We have decided to NOT include specific information such as stats and costs at this time as we have with other unit pages.
Nexus – Pylon – Assimilator – Gateway – Warp Gate – Forge – Photon Cannon – Cybernetics Core – Twilight Council
Probe – Zealot – Stalker – Sentry – Phoenix – Void Ray – Observer – Warp Prism – Immortal – High Templar – Archon
Dark Templar – Carrier – Interceptor – Mothership – Colossus
Protoss buildings are warped in by Probes. The advantage is that you do not have to lose a worker to constructing the building permanently or until it’s done like the Terran or Zerg. They also have shield points for all of their buildings which regenerate over time. Plasma Shield upgrades help their defense, and are only for the Protoss. The downsides to Protoss buildings are they are expensive, take longer to build, and need to be placed near Pylons or Warp Prisms with their ability on for power.
There are four types of buildings in StarCraft.
- Defensive: Structures that have weapons to attack enemy units. (Photon Cannon)
This is the Protoss base building, the Nexus. It is the foundation of your economy due to it’s ability to collect the resources workers gather, and is the requirement of the most basic buildings aside from Pylons and Assimilators. It must be built a short distance away from any nearby resources. Any Protoss player on a non UMS map should try to have at least one of these at all times.
The StarCraft II Nexus gets an upgrade with the Chrono Boost ability to research an ability that you can use to increase the operating speeds of research and factory buildings you own for 30 seconds. It keeps its ability from StarCraft to build Probes and provide Psi.
The other new thing with the Nexus is you can also construct a Mothership (Fleet Beacon required) here as opposed to just Probes.
The Protoss Pylon is a building of necessity. The Protoss do not construct buildings on the battlefield, but instead warp them in. Pylons come in by providing power to do this. Basically, you cannot build anything other than a Nexus or Assimilator without a Pylon. Pylons provide energy to buildings in a radius around the Pylon. If the Pylon gets destroyed, the buildings will lose their energy and will become unpowered making them sitting targets that cannot perform actions until a new Pylon is built near them. Also very importantly, Pylons provide psi so you can build more units.
Use Pylons with Warp Gates in strategic places to bring in reinforcements or attacks. Pylons can also be placed around the edges of your base to help spot incoming attacks if you do not have Observers around there. Pylons are also useful in competitive play by placing them at expansions near their base so they have to destroy them in order to build a Nexus/Command Center/Hatchery there.
To gather Vespene Gas from worlds, the Protoss require an Assimilator to be warped in. The Assimilator is placed on a Vespene Gas Geyser and Probes can then gather Vespene Gas from the Assimilator and return it to your Nexus. The Assimilator has one use, but is important if you want to build the majority of your units and buildings.
A new thing with the StarCraft II Assimilator is that you can no longer collect Vespene Gas when it runs out. Once the Geyser is depleted, it’s done.
One tactic with Assimilators and Extractors are to perform a Gas Steal which involves placing one in the enemy base within the first couple minutes of the game. Players then have to build units to destroy them before they can get Vespene Gas. Sometimes enemy players will take all their workers to attack your Assimilator while it is building causing them to lose out on a lot of minerals.
The Gateway gets a lot of changes this time around. It still warps in ground units, but with more versatility. Zealots, High and Dark Templars (Templar Archives for High Templars and Dark Shrine for Dark Templars) are still made here, with the Sentries and Stalkers (Cybernetics Core) added in.
A big change is that Gateways can now research and use an ability (From the Cybernetics Core) to transform itself into a Warp Gate. Warp Gates can create units like a Gateway, except they actually will be on the map while being constructed and do it faster at a cost. More information is in their section below.
Don’t worry, if you prefer the Gateway after testing it out, you can always just transform it back. These new changes make the Gateway a building that players will need to pay more attention to rather than just setting a rally point and building some units.
Protoss Warp Gate
The Warp Gate is a new Protoss Building and is a new form of the Gateway. It requires a Gateway (Obviously) and the Warp Gate Upgrade from the Cybernetics Core.
Gateways can now research and use an ability to transform itself into a Warp Gate. Warp Gates can create units like a Gateway, except they actually will be on the map while being constructed. This means they can take damage while building. However, the benefits are you can create these units anywhere a Pylon or Warp Prism is providing a Warp Aura and they will be warped in faster than normal. After the unit is warped in, there is a cool down equal to the normal build time of the unit.
