The thrilling story of Honkai: Star Rail finally continues with version 1.2, along with the arrival of Blade. This mysterious character finally takes a step into the spotlight with his 5-star featured banner, A Lost Soul. After getting an attack healer in the form of Luocha, we’re now getting an HP attacker through Blade, who has an HP-sacrificing mechanic that lets him deal an immense amount of damage the more health he loses. Let’s dive deep into the story and abilities of Blade and how he fits in the new meta of Honkai: Star Rail.
Who is Blade?
Blade is a member of the Stellaron Hunters and acts as Kafka’s partner during the events that take place in the Xianzhou Luofu. He’s one mysterious character without a birth name and is only known as a deadly swordsman who abandoned his body to become a blade or an instrument of death and destruction. He seems to have a strong connection with Dan Heng, one of the game’s protagonists and a member of the Astral Express. Dan Heng himself appears to be quite terrified of Blade and the power he yields, enough to give him nightmares. In the dream, Blade is seen to be captured by Jing Yuan and mentions a list of five people that may or may not be a target of his vengeance. Players will have to play through the continuation of HSR’s story to unravel the mystery behind Blade and his connection to Dan Heng and the Xianzhou Alliance.
Blade’s Playstyle and Abilities
Blade is a Wind element user following the Path of Destruction, capable of dealing both single-target and multi-target damage. As mentioned above, Blade sacrifices his health points to deal as much damage as possible to his enemies, making him a high-risk, high-reward character. He is the fifth Destruction character introduced in the game, but his abilities and playstyle differ greatly from all the other ones that came before him. Let’s break down Blade’s kit and analyse each of his abilities:
Shard Sword / Forest of Swords (Basic ATK): Blade’s normal Basic ATK deals 50% – 120% of his ATK as Wind DMG to a single enemy. However, when his Basic ATK is enhanced by his Skill, it transforms into a multi-target attack called Forest of Swords.
Blade uses up HP equivalent to 10% of his maximum HP to inflict Wind DMG. This damage is equal to the sum of 20%-48% of his attack power and 50%-120% of his total HP on a single enemy. He also deals a portion of that attack to the surrounding enemies. If Blade doesn’t have enough current HP, using Forest of Swords will drop his HP down to 1. Also, he doesn’t generate Skill Points while using his Basic ATK.
Hellscape (Skill): Blade’s skill acts more of a buff than an offensive attack. He enters his Hellscape state in exchange for 30% of his max HP. When Hellscape is active, all of his Basic ATK is enhanced and transforms into Forest of Swords for three turns, increasing his DMG by 12%–40%. However, he cannot use his skill again while it’s still active, and he will not regenerate Energy upon using it. The current turn doesn’t end after using the skill, allowing him to switch to his Basic ATK and deal enhanced DMG.
Death Sentence (Ultimate): Activating the Ultimate will set Blade’s current HP to 50% of his max HP. He then attacks a single enemy with Wind Damage that is calculated based on various factors: it’s a sum of 24%-38% of his ATK, 60%-95% of his Maximum HP, and 60%-95% of the total HP he lost in the ongoing battle. This means the more HP he loses before using his Ultimate, the more DMG he can deal with Death Sentence. The total HP Blade has lost in the current battle is capped at 90% of his Max HP.
Shuhu’s Gift (Talent): Blade accumulates 1 Charge stack (up to 5 stacks) upon receiving damage or using his own HP. He can only gain one stack when attacked. When he gains the maximum number of Charge stacks, he launches an immediate follow-up attack on all enemies on the battlefield, inflicting Wind DMG that corresponds to 22%-48.4% of Blade’s ATK and 55%-121% of his Max HP. Once the follow-up attack is over, all Charges are consumed.
Karma Wind (Technique): Blade immediately attacks the enemy with his Technique. Upon entering battle, 20% of Blade’s HP is consumed to deal Wind DMG equal to 40% of his max HP. This attack is applied to all enemies on the battlefield, making it a good opening salvo during combat.
Looking at Blade’s kit, he can be quite an HP-hungry character while maintaining good Skill Point generation. He essentially only needs to use 1 Skill Point every four turns, as he relies mainly on his enhanced Basic ATK. Throughout combat, you need to get used to having Blade’s HP fluctuate as he builds up more DMG the more he loses his HP. A typical rotation for his attack would be to use his skill first, and use his Basic ATK as much as possible while healing him in between, giving him more HP to lose. Finally, when he builds up energy, you unleash his Ultimate, dealing massive Wind DMG to all enemies on the battlefield.
