Honkai Star Rail: Why you shouldn't rush 300 pulls for the free 5-star character
It's tempting to rush to get a shiny new shiny, but there are some good reasons you should pace yourself, especially F2P and low-spenders.
Like a lot of other people, I've been cheating on Genshin Impact. A lot. And it's all because of HoYoverse's new JRPG Honkai: Star Rail.
My fellow writer Yan has already done a very good job discussing the ins and outs of Honkai: Star Rail, so I'm not going into get into that, or why I've been ignoring Paimon (well, that part should be obvious). Well, at least I'm not causing my team to forfeit official tournament matches cause I was too busy playing it.
HoYo has been pretty generous with Honkai: Star Rail rewards, with free Rail Passes (the equivalent of Fates in Genshin Impact), free Serval, and even a free standard banner 5-star thrown into the mix, after you've made 300 pulls on the banner.
That's great, and some gamers have been rushing to 300 pulls so they can get their hands on a shiny new Himeko, Welt, Clara, Bronya, Gerpard, Yanqing, or Bailu. But should you really being doing this?
Well, that really depends on what kind of a gacha player you are. If you're loaded with few responsibilities and lots of disposable income, sure, go ahead, get 6 Eidolons for every character in the game, this piece of advice isn't for you. Similarly, if your life isn't complete without Himeko in it, you do you.
If you're F2P or a low-spender, and want to optimise your lineups, then let me share my experience, as someone who owns a Constellation 15 Diluc (a C6 Diluc + 9), on why I don't advise rushing to 300 pulls for that free 5-star.
Why F2P and low-spenders should not rush this
First, and most obviously, 300 pulls on the standard banner is going to use a fair bit of your Stellar Jade (Primos, for Genshin fans).
You do get free standard Rail Passes, but those are better first spent on the Departure Warp, where you get a discount for 10 pulls and a guaranteed standard 5-star.
Next, you are knowingly playing a gacha game, so you're likely to want to pull for your favourite featured 5-star character sooner or later, be it the current Seele, or possible upcoming characters like Jing Yuan, Kafka, Luocha, or even some that haven't been announced but look like Shenhe made a crossover. And their Light Cones, maybe.
Unless you're extremely lucky, you are going to miss the 50/50 sometimes. Which means you'll be getting one of the standard banner 5-star characters or Light Cones instead. At the moment, a big part of Honkai: Star Rail is having the right characters and teams set up for the current endgame content, which looks to be Simulated Universe and Forgotten Halls.
So being able to choose at a later stage a character to compensate what your lineups are missing could be more helpful, rather than going straight for that Himeko only to realise you really need Welt and his Imaginary damage to clear that boss in the SU.
While we are on the featured banner, it's worth noting that spending your Stellar Jade on the feature banner is usually a better option than the standard one. You only need 180 pulls (versus 300) to get the character you want, and there are 4-stars whose Eidolons could be pretty worth chasing on the same banner. Compared to the standard banner, where you're pretty much at the mercy of RNGesus.
Resources are scarce
The final reason I wouldn't recommend rushing to 300 pulls is because of the resources available in the game at the moment. After all, Honkai: Star Rail has only been out for three weeks.
That's not a lot of time to get your Equilibrium level (World level, my Genshin comrades) to a stage where farming resources is actually efficient. At least, for most of us.
On your way to 300 pulls, you're at least going to get four or more 5-star characters/Light Cones, and you'll likely not have the resources to level all of them to the point you can effectively test out builds and Traces (similar to Talents in Genshin).
For low-spenders, every bit of resource counts, so whether it is levelling the right Light Cone or activating the right Traces, you'd need to think carefully. Sometimes, activating the right Trace is better than getting a new character (like your debuff cleanses on Natasha and March 7th for the Kafka SU World 5 fight).
As Genshin players have learnt, there are characters who may have been misunderstood (Constellation 6 Bennett) or considered trash (well, don't worry, Trailblazer MC still loves you) but later discovered to be really important to clearing end-game content.
Since these discoveries also take the community time to test and build, if you rush, you might end up getting a character you may not have needed, instead of the E2 on another that could bring your team up a level.
You'll get someone to E6... eventually
At the end of the day, if you play long enough, you should be able to get most of the standard banner 5-stars and their Eidolons.
Eventually, play long enough, and you might even E6 one or two of them, and then you'll be left hoping to get something else on the standard banner besides freaking Dil... I mean, besides whoever you've got maxed out.
So hopefully this has made some sense to all you low-budget and F2P Trailblazers out there.
The free 5-star is a great way for you to get the character who can add a lot of value to your team, so from that perspective, it's best to know what you really need before diving into that, and hopefully avoid buyer's remorse.
GellyPanda is a casual gamer who occasionally dabbles into gacha games.
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