- This article is for the Legacy of the Void multiplayer version. For the Heart of the Swarm version, see Dark Shrine (Heart of the Swarm). For the Wings of Liberty version, see Dark Shrine (Wings of Liberty).
The Dark Shrine is a structure on the Protoss Technology Tree. Its only function is to unlock the powerful Dark Templar stealth melee unit at the Gateway and/or Warp Gate. The Dark Shrine requires a Twilight Council before it can be warped in.
Like most Protoss structures, the Dark Shrine can only be warped in at a location powered by the Psionic Matrix. However, if it loses access to the power field, even an unpowered Dark Shrine still allows the creation of Dark Templar, therefore the Dark Shrine only needs power to initiate its warping in.
The Dark Templar is often used in surprise attacks, and for that reason, hiding the Dark Shrine from enemy scouting is usually considered an important part of any strategy that uses Dark Templar. In an early Dark Templar Rush, players will try to keep the Dark Templar obscured from view to increase the chance that the opponent will neglect to get detection until after the Dark Templar carry out their first attack. In late-game transitions to Dark Templar, the same desire for subterfuge often means that the Dark Shrine is built in an area unlikely to be scouted by the opponent.
Deciding between High Templar and Dark Templar is often a crucial distinction, especially in the mid-game transition. The Dark Shrine does not require a Templar Archives, and the converse is also true. Each building can therefore be considered on a separate branch of the tech tree, forcing players who are rushing Templar tech to choose between Dark Templar or High Templar. Deploying both in the mid-game is virtually impossible due to the high cost in Vespene Gas of both structures and the units themselves.
Due to the small size of a Dark Shrine, a Probe can easily sneak off into a remote location and build a Dark Shrine and Pylon with relatively low risk of being scouted.
Dark Shrine from default camera angle
| Patch 6 (version 0.8.0.14593)
- Build time increased from 80 seconds to 100 seconds.
- Cost increased from 100 Minerals and 200 Vespene Gas to 100 Minerals and 250 Vespene Gas.
| Balance Update #8 
- Dark Shrine cost is now 100/100, down from 100/250.
| Balance Update #9 
- Dark shrine cost increased from 100/100 to 150/150.
| Patch 3.8.0 
- New Ability: “Shadow Stride” for Dark Templar
- Research from Dark Shrine.
- 100/100 cost, 121 research time, cooldown of 21 seconds.