Blackout’s base upgrades are actually very solid, provided you research them in a chapter, against real enemies as opposed to at the Training Grounds. Wing Whip offers up 56-84 and the Jump Attack deals 52-78. Shadow Orbs seem disappointing with only 16-24 3x, BUT when you fire the orbs against real enemies and not the dummies, you are rewarded with a 44-66 initial hit, which makes for a 92-138 cumulative dealing of damage…and that is much more in line with expectations!
Blackout’s Base Upgrades get started with his tertiary attack, Black Hole. It lasts roughly 16 seconds and you can have 2 active at once…The Black Holes hold enemies in and deal 20-30 on an initial hit…You can also teleport in and do a blade attack that deals the same 20-30 damage. If you shoot Shadow Orbs at a Black Hole you get 22-33 with Darkness Overload. I’m not a huge fan of this and I never really saw an advantage over just using Shadow Orbs alone for their higher damage toll. I could be missing something as the numbers fire off quickly and are hard to catch, especially at 4 AM when I do most of this stuff. Shadow Blade at first seemed just like our jump attack, but after trial-and-error you can get the Shadow Blade rolling where it does 20-30 damage on contact and allots you roughly 12 seconds of rolling time. Take It Back finishes things off and bumps the damage Blackholes do from 20-30 to 30-45.
Wing Warrior Upgrade Path
Wing Warrior exclusively addressees Blackout’s primary attack, Wing Whip. A Spinning Finish lets you execute a ground pound of 60-90 with a good radius after a 3 hit combo and if you extend that you can get a blade dash that does the same 60-90. I like the ground pound, but found the 4th hit combo hard to execute and control…it will be a move I only use when it is done incidentally. The Wing Whip and function of the ground pound is just too effective and efficient to really bother with “going for” the 4th hit combo. You can also tailor your landing spot mid air with the 3 hit combo…a very nice bonus! Warp Speed is the last upgrade on the path, but I feel should have been second, especially since the middle upgrade addresses this move despite you not having it. Anyway, Warp Speed does nothing at the Academy, but in a combat situation it needs about a 3-4 seconds charge of the primary attack button before it reels off a lighting quick teleport that does 78-117 4 times! Whip it Up increases the damage on Wing Whip, Shadow Blade, and Warp Speed. Warp Speed jumps from 78-117 to 102-153, Shadow Blade moves from 20-30 to 26-39, and wing Whip gets a nice boost from 56-84 to 73-109!
Prince of Darkness Upgrade Path
Prince of Darkness addresses Blackout’s secondary attack, Shadow Orbs. This is a great path in my opinion. Dark Energy Clouds upgrades Shadow Orbs from 44-66 on impact to 66-99. Similarly, the 16-24 damage from 3 Swirls is now 24-36, but for 8 counts! That is almost 3x the duration! That is an even bigger accolade when you consider that Under the Cover of Darkness turns out to cut damage from enemies roughly in half! That is like the old SSA +40 Armor essentially. If you were getting decked in Nightmare Mode by a troll who dealt 150 damage, he will now register 75 when you are within the Dark Energy Cloud! Most people won’t even talk about this upgrade, or consider it a waste…I consider It absolute gold! Cloud Gravity takes about 5 seconds to charge, runs about 10 seconds, and does 40-60 damage around 16x, or for the 10 seecond cycle. You can move about while doing this too…However, the big thing about Cloud Gravity is the spectacle. This is just a really cool attack to witness. It is totally unique and will definitely be something players remember.
Supernova Blackhole is usually easy to execute, although sometimes you can fire off two blackholes in succession, from the same spot, only to see them wind up not overlapping. However, once they do they create a powerful suction, colorwash the screen, and then proceed to erupt for a staggering 4450-675 damage!
Attack Damage Numbers (Click to Enlarge)
Overall, Blackout has two solid upgrade paths. If you are a fan of the Primary Attack Wing Whip, take Wing Warrior. If you like the Shadow Orbs, go with Prince of Darkness. If you feel one of those is fine as is and the other is weak, proceed accordingly. If you use the primary attack almost exclusively you will benefit the most from Wing Warrior. If you are on the fence, I would have to give the edge to Prince of Darkness. While most people will rave about Cloud Gravity, I would argue it is the least important upgrade on the path. Dark Energy Clouds is just purely effective AND that plays in to utilizing Under the Cover or Darkness to seriously nerf your opponents. Taking 250 damage can kill you quick in Nightmare Mode, making that 125 can double your life span and be the difference between loosing a Skylander and getting a weak one off the Portal to swap for another Champion; You can not under estimate what this upgrade can do. Toss in the bonus of Cloud Gravity and you have a memorable spectacle to associate with the path as well. The good news is, regardless of your preference you get a fantastic Soul Gem! I will likely reset this Blackout to return to Prince of Darkness. Wing Warrior is very solid, but Under the Cover of Darkness is calling my name!