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Reaver (StarCraft)

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Shakurus SC1 Art2

This article concerns StarCraft/StarCraft: Brood War gameplay. You may be looking for:

Reaver SC1 Art1



Heavy Siege Crawler





Transport slots


Sight range



200 Minerals Terran SC1


100 Gas Protoss SC1


4 Psi Protoss SC1

Build time

70 Time SC2 Game1

Produced from

Robotics facility


Robotics support bay





Hit points




Ground attack

100RipwaveMissiles SC2 Icon1 (125RipwaveMissiles SC2 Icon1 upgraded)



Attack range


The reaver is a powerful protoss robot.


The reaver has an extremely powerful attack, suited for destroying clusters of units with less than 100 hit points, such as hydralisks. It is an extremely important unit to the protoss army because the scarab has enough range to strike photon cannons and sunken colonies without exposing the reaver to danger. Only tanks and air units out range it. The reaver only slightly outranges defensive structures, so they should be carefully watched lest the reaver over-approach.

Scarabs have a unique attack in StarCraft. Scarabs are built from the reaver itself, for a cost of 15 minerals each. The reaver can store up to 5 (10 when upgraded) at one time. Often players will queue up all 5 as soon as the reaver is produced. The time to create a scarab is longer than a reaver's firing cooldown, so it is important to create new scarabs as soon as the reaver is no longer full. While they do radial splash damage, they do not harm your units the same way tanks do. Scarabs are the only attack that paths around the map and can get stuck on untargeted units or buildings. If the scarabs travel far enough, about a screen's width, they will explode and do no damage. Scarabs do not travel all that quickly, either. Workers can escape a reaver drop by moving away before the scarab is launched, ideally using worker harvest collision to a second base.

While the reaver is extremely powerful, it is also the slowest ground unit, has a long cooldown, and is quite costly. Shuttles are frequently used to move reavers to the front lines and to protect them from ground fire (see Strategies). Remember that a fully-loaded reaver costs 75 minerals above and beyond its base cost. Losing the shuttle as well is equivalent to losing almost 3 zealots and 2 dragoons. Reavers are also fairly easily to damage severely, given that they have 0 armor unlike most armored units and at 80 shields and 100 hitpoints, this is not defensively impressive for a protoss unit as zealots and dragoons have almost the same amount of shields and hitpoints.


One of the most popular mid-game protoss strategies is to use shuttles to drop reavers near enemy worker lines, where a single scarab can take out 10 or more workers at a time. Protoss players will frequently plan this from the beginning of the game, particularly against terrans, building their robotics facility, a shuttle and a robotics support bay, and then a reaver as soon as the robotics support bay is finished. For serious harassment, shuttle speed is fantastic. However, the reaver/shuttle is a very big investment, so the harassment is a huge risk - losing them cedes a big advantage to the enemy. When using this strategy, it should be noted that unlike other units reavers do not immediately attack when exiting a shuttle or other transport, and will wait a moment before launching a scarab.

During the reaver's long cooldown it can then be picked up and hidden inside the shuttle. This effectively nearly doubles the reaver's durability, splitting attacks between the reaver and the shuttle, forcing the defender to bring air defense, and gives you time to reposition the reaver.[1] You can also easily flee, leaving the defender to worry where you'll show up next. Expert players will use the reaver's attack to draw forces, and then use the shuttle flee to another worker line where they can continue the harassment.[2]

Because a shuttle can hold 4 other slots of units, a zealot, dragoon, or a second reaver is frequently brought along as well. Against terran, a zealot is dropped first to draw siege tank fire and any spider mines laid as a trap. A dragoon provides additional low risk harass, and is more flexible then a zealot. A second reaver provides the potential for significantly more damage, usually with the scarab damage upgrade, both to help take out buildings and to absorb more hits. If their attacks are timed properly, two reavers can keep up a continual barrage of scarabs, one firing while the other prepares its next shot. This both keeps the two covered from enemy counterattacks and helps prevent them from wasting scarabs attacking the same target.

Mass reavers are even more deadly. Reavers are deadly backing up zealots and goons. Shuttles can be used to keep reavers with the main army, and to get reavers in perfect flanking positions.

