You should definitely try out Cyberpunk 2077 Mantis Blades, especially now that they've been changed in the 2.0 update. I always think I'm going to be a ride-or-die katana user in Cyberpunk, but that plan falls through about as soon as I gather enough scratch to install an arm cyberware. It's a well-known fact that swords are cooler when they protrude from your arms, and Cyberpunk's new 2.0 update (as well as the Phantom Liberty expansion) capitalizes on this with new abilities that mean you never really have to pick up a gun again.
Maybe the biggest revelation of 2.0 Mantis Blades is the new deflection ability on the Reflexes tree. In the original game, it was rarely the smartest move to unsheathe a blade and run straight toward an enemy, but deflection lets you turn your disadvantage into a clutch counterattack that can kill enemies without ever having to touch them. Here's how to get started with Cyberpunk 2077's Mantis Blades, and our tips for making the best build around them.
How do Mantis Blades work?
Mantis Blades share a basic moveset with Cyberpunk's katanas, meaning you can left-click for a light attack, hold left-click for a heavy attack, and hold right-click to block. The main difference with Mantis Blades is that the charged heavy attack leaps toward enemies, which normal katanas can only do with a fairly late perk unlock. Mantis Blades also replace your unarmed melee slot in V's inventory, meaning you can equip three weapons plus the Mantis Blades.
At the beginning of Phantom Liberty, Mantis Blades also benefit from the first Relic tree perk. With Jailbreak, using blade finishers or dismembering enemies charges the next Mantis Blades leap. When charged, leap attack range is increased by 30 meters and deals "massive" damage. These attacks are also more likely to dismember their target, meaning there's a decent chance you'll immediately charge the blades again.
How to get legendary Mantis Blades
Cyberware works a bit differently in the 2.0 update. Instead of gating arm weapons by your attribute scores, you can now buy and equip tier 1 Mantis Blades from any ripperdoc as soon as you have the cash. One way to get legendary Mantis Blades is to simply upgrade your lower-tier set to tier 5 with crafting components. Those can get pretty hard to come by, but you can also buy higher tier Mantis Blades from any ripperdoc as they become available.
Cyberware stock used to vary heavily depending on which ripperdoc you visited, but now it seems to be based on your player level and street cred. At level 10, you can only buy tier 2 Mantis Blades, but at level 50 ripperdocs will sell you tier 5.
Cyberpunk 2077 best Mantis Blade skills
If you're starting from scratch with a new character and want to specialize with Mantis Blades, start dumping points into Reflexes. Once your Reflxes are at 9, prioritize unlocking these abilities first:
- Dash: At level 2, turns the default dodge move into a stylish lateral dash. Helpful for closing distance between enemies and rushing into cover.
- Lead and Steel: At level 2, allows you to block bullets with blades at a high stamina cost.
- Bullet Deflect: Branches from Lead and Steel, upgrades bullet blocking into bullet deflecting.
Once you have those basics covered, it's worth making your second best attribute Technical Ability. This perk tree greatly enhances your cyberware, and as the section below explains, there are a few key cyberware components that pair well with the Mantis Blades. Prioritize the All Things Cyber, License to Chrome, and eventually Edgerunner.
Cyberpunk 2077 Mantis Blades: Best Cyberware to use
Obviously you'll want to start with installing some Mantis Blades in your arm slot, but even that comes with a choice of four variants: Physical, Toxic, Thermal, and Electrifying. They all do similar overall damage, but I recommend physical blades for their inherent boost to crit chance. As for other complimentary cyberware, here's what you should focus on:
- Sandevistan (Operating System): Installing a Sandevistan replaces your ability to quickhack, but the combat benefits of a "slow time" button are huge when it comes to Mantis Blades. The world slows by 50% while you move in real time. There are a few different Sandevistant variants that boost different damage types, but I prefer the Dynalar Sandevistan that boosts crit chance and crit damage.
- Stabber (Nervous System): Increases crit chance with blades and throwable weapons depending on the tier (my tier 3 boost is 12.5%). This one is also Reflex Attuned, meaning you get an additional 0.1% crit chance for every point in that attribute.
- Microrotors (Circulatory System): Increases melee attack speed depending on tier (my tier 3 boost is 17%). Reflex Attuned attribute points add additional crit chance.
- Nano-Plating (Integumentary System): A big chunk of armor, plus a 100% chance to block the next projectile after dashing or dodging. You can only block three projectiles every six seconds, so you can't just spam dash to never get hit, but it is nice to ignore major attacks.
- Fortified Ankles (Legs): The Mantis Blades leap attack becomes a lot easier to use and more useful when you can get in the air quicker. Any form of enhanced jumping will do the trick, but I prefer the charged jump of Fortified Ankles.
You'll notice some crossover between this build guide and the one we recommend for Gorilla Arms—the two melee weapons share a lot of attributes, so it makes sense that mobility and armor work well with both. The main difference between them is damage and attack speed. Mantis Blades don't deal a ton of damage per attack, but they have a high chance to crit because of how often they can attack. Harnessing crit chance will take you far in the base Cyberpunk adventure, and even farther in Phantom Liberty.