Warp Prism (Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm)
- This article covers the now superseded Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm multiplayer version of this unit. For another version see Warp Prism (Legacy of the Void).
The Warp Prism is a Protoss transport unit, produced at the Robotics Facility. The Warp Prism can shuttle up to eight cargo of Protoss units while in Transport Mode (see table below). Unlike other transports, the Warp Prism can convert to Phasing Mode, which renders it stationary while it provides the Psionic Matrix in an area around it. This allows units from Warp Gates to warp in around the Warp Prism, and it can even allow buildings to be powered or warped in without the need for a nearby Pylon. The Warp Prism's movement speed can be improved by researching the Gravitic Drive upgrade at the Robotics Bay.
Used to Warp In expensive units like Dark Templar, for building or worker harass, or Warping In a bunch of Zealots for a good attack chance on multiple buildings and causing Threat to force the opposing main army back to defend the main base.
Per-unit Cargo Size
This upgrade allows the Warp Prism to outrun Stalkers (without blink) and all air units except the Phoenix and Mutalisk. It also allows the Warp Prism to move the same speed as stimmed Marines and Hydralisks on creep.
The Warp Prism is mostly seen in "drop" play, where it sneaks into the opponent's base and allows Zealots or Dark Templars to warp in and attack the opponent's workers. Warp Prisms can also be an effective tool for reinforcing armies due to their "deployable pylon" ability, but usually less-expensive "proxy" Pylons, built near the front lines, serve that role.
Warp Prisms are rarely seen until the later stage of most games due to fierce competition within the Robotics Facility in terms of what to build. Both the Immortal and Colossus are very powerful units which are essential in many situations throughout the game. Most Protoss units do not have any synergy with drop ships; Stalkers can blink up and down cliffs, Colossus can walk through cliffs, and Zealots/Archons/Dark Templar don't get any benefit from high ground. Prior to Patch 1.4, Warp Prisms were viewed as being far too fragile to use effectively, earning the nickname 'paper planes'. Warp Prisms are much hardier now at 100 HP and 100 shields, so their usage is nowhere near as much of a risk as it used to be.
Whilst a speed upgrade does exist, it is usually a low priority upgrade compared to Blink or Extended Thermal Lances. As such, it is difficult to incorporate Warp Prisms into a stable strategy unless you are ahead in the game and can afford to skip a Colossus or see an opportunity to do a drop.
A hallucinated Warp Prism can trick your opponent into retreating back into their base to defend.
Warp Prism & Force Field Tactic
By warping in sufficient number of units (usually 3-4) you can force your opponent to commit his entire army for defense. Once this diversion is done, you can then attack his natural expansion with your main army. By casting the Sentry's Force Field on the ramp you can trap him inside his base while you kill off his expansion and workers, making this two-pronged attack more than twice as deadly.
Elevator Micromanagement Trick
A single Warp Prism, unlike its other two counterparts, is capable of quickly transporting large number of Units from a Low Ground to High Ground and vice versa. To execute this trick, place the Warp Prism on the High Ground near the cliff. The tiny circle underneath should just be close enough to the edge to allow units to be loaded from the Warp Prism's position. Now change the Warp Prism to Phasing Mode and load up units from the Low Ground. After all units are loaded, hit Unload All and click anywhere on the screen. The Warp Prism will automatically start unloading all cargo without moving. Quickly cycle another round of units through the Warp Prism and repeat to quickly transport a large force through a cliff.
In PvP, Warp Prisms are a very good way of harassing your opponent. Warp Prisms with the Gravitic Drive upgrade may be used to drop Immortals in the enemy base and snipe a key tech structure or warp-in Zealots to damage the economy. Since the Protoss armies tend to lack mobility the Warp Prism is an excellent way to keep your opponent pressured. Speed Prisms can also be a great source of scouting information which is especially vital in this match-up. While in Wings of Liberty Warp Prism openings were common, due to the the prevalence of Stargate openings in Heart of the Swarm, Warp Prism are not longer viable at the early game, and are mostly used for mass warp ins of Zealots and Dark Templars as a way to pull the opponent's army in the late game.
Warp Prisms can be used to drop inexpensive units, such as Probes or Zealots, onto enemy Siege Tanks to inflict splash damage on your opponent's units. This technique is similar to the Bombing technique in StarCraft.
Warp Prisms can be used to either carry High Templar or to warp them in on demand instead of building them beforehand. This is beneficial both because the slow moving Templar cannot keep up with Stalkers and Zealots equipped with their charge upgrade and because a (cloaked) Ghost could EMP all of the Templar at once. Warping in Templar is not as strong after the 1.3 patch which removed Khaydarin Amulet.
The Warp Prism has slowly become a very useful unit in this match-up, by making use of the Sentry and Warp Prisms, a Protoss player can attack a Zerg base without having to deal with the Zerg army thanks to force fields. This is most commonly used in the Zerg main where you can separate the rally point from the base with forcefields on the main ramp. Then, the Warp Prism is free to warp in reinforcements. Later in the game you can use the Warp Prism to keep the Zerg from expanding or damage his economy with drops and warp-ins.
- When acting as a shuttle, the Warp Prism - like all transporter units - can unload 1 unit per second, independent of size.
- It can load/unload units in either Mode, but of course it won't be able to move towards a unit in Phased Mode. This makes the fastest possible method for dropping and warping to: first deploy the prism providing a psi field, then telling the immobile warp prism to drop units while also warping in units.
- Upgrading +1 air armor will enable the Warp Prism to take one extra hit from a Missile Turret, and combined with Gravitic Drive will allow the Prism to fly directly over a Missile Turret and survive.
- If you have a spare prism and need to quickly build something outside pylon fields, a building started within the warp prism's power field will not cancel if the warp prism is switched to transport mode, allowing you to save the time of building a pylon before putting down the buildings you wish around it.
- Passengers inside of the Warp Prism continue to regenerate both Plasma Shields and Energy.
- Warp Prism's sounds (video and sound) - YouTube video.
- Squirtle vs. BBoongBBoong from the 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series: South Korea Nationals, at 6:47 Squirtle effectively uses a Warp Prism to save Immortals from death.