Black Knight

Last Updated: 12-May-2016

Time for some leg-bitey goodness.



The Black Knight entered the scene as a very powerful IS energy boat (8-9 energy hardpoints per variant and nothing else) and competes for the position of best IS heavy mech in general, helped along by its 75 tons. For a mech with only a single type of hardpoint, there’s a surprising degree of flexibility in its builds, but its low mounts seriously hinder its ability to perform at range. All in all, it ends up being a more powerful and less versatile Grasshopper, but lately its strengths have been waning. It also demolishes everything but the IICs (and still beats those) at the “tedious variant designation” contest, and as such I may refer to the BL-6-KNT as the “6”, the BL-6B-KNT as the “6B”, the BL-7-KNT as the “7”, and the BL-7-KNT-L as the “7-L”.

The BL-7-KNT-L narrowly wins the top spot for the chassis, courtesy of its absolutely insane quirks (and to a smaller extent, the higher engine cap). The BL-6-KNT has slightly worse offensive quirks (and engine cap), but it just about makes up for this with its superior agility quirks. Next up is the BL-6B-KNT, which is still very similar to both of these, but with an extra hardpoint instead of the better quirks. Unfortunately, that means that the BL-7-KNT comes in last due to it not having a range quirk at all, though it does also have the best hardpoint locations so…that’s something. And in the end, all the variants are pretty tight in terms of viability, so pick the ones you find most interesting (as long as one of those is the 7-L) – indeed, I’d almost recommend getting the worse 7 rather than the 6B because it has a bit more uniqueness to it (but maybe read the rest of the guide thing first).


Chassis-Wide Information


  • It’s a 75-tonner with a lot of energy hardpoints, plus heat gen and range quirks for those weapons. This lets it fit into the meta pretty perfectly, and allows for some really insane builds.
  • It’s also a 75-tonner with roughly 40% extra structure, making it fairly tanky. This stacks on top of the fact that its hitboxes are also pretty sweet, and let it take a whole lot of punishment. And on top of all that, its arms make for some really nice shields.
  • And it fits a pretty big engine, letting it go up to 83 KPH on the regular variants and 89 on the 7-L. Which is actually reasonable, since it’s relatively XL-safe. Which means that it’s strong in terms of offense, defense, and maneuverability.



  • The mounts are low. Like, Atlas-low. It’s pretty absurd how many of your shots risk clipping the littlest bumps and makes any engagement that isn’t on an open plain a pain in the ass. They’re so low that corner-peeking is even somehow hindered by it. This really hampers its strength at range as well.
  • Hand actuators keep you from squeezing in an extra heat sinks, which I suppose isn’t the end of the world, but man it would be nice.


Generic Tips

  • Don’t try to poke over ridges unless your team is already set up and doing so – you’ll get absolutely mullered. If you are going to crest a ridge at all, it better because you plan on staying up and firing for a while as part of a line or push, because straight-up trades won’t be favorable.
  • Corner-peeking can be useful if you’ve got enough weapons on that side (I’d say 35 is a good minimum), but your biggest strength is usually in your alpha – don’t be afraid to use it.
  • Head laser’s on the left side…not that important, but worth noting for when you make your own builds!



If you’re not familiar with my Inner Sphere Master Guides, each pretty much follows the same formula. Each variant gets its own section; within that section I try to include at least two main builds, each with a few variations on the core principle (if applicable).

Each build has one paragraph about the build itself – going over anything I feel is relevant to understanding it such as quirks, tonnage issues, how it fits the meta, my general feeling about it…just whatever. And then there’s a paragraph about using the build, going over tactics, tips, and whatever I feel is relevant to that, including links to L2P guides, on occasion.

I may miss a build that you like, or my builds may differ slightly from what you find works best for you because our philosophies may differ – I strongly encourage that you experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.

The modules are listed in order of which one is most important and the consumables I’ve listed are the ones that are generally the best, but while leveling the mech you may want to swap the less important consumable out for a UAV. That is, if you can afford to use consumables at all (they aren’t necessary, just nice, and if you’re low on C-Bills they’re not necessarily worth it).

On with it!



This variant is the best just from its offensive quirks. It has 15% to energy range and 5% to heat gen. It only gets 20% extra torso twist speed for agility, but it does get an engine cap of 385 instead of 360 (and all that is of course on top of the ~40% extra structure).

Build 1:

As far as I’m concerned, this is the Black Knight build. Your left-side poke is nothing to scoff at, and your alpha strike is incredible – in two shots, you can open up any mech in the game, and you can kill most of the smaller ones! The only real weakness that this build comes with (aside from the basic flaws of the chassis) is its range limitations. 324m may be adequate for some engagements, but even the 438m large pulses get out-ranged on occassion.

