Genshin Impact: Which Build Is Right For You? (1st Anniversary Edition)

Genshin Impact: Which Build Is Right For You? (1st Anniversary Edition)

Last updated on October 5th, 2021

In this Genshin Impact article we’re going to explore what build is right for you. In order to celebrate the first anniversary of Genshin Impact, I thought it would be a good idea to put an index guide for the builds I have made, and help players choose the right one for them. It isn’t always straightforward how to pick the best build for you or your team, as it involves a lot of factors. I’ve seen this question surface many times on reddit, and the community Discord: “I have these characters, help me build the right teams” or, “I have these characters, which other ones should I wish for?” So I thought it would be useful to help answer those questions with this guide, to help you pick your own team, and especially if you are Free to Play.

Genshin Impact: Which Build Is Right For You?

The first thing to establish when choosing a Genshin Impact Build is quite obvious and that is what characters you have already and how many constellations you have for them, especially for four-star characters. That’s one major factor to keep in mind while theory-crafting your team, or picking one of our builds.

Guaranteed Characters Everyone Has

Genshin Impact is a gacha game, where luck is the main source of getting new characters and weapons. It might be a sad truth for those who hate gambling in-game, but that’s not the whole story. Since Genshin Impact guarantees every single player a lot of characters, aside from the gacha system. There are 7 characters that are given to every single player, by merely playing the game, regardless of when they play. Then there are characters that are granted as event completion rewards, and you get more of these by playing the game longer and finishing more events.

Genshin Impact Seven Free Characters

You get at least one free character with one of the six playable elements in the game, and then a second Pyro character. They also cover all the five weapon archetypes, so they give you a nice starting selection. These characters are:

Among these characters, only Kaeya and Xiangling can play a main damage dealer role with low investment. However, they are better suited to play a support role, because their power will be added to another character power for a higher DPS ceiling. But overall, they are the best free characters worth investing, in both short-term and long-term. On the other hand, Noelle can be a damage dealer at endgame, with high investment, exactly at (C6). Barbara is a suitable healer for a few teams, but not the best healer you should aim for. Lisa is the least valuable character outside of early levels build unless you have no other Electro characters at all.

The Main Character (the Traveler) is a very nice support in both Anemo and Geo elements, as long as you don’t have a five-star replacement. However, Electro MC is probably worse than four-star supports in 95% of cases.

The importance of sorting the starting characters out is to build the foundation of how you pick your final build from gacha banner choices later.

Event Characters

Throughout the lifespan of Genshin Impact, MiHoYo gave away several four-star characters as event rewards. During the 1st anniversary event, they will be giving a five-star character from the collaboration event for all platforms (Playstation gained Aloy in Patch 2.1). These characters are:

Who you have among these, depends on when you started to play, and how many events you’ve finished. These characters are much more useful and can be used much a wider range of team combinations. Among them, Ningguang can be the main damage dealer, Xinyan, Fischl, and Chongyun can also double as a main DPS or support. While Xingqiu, Diona, and Beidou are some of the best supports in the entire game. They open up so many choices for builds, later in the game.

You can build an entire team with only free characters, and still, be quite competitive. For example, a team of Fischl, Beidou, Diona, and Anemo MC is a solid Meta team that can beat all content in-game. This focus on Electro and Physical damage, with either Fischl or Beidou as the Carry. Diona as a healer and a source of Superconduct, and Anemo MC using Viridescent Venerer to shred Electro Resistance.

On the other hand, a party with Xiangling, as main a DPS, will always be better with Bennett, a non-guaranteed character. Xiangling will most likely need both Chongyun, and Xingqiu, or Sucrose and Xingqiu. So you need to start considering picking the powerful, four-star, support characters from limited banners, which is the next milestone in building your account.

What Support Characters Do You Need and Which Need High Constellations?

