The Ultimate Sampo Guide: Gameplay, Builds, and Strategies

The Ultimate Sampo Guide: Gameplay, Builds, and Strategies
Last updated:
February 6, 2024

Today we're bringing you a comprehensive guide on Sampo, one of the most intriguing and satisfying characters to play in Honkai: Star Rail.

Whether you adore or detest him, you can't ignore his strategic importance, especially if you're looking to maximize Kafka's team-building options.

Let's dive deeper into Sampo's potential.

The Ultimate Sampo Guide in Honkai: Star Rail – Gameplay, Builds, and Strategies

Sampo's Details Honkai Star Rail

Sampo's Stats and Comparative Analysis

Sampo is a four-star Wind character who offers an interesting blend of average and unique stats.

At level 80, he has a base HP of 1023, an attack of 617, a defense of 396, and a speed of 102. While these stats might seem average on paper, they effectively support his role in the game. Sampo's energy cost is 120, which is standard, but as a nihility unit, he possesses a lower hit probability than tankier paths, giving him an advantage in survivability.

Comparatively, Sampo's primary strength lies in his DoT (Damage over Time) capabilities, making him a valuable asset in any team that leverages this damage type.

His Wind Shear talent allows him to stack up substantial damage over time, making him particularly potent in Kafka's team where she can detonate these stacks for considerable burst damage.

Detailed Abilities and Skills Overview

Sampo's abilities are designed to maximize his DoT potential while providing utility to his team. Here's a deeper look into each of them:

Basic Attack: Dazzling Blades

Sampo's basic attack, Dazzling Blades, is a standard attack that deals wind damage to a single target and inflicts 30 toughness damage.

It also regenerates 20 energy and a skill point, providing him with the resources needed for his other abilities.

Skill: Ricochet Love

Sampo's Skill Ricochet Love Honkai Star Rail

Ricochet Love is a bounce skill that first deals wind damage equivalent to 56% of Sampo's attack to a selected target.

It then deals the same amount of wind damage to a random enemy four times, leading to a total damage potential of 280% of his attack. It also inflicts an initial 30 toughness damage to the first target and 15 to each target hit per bounce, resulting in a total of 90 toughness damage on a skill.

This skill also regenerates energy based on the hit count, providing 6 energy per hit for a total of 30 energy at E0.

Ultimate: Surprise Present

Sampo's Ultimate Surprise Present Honkai Star Rail

Sampo's ultimate, Surprise Present, is an AoE ability that deals wind damage equivalent to 160% of his attack to all enemies.

It also applies a 30% DoT vulnerability debuff to every enemy hit for two turns. This vulnerability modifier is especially potent as it's a separate modifier from the standard damage modifiers, effectively boosting all DoT effects, including break damage over time.

This ability deals 60 toughness damage to all enemies and refunds 5 energy.

Talent: Windtorn Dagger

The key component to Sampo's damage is his talent, Windtorn Dagger.

Sampo's Talent Windtorn Dagger Honkai Star Rail

Every attack from Sampo has a 65% base chance to inflict Wind Shear for three turns. This can stack up to five times, with each stack causing the enemy to take 52% of Sampo's attack as wind damage at the start of their turn.

At five stacks, this equals to 260% of his attack.

This ability is especially potent as it can be refreshed by any extra attack from Sampo, ensuring a continuous stream of DoT.

You should prioritize maxing out his talent first to take full advantage of the damage from his Wind Shear. After that, you can focus on either his skill or his ultimate. If Sampo is a support for other DoT units, it's preferable to max out his ultimate next.

Technique: Shining Bright

Sampo's Technique Shining Bright Honkai Star Rail

Sampo's technique, Shining Bright, is a unique utility tool that complements his DoT playstyle. This technique has the capability to blind enemies within an area for 10 seconds.

Blinded enemies lose the ability to see you, preventing them from launching ambushes. Additionally, attacking a blinded enemy and entering combat gives you a 100% fixed chance to delay all enemies' actions by 25%.

This delay is a significant advantage for DoT playstyles. It allows you to stack all your DoTs on fast enemies before they even get a chance to take their first turn, or to set up defensive skills.

The blinding effect, combined with the delay in action, offers an extra control layer in battles, allowing you to control the combat pace.

