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5-Star Character Tier List – Honkai: Star Rail

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salvage relic task honkai star rail

Honkai Star Rail is a turn-based game that requires players to set up a strategically synergistic team in order to succeed. The game features a variety of characters with different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and players must carefully select and build their team to achieve maximum efficiency. One important aspect of team building in Honkai Star Rail is understanding the various characters’ roles and abilities. Some characters are primarily focused on dealing damage, while others are more supportive, providing buffs or debuffs to their allies or enemies. Additionally, characters are classified into different categories, such as Damage Dealers, Healers, and Shielders and other supports, each with their own unique abilities and strengths.

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In order to build a successful team, players must carefully consider the synergies between their chosen characters. For example, some characters may have abilities that complement each other like giving an elemental boost. Additionally, players must also consider the elemental affinities of their characters, as enemies are weak to different elements, and breaking their toughness can benefit the team greatly in difficult fights. With the focus on creating a powerful team, players often seek out the strongest characters to include in their roster. 5-star characters are highly sought after due to their rarity, and players may believe they are stronger than their 4-star counterparts. However, it’s important to note that there are many powerful 4-star options available that can outperform certain 5-stars. Therefore, players may be wondering which 5-star characters in Honkai Star Rail are worth investing in to maximize their potential. Considering their different roles however, comparing each character can be rather difficult.

Updated on March 6, 2023, by Elara Leclair: With the massive amount of updates and new characters introduced since its launch, Honkai: Star Rail has provided players with the opportunity to test out many 5-star and 4-star characters. While newly added 5-star characters surely bring new mechanics, potentially more suitable for the new end-game content like Pure Fiction or later stages of Memory of Chaos, some of the older characters have also increased in feasibility. Options like Kafka, Seele, and Jing Juan have received highly synergistic support characters that can increase their potential immensely. Nevertheless, it is still quite difficult to assess the strength between certain characters due to their roles. Here’s how they rank, primarily based on their versatility and utility.

26 Trailblazer (Physical)

Honkai Star Rail_ Trailblazer

  • Element: Physical
  • Path: The Destruction

Trailblazer is a unique character in Honkai Star Rail, similar to the Traveler in Genshin Impact. As the main character of the game, players have the freedom to name them and select their gender. Moreover, players can access different elements and paths for Trailblazer, making them adaptable to various situations. At the beginning of the game, players are introduced to Physical Trailblazer, who follows The Destruction path.

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Although players may find this character versatile and useful in the beginning, as they collect more characters of both 4-star and 5-star rarities, they will realize that there are better options available than Physical Trailblazer. This is because their damage output will not be as impressive compared to other 5-star options for both single target and AoE attacks, and they have limited support abilities.

25 Yanqing

Honkai Star Rail_ Yanqing

  • Element: Ice
  • Path: The Hunt

Compared to other 5-star characters, Yanqing is not a popular option among players. This is due to him also following The Hunt path, which puts him at a disadvantage compared to characters like Seele and Dan Heng. While Yanqing has the potential to deal high single-target damage due to his scaling, he may not be as flexible in team compositions as he requires frequent shielding and is not as easy to play. However, as an Ice character, Yanqing can easily freeze many opponents, giving the team a significant advantage in terms of damage and turns.

24 Himeko

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  • Element: Fire
  • Path: Erudition

Himeko is a unique character in Honkai Star Rail, being the only 5-star character with the Erudition path until the release of Jing Yuan. As such, Himeko remains a popular returning character due to her versatility and ability to deal substantial AoE damage with decent single-target potential. In particular, her follow-up attack can activate and annihilate enemies, making her great for farming and auto-battle. With the proper build and support, Himeko can even become a hyper carry, benefiting from characters like Asta who boost Fire damage. This makes her particularly useful in early game.

23 Trailblazer (Fire)

Honkai Star Rail_ Trailblazer-1

  • Element: Fire
  • Path: Preservation

In contrast to the Physical Trailblazer, the Fire Trailblazer is a surprisingly versatile support character that excels at both dealing damage and providing shields. One of Trailblazer’s unique abilities is to taunt all enemies, drawing their attacks away from other team members and reducing overall damage taken.

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Additionally, Trailblazer can recover skill points when attacked or using skills, making him an excellent choice for dealing more damage. Many characters rely heavily on their skills for damage or utility, so having a character like Trailblazer on the team can greatly enhance their overall effectiveness. Nevertheless, with the addition of other characters like Fu Xuan, Trailblazer has become less priority to focus on.

