Honkai: Star Rail’s first few seconds is nothing short of memorable. The cutscene opens with a shot of a mysterious woman finger-synching to Pachebel’s “Canon in D” as the tune accompanies what looks to be the start of an invasion of a space station by these strange alien beings. She’s quickly introduced to us as Kafka, an infamous criminal part of the Stellaron Hunter group. Under the order of their leader, Elio, she awakens the Trailblazer and leaves them on the Astral Express for an unknown, destined purpose. It’s unclear whether she’ll prove to be a friend or foe, but Kafka has easily become one of Honkai: Star Rail’s most anticipated characters.
Kafka follows the Path of Nihility, a path that wants to stack as many debuffs on their opponents as possible. She whittles her enemies down with Damage Over Time (DoT) as she’s able to make use of her own afflicted Shock as well as other sources of DoT like Wind Shear, Burn, and Bleed.
Riddle your enemies with bullets and lightning while listening to Vivaldi’s Winter as you power up this fearless Spirit Whisperer with the use of this Kafka Honkai: Star Rail guide.
Best Relic Set and Ornament for Kafka
While there’s currently no relic set that’s specifically tailored to enable DoT, the best that players will have to make do with is the Band of Sizzling Thunder. This relic set is made for improving the Lightning DMG of DPS characters like Kafka. Kafka enjoys stacking tons of ATK stats on herself, and the full set bonus works out flawlessly for her due to how skill point intensive her playstyle is. You can get this relic set as a drop by tackling the Cavern of Corrosion’s Path of Holy Hymn.
The Band of Sizzling Thunder gives these shocking bonuses:
- 2-Piece Bonus: Increases Lightning DMG by 10%.
- 4-Piece Bonus: When the wearer uses Skill, increase the wearer’s ATK by 20% for 1 turn.
We can’t blame you if you haven’t started farming for specific relics yet. It’s a pain to get the right pieces from the right set, and it costs a lot of Trailblaze Fuel in the process. For those who haven’t got enough pieces to run a full set, you can settle for a hybrid setup instead. Relic sets like Musketeer of the Wild Wheat and Messenger Traversing Hackerspace have great effects that can generally work on any character.
You can use a combination of the following pairs:
- 2-Piece Bonus Messenger Traversing Hackerspace: Increases SPD by 6%.
- 2-Piece Bonus Musketeer of the Wild Wheat: ATK increases by 12%.
- 2-Piece Bonus Band of Sizzling Thunder: Increases Lightning DMG by 10%.
The two best ornament sets for Kafka so far are between Space Sealing Station and Talia: Kingdom of Banditry. These two sets have completely different effects, but Kafka benefits greatly from either of them. Space Sealing Station focuses on improving the wearer’s ATK by a lot, while Talia: Kingdom of Banditry helps in breaking enemies’ toughness which will make it easier to apply DoT effects on the enemies. Choosing between the two really comes down to players’ preferences and the individual pieces’ substats. You can get these ornaments by clearing World 3 and World 4 of the Simulated Universe, respectively.
Space Sealing Station is a classic with these bonuses:
- Increases the wearer’s ATK by 12%. When the wearer’s SPD reaches 120 or higher, the wearer’s ATK increases by an extra 12%.
For reference, Talia: Kingdom of Banditry grants these effects:
- Increases the wearer’s Break Effect by 16%. When the wearer’s SPD reaches 145 or higher, the wearer’s Break effect increases by an extra 20%.
Stats to Prioritize for Kafka
The ideal main stats on Kafka’s relics are pretty straightforward:
- Body: ATK%
- Feet: SPD or ATK%
- Planar Sphere: Lightning DMG
- Line: ATK% or Break Effect
Players won’t have to chase relic pieces with double lines of CRIT because DoT damage does not crit. All you need to do is to stack ATK% and SPD for her to decimate her enemies with a snap of her fingers. DoT heavily scales with ATK while SPD allows Kafka to proc her and her allies DoT damage more often. In a way, this makes farming for her relics a little easier than other characters like Seele or Jing Yuan. Only the Planar Sphere deviates from this as it’s the one piece that can have Lightning DMG as its main stat.
