This comprehensive guide will take a quick overview of the A-rank Battlesuit, Flame Sakitama, and dive into specific aspects of gameplay where she excels the most.
Flame Sakitama is Yae Sakura’s A-Rank Biological Elemental Battlesuit, which excels in Sustained Burst Damage.
Base-A, Awakened Characters are evaluated at SS-rank. Note that Flame Sakitama receives two powerful skills on SS, meaning parts of this guide may not be as applicable for players who do not have her at SS.
Flame Sakitama's Profile:
Damage Type: Elemental
Class: Melee Single-Target DPS
QTE Trigger Condition: Paralysis
QTE Triggers: Time Slow
Special Weapon: Florid Sakura
Zanshin bar, increasing overall damage done through using Basic attack follow ups. (Skill-link with SS Bladestrike)
Extra SP recovery at the end of a Basic attack follow up strike.
SSS: Increased damage done on Basic attack follow up strike.
Kit Focus: High Ultimate Burst especially after a rather lengthy ramp-up.
Primary Damage method: Follow-up Attacks and Ultimate
Resource: Zanshin (200 units per bar, 5 bars)
Effect: Every full bar of Zanshin increases her all-damage, and it slowly decays (30/s) when FS is on-field and recovers (240) when Basic (not combo) follow-up attacks are performed. Only 4 stacks of Zanshin will be counted.
Uses: The only way to build Zanshin is through Basic Follow-up attacks, which is also a highly effective way of gaining SP and doing modest damage.
Note: Attack Speed does seem to affect the delay between ending a basic string and the QTE circle appearing, so do take that into account when increasing her attack speed.
QTE Skill: Backfire
Effect: Deals high fire damage (increased by pressing attack) to one target. Triggers Time Fracture.
Uses: Due to the relative difficulty of causing Paralyze in an elemental-oriented comp, this skill is rarely used. In addition, the length of the cast is fairly long and drains Zanshin considerably, which means that it is often better to build her without having the QTE in mind.
Combo Follow-Up Skill: Firewind
Effect: Applies a debuff on the enemy, increasing Fire elemental damage taken by 15%, and all elemental damage taken by 10% for 15 seconds. (Stacks with each other) In addition, this will ignite the enemy for 10 seconds (only after Version 3.3).
Uses: Currently, the Combo Follow-up is often used one rotation before casting her Ultimate (before applying other forms of debuffs, such as Blood Dance and Newton). The long uptime ensures that the Ultimate will benefit from it without having to apply it right before using Ultimate. In 3.3, with the Ignite buff, it is advisable to use a Combo follow-up at the start of battle to reap benefits from Ignite-related buffs.
Evasion Skill: Blazing Dance
Effect: Activates Time Fracture.
Uses: Unique to Flame Sakitama, her first dodge will not interrupt her Basic Attack Sequence. Meaning you can continue exactly where you left off if you only dodged once. Dodging twice will reset the basic sequence, however.
Ultimate: Double Firewall
Ultimate Type: Activated Burst
Effects: Deals high Single-Target fire damage 8 times before time-locking all enemies and dealing massive AOE fire damage. Afterwards, increase character damage done, give Iron Body, high damage resistance and attack speed. Basic Attacks and Combo Attacks during this period automatically trigger Follow-up attacks.
Uses: Strong Burst skill especially after stacking full Kinetic Energy and relevant buffs.
Flame Sakitama relies on her Ultimate, as well as her Combo to build damage. This means that you should only pick stigmatas that can buff Unrestricted Melee All or Fire/Elemental Damage.
Her SS Passive, Artful Blade (Skill-link with Bladestrike), has a strong built-in All-Damage modifier, meaning All-damage stigmatas have faster Diminishing Returns.
Her S Passive, Imperial Tachi, provides attack-speed buff, which makes Attack Speed stigmatas less effective.
Build 1: Florid Sakura, Higokumaru T, Nuwa M, Higokumaru B
This is her in-game Recommended Set that provides an incredibly high Fire Damage modifier (+227%) with no All Damage modifiers.
This build is incredibly powerful due to its raw damage output, and synergizes well with SS Flame Sakitama's kit, which already provides a good amount of All-Damage and SP.
