The long-awaited Xiao is finally here in the 1.3 update of Genshin Impact. Xiao has a rather fixed role in your party as a Main DPS and you should build your team around him due to his Ultimate Energy Recharge and playstyle that forces you to continuously use him once his Ultimate is activated. He is definitely a strong member to have on your team, particularly if you enjoy a fast playstyle. This article will detail the various weapons that you can use for Xiao, the artifact sets that you should use to fully realise his potential and the recommended party setups in order to boost his Energy Recharge. I will try to include free to play options for team setups and weapons and discuss whether the craftable weapons are good.
Xiao works best with CRIT Rate weapons in order to keep hitting high numbers with his Ultimate, a CRIT Rate weapon paired with a CRIT Damage artifact will give you a nice 1:2 or 1:3 CRIT Rate to CRIT Damage ratio. You can also use the CRIT Damage Blackcliff weapon (if you purchased it from the previous month's Starglitter Shop) with a CRIT Rate artifact to achieve the same ratio.
The Primordial Jade Winged Spear is made for Xiao and is ultimately the best option, but might be unobtainable for Free to Play players, particularly if you already have Xiao, it might be difficult to hit pity again.
If you would like to purchase the Battle Pass, the Deathmatch is a great option for Xiao as well (and Zhongli too) due to the CRIT Rate substat and the increase in ATK and DEF that could help with Xiao's risky Ultimate where he plunges into enemies repeatedly. If you would like to read more about the Battle Pass weapons, you can read my review of those weapons here, with recommendations of whether the weapons fit your playstyle and the characters that these weapons are made for.
The 3 star White Tassel works well, particularly due to the increase in Normal Attack DMG which helps Xiao's ultimate.
Xiao works well with ATK weapons as well, such as the Royal Spear that can be obtained from this month's Starglitter Shop, or Halberd, a 3 star weapon that can potentially be obtained from Exquisite Chests and from pulls. If you are Free to Play, it might be easier to use a 3 star weapon if you do not already have a 4 or 5 star, as a fully refined 3 star weapon has great potential as well.
In terms of craftable weapons, the Crescent Pike is not as good compared to the 4 star weapons here, since few elemental orbs are generated with Xiao's Ultimate. The Prototype Starglitter could be helpful with the Energy Recharge substat, but you would ultimately benefit more from a weapon with a CRIT Rate substat instead.
The best set for Xiao would be a 2-set Viridescent Venerer's Set to give you the 15% increase in Anemo DMG and a 2-set Gladiator's Finale set to benefit from the 15% base attack. These 2 sets, coupled with an Anemo DMG Bonus goblet will be great on Xiao.
The Viridescent Venerer's Set can be obtained from completing the Valley of Remembrance domain, which I will be writing an article about soon. I would not typically recommend using a 4 piece set of Viridescent as the 4 set benefit gives a Swirl DMG boost, while Xiao's talents and Ultimate do not scale off Swirl DMG, and support characters such as Sucrose or Venti could be better with this.
The Gladiator's Finale set can be obtained from fighting bosses such as the Regisvines, Hypostases, Oceanid, Wolf, Childe and Stormterror or you can obtain them from completing the Spiral Abyss and Abyssal Spire. You can also use a 4 piece Gladiator's Finale Set on Xiao due to the increase in Normal ATK DMG by 35% since he is a Polearm user, but I would recommend using the 2 set of Viridescent with 2 set of Gladiator instead since the Ultimate is Anemo DMG, not Physical DMG.
If you just started playing Genshin Impact, you might want to use the Berserker's set 4 piece (which can be obtained from bosses) for the increase in CRIT Rate in the meantime, but definitely do switch out when you reach a higher level.
The stats and sub-stats that you should prioritise are as below:
- Flower sub-stats: Crit DMG, Crit Rate and ATK
Feather stat: ATK; sub-stat: Crit DMG, ATK
- Watch stat: ATK or Energy Recharge
- Goblet stat: Anemo DMG Bonus (can be any artifact set, as long as the main stat is Anemo DMG)
- Mask stat: Crit DMG or Crit Rate (depending on your weapon substat and other artifact substats)
The best order to upgrade Xiao's talents is below:
Bane of All Evil > Whirlwind Thrust > Lemniscatic Wind Cycling
This allows you to benefit from his increased DMG in Ultimate more.
Xiao's Ultimate style of constant plunging attacks makes it such that you might want to use characters that can group enemies, particularly Anemo characters such as Venti, Sucrose, Jean and Anemo Traveller. You can also use a bow support character (preferably not Tartaglia, since that would give you 2 Main DPS characters on one team) that uses the Viridescent Hunt (obtained from Battle Pass) as it groups your enemies together as well through the Cyclone effect.
Using another Anemo character on your team will also give you greater Energy Recharge right after swapping out to them, then back to Xiao. Additionally, you should definitely have a healer to prevent losing too much HP with each plunging attack, such as Barbara, or Bennett who can give you the ATK boost with his Ultimate. Sub DPS characters on your team should also have skills that you can "place" in your world to fully utilise Xiao and keep him on the battlefield as much as possible. For example, characters such as Xiangling with Guoba, Fischl with Oz or Zhongli with his pillar (that now decreases Physical RES) will be greatly beneficial with Xiao.
Xiao is definitely an S tier Main DPS character with a fast playstyle (more than any other character that is currently available in Genshin Impact) with the ability to do high DMG numbers. However, his playstyle that requires him to be constantly on the battlefield may not appeal to all players and that is something that you might want to consider before you pull for Xiao. Pull for the characters that you enjoy playing the most -- you can test Xiao out through the Trial. We hope you enjoyed this Xiao guide, do let us know if there are any other Genshin Impact guides that you would like us to cover!