When it comes to four-star characters, most of them work fine at low or high Constellations, with some benefiting more than others from unlocking their Constellations. Being a four-star, they are easier to obtain, level up, and unlock their Constellations. But that needs time, resources, and Primogems. So being smart about what characters you choose to rank up is a key for success in challenging the hardest content in Genshin.

Universal Best Supports

Genshin Impact relies on creating a team, and switching characters. With that team you need to fulfill several roles to make it function. Usually, a character can fill one role, but in some cases such as strong support characters, they can fill more than one role. That’s what makes them best for the job, since they free up more party slots, and increase party efficiency.

Pyro supports
  • Bennett, Healer, Attack buffer, Pyro resonance, Pyro Aura for Melt teams, and sub DPS/carry in some comps. Excels at C1 and C2
  • Xiangling, Off-field DPS, off-field Pyro aura, enables reverse melt, main or sub DPS, buffer in mono Pyro teams. Excels at C4 and C6
Hydro supports
  • Xingqiu, Off-field Hydro Aura and DPS, enable reverse vape, energy battery, damage reduction, resistance to interrupts, minor healing. Excels at C1, and C6
Cryo supports
  • Kaeya, off-field Cryo aura and DPS, enables permanent freeze and Physical, energy battery, enables quick swap teams. Good with no Constellations.
  • Rosaria, off-field DPS and Cryo aura, enables permanent freeze and physical, Crit Rate buffer. Excels at C2. C6 buff physical teams.
  • Diona, second-highest shield, healer, enables physical teams, energy battery for Cryo. Excels at C1 and C2. C6 buff Melt teams.
Anemo supports
  • Sucrose, gathering, elemental resistance shred, EM buff for reaction teams, enables mono element teams. Excels at C1, C2, and C6.
  • Sayu, elemental resistance shred, healer, enables mono element teams, fill downtime on main DPS. Excels at C1 and C6.
Electro supports
  • Beidou, off-field DPS, AOE, enable physical and mono electro teams, Electro res shred, shield, resistance to interrupts. Require at minimum C2.
  • Fischl, best single target off-field DPS, Electro Aura, enable physical, Electro charged, Overload, and Over-Vape teams. Excels at C0, and C6.
  • Kujou Sara, Attack buffer, burst DPS. Excels at C2, and C6.
Geo supports

Geo support characters are five-star only. They are some of the best supports in the entire game, especially Zhongli, he enables so many Geo and none-Geo comps.

  • Zhongli, all resistance shred, enable elemental, Geo, Anemo and Physical teams, best shield, resistance to interrupts, long CC. Needs no Constellations.
  • Albedo , Off-field AOE DPS, Crystalize shields, EM buffer, high invulnerability frames. Needs no Constellations.

It’s important to mention that you don’t need all these supports, since any account needs only two teams. So 8 characters including the main damage dealer, and maybe one or two additional swap characters. On average, 8 support characters and two main damage dealers on an account is ideal. You get to choose your supports depending on which type of teams you intend to build. That’s the next major factor in deciding your build.

How to Arrange Your Support characters Over Two Abyss Teams

On other hand, some support characters will be the limiting factor in your team building. Characters such as Bennett, Xiangling, and Xingqiu enable so many different teams, and when you build one team with either of them, sometimes you can’t build whole other archetypes. Xingqiu is wanted in any freeze team, as well as reverse vaporize team, as well as electrocharged and Over-Vape teams. So you get to pick only one Archetype from these for a team, and build the other teams from other archetypes that don’t require Xingqiu.

The same goes for Bennett who enables an even wider range of builds; such as Reverse Melt, Forward Melt, Overload, Overvape, and especially any build involving Xiangling, since he’s the ideal energy battery for Xiangling. So if you build Raiden Shogun for example, and go with her best team that consists of herself, Bennett, Xiangling, and Xingqiu, you pretty much screws your other team. If you have used all these supports in one team, your second team is locked out of the most popular options. For instance, your Ganyu can’t Freeze without Xingqiu, and she can’t reverse melt without Xiangling and Bennett. So she needs to build her most expensive alternative with Mona and Venti, which you probably don’t have if you are free to play.

