Note: This review is up to date with Version 3.0
Ganyu is a 5-Star Cryo Bow character from Liyue. She can only be obtained via the “Adrift in the Harbor” event banner. Aside from being my favorite
waifu character in Genshin Impact, Ganyu primarily serves as a carry for her team.
Ganyu is the first ever Bow character to possess a Level 2 Charged Attack. As she aims, her arrows can charge beyond the standard form into a “Frostflake Arrow”. This Charged Attack fires as a slightly stronger Cryo infused arrow and then blooms into an AoE upon hitting an enemy or a surface. It is Ganyu’s main means of dealing DMG and it is currently one of the strongest basic attacks in the game.
There’s a number of factors behind the Frostflake Arrow’s strength. It has very high multipliers attached, with the arrow and bloom’s multipliers adding up to 483.84% at Lv. 6 and 587.52% at Lv. 9. The Frostflake Arrow ignores Internal Cooldown, allowing Ganyu to trigger a Cryo-related Elemental Reaction with every arrow and bloom. Ganyu also has a head start in getting her Charged Attack to CRIT. She gains CRIT DMG as she ascends. Her A1 passive gives her a 5 second 20% CRIT Rate buff for every Frostflake Arrow fired after the first one. In theory, you only need to build Ganyu with 50% CRIT Rate, as opposed to the recommended 70% (35% if you can reliably utilize Cryo Resonance), and focus more on stacking her CRIT DMG. Regardless of what ratio you’re able to get with Ganyu, CRIT DMG is the more important stat for her as aimed shots on enemy weak points, including headshots, will always CRIT anyway. All things considered, the DMG potential for the Frostflake Arrow is extremely high.
I get the reasoning behind giving Ganyu such a strong Charged Attack. In general, Bows have the slowest Charged Attack in the game and adding a second tier to it slows down the rate of fire even more. Manually aiming a Bow, especially if you’re aiming for weakpoints, opens up the chance of missing your mark and it leaves you open to taking DMG and getting interrupted; either scenario resulting in a DPS loss. With all that in mind, I can’t blame miHoYo for cranking the Frostflake Arrow up the wazoo. It needs to be strong in order to justify the potential risks that come with it.
That said, the Frostflake Arrow works a bit too well in practice. Being AoE, it can damage and/or kill multple enemies at once. As a Bow Charged Attack, it isn’t held back by Stamina or Energy. The only downtime it really has is the handful of seconds it takes to aim and charge an arrow. Aimed shots seemingly have no range limit or if there is one, it’s extremely high. The only disadvantage to long range firing is an arrow arcing downwards due to physics and you can accommodate for this by leading your shots. It’s not just the DMG potential of the Frostflake Arrow that makes it so good, it’s also the consistency and range. So long as Ganyu is allowed to aim and she hits her targets, she’ll deal around 400-600% of her ATK every couple of seconds, at any angle, and at any distance. With a sub DPS, Ganyu can trigger an Elemental Reaction every single time. Every arrow after the first one is more likely to CRIT thanks to the A1 passive. Against an enemy weakpoint, the Charged Attack is guaranteed to CRIT. It is downright ridiculous and it is no wonder that the Frostflake Arrow was considered broken when Ganyu came out in Version 1.2.
When Ganyu uses her Elemental Skill, “Trail of the Qilin”, she’ll deal Cryo DMG and dash back, leaving behind an “Ice Lotus” at her starting position. The Ice Lotus will taunt enemies and after 6 seconds or when it takes too much DMG, it will explode for AoE Cryo DMG. You can get some decent DMG with this Skill though its value lies more in how it compliments Ganyu’s playstyle. Both the dash and the taunt allow Ganyu to put distance between her and her opponent(s), giving her some breathing room to charge and fire her arrows. The Ice Lotus is also a good, albeit somewhat inconsistent, source of Energy for Ganyu. It generates 2 Cryo particles when it hits at least one enemy and this goes for both its spawn and its explosion. I only call the Energy gains inconsistent because most enemies tend to die to the Frostflake Arrow before the Ice Lotus can hit them with its explosion, thus preventing Ganyu from getting 4 particles instead of 2.
