Genshin Impact All Characters Guide

by joeyoungfitz

Hello fellow travelers, and welcome to joeyoungfitz’s introductory guide for all of the characters in Genshin Impact! This guide serves as an all in one place overview of every character and how they are best utilized in team compositions. If you have not already checked out my guide on The Four Combat Roles in Genshin Impact, please check out that guide first as the previous guide is the foundation for the discussion of the characters here. If you just want to see a TL;DR overview on rankings, the tier list can be found here:

A small disclaimer that the characters listed aren’t put in a particular order in their respective tiers.

Please note that Genshin Impact is prone to continuous balancing and the addition of new characters, so some of the info in this guide may become outdated. I’ll do my best in ensuring this guide will stay up to date. If there are any significant changes worth mentioning e.g a character getting completely revamped, I’ll redo the guide and mention it in the changelog. Otherwise, every character’s core playstyles and mechanics will remain the same and will not dramatically change in their primary roles.

One noticeable stat added to the introductory guides is tier placements. I’ll explain what each of the tiers represents to further understand what it means to be an S tier character, all the way down to a D tier character. One important thing to note is that this tier list is not based on full constellations. Certain characters become a lot stronger with full constellations and specific items cough Fischl with Skyward Harp cough cough. I’ll mention it when appropriate, but for most players they’ll be playing with characters that have 1 or 2 constellations or none at all. For this reason the tier list will overlook constellations.

S: Especially the five stars, these are characters that players will whale for. They are characters that are some of the best at what they do and make combat noticeably easier. If you are looking to clear content quickly, these are the characters you definitely want to consider having on your team.

A: Strong characters that you can never go wrong with. They fit most team comps, and they are worth your time and resources in building them to the highest levels.

B: Balanced–but average characters. While they have a solid kit, they are typically outshined by A and S tier characters in terms of combat effectiveness. In certain comps they can be valued as much as an A-tier character.

C: Characters with a good kit on paper but because of poor scaling are weak in combat. These characters can easily be bumped up to B tier if their kit gets buffed but they are lackluster characters in combat as they stand now. It is fine to invest in them for the early stages of the game, but beyond that, it would be best if you look to swap them out with more effective characters.

D: Not worth your time and resource in building these characters. They offer very few combat options, all of which are lacking. Their kits lack an identity, making it difficult to determine their primary combat role and thus they serve no value in putting them into team comps.

One last thing to note is that not all characters are equal. For example, there are S tier characters that are weaker or stronger than their other S tier counterparts. Delving into the specifics would require a separate guide with a more in-depth tier ranking. Without further ado, here is my introductory guide to all the characters in Genshin Impact!

Amber

Vision: Pyro

Weapon: Bow

Primary Role: None

Secondary Role: Burst

Overall Tier: D

Amber is one of the first party members to join you on your journey. She is one of the most iconic characters in the manga and game. As one of the earliest starter characters, it is not unusual for her to be outshined by other characters with flashier and more effective kits. However, Amber is so underwhelming in combat that the only purpose she serves in the mid to late game is to act as a pyro archer to solve puzzles out in the world.

What makes Amber’s combat abilities lackluster is her lack of identity in team comps. Amber’s elemental skill, Explosive Puppet, is a useful utility tool in drawing enemy aggro. However, the puppet only does damage when it explodes, dealing a low 123% explosion damage. While a good utility tool, it does little to contribute to DPS in fights, and for a character that should be focused on building ATK, her DPS potential suffers greatly. Amber’s elemental burst, Fiery Rain, is a 2-second aoe shower of pyro arrows, dealing with high scaling damage. This burst does great damage; however, that is the only good thing about Amber’s kit, and it still pales in comparison to every other elemental burst in the game. Since Amber’s can only contribute to DPS in a 2 seconds window limited in only her burst, she only has a secondary role in Burst as she does not fit the criteria for any primary combat role.

Overall, Amber’s combat suffers significantly because of an uninspiring kit and weak scaling in her elemental skill. Her elemental skill and burst don’t compliment each other well as one is purely a utility tool, while the other is a basic burst tool. As it stands right now, she is a waste of time and resources in trying to invest into.

Ayaka

Vision: Cryo

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: ?

Secondary Role: ?

Overall Tier: ?

Ayaka was a playable character back in the first closed beta. She has not been seen since as of Version 1.0.

Beidou

Vision: Electro

Weapon: Claymore

Primary Role: Enabler

Secondary Role: Burst

Overall Tier: A

Beidou, an unbound and forthright leader of the Crux. People have claimed she can split mountains, part the seas, and defeat even the deadliest sea monsters. Some pass it off as boastful tales, while others firmly believe that nothing can challenge her title as the Uncrowned Lord of the Ocean. If there is one thing for sure, it is her undeniable thundering might and presence on and off the field.

Beidou’s greatest value in team comps comes from her elemental burst: Stormbreaker. Stormbreaker is an invaluable enabler tool, because every time a normal attack from anyone on the team lands on an enemy, it will proc a lightning discharge that will bounce to nearby enemies. When paired with a fast normal attacker, this ability, scaling off Beidou’s ATK, will deal staggering damage overtime while regularly applying the electro status onto enemies afflicted by it. Although her elemental burst has a high energy cost, the DPS will skyrocket for its duration when it is in effect, more than making it up for its lower uptime. Outside of her elemental Burst, Beidou holds an invaluable elemental skill: Tidecaller, the sole elemental skill in the game with a counter mechanic. Using this ability will allow her to absorb incoming damage. After the duration ends or reaches the max threshold, she releases a slash in front, dealing with electro damage based on how much damage she absorbed. If released with the maximum amount of damage absorbed, it deals an immense amount of damage that even rivals some Burst characters; however, that damage is conditional because you either have to absorb the maximum damage or time it perfectly (from her ascension one talent).

