There is a lot of complicated stuff in Honkai: Star Rail that needs explaining. Like how can a thick rabbit (or whatever Pom-Pom is) qualify as a conductor of a space train? Or, more importantly, for gameplay, what exactly is the Imaginary Element?
Also known as Imaginary damage or as some players have taken to calling it, emotional damage, only a few characters possess this element right now. But it’s quite a common weakness. We’re here to explain the intricacies of the Imaginary Element in Honkai: Star Rail.
What is Imaginary Element and Imaginary Damage in Honkai: Star Rail?
Imaginary is one of the seven elements that are assigned to a character in Honkai: Star Rail. It’s thus a damage type as well, one among seven in the entire game.
Its symbol is that yellow maple leaf icon. When you see this symbol on top of the enemy’s health bar, it means they are weak to Imaginary damage. That also means that attacking them with this kind of damage enough times to break their white bar will trigger a Weakness Break effect and introduce the status effect associated with the Imaginary Element.
What does Imaginary DMG do?
On top of dealing Imaginary DMG, triggering a Weakness Break effect with this element will apply shock, which is the standard effect for all elements that deal Break DMG or Weakness Break.
At the same time, Imaginary DMG and its Weakness Break effect also have a chance to trigger the Imprisonment debuff on the unfortunate target. This debuff doesn’t deal additional damage to the enemy, but instead, it will delay their action (usually by one turn, sometimes more).
The Imprisonment debuff will also reduce the target’s effect for one turn.
Thus, Imaginary Damage, or the Imaginary Element as a whole, is the ideal element for crowd control tactics or combat moves (depending on the character’s Path) that seek to incapacitate or impede an enemy in an encounter rather than outright killing them.
It’s useful for tougher enemies– those that can’t be killed quickly, such as bosses and tanky minions.
Imaginary Element Relic Set
To improve a character with the Imaginary Element, you’d naturally want to give them a relic set that will increase Imaginary DMG. Right now, in Honkai: Star Rail, there’s only one relic set that provides a straightforward increase to Imaginary DMG, and that would be the Wastelander of Banditry Desert.
Wastelander of Banditry Desert
You can find this relic set in the Cavern of Corrosion in Stargazer Navalia, The Xianzhou Luofu. That means you need to progress past the first planet of Jarilo-VI and explore The Xianzhou Luofu to unlock this particular relic set and its corresponding Cavern of Corrosion.
It’s also worth noting that the Wastelander of Banditry Desert set shares a Cavern of Corrosion reward pool with Firesmith of Lava-Forging, the relic for Fire DMG. That ought to help you plan out your relic runs, especially if you’re also building a character with Fire DMG.
In any case, these are the following stats and bonuses for Wastelander of Banditry Desert:
- 2-Piece Set Bonus: Increases Imaginary DMG by 10%.
- 4-Piece Set Bonus: When attacking debuffed enemies, the wearer’s CRIT Rate increases by 10%. If the enemy is Imprisoned, then the wearer’s CRIT DMG increases by 20%.
As you might have noticed, it works incredibly well with the Imaginary Element. Imaginary DMG during a Weakness Break proc applies one of the most persistent and debilitating debuffs in Honkai: Star Rail. So you can expect the 4-piece set bonus to trigger a lot
In a lot of cases, you can actually get away with just the 2-piece bonus and then mix and match it with another 2-piece relic set if you want. For that endeavor, the best pairing would be with a Thief of Shooting Meteor set.
Thief of Shooting Meteor
This relic set is thankfully more accessible to newer players. You can obtain it in the Cavern of Corrosion in the Silvermane Guard Restricted Zone, Jarilo-VI. This relic set is also given a lot as a reward for progressing your Trailblazer level or as quest rewards.
If you don’t have access to The Xianzhou Luofu, you can opt for a 4-piece Thief of Shooting Meteor relic set in the meantime; it also works well with Imaginary DMG.
That’s because of the Thief of Shooting Metero’s stats and bonuses:
- 2-Piece Set Bonus: Increases Break Effect by 16%.
- 4-Piece Set Bonus: Increases the wearer’s Break Effect by 16%. When the wearer inflicts Weakness Break on an enemy, regenerates 3 Energy.
Break Effect is a character stat in Honkai: Star Rail that determines the intensity of status effects inflicted by Weakness Break triggers. In this case, Break Effect can strengthen the action delay caused by Imaginary damage’s Imprisoned debuff.
So pairing this with Wastelander of Banditry Desert certainly wouldn’t be a waste (pun intended). Just make sure you achieve the 2-piece bonus for the respective relic sets.
Imaginary Element Characters in Honkai: Star Rail
As we stated earlier, there aren’t many Imaginary Element characters in Honkai: Star Rail. In fact, at the time of writing, there’s only one, and he’s a 5-star character.
Welt (The Nihility Path, 5-star)
Welt, one of the most prominent imports from Honkai Impact, is the only Imaginary Element character on release, and a lot of people still don’t have him.
As an Imaginary DMG character, Welt mainly launches a barrage of debuffs against enemy targets. These range from Imprisoned to Slow, practically denying enemies their turn. This makes Welt one of the most powerful support characters in the game.
Upcoming Imaginary Element Characters
Thankfully, we have a couple of new Imaginary DMG characters in the game slated for Phase 2 banners of the Honkai: Star Rail 1.1 Update. You can expect these two to become available in the Warp reward pool sometime in late June 2023.
Luocha (The Abundance Path, 5-star)
Players who have reached The Xianzhou Luofu questline will have likely sampled Luocha’s abilities. He’s a healer, but he deals Imaginary DMG. Sadly, he’s a 5-star character, so you have a lower chance of bagging him.
Yukong (The Harmony Path, 4-star)
Yukong is also present in The Xianzhou Luofu questline but as a major NPC. This time around, players can finally include her on their rosters. She’s a 4-star support character who will most likely function like the three other Harmony Path characters, meaning she’s either a buffer or a debuffer.