With her Elemental Burst, “Celestial Shower”, Ganyu summons a “Sacred Cryo Pearl”. For 15 seconds, the pearl will rain down shards of ice in an AoE. An individual shard possesses a low multiplier (98.38% at Lv. 6) but the pearl does drop 50 of them and each shard is capable of hitting multiple enemies at once so the overall DMG of the Burst tends to be higher. If not for the DMG, it is worth using Celestial Shower for Ganyu’s A4 passive, which grants 20% Cryo DMG Bonus to anyone within the AoE. It’s worth using even if Ganyu is the sole Cryo unit in the team as it does augment her Charged Attacks. Celestial Shower’s duration and cooldown are both 15 seconds so with sufficient Energy Recharge, both it and Ganyu’s A4 passive have 100% uptime.
Given the nature of Ganyu’s Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst, she can be used as a Sub DPS support. The Skill’s taunt effect provides crowd control and you can swap Ganyu out once you cast it. Meanwhile, the Burst persists even when Ganyu is off field so it can be used to enable Elemental Reactions for other carries in the game. Ganyu can even support other Cryo carries thanks to her Burst’s Cryo DMG Bonus buff. That all said, Ganyu’s DPS doesn’t necessarily get diminished when she’s used as a support. Depending on her gear, she can still deal respectable DMG.
C1 – Deceases enemy Cryo RES by 15% for 6 seconds and gives Ganyu 2 Energy every time her Level 2 Charged Attack hits an opponent. A very solid C1, you can pretty much have this Constellation active at all times when playing Ganyu as a Main DPS. If it’s not too expensive, I recommend getting this at the very least.
C2 – Adds a second charge to Ganyu’s Elemental Skill. You generally don’t need two taunts but this combined with C1 drastically lowers Ganyu’s Energy needs. Assuming both Lotuses hit two times, you can get a total of 8 Cryo particles.
C3 – Gives Ganyu’s Elemental Burst three extra Levels. This is the better of the two Talent Level Constellations if you’re using Ganyu as a support.
C4 – Enemies within the AoE of Ganyu’s Elemental Burst will not take 5% more DMG and this effect will increase by a further 5% every 3 seconds until it caps out at 25%. It will also last for 3 seconds after the Burst expires. This Constellation works best in prolonged fights.
C5 – Gives Ganyu’s Elemental Skill three extra Levels; not as useful as C3 even when using a support build.
C6 – Instantly gives Ganyu her Level 2 Charged Attack for 30 seconds when she casts her Elemental Skill. Bear in mind that Ganyu would have her C2 in the process of unlocking her C6 so she can actually get two Charged Attacks back to back. This is a DPS boost in the sense that you save yourself a couple seconds of charging the Frostflake Arrow and can therefore fire a bit faster from time to time. I don’t think it’s necessary to have but it can make a massive difference in timed challenges and come in clutch in extremely intense ones.
Like with every 5-Star character, I can only recommend getting Ganyu’s Constellations if you absolutely have the money to burn. That said, this is a very good set of upgrades, probably my favorite out of the 5-Star characters I have at C6.
Ganyu’s Signature Weapon is the Amos’ Bow (which is a Mondstadt-themed weapon that was released two patches before Ganyu did but don’t worry about it…). At R1, it increases Normal and Charged Attack DMG by 12%. DMG can be further increased by 8% up to 5 times for every 0.1 seconds the arrow travels before it hits something. As you can tell, this weapon synergizes very well with Ganyu’s kit and playstyle. The one nitpick to have with the Amos’ Bow is that its second stat is ATK%. CRIT DMG would admittedly be better. Another thing to bear in mind is that the Amos’ Bow can be obtained via the standard banner and when you lose the weapon banner’s 75/25. You should still consider getting it when it’s featured if you really want it. Otherwise, the pressure to get it isn’t as high compared to other 5-Star weapons.
