Tartaglia, a.k.a. Childe, is a 5-Star Hydro Bow character from Snezhnaya. He can only be obtained via the “Farewell of Snezhnaya” Event Banner. Tartaglia serves as a selfish carry with a strong emphasis on Cooldown and Rotation management.
In lieu of the standard Elemental Infusion seen on many carries, Tartaglia can alternate between two different combat stances via his Elemental Skill, “Foul Legacy: Raging Tide”. By default, he is in Ranged Stance and plays like any other Bow character in the game. Upon pressing the Skill button however, Tartaglia will conjure melee weapons made out of water and deal Hydro DMG at close range. Pressing the Skill button again will revert Tartaglia back into Ranged Stance and put the Skill on Cooldown.
Also unique to Tartaglia is the “Riptide” status, a mark that causes enemies to suffer from AoE Hydro DMG in different ways depending on Tartaglia’s combat stance. In Ranged Stance, he simply needs to fire a Charged Shot to apply Riptide and this will trigger the “Riptide Flash” effect, dealing continuous DMG onto enemies. Defeating an opponent while they’re affected by Riptide will trigger the “Riptide Burst” which will cause an explosion and pass Riptide onto other nearby opponents. In Melee Stance, Tartaglia will need his A4 passive to allow his melee attacks to apply Riptide on every CRIT. Not only can Tartaglia trigger both “Riptide Flash” and “Riptide Burst’ while in Melee Stance, a melee attack from him will also trigger the “Riptide Slash” effect for additional AoE DMG.
There are really only two instances where it’s preferable to use Tartaglia in Ranged Stance. The first is to snipe at enemies and their weak points from a distance before closing in on them. The second is so that Tartaglia can Plunge Attack because for some idiotic reason, miHoYo did not program one in for his Melee Stance (and has seemingly refused to do so ever since Tartaglia came out). That’s about it. For combat, Melee Stance is the way to go. Both stances have separate multipliers and aren’t that much different from each other. However, Melee Stance will always be stronger as it can scale off of Hydro DMG Bonus, which you want on Tartaglia and can give to him through his Ascensions and Artifacts. Furthermore, Melee Stance has the added benefit of triggering “Riptide Slash”, which greatly adds to Tartaglia’s DPS, especially in mob encounters.
The only disadvantage to Tartaglia’s Melee Stance is its Cooldown. The longer you have the Harbinger stay in Melee Stance, the longer its Cooldown will be once you revert back to the Ranged Stance. Should you have Tartaglia fight for the full 30 second Skill duration, he’ll be stuck with a woeful max cooldown of 45 seconds. And unlike other characters with Elemental Infusions, Tartalgia’s Cooldown does not start until he reverts back to Ranged Stance. If your Cooldown ends up being 45 seconds, you’re going to have to deal with those full 45 seconds. In the open world, you can technically just stand and wait or have Tartaglia run laps around the enemy until the Cooldown finishes (it’s just really boring to do). But for challenging or prolonged content such as the Spiral Abyss, you’ll have to play your Rotation close to the vest. As soon as your other units’ Talents expire, it’s best to also revert Tartaglia back to Ranged Stance so that his Cooldown is clocked around the time it takes to reset everything. Even so, there may still be some downtime so it’d be wise to have someone who can tide things over until Tartaglia can enter Melee Stance again.
Anyone can technically fill this role (well, anyone besides Amber), just bear in mind that if said unit is of a different Element than Tartaglia, you will have to consider a different Elemental Reaction from whatever Tartaglia is utilizing or have said unit just be so strong that Reactions won’t matter. If you want your backup to be a Hydro character so that you can use the same Reactions as Tartaglia, there unfortunately isn’t a lot of options at the moment. The most F2P-friendly Hydro characters are Barbara and Xingiqu. The former can’t easily be a carry without sacrificing her healing and the latter works best off field so neither really work. Kokomi fulfills this niche the best with her Elemental Burst. You ideally want to save her Burst for when you need to heal the whole team but with Tartaglia, Energy will be less of an issue for Kokomi so you can get away with spamming said Burst. That said, the duo isn’t F2P-friendly as both Tartaglia and Kokomi are limited 5-Stars. Bear in mind also that the Hydro Resonance isn’t particularly great. It gives your whole team Incoming Healing Bonus, which is redundant if you have Kokomi on your team (or any dedicated healer really).