Because of Beidou’s incredible elemental burst that significantly increases DPS and applies electro status on every hit, she is given the primary role of Enabler. Beidou also has the secondary role of Burst because of her staggering, but conditional, burst damage from her elemental skill. Even by herself, Beidou is quite formidable. But when paired with a Carry, she becomes an invaluable Enabler worth significant consideration in putting her on your main team.  

Bennett

Vision: Pyro

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: Support

Secondary Role: Burst

Overall Tier: C

As the sole member and leader of Benny’s adventure team, there is a good reason why people avoid adventuring with him. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tried, his infamous bad luck never seems to leave his side. While Bennett is a viable Support character for double pyro team comps, outside of that, he is a character that has disappointing damage scaling and an elemental burst that doesn’t do enough to warrant Bennett to be put onto your primary team.

Bennett’s elemental skill, Passion Overload, is a skill that has three stages: tap, short hold, and long hold. In order, each stage is a single pyro swing, double pyro swing, and a triple pyro swing, with the third stage having the longest cooldown but highest total damage. However, Bennett’s Passion Overload’s main problem is the long hold stage launches him backward after the third swing connects, disrupting the flow of combat. This wouldn’t be a significant downside if the long hold’s total damage can contribute greatly to the DPS. However, this elemental skill scaling is very disappointing and does little to increase the total DPS. Bennett’s primary use comes from his elemental burst: Fantastic Voyage. When activated, Bennett attacks the ground in front of him, doing aoe pyro damage and creates a circle. Any allies in the circle gain an ATK bonus based on the percentage of Bennett’s total ATK while above 70% health. If below 70% health, the field character will instead regenerate health based on the elemental burst’s level until they reached 70%.

Since Bennett’s main draw is his elemental burst, his primary role is Support, while his elemental skill’s intended usage puts him as a secondary Burst. However, his total damage output, especially from his elemental skill, is disheartening despite being a character focused on building high ATK. For anyone in the circle of Fantastic voyage, they gain a Pyro affix, making it easy for enemies to chain elemental reactions on the field character. Lastly, the healing only applies to the field character and only up to 70% health. It is for these reasons and the above paragraph’s analysis that puts Bennett into C tier.

Barbara

Vision: Hydro

Weapon: Catalyst

Primary Role: Support

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: A

As a healer-focused 4-star character, Barbara is a popular staple for exploration and the Abyss. Unlike some Supports in the game that have more utility outside of their healing, Barbara is purely focused on healing your team. Although the only utility she brings as a Support are heals, Barbara does a fantastic job at healing her team at any time both over time and in large bursts. She is also exceptionally tanky because of her healing scaling off her max health.

Barbara’s elemental skill, Let the Show Begin, summons water droplets around the character, healing the on-field character at set ticks (three times total) throughout its duration. If Barbara attacks enemies while her elemental skill is in effect, she heals her entire party slightly. Two things to note: if the character while under Let the Show Begin is close to an enemy, they get the wet status applied onto them after a short delay, allowing for some hydro related reactions possible. However, at the ticks you get the heal from the skill, you are self-inflicted with the wet status for a fourth of a second. So if you already have the cryo status effect on you, for example, you will get frozen on the heal tick. It is vital to keep this in mind, or else you might find yourself in a troubling situation. For Barbara’s elemental burst, Shining Miracle, it instantly restores a large amount of HP to her whole team on activation. Since the energy cost is high and you get plenty of sustained healing from her elemental skill; Shining Miracle is best used as a get out of jail free card when necessary.

One last thing to note is that Barbara’s healing scales off her max health. Unlike in traditional RPGs/JRPGs where the healer is usually the most squishy party member, in Genshin Impact, Barbara is most likely going to be your most tanky party member. Because of this reason and how her scaling for healing is incredible, allowing for insane healing numbers, Barbara is an outstanding primary Support despite only having healing as her contribution to team comps.

Chongyun

Vision: Cryo

Weapon: Claymore

Primary Role: Enabler

Secondary Role: Burst

Overall Tier: A

A prodigy exorcist hailing from Liyue, Chongyun used to be one of the most popular four star character in CBT3. With recent changes going into global release, he is longer a staple for most teams out there. However, his ability to empower his teammates to consistently apply cryo statuses to enemies with low downtime with just his elemental skill, makes him an excellent cryo enablers that with the right team, he becomes irreplaceable.

Chongyun’s elemental skill, Spirit Blade – Chonghua’s Layered Frost, is an amazing tool for enabling other characters to create cryo related reactions back to back. When the elemental skill is used, all melee weapons are converted to cryo damage while in the skill’s AoE field. The purpose Chongyun serves in a team is to use his elemental skill and then swap to a Carry and Burst character to take advantage of the cryo modified basic attacks. The result is that the Carry and Burst characters can chain back to back cyro related reactions without swapping back to Chongyun to apply cryo. However, this is limited to melee weapons because bows and catalysts do not gain the cryo conversion benefit. Additionally, characters built with physical % dmg will lose that bonus when their normal attacks are converted to cryo, so their DPS will suffer more than what they gained. This is an important fact to consider when building team comps with Chongyun.

