The Protoss Dark Archon is a unit in the real-time strategy game Starcraft. Formed by the merger of two Dark Templar warriors, the Dark Archon boasts what may be the most powerful set of special abilities in the game. Visually, it resembles the Archon -- a Protoss figure surrounded by a flaming sphere -- but the Dark Archon's colors are hellish black and red, rather than energetic blue and white.

Like most of the Starcraft units with powerful special abilities, the Dark Archon has no conventional attacks. Its three special abilities are Feedback, Maelstrom, and Mind Control.

Feedback is useful only against units which have special abilities of their own, and hence have energy points. It depletes the targeted unit's energy, and does damage to that unit equal to the energy drained.

Maelstrom resembles the Terran Ghost's Lockdown ability and the Protoss Arbiter's Stasis Field ability, but affects biological units. It freezes all enemy biological units within a small area. The effect does not last as long as Lockdown or Stasis Field, but allows plenty of time for a small group of Zealots to clean up the frozen foes.

Mind Control has been called the single most powerful ability in the game, and quite rightly. It targets a single enemy unit and converts it instantly to a friendly unit, under the invoking player's control. It is quite costly: besides its taxing cost in energy points, using Mind Control fully depletes the Dark Archon's shields.

Mind-controlling an enemy Protoss player's units is not terribly interesting, though it can be useful to snatch a Carrier or Arbiter -- or another Dark Archon, for that matter. Much more interesting is to take units of another species, thus gaining their advantages alongside those of the Protoss. In a large game with lots of available resources, it may even be useful to mind-control a Zerg Drone or Terran SCV -- and build up a combined, two-species force.