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Table of Contents
Yanqing is a 5★ character obtainable from the Departure Warp, Stellar Warp, and Character Event Warp in Honkai: Star Rail. He is a single-target Ice-Type damage dealer who follows the Path of The Hunt. Yanqing’s kit focuses on buffing his CRIT stats with both his Soulsteel Sync state and Ultimate. As he doesn’t want to take damage from attacks, his team compositions center around protecting him from taking damage to ensure he performs at his maximum potential.
This guide will cover the ins and outs of using Yanqing, including his playstyles, teams, synergies, Relics, Light Cones, and much more.
When Yanqing uses his Skill or Ultimate, he activates Soulsteel Sync until the end of his next turn. This makes him less likely to be attacked and boosts both his CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG. He also gains a chance to perform a follow-up attack, which has a chance to Freeze the enemy, after he performs an attack. However, Yanqing taking any damage will immediately end Soulsteel Sync and all of its buffs. His gameplay involves keeping Soulsteel Sync active as much as possible by using his Skill and avoiding damage.
Yanqing’s kit is rather simple. You cast his Skill when it’s his turn, and use his Ultimate while Soulsteel Sync is active. His damage is entirely single-target.
Yanqing gains CRIT buffs through both Soulsteel Sync and his Ultimate. Keeping Soulsteel Sync active requires Yanqing not to take damage, which means it’s important for teammates to provide shielding, or draw aggro away from Yanqing.
Yanqing has a chance to trigger a follow-up attack when he attacks while Soulsteel Sync is active. The follow-up attack does a rather small percentage of his overall damage, but will regenerate Energy and can Freeze enemies, which is useful for quality of life.
The majority of Yanqing’s damage is dealt through his Ultimate and the Skill that follows it, so it’s important to align team buffs and debuffs to fit this short window of damage.
Ultimate > Skill ≥ Talent
With the exception of his Basic ATK, all of Yanqing’s Traces are worth leveling.
Yanqing’s Ultimate is the most valuable to level due to the damage it does and the CRIT buffs it provides, though only the CRIT DMG scales with his Trace level.
Yanqing’s Skill is the next best Trace to level for its damage.
Leveling Yanqing’s Talent will increase all aspects of his damage, along with increasing the chance of triggering a follow-up attack, and subsequently the opportunities to Freeze opponents.
Note: Trace levels shown are 1/10/12 (Basic ATK 1/6/7).
Single-Target Damage Dealer
Yanqing should use his Skill every turn. Otherwise, Soulsteel Sync will expire, and he will deal less damage.
Yanqing should use his Ultimate whenever it is available, provided Soulsteel Sync is active. Using Yanqing’s Ultimate when Soulsteel Sync isn’t active causes him to lose 54% CRIT DMG on his Ultimate and following Skill. This scenario is generally only an issue on the first turn when starting battle with a full Ultimate, as Yanqing will be able to maintain Soulsteel Sync afterwards. If Soulsteel Sync is not active, Yanqing should hold his Ultimate until his next turn can activate it.
Because the majority of Yanqing’s damage is dealt with his Ultimate and the Skill that follows it, aligning support abilities with his damage window is important. Most of Yanqing’s supports provide effects that are consistent enough for this to not be a worry. However, for those using less consistent units such as Yukong, it’s important to note.
Yanqing’s builds are rather straightforward. However, his dynamic CRIT buffs can make optimization rather difficult.
Unless otherwise noted, the difference between the sets listed here is not large. It’s recommended to choose the set with the best substats.
4-Pc Hunter of Glacial Forest
|Generally Yanqing’s best Relic set because of the CRIT DMG it provides, but its performance depends on a few factors, such as how often Yanqing uses his Ultimate and who his teammates are. When Yanqing is used with characters like Tingyun, who can help with his Energy needs, this set performs at its best, but it still performs decently otherwise
4-Pc Genius of Brilliant Stars
|Competes with 4-Pc Hunter of Glacial Forest. Genius of Brilliant Stars is ideally used when an enemy has both Ice- and Quantum-Type Weaknesses, but it still performs well without it. It gains slightly more value when used with sources of DEF reduction.
Since many units can take advantage of the 4-Pc Set Effect, it’s very efficient to farm this Relic set.
