Here is a guide on Gepard, Serval’s little bro. He is the ultimate defensive option and the only character to go from B tier to S tier. His shields are immense. His uptime is great if you build him right. And he enables some DPS like none other.
We will be going through his stats, abilities, traces and eidolons, and then his pros and cons. Then, we will discuss his best relics and light cones, and finish with his optimal rotations and team compositions.
Stats & Comparisons
Gepard is a 5* Ice character and part of the standard 5* units in the game. He follows the Preservation path, the path dedicated to shielding and protecting your allies. If you don’t want to spend too much money to pull Gepard, but you want to experience him. You can directly buy a Honkai Star Rail Account with this character.
At level 80, he has a very high base HP of 1397, a base attack of 543, and a high base defense of 654.
His speed, however, is a low 92. But his energy cost is also low, only at 100.
As a preservation unit, his taunt value is the highest in the game at 150, which equals to a 35% chance of being hit, but that’s before any aggro modifiers. So, this makes him the unit with the highest base HP in the game, and why not also the highest base defense in the game?
His attack is one of the lowest in the game, and unfortunately his speed is the second slowest in the game, just above a small girl who doesn’t even wear shoes.
At 100 energy cost, he has one of the lowest energy costs in the game, which is perfect for his OP ultimate. So, he’s super tanky, but a little slow.
His basic attack is Fist of Conviction. It is a normal basic attack, dealing standard ice damage to a single enemy.
This will do 30 toughness damage, regenerate 20 energy for Gepard, and 1 skill point for the team.
Skill & Should You Use It?
His skill is Daunting Smite. It is an impair type of skill. It will deal a large amount of ice damage to a single enemy, with a 65% base chance to Freeze the enemy for 1 turn.
When frozen, the enemy will take pursued damage at the start of their turn.
At 65% base chance, you’d need 157% EHR to land this freeze guaranteed, and bosses with CC or Freeze resistance will make it worse.
So, we won’t be using this skill much pre E1. This will do 60 toughness damage, regenerate 30 energy for Gepard, and consume 1 skill point.
His ultimate is Enduring Bulwark and is the part we use him for.
At an energy cost of 100, he will apply a shield to all allies, with the shield scaling on a very large percentage of his defense alongside a big flat shield bonus. This shield will be applied for 3 turns. So, you have 3 turns to get it back up before your team starts taking big damage again.
At a well built Gepard, we are looking at a shield of around 3000 in strength.
Also Read: How To Choose The Most Suitable Light Cone In Honkai Star Rail? - 5-Star Standard Light Cones Analysis
His talent is Unyielding Will.
When struck with a killing blow, instead of being knocked down, Gepard will continue fighting by restoring a percentage of his max HP, 50% at max level. This effect can only trigger once per battle. But it’s useful for any annoying situations with shield downtime.
He can tank for your whole team and get back up just fine. He will also remove any debuffs he currently has. So, that’s useful versus strong debuffing enemies.
Since he won’t count as being knocked down, this also means your Memory of Chaos stars is safe.
Finally, his technique is Comradery. It’s a buffing technique, so you can stack it and use an attacking technique afterwards.
When the next battle begins, a shield will be applied to all allies, equal to 24% of his defense plus 150, for 2 turns. With good Gepard stats, this shield will be about 1300 in strength, and is great for surviving first hits before you start your rotations and shield uptime.
Let’s move onto his bonus traces.
Integrity is his first ascension passive, and his most important one. It will give him a higher chance to be attacked by enemies. These high chances will apply a 300% aggro modifier to Gepard, making his 35% chance of being hit, now a 68% chance.
His second ascension passive is Commander, and when his talent is activated, his energy will be restored to full. Neat little bonus for those instances you do get chunked down, so you can bring your whole team a big shield and not go down without a fight.
His final ascension passive is Fighting Spirit, and will grant him a 35% attack buff, depending on his current defense. It will refresh at the start of each turn, meaning any defense buffs or decreases will modify this value. This is at least a 1000 attack increase at good investment, meaning your basics and eventual skills will do some decent damage for a preservation unit.
His bonuses are in ice damage%, which is whatever, and in defense%, incredible for boosting his already very high base defense.
His final one is in effect resistance, 18% at max, which does nothing versus bosses if they have 100% debuff chance and max level. But it’s nice for when you want to start stacking effect resistance in substats.
Let’s now look at his eidolons.
His first is Due Diligence, and will grant his skill an extra 35% base chance of landing a Freeze, bumping it up to 100% base chance, and reducing the effect hit rate needed to guarantee a freeze to 67%. This eidolon is a really nice first one.
If you face enemies without freeze or CC res, you can now build to guarantee Gepard’s freeze, and he’ll need 50% already for belobog. This means skilling actually has some use unlike E0, as you can sometimes skill to clutch a freeze and save your team.
His second is Lingering Cold. After an enemy is frozen by his skill, so no ally freezes at all. This enemy’s speed is reduced by 20% for 1 turn. It’s a strong slow, but only benefits the desperate occasional skill. So, there’s nothing too amazing.
His third benefits his shield by around 300 shield value, so it’s some okay copium.
His fourth will increase all allies’ effect resistance by 20%. This means he has a base of 38% and strong enemies will have an 81% chance of debuffing him. For the rest of his team, the chance is still 100% pre any eff res stats.
