John’s Dark Archon Guide to Stunnin’

"Power overwhelming."

“Power overwhelming.”

John’s Dark Archon Guide to Stunnin’


Dark Archon (DA) has been one of my favorite and main heroes to play. DA is a hardcore carry hero that has backdoor, turtling, farming, and ganking potential suitable versus all three races. DA is a dynamic hero that can turn the tides during team-fights and can single handedly carry a game with effective play. It’s diverse skills allow it to played both offensive and defensive to gank as well as to save your teammates with two basic stuns.

This guide will be hopefully be helpful to people who are looking for the basics on how to play DA as well as those who want to play DA at a competitive level.


Powerful Psionic Spellcaster that can control its enemies.

Base stats
Model: Dark Archon
Race: Protoss
Shield: 200
HP: 50
Energy: 250
Damage: 12
Attack Speed: 1.5
Targets: Ground & Air
Range: 2.5
Move Speed: 3
Armor: 0

h67m6UZFeedback (Q)
Allows the Dark Archon hero to drain energy from target enemy unit or structure and deal damage equal to the amount of energy drained. The damage dealt scales with the hero’s level.
Ability Type: Active
Requirements: Level 1, 3, 5
Range: 9
Energy cost: 50
Cooldown: 12
Level 1: Drains 30 energy
Level 2: Drains 45 energy
Level 3: Drains 60 energy

PSgTnCXMind Control (W)

Allows the Dark Archon hero to use Mind control, giving permanent control over target non-heroic, non-massive enemy unit. When a unit is mind controlled, it becomes fully healed and gains invulnerability for 5 seconds.
Ability Type: Active/Charge-based
Requirements: Level 1, 3, 5
Range: 9
Energy cost: 1x unit bounty; charge-based
Cooldown: –
Level 1: 4x energy, 144 bounty limit, gains 1 charge every 1.6 seconds.
Level 2: 3x energy, 180 bounty limit, gains 1 charge every 1.2 seconds.
Level 3: 2x energy, 216 bounty limit, gains 1 charge every 0.8 seconds.
(“x” is the target unit’s XP Bounty) (Mind-Controlled units benefit from Level and Stat Scaling)

XozDNdlNightmare (E)
Allows the Dark Archon hero to cast nightmare. Nightmare causes the target enemy unit to fall asleep for a short period of time and have a nightmare. While asleep the target unit cannot move, attack or use abilities and the target takes 16 (+1.6/lvl) damage per second.
Ability Type:
Requirements: Level 1, 3, 5
Range: 7
Energy Cost: 50
Cooldown: 12
Level 1: 1.5 seconds
Level 2: 2.25 seconds
Level 3: 3 seconds

gn4sktSAura of Darkness (R)
Decreases the sight range of enemy units within a radius of 13. Does not affect detectors. Disabled when the hero is in combat.
Ability Type: Passive
Requirements: Level 1, 3, 5
Range: –
Energy Cost: –
Cooldown: –
Level 1: -2 sight range
Level 2: -3.75 sight range
Level 3: -5.5 sight range

SRsiL16Maelstrom (T)
Allows the Dark Archon hero to cast maelstrom. Maelstrom stuns enemy units within a radius of 3 from the impact location for a short period of time.
Ability Type: Active
Requirements: Level 7, 14
Range: 7
Energy Cost: 50
Cooldown: 90
Level 1: 2 second stun duration for heroic units, 2 second stun duration for non-heroic units.
Level 2: 3 second stun duration for heroic units, 3 second stun duration for non-heroic units.

Skill Order for Laning:


Skill Order for Critting:



Your mind controlled (MCed) units will be your core skill for farming and offensive ganks. Getting a level of early feedback during laning phase can be used for poking and denying energy from your opponents. Since you can’t feedback critters, it’s best to get your stuns first and get max feedback at lvl 7 once you start laning.

Core Items:

Image Port
Image Soul Channel
ImagePlasma Surge
Image Energy Nova


Level 2-3 Energy -> Level 2 Armor -> Level 5 Energy -> Level 5 Armor -> Level 5 Attack
The more energy, the more lane sustain with your skills. Armor is a given for survivability. DA benefits least from attack upgrades.

