Updated For Version 1.6
Table of Contents
Scarlet Leaves Pursue Wild Waves
A Kazuha Guide
Written By: Ayzel#7399
shadow in the setting sun,
stirs the drifter’s heart.
Kazuha marks another addition to Genshin’s anemo roster, and he certainly upholds Anemo’s reputation of being the “support” element, with his strong crowd control, buffing ability, and elemental application. He can substitute for both Venti and Sucrose in many teams, although his ability to do so can vary. He can also enable wholly new teams with his unique elemental skill and burst. Overall, Kazuha is a very strong, very future-proof unit that has extremely interesting and complex interactions with other characters.
Why play Kazuha?
- Strong supporting capability, with off-field elemental application tied to his elemental burst, crowd control tied to his elemental skill, and buffs tied to his Ascension 4 Talent
- Access to 4-piece Viridescent Venerer artifact set that increases swirl damage and offers support capability
- Does not need high investment into talents to deal damage
- High sub-DPS damage
- Can deal AOE damage extremely well
- Fits into many teams, including many “meta” teams
- Can use Iron Sting, a craftable F2P weapon that doesn’t need refinements
- Needs multiple EM mainstat artifacts to access full supporting capability (and full damage capability in multi-target)
- Does not function particularly well as a main DPS unit
- Competes, in many scenarios, with Sucrose and Venti, two extremely strong units
- Requires good knowledge of rotations and technical play to be used to the max potential
Normal Attack: Garyuu Bladework
Kazuha’s normal attack, Garyuu Bladework, hits 8 times, with the third attack in his normal attack string hitting twice and the fifth attack hitting 3 times.
As Kazuha mostly functions as a sub-DPS/support unit who doesn’t use his normal attacks, this talent isn’t very important to his kit in most scenarios. While Kazuha can function as a main DPS, you’ll typically find that he will offer more to teams as a support and sub-DPS than as a main DPS unit.
However, it is worth mentioning that Midare Ranzan (the name for Kazuha’s anemo-infused plunge attack) is affected by his talent multiplier on his plunge attack, so even as a Sub-DPS, Kazuha can level his normal attack talent for extra damage, with the damage gain obtained from leveling his normal attack about equal to or slightly less than the damage gain obtained from leveling his elemental skill talent (unless C6).
Elemental Skill: Chihayaburu
Kazuha’s elemental skill, Chihayaburu, is his main CC tool. Using this skill will pull enemies in towards Kazuha and launch Kazuha into the air. After being launched, Kazuha can perform a special plunging attack called Midare Ranzan, which will deal anemo damage and is affected by Kazuha’s normal attack talent; this attack’s anemo infusion cannot be overridden by another element (i.e. through Bennett’s sixth constellation or through Chongyun’s skill) and is not considered skill damage. The skill will also absorb an element, which will allow Kazuha to also deal damage aligned to the absorbed element after plunging. This allows Kazuha to swirl twice against a single enemy – once on the initial damage dealt by the skill, and once during Midare Ranzan. After plunging, Kazuha will create an anemo vortex, which sucks in enemies for a short period after the plunge ends.
This skill can be tapped or held; the main differences between the two variants of the skill are the damage that they do, the range of the pulling effect, the cooldown of the skill, and the energy generation. The Hold version of the skill has larger range, longer cooldown, more damage, and higher energy generation than the tap version of the skill. The hold version of the skill also takes slightly longer to perform, although the difference isn’t too significant.
Which version of his skill Kazuha uses depends on a variety of factors, including his team, weapon, constellations, and more. For example, if Kazuha has his first constellation active, he can use his hold E before using his burst, as the longer cooldown on his hold E won’t matter since the skill cooldown will be reset. Kazuha can also use his Hold E if using the Sacrificial Sword, as the skill will immediately be reset; this allows Kazuha to generate more energy.
Elemental Burst: Kazuha Slash
Kazuha’s Elemental Burst, Kazuha Slash, is a 60 energy cost burst which creates a field that can absorb an element, dealing both Anemo and the absorbed element’s damage in a large AOE. When casting his burst, Kazuha will first perform a large slash that deals Anemo DMG, then leave a field which stays for 8 seconds. Kazuha’s burst will deal 5 ticks of absorbed element and anemo damage, allowing him to constantly apply an element to the enemy. The damage dealt by each tick is snapshotted on burst cast.
