Hello Travelers! Update 1.1 has been out for a few days now, and it came with exciting new Archon Quests and characters. However, today’s topic won’t be related to that, but rather it will address one of the crucial parts of Genshin Impacts’ gameplay: Supports.
First of all, what is a Support? Its definition is pretty vague, I’ve seen many different interpretations of the role among the community. Some people use it to represent characters that just can set a basis for Elemental Reactions, others use to call Support every character that impacts battles in any way other than inflicting high Damage.
I’m not here to set a standard, or deem any of these definitions inaccurate, rather I’m just going to use an interpretation that fits this article: Supports can magnify the effectiveness of the whole Party by synergizing with the main DPS elements wise, boosting allies’ stats, applying status effects on allies/opponents, or creating field effects that make it easier for the Party to dispose of opponents.
Of course, some characters have Supportive effects even if that’s not their main purpose - for example, Qiqi is mainly a healer but can also synergize with other characters thanks to her capability to apply Cryo on opponents -.
In particular, this article functions as a general outlook of Supports in the Game, what they can do in battle, who they synergize with, and how they should be built - although this is addressed briefly, it would take a whole other article to address the matter completely -. Let's get right into it
Among the myriad of Supports in the Game, Mona is unparalleled. To start with, Hydro is most likely the best Element for Reactions right now, because it synergizes well with some of the most effective DPS in the game - Keqing, Diluc, Klee, C6 Fischl to name some -. Mona is capable of inflicting opponents of constant Hydro statuses, thanks to her Elemental Skill/ Burst and even her Normal/Charged Attacks. However, this isn't even half of what Mona is capable of doing.
Mona's Elemental Burst has AoE range and applies illusory Bubble to the opponents on hit, an effect that amplifies Damage Taken by an enormous amount for a short amount of time. As a result, not only Mona is a fantastic Elemental Support, but also the ideal partner for any character that can inflict high damage right off the bat - for example, Ningguang -.
Last but not least, Mona Elemental Skill and Burst also control the flow of the battle well, through an illusory Phantom that taunts enemies around it, and the illusory Bubble that traps opponents respectively. All in all, Mona is a godly Support that could fit any Party.
She does well with a Noblesse Oblige set and Energy Recharge% rolls to magnify the utility of her Elemental Burst.
Just like Mona, Xinqiu thrives as a Hydro Support, but he’s probably better than her at inflicting Hydro to opponents in a way it benefits the main DPS on the Team. The reason is simple, both his Elemental Skill and Burst create multiple Rain Swords that rotate around any character in use - for 15 seconds ad C0 -, and immediately inflict Hydro to any nearby opponent. This thing alone is massively helpful and makes him a really strong Elemental Reaction Support for any character that can benefit from a Hydro based Elemental Reaction - in particular, characters that constantly inflict high Pyro damage, as Vaporize is extremely deadly -.
Plus, for the whole duration of Xinqiu's Elemental Burst, powerful Hydro Attacks get unleashed alongside the current character’s Normal Attacks, making the Hydro prodigy a good Damage Support as well.
His Rain Swords also do other things that get overshadowed by Xinqiu's main utility, but they’re practically quite useful nonetheless - small Damage Reduction and Heal -.
Luckily, his Constellations aren’t needed at all for him to fulfill his main purpose, even though his C2 and C6 amplify his Damage Support value.
His only issue is the 80-cost Elemental Burst, so Energy Recharge% rolls are mandatory on him.
If Genshin Impact DPS were allowed to break the fourth wall, they’d probably thank whoever designed Bennett.
Bennett is a great Damage amplifier thanks to his Elemental Burst, which creates the Inspiration Field. The field covers a small circular area, and “gifts” any character that stands within it a % of Bennet’s base ATK - the % increases with Elemental Burst Talent upgrades, and even surpasses 100% at a certain point -, as long as they have more than 70% of their total HP left. This last part might not be ideal at all times, as the field also inflicts a Burn effect on the Party characters that stand within it - small DoT - . Luckily when an active character’s HP% falls under that threshold, the field starts healing him over time.
