Banshee (Legacy of the Void)
- This article covers the current multiplayer version of this unit. For other versions see Banshee (Heart of the Swarm), Banshee (Wings of Liberty) and Banshee (Wings of Liberty Campaign).
The Banshee is a strong Air-to-Ground unit that is built from a Starport with a Tech Lab add-on. The Banshee has a number of common uses. Used early on in any match-up, they can catch an opponent off guard and allow for uninterrupted harassment, especially if Cloak has been researched. For this reason, hiding two Starports can be devastating for an opponent if left unscouted. When supported by Vikings, Banshees can be used to form a very powerful air army that can be very hard for Protoss to deal with.
- A Banshee can fire off salvos of rockets rather quickly, and one shot from two of them will kill any worker in one hit. Thus, if built early, upgraded with Cloak, and properly microed to only fire at mineral gatherers, they can destroy an opponent's entire economy within seconds. This strategy is highly unlikely to work more than once, since the enemy will be very careful with his detectors and workers after such a devastating attack.
- Since Wings of Liberty, Banshees worked, when rushed, as a precursor to a 2-3 Siege Tank push or a faster-than-normal 3rd mining base, in match-ups when openings til mid-game did not include a Spire, Stargate or Starport in any fashion, many players would simply get Detection and ground-based anti-air; hence Siege Tanks being effective for the range advantage.
- Since the introduction of the Liberator in Legacy of the Void, amongst other economic changes, Banshees have declined in popularity, as the liberator is able to one-shot workers by itself, is 50 gas cheaper than a pair of banshees, and does not require an attached tech lab.
Against Protoss, Banshees can be a devastating attack force due to relatively weak anti-air capabilities of the Protoss Army. With Vikings by their sides, Banshees should be covered from any Phoenixes that the Protoss may make, leaving the Banshees open to lay waste to Protoss ground units with not much worry of response besides Stalkers. Additionally, the Cloaking ability of the Banshee can lead to surprise attacks should the Protoss not have Observers accompanying their army, or any detection around their mineral lines.
Banshees are a common opener in TvT, especially with Cloak, due to its ability to outmicro Marines and the potential to inflict significant damage to an opponents economy. However, they are vulnerable to Vikings, Missile Turrets and Marines with Stimpack, especially in smaller numbers. If you can gain air dominance, they can be used to snipe key units from the opponent's ground army, usually Siege Tanks, without much resistance. However, the main usage for Banshees remains harassment.
Banshees do find a "niche" use for resource harassment in the mid-late game, when typical TvT compositions are heavy on Marauders and Siege Tanks. Most of the time both players have transitioned away from anti-air such as Marines due to their high vulnerability against sieged Tanks, and the only other viable anti-air unit, the Thor, is far too immobile to provide an effective counter. If the opponent neglected placing Missile Turrets in his base, a couple of Banshees can devastate vulnerable mineral lines and/or coerce him into sacrificing an Orbital Command's energy for Scanner Sweeps that could otherwise have been invested into MULEs.
Banshees can be somewhat effective in ZvT, although Spore Crawlers and Hydralisks* can buy enough time for Mutalisks to come out, at which point Banshees shouldn't be used because they lack any anti-air capabilities.
An unsuspecting opponent can be overwhelmed by a well-timed 1-Base Banshee rush, capitalizing on the Zerg's lack of early anti-air and detection. A Banshee can defeat one Queen, and with Cloak this becomes a non-issue.
Zerg players can use the semi-mobile Spore Crawler turret for both damage and detection, in combination with Queens, or upgrade to Lair have access to Overseer Detectors as well as the major Zerg anti-air unit, the Hydralisk.
A successful Banshee rush can transition into an immediate end-game, or set the Terran player far ahead in the macro while his Zerg opponent recovers.
*Note: Hydralisks have 5 range (without the upgrade), while Banshees have 6 range - correct micro can mean that before the Hydralisk upgrade comes out Banshees can out range them.
Banshee's quotes (video and sound) - YouTube video.
|Patch 3.8.0 |
|Patch 4.7.1 |
- Blizzard Entertainment (22 November 2016). "Legacy of the Void - Patch 3.8.0 -- November 22, 2016". Battle.net.
- Blizzard Entertainment (20 November 2018). "STARCRAFT II 4.7.1 PATCH NOTES". Battle.net.