Champion Guide – Darkhawk

When Long Island teenager Christopher Powell discovered an alien amulet, he unlocked a suit of armor that transformed him into Darkhawk. The suit gave him many powers including superhuman strength, flight, force-fields, and energy blasts. He decided to fight crime with his new powers, often teaming up with Spider-Man and the New Warriors.

It wasn’t until years later, during the War of Kings, when Darkhawk met Talon and learned of the Fraternity of Raptors. Although Talon deceived Darkhawk as to his true intentions, Chris did learn that the Darkhawk armor was actually of Shi’ar origin and was much more versatile than he ever imagined. As The War of Kings progressed Chris learned about Null Space as well as how to shift into different armor modes, which is a key part of the champion’s design in MCOC.

Darkhawk first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1991 in Darkhawk #1. He has over 150 appearances in the main Earth-616 Comics continuity but has not yet appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Darkhawk joined the Contest in December of 2018 and is two-way champion that can help your roster on both offense and defense. Darkhawk is double-immune, safe-to-play, and can deal big time damage while in Null mode.

View Darkhawk on

Key Information:
Darkhawk is a Tech Champion in MCOC and has the robot tag. He can fill a similar role in your roster as Guillotine 2099, Sentinel, Nebula, or Warlock. As a robot, Darkhawk is immune to Bleed and Poison effects.

The unique part of Darkhawk’s kit is his three modes. They are Shield Mode, Stealth Mode, and Null Mode.

Shield Mode is a defensive mode triggered when Darkhawk is knocked down and lasts for 10 seconds. If Darkhawk blocks a Contact attack while in Shield Mode he will place a Shock Debuff on the opponent. If duped, Darkhawk has a scaling chance to Auto-Block the opponent.

Stealth Mode is Darkhawk’s power control mode. It is triggered by launching Darkhawk’s SP2 and lasts for 20 seconds. During Stealth Mode Darkhawk passively reduces the opponent’s defensive power gain (meaning when you are hitting them) by 70%. When Darkhawk is attacked in Stealth Mode, enemy Light and Medium attacks have a 30% chance to Miss. When duped, Darkhawk has a scaling Offensive Combat Power Rate increase while in Stealth Mode.

Null Mode is Darkhawk’s damage mode. It is triggered by launching Darkhawk’s SP3 and lasts for 30 seconds. It provides Darkhawk with a large attack rating increase, +25% Block Penetration, and Heal-Blocks the opponent for 30 seconds. When duped, there is an additional scaling Attack Rating increase while in Null Mode.

Transitioning from one active mode to another automatically triggers Darkhawk’s Null Space regeneration, which restores approximately 10% of Darkhawk’s health for a 5/65 5-Star over the course of 2 seconds.

Moving on from the Modes, Darkhawk also gets 100% Armor and Resistance Penetration on his Wing attacks. This is useful against high-armor champions.

Darkhawk’s Signature Ability

Signature Ability:
Darkhawk’s signature ability provides additional boosts to his three different modes. In Shield Mode Darkhawk gains a chance to Auto-Block enemy attacks. This can trigger Parry. In Stealth Mode, Darkhawk gains increased Offensive Combat Power. In Null Mode, Darkhawk gains a significant boost to Attack Rating. All three of these abilities scale with Signature Level. Darkhawk gains a significant benefit from being awakened and at Signature Level 200. He certainly isn’t unplayable at low signature level, but ideally, he should be at max signature.

Team Building/Key Synergies:
Darkhawk has many valuable synergy partners. None are necessary to play the champion. If I were going to put together a “Darkhawk Team,” it would be Darkhawk with Night Thrasher, Elsa Bloodstone, and Nova, with either Venom or Ghost-Rider in the final slot.

Birds of Prey with Vulture, Falcon, & Hawkeye – Darkhawk gains +5% Critical Rating and Damaging Debffs are 40% Stronger. This isn’t a common synergy to use, but now that Falcon has been buffed it could be fun to try, especially in Incursions where you can stack on the Shock and Incinerate Hacks.

Dark Justice with Venom, Punisher, & Ghost-Rider – This is a solid synergy, as it helps Darkhawk in most fights. The Power Gain bonus is huge because it gets Darkhawk to the SP3 faster. It’s usually easy to justify adding Venom to the team since he is such a great champion in his own right.

