Last updated on January 28th, 2021
In this Genshin Impact Guide I’m going to be showing you my Darknight Hero build for Diluc, that utilize Chongyun‘s Cryo skills and Barbara‘s Hydro to setup enemies for massive “Amplifying reaction” such as Melt and Vaporize, with the Pyro talents of Diluc. Composing a party for each situation in Genshin Impact can be a bit of a challenge, especially with the limited options for those focusing on free-to-play. In this Guide I’ll explain just how to make a premium damage dealer out of Diluc, that can be used for open world exploration as well as harder content in Spiral Abyss. I’ll go through what Weapons to use, what Artifacts to upgrade and which companions to pick up. If you’ve been looking for a Free to Play Diluc endgame Build then check this one out!
Genshin Impact Build: Diluc, The Darknight Hero – Free To Play Guide
Diluc is a five star character, who is currently available through all Wish banners. Without a rate up banner, it’s very difficult to pull for him. But with all free account rerolling done before patch 1.1, many players had the chance to get him. When you hit the pity pull while pulling in limited character banners, there’s a 50% chance you will not get the rate up five star character, but rather any five star character, and one of these characters is Diluc.
If that’s the case for you, he might be your sole five star character in the game, and that’s why you want to build a good team around him. This build focuses on free-to-play, meaning players who are looking to build Diluc with minimal or no constellations, can still create a viable build without relying on dupes, but purely on items you can gain in game, and four star characters to accompany him.
This Darknight Hero Build uses a combination of Pyro, Cryo and Hydro characters to utilize either Melt or Vaporize. The build revolves around applying elements through Melee hits, with Diluc. So you convert all melee hits to Cryo with Chongyun‘s Elemental Skill, while Diluc’s elemental skill allows him to perform three Pyro attacks. So the idea here is alternating between Cryo and Pyro to cause strong Melt damage. It’s one of the best ways to proc Melt damage in the entire game, and with only a single Cryo character in your team.
So the team would look like Diluc, Chongyun, Barbara/Xingqiu, Xiangling/Bennett depending on which Pyro and Hydro characters you have. The Hydro character is there to freeze enemies if needed, and to apply vaporize where Melt is not applicable. We don’t use Electro characters in this build, to prevent Overload from knocking enemies back, and far away from Diluc’s melee range.
Alternative four star only combo without Diluc
This combo can be done only with Chongyun and melee Pyro characters whose elemental skill deal consistent damage. So it’s applicable for Diluc, Xiangling, and Bennett, and either of these characters can be a very deadly damage dealer. If you don’t have Diluc, you can use the same build with Bennett, and perform very well. It can’t be done with Catalyst users like Klee though.
Diluc, Darknight Hero Attributes
With Diluc, we go all the way for Pyro damage, Crit Damage, and Elemental Mastery. The Ascension attribute of Diluc‘s Crit Rate, so it’s much easier to fill stats on Artifacts and weapon him with Critical damage. Also, his talent modifiers are very high, so any damage multiplier will make his damage skyrocket.
We need to find creative ways to get his Elemental Mastery up, like using the Instructor Set on one companion, so we don’t sacrifice the main stat for it.
Diluc, Darknight Hero Weapon
Similar to most characters that take on the role of a carry, Diluc uses a Claymore, the two handed version of sword in Genshin Impact. Diluc‘s Elemental Skill synergies extremely well with the Sacrificial Greatsword. The Energy recharge sub-stat is not ideal for a damage dealer, but we use this sword for its passive. Without any refinement, the Sacrificial Greatsword gives a 40% chance for an Elemental Skill to reset its cooldown upon use. This chance repeats with every use of the Elemental Skill, up to three times. So you’re almost guaranteed to reset your Elemental Skill once every 30 seconds, for a total of six Pyro hits. There are multiple uses for the Elemental Skill, as it is also great for regenerating Energy for Elemental Burst, so you can use it on cooldown as well.
That’s why I prefer the Sacrificial Greatsword on Diluc. It gets a huge boost if you manage to refine it even once, because the passive would have a higher chance and shorter cooldown. However, if this Claymore doesn’t drop for you from wishes, you can use the crafted weapon, or the three star weapon, Debate Club for starting out. Debate Club is a very competitive option with an additional 120% Attack damage dealt every 3 seconds, however being a three star means it will have a noticeably smaller base attack at endgame.
Crafting A Four Star Weapon
Prototype Aminus, is a good weapon with a good Attack bonus, and consistent damage output. It’s a nice free to play option for Diluc, if you have no better alternative. You have to farm weekly bosses, or buy the Northlander Claymore Prototype from the Souvenir Shop located in Monstadt and Liyue. You will need to farm White Iron Chunks and Crystal Chunks, in order to craft the four star Claymore at The Blacksmith. You will need more of them to craft another copy, to refine your crafted weapon. Ascend and use it if you like, and pass it down to Chongyun, or to the damage dealer of your second team once you get a better weapon.
