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Honkai Star Rail Kafka best build, Ascension materials, Traces, and Light Cone

Everything you need to know about Kafka in Star Rail.

Kafka is a 5-Star Lightning character of The Nihility path who will be added to Honkai: Star Rail during version 1.2.

While Kafka will be featured as the boosted 5-Star character on her Nessun Norma Banner in version 1.2, she will eventually return to Honkai Star Rail at some point in the future when the Banner schedule cycles back to her.

Whether you have her, or want to prepare for if you do Warp for her successfully, it's good to know the best Kafka build, including her best Relics and best team. It's also handy to learn what her Eidolon perks are, and what Ascension materials and Trace materials are needed to level up Kafka to her full potential.

Please note that as this is leaked beta information Kafka's kit might change upon her full release.

Kafka materials and stats:

Kafka build:

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Honkai Star Rail Kafka skills, star, Element, Path, and Light Cone

Kafka is a 5-Star Lightning character of The Nihility path, so will be best at providing DoT (damage over time) and lowering enemies' toughness bars, in addition to working well with other characters who produce DoT effects.

All of the percentages mentioned below are based on Level 1 Traces.

With thanks to honeyhunterworld for helping fill in some of the gaps, here's a summary of Kafka's kit in Honkai Star Rail:

  • Element: Lightning.
  • Path: The Nihility.
  • Rarity: 5-Star.
  • Banner: Nessun Norma.
  • Basic Attack: Midnight Tumult (deals Lightning damage equal to 50% of Kafka's attack stat to a single enemy).
  • Skill: Caressing Moonlight (deals Lightning damage equal to 80% of Kafka's attack stat to a single enemy and Lightning damage equal to 30% of Kafka's attack stat to adjacent enemies. If the target enemy is already affected by DoTs, these DoT effects immediately damage them for 60% of the DoT's original damage).
  • Ultimate: Twilight Trill (deals Lightning damage equal to 48% of Kafka's attack stat to all enemies, with a 100% chance to Shock enemies and they immediately take damage equal to 80% of the DoT. Shock lasts for two turns, and while enemies are Shocked, they receive Lightning damage equal to 116% of Kafka's attack stat at the beginning of each turn).
  • Talent (passive ability): Gentle but Cruel (after an ally Basic attacks an enemy, Kafka immediately launches one follow-up attack and deals Lightning damage equal to 42% of her attack stat to that enemy, with a 100% chance to inflict Shock equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate to the attacked enemy for two turns. This effect can only be triggered one time per turn).
  • Technique (overworld ability): Mercy Is Not Forgiveness (immediately attacks enemies in a set range and deals Lightning damage equal to 50% of Kafka's attack stat to all enemies. Each enemy also has a 100% chance to become Shocked for two turns, equivalent to that applied by her Ultimate).
  • Bonus Trace 1: Torture (when Kafka uses her Ultimate, enemy targets will now immediately receive damage from all currently applied DoT sources instead of immediately receiving damage from only the currently applied Shock state).
  • Bonus Trace 2: Plunder (if an enemy is defeated while Shocked, Kafka additionally regenerates 5 Energy).
  • Bonus Trace 3: Thorns (The base chance for Kafka's Ultimate, Technique, or the follow-up attack triggered by her Talent to inflict Shock increases by 30%).

Honkai Star Rail Kafka Ascension materials

Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff.

You need to use Kafka Ascension materials to upgrade her health, attack, defence, and critical hit effectiveness.

With the latest beta information sourced from honeyhunterworld, it looks like you'll need to get a lot of Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff and Thief's Instinct based materials for Kafka to fully upgrade her capabilities.

In total, the Kafka Ascension Materials in Honkai: Star Rail are:

  • x15 Thief's Instinct
  • x15 Usurper's Scheme
  • x15 Conqueror's Will
  • x65 Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff
  • 308,000 Credits

For more details, here's what Kafka Ascension materials you need per level:

Kafka Ascension level Kafka Ascension materials Credit cost Reward
Level 20 x5 Thief's Instinct 4,000 x1 regular Star Rail Pass
Level 30 x10 Thief's Instinct 8,000 None
Level 40 x6 Conqueror's Will, x3 Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff 16,000 x1 regular Star Rail Pass
Level 50 x9 Conqueror's Will, x7 Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff 40,000 None
Level 60 x6 Usurper's Scheme, x20 Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff 80,000 x1 regular Star Pass
Level 70 x35 Shape Shifter's Lightning Staff, x9 Conqueror's Will 160,000 None

Honkai Star Rail Kafka Trace materials

Obsidian of Obsession.

Just like Ascension, to get the most out of using Kafka you will have to level-up her attacks and passive abilities by using Trace materials, which vary from character-to-character.

