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Protoss Reaver Protoss Reaver Reaver Ragnarok VII
Hit Points: 100
Plasma Shields: 80
Size: Large
Supply: 4
Cost: 200 100
Build Time: 70
Produced at: Robotics Facility
Requires: Robotics Support Bay
Base Ground Attack: 100s/125s Upgraded
Base Air Attack: N/A
Base Armor: 0
Range: 8
Sight: 10
Cooldown: 60
Production Hot Key: V

Assaulting an enemy encampment can be a very costly affair and, rather than needlessly sacrificing lives, the Protoss have developed a robotic war machine known as the Reaver to use as mobile artillery. The Reaver is heavily armored and houses a micro-manufacturing plant to produce tiny, highly explosive drones called Scarabs. Although the Reaver carries no weapons, a well-placed wave of Scarabs can reduce both troops and buildings to rubble in moments.

The Reaver has an immense potential for causing ground damage against both units and structures. Each of the Scarabs deployed from the Reaver explodes with a small radius of splash damage, either heavily damaging or outright killing units within their radius. This makes the Reaver particularly effective against massed groups of enemy ground units. This damage can also be increased with an upgrade at the Robotics Support Bay for even better results per Scarab. Be very careful when using Reavers in combat with supporting allied troops since, although the splash damage of a Scarab will not damage your own troops or buildings, your allies are not as lucky. Misused, Reavers can cause more damage to your ally than to your enemy.

In addition to the awesome damage they can inflict, the Reaver can fire Scarabs from an impressive range. This comes in handy when invading an enemy base fortified with Bunkers, Photon Cannons or Sunken Colonies. The only ground unit with a greater range is the Terran Siege Tank when in Siege Mode.

However, this awesome power comes at a price. The Reaver has key weaknesses that can be exploited by the enemy. To compensate for these shortcomings, you should always have some form of support nearby for the Reaver. Dragoons, High Templars, Scouts, Zealots, and especially Shuttles can all add to the effectiveness of Reavers in different ways.

The first weakness of the Reaver is their very slow rate of fire, which is accompanied by the slow build time of Scarabs. During the long pauses between the firing of Scarabs, the Reaver is completely open to attacks. An enemy with units to burn can swarm in and, while risking the loss of a large number of attackers, still destroy the Reaver before it can fire again.

Secondly, the Reaver does not have the ability to attack aerial targets. To compensate for this, you'll need to make sure that they are always accompanied by Dragoons, Scouts, Corsairs, or Carriers to ensure that your Reavers live long enough to destroy oncoming enemy ground forces.

Finally, the Reaver is the slowest moving ground unit found in StarCraft. This can make moving Reavers from one location to another an agonizing affair unless a means of transport is employed. The best way to transport Reavers is with a Shuttle. Not only do Shuttles position Reavers for an attack much more quickly, they can also fly over terrain that Reavers may not be able to cross over themselves. Shuttles also allow a Protoss player to position Reavers at vulnerable, less defended areas of an enemy base.

The Reaver/Shuttle combination is one that every Protoss player should grasp. The infamous "Reaver Drop" which uses only one Shuttle loaded with one or two Reavers can be devastating against even the best of players. The key to this particular tactic lies in the element of surprise and the efficient control of the Reaver. To begin, choose a lightly guarded enemy colony as a target and then use a Shuttle to fly in through the "backdoor" of the base. Typically, the best target is the area of your enemy's base near their mineral clusters and Vespene gas where their workers are busy mining and are tightly packed. Fly the Shuttle near the target area (trying to avoid detection as much as possible) and unload one of your Reavers while keeping the Shuttle nearby. Wait for the Reaver to fire and watch your opponent's workers die en masse. Keep a sharp eye out for any retaliation, but until then, let your Reaver go about its business while keeping the Reaver as the active selection. At the first sign of a counter-attack, right-click on the shuttle, and the Reaver should immediately load back in. Now proceed with your getaway post haste.

