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Darkbolt Jonin Strategy Guide

 Table of contents:

   1. Overview
   2. Skills Analysis
   3. Playstyle & Optimal Damage Cycle
   4. Gears Recommendations
   5. Team Building
   6. Who should get Kasumi?

 

 OVERVIEW 

Coming in Patch 3.7, Darkbolt Jonin is the fourth Yae Sakura battlesuit, as well as the first SP Valkyrie in Honkai. She is obtainable through regular farming and various in-game events, and therefore will be available to almost every player.

For the sake of simplicity, in many instances, I will be referring to her as Kasumi, which is the name she has been known for back in CN Beta days. No, I'm not calling her DJ.

Strengths Weaknesses
Decent single-target Lightning damage, suitable for 1v1 fights. Lack of Physical damage and shield-breaking capabilities, making her vulnerable to interruption in some cases.
Compatible with various equipment setups, with good F2P options available. Underwhelming AoE damage, unsuitable for Abyss mobs clearing.
Synergizes well with many existing elemental supports, such as Phoenix and Blood Dance. Takes a large amount of time and resources to completely max out, which can become a drawback to casual players.
Diverse skill sets and fast-paced playstyle making her very fun to play. Has to compete directly with many elemental powerhouses, most notably Hawk of the Fog and Lightning Empress.

 

 SPECIAL MECHANIC - SP SKILLS 

SP Skills is a new mechanic introduced along with Kasumi. What this system means is, for every time you rank up Kasumi (A Rank included), there will be a new skill available for acquire. Since these skills function identically to regular skills, I will include them in regular skill descriptions, with a purple mark indicating which rank a skill unlocks at.

 

 SPECIAL MECHANIC - ZAKTI 

Unlocks a kinetic energy gauge that maxes at 500, or 5 small bars. This gauge is required to perform Combo attack by Kasumi.

  • Zakti gauge recovers by 10 every second, even when switched out.
  • A full sequence of Basic Attacks recovers a total of 160 Zakti.
  • Each kill scored by Combo Attack recovers 150 Zakti. (S Rank)
  • A successful Ultimate Evasion recovers 100 Zakti (S Rank)
  • Casting the first Ultimate attack (Summoning Rakshamaru) recovers up to 400 Zakti (at SS Rank). Zakti also quickly recovers for 7 seconds after Ultimate.

[SSS-Rank SP skill] Zakti gauge's capacity is increased to 600 (6 small bars). Kasumi starts a battle with 400 Zakti.

 

 BASIC ATTACK 

Kasumi performs a 4-sequence Basic Attacks, dealing a total of 350% of Melee Physical DMG, 530% of Lightning DMG and recovers a total of 8.5 SP. The 3rd and 4th attack gives Kasumi Interrupt Resist and 20% Damage Reduction, and the final hit paralyzes enemies for 0.5 second upon hit.

In combat, these defensive skills are virtually meaningless. 0.5 second of paralysis is too short to shove in any tangible damage buffs, and since Kasumi cannot continue her Basic Attack sequence following an Evasion (unlike Flame Sakitama or Memento), she will have a hard time fighting shielded mobs. The only use of her standard Basic Attack, therefore, is to replenish her Zakti and SP gauge.

 

 A-RANK SP SKILL - DARKBOLT PURSUIT 

Following a small delay after the 3rd and 4th Basic Attack, you can tap the ATK button when a light circle appears for a special, alternative attack. Kasumi will jump to the air, throw a range of Kunais dealing 4x20% of Lightning DMG, and inflicts each enemy with a Darkbolt Mark on hit. 
[S-Rank SP skill] Kasumi herself also gains 20% Total DMG for 11s by performing this attack.

 

Immediately after Darkbolt Pursuit, you can tap the ATK button to perform a Jonin Finisher (which deals 300% Lightning DMG, recovers 3 SP and 50 Zakti), or hold ATK to chain directly to her Combo Attacks.

 

 SPECIAL MECHANIC - DARKBOLT MARK 

Speaking of Darkbolt Marks, here's what it looks like:

An enemy with Darkbolt Mark takes 30% bonus total DMG. This fully stacks with Conductive debuffs, or stigma effects such as from Newton B. A Darkbolt Mark lasts for 10 seconds, and reapplying it on an enemy will reset its duration. It's always recommended to mark enemies before launching Combo Attacks for maximum damage.
Along with the aforementioned Darkbolt Pursuit, you can also inflict Darkbolt Mark on enemies using Kasumi's QTE.
 

