Updated for Version 1.3
Note that the information given may change if new discoveries are made. More extensive testing is in progress.
Join our Discord to check on and participate in the theorycrafting process.
Table of Contents
Yukong is a 4★ character available in Honkai: Star Rail. Players receive a free copy of her after completing Stage 1 of Memories of Xianzhou. She is an Imaginary buffer belonging to the Harmony Path with some of the strongest team-wide buffs in the game, and she also has excellent single-target Breaking abilities. However, these are contingent upon careful play and are restricted by low buff uptime.
Yukong’s primary mechanic is her “Roaring Bowstrings” stacks which count down based on collective unit turns rather than individual ones. For example, say that you are running a team with Dan Heng • Imbibitor Lunae, Yukong, and two other teammates. If Yukong activates “Roaring Bowstrings” and the other two teammates act before Imbibitor Lunae, he will not get the “Roaring Bowstrings” buff.
Yukong’s Skill activates her “Roaring Bowstrings” effect. Her Ultimate deals damage to a single target, and activates a potent CRIT Rate% and CRIT DMG% buff that is tied to the duration of “Roaring Bowstrings.”
This means a certain amount of Speed tuning (aiming for a certain SPD value on Yukong as well as other teammates) is necessary to ensure she functions smoothly. Do note that extra actions such as Ultimates and follow-up attacks do not consume stacks.
A secondary mechanic is her Talent, which increases her Basic ATK’s potency, as well as doubling its Toughness damage on every other turn, incentivizing alternating Skills and Basic ATKs.
Her A6 Bonus Ability, Majestas, restores 2 Energy (affected by ERR%) each time an ally takes an action while “Roaring Bowstrings” is active. This counts all manual actions, i.e., Basic ATK, Skill, or Ultimate, but does not count automatic actions like follow-up attacks or revives.
> > =
Ultimate > Skill > Basic = Talent
The most powerful part of Yukong’s kit is her Ultimate, followed by her Skill. Her Basic ATK and Talent are always used with each other, and therefore have the same priority.
Note: Trace levels shown are 1/10/12 (Basic ATK 1/6/7).
A “Slow” Yukong is built to be just slower than your team’s sustain character, similar to how Bronya is often built. Depending on other characters, this can result in Yukong being the slowest character on the team, or the second-slowest.
For a slower damage dealer, this playstyle allows you to activate “Roaring Bowstrings” right before their turn, allowing for consistent buff uptime. For a faster damage dealer, a Slow Yukong is unable to buff their first turn, but will have more consistent buffs from the second turn onwards, as she will act before them in the turn order. The buffless first turn can also be mitigated using Yukong’s Technique.
Although this playstyle is referred to as “Slow” Yukong, Yukong herself may be built with high SPD such as 140 or 150, which should still be just lower than her teammates’ SPD.
A “Fast” Yukong is built to be faster than your team’s damage dealer. The main goal of running a Fast Yukong is to get as many chances as possible to buff your units by way of Yukong having more turns.
Significantly more viable with E6’s increase in buff duration.
General Gameplay Notes
While playing Yukong, the following priorities should be kept in mind:
- Don’t die.
- Apply her buffs to damage dealer(s) during their largest windows of damage.
- Manage Energy so she can get her Ultimate back in a timely manner.
- Maintain reasonable Toughness damage.
Based upon those overall goals, the following list describes in which scenarios Yukong should use certain actions.
- Use Ultimate or Basic ATK to contribute to Weakness Break if it will prevent imminent death of your party.
- Use Ultimate if “Roaring Bowstrings” is active and the damage dealer(s) will act before its duration is over.
- Use Basic ATK if SP and/or Toughness damage is needed. Alternating Basic ATK and Skill is ideal due to Yukong’s Talent only activating every other turn.
- Use Skill if “Roaring Bowstrings” is not active and damage dealer(s) act within the next two turns, or if Yukong has not used a Skill in two turns.
Don’t be afraid to hold Yukong’s Ultimate for a turn or two if “Roaring Bowstrings” and/or damage dealer uptimes are not lining up.
