terran[edit]

Dark Archons are not usually used in the PvT match-up as their spells are not particularly useful against the most common Terran strategies. Noteably, Maelstrom is ineffective against mechanical units.

Mind Control, however, can be useful against Battlecruisers, should the Terran opponent elect to produce them.

The Dark Archon is part of the rarely played Royal Stove strategy. In this strategy, the Protos player Mind Controls an SCV, builds a Terran base, and eventually techs up to Factories. Once upgraded, Tanks in Siege Mode can be Recalled against the opponent's (likely superior) forces.

versus Protoss[edit]

Although rarely seen in the PvP match-up, Dark Archons may use Feedback to counter the opponent's High Templars. Because the Feedback spell can be cast at a very long range, it can be used to snipe High Templars, such that the High Templar's own energy is used against itself.

In other applications, Mind Control can be used to steal away units of high value such as Carriers or Arbiters. It is noted that any Mind Controlled opponent Shuttles will result in the opponent losing control of any units transported by the Shuttle.

Notable Games[edit]

Versus Zerg[edit]

See also[edit]