Since his whole Support value comes from the Elemental Burst, you ideally want its activation to be consistent in battle, so Bennett works well with Energy Recharge% Weapons or Artifacts rolls.
Since Bennett's impact doesn't depend on any particular Elemental synergy, he can be used in many compositions with great results, but it’s worth noting that Pyro Resonance increases the whole Party's ATK by 25%- Diluc/Klee/Xiangling DPS + Bennett are optimal duos-.
His Elemental Burst's HP-related limitation gets removed if Bennett has his C1 active, which also increases the Field’s ATK Boost, making it a must if you use him in any of your main teams.
The following Anemo Supports have three things in common: crowd control capabilities, Element Absorption-based Elemental Burst, and their synergy the Viridescent Venerer set - whose 4-set bonus decreases opponents' Elemental Resistance by 60% for 10 seconds after Swirls -
Plus, Reactions wise Anemo is a versatile element, as Swirl can be activated in combination with any element that isn’t Geo. As a result, Anemo Supports’ performance isn’t dependent on the rest of the Party composition for the most part.
He’s quite literally the God of Wind canonically, how could he not be amazing at dominating the flow of battles through Anemo?
While Mona is the most effective Damage Support, this doesn’t necessarily make her a better Support than Venti, a character whose field control capabilities are unmatched. His Elemental Burst is a vortex that pulls in opponents from even long-range and deals continuous Anemo Damage to them. If an opponent has an Element applied to him while he’s getting damaged by the vortex, the Elemental Burst absorbs that element and keeps it for its whole duration. If there are multiple opponents with an Element applied, the absorption is based on the first one that reaches the vortex's nucleus. Consequently, Elemental hits of the absorbed element's typing get released simultaneously with the Anemo slashes, which causes continuous Swirl reactions that scale off Venti’s Elemental Mastery.
Damage damage damage… but what about the crowd control part? Seeing a bunch of enemies rotate around Venti’s vortex is both a spectacle for the eye and a big relief. It's a fantastic time-saver in Abyss and high-level Domains, as it makes defeating all the opponents in one fell swoop feel almost effortless. In this regard, using another character's Elemental Burst as a follow-up is ideal, especially if its Element generates a Reaction with the vortex's current typing.
Not only that, but Venti’s Energy Recharged-based Talent and Ascension Upgrades, as well as his short CD Elemental Skill, make him able to use his Elemental Burst very frequently in battle.
His only issue is the height of his vortex, which makes it hard for some Melee characters to hit opponents while they’re rotating around it.
Builds wise, Venti has many options: he can stack up Energy Recharge% rolls ( but this can become overkill if he has an Energy Recharge% weapon ), Elemental Mastery to take advantage of the constant Swirls, or ATK% + Crit Rate/Damage% ( this is harder to build, but it works really well if he uses The Stringless ).
“Budget-Venti”, that’s how some players among the community have called her, but Sucrose is much more than that. This isn't to say she's better than Venti, but rather that while she’s similar in some ways, her concept is a bit different.
In fact, while just like him she has a crowd-control Elemental Burst that absorbs Element, and their Elemental Skills are similar as well, Sucrose’s utility comes from how both of her Anemo abilities increase the Party’s Elemental Mastery on activation, thanks to her Talents.
In this sense, C1 is almost crucial for Sucrose, as it adds another stack to her Elemental Skill, which is difficult to use frequently otherwise due to its long CD. The constellation effectively doubles her effectiveness as an Elemental Mastery Support and makes her more consistent in general. Her C6 is also decent, as it adds another layer to her Support by boosting Elemental Damage for the Element absorbed by her Burst.
Speaking about her Elemental Burst, it might not have a gravitational pull as oppressive as Venti’s, but it does something else better than his, as it affects opponents' movements while also making them stay close to the ground, which makes it better to Support Melee characters.
