Honkai Star Rail's new banner has one of its strongest characters, and I'm not talking about Jing Yuan

For the first time, one of the best characters in Honkai Star Rail will appear on a limited-time rate-up banner starting tonight, May 17, and no, I'm not talking about Jing Yuan, much as I expect him to fly up the Honkai Star Rail tier list. I'm talking about Tingyun, who's already one of the strongest support characters you can possibly have. 

Jing Yuan is easy to explain: he's a big five-star guy who does big AoE damage with his big lightning friend. The four-star Tingyun is a little more unassuming, but she's extraordinarily powerful. Her skill provides a three-turn damage buff to one ally, and her ultimate can give an ally a bigger damage bonus plus 50 energy to put toward their own ultimate. On top of that, because her skill adds extra damage to her own hits based on the attack value of the ally she's buffed, she does relevant normal attack damage despite being a four-star Harmony character. 

Tingyun uses very few skill points and can instantly refund about half of anyone else's ultimate, adding invaluable flexibility to basically any team. You can use her to double down on DPS ultimates like Seele and Jing Yuan's, reinforce your defense with someone like Gepard, or cheat out extra healing with Bailu or Natasha. Tingyun has her own buffing benefits built-in and she's essentially duplicating half of the other three ultimates in your team. I'm no mathematician, but 2.5 ultimates in one character sounds like a good deal. 

The only downside here is that there's no way to guarantee Tingyun during this entry in the Honkai Star Rail banner schedule even if she is a rate-up on Jing Yuan's banner, so if you do specifically want to roll for her, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Naturally, you also shouldn't roll on any banner with a five-star you don't like.

The good news is Sushang is also a rate-up four-star here, and while she's a strong Hunt DPS to begin with, her very first Eidolon takes her to a whole other level by refunding skill points, making her duplicate copies extra potent. Jing Yuan is debuting with some strong company, making Honkai Star Rail's second banner mighty hard to resist.

Like America's healthcare, Honkai Star Rail is being carried by an overworked physician.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.