The metagame of Genshin Impact typically follows a certain 'theme' for each new region released.
In Inazuma, it revolved around Energy Recharge for the high-energy cost characters. In Sumeru, it was the powerful new elemental reactions enabled by the Dendro element. Now in Fontaine, the metagame revolves around HP manipulation.
The one character that personifies the Fontaine metagame is, fittingly, the Hydro Sword character Furina. She's a do-it-all character that provides huge off-field damage and Hydro application, healing, and even damage buffs!
But Furina's impact goes beyond being the prototypical Fontaine character. In fact, her influence on Genshin Impact's metagame extends beyond the Fontaine cast and impacts every character in the game.
So, if you were lucky enough to get Furina during her debut banner or are planning to get her once she gets a rerun, read on as we break down all the ways Furina has changed the Genshin Impact metagame:
Healers matter more than ever
The HP manipulation mechanic for Fontaine characters can be seen in how Furina's skill and burst interact with her entire kit.
In her Ousia form, Furina summons three Hydro companions with her skill that attack nearby enemies that empower themselves by draining the HP of all characters in the party. Meanwhile, her burst gives a party-wide DMG buff for each percentage of HP gained or lost by each party member.
Because of that interplay between Furina's skill and burst, she needs to be run alongside a healer in order to heal the HP drained by her summons to enable the DMG buffs from her ultimate. As a result, dedicated healers now have a new reason to be included in your teams.
Previously, healers were only ever run not for their healing alone, but for everything else they brought to the table. For example, Kokomi and Kuki Shinobu both applied their respective elements from off-field with their healing skill.
But with how much Furina brings to the table, you can get away with running her alongside pure healers like Barbara or Qiqi, even if they aren't the best choice. While min-maxing your team's damage output is well and good, nothing beats comfort.
Previously unpopular characters are now back in the spotlight
While this ties into our previous point, we think it should be highlighted how Furina has notably reinvigorated two previously unpopular characters: Jean and Noelle.
Jean is the go-to Anemo support for Furina, as the huge party-wide healing from Jean's burst can instantly trigger the full DMG buff from Furina's own burst. With Jean also holding the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer artifact set, any team with Furina and Jean on it can enjoy two sources of massive DMG buffs.
Meanwhile, Noelle has emerged as a strong main DPS to pair alongside Furina. With Noelle's ability to heal the entire party with her attacks, she can also consistently trigger the full DMG buff from Furina's burst over the course of her rotation.
Given how unpopular Geo teams are with their lack of strong elemental reactions and the existence of a 5-star version of her in Itto, Noelle has sadly been neglected by many players. But now that Furina has entered the picture, Noelle-Furina teams are competitive with some of the best teams in the game.
Any character can now use two powerful yet previously exclusive artifact sets
There are currently two artifact sets that make use of HP manipulation mechanics to trigger their effects, first being the Marechaussee Hunter set and the other being the Vermillion Hereafter set.
The Marechausee Hunter increases Normal and Charged Attack DMG by 15% with its 2-piece bonus while its 4-piece bonus grants a stacking Crit Rate bonus of up to 36% for 5 seconds whenever the HP of its wielder increases or decreases.
Meanwhile, the Vermillion Hereafter set increases ATK by 18% with its 2-piece bonus while its 4-piece bonus grants a stacking ATK bonus of up to 32% whenever its wielder's HP decreases after using their burst.
Before Furina was released, only Fontaine characters who had their own HP manipulation mechanics could use the Marechaussee Hunter set while only Xiao could make use of the Vermillion Hereafter set. But with Furina's ability to drain HP from party members, any character can use both of those artifact sets as long as they have Furina on the same team.
The Crit Rate buff from the Marechaussee Hunter is unmatched for any artifact set while the Vermillion Hereafter's ATK buff is nothing to scoff at either. With Furina, these sets are now either the new best-in-slot artifact sets for many characters or at least are a worthwhile alternative.
Off-field Hydro support for non-Normal Attack characters
Before Furina was released, the two top offensive Hydro supports were Yelan and Xingqiu. But since Yelan and Xingqiu's off-field Hydro attacks can only be triggered by Normal Attacks from the active character, certain characters who don't rely on Normal Attacks like Neuvillette were left wanting for a Hydro teammate.
But since the summons from Furina's skill are able to attack enemies independent of the active character, characters who need off-field Hydro application but don't really use Normal Attacks have now found their new best friend.
More than that, the presence of Furina in Spiral Abyss runs also means you can have one team with both Yelan and Xingqiu (alongside someone like Hu Tao) while the other team can still have a top-tier Hydro support alongside them.
Whether it's her ability to give healers and previously unpopular characters a new lease in life or make previously niche artifact sets and playstyles viable, Furina has massively changed Genshin Impact's metagame. She adds whole new dimensions to teambuilding and playstyles, making her a very worthwhile addition to any account.
If you already have Furina, then rejoice! She will surely be a mainstay in your teams and give your account versatility like never before. If you don't have Furina, then I suggest saving up some Primogems for when she gets her rerun.
Genshin Impact is currently in the second half of version 4.2, which features reruns for Cyno and Kamisato Ayato. If you're turn on whether or not you should pull on their banners, we've got you covered.
After version 4.2 comes version 4.3, which features the debuts of Navia and Chevreuse.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.