When it comes to her substats, you’ll mostly want points in SPD, ATK%, Effect Hit Rate, and Break Effect to fully maximize Kafka’s damage and effectiveness. You’ll want to have around 25%+ Effect Hit Rate to ensure that she can inflict her Shock debuff on even elite enemies with a lot of Effect Resistance. Kafka also appreciates some Break Effect as Weakness Breaks grant her additional sources of DoT damage. While it’s not detrimental to have some defensive substats on her, giving her fully offensive gear is the way to go.
Best Light Cone for Kafka
Much like other limited characters, Kafka’s best-in-slot light cone is her own complementary light cone called ‘Patience is All You Need.’ With its increase to DMG dealt, stacking SPD buff, and a new status condition called Erode that doubles as the Shocked DoT effect- it is as tailored to her as her iconic elegant coat. You’ll have to act fast to catch this Stellaron Hunter’s criminally good light cone while its Brilliant Fixation banner is up, or you’ll have to wait for a rerun in the future.
Truly, ‘Patience is All You Need’ on Kafka due to its ability:
- Increases DMG dealt by the wearer by 24%. After every attack unleashed by the wearer, the wearer’s SPD increases by 4.8%, stacking up to 3 times. If the wearer hits an enemy target that is not affected by Erode, there is a 100% base chance to inflict Erode on the target. Enemies afflicted with Erode are also considered to be Shocked and will receive Lightning DoT at the start of each turn equal to 60% of the wearer’s ATK, lasting for 1 turn.
Stellar Jade is hard to come by, so if you missed out on getting a copy of ‘Patience is All You Need,’ ‘In The Name of the World’ is more than just a suitable substitute. DoT effects like Shock are technically considered debuffs in HSR. Kafka’s kit revolves around applying and maintaining DoT effects on her enemies, so this light cone gives her a lot of value from the get-go with the increase to DMG dealt. It also gives her additional ATK and Effect Hit Rate, which improves her DoT damage and makes her debuffs easier to apply. You can get this Light Cone either by Warp or by buying it from the Starlight Exchange for 600 Undying Starlight.
Here’s an explanation of ‘In The Name of the World’:
- Increases the wearer’s DMG to debuffed enemies by 24%. When the wearer uses their Skill, the Effect Hit Rate for this attack increases by 18%, and ATK increases by 24%.
If premium light cones are off the table, ‘Good Night and Sleep Well’ and ‘Fermata’ are great budget options for Kafka and other DoT-centric characters. They’re easier to get in comparison to 5-star light cones and have very potent abilities that get significantly better at higher superimposition levels.
‘Good Night and Sleep Well’ works best when used in a team that can apply different types of debuff due to its stacking effect. On the other hand, ‘Fermata’ increases their Break Effect alongside boosting the wearer’s damage against enemies afflicted with Shock or Wind Shear specifically. Both light cones can be obtained through Stellar Warp as a 4-star drop.
Wish your opponents ‘Good Night and Sleep Well’ with its ability:
- For every debuff the target enemy has, the DMG dealt by the wearer increases by 12%, stacking up to 3 time(s). This effect also applies to DoT.
Meanwhile, Fermata gives these bonuses:
- Increases Break Effect dealt by the wearer by 16% and increases their DMG to enemies afflicted with Shock or Wind Shear by 16%. This also applies to DoT.
Kafka Skill Priorities
Here’s a breakdown of Kafka’s skills:
- Midnight Tumult (Basic ATK) – Kafka deals single target Lightning DMG equal to 50 to 110% of her ATK.
