This post is up to date with Version 3.4 Phase 1
Yanfei is a 4-Star Pryo Catalyst character from Liyue. Primarily, she serves as a selfish On Field DPS.
Yanfei’s kit centers around her Charged Attack. Each of her three Normal Attacks grants her a Scarlet Seal, decreasing her Stamina consumption and increasing the AoE and DMG multiplier of her Charged Attack. With Yanfei’s A1 passive, each Scarlet Seal will also buff her Pyro DMG Bonus by 5% and for 6 seconds after she uses them for her Charged Attack. If Yanfei dies or leaves the field, she automatically loses any stacks she has in her possession. If she attacks while in possession of the maxed number of seals, the oldest seal gets its duration refreshed.
Spamming Yanfei’s Charged Attack will be a bit of an acquired taste for some. On one hand, stacking Scarlet Seals before finishing a combo off with a Charged Attack is straightforward. It also does not require animation canceling in order to be executed optimally. That said, both her Normal Attacks and her Charged Attack have fairly long animations so some might find her overall combo to be a bit sluggish. Performing Yanfei’s Charged Attack also makes her an easier target for enemy attacks, making evasion a bit tricky.
Like with Klee’s bombs, Yanfei’s Charged Attack is considered a blunt attack. In other words, it has extra effectiveness against Geo shields and it can proc Shatter against Frozen enemies. This feature can be used for mining ore in the open world but it is rather awkward due to Yanfei’s range being at odds with the lack of auto-targeting and the absence of Scarlet Seals to mitigate her Stamina consumption. Yanfei’s Charged Attack also ignores Internal Cooldown, meaning that every use of it will apply Pyro and trigger an Elemental Reaction. This feature is vital to Yanfei’s DPS and without it, she’d fall further behind some of her 5-Star counterparts.
While Yanfei’s other Talents deal AoE Pyro DMG on their own, their main purpose is to further augment her Charged Attacks. Casting Yanfei’s Elemental Skill, Signed Edict, grants her the maximum number of Scarlet Seals, allowing her to immediately perform a fully stacked Charged Attack. Casting Yanfei’s Elemental Burst, Done Deal, grants her a Charged Attack DMG Bonus as well as one Scarlet Seal every second. This ult lasts for 15 seconds against a 20 second cooldown. If Yanfei dies or leaves the field, the effects of this ult automatically vanishes. This can sometimes allow Yanfei to cut her Normal Attack combo short and perform her Charged Attack sooner. The only downside to the ult is its high cost of 80 Energy, thereby necessitating the need for Energy Recharge and/or a battery unit.
- C1 – When Yanfei uses her Charged Attack, her C1 will reduce its stamina cost by 10% and briefly increase Yanfei’s resistance to interruption for every Scarlet Seal she uses. While this doesn’t improve Yanfei’s DPS, this Constellation is still vital as it mitigates Yanfei’s stamina usage and makes her less of a sitting duck when she performs her Charged Attack.
- C2 – Gives Yanfei’s Charged Attack 20% CRIT Rate when it hits an enemy with less than 50% HP. It’s useful but it’s also situational and it doesn’t necessarily mean Yanfei needs less CRIT Rate in her gear.
- C3 – Adds three Levels to Yanfei’s Elemental Skill.
- C4 – Gives Yanfei a Pyro-based Shield for 15 seconds after she casts her Elemental Burst. The Shield’s DMG Absorption is proportional to 45% of Yanfei’s Max HP and this is actually the highest DMG Absorption found in a Constellation-based shield. For a traditional Yanfei build, this Constellation is generally a decent lifeline. Some Genshin players have made use of this Constellation in turning Yanfei into a shielder for her team. This build is often referred to as “Tankfei” by the community. This post won’t go over the build in detail but all you need to do is give Yanfei Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers or the Prototype Amber and build up her HP and Energy Recharge.
- C5 – Adds three Levels to Yanfei’s Elemental Burst.