Kazuha’s elemental burst has a certain infusion priority; if multiple elements are present, Kazuha’s burst will prioritize Pyro > Hydro > Electro > Cryo. Knowledge of this infusion priority can allow players to control what element Kazuha infuses, increasing his support capability.
Ascension 1 Talent: Soumon Swordsmanship
Kazuha’s Ascension 1 talent, Soumon Swordsmanship, deals 200% of the infused elemental damage when plunging if Kazuha’s elemental skill infuses an element. This provides Kazuha with some extra damage, as well as providing him with an additional swirl on his skill (if Midare Ranzan is triggered).
The absorbed elemental damage is dealt before Midare Ranzan occurs, which allows Midare Ranzan to swirl even without pre-existing aura on enemies. The applied aura from Soumon Swordsmanship can also react with existing auras on enemies (if it wasn’t cleared by Kazuha’s elemental skill), potentially resulting in the loss of a swirl if the gauge applied by Soumon Swordsmanship is large enough to clear the pre-existing aura.
Ascension 4 Talent: Poetics of Fuubutsu
Kazuha’s Ascension 4 Talent is one of the core elements of his support capability. When triggering a swirl, Kazuha will give himself and his teammates an Elemental DMG% bonus for the swirled element, with the strength of the buff based on Kazuha’s elemental mastery stat. For example, if Kazuha swirls hydro, he will provide his teammates with a hydro buff. This passive works off-field, allowing Kazuha to continuously provide an elemental bonus with his elemental burst.
Kazuha’s Ascension 4 talent can be used in conjunction with the Viridescent Venerer set bonus to grant a very large buff to team members. In teams where multiple teammates of different elements are dealing a significant amount of damage (for example, the National Team, which is composed of Xingqiu, Xiangling, Bennett, and a flexible fourth team member), it’s even possible for Kazuha to buff both elements and shred resistance to both elements through precise rotations. Proper usage of this talent is what truly makes or breaks Kazuha’s supporting capability.
Firstly, you always want to equip Kazuha with a 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set. However, the debate is centered around which main stats you need to use.
The Elemental Mastery vs Atk/Dmg%/Crit debate
Kazuha can trigger a large amount of swirl reactions – his ratio of MV% to swirls is about the same as Venti’s – and as such prefers to use EM mainstat artifacts, with the exception of the timepiece, which can be substituted for an ER timepiece to fulfill ER requirements. In solo anemo teams, Kazuha requires upwards of 160% Energy Recharge without a large amount of HP/Enemy Death particles, with up to 190% ER necessary in teams like Ganyu Melt where other units do not use skills frequently and/or have low energy generation on skills.
Kazuha has very little reason to use non-EM mainstat pieces, with the exception of ER. Even in typical single target situations, which is the most unfavorable situation for EM (as the AOE damage dealt by swirl can neither trigger chain swirl reactions nor damage multiple targets), and factoring in that EM pieces get less “good” substats than other artifacts due to their abysmal drop rates from domains (which makes it difficult to farm for good EM pieces), EM is competitive with many less EM-based builds in damage. The difference between EM and ATK/DMG/Crit builds is made up for by the stronger A4 buff that Kazuha provides to his team in an EM build.
Players can choose to build ADC to increase Kazuha’s personal damage if they 1] are buffing Kazuha using buffs like Bennett’s ATK buff and the 4-piece Noblesse Oblige artifact set and 2] aren’t triggering chain reactions. If these two conditions are met, ATK/Anemo/Crit or ER/Anemo/Crit can allow Kazuha to do more damage than EM/EM/EM or ER/EM/EM if the buffs received are large enough. However, this trades off with Kazuha’s teammates dealing less damage, as they will not be receiving as large of an A4 buff from Kazuha. If you only care about Kazuha’s personal damage and are fine with dealing less team damage, an ADC build is fine, but if you care about dealing as much team damage as possible, EM/EM/EM main stats are recommended.