The Ultimate Weapon
The ultimate weapon for this Diluc build would be either Skyward Pride, or Wolf’s Gravestone, and both are five star weapons so it’s not likely accessible for free to play weapon. Diluc is a powerhouse without a top tier weapon, but if you managed to get one of these, you will gain some better damage.
Wolf’s Gravestone is another good choice for Diluc, giving you higher numbers, and usually the best five star Claymore for damage dealers. However, Skyward Pride synergises well with Diluc. The passive on Skyward Pride gives 8% more damage, does 8 additional hits, doesn’t have a cooldown, and resets every time you use Elemental Burst. You will use Elemental Burst all the time with Diluc, so you have a much higher uptime with Diluc than any other character. It also grants Energy recharge which is aimed towards the same goal, spamming Burst followed by additional lesser attacks.
The four star Blackcliff Slasher is purchasable from Paimon’s Bargains for 24 Masterless Starglitter on rotation. This Claymore gives a massive critical damage bonus as it levels up, and goes well with Crit Rate from Diluc’s ascension stat. It’s another free to play option if you have nothing else and don’t like the crafted weapon (or need it on another character).
Diluc, Darknight Hero Artifacts
Figuring out how to customize your Artifact sets is one of, if not the hardest part of making a Build in Genshin Impact as there are a lot of components involved, and generally takes a try or two before getting it right. In this section, I want to show you how I’ve set this up for maximum performance in this build.
Hands down, the best set for our build is the Crimson Witch of Flames, it’s certainly designed with Diluc in mind. The two piece bonus does nice Pyro DMG, but the 4-Piece Bonus is the ultimate buff to Diluc’s damage. It increases Vaporize and Melt DMG by 15%. Using Elemental Skill increases the 2-Piece Set effects by 50% for 10s with a maximum of 3 stacks. Diluc is the only character that can fully utilize the final bonus to the maximum, because he uses his Elemental Skill three times. There’s an additional 22.5% Pyro damage bonus on top of the initial 15%, not to mention Vaporize and Melt multiplier.
You can never beat the damage Crimson Witch of Flames gives to Diluc, so make sure to farm it thoroughly for the best rolls.
Flower of Life & Plume of Death
The main stat on these Artifacts is predetermined. The Flower artifact always gives a flat HP stat, and the Plume always gives a flat Attack stat. This makes it easier to get an Artifact with perfect stats on these two slots, because you have fewer variables to worry about. We want Critical Damage on sub-stats here, along with any combination of % Attack, Flat Attack, and Critical Rate.
Give priority to leveling up the Plume piece, it’s the most important for the main damage dealer of the team. However, the Flower piece has less priority, unless it has absolute perfect stats.
Sands of Eon
The Sands of Eon timepiece is a more flexible Artifact, with the focus being on the main stat. It can roll different stats as a main, and that’s why it’s harder to acquire the perfect pieces, but it also has a higher ceiling. We seek % Attack main stat, then seek a couple of good sub-stats. These are Flat Attack, Crit Rate and Crit Damage.
Goblet of Enotherm
We need Pyro Damage Bonus, as the main stat here. It’s harder to get the right bonus because Goblets can roll every elemental damage bonus, so the pool of modifiers is large. So Goblets don’t have to belong to your 4 piece set. You can have the four piece set on the other slots, and roll the Goblet with best stats possible, without being part of any Set. Make sure to seek couple good sub-stats, such as % Attack, Flat Attack, Crit Rate and Crit Damage.
Circlet of Logos
The headpiece is just as important as the Goblet, if not more, because it can roll Critical stats. Get Critical rate or Critical Damage, and try to keep 1:2 Crit Rate: Crit damage ratio at all times. So if you have 50% Critical Rate from default stat, you’re better off investing in Critical Damage to push it to 100%. Then if you could push for 60% Crit Rate, you need to keep Critial Damage at 120%, and so on.
Get some good sub-stats on Circlet if applicable, these are Flat Attack. % Attack, Crit Rate, and Crit Damage.
Diluc, Darknight Hero Talent Skills
Normal Attacks consist of four time combos, with the first two swings being relatively quick, and the later two swings much slower but impactful. Diluc has insanely good attack modifiers, it’s borderline broken. He also converts his Normal Attack to Pyro and gains a Pyro damage bonus after using his Elemental Burst for 12 seconds. The ideal way to deal damage while this buff is on, is with two normal attacks, followed by an elemental skill. This way it cancels the longer animation of the third hit, and weave talents together in flawless style. We aim to Vaporize these hits with persistent Hydro buff from either Barbara or Xingqiu, depending on whom you use.