With thanks to honeyhunterworld again for sourcing the information, for Kafka it looks like you'll need to use a lot of Obsidian and Thief's Instinct based materials to fully upgrade her capabilities.

In total, to upgrade all of her abilities, the Kafka Trace Materials you need are:

  • x8 Tracks of Destiny
  • x12 Regret of Infinite Ochema
  • x18 Obsidian of Dread
  • x41 Thief's Instinct
  • x56 Conqueror's Will
  • x58 Usurper's Scheme
  • x69 Obsidian of Desolation
  • x139 Obsidian of Obsession
  • 3 million Credits

Honkai Star Rail Kafka Eidolons

By getting duplicates of Kafka from Warping on Banners, you will receive her Eidolon. This material allows you to unlock Eidolon levels, with each upgrade either improving an existing attack or passive ability.

Image credit: HoYoverse

With pre-release information sourced from honeyhunterworld, here are all of Kafka's Eidolons in Honkai: Star Rail:

  • Da Capo (E1): When Kafka's Talent triggers a follow-up attack, there is a 100% chance to increase the DoT received by the target by 30% for 2 turns.
  • Fortississimo (E2): While Kafka is on the field, DoT dealt by all allies increases by 25%.
  • Capriccio (E3): Increases the level of Kafka's Skill by two, with a maximum upgrade Level of 15, and increases her Basic attack by one with a maximum upgrade Level of 10.
  • Recitativo (E4): When an enemy target takes damage from Shock inflicted by Kafka, Kafka additionally regenerates two Energy.
  • Doloroso (E5): Increases the level of Kafka's Ultimate and Talent by two with a maximum upgrade level of 15 for both.
  • Leggiero (E6): Kafka's Ultimate, Technique, and the follow-up attack triggered by her Talent increases the damage multiplier of Shock damage dealt to enemies by 156% and extends the duration of Shock by one turn.

Remember, this information is subject to change upon Kafka's full release, as we're sourcing our information from leaked beta details.

How to play Kafka in Honkai Star Rail

Kafka is a Nihility character who uses DoT (Damage Over Time) attacks to damage both single targets and multi-targets. Her kit focuses on applying and boosting this damage as much as possible, while also enhancing other DoT effects applied by your team.

Due to this design, you'll want to have as many DoT effects applied to enemies as often as possible. DoT effects in Honkai Star Rail include: Shock, Wind Shear, Bleed, and Burn. You can achieve Shock with Kafka, but you should have at least one other character on your team who can also apply DoT.

As Kafka applies Shock with her Ultimate, you'll want to try and ideally activate her Ultimate every two turns, as this is how long her Ultimate Shock effect lasts. This can be a little hard to achieve, but activating her 'Plunder' bonus Trace can help with Energy Regeneration, as can Relics and teammates like Tingyun.

Image credit: HoYoverse

You'll likely have a healer, shielder, or Harmony buffer on a Kafka team, so use them to build your Skill Points by Basic attacking an enemy, as Kafka's Talent applies Shock once per turn when an ally Basic attacks. You'll want this Shock on enemies as often as possible for both DoT damage, and to regenerate Kafka's Energy quicker when an enemy dies while Shocked.

In short, make sure the enemies are Shocked as often as possible and add other DoT effects with other characters to boost Kafka's damage. Prioritise using Kafka's Skill and other allies' DoT moves, and remember to try and activate Kafka's Ultimate every two turns for Shock application and lots of damage.

Image credit: HoYoverse

Best Kafka team comp in Honkai Star Rail

To maximise Kafka's DPS, you should pair her with at least one other DoT character. Two DoT characters can cause even more DoT damage, but you'll probably lose useful healing, shielding, or attack buffs by doing this. So unless the other character also provides one of these effects, we recommend Kafka with just one fellow DoT applicator for now.

Going off pre-release analysis, Sampo is the best character to pair with Kafka due to how often he can apply Wind Shear to multiple enemies. Serval seems to be another good option for her AoE Lightning and Shock damage.

Sampo with an Abundance and Harmony character will generally be Kafka's best team. | Image credit: HoYoverse/Eurogamer

However, remember that winning battles is often dependant on what weakness an enemy has, so you might want to bring Himeko or Hook along to inflict the Burn DoT if an enemy has a fire weakness. Sushang and new 4-Star Luka can be brought for their Bleed DoT if you need a Physical character to break weaknesses instead - but they're more single-target focused.

With that said, Sampo and Serval will still generally be the best characters to pair with Kafka in most situations.

Asta's Burn can help add to Kafka's damage too. | Image credit: HoYoverse

To help implant a Lightning weakness you can put Silver Wolf in your team. This involves a bit of luck, but if most of your team are Lightning attackers it's easier to implant a Lightning weakness.

