Genshin Impact – Xinyan Guide & Review

This post is up to date with Version 3.4 Phase 1


Xinyan is a 4-Star Pyro Claymore character from Liyue. Primarily, she serves as an On Field DPS with a penchant for Physical DMG, which isn’t bizarre at all.

Base Kit

Right from the start, Xinyan is at a fundamental disadvantage for being a Pyro character. For Physical DMG, the only Elemental Reaction relevant to the attribute is Superconduct. However, Xinyan is neither Cryo or Electro, the two Elements that you need for the reaction. This leaves Xinyan entirely beholden to her teammates to do the job for her. Even then, her Pyro application runs the risk of triggering other Reactions. If you’re smart with your rotation, you can make Superconduct work but the fact remains that Xinyan would be in a much better situation if she had one of the right Elements. If you can’t bothered (and really, who can blame you), your next best bets are using Elemental Resonances most relevant to Xinyan or getting her the godliest of Artifacts (and good luck with that).

When Xinyan uses her Elemental Skill, Sweeping Fervor, she deals Pyro DMG onto any nearby opponents and conjures up a shield. In contrast to other shielders, Xinyan’s shield has three different levels of scaling depending on how many enemies she hits with her Skill. Hitting one enemy or nothing at all gives her a Level 1 shield. Hitting two gets the shield to Level 2. Hitting three or more gets the shield to Level 3 and it gains a (frankly useless) Pyro DoT. At A1, the number of enemies required for Xinyan to hit for Levels 2 and 3 are lowered by 1 so longterm players really only need to hit at least two enemies for a Level 3 Shield. At A4, Sweeping Fervor has additional utility as it gives your active character a 15% Physical DMG bonus so long as the Shield is up.

Unfortunately, Sweeping Fervor sucks for two reasons. The first is that having varying Shield levels is really dumb. Against single enemy encounters, a C0 Xinyan will almost never enjoy a Level 3 Shield. And in group encounters, the quality of her shield will vary between Levels 2 and 3 depending on the number of enemies you hit. While having different tiers of DMG Absorption could be interesting, the fact of the matter is that it makes shielding inconsistent. Even miHoYo may have realized this as every other shielder in the game does not have this gimmick with their shield.

The second and more detrimental issue is the split scaling of the Elemental Skill. Xinyan’s DPS has traditional ATK scaling but the DMG Absorption of her Shield scales off of DEF, leaving you at a crossroad on how to build her. Having a strong shield will make Xinyan tanky but prioritizing it will severely weaken her DPS. By that same token, building Xinyan’s DPS usually comes with foregoing DEF on her Artifacts, thereby weakening her Shield. Having a weak Shield means it’ll break very easily and having a broken Shield will give enemies an easier time to kill you and prevent you from comfortably enjoying the Physical DMG Bonus provided by Xinyan’s A4 passive. Because of the randomness of Artifact drops, trying to balance between Xinyan’s DPS and Shield is a nightmare. Depending on what you get, you may be better off prioritizing one thing over the other.

Xinyan’s best form of DMG is her Elemental Burst, Riff Revolution. Upon casting, she strikes nearby enemies with Physical DMG and then generates some rock concert-themed Pyro DoT. While the DoT is the visual highlight of the Burst’s animation, it might as well not exist. It only ticks 7 times over a 2 second duration and its multiplier is very low (56% at Lv. 6). Conversely, the Physical strike is really good. With a much higher multiplier (477.12% at Lv. 6), it has strong potential as a nuke.

Constellations

  • C1 – Increases Xinyan’s Normal and Charged Attack SPD by 12% and for 5 seconds when she lands a CRIT. Xinyan’s basic attacks are sluggish so being able to execute them a bit faster is welcomed. The buff can have 100% uptime though obviously, that is so long as Xinyan lands a CRIT every 5 seconds.
  • C2 – Gives Xinyan a Level 3 Shield upon casting her Elemental Burst and increases the CRIT Rate of her Burst’s Physical DMG by 100%. This is Xinyan’s best Constellation and it ensures that her hardest hitting attack will always CRIT. By extension, it also guarantees that her C1 will proc. While this Constellation does put greater emphasis on building Xinyan with CRIT DMG than with CRIT Rate, you should still build some of the latter. Otherwise, everything else in Xinyan’s kit will hit like an air guitar. You could just use C2 Xinyan exclusively for nuking but you’d need someone to fill in the downtime and at that point, you’d have to ask why you’re still using Xinyan.
  • C3 – Adds three Levels to Xinyan’s Elemental Skill.
  • C4 – Adds a 15% Physical RES debuff for when you attack an enemy with Xinyan’s Elemental Skill. Since Xinyan lacks direct access to Superconduct, having this Constellation is really helpful. It’s also a better perk than Xinyan’s A4 passive as it isn’t beholden to Xinyan’s shield staying active.
  • C5 – Adds three Levels to Xinyan’s Elemental Burst.
  • C6 – Increases Xinyan’s ATK by 50% of her DEF when she performs her Charged Attacks. Additionally, her Charged Attacks will now consume 30% less Stamina. Even if Xinyan’s DEF is low, this will skew her playstyle more towards using her Charged Attack over her Normal Attacks. Technically, the ATK buff applies to Xinyan’s entire kit but it’s only active when she spins to win so it’s difficult to utilize it with her other Talents. Why the buff is ATK as opposed to Charged Attack DMG Bonus or Physical DMG Bonus is beyond me.

