Marvel’s Avengers Pro Tips: Black Widow

From powerful combos to essential skills, Crystal Dynamics’ Scott Walters shares some personal tips on how to help make Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff the ultimate Avenger.
By Scott Walters

Hi everyone - it’s Marvel’s Avengers Combat Designer Scott Walters back again to share some top tips for the game.

Today, I’m going to dig into one of the most skilled members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: Black Widow. Black Widow is fast, agile, and excellent at chaining together attacks to form complex combos.

She can't fly, but don’t think that will stop her from getting close to enemies - she’s capable of leaping from one foe to the next using her Widow's Line grappling hook.

Read on and I’ll reveal some of the most useful skills in her repertoire, as well as some of the combos you’ll definitely want to try out for yourselves.

Melee Skills

  • Spider Sweep (hold Light attack) is an excellent way for Black Widow to drop under the enemy's guard and launch an enemy or break through their shield. That usefulness makes it great for starting combos.

  • Splinter Kick (Sprint + Light attack) spins enemies around, setting them up for a series of follow-up hits. In fact, attacking enemies from behind gives an increased critical chance to attacks!

  • Back Alley Gambit (Dodge + Heavy attack) lets Black Widow quickly close the distance to enemies after dodging. This strong attack will also slam weaker enemies down into the ground, again making them vulnerable to more attacks.

  • Baton Strike (Light > Light > Light > Light > Heavy) hits enemies multiple times and deals damage in a large area in front of Black Widow when she hits the ground. It’s great for dealing a lot of damage quickly, or clearing a little space if you’re surrounded.

  • Impact Grenade (hold Heavy) is immensely useful for breaking through enemy shields, and also launching enemies into the air to start aerial combos.

  • Speaking of aerial moves, Night Watch (hold Heavy in the air) is an excellent skill for players to end an aerial combo. It first slams the enemy down to the ground then follows up with additional area damage.

  • Madripoor Special (Sprint + Heavy) is a flexible move that’s useful in many situations. For one thing, it deals large amounts of stun, helping set up enemies for takedowns, but it can also knock your foes into each other or off the ledges.

Ranged Skills

Natasha has access to three ranged weapons - her standard dual semi-automatic pistols, two full-auto pistols, and a powerful high caliber gun. Once all are unlocked, she can switch between them at any time.

  • Black Widow's Pistol Shot (aim and fire) lets you rapidly fire your dual pistols as fast as you can pull the trigger. It’s a good balance of speed and damage.

  • If you want to speed things up a bit, Full-Auto Shot (aim + hold fire while equipped) is the way to go. Not only does it provide minor targeting assistance, it deals lots of stun damage over time. There is a drawback though - accuracy decreases the longer you fire, so unless you’re really close, fire in bursts to maximise its effectiveness.

  • High-Caliber Shot (aim and fire while equipped) greatly increases the damage per shot and will also stagger foes. While the stopping power is fantastic, there’s a trade-off to be aware of - your rate of fire will be much slower than the other two options.

  • Use the charged up Perforator (aim and hold fire while High Caliber Shot is equipped) to pierce through shields. It also pierces through enemies, so if you have a bunch of foes lined up, you can hit them all with a single shot!

Defense Skills

  • The Widow’s Line grappling hook is a super-spy’s best friend. It lets Black Widow zips towards a target from a distance and automatically land an attack when she gets there.

  • Using Widow’s Line just before an enemy hit lands will let the athletic hero Parry the attack. Widow’s Sting (parry attack) will release a powerful explosion that knocks down foes around her. Even better, the enemy that you parry will have their impact resistance greatly reduced, making them easy fodder for a counter-attack.

  • Whiplash (Parry + Heavy) is an excellent counter-attack ability that throws an enemy you've parried and knocks back any nearby foes. It’s another move that’s useful for clearing space - and as a bonus, it looks awesome!

