Genshin Impact Character Review – Xiao

Xiao is a 5-Star Anemo Polearm character from Liyue. He can only be obtained via the “Invitation of Mundane Life” event banner. In contrast to most Anemo characters who serve as support, Xiao is a selfish carry who deals highly raw Anemo DMG to his opponent(s).

When Xiao uses his Elemental Skill, “Lemnistatic Wind Cycling”, he dashes forward and deals Anemo DMG to anything in his path. By default, he has two charges to his Skill and he can use it in midair. Xiao’s Skill isn’t his main form of dealing DMG but it is nevertheless a powerful attack, thanks to a high multiplier and its ability to be used twice. The ability to use the Skill in midair won’t matter in endgame challenges such as the Spiral Abyss but it can come in handy in the open world. In combat, Xiao can jump and then use his Skill to immediately attack an enemy at a higher elevation. Xiao can also combine the Skill with his Charged Attack which, unlike with most Polearm characters, launches enemies in the air which then leaves them open to Xiao’s Skill and allowing the Yaksha to follow up with a Plunge Attack. Outside of combat, the dash is decent for exploration, allowing Xiao to cross some gaps with ease and glide further in the air.

Currently, Xiao is the only character in Genshin Impact whose playstyle revolves around Plunge Attacks. When Xiao activates his Elemental Burst, “Bane of Evil”, his jump is increased and he gains an Anemo Infusion, an increased AoE, and a DMG Bonus to all forms of his Normal Attacks. As trade offs, Xiao’s HP will continuously drain for the 15 seconds his Burst is up and all effects of his Burst will be cleared should he leave the field. While his Normal and Charged Attacks can hit pretty hard during this state, it’s obviously the Plunged Attacks that you want Xiao to execute. Plunge Attacks generally have high multipliers and Xiao’s are no exception. Since Xiao gains an increased jump, he is free to abuse these multipliers to his heart’s content and thanks to the increased AoE, he is able to decimate multiple enemies at once. It’s a very basic playstyle but the deadliness is hard to deny.

A major disadvantage to Bane of Evil is its fairly high Energy cost of 70. Lemnistatic Wind Cycling gives 3 Anemo particles if it hits at least 1 opponent, 6 in total if you use both charges. But unless you sacrifice some offense for Energy Recharge, Xiao’s Skill is generally not enough to reliably get his ult back. Furthermore, Lemnistatic Wind Cycling does not generate any particles while Xiao is under the effects of Bane of Evil. You pretty much have to spam both charges before using the ult and prefunnel the Energy into Xiao or use them after the ult (the latter of which is less ideal for a Rotation). Anemo Resonance isn’t that useful apart from the 5% Cooldown reduction of Elemental Skills but for Xiao to reliably get his Elemental Burst without stacking on Energy Recharge, having another Anemo character as a battery is pretty much mandatory. 

For an Anemo battery, Jean is arguably the best choice. She has access to a Favonius Sword, which can generate neutral Energy when she CRITs, and her Elemental Skill, Gale Blade, already generates 3 Anemo Particles by default. In addition to providing Energy, Jean can also heal her team with her Elemental Burst, Dandelion Breeze. That said, Jean is a standard 5-Star character so getting her at all is purely by chance (even if you’re a whale). If you don’t have Jean, your next best option is Sucrose. Sucrose provides 4 Anemo particles if her Skill hits at least one enemy. Her Skill is on a 15 second cooldown but that’s a non-issue for Xiao since the latter needs to spend 15 seconds Plunge Attacking anyway. 

Outside of an Anemo battery, it doesn’t matter too much who you team Xiao with. As an Anemo character, the only Elemental Reaction Xiao can personally proc is Swirl and with raw DMG being his forte, Xiao won’t be too concerned with which Element he swirls. Xiao can just use Physical attacks to deal with any Anemo Immune enemy and if you don’t want him to do that, just about any other character will do (well, anyone besides Amber). You could bring certain Elements to deal with certain Shields but since Plunge Attacks count as Blunt Attacks, Xiao is capable of breaking almost every Shield in the game while using his Elemental Burst. He might be less efficient at breaking shields in the Spiral Abyss but at that point, it’s probably better to plan around that and bring a different character anyway. Looking for teammates for Xiao thus boils down to who can further his DPS or improve his survivability, of which you have a lot of options to choose from.

Xiao is the premier Anemo carry in Genshin Impact. Admittedly, he’s the only one so he gets that title by default but he’s nevertheless a strong unit. His Plunge Attack spamming, basic though it may be, is unique and it will annihilate just about anything so long as they’re not immune to Anemo.

Thanks for reading!

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