Without buff from Elemental Burst though, Normal attacks are Physical, and with Chongyun‘s Elemental Skill as it’s converted into Cryo. The interesting thing about this is that you can setup Melt damage fairly easily. Using the normal attack to apply Cryo, then using Pyro Elemental Skill to create a Melt reaction. So the ideal combo will be alternating between one normal attack, and one elemental Skill. This way you spend your Elemental Skill charges faster, and you feel the necessity of using the Sacrificial Greatsword to reset the cooldown more often. The more Elemental Skill attacks you do, the more damage you deal.
The Elemental skill performs a forward slash that deals Pyro DMG, and is good to close moderate distance to the enemy. This skill can be used 3 times consecutively and enters CD if not cast again within a short period. The skill is pure Pyro damage, and doesn’t scale with Normal Attack damage multipliers. Each use creates Pyro Elemental Particles that return Energy back to Diluc and any Pyro character in the team. That’s why Diluc is very effective at regaining Energy even without investment in Energy recharge.
Sacrificial Greatsword will reset Searing Onslaught, allowing another three attacks, which deals good better damage, and recharge Energy. If you have a second Constellation for Chongyun, your Elemental Skill will have its CD time decreased by 15%. That cuts the CD from 10 seconds to 8.5 seconds, and with Sacrificial Greatsword, you can spam it nonstop for massive damage.
The Elemental Burst of Diluc is one of the highest damage talents in the game, with a massive AOE, and a mere 40 Energy Cost. It deals three types of damage, and on smaller enemies, repeats a DoT as the talent travels its path. On top of that, it buffs Diluc’s normal attack with Pyro buff, increasing damage and converting it to Pyro. It slashes, then summons a Phoenix that flies forward dealing DoT damage, and Explosion damage at the end. You will get to spam this on cooldown if you’ve got yourself a Sacrificial Greatsword or Skyward Pride.
To setup Diluc’s Elemental Burst for Melt, you use Chongyun‘s Elemental Burst first. Chongyun‘s Elemental Burst hits three times applying Cryo with each hit, so it will clear any elements with the first hit, ensuring Cryo is applied with the next two hits. Then the slashing damage will Melt, and the following hits will be normal Pyro damage.
Diluc, Darknight Hero Party Composition
Genshin Impact has a unique playstyle that depends on switching characters, and chaining combos across these characters. So a solid part of Diluc‘s build is knowing which characters will accompany him, and what roles they will play. In this section, I’ll fill you in on some of the best characters that synergise well with this build. I’ll only use Four Star characters here, to make sure it’s achievable for free to play players.
Chongyun is a four star character, which was featured as a rate up character in Zhongli‘s Wish Banner earlier this December. If you pulled enough wishes in this Banner, you might have unlocked one or two Constellations for him. He works as good support at zero Constellations, but with second Constellations, he’s simply a higher tier character. His Elemental Skill decreases the cooldown of all Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst in the party.
He can be used to apply crowd control by freezing, but we are more interested in his Cryo buff from his Elemental Skill, Spirit Blade. We simply put his Spirit Blade down, and switch him out.
In this party, we build him for support, in more than one way, so we use Instructor Set on him. This buffs Diluc with Elemental mastery, and increases his Melt and Vaporize damage.
We need Cryo Damage and some % Attack for some Elemental Burst damage, then we are free to add any stat in the game. Energy Recharge is good, but if your Chongyun dies too much, just add some HP for survivability. It’s just not very important to spend resources on him, put together anything you have, and he will still do his job.
In the Enabler role, you don’t need a special weapon for Chongyun, and that’s good, so he doesn’t compete with Diluc for weapons as they both utilize Claymores. We will not do normal attacks with him, pretty much ever. If we need to apply Cryo, we will use Chongyun‘s Elemental Skill, and use Diluc’s normal attacks which have a much better damage multiplier. The uptime of his Elemental Skill is long, so we don’t need a CD other than what he has from the second Constellation. That leaves only one useful weapon with Energy Recharge, which is the Favonius Greatsword.
Chongyun here equips four pieces of the Instructor Set and nothing else from start to finish. Elemental Mastery is a huge damage multiplier to all Elemental reactions, and the four pieces bonus gives Elemental Mastery to the entire party.
To have this set bonus always applied, we use either Xiangling‘s or Bennett‘s Elemental Skill, depending on whom you have. The goal is to apply the Pyro element first, then create a reaction with Chongyun‘s Elemental Skill. This ensures that the Elemental Mastery bonus is applied, before switching to Diluc. We need to wait 1 second or two before switching Chongyun out, to ensure the reaction happens while he’s an active character on the field.