2-Pc Mixed Sets
|Sets include Messenger Traversing Hackerspace, Musketeer of Wild Wheat, Hunter of Glacial Forest, and Prisoner in Deep Confinement.
These set combinations don’t rely on external conditions, unlike 4-Pc Hunter of Glacial Forest and 4-Pc Genius of Brilliant Stars. This being said, they perform slightly worse than both the above sets.
Unless otherwise noted, the difference between the sets listed here is not large. It’s recommended to choose the set with the best substats.
Firmament Frontline: Glamoth
|Generally, Firmament Frontline: Glamoth is Yanqing’s best Planar Ornament. It provides both ATK% and DMG% based on Yanqing’s SPD. As Yanqing enjoys both stats, and doesn’t have many sources of external DMG%, this set is especially good on him.
This ranking does assume Yanqing gets at least one stack of the passive consistently, which requires at least 15.1 SPD from Relics.
Space Sealing Station
|Space Sealing Station is in an efficient Simulated Universe World to farm. The high ATK% is a good stat for Yanqing to have, and it buffs all aspects of Yanqing’s kit. The 120 SPD threshold is easy for him to achieve.
Yanqing with his A6 Bonus Ability active only needs 0.1 additional SPD to be above 120 SPD at all times.
|Most of Celestial Differentiator’s value lies in the 16% CRIT DMG it provides. The CRIT DMG buff is valuable to Yanqing due to the abundance of CRIT Rate he already has. The set’s 60% CRIT Rate buff only applies to Yanqing’s first attack, which is generally his weakest hit.
It performs similarly to Space Sealing Station in terms of damage. This being said, it’s located in a rather Fuel-inefficient Simulated Universe World because Pan-Cosmic Commercial Enterprise is not used very often.
|Since Inert Salsotto’s buff applies dynamically, Yanqing will get the Ultimate and follow-up attack buff pretty consistently as long as you have a bit of CRIT Rate in his Relics.
It’s reliant on Yanqing using his Ultimate often for maximum potential. In optimal scenarios, it performs similarly to Celestial Differentiator.
|The high CRIT Rate requirement makes it so that only the Skill following Yanqing’s Ultimate will benefit from the 20% DMG Bonus. Rutilant Arena is still a buff to one of Yanqing’s hardest hitting attacks, which makes this set viable, but it’s not worth using over the above options unless you already have a very good set of it.
In the Night
|In The Night provides various buffs which scale off of Yanqing’s SPD. These combine to make a very powerful Light Cone that is unconditionally powerful.
Despite the SPD-based buffs, it doesn’t significantly change any of Yanqing’s SPD thresholds, so the optimal Relic setup does not differ much from the usual Yanqing build.
|Swordplay provides a huge amount of DMG% for Yanqing. The only caveat is that Yanqing has to attack the same enemy. This is generally not a huge challenge for Yanqing, but it does fall off in damage if you swap enemies. This is not a huge issue because of Yanqing’s four-hit Skill stacking the passive quickly, but still leads to a damage loss.
As a Light Cone, it’s very reliant on superimpositions. At S5, it can outperform an S5 In the Night, but at S1 it is about equal to Cruising on the Stellar Sea.
Sleep Like the Dead
|Purchasable from the Starlight Shop. The main draw of Sleep Like the Dead is the CRIT DMG it provides. However, it also helps keep Yanqing’s damage going while his Ultimate buffs aren’t active. The passive has a few chances to trigger because he hits many times.
It performs best in teams where Yanqing casts his Ultimate less often.
|Worrisome, Blissful is decent for Yanqing both because of the CRIT buffs it provides and because he can trigger follow-up attacks fairly often. It also allows teammates to deal increased CRIT DMG to an opponent.
Cruising on the Stellar Sea
|A strong F2P option available from Herta’s Store. Its passive is rather conditional, being reliant on an enemy kill, but it is strong if you can consistently defeat opponents with Yanqing.
River Flows in Spring
|A F2P option that you can use on Yanqing as a more consistent alternative to Cruising on the Stellar Sea. At S5, it competes with Cruising on the Stellar Sea.
Since Yanqing wants to avoid taking damage, it’s easy for him to maintain both River Flows in Spring’s passive and Soulsteel Sync. This Light Cone also makes Yanqing’s SPD thresholds easier to hit.
