Starcraft Brood War: Shuttles in Protoss Versus Terran
A short discussion on their uses. Tactics and strategies associated with them will also be highlighted.
(Image from http://starcraft.incgamers.com)
The Protoss shuttle looks deceptively harmless, but we all know how dangerous they can be in combination with various other Protoss units. The reason for this is that there are certain Protoss units that pack a huge punch but are otherwise relatively vulnerable. Dark templars, high templars and reavers all fit this category very nicely.
Another common use is to have it in a main battle against a Terran mech army that’s heavy on siege tanks. Dropping zealots into the thick of things will often make the siege tanks do splash damage to their own comrades.
These are some of the usual ways in which the shuttle is used in the matchup. The rest of this article will take a look at them in more detail. Let’s start off with the shuttle and dark templar combination.
This tactic is not really suitable for the mid-game or the late game. It is more an opening than a harassment that can be done at any time. To execute it early on, you’ll generally have to significantly delay your expansion. Once your cybernetics core is completed, you should probably go straight for the citadel of adun first. Later on, build the templar archives and robotics facility (simultaneously if possible) and add on a gateway. You should be able to train two dark templars and a shuttle concurrently and be ready to start your harassment.
There are a lot of variations to this opening and personal preferences as well as the map will play a huge role. Generally though, this build has some very strong advantages. It can kill the terran opponent if he has little to no detection. Even if the harass is not completely successful, you will retain some map control unless the opponent has quick scans or has invested in very quick upgraded vultures. The following game shows a decent game where the Protoss player has opened up with shuttle dt and transitioned to something else.
Shuttle High Templars
This is in some ways the polar opposite of shuttle dt. It’s not really suitable as an opening, but can be very effective in the later stages of the game both as harassment and in battles.
If you’re using it as a harassment tool, it’s probably best to have the odd zealot or two to draw fire from siege tanks and the likes. More commonly, one or two high templars are dropped at the enemy’s blind spots (e.g. behind a cliff). The high templars can then rain their psionic storms on enemy worker lines and rack up a lot of kills that way. They also have the option to morph into an archon if the situation calls for it.