You might end up running expensive mono Anemo or Geo second team with expensive five-star characters to compensate for missing all these support characters that went into the first team. So be careful while wishing for characters, and building your account.

Quick examples of good two Abyss teams

A good team is one that doesn’t starve the account of all top tier enablers supports, and leaves room for other teams to shine as well. Here are some examples in no particular order:

What Team Archetype is Right for You?

Usually, the team Archetype is usually determined by the element of the main DPS. Or in the case of an element having too many different reactions, it’s determined by the exact reaction your main DPS can create. Then there are mixed teams that utilize more than one reaction, but these are usually limited.

Reverse Melt Teams

Melt is one of the highest DPS reactions in-game, it’s amplifying reaction, that increases damage of the hit that causes Melt. So it prefers a heavy setup towards using Pyro support characters to apply Pyro Aura, and the main damage dealer causes massive damage with their Cryo ability. The prime example of such teams is Ganyu Reverse teams, then the rest of the teams listed on our Reverse Melt tier list. Here’s the main Pros & Cons of Reverse Melt teams:

Pros
  • Very high Cryo damage, and usually highest DPS in-game.
  • Have room for the Pyro support to also deal damage.
  • All Cryo characters can deal damage off-field.
  • Can either focus on dealing damage with skills, or with Normal and Charged Attacks.
  • Have good free-to-play weapon choices.
  • Best Pyro support for Reverse Melt is free (Xiangling).
  • Have ranged and Melee options.
Cons
  • Have no Crowd control, due to the lack of freeze.
  • Can get interrupted and killed by aggressive enemies, unless you add five-star characters with CC.
  • Requires attention to rotations, to not miss the big damage.
  • Enemy shields are a problem for this team.
  • Harder to use for a new player

Reverse Vaporize Teams

Vaporize is similar to Melt, an amplifying reaction that increases the damage of original hit, rather than proccing new instance of damage. It’s also reliant on a heavy setup to apply Hydro Aura, then Proc Vaporize with Pyro characters. Vaporize having a wider range of main damage dealers, but a more strict roster of Hydro supports. These are some of top DPS in this category, such as Diluc, Hu Tao, Xiangling and Yanfei. While some others such as Klee, apply too much Pyro, they struggle to build Reverse Vaporize team. For more details on such teams, check out our Reverse Pyro Vaporize Tier List, and Hu Tao Guide to Sublimation. Here are the Pros & Cons of Reverse Vaporize teams:

Pros
  • Very high Pyro damage.
  • Have either good resistance to interrupts from Xingqiu, or CC from Mona.
  • Pyro resonance is good for party damage.
  • Many versatile options for main DPS, Ranged and Melee.
  • Have no energy issue.
  • Easier to use, with minimum knowledge of the game mechanics.
Cons
  • Usually requires gacha weapons to realize full potential.
  • Hydro roster is very limited, with half the options being expensive five star.
  • Have limited off-field DPS.
  • Most Pyro DPS can’t hit enemies in Venti Burst.

Permanent freeze teams

Freeze is a defensive reaction that stops enemies from moving and attaching. It requires Cryo and Hydro element, where Cryo characters usually play the DPS role. The main strength of the Permanent freeze teams come from the artifact set Blizzard Strayer, which gives a 15% Cryo damage bonus, and an insane 40% Crit Rate. On top of the additional 15% Crit Rate from Cryo Resonance. It enables characters to build pure Crit Damage artifacts and weapons, and goes great heights in DPS. Check out Ayaka The Snow Bird build for more details on how these teams work. Here’s the main Pros & Cons of Freeze teams:

Pros
  • Very high Cryo damage.
  • Works very well with Mona‘s Burst and Venti‘s Burst.
  • Have either good resistance to interrupts from Xingqiu, or CC from Mona.
  • Cryo resonance is the best in-game.
  • Frozen enemies require less dodging, and gives a longer window to DPS.
  • Has a good selection of free weapons.
Cons
  • Hydro roster is very limited, with half the options being expensive five star.
  • The only four star hydro option Xingqiu doesn’t work with Ganyu‘s Charged Attacks.
  • With two Cryo DPS characters, and one Hydro character, you are forced to use Anemo healer.
  • It needs a lot of practice to master the rotation to actually keep enemies frozen.
  • The best main DPS for freeze teams consist only of five star cryo units (Ayaka, Ganyu).
  • Four star characters need Chongyun to enable them, which is a DPS loss compared to five star teams.

Physical Teams

Physical takes on the attack type of a Normal Attack for all characters, with the exception of Catalyst users. However, not all characters are able to be physical damage dealers, due to the elemental nature of their skills, or the ability to convert their normal attacks to elemental ones. But still, the physical DPS category is broad and versatile, as you can see in our Physical tier list. It’s obvious that the majority of physical builds will prioritize using a superconduct reaction to shred enemy physical resistance. However, Superconduct is strictly a reaction between Electro and Cryo Elements, so if the physical character is a none Electro nor Cryo, they might find other combinations viable without Superconduct.

An example of this is two Pyro, and two Geo teams with Xinyan and Zhongli, then a second Pyro and second Geo. While a standard Xinyan in a superconduct team looks like our build Xinyan, The Dragonspine Explorer, which is a nice team for exploring the open-world.

Both Fischl, the Night raven, and Razor, the incredible wolf are physical builds with electro characters. With Razor Build easily realizing a huge portion of his full potential, because of the natural synergy of Fischl and Xingqiu as support characters to Razor. While Fischl’s build enjoys a ranged playstyle, but leaves something to be desired since there are newer characters that released that can support Fischl better.

Pros
  • Superconduct ensures that no enemy has a high resistance to physical.
  • Using Electro supports such as Beidou or Fischl add huge off-field DPS, improving team DPS.
  • Some Cryo supports also have off-field DPS.
  • Doesn’t need Bennett to function, so it works well as the second Abyss team.
  • Can make good use of the newly released Electro Archon Baal as support.
Cons
  • Lower damage ceiling, even if you main Eula, she’s still lowers DPS than top Cryo and Pyro DPS.
  • Doesn’t work with Venti‘s Burst.
  • Have mostly Melee options, which need more protection.
  • Some top physical DPS characters have better builds (Zhongli)
  • Can’t utilize strong buffs from Anemo characters.

Geo teams

We have dedicated a Geo tier list for this kind of team. There are all kinds of Geo teams, with quick-swap teams, and hyper-carry teams. But what’s common between them all, is that Geo characters can support each other. So it’s possible to have a mono Geo team, with four Geo characters, and it will function very well. While some rare Zhongli teams rely on Elemental Skill resonance with Geo traveler constructs. Other teams rely on Burst DPS of Zhongli and Ningguang. Overall, Geo is a very solid element on its own, or with other elements, and has some of the decent teams. They can face hardest-hitting enemies and live to tell the tale, even though its clear time might be a bit slower than other teams.

A build that has been solid since launch, up until the very latest version of the game is Noelle, The Invulnerable Maid. Noelle has the survivability, damage, AOE, and versatility for all content in-game, be it Abyss, open world, or challenges. But it requires heavy investment, and at the very least C6 Noelle to start with.

On other hand, Ningguang, The Geo Empress build is more of a single target focuse, and requires some precise rotations to fully utilize it. It works without C6 Ningguang, but gains a heavy advantage at C6, so keep this in mind.