For evidence, see these calculations:
Assumptions: Level 90/90 C0 Kazuha, Level 90/90 Favonius Sword, 170% ER Requirement, 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set with shred active, A4 buff active, one target, no other external buffs, substats optimized per build, 2E1Q per rotation, absorption damage buffed by A4 and VV shred
|Build||Damage||Percentage vs. EM/EM/EM|
|ATK/Anemo/EM 21 Subs||86288.7228||105.19%|
|ATK/Anemo/Crit 24 Subs||85282.7029||103.96%|
|EM/Anemo/EM 18 Subs||84016.1099||102.41%|
|EM/Anemo/CR 21 Subs||82936.8354||101.10%|
|ATK/EM/EM 18 Subs||82889.1861||101.04%|
|EM/EM/EM 15 Subs||82035.1513||100.00%|
|ATK/EM/CR 21 Subs||80953.2995||98.68%|
|EM/EM/CR 18 Subs||79963.0244||97.47%|
Single Target Calculations, High Investment With Buffs
In high-investment, highly-buffed situations, the gap between EM/EM/EM and ATK/Anemo/CR is much larger (as buffs will increase Kazuha’s attack/crit/DMG%, which will not affect his swirl damage), but not sufficiently large to justify using Kazuha with ATK/Anemo/CR over Kazuha with EM/EM/EM. For example, in a Childe/Xiangling/Bennett/Kazuha team, Kazuha will deal 92892.29 damage with a low-investment EM/EM/EM build and 135332.39 damage with a high-investment ADC build in single-target situations, representing a 50% increase in Kazuha’s personal damage.
(Assumptions: 90/90 Kazuha, Jade Cutter on ER/Anemo/Crit build and Favonius Sword on EM Build, 25 subs for ADC build and 15 subs for EM build, buffs according to rotation, Single Target, Level 90 enemy, A4 buff active, 10 swirls total, no chain reactions, Talent Level 8, 160% ER requirement).
However, using an ADC build will reduce the damage dealt by Kazuha’s team members. In Kazuha’s ADC build, Childe will deal 233794.46 damage and Xiangling will deal 284635.13 damage, while using Kazuha’s EM/EM/EM build will allow Childe to deal 260088.2 damage and Xiangling to deal 327693.8 damage. While using Kazuha’s ADC build will increase his personal damage by 42440.1, it will decrease his teammates’ damage by a greater amount (at least 70k damage), leading to an overall decrease in team damage.
Assumptions for Childe/Xiangling/Bennett:
|Childe||Childe: Viridescent Hunt R1 90/90, Character Level 80/90, rQ into 4xN3C rotation (half of rotation buffed), Talent Level 8, 25 substats, 4 riptide slashes, 1 VHunt Proc, ATK/Hydro/CDMG, 4-piece Heart of Depth|
|Xiangling||Dragon’s Bane R1 90/90, Character Level 80/90, Vape Burst and 3 out of 8 guoba hits, Talent Level 8, 25 substats, 180% ER requirement, snapshot Bennett buff, ER/Pyro/CR, 4-piece Crimson Witch|
|Bennett||Festering Desire R5 90/90, Character Level 80/90, Burst and 3 skill usages, Talent Level 8, C1, 20 substats, 200% ER requirement, ER/Pyro/CR, 4-piece Noblesse Oblige|
The full calculation can be seen here. For the excel sheets used to calculate these numbers, DM Ayzel#7399 on Discord.
In short, in single target situations, the more damage that Kazuha’s teammates do, the more valuable EM stats on Kazuha become, as while using EM will decrease his personal damage at high levels of investment and/or with a large number of buffs, it will increase his teammates’ damage by a greater amount. In multi-target situations, the gap between EM and ADC Kazuha is small enough that it is unjustifiable to recommend an ATK/Anemo/Crit Kazuha over an EM/EM/EM Kazuha.