As always, 4-Star Constellations are a complete gamble so pull at your own discretion. Besides C0 and C6, some solid stopping points are C2 and C4.

Weapons

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.

  • Redhorn Stonethresher (5-Star | 542 ATK | 88.2% CRIT DMG) – I don’t have this weapon so I can’t personally attest to it but it’d be silly to not mention what is Xinyan’s most popular 5-Star weapon option. The Stonethresher is extremely synergistic with Xinyan’s kit. Its passive provides a DEF increase as well as a flat Normal and Charged Attack DMG boost by a percentage of the user’s DEF. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen Xinyan while also addressing her split scaling. 
  • Skyward Pride (5-Star | 674 ATK | 36.8% Energy Recharge) – One of Genshin Impact’s standard 5-Star weapons. The Skyward Pride is a solid stat stick for Xinyan, providing him high base ATK, the right amount of Energy Recharge, and a universal DMG Bonus. Xinyan is also one of the few characters who can make good use of the weapon’s vacuum blade as it deals Physical DMG.
  • The Unforged (5-Star | 608 ATK | 49.6% ATK) – In addition to its high ATK, The Unforged also increases Shield Strength. Additionally, landing hits on opponents will increase ATK for 8 seconds and up to 5 times, with the amount doubled if the wielder is protected by a shield. You would mostly give Xinyan The Unforged for its high amount of ATK but the Shield Strength is welcomed in making her shield sturdy, even if just by a little bit.
  • Wolf’s Gravestone (5-Star | 608 ATK | 49.5% ATK) – Genshin’s other standard 5-Star Claymore. In addition to having ATK% as the second stat, the stat is provided via the weapon’s passive. If the wielder lands a hit on an enemy with less than 30% HP, the entire team’s Base ATK will be buffed for 12 seconds. Note that the buff itself has a 30 second cooldown. While the buff can be unreliable, the Wolf’s Gravestone is still a good option for Xinyan due to the sheer amount of ATK it offers.
  • Akuoumaru (4-Star | 510 ATK | 41.3% ATK) – Limited 4-Star weapon. This increases the wielder’s Elemental Burst DMG for every point of your entire team’s combined Energy costs. Assuming Xinyan is teamed with characters with high Energy costs, the Akuoumaru can be a great weapon for augmenting her Burst.
  • Lithic Blade (4-Star | 510 ATK | 41.3% ATK) – Limited 4-Star weapon. This increases Xinyan’s ATK and CRIT Rate but only for every character that you have on the team and are from Liyue. It can be strong but obviously, it also limits your team comp options.
  • Luxurious Sea-Lord (4-Star | 454 ATK | 55.1% ATK) – Version 2.1’s Event Weapon. The passive increases Elemental Burst DMG. If the wielder’s Burst lands a hit, the Luxurious Sea-Lord will deal a tuna-themed shockwave. This weapon pairs nicely with Xinyan’s Burst and she can make good use of the shockwave as it deals Physical DMG. More importantly, the weapon also looks really funny on Xinyan (and every other Claymore user, really).
  • Prototype Archaic (4-Star 565 ATK | 27.6% ATK) – Craftable. The passive gives the wielder a 50% chance to deal one instance of AoE Physical DMG when they score a hit with their Normal and Charged Attacks. Due to the 50/50 mechanic, the passive can be inconsistent. Nevertheless, Xinyan being a Physical DPS means she can make better use of the passive compared to other Claymore users. 
  • Sacrificial Greatsword (4-Star | 565 ATK | 30.6% Energy Recharge) – Sacrificial gives Xinyan’s Elemental Skill a percent chance to reset its cooldown when it hits an enemy. This can be useful for maintaining Xinyan’s shield and its perks. With a Level 3 shield, Xinyan has a pretty easy time getting the passive to proc thanks to the shield’s Pyro DoT. With Sacrificial at R5, Xinyan’s Skill duration outpaces the cooldown of the weapon’s passive. 
  • Serpent Spine (4-Star | 510 ATK | 27.6% CRIT Rate) – Requires the purchase of the Battle Pass. The passive increases DMG up to 5 times over a period of time. One stack is lost when the wielder takes a hit; otherwise, the stacks last indefinitely. Due to how strong the passive gets at higher refinements, Serpent Spine is a popular option for a lot of Claymore users, including Xinyan. That said, keeping the stacks at max with Xinyan can be a bit difficult if her shield is weak.