Yukong has rather high-scaling values for her Talent-affected Basic ATK and her Ultimate, allowing for her to be built for damage. However, in order for a damage build to be possible for Yukong, she must be able to survive. Defensive substats are therefore essential.
Although Yukong does have some defensive parts of her kit, such as her A2 Bonus Ability, she is overall very fragile. Her Base HP and DEF values are also some of the lowest in the game. The tank build aims to reduce the chance of Yukong being knocked down and taking her buffs with her.
|Using cast-offs from farming for other characters is a great way to cobble together a functional set for Yukong. As the name of the game for tank-built supports is functional, this makes 2-Pc “Tank” sets an excellent choice for Yukong. |
Possible 2-Pc sets include Messenger Traversing Hackerspace, Guard of Wuthering Snow, Longevous Disciple, and Knight of Purity Palace. To a lesser extent (as they do not improve survival), Musketeer of WIld Wheat and Wastelander of Banditry Desert can work as well.
4-Pc Guard of Wuthering Snow
|Players farming for the Genius of Brilliant Stars set likely have enough Guard pieces for a 4-Pc, making it a viable option to chip heal and gain an unreliable bonus Energy increase. This Energy should not be relied on in any way; if you see the Set Effect activate, you likely have larger problems to worry about than Energy.|
|Fleet of the Ageless||Increases HP and boosts ally ATK%. What’s not to like? Even when running Slow Yukong, she will likely still have enough SPD to activate the Set Effect.|
|Broken Keel||Use it if you have enough substat rolls to activate the CRIT DMG% Set Effect, as it is more effective than Fleet of the Ageless for most CRIT-scalers.|
Its effectiveness at keeping Yukong alive increases with other sources of Effect RES, such as from Guard of Wuthering Snow.
|The Energy Regeneration Rate is situationally useful to allow usage of ATK% Ropes. However, this is only the case when using But the Battle Isn’t Over or ERR% Ropes that are not maximum level. |
Keep in mind that Vonwacq wearers begin the battle with a 40% Action Advance. For teams that require precise Speed tuning, this set should be avoided.
Memories of the Past
|Yukong’s best option for Ultimate uptime at S2+. One of the only ways to enable a 3-turn Ultimate with an E0 Yukong. Check the table below for more details.|
|The other way to enable a 3-turn Ultimate with an E0 Yukong. Gives the equivalent amount of Energy that Memories of the Past does at equal superimposition, but also provides Energy upon Yukong being hit.|
Carve the Moon, Weave the Clouds
|This Light Cone from the Battle Pass is a great general option for teams that do not require the extra energy from Memories of the Past or Meshing Cogs.|
But The Battle Isn’t Over
|The Energy Regeneration Rate is situationally useful, and just like Past and Future, this Light Cone requires Speed tuning to ensure the primary damage dealer acts immediately after Yukong.|
As Yukong’s Ultimate does not target allies, she is unable to trigger the Skill Point restoration portion of this Light Cone’s Ability.
Past and Future
|This Light Cone only works if you can Speed tune to ensure the damage dealer immediately follows her. Situationally useful.|
|An excellent option for teams with Imaginary damage dealers. A niche but viable option.|
Dance! Dance! Dance!
|A niche option for teams that do not care about desyncs, like Jing Yuan or Clara teams. More turns are always useful for Energy and damage.|
|CRIT or HP% or DEF%||SPD||Imaginary DMG% or ATK% or HP% or DEF%||ERR% or ATK%|
SPD > Effect RES% = HP% = DEF% > CRIT% > ATK%
How much is enough survivability?
The answer varies with content, teammates, and other factors. The only true metric is that your Yukong is able to survive.
ERR% vs. ATK% Rope
The following table shows Energy requirements and rotation options for Yukong. Memories of the Past can be substituted with an equal superimposition Meshing Cogs.
