Genshin Impact Character Review – Noelle

Noelle is a 4-Star Geo Claymore Character from Mondstadt. She can be obtained by all players via the “Beginner’s Wish” banner, being a guaranteed drop within your first 10 pulls. Constellations can then be obtained via the gacha as well as with Masterless Starglitter in “Paimons Bargains” during the months of February and August. An incredibly versatile character, Noelle is a carry, a tank, and a healer all rolled into one. She is also, for all intents and purposes, the first healer you get on your account. 

Noelle heals via her Elemental Skill, “Breastplate”. This Talent grants her a shield upon activation and while it is active, her Normal and Charged Attacks have a chance to heal the whole team. Both the Shield and the healing scales off of Noelle’s DEF. At Lv. 6, the chance to heal is at 55%. While a bit of a gamble, you can easily put the odds in your favor by having Noelle spin to win with her Charged Attack (making her one of the few Claymores characters who would use it). By swinging her Claymore so much, she is bound to proc her healing at some point. This gamble also becomes less of a risk due to the fact that Noelle has a Shield up while healing. Her Shield has pretty generous scaling, absorbing a base amount of 1219 plus 224% of her DEF at just Lv. 6, and as a Geo shield, it is 150% effective at absorbing all types of DMG. So long as the Shield lasts, Noelle is also immune to interruption. She can therefore heal very comfortably in the heat of combat.

That said, Noelle’s Shield mostly benefits her alone. Case in point, her healing won’t proc unless she is the one protected by her Shield. Furthermore, Breastplate has serious downtime due to it having a 12 second duration versus a 24 second cooldown. Noelle’s A4 passive can minimize this by having every 4 of her Normal or Charge Attacks decrease the cooldown by 1 second. The cooldown can be reduced to a handful of seconds if Noelle attacks frequently enough. However, this again demands that Noelle stay on the field. You can let your other characters enjoy the Shield if you get Noelle to heal quick enough. Noelle also provides an extra Shield if her teammate is about to die, thanks to her A1 passive. All things considered though, Noelle is really the only one who gets to enjoy her Shield as she needs it in order to both heal and properly manage its uptime. If you’re looking for teamwide shielding, you’re actually better off using other characters such as Diona and Thoma. On the flipside, Noelle being selfish with her Shield means she’s a great candidate with the “Retracing Bolide” artifact set. Normally, it’s a niche set as the Shield Strength it provides only benefits the one equipped with it but that works perfectly fine for Noelle and it’ll make her even better at tanking.

Surprisingly, Noelle has DPS potential thanks to her Elemental Burst, “Sweeping Time”. After performing an AoE Geo attack, Noelle will gain a Geo infusion and an ATK buff based on her DEF. Because Noelle wants high DEF for her Elemental Skill, the ATK buff she gets from her Burst can be substantial and it can cause her DPS to spike drastically. Sweeping Time also has a 15 second duration versus a 15 second cooldown. In other words, you potentially have a 100% uptime with this Talent. As if being able to tank and heal at the same time wasn’t enough, Noelle can even serve as your carry thanks to this Elemental Burst.

Being a viable carry does complicate how Noelle should be built. For most healers, the general rule of thumb with building them is stack whatever stat their healing scales off of as well as Healing Bonus. Any other stat they get in their gear is a bonus. With Noelle however, you may want to consider building her with more offensive stats to take advantage of her ATK buff. You at the very least want to give her a solid CRIT ratio; maybe throw in some ATK and Geo DMG Bonus if possible. This can make Noelle a bit of a nightmare to build and it can come at the cost of sacrificing some potency in her healing. Personally, I’d say the juggling act is worth it. Since Noelle has to attack to heal, you might as well have her attacks hit hard and make her field time worthwhile. Furthermore, it actually might not be worth stacking so much Healing Bonus on Noelle. She already needs to stay on the field to reduce the cooldown of her Elemental Skill and with her Elemental Burst up, you’d maybe want her to fight throughout its entire 15 second duration. Unless you really want to hand Noelle’s shield off to someone else, her healing should just be potent enough for the team to be fully healed by the time either her Shield or her Burst expires. Regardless of how you build Noelle, DEF is a must as it is what her entire kit benefits from.

