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Honkai Star Rail 1.2: The Newest 5-Star Lightning Nihility Unit Is Coming! - Kafka Pre-Release Analysis & Builds

Posted: Aug 07, 2023

Kafka is almost out. And I thought I’d put my take on some talking points the community has been discussing, like Crit Kafka and Break Kafka, as well as talk about some important points Kafka mains will be needing to think about for her release and building her and her teams. 

We’ll review her kit real quick and check out her revealed traces, and discuss these new off meta builds people are talking about, as well as other topics. Then, I’ll give out a safe build path and teammates you can prepare for even if she’s only a few days away. 

Honkai Star Rail 1.2: The Newest 5-Star Lightning Nihility Unit Is Coming! - Kafka Pre-Release Analysis & Builds

Quick Kit Overview 

Let’s quickly look at her kit revealed on Hoyolab

Her basic attack is nothing special. Her skill is a blast skill and will detonate the central target’s DoT effects. That goes for any ally DoTs and break DoTs. Remember that Freeze, Entanglement and Imprisonment are not DoT effects. 

Her ultimate is an AOE damaging ultimate that will detonate all enemies’ DoT effects, rather than just the target in the middle. It will also apply Shock. And as a 5-star limited unit with a shock on her ultimate, we can assume this Shock will hurt a whole lot. 

Her talent is a follow up when an ally uses a basic attack, and will inflict Shock, too. Just like Serval’s kit shocks, these will not be stacking with each other. 

Her technique is an attacking one, and will also apply a shock equal to the ultimate’s one. 

Her traces make her ultimate detonate all dots, give her energy on enemies being defeated with shock, and give all of her Shock base chances a buff. 

So, Kafka’s main role is a main DPS. And her secondary role is a DoT enabler. Without knowing kit numbers, ultimate and skill will be levelled first, and then talent and then basic. Her first passive is OP, her third is a must get too, and her second is nice. 

Kafka’s Scalings 

So, with her kit, what will she scale on

DoTs cannot crit, and she will thus scale primarily on ATK%. She will not need much effect hit rate due to her third trace. And then she will scale heavily on speed because of the nature of her damage. The way her damage will scale on speed is because of the way she double dips in damage. 

Taking more turns is, of course, good for any DPS. If you do a little less damage than usual, but take many more turns, you’ll overall be doing a bunch more damage. 

Kafka follows the same concept. Every turn she takes, she can skill and do some damage. But then, she will also detonate her DoT effects, and any ally dot effects. 

What this means is that speed is even more important for her than usual. Your DoT damage will happen at the start of every enemy turn, but also on your own turns. Getting more instances of those is always good. You also have to, of course, stack ATK%. 

Kritka (Crit Kafka) Discussion

So, that’s two lines in your relics’ possible 4. And that is why people are going to Crit and Break Kafka. If I only need attack and speed, why not add crit. 

The problem is we don’t have infinite substats or possible substat rolls. We need those attack% rolls, and we need those speed rolls. 

If we use my Sampo sheet, and insert 10 crit rate and 10 crit damage subs, and a crit rate chest, his damage naturally comes out ahead versus normal attack%. This is losing effect hit rate, which means a lot less debuffs.

Honkai Star Rail my Sampo sheet

But since we compared with Kafka and Kafka won’t be needing effect hit rate, so we can follow the same concept. 

So, in a solo case, the crit will be doing more damage if you’re just considering a DoT effect, and a damage effect. Then comes in the detonations

The DoT scales on ATK%, the kit damage scales on attack%, and the detonations scale on ATK%. Only one of these scales on crit. The more you remove speed for crit on Kafka, the fewer detonations you’ll get. The more you remove ATK% on her for crit, the less damage her overall kit does, before one third of it being multiplied by crit. 

Foregoing speed also means potential allies’ DoTs also suffer, but Crit Kafka would be running stuff like Tingyun and Asta, so that wouldn’t matter. 

Of course, just like Serval is primarily a crit DPS, with a nice DoT, Kafka will be a DoT DPS, with a nice amount of crittable damage. So, you can still run the crit, and it will still work and be viable until MOC gets beefier and beefier. Though the nice part about not running crit, is all those pieces without crit can finally be used.

Breakfa (Break Kafka) Discussion 

As for break Kafka, her break effect scalings were removed from CBT2, which is a bit sad. But breaking is still a ton of damage when you focus in on it. And since she can detonate, going all in on speed and break effect will do decent damage. 

It will need you to be breaking, and/or bringing Serval, and being against Lightning Weak, but it can work. Remember, break shocks stack with normal shocks, and can even stack on other teammates’ break shocks. 

If you’re daring, you can stack Serval and Kafka’s 4 shocks all on one poor boss, with Serval’s ultimate infinitely extending these Shocks. 

At the end of this though, you can ask why bother, and just run attack% and speed. Of course, you can play how you want, and I’m excited to see all three builds post release. They’re all going to be great and will probably be beating the late game Memory of Chaos

Teammate Discussion 

As for teammates, she is a DoT enabler, as her second role. 

Remember, she is foremost a main DPS, and she can therefore run your standard team setups you’ve been building for. 

She doesn’t need those dot friends if you don’t want to build them. She can run your Tingyun, your Bronya, your Yukong if you’re going to Critka. She can be the focus of your team. She doesn’t need Sampo or Serval or Luka to perform, like some people are stating. 

Just like Serval main DPS is doing excellently, and Sampo solo DoT is working, Kafka will be fine just by herself. You can, of course, use those DoT units you’ve been building up, and they’ll be best with her due to her detonation playstyle.

But if you just want to get her and play her cause you love her, then go ahead. You’ll see plenty of showcases within the first week of her popping off as a solo DPS. 

Also Read: Mechanics Explained You Need To Know In Honkai Star Rail! - DOT, Debuff & Break Effect

Safe Relic Build

So for a safe build, 4-piece Band of Sizzling Thunder will, of course, be excellent on Kafka. 

Space Sealing Station for the planar ornaments. Pan Galactic will most likely be a DPS loss due to her third trace. You’ll also be able to run 2 piece combos, such as musketeer, messenger, and the lightning set again. There’s also the possibility of Quantum set. 

For main stats and substats, you’ll want ATK%, SPD, lightning DMG% and ATK%

For subs, you’ll be chasing attack% and speed, getting to whatever effect hit rate needs she has, and then plopping the rest into your desired stats. 

Light Cone Discussion 

For Light Cones, her signature will be incredible for her, due to it being stackable with her base kit shock, just like the Resolution light cone defense shred stacks with Pela’s ultimate, since they are two different sources or named debuffs. 

Good Night and Sleep Well is broken and will be amazing for her, too. You’re looking at a permanent 72% damage boost if you have 3 debuffs on the enemy. 

Fermata as a free to play option is nice, and Welt’s light cone works because of its high base ATK%, DMG%, and skill damage buff, which will be boosting her DoTs during the detonation. 

Best Friends And Teams 

Her best sub DPS will be Sampo and Luka, and Serval, and break DPS will also work great with her. 

Her best supports will be Asta, Pela and Silver Wolf. But remember, she can use other harmonies, too. Don’t feel restricted. 

A standard team comp for her will include one of your desired sub DPS, combined with a buffer or debuffer, and then a solo sustain. 

Pick your poison. Triple DoT will be a bit risky to run with lack of survivability, and not best in damage, due to Asta, Pela and Silver Wolf boosting the damage of two DPS a ton. 

I hope that helps for any Kafka wanters. It doesn’t matter if you can’t pull her when Kafka is online, you can directly buy a Honkai Star Rail Account with this character. Hope you all become Kafka havers. 


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