Honkai: Star Rail Team building

Honkai: Star Rail’s gameplay is heavily reliant on the strategic construction of your team. Simply assembling a team with high-rated characters won’t automatically equate to success. You’ll need to pay attention to several aspects, such as the synergy among characters and the intricacies of the elemental system in the game. Despite having a team with fantastic synergy on paper, you may find yourself at a disadvantage against a resilient boss if you’re unable to break through its toughness bar.

One interesting aspect of the game is the lack of a timer or turn limit, barring one exception. This aspect puts the focus on ensuring your team’s sustainability and ability to recover, rather than just maximising damage output. After all, substantial damage output is futile if the enemy eliminates your DPS character in one fell swoop.

To summarise, here are four pivotal factors to bear in mind while constructing your team:

Survival: With the gameplay being turn-based, monsters will inevitably get their chance to attack. If your team lacks mechanisms for damage recovery or prevention, such as a Healer or a Shielder, the enemy will gradually drain your team’s HP.

Synergy: Some characters perform sub-optimally when randomly included in your team. Consider Clara, who primarily deals damage through Counters that require her to be attacked. Partnering her with March 7th, who can shield Clara each turn, increases her likelihood of being targeted by enemies.

Skill Points: Basic Attacks generate Skill Points necessary for using a Skill. Thus, your team should strike a balance between characters who seldom use their Skill and those who use it every turn, resulting in consistent DPS. This point is particularly crucial in the late game, notably in Forgotten Hall.

Elements: In Honkai: Star Rail, mastering the elemental system is critical. Though it’s possible to bypass this in the story by sticking to one team, challenging content like Simulated Universe or Forgotten Hall will require you to mould your team according to the boss’s weakness. This strategy is particularly useful in the early game as stacking the effect over 200% for Break builds allows for considerable damage to bosses.

Beginning stages (Story)

Throughout the prologue, team building isn’t a major concern since you’ll only have access to certain characters. Greater flexibility only arises after unlocking Warping and conducting your initial 20 pulls.

Remember that obtaining one of the seven 5★ characters available requires up to 50 pulls on the Beginner Warp banner. Luck may be on your side with an early 5★ character within 20 pulls, but most players will need to utilize all 50 pulls.

Here’s a base team template comprising free characters, which we can adjust as we advance in the game:

Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Sub DPS (AoE) – Trailblazer (Physical) Serval Offensive support – Asta Shielder – March 7th

The first half of Jarilo-VI, the first planet after the prologue, features enemies vulnerable to Physical and/or Wind. This allows Trailblazer and Dan Heng to excel as there is no need to switch characters to break the toughness bars.

As you progress, and face enemies weak to Lightning and require more AoE, introducing Serval as a replacement for the Physical MC is beneficial. Serval excels as an AoE damage dealer and serves as an excellent alternative to Physical MC. You could even consider using a Dan Heng + Serval duo. Ensure to level up the Phys MC as you’ll require him once his Fire variant is unlocked. More details on this will follow later.

As you navigate through the storyline of Jarilo-VI, you’ll unlock Natasha, a valuable Healer character. Given the game’s difficulty spike that arises right after her acquisition, it’s wise to immediately incorporate her into your team. Without her, your subsequent boss battles may prove challenging. Here’s an updated look at your team:

Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Sub DPS (AoE) – Trailblazer (Physical) Serval Healer – Natasha Shielder – March 7th

Upon completion of the last main story mission of Jarilo-VI, the Main Character’s Fire variant will become available. This Shielder/Taunter/Breaker hybrid is considered one of the most potent characters in the game and should be a permanent fixture in your team from this point on.

Here’s how your updated team will look:

Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha Shielder – March 7th

While Dan Heng will continue to be your primary DPS, it could be replaced based on the enemy’s weaknesses. However, the combined elemental coverage of Dan Heng and Fire MC should typically suffice.

We dubbed the above team arrangement – comprising three defensive support characters – the Turtle Team during the Final Beta. This strategy is especially effective in the Simulated Universe. However, if you prefer a faster gameplay during the Story, consider this alternate team setup:

Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Sub DPS (AoE) – Serval Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha

The Power of 4★ Characters

Fortune in the form of Sushang or Tingyun can dramatically smooth your early game progression. Sushang can replace Dan Heng as a Physical Attacker when necessary, offering the best 4★ damage output. On the other hand, Tingyun can supplant one of the Shielders to significantly boost your main character. Tingyun and buffers like Bronya become increasingly useful as your main character gains more stats to boost. Here’s a team composition that includes both:

Main DPS (single) – Sushang Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Offensive Support – Tingyun Healer – Natasha

The Newbie Banner

A complimentary 5★ character is guaranteed for every player after 50 pulls on the Departure Warp (Newbie Banner), which hosts seven possible characters. Here are some early game team suggestions for two of them:

Bailu

Bailu simply replaces Natasha, leading to this Turtle Team variant:

Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Bailu Shielder – March 7th

Bronya

Bronya is slightly more complex. As a buffer, she enhances stats and damage output. However, if the main carry is weak, her effect will be less significant. Thus, Bronya becomes truly effective around levels 40-50, where stats are high enough for her to make a substantial impact. The team below is a modified Turtle Team with a single DPS, but it sacrifices one Shielder. Here, Bronya boosts your main carry damage, ensuring you eliminate enemies quickly enough to compensate for the lack of additional shielding.

You’ve unlocked a host of interesting characters, each with unique abilities and functions. Here’s how to make the best of them in your teams:

Clara

Clara is a unique DPS character who thrives on being hit – her ability allows Svarog to attack enemies multiple times each turn. To maximize counters, March 7th can continually shield Clara. Here are two team configurations for Clara, with the second one leaning towards a more offensive approach and requiring a gacha 4* character.

Team 1: Main DPS (single) – Clara Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha Shielder – March 7th

Team 2: Main DPS (hybrid) – Clara Shielder – March 7th Healer – Natasha Offensive Support – Tingyun

Gepard

Gepard’s ultimate ability allows him to shield the entire team simultaneously. His energy gain and ultimate do limit him, and March 7th is a stronger option in the early game.

Team: Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Sub DPS (AoE) – Serval Healer – Natasha Shielder – Gepard

Himeko

Himeko specializes in AoE damage, but her single target damage is lacking. Here are two options for Himeko:

Team 1: Main DPS (AoE) – Himeko Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha

Team 2: Main DPS (AoE) – Himeko Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha Offensive Support – Tingyun

Welt

Welt, the only Imaginary character, can debuff enemies offensively and defensively while dealing decent damage.

Team: Main DPS (single) – Dan Heng Debuffer – Welt Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha

Yanqing

Yanqing is a single-target damage dealer with great nuking potential but no AoE skills. Two team compositions can be formed around Yanqing:

Team 1: Main DPS (Single) – Yanqing Main DPS (AoE) – Serval Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha

Team 2: Main DPS (Single) – Yanqing Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Healer – Natasha Offensive Support – Tingyun

Seele

If you were lucky enough to draw Seele, here’s an early game team that could leverage her abilities:

Team: Main DPS (hybrid) – Seele Shielder/Breaker – Trailblazer (Fire) Offensive Support – Tingyun Healer – Natasha

However, in the Simulated Universe, it may be wiser to replace Tingyun with March 7th to form a Turtle Team for safety.

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