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Genshin Impact: The duelist's guide to Genius Invokation TCG for beginners

It's time to du-du-du-duel!

Genius Invokation TCG has taken over both Genshin Impact's game world and its real-life player base since it released in Genshin Impact version 3.3. Read our guide to help you channel the heart of the cards and conquer your enemies! (Photo: HoYoverse)
Genius Invokation TCG has taken over both Genshin Impact's game world and its real-life player base since it released in Genshin Impact version 3.3. Read our guide to help you channel the heart of the cards and conquer your enemies! (Photo: HoYoverse)

While Genshin Impact version 3.3 featured the highly-anticipated release of the Wanderer and a continuation of the Sumeru storyline with Act III of the Archon Quest Interlude Chapter, the biggest addition in the latest version was undoubtedly the release of Genius Invokation TCG.

Genius Invokation TCG has not only become a hit in the universe of Genshin Impact, but across the globe in real life, too.

This card game will have you du-du-du-duel with NPCs and even your favourite characters, to the point that some Travelers have even forgotten about their quest to find their missing sibling...

If you haven't dived deep into the wonderful world of Genius Invokation TCG, then read on for a guide to help you channel the heart of the cards and send all opposing duelists to the Shadow Rea— err, I mean the Abyss.

How the game works

In Genius Invokation TCG, you will need three Character cards and 30 Support or Event cards to duel an opponent.

The Character Cards will be the ones doing the battling, while Support or Event cards give you a whole lot of options to either buff your characters, prolong your turn, and give you added benefits.

Elemental reactions in Genius Invokation TCG

Much like in the overworld, your Character Cards also wield elements.

So it’s best to consider Elemental Reactions that you can create with your team! Elemental Reactions have effects in game like:

  • Overload - Deals +2 DMG and forces your opponent to switch cards.

  • Superconduct - Deals +1 DMG and Piercing DMG across enemy’s present deck excluding the Target.

  • Vaporize - Deals +2 DMG on Target Card.

  • Melt - Deals +2 DMG on Target Card.

  • Electro-Charged - Deals +1 DMG and Piercing DMG across the enemy's present deck excluding the Target.

  • Frozen - Deals +1 DMG and Freezes Target Card.

  • Swirl - Deals 1 Swirled Elemental DMG across enemy’s present deck excluding the Target.

  • Crystallize - Deals +1 DMG and grants 1 Shield Point towards your Active Character.

  • Burning - Deals +1 DMG and creates a burning core that affects other cards when switching (happens at end of turn).

  • Bloom - Deals +1 DMG and creates a Dendro Core. Hitting a Target character who is affected by Bloom with Pyro or Electro will deal an additional +2 Dendro DMG (1 usage).

  • Quicken - Deals +1 DMG and creates a Catalyzing Field. Hitting an affected Target Character with either Dendro or Electro will give an added +1 DMG (3 usages).

The best option to get when considering Elemental reactions is obviously Overload, Superconduct, Electro-charged, and Swirl, as it can deal DMG to your opponent’s team roster, giving you a chance to end your duel quickly.

But don’t be hasty. As the game begins, you will enter the Preparation Phase, and have a chance to draw five random cards from your Support/Event card pile. You can have an option to redraw cards when you feel that the ones you got are not in your favour. Afterwhich comes The Rolling Phase.

The Rolling Phase determines the elements ascribed to the dice you will consume to use your Character Cards’ Normal Attacks, Skills, and Bursts.

Each die is an eight-sided D8, representing the seven Elements and the almighty Omni Element, which can be used for any of the other seven.

Much like drawing the Support and Event cards, you will also get another chance to reroll when the first roll is not in your favour.

Once that’s done, it’s the Action Phase; the duel has begun! You can play tons of strategies, but be mindful of your dice consumption.

When there are no moves left on your end, you can choose to end your turn before your opponent so you can go first in the next round.

After that, it’s all just a matter of destroying your enemy’s deck over the course of a few rounds to secure that sweet, sweet victory.

Building Your Deck

To reiterate, you get three character cards, each one attuned to certain elements. It’s best to build your deck around your preferred one or two elemental reactions, choosing one or two main damage dealers and one support or buffer character.

Your deck should also include Support or Event cards that can help you streamline your chosen tactics, boost your DMG, or buff your character cards even further. As such, make sure to have Artifact cards, Talent cards, and Weapon cards handy. You might also need these cards to trigger additional victory conditions when playing against certain opponents (such as equipping an Artifact card and getting extra currency to spend with Prince, the cat card dealer).

Cards that give you Omni Element dice are also a must-have when you’re wanting for more dice, or when you’re stuck with an unlucky roll, as they can be used instead of Elemental Dice that don’t ascribe to your chosen card’s element. You also don’t need to sacrifice any support cards in your hand to achieve elemental tuning.

