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Play a Sound Protoss Dark Archon Dark Templars Rastadon and Imrian
Hit Points: 25
Plasma Shields: 200
Size: Large
Supply: 4
Cost: N/A
Build Time: 20
Produced at: N/A
Requires: 2 Dark Templar
Energy: 200 (Upgrade to 250)
Base Ground Attack: N/A
Base Air Attack: N/A
Base Armor: 1
Range: N/A
Sight: 10
Cooldown: N/A
Production Hot Key: N/A

During their long exile, the Dark Templars have faced many challenges. Struggling and adapting their arsenal of skills and converting their biology to suit their harsh environment has ultimately resulted in the Dark Archon.

Like their High Templar brethren, two Dark Templars sacrifice themselves in a Psionic melding giving rise to the Dark Archon. The powers of these avatars of Psionic might extend well beyond those of the regular Archon, more than compensating for their lack of any physical attack capability:

The burning, crimson effigy of the Dark Archon spreads fear across any battlefield. These powerful creatures of living Psionic energy embody the eternal wrath of the Dark Templar. Created by the merging of any two Dark Templar warriors, the Dark Archon can wield the mysterious energies of the void. These dire, volatile beings are so powerful that the Dark Templar have outlawed their creation for a thousand years. After the Zerg Swarm destroyed the planet Aiur, the Dark Templar have realized the necessity of their greatest weapons.

The Dark Archon has no physical attack ability of its own (much like the High Templar of Aiur) but the special abilities it can wield (Feedback, Maelstrom and Mind Control) are more than sufficient to cause massive disarray in an enemy force. However, like the Archon, the Dark Archon has a frail physical form (a little stronger than the Archon) and if its shields are depleted, be ready to make a run for the nearest Shield Batteries.

Countermeasures

Terrans

  • Marines/Firebats in mass can quickly dispatch Dark Archons but beware of Maelstrom
  • Vultures and Goliaths are immune to Feedback and Maelstrom and are generally not useful enough to Mind Control
  • Cloaked Wraiths and Ghosts can destroy unescorted Dark Archons and avoid Mind Control (unless it has detection nearby)
  • Use EMP Shockwave with Science Vessels to completely drain the Dark Archons Plasma Shields (but be wary of Feedback)
  • Use any unit to attack if you know the Dark Archon's energy has been used up

Protoss

  • Zealots in mass can quickly destroy Dark Archons
  • Use Dark Templar if you know that there is no detection near the Dark Archon(s)
  • Use Hallucination with High Templar to provide decoys against Dark Archon spells
  • Use Psionic Storm with High Templar to deter any incoming Dark Archons
  • Use any unit to attack if you know the Dark Archon's energy has been used up

Zerg

  • Use mass Zerglings to quickly destroy Dark Archons
  • Burrowed Hydralisks/Zerglings can be very useful for intercepting any incoming Dark Archon (in ground warfare)
  • Use any unit to attack if you know the Dark Archon's energy has been used up

Upgrades

Ground Armor Ground Armor
Level 1 - 100 100
Level 2 - 175 175
Level 3 - 250 250
Plasma Shields Plasma Shields
Level 1 - 200 200
Level 2 - 300 300
Level 3 - 400 400
Argus Talisman Argus Talisman
150 150
+50 Energy Capacity

Ground Armor - Each Upgrade adds +1 to Ground Armor for a total of +3 with all three upgrades.

Plasma Shields - Each Upgrade adds +1 to Shields for a total of +3 with all three upgrades.

Argus Talisman - This will allow the Dark Archon to build up more energy for special ability uses.

Upgrades

Feedback Feedback
Cost: 50 Energy
Range: 10

All Dark Archon power stems from manipulation of psychic energies. So great is their mastery of these techniques that they can affect the energies of other beings. Creating a forceful whiplash effect, the Dark Archon turns the power of its enemies against themselves.

Feedback is a targeted spell that when cast on a unit, that unit lose all of its mana and will take an amount of damage equal to the mana lost. Example: If a Science Vessel with 150 Energy Points is within the range of the spell and Feedback is cast on it, the Science Vessel will lose all 150 Energy Points as well as lose 150 HP instantaneously. If the unit has more Energy Points than HP when Feedback is used on it, the unit will instantly die.

Terran Units that can have Feedback used against them: Medics, Ghosts, Wraiths, Science Vessels and Battlecruisers.

Protoss Units that can have Feedback used against them: High Templar, Corsairs, Arbiters and other Dark Archons.

Zerg Units that can have Feedback used against them: Queens and Defilers.

Units that have no Energy Points will be unaffected by Feedback and the ability will be wasted on them. Also Feedback will not work on buildings that have energy points (i.e. ComSat Stations or Shield Batteries).

Mind Control Mind Control
200 200
Cost: 150 Energy
Range: 8

The ability to control the minds of others has long been thought to be impossible. This is the ultimate weapon in the Dark Archon's arsenal. Through a huge effort of will and energy, the Dark Archon dominates the mind of another being. This unit and its powers and knowledge now become the property of the Dark Archon.

