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Honkai Star Rail Black Swan guide and build

In our Honkai Star Rail Black Swan guide we journey to the Garden of Recollection to learn more about her best build, light cone, and more.

Honkai Star Rail's Black Swan's splash art outlined in white and drop shadowed on a wind-colored PT background

Hoyoverse games are filled with mysterious and beautiful women, one of which is Honkai Star Rail’s Black Swan. As a follower of the path of Nihility, she certainly makes a strong first impression that stays with you for a while. Let’s learn more about who exactly Black Swan is and her best build.

In our trailblazing journey across the stars, we’ve put together a comprehensive Honkai Star Rail tier list to help you with your team building. We also have a handy list of Honkai Star Rail codes if you need some extra Stellar Jade. If you’re after something a bit different from Hoyoverse, we’ve got all the info you need on the Zenless Zone Zero release date.

Here’s everything in our Honkai Star Rail Black Swan guide:

What is Honkai Star Rail Black Swan best build?

Best light cone Reforged Remembrance
Light cone alternative Eyes of the Prey
Best relic set Prisoner in Deep Confinement
Best planar ornament set Pan-Galactic Commercial Enterprise
Main stats
  • Body: effect hit rate
  • Feet: speed
  • Planar sphere: wind damage or attack%
  • Link rope: attack%
Sub-stats
  • Effect hit rate
  • Speed
  • Attack%

Black Swan’s best light cone is Reforged Remembrance as it majorly buffs her effect hit rate and attack. Her best relics are a full set of Prisoner in Deep Confinement paired with Pan-Galactic Commercial Enterprise, built with plenty of effect hit rate, attack%, and speed.

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How should I use Black Swan?

Black Swan is a five-star wind-type character who treads the path of The Nihility. Nihility characters are known for applying debuffs to enemies to reduce their combat effectiveness, such as Honkai Star Rail’s Welt, Honkai Star Rail’s Silver Wolf, and Honkai Star Rail’s Sampo, who is also a wind-type character.

Black Swan is an incredible DoT sub-DPS unit capable of giving your existing DoT teams a significant upgrade. Her utility centers on her talent, which increases her Arcana DoT significantly and synergizes with other debuffing effects.

What are the best light cones for Black Swan?

Unsurprisingly, Black Swan’s signature light cone, Reforged Remembrance, is the best option. Its base stat offers a major boost to her effect hit rate which is essential for successful DoT characters, and grants an attack boost when targeting debuffed enemies. This damage also ignores some of the target’s defense, which is pretty cool.

If you’re looking to conserve some stellar jade, you might want to consider a cheaper light cone option like Eyes of the Prey, a four-star Nihility light cone that offers decent effect hit rate and DoT buffs. If you’re not already using it on Silver Wolf, Before the Tutorial Mission Starts is also a viable four-star option, but unless you played the event mission in version 1.1, you won’t be able to access it.

Light cone Effect How to obtain
Reforged Remembrance (five-star) Increases Black Swan’s effect hit rate by 40%. When she deals damage to an enemy inflicted with Wind Shear, Burn, Shock, or Bleed, each respectively grants one stack of Prophet, stacking up to four times. In a single battle, only one stack of Prophet can be granted for each type of DoT. Every stack of Prophet increases Black Swan’s attack by 5% and enables the DoT dealt to ignore 7.2% of the target’s defense Limited light cone gacha
Eyes of the Prey (four-star) Increases Black Swan’s effect hit rate by 20% and increases DoT by 24% Gacha
Before the Tutorial Mission Starts (four-star) Increases Black Swan’s effect hit rate by 20%. When Black Swan attacks defense-reduced enemies, regenerates four energy Event light cone

What are the best relics for Black Swan?

As a DoT unit, a Prisoner in Deep Confinement four-piece set suits Black Swan perfectly. Her skills all scale based on her attack stat and the four-piece set bonus means she can ignore a maximum of 18% of an enemy’s defense if they’re debuffed.

You can lean even more into her attack potential by pairing two pieces of Eagle of Twilight Line with two pieces of Musketeer of Wild Wheat, which makes for a powerful early-game option. The new relic set in Penacony, Pioneer Diver of Dead Waters, also synergizes with either of these sets as Black Swan only benefits from its two-piece bonus.

As for planar ornaments, Pan-Galactic Commercial Enterprise is your best pick as it buffs Black Swan’s effect hit rate. Once again, Space Sealing Station is a great early-game alternative for an attack-based build. To be honest, there are very few DPS characters who don’t benefit from Space Sealing Station, so it’s always good to have on hand!