Here’s a full list of artifact loadout comparisons:
Assumptions: Level 90/90 C0 Kazuha, Level 90/90 R1 Freedom Sworn with passive active 50% of the time (accounting for passive downtime), 100% ER Requirement, 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set with shred active, A4 buff active, one target, all damage buffed by Bennett buff (900 ATK buff), 4-piece NO buff, substats optimized per build, 2E1Q per rotation, absorption damage buffed by A4 and VV shred, talent level 10
|Build||Average||% vs EM/EM/EM|
|ATK/Anemo/Crit 24 Substats||197333.58||147.40%|
|EM/Anemo/Crit 21 Substats||174615.08||130.43%|
|ATK/Anemo/EM 21 Substats||167872.92||125.39%|
|ATK/EM/Crit 21 Substats||163408.87||122.06%|
|EM/Anemo/EM 18 Substats||152216.28||113.70%|
|EM/EM/Crit 18 Substats||148375.44||110.83%|
|ATK/EM/EM 18 Substats||143909.42||107.49%|
|EM/EM/EM 15 Substats||133878.85||100.00%|
Multi-Target, No Chain Reactions
Assumptions: Level 90/90 C0 Kazuha, Level 90/90 Favonius Sword, 170% ER Requirement, 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set with shred active, A4 buff active, two targets, no other external buffs, substats optimized per build (capped at 10 subs per stat), 2E1Q per rotation, absorption damage buffed by A4 and VV shred, talent level 8
|Build||Damage||Percentage vs. EM/EM/EM|
|EM/EM/EM 15 Subs||281603.368||100.00%|
|EM/Anemo/EM 18 Subs||269814.278||95.81%|
|ATK/EM/EM 18 Subs||268066.324||95.19%|
|EM/EM/CR 18 Subs||261982.466||93.03%|
|ATK/Anemo/EM 21 Subs||256879.938||91.22%|
|EM/Anemo/CR 21 Subs||249880.513||88.73%|
|ATK/EM/CR 21 Subs||245959.576||87.34%|
|ATK/Anemo/CR 24 Subs||233895.647||83.06%|
Multi-Target, no Chain Reactions, High Investment With Buffs
Assumptions: Level 90/90 C0 Kazuha, Level 90/90 R1 Freedom Sworn with passive active 50% of the time (accounting for passive downtime), 100% ER Requirement, 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set with shred active, A4 buff active, one target, all damage buffed by Bennett buff (900 ATK buff), 4-piece NO buff, substats optimized per build, 2E1Q per rotation, 40 instances of swirl damage, absorption damage buffed by A4 and VV shred, talent level 10
|Multi-target||Damage||% vs. EM/EM/EM|
|ATK/Anemo/CR 24 Subs||458057.2758||117.28%|
|EM/Anemo/CR 21 Subs||433334.3846||110.95%|
|ATK/Anemo/EM 21 Subs||419850.0787||107.49%|
|EM/Anemo/EM 18 Subs||406367.9503||104.04%|
|ATK/EM/CR 21 Subs||402345.7343||103.01%|
|EM/EM/CR 18 Subs||398686.2656||102.08%|
|EM/EM/EM 15 Subs||390577.3469||100.00%|
|ATK/EM/EM 18 Subs||390264.6581||99.92%|
Multi-Target, with Chain Reactions
Assumptions: Level 90/90 C0 Kazuha, Level 90/90 Favonius Sword, 170% ER Requirement, 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set with shred active, A4 buff active, two targets, no other external buffs, substats optimized per build (capped at 10 subs per stat), 2E1Q per rotation, absorption damage buffed by A4 and VV shred, 15 Electrocharged Ticks
|Build||Damage||Percentage vs. EM/EM/EM|
|EM/EM/EM 15 Subs||469689.888||100.00%|
|EM/Anemo/EM 18 Subs||439112.336||93.49%|
|ATK/EM/EM 18 Subs||434827.026||92.58%|
|EM/EM/CR 18 Subs||429045.357||91.35%|
|ATK/Anemo/EM 21 Subs||401670.430||85.52%|
|EM/Anemo/CR 21 Subs||395102.345||84.12%|
|ATK/EM/CR 21 Subs||388615.324||82.74%|
|ATK/Anemo/CR 24 Subs||352082.998||74.96%|
Multi-Target, with Chain Reactions, High Investment With Buffs
Assumptions: Level 90/90 C0 Kazuha, Level 90/90 R1 Freedom Sworn with passive active 50% of the time (accounting for passive downtime), 100% ER Requirement, 4-piece Viridescent Venerer set with shred active, A4 buff active, one target, all damage buffed by Bennett buff (900 ATK buff), 4-piece NO buff, substats optimized per build, 2E1Q per rotation, 40 instances of swirl damage, absorption damage buffed by A4 and VV shred, 15 Electro-charged ticks, talent level 10
|Build||Damage||% vs. EM|
|EM/EM/EM 15 Subs||529522.3802||100.00%|
|ATK/Anemo/Crit 24 Subs||525830.6362||99.30%|
|EM/Anemo/Crit 21 subs||524546.1911||99.06%|
|EM/Anemo/EM 18 Subs||524127.1558||98.98%|
|ATK/Anemo/EM 21 Subs||513805.6298||97.03%|
|EM/EM/Crit 18 Subs||513621.2156||97.00%|
|ATK/EM/EM 18 Subs||509573.7644||96.23%|
|ATK/EM/Crit 21 Subs||504287.0579||95.23%|
At lower levels, Kazuha will deal more personal damage (in single target) while using non-EM mainstat artifacts in single target, as transformative reactions such as swirl scale dramatically with character level. It might seem as if, from these results, Kazuha should build ATK/Anemo/Crit at lower investment levels. However, there are two flaws with this reasoning.