Only Silence Remains
|About equal to River Flows in Spring at the same superimposition, but its
passive being reliant on the number of enemies means it’s a condition that cannot be guaranteed.
|ATK% / SPD
ATK% Boots are generally favored for maximizing damage output, making them ideal for scenarios where Yanqing’s primary role is dealing single-target damage. On the other hand, SPD Boots can be a strategic choice in scenarios with multiple targets, as the extra turns allow Yanqing to quickly kill lower HP enemies. They also allow Yanqing to more readily act before enemies, Freeze opponents, and deplete the enemy’s Toughness bar faster. Ultimately, the difference in a vacuum is not large.
It should be noted that characters who buff SPD or provide Action Advance tend to make ATK% Boots a better choice.
Since Yanqing is often used with Shields, it is also worth remembering that building excessive SPD on Yanqing may cause Shields to expire earlier than desired. Make sure your shielder is equipped to keep up with Yanqing.
CRIT Rate to 20% > CRIT DMG > ATK% = SPD
CRIT DMG is Yanqing’s best stat due to the high amount of CRIT Rate he gets as buffs. ATK% and SPD are also important but lose some effectiveness as Yanqing can get quite a bit of both said stats from teammates.
Generally, you want 20% CRIT Rate before any buffs on Yanqing to ensure his Skills do decent damage when they’re not Ultimate buffed. CRIT Rate exceeding 20% will overcap Yanqing’s attacks that are buffed by his Ultimate.
Further Investment Options
First and foremost, Cruising on the Stellar Sea is a Stellar option for those needing a strong Light Cone that isn’t dependent on Warps. Swordplay is also an incredible 4★ option for him provided you can superimpose it a few times. If you lack Swordplay, Cruising on the Stellar Sea is occupied, and don’t want to use your Star Rail Special Passes on a limited Light Cone, you can buy Sleep Like the Dead in the Starlight Shop, though it’s not recommended to do so. Limited 5★ Light Cones such as In The Night or Worrisome, Blissful are decent options if you don’t have a superimposed copy of Swordplay, but aren’t large enough damage increases to justify using Star Rail Special Passes on.
Yanqing’s Eidolons are not superb, but do help some. Notably, his E1, E4, and E6 are worth mentioning. It’s impossible to guarantee Yanqing Eidolons outside of the Stellar Warp character selector, and it’s not recommended to spend Stellar Jades to get Yanqing from the Stellar Warp.
Jingliu is a 5★ Ice-Type damage dealer who boosts her own CRIT stats. Sound familiar?
Yanqing’s kit has a lot of parallels with Jingliu’s, but there are a few distinctions. Jingliu has multi-target capabilities, while Yanqing doesn’t. Yanqing also frontloads most of his damage into his Ultimate and the Skill after it, whereas Jingliu’s damage tends to be more spread out through her Syzygy-buffed state.
Yanqing also relies on his teammates to help him maintain Soulsteel Sync with shielders and aggro redirection, whereas Jingliu’s teamwide HP drain incentivizes using healers.
You can use the two together, as Jingliu’s teamwide HP drain does not deactivate Yanqing’s Soulsteel Sync. This however, is not recommended as the two have no synergy together.
Shielder / Redirector
|Gepard is the premium option for a Yanqing sustain. Not only does he provide strong shielding with his Ultimate, but he also has high aggro, allowing him to take the brunt of enemy attacks with his high DEF. He is completely SP positive.
He is the only Shielder/Redirector that can reliably solo sustain a team, which means that using him opens up an entire team slot, which is extremely powerful.
He doesn’t often use his Skill, but its chance to Freeze pairs well with Yanqing’s E1 if you have extra SP.
|March has a single-target Shield that is fairly strong. This being said, it has one drawback; it increases Yanqing’s chance of getting hit. This can be a bit cumbersome to deal with if Yanqing ends up being targeted more than desired. March has to consistently Shield Yanqing, so keeping other party members alive is rather difficult and quite SP intensive.
March’s Ultimate’s chance to Freeze pairs well with Yanqing’s E1.
|Fire Trailblazer can redirect attacks by Taunting enemies. They can also create a teamwide Shield; however, it is a relatively weak Shield, which means Yanqing will be left vulnerable to stronger AoE attacks. Fire Trailblazer pairs well with March, as they negate the increased aggro March’s Shield gives Yanqing.