Once you become more experienced with the tactic of Reaver dropping/loading with a Shuttle, you can use "The Drop" in the middle of a battle to decimate your opponent's forces while keeping the Reaver fairly safe. Also, remember that Reavers can build more Scarabs while inside a Shuttle so, queue up Scarab production before loading your Reavers into Shuttles, if possible. This Scarab production is most efficiently accomplished by pressing the hot key R repeatedly until the queue slots are filled. This tactic will ensure that when you next drop your Reavers, they'll be fully armed and ready for attack. Finally, the most important thing to pay attention to during a Reaver drop is the integrity of the Shuttle. Make sure that you are ready to unload your Shuttle at anytime if it is damaged. It is better to be safe than sorry - and it is certainly better that your Reavers survive to destroy one more time, than being destroyed needlessly when a damaged Shuttle goes down.

Reaver Drop... ... with support.

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On an Island map, a Protoss player sends in a good early Reaver drop...

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...as a Dragoon provides support fire for the Reaver and Shuttle.

Reaver and Templar take on Dragoons A Reaver drop on a Zerg Town

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A Reaver and a High Templar take out enemy Dragoons.

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A Reaver drop consisting of a Reaver and two Zealots puts the heat on a Zerg town.

Reavers defend at town Reavers defend at town
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Two Reavers defend their home base...
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...causing mass destruction on a pack of Hydralisks.
Reaver War... ...Who's got the fastest draw?

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Reaver wars can be an impressive sight...

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...in which micromanagement is always the key.

Countermeasures

The best way to counter a Reaver drop is to kill its escorting Shuttle. Use air units to get rid of the Shuttle then fire on the Reaver from above. If that is not possible, use long range weapons such as the Siege Tanks to hit the Reaver before it can attack. If ground units are the only option, keep them spread out so only a few units (or at best only one) are hit at once.

Terrans

  • If a Reaver Drop is expected, build up to Siege Tanks as quickly as possible and place a few of them around your town. Place Bunkers or Missile Turrets next to the Tanks to prevent the Protoss player from dropping the Reaver adjacent to the Tank. Tanks in Siege Mode can usually hit Reavers before they can launch a Scarab.
  • Attack the Reaver from all sides with groups of Stim Packed Marines or Firebats, setting one ahead of the rest of the group as a sacrifice. Although this kind of attack requires a great deal of micro-management to work, it is highly effective.
  • Wraiths or Battlecruisers can attack Reavers with complete impunity
  • Use a Marine or Tank protected by a Defensive Matrix to absorb Scarab hits while the rest of your forces destroy the Reaver.
Siege Tank fights a Reaver Drop

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A good defense against early Reaver drops is to set up Siege Tanks around your resources.

Protoss

  • Dark Templar can easily destroy Reavers if they can approach undetected.
  • Dragoons that are spread out can destroy a Reaver before it causes too much damage. Dragoons can also supplement the Photon Cannon defenses of a base, thus preventing a drop in the first place.
  • Scouts and Carriers can attack Reavers with complete impunity
  • Use the Psionic Storm ability of the High Templar to fry the slow moving Reaver.
  • Using a Dark Archon to Mind Control the enemy's Reaver can easily turn the tide of a battle.

Corsairs attack a Shuttle... ... and a High Templar follows up with Psionic Storm.

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Corsairs hunt a Reaver loaded Shuttle...

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...and a High Templar follows up with a Psionic Storm.

Zerg

  • Massed Zerglings with the Adrenal Glands Upgrade can overwhelm lone, unsupported Reavers.
  • Hydralisks that are spread out can destroy a Reaver in quick order.
  • If undetected, Lurkers can deter Reaver attacks in any given area.
  • Mutalisks and Guardians can attack Reavers with complete impunity

The Zerg corner a Reaver Mutalisks take down a Reaver

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A well separated group of Hydralisks and Zerglings make short work of an invading Reaver.

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Mutalisks defend the Zerg colony from Reavers with ease.

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
Scarab Damage Scarab Damage
200 200
Increased Scarab Damage
Increased Reaver Capacity Increased Reaver Capacity
200 200
+5 Max Scarabs

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.

Scarab Damage - This upgrade adds 25 points to the damage inflicted by a Scarab. Although not usually as useful as the Increased Reaver Capacity upgrade, it is still helpful in reducing the time and Scarabs required to destroy a target.

Increased Reaver Capacity - If you plan on utilizing Reavers in your mix of forces, you should research this upgrade as quickly as possible.



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