For the second half of Version 1.2, we can finally get our hands on perhaps the most wanted character in all of Honkai: Star Rail (HSR), both in-game and in the player community – Kafka. Aside from her mysterious character, the HoYoverse team did an amazing job teasing Kafka’s abilities and role in the game by making her the very first character you see and play as during the game’s tutorial. Let’s take a deep dive into Kafka’s backstory, skills, and abilities with this character build. So, put on some classical music, sit back, and get ready to be captivated by the enigmatic allure of Kafka.
Who is Kafka?
Like any known member of the Stellaron Hunters, very little is known about Kafka. But her name and exploits have been whispered in hushed tones throughout the world of HSR. Looking at the Myriad Celestia: The Jepella Rebellion trailer, it seems that Kafka has committed some of the most atrocious crimes in the galaxy in the service of Elio, the leader of the Stellaron Hunters who is also known as “Destiny’s Slave.” She is known for her ruthlessness and cunning nature, always staying one step ahead of her pursuers.
As one of the biggest names on the Interastral Peace Corporation’s most wanted list, Kafka has become a symbol of rebellion and defiance against the oppressive forces of the intergalactic authorities. Ever since her appearance, we, the player, only know a couple of things about her: she’s a loyal member of the Stellaron Hunters, she feels no fear or remorse, and she is a master of the arts of deception and manipulation. She also has somewhat of a deep connection to the Trailblazer, which is the main character in HSR’s story. The very nature of that connection is shrouded in mystery, leaving players eager to uncover more about Kafka’s past and motivations.
Kafka’s Abilities and Playstyle
Kafka is a follower of the Path of Nihility, making her an effective support and DPS unit combined into one. Through the element of Lightning, she can channel powerful electrical attacks through her katana and guns to deal damage to her enemies. Unlike your usual DPS characters who deal huge damage numbers, Kafka is methodical and takes her time to deal Damage Over Time (DoT) to her enemies. Her abilities focus on triggering DoT debuffs on enemies and wearing down her opponents with her attacks over a few turns. Let’s take a closer look at Kafka’s skills and abilities to understand her playstyle better:
Midnight Tumult (Basic ATK): Kafka deals Lightning DMG to a single target equal to 50%-110% of her ATK.
Caressing Moonlight (Skill): Kafka swings her purple sword to deal Lightning DMG equal to 80%–176% of Kafka’s ATK to the target enemy. Also deals 30%–66% of her ATK to all adjacent enemies when she casts this skill. If the target enemy already has DoT markers on them, all existing DoT on that enemy deal 60%-78% of their original damage.
Twilight Trill (Ultimate): For Kafka’s ultimate attack, she deals Lightning DMG equal to 48%–86.4% of her ATK. All enemies hit by this will have a 100% chance to become Shocked. Shocked enemies incur immediate damage from their current state, equal to 80%-104% of their original damage, and remain in shock for two turns. While in shock, enemies experience Lightning DoT equal to 116%-318.275% of Kafka’s ATK at the start of each turn.
Gentle but Cruel (Talent): Aside from dealing DoT attacks, Kafka also has Follow-Up attacks built into her kit through her talent. After a member of your team uses Basic ATK on an enemy target, Kafka immediately launches 1 follow-up attack and deals Lightning DMG equal to 42%–159.6% of her ATK to that target, with a 100% base chance to inflict Shock equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate to the attacked enemy target for two turns. This effect of her Talent can only be triggered once per turn.
Mercy Is Not Forgiveness (Technique): Kafka immediately attacks all enemies within range with her Technique. Upon entering battle, she inflicts lightning damage equal to 50% of her ATK on all enemies and has a 100% chance of inflicting shock, similar to that applied by her Ultimate, on every enemy target. This Shocked effect lasts for two turns.
What Makes Kafka Unique?
Since HSR’s release, DoT teams that mainly rely on dealing damage over time haven’t exactly been the most popular or powerful strategy in the game. However, Kafka brings a unique twist to this archetype with her talent and technique. Typically, any DoT effects on enemies will only trigger and deal damage once during the enemy’s turn, which mainly makes DoT a supplemental source of damage. When using Kafka’s skill, however, any existing DoT effects applied to enemies will be triggered along with Kafka’s skill without consuming the duration or stacks already applied on the main target of her skill. When you unlock her Ascension 2 (A2) ability, this effect also applies to the use of her Ultimate.
All of these skills combined effectively make Kafka a burst damage dealer with DoT capabilities. Her kit also solves the inherent weakness of DoT team comps, which is their lack of immediate damage, making Kafka the undisputed Queen of DoT.
Eidolons and Trace Priority
As mentioned above, Kafka’s Ultimate and Skill allow her to detonate DoT effects immediately without waiting for the enemy’s turn, making them both high on your Trace priority list. If you haven’t unlocked her A2 Trace, it’s better to focus on your Skill in the meantime. Once her A2 is unlocked, then you can build both her Skill and Ultimate to make her damage potential even higher. This is only followed by her Basic ATK and Technique, which are still important for overall damage output but not as crucial as her Ultimate and Skill.
