Genshin Impact Character Review – Yae Miko

Yae Miko is a 5-Star Electro Catalyst character from Inazuma. She can only be obtained via the “Everbloom Violet” event banner. Primarily, she serves as a Sub DPS unit for her team.

Yae’s main form of dealing DMG is her Elemental Skill, “Yakan Evocation: Sesshou Sakura”. This Talent has Yae dash and leave behind a “Sesshou Sakura”. The totem acts as a turret, periodically dealing Electro DMG to one nearby opponent, even when Yae is off field. Yae has three charges to her Skill and is therefore able to have up to three Sesshou Sakuras on the field. If placed within range of each other, the totems can connect to one another and increase their multiplier up by one tier for each totem connected (the highest tier for a C0 Yae naturally being 3).

A big selling point to Yae’s Elemental Skill is its flexibility. Whereas Fischl excels in single target scenarios and Beidou is more suited for mob encounters, Yae can perform well in both. In single target scenarios, Yae essentially attacks her opponent three times with all three Sesshou Sakuras on the field. In mob encounters, you’re left more at the mercy of the auto-targeting mechanic (and it frankly would be nice if you could select a target) but each totem typically picks their own target.

Also appealing is the range of Yae’s Elemental Skill. While you will need to be mindful of how all three Sesshou Sakuras are placed on the field, they otherwise cover quite a lot of ground and can attack enemies at a good distance. Their range also applies vertically, being capable of hitting enemies on higher elevations. Since the Sesshou Sakuras usually pick their own targets, they are capable of attacking multiple enemies even if they are spread out on the field. This can come in handy if you lack a crowd control support unit to pair Yae with. Repositioning is also a non-issue as each turret lasts for 14 seconds and each Skill charge cools down within 4. It is therefore very easy for Yae to maintain her potentially large reach on the field and/or adapt accordingly as fight progresses as well as keep her turrets operating at optimal capacity.

That all said, I’m not terribly fond of the setup demanded by Yae’s Elemental Skill. While it is ideally just a handful of seconds to place all three Sesshou Sakuras on the field, it nevertheless takes longer compared to other Sub DPS units who simply need to cast a Talent one time before handing the field back to their carry. You also need to mindful of the direction Yae moves when casting her Skill as you need the totems to connect, ideally in a triangular formation. This can sometimes be easier said than done in the thick of battle. If a new totem is placed too closely to an existing one, the latter will be destroyed and you will be forced to wait 4 seconds to finish setting up the desired trifecta. Most detrimental is the fact that Yae has no I-Frames to her Skill animation. If she gets hit while casting, she’ll most likely get interrupted and she will need to stay on the field to set everything up. This is of course assuming Yae doesn’t outright die in the process. All of this is tolerable in the open world but for timed challenges such as the Spiral Abyss, I can see the field time Yae may demand to become annoying and even risky for efficient clearing.

When Yae uses her Elemental Burst, “Great Secret Art: Tenko Kenshin”, she’ll call forth a lightning bolt onto the ground, dealing AoE Electro DMG. Any Sesshou Sakura on the field will then be sacrificed and transformed into a “Tenko Thunderbolt”, allowing Yae’s Burst to deal AoE DMG up to an additional three times. The latter attack makes up the bulk of Yae’s Elemental Burst DMG, not just because it can be executed three times but also because it actually has a higher multiplier than the initial hit. For optimal nuking, you have to cast Yae’s Burst with all three Sesshou Sakuras on the field.

Elemental Bursts requiring and sacrificing an Elemental Skill for extra DMG is not a new concept. Genshin has precedence with this way back in launch with Ningguang. In Yae’s case however, this mechanic is more awkward executed. Since Yae’s Elemental Skill is her main source of DMG, as opposed to her basic attacks and Burst like it is with Ningguang, sacrificing it will result in some downtime. It also brings up the issue regarding Yae’s field time. It already takes a handful of seconds to summon three Sesshou Sakuras. With the ult sacrificing them for extra DMG, Yae is forced to stay on the field even longer to set them up. Yae’s A1 passive somewhat addresses this in that it resets the cooldown for all three of her Elemental Skill charges after nuking with her Burst. I’ll give miHoYo credit for not making us wait 12 seconds for all three charges to be off cooldown and allow us to immediately set everything back up. Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to take the time to set things up again. Personally, I think what miHoYo should’ve done is simply have the Sesshou Sakuras’s durations reset after Yae casts her Burst, be it by default or via her A1 passive. Maybe that’d be cheap and that’s why the devs didn’t opt for it but it would make Yae’s Burst a lot smoother to execute.

Another and arguably bigger issue with Yae’s Elemental Burst is its asinine 90 Energy cost. This is the highest Energy cost currently found the game and it is currently only tied with the Raiden Shogun. Unlike Raiden however, Yae has no passive in her base kit that refunds her Energy or compensates her in any way for stacking lots of Energy Recharge. To make matters worse, Yae isn’t terribly good at supplying herself with Energy to begin with. Her Elemental Skill generates 1 Electro particle per hit and for whatever reason, this gain is shared between all three Sesshou Sakuras so Yae essentially gains 1 particle every three hits. Yae would need a lot of Energy Recharge in order for this flow of particles to reliably fuel her Burst off cooldown. Building Energy Recharge on Yae can be compensated with the Emblem of Severed Fate set; its 4-Piece effect gives Burst DMG Bonus in proportion to the aforementioned stat. Sadly, this is not a clear cut solution as you still run the risk of sacrificing Yae’s Skill DMG. If stacking Energy Recharge on Yae isn’t something you want to do, I recommend pairing her with another Electro unit as a battery.

For a battery unit, the best candidate is the Raiden Shogun. EiMiko ship aside, the flat Energy and consistent Electro particle procs that Raiden provides with her Talents is invaluable to Yae and should suffice in getting the latter’s Burst off cooldown. As mentioned earlier, Raiden herself needs 90 Energy for her Burst but she is typically built with a lot of Energy Recharge and gets Electro DMG Bonus as compensation for doing so. Energy for Raiden should be a non-issue, hence why she can comfortably act as Yae’s battery.

Mileage will vary with other Electro units. Fischl can work given her consistent particle generation but she doesn’t provide any flat Energy like Raiden does. Higher Energy Recharge may be required if Fischl is your battery as opposed to Raiden. While the Electro Traveler might be an appealing alternative as a discount Raiden, I can’t recommend pairing Yae with them. The Traveler’s Burst, which is their best source of Energy, costs 80 Energy and they themselves struggle with fueling it due to poor particle generation. You also need Normal and Charged Attacks to proc the Energy gain of the Burst and that synergizes poorly with Yae’s playstyle (and trust me, you’ll rarely ever use her basic attacks).

If all you’re looking for is Electro Sub DPS, Yae is a pretty good choice. Her Elemental Skill checks off that box with its solid range, uptime, and flexibility. Her Elemental Burst also makes for an effective nuke when used alongside her Skill. That said, Yae does demand more field time compared to your average Sub DPS and that can get annoying depending on the situation. Also, because of her high Energy needs, Yae being a worthwhile character to pull is somewhat dependent on whether or not you have or plan on getting the Raiden Shogun. Getting two 5-Star characters is obviously harder/more expensive compared to just getting one. And whereas Yae all but needs Raiden, Raiden doesn’t really need Yae.

Thanks for reading!

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