The Warp Gate therefore becomes useful in situations where you need to get troops on the field somewhere fast. You can warp them to the Warp Prism when they use the mobile Pylon ability anywhere on the field, or just to an expansion under attack.
Don’t worry, if you prefer the Gateway after testing it out, you can always just transform it back.
The Forge is the first research building available to the Protoss. It allows you to upgrade your Ground Weapons and Armor for your ground units. It also allows you to upgrade your Plasma Shields so that damage taken to your Shield Points is reduced for all Protoss units and buildings. Like everything else, the Forge can only research one upgrade at a time. In order to get past level 1 upgrades, you need a Twilight Council.
It functions the same as in SCBW and is still the requirement for the Photon Cannon.
Protoss Photon Cannon
Photon Cannons function the same way as they did in SCBW. Same attack and same Detection ability. This makes the Photon Cannon a great defensive building again.
Photon Cannons are great static defense buildings due to their long detection range. They are typically used by Protoss Players for defense around their ramp, mineral line, and sides of their base. Offensively, players will perform Cannon Rushes to quickly end a match is they can get the Cannons built early on before the enemy can deal with it, and then leap frog closer into their base until you win.
Protoss Cybernetics Core
The second research building for the Protoss is the Cybernetics Core. The counterpart to the Forge, it is for upgrading your Air Weapons and Armor. Like everything else, it can only research one at a time, so warping in 2 would be a good idea. A Fleet Beacon is required for leveling up your upgrades past level 1. It also allows players to start building advanced buildings.
The new Cybernetics Core can get two more upgrades. The upgrade to allow Gateways to transform into Warp Gates, and the upgrade for the Hallucination ability now belonging to the Sentry. Finally, it unlocks the Stalker and the Sentry to be built at the Gateway.
Protoss Twilight Council
Similar to the Citadel of Adun, the Twilight Council has an upgrade for Zealots. The Charge upgrade allows Zealots to rush at a target quicker than normal for a very short period of time and also provides the passive speed bonus the Leg Enhancements from the Citadel of Adun gave them.
Stalkers also get a very useful ability here. Blink allows the Stalker to teleport on the battlefield a short distance. This can be very useful for many situations, such as blinking past an enemy’s defensive buildings or into the fray quickly.
The last thing to note about the Twilight Council is that it allows the Forge to upgrade past level 1 for all of its upgrades.
The Stargate has changed a bit, but only in the units it warps in. Now the only familiar unit it produces is a Carrier. The Phoenix and Void Ray can be built right away, a Carrier still requires a Fleet Beacon.
Protoss Robotics Facility
Robotics Facility comes back with entirely new units aside from the Observer. Off the bat it can produce the Observer, Warp Prism, and Immortal. When you get a Robotics Bay you can start building a Colossus.
Protoss Templar Archives
Templar Archives is the requirement for building High Templars at your Gateway.
Psionic Storm is the only ability you can research here. The same powerful AoE ability from SC1.
Protoss Dark Shrine
The Dark Shrine is a strange building. It is the first building that enables building a unit, but nothing else. At this point, the only thing a Dark Shrine does is fills the requirement for warping in Dark Templar in at a Gateway.
Protoss Fleet Beacon
Another building brought back from SC1, the Fleet Beacon allows for some strong air units again. Carriers become enabled at the Stargate once you have one of these. The Mothership can also be built at a Nexus (But you can only own 1 of them at a time). The Fleet Beacon also right off the bat enables leveling up your Air Weapons and Armor past level 1.
Only one upgrade is available, which allows your Carriers to launch out its Interceptors faster.
Protoss Robotics Bay
The final Protoss Building is the Robotics Bay (short for Robotics Support Bay). It unlocks the creation of the Colossus at the Robotics Facility, and has some upgrades for units there that you can research.
The first upgrade boosts the speed of the Observer. The second is for increasing the speed of Warp Prisms. And the last is an increase of the range of the Colossus, giving it a 50% boost.
Protoss units are warped in by buildings, which are themselves warped in by Probes. The Protoss units generally build slower and are more expensive than other races, but have higher stats. All Protoss units are protected by Plasma Shields, which are basically Hit Points with their own Armor settings and regenerate over time. Combat units make use of Psionic and Energy weapons, and Protoss units such as Dark Templar and Observers are the only units to benefit from passive cloaking.
