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The long-awaited release of Genshin Impact version 2.7 on Tuesday (31 May) will feature the second rerun for the 5-star Anemo polearm DPS character from Liyue — Xiao the Vigilant Yaksha.
The fan-favorite adeptus made his debut in February last year and had his first rerun at the start of this year.
Xiao has since become one of the strongest DPS characters in the game, thanks to his trademark ultimate that lets him decimate enemies with really jacked up plunge attacks.
While he's not the most F2P-friendly character out there, Xiao can work in a lot of team compositions to become a devastating damage dealer.
I personally recommend against skipping his rerun in version 2.7, so here’s all the reasons why you should pull for Xiao.
Damage per second, not damage per screenshot
My Xiao is level 90, triple-crowned, has near perfect artifacts as well as his signature weapon, the Primordial Jade Winged Spear.
In other words, I'm a Xiao main.
While that fact may give this section a tinge of bias, believe me when I say: he's worth it.
Out of all the characters released in Genshin Impact so far, Xiao has the highest base attack at level 90 at 349.
With that kind of scaling, he can deal tons of damage without relying on elemental reactions.
Unlike other conditional nuke DPS characters like Childe or Hu Tao, Xiao's damage output is also consistent.
Once you use his elemental burst, you can just repeatedly spam plunge attacks that deal a lot of Anemo damage that cannot be infused or overridden.
And when Xiao has taken his mask off once again, what's left of your enemies will surely be nothing but ashes.
While all that is great, the truth is that it's actually hard being a Xiao main.
He doesn’t have his own dedicated support like other DPS characters in the game. His supposed dedicated artifact set isn't much of a game-changer either.
But don't let that deter you. Even a mishmash of characters can work.
At the end of the day, if your Xiao team has a sub-DPS, a battery, and a healer/shielder, you’re good to go. So with that said, let's get into which characters you should have in your party alongside Xiao.
The premium team for Xiao is expensive, consisting of all 5-stars that boosts his already great damage potential to new heights.
This team requires Jean as the sub-DPS and healer, plus she acts as the buffer if she's at C4, which makes her elemental burst shred the Anemo resistance of all enemies within its field.
Then you need the Geo duo of Zhongli and Albedo, with the former providing shields and further shredding enemy resistances while the latter deals off-field damage and acts as the team's battery.
I don’t have C4 Jean or Albedo, so for my personal team composition, I go for Xiao, Bennett, Thoma, and Zhongli. Fair warning though, this team comp is also not F2P-friendly.
You may be wondering, why Thoma?
Because aside from triggering the Pyro resonance effect with Bennett to further increase Xiao's attack, Thoma’s C6 is a hidden gem. It provides a bonus to Normal, Charged and Plunging attacks to the entire team — something Xiao can definitely benefit from.
But if you don’t have C6 Thoma, you can opt for Xiangling instead.
Here’s a list of F2P-friendly Xiao team compositions that won’t hurt your wallet:
Xiao, Bennett, Xiangling, Sucrose
Xiao, Bennett, Xiangling, Noelle,
Xiao, Bennett, Xiangling, Barbara
Noelle and Barbara can notably be pulled from Xiao’s banner in version 2.7.
Relatively easy to build
Weapons aren’t much of a problem for Xiao.
Much like the Polearm Archon Xiangling, Xiao can use pretty much any of the polearms in the game without much restrictions.
For 5-stars, Xiao's best choices are either his signature weapon, the Primordial Jade Winged-Spear, or the Staff of Homa. Both weapons have excellent stats and passives that synergize with Xiao's kit.
Other 5-star polearms like the Calamity Queller, Engulfing Lightning, Vortex Vanquisher, or Skyward Spine aren't bad options either.
While they won't have the best synergy with Xiao, they're still viable as stat sticks if they're all that you have.
With that said, you can't go wrong with opting for 4-star polearms, either.
Paid 4-star weapons like the Deathmatch, available in the battle pass, and Blackcliff Pole, available in the Starglitter shop, are interchangeably Xiao's best-in-slot 4-star options.
For F2P players, the craftable polearm Prototype Starglitter is also a good choice.
Xiao also ascends with Crit Rate, getting 19.2% once he reaches level 90. This makes it easier for Xiao players to focus on getting other substats like ATK or Crit DMG from his artifacts.
Speaking of artifacts, Xiao has a lot of options when it comes to choosing a set bonus.
The 4-piece Vermillion Hereafter set, which gives him a +18% ATK bonus as well as even more ATK whenever he loses HP from using his burst.
Alternatively, you can combine the 2-piece Viridescent Venerer set, which gives a +15% Anemo DMG bonus, with any 2-piece set of Gladiator's Finale, Shimenawa's Reminiscence, or Vermillion Hereafter, which all give a +18% ATK bonus. This particular option can be more easily acquired without having to farm a single domain for months on end.
The main stats you should look for in Xiao's artifacts are ATK% for the sands, Anemo DMG bonus for the goblet, and Crit Rate/Crit DMG for the Circlet.
Pull for the lore and design
If you’re a sucker for Genshin Impact lore, you’d be surprised at the plethora of information you can get about the history of Liyue from Xiao’s character stories.
Considering he’s one of the oldest characters in the game, he’s witnessed much of Liyue’s history even before being taken in by the Geo Archon.
This last point has a bit of bias in it, I admit.
I honestly think he has one of the coolest designs in the game. Xiao is part of a group of immortals called the adepti, which are inspired by “the Eight Immortals” from Chinese mythology.
In Chinese myth, these celestial beings are vessels that bring either life or death to the mortal realm. In Genshin Impact, the adepti are guardians tasked by the Geo Archon with protecting Liyue from harm.
Xiao is also part of a particularly warlike group of adepti, known as the Yakshas, who were tasked with waging a never-ending war against the monsters that plague Liyue. He is now the sole remaining Yaksha, faithfully carrying on his thankless and unending task.
Xiao's Elemental Burst, which sees him wear his trademark Yaksha mask, is also inspired by the Nuo Dance, an old Chinese cultural tradition that dates all the way back to the Shang Dynasty of the 16th century BC.
It was believed that donning the Nuo mask could drive away demons, much like what Xiao essentially does in his ult. Pretty cool, right?
Xiao is a lore-rich character with great strengths, and although he has his drawbacks, those aspects are great for beginners and veterans alike who are looking to change up the way they play.
If given enough investment, Xiao is a beast of a hyper-carry in Spiral Abyss. There’s no denying he's one of the most powerful characters released to date.
But overall, pulling for a character will ultimately depend on you, as long as you like them or know that you will enjoy their playstyle. There’s no right or wrong way to play Genshin Impact.
Xiao's second rerun will take place alongside the debut banner for Yelan, the new 5-star Hydro bow character from Liyue. Both characters will be available to wish for from 31 May to 21 June.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.