Transparent splash art for Kafka from Star Rail


"All space and time are practically infinite, and yet right here, right now, we find ourselves together. That's the nature of destiny — it creates a miracle but convinces you of an accident."

The taker and giver of Stellarons, Kafka, is the leading field agent of the enigmatic Stellaron Hunters. She follows Elio’s scripts to reach the destiny she desires.

Kafka is a true Damage-over-Time, or DoT for short, support and damage dealer. She applies her lightning DoTs while enhancing the damage dealt by the team’s DoTs.

Kafka has two shortcomings. The first being DoTs aren’t upfront damage. The enemy must take a turn to take the damage. This is counter-productive for gamemodes where players need to take the least amount of turns to win. Luckily, Kafka has built-in mechanics to avoid this.

The second shortcoming is Kafka has a limited range of teams she works well with; which are only DoT and Break teams. More unfortunately, there currently aren’t many characters that apply DoTs. But as the roster grows, her teams will grow. And this shortcoming will lessen.


Common Drop

Image of the anti-matter family common drop material from Honkai: Star Rail Kafka uses the materials dropped from the Anti-Matter legion as her common drops for Ascension, Skills, and Traces. It’s quite thematic that as a Stellaron Hunter, she uses the materials dropped from her natural enemies.

Calyx Material

Image of the obsidian family calyx material from Honaki: Star Rail Like all those who follow the Path of Nihility, Kafka uses the Obsidian family for her Trace and Skill level-ups.

Stagnant Shadow

Image of shape shifters lightning staff stagnant shadow material from Honaki: Star Rail Kafka uses the Shape Shifters Lightning Staff as her Ascension boss material. It’s obtained from the Shape of Doom battle in Stargazer Navalia aboard the Xianzhou Luofu.

Echo of War

Image of regret of infinite ochema echo of war in Honaki: Star Rail The Regret of Infinite Ochema, dropped from Phantylia the Undying, is for Kafka’s high-level Traces. Completing the Xianzhou Luofu main questline is required to unlock this boss in Scalegorge Waterscape.

Skills & Traces

Basic Attack: Midnight Tumult

Icon for Kafka's basic attack from Honkai: Star Rail

"Deals Lightning DMG equal to 100% of Kafka's ATK to a single enemy." (Lv.6)

Energy Gain: 20

Toughness Break: 30

Kafka has the traditional Basic Attack.

The Basic Attack is the lowest priority. Kafka should only use it when there are no Skill Points available.

Skill: Caressing Moonlight

Icon for Kafka's skill from Honaki: Star Rail"Deals Lightning DMG equal to 160% of Kafka's ATK to a target enemy and Lightning DMG equal to 60% of Kafka's ATK to enemies adjacent to it. If the target enemy is currently receiving DoT, all DoTs currently placed on that enemy immediately produce DMG equal to 75% of their original DMG." (Lv.10)

Energy Gain: 30

Toughness Break: Target - 60 / Adjacent - 30

The main benefit of Caressing Moonlight is the second effect of the Skill. Any enemy hit will immediately take 75% of all the DoT damage currently applied to them without wasting a turn on its duration. This gives every DoT an extra proc of damage, as well as bypassing the restriction of waiting for the enemy to take a turn.

Even if there are no DoTs applied to the enemy, Caressing Moonlight still deals respectable damage. In this situation, only use it if there are Skill Points to spare.

And remember, it doesn’t matter how many turns each DoT debuff has, but how many separate DoT debuffs there are. If one has 3 turns and one has 1 turn left, each debuff will still only deal 75% of its damage value.

As Kafka’s Skill level increases, the additional DoT damage dealt increases. This makes her Skill just as important to level-up as her Ultimate.

Ultimate: Twilight Trill

Icon for Kafka's ultimate from Honkai: Star RailEnergy Cost: 120 "Deals Lightning DMG equal to 80% of Kafka's ATK to all enemies, with a 100% base chance for enemies hit to become Shocked and immediately take DMG equal to 100% of the DoT. Shock lasts for 2 turn(s). While Shocked, enemies receive Lightning DoT equal to 290% of Kafka's ATK at the beginning of each turn." (Lv.10)

Energy Gain: 5

Toughness Break: 60

Twilight Trill is essentially the same as Kafka’s Skill, except it’s a full AoE and applies one lightning DoT.