22 Bailu

healer honkai star rail

  • Element: Lightning
  • Path: Abundance

Bailu is a valuable asset to any team due to her healing abilities, which can be crucial in the early stages of the game when players have limited access to healers. With her ability to heal the entire team and revive a fallen ally once per battle, Bailu can turn the tide of a tough fight. However, she lacks significant offensive power or other utilities, in comparison to other healers like Luocha, Huohuo or Lynx, making her not as sought after as before.

21 Gepard

Honkai Star Rail_ Gepard

  • Element: Ice
  • Path: Preservation

Gepard is a character in Honkai Star Rail who specializes in defense and is particularly good at absorbing damage. His unique ability to draw enemies towards him makes him an ideal choice for distracting and drawing enemy attacks away from more vulnerable teammates. Additionally, Gepard has a powerful Ultimate Skill that can create a shield to protect his allies from incoming damage.

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As an ice character, Gepard is also able to freeze enemies, which can give his team the opportunity to attack and potentially win battles early on. However, while characters who can generate a shield are important early in the game, especially before players can access healer characters that are currently lacking in power, there are other characters like March 7 who also possess preservation abilities and are ice characters, making Gepard less unique in comparison to some others on the list.

20 Clara

Honkai Star Rail_ Clara

  • Element: Physical
  • Path: Destruction

Clara, much like Trailblazer, is a Physical damage dealer who follows The Destruction path. Despite being in the middle of this list, Clara boasts exceptional damage potential with a single attack, making her particularly effective in battles with multiple enemies due to her AoE attacks. However, her reliance on her Ultimate can hinder her performance with her other skills, meaning that she requires a more specific team composition to unleash her full potential, such as pairing her with a character that can provide her with energy for her ultimate, like Tingyun. It’s important not to underestimate Clara’s capabilities, as she has the potential to be a valuable addition to any team with the right setup.

19 Topaz

topaz in honkai star rail

Topaz brings a unique combination of being a Hunt character, typically associated with DPS, and having support abilities. Her follow-up attack orientation allows for seamless pairing with other DPS characters, boosting their follow-up damage. This versatility enables players to choose between using Topaz as a support or as a hyper-carry on her own. However, it’s worth noting that Topaz’s performance relies heavily on the synergy with other characters to achieve high damage numbers.

Despite her distinctive qualities, Topaz faces the challenge of Fire not being a particularly favored element in the current stage of the game. Players may find more utility in other DPS characters, and Topaz’s effectiveness could be overshadowed by alternatives. Ultimately, her viability will depend on individual play styles and team compositions.

18 Welt

Honkai Star Rail_ Welt

  • Element: Imaginary
  • Path: Nihility

Welt’s rarity as an Imaginary Element character makes him highly desirable and unique in Honkai Star Rail. As a character who follows the Nihility path, Welt can fulfill several roles, including that of a sub-DPS character and enemy debuffer. His ability to slow down enemies can be extremely useful in challenging combat situations. Furthermore, Welt is versatile and can be utilized in different scenarios thanks to his ability to deal both AoE and single-target damage. One of the most important utility of Welt is the fact that he can Imprison enemies with his Ultimate, which is what makes Welt very unique as a support. Nevertheless, with many more support characters added, his utility has dropped quite a bit, since the turn orders have become more manipulated.

17 Dr. Ratio

dr. ratio header

  • Element: Imaginary
  • Path: Hunt

As a F2P 5-star character provided to players as a token of appreciation, Dr. Ratio excels as an Imaginary DPS character, particularly for players seeking a strong single-target DPS option or lacking Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae. With his kit, Dr. Ratio can execute follow-up attacks on enemies affected by debuffs (and fortunately, he can apply debuffs himself), thereby increasing his own strength in the process. However, despite being a solid character, he does have some drawbacks compared to other 5-star limited DPS characters. Primarily, current content doesn’t favor single-target DPS, and his kit requires more strategic thinking regarding team compositions and character builds. Nevertheless, with the right build and strategy, he can still be a valuable asset to the team.

