This guide will take you through Himeko's Vermillion Knight battle suit in great detail.
At the end of the guide, you should gain a basic understanding of Vermillion Knight's kit as well as how to apply her in combat.
Base-S characters is evaluated at their base rank. Her skill upgrades will be outlined here and their implications will be explained, but not in great detail.
Vermillion Knight's Profile:
Damage Type: Elemental
Class: Melee AoE DPS
QTE Trigger Condition: Time Slow
QTE Triggers: Lift
Special Weapon: Godslayer: Surtr
SS Skill-Link (From Scarlet Fusion): Charged Attacks that does not enter Overdrive speeds up Ultimate CD
SS Non-Linked: Ultimate hits recover SP and gain increased damage if used under Overdrive.
SSS: Ultimate hits gain increased damage. Chain Ultimates to further increase damage.
In addition, each rank further empowers her Passive, Afterburn, which increases fire damage based on Combo Count.
Most of the following text is thoroughly explained in this Video. Skip ahead if you finished the video -- this below is for convenient referencing or those who prefer text.
Kit Focus: Powerful, sustained burst with a heavy SP drain in mind.
Vermillion Knight has a cycle-styled playstyle. In her DOWN Cycle, she recovers SP rapidly and builds combo, which will be important for her UP Cycle.
In general, you would want to avoid staying in her DOWN phase for too long. Most Memorial Arena and Dirac Sea usages will often completely skip this phase, and instead fuel her SP and combo through other means.
DOWN Cycle Core Skill: Turbo Heatflow
This skill allows VK to recover 5 additional SP per basics cycle. In addition, her hits have a fairly wide cleave and will recover SP quickly when hitting multiple enemies.
In her DOWN phase, simply focus on gathering as much SP as possible. Careful not to put yourself in Overdrive, as that stops her from gaining SP at all.
UP Cycle Core Mechanic: Overdrive
In her UP Phase, she can dish out massive punishment for as long as her SP and Ultimate Charge lasts.
Her damage cycle is straightforward: Perform two Charged attack in a row, forcing her into Overdrive before immediately casting Ultimate to clear her from Overdrive status.
While in Overdrive, Himeko's Ultimate receives up to 2 buffs: Increased Fire Damage and a skill at SS that recovers up to 6 SP if all 3 strikes of Ultimate land.
In addition, though commonly inadvisable (due to overall DPS loss), you may chain Himeko's Ultimate by casting it while she is still in her Ult animation.
Her Ultimate Type is ACTIVATED BURST. This means that it will benefit from both Burst-related stigma/skill effects AND from Ultimate Damage effects.
Valkyrie Showcase -- Abyss:
Valkyrie Showcase -- Memorial (Padrino):
I explain in-depth VK's applications in Abyss and Memorial in the above videos. I highly recommend watching them before taking VK out to these modes.
Vermillion Knight's Damage Method RESTRICTORS are:
Elemental (Fire), Melee, Charged, Ultimate.
As such, she will benefit the most from Unrestricted All or Elemental Damage. Stigmatas that restrict to only Basics is less beneficial but still usable since her Ultimate Damage is not the most significant component.
Build 1: Godslayer: Surtr, Thales T, M, B
This Build is her Signature Build, providing All Damage and Fire Damage Received modifiers in addition to Attack Speed. The diversity of modifiers is extremely important due to the amount of existing innate Fire multipliers, drastically reducing the effectiveness of any Fire damage multiplier.
Note that Thales B, as well as Thales 3-set effect primarily provide SURVIVABILITY. This means that it is advisable to drop Thales B for another DPS Stigma, with the prime candidate being Fuxi B (for a hefty fire damage increase unmatched by alternatives) or Newton B (especially strong for Single-Target, though not as strong as Fuxi). However, the Full Set is still extremely valuable in Abyss settings or when you do not have the alternatives outlined above.
Build 2: Blood Dance, Schrodinger T, Nuwa M, Fuxi B
This Build requires NO Signature pieces, instead favoring widely available and highly sought-after pieces (with the exception of Fuxi B) before Vermillion Knight's launch.
While inferior in many ways to her signature set, most glaringly Blood Dance's increased SP consumption, and difficulty timing Schrodinger T's coverage with Vermillion Knight's combo, this set is still far superior to any F2P/Fire set up. I would strongly recommend this set if you could not procure her gacha stigs.
Build 3: Xuanyuan Sword/Shamash Greatsword, Jingwei T, M, Darwin B
This Build uses exclusively non-Gacha equipments (I've only included Xuanyuan Sword here because it is about on the same power level as Shamash Greatsword). Jingwei M's bonus is easily triggered by VK and her reliable ignite allows her to achieve rather ridiculous Attack Speed in mob environments, whereas Jingwei T provides a hefty All Damage buff against single enemies. If you are not confident in your dodging skills, you can opt for Seele B, Bronya Magic B, Newton B or Fuxi B instead.
Build 4: King Cobra, Shigure Kira T, M, B
This Build uses exclusively 3-Star Gear. King Cobra will mitigate some of her SP-hungry nature, and Shigure Kira set provides the most All Damage and Elemental Damage out of all available 3* stigs. I would strongly recommend you start working towards Build 3 though, as every piece you can get will provide a hefty buff to her overall damage.
Vermillion Knight is reliant on Combo Keeping, and has a core focus on high SP gain and sustained field time. As such, some good teammate examples are:
Shadow Knight, providing a strong Leader Skill, primarily for Arena.
Celestial Hymn, providing necessary grouping for VK's AOE and gives backline SP Regeneration.
Phoenix, providing a strong QTE trigger on Ultimate and Dodge. Her Backline Damage also does not interfere with VK's uptime, making her one of the most ideal Abyss supporter for VK.
Wolf's Dawn, providing grouping (SSS only) and a reliable time lock on her Ultimate, as well as passively providing a taunt and a hefty Elemental buff.
When evaluated at S-Rank, Vermillion Knight has a few glaring weaknesses: Intense SP consumption during her UP Cycle means that she cannot sustain her DPS for very long; high gear entry requirements means that it will often be difficult to get all the optimal gear, not to mention she prefers Fuxi B, one of the more obscure stigs prior to her release; and her AoE Abyss applications is often eclipsed (no pun intended) by Shadow Knight and Herrscher of the Void in Abyss.
However, she has some of the most fluid action packages Honkai has on offer, and provides a great Melee DPS experience. When full geared, she can compete with her alternatives and hold her own very well.
Overall, I would not recommend her if you are still seeking a main DPS that will carry her weight in numerous instances -- Herrscher of the Void, Pledge/Judah, Flame Sakitama and Shadow Knight fits that bill much better -- but she is a powerful addition to a fairly rounded roster, bringing unique and devastating sustained damage to the table.