Relic Effect How to obtain
Prisoner in Deep Confinement Two pieces equipped: increases attack by 12%
Four pieces equipped: for every DoT affecting the target enemy, Black Swan will ignore 6% of target’s defense when dealing damage to them. This effect is valid for a max of three DoTs
Cavern of Corrosion: Path of Darkness in Xianzhou Luofu’s Fyxestroll Garden
Eagle of Twilight Line Two pieces equipped: increases wind damage by 10%
Four pieces equipped: not applicable
Cavern of Corrosion: Path of Gelid Wind in the Herta Space Station Storage Zone
Pioneer Diver of Dead Waters Two pieces equipped: increases damage dealt to enemies with debuff by 12%
Four pieces equipped: not applicable
Cavern of Corrosion: Path of Dreamdive in The Reverie (Dreamscape), Penacony
Musketeer of Wild Wheat Two pieces equipped: increases attack by 12%
Four pieces equipped: not applicable
Cavern of Corrosion: Path of Drifting in Jarilo-VI’s Corridor of Fading Echoes

Planar ornaments

Relic Effect How to obtain
Pan-Galactic Commercial Enterprise Two pieces equipped: increases Black Swan’s effect hit rate by 10%. Meanwhile, her attack increases by an amount that is equal to 25% of the current effect hit rate, up to a maximum of 25% Immersion Reward devices in World 5 of the Simulated Universe
Space Sealing Station Two pieces equipped: increases Black Swan’s attack by 12%. When her speed reaches 120 or higher, Black Swan’s attack increases by an extra 12% Immersion Reward devices in World 3 of the Simulated Universe

Relic stat recommendations

Main stats:

  • Body: effect hit rate
  • Feet: speed
  • Planar sphere: wind damage or attack%
  • Link rope: attack%

Sub-stats:

  • Effect hit rate
  • Speed
  • Attack%

What’s the best Black Swan team comp?

Black Swan’s kit shines alongside other DoT units like Honkai Star Rail’s Kafka, so we recommend focusing on this aspect when building around her. Strong Black Swan teams should have one to two main DPS units and a dedicated healer to ensure survivability.

Here’s an example of a strong DoT Black Swan team:

DPS Sub-DPS Support Healer
Kafka iconKafka Black Swan iconBlack Swan Ruan Mei iconRuan Mei Huohuo iconHuohuo

Honkai Star Rail codes - Black Swan from the version 2.0 key art smiling down at you as a strange little puppet floats behind her

What are Black Swan’s abilities?

Active skills:

Skill Effect
Basic attack: Percipience, Silent Dawn Black Swan deals wind damage equal to 30% of her attack to a single target enemy, with a 50% base chance of inflicting one stack of Arcana. Additionally, when attacking a target suffering from Wind Sheer, Bleed, Burn, or Shock, there is a respective 50% chance of inflicting one extra stack of Arcana
Skill: Decadence, False Twilight Black Swan deals wind damage equal to 45% of her attack to a single enemy and any adjacent enemies, also inflicting them with Arcana. She also reduces their defense by 14.8% for three turns
Ultimate: Bliss of Otherworld’s Embrace Black Swan pulls cards from her deck and inflicts Epiphany on all enemies for two turns. This means that enemies take 15% increased damage during their turn and if they are inflicted with Arcana, they are considered to have Wind Sheer, Bleed, Burn, and Shock all at once. After Arcana causes damage at the start of each turn, its stacks are not reset. This can trigger once per Epiphany.
Black Swan also deals wind damage equal to 72% of her attack to all enemies

Passive skill:

Skill Effect
Talent: Loom of Fate’s Caprice Every time an enemy target receives DoT at the start of each turn, there is a 50% base chance to inflict one stack of Arcana. While afflicted with Arcana, enemies receive wind DoT equal to 96% of Black Swan’s attack at the start of each turn, increasing the damage multiplier by 4.8% per stack of Arcana. Arcana can stack up to 50 times.
When Arcana causes damage at the start of the enemy’s turn, Black Swan triggers additional effects based on the number of Arcana stacks:
  • Three or more stacks: Deals wind DoT equal to 72% of Black Swan’s attack to adjacent targets, with a 50% base chance of inflicting them with a stack of Arcana
  • Seven or more stacks: Enables the current DoT dealt this time to ignore 20% of the target and adjacent targets’ defense

Technique:

