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Honkai: Star Rail – Black Swan build and ascension guide

Check out the best Light Cones and Relics for Black Swan in Honkai: Star Rail
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Predict your opponents’ doom and fulfill the prophecy with the best Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan build. Specializing in causing and exploiting DoT effects, this Memokeeper from the Garden of Recollection destroys her enemies with a thousand little cuts. Black Swan deals Wind Damage and follows the Path of The Nihility, though lore-wise she is a faithful of The Remembrance.

Her kit revolves around inflicting Arcana, a DoT status effect inflicting Wind Damage based on Black Swan’s Attack on those suffering from it at the start of each turn. Each stack of Arcana increases the DoT multiplier and targets can have up to 50 stacks of Arcana inflicted on them. There are some additional effects based on the current number of Arcana stacks on a target:

  • Three or more Arcana: Adjacent enemies suffer Wind Damage based on Black Swan’s Attack with a chance of inflicting Arcana on them.
  • Seven or more Arcana: DoT dealt by this instance of Arcana being triggered partly ignores the Defense of this target as well as adjacent ones.
Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan artwork on a space background.

Black Swan is here to create wonderful memories with you.

Black Swan’s Basic Attack and Skill have a chance of inflicting Arcana on enemies. Her Skill, Decadence, False Twilight, deals Wind Damage based on her Attack to a target as well as all adjacent units and potentially reduces their Defense.

Her Ultimate, Bliss of Otherworld’s Embrace, deals Wind Damage based on her Attack to all enemies. In addition, it inflicts Epiphany on enemies for two turns. Epiphany increases all the damage they take and freezes the stack count of Wind Shear, Bleed, Burn, and Shock effects inflicted on them when they get triggered one time. It essentially allows you to keep those DoT effects on enemies for longer before they get reset.

Black Swan’s Traces give her and her allies more opportunities to inflict Arcana on enemies, while her Eidolon Levels, which are obtainable by pulling additional copies of her, further boost her power. Eidolon 1 allows DoT effects to bypass some Elemental Resistance, Eidolon 2 transfers up to six Arcana stacks from a defeated opponent to an active one. Eidolon 4 allows Epiphany to reduce the enemy’s Effect Resistance and regenerate Energy for Black Swan. Finally, Eidolon 6 allows Black Swan to potentially inflict Arcana whenever allies attack an enemy and gives each Arcana infliction a chance to generate an additional stack of Arcana.

Honkai: Star Rail – Black Swan: best Light Cones

Black Swan’s signature Light Cone, Reforged Remembrance, is the best option for her. It boosts the wielder’s Effect Hit Rate, which is crucial to get those Arcana stacks built up. In addition, any time the wielder deals damage to an enemy affected by Wind Shear, Burn, Bleed, or Shock they gain one stack of Prophet. It’s possible to gain up to four stacks of this status (one for each type of DoT) and each stack provides the wielder with additional Attack and allows their DoT to ignore some Defense.

Since Black Swan’s most important attributes are Attack, Effect Hit Rate, and Break Effect, this Light Cone checks several boxes.

Best Light Cones for Black Swan:

  • Reforged Remembrance (5-Star)
  • Incessant Rain (5-Star)
  • Patience is All You Need (5-Star)
  • In the Name of the World (5-Star)
  • It’s Showtime (4-Star)
  • Before the Tutorial Mission Starts (4-Star)
  • Fermata (4-Star)
  • Eyes of the Prey (4-Star)
  • Good Night and Sleep Well (4-Star)
Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan screenshot.

What fate do Black Swan's cards have in store for you?

Honkai: Star Rail – Black Swan: best Relics

Most of Black Swan’s damage scales with her Attack, making this an important stat to boost. Her Effect Hit Rate is another big one, as this will allow her to inflict Arcana on enemies more reliably – plus, one of her Traces converts Effect Hit Rate into additional damage. Break Effect should be on your wishlist as well, since this increases DoT, while Speed is always welcome.

