Honkai: Star Rail – Early Story Boss Battles Guide (Tips, Tricks and Recommendations)

This guide will not cover terminology, mechanics, or character building. Instead, it will cover some basic tips and tricks and recommendations for Early Story Boss Battles.

Guide to Boss Battles

By Houseplant

Doomsday Beast

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • None

Quick Tips

  • Max out your team’s character levels and light cone level before the fight.
  • If you’re failing this battle, it’s because you didn’t do the above. Or because you decided to kick the sustains (healers or shielders) off of your team. Unlike some other games, sustain is extremely important in HSR.
  • Kill each Hand first, one at a time before trying to target the middle Engine.
  • You can win this fight easily with just the free characters without any gacha characters.

Recommended Characters

  • Feel free to use the 5* character that you received from pulling in the gacha.
  • Don’t have a good DPS? Dan Heng and Himeko should be all you need.
  • Trailblazer is not that strong early game, it’s okay not to use them.
  • March’s shield increases the aggro (chance to get targeted) of the character it’s on. At the beginning of the battle when everyone’s HP is healthy, you can put her shield on herself so she can tank hits due to her higher natural defense.

Svarog

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • None. Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

  • Max out your team’s character levels and level up their light cones.
  • Don’t forget your Traces!
  • You can interrupt Svarog’s attacks and release captured teammates by Weakness Breaking
  • For newer players, it is not recommended to brute force this fight without characters that match the weaknesses, because it’s critical to weakness break the Hands.
  • When a Hand traps someone, if you don’t kill or weakness break it within 3 turns or kill it quickly enough after it’s under 50% HP, it will explode and kill someone. Focus the Hands instead of Svarog to prevent deaths.

Recommended Characters

  • Unless you already have a 5* sustain, Natasha would do great here.
  • Dying too easily? Run both March and Natasha. When the Hands spawn, have March shield herself so that it aggros the Hand to trap her instead of your DPS or sustain.
  • Serval (Lightning) is free and she does AOE damage.
  • Don’t be greedy with running too many DPS. Run just 1 or 2. If you have space on your team, Asta is a free character who can help weakness break and buff.

Cocolia

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

Quick Tips

  • Max out your team’s character levels and level up their light cones.
  • Level up your team’s Head relics for flat HP that will help greatly with survival.
  • Do NOT use Ice DPS. There is a 60% resistance plus freeze immunity.
  • You are forced to use Physical Trailblazer, who will do little damage. Bring a second DPS.
  • Kill Cocolia’s Ice Edge summons to reduce passive damage to your team.
  • In Phase 2, Cocolia’s charged Wrath of Winterland will do massive AOE damage on the next turn. Try to time your weakness break to interrupt and cancel the attack. Many teams die here.
  • Keep at least 1 SP available for your healer’s turns.

Recommended Characters

  • Trailblazer (Required) / DPS / Support / Sustain
  • It is important that your DPS matches enemy weakness if possible. If not, the support needs to match instead. Sustain doesn’t need to match weakness, just bring your best sustain.
  • Free characters that can do well: Asta, Serval, Natasha.
  • If having trouble, you can Turtle Method this fight. Turtle method is running 2x sustains and focusing on surviving and very slowly chipping away at Cocolia using the help you get in-battle.

Abundant Ebon Deer

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

Quick Tips

  • 2nd Phase: If the Deer summons a Glorious Bloom (healing plant), focus the plant down
  • 3rd Phase: If the Deer summons a Lavish Fruit (Golden fruit plant), kill it ASAP or the deer will unleash a massive AOE attack that might wipe your team.
  • Cleanse is recommended for new players during this fight, due to some plants applying an Outrage debuff that can be hard to deal with.
  • You can ignore the regular plants (Maple Leaf and Wintry Wind)

Recommended Characters

  • DPS / Support / Sustain / Sustain
  • Pela – Some plants give the deer a significant ATK and DEF buff and Pela’s skill can dispel the buff. In addition, her Ult is AOE defense shred and can make killing the plants much easier
  • Fire Trailblazer – FMC can AOE taunt all of the plants and the deer and soak up Outrage status effects for your team. Their fire element is also very useful for weakness breaking.
  • Any attacking type (Single Target, Blast, or AOE) is viable for this fight.

Phantylia

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • None. Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

  • Keep your team’s levels and light cone levels updated.
  • Keep relics leveled to +9 or +12.
  • Use Trial Jing Yuan as the only DPS.
  • The tried-and-true team “Turtle Method” comp is listed below. Using this strategy has a high success rate.

Recommended Characters

  • Jing Yuan (Trial, Required) / Support / Sustain / Sustain
  • The Turtle Method is slow, but the goal here is survival. Nothing else matters.
  • You can beat Phantylia purely with Trial Jing Yuan and battle assistance from Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae.

Strategy

  • Have the support buff Jing Yuan. The ideal support is Tingyun, but most replacements work.
  • Jing Yuan should use skill every turn.
  • Weakness break the Destruction Lotuses to increase damage done to Phantylia.
  • Focus on staying alive and you will chip Phantylia to death.

Starcrusher Swarm King

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

  • Don’t use a Quantum DPS. The quantum resistance is 40%.
  • Kill red Lesser Stings as soon as possible.
  • Killing the regular Gnaw Stings is a low priority. If they happen to die from AOE attacks, then great.

