We’ve loved seeing the variety of ways you all have been customizing your skill trees and gearing up your Black Panthers. Today we want to share how we’ve been speccing him out! Here are pro tips from some of the devs on the Crystal Dynamics team.
Hannah Ballard – QA Supervisor
Ranged Black Panther Build
I enjoy a fun and unconventional build for Black Panther, focusing primarily on T'Challa's Ranged attacks over his usual swipes and kicks. For some extra purple explosive goodness, I equip gear that adds the Vibranium status effect to his Kinetic Daggers.
There are a few crucial gear Perks that help heighten the damage output of this unusual strategy. The first is the 'Dagger Magnifier' perk that increases status damage from Dagger attacks by 15%. This perk is included on my Melee slot gear, Heavyweight Empowerment Claws. The second is any variation of the 'Vibranium Payload' perk, which I have on both my Ranged and Heroic gear slots. This gives a chance to activate a Vibranium Payload on an enemy target when certain conditions are met. Lastly (but most importantly) my Pinpoint Vibranium Payload Gauntlets grant the 'Kinetic Reverberation' perk, which causes my Ranged attacks with Kinetic Daggers to deal Vibranium damage.
To complement this game plan, I equip two Blue Iso-8 Minor Artifacts which come with tons of Precision to get my Ranged stat through the roof. The best thing about all of these gear pieces is that they can be purchased at Outpost Vendors, making it easier to suit up for the endgame grind.
When it comes to optimizing Black Panther's Ranged build, I prefer the Mastery skill 'Panther's Challenge' to increase my Dagger's critical attack by 10%. Combined with the 'Explosive Present' skill (which allows my Ranged combo finisher to end with a Kinetic Dagger) that means I'm getting both a huge damage and status output at once.
As a finishing touch I love using the new Kimoyo Band Major Artifact which can be earned by completing the Black Panther story campaign, War for Wakanda. This grants the Vibranium-centric perks Auxiliary Bead and Enhanced Bead, which increase the damage and radius of the Vibranium status effect. It also allows me to summon the leader of the Dora Milaje, Okoye, to join the fight alongside T'Challa and the rest of the Avengers. If you really want to feel like a King, that is the way to go.”
Black Panther Ranged Build (all items purchasable from Gear Vendor)
- Slot 1: ‘Dagger Magnifier’ perk on Melee Gear slot
- Slots 2 & 3: ‘Vibranium Payload’ perk on Ranged and Heroic Gear slots
- Slot 4: ‘Kinetic Reverberation’ perk
- Minor Artifact 1: Blue Iso-8 – High-Precision
- Minor Artifact 2: Blue Iso-8 – High-Precision
- Major Artifact: Kimoyo Band Major Artifact
Alex Kende – Progression Designer
My whole kit is based around stacking debuffs on targets while keeping my Percussive Blast up doing cool Intrinsic attacks.
The first two items are the keys to that: Battle Guard improves Intrinsic attack damage while keeping my Overcharge going, and the Legacy of Bast applies an additional debuff to my percussive blast attack. Also helps that it comes with Plasma Potentiator, which increases the amount of Plasma damage dealt with any attack by 20%.
The Claws of the Unconquered gear piece (below) makes traversal Intrinsic attacks do status damage of the melee gear equipped, so it is important to get this item with Plasma on it. I don't have it with the third perk that improves Intrinsic or traversal attack damage further, but it is the thing I am grinding for.
The Gauntlets (in the arms gear slot) is the other stacking part with the debuff from Devastating Daggers stacking one time further combined with the skill of extending the debuff lifespan. I have these with Gamma, but I am looking for Cryo or Shock to improve single target damage.
My Minor Artifacts are 1 Red ISO for improved melee damage and 1 Cosmic ISO for cosmic surge on being damaged. My major artifact is the Tactigon for increased intrinsic attack status damage.
I spec out keeping Percussive Blast going and using all the cool improved attacks. This is a very "Sustain” build. I am not going to out-DPS Thor or Hulk, but my ability to maintain status effects and apply debuffs makes my teammates do more damage and prevents me from needing to be revived too often.
I select the skills that increase Stun Damage so I can do Takedowns to make Intrinsic Orbs for myself. I have Panthers Roar (more debuffs) and Ancestral Memory on my Ultimate to max out the damage potential. I switch to History is Shared when in harder content to keep my teammates in Hulkbuster longer (activating History is Shared refills Hulkbuster’s bar by the way).
- Slot 1: Battle Guard of the Ancestors (Earned from Priority Missions)
- Slot 2: Legacy of Bast (Earned from Threat Sectors or Villain Sectors above PL 100)
- Slot 3: Claws of the Unconquered (Earned from Elite HIVES)
- Slot 4: Gauntlets of the Unconquered (Earned from Elite HIVES)
- Minor Artifact 1: Red ISO – improved melee damage
- Minor Artifact 2: Cosmic ISO – cosmic surge upon taking damage
- Major Artifact: Tactigon - increased Intrinsic attack status damage
Brian Waggoner - Designer
Intrinsic-Focused Black Panther Build
I really enjoy builds that our community puts together, and I have recently been enjoying one that Twitch streamer revealingtoomuch has been showcasing lately. It revolves around increased Intrinsic generation to use Percussive Blast as often as possible to apply ‘Mark of Bast.’