Mass reavers and shuttles (3+) are also commonly defended by mass corsairs (5+), particularly against zerg. This is one of the most mobile armies in the game; the corsairs protect the shuttles and use disruption webs to protect the reavers from ranged attacks, while the (6+) reavers can wreck a base in seconds, and then hop over to the next one. While a common strategy, particularly on large, macro-oriented maps, it's also one of the gutsiest strategies, and is very vulnerable to a surprise counterattack while traveling. Losing some or all of the force can also end the game in seconds.

Against reavers, spreading out one's own units to minimize the splash damage of Scarabs, and try and surround them from all sides. If they are escorted by a shuttle, preemptively getting air defense can frequently deter or eliminate a reaver drop before it happens. Reavers are very expensive, and if you can focus fire one, particularly with ranged units, it usually will swing the battle and give you an opportunity to counterattack.


Reaver SC1 Game2

Reaver wireframe

Reaver SC1 Head1

A reaver up close

Against TerranEdit
Counters Hard: firebat, marine, medic, missile turret, SCV, bunker
Counters Soft: goliath, siege tank(tank mode), vulture
Hard Countered by: battlecruiser, spider mine (2), wraith
Soft Countered by: EMP shockwave, lockdown, siege tank (siege mode)
Against ProtossEdit
Counters Hard: photon cannon, probe
Counters Soft: dark templar, dragoon, zealot
Hard Countered by: carrier, scout
Soft Countered by: disruption web, psionic storm
Against ZergEdit
Counters Hard: drone, hydralisk, sunken colony
Counters Soft: lurker, ultralisk, zergling
Hard Countered by: guardian, mutalisk
Soft Countered by: Plague (weakens reaver for other units to destroy more easily)


Scarab Icon SC1 Create Scarab

Each scarab does 100 normal damage, upgradable to 125, plus splash damage. Scarabs will chase their target on the ground, self-destructing harmlessly after five seconds if it cannot make contact. Scarabs cannot ascend or descend from cliffs, but may use ramps. Scarabs may not be intercepted.

Hotkey R
Cost 15 Minerals Terran SC1 7Time SC2 Game1


Purchased from Forge
Hotkey A
Level 1
Cost 100 Minerals Terran SC1 100 Gas Terran SC1 266Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 175 Minerals Terran SC1 175 Gas Terran SC1 298Time SC2 Game1
Required Templar archives
Level 3
Cost 250 Minerals Terran SC1 250 Gas Terran SC1 330Time SC2 Game1
Required Templar archives
  • +1 armor bonus to shields per level for all units and structures.
Purchased from Forge
Hotkey S
Level 1
Cost 200 Minerals Terran SC1 200 Gas Terran SC1 266Time SC2 Game1
Level 2
Cost 300 Minerals Terran SC1 300 Gas Terran SC1 298Time SC2 Game1
Required Cybernetics core
Level =Level 3
Cost 400 Minerals Terran SC1 400 Gas Terran SC1 330Time SC2 Game1
Required Cybernetics core
ReaverCap Icon SC1 Increase Reaver Capacity
  • Increases the number of scarabs the reavers can hold at once by 5 (to 10)
Purchased from Robotics support bay
Hotkey C
Cost 200 Minerals Terran SC1 200 Gas Terran SC1 166Time SC2 Game1
ReaverDmg Icon SC1 Scarab Damage
  • Increases scarab damage by 25 (to 125).
Purchased from Robotics support bay
Hotkey S
Cost 200 Minerals Terran SC1 200 Gas Terran SC1 166Time SC2 Game1


The reaver and shuttle strategy were not expected by Blizzard. Subsequently, Blizzard patched the reaver so that it had to cooldown when dropped from the shuttle before it could fire.[3]

In the Pro LeaguesEdit

Great reaver control is widely admired in the pro leagues, seen as evidence of grace and skill and mastery of the psychology of the game.[4]

  • Bisu is also well known for his reaver shuttle micro. He is considered one of the best.[6]


  1. Stork vs BackHo Game 3. 28-12-2008. Note BackHo's use of the shuttle at the end to save his reaver and eliminate Stork. [1] Accessed 2-1-09.
  2. 1nf1n171. December 26, 2006. [2] Accessed 2008-12-23.
  3. lololol. January 22 2007. [3]. Team Liquid. Accessed 2008-12-23.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Marencielo. 29 May 2006. [4] Sense of Star. Accessed 2008-12-23
  5. dt408sc02. February 08, 2006. [5] Accessed 2008-12-23
  6. Magikarp. 9 July 2010. [6] "Jaedong vs Bisu: The Game Was Out of Control" Accessed 2010-7-23

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