Fire Trailblazer can be quite SP intensive, especially when paired with March 7th. It’s important to use Trailblazer’s Taunt when needed.
|Lynx can increase the aggro of teammates that follow the Path of Preservation or Destruction. She can’t guarantee that Yanqing won’t get hit by single-target or AoE attacks, but she helps keep the team alive if you aren’t using Gepard and want to help focus enemy attacks onto other characters.
|Tingyun provides an array of buffs including ATK%, DMG%, and Energy restoration. The most useful of which is her Ultimate’s Energy regeneration, as it allows Yanqing to use both his Ultimate and Ultimate-buffed Skills far more often. The ATK and DMG buffs are also quite nice for Yanqing, along with Tingyun’s SP positivity.
|Silver Wolf has a plethora of useful single-target enemy debuffs, from decreasing All-Type RES to DEF reduction. Silver Wolf can implant Weaknesses onto enemies, which boosts Yanqing’s damage drastically, along with pairing well with his A2 if she implants an Ice-Type Weakness. Her debuffs can be utilized by other damage dealers.
Silver Wolf is generally SP neutral in Yanqing teams.
|Pela at base is completely SP positive, and has a powerful AoE DEF reduction debuff that she can use quite often, especially with the Light Cone Before the Tutorial Mission Starts. Her debuffs can also be utilized by other damage dealers.
Additionally, Pela’s E4 allows her to reduce an enemy’s Ice RES by 12% with her Skill. This is a powerful debuff, but requires using Pela’s Skill, which can be SP intensive.
|Asta can buff the whole team’s ATK and SPD. These teamwide buffs are especially useful when Yanqing is paired with another damage dealer.
Her ability to maintain Charging stacks depends largely on her Eidolons and the enemy lineup. This subsequently changes her SP usage. Asta can be very SP positive, or completely SP negative.
|Clara is fairly good at redirecting attacks with her high aggro. Her own personal damage potential is also quite high, and covers for Yanqing’s lack of AoE. She also enjoys having a Shield. However, Yanqing usually wants to be paired with Gepard, who does not increase Clara’s aggro, unlike March or Lynx. When using March with Clara and Yanqing, prioritize shielding Yanqing.
|Arlan also likes being shielded because he wants to stay at low HP for improved damage. Arlan’s rotations are flexible; he can use his Skill, which does not cost SP, to do damage, but if SP is tight, he can use a Basic ATK. His Ultimate has some AoE which helps combat Yanqing’s single-target nature.
|On paper, Bronya’s buffs look amazing for Yanqing. ATK, DMG%, and CRIT DMG are all great stats for Yanqing. This coupled with a 100% Action Advance makes Bronya seem like the perfect Yanqing support. However, her Action Advance makes Shields on Yanqing expire extremely quickly. This leads to him being vulnerable to enemy attacks and losing the powerful buffs that Soulsteel Sync provides.
It’s possible to use them together, but one must take great caution when doing so.
Yanqing Hypercarry focuses on increasing his damage as much as possible while ensuring he doesn’t get hit by attacks.
Yanqing should be placed as far away as possible from the units with the highest aggro, which are usually the Preservation and/or Destruction characters. This means that placing him in the first or fourth position is optimal. As such, the Preservation or Destruction character should be placed on the opposite end of Yanqing. Whichever character is next to the Preservation character will take a lot of damage, so ensure that they have the means to survive the extra hits.
It should be noted that Yanqing’s teams aren’t very F2P friendly. His reliance on shielding makes Gepard the only unit that can protect him and solo sustain the team at the same time.
Yanqing GPT (Gepard Pela Tingyun)
Gepard, Pela, and Tingyun are all SP positive, so it leaves a lot of opportunities for Pela to use her Skill to debuff enemies, especially if she’s E4 and can reduce an enemy’s Ice RES. Gepard can also use his Skill for the extra Energy and chance to Freeze.
It’s recommended to build Pela defensively because her offensive stats do not influence her DEF reduction debuff and she will be hit often when placed next to Gepard. As Tingyun relies on her own offensive stats to buff, she is placed next to Yanqing to minimize the amount of damage she takes since she can’t afford to build as many defensive stats as Pela.
Pela and Gepard generate a lot of SP to the point where Yukong can consistently use her Skill to buff Yanqing. It’s important to SPD tune Yukong so that she acts before Yanqing does to ensure he always benefits from “Roaring Bowstrings.”
