This post is up to date with Version 3.4 Phase 2
Yelan is a 5-Star Hydro Bow character from Liyue. She can only be obtained via the “Discerner of Enigmas” event banner. Primarily, she serves as an Off Field DPS for her team.
When Yelan spends 5 seconds out of combat, she enters the Breakthrough state. This reduces her Charged Attack’s charging time by 80% and transforms it into a Breakthrough Barb, which explodes upon contact and deals AoE Hydro DMG based on Yelan’s Max HP. As an indicator, the bracelet on Yelan’s right hand will glow if she has Breakthrough (though this can be difficult to notice during the middle of combat). The Breakthrough Barb is pretty strong and its explosion covers a good chunk of ground. However, since Yelan has to be off field for her to obtain Breakthrough, she can’t really spam the attack much like Ganyu and even Yoimiya can with their Level 2 Charged Attack. In a typical rotation, you even forget that Yelan even has this ability. Generally, you’ll just use the Breakthrough Barb to kill Timmie’s pigeons and other animals in the open world.
Yelan’s Elemental Skill, Lingering Lifeline allows her to move quickly and entangle opponents in a Lifeline, a rope Yelan creates out of water. If the Skill button is tapped, Yelan will make a swift dash forward. If the button is held instead, Yelan can sprint with Lifeline for a few seconds. This sprint can end prematurely if Yelan gets staggered or when you press the Skill, Jump, Sprint, or Normal Attack button. Once Lifeline expires, it will explode and deal Hydro DMG based on Yelan’s Max HP towards any marked opponents. Each marked opponent will also give Yelan a 34% chance to reset Breakthrough. Personally, I think Lingering Lifeline is one of the most entertaining Elemental Skills in Genshin. For one, it is quite strong, scaling at around a third of Yelan’s Max HP at higher levels. In the open world, you can outright kill mobs with this Skill. Second, it is simply a lot of fun zipping through a bunch of enemies and watch them stagger as the Lifeline detonates and damages them. It also makes as a convenient form of traversal, allowing you to move a lot faster for a brief time.
Obviously, the longer Yelan sprints with her Elemental Skill the longer she stays on the field. On top of that, the Skill does not begin its 10 second cooldown until after Yelan stops sprinting and Lifeline explodes. If you choose to use the Hold version, you’ll want to be very quick with it so that you can move on to the next step in whatever rotation you have in mind and have the Skill ready for the next rotation.
When Yelan casts her Elemental Burst, Depth-Clarion Dice, she deals AoE Hydro DMG and creates an Exquisite Throw. For 15 seconds, the Exquisite Throw will follow your active character and coordinate with their Normal Attacks to deal Hydro DMG based on Yelan’s Max HP. Executing and successfully hitting with the Lifeline will also proc the Exquisite Throw’s coordinated attacks. This ult is functionally the same as Xingqiu’s Elemental Burst and likewise, it is incredibly good for enabling multiple procs of Hydro related reactions. It is the main source of Yelan’s DPS and the main reason to have her on your team.
As a trade off, Yelan’s Elemental Burst comes with a mildly high cost of 70 Energy. Yelan’s Elemental Skill provides her with 4 Hydro particles when it hits at least one enemy so with sufficient Energy Recharge and depending on her weapon, she is capable of being her own battery. Alternatively, you can address Yelan’s Energy needs by teaming her up with a second Hydro character. Unlike Xingqiu, this method works quite well for Yelan as Hydro Resonance post-Version 3.0 increases her Max HP.
While Yelan’s combat Talents are largely for DPS, she does provide a couple of utilities with her Ascension passives. Her A1 passive increases Max HP depending on the different Elements in your team, with 4 unique Elements providing you with the highest buff. While this somewhat incentivizes putting Yelan in a rainbow comp, you should not opt for it if your team benefits from certain Elemental Resonances and if you need to address someone’s Energy needs such as Yelan’s. Other than that, it is a permanent boost to Yelan’s Max HP and by extension, her DPS.
With Yelan’s A4 passive, her Elemental Burst gains the ability to increase your active character’s DMG over time, starting at 1% and gaining 3.5% every second. This buff caps at 50% DMG Bonus and it expires as soon as the ult does. While you would need to play your cards at just the right moment to get the most out of this buff, this is a potentially strong buff that can be enjoyed by virtually any other character in the game.
- C1 – Gives Yelan’s Elemental Skill 1 additional charge. Due to the Skill’s 10 second cooldown, you’ll need to be quick in using back to back so that both charges are ready by the time you restart your rotation. That aside, this is an excellent Constellation for Yelan’s DPS and, more importantly, her Energy needs.
- C2 – Fires an additional Hydro attack when Yelan’s Elemental Burst performs a coordinated attack. The DMG of this attack is set to 14% of Yelan’s Max HP. This is arguably Yelan’s best Constellation. It has a separate Internal Cooldown from the Exquisite Throw, making Yelan better at applying Hydro and enabling the Element’s related reactions.