Elemental Mastery rolls fit her capability to inflict constant Swirls well, and Energy Recharge% is needed as well as her Elemental Burst costs 80 Energy.
The “Main Character” in his Anemo version isn’t primarily a Support like Venti or Sucrose, he’s more of a hybrid that relies on constant Elemental Absorption to do Damage. However, since he has decent crowd-control through both his Elemental Skill and Burst and The Viridescent Venerer is resourceful in general, he can still do well in a Supportive Role against time-based content.
Characters that are either good at setting a basis for Elemental Reactions, and/or activating them. The main difference between the characters in this category and Xinqiu is that the latter can set up Reactions more reliably than them, since his Hydro application is constantly immediate, while the following characters have more issues in that regard.
The extravagant chef from Liyue packs a serious punch as a Pyro Support. Both her Skill and Burst can activate Elemental Reactions through continuous attacks - most of the time they connect after other characters’ attacks, so the Reactions scale off Xiangling's Elemental Mastery -. This makes her a perfect addition to your Party if you want to keep the Damage high at all times, benefitting from Overload, Melt, or Vaporize Reactions.
Her Constellations are very valuable for Support Purposes, specifically the C1, C4, and C6 make a great Pyro damage amplifier as well, which fits well with units like Diluc or Klee - it also activates Pyro resonance, but be wary since if there are Melt reactions you'd like to activate with them specifically, Xiangling flooding the field of Pyro attacks could be an issue -.
Elemental Mastery and Energy Recharge% rolls are valuable to her, and the Crimson Witch of Flames set amplifies her Elemental Reactions well.
She works well alongside DPS that can apply their Element on enemies frequently, so the likes of Keqing, Tartaglia, Chongyun, C6 Fischl.
Fischl is similar to Xiangling, as both her Skill and Burst allow her to constantly inflict her Element to opponents through her loyal ally Oz. This makes her work well with any Pyro or Hydro DPS, especially if she has her C6 active - which makes her bird’s Electro attacks much more consistent -.
Unfortunately, she lacks the AoE range of Xiangling's Abilities - at C6 it gets better though -, and also her Support in terms of straight Elemental Damage boosts for the rest of the Party, but Fischl also has something over her: after summoning Oz, she can teleport him around the field at will, which is very important to keep her Supportive impact high in big stages like Abyss.
Oz’s attacks are pretty quick, so they won’t activate Elemental Reactions every time. For this reason, you should build Fischl with Electro Damage and ATK% rolls as well as Elemental Mastery rolls, while also focusing on Energy Recharge% - constantly being able to use Fischl's Elemental Burst makes so Oz is always on the field-. Her best Artifacts set is full Thundering Fury.
In a mix of Offensive and Defensive utility, Diona aids the whole party while graciously dancing around opponents. You can find a more detailed analysis of her here.
She can’t apply her Element as consistently as Xiangling and Fischl, but she’s still capable of inflicting Cryo to opponents with ease, especially through her Elemental Burst, which casts a Cryo field that inflicts DoT of that Element to enemies that stand within its radius. However, there is a 2-3 seconds interval between the Cryo attacks, so Elemental Reactions should be timed carefully if you don't want her to activate them. This is particularly relevant for Melt Reactions, as they benefit strong DPS attacks much more than small hits like Diona’s.
She has more defensive utility compared to most other characters in this category, as her tanky Elemental Skill’s Shield has a low CD compared to its duration, so it’s great to protect Melee characters in content like Abyss. Of course, she also heals, but this isn't a matter of discussion in this article.
Diona's Constellations are great. Her C1 is mandatory as it makes her Burst much more consistent in long battles, and her C6 is a fantastic Elemental Reactions battery for the whole Party.
She does well with Energy Recharge% and HP% rolls - both her Skill and Burst have effects that scale off that -.