Keep in mind your team’s SP economy and the content you are playing against when choosing how to play Yukong.
|Light Cone||+15 ERR Rope||2-Pc Vonwacq||Rotation (Actions per Ultimate)||Notes|
|Any||Yes||No||2 Skill||2 Basic|
|Yes||No||2 Skill||1 Basic||Requires two E2 procs|
|S1 Memories/Cogs||No||No||2 Skill||2 Basic|
|S2 Memories/Cogs||Yes||No||2 Skill||1 Basic|
|S5 Memories/Cogs||Yes||No||1 Skill||2 Basic||Requires one ally to use Ultimate while buffed by “Roaring Bowstrings” OR one E2 proc|
|S1 But the Battle Isn’t Over||No||Yes||3 Skill||–||Requires one ally to use Ultimate while buffed by “Roaring Bowstrings” OR one E2 proc|
A6 is assumed to proc three times per Skill and once per Yukong Ultimate.
When an ERR% Rope is not suggested, other Ropes such as ATK% can be used instead.
Yukong’s Energy mechanics and calculations can be found here.
Yukong vs. Other Harmonies
Yukong’s raw buff numbers are very high. At Trace Level 10, her Skill provides 80% ATK, and her Ultimate provides both 28% CRIT Rate% and 65% CRIT DMG% for the whole party, a whopping 121% Crit Value. Let’s compare that to other characters in a similar buffing niche:
|T10, E0||ATK%||CRIT Rate%||CRIT DMG%||DMG%||Break Values|
|Yukong||80%||28%||65%||+12% Imaginary DMG||Basic: 60U
|Bronya||55%||–||~10.4%* + 20%||66%||Basic: 30U|
|Tingyun||<=50%**||–||–||50% (+50 Energy)||Basic: 30U|
|Asta||14%-70%||–||–||+18% Fire DMG||Skill: 60U
E1 Skill: 75U
**Tingyun’s ATK buff will vary based on build, but will likely be less than 50%.
Looking at the above table, Yukong competes with Bronya for the highest buff modifiers in the category. In addition, she provides a significant amount of Toughness damage as well as a fair amount of personal damage at higher investment.
However, her Ultimate is more expensive than any other Harmony unit, and her SP usage is greedier than most.
Yukong can be run with most damage dealers, but synergizes best with units with short damage windows and Imaginary damage dealers who can take advantage of her A4.
|Welt makes great use of Yukong’s ATK% and CRIT buffs, A4 Bonus Ability, and potential to hold Planetary Rendezvous. He also generally appreciates the additional Imaginary break she provides. Additionally, due to Welt’s strong Crowd Control and the lack of any SPD buffs in his kit, he is one of the most predictable targets for Yukong’s buffs.|
Ult-Based Damage Dealers (Civilian Dan Heng, Arlan, Yanqing)
|Characters with the majority of their damage focused on their Ultimate can easily be played with Yukong by queuing her Ultimate while “Roaring Bowstrings” is active and then the damage dealer’s Ultimate.
Being able to control when to insert both Ultimates means that Speed tuning becomes less of an issue.
Dan Heng • Imbibitor Lunae
|Dan Heng • Imbibitor Lunae enjoys Yukong’s ATK and CRIT buffs, and is one of the few units that can take advantage of her A4.
Each instance of his Skill enhancement also activates Yukong’s A6, resulting in a minor Energy increase for Yukong’s expensive Ultimate.
However, Yukong does use a lot of SP to maintain uptime for her buffs, which may result in more difficult SP management if the fight takes more than two cycles. This makes this pairing very efficient in burst scenarios where the content can be cleared quickly.
If run with Imbibitor Lunae, Yukong is likely to be run SP-neutral with one Skill for every Basic ATK.
|Sushang has the same advantage of Ult-based characters in that her damage is condensed into a small window and can be fully affected by Yukong’s buff.
She can use her Ultimate to advance herself immediately after Yukong’s buffs, or to resync herself SPD-wise. She also can be SP-neutral in some scenarios with E1+, allowing for more frequent use of Yukong’s Skill.
However, due to Sushang’s damage being spread out during two turns, this requires Yukong to always act directly before her Skill-Ultimate-Skill combo to buff the whole sequence.
|Seele’s “Resurgence” can be abused to make sure that up to four of Seele’s actions will all benefit from Yukong’s buffs, but she does have some major downsides.
