RUAN MEI HAS JOINED THE ASTRAL EXPRESS!
And she’s here to make your life easier.
If you’ve been paying any attention to Honkai: Star Rail media, you’ve probably seen things like “Ruan Mei is a must-pull” or “Ruan Mei is the strongest character in the game”. And that’s understandable given that she gives the most buffs to your team of any character, and also massively increases your damage output.
Her Skill alone gives your team a massive damage bonus with extra based on her personal break effect stat. At talent 10 it’s up to 68% damage bonus across your WHOLE TEAM! But on top of that, she ALSO increases your entire team’s weakness break efficiency by 50%.
Ruan Mei also has an Ultimate that increases ALL ALLIES RES PEN, which effectively allows your team to IGNORE a portion of enemy resistances. While her ultimate is up and you attack an enemy with their weakness broken, Ruan Mei will delay their recovery up to once per break, and dish out her own portion of break damage due to her talent.
Her Talent also increases your whole teams speed stats (minus her own), and with traces, she grants everyone on your team including herself 20% break effect, and herself 5 energy at the start of her turn.
She’s an incredibly powerful unit, and I would argue one of the strongest supports out there. And there’s some key tips to building her that make her feel even stronger.
So How Do You Build Ruan Mei?
It’s easy. Forget giving her a set. Give her stats.
In a perfect world, 4 piece Messenger of Hackerspace is great for Ruan Mei since it buffs speed for your whole team, and 4 piece Thief of Shooting Meteor is also great for the break effect. Even 2 pieces of Thief can be solid, because the main thing you want is Break Effect.
To max out Ruan Mei’s team DMG buff, you need to hit 180% Break Effect stats in combat. However, due to her trace that gives 20% break effect to her team, she only needs 160% break effect in her stats out of battle, 32% of which she will gain from her traces as well.
However, 160% is still a hefty amount to hit. But she also wants to have her ultimate up as much as possible. Because of this, for her relic stats, she wants:
Chest – ANY (HP/DEF Comfy)
Boots – SPD
Sphere – ANY (HP/DEF Comfy)
Rope – Energy Regen%
When picking your pieces, give her anything with break effect on it. As long as you have SPD boots and all her traces unlocked, you’ll have 134 SPD and won’t need to worry about that anymore. And with Energy Regen Rope and the right Light Cone, you can ultimate every 3 turns to keep her buff up through 66% of the fight!
For planar sets, you can give her the standard support sets – Penacony, Broken Keel, Fleet of the Ageless, etc. Talia is also great for the extra break as necessary!
What is Ruan Mei’s BEST Light Cone?
I’M GLAD YOU ASKED!
While Ruan Mei’s signature Light Cone Past Self in Mirror is an amazing Light Cone for her, in my opinion, there are two non 5 star star Light Cones that I believe to work better in practice for the average player that doesn’t want to swipe.
Ruan Mei’s ultimate buff only lasts 2 turns, and it normally can take 4-5 turns to get her ultimate back. But we don’t play normally.
The best Light Cone for Ruan Mei is Memories of the Past at S5, which is a 4 star Light Cone that grants energy on basic attack, and a TON of break effect. With S5 Memories of the Past, you can get your ultimate back once every 3 turns, which lets you have more uptime on your RES PEN stats (that’s a lot of damage, if you’re wondering).
If you don’t have it at S5 though, you can always opt for Meshing Cogs, a 3 star Light Cone that’s accessible to EVERYONE and gives the same energy back that Memories of the Past does! It may not give you break effect, but that ultimate uptime is nothing to scoff at!
Overall, you can pull for Past Self in Mirror if you want, and you’ll get some solid value out of it, but in my opinion Memories of the Past and Meshing Cogs at S5 are so close to the value of her signature that it’s not even worth swiping for it most of the time. And other harmony Light Cones don’t come close to those two either.
Where do I Play Ruan Mei?
Ruan Mei is an amazing support overall, enabling your hypercarry teams to reach over 200% of their innate potential!
Because she’s so flexible, she can be played in virtually any team in the game. However, due to her strength of buffing your entire team versus just one character, she can actually be even stronger in teams with multiple DPS characters.
Here’s some of my favorite teams!
Jingliu Hypercarry (Bronya is an example and can be substituted for Pela or Tingyun, Luocha is best here)
Double DPS (Jingliu can be replaced with any DPS except Imbibitor Lunae, Blade can be replaced with Topaz, Luocha with any sustainer)
DoT (Sampo can be replaced with any DoT user, Huohuo with any sustainer)
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out my video Ruan Mei guide here!