Kafka’s Ultimate is the only part of her kit capable of applying DoTs to multiple targets during the same action. It also increases the damage of the DoT applied. Combining that with the fact her Talent, Technique, and some Eidolons all scale off this Ultimate DoT makes it the most important Talent to level up.

Talent: Gentle but Cruel

Icon for Kafka's talent from Honkai: Star Rail"After an ally of Kafka's uses Basic ATK on an enemy target, Kafka immediately launches 1 follow-up attack and deals Lightning DMG equal to 140% of her ATK to that target, with a 100% base chance to inflict Shock equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate to the attacked enemy target for 2 turns. This effect can only be triggered 1 time per turn." (Lv.10)

Energy Gain: 10

Toughness Break: 30

Kafka’s Talent deals respectable damage, applies one DoT, decreases the enemy’s Toughness if they’re weak to Lightning, and generates energy. The fact it doesn’t cost a Skill Point, is triggered outside Kafka’s normal turn, and has a one-turn cooldown makes this an incredibly powerful Talent.

Leveling up Gentle but Cruel only increases the base damage dealt by the follow-up attack. It does not increase the chance to land the DoT nor the damage said DoT deals. This makes it less important to level up compared to the Ultimate or Skill. But is more important than her Basic Attack.

Overall Talent Priority

Ultimate = Skill > Talent > Basic Attack

Kafka has a couple of important Talents to level-up, but they’re less important compared to other characters on the team, since they only increase the damage and do not increase the base chance to land debuffs.

The fact Kafka only cares about two out of four makes her easy on the Talent material wallet.

Technique: Mercy Is Not Forgiveness

Icon for Kafka's technique from Honkai: Star Rail"Immediately attacks all enemies within a set range. After entering battle, deals Lightning DMG equal to 50% of Kafka's ATK to all enemies, with a 100% base chance to inflict Shock equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate on every enemy target for 2 turn(s)."

Energy Gain: 0

Toughness Break: 60

Mercy is Not Forgiveness is a decent inciting Technique. Its greatest benefit is it doesn’t use Star Rail’s wacky targeting system and damages enemies in an area around herself. If an enemy is chasing you down, it’s a great “get-out-of-jail” Technique.


Icon for Kafka's first trace from Honkai: Star RailBranch 1: Torture

"When the Ultimate is used, enemy targets will now receive DMG immediately from all currently applied DoT sources instead of just receiving DMG immediately from the currently applied Shock state."

Effect Hit Rate: +4%

Atk: +4%
Hp: +4%

Before, Kafka’s Ultimate would only trigger the DoT damage of the Shocked applied from the Ultimate. After unlocking Branch 1, Kafka’s Ultimate now triggers all DoTs currently applied. It makes her Ultimate hit harder, but it’s a shame it wasn’t incorporated into the base Ultimate.

Icon for Kafka's second trace from Honkai: Star RailBranch 2: Plunder

"If an enemy is defeated while Shocked, Kafka additionally regenerates 5 Energy."

Atk: +6%

Effect Hit Rate: +6%
Atk: +6%

Kafka’s is an Ultimate-depended DPS. Plunder granting an additional 5 energy for every enemy defeated with Shock helps that playstyle, and makes Kafka great in content with many waves of enemies.

Icon for Kafka's third trace from Honkai: Star RailBranch 3: Thorns

"The base chance for Ultimate, Technique, or the follow-up attack triggered by the Talent to inflict Shock increases by 30%."

Hp: +6%

Effect Hit Rate: +8%

Thorns boost all of Kafka’s debuffs to a 130% base chance. This doesn’t do much on its own, but it lowers Kafka’s Effect Hit Rate requirement from relics down to 0%. This makes her easier to build and stack more Attack and Break Effect on substats.