The added control over enemy actions makes Sampo's technique an excellent addition to any team that focuses on stacking DoTs. It ensures that your team has the necessary time to apply its damage over time effects, optimizing their efficiency and damage output. This technique is another factor that makes Sampo an amazing pick for any team focusing on DoTs.

Together, Sampo's abilities make him a potent DoT damage dealer with a unique niche in Kafka's teams and other DoT-centric compositions.

Traces & Ascension Passives: An Overview

Sampo's trace passives add valuable enhancements to his skill set:

  1. First Ascension Passive: Extends Sampo's Wind Shear effect by an additional turn, bringing it to four turns in total. While it might appear not too beneficial due to Sampo's ability to infinitely prolong the duration of Wind Shear through his attacks, it grants a slight advantage against fast enemies and in AoE scenarios.
  2. Second Ascension Passive: Provides Sampo an additional energy regeneration of 10 when using his ultimate, reaching a total of 15 energy. Considering his fairly high ultimate cost and his role as a sub-DPS, this passive helps in his energy management.
  3. Third Ascension Passive: Makes enemies affected by Wind Shear to inflict 15% less damage on Sampo. Given Sampo's lower base defensive stats, this passive introduces a substantial free damage reduction, improving his survivability.
Sampo's Ascension Passive Spice Up Honkai Star Rail

In terms of trace bonuses, Sampo gains a 28% ATK increase, which is highly beneficial for his DoTs that can't crit and rely heavily on attack scaling. He also gets an 18% Effect Hit Rate, crucial for applying his debuffs.

Eidolons: A Closer Look

Sampo's eidolons also offer potent enhancements to his abilities:

Sampo's First Eidolon Rising Love Honkai Star Rail
  1. First Eidolon: Enhances Sampo's skill with an extra bounce, granting an additional six energy regen (totaling 36 energy), 56% more ATK, another opportunity to apply Wind Shear, and an extra 15 toughness damage. This makes for a robust starting Eidolon that boosts Sampo's DPS by approximately 10%.
  2. Second Eidolon: Enables Sampo to apply an extra stack of his talent's Wind Shear to all enemies whenever he defeats an enemy already affected by Wind Shear. This makes it easier to ramp-up your AoE damage, especially if Sampo isn't using his skill frequently.
  3. Fourth Eidolon: Provides a significant DPS increase of 21%. When Sampo's skill hits an enemy with five or more stacks of Wind Shear, the enemy takes an extra 8% of the existing Wind Shear damage. With six hits, this amounts to 48% of total Wind Shear damage.
  4. Final Eidolon: Increases his Wind Shear damage multiplier by 15%. At the E6 stage, Sampo's final Wind Shear multiplier at level 12 reaches 72.2%, which is a 13% DPS increase from E5.

Each of these eidolons progressively enhance Sampo's performance, making him a formidable force on the battlefield.

Best Relics for Sampo

When it comes to choosing the best relics for Sampo, you want to optimize for his damage output and abilities:

Sampo's Best Relic and Planetary Sets Honkai Star Rail
  1. Prisoner of Deep Confinement: His Best in Slot relic set, as a 4-piece set or even as a 2-piece set. Pairs extremely well with Sampo's DOT focus. A viable alternative if you don't have good stats for a 4-piece set is a 2-piece Pioneer Diver of Dead Waters, which was introduced in version 2.0. This set boosts overall damage when the enemy has a debuff.
  2. Eagle of Twilight Line: A two-piece set from the Eagle of Twilight Line offers an excellent foundation for Sampo. However, completing the four-piece set isn't as beneficial due to Sampo's four-turn rotation.
  3. Musketeer of Wild Wheat or Messenger Traversing Hackerspace: Complementing the two-piece Eagle set with either the Musketeer of Wild Wheat or the Messenger Traversing Hackerspace can substantially boost Sampo's damage. A full Musketeer of Wild Wheat set can be an effective choice for Sampo, but the combination of a two-piece Hackerspace and a two-piece Eagle set delivers a more robust damage output.
  4. Space Sealing Station/Firmament Frontline Glamoth or Pan Galactic Commercial Enterprise: When it comes to planar ornaments, both the ATK%/DMG% sets and the Pan Galactic Commercial Enterprise are worth considering. From an Effect Hit Rate of 56%, Pan Galactic is better than Space Sealing Station in terms of stat value. However, considering that the Space Sealing Station pairs up with the Fleet of the Ageless set, which is a superior support set for DoT teams, it might be more efficient to farm Space Sealing Station in Simulated Universe World 3.

