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

Honkai Star Rail
(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

Honkai Star Rail players are getting deeper into harder content in week two of the game's release, and they're all turning to the same character to bail them out: Natasha, unquestionably the best healer in the game right now. 

Natasha is the go-to doctor of the underworld of Jarilo-6, and she's as important to the locals as she is to players, routinely patching up the miners and orphans of the icy planet's ramshackle settlement, often at the expense of her own health and free time. A huge chunk of her personal storyline is dedicated to the toll this work takes on her, and it makes it abundantly clear that countless people would not survive without Natasha, even if she doesn't get the thanks or compensation she deserves. 

She's also one of the free characters given out during Honkai Star Rail's story, and probably the only healer you'll have for a while unless you happen to roll the five-star Bailu on a banner. Even if you do have Bailu, Natasha remains absolutely essential.

Who's the best girl and why Natasha? from r/HonkaiStarRail

Honkai Star Rail is a turn-based game with no true evasion, which means you'll inevitably take damage during fights, and this makes healers inherently valuable. You can technically scrape by with shields alone, but that's usually just delaying the inevitable, and nothing beats the comfort of Natasha's targeted regen or AoE heal. 

More importantly, Natasha is currently the only healer who can cleanse debuffs from teammates, and this ability becomes indispensable in later stages of the Simulated Universe roguelike mode when bosses apply lethal debuffs left and right. March 7th can technically remove a debuff as well, but you might need her and Natasha to stay on top of some fights, plus March lacks a true heal. This makes Natasha an essential pick for many teams and strategies. She basically never leaves my party, especially in Simulated Universe 5, but also out in the open world. 

With healing invaluable and healers hard to come by, Natasha is single-handedly carrying approximately 20 million players. It reminds me of Xingqiu carrying the entire Pyro element after Genshin Impact's release – this is a vital job that no one else can do. We know from the Honkai Star Rail banner schedule that another healer, Luocha, will be released in the near future and take some of the burden off Natasha's shoulders, but this underground doctor is still going to have a lot of patients for a long time. 

Surprise! A Honkai Star Rail short film is coming this week. 

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.