Honkai Star Rail Tides of War main menu
Screenshot by GameSkinny

How to S Rank Every Tides of War Stage in Honkai: Star Rail

Take full advantage of the game’s trial characters to maximize your rewards.

Tides of War is a current on-going event in Honkai: Star Rail that tests your ability to maximize your team’s damage output under specific conditions. Each stage has a specific gimmick that you must build teams around to accumulate Grit Points, which provide buffs that help clear mobs faster. When you complete each level, you’ll be given a rank (C–SS), which is determined by how quickly you finished the battle. 

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Getting S-rank is all you need to obtain the rewards from each stage. While there are certainly various Grit Phase selections and characters you can employ to clear each stage, the strategies below can help you get S-ranks with just the available trial characters.

Trotter Effect

Best Grit Phase Selections

Grit Phase 2 – Fear Vulnerability: When there are no Trotters on the battlefield, turn a non-boss target into a Trotter and inflict them with Shudder. When the Trotter is defeated, inflicts all enemies with a debuff that increases the DMG they receive.

Grit Phase 3 – Final Blow: Increases the DMG dealt by allies’ Ultimates.

Best Team

Acheron, Black Swan, Kafka, and Gallagher 

Strategy

In this stage, defeating Trotters will grant you a significant amount of Grit Value, allowing you to activate your selected Grit Phase buffs sooner. Additionally, any defeated Trotter will inflict all enemies on the field with a debuff that will increase the damage they receive. For this stage, focus on debuffing enemies with Black Swan and Kafka via their skills to charge up Acheron’s ultimate. Once her ultimate is ready, have Acheron use it on the main boss of each wave. 

Black Swan can inflict debuffs with her normal attack, allowing you to save on SP while still building Acheron’s ultimate up. Gallagher will help keep your units healthy if their HP drops too low and save on SP via his normal attack. Generally, try to make sure you have SP ready for Kafka and Acheron to use for their skills, which will not only deal extra damage but also help Acheron build her ultimate faster. Additionally, make sure everyone except Acheron focuses on hunting down Trotters — her priority should be dealing damage to the boss of each wave.

Perilous Threshold

Best Grit Phase Selections

Grit Phase 2 – Equivalent Exchange: At the start of the turn, consumes a minor amount of HP and gains Blood Rage. Each stack of Blood Rage increases CRIT Rate and CRIT DMG.

Grit Phase 3 – Struggle Booster: Increases the DMG dealt by Basic ATKs and Skills.

Best Team

Jingliu, Blade, Bronya, and Luocha

Strategy

Honkai Star Rail Perilous Threshold battle
Screenshot by GameSkinny

In this stage, every time an ally’s HP is increased or decreased, you’ll gain Grit Value. Jingliu, Blade, and Luocha are excellent picks for this stage since their kits are best suited for accumulating Grit Value. Jingliu and Blade both sacrifice HP to unleash attacks, while Luocha will help keep everyone healthy. When using Luocha, try to avoid using his skill to save on SP — he’ll automatically heal units if their HP drops too low every two turns.  

Use Jingliu and Blade to deal damage to the boss of each stage. If possible, every time it’s Bronya’s turn, use her skill on Jingliu to move her turn up. This allows Jingliu to enter her enhanced state sooner when she uses her skill, allowing you to deal heavy damage quicker. Jingliu’s team-wide HP draining effect also synergizes really well with Blade since he will deal additional follow-up damage when he loses HP (after five stacks).

Supreme Leader

Best Grit Phase Selections

Grit Phase 2 – Shared Hatred: After the ally positioned second in the Team Setup uses their Ultimate, regenerates Energy for the ally positioned first. Increases the DMG dealt by the next attack.

Grit Phase 3 – Determined Attack: Increases ATK

Best Team

Argenti, Sparkle, Dan Heng Imbibitor Lunae, Huohuo

Strategy

Honkai Star Rail Supreme Leader battle
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Your teammates’ positions matter in this stage. To make the most use of your Grit Phase 2 buff, make sure that Argenti is first in your setup, followed by Sparkle. Sparkle has the lowest ultimate Energy cost, allowing her to fill her gauge faster. When her ultimate is charged, use it to not only buff your teammates’ DMG and recover SP but also to fill up Argenti’s energy gauge. Every time the first person in your team uses their ultimate, you’ll gain a large amount of Grit Value. 

Charging up Argenti’s ultimate will be your focus for this stage. While his fully charged ultimate deals a ton of damage to all enemies, use his ultimate when it’s partially charged (indicated by the unbloomed rose icon) to accumulate Grit Value more quickly. When Grit Phase 4 is activated, this is the time to try and dish out fully charged Argenti ultimates to maximize your damage output.

Imbibitor can be a little SP hungry, especially since you want to prioritize using his maxed-out skill. However, Sparkle’s ultimate will help recharge SP for him to use. Using Sparkle’s skill on Imbibitor also isn’t a bad idea since it’ll let him increase the amount of damage he’ll deal. Just make sure you have enough SP saved up before doing so (if you don’t, either use her skill on Argenti or just a normal attack). Huohuo is mostly here to make sure your units stay healthy, remove debuffs (especially during Kafka’s phase), and also provide extra energy via her ultimate.