Eidolons and Trace Priority
Investing in more Eidolons isn’t required to build a good Blade. But having more Eidolons helps a lot with his survivability and damage potential. Going for E1 boosts his damage by a lot, and going up to E4 makes him a more comfortable character to use with additional HP and more CRIT Rate stats. Of course, his E6 puts him at the pinnacle of power by reducing the stacks required to activate his Talent and enhancing his skills significantly.
As for Traces, you really need to upgrade all of his Traces equally if you want him to be effective in battle. However, if you have to choose, start with his Basic ATK and his Ultimate first. As you gather more ascension materials, try to level up his skill and talent traces as well for maximum effectiveness.
Blade’s best-in-slot is, of course, the featured 5-star Light Cone that runs along with his own featured banner. It gives him huge CRIT Rate and HP boosts outright that’s active all the time. Whenever he’s attacked, or consumes his own HP, he gets a whopping 24% DMG boost, which goes very well with his kit. For alternative options, here are your 4-star and 3-star options:
4-Star Light Cones
- A Secret Vow – DMG Boost When Low on HP
- On the Fall of an Aeon – ATK and DMG Boost (buy from Herta’s Shop)
3-Star Light Cones
- Collapsing Sky – Basic ATK and Skill DMG Boost
- Mutual Demise – CRIT Rate Boost when Low on HP
As mentioned above, Blade is an HP-hungry character, which means you need to build as much HP as you can without sacrificing other damage stats like Crit Rate or Crit DMG. Building his SPD stats is also crucial, as it helps Blade hit relevant speed breakpoints. Of course, this will depend on what Relic sets you’re going after. To give you a better idea of what stats to prioritise for Blade, here are a few recommendations:
- Body – Crit Rate / Crit DMG
- Boots – SPD / HP
- Sphere – Wind DMG / HP
- Link Rope – HP
For Relic sets, you can go for HP or Wind DMG to boost Blade’s damage output. The new Relic introduced this patch, Longevous Disciple, is practically designed for Blade due to its HP and Crit Rate boost. Here are your options:
- HP/Crit Rate Set = 4-piece Longevous Disciple
- Wind DMG/SPD Set = 2-piece Eagle of Twilight + 2-piece Messenger Traversing Hackerspace
- HP/Wind DMG Set = 2-piece Longevous Disciple + 2-piece Eagle of Twilight
Finally, for your Planar Ornaments, the new Rutilant Arena set from the new Simulated Universe level is a good pick for Blade as it gives a Crit Rate and DMG boost for Basic ATK and Skill. However, it has a really high CRIT Rate requirement if you want the DMG boost. A good alternative is Inert Salsotto, which also has a Crit Rate boost and a lower Crit requirement for its other effect, which is focused instead on boosting your Ultimate and Follow-up attack.
Team Comp Recommendations
Since Blade’s kit revolves around him losing as much HP as possible, you need to have a really good healer by your side as part of your core team. Any of the three healers is good for Blade; it just depends on your needs. Luocha is perhaps the best pick since he automatically heals teammates and gives additional healing when your team deals damage. Shielders are a big no-no for Blade. While it gives him great survivability, you’re losing a lot of damage potential since Blade needs to get hit to lose HP.
A good 5-star hypercarry team with Blade as the main DPS can be quite formidable. You can support him with Silver Wolf for Defence shredding, Luocha for healing, and Bronya for DMG and Crit DMG buffs and advancing turns. Bronya works really well with Blade as she can essentially double Blade’s turn, letting him use his attacks more often and deal more damage. Since Blade doesn’t require a lot of Skill Points, you can practically let Bronya spam her buffs and advancing turns without worrying too much about the team’s Skill Point consumption.
You can also go for a Dual-DPS team composed of Blade and Dan Heng for DPS and Silver Wolf and Luocha as supports. You can switch out your supports depending on what characters you have as long as you have one Nihility or Harmony unit and one Abundance unit for survivability. An F2P version of this would compose of Blade, Dan Heng, Asta, and Natasha.
Hoyoverse continues its trend of shaking up the meta and giving players more team-building and playstyle options with the release of Blade. With his high-risk, high-reward playstyle, Blade offers a unique and exciting experience for players who enjoy a challenge. Players will need to carefully manage their health and make calculated decisions about when to unleash Blade’s devastating attacks. Overall, Blade’s abilities and playstyle make him a versatile and powerful addition to any team.
Make sure you have enough Stellar Jades to pull for Blade 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.