- C3 – Adds three Levels to Yelan’s Elemental Burst
- C4 – Increases the entire team’s Max HP by 10% and for 25 seconds for every opponent marked by Lifeline when the Elemental Skill explodes. This buff caps at 40% (so to reach it, you’ll need to hit four enemies). While obviously worthless for the majority of Genshin‘s roster, this buff is great for HP-oriented characters such as Hu Tao and Nilou.
- C5 – Adds three Levels to Yelan’s Elemental Skill.
- C6 – Allows Yelan to enter the Mastermind state once she casts her Elemental State. In this state, Yelan’s next five Normal Attacks become a version of Breakthrough Barbs. These Breakthrough Barbs count as Charged Attack DMG and deals 156% more DMG than normal version. Yelan’s Normal Attack combo, is comprised of four moves so unless you end it partway through, you’ll use up this buff by the time Yelan performs her first Normal Attack a second time. Since Yelan burns through it so quickly, this Constellation does not enable her to act as an On Field DPS. Depending on your rotation, utilizing this state might complicate things. That said, this Constellation is alarmingly strong, allowing Yelan to make dents into even the tankiest of enemies in a very short amount of time.
As is always the case with 5-star characters, you should only consider going after Yelan’s Constellations if you have the money to burn. Some good stopping points besides C0 and C6 are C1 and C2.
The following list of weapons begins with Hu Tao’s 5-Star Signature Weapon, followed by other recommendations of descending rarity and in alphabetical order. Stats provided in the parentheses are assuming the respective weapon is at Lv. 90.
- Aqua Simulacra (5-Star | 542 ATK | 88.2% CRIT DMG) – Yelan’s Signature Weapon. The passive provides HP% and increases the wielder’s DMG when your active character is near an opponent. Since the active character can be someone else, this passive works for the wielder off field. I don’t have this weapon so I can’t personally attest to it but it is considered Yelan’s strongest weapon, albeit with an asterisk. The strength of this weapon is highly dependent on whether or not Yelan’s Energy needs have already been fulfilled, either by her build or her team comp.
- Fading Twilight (4-Star | 565 ATK | 30.6% Energy Recharge) – Yelan’s Event Weapon from Version 2.7. When the wielder’s attacks hit opponents and/or for 7 seconds, the Bow will cycle through one of three DMG Bonuses. While inconsistent, the buff is pretty much on all the time.
- Favonius Warbow (4-Star | 454 ATK | 61.3% Energy Recharge) – In addition to the gacha, the Favonius Warbow can be obtained for free when you defeat Dvalin in Act III of the main story’s prologue. The passive has a percent chance to generate neutral particles with a CRIT. This is generally Yelan’s best 4-Star option due to how well it addresses her Energy needs.
- Slingshot (3-Star | 354 ATK | 31.2% CRIT Rate) – Increases DMG when the wielder’s Normal or Charged Attack hits a target within 0.3 seconds of being fired. DMG takes a slight decrease if the requirement is not met. For Yelan, I largely just recommend the Slingshot for the CRIT Rate and if Yelan’s Energy needs have been addressed. Save for the occasional Charged Attack, the passive is irrelevant for Yelan.
- Emblem of Severed Fate (4) – Energy Recharge set; provides Elemental Burst DMG in proportion to 25% of the former stat. Since much of Yelan’s DPS is concentrated in her Burst, this set is perfect for her. A lot of other characters in Genshin want Emblem of Severed Fate and this set is farmable alongside Shimenawa’s Reminiscence (another useful set) so any Genshin player should farm this set in general.
- Sands: Energy Recharge or HP%
- Goblet: Hydro DMG Goblet
- Circlet: CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG
- Sub-Stats: CRIT Rate, CRIT DMG, Elemental Mastery, Energy Recharge, HP%,
Energy Recharge is generally the preferred main stat for the Sands, in order to cast Yelan’s Elemental Burst every rotation. Some scenarios where you can comfortably use an HP% Sands is if Yelan is at C2, she has the Favonius Warbow equipped, and/or if she is in a team with another Hydro character.
Yelan gains up to 19.2% CRIT Rate as she ascends so she only needs 40.8-50.8% CRIT Rate from her Artifacts. Unless sub-stats are sufficient, she’ll generally want CRIT Rate as her Circlet’s main stat.
Since most of Yelan’s Talents scale off of HP, you should avoid giving her Artifacts with ATK. The only things in Yelan’s kit that scales off of ATK are her Normal Attacks, her uncharged Aimed Shot, and her Plunging Attacks, all of which deal Physical DMG and are seldom used in combat.