For Kafka’s Eidolons, getting at least E2 will make your DoT team significantly stronger. Her E1 and E2 basically amplify DoTs for your entire team, increasing their damage output. Getting your Kafka all the way up to E6 isn’t necessary, but it will make her the ultimate powerhouse of your DoT team.
Building Kafka: Light Cones and Relics
Kafka’s signature Light Cone, Patience is All You Need, is the best option for her as it’s built around the entirety of her kit. This Light Cone gives Kafka good DMG and SPD bonuses while also applying Erode on enemies, which is a separate DoT source that works similarly to Shock. In the Name of the World, which is another 5-star Light Cone, can be good for Kafka as it also gives her a DMG boost, an Effect Hit Rate (EHR) boost, as well as an ATK boost. However, the latter two only apply to her skill and not to her overall damage. If you’re a free-to-play player, then consider the following options:
4-Star Light Cones
- Good Night and Sleep Well – Second best option; great DMG boost like her signature at Superimposition 5
- Eyes of the Prey – Boosts DoT by 48% and gives an additional 40% EHR
- Fermata – Good for Break Effect builds; gives additional DoT damage
There really aren’t any good 3-star options for Kafka, so it’s best to settle with 4-star Light Cones since they give better stats. There are 4-star Light Cones that are pretty cheap and easy to get like Fermata, which you can get from the Forgotten Hall shop.
DoTs have an entirely different mechanic than just straight-up dealing direct damage to opponents. They’re also not affected by crit stats but rely mostly on ATK to increase damage. So when building Kafka, your stat priority should focus mainly on ATK, SPD, and EHR. Since Kafka’s main damage source comes from her DoTs. ATK should be your number one priority while also giving her a decent amount of SPD. A total of 134 SPD should be good enough for her, just make sure other DoT damage dealers have much more SPD than her so they can apply their DoTs first before Kafka’s turn. Here’s a quick breakdown of her stat priorities:
- Body – ATK / CRIT
- Boots – SPD
- Sphere – Lightning Damage Boost / ATK
- Link Rope – ATK%
You can still build Crit for Kafka, and it will still make her more effective, but it is not necessary for her to be a strong unit. Also, ATK is just a better investment since it boosts all of her damage sources, including DoTs. As for Relic sets, a 4-piece Lightning set would be her best option, but you can always mix and match. Just make sure you still follow the stat priorities mentioned above:
- ATK/Lightning Build = 4-piece Band of Sizzling Thunder
- ATK/SPD Build = 4-piece Musketeer of Wild Wheat
- Mixed Build = 2-piece Band of Sizzling Thunder + 2-piece Musketeer of Wild Wheat or 2-piece Messenger Traversing Hackerspace
Lastly, for your Planar Ornaments, the Space Sealing Station set is your best option, as it works well in ATK/SPD builds. But if you want to build more survivability for Kafka, then the Fleet of the Ageless set raises her Max HP while still giving her a decent ATK boost.
Team Comp Recommendations
Kafka, as a DPS unit, is okay and can stand on her own. However, she shines the most when paired with other DoT units like Sampo and the new 4-star Physical unit, Luka. Sampo is perhaps the greatest partner that any Kafka user can pair with her since Sampo provides Wind Shear DoTs as well as a DoT vulnerability debuff to enemies, making Kafka’s detonations much more devastating. Luka and Serval are also great picks as they can also apply Bleed and Shock DoTs to enemies, respectively. Just make sure to give these DoT units more SPD so they can apply their DoTs effectively before Kafka detonates them.
Any support units work quite well with Kafka. For healers, Luocha is a great pick due to his healing, cleanse, and Imprisonment capabilities. He can also generate Skill Points for the team since Kafka can be quite a Skill-hungry unit. Gepard and Fire Trailblazer are two good choices for shielders as they can provide some crowd control and additional DoT, respectively.
DoT teams don’t typically need a dedicated Hunt or Destruction unit since you’ll be relying mostly on the DoT applications. However, if you really want to add one to your team, then Hook and Dan Heng are great choices. Hook can provide some Burning DoTs when she breaks opponents, while Dan Heng applies Wind Shear with attacks that have been buffed by your support units.
A hypercarry Kafka is also possible if you don’t want to pair her with other DoT units. Just make sure you pick Harmony or Nihility characters that will further boost her damage potential, like Silver Wolf, Yukong, Bronya, or Tingyun.
Kafka’s arrival yet again shakes up the existing meta and makes it possible for DoT teams to have a strong presence in the game. Her unique abilities and synergy with other DoT characters make her a strong addition to any team looking to deal consistent damage over time. Do you think the DoT queen has a place in your team? Give Kafka a try and see if she becomes your new favourite character to build!
Make Kafka a part of your team today by topping up your Honkai: Star Rail account through Codashop. We offer secure and convenient top-up services for Honkai: Star Rail and all your favourite games.