The only issue with Noelle’s Elemental Burst is actually being able to use it. Thing is, Noelle’s Elemental Skill does not generate any Energy at all, making it difficult for her to get her Burst. A Favonius Greatsword can be equipped to remedy this issue as it periodically generates neutral particles when Noelle scores a CRIT. It also provides her with all the Energy Recharge she needs in her build. That said, the Favonius Greatsword only provides self-sufficiency and consistency to Noelle, especially if she’s your sole Geo unit in your team, and there are better weapons that cater better to her DPS and/or utilities. 

Besides the Favonius Greatsword, your best option to fix Noelle’s Energy issues is to pair her with another Geo character as a battery unit. Having a second Geo character is also beneficial for the Geo Resonance, which is the best buff for any Geo DPS unit. It provides 15% Shield Strength to the whole team as well as a 15% DMG increase and a 20% enemy Geo RES Debuff when a character attacks while protected by a Shield. All of these effects benefit Noelle’s DPS and utility and Noelle checks off the Shield requirement since she already has one in her kit. 

For a battery unit, the best and most F2P-friendly option is the Geo Traveler. No joke, they are one of the best Geo units for particle generation. Their Elemental Skill can generate 3.5 Geo particles and thanks to their A1 passive, their Skill cools down in just 6 seconds. Also a point in the Traveler’s favor is their C1 which increases your active character’s CRIT Rate by10% so long as they are in the AoE of the Traveler’s Elemental Burst. Other battery options besides the Geo Traveler include Yun Jin and Gorou. Both characters also provide additional utilities that are beneficial to Noelle. Yun Jin can boost Noelle’s Normal Attacks via her Burst. Gorou provides a number of buffs depending on how many Geo characters on his team. Technically, Yun Jin and Gorou both have their own struggles with Energy. However, both characters are usually equipped with a Favonius series weapon and high Energy Recharge to alleviate this concern and they still generate some Geo particles (as opposed to none at all like in Noelle’s case). Therefore, they can reasonably serve as Noelle’s battery. In Gorou’s case, you need three Geo characters for the full effect of his Skill so Energy shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re playing the game wrong.

Unfortunately, Noelle’s kit is heavily gated off by Constellations. Right from the get go, you’ll want her C1 as it gives her a 100% chance to heal when both her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst is up (thereby making the uptime of her Burst even more important). C1 also allows Noelle to better use her Normal Attacks as she doesn’t need to spin to win anymore. To be frank, her Normal Attacks allow for smoother gameplay compared to her Charged Attacks. If you do want to spin to win however, Noelle’s C2 decreases her Stamina Constellations of her Charged Attack by 20% and even increases its DMG by 15%. 

By far, Noelle’s best Constellation is her sixth and final one. This one boosts ATK buff of her Elemental Burst by a whopping 50%. For context, “Sweeping Time” increases Noelle’s ATK by 56% of her DEF at Lv. 6. C5 will boost that to Lv. 9 for 68% DEF. With C6, the effect is now 118% DEF. Provided you did the smart thing and gave her high DEF, Noelle’s ATK will skyrocket when her Burst is up. Noelle works decently at C0 but her power only truly shines at C6. It is an absolute must for a Noelle main; a shame then that it leaves them at the mercy of Genshin‘s gacha system.

Noelle is actually my favorite healer to use in Genshin Impact. I just have a huge soft spot for her. She is a bit of an odd character in that she’s a carry/healer hybrid and to get the most out of her kit, you kind of have to treat her more as the former rather than latter. There are more dedicated healers out there such as Barbara (who is also obtaintainable for all players) and there also exists healers who do more than just healing such as Bennett and Diona. Healers such as those may suit your team comps more. Even so, Noelle is an extremely fun character to use, being able to heal while also dishing out respectable numbers and ignore enemy attacks in return. Also, Noelle is an armored maid so screw the meta if only for that.

Thanks for reading!

This post was originally published on August 4, 2021

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