There are two types of units.
- Ground Units: These units can only travel over ground terrain and are thus limited to the rules of terrain. (Probe, Zealot, Stalker, Sentry, High Templar, Dark Templar, Archon, Colossus)
- Air Units: These units can fly around the battlefield without having to follow the rules of terrain. (Phoenix, Void Ray, Observer, Warp Prism, Carrier, Interceptor, Mothership)
Probes are the worker unit for the Protoss, and thus warp in buildings, gather Minerals and Vespene Gas, and have a weak melee range attack. They are built at a Nexus and in normal Melee based maps you start with some along with your Nexus.
The Probe can warp in Protoss Buildings following the Tech Tree and can only build the vast majority when powered by a Pylon or the Warp Prism’s ability.
Probes are generally used for their mining and worker capacity. In competitive play, they are also used for scouting, building Pylons near enemy bases for warping in units, cheeses like Cannon Rushing and Worker Rushing, and the blocking of expansions (A well placed Pylon can keep an enemy from being able to build a Nexus/Command Center/Hatchery right away).
They are sometimes used in conjunction with scouting in the first minute or two of the game to not only gather info about the enemy base, but to build an Assimilator or two on the opponent’s vespene gay geysers. This prevents them from getting gas very early on, gives you a way to check how many workers they have built, and see what they build to attack it or how long they ignore it. All of this gives you more information on your enemy and can sometimes lead to lower level players taking off all their workers to get rid of the assimilators that were not a threat anyhow.
The Zealot is the first ground combat unit you get and it is warped in at the Gateway. It uses its powerful Psi Blades to cut into enemies. One thing to note about their attack is that like in StarCraft Brood War, it’s total damage is the sum of two attacks, thus it is effected by the enemy unit’s armor twice. Since they are a melee unit, you should try to send them in against enemies in packs or with ranged units to soak up damage.
Their new Charge ability developed at the Twilight Council allows the Zealot to rush a short distance extremely quickly in order to start slicing up the opposition quicker. This gives your Zealots the ability to chase down enemies that would normally be able to kite them easily.
Zealots have a nice advantage over other tier 1 offensive units with the Warp Gate. Since they can be warped in anywhere there is a power field, you can get your Zealots out to the field and be less noticeable about where they came from. This is especially useful with early aggression strategies like a 4 Gate.
Zealots are most useful however at the beginning. Later on they become as more of a way to dump minerals and to absorb damage and as a distraction to the opponent while ranged units like Stalkers, Immortals, or Colossi do the real damage.
A fast favorite for new Protoss players, the Stalker has a ranged weapon that hits ground and air. Stalkers are built at the Gateway and require a Cybernetics Core.
Their Blink ability gives them a special advantage over the Dragoon. They can teleport a short distance allowing them to quickly join in combat, chase down enemies, skip over defenses, and jump up to higher terrain.
Stalkers are much stronger than Sentries when it comes to anti air for the Protoss ground units. Stalkers are most useful in combination with the other ground units. They are great for hit and run and worker harassment using the Blink ability.
Blink has some important things that need to be noted. Control wise, if you tell the Stalkers to move to a point, hold shift, and then Blink to the point you want to Blink to, all the Stalkers will move there and then use Blink. This is very helpful since a lot of the time Blink used improperly can cause them to be left behind and separated. For harassment, you can use a Observer or air unit to get high ground vision of a cliff, Blink Stalkers up into the enemy’s base, attack the Workers or key targets, and then Blink back down when you are in danger.
The Sentry is a spell casting unit with an attack that hits quickly against air and ground. It requires a Cybernetics Core to be built at the Gateway.
They have three special abilities. Force Field will stop units targeted in the area from moving until it runs out. Guardian Shield reduces all ranged attacks that hit your units near the aura by 2. Hallucination works differently than in SCBW. You can even Hallucinate units that you have not yet built. Depending on the unit you pick you may even get multiple ones. Fakes take double damage and can be instantly eliminated by Psionic Storm and certain weapons like Sniper Rounds.