And if that isn’t enough, Chongyun’s elemental burst, Spirit Blade – Cloud-parting Star, is a low 40 energy cost burst, with high damage scaling. By the time you have to swap back to Chongyun to reapply his elemental skill, you can get in some quick burst damage. However, Chongyun’s primary role is that of an Enabler. Since Chongyun still fits some of the criteria of a Burst character, he is given the Burst role as a secondary to acknowledge his capabilities outside of his usual role. With the recent changes to Superconduct now being a 50% physical resistance reduction that further restricts the number of characters that can take advantage of the cryo conversion normal attacks, Chongyun is bumped down to A tier for the time being.

Diluc

Vision: Pyro

Weapon: Claymore

Primary Role: Burst

Secondary Role: Carry

Overall Tier: A

A merciless foe to his enemies and burning with conviction in protecting his city, Diluc is a prominent character hailing from Mondstadt. He chains normal and pyro attacks with deadly speed despite him wielding the hefty claymore weapon class in combat. With a hard-hitting kit and low downtime on his elemental skill and burst, Diluc brings continuous onslaught to any foe you encounter.

Diluc’s signature move is his elemental skill: Searing Onslaught. In its most basic form, it is a three-hit combo dealing pyro damage on every hit. However, Diluc’s ability to weave in regular attacks in between the pyro attacks during the elemental skill’s duration is what makes it stand out. The ability goes on cooldown on the first sequence. When taken advantage of, you can animation cancel Diluc’s normal attacks with each Searing Onslaught sequence, dealing great burst damage while prolonging the ability’s use. With that, you are left with a short downtime of his elemental skill. However, one thing to note is without full constellation, his normal attack sequence gets reset on every activation of the elemental skill, preventing Diluc from performing his last four-hit, high scaling, normal attack. Dawn, Diluc’s elemental burst, is a fantastic tool at staggering and killing small regular enemies. It creates a fiery phoenix that brings great pyro scaling damage to a large area in front of Diluc. After using the elemental burst, Diluc’s attacks are also empowered with pyro and deal increased pyro damage for a limited amount of time. With a low energy activation cost, Diluc can consistently clear mobs and further enhance his normal attack and Searing Onslaught combo chain.

With his whole kit combined, Diluc makes an excellent primary Burst character that can stay in the field longer than most other Burst characters, and the only reason why he is not considered a Carry is because most of the power is locked behind constellations. Once his kit is on cooldown, it is more efficient to swap to another character, but he is still an excellent secondary Carry.

Fischl

Vision: Electro

Weapon: Bow

Primary Role: Carry/Enabler

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: S

Fischl, or by her official title of Prinzessia der Verurteilung, is an eccentric girl who fights alongside a night raven named Oz. In the past CBT3, Fischl wasn’t a character extraordinarily valuable because of average damage output and a clunky elemental burst. Now in the game’s full release, Fischl was given buffs that make her an extraordinary Carry and Enabler, empowering her to become one of the game’s top DPS characters.

Fischl’s ridiculous damage and consistent electro-related reactions come from Oz, who is summoned in her elemental skill: Nightrider. Oz will deal initial electro dmg in the summoned spot upon use, and continue to attack nearby enemies dealing electro damage for 10s. What makes Oz overwhelmingly good is his attack speed is 1hit/second, and he does decent damage in each hit. What you get is an ability that can deal immense damage after tallying up the total damage dealt just by itself. When you then create back to back electro-related reactions, on top of ascension 4 talent (Lightning Smite: bonus electro damage based on 80% Fischl’s ATK), the DPS skyrockets. What’s even more is Fischl’s elemental skill, Midnight Phantasmagoria, turns Fischl into Oz, doing significant electro burst damage to any enemies she comes into contact with. But the craziest part about it is it summons/refreshes Oz’s duration. Even though Nightrider has a long CD, you can effectively get an additional 10s on Oz’s duration, doubling the already insane DPS potential it brings in combat.

I cannot stress you enough about how insane Fischl is even though she is only a four-star. Because of the second paragraph’s explanations, Fischl is easily both a primary Carry and Enabler. Fischl alone will carry your team to the highest levels of content. For all you travelers, especially low spenders and F2P, I highly encourage you to pull her on Venti’s promotional banner set to drop on September 28th or whenever she is in a promotional banner.

Jean

Vision: Anemo

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: Support

Secondary Role: Burst

Overall Tier: S

Jean, the Acting Grandmaster of the Knights, has always been devoted every day to maintain the peace of Mondstadt while lending a helping hand to its people, even if it is a minor issue. Similarly, in combat, Jean will ensure that all party members are alive and healthy while dealing considerable damage to turn the tide of combat in her allies’ favor, proving her worthy of the Dandelion Knight title.

Jean is an excellent Support in that she heals her allies with her elemental burst, but unlike most Support characters in the game, her healing is based on her total ATK. Jean’s elemental burst, Dandelion Field, instantly restores a large amount of health for her whole party while also knocking away all nearby enemies dealing massive anemo damage. The Dandelion Field will also persist on the field, continuously regenerating health for the on-field character and dealing anemo damage to foes entering and exiting the field. Jean’s elemental skill, Gale Blade, is a high scaling ability that pulls in nearby enemies and then knocks them back, dealing anemo damage, making it an excellent burst skill or for executing enemies from high places.