16 Seele

Honkai Star Rail_ Seele 1

  • Element: Quantum
  • Path: Hunt

Seele, a beloved character in the Honkai franchise, has captured the hearts of many fans with her unique personality and impressive abilities. As the first limited-character to be released, she is highly sought after by players. Fortunately, Seele lives up to the hype, with a focus on single-target damage through her Hunt path, while also being able to excel against multiple enemies. Her unique ability to attack in sequence after defeating an enemy makes her a formidable force, especially since she has the potential for the highest single-target damage output. Additionally, as a Quantum element character, Seele can delay enemy actions, providing her and the team with a crucial turn advantage. Unfortunately, however, while she remains the only 5-star Quantum damage dealer while also having access to mono-teams, her DPS output is not as high as some of the new characters that are released after her. Nevertheless, with the introduction of Sparkle, her DPS potential has increased, making her relatively viable for mono-quantum team compositions.

15 Kafka

honkai star rail kafka crochet doll

  • Element: Lightning
  • Path: Nihility

Kafka, a highly anticipated character among many fans, makes her debut in the Honkai: Star Rail roster as a Nihility character with a unique focus on DoT application. Unlike other characters like Sampo who could apply DoT, Kafka takes this mechanic to new heights, heavily relying on it to enhance her DPS potential. Surprisingly, even though she’s a Nihility character, Kafka tends to play more like a DPS character rather than an offensive support aimed at boosting the damage output of a primary DPS character. This unique playstyle can be an excellent choice for players seeking something different.

However, Kafka does come with some limitations that might hinder her viability compared to other DPS characters. Her major drawback lies in her strong reliance on teaming up with other characters like Black Swan, Sampo or Luka to maximize DoT damage, leaving little room for additional support characters. If players aren’t particularly interested in building these specific characters, Kafka’s performance in battle may not be as optimal, making her gameplay less effective.

14 Jing Yuan

jing yuan honkai star rail

  • Element: Lightning
  • Path: Erudition

In addition to his incredible might and progress through the Trailblazer’s journey, Jing Yuan proves to be a formidable DPS character with a focus on Lightning damage, excelling at consistent AoE damage output. His standout strength lies in his Lightning Lord ability, a follow-up attack that accumulates damage based on Jing Yuan’s skill and Ultimate usage. As a result, he becomes an excellent choice for players aiming to exploit the weaknesses of multiple enemies or efficiently farm materials.

However, when it comes to more challenging content, some aspects of Jing Yuan’s kit may hold him back compared to other newly introduced 5-star characters. His heavy reliance on maximizing Lightning Lord leaves him vulnerable DPS loss since crowd control effects not only can interrupt his actions, setting him back in the action order, but also of Lightning Lord’s. Furthermore, while many encounters involve multiple enemies, Jing Yuan’s performance tends to dip against single or dual boss enemies, making him less sought after in these scenarios despite his considerable potential when effectively built. Regardless, with the new relic set being introduced in version 1.5 update, Jing Yuan’s DPS capabilities have seen a considerable spike, making him quite a useful character especially in content such as the Forgotten Hall when the enemies have Lightning weakness. His strenght can be further enhanced with pairing him with Sparkle, allowing him to not worry about skill point management or Speed in his build, which can still make him quite useful.

13 Bronya

Honkai Star Rail_ Bronya

  • Element: Wind
  • Path: Harmony

Bronya’s true utility may not be apparent in the early stages of the game, especially when players are more focused on defensive support characters. However, once players start building their teams with preferred DPS characters, they will come to appreciate the extent of her utility. Bronya is a versatile character that can speed up the team’s turn progression while also providing valuable buffs such as ATK and Crit. As such, she is currently one of the most desirable standard banner 5-star characters available. Nevertheless, with Sparkle being introduced, her popularity has decreased to some extend, but she is still quite useful for those that do not have access to her, or want to use Bronya in an another team composition.

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11 Fu Xuan

honkai-star-rail-announces-boosted-drop-rates-for-fu-xuan-and-her-light-cone

  • Element: Quantum
  • Path: Preservation

Fu Xuan, the most recent addition to the Honkai: Star Rail roster in the second phase of version 1.3, is a unique Preservation character. Unlike her Preservation counterparts, Fu Xuan doesn’t generate a shield but provides damage reduction. Additionally, she scales primarily with HP instead of the DEF stat, offering players a different approach to defensive support.

