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Overview

Fully Armed Zer'atai

The Dark Templar are a group of Protoss that have rejected the way of the Khala. They are identified by their severed nerve appendages, preventing access to the Psionic Communal Link. For their treason, the Dark Templar were banished from Aiur to the lightless world of Shakuras. On Shakuras, the Dark Templar rapidly evolved to forgo the need for sunlight and harnessed the energies of the Void. Dark Templars have have honed the ability to cloak themselves and use Warp Blades, modified Protoss Psi Blades found on Zealots.

Starcraft/Brood War

Dark TemplarStats
RaceProtoss
TypeGround, Small
RoleStealth Assassin
Cost125 minerals, 100 gas
Supply2
Build Time50s
Transport Slots2
Hitpoints80
Shields40
Armor1 (+1 for each Ground Armor Upgrade)
ArmamentWarp Blade
Ground Attack40
Cooldown30
Produce FromGateway
RequiresTemplar Archives
HotkeyK

In Starcraft I, the Dark Templar was a campaign only unit. The Dark Templar was added to multiplayer in the Brood War expansion pack.

Dark Templar can be considered a more fraile but more powerful Zealot. Once detected, Dark Templars rarely survive. Dark Templars are used for harassing the opposing player's economy. Their permanent cloaking allow the Dark Templar to sneak into enemy bases and their 40 damage Warp Blades can kill Drones and Probes in one hit (two for SCVs). In groups, Dark Templar can take out tech structures very quickly.

The DT is a key component in the now infamous Bisu build, popularized in 2007 by professional Starcraft player Bisu (the "Ninja Toss"). Against Zerg, the Protoss will build Corsairs and DT's. The Corsairs drive away the Overlords, stripping Zerg of its detection capability and allowing the Dark Templars free reign over the Zerg base. The strategy has fallen out of favor nowadays because it is one of the first strategies that a Zerg player learns to recognize and counter.

Beyond harassment, DT's can be effective scouts thanks to their cloak. A devious commander can block off chokepoints with hold position Dark Templars, preventing armies from advancing without detection. Occasionally a few Dark Templars are mixed with the main army to deal extra damage. If the opposing player is not attentive, the Dark Templar can deal massive damage to the opposing army. With proper micro, DT's can be used to diffuse spider mines, killing the mine in one shot before it detonates. This technique however is extremely micro intensive and easily prone to failure inexperienced hands. DT's can be carried in Shuttles to bomb Siege Tanks or drag mines toward Siege Tanks just like Zealots though more costly. Like their High Templar counterparts, the Dark Templar can merge to create the Dark Archon, a rarely used spellcaster unit.

Starcraft II

Dark TemplarStats
RaceProtoss
TypeBiological, Light, Psionic
RoleStealth Assassin
Cost125 minerals, 125 gas
Supply2
Build Time55s (45s with Warpgate)
Transport Slots2
Hitpoints40
Shields80
Armor1 (+1 for each Ground Armor Upgrade)
ArmamentWarp Blade
Ground Attack45
Cooldown1.694
Produce FromGateway
RequiresDark Shrine
HotkeyD
Lenassa Dark Templar (single blade) vs Zer'atai Dark Templar (scythe)

Dark Templars return in Starcraft II and fill the same roles. With the reunification of the Khalai Protoss and the Dark Templar, the Protoss army incorporates more Dark Templar technologies into their army. Dark Templars no longer merge into Dark Archons and instead merge into regular Archons. They can merge with High Templars to create Archons as well. Dark Templars in the SCII have their health and shields reversed, allowing them to recover more of their health should they escape death. Their increased ground attack allows them to kill SCVs in one hit. Originally Dark Templars came from the Templar Archives but it was decided that access to both Templars was too powerful. In SCII, the Dark Templar requires a Dark Shrine.

There are two models of Dark Templars in SCII. One model bears resemblance to the SC:BW model while the other wields a dual blade scythe and wears bone armor. Originally, Blizzard designed the dual bladed Dark Templar to differentiate the DT from the Zealot. After a fan poll, Blizzard kept both models of DT, justifying their existence as two different tribes of Dark Templar. In game, a random model is chosen when the player builds a DT.

Heroes

Zeratul

The most well known Dark Templar, Zeratul is a key character to the Starcraft Universe. He is a friend of Jim Raynor. In game, Zeratul has more hit points than a regular DT and does more damage. In Starcraft II, he can phase through and teleport across cliffs as well as trap units in a Void Prison.

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