The Protoss Stalker is a new ground ranged unit appearing in Starcraft 2. It takes the place of the Dragoon from the first Starcraft, but with a few key differences from the Dragoon.
Stalkers can be produced at the Gateway after you have built a Cybernetics Core. Each Stalker costs 125 minerals, 50 vespene gas, and 2 psi. Classified as an Armored Mechanical unit, the Stalker has 80 hit points, 80 shields, 1 armor, and a Move Speed of Fast.
Stalkers attack with their Particle Disruptors, doing 10 damage with a bonus of 4 extra damage against Armored units. The Stalker’s Particle Disruptors have a Range of 6 and a Weapon Speed of Slow.
Available Upgrades For The Stalker
At the Twilight Council you can research a very useful and unique ability for the Stalker. It is called Blink, and it lets the Stalker teleport to a nearby location. Unlike other abilities, it does not use energy. It does, however, have a 10 second cool-down in between uses.
The tactical uses of this ability are plentiful. You can Blink your Stalkers up and down cliffs, Blink away from fights where you are outnumbered or out of position, Blink next to a Siege Tank to quickly destroy it, or continually Blink away from enemy units while still shooting them (often referred to as “kiting”).
There are 3 available upgrades that the Stalker can benefit from at the Forge. Each Ground Weapons upgrade adds 1 damage to the Stalker’s Particle Disruptors, each Ground Armor upgrade adds 1 regular armor, and each Plasma Shields upgrade adds 1 armor to the Stalker’s shields.
The Stalker’s strength lies in its versatility and mobility. Its ability to attack both ground and air, along with its fast movement speed and the Blink ability, lets the Stalker kill other units easily, oftentimes without a scratch if micromanaged correctly. Melee units like Zealots and Zerglings without the speed upgrade, as well as short ranged units like the Roach, are especially susceptible to this kiting tactic.
Stalkers with their Blink on cool-down (or that do not have the ability researched) are vulnerable to getting surrounded and destroyed by melee units. It is always best to utilize the Stalker’s mobility, because in straight fights they tend to lose because of their slow attack speed.
In spite of the above, two of the units that do very well against the Stalker are ranged units. The Marauder gets bonus damage against Armored, and can slow the Stalker’s movement speed with his Concussive Shells. The Immortal is perhaps the Stalker’s worst opponent to face, as the Immortal gets a whopping 30 bonus damage against Armored units.
Best Uses Of The Protoss Stalker
The Stalker is best used as a highly mobile attacking and harassment unit. Some popular strategies include using a small group of them to Blink up into an enemy base to take out key units or structures, as well as massing a large number of them to overwhelm your opponent. The Stalker is a very good unit and should be in just about every Protoss player’s army composition.
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