Honkai Star Rail: Damage Over Time Guide

There are two main ways that DPS characters are meant to be played in Honkai Star Rail. There are the ones that like their build super CRIT heavy and go for huge damage numbers. On the other hand, units like Kafka and Sampo deal their damage over time (DoT), going for a bunch of smaller numbers and debuff effects. But how exactly does this play style work?

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Honkai Star Rail: This damage over time guide will help you understand your Kafka a little better! | © HoYoverse

The standard DPS CRIT characters in Honkai Star Rail have pretty easy to understand and straightforward builds. You want to see bigger numbers? — Try to boost your CRIT DMG by swapping out relics! Or do you want your damage to be a little more consistent? — Make sure you have enough CRIT RATE!

However, this strategy won't work for certain types of units, since their kits are focused around damage over time (DoT). But how does DoT work, and what are some things you have to keep in mind?

Let's not waste any time and head into the nitty-gritty details!

Honkai Star Rail: Damage Over Time Guide

With Kafka, HoYoverse released one of the coolest and most powerful characters the game has seen. However, there are some things you have to consider when building her, since her kit is a little different from the one Jing Yuan would use for example. (Even tho both are Lightning DPS units.)

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There are a bunch of questions surrounding said type of damage, which are pretty situational but will affect your damage output by a lot!

The characters, which’s play style is evolving around DoT are mainly Kafka, Luka, and Sampo as of right now. However, HoYoverse has planned on using this mechanic even more in the future of Star Rail. (So you better know, how this stuff works!)

Honkai Star Rail: Types of DoT

In Honkai Star Rail, characters are divided into different categories, depending on their path and combat type. Typically, DoT characters follow the path of The Nihility, which are known for applying debuffs. Element wise, there are these four possibilities with their corresponding debuffs:

  • Lightning – SHOCK
  • Physical – BLEED
  • Fire – BURN
  • Wind – WIND SHEAR

The debuff applied is basically what deals the main damage in a DoT kit, which means DoT counts as debuff! Keep that in mind for later on, since that is quite important.

Let's take a quick look at the relic stats we should focus on, when building a DoT character.

Honkai Star Rail: Important Stats For A DoT Build

As already mentioned earlier, there are a bunch of differences when it comes to a DoT build in comparison to a CRIT build.

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Honkai Star Rail: These are the main stats for DoT units! | © HoYoverse

The by far most essential thing to know is that debuffs can't CRIT! The ability to criticality strike does only work for direct attacks and follow-up attacks.

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DoT Build: Avoid These Stats

This means, the most valuable two stats in the entire game, being CRIT RATE and CRIT DMG, are incredibly useless on said units! They are basically dead stats, which only apply to the characters' basic attack. (Which aren't really used for DPS characters anyway.) Avoid them just as you would avoid DEF or HP.

DoT Build: Aim For These Instead

There are two super crucial sub-stats you should focus on: ATK and Effect Hit Rate.

ATK is the only thing, debuffs, and thus also the damage over time, scales off really. There is no other stat that increases the unit's damage numbers.

Effect Hit Rate on the other hand, almost works like CRIT RATE for “normal” characters. As the name suggests, it increases the chance to apply the corresponding debuffs and therefore the DoT, when a character is dealing elemental damage.

Sounds pretty easy, right?!

Honkai Star Rail: DoT Interactions

After we found out how DoT scales and which relics are worth leveling, we have to take a closer look at even more situational scenarios.

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Honkai Star Rail: Special interactions including DoT. | © HoYoverse

In order to clear all the nitty-gritty details on how DoT really works, we are doing a little Q&A section down here:

Does elemental damage increase DoT?

  • Yes, it actually does. A pretty significant thing to know, is that DoT does get increased by buffing your elemental damage. Although it sounds temping to just go for an ATK% Planar Sphere, using a fitting elemental damage one is still a little better!

Do debuff stacks count as stacking damage?

  • No, this does not work together. Since many Light Cones' damage is stacking up after multiple attacks, you could think a debuff, which can be applied multiple time in one single attack, would stack a Light Cone effect like this instantaneously (up to five stacks).

    A good example is Sampo's ability, which bounces between two enemies, applying three stacks of WIND SHEAR at once. However, this counts only as one stack for Light Cones like “Good Night and Sleep Well”.

Does DEF down effect DoT?

  • Yes, that lucky works without any problems! If an enemy's DEF is decreased, DoT deals more damage during the duration of the DEF shred.

Does DoT snapshot? (Dynamic or fix damage)

  • No, DoT does not snapshot. If you want your DoT to have buffed damage, let's say a Bronya Ultimate buff, you have to reapply said effect on your unit over and over again. Just because a unit has a buff while applying DoT doesn’t mean that DoT will deal increased damage once the buff ran out.
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    It can be quite difficult to keep track of who has which buff and when does is run out. In order to make it at least a little easier, avoid using character like Yukong in a DoT team, since her buff does only last three turns. try to go for units like Asta instead, since her ATK buff uptime is much higher.

That concludes this little Q&A section and hopefully, the guide could help you to build a really strong DoT team! Especially since Kafka is out, her DoT team with Sampo or Luka is one of the best teams as of right now, so be sure to use it the right way!

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