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Play a Sound Protoss Shuttle Shuttle Aetherian III
Hit Points: 80
Plasma Shields: 60
Size: Large
Supply: 2
Cost: 200
Build Time: 40
Produced at: Robotics Facility
Requires: Robotics Facility
Base Ground Attack: N/A
Base Air Attack: N/A
Base Armor: 1
Range: N/A
Sight: 8
Cooldown: N/A
Production Hot Key: S

With skilled pilots at a premium, the Protoss have turned to robotic Shuttles to ferry troops over rough terrain and into hostile territory. They are equipped with powerful thrusters, allowing them to carry even massive Reavers within their hulls, but they are not armed with any defensive systems other than a basic energy shield.

The Shuttle has the limited capacity of 8 Slots for unit transport. Specific numbers are as follows:

Probe - Requires 1 slot (8 Max)
Zealot - Requires 2 slot (4 Max)
Dragoon - Requires 4 slots (2 Max)
High Templar - Requires 2 slots (4 Max)
Dark Templar - Requires 2 slots (4 Max)
Reaver - Requires 4 slots (2 Max)
Archon - Requires 4 slots (2 Max)
Dark Archon - Requires 4 slots (2 Max)

Any combination of these units can be loaded into the Shuttle as long as they don't require more than 8 Slots in total.

The Shuttle is best used for transporting units that either cannot travel very fast on their own or cannot travel over certain types of terrain. In land warfare, you will usually want to keep the slow moving Reavers and High Templar in Shuttles to quickly get them to the front lines or to execute sneak attacks against enemy bases. In island warfare, Shuttles are absolutely essential for transporting ground units from island to island, whether as part of a "drop" attack or for the creation of expansion bases.

Every player should remember that when using Shuttles, you must always be ready to unload any units being carried by a damaged Shuttle. If a Shuttle is destroyed while transporting units not only is the Shuttle lost, but the units inside will also perish. This can be a crushing blow to a Protoss player. Remember that once a unit is unloaded from a Shuttle, the unit undergoes a cooldown period before being able to attack.

The Gravitic Drive speed upgrade is something that you should get as soon as you begin Shuttle production. The increase in speed can mean the difference between victory and defeat. However, even if you do get the speed upgrade, be sure to escort your Shuttles with Scouts or Corsairs to increase the chance of a successful transport. Enemy units will normally engage the Scouts or Corsairs first, allowing you time to either unload the Shuttle's cargo or make a hasty retreat.

Another tactic to employ that will increase the chances of a successful unloading of ground forces into a combat situation is creating Shuttle decoys with the High Templar Hallucination ability. In most cases, if you keep the real Shuttles behind the decoys, your enemy will not be able to destroy the real Shuttles before you unload your units.

The Shuttle can also serve as a haven for the High Templar and Dark Archon, keeping them safe while their Energy recharges. While inside of a shuttle, a Templar cannot be targeted by the Spawn Broodling or Irradiate ability, either. This can also be useful for the Reaver while queuing up production of Scarabs.

Countermeasures

Terrans

  • Stim Packed Marines can quickly take down a Shuttle, but be sure to position the Marines below the Shuttle before beginning your attack.
  • Wraiths, Valkyries and Battlecruisers can hunt down Shuttles anywhere on the map.
  • Goliaths can hit Shuttles at long ranges with their Charon Booster range upgrade.
  • Place Missile Turrets around your town to make enemy Shuttle landings more difficult.

Cloaked Wraiths chase a Shuttle Missile Turret hits a Shuttle

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Cloaked Wraiths chase down a Shuttle in between the enemy Corsairs that cannot see them.

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A Missile Turret drives a Shuttle away.

Protoss

  • Dragoons can destroy Shuttles with ease, but be sure to position the Dragoons below the Shuttle before beginning your attack.
  • Scouts, Corsairs and Carriers can hunt down Shuttles anywhere on the map.
  • Place Photon Cannons around your towns to prevent Shuttle landings.
  • Use Mind Control with Dark Archons to capture Shuttles and any units they may be carrying.
  • Use the High Templar's Psionic Storm ability to damage or destroy Shuttles and any units they might be unloading.

Corsair hits Shuttle Shuttle hit with Psionic Storm

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A Corsair takes out a Shuttle leaving a Reaver on its own.

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A Shuttle and Reaver are Psionic Stormed by an enemy High Templar.

Zerg

  • Hydralisks can easily destroy passing or incoming Shuttles, but be sure to concentrate the firepower of all your Hydralisk against the Shuttle.
  • Mutalisks, Devourers and especially Scourge (only two are required) can hunt down Shuttles anywhere on the map.
  • Place Spore Colonies around your towns to prevent Shuttle landings.
  • Queens can use their Ensnare ability to slow down incoming or passing Shuttles.
  • Queens can use their Parasite ability to keep an eye on enemy Shuttle activity. This is one of the best counters to use as it makes the Shuttle virtually worthless for surprise attacks. Not many people want to Shuttle troops around when you know where they are going

Hydralisks attack Shuttle Scourges and Mutalisks chase a Shuttle

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Hydralisks intercept a Shuttle in mid-flight.

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This Shuttle is in big trouble as Scourge and Mutalisks chase it down.

Mutalisks chase a Shuttle... ...Templar responds with Psionic Storm

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Mutalisks chase down a Shuttle...

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... and the Shuttle drops off a High Templar that casts a Psionic Storm on the Mutalisks.

Upgrades

Air Armor Air Armor
Level 1 - 150 150
Level 2 - 225 225
Level 3 - 300 300
Plasma Shields Plasma Shields
Level 1 - 200 200
Level 2 - 300 300
Level 3 - 400 400
Gravitic Drive Gravitic Drive
200 200
Faster Shuttle movement

Air Armor - Each upgrade adds +1 to 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.

Gravitic Drive - The Gravitic Drive upgrade greatly increases the speed of the Shuttle, allowing units to be transported across large maps in a very short time when compared to the slower Terran Dropships and Zerg Overlords.



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