A sample Genius Invokation TCG deck featuring Ganyu, Ayaka, and Xingqiu. This deck relies on the Freeze reaction and features Ganyu and Ayaka as the main damage dealers. (Photos: HoYoverse)
A sample Genius Invokation TCG deck featuring Ganyu, Ayaka, and Xingqiu. This deck relies on the Freeze reaction and features Ganyu and Ayaka as the main damage dealers. (Photos: HoYoverse)

For example, in a deck with Ganyu, Ayaka, and Xingqiu character cards, Ganyu and Ayaka are the main damage dealers while Xingqiu takes on a supportive role to enable the Freeze reaction.

The deck should consist of Ganyu and Ayaka's talent cards, bow and sword weapon cards, Artifact cards for each character, and various support cards. These support cards include two Jade Chamber cards, two Katheryne cards, four Paimon cards, and two each of the Timmy and Liben cards.

The logic for this deck build is to give Ganyu and Ayaka as much elemental dice as possible to deal damage in one round through the Jade Chamber, artifact, and Omni Element dice cards. Support cards like Katheryne, ‘When the Crane Returned’, ‘Leave it to Me!’, and ‘Changing Shifts’ also add versatility by letting you freely switch between characters and trigger reactions.

Feel free to experiment with the elemental reactions that best fit your playstyle as well as the characters that enable your chosen reaction.

You can test your decks out in the various challenges throughout the overworld or the weekly duels in Cat's Tail.

Character Cards you should get

As of Genshin Impact version 3.3, there are a total of 27 character cards in Genius Invokation TCG. While most of them are comprised of playable characters, others are world bosses and enemies.

The cards for the playable characters can be acquired through the Invitation Board at Cat's Tail while the cards for world bosses and enemies can be acquired by completing Tavern Challenges with Prince.

The list of currently available character cards include Barbara, Bennett, Chongyun, Collei, Cyno, Diluc, Diona, Fatui Pyro Agent, Fischl, Ganyu, Jadeplume Terrorshroom, Jean, Kaeya, Kamisato Ayaka, Keqing, Maguu Kenki, Mirror Maiden, Mona, Ningguang, Noelle, Razor, Rhodeia of Loch, Stonehide Lawachurl, Sucrose, Xiangling, Xingqiu, and Yoimiya.

Players don't have an unlimited amount of invitations they can use to acquire every single character card, so you will have to carefully choose which ones you want to get. With Overload, Freeze, Superconduct, Electro-Charged, and Swirl being the best reactions so far, we recommend that you get the characters that let you trigger these reactions:

  • Ganyu and Ayaka - The best Cryo character cards, with Ganyu excelling in dealing damage to multiple targets while Ayaka shines against single targets

  • Fischl - She can summon Oz, who deals Electro DMG at the end of every turn for two rounds

  • Keqing - She can immediately attack after switching with her skill card and damage multiple enemies with her burst

  • Rhodeia of Loch - Much like Fischl, can summon her Hydro Mimics. The difference is she can summon a whole lot more and can shield you

  • Xingqiu - He is a great Hydro applicator and support, enabling Freeze and Electro-Charged teams

  • Xiangling - Similar to Fischl and Rhodeia, she can summon Guoba to deal damage at the end of every turn. Her burst also deals a lot of damage and enables strong Melt and Overload attacks

  • Bennett - Much like in the main game, he is a great support and buffer who can also provide heals

  • Sucrose - The best character card in the starter deck, she can consistently trigger Swirl with just her normal attacks and force enemies to switch out with her skill

Support Cards: Press the Attack!

Support cards in Genius Invokation TCG help you set up the ideal round by giving you bonus elemental dice or switch freely between your characters, among a variety of other effects.

With the importance of elemental dice and switching in the flow of the game, make sure you have enough support cards that help with these mechanics.

For example, the Katheryne and Dawn Winery cards help with freely switching between characters while the Paimon, Liben, and Timmy cards let you gain some much-needed Omni Elemental dice.

Keep an eye out for our list of the best support cards in Genius Invokation TCG soon!

Event Cards: Turn the tides in your favour

While support cards Genius Invokation TCG are for setting up the ideal round, event cards help players adapt to the changing conditions of the duel or keep the momentum going.

Event cards not only help with character switching and getting elemental dice, they can also let you get bonus cards or give your characters boosted attacks or healing.

Arguably the most iconic event card in Genius Invokation TCG is 'Strategize', the game's version of Yu-Gi-Oh's iconic Pot of Greed, which lets you draw two more cards to your hand at the price of one dice.

Event cards like 'Changing Shifts', 'Leave it to Me!', and 'When the Crane Returned' are great at enabling switch-reliant playstyles while resonance cards give various buffs whenever your deck includes two character cards of the same elemental alignment.

There are also food cards like the iconic Sweet Madame and Jueyun Guoba that can your heal characters in a pinch or boost their damage when it's go time.

Keep an eye out for our list of the best event cards in Genius Invokation TCG soon!

Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.

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