Best Relic Sets for Black Swan:

  • Prisoner in Deep Confinement (4) – +12% Attack, wearer’s attacks will ignore 6% of enemy’s Defense for every DoT the target is suffering from, counting up to three DoTs.

Best Planar Ornaments for Black Swan:

  • Pan-Galactic Commercial Enterprise (2) – +10% Effect Hit Rate, up to 25% of the wearer’s Effect Hit Rate are added to Attack.

Prioritize the following Relic and Planar Ornament stats for Black Swan:

  • Head – HP (Primary), Attack %, Effect Hit Rate %, Break Effect %, Speed
  • Hands – Attack (Primary), Attack %, Effect Hit Rate %, Break Effect %, Speed
  • Body – Effect Hit Rate % (Primary), Attack %, Break Effect %, Speed, Effect Resistance %
  • Feet – Attack % (Primary), Effect Hit Rate %, Break Effect %, Speed, Effect Resistance %
  • Planar Sphere – Wind Damage % (Primary), Attack %, Effect Hit Rate %, Break Effect %, Speed
  • Link Rope – Energy Regeneration Rate % (Primary), Attack %, Effect Hit Rate %, Break Effect %, Speed
Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan screenshot.

Black Swan's Ultimate goes super hard.

Honkai: Star Rail – Black Swan: best teams

Black Swan has the potential to catapult your current DoT party’s effectiveness into the highest of levels. She’s an excellent addition to any team focusing on status effects, providing DoT and maximizing the team’s outgoing damage through her debuffs.

You essentially take a Kafka team, throw out one of the 4-Star Sub DPS characters you had in there from the usual selection of Guinaifen, Sampo, Serval, and Luka, and slot in Black Swan. It may be necessary to swap Guinaifen out for another sustain for high-difficulty content, but overall you want to inflict as many different DoT effects on enemies as possible with this composition. This will allow Black Swan to make the best use of all her talents. 

Characters that inflict Wind Shear, Burn, Bleed, and Shock are to be preferred, as the DoT inflicted by Ice and Quantum Weakness Break won’t feed into Black Swan’s abilities as well.

Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan screenshot.

Black Swan makes for a fantastic addition to any DoT party.

Honkai: Star Rail – Black Swan: ascension materials

Here’s everything you need to know to get Black Swan ascended to the maximum level and upgrade all of her Traces.

Black Swan requires the following ascension materials to get to level 80 in addition to the necessary XP:

  • Credits x308,000
  • Extinguished Core x15
  • Glimmering Core x15
  • Squirming Core x15
  • Ascendant Debris x65

You can collect Cores from Antimatter Legion enemies on Herta Space Station as well as the Simulated Universe. You can create or exchange them through the Omni-Synthesizer on the Astral Express, too. Extinguished Cores are one of the base materials you can easily farm through the Daily Assignments to your characters, making for a steady income of the material.

Ascendant Debris is dropped by the Stagnant Shadow (Alchemy Commission) on the Xianzhou Luofu or gained through exchange. The best source of Credits are the Bud of Treasures Golden Calyxes in the Great Mine, Artisanship Commission, and The Reverie (Dreamscape).

Honkai: Star Rail Black Swan screenshot.

Black Swan's animations are all elegant, making battle look effortless.

Black Swan requires the following materials to upgrade her combat abilities and Traces:

  • Credits x3,000,000
  • Extinguished Core x41
  • Glimmering Core x56
  • Squirming Core x58
  • Fiery Spirit x18
  • Starfire Essence x69
  • Heaven Incinerator x139
  • Past Evils of the Borehole Planet Disaster x12
  • Tracks of Destiny x8

For the materials already mentioned, check above. Fiery Spirit, Starfire Essence, and Heaven Incinerator are available in the Crimson Calyx (Alchemy Commission). As usual, you can create the high-level materials by using up lower-level materials in the Omni-Synthesizer on the Astral Express.

Past Evils of the Borehole Planet Disaster is a boss material only gained from the Echo of War (Seclusion Zone) domain, while Tracks of Destiny can be obtained during time-limited events, the Embers Exchange, the Nameless Honor, or as a Simulated Universe Points Reward.