Night Hawks with Moon Knight & Night Thrasher – This is a very popular Darkhawk synergy as you start the fight in a random mode. If you hit the jackpot and start in Null Mode you can end the fight quickly in most cases. The Night Thrasher/Darkhawk combo is great for Incursions.

A.I. Uprising with Guillotine 2099 – Gain 70% of a Bar of Power each time an immunity prevents a Bleed or Poison (12 second cooldown). This is a solid synergy, but Guillotine 2099 and Darkhawk cover a lot of the same territory when it comes to utility, so you may not want to have two robots on the team at once.

Hunting Party with Elsa Bloodstone – Darkhawk instantly charges 50% of a Bar of Power when entering a mode from a different one. If you see yourself using the SP3-to-SP2 rotation this is a great synergy to have.

New Warrior Blood with Nova – Darkhawk starts the fight with a Permanent Armor Buff increasing Armor by 45%. This is important if you need Darkhawk as a Havok counter.

Mastery Setup:
Darkhawk is one of the most Suicides friendly champions in the Marvel Contest of Champions. He’s immune to both Bleed and Poison, so no Debuff damage. His most important special attack is the SP3, so no Recoil worries. If you do have to throw the other specials, you can out-heal Recoil when switching between modes.

Many Summoners debate ranking Darkhawk vs Sentinel. If you are running Suicides, Darkhawk gets a big edge over Sentinel.

Darkhawk can be an unconventional power control champion when you combine his Stealth Mode with the Collar Tech Mastery.

Alliance War Defense:
Darkhawk should be awakened and ideally at high Signature Level for Alliance War Defense use. This is because Darkhawk’s Auto-Block chance increases with Signature Level. Additionally, Darkhawk should be placed on a node that forces the opponent to knock him down or gets Darkhawk to throw his SP2, as he is a much trickier defender in a mode. Aegis Heavy is a popular node for Darkhawk.

Special Attacks:
Darkhawk’s SP1 is the only one of his specials that does not activate a mode. Instead, you will get a different benefit based on the current mode Darkhawk is in. Shield Mode grants a 3.5 second stun, Stealth Mode the opponent gains no power from the attack, and Null Mode a 4-second Shock Debuff.

The SP2 puts Darkhawk into Stealth Mode for 20 seconds. While in Stealth Mode, Darkhawk passively reduces the opponent’s Defensive Power Gain by 70%. The opponent’s Light and Medium attacks have a 30% chance to miss Darkhawk.

The SP3 puts Darkhawk into Null Mode for 30 seconds, which gives him a massive boost to Attack Rating, +25% Block Penetration, and 100% change to inflict shock on his Basic Attacks. It also places a 30-second Heal Block on the opponent.

For most fights, if you get to your SP3, the fight is over. I like to launch the SP3 right after the opponent throws their special so I can maximize my time in Null Mode. Without a double, Darkhawk’s SP3 is the special you want to rely on in most circumstances.

Base attack, Crit Rate, and Physical Resistance are slightly above average.

Massive Damage increase in Null Mode. 30 seconds is just about enough time to build up to another SP3 so that you can immediately reactive Null Mode once it expires.

SP3 Heal Block is one of the longest in the game. Excellent for shutting down Omega Red, Namor, Wolverine, Deadpool, and other mutants.

Very effective attacker to take against 6.2.2 Mr. Sinister if you have the Heimdall with Angela/Hela synergy.

Very Suicides friendly champion but still has solid damage without the damage boost from Double Edge and Liquid Courage.

Not a high prestige Champion, which is unfortunate as Darkhawk is most effective at Signature Level 200.

More valuable as a 5-Star than as a 6-Star at the current time because of the limited availability of 6-Star Sig Stones.

Below average health pool, Crit Damage, and Crit Resistance.

Nodes that slow or cap Darkhawk’s power gain severely hamper his damage potential. Not a champion you want to bring for Special Delivery days in AQ.

Heath regeneration isn’t actually useful in most situations.

Pro Tips:

Bait your opponent’s special just before launching your SP3 and activating Null Mode so that you can maximize your damage before you have to back off and bait another special.

Depending on the opponent and fight length, I usually just throw SP3s, but sometimes an SP3-SP2-SP3-SP2 rotation can also be effective.

Recommended Videos:

Dorklesson – Darkhawk Review

Seatin – Darkhawk in 2020

Jason Voorhess – Darkhawk Guide

Karatemike – Darkhawk Rank-Up and Gameplay



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