Get a Cryo Damage Bonus as the main stat on Goblet, Attack on timepiece, and Attack on Headpiece. Alternatively, use % Attack on all three pieces. For sub stats, we get more Energy Recharge, and HP.
Our second Pyro character is a more flexible choice, we either use Bennett or Xiangling. With Xiangling dealing damage while switched out, and Bennett increasing damage for the whole party. I prefer Bennett for the additional healing he provides, especially in a Melee build without protective shields. We focus on his Elemental Burst, which creates an Inspiration Field. The Inspiration Field inflicts all enemies with Pyro, and interacts with characters depending on their percentage of HP. If a character has less than 70% HP, it heals them with the same amount based on Bennett‘s Max HP. If characters get their HP higher than 70%, they gain an Attack Buff, based on Bennett‘s Attack. So we can build Bennett as another backup heal, and backup damage buff.
We build Bennett with Percentage HP, to scale his healing, and Energy Recharge to maximize uptime of his Elemental Burst. Bennett‘s Attack buff scales with his Base Attack, which comes from leveling and Ascending him, and his weapon, and is not affected by Attack stat on Artifacts.
We need an Energy recharge weapon for Bennett. Both four stars, Favonius Sword and Sacrificial Sword are great for the job. It grants more damage and healing for the entire party if his Elemental Burst is up on cooldown, and Energy Recharge is great for this. If you can’t find a four star weapon, just use the three star weapon Skyrider Sword, as it has Energy Recharge as well, and better than any pure damage sword.
Use the Noblesse Oblige Artifact Set in endgame, and The Exile in early game. Noblesse Oblige buffs the Attack for the entire team, and is a five star set, so it will have better scaling and higher main as well as sub-stat. Overall, it’s better for healing. Stick with HP as the main stat as much as possible, and get Energy Recharge on sub-stats.
The Hydro slot in the party can be either Barbara or Xingqiu. With Xingqiu being better at supporting damage, and Barbara better at healing. If you can rely on Bennett as a sole healer, Xingqiu will be your choice. However, if you pulled for Diluc in the standard banner, you likely didn’t pull wishes in the Klee Banner (where Xingqiu was featured), so you probably don’t have Xingqiu at all. On the other hand, Barbara was guaranteed twice, for free, so we can use her.
Besides healing, the main reason we use a Hydro character is to apply Wet status to enemies. It doesn’t ruin the interaction between Cryo and Pyro, but complements it. If an enemy already has Cryo, and you apply Hydro, the enemy becomes frozen, which counts as Cryo. This way, you still cause a Melt reaction when you attack with Pyro. If an enemy has no specific element, and you apply wet, the enemy gets the Hydro element, and next Pyro which applies Vaporize. This has a 50% damage multiplier, and better than applying Pyro on null elements, and becoming an Aura. Hydro is also needed to bring down Pyro shields of some Abyssal mages, and Pyro Fatui in Spiral Abyss.
Build her all out in HP, and Healing Bonuses. Barbara is the last character you need to worry about, as you don’t have to maximize her levels or stats. While leveling, leave her at level 40, and at endgame get her to 60 for the last passive, and leave her there.
No matter how many times I stress how good Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers Catalyst is, it’s never enough. This weapon is just amazing for builds with the main damage dealer carry who stays on the field more than 10 seconds, and supports who don’t need to stay on the field for long, like Barbara. It’s surprisingly a very strong weapon for a three star. Mainly because the passive buff it gives is up to 48% Attack increased to the new character taking the field after Barbara. That’s why it’s important to switch to Barbara as the third character in your rotation, and switch to Diluc after her.
Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers is easy to refine to level 5, and cheap to level up, so it’s friendly for those who aim for Free to Play. Though, it’s not even that important to level it at all. Level 1 will give the same buff to your carry as a fully leveled weapon, you only miss small amounts of healing, which is not that crucial. Leave it at a low level, and save your resources for other crucial weapons that scale your party’s damage.
Maiden Beloved is ideal for healers, and the four piece bonus is amazing to help boost healing coming from both Barbara and Bennett. In early levels, use any pieces with good HP rolls without caring about Sets, then slowly replace them with Maiden Beloved as you level up.
Get HP as the main stat on every piece, and Healing Bonus on circlet if possible.
We hope you found this build useful, and hope it gives you a better idea of how to maximize Diluc’s potential.
Genshin Impact is available to play on PC, iOS, Android, and PS4. If you enjoyed this Genshin Impact Guide be sure to check out more on our Genshin Impact Wiki. You can also keep an eye out for more guides for Genshin Impact 1.2, and be sure to not miss our Genshin Impact Getting Started Guide, as well as our Genshin Impact Build: Chongyun, Frost Shattering Warrior