What sets Fu Xuan apart is her ability to fulfill various roles beyond simply soaking up damage. She can heal allies, albeit to a limited extent, and increase their Crit Rate. Her versatility shines even more when considering her eidolons, especially her first one, which allows her to boost the team’s Crit Damage alongside Crit Rate. This makes Fu Xuan an excellent choice for players seeking a character capable of providing defense without sacrificing too much in terms of buffing the team’s damage output. She excels in endgame content like Simulated Universe Swarm Disaster and Memory of Chaos, making her a valuable addition to any team composition.

10 Blade

Official art for Blade, Honkai Star Rail's newest character

  • Element: Wind
  • Path: Destruction

Blade is a unique DPS-oriented character in Honkai: Star Rail. Unlike many other characters who scale their damage output with ATK, Blade scales his damage with HP. What sets Blade apart is his ability to reduce his HP intentionally in order to increase his damage output. Paradoxically, as he loses more HP, he becomes stronger. To balance this mechanic, Blade has the capacity to recover some of his HP and becomes much more resilient as his HP decreases. Additionally, Blade is highly skill point-neutral; he doesn’t consume any skill points, although he doesn’t generate any either.

This makes Blade a versatile character who can fit well into many team compositions, particularly those with characters like Bronya, who benefit from using their skills every turn and can effectively buff Blade. However, one minor drawback to playing Blade is that he relies more on having a well-invested healer character. While Luocha is an ideal choice, players who don’t have access to him may find it challenging to keep up with Blade’s HP loss using other healers even though he is generally very F2P friendly.

9 Argenti

honkai star rail argenti team compositions

  • Element: Physical
  • Path: Erudition

Players often overlook the Physical Element due to the limited number of characters available in this element. However, among the existing options, Argenti is arguably the best choice to consider. He serves as an excellent AoE DPS character with a unique Ultimate mechanic that allows him to unleash an enhanced Ultimate by saving up his energy and only utilizing it when the second Energy cap is filled.

Fortunately, with his own kit, he can gain energy faster to ensure he can utilize his enhanced Ultimate as often as possible. Additionally, when paired with characters like Huohuo, his utility increases even further since she can generate energy for the entire team. While his ability may not be fully realized in previous content such as the Forgotten Hall due to the lack of many enemies in a wave, in Pure Fiction content in particular, Argenti becomes one of the best characters players can rely on. This is because it significantly benefits AoE DPS, and hence Erudition characters, more than before.

8 Black Swan

Black Swan featured in her Lullaby trailer for Honkai Star Rail

  • Element: Wind
  • Path: Nihility

One of the prominent characters in Penacony’s story in version 2.0 update, Black Swan, is also notable for enabling DoT (Damage over Time) teams. She works excellently with options like Kafka, or potentially future releases like Acheron or others, and can serve as consistent support for them. This is instead of some other support options that focus on aspects like Crit DMG, which may not particularly benefit DoT playstyles. However, Black Swan is also an excellent damage dealer in her own right. She can stack a massive amount of Arcana stacks after dealing DoT damage, allowing her to deal additional damage through this mechanic.

Players should focus on applying as many Arcana stacks as possible with Black Swan. With more stacks, she’ll be able to apply Arcana to adjacent enemies and ignore a set percentage of defense for enemies with Arcana stacks. Her Basic Attack and Skill apply Arcana to enemies, while her Skill further reduces enemy DEF, and her Ultimate applies more DoT and increased damage. In summary, Black Swan is an excellent Nihility character that focuses on both debuffing enemies and dealing damage. She can be an excellent addition to a player’s roster, especially for those who enjoy DoT playstyles.

7 Jingliu

Honkai: Star Rail Reveals Jingliu's Ability Kit and Ascension Materials

  • Element: Ice
  • Path: Destruction

In terms of damage output, Jingliu and Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae are quite comparable, especially when facing opponents weak to their respective elements. The superiority of one over the other depends largely on the specific content at hand. Jingliu’s main advantage lies in her ability to buff herself significantly while draining HP from her other allies. This allows her to synergize well with characters like Blade but might also make her more reliant on healer support. Additionally, although she is powerful on her own, Jingliu currently lacks access to mono-teams, unlike Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae, as the supports for her element are not designed for a mono-Ice composition yet.

Another noteworthy aspect of Jingliu’s kit is that, unlike other Destruction characters, her single-target multipliers are much higher. This makes her versatile across various types of content, whether it involves a solo boss or enemies that summon adds. With this flexibility, Jingliu is expected to remain relevant for a long time, especially with the release of more fitting support characters for her.

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