Honkai: Star Rail version 2.1: Should you pull for Aventurine, Jingliu, and their signature Light Cones?

Aventurine combines strong offensive and defensive capabilities in one package while Jingliu boasts insane damage output at the cost of her teammates' health.

The second half of Honkai: Star Rail version 2.1 sees the debut of Aventurine and a rerun for Jingliu. Read on and we'll help you decide who to pull for. (Photos: HoYoverse)
The second half of Honkai: Star Rail version 2.1 sees the debut of Aventurine and a rerun for Jingliu. Read on and we'll help you decide who to pull for. (Photos: HoYoverse)

The second half of Honkai: Star Rail version 2.1 is just around the corner, meaning players will soon have the chance to pull for a new pair of 5-star characters.

Taking the spotlight this time around is the Imaginary Preservation character Aventurine, who will be the game's first sustain character designed to both protect his allies while also dishing out a lot of damage of his own. Meanwhile, the Ice Destruction character Jingliu will also be getting her rerun, giving players the chance to bag one of the best DPS characters in the game.

With version 2.1 also being Honkai: Star Rail's first anniversary patch, there have been plenty of free Star Rail Special Passes and Stellar Jade available for players. But who to spend them on? Read on and we'll help you decide.

Need someone to be both a shielder and a DPS? Get Aventurine

Aventurine wields the Imaginary element and follows the Path of Preservation, having the unique ability to create arguably the best shields in the game and dishing out some powerful follow-up attacks. He is basically great defensive and offensive capabilities rolled into one character, what's not to love?

Just like the other shielders in the game, Aventurine's power scales off of his DEF stat, but in his case it applies to both his shield and damage output. Though what really makes Aventurine's shield stand out is that it is created by his skill, automatically activates at the start of battle and when his Talent is triggered, all while being fully stackable.

This means that you will always have Aventurine's shield up while rarely having to use his skill, making him a skill point-positive sustain that only adds to his already amazing utility. Not only that, he also buffs the Effect RES of his allies, eliminating the vulnerability to debuffs that other shielders suffer from.

With Aventurine's defensive capabilities tied to his skill, his offensive prowess is tied to his Talent and ultimate.

Aventurine's primary method of dealing damage is through his Talent, which lets him gain stacks of 'Blind Bet' whenever him or his allies get attacked or when an ally protected by shield unleashes a follow-up attack. When Blind Bet reaches 7 stacks, Aventurine will then unleash a 7-hit follow-up attack that deals damage to a single random enemy.

Meanwhile, Aventurine's ultimate lets him immediately gain a random amount of Blind Bet stacks while also inflict an enemy with the 'Unnerved' debuff, which increases the Crit DMG they receive from your party's attacks.

Aventurine's offensive capabilities are also enhanced by his A2 major Trace, which lets him gain a Crit Rate bonus of up to 48% for every 100 DEF he has that exceeds 1,600.

Finally, Aventurine's Technique lets you channel his penchant for gambling by spending Technique points to randomly gain a party-wide 24%, 36%, or 60% DEF boost for 3 turns at the start of battle.

When it comes to building Aventurine, one underrated thing about him is that you don't need to farm in a new relic domain to get him geared up, unlike most other new characters. Just get him the 4-piece Knight of Purity Palace set to go with either the 2-piece Belobog of the Architects or the 2-piece Broken Keel sets and you're good to go.

Aventurine also doesn't need his signature Light Cone to be effective while also having plenty of good 4-star options. You can go for Day One of My New Life, Landau's Choice, Trend of the Universal Market, Destiny's Threads Forewoven, or Concert for Two, whichever is available.

Hybrid units are a rarity in Honkai: Star Rail and Aventurine's ability to combine both strong defensive and offensive capabilities into one package makes him that much more valuable. His shields being nigh-unbreakable and pretty much always active alone make him well worth the Stellar Jade, his significant damage output is just the icing on the cake.

Need an all-around top-tier DPS? Get Jingliu

While Aventurine is all about protecting his teammates while also dealing damage of his own, the other banner character in the second half of version 2.1 is pretty much the polar opposite. Wielding the Ice element and following the Path of Destruction, Jingliu considered one of the best DPS characters in the game for her insane damage output that comes at the cost of her teammates' health.