Tartaglia’s Elemental Burst, “Havoc: Obliteration” performs differently depending on which stance Tartaglia is in upon casting the Talent. In Ranged Stance, Tartaglia will fire a Hydro infused arrow and deal AoE DMG, applying Riptide onto anyone that gets hit. It also returns 20 Energy to him. In Melee Stance, he will instead perform a spin attack and trigger “Riptide Blast”, an effect that clears Riptide from enemies and triggers a Hydro explosion in the process. For maximum DMG, you want to use the Melee version. It boasts a substantially higher multiplier than the Ranged one. At Lv. 6, the Melee and Ranged versions have a multiplier of 649.6% and 529.76% respectively, a 119.84% difference. Keep in mind that this does not take the Riptide Blast into account which counts as a separate hit. I would however argue that the Ranged version isn’t completely obsolete, thanks to its 20 Energy refund. That effectively reduces the Energy cost of Tartaglia’s Burst from 60 to 40, thereby lessening the need for Energy Recharge and potentially allow you to better focus on building ATK and CRIT on Tartaglia.
For Elemental Reactions, Tartaglia excels with Electro-Charged and Vaporize. This is because there are a couple of Electro and Pyro units who can apply their Elements off field while Tartaglia is in Melee Stance. An Electro-Charged can involve either Fischl or Beidou (or both if you want). Xiangling is currently your only option for off field Pyro DMG in a Vaporize comp but since she is a permanently free character, her being the only option doesn’t really matter. Either comp shouldn’t have issues with Internal Cooldown. Tartaglia attacks really quickly and Fischl and Beidou can coordinate with Normal Attacks so the DPS should bypass ICD. Xiangling meanwhile just ignores ICD entirely with her Elemental Burst, ensuring Vaporize triggers every time said Burst hits. Something to keep in mind is that Tartaglia is not necessarily the one to trigger your desired Elemental Reaction. The faster attacker is usually the one who enables the Reaction rather than triggers it. It’s therefore best not to slouch on building Tartaglia’s supports to ensure you get the most bonus DMG out of your desired Reaction.
You can use Frozen with Tartaglia and there are certain situations where it can be preferred, such as fighting against Wooden Shieldwall Mitachurls. There are also plenty off field Cryo supports such as Kaeya, Rosaria, and Qiqi. The comp does come across to me as less popular as the two best ways to compensate for Frozen’s lack of bonus DMG is Cryo Resonance and the Blizzard Strayer Artifact set, both of which gives free CRIT Rate when fighting against Frozen enemies. Since Tartaglia is a Hydro unit, he technically doesn’t have direct access to either. You can just team Tartaglia with two Cryo characters for Resonance though I hesitate to recommend equipping Blizzard Strayer. The CRIT Rate is nice but the Cryo DMG Bonus provided by the set’s two-piece effect would obviously be wasted on Tartaglia. Unless miHoYo provides a new Hydro Artifact set that encourages a Frozen comp, I much prefer using Tartaglia in an Electro-Charged or Vaporize comp.
Like with every 5-Star character, I can only recommend getting Constellations if you absolutely have the money to burn. It may however be worthwhile to try and at least get Tartaglia’s first Constellation. This one reduces his Elemental Skill’s cooldown by 20% which is extremely helpful with managing your Rotation. It’s the Constellation level that I personally have Tartaglia at. Unfortunately, the second most desirable Constellation appears to be the sixth and final one. One of the most infamous C6s in all of Genshin, this upgrade gives Tartaglia a complete reset of his Skill when he uses his Elemental Burst in Melee Stance. Provided that he has sufficient Energy Recharge, this allows Tartaglia to fully act as a carry. While not necessarily a DPS boost, it’s a huge quality of life improvement and I don’t blame anyone for finding it tempting to pull for. That said, it is C6 and that potentially costs you hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Tartaglia is currently the only (intended) Hydro carry in Genshin so by default, he ranks as the best one. Even so, he is a very strong unit in his own right, being able to tear through mobs with his Hydro attacks and having strong synergy with various support units. The Cooldown on his Elemental Skill is pretty contentious and I’d be lying if I said I don’t prefer units who don’t require this much management. But so long as you do know how to manage it and play Tartaglia in a Rotation, you should be fine.
Thanks for reading!