 

 COMBO ATTACK - NARAKA FINISHER 

When you have at least 1 bar of Zakti, tap and hold ATK to unleash a Naraka Finisher to enemies, dealing [100% + 50%] of Lightning DMG against enemies in a small range. Each Naraka Finisher costs 1 bar of Zakti, and you can chain multiple Naraka Finishers by mashing ATK button as long as you have enough Zakti.

For every kill scored by Naraka Finisher, Kasumi recovers 1.5 bar of Zakti. This attack also deals 15% more Lightning DMG to enemies below 30% HP.

Each Naraka Finisher casted boosts Total DMG of the next one (within 2 secs) by up to 10%. Therefore, it's recommended to fill the Zakti gauge all the way up, then unleash them all in one short burst.

[SS-Rank SP skill] Naraka Finisher gains enhanced range and Attack speed, and each Finisher deals an additional 220% Lightning DMG.
 

 

 ULTIMATE ATTACK - RAKSHA'S RAGE 

Kasumi's Ultimate attack has 2 phases. The first phase summons Rakshamaru, deals a total of 610% of Lightning DMG to a wide area in front, and provides Kasumi with an instant boost of Zakti.

 

Within 12 seconds after the initial cast, pressing the ULT button will perform Kasumi's second Ultimate. This attack deals a total of 1400% of Lightning DMG, paralyzes enemies for 4s, but also takes quite some time to finish.

Similar to Memento, Kasumi's Ultimate is considered a great way to refill her Zakti gauge for quick damage bursts. And keep in mind that both of her Ultimates are individual triggers, not a Burst mode.

 

 EVASION SKILL - RAIJIN'S BLINK 

Kasumi's Ultimate Evasion creates a Shadow clone at her feet. The Shadow pulls in nearby enemies, then explodes after 3s to deal 400% Lightning DMG, and trigger a 3-second Time Fracture. 

For 5s after a successful Evasion, Kasumi gains invincibility and increased Move speed. You can tap the ATK button to perform a Jonin Finisher, or hold ATK to chain directly to Naraka Finisher, her Combo Attacks.

Needless to say, performing Evasions is crucial in getting competitive performance with Kasumi. However, since Kasumi is unable to continue her Basic Attack sequence following an Evasion, a failed Evasion will lead to a considerable performance hit.

 

 QTE SKILL 

Triggered off an Ignited enemy, this skill deals 400% of Lightning DMG, mark them with Darkbolt Marks, and paralyzes enemies for half a second. 

In theory, it's always recommended to enter the battle with QTE to maximize Kasumi's damage. However, as there aren't a lot of reliable Ignite sources in the game (easiest ones including Blood Rose's Ultimate and 2-piece New Year set), building around her QTE isn't always the best idea.

 

 PLAYSTYLE & OPTIMAL DAMAGE CYCLE 

From the skill descriptions, it can be easily seen that Darkbolt Jonin shares a lot of similarity in terms of gameplay with the previous Yae Sakura battlesuits. Her Combo Attack resembles Miko's Ultimate, her timing-reliant Darkbolt Pursuit a carbon copy of Flame Sakitama's, and her switch-and-burst playstyle is clearly inherited from Memento.

For a team consists of Darkbolt Jonin, Molotov Cherry and Lightning Empress (LE), an example damage cycle could be:

  • Have Darkbolt Jonin build up her Zakti and mark enemies with Darkbolt Pursuit, add in an Evasion if possible.
  • Switch to Molotov Cherry and cast Blood Dance's Active skill.
  • Quickly switch to LE and apply Conductive debuffs.
  • Switch back to Kasumi and unleash her Combo Attacks. Follow up with Ultimate if you have more than 100 SP.
  • Repeat the cycle.

Watch this team in action: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av79587885

 

 WEAPON CHOICES 

Mag-Typhoon is the best weapon for Kasumi in terms of raw damage, and no other weapons come close to it. This weapon straights up gives Kasumi 50% Lightning DMG, its Active Skill makes enemies take 25% more Lightning DMG, and being a PRI-ARM gives it unmatched stat bonuses compared to regular weapons. Kasumi cannot apply Conductive debuffs with it however, it's a LE exclusive bonus.

