The Wraith is the initial Terran air unit which can be built from the Starport without any addons. It deals 8 normal damage against ground units, and 20 explosive damage against air units. It can be upgraded with Cloak, which renders it invisible, and it can be upgraded with an energy upgrade to give it 50 extra energy.
The cloaking ability works the same as a Ghost's Cloaking ability.
These are researched at the Control Tower addon.
Clustering your wraiths together to make them fire and move seemingly as a single unit is very important for effective harass. To do this, you need to select your Wraiths in addition to another unit that will remain far away from them and/or not able to respond to the commands that you only want your Wraiths to execute. As a Terran, there are multiple units that can fit this role:
- A trapped unit, such as a Marine blocked by other Marines (especially next to your wall) or an SCV trapped by buildings
- A tank in Siege Mode.
- A SCV which is currently building (your Supply Depot SCV(s), for example).
Another thing to note is, when Ctrl + clicking on a group of Wraiths, the game treats cloaked Wraiths and uncloaked Wraiths as different units. This means that, if you have a group of cloaked Wraiths and uncloaked Wraiths on your screen, Ctrl + clicking on a cloaked Wraith will only select the cloaked Wraiths, while Ctrl + clicking on an uncloaked Wraith will only select the uncloaked Wraiths. This is useful to know in case a few of your Wraiths run out of energy and you want to uncloak the remainder of Wraiths in your group that still have energy.
Unless you are Leta, the Wraith has a niche role in TvZ. It serves the role of harassment and can flip the dynamics of TvZ. With its high speed, Cloak ability, and high air damage, it can be used to harass Drones, and to hunt Overlords. The Zerg player will generally counter with Hydralisks at his minerals, and may choose to make Scourge.
Currently, the best way to utilize Wraiths is the 2-Port Wraith Build which allows the Terran to upgrade Cloak, and supply the player with sufficient reinforcements. The 2-Port Wraith Build has become fairly common in TvZ.
The Wraith is considered an effective unit in TvT. The 2-Port Wraith Build also exists in TvT, but it is less common. A more popular variant is One-port Wraith, which can lead into an expansion. A Terran can utilize his Wraiths with Siege Tanks, or use them to soften an enemy Siege Tank line. When making a few Wraiths they are generally used for scouting or minor harassment, but larger Wraith forces primarily afford air control which negates opposing Dropship play, as well as a large mobile harassment force, which is very useful in a match-up with severely restricted ground movement. However, Wraiths are generally helpless against Missile Turrets and Goliaths, which are capable of dispatching the relatively fragile Wraith quickly.
The Wraith can also be used to harass SCVs, but with 60 Hit Points, SCVs generally absorb damage better than Drones.
Early game, 2 Wraiths and 2 sieged Tanks can kill an enemy Siege Tank in one volley, with Wraiths also spotting for the Tanks.
At the later stages of the game, cloaked Wraiths can serve as a counter to Battlecruisers. With their 20 explosive damage, and higher rate of fire, Wraiths are capable of dealing significant damage to a Battlecruiser fleet, until detected.
Wraiths can see play when a Terran chooses to use Wraiths to kill Shuttles, but such instances are relatively rare.
- SKTT1 Canata vs Backho, God's Garden, Shinhan Bank Proleague 2008-09. (Wraith used to deflect Shuttle harass)
- Baby vs Modesty, God's Garden, GomTv classic season 3 (Baby displaying some amazing wraith micro).
- Light vs Leta, Fighting Spirit, Shinhan 09-10 Proleague 12.08.(Leta uses mass Wraiths against Light as a late-game strategy)