It’s recommended to build Pela defensively because her offensive stats do not influence her DEF reduction debuff and she will be hit often when placed next to Gepard. Yukong can be built offensively or defensively in this team because she doesn’t use her offensive stats for buffs, but has decent personal damage potential.
A team that attempts to maximize Silver Wolf’s chance to implant Ice-Type Weakness onto opponents. This team has very high amounts of DEF reduction. Enemy DEF can only be reduced by 100%, and Silver Wolf and Pela already reduce it by a combined total of 85%. Any DEF reduction that exceeds 100% will have no effect. If this is your main Yanqing team, running 4-Pc Genius of Brilliant Stars will be less effective than normal due to the overcap.
Tingyun can be used instead of Pela, though it lowers the chance of Silver Wolf implanting Ice-Type Weakness and reduces the overall survivability of the team.
Secondary Damage Dealers
These teams focus on allowing a secondary damage dealer to aid Yanqing. Teamwide supports are preferred over single-target supports, since the damage in these teams is shared between Yanqing and the secondary damage dealer.
As for the secondary damage dealer, Arlan and Serval are flexible options since they don’t mind occasionally using a Basic ATK. Welt, on the other hand, is more SP intensive but has high damage potential and can debuff enemies. Welt incentivizes using the completely SP-positive Pela as the teamwide support.
Clara acts as a secondary damage dealer in this team. Though she does not get a source of increased aggro such as March’s Shield or Lynx’s Skill, she will still get targeted fairly often if placed next to Gepard. Pela is used here for her AoE debuffs, but Silver Wolf can be used as a replacement in single-target scenarios. However, Silver Wolf is slightly more SP intensive than Pela.
Arlan thrives with a Shield and pairs well in Yanqing teams with his SP flexibility. He is SP neutral if he only uses his Skill, but he has the option to Basic ATK and regenerate SP if someone else needs their Skill, such as Asta using her Skill to gain Charging stacks.
A Serval or Welt version of this team works similarly to the Arlan one listed above. Simply swap Arlan for Serval or Welt and place them next to Yanqing.
Gepard’s absence makes two Shielder/Redirectors necessary for sufficient survivability because he is the only unit that can both Shield Yanqing and solo sustain a team defensively.
Keep in mind that running two Shielder/Redirectors will naturally result in a sharp drop in damage and cannot be expected to have comparable performance to teams with a solo sustain.
It should be noted that this team is rather SP intensive. The majority of SP will be used both by March to provide Shields and by Yanqing to use his Skill. You can also Taunt with Fire Trailblazer if needed. If you have extra SP you can get extra Charging stacks with Asta, but it’s her last priority. Even a few stacks of Charging provide a good amount of ATK%.
Trailblazer’s Taunt bypasses all other forms of aggro which makes it optimal to place them on the side furthest away from Yanqing.
If Pela was obtained, she can replace Asta for a more SP-positive team.
Yanqing Hypercarry with only one sustain is a very risky team that requires good planning to succeed. March and Fire Trailblazer are incapable of solo sustaining teams, which makes this team rather fragile against most content. As such, it requires Yanqing to clear enemies quickly. These teams tend to be rather SP intensive; careful SP mapping is required to play these teams optimally.
Bronya can be used as a support option here, as the fast-paced nature of this team pairs well with her Advance Forward ability. Most support units work here; however, support units with lower SP usage or stronger supporting potential are preferred.
For the Destruction unit, choose a character that wants to be hit, or doesn’t mind taking damage often. Arlan is a good, easily accessible unit with rotation flexibility that fits this criteria. 5★ units such as Clara, Jingliu, or Blade also work here if you have them.
It should be noted that the team is tight on SP, so choose Destruction units that naturally don’t use much SP. Lynx increases the Destruction unit’s aggro so that they get hit more often and redirect attacks away from Yanqing.
Because the Destruction unit will have more aggro than March when under the effects of Lynx’s Skill, they are placed on the side furthest away from Yanqing.
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- Yanqing Relic Set Calculations by Quinslay
- Yanqing Planetary Ornament Set Calculations by Quinslay
- Yanqing Eidolon Calculations by Quinslay
- 9 January 2024 – Published for v1.6
- 17 January 2024 – Added Infographic for v1.6