While most other damage-dealers in the game have relatively consistent damage outputs, Jingliu stands apart as her damage ramps up once she enters her enhanced state.

Jingliu's kit is centred on her Talent, which lets her gain 1 stack of 'Syzygy' from using her standard skill, which in turn deals Ice damage to a single target. Once she gains 2 stacks of Syzygy, she enters the Spectral Transmigration state, advances her action by 100%, and gains 50% Crit Rate.

While in the Spectral Transmigration state, Jingliu's skill is enhanced to deal damage to its initial target as well as any adjacent enemies. Using Jingliu's enhanced skill also does not consume any skill points, but it does consume 1 stack of Syzygy and a portion of all her allies Max HP.

Jingliu can extend the duration of her enhanced state by using her ultimate, which deals massive Ice DMG to a single target as well as any adjacent enemies while also giving her 1 additional stack of Syzygy.

Meanwhile, her major Traces lets her enter the Spectral Transmigration state faster while also empowering her once she does enter that enhanced state.

Finally, her Technique creates a dimension around her that lasts for 20 seconds and freezes any enemies within its area-of-effect. After entering battle with enemies frozen by the dimension, Jingliu regenerates 15 energy, gains 1 stack of Syzygy, and has a 100% base chance of inflicting all enemies with Freeze.

Jingliu is relatively straightforward to build, with her best relic sets being the 4-piece Hunter of Glacial Forest set and the 2-piece Rutilant Arena set.

You can even go for the 4-piece Genius of Brilliant Stars set under certain conditions. While this set's 2-piece bonus is useless for Jingliu, its 4-piece bonus is what makes it a viable option. It makes it so that the wearer's attacks ignore 10% of the enemy's DEF, with the amount also getting doubled if the target enemy has a Quantum Weakness.

As a Destruction character, Jingliu also has the privilege of having access to a 5-star Light Cone for free if you don't plan on getting her signature. On the Fall of an Aeon can be acquired and superimposed for free through the Simulated Universe's Herta Store and is her best 5-star alternative.

There are still some good 4-star Light Cones for her though, such as Under the Blue Sky, Nowhere to Run, and The Moles Welcome You.

Jingliu requires you to manage her Syzygy stacks and her allies HP pools in order to maximise her damage output. These requirements are well worth fulfilling though, as a fully-unleashed Jingliu can sweep the battlefield clean with a veritable blizzard of moonlit swordstrikes.

Should you pull for Aventurine and Jingliu's Light Cones?

As with any other 5-star character, Aventurine reaches his full potential when equipped with his signature Light Cone, Inherently Unjust Destiny. It increases his DEF by 40% and lets him gain a 40% Crit DMG buff for 2 turns whenever he provides a shield to an ally. In addition, his follow-up attacks will also inflict a debuff on his target that makes them receive 10% more DMG for 2 turns.

Aventurine's signature maximises both his defensive and offensive capabilities, something that is difficult to do with other Light Cones that really only buff his defense. But is that enough of a reason to spend Stellar Jade on it? I would say no unless you have enough to spare.

There are plenty of good Preservation Light Cones already available without spending and the difference in effectiveness isn't really enough to justify an added cost. Don't take this as a knock on Aventurine though, this just means his base kit is that good.

As for Jingliu, her signature, I Shall Be My Own Sword, is also very powerful. It passively increases her Crit DMG by 20% and lets her gain stacks of Eclipse whenever her allies get attacked or lose HP, up to a max of 3 stacks. Each stack of Eclipse increases the DMG of Jingliu's next attack by 14% and when 3 stacks are reached, her attack will also ignore 12% of the enemy's DEF.

Just like in Aventurine's case, we won't recommend going for Jingliu's signature unless you're fine with the added cost. Her base kit is already powerful and, as mentioned above, she has very easy access to a 5-star alternative for free.

Honkai: Star Rail version 2.1 was released on 27 March and saw the release of three new characters in Acheron, Aventurine, and Gallagher, reruns for Luocha and Jingliu, and two new areas in Penacony. Not only that, version 2.1 is also Honkai: Star Rail's first-year anniversary patch and as such will give players tons of rewards!

After version 2.1 comes version 2.2 in May, featuring two new 5-star characters in Robin and Boothill.

Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.

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