Damage Over Time (DOTs) themed comps have been relatively popular since the initial release of Kafka back in Honkai: Star Rail Version 1.2. They are easy to build (unless the RNG gods hate you), having no need for Crit Rate or Crit Damage. These characters also enjoy a selection of powerful Light Cones, and the overall damage shows good results in single-target, cleave and heavy AoE scenarios provided a certain level of investment and the corresponding weakness breaks.
The most recent Pure Fiction stage with the specific DoT-buffs being the prime example. What happens in the Simulated Universe, stays in the Simulated Universe since the special buffs allow you to make any character or comp into a monstrosity.
Before Version 2.0, there was just a handful of DoT-based units, all of whom walk the Path of Nihility:
- Limited 5-stars: Kafka (Lightning)
- 4-stars: Sampo (Wind), Luka (Physical) & Guinaifen (Fire)
There are also characters like Hook, Himeko or Serval that have a certain chance to apply DoT effects on their attacks. Alternatively, you can take a look at Light Cones. Something like Trend of Universal Market (Preservation) can give you an extra DoT, but that is really scraping the bottom of the barrel there. You are likely better off giving that spot to a team-wide buffer or debuffer to further amplify your damage dealers.
Enter: Black Swan, the latest limited 5-star Wind/Nihility character that just joined the roster of Honkai: Star Rail. Where previously DoT-comps were decently strong, her involvement makes the damage pop off. Simply toss 2 DoT-units together, add a buffer or debuffer, and finish the comp by adding a solo sustain unit. Alternatively, you can go for three DPS & a sustain or three DPS & (de)buffer if you are sure you will survive long enough.
Black Swan has a frighteningly powerful DoT-kit. Not only does her special DoT, Arcana, stack, but it also can spread to nearby enemies and reduce their DEF-stat. E1 also allows her to reduce the Elemental Res of enemies by 25%, making her something of a Swiss army knife when it comes to battle. The Signature Light Cone provides her with a hefty DEF shred as well, but how does one get enough Jades to get Black Swan, Eidolon(s), Signature and have enough left for Acheron without having to sell a kidney?
Black Swan is much more demanding in terms of gearing compared to her DoT-kin. In order to maximize her A6, she needs a hefty amount of Effect Hit Rate, but you also don’t want to neglect her Attack and Speed. A Light Cone with a EHR stat is almost a must to have some wiggle room with the secondary stats.
The premium comp featuring Black Swan would consist of: Black Swan, Kafka, Ruan Mei and Huohuo.
Kafka is the glue that holds the DoT dream together, pretty much like the Silver Wolf is the key to the Mono-Quantum team. Not only does she apply plenty of Shock, she can also detonate DoTs on enemies – and that includes Black Swan’s Arcana, resulting in impressive numbers.
Ruan Mei’s buffs provide her team extra Speed, Break Efficiency, a huge chunk of extra damage, and All-Type RES PEN. What makes her perfect for DoT-team is the fact that these buffs are applied to the entire team, and thus will affect all two/three of your damage-dealing characters. The only drawback is that you could only ever have one Ruan Mei, and placing her alongside Black Swan means taking her out of the other team.
The last but not the least member of this quartet is Huohuo. Not only is she an amazing healer that is adept at dispelling all kinds of conditions from your team, she also gives your team some extra Energy, ATK% buff, and Speed (through E1).
However, this team also requires one to have four limited 5-star characters, possibly with Eidolons and/or Signature Light Cones. How about something more F2P-oriented while still taking advantage of everything Black Swan brings to the table?
Instead of Kafka, Black Swan’s second-in-command can be another DoT-based unit, such as Guinaifen or Sampo. Both bring valuable DoTs as well as extra goodness, especially with higher Eidolons, be it Little Gui’s Firekiss (baseline) or Sampo’s E4 Wind Shear explosion. You can also take advantage of non-Nihility characters mentioned at the beginning while team-building.
Don’t have Ruan Mei? Asta can take her place. While her buffs are not as strong, she still brings a hefty amount of extra Attack and Speed to her entire team. If you are already running Guinaifen, you can also give her the Planetary Rendezvous Light Cone for extra Fire Damage. Tingyun can also provide single-character buffing which is generally speaking less potent than group buffs in case of multiple DPS. Alternatively, Pela can bring the AoE Def Shred to the party. The best way to buff your damage is to debuff enemies as much as possible!
Properly invested into, Natasha, Lynx, Gepard and quite a few others can solo-sustain a team. But no one fits a DoT-team the way Huohuo does. The closest would be Luocha, another limited 5-star Abundance, who can generate some SP-points thanks to his passive healing.
Are you already playing a DoT-team? Do you have any plans to spend your Jades on Black Swan? Let us know in the comments below!