Technique Effect
From Facade to Verite Using this technique gives a 150% base chance to inflict each enemy in the next battle with one stack of Arcana. For each successful application of Arcana to a target, Black Swan applies another on the same target, repeating until the process fails. Each successive application’s success rate is 50% of the previous successful infliction’s base chance

Traces:

Trace Effect
Candleflame’s Portent Increases Black Swan’s damage by 60% of her effect hit rate, up to a maximum increase of 72%
Viscera’s Disquiet After attacking an enemy that has Wind Sheer, Burn, Bleed, or Shock with Black Swan’s skill, each of these debuffs respectively has a 65% base chance of inflicting one extra stack of Arcana
Goblet’s Dredges When an enemy target enters battle, there is a 65% base chance to inflict it with one stack of Arcana. Every time an enemy target receives DoT during a single attack by an ally, there is a 65% base chance to inflict the enemy with a stack of Arcana. The maximum number of stacks that an ally can inflict during a single attack is three

What are Black Swan’s eidolons?

Eidolons work the same as Genshin Impact’s constellations system. If you pull duplicates of a character, you unlock an extra buff to make their base kit more powerful.

Eidolon Effect
Seven Pillars of Wisdom While Black Swan is active in battle, enemies afflicted with Wind Sheer, Bleed, Burn, or Shock will have their corresponding wind, physical, fire, or lightning resistance reduced by 25%
Weep Not For Me, My Lamb When you defeat an enemy target afflicted with Arcana, there is a 100% base chance of inflicting six stacks of Arcana on adjacent targets
As Above, So Below Raises Black Swan’s skill level by two, up to a maximum of 15, and her talent level by two, up to a maximum of 15
In Tears We Gift While in the Epiphany state, enemies’ effect resistance is reduced by 10%. At the start of the enemy’s turn or upon their defeat, Black Swan regenerates eight energy. This energy regeneration can trigger only once per Epiphany state
Linnutee Flyway Raises Black Swan’s ultimate level by two, up to a maximum of 15, and her basic attack level by one, up to a maximum of ten
Pantheon Merciful, Masses Pitiful When Black Swan’s allies attack an enemy target, she has a 65% base chance to inflict the enemy with one stack of Arcana. Every time Black Swan inflicts Arcana on an enemy target, there’s a 50% fixed chance to additionally increase the stack by one

A screenshot of Honkai Star Rail's Black Swan smiling to herself

What are Black Swan’s ascension materials?

You’ll need to use ascension materials alongside leveling items to level Black Swan all the way up to 80.

Here are all of the materials you need to fully ascend Black Swan:

Required level Credits Materials
20 4k Five extinguished cores
30 8k Ten extinguished cores
40 16k Three ascendant debris and six glimmering cores
50 40k Seven ascendant debris and nine glimmering cores
60 80k 20 ascendant debris and six squirming cores
70 160k 35 ascendant debris and nine squirming cores

Here’s where to get all of Black Swan’s ascension materials:

  • Extinguished, glimmering, and squirming cores – obtain from certain fragmentum monsters on Jarilo-VI or in the Honkai Star Rail simulated universe, via synthesis, from assignment rewards, or in the embers exchange store
  • Ascendant debris – drops from the Stagnant Shadow: Shape of Celestial in the Xianzhou Luofu’s Alchemy Commission

What are Black Swan’s trace materials?

If you want to optimize Black Swan’s kit with all of her major and minor traces, you’ll need the following materials:

  • 41 extinguished cores, 56 glimmering cores, and 58 squirming cores
    • Rewards from certain fragmentum monsters on Jarilo-VI or in the Honkai Star Rail simulated universe, obtain via synthesis, from assignment rewards, or in the embers exchange store
  • 15 fiery spirits, 72 starfire essences, and 139 heaven incinerators
    • Rewards from the Bud of Nihility crimson calyx in the Alchemy Commission, crafted via synthesis, or purchased from the embers exchange
  • 12 past evils of the borehole planet disaster – rewards from the Echo of War: Borehole Planet’s Old Crater
  • 11 tracks of destiny
  • Three million credits

Skill trace priority:

  • Talent > Skill = Ultimate > Basic attack

Major trace priority:

  • Candleflame’s Portent > Goblet’s Dredges > Viscera’s Disquiet

That’s everything we know so far about Honkai Star Rail’s Black Swan. While you’re here, check out our Genshin Impact codes, Genshin Impact banner, and Genshin Impact tier list pages for more information on Hoyoverse’s hit ARPG. We’ve also got build guides for Genshin Impact’s Razor, Genshin Impact’s Xinyan, and Genshin Impact’s Xiangling.