Overall, Jean’s kit puts her into the primary role of Support. Because of the high scaling on her elemental skill and burst, both of which Jean can take advantage of, because her healing scales of her total ATK, Jean is given the secondary role of Burst to acknowledge her value outside of Support. Jean is a fantastic S tier character, but there are a few things to note: her primary healing comes from her elemental burst with a high energy activation cost. Jean can regenerate her party’s health slightly with her ascension one talent. However, that sacrifices valuable DPSing time. Another con to note is that while in Dandelion Field, the character is imbued with the anemo status effect, making them vulnerable to swirl reactions. Nevertheless, Jean is an outstanding Support with excellent burst options that makes investing in her always worth it.

Kaeya

Vision: Cryo

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: Enabler

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: C

A mysterious character that joins you as one of the starter characters in Genshin Impact. Kayea is a composed character that is good at hiding his cards and even better at executing his schemes. What is not so mysterious about him, unfortunately, is his underpowered combat abilities. For a character that is supposed to be built around high ATK numbers, Kaeya lacks the scaling in his elemental skill and burst to dish out worthwhile damage, and he is instead forced to fill in the role of an Enabler, a role that he is not entirely cut out for.

Kayea’s elemental skill, Frostgnaw, deals cryo damage in a small cone in front of Kaeya. It does a reasonable amount of damage on cast but is a lacking ability not fit for a primary Carry elemental skill. It is best utilized as a cryo status applier because of its short cooldown, then swap to a different character to create a cryo related reaction. For Kayea’s elemental burst, Glacial Waltz, Kaeya summons three icicles around him that revolve around him, dealing minor cryo damage on hit. This elemental burst persists on character swap. Glacial Waltz is a decent elemental burst with a medium activation cost, but the main downside is its very limiting range. Unlike Xiangling’s elemental burst, an ability that most closely resembles Glacial Waltz, it has a very limiting aoe range and doesn’t have great damage scaling, making it only good at applying cryo status onto enemies within melee range.

With the breakdown as mentioned above on his elemental skill and burst and weak scaling on his normal attacks, Kaeya fails to be an effective character at dealing valuable, consistent damage even though he was designed to be a primary Carry. He is instead forced into the primary role of an Enabler to best utilize his kit, and even then, it pales in comparison to other Enablers.

Keqing

Vision: Electro

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: Carry

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: S

As the venerable Yuheng of the Liyue Qixing, Keqing harnesses lightning with deadly speed and precision in combat. It would be an understatement to say she does astounding damage; Keqing is one of the best Carry out of all the characters initially released in open beta, making her one of the most sought-after Carry characters in the game.

Keqing’s elemental skill, Stellar Restoration, has everything a Carry loves: substantial damage scaling, mobility, and low cooldown. When used, Keqing throws out a lightning stiletto dealing initial electro damage. She can then either press the ability again to teleport to the marker, dealing electro damage in a wide arc in front of her, or use a charge attack to ignite the area around the marker with electro damage. Outside of its amazing combat value, Keqing can aim in any direction, including in the air, when holding the initial activation. This allows Keqing to attack airborne enemies unreachable by most melee characters and grabbing those pesky sigils high in the air. For her elemental burst, Skyward Sword, Keqing becomes invulnerable and strikes all foes in aoe around her, dealing a series of fast electro strikes with the final one dealing massive aoe electro damage. With a low energy cost and insane total damage output, Skyward Sword is one of the best damage-dealing abilities in the game, making every Carry and Burst character alike envious of this elemental burst.

What makes Keqing easily a top S tier Carry, besides her amazing damage output from her two abilities, is her normal attack moveset being one of the best for a sword user, having one of the fastest hitting chains with amazing total damage output. Also Keqing has unmatched efficiency (second only to Venti) in consistently hitting multiple enemies with both of her abilities. If you are looking for a top tier Carry in version 1.0, then Keqing is the one you should definitely get.  

Klee

Vision: Pyro

Weapon: Catalyst

Primary Role: Carry

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: S

Do not let looks fool you. Although only a child, Klee often spends time in Knight’s confinement room because anytime she is not there, one can expect an enormous explosion to occur somewhere in the city’s outskirts. As an explosive expert, Klee causes mayhem and destruction whenever she is on the field, making her a fantastic Carry definitely worth maxing out.

Klee’s elemental skill, Jumpy Dumpty, throws out a bouncing bomb that will explode on contact with enemies or after bouncing three times, doing aoe pyro damage and then spawning several mines. These mines do slight damage whenever an enemy walks into them. While not having high scaling, her elemental skill comes with two charges, each with their own cooldowns, which more than makes up for the lower scaling on her elemental skill, but Klee’s real destructive power comes from her elemental burst: Sparks’ n’ Splash. For this elemental burst duration, it will continuously attack nearby enemies automatically, dealing considerable damage on every proc. What makes Klee’s elemental burst so remarkable is unlike other elemental bursts in the game where you have to pilot it to get the most damage out of it, for Klee, Sparks’ n’ Splash does all the work for you. Her elemental burst allows you to use your elemental skills and normal attacks while the elemental burst causes mayhem all around you. And with an amazing duration length to boot, Klee can deal impressive damage that other Carries will have a hard time keeping up with. However, one thing to keep in mind is her elemental burst has a medium activation cost, so it is vital to create consistent elemental reactions to charge back her elemental burst back up quickly.