Stat Only Branchs

Atk: +4%

Atk: +8%


Eidolon 1: Da Capo

Image of Kafka's first eidolon from Honkai: Star Rail"When the Talent triggers a follow-up attack, there is a 100% base chance to increase the DoT received by the target by 30% for 2 turn(s)."

Da Capo gives Kafka a new debuff that increases DoT damage. While it’s a good Eidolon, there are a few caveats. It has a base chance of 100% while the rest of her debuffs have 130%. To effectively land Da Capo against stronger enemies, Kafka now needs at least 30% Effect Hit Rate in substats. The second caveat is it’s only triggered with her Talent, meaning it has a single-target range once per turn.

Eidolon 2: Fortississimo

Image of Kafka's second eidolon from Honkai: Star Rail"While Kafka is on the field, DoT dealt by all allies increases by 25%."

Kafka’s second Eidolon is a much more powerful version of Da Capo. It bypasses enemy resistance because it’s not a debuff, it’s not limited to one target, and it has 100% uptime.

If you’re going for early Eidolon, this is the one to stop at.

Eidolon 3: Capriccio

Image of Kafka's third eidolon from Honkai: Star Rail"Skill Lv. +2, up to a maximum of Lv. 15. Basic ATK Lv. +1, up to a maximum of Lv. 10."

Capriccio increases Kafka’s Skill and Basic Attack.

Eidolon 4: Recitativo

Image of Kafka's fourth eidolon from Honkai: Star Rail"When an enemy target takes DMG from the Shock status inflicted by Kafka, Kafka additionally regenerates 2 Energy."

The fourth Eidolon is within the same vein as her 2nd Trace. But instead of waiting for the enemy to be defeated with Shock, she gains energy every time they take damage from her DoTs. Which is automatically triggered from her Skill and Ultimate.

The more energy Kafka gains, the more frequently she can Ultimate. The more big damage she deals.

Eidolon 5: Doloroso

Image of Kafka's fifth eidolon from Honkai: Star Rail"Ultimate Lv. +2, up to a maximum of Lv. 15. Talent Lv. +2, up to a maximum of Lv. 15."

Doloros is the traditional Ultimate and Talent level upgrade.

Eidolon 6: Leggiero

Image of Kafka's sixth eidolon from Honkai: Star Rail"The DMG multiplier for Shock DMG dealt by Ultimate, Technique, or the follow-up attack triggered by Talent increases by 156%, and extends the duration of Shock on the enemy target by 1 turn(s)."

Leggiero gives Kafka’s DoT a massive increase. At Ultimate level 10, it will increase it from 290% to a ridiculous 742% of Kafka’s attack. And remember, this damage is dealt with every use of her Skill or Ultimate.

The extra turn granted to the Shock debuffs isn’t useful, since most enemies are defeated before 3 turns are up.

Eidolon Final Thoughts

Kafka has powerful Eidolons helping her deal more damage. Da Capo is good but has restrictions and the following Eidolon is a great early stopping point. Leggiero gives her a massive damage boost in all areas of her kit.


Icon for 5 star rarity in Honkai: Star Rail 5* Lightcones

Image of patience is all you need lightcone from Honkai: Star RailPatience Is All You Need

HP: 1058
ATK: 582
DEF: 463

Spider Web: (Si1) "Increases DMG dealt by the wearer by 24%. After every attack launched by wearer, their SPD increases by 4.8%, stacking up to 3 times. If the wearer hits an enemy target that is not afflicted by Erode, there is a 100% base chance to inflict Erode to the target. Enemies afflicted with Erode are also considered to be Shocked and will receive Lightning DoT at the start of each turn equal to 60% of the wearer's ATK, lasting for 1 turn(s)."

Kafka’s signature Lightcone is her best-in-slot. It gives her a great boost in speed, which she can quickly maximize on thanks to her Talent, and gives her a second DoT source.

