Sure, single-target DPS units are always great in turn-based games, but sometimes you have to deal with multiple enemies who are all equally threatening. Luckily, some of the strongest characters in Honkai: Star Rail focus on dealing AoE DPS and can make even the hardest content in the game feel like a breeze.
Here are the best AoE DPS characters in Honkai: Star Rail ranked. Before diving in, let’s clarify what a DPS character is, considering the game’s breakdown of Paths.
Different Types of AoE DPS Characters in Honkai: Star Rail
Honkai: Star Rail has different Paths that every character falls into, and these work similarly to classes in other games. Erudition is one such Path, and it’s generally the Path that AoE DPS characters fall into. However, it’s not the only one.
Several great AoE DPS characters also come from the Destruction Path, which has characters that thrive on sowing chaos. This often leads them to do AoE damage.
While you can expect AoE DPS characters to belong to one of these two paths, it’s not set in stone and more of a secondary consideration. Instead, focus on their skills and see what kind of damage they do.
AoE DPS Characters Tier List for Honkai: Star Rail
The AoE DPS characters for this tier list are categorized by their consistency, damage output, and main role in battle. These characters are evaluated under the assumption that they’re at their peak, on equal footing with their enemies, and that they have decent Relics and Light Cones.
Things that are not considered for this tier list are how easy/difficult it is to obtain characters, characters that are intended to be support (such as Fire Trailblazer), and the impact of support characters.
Since every character has supporting characters that can boost them in some way (occasionally to game-breaking levels), this tier list will not be factoring in any buffs from supports.
Also, despite the fact that everyone has access to Herta, she’s still sitting at the bottom of this tier list. Sorry to the Herta fans.
7 Best AoE DPS Characters in Honkai: Star Rail, Ranked
There are several AoE DPS characters in Honkai: Star Rail. While some of them are must-use units if you have them, some of the others are better off being benched unless there’s a specific need for them.
Here are the best AoE DPS characters in Honkai: Star Rail, broken down to see their strengths, weaknesses, and more about their kit.
- Strengths: Incredibly high and consistent damage, great Energy management, does well even at lower levels
- Weaknesses: Needs a shielder to stay alive
Blade is a Wind AoE DPS character in Honkai: Star Rail that swept players up when he was released. His kit revolves around sacrificing his health in order to do more damage, and this ramps up incredibly well. However, it does make him pretty vulnerable.
His Basic ATK, when not enhanced, will deal a percentage of Blade’s ATK as Wind DMG. However, when it’s enhanced, it deals a percentage of his ATK and a percentage of his Max HP, while also dealing a fraction of that damage to adjacent enemies. However, using his enhanced Basic ATK requires sacrificing 10% of Blade’s Max HP.
In order to get Blade’s enhanced Basic ATK, he needs to use his Skill. His Skill will immediately consume 30% of Blade’s Max HP and enhances his Basic ATK for three turns. Luckily, this can still be used even if Blade doesn’t have 30% of his Max HP – it’ll just take him down to one HP.
His Ultimate deals massive amounts of damage to one target while also blasting adjacent foes with a bit of damage as well. This damage includes a percentage of his ATK and Max HP like his other abilities do, but it also includes a percentage of how much total HP he’s lost throughout the battle This essentially makes him snowball and only get stronger throughout a fight.
Despite constantly sacrificing his health, Blade has ways to restore it as well. His Ultimate will set his health to 50% of his Max HP, which when used correctly will heal him to an acceptable threshold. Additionally, his Talent makes it so that he receives a stack every time he takes damage or uses his own HP. When he hits five stacks, he heals for a percentage of his Max HP and does AoE Wind DMG.
However, this healing doesn’t always come when you need it. Running a shielder like Gepard or Fire Trailblazer is the best way to ensure Blade stays alive during battles.
Jing Yuan (A-Tier)
- Strengths: Lightning-Lord’s extra damage
- Weaknesses: Relies heavily on Energy for AoE
Jing Yuan is a Lightning AoE DPS character in Honkai: Star Rail that surpasses many of the others because of his Passive ability. His damage scales exponentially, and there’s an entire extra turn of damage he gets with Lightning-Lord that can ramp things up. However, he’s very reliant on Energy, which can be a problem in some team comps.
His Basic ATK dishes out Lightning DMG based on his ATK to a single target. His skill does this same damage to all enemies while also buffing Lightning-Lord (more on that below). Jing Yuan’s Ultimate does a ton of Lightning DMG to all enemies while also buffing Lightning-Lord even more. When used together, they can strengthen Lightning-Lord exponentially.
Lightning-Lord is technically Jing Yuan’s Talent. Lightning-Lord does damage on his own outside of Jing Yuan’s turn, and it hits all enemies three times with Lightning DMG (these are also considered follow-up attacks). Each hit does nearly the damage of one of Jing Yuan’s Basic ATKs.
However, Jing Yuan’s abilities influence how many times Lightning-Lord will hit. His Skill adds an additional two hits and his Ultimate adds an additional three. These also increase Lightning-Lord’s SPD, and the additional counts will reset after Lightning-Lord attacks. At max stacks, the Lightning-Lord will be able to inflict ten attacks per turn.
While Lightning-Lord is a great source of damage, Jing Yuan falls a bit short because his actual AoE Skill requires an Energy point and doesn’t pay off as much as someone like Blade does.
- Strengths: Aggros damage, dishes that damage back out
- Weaknesses: Needs a bit of support
Clara doubles as an impressive tank as well as an AoE damage dealer in Honkai: Star Rail. However, her AoE potential can take time to set up compared to other AoE characters.