One last thing to note about Klee’s elemental burst is that if you swap to a different character during its duration, it ends the elemental burst prematurely, and you don’t get a refund from it. For this fact, along with Klee’s ludicrously long duration on her elemental burst and its exceptional damage output over time, Klee is given the primary role of a Carry.

Lisa

Vision: Electro

Weapon: Catalyst

Primary Role: Burst

Secondary Role: Enabler

Overall Tier: A

Do not sleep on Lisa just because she is a starter character. Back in CBT3, she was one of the most popular characters invested in, capable of tackling some of the game’s most formidable challenges. Lisa was a well sought out character for most team comps because of her fantastic burst power, making it an excellent investment to build her to reach her fullest potential.

Lisa’s amazing burst damage comes from her elemental skill: Violet Arc. This elemental skill has two different uses: a press and a long hold. On press, Lisa shoots out a homing lightning orb that applies a stack of conductive status (3 max stacks). The press cooldown is only 1 second. On long hold, Lisa starts casting, and at full charge, she unleashes devastating aoe electro damage around her. This damage has a set based damage scaling but is increases depending on how many conductive statuses the stricken enemy had. At a minimum, her charged skill deals 320% AoE electro damage, and at its greatest damage potential, it deals close to a staggering 488% AoE electro damage. I don’t think I need to explain why Lisa is a Burst character; the numbers speak for themselves. The reason why Lisa is not considered as a Carry character, is because once her charged elemental skill is used, she has a long cooldown of 16s. In that downtime, it is best to swap to a different character to keep the DPS numbers up.

Lisa is given the secondary role of an Enabler, because of her burst skill: Lightning Rose. Although her burst has a high energy cost of 80, her elemental burst is an excellent enabler tool to consistently apply electro status effects onto nearby enemies when it is in use. To acknowledge Lisa’s capabilities outside of her Burst combat role, she is given the secondary role of an Enabler.

Mona

Vision: Hydro

Weapon: Catalyst

Primary Role: Burst/Support

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: S

Mona is an astrologist: a profession that is capable of telling one’s fortune. Although she cannot tell you what future your gacha pulls will be, one thing is for certain: having Mona on your team will bring success in combat. As a primary role in both Burst and Support, Mona is an invaluable character worth considering in having her in your primary team comp if you had the great fortune of pulling her.

Mona’s elemental skill, Mirror Reflection of Doom, aggros nearby enemies while continuously dealing aoe hydro damage. When the duration expires, the Phantom explodes, dealing increased aoe hydro damage. This elemental skill alone is amazing because the aggro it draws will keep enemies off you while damaging them continuously with hydro, doing good damage and setting up potential hydro-related reactions. Mona’s elemental skill, Stellaris Phantasm, is a crazy ability that encompasses both utility and burst damage. What it does is nearby enemies are affected with the Illusory Bubble status upon activation, which renders most mobs immobile. Upon taking damage, the enemy is then inflicted by an enormous amount of hydro damage, along with gaining an Omen debuff that causes that enemy to take increased damage for its duration. This ability is seriously nuts with how over the top it goes with what it does. Along with doing crazy amounts of damage, it also immobilizes smaller mobs and all enemies afflicted takes a substantial damage increase from your attacks, making it a boss killer elemental burst for your other Carry and Burst characters to increase their DPS even more.

Mona is given the primary role of both Burst and Support. Her primary Burst role is from the crazy amount of burst damage enemies take in her elemental burst. For her primary support role, it comes from her elemental skill (taunt mechanic) and elemental burst (stun mechanic and debuff). Mona is an insanely valuable character for any team comp, so don’t hesitate to fully max her out to her fullest, extraordinary potential.

Ningguang

Vision: Geo

Weapon: Catalyst

Primary Role: Burst

Secondary Role: Support

Overall Tier: B

As the Jade Chamber owner that resides in the skies above Liyue, Ningguang is a prominent figure of many titles and possesses wealth beyond what is comprehensible. When she takes matter into her own hands, Ningguang provides strong burst options while negating enemy damage through her Jade Screen and creating shields from geo-related reactions.

Jade Screen, Ninguang’s elemental skill, is the duality of good burst damage and support. Upon activation, Ningguang creates a Jade Screen that deals initial geo damage at the center of the placement. For the rest of its duration, Jade Screen acts as a passable wall for players and enemies while blocking enemy projectiles. Ningguang’s greatest asset, however, is her elemental burst: Starshatter. When used, she summons several homing geo crystals to target nearby enemies. If her Jade Screen is active, she summons even more homing crystals, so when all the individual geo crystals damage are totaled up, her elemental burst does impressive damage. Along with her elemental burst’s low activation cost, Ningguang can use her elemental bursts multiple times easily in a fight.

Since Ningguang can proc geo reactions easily with her whole kit, she can create multiple geo crystals to be picked up to shield allies. Combined with her elemental skill blocking enemy projectiles, she makes a great secondary support, while her total output from her abilities makes her a great primary Burst character. However, what prevents her from reaching A tier is three things: geo being her vision (loses out on damaging reactions to contribute to burst dmg), losing star jades on character swap (slow normal attacks to spawn each one, and DPS lost trying to get max stacks off), and combat flow being disrupted when picking up geo crystals (sprinting back and forth and repositioning wastes precious stamina and DPS time). For these three reasons, Ningguang is held back in the B tier. Nevertheless, she is a character that can find value in team comps that can take advantage of her burst potential and utility.