The most F2P-friendly Bow for Ganyu is the Prototype Crescent, which can be crafted through Genshin’s Forging system. At R1, it gives Ganyu a 10% Movement SPD buff and, more importantly, a 36% ATK buff for 10 seconds if the wielder hits an enemy weak point (and as mentioned earlier, headshots count). This of course means you will need to be very accurate with your aiming though that is admittedly a given when playing as Ganyu. Like with all craftable weapons, refining the Crescent will be an issue to the absurd rarity of Weapon Billets.
Generally, the best Artifact set to give to Ganyu is Wanderer’s Troupe. With 4 pieces, the set gives Ganyu a 35% Charged Attack DMG Bonus and this does include the Frostflake Arrow’s Bloom. Mileage will however vary with the 2-Piece effect, which grants Ganyu 80 Elemental Mastery. While the stat is valuable for Melt, it is useless for Frozen. Acquiring Wanderer’s Troupe is somewhat tricky as it is only dropped by Bosses and Strongboxes.
If you’ll mainly use Ganyu for Frozen, you can alternatively equip her with Blizzard Strayer. The 4-Piece effect of this set grants her 20% CRIT Rate against enemies affected by Cryo and a further 20% if the enemy is Frozen. Combined with Ganyu’s A1 passive, you can run the character with just 10% CRIT Rate in her gear. With Cryo Resonance, the threshold becomes nonexistent. Unlike Wanderer’s Troupe, Blizzard Strayer can be farmed in a Domain, not to mention it is paired alongside the equally solid Heart of Depth set. With the release of Version 3.0, it is also obtainable in Strongboxes. That said, Blizzard Strayer does restrict Ganyu to a Frozen comp. For Melt, stick with Wanderer’s Troupe.
To make Ganyu more of a support, give her 4-Piece Noblesse Oblige. This will allow Ganyu to buff her teammates’ ATK by 20% for 12 seconds after she casts her Elemental Burst and alongside her A4 passive. As an asterisk, Ganyu might not be able to snapshot her Burst with Noblesse’s buff when she’s using the set as the timing of both effects might not line up. As for weapons, The Stringless is a solid choice with its Elemental Skill and Burst DMG Bonuses. However, its second stat is Elemental Mastery which will go to waste in a Frozen comp. Favonius Warbow is another viable option, providing Ganyu with more than enough Energy Recharge and allowing her to act as a more effective battery.
For main stats, Ganyu wants an ATK% Sands, a Cryo DMG Bonus Goblet, and a CRIT Circlet. A support build can opt for an Energy Recharge Sands though this may not be needed if Ganyu is equipped with the Favonius Warbow. As mentioned earlier, Ganyu’s A1 passive lowers her CRIT threshold to 50% CRIT Rate. However, you may still need a CRIT Rate Circlet in order to reach it. Otherwise, go with CRIT DMG. If using Blizzard Strayer, CRIT DMG is the only Circlet you should consider. Sub stats to shoot for (pun not intended) are ATK%, CRIT, Energy Recharge, and Elemental Mastery. If you’re primarily using Frozen, you should avoid Elemental Mastery as the stat is worthless for that Elemental Reaction.
Ganyu excels in Frozen and Melt comps. I do not recommend using Ganyu for Superconduct is she seldom deals Physical DMG and her utilities doesn’t really cater towards the Elemental Reaction. A Frozen comp provides a very safe and comfortable playstyle for Ganyu. Enemies become easy targets and without them attacking, Ganyu can snipe at them with little to no interruption. Conversely, Melt involves more risk-reward. Since enemies aren’t immobile, you will need to be better at aiming and dodging. If evasion is a struggle for you, a shielder such as Diona or Zhongli is pretty much necessary in order to have Ganyu comfortably fight in a Melt comp. Unlike Frozen however, Melt has bonus DMG (with very good scaling no less) and Ganyu can abuse this with the lack of Internal Cooldown on her Charged Attack. Ultimately, the choice depends on whether you prefer comfort or high risk with high reward.