Situational Items:

Image Disruption Web: For AA
Image Hardened Shields: vs Terran for more survivability against ganks
Image Gravitic Booster: vs DA, being fast can determine the outcome of who lands the first stun
Image Observers: vs Zerg and Toss for vision and to detect cloaked heroes, essential for DA, DT vs DA, DT
Image Power Field: Late game pushing potential, swap with Plasma Surge or Soul Channel
Image Psitrous Oxide: Shorter cooldowns, temporary boost of speed
Image Purifaction Amulet: vs Terran or Toss to negate stuns and disables on teammates

Early Game

You should critter vs Terran and Zerg. Terran does not offer much of an army until tanks spawn. Zerg creeps should be used for farming more than ganking. You can MC the critters to gain money as well as to farm throughout the game. Ideal situation would be to get 500 by the 5 minute mark and to rush an expo if possible. (Trust me, it’s worth.) Leave your MCed critters to farm until they die. However, you should lane vs Toss as stalkers spawn early and allow another hero such as Zealot or DT to critter that’ll have a harder time poking in lane. By lvl 7 you should have enough to buy your some of your early core items and be able to lane and start gathering an army. MC stalkers vs Toss, tanks vs Terran until the Wraiths and Scouts spawn. You can split the army off to the critter spawns to start farming. Roaches and Hydralisks should be used to farm rather than an offensive army. It works, but it’s not efficient since Zerg creeps are generally weaker than the other races.

Middle Game

By mid game you should have built up an army. Typical situation in most games are that the team should be oriented around your DA. DT is your friend and can result in early ganking and a two-hero carry. The DT should stun-swap heroes for the DA to kill along with its Nightmare and Maelstrom. The DA’s role when approach a team fight is to kill off the target that the DT brings you, and additionally to stun your next heroes. Building synergy with your DT is important to know your priorities. If you don’t have a DT, you should be working with your team to stun and gank heroes. Your priorities are to stun soft heroes. With your split off army, you should be getting rich at this point. Buy expos for your team and spread obs. Creep and base upgrades if you feel they are necessary.

Team-fight Scenarios:

DA, DT vs DA, DT will be the most common scenario in a PVP. Vision is essential to win the battle. The DA should be responsible for spreading obs. As a DA your main target will be the DA; however, the opponent’s DT can be a bigger threat so you should focus on whoever is split. Always try to split off the DA’s army. The DA can Nightmare the opponent’s DA and Maelstrom the oipponent’s army during middle game.

DA, DT combo is a bit more complex vs other races. You need to crowd control. Usually the DT or the tank such as an Archon will be your initiator for the battle. The DA should focus on killing the stun-swapped hero that the DT targets and stun other targets to engage next. Units left in the vortex should be kept for last. Knowing your piorities are important. The DA is weak against heroes that can crowd control such as Raven, Tank, and Viking. Take these heroes out first, ignore tankier units that opposes a lesser threat to your during team fights.

Late Game

You should have all your items and level 20 that you need to carry team-fights. The same tactic should be carried through from middle to late game; however, you’ll be equipped with Energy Nova for creep clear and Stasis as your third stun that you can use for deadlier ganks.


  • Buy expos when you can as they are more likely to pay off for the entire team. As a DA you’ll be one of the richest heroes in the game as you earn money throughout for MCing units and from farming.
  • Buy items for your DT. In most situations, it’ll be difficult to carry a team against several units that have AoE (Area of Effect) skills. The stronger your DT is, the stronger your potential for pushing will be.
  • Buy observers for the team. Map awareness and vision are critical vs any race. Ensure that your DT is not exposed.
  • Rack up kills with farms to become buff. It’s common to see DA with the highest stats throughout the game with its farming and kill potential. Use this money for upgrades, expos, and to buy items for your teammates if needed.


Build army, farm, buy expos, spread obs, rack up kills, max items, buy upgrades, buy your teammates’ items, stun, push, carry, and win.

What does John do?

Over the past few years of playing DA, I’ve noticed that DA’s weakest point is during middle game. I have a relatively offensive playstyle, and I prefer to end games early-mid game with full army pushes rather than farming. Especially during a DA vs DA, you can’t afford to split off your army to farm, every unit makes a difference between a win and a lost battle. If you miss your timing and can’t get to the point of where you are farming and getting tanky, you may throw the game away during middle game. My suggestions would be to end the game early, or stall until late game.


Hardcore carry hero
Farming, ganking, backdooring, turtling, and cheesing potential
Looks cool, sounds cool
People see you stunnin’


Team-oriented hero
Relatively low kill potential without an army
Weak against AoE heroes


Dark Templar
Dark Zealot
Void Ray

Foes (friends listed above are your foes too):

Siege Tank

Confirmed Screenshots:






Soon to come!

Questions or comments?

Let me know at http://www.ha3x.net or in game, John#1551.

Thanks for viewing!


watermelon 04-01-2015, 12:58

Nice guide yo can you pls make a quick guide. like a quickie, ja? naaa just testing to see if u get a notification after this comment on ur post.

Darkangel 30-12-2014, 11:08

Missed opportunity on the title. “Stunnin’ like my DAddy”

Nice guide.

Primo 15-12-2014, 05:03

So well put together and organized…

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