- C6 – Increases the maximum number of Scarlet Seals to 4. While this equates to higher DPS, gaining all four stacks is actually a little tricky. This is because Yanfei’s Normal Attack string is still set to three attacks so you generally don’t get four stacks unless you animation cancel and perform part of the combo again. This can feel awkward to do so it may still be preferrable to cast Yanfei’s Charged Attack with 3 seals. Generally, it’s best to perform a 4 Stack Charged Attack after Yanfei casts her Elemental Skill or while her Elemental Burst is active.
As always, 4-Star Constellations are a complete gamble so pull at your own discretion. Besides C0 and C6, a solid stopping point for Yanfei is C1.
The following list of weapons is largely organized by descending rarity and alphabetical order. Stats provided in the parentheses are assuming the respective weapon is at Lv. 90.
- Skyward Atlas (5-Star | 674 ATK | 33.1% ATK) – In addition to the large amount of ATK, Skyward also provides Yanfei with Elemental DMG Bonus. Being a selfish DPS, Yanfei will usually get weapon’s cloud to spawn. It’s not particularly strong in Yanfei’s hands but more DMG is still better than no DMG at all.
- Dodoco Tales (4-Star | 454 ATK | 55.1% ATK) – Version 1.6’s Event Weapon. The passive increases Charged Attack DMG for 6 seconds after the user lands a hit with their Normal Attacks. Landing a hit with a Charged Attack will increase the user’s ATK for 6 seconds. Because of the Scarlet Seal mechanic, Yanfei has a very easy time gaining both buffs.
- Mappa Mare (4-Star | 565 ATK | 110 Elemental Mastery) – Craftable; lapsed players can also obtain this via the Stellar Reunion event. The passive grants an Elemental DMG Bonus for 10 seconds and up to two times when the wielder triggers an Elemental Reaction. This can be pretty strong, particularly for Overloaded, but it obviously falls off if Yanfei isn’t the trigger.
- The Widsith (4-Star | 510 ATK | 55.1% CRIT DMG) – Randomly buffs ATK, Elemental DMG Bonus, or Elemental Mastery for 10 seconds and by a large amount at R5. Due to the randomness of the buff and its lengthy 30 second cooldown, The Widsith will perform inconsistently. Nevertheless, it is one of Yanfei’s strongest 4-Star optoins because of how powerful its buff can be and the fact that it’s a 4-Star weapon with CRIT DMG.
- Crimson Witch of Flames (4) – Pyro DMG set; also increases Pyro-related Reaction DMG. If the user uses their Elemental Skill, the 2-Piece’s Pyro DMG Bonus is increased by 50% for 10 seconds and up to three times. Yanfei can only get one stack of the latter effect as her Elemental Skill takes 12 seconds to cool down. Even so, this set is still a strong option for Yanfei. It is also a lot more tolerable to farm now that it’s been added to the Strongbox system in Version 3.0.
- Retracing Bolide (4) – Shield Strength set; increases Normal and Charged Attack DMG so long as the wielder is protected by a shield. While this set is usable for a C4 Yanfei, the safest bet to the keep the 4-Piece effect active is still having Zhongli on your team. Like with Crimson Witch of Flames, Retracing Bolide is now a Strongbox option and it is therefore more tolerable to farm.
- Wanderer’s Troupe (4) – Elemental Mastery set; increases Charged Attack DMG if the user is wielding a Bow or Catalyst. It is pretty much perfect for Yanfei and it has no caveats compared to the two sets mentioned above.
- Sands: ATK% or Energy Recharge
- Goblet: Pyro DMG Bonus
- Circlet: CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG
- Sub-Stats: ATK%, CRIT Rate, CRIT DMG, Elemental Mastery, Energy Recharge
Combined with a battery unit, an Energy Recharge Sands can cover all of Yanfei’s Energy needs. That said, it can become overkill depending on sub-stats. Obviously, an ATK% Sands is better for her DPS. While you should never prioritize this, HP% does become a usable sub-stat when Yanfei is at C4.