This build exists to dump damage into the enemy as fast as possible (the duration quirk really helps your precision), and then you can just chill out for a while. Well, ideally you can. But oftentimes it’s not that simple, so in those kinds of situations, stick to firing 3 large pulses at a time. All in all, just focus on getting good shots in when you can, and don’t bother with the medium lasers if you’re running even sort of hot. For more on laser vomit stuff, check out the L2P Guide.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Now this is a bit more unique. I wouldn’t say it’s better than the main laser vomit build, but it’s a neat little twist that manages to make it unique to the variant!

Weapon Modules: Med Laser Range, Large Pulse Range

This benefits a good deal from the duration quirks, and doesn’t sacrifice much alpha. Of course, the big bonus is the extra range, but you also cool off faster from all those heatsinks. It can also go faster, but that sacrifices a couple heatsinks.

Weapon Modules: Med Laser Range, Large Laser Range


Honorable Mentions:

This is another one of the few unique builds this variant is capable of. And, while the laser vomit with a huge engine doesn’t make great use of said engine, this actually does. With a focus on the short(er) ranged flanky brawly type of playstyle, this can stick into a fight and get some real work done, and the speed helps a lot. The main downside is offensive; it has neither crazy alpha nor crazy DPS, just…adequate amounts of each. And in such a great mech, why settle for adequate? In terms of actual play, it goes a lot like most other brawlers, and I’ll talk more about this in the section for the BL-6B-KNT. But you can really get in there and lay down some serious hurt, just try to avoid biting off more than you can chew.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Med Laser Range, Med Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike


The duration quirks help this build out a lot, but it still sacrifices too much raw firepower and the mounts are way too low. You can swap the Larges out for ERs too, but it’s already hot as balls.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This is much more gently on your heatsinks, but it’s less brutal.

This one might be a wee bit hot for you, but it’s pretty crazy.

Weapon Modules: LPL Range, LPL Cooldown


This is very narrowly edged out by the 7-L, but it’s still great. It gets 5% to energy range, heat gen, and cooldown, with no duration. For agility, it gets 10% accel/decel, turn rate, and torso twist speed. Which all goes on top of the default ~40% bonus structure that this chassis gets.

Build 1:

It’s not worth going into too much detail here, as you may notice that the build is a dupe of the first build from the section about the BL-7-KNT-L. But there are a few things worth pointing out. First off, coming from the 7-L, keep in mind that you’ll have a higher duration. But you’ll also be way more agile, which ain’t half bad. Aaaand that’s about it.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

If you can’t handle the heat, you…might appreciate this slightly cooler and faster version. I used to like this one better, but 10 extra damage for the loss of 1 heatsink is worth it for me. If it isn’t for you, then this build is also pretty sweet.

I’m not a huge fan of losing one of your precious Large Pulses, but this does net you some nice heat sinks. The loss of range and duration doesn’t tinkle me, but it’s an interesting enough concept.


If you don’t like Laser Vomit…

…you picked the wrong chassis. But you can port a lot of builds from other variants onto this one, but nothing’s super worth pointing out in particular. So if you end up liking another variant’s builds, try duping them up on the 6.



This variant comes in with 9 hardpoints, to go with its 10+15% energy/ER PPC heat gen quirk, as well as the ~40% structure bonus of all variants.

Build 1:

It’s quite tanky, does loads of damage, no ghost heat…the biggest problem that keeps you from brawling is its heat, but it dissipates heat fast and if you just fire the pulses you’re nearly heat neutral. But you can alpha a few times and just keep on the pressure like nobody’s business, shielding till the world ends if need be. All that being said, you’re still better off with a Laser Vomit build if you just want the best way to play the  mech.

Stay off the front lines until the teams start engaging – you can’t do much in a poking battle. Always be looking for a good spot to get into range though, if you find a way to flank from 400 meters and get a few shots off, go for it, especially if it’s on your way to getting even closer. Just don’t get cut off or cross too much open ground. Once you get into a brawl, focus on kill-shots: 52 damage will cut down even a fresh mech in 2 or 3 alphas if you focus your damage well, which you should be able to with MPLs. And don’t forget to shield – the massive CT makes it vital.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Med Pulse Range, Med Laser Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

The fantastic convergence of pure left-side mounted stuff on this mech inspired me to make this build. It’s not really great, but I just thought it was cute how asymm this mech can get.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Med Pulse Range


Build 2:

I feel like a broken record, but this is not the best variant for this build, the BL-7-KNT-L is and you can read more about the build there. But! It is the most hilarious variant for the build. Seriously, it’s absolutely absurd and, even if you end up running the saner version below, I would hope you at least try this build too once you get double-basics.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Med Laser Range, Large Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Artillery Strike

Why you gotta be a butt 🙁 you can also run the build with 4 or 5 medium lasers if you like.

