Hey everyone, it’s Sevie! Coming up in Star version 1.4 is another trio of very attractive new characters, plus our first rerun banner featuring The One and Only Zilla. We’re going to analyze what we know of their kits, weigh their pros and cons, along with other considerations that can help you decide who you might pull for during this version. If you’re still on the fence about it or if you’ll be skipping entirely, let’s begin.

Jingliu Analysis & Considerations

For the first half of 1.4, we have Sword Master Jingo, a five-star ice character on the path of destruction. And I’m just guessing here, but I think miHoYo really loves destruction. She’s got a pretty interesting and relatively easy-to-use kit, in which her gameplay loop mainly involves going in and out of her spectral transmigration state by generating Siy Stacks with her normal skill attack and ultimate.

During her spectral state, she can only use her enhanced skill attacks to deal blast damage. But its unique mechanic is that she consumes every other ally’s HP and converts it into an attack buff for herself. That’s very befitting of a destruction unit and a pretty morbid way to get stronger. But knowing her lore, it is quite appropriate.

It’s the first unit we’ve seen who implements this team life steal mechanic. In contrast to Blade, who consumes his own HP to buff himself, that brings in new considerations and potential synergies to unlock. For one, we’ll have to see how she changes up team survivability dynamics, as you have to deal with both enemy attacks and Jing’s own team life steal. While it seems that it’ll be chipping away very little HP, that could still add up to be quite a lot of HP in a long fight.

We’ll see if preservation units who have minor to no healing utility can still be comfortable enough in keeping your team alive, or if abundance units are simply going to be much more preferable to maintain consistent team-wide sustain. If the attack buff also scales based on the amount of HP she consumes, then that will give a bit more incentive to use allies with high HP.

For example, you might have someone like Beidou or Xingqiu, who not only have high HP stats themselves but can also boost your entire team’s max HP, which makes for even better synergy for Jingliao. Furthermore, she complements allies who actually want to lose HP. Right now, Blade is our main example, as losing HP helps him deal follow-up attacks faster, and he buffs his ultimate damage based on the HP he’s lost. I’m sure we won’t be limited to him, as this seems to be a mechanic that miHoYo will continue to explore.

Jingo would also be able to trigger the four-piece Longevous Disciple for others, since the wording states that allies who consume the wearer’s HP will trigger the crit rate buff. Then, as for her skill point consumption, her normal skill attacks still need skill points to generate Siy Stacks, but during her spectral state, she will instead consume Siy Stacks to do her enhanced skills. The end result is that this makes her not a skill point-hungry unit, which is in clear contrast when compared to Imbi, who destroys skill points.

She’s not going to be a totally SP-neutral unit, but she’ll be more forgiving in terms of SP management, which should help open up more flexible team comps, since you won’t need steroid-powered SP generators as badly. While she’s going to have hyper-carry comps as her standard template, it also seems very possible that she’ll have good potential synergy in some dual DPS comps, like with Blade, especially since she won’t hoard too much SP, and as long as you pair them with other SP-positive supports.

Given the very impressive track record of our previous limited five-star destructions, we can certainly expect that Jingliao will be a very strong character that should be on a close level with them. There is a bit of destruction fatigue settling in with these three consecutive patches, but at least the ones we’ve gotten are units you can’t go wrong with if you just want a main DPS that’ll carry you throughout the hardest content. So, Jingliao should be no different.

As for her current banner value, she’s running alongside Ting Yun Chingju and Sampo. It’s great that Tingyun is there, who should be a very good support for Jingliao, thanks to her buffs and energy-giving abilities, which will boost Jing’s damage and let her ultimate more often for more damage and faster Siy stack generation. But also, in general, Ting’s just a really good support for many DPS. She will definitely be a very strong pickup for new and old players alike, more so when you get her duplicates. I should be making a guide for her sometime after Jingliao, so watch out for that.

Meanwhile, Chingchu is a quantum DPS that especially becomes a beast with Idolan. She has a unique gambling playstyle that can result in huge payoffs. So if you’re interested in trying to main her, then hopefully you get copies of her. And if you have Kafka or are targeting her rerun and are looking for Sampo Idolan, then this banner will be pretty convenient too.

Topaz & Numby Analysis & Considerations

And for our other new featured five-star hunt character, it’s Numbi, the Stone-Spinning Warp Trotter, along with this topaz girl, I guess. Look at his bowtie, look at its size beside regular Trotters. But if anything happened to him, I would kill everyone in this room and then myself. Very violent eulogy, I like it. But as cute as they are, you should be aware of how their playstyle works and if it’s something that’ll largely benefit your preferences.

Their gameplay is generally about marking enemies by applying the Proof of Death status, which increases the follow-up attack damage received. Numbi acts as a separate entity that has its own speed and turn counter, and it does follow-up attacks on the enemy afflicted by Proof of Death. Topaz can buff Numb’s damage and crit with her ultimate, and she has certain passives where ally attacks can advance Numb’s actions to let it do more frequent stone attacks. But since the Proof of Death amplifies any source of follow-up attack damage, this opens up very interesting synergies with follow-up attack teammates and teams focused on that playstyle.

And makes Topaz also a partial support teammate. So far, we have a good amount of units that incorporate follow-up attacks in their kit, like Clara, Haiko, Jinguan, and more. We’ll definitely get more such units in the future, so Topaz and Numb’s value should continue rising. Her mechanics are primarily single-target-oriented, though. So you’ll definitely want other teammates that can supply enough AOE damage to get you through multi-target waves. It seems like Topaz is going to be a pretty good pull if you’re invested in that mechanic. We’ll have to see how Topaz’s skill point efficiency plays out to observe how much synergy she can have with certain allies that are especially SP hungry. If using her skill often isn’t as necessary, then she could take on a skill point generator role as well, which should make her an even more flexible teammate.

