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Ruan Mei Is a Must Pull for Any Honkai: Star Rail Player

The Ruan Mei re-run banner appeared in the first phase of Honkai: Star Rail Version 2.3. While I’m sure lots of people want to pull for the game-designated girlfriend Firefly, I highly suggest that players who don’t have Ruan Mei pull for her instead. She is one of the best characters in the game (in terms of her kit) and can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your ability to clear difficult content.

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Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room first. Ruan Mei is, objectively, kind of an awful person. One could go as far as to call her a monster. In our first meeting with her, she drugs us against our will and we see all of her adorable little creations crying for her to give them even a scrap of acknowledgement. Though she’s not completely emotionless, her inability to comprehend love and her pursuit of knowledge have her abandoning the creations on Herta Space Station. My friend jokingly calls her a cat abuser and refuses to get her for this exact reason. As a character, she is very interesting! But I can also understand people feeling uncomfortable with her due to her neglect of the Creations and her almost sociopathic behavior.

Some people may only want to pull for and use characters they like. That’s fair! It’s not fun playing gacha if you don’t like the characters, after all. But for players who care about the meta and who want to have an easier time clearing endgame content such as the higher difficulties of Simulated Universe, Ruan Mei is almost a must-pull. Your quality of life post-Ruan Mei will never compare to what it was like pre-Ruan Mei. If I have to name one thing that is bad about Ruan Mei, it’s that for all of her genius, she wasn’t able to clone a second Ruan Mei to use in Forgotten Hall. Robin exists though, so at least you can use her.

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Image via HoYoVerse

In order to understand why Ruan Mei is such a must-pull, we need to look at her kit and how she compares to similar characters. Her passive Talent increases the party’s SPD and her Skill increases the party’s DMG and Weakness Break Efficiency. This Weakness Break Efficiency buff is one of the best parts of Ruan Mei’s kit, as no other character is capable of this as of Version 2.2. Her Ultimate also increases the party’s All-Type RES PEN and delays their action after a Weakness Break. Ruan Mei’s buffs are so universal she can run on all teams, including DoT teams. She can also fit on either a hyper-carry or a double attacker team. While other limited 5-star Harmony characters like Sparkle and Robin are fantastic, they’re far more Crit DMG focused, which can limit their usage.

That’s not to say that they’re bad. In fact, part of Ruan Mei’s initial appeal is that you can run her with another Harmony or support character. Back when she debuted, one of the best Harmony units was Bronya. But Bronya has a glaring issue with SP. Aside from her and your attacker, your team has to be SP positive or neutral. You can run her with Asta, who only needs her Ultimate. But Tingyun and Yukong are out of the question because you need to conserve your SP for Bronya and your attacker. Of course, depending on the battle, you might want to leave some for your sustain as well. Ruan Mei’s buffs last for three of her turns and they affect the whole party, meaning that she can run with more SP-hungry Harmony or Nihility characters without affecting the way they play.

ruan mei star rail
Image via HoYoVerse

Since the beginning of the game, I’ve been adamant that you can skip attackers, but you can’t skip support characters. While some must-pulls like Luocha and Silver Wolf have fallen behind in the ever-shifting meta (Huohuo and Aventurine made Luocha obsolete if you have them, and Silver Wolf’s niche is no longer as necessary due to most people having more character variety). Ruan Mei’s universal buffs make her a staple on any team. She came out during the Destruction era but remained relevant even during the DoT renaissance (Black Swan), the follow-up attack era (IP3, Robin), and the current Break Effect (Firefly, Boothill) era. And she’s sure to remain a top-tier support no matter what meta changes the future brings.

Honkai: Star Rail is readily available on the PS5, Windows PC, and mobile devices. You can only pull for Ruan Mei in Honkai: Star Rail when the “Floral Triptych” banner is up.

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Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a senior writer who has been writing for games journalism and translating since 2020. After graduating with a BA in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing, she spent a few years teaching English and history before fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a writer. In terms of games, she loves RPGs, action-adventure, and visual novels. Aside from writing for Siliconera and Crunchyroll, she translates light novels, manga, and video games.