Keqing is a 5-Star Electro Sword character from Liyue. One of the five standard 5-Star characters in Genshin Impact, Keqing can be obtained through the standard banner or when you lose the character banner’s 50/50 mechanic. She is also obtainable via the “Dance of Lanterns” event banner but I wouldn’t count on it rerunning anytime soon, if ever. Keqing serves as a carry who can either deal Electro DMG or Physical DMG.
When Keqing uses her Elemental Skill, “Stellar Restoration”, she throws a “Lightning Stiletto” onto her target, dealing Electro DMG in a small AoE and leaving behind a “Stiletto Mark”. By default, she automatically throws the Stiletto at whoever she’s auto-locked onto but you can alternatively hold the Skill button to manually aim the stiletto. There are then two options for what Keqing can do next. Press the Skill button and Keqing will teleport to the Stiletto Mark, clearing it and dealing AoE Electro DMG. Her A1 passive will then trigger and give her an Electro Infusion for 5 seconds. Alternatively, Keqing can perform a Charged Attack to clear the Stiletto Mark to deal AoE Electro DMG at its location. This will not trigger the A1 passive and Keqing’s Normal Attacks will continue to deal Physical DMG as she normally would.
How you use Keqing’s Skill will dictate if you want her to be built as an Electro carry or a Physical one. Technically, a Physical build is easier to get into for a couple of reasons. Keqing has access to a Prototype Rancour, which Genshin gives to all players for free when they reach AR 10. There are plenty of Cryo units who can synergize with Keqing for Superconduct. Physical DMG allows Keqing to fight all enemies in the game, including those immune to Electro. That said, Keqing’s best AoE attacks are Electro-based and endgame challenges such as Spiral Abyss typically favors AoE for efficient clearing. Also, all of Keqing’s Constellations enhance an Electro build and while getting her more than once can be difficult, it is something to keep in mind in the long run. Because of these points as well as the subjective opinion that it’s not fun to not teleport in a video game, I personally prefer to play Keqing with an Electro build.
Regardless of how you build Keqing, her main source of DMG as a carry is her Charged Attack. It is the second best scaling Charged Attack for a Sword character, only slightly losing to Ayaka’s by a small percentage. Thanks to Keqing’s direct access to an Electro Infusion and Superconduct, it is very easy to augment her Charged Attack DMG in either of her two go-to builds. The only caveats to the Charged Attack is its Stamina consumption and its knockback effect on lightweight enemies. Keqing particularly has the Stamina issue worse than other Sword characters as, for reasons beyond anyone’s understanding but miHoYo’s, her Charged Attack costs 25 Stamina instead of standard 20. The knockback effect can be addressed by jump or dash canceling towards your target though this can be annoying to consistently do and dash canceling obviously doesn’t address the Stamina concern. If knockback and Stamina becomes problematic in a fight, you can always just use the usual Normal Attack combo, which still ranks as her second best attack string.
When Keqing uses her Elemental Burst, “Starward Sword”, she teleports around the field to perform 10 instances of Electro DMG. The multipliers vary between hits, with the second to ninth hit sharing a particularly low number. Added up altogether however, the ult is Keqing’s best AoE attack. It is also extremely reliable, only costing 40 Energy and taking just 12 seconds to cool down. Regardless of how you build Keqing, you should always cast the ult whenever it’s available in order to trigger her A4 Passive. The passive provides her with a valuable 15% buff to her CRIT Rate and Energy Recharge for 8 seconds every time she uses her ult.
Elemental Reactions to opt for will depend on how you build Keqing. For an Electro build, Keqing can use Electro-Charged and/or Overload. The former is more consistent if only because the latter has a knockback effect on lightweight enemies, which synergizes poorly with Keqing when she’s trying to spam her Charged Attack. Overload does however count as a Blunt attack, which can be useful in dealing with enemy Geo Shields.
Viable supports for an Electro Keqing are admittedly a little limited. The only one viable for an Overload comp is Xiangling. Thankfully, Xiangling is given to all Genshin players for free so availability is not an issue. For Electro-Charged, you ideally want to pair Keqing with Xingqiu, whose Elemental Burst provides coordinated, off field Hydro DMG. That said, Xingqiu is needed by almost every other carry in the game and his Hydro application is frankly better served for a Vaporize comp. Outside of Xingqiu, there really isn’t anyone else. You can kind of make do with Barbara. However, the Hydro application of Barbara’s Skill does not deal DMG outside of its activation and you’ll need a ton of Elemental Mastery in order for her Electro-Charged procs to be of note. Barbara will at least keep Keqing from dying though.
For a Physical Keqing, the only Elemental Reaction you need to use is Superconduct so that enemy Physical RES is reduced by 40%. Most Cryo support units can be paired with Keqing. I particularly like Rosaria who, at C6, can debuff enemy Physical RES by a further 20% with her Elemental Burst. Rosaria’s Elemental Skill also allows her to teleport which is a nice way to cope with the fact that you can’t teleport with a Physical Keqing. Even though it pains me to say it, I also recommend Diona. If you’re in need of healing and shielding, Diona checks both of those boxes off with her kit.
As a standard 5-Star character, getting Keqing’s Constellations is purely by chance. Even if you’re willing to whale, no amount of money guarantees a Keqing so I advise saving your money for something else (be it in-game or in real life). As mentioned earlier in this review, Keqing’s Constellations heavily favors an Electro build, hence why it’s worth considering over a Physical build in the long run.
Admittedly, Keqing’s early Constellations aren’t amazing by any means. C1 allows Keqing to deal extra Electro DMG at the start and end points of her teleport, equivalent to 50% of her ATK. It improves on Keqing’s AoE but for single target fights, you kind of need to teleport at close range to enjoy the full effect. C2 gives a 50% chance to generate an Energy particle when Keqing hits an enemy affected by Electro with Normal Attacks. It can make charging her Elemental Burst easier but one particle that you may or may not get is negligible. I’ve also heard that this Constellation has become even more inconsistent since Version 2.2 due to a bug (might want to work on that, miHoYo).
Unfortunately, Keqing’s best Constellations are her C4 and C6. The former boosts her ATK by 25% for 10 seconds after she triggers any Electro-related Reaction. This is about the only Constellation that improves a Physical build and even then, an Electro build will proc this passive more frequently. C6 meanwhile gives her a 6% Electro DMG Bonus for 8 seconds after using any of her combat Talents. Both are solid buffs but both are also extremely late Constellations and therefore require a ton of luck to obtain.
Keqing is one of my favorite characters to play in Genshin Impact. The teleport mechanic of her Elemental Skill is a ton of fun to use and her Elemental Burst is one of the coolest ults to spam in the game. I am however forced to admit that she currently does not rank as one of the game’s best carries due to reasons beyond her control. Electro is frankly not that strong of an Element, certainly compared to Pyro and Cryo. And while Keqing’s scaling is quite good, it’s not as cracked up as that of a more recent Electro unit such as the Raiden Shogun. She still more than suffices for the open world but for endgame challenges such as the Spiral Abyss, you may have an easier time using someone else.
Thanks for reading!