Pros
  • Very tanky builds, survivability is the main advantage here.
  • Geo resonance is self-sustained, and teams can go mono Geo.
  • Can make good use of the newly released Electro Archon Baal as support.
  • Albedo provide good off field AOE dps.
  • Can play quick swap or hyper-carry teams.
  • Have good access to free weapons, especially for Zhongli shield bot, and Noelle carry.
Cons
  • Generally lower damage overall.
  • Can’t utilize strong buffs from Anemo characters.
  • Energy-hungry characters like Noelle need several batteries.
  • Four-star Geo characters don’t really hone their power before C6
  • Geo support characters are five-star, and require a lot of Primogems to get.

Anemo Teams

Anemo characters are mostly support, with Xiao being the main exception. Kazuha can be a sub DPS, or even main DPS with whale-level investment, but we mainly treat him as a support. Xiao is similar to Noelle, that he requires Anemo batteries in his teams to provide him energy. But contrary to Geo, Anemo DPS Xiao is a glass cannon. With severe survivability issues, but massive damage output. He doesn’t utilize Swirl reactions, so his teams are fairly straightforward. He prefers Zhongli as support for Anemo resistance shred and shield, and he also goes well with Anemo healers such as Jean. This make such an Anemo team the most expensive team in Genshin Impact prior to Sayu’s release. If you want more info about the Anemo role overall, or Xiao hyper-carry teams, check our Anemo Swirl tier list.

Pros
  • Very high DPS potential, can compete for third spot highest DPS character.
  • Hyper carry characters require less Resin spent on their support characters.
  • Top-down playstyle, allowing main DPS to ignore most ground effects.
  • Doesn’t have complicated rotations.
Cons
  • Very expensive to build, as both characters and weapons need a lot of Primogems.
  • Fragile main DPS, a glass cannon.
  • Anemo resonance is not impressive.
  • Energy hungry that need several batteries.
  • The topdown playstyle can be dizzy to watch, hard to focus on.

Overload teams

The reaction between Pyro and Electro is Overload, a transformative reaction with decent damage and AOE explosion. Overload is usually an annoying reaction for melee characters, since it sends small enemies flying further away from you. However, Overload has its niche use with ranged characters, such as Yoimyia, Yanfei, and sometimes Klee. If built correctly, Overload becomes the best choice of team for ranged a DPS focused playstyle. It not only uses characters with the longest range keeping out of harms way, but also keeps enemies at arms length by knocking them back, preventing them from reaching your team.

Overload teams prefer to use a Pyro carry with a fast attack speed, to enable top electro supports such as Fischl, Beidou, and Baal to realize their off-field DPS full potential. You can build your main carry for forward damage, Reaction damage with EM, or hybrid. The reason is that support characters apply Electro Aura, and your carry has the chance to proc the Overload by themselves. Overload does AOE damage, so if enemies are close together, it can shotgun enemies for a great damage increase.

If you are interested in making an Overload team, check out Yanfei The Smoky Scarlet Witch ranged build, and Keqing The Driving Thunder Melee Build. Keep an eye out for our Yoimyia guide in the coming weeks.

Pros
  • Decent damage, and with all components in place, team damage can compete with top hyper carries.
  • Good energy regeneration, making rotation smooth.
  • Safer to play with all knockback from Overload.
  • Can utilize Venti‘s Burst, especially with Lisa.
  • Very good at a single target, and especially perfect against two enemies with Beidou.
  • Electro skills can utilize Bennett to snapshot his Attack buff.
Cons
  • Requires a lot of resin and time to build more than one DPS character in team.
  • Strict party composition, with predefined teams, and no room for flexible slots.
  • Electro supports prefer high Constellations for consistent Electro Aura.
  • Repeated knockbacks can get enemies out of range, even for long-range characters.

Electrocharged Teams

Electrocharged is a reaction created when Hydro meets Electro. It’s a reaction that has a condition where it doesn’t consume the elements involved. That enables some unique combos for some characters. Electrocharged itself has deals less damage, but its damage can be repeated twice, and with characters such as Childe and Xingqiu who apply Hydro rapidly, they can also proc it consistently.