Best Main Stats & Substats for Sampo

When considering Sampo's relic stats, you want to optimize for ATK%, Speed, and ability to apply his debuffs:

  1. Main Stats: Aim for either Effect Hit Rate or ATK% for your body piece. For boots, prioritize Speed or ATK%, and for your orb, go for Wind DMG%. An ATK% rope is optimal, although an Energy Regen rope can be considered but at the cost of personal damage for greater ultimate uptime and increased team damage.
  2. Substats: How much Effect Hit Rate does Sampo need? The key is to prioritize Effect Hit Rate up to 67%, followed by ATK% and Speed. Any additional Effect Hit Rate is a bonus. If you're leaning towards a break sub DPS build, you could opt for Break Effect on the rope, and prioritize Break Effect over ATK% in your substats.

Remember, the best stats and relics will depend on your overall team composition and strategy, as well as the specific enemies you're facing.

Always consider these factors when building Sampo for the best results.

Optimal Late Game Stats for Sampo

ATK: 3,000+

Speed: 135+

Effect Hit Rate: 67%+

Best Light Cones for Sampo

Light cones augment a character's abilities in specific ways. Here are some of the best light cones for Sampo:

Sampo's Best Light Cone Good Night and Sleep Well Honkai Star Rail
  1. Good Night and Sleep Well: This light cone offers direct damage boosts. As Sampo's wind shear and ultimate each count as a debuff, this light cone will have a high uptime, especially when Sampo is teamed up with other debuffing units.
  2. Eyes of Prey: This light cone is particularly beneficial for Sampo due to the Effect Hit Rate it offers. This means that you can equip an ATK% chest for increased damage output. The additional DoT damage buff it provides is also great for him.
  3. In the Name of the World: This light cone suits Sampo well. However, its utility may decrease if you require a high Effect Hit Rate and you don't frequently use skills. This is especially relevant if you're playing Sampo as a sub DPS, where skill spamming isn't as common.
  4. Fermata: This is a cost-effective option that amplifies the break build. In an AoE situation or when Sampo is played as a normal sub DPS, DoT enhancing light cones will have the upper hand.

Always remember to match your light cones to the specific playstyle you're using for the best results.

The Two Playstyles of Sampo

Sampo's adaptable nature makes him suitable for two primary approaches: functioning as a Damage over Time (DoT) Sub DPS or as a Break Sub DPS.

Each strategy has its benefits and drawbacks, and the optimal choice is determined by the specific situation and team setup.

  1. DoT Sub DPS: In this approach, Sampo concentrates on maintaining a steady stream of DoT via his Wind Shear talent. He can sustain his Wind Shear indefinitely, which counts as a debuff for allied bonuses or sets, offering substantial free damage. This strategy is effective against all types of enemy weaknesses and only relies on Effect Hit Rate. However, this strategy does require time to ramp up as stacks need to accumulate, with each new wave of enemies needing additional stacking.
  2. Break Sub DPS: This strategy sees Sampo exploiting the wind weaknesses of enemies to amplify his damage output. When executed properly, this approach results in higher damage and allows Sampo's Wind Shear talent to accumulate. However, in AoE scenarios, your toughness damage can be unpredictable, and unless you strategically plan and achieve breaks, your damage could drastically decrease. Unlike the DoT approach where you can rely on basic attacks, this strategy also requires the consumption of team skill points for toughness damage.

Optimal Rotations, Synergies and Team Compositions

Rotation Strategies

The ideal rotation for Sampo depends on his first eidolon and how you manage his energy:

At E0 (No Eidolons): There are multiple strategies here. A 5-turn rotation can lead to being Skill Point (SP) positive, while a 4-turn rotation might result in SP negative. An SP neutral approach is also viable with the use of the Vonwacq set, which may decrease some damage output but ensures a more consistent uptime at E0.

At E1 (First Eidolon): An SP negative approach can easily achieve a 3-turn rotation. SP neutral drops to a 4-turn rotation, and an SP positive can sustain a 4-turn rotation when using an Energy Rope.

Remember, these rotations are flexible and should be adjusted according to the specifics of each fight.

The Kafka Synergy

Kafka is a unit that synergizes exceptionally well with Sampo.

Kafka, known for her capability to explode DoTs, becomes amazing when teamed up with Sampo, whose stacking Wind Shear and potential break Wind Shears synergize perfectly.