Qiqi is mainly known for her fantastic Healing contribution, but she also has some Supportive value thanks to her capability to inflict Cryo with both her Abilities. In particular, her Elemental Skill casts an orb that continuously rotates around the character currently in use, and inflicts Cryo to nearby enemies.
However, it's hard to time its attacks with others, as it’s possible, if not probable, that the orb will activate the Reactions instead of others - it’s a slow attack -, so this is an issue if you’re trying to Melt opponents.
On the other hand, she’s a good Superconduct Support despite her long CDs, so she fits perfectly with the likes of Razor in a healer-Support role.
Third Cryo Support in this category, this time it's a F2P one. Kaeya's Support is pretty straight-forward because it entirely relies on his capability to inflict Cryo, just like Qiqi's - however, it’s easier to justify her placement in most teams as she heals too, while Kaeya is one-dimensional -.
His CDs are short, so that’s another thing he has going for him.
His Elemental Burst is also pretty good for Reaction purposes as it’s a continuous Cryo attack that lasts 8 seconds, so Energy Recharge% and Noblesse Oblige is the way to go with Kaeya
Yeah, I know, another Cryo Support. In most cases, Chongyung doesn't fit the role, for a simple reason: his Elemental Skill casts a field that turns the current character’s Normal Attacks into Cryo Damage if he’s standing within its range. This isn’t ideal for Electro characters that thrive with Superconduct - reduces Physical Defense, but since the Attacks don’t inflict Physical Damage anymore, it’s useless -. However, he synergizes well with a character in particular: Diluc.
In fact, the Darknight Hero benefits from being able to alternate Cryo Normal Attacks with his Elemental Skill, to generate quick and powerful Melt Reactions. This isn’t consistent in the Overworld, since if Diluc applies Pyro to the ground - burning grass -, the element will also stick to the opponents that stand over it, making the Melt Reactions irregular, but the same doesn’t apply as much on Abyss and Domains, whose ground is neutral.
This combo becomes optimal if Chong has his C2 active since it decreases his Skill’s CD, making him able to keep the field on at all times.
His Elemental Burst also comes in handy as it has low CD and Energy Requirements, so it’s good to put a full Noblesse Oblige set on him.
Geo characters are a bit of an odd case since their Elemental Reactions - Crystalize - aren't Offensive, quite the contrary. They create Shields that reduce Damage received by the Element used to activate the Reaction. This might seem underwhelming, but it comes in handy against Abyss and Domains that typically have many opponents of the same Element. In particular, enemies like Slimes that always have their Element applied to them, make it easy to activate the fitting Crystalize Reaction by hitting them with Geo.
Other than that, Crystalize also has Offensive utility if used in combination with the full Archaic Petra set - during the shield’s duration, its Element also gets boosted damage-wise for the whole Party. -, but it’s not always easy to activate Shields of the right Element in battle.
The Geo variant of the “Main Character” is definitely more interesting than the Anemo one for Supportive purposes, mainly thanks to his Elemental Burst, Wake of Earth, and its related Constellations - which are freely obtainable -
Wake of Earth generates continuous Geo shockwaves within a radius limited by stone walls the Burst creates on activation. This effect becomes interesting when you consider his C1, which increases the current character’s Crit Rate% by 10% - which is a solid increase on a difficult but essential stat to build for DPS purposes - as long as he stands within the stone walls.
C4 and C6 also make him recharge a lot of Energy and last his Burst longer respectively, making him a consistent Crit Support. His Geo constructs can also be used to limit opponent’s movements and block attacks if well placed, but they can also be bothersome if you accidentally climb onto those in battle.
Geo resonance is also pretty good as it increases Damage by 15% as long as a shield is active, so Traveler fits well with Ningguang.
Given his capability to spam his Burst, Geo Damage and ATK% rolls work well, and some Energy Recharge% always helps although he’s great at regenerating Energy on his own
Ningguang benefits from all the good things that come from having the Geo Element, and her Elemental Skill has decent utility. That said, she shouldn't be used as a Support since her DPS capabilities are much better.