His final eidolon makes his talent gain bonus effects. He will instantly take action and restore an extra half of his max HP. This means in a funny way that he only needs to build for talent level 8. And the effect is whatever, not E6 worthy.
Gepard’s Pros & Cons
So, after his kit rundown, let’s talk pros and cons.
For pros, we have the best shielding in the game. He beats all the competition with ease. This shielding means he enables some DPS that others can’t, or at least can’t as well as he does.
Next, his skill allows for some clutch freezes to save teammates.
Next, he has innate aggro modifiers, meaning he has the highest base chance of being hit out of every unit in the game.
Fire MC’s taunt is 100%, but she has to land it and use a skill point, Gepard is just built differently.
His technique provides a large AoE shield, unlike the others that freeze or do a single target shield.
For cons, we have rough shield uptime in some cases. We will talk about how to keep it up permanently in most cases in the relic section. But for any allies that get double turns from Bronya, they have one less turn of shielding, and could easily be chunked down by enemies with big AoE hits. If they do take two turns, you’d hope they break the enemy’s weakness so they don’t get one shot the next turn.
Fire MC has the benefit of shielding whenever, even if they’re smaller shields. So, any speedy allies are tricky with Gepard. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t use him, and attack boots are always a thing.
Next, his skill has a very low chance until E1. And even then, you can’t afford to take the team’s skill points too much. So, he is kind of a basic attack and shield bot.
Finally, he doesn’t scale too well on eidolons, E1 and E4 being nice ones though.
Next, let’s talk about relics.
In the early game, you can go whatever really, a rainbow set is fine and then you just prioritize stacking defense% on his main stats and pieces.
When you want to start beating content, you’ll want to pick up the Knight of Purity Palace set. It is his best set and is the only shield bonus% in the game. It also gives him some defense%. Without it, he loses about 500 worth of shields value.
For your 2 piece, you can absolutely go Fleet of the Ageless for that stacking attack%. But I would recommend Belobog instead. It will grant him defense%, and even more provided you reach 50% effect hit rate, which you’ll want for freezes.
For main stats, your chest piece will be defense%.
For boots, always speed. We’ll talk about why in a second.
For planar sphere defense% as well, and for rope, always energy regeneration rate.
For substats, prioritize defense%, speed, and effect hit rate as well as effect resistance.
Why Don’t We Stack Defense%?
So, why do we run speed and energy on Gepard?
With the help of EdisonsMathsClub, who sheeted the differences and even made it pretty for me, here is an explanation.
1. Speed gives him more turns and makes him sync speed with his team, so he doesn’t fall behind. With no speed and no energy regeneration, his shields increase by about 25%. That’s cool. But his shields will end up having a 70% uptime on himself, and a 58% uptime on his team, meaning they will take 5 hits, and probably die. Speed also gives him extra skill point generation for the team.
2. Energy regeneration rate will make the hits he tanks and turns he takes produce more energy, and give him a rotation that allows for 100% uptime in most cases. Without it, your team gets a bit better uptime thanks to speed, but still takes a bunch of hits. Energy rope ensures you have a 100% uptime on his shield and the allies’ shields.
Best Light Cones
For light cones, his best will be his signature, Moment Of Victory. It gives him a 200% aggro modifier, bringing his chance of being hit to 76%. It will give him the largest base defense among any light cone, on top of a 24% defense boost that easily turns into a 48% defense boost.
Then, it also gives 24% effect hit rate on top, easing the Belobog conditions, and being exactly enough with an effect hit rate main stat piece to hit the 67% EHR needs on his E1 freeze. It all seems too coincidental.
Landau’s Choice is his next best. The same aggro modifier and a large damage reduction for himself. And since he will be taking tons of hits, it’s perfect for his next best slot.
Day One is my next choice, as the all types of resistance increase gives a lot of extra power to his shielding, as taking less damage means his shields take less too.
The rest are not optimal, but Trend can be used for fun DPS memes, and Amber is nice in the early game.
For Gepard’s rotation, you just get hit, and hit back. Unironically. You just spam basics, providing skill points for your whole team.
With an energy rope, you end up needing 3 basics, perfect for his 3 turn shield, and 2 enemy hits, which at 68 to 76% chance of being hit is easy, and remember, bosses have a lot of AoE hits, too.
If you think you can clutch a freeze, remember lots of enemies have CC and freeze res. You can slam a skill down and remove the need for one tanked hit.
For the best teammates, he enables Yanqing and Arlan like no other.
Arlan wants to stay super low, so Gepard’s shields give him the most safety in the game. Yanqing doesn’t want to take damage, so even if he got hit, if he’s behind a Gepard shield, then he’d keep his talent passive.
Gepard is also Ice alongside Yanqing, allowing the mono ice setup. Yanqing enjoys ATK% boots and won’t zoom ahead of Gepard’s shield uptime. Of course Gepard enables everyone really as a solo sustain.
The only unit he has some counter synergy with is Bronya due to her taking away turns of shielding from DPS.
Possible Team Compositions
So, for an ideal team comp, you can go to the mono iced team with Gepard, Silver Wolf, Pela, and Yanqing.
You won’t be dying, and the enemies will be dying instead. Lots of weakness break damage too and Yanqing will be at his highest power.
A free to play team comp can be Gepard alongside 2 DPS and a support, or even 1 DPS and two supports.