Sentries are most useful early on with Force Field and Hallucination. Force Fields can be used effectively in defensive to block enemies from going up the ramp into your base. Offensively you can use this spell to block their ramp which can be useful if they have built an expansion and only have units at either their main base or expansion but not the other, allowing you to deal damage to the main base’s workers/key targets or to take out their expansion. Mid to Late game it is used a lot with Colossi and other ranged units to trap them and separate them so they have more damage dealt to them.
Hallucination can be used early to mid game before Observers by making powerful units to freak out other players, or more commonly to make Phoenixes to scout the enemy. Later in the game you can mix Hallucinations into your army to absorb some damage while you fight.
Guardian Shield is only good during battle of course, and is especially useful against Terran players since they only have ranged attackers. Reducing the incoming damage is always a great thing to have, so commonly in combination with Zealots and Stalkers, Sentries will use Guardian Shield to protect your units or prolong a losing battle.
The Phoenix is a unit similar to the Corsair as it is an anti air unit. It is built at a Stargate.
The Phoenix has a special ability, Graviton Beam, which will lift light ground units into the air for 10 seconds so that the Phoenix can target it. While they are lifting the units however, they will not be able to regenerate their Energy Points like normal.
For Anti Air units, Protoss has the Phoenix. It has the advantage of having a damage boost to Light units (Zerg unit primarily), and comes out very slightly on top of Vikings (However the Terran player should have the advantage with the higher numbers due to the Reactor). Since a lot of Protoss games tend to rely on other units, Phoenixes end up in a support or harass role.
Graviton Beam is very useful against strong ground units to temporarily remove them from the fight. It can also be used early on or when the opponent is busy to pick off his workers if you have a few Phoenixes with energy and there are no anti air defenses at the mineral line.
Protoss Void Ray
An interesting new unit, the Void Ray is built at the Stargate. It can target both ground and air with its fast but weak attack. The part that makes it a strong unit is it has an advantage when targeting units with lots of Armor or HP. As long as it is targeting a single unit, it’s damage will increase over time. This is what gives the Void Ray it’s Surgical Role in the Protoss Army.
Void Rays are most powerful in large numbers, but are costly to do so. However, Void Rays can take out units lacking anti air attacks and armored units well. Bases can be wiped out quite quickly with even a small force of them, so if you want to focus on ground units and send some Void Rays to deal a lot economic and base damage while the fight occurs you may not win the fight but may win the war.
Void Rays are at their best in maps like Scrap Station where there is a short distance to the enemy’s base. Just keep in mind that they are weak to massive numbers of anti air units like Marines, Stalkers, or Hydralisks and need to be careful or EMP and Fungal Growth. If you see another player building up Ultras, Thors, or Colossi, a few Void Rays can be used to wipe them out with ease.
Observers function in SCII the same way they do in SC. They are built at the Robotics Facility. Observers are ideal detector units because they can fly and have a passive cloaking ability.
In SCII the Robotics Bay has an upgrade to increase the movement speed of the Observer.
Observers are an important unit for the Protoss. Typically, players will build one as the first unit out of their Robotics Facility each game because of the need for mobile detection in this game. Observers are by far the most useful detector in the game as well, due to their permanent cloak and being an air unit.
As soon as you start getting Observers on the map you get a great boost in scouting. You can check what your enemies are up to and where they are. Putting a couple near your base on the outskirts can give you a heads up on an incoming air assault or harassment. Most importantly, Protoss players should always bring an Observer with their army against another player (Zerg players are not as much of an issue with this due to their lack of cloaked units, but you may want to bring one with a ground army anyhow just in case of burrowed Banelings). Stalkers are an important unit to couple with Observers, giving them high ground vision for attacks and Blink.
Protoss Warp Prism
A combination of the Shuttle and a Pylon, the Warp Prism is a creative new support unit. It is built by the Robotics Facility.
The Warp Prism can carry 8 slots worth of units (Multiple slots can be taken up by large units like in SC). But the main reason this is a creative unit is because it has an ability to basically turn itself into a Pylon. While in this mode, it allows powering of buildings and warping in of units from a Warp Gate which can be great tactically. However, while in this mode it cannot move.
