The only difference in the two types of dark templar is their appearance, otherwise the two move and attack just as quickly as the other. Due to their increased gas cost from StarCraft and the long time spent to warp in a dark shrine, dark templars are a more costly investment than before.
Dark templar are effective against worker lines. Their high base damage kills workers in single hits, with damage upgrades outpacing worker armor upgrades. Warp prisms and warp-in may be used to produce dark templar directly in an enemy base. The dark templar's cloak is active during the warp-in sequence.
Mixing dark templar into an army may mask their presence and attacks if enemy passive detectors are not present.
The dark templar is one of three cloaked warriors available to the player in the campaign, the others being the avenger and blood hunter. The dark templar in the campaign have the new ability Shadow Fury, which allows them to rapidly strike up to five ground enemies on the battlefield for 35 damage. This makes them excellent against zerglings, with a few dark templar able to cut up a zergling swarm in second. Against larger, most powerful enemies, the dark templar's Shadow Fury will hit the target all five times, making it an effective damage dealer. The attacks CAN also hit buildings, but Shadow Fury cannot be triggered by them either automatically or manually; at least one enemy unit has to be nearby to start it. This does mean that even a moderately-sized group of Dark Templars can do ruinous damage to a section of a base very abruptly if there are some units nearby to trigger them into the buildings. However, they lack the more defensive utility abilities of the avenger and blood hunter, and given their high resource cost, the player should be wary not to lose their dark templar recklessly. Unlike their multiplayer counterparts, dark templar in the Legacy of the Void campaign cannot merge to become archons, and dark archons are warped in separately.
The dark templar rapidly teleports around the battlefield, striking up to five enemies and dealing 35 damage to them, then returning to its initial position. Can strike the same enemy multiple times. The dark templar is immune to damage during this ability.
In Co-op Missions, elite variants of dark templar called shadow guards may be used by Vorazun. She is also able to access exclusive upgrades for her dark templar at the dark shrine. Like in the Legacy of the Void campaign, dark templar cannot merge into archons.
The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II which is no longer valid.
In order to make the Dark Templar different in appearance from zealots, Blizzard artist Samwise Didier gave dark templar different weapons (a bladed staff weapon) and armor covered with zerg bones. Two types of dark templar are featured – one model, the Zer'atai, has a scythe, another, the Lenassa, has a warp blade. A Predator-inspired "zerg hunter" dark templar model was also conceived by Didier.
Blizzard Entertainment held a poll on which model the community favors – Zer'atai, Lenassa, or a random selection of both. The random selection of both won and Blizzard has followed the results.
Dark templar with two blades were suggested, but not implemented by beta.
Dark templar in the Legacy of the Void campaign have several half-finished abilities; buttons exist for the abilities "Deep Shadows," "Noble Sacrifice," "Stunning Blow" and "Power Strike."
Prior to Patch 3.2, the dark templar's Shadow Fury ability in Co-op Missions did a flat 35 damage. After Patch 3.2, Shadow Fury's damage in the campaign was unchanged, but the ability in Co-op now deals 20 damage +15 vs light.
In Legacy of the Void Patch 3.8, dark templars gained the ability to gain shadow stride, a short range blink, from the dark shrine.