If you need a shielder to keep Kafka and your team alive, then Gepard is currently the best pick, as his Ultimate shields your entire team. The Fire Trailblazer can also bait attacks to keep others alive longer, and March 7th is a huge help at creating shields and freezing enemies.

For healers, Luocha and Bailu are the best, but Natasha is a good free-to-play substitute. If you have Silver Wolf on your team, bring Bailu instead of Luocha to help implant a Lightning weakness.

The best Harmony characters to have on your team are Bronya or Tingyun for their attack buffs, with Bronya also letting you switch to other characters, and Tinyun helping with Energy regeneration. Again, bring Tingyun over Bronya if Silver Wolf is on the team to help implant a Lightning weakness.

If you want more speed, or to inflict Burn as well, then Asta will be the preferred Harmony pick instead.

Best Kafka Relics in Honkai Star Rail

Band of Sizzling Thunder. | Image credit: HoYoverse

We recommend the 4-piece Band of Sizzling Thunder as the best Relics for Kafka. The 2-piece increases Lightning damage by 10%, with the full 4-piece increasing Kafka's attack by 20% for one turn when she uses her Skill.

Alternatively, if you're going for a Break Effect damage build or need more Energy Restoration, then the 4-Piece Thief of Shooting Meteor is a good alternative option. The 2-piece increases Break Effect by 16%, with the 4-piece increasing the Break Effect by 16% more and regenerates 3 Energy when the wearer inflicts Weakness Break.

There are a few options for your Planar Ornaments depending on the focus of your Kafka build, but generally, we recommend Space Stealing Station to increase Kafka's attack by 12%, and an additional 12% when her speed reaches 120.

However, if you need more Energy Regeneration for your build then the Sprightly Vonwacq set can substitute. Or, if you want more Break Effect damage, then you should equip the Talia: Kingdom of Banditry set.

Best Kafka Light Cone in Honkai Star Rail

Patience Is All You Need. | Image credit: HoYoverse

As it's her signature, the 5-Star Patience Is All You Need Light Cone is Kafka's best weapon in Honaki: Star Rail, however she actually has a very good 4-Star option too.

Sticking to her signature for now, according to beta information from Project Yatta, at Level 80 and Superimposition 1, Patience Is All You Need increases damage dealt by Kafka by 24%. After every attack, Kafka's speed also increases by 4.8%, stacking up to three times. If Kafka hits an enemy not afflicted by Erode, there is a 100% base chance to inflict Erode on them. Enemies afflicted with Erode are also considered Shocked, so will receive Lightning DoT at the start of each turn equal to 60% of the Kafka's attack stat, lasting for one turn.

For another 5-Star option, as DoT effects count as debuffs, we recommend Welt's signature, In the Name of the World as another Kafka weapon. It increases damage when debuffs are applied, and increases attack when Kafka's skill is used.

As for 4-Star F2P options, Good Night and Sleep Well is a fantastic Light Cone pick for Kafka for the increase to damage when attacking enemies with debuffs. If you don't have it, you can also use Fermata for the increase to Break Effect damage and Wind Shear and Shock DoT damage. Fermata is especially good when paired with Sampo and Serval on your team.

Version 1.2, Blade, and Kafka are here! Make sure to redeem those new codes for Stellar Jade if you want either of them - and check them out on our regularly updated tier list. For everything else, we have pages on the next Banner, Ministry of Education quiz answers, how to get more Star Rail Passes, Stagnant Shadows, and an English voice actors list.

Best Kafka build in Honkai Star Rail

Keeping in mind that the best team comps in Star Rail are very situational, if you want to take advantage of her huge DoT damage potential while keeping her alive, we have compiled what we think is currently the best Kafka build in Honkai Star Rail:

  • Kafka Best Light Cone: 5-Star Patience Is All You Need.
  • Kafka Best Relics: 4-Piece Band of Sizzling Thunder
  • Kafka Best Planar Ornaments: Space Stealing Station.
  • Kafka Best team comp: Sampo, Bronya, Luocha.

Asta or Tingyun can fill in for Bronya if you think they will work better for a particular situation, as can Bailu or Gepard in place of Luocha.

It's entirely up to you whether you want to spend your Stellar Jade to Warp on Kafka's Banner, but she looks like a good pick if you like Nihility characters and want to boost the damage you can apply from DoT effects.

Good luck levelling up Kafka in Honkai: Star Rail!

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About the Author
Jessica Orr avatar

Jessica Orr

Senior Guides Writer

Jessica is a guides writer from Northern Ireland who likes screaming at her TV. Often at horror movies, occasionally at a Fortnite win. When not damaging her vocal cords, Jessica likes stressing over her inventory in RPGs, and getting lost in open worlds.

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