The Swarm Disaster branch of Honkai: Star Rail’s Simulated Universe is by no means easy, even on the lowest difficulty. However, to get all the rewards this content offers, you’re going to have to not only beat this Disaster on the hardest Difficulty (Difficulty V AKA Difficulty 5), but you’re going to beat that same arduous Difficulty with every single Path available.
Contrary to the standard Simulated Universe worlds, it’s much harder for the Preservation Path to reach overpowered levels in Swarm Disaster. That said, it’s still possible, but to beat Difficulty 5 with it you’re going to need the right characters, the right plan, and the right composition. So, let’s take a look at what characters work best for this Path and give some backup options for players who might not have access to the absurdly strong 5-Stars like Gepard or Luocha.
Dream Team Setup
The dream team for this Preservation build is (in this order) Gepard, March 7th, Luocha, and Dan Feng – Imbibitor Lunae – and there’s a very particular reason for every character in this lineup:
|Gepard||Preservation||Ice||By far the best Preservation option and most of the Preservation synergies (Quake Damage especially) work infinitely better with his shielding capabilities than with anyone else.|
|March 7th||Preservation||Ice||A great all-rounder option, March 7th not only keeps the aggro on Gepard, but she can remove debuffs from any character, gives slight heals to allies, can constantly freeze all enemies, and single-handedly makes grabbing some Elation Blessings worth it on any Path.|
|Luocha||Abundance||Imaginary||Luocha is just the best healer in the game at the moment (as of writing this October 2023), and that’s not really up for debate. A lot of enemies in Swarm Disaster are weak to Imaginary Damage, Luocha puts out decent damage himself, and his Talents and Abilities keep allies topped up on HP almost 100 percent of the time.|
|Dan Heng: Imbibitor Lunae||Destruction||Imaginary||Jingliu might replace Dan Feng at some point, but for the moment Dan Feng is just the best-in-slot Destruction/DPS character for Swarm Disaster. Fantastic elemental typing, great damage output, and a lot of Blessing synergies due to his main source of damage technically counting as a Basic Attack.|
The general strategy with these characters, on this Path, in this composition, is to basically take every Blessing that mentions the words Shielded, Shields, Quake Damage, or Disassociation.
The damage output of this team will come from Quake Damage (either from allies being hit or from allies hitting enemies), the damage from the Path Resonance, or the innate damage of Disassociation when it’s removed. Granted, this team has 3 different 5-Stars on it, so it’s not the most realistic composition, but that’s why we’ll recommend some alternatives below for each role in the team composition, which includes a Tank, a DPS, a Support, and a Healer.
Tank Role: Preservation
Now that we’ve gone over the ‘optimal’ characters to have on deck for a Preservation Path run, let’s look at some backup options. Just keep in mind that, if you use any character other than Gepard as the main Tank of the team, there will be a lot less Shield coverage.
In that case, you’ll want to focus a bit less on pure Quake Damage synergy and build more around Damage Buffs while Shielded, Destruction Damage Buffs, and anything to do with Disassociation.
|Gepard||Preservation||Ice||Obvious top choice, just has shields up on allies all the time and can also often freeze enemies when needed.|
|Fu Xuan||Preservation||Quantum||Fu Xuan is also a fantastic option for Preservation, but will need another unit to provide Shields to allies such as March 7th or the Preservation Path Trailblazer to work best. Depending on Major Traces unlocked and Eidolons unlocked, she can be a fantastic Tank, Debuff remover, and even healer all in one.|
|Trailblazer||Preservation||Fire||Pretty much the best backup option if you don’t have Gepard. Applies shield to the entire team with every action they do, which is especially great for generating Path Resonance energy. Players can do the Gepard type of Blessing spread with Fire Trailblazer replacing Gepard, but will likely want March 7th on the team as well.|
|March 7th||Preservation||Ice||Very rarely will March 7th function as the primary tank in a Preservation Path run, but it’s possible. In a situation where this does happen, you’ll want to grab Blessings focused more focused around generating shields from Weakness Breaking, killing enemies, etc as well as any Remembrance Blessing having to do with increased damage to Frozen enemies or Disassociation.|
DPS Role: Destruction, Nihility, & The Hunt
DPS is a bit of an odd category for Preservation Path runs, as it’s not entirely needed, but if you ignore having a DPS or DPS-focused Blessings entirely, you’ll never kill the Elite Enemies before they go Berserk. Essentially, you won’t notice how sorely lacking you are in the damage category until it’s too late, so it’s worth having one damage dealer on the team.
