Extensive research focus had been given to sacrificial sandwich panels to mitigate the effects of blast loads. This is due to their ability to distribute the load and absorb a significant portion of the blast energy. This paper studies the behavior of sacrificial sandwich mild steel panels of axially oriented octagonal tapered tubular cores subjected to near-field impulsive blast. The deformation behavior and several assessment parameters consisting of the peak force, stroke efficiency, energy absorption and core efficiency were investigated using validated finite element analysis. The developed deformation modes were mainly influenced by the top plate and tube thickness. Tubes of a 5° taper performed unfavorably, exhibiting increased peak force and lower energy absorption. Panels of top plate thickness of 4 mm exhibited higher stroke efficiency as compared to panels of lower thickness. The top plate and tube thickness significantly affected energy absorption. An increase of 73.5% in core efficiency was observed in thick-plate panels as compared to thin-plate ones.