Her Basic ATK deals a percentage of her ATK to a single target. Her Skill deals more damage to all enemies, and it also does extra damage to enemies marked with her Talent. Her Talent marks enemies that attack Clara (while also damaging them immediately with a counter and reducing incoming DMG).
Clara’s Ultimate makes it so that enemies are more likely to attack her for two turns while also reducing incoming DMG dealt to her. It also enhances the counter provided by her Talent and makes it so that it does extra damage and also does AoE damage. This boost will proc two times before reverting to her normal Counter.
All of this adds up to quite a lot of damage from Clara, but it hits its peak once she’s used her Ultimate before settling down a bit again, which can be difficult to manage. Additionally, she needs a bit of support with healing or shields to tank hits from powerful enemies back-to-back.
- Strengths: Really great follow-up attack Talent
- Weaknesses: Doesn’t do all that much damage
Himeko’s kit can make Honkai: Star Rail more interesting to play, but it’s definitely not useful for every situation. However, her potential when it comes to farming is a bit crazy, and she’s insanely good against those with Fire Weaknesses.
Her Basic ATK deals Fire DMG to a single target. Her Skill deals double that amount of damage to one enemy while doing the same amount of damage as her Basic ATK to enemies beside the target. Her Ultimate calls down a massive Fire laser that deals Fire DMG to all enemies, and she gains Energy for every enemy that dies to this.
That part of her kit is pretty straightforward, but her Talent is where the fun begins. Every time an enemy’s shield breaks, Himeko gains a stack. Once she has three stacks, she’ll perform a follow-up attack after the next friendly attack that deals more damage than her Basic ATK does to all enemies. These charges reset after the follow-up attack occurs, and Himeko also gains a stack every time she attacks.
Trying to time Himeko’s follow-up attacks and her Ultimate to do the most damage possible is entertaining, but it’s not going to carry you through a battle. It’s great supplemental damage, but you’ll still need a hard hitter to not struggle for most fights.
- Strengths: Burns enemies, pretty strong Ultimate
- Weaknesses: Doesn’t deal much AoE damage
As the first four-star character on this list, Hook gets some points for having an Ultimate that deals massive amounts of Fire DMG. However, beyond that, Hook isn’t ideal if you’re looking for a dedicated AoE DPS character in Honkai: Star Rail.
Hook’s Basic ATK deals Fire DMG to a single target. Her Skill, when not enhanced, will deal a decent amount of Fire DMG to an enemy while also inflicting Burn for two turns. This causes the enemies to take Fire Damage over Time (DoT).
Her Ultimate blasts a single enemy with tons of Fire DMG and enhances her next Skill. When enhanced, her Skill will deal more damage to a single enemy while also doing a fraction of that damage to enemies beside the target.
Hook’s Talent does make it so that she does more damage against enemies who are afflicted with Burn. This can help her damage output, but it doesn’t change her AoE potential at all.
As her abilities show, Hook just doesn’t work well as an AoE damage dealer. She can’t provide consistent AoE damage, and even her regular damage doesn’t compete with the others on this list.
- Strengths: Consistent AoE damage
- Weaknesses: Not very strong
Serval’s character in the story of Jarilo-IV is great, but her potential on teams doesn’t stand out much. While she can provide consistent AoE damage, it’s not very much at all, and that’s about all she can do.
Her Basic ATK deals Lightning DMG to a single target, while her Skil does a bit more Lightning DMG to one enemy and a little less DMG to the enemies surrounding the target. However, all enemies hit have a chance to be Shocked for two turns. Her Ultimate deals a little bit stronger Lightning DMG to all enemies, and any enemies who are Shocked will be shocked for an additional two turns.
When enemies are Shocked, they take Lightning DoT and take additional damage from Serval’s attacks.
That’s all there is to Serval. While she can provide more AoE damage than Hook, she doesn’t have nearly the same strength that Hook has. This makes her pretty underwhelming, and it’s not a surprise that she’s near the bottom of this AoE DPS characters tier list for Honkai: Star Rail.
- Strengths: Her follow-up attack
- Weaknesses: Not very strong
Herta falls into the trap of not being a very strong AoE DPS character despite (or because of) the fact that all players get her for free. Her Talent has some potential to do well, but it doesn’t hit as hard as it should.
Her Basic ATK deals Ice DMG to a single target, while her Skill does that same amount of damage to all enemies. If enemies have more than 50% of their Max HP, Herta’s Skill does extra damage. Her Ultimate deals slightly more Ice DMG to all enemies.
That’s all pretty lackluster, and her Talent doesn’t help much. It makes it so that she launches a follow-up attack on all enemies anytime an ally causes an enemy’s HP to fall under 50%. Unfortunately, this attack does barely any damage and doesn’t scale much either.
Herta’s held back by the amount of damage her follow-up attack can do, and no Relic Set or Light Cone helps that. Unfortunately, as much as we want a free character to perform well, she just doesn’t.
Join the High Ground!
That’s it for our Best AoE DPS character tier list for Honkai: Star Rail. With the roster of the game constantly expanding, there’s sure to be more to join this list.
Remember that, ultimately, Honkai: Star Rail is best played however you want to play it. If you love Herta despite her abysmally low damage output, you can choose to use her anyway. Enough support can make her somewhat viable (although never ideal unless you just love her character).
What AoE character do you prefer to run most on your team? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to subscribe for more gaming content like this.