Intrinsic Abilities

Learning to dodge and parry effectively is the key to Black Widow’s fighting style. If she is able to attack and defeat enemies without taking damage, she can trigger an Overcharge state, which offers a whole range of benefits.

  • Black Widow's Shadow Ops ability increases her damage by 20% when Overcharged, helping her tear through AIM’s forces. There are a few skills available that help reach this state faster - Deception, Espionage and Subversion, which increase Intrinsic Energy generation from dodging, attacking and critical hits respectively.

  • Black Widow can unlock passive buffs to use while Overcharged. Femme Fatale is a particularly good one, as it increases the chance of landing a critical hit by 15%.

  • Grenades can also be upgraded through Intrinsic skill upgrades - for example, Smoke Grenade (hold Heavy while overcharged) provides Black Widow with invisibility when she uses a grenade. The effects of this can be enhanced further with the Mastery skill tree, which lets you add passive bonuses while invisible.

Heroic Skills

  • Use Veil of Shadows to make Black Widow and her nearby allies disappear. You can use this period of invisibility to revive fallen allies, collect Regen Packs and heal up, or simply score some unblockable hits against your unwitting enemies.

  • Widow's Bite lets you lock down an area and deal continuous damage over time. The fast firing nature and multiple charges means you can work this Heroic into her combos.

  • Widow’s Bite can be customized to offer different effects. For example, Lightning Fist turns the move into a super-fast melee strike that sends enemies flying into the distance, while Taser Dart latches itself onto a single enemy and does damage to them over time. Once these specializations have been unlocked, you can switch between them at any time, so experiment and see which best fits your playstyle.

  • Power Surge gives Black Widow broad sweeping attacks with her batons that can hit multiple enemies and deal incredible damage. It also makes her take less damage, helping her stay in the heart of the action for longer.

Basic Combos

Combos will help you more efficiently take down AIM’s forces - both human and mechanical. The following are some of the easiest to pull off - you’ll find them useful standbys for most parts of the game.

  • Hold Light (Spider Sweep) > Light > Light > Light > Light > Light - A good basic attack that combos standard enemies like Synthoids and Riotbots

  • Dodge + Heavy (Back Alley Gambit) > Heavy > Heavy Heavy - Leaps towards enemies and deal lots of stun damage very quickly. This combo will set up standard enemies like Synthoids for a takedown.

  • Heavy > Heavy > Light >Heavy - A good balance between light and heavy attacks. Perform after parrying stronger enemies for the best results.

Intermediate Combos

The following combos require slightly more precision to pull off, but they’re worth it for their destructive potential.

  • Hold Light (Spider Sweep) > Hold Heavy (Impact Grenade) > Grapple the launched enemy > Light > Light > Hold Heavy (Night Watch) - This combo breaks through shields and air juggles enemies.

  • Hold Dodge to vault > Light > Light > Light > Hold Light (Spider Sweep) > Heavy > Heavy > Heavy - An excellent combo for enemies like the Riotbots. It breaks through their shields and strings together a series of hits that will stun most enemies, allowing you to perform a Takedown.

Advanced Combos

Here we have some combos that are quite tricky to pull off

  • Activate Power Surge > Light > Light > Light > Hold Light (Maelstrom), Hold Heavy to launch Black Widow and the enemy into the air > Hold Light (Light Storm) - This powerful combo can only be used while the Ultimate Heroic is active, but it’s very useful against most enemies.

  • Aim + Shoot with Pistol Shot or High-Caliber Shot > Grapple to target > Dodge + Light (Cyclone Kick) > Light > Light > Heavy > Hold Heavy (Impact Grenade) > Widow's Bite Heroic - This super-flashy combo uses a variety of Black Widow’s gadgets to deal large amounts of damage.

Hopefully these tips will help you deal even more damage with Black Widow. As one of the world’s greatest super-spies, Natasha is all about precision, evasion, and gadgets - and when you’ve mastered all of her abilities, not even Taskmaster will be able to slow you down.

For more tips and tricks about Marvel’s Avengers, make sure you check out my other guides:

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