Sangonomiya Kokomi is a 5-Star Hydro Catalyst character from Inazuma. She can only be obtained via the “Drifting Luminescence” Event banner. Kokomi is a dedicated healer with a mix of off field and selfish gameplay.
Let’s first address the elephant in the room: yes, Kokomi can’t really CRIT. This is due to a passive ability of hers called “Flawless Strategy”, which gives her a base 25% Healing Bonus but decreases her CRIT Rate by 100%. Kokomi can land CRITs if you get her CRIT Rate higher than 100% though that requires considerable stacking of that stat in her gear, which requires luck and/or money. Some characters provide a CRIT Rate but the only one you’re guaranteed to have in your Genshin account is the Geo Traveler. Food buffs can help but you’ll never have access to them in the Spiral Abyss. Even if you do all that, you might not have Kokomi’s CRIT DMG high enough to take advantage of said CRIT Rate. Kokomi actually has pretty high multipliers to her Talents. Her Normal Attacks in particular beat both Barbara’s and Mona’s while her Charged Attack is only a bit worse than theirs. If you somehow get Kokomi a solid CRIT ratio, she’ll hit extremely hard. Unfortunately, it is impractical for most players to do.
Some will argue in this passive’s defense that this means that Kokomi has greater flexibility when it comes to building her stats. This is both true and false. It’s true in the sense that what would generally be seen as a suboptimal piece of equipment will work perfectly fine for Kokomi. That Maiden Beloved goblet with no CRIT stats? This little mermaid priestess will gladly take it, more so than Barbara even. Conversely, Kokomi doesn’t want any CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG on her gear as those stats are practically useless for her. Certain stats such as HP and DEF are worthless for the vast majority of Genshin‘s playable characters but at least they do something. With Kokomi, you’ll actively want to avoid getting CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG on her Artifacts or at least pray that RNG doesn’t upgrade them as she’ll more or less never get to enjoy those stats.
Kokomi primarily heals with her Elemental Skill, “Kurage’s Oath”. Upon cast, she summons a little jellyfish called the Bake-Kurage and for 12 seconds, this critter will deal Hydro DMG to enemies within its radius and heal your active character every 2 seconds. The Bake-Kurage suffers from a case of split scaling in that its healing scales off of Kokomi’s Max HP but its Hydro DMG follows traditional ATK Scaling. Even if you do get Kokomi’s ATK high enough, the Bake-Kurage’s DMG will still be underwhelming due to the character’s lack of CRIT. With the release of Version 2.5, you can potentially fix this by equipping Kokomi with the Ocean-Hued Clam Artifact set. The 4-Piece effect of this set generates Physical DMG in proportion to 90% of the equipped character’s healing and this even includes overhealing. So long as you and the enemy are within its range, the Bake-Kurage will deal substantially more DMG than it used to.
Oddly enough, the Bake-Kurage is stationary and will not move alongside your active character in the same vein as Barbara’s Melody Loop or Qiqi’s Icevein Talisman. This isn’t a drawback exclusive to Kokomi; other healers such as Bennett and Diona have this as well. It is nevertheless puzzling as one advantage you have to admit with Barbara and Qiqi’s healing is how little you have to worry over positioning. You’re free to move as you as please rather than be forced to stay in one spot to get healed. As a tradeoff however, the Bake-Kurage does make for a solid source of Hydro application. Its AoE is decently large and enemies only need to be at the very edge of the radius to get hit. Furthermore, the Bake-Kurage has no Internal Cooldown, applying Hydro and triggering its related Elemental Reactions every tick.
While Kokomi heals off field with her Elemental Skill, she takes on a more selfish role when she uses her Elemental Burst, “Nereid Ascension”. After dealing Hydro DMG (that scales off of her HP so it can hit pretty hard), Kokomi puts on a “Ceremonial Garment” made out of water. For 10 seconds, the garment provides a number of new effects onto Kokomi. First is a DMG boost that scales off of her Max HP. Second is an increased resistance to interruption. Third and most importantly is the ability to heal her whole team when she hits an opponent with her Normal/Charged Attacks. Last and definitely least is the ability to walk on water, which sounds awesome but it’s useless in combat and impractical in exploration (by the time the Burst expires, Kokomi will be low on stamina and prone to drowning). All of these effects disappear immediately if Kokomi dies or leaves the field.
Is the DMG boost provided by “Nereid Ascension” enough to make up for the lack of CRIT? That I’m not 100% sure on but the boost is substantial and for someone who can’t CRIT, Kokomi can put a decent dent into an enemy’s HP bar while her Burst lasts. Provided that she’s near her opponent, her DPS can be further increased with Ocean-Hued Clam converting her healing. If nothing else, this boost can make Kokomi easier to build as it scales off of the same stat as her healing. It’s not like with Barbara, whose HP scaling only benefits her healing. Unless you have insanely good Artifacts, building Barbara for both healing and DPS is almost impossible and you’re generally forced to pick one over the other. In contrast, Kokomi can easily be built for both as more HP will result in more potent heals and a stronger DMG boost from her Burst.