Recommended Characters

Recommended team comp #1: DPS / Support / Healer / FMC

If having trouble, use slow FMC (Fire Main Character). Have them taunt every turn except for the first turn to draw all of the Stings’ attacks. This will massively reduce the burden on the rest of your team.

  • Pair a healer with FMC instead of using two supports or two DPS.
  • Ideally the Support should be SP positive, to generate enough SP for FMC to spam their Taunt skill.
  • AOE DPS is recommended. It’s possible to win with a Single Target DPS, but will be harder.
  • Recommended team comp #2: DPS / Support / Sustain / Sustain
  • Use this if you don’t have a built FMC to do the previous team comp.
  • A healer and shielder/tank combination is preferred, but double healer is acceptable.
  • Free characters that make a good combo are Natasha and March.

Still having trouble?

  • Likely you need to review your character builds.
  • Levels, light cone levels, and traces should be up to date.
  • Sustains and supports should have high speed.
  • Relics may need to be leveled.

Argenti

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • None.
  • Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

  • Target Argenti’s shields
  • They not only buff Argenti and attack you, but killing a Shield grants YOUR TEAM buffs.
  • After you kill a shield or two and steal the buff, that’s your opportunity to focus on Argenti the next turn
  • Target especially the shield that has Argenti’s “Soul of Beauty” buff. That shield will have enhanced effects and can make the battle difficult for you.

When attacking the “Honored” shield, make sure your DPS is the one who makes the final blow. This shield will buff the damage of whoever kills it. The other types, anyone on your team can last hit because their stolen buffs will benefit the entire team.

Recommended Characters

Recommended team comp: Double Sustain team (DPS / Support / Sustain / Sustain) for those struggling to survive. Don’t be greedy for damage and use only 1 sustain if you’re dying.

If you have AOE, it helps. It is possible to win with Single Target DPS, but it may be harder because you have to frequently switch targets back and forth from Shields to Argenti.

Some good AOE characters (If you already have them built) are Herta, Argenti, Fire MC, Himeko, etc. If you do not have them built yet and don’t have the resources, just use your strongest DPS instead. Luckily, Argenti doesn’t have any major resistances.

Something Unto Death Meme

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • None.
  • Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

When the boss refills everyone’s Ults, it will Mark the next two people to use their Ult and temporarily “kill” them and take them out of the battle. Therefore, have your DPS and your Sustain ult LAST, so they survive being marked. Choose the 2 least important teammates to get sacrificed.

Try to buff/debuff with your support before they get marked and taken out of battle temporarily. The buff/debuff will linger while your DPS does their job. Supports that rely on being present on the battlefield may not make full use of their kits (Bronya, Yukong, Asta for example) once they get taken out of battle. They’re still usable though.

Recommended Characters

Single target DPS is preferred, since SUD does not summon any minion monsters. Blast AOE is an okay choice as well, but they just won’t make full use of their damage potential.

2x sustains for people who are dying a lot.

Stellaron Hunter: Sam

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • None.
  • Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

  • Sam has an anti-healing field that reduces healing by 90%.
  • Therefore, for your sustain characters it’s recommended to use Preservation path.

Sam’s Second Combustion state: Use SP during this state to deplete Sam’s energy. High SP usage teams do well here, such as Seele, Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae, Bronya, etc. SP light teams may have trouble but they will likely take significantly more damage because of being unable to deplete Sam’s Molten energy and dispel his Second Combustion state.

For every SP point you have remaining when Sam charges up his main attack, your characters will take extra damage so try to have as little SP remaining as possible.

If you manage to use a lot of SP and deplete Sam’s molten energy completely, he takes more damage and also restores your SP completely. It’s a huge battle-turner, so trigger it if you can.

Don’t have those SP-heavy characters? Normal DPS will be fine as well, just use Skill often and perhaps use double Preservation sustain to stay alive and tank Sam’s attacks.

Recommended Characters

  • SP-heavy characters such as, but not limited to Qingque, Seele, Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae, Bronya, Yukong (using skill often), etc.
  • Preservation characters as your sustain: March, Fire MC, Gepard, Fu Xuan, Aventurine, etc.
  • Use two Preservation characters if you need to.

Aventurine

Weaknesses

Major Resistances

  • Minor 20% resistance to non-weak elements.

Quick Tips

A lot of people struggling with this boss have underbuilt supports and sustains. Aventurine will launch attacks on people who “lose the bet” and if your support or sustain have low HP they are going to die. Make sure your supports and sustains have leveled relics and good hp or def. They WILL get hit because most supports and sustains are Single Target attack types, which means they will lose the bet and get their face smashed.

  • A lot of supports can afford to use an HP or DEF orb relic. Being alive is more important than losing out on some offensive stats.
  • Use AOE DPS. This is so your DPS can roll multiple dice at once and avoid Aventurine’s attack from losing the bet.
  • Using more than 1x DPS is unnecessary. Some people are losing the fight because they’re trying to force 2-3 DPS.
  • Don’t use imaginary DPS. This should be obvious, but a lot of players are doing it.

Stop throwing in random under-built DPS that happen to match Aventurine’s weaknesses. A built DPS that doesn’t match weakness will always outperform an underbuilt one.

Recommended Characters

AOE DPS

2x sustains. Fire MC is a good choice because sometimes their basic attack is AOE and their Ult is also AOE. 2x healer works too but make sure they have good HP or Def.

If you happen to have them, Shielders (Gepard, Aventurine, or tanks like Fu Xuan) are excellent.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7120 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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