Here are the Perks and Talents I've focused on finding and using:
Slot 1 - Faultless Empowerment Claws: Melee critical hits give a chance to grant an intrinsic burst; power attacks grant status damage; a third perk improves intrinsic effectiveness.
Slot 2 – Targeted Empowerment Gauntlets: Ranged critical attacks have a chance to grant intrinsic burst; ranged attacks apply status; ranged critical attacks have a chance to grant a damage buff.
Slot 3 – Reactive Empowerment Protector: Taking damage has a chance to grant you an intrinsic burst (helps in situations where you mistime a block or parry)
Slot 4 – Legacy of Bast: Percussive Blast applies Mark of Bast
Using this build, you want to attack/block/parry to generate Intrinsic Energy for Black Panther, then use Percussive Blast to deal AOE damage and apply Mark of Bast (which adds a debuff to enemies that increases damage taken by 10% and reduces the damage they deal by 15%). Keep working through this cycle and you'll be clawing through enemies without problems!
Pro Tip: Using King's Mercy when your Intrinsic Energy is full will apply a large amount of Vibranium status on the enemies hit. This sets up great battery potential if you have an opposite status effect perk (ex. Sonic) on power attacks or ranged attacks.
- Slot 1: Faultless Empowerment Claws
- Slot 2: Targeted Empowerment Gauntlets
- Slot 3: Reactive Empowerment Protector
- Slot 4: Legacy of Bast
- Minor Artifact 1: Red ISO-8 with Mighty Boon Perk
- Minor Artifact 2: ISO-8 of Cosmic Affinity with Reactive Cosmic Surge Perk
- Major Artifact: Tactigon - increased Intrinsic attack status damage
Scott Hitchcock – Associate Designer
Melee Black Panther Build
Historically, Black Panther tends to rank high up as one of the Avengers’ most skilled and capable hand-to-hand combatants — and I always go full melee with Panther. And as someone that plays Black Panther so close to dangerous hotspots, I ensure to make the biggest impact without leaving myself too vulnerable. Luckily, with the right status gear this Avenger can pack a potent punch utilizing certain Combo Finishers. My favorite example being the Kinetic Pulse attack — since equipping any gear that alters T’Challa’s Heavy Finishers not only adds status damage to the standard Heavy Combo Finisher – Panther Dive – but Kinetic Pulse as well. Making it a real sleeper of a haymaker. I’ll explain.
Now any Hero in Marvel’s Avengers can inflict status damage, but Black Panther also has a special addition to his Kinetic Pulse attack where he throws out Kinetic Daggers just before landing the final blast. And as one would expect, Black Panther can also add status effects on his daggers. Meaning: T’Challa can equip any Heavy Finisher status effect perk and combine it with any gear perks that changes Kinetic Daggers’ status damage, to create an explosive display of battery damage. (Personal tip, I prefer Cryo status damage on my Kinetic Daggers, and not just for the comic book relevance. The only thing that beats a Cryo status damage explosion is a frozen enemy helplessly stuck in Cryo status free fall – a great set-up for any positive status damage follow-up attack.)
Once you’ve got the right status gear, I’ll usually top all that off with a hefty amount of Black Panther’s Intrinsic ability, Panther Cowl.
Black Panther, at least to me, is flexible in most combat scenarios. And I tend to fall back on more sustainable builds myself, which helps when accounting for the unaccountable – but our game offers a few ways to achieve this. We have some hefty Heroic damage pieces, like Bashenga’s Mettle (above), that boost Heroic damage with gear perks like King’s Mercy Amplification. In short, the perk extends functionality of Vibranium status damage from Black Panther’s Assault Heroic Skill, Forged in Vibranium, into the Percussive Blast buff. Naturally it’s a great addition offensively – but these days I lean closer to gear like Legacy of the Ancestors (above). Simply put, I can’t complete the mission if I run out of Willpower before it ends – a simple philosophy, but nonetheless true.
So perks on gear like that are often overlooked. And I can’t argue with any kind of Willpower regeneration on Melee Attacks. It’s true, this allows Black Panther to only channel Wakandan tech to heal himself during Percussive Blast, alternatively, King’s Mercy Amplification is also equally exclusive to the same buff ability. It’s a classic damage versus health choice, but it’s one I’d rather leave in the player’s hands. (Especially as Gear Loadouts are introduced!)
- Slot 1: Azzuri’s Talons
- Slot 2: Chanda’s Armguards
- Slot 3: Battle Guard of the Ancestors
- Slot 4: Legacy of the Ancestors
- Minor Artifact 1: Red Iso-8
- Minor Artifact 2: Yellow Iso-8
- Major Artifact: Kimoyo Band
Thumbnail & Header Image Credit to Twitter User: @Hoffman_VP