In addition to an extra 30% damage boost to all DoTs, including those from Kafka that are subject to detonations, Sampo can become an outstanding sub DPS when working in tandem with Kafka.

Other Strong Synergies

  1. Asta: Asta's buffs to ATK% are great for DoT teams that don't benefit from crit buffs. The increased speed she offers is also highly valuable, leading to more turns, amplified damage, and an increased number of skill points if Sampo is played with a positive skill point strategy.
  2. Silver Wolf and Pela: Both these characters boost Sampo's damage, DoT damage, and break damage through DEF reduction, in addition to RES reduction offered by Silver Wolf. They are adept at generating skill points, making them a potential asset in a Kafka team. Unintentional breaks from Sampo could also be triggered by Silver Wolf, adding an extra layer of strategy.

Team Comps

Sampo's Example Team Composition Honkai Star Rail

When incorporating Sampo into your lineup, your team will typically include an offensive debuffer such as Silver Wolf or Pela (or even Asta), and Kafka as a primary DPS and enabler of DoTs, making her a perfect match for any Sampo team.

The last position is usually filled with a character focused on self-sustain. Here are some possible team comps:

  1. Kafka, Sampo, Silver Wolf, Luocha: For AoE scenarios, Pela can be an extremely dependable option, as the weakness implant tends to be quite unpredictable, and Pela's AoE defense shred aligns perfectly with this team setup.
  2. Kafka, Sampo, Luka/Serval, Solo Sustain: This lineup forms a Triple DoT team, which while potent, carries a certain level of risk and isn't as flexible as the previous comp. It lacks the damage amplification and utility of Pela, Asta, or Silver Wolf, and the absence of their bonus speed or breaks from this team makes it more challenging to keep them alive.

Remember to adapt your team composition to the specific scenario and the playstyle you're using for the best results.

Sampo's Pros: What Makes Him Shine

Sampo brings several advantages to the table that enhance his overall performance:

  1. Impressive Toughness Damage: Sampo is capable of dealing 90 toughness damage at his base level, rising to 105 with his first eidolon on a skill, and inflicting an AoE toughness damage of 60 with his ultimate. This high toughness damage allows him to easily break enemies.
  2. Consistent and Strong Damage: Once Sampo has built up his damage and secured a high Effect Hit Rate, his damage becomes strong and dependable. A bonus is that his Wind Shear damage doesn't rely on crit substats, simplifying his build requirements.
  3. Delaying Technique: Sampo's technique includes a delay feature, allowing DoT or defensive units to better prepare for the fight.
  4. Sustained Wind Shear: Sampo has the ability to keep his Wind Shear effect in play indefinitely. This is considered a debuff for ally bonuses or sets, providing a significant amount of free damage.
  5. Vulnerability Enhancer: His ultimate carries a vulnerability enhancer, a rare and potent buff. In Sampo's case, it provides a 30% boost to DoT damage, significantly boosting his total damage output.
  6. Efficient Skill Point Management: Sampo is great at generating skill points, with his only downside being the consumption of energy. However, with careful gameplay and the right build, this can be managed effectively.

Sampo's Cons: Areas for Improvement

Despite his strengths, Sampo does have a few limitations:

  1. AoE Toughness is RNG: Sampo's AoE toughness damage is random, making it difficult to strategically break a specific target when facing several enemies.
  2. Reliance on Enemy Turns: Sampo's DoT damage is often loaded towards the latter half of the fight until Kafka gets released and detonates them. This means battles can extend longer and the damage inflicted heavily depends on the enemy turns.
  3. Challenging Energy Management: Despite his second ascension passive, Sampo's energy regen can be challenging to manage, requiring careful planning, especially to maintain good uptime for his ultimate.
  4. Need for DoT Damage Ramp-Up: Since DoT damage requires time to build and accumulate, each new wave of enemies needs further stacking, potentially slowing down the combat pace.
  5. Limited Ultimate Utility: While potent, Sampo's ultimate is primarily beneficial to DoT teams due to its specific vulnerability debuff, limiting its versatility.

Sampo Chilling in Scalegorge Waterscape Details Honkai Star Rail

In conclusion, while Sampo does have some challenges, his strengths and unique abilities make him a rewarding character to play, especially when used strategically and in the right team compositions.

With Kafka's arrival, Sampo will definitely see much more use in Honkai Star Rail, especially in DoT-focused teams.