Weakness Assault

Best Grit Phase Selections

Grit Phase 2 – Expose Weakness: Breaking any enemy’s weakness will dispel a boss’s Weakness Protection. Increases all allies’ Weakness Break efficiency and deals a set amount of DMG additionally to enemies that already have their Weakness Broken.

Grit Phase 3 – Pursuer: Increases DMG received by Weakness Broken enemies by 80%.

Best Team

Himeko, Ruan Mei, Xueyi, and Lynx

Strategy

Honkai Star Rail Weakness Assault battle
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Weakness breaking will be key to dishing out maximum damage, as every time you break an enemy’s toughness meter, your Grit Value will go up. To maximize this effect, make sure Ruan Mei has her skill up at all times (countdown is displayed via the dots next to her character icon) to increase your weakness break efficiency. When her ultimate is charged, use it to further increase the damage your DPS characters will deal. 

Himeko and Xueyi specialize in AoE damage, so use their skills whenever it’s their turn to deal decent damage, and chip away at surrounding enemies’ toughness bars. They also both have follow-up attacks, which are tied to how many times you break enemy weaknesses, so try to prioritize attacking enemies that are close to being broken to trigger their follow-ups. When their ultimates are charged up, unleash them on the boss. Lynx’s job during this fight is to help accumulate SP (alongside Ruan Mei when her skill isn’t needed), chip away at enemy weaknesses, and use her ultimate when your team is low on HP or debuffed.

Overflowing Wounds

Best Grit Phase Selections

Grit Phase 2 – Solitary Overwound: When attacking and defeating a single target, deals massive Overflow DMG to the boss and minor Overflow DMG to all enemies.

Grit Phase 3 – Final Blow: Increases the DMG dealt by Ultimates

Best Team

Seele, Sparkle, Tingyun, Fu Xuan

Strategy

Honkai Star Rail Overflowing Wounds battle
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Focus on defeating non-boss enemies during this stage. Every time you kill a single non-boss enemy, your Grit Value will go up, and damage will be dealt to each round’s boss. Have Seele focus on knocking out weaker enemy units with her skill and ultimate to inflict a ton of damage on the boss. Don’t waste turns attacking the boss in this stage, as knocking out non-boss enemies will do more damage to it than hitting it head-on.

Use Sparkle and Tingyun’s skills to buff Seele whenever possible. Sparkle’s skill will help Seele advance her turn, giving her more opportunities to chain attacks and kills. You can use Tingyun’s skill to buff Seele’s attack, but since Seele is a little SP hungry, you may want to just have Tingyun pick off weak enemies to gain SP and use her ultimate to fill up Seele’s gauge. Keep an eye on your SP to ensure that Seele can use her skill multiple times, and also make sure that Fu Xuan’s shield is up at all times (when it’s about to run out, the floor will start flashing).

Perpetual Exploit

Best Grit Phase Selections

Grit Phase 2 – Hyperspeed: Action will be Advanced by 100% after Ultimate is cast. Additionally gains 12 Grit Value when the same character acts consecutively or triggers a follow-up attack.

Grit Phase 3 – Chain Amplification: Additionally deals 2 hit(s) when attacking enemy targets. Increases the number of additional DMG hits when the same character acts consecutively or triggers a follow-up attack.

Best Team

Argenti, Dr. Ratio, Hanya, Aventurine

Strategy

Honkai Star Rail Perpetual Exploit battle
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Allowing party members to attack consecutively will help you get S-rank on the final stage of this Honkai: Star Rail event. Argenti and Dr. Ratio will take full advantage of this mechanic, allowing you to accumulate Grit Value. Similar to Supreme Leader, spamming Argenti’s ultimate — even when it isn’t fully charged — will help you get Grit Value faster. Additionally, triggering Dr. Ratio’s follow-up attacks via his skill and ultimate will also help accumulate Grit Value.

Use Argenti’s ultimate when it’s ready (no need to fully charge it) to deal a decent amount of AoE damage and advance forward his action to continue accumulating more energy. Meanwhile, focus on using Dr. Ratio to chip away at the boss since he has high single-target damage and can apply a mark on it that will allow him to trigger a follow-up attack. Use Hanya’s skill to help keep your SP pool full, and when her ultimate is charged, apply it to either Dr. Ratio or Argenti to buff their ATK and speed. Aventurine will also help out with dealing damage since he has a follow-up attack of his own, and his ultimate does decent damage. However, his main purpose for this stage is to provide shields and accumulate SP for the team.

We hope that you were able to get S-rank on every Tides of War stage! For more tips on character builds, team comps, and more, be sure to check out our HSR guides.


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Author
Xavier Piedra
Xavier Piedra is a contributor at GameSkinny with several years of editorial experience. Although most of his expertise lies within the home and lifestyle spaces, Xavier has written about video games at outlets such as Mashable and Screenrant. He's a bit of a patient gamer, so he loves playing through older titles he might've missed as a child and teen. However, he always has time to drop everything for the latest Nintendo or HoYoverse release.