For Frozen, the two most ideal Hydro supports for Ganyu are Mona and Kokomi. Both characters have deployable Elemental Skills that apply Hydro off field for a few seconds. These allow Ganyu to freeze enemies with her Skill’s dash animation and then re-trigger the Reaction at a distance with her Charged Attacks. As to which character is better, it boils down to preference. Mona’s Skill is shorter than Kokomi’s and it has a taunt effect that’s frankly redundant given that Ganyu’s does that as well. However, Mona also provides a DMG buff with her Elemental Burst, the duration of which can be extended with Frozen, which can be bonkers for someone as strong as Ganyu. Kokomi’s Skill provides healing, lasts longer than Mona’s and ignores Internal Cooldown. Conversely however, Ganyu can easily dash out of the healing’s range. Kokomi’s Burst is also not too valuable for Ganyu as it turns the former into a selfish carry, which can cause her to compete with Ganyu for field time. Again, the choice is up to you. That is of course assuming that you manage to get both of them as Mona and Kokomi are both 5-Star characters.
Unfortunately, Ganyu lacks a solid 4-Star alternative for Hydro support. Barbara and Xingqiu do provide off field Hydro application with their Elemental Skills though these stay on your active character. Ganyu would need to be right next to her opponent in order to freeze them. Should he dash away with Skill, she can’t refreeze anything without getting up close again. Xingqiu is also better off in some other team as his Burst is procced by Normal Attacks, which Ganyu does not use when aiming her Bow. Barbara is slightly better if only because she at least keeps Ganyu from dying with her healing. She is also the most available Hydro character in the game, obtainable for free simply by playing through the Prologue of the main story,
Funnily enough, a Melt Ganyu comp is in the exact opposite situation in that it has the most F2P-friendly Pyro support in the form of Xiangling. While currently the only (good) Pyro Sub DPS that exists in the game, Xiangling is given out to all Genshin players for free so availability is a complete non-issue. Ganyu’s Elemental Skill synergizes pretty well with Xiangling’s. The taunt effect of the Ice Lotus will keep enemies close by, allowing Xiangling’s panda companion Guoba to actually hit something for a change. More importantly, you have Xiangling’s Elemental Burst, Pyronado, which can be used in tandem with Ganyu’s Charged Attack and Burst to trigger Melt. A shielder and/or healer is practically necessary to pull this combination off as Ganyu has to risk moving closer to her opponent so that the Pyronado is in range. You can’t really control which character is the one triggering the Reaction but since Xiangling’s Burst and Ganyu’s Charged Attacks both ignore Internal Cooldown, you’re bound to see a ton of procs regardless.
Xiangling is a notably Energy hungry character. This is typically addressed by pairing her with Bennett. Fortunately, Bennett fits just fine in a Ganyu team. Both Ganyu and Xiangling can snapshot their Elemental Bursts with the ATK buff provided by Bennett’s Burst. Since Ganyu is a Bow user, she is unaffected by the Pyro Infusion provided by Bennett’s infamous C6. Having both Bennett and Xiangling in the team will give Ganyu access to Pyro Resonance, increasing her ATK by 25%.
Ganyu was the single most broken thing in Genshin Impact when her banner first dropped and she has since remained one of the game’s strongest characters. Her Charged Attack alone makes her a powerful unit and her kit overall is one of the best designed in the game. By now, the throne for best carry is a lot more contested so Ganyu doesn’t come across quite as game breaking as she used to. Some characters can outperform her, namely in Boss fights found in the Spiral Abyss where nuking and single target DPS is much preferred. Nevertheless, Ganyu remains a solid option for Genshin’s endgame (what little there is of it), particularly in mob encounters. And for the open world, Ganyu is practically the most perfect carry for it, due to her insane consistency and range.
Thanks for reading!
This post was originally published on February 13, 2022
Read my Genshin Impact Character Reviews
2 thoughts on “Genshin Impact Character Review – Ganyu”
I love Ganyu ! I just got her recently and couldn’t be happier
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