Vaporize is the de facto Elemental Reaction for Yanfei to use. Aside from the Reaction’s strong scaling, Genshin also has Hydro Sub DPS units who can coordinate with Normal Attacks. Another Reaction to consider is Overloaded. It’s not as strong as Vaporize but the knockback effect the Reaction causes can be useful in group encounters and the Reaction allows Yanfei to better deal with Geo shielded enemies. Being a ranged attacker, Yoimiya has less trouble with the knockback compared to other Pyro characters such as Diluc and Hu Tao (both of whom use melee weapons).
Elemental Resonances that benefit Yanfei are Cryo (15% CRIT Rate against enemies affected by Cryo/Frozen), Electro (extra particle generation), Geo (15% Shield Strength and 15% more DMG while protected by a shield), and Pyro (25% ATK). Hydro Resonance (25% Max HP) is also usable if Yanfei is at C4.
As a disclaimer, the following lists of recommended teammates and example teams is not necessarily a comprehensive one. Also, the example teams may include characters that are not included in the recommendations as they arguably synergize more with someone else on the team and less so with Yanfei.
- Barbara (4-Star | Hydro) – Terrible for Vaporize but Barbara does provide healing that follows your active character and she can wield Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers. Barbara can also be obtained for free so she has availability going for her as well. If you use Barbara, do be mindful of the fact that her Melody Ring does apply Wet onto your active character and this can be especially disastrous for Yanfei.
- Beidou (4-Star | Electro) – Beidou’s Elemental Burst coordinates with both Yanfei’s Normal Attacks and her Charged Attack. Together, these two can cover quite a lot of ground with Overloaded procs. That said, Beidou often forces you to team her with another Electro character who can act as a battery, due to her high Energy needs.
- Bennett (4-Star | Pyro) – Unsurprisingly the best support for Yanfei; provides an ATK buff, Energy, and healing.
- Fischl (4-Star | Electro) – Another Electro Sub DPS to consider. Compared to Beidou, Fischl has less AoE but she is less unwieldy and more self-sufficient.
- Jean (5-Star | Anemo) – Offers off field DMG and healing and can wield Viridescent Venerer (4) to debuff enemy Pyro RES. Jean becomes even more useful for Yanfei when she reaches C2 and gains the ability to buff her team’s ATK SPD by 15% and for 15 seconds when she picks up an Energy particle.
- Sangonomiya Kokomi (5-Star | Hydro) – Provides some of the most potent healing in the game and can wield both Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers and Tenacity of the Millelith (4) to buff her teammates, including Yanfei. Since Yanfei is a ranged attacker, the Bake-Kurage being stationery shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.
- Sucrose (4-Star | Anemo) – Provides crowd control and Elemental Mastery buffs with her Ascension passives. Like with Jean, Sucrose can wield Viridescent Venerer (4) to debuff enemy Pyro RES.
- Xingqiu (4-Star | Hydro) – One of the best units to use for Hydro related Reactions due to his Burst coordinating with Normal Attacks. Additionally, Xingqiu provides Yanfei with other utilities such as DMG Reduction, healing, and an increased resistance to interruption.
- Yelan (5-Star | Hydro) – A more premier alternative to Xingqiu. Yelan lacks the same supportive buffs that Xingqiu offers but her Burst being functionally the same as Xingqiu’s makes her worth considering if Xingqiu is in a different team during Spiral Abyss. Yelan also buffs her team’s DMG with her A4 passive.
- Zhongli (5-Star | Geo) – The strongest shielder in the game; allows Yanfei to cast her Talents unperturbed. Casting the Jade Shield also debuffs enemy RES for all Elements, including Pyro. Even with Yanfei at C4, you should still consider teaming her with Zhongli.
Yanfei is one of the few 4-Star dedicated On Field DPS and she ranks as one of the better ones. Her strength is attributed to her Charged Attack buffs provided by her own kit, her being Pyro, and her having direct access to Vaporize. The only thing that really holds Yanfei back is the fact that she is a 4-Star character. Even with a ton of work put in, she isn’t likely to hold a candle against many of the game’s premier carries and she may not be strong enough for the Spiral Abyss.