What I don’t understand is why miHoYo chose to make Kokomi’s Burst a selfish one. Ideally, you want to switch back to your carry once Kokomi is done healing. Compare this to Noelle; even though her Elemental Burst provides her with a massive ATK buff, this effect does not expire when she leaves the field and she’s free to hand the reins over to someone else. This allows Noelle to work very flexibly in a rotation, especially for an emergency. I don’t mind keeping Kokomi on the field for the whole 10 second duration or switching her out prematurely but why she doesn’t have the same luxury as Noelle is nevertheless puzzling.
Also questionable is the fact that Kokomi’s Burst is her only means of healing the whole team. Past dedicated healers have a window for when they can heal their teams as well but unlike Kokomi, this ability is tied to their Elemental Skill and not their Burst. Even a C1 Noelle, who ideally wants to have both her Skill and Burst active for a 100% chance to heal, still has her party-wide healing tied to her Skill. Barbara, Noelle, and Qiqi only need to worry about cooldown while Kokomi has to be concerned with that as well as Energy. If you’re in a tight bind and need to heal your whole team, you better make sure Kokomi has her Burst at the ready.
Which brings me to yet another issue. Getting Kokomi’s Burst can be a little tricky as it has the somewhat high cost of 70 Energy. The Bake-Kurage does provide Energy but it is only at one Hydro particle every couple of ticks. It’s better than Barbara, Noelle, and Qiqi generating no Energy whatsoever but it hardly makes for a self-sufficient battery. A second Hydro unit can act as a battery though the only F2P option at the moment is Xingqiu. Even so, having two Hydro units isn’t ideal due to Hydro Resonance only providing Incoming Healing Bonus, which is redundant if you have a healer as potent as Kokomi. A potential and F2P-friendly solution to Kokmoi’s Energy needs is equipping her with the Prototype Amber. It has HP% as its secondary stat, which Kokomi will welcome, and at R1, it gives her 12 Energy back when she uses her Burst. The only issue is refining it for an improved passive as weapon Billets are absurdly hard to come by.
With Elemental Reactions, it somewhat depends on which Talent Kokomi is using in a given moment. With her Elemental Skill, Frozen is hands down the best Reaction to use. Yes, her healing is redundant if enemies are immobile but by locking them in place, you fix the Bake-Kurage’s lack of movement and take huge advantage of the jellyfish’s ability to proc Reactions with every tick. The only drawback is that there is 8 seconds of downtime once the Bake-Kurage expires so consider using that period for other things. With her Elemental Burst, Kokomi can enable all Hydro-related Reactions with her basic attacks to varying degrees of success. Electro-Charged particularly shines here, due to the plethora of Electro Sub DPS units for Kokomi to pair up with such as Fischl and Beidou. Frozen is good for super comfortable gameplay, just bear in mind that Kokomi doesn’t have anything to make up for the lack of Reaction DMG. Vaporize also works though you’ll ideally want your Pyro unit to trigger the Reaction since they’re the one who can actually CRIT.
Depending on her gear, Kokomi can act as a buffer for her team. As a Catalyst user, she has access to Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers, one of the few endgame viable 3-Star weapons in Genshin. In addition to providing HP% (which Kokomi welcomes), Thrilling Tales has an absurdly good passive in which the next character that takes Kokomi’s place upon switching will receive an ATK buff for 10 seconds. At R5, this buff is at a whopping 48%. The passive has a 20 second cooldown but that works perfectly with Kokomi’s Elemental Skill as it too lasts for 20 seconds. By the time you need to refresh the Bake-Kurage, Thrilling Tales’ buff will be ready for reuse as well. Another possible means of buffing is the Tenacity of the Milelith Artifact set. The 2-Piece effect increases her HP by 20% and the Bake-Kurage is perfect for consistently triggering the 4-Piece effect’s teamwide ATK and Shield Strength buff.
Like with every 5-Star character, I can only recommend getting Kokomi’s Constellations if you absolutely have the money to burn. Weirdly enough, most of them involve her Burst so those who aren’t that interested in that Talent won’t be missing much. Kokomi’s best Constellation is her first one. This adds an extra attack after Kokomi’s Normal Attack combo when her Burst is active and its DMG is proportional to 30% of her Max HP, making it very valuable for a DPS-oriented Kokomi. Also neat is Kokomi’s C4, which increases her Attack SPD by 10% and gives her the ability to restore 0.8 Energy for every Normal Attack she lands while her Burst is active. It won’t entirely fix Kokomi’s Energy issues but it will make her substantially better at re-energizing herself, especially when combined with the Prototype Amber.
Kokomi is both a flawed and underrated unit. Yes, she can’t CRIT. Yes, many parts of her kit are pretty mind boggling. However, I do think she is far from the unusable and worthless unit that a lot of naysayers purport her to be. Fact of the matter is that she does have her uses. Her healing is potent and will keep your team healthy, she can perform decently as a Hydro carry, and her Talents do work well with enabling Elemental Reactions. I’ve personally found particular enjoyment with using Kokomi in a Frozen, her Bake-Kurage rendering enemies immobile with every one of its ticks. I’ve even managed to use this setup to clear Floor 12 of the Spiral Abyss with 9 stars on multiple occasions. Despite all of her flaws, Kokomi still manages to work well as a unit. Getting her is by no means a bad idea.
Thanks for reading!
This post was originally published on September 30, 2021