Yelan excels in Vaporize comps, which happens to be one of the strongest Elemental Reactions in the meta. She also works well with Electro-Charged, Frozen, Hyperbloom, and Nilou Bloom. Teaming Yelan with a Hydro battery is helpful but it isn’t necessary and Yelan can perform just fine as the sole Hydro unit in the team with the right build.
Elemental Resonances to consider for Yelan are Cryo (15% CRIT Rate against enemies affected by Cryo/Frozen), Dendro (increased Elemental Mastery; more so if Dendro-related reactions are triggered), Electro (extra particle generation), and Hydro (25% Max HP).
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 Yelan.
- Cyno (5-Star | Electro) – Cyno’s barrage of Normal Attacks infused by his Elemental Burst makes him a good driver for Yelan in a Hyperbloom team.
- Diluc (5-Star | Pyro) – The first of many Pyro drivers whom Yelan can team up with. Because of the different Internal Cooldowns of both characters, Diluc can get Vaporize on all three strikes of his Elemental Skill so long as he interweaves each strike with a Normal Attack.
- Eula (5-Star | Cryo) – Being a Physical DPS, you rarely use Eula alongside a Hydro character. However, Eula is arguably one of the best characters who can utilize Yelan’s A4 passive as her Elemental Burst takes time to detonate.
- Hu Tao (5-Star | Pyro) – Personally, I think Hu Tao is better off with Xingqiu due to the latter’s close ranged Hydro application and utilities that help Hu Tao stay alive. That said, you obviously can use Yelan with Hu Tao just fine. While Hu Tao mainly spams her Charged Attacks, she can proc Yelan’s Elemental Burst since she has to precede her Charged Attack with at least one Normal Attack.
- Keqing (5-Star | Electro) – Recommended for Electro-Charged and Hyperbloom comps. Like Hu Tao, Keqing mainly fights with her Charged Attack but she’ll still proc Yelan’s Elemental Burst with a proceeding Normal Attack. Keqing’s rotation is generally on the short side so you will need to be especially quick with executing Yelan’s Elemental Skill.
- Kamisato Ayaka (5-Star | Cryo) – Like with Hu Tao, Xingqiu is a better teammate for Ayaka due to his closed ranged Hydro application. Nevertheless, Yelan works well with Ayaka and Ayaka can proc Yelan’s Elemental Burst when the Normal Attack she performs before her Charged Attack.
- Nilou (5-Star | Hydro) – Yelan’s Elemental Burst saves Nilou the need to fight on field with her Hydro infusion. If you do choose to use her Hydro infusion, Nilou can proc Yelan’s Burst even though her infused Normal Attacks count as Elemental Skill DMG. Yelan is arguably Nilou’s most synergistic battery as she not only provides particles but also Hydro Resonance, which both women benefit from. That said, running Yelan with Nilou means you must have Yaoyao on the team. If you don’t, you’ll have to sacrifice access to Dendro Resonance and run a triple Hydro team with Barbara or Kokomi.
- Raiden Shogun (5-Star | Electro) – Recommended for Electro-Charged and Hyperbloom. Xingqiu is technically better as his higher Energy cost will give Raiden more Resolve stacks. However, this advantage can be moot depending on the Energy costs of your two other characters. While Raiden’s taichi strikes count as Elemental Burst DMG, they can still proc Yelan’s Elemental Burst. Since Raiden’s Elemental Skill triggers on anything so long as it deals a direct hit, it can coordinate with Yelan’s Skill and cause enemies entangled by the Lifeline to take Electro-Charged DMG.
- Sangonomiya Kokomi (5-Star | Hydro) – Similar to with Nilou, Yelan’s is arguably Kokomi’s most synergistic battery due to her particle generation and her providing access to Hydro Resonance. With Yelan addressing Kokomi’s Energy needs, the latter can more reliably enhance her Normal Attacks with her Elemental Burst and act as the former’s driver.
- Yanfei (4-Star | Pyro) – The most F2P-friendly driver on the list; similar situation as all the other Pyro drivers mentioned here.
- Yoimiya (5-Star | Pyro) – Unlike the other Pyro carries mentioned here, Yoimiya has standard Internal Cooldown so she’d only get Vaporize every three hits. It’s a shame as her combo being entirely comprised of Normal Attacks would make her Yelan’s best driver. Even so, it’s worth pairing the two together for some extra DMG.
Yelan is one of the best characters from Genshin‘s 2.0 era and she is currently one of the best characters to pull for. Her Elemental Burst alone makes her a superb asset for any team involving Hydro reactions. Admittedly, you can just settle with Xingqiu as your Hydro Off Field DPS. Unlike Yelan, Xingqiu can be obtained for free with Masterless Starglitter. While Yelan is a 5-Star character, I don’t think she powercreeps Xingqiu to oblivion (though this says more about Xingqiu than Yelan). However, it is still a good idea to consider getting Yelan as you never know if you need a Hydro Off Field DPS for both of your teams in the Spiral Abyss.