Artifacts

Sets:

  • Retracing Bolide (4) – Shield Strength set; increases Normal and Charged Attack DMG so long as the wielder is protected by a shield. If you actually manage to get a good shield out of Xinyan, she can utilize this set on her own. Otherwise, you’ll need Zhongli.
  • Bloodstained Chivalry (2)/Pale Flame (4) – Physical DMG 2-Piece combo. Neither set’s 4-Piece bonus is practical for Xinyan to use so you’re better off combining the 2-Piece effects and giving her a whopping 50% Physical DMG Bonus.
  • Husk of Opulent Dreams (2)/Physical DMG Bonus Set (2) – DEF% and Physical DMG 2-Piece combo. While not as strong as the combo listed above, this combo offers a more balanced statline for Xinyan, augmenting both her shield and her DPS. This combo has more appeal when Xinyan is at C6 as she can now use half of her DEF to boost her ATK while spinning to win.

Stats:

  • Sands: ATK%
  • Goblet: Physical DMG Bonus
  • Circlet: CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG
  • Sub-Stats: ATK%, CRIT Rate, CRIT DMG, Energy Recharge

DEF% is a usable sub-stat but I wouldn’t fret if you don’t have it on Xinyan’s Artifacts as it’s honestly more important that she can hit well as opposed to tanking well. By that same token, a DEF% Sands is usable for a C6 Xinyan; having one will improve her Charged Attack and shield. However, an ATK% Sands is still preferred as it buffs her Charged Attack and, more importantly, her Elemental Burst. If Xinyan has really high ATK before factoring in her Sands, you can comfortably get away with having DEF% as the piece’s main stat.

At C2, Xinyan skews a bit more towards a CRIT DMG Circlet. If you plan on using Xinyan’s Charged Attacks however, she still wants the recommended 60-70% CRIT Rate.

Avoid Elemental Mastery as best as you can. Physical DMG does not need it and Pyro related reactions aren’t very good on Xinyan.

Synergy

Once again, if you want to use Superconduct, you’re going to need two other characters who can get the job because Xinyan literally can’t do it for herself. If you’d rather avoid the trouble, I recommend opting for Elemental Resonances that would most benefit Xinyan. Resonances to consider are Geo (15% Shield Strength and 15% more DMG while protected by a shield) and Pyro (25% ATK).

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 Xinyan.

Recommended Teammates: 

  • Amber (4-Star | Pyro) – If you’re going to use Xinyan, you might as well use another bad character while you’re at it. With Noblesse Oblige (4) and a Favonius Warbow, she can serve as Xinyan’s buffer and battery. Her buffing is better at C6 but good luck getting Amber to C6.
  • Barbara (4-Star | Hydro) – Provides healing and has access to 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.
  • Gorou (4-Star | Geo) – Xinyan is the only non-Geo character whom Gorou synergizes with, thanks to her benefiting from the DEF buff Gorou provides with his Elemental Skill. While Gorou himself fulfills the 1 Geo character requirement for the DEF buff, you should consider adding a second Geo character to your team for the respective Resonance and to address Gorou’s high Energy needs. If you have Gorou at C4, this will also enable his healing.
  • Rosaria (4-Star | Cryo) – If you have Rosaria at C6, her Elemental Burst will decrease enemy Physical RES by 20% for 10 seconds. Combined with Xinyan’s C4, you can debuff Physical RES by 35%, which is only 5% less than Superconduct’s debuff. Pre-C6, Rosaria’s Burst can assist Xinyan with a minor CRIT Rate buff as well as an ATK buff (provided that Rossaria has Noblesse Oblige (4) equipped).
  • Zhongli (5-Star) – As redundant as it is to have a second shielder in the team, Zhongli’s Shield is the strongest in the game and it saves you the need to build Xinyan’s Shield. Casting Zhongli’s Shield will also debuff the Physical RES of nearby enemies.

Example Teams:

XinyanAmberGorouNoelle
XinyanAmberRosariaBarbara
XinyanGorouZhongliBarbara

Closing Words

Xinyan is one of Genshin Impact‘s most baffling playable characters. She’s a Physical DPS and yet she can’t use the one Reaction that benefits physical DMG. She can generate a shield for herself but because of the varying levels and the split scaling, it might as well not exist in her kit. Her Elemental Burst can be an effective nuke but that’s really about it. Her kit doesn’t make much sense. Any character in Genshin can get decent to good numbers if you try hard enough but Xinyan is one of those characters where you really have to try. Unless Xinyan is your waifu, I don’t recommend building her.


This post was originally published on October 26, 2021

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