Honkai: Star Rail 1.2: Should you pull for Blade or Kafka?

Honkai: Star Rail just dropped its 1.2 update, which means new content and characters. We get to see the next chapter of the Xianzhou Luofu plotline and pull for Stellaron Hunters Blade and Kafka, the latest limited-time five-star characters. They’re part of a mysterious organization that follows the will of someone named Elio, who supposedly can tell the future and even manipulate it. As the “five-star” title suggests, Blade and Kafka are some of the strongest teammates you can have. They play a significant part in the latest story arc and have the movesets to back up their roles as reoccurring anti-villains. Alas, even the most diligent savers would have a difficult time securing the currency to pull for them back to back. You might even want to conserve your Stellar Jade for Fu Xuan or Imbibitor Lunae.

You get eight characters for free just by playing through Star Rail‘s story, so you shouldn’t need to spend money on limited-time event banners. Still, many of these characters significantly strengthen teams enough that it’s easier to clear difficult content and experiment with different playstyles.

So, should you pull for Kafka or Blade? Here are a few things to consider when choosing between the two.

When are Blade and Kafka’s banners?

Version 1.2 Trailer – “Even Immortality Ends” | Honkai: Star Rail

Again, Blade and Kafka are limited-time characters. Both of them will only be available during Honkai: Star Rail 1.2 for their set dates and times until HoYoverse decides to rerun their banners in the future. This likely won’t be the last time you see Blade and Kafka, but the next time they come to Star Rail could be months in the future.

Here’s when you can pull for Blade and Kafka during version 1.2:

  • Blade: July 19 (start of update) to August 9
  • Kafka: August 9 to August 30

Both Blade and Kafka will be a helpful addition to most teams, especially if you’re low on five-star characters. These are just a few things that might make one more valuable than the other for you.

Why you should pull for Blade

Blade slicing through enemy
  • You want to raise a Destruction or Wind character
  • You want to experiment with a character that sacrifices HP for buffs
  • You like edgy guys with tragic pasts

Blade can be used as either a primary or secondary damage dealer. In general, he’ll be more useful to players that don’t have a heavy-hitting Wind unit yet. Dan Heng can meet many of the same needs because of his expertise in single-target Wind damage, even if he and Blade’s movesets are way different from each other. If you already have a fully built Dan Heng, you might want to reconsider getting Blade.

Most of Blade’s abilities scale based on his max HP, but they also eat his health. Using his Skill strengthens his attacks in exchange for HP, and his Ultimate restores HP when dealing damage to enemies. Enhancing his attacks doesn’t use any skill points, so it’s basically begging you to use it. You’ll want a healer in most cases to ensure that Blade doesn’t kick the bucket before he can unleash his full power.

Why you should pull for Kafka

Kafka attacking enemies with lightning web
  • You want to raise a Nihility or Lightning character
  • You want to experiment with a damage over time (DoT) playstyle
  • You like her mommy-dommy vibes

Kafka is a Nihility character, meaning she specializes in applying debuffs to enemies and causing damage to them over time. Her Ultimate, Talent, and Technique all apply Shock damage to enemies. Shock, just one of the status effects in Honkai: Star Rail, whittles away at enemies’ health more than the little purple lightning bolt icon initially lets on. Her skill does even more damage to enemies that already have a DoT debuff. Her talent launches a follow-up attack that deals Shock and heavy damage based on her attack stat, which also makes her an asset at dealing damage outside of her own turn.

That being said, Kafka isn’t a powerhouse all on her own. She needs teammates to deal the majority of the damage or perhaps apply even more debuffs to amplify her strengths. Unlike Silver Wolf, she doesn’t apply debuffs with the intention of waiting for a main DPS to take them out. She’s more like Serval, using her Lightning to chip away at multiple targets’ health to eliminate them faster.

Who is better: Blade or Kafka?

If we’re talking about terms of raw damage and survivability, Blade is better than Kafka. He can slay entire waves of enemies by himself with his ability to strengthen and heal himself. It might be difficult to keep him alive without a healer in higher-level battles, but he hits a lot of different bases that Kafka can’t. She fits into a specific playstyle. Blade is more straightforward: Just put him in and let him fight.

Honkai: Star Rail is available for PC, iOS, and Android.

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