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It seems that the High Templar is weaker in SC2, particularly, the storm's damage is weaker, the spell duration is quicker, and the AOE is smaller, than it was on SC1.

How can I use High Templars effectively in Starcraft 2, despite these changes?

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This question is very subjective. –  z - Dec 1 '11 at 13:17
This question was very "salvageable", please try to do so before voting to close. –  jmfsg Dec 1 '11 at 13:21
Juan well, even with hard stats, its very hard to say if its less or more effective due to the nature of starcraft and how the units are used in what situations. If anyone can write an unsubjective answer, it'll be @Tzenes. We'll just have to wait and see. Imo a better question would be how to use HTs effectively rather than trying to compare to SC1. –  z - Dec 1 '11 at 13:26
@yx I agree, and I've edited the question as such. Someone is welcome to roll back the change if they disagree with the edit. –  Wipqozn Dec 1 '11 at 13:29
When I'm back home and have some time I'll try to get a answer to the original question done. I think its pretty interesting to show how a spell like HT's storm changed after 10 years and how it played back in Brood War. Comparing funcionality&usage won't be subjective, imo. (adressing revision 2 question title) –  F.S. Dec 1 '11 at 15:36
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2 Answers

The original question was more about the difference between High Templars in StarCraft 1 (:Broodwar) and StarCraft II and if the "new" version is weaker. I really want to adress this rather than the current "How to use effectively". Also because I find the change pretty interesting.

Basic numbers

Stat                      SC:BW                 SC2:WotL

HP/Shields                40/40                 40/40
Cost (minerals/gas)       50/150                50/150
Supply                    2                     2
Energy                    50/200                50/200
                         *62/250 with upgrade
Sightrange                7                     10

not compared:

  • movement speed
  • build time - because of chronoboost/warp-in in SC2
  • unit type - whole different system between the games

Ok, so far this does not look like a real difference?


In both games two High Templars can be morphed into an Archon without any special upgrades.

  • In SC2 the High Templar starts with the ability Feedback:

Feedback is an offensive spell cast by the Protoss High Templar. It is cast on an enemy spell caster (cannot be used on buildings), depleting the target's energy pool and dealing one point of damage for each energy lost. Feedback can only be cast on units with energy.

Dark Archons (morphed from 2 Dark Templars) used to have the Feedback spell in Starcraft 1.

  • Psi Storm can be reasearched in the Tepmlar archives.

In Brood War High Templars were useless (except for making archons) without any researches, but could learn 2 spells aswell:

  • Hallucination which is pretty much the same as sentries can learn in SC2, except it costs 100 energy
  • and the good old Psi Storm

Yeah... still looks pretty similar except I already have sentries for my hallucinations and can feedback w/o additional units and any upgrade cost. What you can tell me more??? Well then...

Psi Stooooooooorms!

                  SC:BW                         SC2:WotL

   research cost  200/200                       200/200
   Cost to cast   75                            75
   Range          9                             9
   Damage         112 over 4 seconds            80 over 4 seconds
                  8 ticks of 14dmg

Similarities in functionalitiy:

  • damage of does not stack in the i.e. need to be cast after or next to each other
  • ignores armor
  • effects allied units
  • does not effect buildings
  • partial damage can be dodged


I haven't watched Brood War too much to know every little trick and usage of HTs in SC1 so maybe correct me or add sth. if you feel like.

  • In both games it is pretty common to put Templars into Shuttles/Warp Prisms to harass the opponents mineral lines also known as storm drops.
  • Due to the combination of the both mechanics Area of Effect (AoE) and Damage over Time (DoT) Psi Storm is a pretty good zone control. Even the presence of HTs force a different behavior of both parties.
  • last but not least special in Brood War: Magic Box Spellcasting

Most of us should know the Mutalist Magic Box trick in SC2 (explanation video here), but something similar made caster control in Brood War so lovely. It means you could spread out your e.g. 4 templars, order them to cast Psi Storm once (1x hotkey + 1x click target position) and if done right they cast 4 storms that do not stack but are perfectly spread out and cover a pretty decent area.
Screenshot from teamliquid.net guide
an example screen from a TeamLiquid.net Guide: The key to spread spells

Demonstration video right here. As far as I know this is not possible with the smart casting mechanics in SC2, although you can hold down the hotkey for a spell and click at the desired position - which may be more accurate.

Besides this, storms are considered to be stronger in SC:Brood War because it did more pure damage and units had generally fewer hit points. For example it was able to chase away a whole terran army (consisting of vultures (80hp) and tanks (140hp)).
Some people may think the removal of Khaydarin Amulet weakened the HT even more (in comparison to SC:BW), because if it was researched you could storm right after the unit was warped in - now you have to wait ~25seconds to do that.


Yeah, maybe the SC2 storm does less damage and units nowadays have more hit points, BUT:
Keep in mind SC:BW and SC2 are two different games with quite different mechanics and therefore the unitroles have changed a little bit. All in all our lovely High Templars have their importance in both games. Get them, use them, win with them.

And don't forget some support units because they are squishy ;p

If I find some more nice screenshots and/or guides for storm usage in both games I'll add them soon.

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Just like to say your answer and @Mike are both great so to be fair, I won't pick a "best" answer. –  IMB Dec 3 '11 at 15:20
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One way to make the storms more effective in SC2 is complimentary to the use of force fields. Since storm does damage over time, enemies can simply walk out of the way of it suffering only a part of its full potential damage. If you use force fields to split the enemy army in half (or even just throw them right behind their army) and then storm on them they will be forced to engage and take full damage from the storm. Another good thing is to use storm in choke points (like ramps) where the enemy units have to run right through it.
HerO did this to Puma in the final game of Dreamhack Winter 2011 HerO did this to Puma in the final game of Dreamhack Winter 2011

Players will often have a few templars flanking a zerg army if they have infestors (which are typically towards the back of a zerg army) and will be able to pick them off with feedback before the infestors can get off fungals or the zerg player will notice the templars coming in from the side.

Another use for storm is to take out a mineral line. Ever since the patch getting rid of the Khaydarin Amulet you are no longer able to warp in a templar with enough energy to perform a storm. Players have gotten around this by warping in 2 templars from a warp prism, loading them up into it, waiting until they have enough energy, then dropping in the enemy base. This is a very strong tactic since you can dismantle an entire mineral line with the 2 storms severely hindering your opponent's economy. Here's an example video of a perfect stormdrop by HerO.

If you have a mothership later in the game storms, along with archon toilet, can be very effective at damaging the entire army of your opponent. Casting storm shortly after vortexing the enemy army will cause it to hit almost everything that was just in the vortex. Cheat the storm towards the direction that their army came in from if your army is also in the vortex otherwise you will kill your own army too! An example video from Dreamhack Winter 2011 where HerO kills quite a few Broodlords this way

When used alongside the other spells available to protoss in SC2, storms can be very strong since you can effectively force the opponent to stay inside of them.

Note: Storms do not stack damage. That is to say that if you have 2 storms available and you cast them in the same spot one right after the other it will not do any more damage than if you were to cast a single storm. You need to remember to chain storms so as to cast a new storm once the previous one is about to run out.

Also remember to keep your templar spread out so they don't lose their energy to ghosts when playing PvT!

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Just like to say your answer and @F.S. are both great so to be fair, I won't pick a "best" answer. –  IMB Dec 3 '11 at 15:20
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