Warp Prisms are a unit that do not see a ton of use in competitive play, but can still be quite helpful. As with other transports, they can give you an opportunity to drop ground units into the enemy base for attacks or harassment. The advantage they have in this regard compared to other races comes from being able to change modes so that it creates a power field for Warp Gates to make use of. This allows players to take advantage of a situation where an opponent does not have vision of a spot in their base that you notice and then start warping units into their base until you are ready to attack.
Another new unit, the Protoss Immortal is a strong anti ground unit, and very adept at taking out armored units. It deals high damage but only against single ground targets. You can build it at the Robotics Facility.
The Immortal’s name stems from its powerful ability. Hardened Shield allows the Immortal to reduce incoming non spell or nuke damage to 10 (As long as it still has Shield Points. The Shield Points upgrade level is not taken into effect to reduce damage below 10). This is a great ability against strong units, just make sure to watch your Shield Points.
Immortals are most useful against the main armored ground units Terran and Protoss armies are comprised of such as Siege Tanks, Thors, Stalkers, and Colossi if the enemy does not make use of their larger range. Due to their attack’s medium range, most players opt for Colossi with the Thermal Lance upgrade. But if you are playing against a Terran who is using Vikings, Immortals and Stalkers can launch an attack without having to worry about 16 Vikings coming in and one shotting their Colossi. Immortals however due to not end up seeing much use against Zerg, as their ground units (aside from Ultralisks) can tear them apart without worry.
Protoss High Templar
The returning spell caster, High Templar, is back with two abilities again. You can warp in a High Templar at a Gateway after building a Templar Archives.
The first and signature Protoss spell is the Psionic Storm ability. Psionic Storm deals a good deal of damage to an area on the battlefield while it lasts for a few seconds. Any Hallucinations targeted by it will instantly be destroyed. However multiple Psi Storms on the same spot still does not do additional damage. It must first be researched at the Templar Archives.
The second ability is another familiar one. Feedback deals damage to the target unit based on how many Energy Points it has. It also brings their Energy to 0.
One thing to note about Templars are that Archon Meld has been changed. You can still use 2 High Templar to create an Archon, or you can use a mix of High and Dark Templars (Or 2 Dark Templar).
High Templars are another unit that do not see a ton of use in competitive play. Their Psionic Storm ability is still very good combined with drops against workers. Feedback is most useful against Ghosts so you can avoid their EMP and disable their cloak. It is also very helpful against the pesky Infestor’s Fungal Growth. But Feedback is a good way to knock out any Energy using unit that you want to pick on.
Another returning unit, the powerhouse Archon makes very minor changes in SCII. The Archon is made from combining the energy of two Templars (High, High and Dark, or Just Dark).
The Archon can again target both Air and Ground units with it’s Psionic Shockwave attack (which still splashes to hit nearby units). But now it also has the a stronger added bonus of dealing extra damage to biological units such as the Zerg and Terran Infantry.
Archons are another Protoss unit that doesn’t see much use competitively. The most popular usage of them is with the “Archon Toilet” tactic using the Mothership’s Vortex ability to pull all the enemy units in and your own Archons. When the Archons and everything else come out their splash damage will deal massive damage.
Archons generally come into play when High Templars run out of energy or when Dark Templar get spotted. They are generally best against Bio armies with Terran opponents and against the Zerg units. The problem is the cost of the Archon generally doesn’t outweigh the damage output.
Protoss Dark Templar
The strong stealth warrior, the Dark Templar, returns in StarCraft II. In order to warp them in, you will need a Dark Shrine and a Gateway.
The Dark Templar is just about the same as it was in SCBW. It has it’s passive cloaking ability, and it’s strong Warp Blade melee attack against ground units and buildings.
Dark Templar are great for surprise attacks when the enemy lacks detection. DT Rushes are thus generally done to greatly damage or defeat an unprepared opponent. Mid to late game they are either skipped or limited in use though. The problem generally is that if the opponent has too few holes in their detection it’s not worth the cost and the lengthy build time required to get them. But if you can find a way to attack with them you can usually get a good amount of damage in. One tip against Terran players is that they usually rely on Scanner Sweep to detect you instead of Ravens. So attack them until they use a Scanner Sweep, run out, and come back after the spell expires.
Another useful function for Dark Templar is to give you control of the Watch Towers on the map without being noticed as easily. Another point is that if the enemy has control of a Watch Tower you can generally take them out with DT since they are not as likely to bring a detector unit to an area where they are getting wide vision from anyhow.