She can easily desync from Yukong due to variable SPD and extra turns, resulting in less consistent gameplay and more difficulty Speed tuning. Unlike Sushang, Seele does not have a way to manually realign her Speed, so a desync is rather difficult to fix.
Seele also is very greedy with SP in some situations, which could result in issues with not having enough SP for either one. This can however be mitigated using careful SP management.
Damage Over Time (DoT) Units
(Kafka, Sampo, Luka)
|Weakness Breaking with Imaginary will delay enemies, resulting in less DoT damage. Also, no DoT units currently CRIT-scale, making Yukong’s CRIT buffs completely worthless.|
|As an HP-scaler, Blade only benefits from the CRIT buff that has uptime every three turns. You might as well put him on a different team.|
|Due to how Bronya interferes with turn orders, she can easily interfere with Yukong’s buff time.
Technically, Bronya can realign desyncs between Yukong, damage dealers, or anyone else by Advancing units to the right places or using her Basic ATKs.
However, this can spiral out of control in terms of SP, Speed tuning, and turn order. Due to this, playing Yukong and Bronya together will likely result in large amounts of emotional pain and frustration.
The main limitation of Yukong is that her buff window is very short and must be timed well.
Yukong does very well as a support for a standard ATK- and CRIT-scaling hypercarry. All damage dealers mentioned above work in the damage dealer slot, and any SP-positive unit should work for the flex support.
Yukong can be Speed tuned to align her Ultimate’s buff with Dan Heng’s Ultimate. Favors a “Slow” Yukong build as well as all characters having very similar Speed to prevent misalignment of Dan Heng’s Talent being activated as well as Yukong’s Ultimate. SP is somewhat tight due to both Harmony units benefiting from using their Skill, so an SP-positive Asta (two Basic ATKs and one Skill per Ultimate) and an SP-neutral Yukong (alternating Skill and Basic ATK) is suggested.
Speed requirements should be flexible for this team, as Yanqing’s Soulsteel Sync lasts until the next turn, allowing his Ultimate (the majority of his damage) to be used at any point in time. Due to Pela and Gepard being highly SP-positive, it’s quite possible that Yukong may be able to get away with only using her Skill.
A team that can be Speed tuned to be either a “Slow” Yukong team or a “Fast” Yukong team. Silver Wolf brings the possibility of Imaginary-Type Weakness application, DEF Shred, and some secondary damage to the team. Welt benefits from all aspects of Yukong’s kit, and is able to take advantage of Yukong’s A4.
Imbibitor Lunae Hypercarry
A fairly standard Imbibitor Lunae team with Yukong. Can either use a “Slow” or “Fast” Yukong, although Slow is suggested for SP consumption. Yukong should ideally be run SP-neutral (Skill and Basic ATK on alternating turns) unless your Pela and Luocha are speedy enough that you have an immense SP surplus.
In this case, Yukong should ideally be Speed tuned to match the enemies’ SPD, as most of Clara’s damage happens during that time period. Both “Slow” and “Fast” builds work as long as they match enemy SPD. Both Tingyun A2 and E1’s SPD increase should not be an issue, as Clara and Tingyun’s Speeds do not matter as much as Yukong herself.
Light Cones such as Dance! Dance! Dance! can be used in this scenario, as Yukong Advancing her teammates to desync with herself is not a problem.
Dual Damage Dealer Comp
Multiple damage dealers allow for more flexible Yukong Speed tuning requirements, as her buffs are more likely to run on a damage dealing unit’s turn.
As Dan Heng’s Ultimate can be queued right after Yukong’s, it’s very easy to control when his Ultimate is buffed. Serval’s damage is more spread out through her turns, allowing for a higher chance of her damage being buffed by Yukong.
Sushang and Clara
In this team, Yukong should be Speed Tuned to go directly before Sushang, and if her buff happens to align with Clara’s damage window, then so be it. Sushang’s SP neutrality with E1+ can be very useful in running more aggressive buff uptime on Yukong. Keep in mind that Sushang and Clara do conflict in terms of game plan (Sushang wants to Break enemies, while Clara wants enemies to attack).
- September 14 2023 – Published for v1.3