Dark Archon

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki
[e][h]Protoss Dark Archon
Unit Information
Large Ground Unit
Cost: Minerals 0 (250) Vespene Gas0 (200) Build Time 13 Psi 4
Hitpoints 25 Shields 200 Armor 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.

Researched Upgrades[edit]

 100      100      63 (fastest)
Allows Dark Archon to temporarily freeze all organic units.
Mind Control
 200      200      76 (fastest)
Allows Dark Archon to irreversibly control another unit to the player casting the spell
Argus Talisman
 150      150      105 (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: 7.56 seconds
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. While it doesn't have a fixed cost on shields, it will always drain all currently available shields making them extremely vulnerable after doing so.

Competitive Usage[edit]

versus Zerg[edit]

Occasionally, Dark Archons with a fast Maelstrom can be used as a counter to Zerg Mutalisk Harass. This freezes Mutalisks in place while Psionic Storms, Archons, or Corsairs deals damage to them. To maintain mobility, as well as to 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 with Maelstrom.

Dark Archons are also occasionally seen in long PvZ matches. Supported and defended by a combination of Archons, High Templars, 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 while dealing them damage with Psionic Storms and other Protoss units.

Less commonly, Dark Archons are used to Feedback Defilers, often killing them instantly with their own energy as Defilers are often kept at high energy levels due to the Consume spell.

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. It is noted that any Mind Controlled Overlords will result in the Protoss player controlling any Zerg units transported by 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 usually not used in the PvT match-up as their spells are not particularly useful against most common Terran strategies.

Maelstrom is ineffective against mechanical units. Mind Control, however, can be used should the Terran opponent elect to produce Battlecruisers.

It is noted the Dark Archon is part of the rarely played Royal Stove strategy, which is used to Mind Control an SCV and eventually tech to Factories so that the Protoss player can recall Sieged Tanks.

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]