Noelle

Vision: Geo

Weapon: Claymore

Primary Role: Support

Secondary Role: Carry

Overall Tier: B

Noelle was one of the most accessible characters in the past closed betas to pull because she was a guaranteed unit on the beginner’s banner. As one of the earliest claymore users, she is great in exploration activities such as farming ores efficiently. In combat, she breaks those pesky geo shield bars that generally are very hard to break without a claymore on hand. Although she lacks high damage, Noelle more than makes up for it with excellent utility and defensive skills that help keep her team alive.

Noelle fits the criteria for the Support combat role in the utility of her elemental skill: Breastplate. Scaling off her DEF stat, using this elemental skill summons a protective geo shield that persists even when swapping characters.This elemental skill is a simple yet very effective defensive tool for when facing an overwhelming enemy force. Another nice utility aspect of this skill is when Noelle lands hits on her foes while Breastplate is in use, she has a chance to regenerate health that scales off her defense. And finally, her first passive allows her other allies, who are out on the field, to receive a shield that absorbs 400% of Noelle’s DEF when their health falls below 30%. For all of these reasons, Noelle’s primary role is Support.

I mentioned earlier that Noelle lacks high damage numbers, so you are probably wondering why Noelle’s secondary role is Carry. The reasoning is found in her elemental burst, Nice and Clean, when used in the right circumstances. Although the overall damage output is only slightly above average and limited to a 60 energy activation cost, it excels at being able to hit enemies in a large area in front of her. Remember, the critical aspect of a Carry is consistent damage. For 15s, Noelle’s elemental burst allows her to deal consistent damage in a large area in front of her, effectively making her efficiently clean up large numbers of enemies in front of her. Outside of that scenario, like facing a single golem, it is much better damage-wise not to use her elemental burst. Hence, she is given the secondary role of a Carry.

Qiqi

Vision: Cryo

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: Support

Secondary Role: Enabler

Overall Tier: S

Blessed by the adepti with a body that cannot die, Qiqi is a zombie with an emotionless personality and constant memory loss. Although she faces many hardships daily due to having an abnormal body, in return, she is granted strength and speed unobtainable by normal humans. In combat, Qiqi provides her team with some of the best healing in the game, so that just like Qiqi’s zombified body, her allies will be able to shrug off any wounds inflicted onto them.

Qiqi’s elemental skill, Adeptus Art: Herald of Frost, summons the Herald of Frost that orbits the field character and swings around on set intervals, dealing cryo damage to nearby enemies and healing the field character. Additionally, when Qiqi hits an enemy while the ability is in effect, she regenerates all party members’ health. This elemental skill alone is a fantastic healing tool that generates a good percentage on each tick while having the capabilities of sustaining the entire team. The healing Qiqi does scale off her ATK, making it easy to build high ATK on her to take advantage of this scaling. The total healing done based on ATK is also the same for her elemental burst: Adeptus Art: Preserver of Fortune. When used, Qiqi does aoe cryo damage around her, and enemies are also afflicted with a Fortune-Preserving Talisman. When any character hits a marked enemy, regardless of whether it is a normal attack or ability, they regenerate a considerable chunk of their health. Although a high activation cost elemental burst, this is a fantastic healing ability. The talisman sticks on the enemy for a great amount of time, giving you plenty of time to swap to a character that needs to be healed up while also allowing your characters to continue to DPS without restrictions. One abuse of this interaction is you can tank through enemy attacks while continuously Dpsing.  

Qiqi’s healing is some of the best in the game because of her healing scaling off her ATK and the conversion being incredible. Additionally, Qiqi is given the secondary role of Enabler because her elemental skill makes it so that the field character can create cryo related reactions easily as long as they are within melee range. It is for these reasons and more that makes Qiqi easily S tier.

Razor

Vision: Electro

Weapon: Claymore

Primary Role: Carry

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: A

Every character in Genshin Impact has drastically different and unique kits that make playing every character a different and enjoyable experience. One such character that especially stands out in combat is Razor. A powerful Carry character that is loved by many and treasured by one of our veterans in the Discord, Razor is worth your time and resources in making him one of the strongest consistent damage dealers in the game.

What makes Razor excel as a primary Carry is how his entire kit revolves around the consistent use of his elemental burst: Lightning Fang. Upon activation, Razor summons the Wolf Within, who strikes alongside Razor’s normal attacks, dealing electro damage and increasing his attack SPD. To ensure constant usage of his elemental burst, Razor utilizes his elemental skill: Claw and Thunder. Not only does the skill deal considerable damage, but every time he hits an enemy with it, he gains one electro sigil, up to three max, each one increasing Razor’s energy recharge. Upon charging his elemental skill, Razor slams the ground, doing aoe electro damage with increased damage scaling, and for each electro sigil consumed, he gains energy. Even outside of his elemental skill and burst, he has some of the highest physical attacks for a claymore user, allowing for consistent damage even against electro immune enemies. Combine his elemental burst and an Enabler’s kit that can help him create electro related reactions, and you’ll see him pumping out even more damage through chained reactions.

One thing to note is because of how his kit is best utilized, Razor is solely a primary Carry with not much use outside of his role. To get the most out of him, you have to build a team around him and pour most of your resources into him, hence why he is held back in A tier. However, in exchange, Razor becomes an incredibly consistent damage dealer, and he is one that you should definitely consider if you are looking for a Carry.

