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Play a Sound Protoss Zealot Templar Argus
Hit Points: 100
Plasma Shields: 60
Size: Small
Supply: 2
Cost: 100
Build Time: 40
Produced at: Gateway
Requires: Gateway
Base Ground Attack: 16
Base Air Attack: N/A
Base Armor: 1
Range: 1
Sight: 7
Cooldown: 22
Production Hot Key: Z

The heart and soul of the Protoss military are the fierce Zealots who have sworn their lives to the defense of Aiur. Through the path of the Khala, they learn to hone their innate battle rage to a fine edge. The power suits worn by Zealots enhance and channel their already formidable Psionic abilities, allowing them to form a protective shield around themselves and project massive energy blades from their forearms. Even a handful of these dedicated warriors can easily control an entire colony of other, lesser species, as they are capable of tearing through armored structures and vehicles alike.

The Zealot is the backbone warrior of the Protoss ground forces. While Terrans use a carefully controlled combination of ground troops and the Zerg must spend time and resources to research Hydralisks, Zealots are available to the Protoss almost immediately. With upgrades to Weapons, Armor, and Shields (as well as the key additional "Leg Enhancements" upgrade from the Citadel of Adun) Zealots are an integral part of your army throughout the entire game. The speed of the Zealots, their ability to absorb an immense pounding and excellent damage potential allows these warriors to bust through nearly any defense in significant numbers.

When attacked from the skies without proper air support, Zealots should retreat to Shield Batteries and Anti-Air defenses such as Photon Cannons or High Templar. If these units are unavailable, or you are in the middle of an attack against an enemy outpost, continue with the attack even if under fire from the enemy. In this instance, Zealots are effective suicide units, taking as much as they can in the way of buildings and high end units with them before they die.

A key Zealot weakness is their inability to engage airborne units. Terran players can use Wraiths and Battlecruisers to attack Zealots on the ground without fear of reprisal. Zerg players often defend their Hives with Hydralisks and Lurkers while building up a group of Mutalisks or Guardians to quickly take care of enemy Zealots. Protoss players can use a few Scouts to chase away Zealots; later employing Carriers to devastating effect. Dark Templar are also extremely effective against Zealots if the enemy Protoss player does not have Observers stationed nearby.

The other key weakness of the Zealot is their inability to attack at range. The Zealot must come in contact with an enemy before any damage can be inflicted. Troops such as Marines, Vultures, Siege Tanks, Dragoons, Reavers, Hydralisks or Lurkers can often do incredible damage to Zealots if not entirely destroying them before they can close to counter attack.

Raging Zealots Raging Zealots

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Zealots spearhead an attack against the Zerg.

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Zealots and Dark Templar attack a group of Zerg Hydralisks that are paralyzed by Maelstrom.

Countermeasures

Why then should you build anything but Zealots? There are quite a few reasons...

Terrans

  • Terrans can stop even large numbers of Zealots by placing Marines in Bunkers and then repairing the Bunkers with SCVs during combat.
  • Vultures can attack Zealots by using hit-and-run tactics or by luring them into fields of Spider Mines.
  • Masses of Firebats equipped with the Stim Pack upgrade can make short work of even large numbers of Zealots, especially when backed up by a small number of Marines and Medics.
  • During later stages of the game, the sheer destructive power of the Terran Siege Tank or any Aerial unit with the capability to attack ground units can become a serious hindrance for Zealots.
  • Science Vessels can use EMP Shockwave to completely deplete the plasma shields of the Zealots, leaving them especially vulnerable to Irradiate.
Cloaked Wraiths attack Zealots

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Cloaked Wraiths attack Zealots with impunity.

Protoss

  • The winner of straight Zealot-on-Zealot encounters is usually the larger force, or the one with the most upgrade.
  • The splash damage of the Reaver will wreak havoc on tightly packed groups of Zealots.
  • Superior Protoss air power can spell certain disaster for Zealots.
Zerg
  • Zealots can be overcome by sheer overwhelming numbers of Zerglings backed with Hydralisks.
  • If Zealots lack the Leg Enhancement upgrade, Hydralisks that have evolved Muscular Augments can continually move and shoot (known as "dancing") outside the melee range of the Zealot.
  • In the late game, Mutalisks, Guardians, and Zerglings with the Adrenal Glands upgrade can easily annihilate large groups of Zealots.
Sunken Colonies attack Zealots Lurkers attack defenseless Zealots

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Sunken Colonies fend off a Zealot attack.

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Zerg Lurkers put the Zealots on the run.

Upgrades

Ground Weapons Ground Weapons
Level 1 - 100 100
Level 2 - 150 150
Level 3 - 200 200
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
Leg Enhancements Leg Enhancements
150 150
Faster Zealot movement

Ground Weapons - Each upgrade adds +2 to Ground attack for a total of +6 with all three upgrades.

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.

Leg Enhancements - This is the most useful of the upgrades for Zealots as it allows them to reach their targets and engage in melee combat -- an essential factor for this unit's effectiveness in the later stages of a game.



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