Another strong StarCraft unit returns for StarCraft II. The Carrier can be warped in at the Stargate once a Fleet Beacon has been created.
The Carrier does not have an attack of it’s own, instead you construct Interceptors (8 max by default) for it which it carries and launches out to attack enemies. The downside is the added cost, the plus is that this distracts your opponents (especially computers) from targeting the Carrier themselves.
The Fleet Beacon has a new upgrade which when researched allows the Carrier to launch out it’s Interceptors faster than before.
Carriers are a very strong air unit but the cost makes them a very rare choice. Not only are they are expensive to begin with, but you have to build and rebuild the Interceptors and that adds up quickly. Ignoring this, the Carrier is a very strong unit with huge range. You can launch the Interceptors and attack, then back away and let them absorb the damage. They are best used against computers rather than competitive play though, since Colossi and Void Rays can make a great damage dealer as well at a much lower cost.
The final unit for the Protoss returning from the original, the Interceptor is also in StarCraft II. It is built by the Carrier, and acts as its weapon, not as its own individual unit. A Carrier can hold a default maximum of 8 Interceptors and can rebuild any lost Interceptors. One thing to note about their attack is that like Zealots, it hits twice and the damage is affected by the target’s armor twice.
The Interceptor is a weak weapon, but due to the quantity of them (especially in packs of Carriers), a swarm of Interceptors can quickly take down enemy forces. However, once the Carrier is destroyed, all the Interceptors it carried will blow up too. And any special abilities that freeze the Carrier will stop the Interceptors from attacking and will return to inside their Carriers.
The Protoss super unit, the Mothership is the final Protoss Air unit. Its powerful abilities make up for its weak weapon. It is built at the Nexus after you have a Fleet Beacon.
The Purifier Beams weapon for the Mothership has a standard range and hits both Ground and Air units.
It has a passive Cloaking Field like the Arbiter cloaking all nearby units under and around it. The second ability is Vortex. Vortex sucks all nearby enemy units in and causes them to be unable to act until it is done while also disabling any nearby Force Fields from Sentries. They cannot be attacked by weapons, but should be able to be targeted by spells. The final ability is Mass Recall which teleports all of the units you own in the target area to the Motherships’ location like the Arbiter’s Recall.
Motherships are another costly but at least somewhat used unit. They are very fragile though, and need to rely on their abilities. The cloaking field is great for covering up your army. Vortex is great when fighting a losing battle to buy time or to get a positional advantage. Vortex is also used in the Archon Toilet tactic which combines mass Archons and Vortex to deal damage to everything that comes out at once. Finally, Mass Recall is used either to bring your army into their base/an attacking position or with units that are harassing to pull them back quickly.
The final Protoss ground unit is the Colossus. You can build a Colossus at a Robotics Facility after getting a Robotics Bay.
The Colossus has a powerful weapon called Thermal Lances which are basically a beam that hits in lines to form an X across enemies. This is great against groups of small units such as Zerglings and Marines as many can be taken out quickly. However, it only can target ground units.
A passive ability the Colossus has allows it to pretty much ignore height differences in terrain. Cliff Walk lets the long legs of the unit scale cliffs without needing to find ramps.
The Robotics Bay has a nice upgrade for the Colossus giving it a 50% boost in attack range so it can target from further away than most Protoss units.
Colossi are commonly used mid-late game or rushed to in some circumstances. While they can’t hit air, they are very strong against ground units. Typically in a Protoss vs Protoss match, it turns into who has the most Colossi and Void Rays. The Thermal Lance upgrade is an upgrade that is rarely skipped over in games as it gives them an increase to their already long range.
The cons to Colossi are that they are between Void Rays in Carriers in cost, so you need a couple expansions at least to keep up Colossi production. You also have to worry about air units since they can be targeted by both air only and ground only weapons. The pros are pretty long. They are strong against weak units in large numbers such as Marines, Marauders, Zerglings, Roaches, Zealots, Stalkers, etc. Due to the long range they can kite very well and when you have Observers around you can also use this to wreak havoc on the defenses the enemy has at the ramp of their base. Make sure you protect your Colossi with units that can pick a fight with other air units like Void Rays and Stalkers otherwise air units will tear them up.