Build 2: Talwar, Thales-Nuwa-Dirac
This set offers incredible SP regeneration from Talwar's Active and Passive, as well as Dirac B, which offers the highest SP gain. This combination is incredibly strong in Dirac, Singularis and EX Memorial Arena, especially where Bosses need two ultimates to kill.
While Talwar is not currently available (as of the release of this guide), Florid Sakura and Fairy Sword Silven make decent replacements that offer increased damage at the cost of slower SP regeneration.
Build 3: Ai-Chan's Crutch, Jingwei T, Higokumaru Formals, Seele Formals
While clearly not as strong as the previous builds, this is a decent budget build that does not require any Gacha stigmatas. However, it does have some severe limitations, with Jingwei T making this exclusively a Bossing set, and Formals M/B forcing Flame Sakitama to stay out for long, which may become a problem when trying to debuff-stacking for ult.
Build 4: Phoenix Razor, Shigure Kira T, Yodo Dono M, Bronya: Magic B
This build uses exclusively 3-star weapons and stigmatas, though some of them are from past events. It is very similar to the first Build in that it provides no All Damage modifier but a powerful Fire damage modifier (+84%). Newer captains who do not have access to these Event stigmatas may prefer Lightning Soul/Pulse Katana 19 paired with Shigure Kira T/M/B.
Building Around FS:
Flame Sakitama is a DPS that demands high Uptime, often making her the primary DPS of any comp. Therefore, when picking a team for her, it is important for her team to cover for her two most glaring weaknesses: A virtually useless Leader Skill, and very little in terms of Crowd Control, while amplifying her greatest strength: Concentrated, high-burst potential coming from her Ultimate.
Comp 1: Phoenix-Scarlet Fusion-Flame Sakitama
This comp gained its popularity in Dirac, featuring a long curve but strong Burst damage. Currently, this combination is fairly powerful in any bossing scenario, but especially in Dirac or Q-Singularis, with the provided 90 Starting SP and generally tanky enemies that warrant the extended ramp duration.
Molotov Cherry makes an even better Blood Dance carrier thanks to her lack of Switch Skill and a QTE skill which can gather.
Comp 2: Shadow Knight-Scarlet Fusion-Flame Sakitama
Originating as one of the earliest Dragon Killer (Benares) comps, this comp covers many of FS's weaknesses while providing an accelerated ramp duration. In addition, SK's ability to self-gather and strong AoE covers FS's weakness against groups, making this comp somewhat viable in generic situations, as well as Boss Fights.
In Memorial Arena, Flame Sakitama is a powerful late-game pick for anyone other than the forerunners, reliably securing scores in the 29-30.5k range with modest investment: SS-Rank, Blood Dance, and a complimentary suit of Fire stigmatas, preferably with at least one Newton B.
While newer, burst-ier Valkyries such as Vermillion Knight, Phantom Iron and others have taken over the frontlines, Flame Sakitama's extremely high burst with decently short ramp-time makes her a powerful budget alternative.
Here is a quick video demonstrating some tricks to playing Flame Sakitama in Memorial:
In Abyss, Flame Sakitama retains a very high popularity in Mid-to-High tier brackets (Agony and Red-Lotus) thanks to her reliable ability to defeat bosses and difficult boss-rush stages (such as the infamous Triple Crabs Q-Singularis stage). In addition, she can sometimes even match Herrscher of the Void or other top-tier lineups on certain bosses, provided the right gear (landing scores over 800 on the Son of Dawn Dirac boss).
In Apotheosis, Flame Sakitama has a relatively weak presence but is an especially powerful Boss Killer (as usual). One of her most notable traits is how easily she can stomp out Dark Jixuanyuan, who is previously invincible against the majority of the line-ups.
As an A-Rank Elemental Valkyrie, Flame Sakitama is extremely competitive. She has a strong curve that allows her to go toe-in-toe with some of the strongest Valkyries, and while not particularly new player friendly, she does deserve the investment.
Overall, I recommend her for anyone who still lacks the backbone to a strong elemental team and are looking for a solution to difficult bosses that are less susceptible to physical damage. However, her priority does drop a fair bit if you have a well-built Herrscher of the Void, Vermillion Knight or Herrscher of Reason.