Weapon Modules: LPL Range, Medium Laser Range


This is another variant with 9 energy hardpoints, and is the only variant to get 3 in a single hardpoint (the LT). It gets 10% to cooldown and 5% to heat gen, with a bonus 10% to PPC cooldowns and 30% to PPC velocity. And then there’s the ~40% bonus structure without any agility faff. So yeah, the quirks are the worst and the slightly-better hardpoints just aren’t enough to make this not-the-worst variant.

Build 1:

I’m not going to go too far in depth on this one because, well, it’s not that different than the build on the Bl-6-KNT, but it’s worth talking about a bit. This build is what makes me not hate the variant, and I’ve had a good bit of fun with it. Laser convergence is never a huge problem, but the convergence on this build is particularly nice, and the build just feels right, in my experience.You can roll damage like a madman and take snap-shots when you can, and let the high-alpha low-duration craziness do the work for you. Have fun!

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Med Pulse Range, Large Pulse Range

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

You get a bit more range, speed, and armor out of this, but you also get a bit more duration, which I’m not a fan of. And you lose some damage, too. It’s up to you of course, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the wubs.

Weapon Modules: Med Laser Range, Large Pulse Range

It’s just a bit lame to do the build on this variant rather than the others which all do it better, but it’s certainly your prerogative.

Weapon Modules: Med Laser Range, Large Pulse Range


Build 2:

Let me enumerate the reasons why you should not run this build on this chassis! Number 1: the mounts are looowwww. You can’t hill-hump, corner-peeking can be unreliable, and it just fails hard on most maps. Number 2: It’s just awkward. Some builds feel awkward, and sometimes it’s worth running them anyways because the weapons are good enough to outweigh that, but this is not one of those times! The hardpoint distributions, crit slots, weapon groups…they all just feel off when building and running it, and maybe you don’t care but it’s one of those intangibles that really gets me. Number 3: Why accept such a big downside as ghost heat when you don’t have to. Basically, your beam durations are effectively 1.5 seconds now, which is about twice what you get on some of the other, better builds. In the end, it just gets to the point of too many factors stacked against it.

That being said, it doesn’t suck, it’s just sub-optimal. You can play this with success by sticking to medium-long range engagements, and sometimes you do it by corner-peeking or flanking or just by seizing whatever opportunities you may have. You want to shield with your left side for as long as you can stand (usually this is until it’s at yellow internals), before switching to more of a damage-rolling strategy. As a result, you should get lots of favorable trades, and since you have so much health, favorable trades are really favorable for you.

Mech Modules: Radar Deprivation, Seismic Sensor

Weapon Modules: Large Laser Range, Large Laser Cooldown

Consumables: Cool Shot, Air Strike

This was the first version I looked at, and it makes sense, but after giving it some thought and testing, I figured that going for asym makes more sense.

Not much more to say – it’s hotter, but more powerful.

You can run this build in the asym style as well, but I don’t feel that it’s as valuable here – you can’t control engagements as well from shorter range, and being exclusively right-side mounted already has bit me in the ass on more than one occasion with the longer-range version. In terms of actual play, it’s something between the usual laser vomit style and the Large Laser spam that I just discussed; focus on keeping your range and using high-alpha (but don’t actually alpha and break ghost heat) barrages to devastate them before they can pressure you. This is perhaps less about poking, suppressing and trading than it is about overpowering and intimidating.

Weapon Modules: Large Pulse Range, Large Pulse Cooldown


Pilot Skills

I’ve figured that this is the best skill order for pretty much any mech, and so I’m just going to customize it for mechs that have to emphasize unusual pilot skills.

Basics: Cool Run – Heat Containment – Hard Brake – Kinetic Burst – Twist Speed – Twist X – Anchor Turn – Arm Reflex

Elites: Speed Tweak – Fast Fire – Quick Ignition – Pinpoint

Then just master it. Honestly, the only good ones right now are the BL-6B-KNT and maybe the BL-6-KNT, but in the future if quirks change I could see the BL-7-KNT being better than both. Only time will tell on that last one.


And that’s that. I hope you enjoy your mech, let me know if you have any questions, and as always glhf

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