Sucrose

Vision: Anemo

Weapon: Catalyst

Primary Role: Burst

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: B

At a glance, Sucrose is often jokingly referred to as a budget Venti. However, on closer inspection, she plays an entirely different role than Venti in team comps. Although she is not nearly a valuable party member, Sucrose provides some great Burst damage with her abilities, earning her a spot in team comps that can help her proc swirl reactions consistently.  

Sucrose’s elemental skill is Astable Anemohypostasis Creation – 6308. Upon use, Sucrose creates a Small Wind Spirit that pulls in enemies slightly before dealing aoe anemo damage. This elemental skill is primarily used to help recharge her elemental burst faster; nevertheless, it does good burst damage if it creates a swirl effect. For Sucrose’s elemental burst, it is Forbidden Creation – Isomer 75/Type II. Upon activation, Sucrose creates a Large Wind Spirit in front of her. While it remains active, it continuously pulls in enemies and launches enemies on set intervals, doing anemo damage. If the large Wind Spirit comes into contact with Pyro, electro, cryo, or hydro, it will deal additional elemental damage of that type for the rest of the duration.

Sucrose’s main problem is her long cooldown on her elemental skill and high energy cost for her elemental burst. Even as a Burst character, she has very low field time because of her long cooldowns. This will not be a substantial issue if her kit makes up for it in value and damage. However, her elemental skill does not do any special damage, even more so that it relies on creating a swirl effect, making Sucrose’s burst potential not as consistent. In her elemental burst, it too depends on the swirl effect. When an enemy does get hit with its full damage, it does respectable damage. However, the pull effect is not nearly as strong as Venti’s elemental burst. So much so that enemies can get knocked out of the ability frequently. So although Sucrose’s burst potential can be fantastic by proccing her swirls reactions consistently, her clunky elemental burst and high downtime on her kit make her stuck in B tier for now.

Traveler

Element: Anemo/Geo (As of CBT3)

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: Flexible

Secondary Role: Flexible

Overall Tier: B

This character is you, or in more technical terms, the one you role play as if you so choose in Genshin Impact. Separated from your sibling, you embark on your journey to find the seven archons who will hopefully give you clues you need to find your sibling. What makes the Traveler the most unique character in the game is the ability to wield any of the seven elements–eventually. As of CN OBT, you are given access to two elements throughout your exploration: anemo and geo. As the game gets updated past open beta launch on September 28th, more regions will eventually get added alongside their respective element that your Traveler can gain access to. Going over the details of each element will go beyond the scope of this introductory guide. Instead, I will focus on why the Traveler is an easy and great character to invest in, but how his/her effectiveness falls off over time, which averages him/her to a B tier character with flexible combat roles.

The most valuable aspect of the Traveler is how easy it is to ascend to him/her. Unlike all the other characters in the game that require specific ascension materials to increase their level cap, to which it costs time and resources to farm for, the ascension materials are given to you automatically as your adventure rank increases. This fact alone effectively makes the Traveler a cheap character to invest in for leveling up and ascending. One other aspect that makes the Traveler a valuable character for team comps is his/her ability to swap between different elements, making him/her the most flexible character when building other team comps with. Lastly, the constellations for the available elements are the easiest in the game to max out, giving additional passives and upgrades to Traveler earlier on than all the other characters in the game (unless you whale). The only aspect that remains the same regardless of their element is their weapon is always a sword.

The most significant disadvantage of the Traveler that prevents him/her from being any stronger than a B tier, is the character falling off hard into the later stages of the game. As you progress through the game and acquire other characters, you’ll see your Traveler being outclassed in every element by others who specialize in it. Whenever it is in terms of damage, effects, and utility, once you level up and gear up other characters, the Traveler loses his/her early to mid-game advantage. If you are considering putting in more than $60 into the game, the Traveler is not a necessary character for you to invest into. If you are a low spender or F2P player, I recommend investing in the character during the game’s early to mid-stages, with some consideration building him/her late game depending on your pulls.  

For all you readers, I will advise you not to sleep too heavily on the Traveler. In the long term plan for Genshin Impact, the value of the Traveler will only increase as they gain access to the missing elements from launch. Having a fully geared character with access to all the seven elements is nothing to be overlooked, but that will heavily depend on how effective his/her future elements will be and how they stack against current characters and future ones. Because of this in mind and all strengths and weaknesses analyzed, the Traveler is best placed as a B tier character with flexible combat roles.

Below is the specific roles for each element with a brief explanation:

Anemo Traveler: Burst (Primary)

Burst role from his/her elemental skill and elemental burst damage output, doing even more damage when proc with swirl. Best to swap to a different character once kit is on cooldown to maintain dmg tempo.

Geo Traveler: Burst (Primary), Support (Secondary)

Burst primary role from his/her elemental skill and elemental burst. Support secondary because both abilities summon objects that can block projectiles, as well constellation (easy to level up with traveler) offers bonus 10% crit rate while within elemental burst (constellation 1), and recharges energy based on how many enemies are hit (constellation 4).

Venti

Vision: Anemo

Weapon: Bow

Primary Role: Enabler/Support

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: S

A mischievous bard that loves apples, a good drink, and is also more than meets the eye. Venti is one of the most popular characters players will whale for come release and for a good reason. Venti’s elemental burst is single-handedly one the most potent abilities in the game, exponentially making combat much easier and will be the character competitive players will run to get the fastest clear times in the Abyss.

