With the release of Genshin Impact version 2.6, the free-spirited, wine-loving bard of Mondstadt known as Venti is getting his third rerun, alongside the version's new 5-star character, Kamisato Ayato.
As the mortal vessel of Barbatos, the Anemo Archon, Venti should be a must-have for players that are either looking to collect all the Archons or really relate to his free-spirited demeanor.
If you have love Venti's character, then you should feel free to climb up his statue in Mondstadt, whisper ehe to the wind, then spend all your primogems to bring him home.
However, if you're one of those players that also takes into account the character's strength in the metagame and viability in the Spiral Abyss, then you might be having some second thoughts about pulling for Venti.
To be more specific, you're most probably debating if it's better to pull for Venti now or save your primogems and wait for Kaedehara Kazuha (the REAL Anemo Archon for metaslaves) to finally get his rerun instead. While we backed Venti for his first rerun in 1.4, it has been quite a while since that.
Well, let's dive into that. Is Venti still worth pulling for?
Venti, god of Anemo and crowd control
Anemo as an element is all about increasing your party's elemental damage with Swirl and sweeping up enemies with wind and keeping them controlled. As the Anemo Archon, Venti provides all that and then some, as my colleague pointed out in Kazuha's first run comparison.
His Elemental Skill, Skyward Sonnet, deals Anemo damage in an area, Swirls any elements in the affected area, then lifts enemies up in the air. Holding the skill will give it a larger area-of-effect with Venti at its epicenter while also creating a wind current, which can then be used to do a Plunging Attack.
While Skyward Sonnet is a strong skill, it pales in comparison to Venti's Elemental Burst: Wind's Grand Ode.
The Anemo Archon's bread and butter ability summons a huge vortex that sucks enemies in and deals continuous Anemo damage. If the vortex comes into contact with an instance of Hydro, Pyro, Cryo, or Electro, then it will Swirl that element and deal additional elemental damage. Only one element can be absorbed, however.
Thanks to Wind's Grand Ode, Venti can sweep crowds of enemies with ease and little field time — practically trivializing overworld content like combat-related daily commissions and domains.
To put it succinctly, Venti deals insane amounts of Anemo and Swirl damage while providing unparalleled crowd control... but that's about it.
He doesn't provide healing like Jean or Sayu nor does he provide additional damage or Elemental Mastery buffs like Kazuha or C6 Sucrose.
If you're just looking for someone to put up a lot of big numbers in your screen, then Venti is by no means a bad pick. However, you should know that even his strength has its limits.
While Venti deals with crowds of enemies without breaking a sweat, his power is greatly diminished against singular enemies — like world bosses and weekly bosses — due to a loss of Swirls.
With the Spiral Abyss trending more towards having floors occupied by world bosses, other Anemo characters can provide more for your party by bringing heals or buffs while still boosting elemental damage with the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer artifact set.
What's more, some enemies like Kairagi, Abyss Lectors and Heralds, as well as Spectres (all commonplace enemies in the Spiral Abyss) cannot be lifted by Wind's Grand Ode.
Against those enemies, and not to mention bosses, Venti loses a lot of the utility provided by his crowd control.
Those aren't the only issues Venti can face in combat either.
It can be difficult to control where Wind's Grand Ode will land, especially when you're surrounded by enemies. You will have to wait for them to approach you and group up first before using your burst, which can be a waste of precious seconds in the Spiral Abyss.
While it's a rare issue to encounter, Venti lifting enemies up in the air with Skyward Sonnet or Wind's Grand Ode can also bring them out of reach of some characters.
This won't be an issue with characters that can hit enemies regardless of height, but it prevents Venti from synergizing with ground-bound melee characters like Eula or Hu Tao.
So, is Venti worth it?
The short answer is still yes.
But if we get to the nitty-gritty of it: while Venti's strength can be neutered by certain enemies and does not guarantee you will get a 36-star clear in the Spiral Abyss, he is still a great addition to your party.
He may not be as flexible as the other Anemo characters that also provide heals and buffs, but Venti can and will dish out tons of damage and provide unparalleled crowd control (as long as you're not facing a boss).
But that is not to say Venti isn't a meta pick for the Spiral Abyss.
In fact, he's part of the 'MORGANA' (Mona, Ganyu, Diona, Venti) permafreeze lineup, one of the best team compositions out there.
Another thing Venti has going for himself is that it's relatively easier for him to reach his full potential compared to other 5-star characters.
Venti's best weapon is the Stringless, a 4-star weapon that can be acquired through the standard banner as well as all limited character and weapon banners.
A refinement rank 5 Stringless even outdamages the 5-star Elegy of the End at the same refinement rank.
What's more, Venti even has a free R5 4-star weapon in the Windblume Ode (though it was only available through the Invitation of Windblume event last year).
You also only need to farm a 4-piece Viridescent Venerer's set with Elemental Mastery main stats on the goblet, sands, and circlet (admittedly easier said than done). Venti doesn't suffer from Energy Recharge problems either, as his second Ascension passive and the natural energy generated by his abilities are more than enough to fuel him through multiple rotations.
Of course, this was all with the Spiral Abyss and other late game content in mind. Venti practically trivializes almost everything else the game throws at you.
Genshin Impact is not all about the Spiral Abyss after all.
If you're playing for fun, then there are only a handful of things that are more fun than seeing a whole mob of enemies writhe in pain as they are sucked into a vortex of wind and non-stop flashing numbers while Venti mumbles about a lack of alchohol in the corner.