|Dan Heng: Imbibitor Lunae||Destruction||Imaginary||Up at the time primarily because of his Propagation synergies and his synergies with either of the Remembrance Blessings that can freeze enemies on hit.|
|Kafka||Nihility||Lightning||There are a surprising amount of DoT-centric Blessings that work well with a Preservation build, especially since Frozen counts as a DoT/Debuff. Additionally, Preservation has a Resonance Interplay with Nihility that has Kafka constantly triggering the enemy’s high-damage Bleed stacks.|
|Seele||The Hunt||Quantum||Quantum damage is second in regards the being the element that enemies tend to be weakest to the most in Swarm Disaster, so the best Quantum DPS unit is always going to be useful. Not exactly the most synergistic pick, but still.|
|Silver Wolf||Nihility||Quantum||Silver Wofl is a half-debuff Support, half-DPS unit. She is just a Defense-reducing and Elemental resistance-reducing machine. She not only gives Elemental Weaknesses to enemies making more characters viable, but she also makes a lot of the Remembrance syngergies with a Preservation build a whole lot better.|
|Blade||The Hunt||Wind||Probably one of the rare circumstances where Blade is low on a ranking list. Wind damage just isn’t as universally helpful as it is everywhere else in the Simulated Universe. Still, if players build a bit more around Destruction Blessings, he can work well as a DPS substitute.|
Buffer/Debuffer Support Role: Abundance, Harmony, & Nihility
As far as Supports go, March 7th and Silver Wolf take the cake, but they’re not the only options. For the Support role, you’re going to want a character that can either heavily buff allies or heavily debuff enemies. So, let’s look at the other options:
|Bronya||Harmony||Wind||Bronya’s Skill means more turns which means more Quake Damage to melt enemies with. Additionally, Bronya can remove Debuffs and has multiple ways to buff ally damage output.|
|Welt||Nihility||Imaginary||Slows are very helpful in the final battle against True Sting (Complete), and Imaginary Damage is fantastic all around in Swarm Disaster.|
|Tingyun||Harmony||Lightning||The Preservation combat loop doesn’t work especially well to show off Tingyun’s utility, but being able to keep Ultimates up constantly can do a whole lot when it comes to applying Quake Damage.|
|Pela||Nihility||Ice||Pela is another Ice damage unit, another Debuffer, and as a character that’s based around reducing enemy Defense, Pela is a great choice.|
|Luka||Nihility||Physical||Not used often in most Paths it seems, but Luka is great for keeping a Bleed Stack going, reducing enemy Defenses, and removing Buffs from enemies as well.|
Healer Role: Abundance
For the final role, let’s look at some alternate options for a Healer on the team. Sure, a Preservation build isn’t usually going to actually be taking all that much damage to their health bars, but the final battle of Swarm Disaster is different.
You could go through an entire run barely ever losing any ally shields only to have them completely melted in the final fight against True Sting (Complete), so here are some other options to have on hand:
|Luocha||Abundance||Imaginary||Luocha just sort of has it all. He has automatic healing coverage, good Damage output, a useful ult, and he deals Imaginary damage. He’s run the ‘healer’ meta for a while now and that probably won’t change anytime soon.|
|Bailu||Abundance||Lightning||The free revive Bailu has combined with Gepard’s self-revive means it’s very hard for the team to get fully wiped in any scenario, especially early in a run when you’re building up your Blessings.|
|Natasha||Abundance||Physical||Good Healer that can remove debuffs and can actually output decent damage if you have all 6 Eidolons unlocked for her.|
|Lynx||Abundance||Quantum||The least utilized option, Lynx can at least remove all Debuffs from the team at one time with her Ultimate, making her a lifesaver when a Lesser Sting in the final fight manages to pop and inflict Outrage on everyone.|