Similar to Overload, Electrocharged use top Electro supports such as Fischl, Beidou, and Baal. They deal massive off-field damage in Electrocharged teams, especially Fischl with her Fourth Ascension passive that procs with every electro reaction, and has no cooldown. Electrocharged stun enemies briefly, to add some AOE crowd control, without knocking them out of reach.

Since Electrocharged keeps both Electro and Hydro elements on the enemy, it can be a medium for other reactions also. Its compatible with Pyro, proccing both Overload and Vaporize, or what’s known as Over-Vape.

Pros
  • Heavy reaction-based builds, with steady procs of Fischl Ascension passive.
  • Good energy regeneration, making rotation smooth.
  • Can run free-to-play teams with only four stars.
  • Electrocharged mix well with other team archetypes, such as Geo, Overload, and physical.
  • Some decent crowd control.
Cons
  • Less damage than Overload.
  • Require heavy investment in several team members.
  • Require some setup to use effectively
  • long rotations with Childe or Xingqiu

Forward Melt & Forward Vaporize

These combos are rarely used in Meta, since you can hardly proc forward amplifying reactions. The reason is, the stronger element such as Pyro in melt teams tend to leave a stronger aura on enemies. That makes proccing Melt with Pyro several times a lot harder, so you sacrifice consistent damage for one or two stronger procs every rotation. That can work for burst builds, but are not ideal for sustained DPS.

Forward Vaporize relies on vaporizing the second part of Mona Elemental Burst, for a massive single hit that goes up to six digits number. For maximum damage it requires a very specific setup, with several damage amplifying support characters such as Bennett, and Sucrose. Another instance of huge forward Vaporize is Childe‘s burst in Melee form, with a less complicated setup. If you want a basic vaporize build with Mona, check out Mona The Divination Witch build.

Forward Melt is usually more forgiving with Hu Tao and Diluc, since frozen enemies are considered to have a Cryo aura. Cryo support such as Kaeya have very frequent Cryo applications, he can freeze enemies frequently if Xingqiu is present. So you can alternate between forward Melt and reverse Vaporize for excellent damage. These setups are still considered Reverse Vaporize builds, and sacrifice an Anemo support buff for the sake of the extra damage from melt. However, there’s one true forward Melt arrangement with Bennett as the carry, two Cryo supports, and an Anemo buffer. That build can consistently Melt Bennett‘s Elemental Skill, and output a surprisingly great amount of damage.

Check out Diluc The Darknight Hero, Klee The Short Fuse, or the more optimized Hu Tao The Sublime Build  for examples of forward Melt builds.

Pros
  • The highest “damage per screenshot” you can get.
  • Easier to execute with heavy investment, since you can one-shot entire floors.
Cons
  • Some of the most complicated builds, with very specific combos, and little to no room for mistakes.
  • Forward reactions struggle to output steady damage unless you build for reverse reaction as well.
  • Very expensive resin-wise.
  • Have energy problems, since all team members are built for damage.

This should wrap up the majority of build archetypes in Genshin Impact. If you enjoyed this Genshin Impact Guide be sure to check out even more info on our Genshin Impact Wiki. You can also keep an eye out for more guides and Tier lists for the upcoming version 2.2. We wish you a Happy 1st Genshin Impact Anniversary, and good luck with exploring this wonderful world!

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Arab hardcore PC gamer, I'm from Egypt, and I've been gaming on PC and writing since 2003. I do Fan fiction, forums Role Playing, and guides for games. I joined Fextralife by Jan 2018, to share my views and ideas on the hobbit we all enjoy and love, Gaming. Favorite genres: RPG, ARPG, Third Person, Isometric, Hack&Slash, and Adventure. Occasionally I'd dip in MMOs, Simulation, or Strategy.

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