Image of in the name of the world lightcone from Honkai: Star RailIn the Name of the World

HP: 1058
ATK: 582
DEF: 463

Inheritor: (Si1) "Increases the wearer's DMG to debuffed enemies by 24%. When the wearer uses their Skill, the Effect Hit Rate for this attack increases by 18%, and ATK increases by 24%."

The only benefit to In the Name of the World is the higher base Attack stat it provides. Otherwise, it’s weaker than the 4* options. The damage increase is nice but it won’t affect DoT damage. And Kafka doesn’t need the extra Effect Hit Rate nor Attack just for her Skill.

Icon for 4 star rarity in Honkai: Star Rail4* Lightcones

Image of fermata lightcone from Honkai: Star RailFermata

HP: 952
ATK: 476
DEF: 330

Semibreve Rest: (Si5) "Increases the Break Effect dealt by the wearer by 32%, and increases their DMG to enemies afflicted with Shock or Wind Shear by 32%. This also applies to DoT."

Fermata is Kafka’s best 4* Lightcone since it’s completely farmable. The Break Effect boosts the DoT damage Kafka applies when breaking an enemy’s Weakness. And the 32% DMG boost affects both DoT and upfront damage.

Image of good night and sleep well lightcone from Honkai: Star RailGood Night and Sleep Well

HP: 952
ATK: 476
DEF: 330

Toiler: (Si5) "For every debuff the target enemy has, the DMG dealt by the wearer increases by 24%, stacking up to 3 time(s). This effect also applies to DoT."

It’s also a great Lightcone on most Nihility units, making it Si5 even more difficult to reach.

At Si5, Good Night and Sleep Well will give Kafka more damage compared to Fermata. But it’s not farmable, making it less powerful when compared at Si1 to Fermata at Si5. At Si3, Good Night and Sleep Well will outperform Si5 Fermata.

Image of before the tutorial mission starts lightcone from Honkai: Star RailBefore the Tutorial Mission Starts

HP: 952
ATK: 476
DEF: 330

Quick on the Draw: (Si5) "Increases the wearer's Effect Hit Rate by 40%. When the wearer attacks DEF-reduced enemies, regenerates 8 Energy."

Before the Tutorial Missions Starts is a decent option for Kafka, but not the best. The large Effect Hit Rate it provides doesn’t do much for her, but the extra energy is welcomed. The three downsides are it forces Kafka to team up with a defense-reducer, since she can’t herself. It was a limited-time Lightcone from 1.1 with only one copy available per account. And it’s better utilities by debuff heavier characters like Silver Wolf and Pela.

Relics & Ornament

Desired Stats

Icon for the body relic slot in Honkai: Star RailBody

Main Stat: ATK%

An ATK% body piece is the way to go. DoTs scale off Attack and can’t crit.

Icon for the feet relic slot in Honkai: Star RailFeet

Main Stat: SPD

Speed is a vital stat for Kafka. The faster she is, the more energy she gains, the more DoTs she applies, and the more extra DoT damage she procs from her Skill and Burst.

Icon for the planar sphere relic slot in Honkai: Star RailPlanar Sphere

Main Stat: Elemental Dmg%

DoT damage does scale with Elemental DMG%, as long as it matches the same Element. Running a Lightning% Sphere will give Kafka’s DoTs much more damage than using ATK%.

Icon for the link rope relic slot in Honkai: Star RailLink Rope

Main Stat: Energy Regen%

Kafka is an Ultimate-depended damage dealer, so an Energy Recharge% Rope is the only viable option.

Sub Stats

Speed Target: 134 or 147
SPD > ATK% = Break Effect%

Speed is Kafka’s first stat to focus on. Aim for a minimum of 134, with 147 being even better. But if you can’t reach 147, don’t sacrifice ATK% or Break Effect% to fall somewhere in-between the two. It’s all or nothing. With only 100 base speed, that will be more difficult to reach until late game.

After reaching either speed checkpoint, focus on ATK% and Break Effect% equally. ATK% increases the raw DoT damage while Break Effect% increases the burst of damage and DoT dealt when Kafka breaks an enemy’s Toughness.