- Caressing Moonlight (Skill) – Kafka’s skill deals Lightning DMG equal to 80 to 176% of her ATK to a single target and Lightning DMG equal to 30 to 66% of her ATK to adjacent enemies. If the target already has DoT, all DoTs currently placed on that enemy immediately produce DMG equal to 60 to 78% of their original DMG.
- Twilight Trill (Ultimate) – This is Kafka’s signature move. It deals Lightning DMG equal to 48 to 86% of Kafka’s ATK to all enemies, with a 100% base chance for enemies hit to become Shocked and immediately take DMG equal to 80 to 104% of the DoT. This status lasts for 2 turns. While Shocked, enemies will receive Lightning DoT equal to 116 to 318% of her ATK at the beginning of each turn.
- Gentle but Cruel (Talent) – After an ally of Kafka’s uses Basic ATK on an enemy, Kafka launches 1 follow-up attack and deals Lightning DMG equal to 42 to 159% of her ATK to that enemy, inflicting Shock equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate to the attacked enemy target for 2 turns. This effect can only be triggered 1 time per turn.
- Mercy Is Not Forgiveness (Technique) – Using her technique attacks all enemies within a set range. Upon entering battle, deal Lightning DMG equal to 50% of her ATK to all enemies, inflicting Shock equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate on all enemies for 2 turns.
Her skill priority is as follows, from most important to least:
- Ultimate (Twilight Trill)
- Skill (Caressing Moonlight)
- Talent (Gentle but Cruel)
- Basic ATK (Midnight Tumult)
It’s not shocking that Kafka’s most important skill to level is her Ultimate. It offers the biggest damage multipliers, both in its initial damage and subsequent DoT, that gets better with more levels. Leveling her Skill improves the damage of her sweeping attack and the scaling of the DoT damage she triggers. Players can safely leave leveling her Talent and then her Basic ATK for last due to the minimal improvements per level.
|Thief’s Instinct (Tier 1)||Obsidian of Dread (Tier 1)||Lots of Credits|
|Usurper’s Scheme (Tier 2)||Obsidian of Desolation (Tier 2)||Regret of Infinite Ochema|
|Conqueror’s Will (Tier 3)||Obsidian of Obsession (Tier 3)||Tracks of Destiny|
Building characters requires a lot of resources, and this takes a lot of time due to how some of these resources are limited by how much Trailblaze Power you have to spend. Whether you need more Obsidian of Obsession, Regret of Infinite Ochema, or even just credits to level up her skills, players will have to manage their resources wisely so it’s best to know which skills are more beneficial over others.
Best Kafka Team Compositions
It’s an absolute delight to watch Kafka strut through hordes of enemies on her own, but this Stellaron Hunter works best with the right companions. Specifically, she’ll want allies capable of applying other sources of DoT that she can proc alongside her own Shock. This does mean that you’ll also want to invest in her allies’ stats and builds to improve the team’s overall damage potential. While Harmony units are great in general, DoT teams actually debuff supports instead to weaken the enemies’ defense and resistances.
When given the choice to pick her allies, you won’t regret choosing these characters:
- Sampo (Source of Wind Shear. Great synergies and amps up DoT damage significantly)
- Silver Wolf (Her partner in crime. Implants weakness and DEF shred)
- Luka (Can inflict Bleed. Good Physical Weakness Breaker)
- Serval (Capable of applying consistent Shock)
- Pela (Debuff support with lots of DEF shred.)
- Asta (Increases ATK and SPD – perfect for a DoT team)
- Tingyun (Helps with the uptime of Kafka’s Ultimate)
- Luocha (Currently the best healer in the game)
Kafka uses her and her allies’ debuffs to weave a dangerous web, ensnaring her enemies before devouring them in an explosion of DoT damage. This playstyle presents players with a refreshing alternative to the crit-chasing meta. With how good her kit is, it’s clear that she will be a staple character in any future team composition that relies on DoT. Destined or not, Kafka has ultimately proven that she was worth the wait.