The second half of Genshin Impact version 2.6 is right around the corner, and developer HoyoVerse has released the lineup for the new event banners; featuring the first rerun of Kamisato Ayaka, oldest daughter of the Yashiro Commission’s Kamisato clan and the Shirasagi Himegimi.
Ayaka is a 5-star Cryo sword damage-per-second (DPS) character whose mastery over the Kamisato art of the sword is a force to be reckoned with.
Since her initial release as the first banner of version 2.0, Ayaka has always been one of the best meta DPS characters, even at low investment.
She has become one of the most popular picks for the Spiral Abyss, and with the right team composition, Ayaka can become absolutely unstoppable.
Here are the reasons why you should open up your Primogem hoard and pull for Ayaka:
High damage regardless of investment
The best thing about Cryo characters is that you don’t have to worry about their crit ratios.
A Cryo character like Ayaka inherently produces their own Crit Rate, granted by wielding the Blizzard Strayer artifact set — which has a 4-piece set bonus that increases Crit Rate by 20% against opponents affected by Cryo, as well as an additional 20% increase if said opponent is frozen.
Additionally, activating the Cryo Resonance effect by having at least two Cryo characters in your party gives a 15% increase in Crit Rate if opponents are again affected by Cryo or are frozen. That’s a whopping 55% Crit Rate for free, giving players leeway to focus on other stats like Crit DMG or Attack.
Ayaka also gains up to 88% Crit DMG at max ascension, making it easy to get optimal crit ratios with her.
Getting her best-in-slot (BiS) weapon, the Mistsplitter Reforged (which is getting a rerun alongside Ayaka), gives 44% Crit DMG as well as some hefty elemental damage bonuses. Combine that with a Crit DMG circlet, which gives 62% Crit DMG, and Ayaka can easily get 55% Crit Rate and 194% Crit DMG even without other crit substats.
Even if you can't get the Mistsplitter Reforged, Ayaka also works well with most of the 5-star swords in the game, like Primordial Jade Cutter and Skyward Blade.
While the former’s Crit Rate substat is admittedly a bit of a waste, it’s still a good stat stick, and the latter is great to supplement Ayaka’s high energy requirement.
No 5-star sword? No problem. The Battle Pass' The Black Sword and starglitter shop weapon Blackcliff Longsword are also good investments.
But if you’re gunning for purely free-to-play (F2P), the Inazuma craftable sword Amenoma Kageuchi is technically Ayaka’s F2P BiS weapon.
You also don’t need constellations to unlock Ayaka’s potential. At zero constellations, she’s already one of the strongest characters in the game — which makes her a great F2P investment.
Literally a cool sprinter
Like the 5-star hydro character Mona, Ayaka has a unique alternate sprint. The difference though is that Ayaka’s sprint is way better.
Ayaka’s sprint, called Kamisato Art: Senho, allows her to cloak herself in a frozen fog that can apply Cryo to enemies, infuse her sword with Cryo, and can help players cross bodies of water with ease.
This means that Ayaka can consistently apply Cryo to her enemies, which makes it easy to Swirl the element with Anemo and trigger the Viridescent Venerer's 4-piece set bonus without using your skill or burst.
Ayaka's 4th ascension passive, Kanten Senmyou Blessing, further increases her alternate sprint's strength by giving her an 18% Cryo damage bonus if the Cryo application at the end of Kamisato Art: Senho hits an opponent.
Bane of the elements
As a Cryo damage dealer with a constant Cryo application, Ayaka has the high ground over the other elements.
This means that Ayaka can easily destroy Pyro, Hydro, Electro shields, and with the right elemental reactions, weaken resistances to deal the finishing blow. She’s also perfect to fight against enemies that are naturally infused with Pyro, Hydro, or Electro.
Having problems going up against the Hydro Abyss Herald, or the Pyro and Electro Abyss Lectors? For Ayaka, they’re no trouble at all. Her skill, burst, Cryo-infused attacks, and even alternate sprint can shred through their shields with ease.
It’s all about the team
Ayaka is a great team player, and she doesn't require you to drain your bank account to get a team filled with 5-stars for her to shine.
Ayaka’s standard team composition consists of Ayaka as the main DPS, a Cryo support to act as her battery and trigger the Cryo resonance effect, one Hydro applicator, and one flexible slot that can be taken by an Anemo character with a 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set to swirl or a buffer character.
Here are some variations of that team composition you can use with 4* characters:
Ayaka, Xingqiu, Diona, Sucrose (balanced, all-around team)
Ayaka, Xingqiu, Bennett, Rosaria (offense-focused team)
Ayaka, Xingqiu, Rosaria, Sayu (good mix of offense, utility, and healing)
Ayaka, Kaeya, Barbara, Noelle (Ayaka + starter 4-stars)
Ayaka's 4-star lineup this banner actually has one of the best supports for her that you can get: Rosaria, who can act as a battery and provide team-wide Crit Rate buffs.
Sayu also works nicely, using her burst to heal and Swirl. Razor, on the other hand, doesn’t really fit well in an Ayaka team, but he’s a good Physical DPS if you don’t already have one.
With that said, that doesn’t mean whales can’t make Ayaka shine. Ayaka’s premium team consists of all 5-star characters like Shenhe as her Cryo support, Kokomi or Mona as her Hydro applicator, and Kazuha as her Anemo swirl support. For mob battles, Kazuha can be replaced with Venti as the vacuum.
Sword master and decimator of the Spiral Abyss
Ayaka’s a great damage dealer. Her charged attacks are heavy hitters, and her elemental burst is a force of nature that can bring any foe to their feet, and in terms of her damage numbers, she’s one of the most consistent in-game.
Unlike other nuke burst characters like Raiden Shogun or Eula, DPS for Ayaka means damage-per-second, not damage-per-screenshot.
This means that instead of getting one huge damage number on your screen, Ayaka gives you lots of pretty big damage numbers with her whirlwind of slashes.
Her consistency is something you definitely do not want to pass on, especially if you’re aiming for a perfect 36-star run on your Spiral Abyss — which you can easily achieve with Ayaka in your team.
Don't believe me? Then check out these demonstrations on the second half of Floor 12 Chamber 1 in the current Spiral Abyss rotation:
Let's start with my team comprised of Ayaka (C0 with Amenoma Kageuchi) and 4-star characters:
Even if I fumbled a bit at the start, it still took around 28 seconds to clear the floor. My 4-star team is comprised of Rosaria with Deathmatch and 4-piece Noblesse Oblige, Sucrose with Sacrificial Fragments and 4-piece Viridescent Venerer, and Xingqiu with Sacrificial Sword and 4-piece Emblem of Severed Fate.
Now let's go with a more premium team with Ayaka (again at C0 with Amenoma Kageuchi), two 5-star characters, and one 4-star character:
This is a cleaner run and I cleared the floor in just 20 seconds. This would've been even faster with Shenhe, but I don't have her so I used the same Rosaria build as with the 4-star demonstration.
My Kazuha is using Iron Sting with 4-piece Viridescent Venerer while my Kokomi is using Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers with 4-piece Ocean-Hued Clam.
So what’s not to love about Kamisato Ayaka?
She’s one of the best damage dealers in-game, and at C0 she’s already at her best. Adding her to your selection of characters is something you definitely will not regret.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.