Despite being a debuff unit, Kafka does not benefit from Effect Hit Rate. Even against the strongest enemies, Kafka already has 104% to land all of her debuffs. It’s a dead stat on her, unless she’s E1.

Luckily, outside of Speed, Kafka has relatively low sub-stat requirements, which makes her easier to build. You can focus on the Main stat more than the subs.

Band of Sizzling Thunder

Icon for the band of sizzling thunder relic set from Honkai: Star Rail2pc Effect: "Increases Lightning DMG by 10%."
4pc Set Effect: "When the wearer uses their Skill, increases the wearer's ATK by 20% for 1 turn(s)."

Band of Sizzling Thunder is Kafka’s best relic set. The 10% Lightning DMG increases her DoT, and the 20% ATK will give her DoT a nice extra boost if she Skill -> Ultimate.

Musketeer of Wild Wheat

Icon for the musketeer of wild wheat relic set from Honkai: Star Rail2pc Effect: "ATK increases by 12%."
4pc Set Effect: "The wearer's SPD increases by 6% and Basic ATK DMG increases by 10%."

Musketeer of Wild Wheat gives a wonderful 6% Speed boost and a consistent 12% ATK. And the best part is it’s a bonus drop from Echo of War and Stagnant Shadows, so most players have a set or two lying around. This is a great option for those that don’t want to farm a dedicated Thunder set.

Thief of Shooting Meteor

Icon for the thief of shooting meteor relic set from Honkai: Star Rail2pc Effect: "Increases Break Effect by 16%."
4pc Set Effect: "Increases the wearer's Break Effect by 16%. When the wearer inflicts Weakness Break on an enemy, regenerates 3 Energy."

Thief of Shooting Meteor is a viable option, but much weaker and more niche than the above two. It’s great for break teams with Silver Wolf or any future ally that increases Break Efficiency. But outside of that, use Musketeer of Wild Wheat since they both drop from the same sources.

Space Sealing Station

Icon for the space sealing station relic set from Honkai: Star Rail2pc Effect: "Increases the wearer's ATK by 12%. When the wearer's SPD reaches 120 or higher, the wearer's ATK increases by an extra 12%."

Space Sealing Station is a straightforward Attack increase. It’s an all-situation suitable set.

Talia: Kingdom of Banditry

Icon for the talia kingdom of banditry relic set from Honkai: Star Rail2pc Effect: "Increases the wearer's Break Effect by 16%. When the wearer's SPD reaches 145 or higher, the wearer's Break Effect increases by an extra 20%."

Talia is like Thief of Shooting Meteor. Great for break teams, but less viable outside of them.

Sprightly Vonwacq

Icon for the sprightly-vonwacq-relic_set_icon relic set from Honkai: Star Rail2pc Effect: "Increases the wearer's Energy Regeneration Rate by 5%. When the wearer's SPD reaches 120 or higher, the wearer's action is Advanced Forward by 40% immediately upon entering battle."

Sprightly Vonwacq gives Kafka more of the much-desired Energy Recharge, but the 40% Advance Forward can mess up turn orders. She actually wants to go after other DoT and support units to capitalize on them.


DoT Team

Kafka has two teams she works efficiently in. Unfortunately, both teams are lacking a wide roster to choose from, so these teams are currently quite limited.

DoT teams use Kafka to bypass the huge restriction of waiting for the enemy to take a turn to receive damage. Kafka makes these teams viable. She is a core unit that is almost necessary for them to be competitive.

Current characters that have a consistent source of DoT are Luka, Serval, Sampo, and Himeko.

Break Team

When an enemy’s Toughness is broken, most elements apply one DoT debuff which scales off Break Effect%. Currently, only Silver Wolf helps with breaking an enemy’s Toughness by applying new weaknesses. But this team will be more powerful if future characters increase the Break Efficiency of the team.

Do note that Ice, Imaginary, and Quantum characters do not apply a DoT when they break the Toughness, so they aren’t great teammates for Kafka.