Venti’s elemental burst, Wind’s Grand Ode, is one of the most valuable elemental bursts in the game. Upon activation, Venti shoots out an arrow that creates a powerful anemo vortex, sucking all nearby enemies, disables them, and deals continuous anemo damage. This elemental burst has a considerable effectiveness range, making it very easy to gather all enemies into the vortex. When it comes into contact with an element, the vortex converts to that element and does increased damage for the rest of its duration. I cannot stress enough to tell you guys how valuable this elemental burst is. In the Abyss and domains, time is your biggest enemy. From his elemental burst alone, Venti bypasses this obstacle: he effortlessly gathers all enemies in a single spot, creating the most efficient way to clear all the enemies in one fell swoop. While not nearly as valued, Venti’s elemental skill, Skyward Sonnet, is a great tool for recharging his elemental burst and for disabling smaller mobs for a short amount of time. It is also one of the best exploration tools in the game, allowing you to bypass any specific requirements to get those pesky sigils high in the air.

Venti is given the primary role of both Enabler and Support (very rare and automatic S character) because his elemental burst exponentially increases the overall DPS as it gathers all affected enemies to a single spot. And then for all smaller enemies affected by Venti’s elemental skill and burst become disabled for its duration, making it a highly useful utility tool. If you want to climb to the top of the Abyss leaderboards, Venti is a mandatory party member, but even outside of that, he is one of the most sought after characters in the game.

Xiangling

Vision: Pyro

Weapon: Polearm

Primary Role: Enabler

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: A

A renowned chef from Liyue, Xiangling was a powerhouse in CBT3 and wildly popular, given how easily unlockable she is without using the wishes system. While her monstrous appetite remains, Xiangling’s combat effectiveness has been toned down going into the game’s release. Despite her fairly significant nerfs, Xiangling still serves as a great Enabler for pyro related reactions and is one who should not be completely overlooked given how easy she is to acquire.

In her elemental skill, Guoba Attack, Xiangling summons Guoba, who spews pyro at nearby enemies periodically, doing fair damage. While a good enabler tool, it is one of the main nerfs to Xiangling in which the cooldown got doubled from 6s to 12s. Now because of its long cooldown and limiting aoe range where enemies can walk away from its effective range, players must use Guoba Attack’s more carefully to get the most out of skill. For Xiangling elemental burst, Pyronado, Xiangling creates a pyroando that revolves around herself 3-4 times. While its total damage output is not the highest, it is mainly used to create pyro related reactions as the burst persists on character swap. However, the duration is on the shorter side for a primary Enabler. Because you cannot fully control when it hits enemies, it is harder to get the most value out of it in creating elemental reactions as compared to other primary Enablers.

Despite some of these shortcomings, Xiangling is still an Enabler worth appreciating, especially since you will be able to add her to your roster before mid-game hits. If you are mostly a F2P player, she is an excellent addition to your team comps, but if you plan on making a considerable investment into this game, there are better Enablers to choose from. However, Xiangling’s consistent pyro enabler tools that all characters can take advantage of help push her into A tier.

Xiao

Vision: Anemo

Weapon: Polearm

Primary Role: Carry?

Secondary Role: None

Overall Tier: ?

When Xiao comes back from his CBT2 vacation, I’ll update him here.

Xingqiu

Vision: Hydro

Weapon: Sword

Primary Role: None

Secondary Role: Carry/Enabler/Support

Overall Tier: A

As you can see from his combat roles, Xingqiu possesses no primary role, but in exchange, he has three secondary roles, something that is indeed very unique to him. Although he does not have a primary role, Xingqiu is one of the best jack-of-all-trades characters in the game, making him someone that can fill in multiple roles in a wide array of team comps.

Xingqiu’s versatile kit comes from both his elemental skill and elemental burst. When his elemental skill, Guhua Sword – Fatal Rainscreen, is used, Xingqiu deals hydro dmg in front of him and summons the maximum amount of Rain swords (three at base constellation) that orbits the field character. The Rain Swords, while in effect, increases the character’s resistance to interruption, and if the field character takes damage, one Rain Sword is shattered, and the damage is reduced by a percentage that scales with Xingqiu’s hydro damage bonus. What’s more, is after unlocking his ascension one talent, all swords that are either shattered or expire heals the field character scaling off the max health of Xingqiu. This elemental skill alone is an incredible utility tool in sustaining his team. In Xingqiu’s elemental burst, Guhua Sword – Raincutter, he creates the maximum of rain swords, and the following effect is gained: normal attacks, regardless of which character or weapon type is used, will send in homing hydro swords onto the targeted enemy, dealing hydro damage. This elemental burst is an excellent enabler tool for hydro related reactions, and if Xingqiu is built high ATK, this ability will allow Xingqiu to do considerable, consistent damage for its duration.

Xingqiu is given the secondary roles of Carry, Enabler, and Support, because of his unique flexible kit. His secondary role of Support comes from his elemental skill while the secondary Carry and Enabler roles come from his elemental burst, for all the reasoning in the second paragraph. However, one thing to note is while he is great at these three roles; he is a master of none, making him outclass in each secondary role when compared to primary roles. While this may be true, his ability to be valuable in these three secondary roles is a feat that very few, if none, can do, and that alone makes him an invaluable A tier character worth investing into.

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