Where also going to have to find out how well she can function as her own hyper carry even without having follow-up teammates to amplify. Right now, I do think such follow-up units already have very strong teams, even without a dedicated follow-up attack supporter. It’s not entirely similar to Kafka’s situation, where units like Sampo or Luca really, really want Kafka to maximize their dot potential.

So, it remains to be seen if Topaz is going to elevate follow-up units to a whole new, game-changing level or maybe improve them, but not necessarily by a massive amount that would necessitate pulling her for them. Though what surprised me the most was her techniques. Many uses—she can make Numby search for treasures and warp Trotters in the Overworld, earning a small amount of extra credits per day. And in the simulated Universe, you get extra Cosmic fragments with a chance to get a curio.

The technique still has combat advantages, though, since it allows Toas to regenerate extra energy after launching their first attack. But other exploration and resource benefits are a pretty nice bonus to have. All in all, Topaz and Numby seem to be an interesting addition to the follow-up attack roster, and she has a promising position since specialized characters help further unlock the potential of specific team archetypes and elevate other characters in their same niche.

I’m actually surprised that it’s a Hunt character who’s taking the follow-up attack buffer role, but I guess that would also mean that we can expect her to at least have good single-target damage output. Strangely though, none of her four stars on the banner seem to have high synergy with her, and the new four-star unit running alongside her is a DOT Nail unit instead, who is geared towards another niche.

Guinaifen Analysis

That’s Gwen, a fire Nil four-star whose kit is about applying burn and increasing the damage enemies receive, which is pretty much par for the course with our DOT roster. Her skill deals blast damage with a chance to inflict burn, and her basic attack can inflict burn too. Then when enemies take burn damage, there’s a chance to apply the Fireus debuff, which is a stackable vulnerability debuff that increases the damage the enemy receives.

Using her ultimate deals fire damage to all enemies and triggers a portion of burn damage if an enemy already has an existing burn effect—just like how other Nil DOT units have a way of triggering their own element’s DOT or Kafka, who can trigger all applied DOTs.

It’s a pretty simple kit that reminds me a lot of Luca but fire. Though the main differences, aside from their elements, are that she’s more effective in multi-target scenarios with her AOE attacks and debuff application. And her Fireus debuff is triggered by the enemy taking burn damage, which is pretty distinct from Sampo and Luca, who have to apply their debuffs via their ultimate attacks. She’s clearly meant to expand Kafka’s DOT roster, as we’re finally getting a dedicated burn DOT unit.

Unlike the other fire units who can apply burn but don’t really have DOT-focused playstyles, it’s also nice that her damage vulnerability debuff applies to both DOT and non-DOT damage, just like Luca. So while she is obviously geared for a DOT team, she might still have some viability in non-DOT teams. I’m sure a lot of Kafka simps will want to snag a copy of her, and it does help that she shares a banner with Luca, our bleed Nil unit, and even Suang, who can actually be viable as a bleed deeps with Kafka.

Now that I think about it, this banner honestly feels more like a Kafka banner. However, you should definitely think twice about trying to snipe a copy of Gwen if you’re not interested in the featured five-star. If you don’t want to risk your pity, then it shouldn’t be that long of a wait for her next banner. As evidenced by seeing Luca relatively soon, whose first-rate up banner was just last August. Who knows, maybe she might even get a rate up on the Kafka rerun banner.

Seele Rerun

Speaking of rerunning, our final consideration is Zala, who was the very first limited five-star on Star Rails’ release. And with a PlayStation release, it’s only fair that we’re going back full circle to her. She definitely made her mark as one of the best DPS thanks to her packed kit. Resurgence grants extra actions by killing enemies, which can make her deadly in multi-target scenarios and bosses with easy-to-kill enemies. Plus, she amplifies her own damage and speed to make her deal an insane amount of single-target quantum damage.

Of course, now that our roster has grown, there’s a lot of strong competition in both single and multi-target scenarios. But Zala still held her ground as a top-tier DPS. And if she’s a unit you just really personally like, you won’t go wrong with her. However, if you’re also more interested in other DPS, like if you already have well-built DPS or are already pulling for Jingo or are looking forward to other releases or reruns of DPS, Zala can safely be skippable. There’s already a lot of content about her, so you’ll have a pretty good idea of her practical capabilities and synergies.

Conclusion

As we wrap up, here’s a quick summary of what to consider for each of the new five-stars in version 1.4. Jingo seems to be a straightforward unit who will predictably be strong, just like her destruction pierce but has lifesteal mechanics that do open up certain synergies. Meanwhile, Topaz and Numby have a more unique set of skills that’s focused on buffing follow-up attacks, so we’ll wait and see how her personal damage is, like how good she is with other follow-up attackers and how much her value will grow as we get more follow-up attack units released.

If we take a peek at the next releases, we have Prince Charming Argenti, a five-star physical audition unit; Huo, a five-star wind abundance unit; and Haa, a four-star physical harmony. I’m very curious how a new five-star physical unit will play like and how these new supports can add something new to the table that distinguishes them from the current options. And since five-star reruns are already starting, it’s likely that Jin Yuan will be running in the next patch, with Silverwolf also being a possibility if Hoya will start featuring quadruple character banners.

But how about you? Who’s caught your eye among these version 1.4 banners? Are you throwing your Jades at Ice Mommy, Little Space Piggy, or The Good Old Reliable Zala? Or saving up for other upcoming units?

By RS