 

Players below Lv.80 can equip MagStorm on Kasumi for its 40% Lightning DMG buff. Since it can be crafted through Bounty Mark, most players can get this weapon with minimal costs.

 

Scratch it, this is the best weapon for Kasumi. Say no more.

 

 STIGMA BUILDS 

 

Monet T and Goemon M-B is the best performing stigma build for Kasumi. This setup gives a maximum of 90% Lightning DMG and 65% Total DMG, with the highest bonuses being applicable for Combo Attacks performed right after Ultimate. You can replace Monet T with Shakespeare T in case you don't have the full setup, or just the full Goemon set.

 

The full Monet set also works fine on Kasumi. This setup gives a maximum of 90% Lightning DMG, 15% Total DMG and 15% ATK Speed at 30 Combos and above. Replace Monet B with Newton B or Tesla Band B during boss fights.

 

Early-game players can use the Edison set for a 50% Lightning DMG buff, even if timing for the 50% Total DMG every 12 seconds can get a little bit tricky.

 

 TEAM BUILDING 

Phoenix and Lightning Empress (LE) are all perfect fits for Kasumi. Phoenix contributes supplementary damage, buffs elemental attack, and drops SP packs for her team; while Lightning Empress can cast Conductive debuffs that make enemies take a whopping 70% more Lightning DMG. This setup requires having 2 MAG-Typhoons to take full effect, one for LE and the other for Kasumi.

 

Any Blood Dance carrier can also greatly improve Kasumi's performance, though I particularly recommend Rozaliya because she has innate Time Fracture and no intrusive Switch animations. 

 

 WHO SHOULD GET KASUMI?

Darkbolt Jonin is Mihoyo's first experiment of a SP character, and while the SP mechanic leaves more to be desired (after all, it's just a couple more skills that unlocks as the character ranks up), it is undeniable that Darkbolt Jonin is well-designed and very fun to play. As such, she is recommended for new and casual players, who liked the fast-paced playstyle of previous Yae Sakura battlesuits.

However, that's not to say Kasumi is the perfect character. As of Patch 3.6, she is suffering from many glaring issues:

  • Kasumi retains most, if not all, mechanical drawbacks from previous Yae Sakura battlesuits. She is super vulnerable to interruption during her Basic attacks, and her only method of self-defense is her Evasion, which can greatly disrupt the flow of combat. On top of that, her Combo Attacks can only target one enemy at a time, meaning her mobbing performance is mediocre at best.
  • Kasumi is the most demanding character that was ever released, in terms of ranking and leveling up. It takes 700 fragments (660 if you pulled her card) to obtain and rank her to SSS, and over 200 Adv. Skill Materials to fully level her skills. We are getting plenty of frags from her Events in this patch, but I can imagine new players skipping her altogether in few patches' time, when the requirements are simply too high.
  • Kasumi was released when the market for Lightning characters are already saturated. She faces competition from the recently introduced Hawk of the Fog (HF), and even Lightning Empress (LE) whose performance has drastically improved since the introduction of MAG-Typhoon.

Due to the above reasons, her end-game competitive performance is below average. She can still achieve high Memorial scores under optimal setups, but she has very limited boss coverage and, in most cases, is totally overshadowed by HF.  

Watch this quick comparison between Kasumi and HF: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av78307988/

However, that is not the end of the story. From the information in CN test server, Darkbolt Jonin is getting substantial buffs in Patch 3.7. Some most impactful buffs include:

  • The duration of Darkbolt Mark and the skill [Biting Ember] (Increases Kasumi's Total DMG by 20% after casting Darkbolt Pursuit) are both increased to 30 seconds.
  • A full Basic Attack sequence recovers 200 Zakti (previously 160).
  • The SP recovery from Combo Attacks are nearly doubled.
  • Her Ultimate now deals a total of 2700% Lightning DMG (Previously 1750%).

Be mindful that since these numbers are from CN Test server, it's likely to be changed in the Live version. However, if these buffs were to stick, things would look very optimistic for Kasumi in the upcoming patches. I still recommend all players to play and enjoy Kasumi's Event stages, even if she isn't a good competitive investment at the moment.

 

Thanks for reading!