The Dark Archon can capture any controllable unit (this excludes Spider Mines, Scarabs, Interceptors and Larvae) when this ability is used and transfer control to the owner of the Dark Archon. The ability requires 150 Energy Points and it will drain the shields from the Dark Archon when the ability is used (essentially leaving the Dark Archon defenseless and highly vulnerable to attack). Given the steep cost of its use, you should be careful in choosing which targets you capture. Note that once used, Mind Control is a permanent and irreversible effect, unless Mind Control is used to recapture the affected unit. You will always be able to tell which units you have Mind Controlled because any captured unit will be marked with your color.

The most intriguing use of Mind Control is the ability to capture an enemy worker unit (SCV, Probe or Drone) and building an entire colony with it (given that you have the resources). Once captured, each species under your control will require its own supply (Supply Depots for Terrans, Pylons for Protoss and Overlords for the Zerg). The fact that each supply source is interdependent of each other means that you can conceivably triple your usual unit limit (200 for Terran, 200 for Zerg and 200 for the Protoss you already control, for a total of 600 units under your command). However, you will use the same resource pool to build up each race so the matter of deciding which resource needs to be used for which task becomes that much more complicated. Also any units you Mind Control afterwards will count towards the supply units for the relevant species. You aren't limited by supply when you Mind Control, but if your Mind Controlled units require more supply than you possess, then you will not be able to produce any more units for that species.

Another excellent target for Mind Control is any enemy transport (Shuttle, Dropship or Overlord). Once Mind Controlled, the transport and any units it happens to be carrying ALL become yours to command. Not only does it give you the advantage of more units under your control, it also means your opponent has that much less to attack you with.

One thing to watch out for against Protoss opponents is Hallucinated Units. Mind Controlling a Hallucination will instantly kill the unit, so if you see this happen, rest assured that a unit dying after you Mind Controlled it is not a bug, but a Hallucination produced by your opponent(s).

Often enough, you don't need to Mind Control a unit just to be able to use it, Mind Control instantly changes the alliance of the affected unit and if it happens to be in the midst of an enemy force, they will react instantly to the new found enemy presence, which in turn draws fire away from any units that you may be using to attack the force. Example: If you capture a Terran ground unit that is between two or more Terran Siege Tanks in Siege Mode, the tanks will instantly retaliate with a blast on the new "enemy" which can kill any nearby units with the splash damage of the blast, while giving any of your attacking units more time to destroy the enemy.

Once Mind Controlled, an enemy's command queue is canceled, whether it be a command to move, attack or produce (i.e. Reavers queueing up Scarabs). The one exception is, if you Mind Control a Terran Ghost that has targeted a site for a Nuclear Strike, you then have the option to allow the the Nuclear Strike to follow through or cancel (if the Nuke is coming your way). However, if the Ghost has finished sighting for the Nuke when you Mind Control it, the Nuke will hit regardless of what you do with the Ghost.

Mind Control also transfers any unique upgrades that an affected unit may have received prior to the Mind Control (weapon, armor and shield upgrades do not transfer) to the player that used the Mind Control. Example: If you Mind Control a Dragoon with the Singularity Charge range upgrade, all of your existing and to-be-produced Dragoons will now have that upgrade. The upgrade capture also means that you will no longer be given the option to research the upgrade at your facilities.

One thing Mind Control does NOT transfer is the unit's knowledge of the map. Mind Controlling will not help you reveal any more of the map than you already have already explored.

Another thing Mind Control does NOT do is override the tech tree or transfer upgrades that are building dependent. In other words, Mind Controlling a Carrier does not mean you will suddenly be able to produce Carriers at your Stargate without a Fleet Beacon. Also Mind Controlling Terran Ghosts does not give you the ability to initiate a Nuclear Launch without a Nuclear Silo under your control.

Maelstrom Maelstrom
100 100
Cost: 100 Energy
Range: 10

All living things have minds for the Dark Archon to shape and mold. With a powerful surge of mental energy the Dark Archon can stun a group of erstwhile attackers.

Maelstrom is an area of effect (3 matrix radius, 1 matrix = 32 pixels) ability that will instantly stun (prevents the affected units from moving, attacking, or utilizing any special abilities) all organic ground or air units for 180 cycles (or ~12 seconds on Normal Game Speed). Once cast, be sure to have attack units ready to strike the frozen units as soon as possible so that you can take full advantage of the situation in the short time that the Maelstrom is in effect.

This ability is extremely useful against Zerg opponents since every Zerg unit is considered organic and with a few Dark Archons, you can immobilize an incoming Zerg force with ease, whether the force is airborne, on the ground or a combination of the two.

Against Terrans and Protoss, Maelstrom has a very limited effect. For the Terrans, only the Marine, Firebat, Medic and Ghost are affected. For the Protoss, only the Zealot, High Templar and Dark Templar are affected. All other units for both species do not classify as organic and hence Maelstrom is a wasted effort against them. If your opponent uses mass amounts of the affectable units, then Maelstrom may come in handy, but otherwise, you're better off saving the energy for other uses.

Maelstrom can also be used to reveal and immobilize Cloaked units (much like Ensnare or Plague), however, it will not reveal Burrowed Zerg units.

Maelstromed Hydralisks Maelstromed Hydralisks and Zealots

[ Click to Enlarge - 74 KB ]
A Dark Archon using Maelstrom on Hydralisks stuns them, allowing the Zealots and Dark Templar to attack without retaliation...

[ Click to Enlarge - 80 KB ]
...but be careful not to hit your own units.



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