First, while Kazuha will deal lower personal damage at this level with an EM/EM/EM build, this is made up for by the team damage bonus granted by Kazuha’s Ascension 4 passive, which scales with EM.
Second, in multi-target situations, even at level 60/70, Kazuha with EM/EM/EM mainstat artifacts will deal about equal damage (in the worst case, with zero chain reactions) or greater damage than Kazuha built with ATK/Anemo/Crit mainstats. Given that a large majority of difficult content in the game (Spiral Abyss) is focused on multi-enemy battles, and that Genshin is a team-based game, it is best to invest in EM/EM/EM mainstat artifacts no matter your investment level. (with the exception of C6 Kazuha, which I’ll discuss later)
Without significant external attack buffs, Kazuha should aim for ER% substats and ATK% substats on EM mainstat artifacts, and EM substats on non-EM mainstat artifacts (such as flower, feather, and ER timepiece if it’s being used). If being used with Bennett, Kazuha should instead aim for ER% and Crit Rate/Crit Damage substats on EM mainstat artifacts, and EM substats on non-EM mainstat artifacts.
While Kazuha’s weapons could be ranked by the amount of damage that they do, it would be quite misleading to rank them by this metric for Kazuha. As a support, Kazuha’s main focus isn’t just to deal damage, but also to provide utility to his team. While certain weapons may deal more damage than other weapons, they may not provide as much utility. Below is a list of Kazuha’s weapons, along with their pros and cons.
Note: The numbers referenced in these weapon descriptions are based on calculations performed using semi-optimized substats. Your personal substat distribution is likely different, which may lead to you having different results. This guide should serve as a reference for choosing your weapon, but it isn’t absolute.
Freedom-Sworn will offer a significant boost to Kazuha’s Elemental Mastery, along with increasing his team’s damage through its passive. It can also deal more damage than the Primordial Jade Cutter in EM/EM/EM builds and in ADC builds.
Freedom-Sworn does have a few drawbacks, though. It will be out-damaged by Jade Cutter with fewer targets and/or more buffs on Kazuha; as previously mentioned, Kazuha’s reaction damage does not scale with most buffs, while Kazuha’s non-reaction damage will, and one of Freedom-Sworn’s benefits is that it has higher reaction damage due to its EM substat. Freedom Sworn also has limited buff uptime due to its cooldown, which can force players to play around its cooldown.
While Kazuha with a Jade Cutter can deal a large amount of damage, using Jade Cutter will prevent Kazuha from using more EM (i.e. using Iron Sting or Freedom Sworn, or using an ER sword and using an ER sands) in exchange for marginal attack increases in a triple EM or double EM/ER build over Iron Sting. Jade Cutter will deal significantly more damage than Iron Sting and even Freedom Sworn in a non-EM build and/or with significant buffs, but, as previously mentioned, the EM/EM/EM build is Kazuha’s best build.
Skyward Blade allows players to use an EM sands instead of an ER sands (if an ER sands is required) because of its ER substat. This allows Kazuha equipped with a Skyward Blade to provide more team utility than using Iron Sting, as an EM sands provides more EM than Iron Sting at level 90 (187 EM vs. 165). However, the increase isn’t massive, and while Skyward Blade will provide an increase in damage over a 4 star ER weapon like the Favonius Sword, the increase isn’t very large.
This is also premised on the assumption that an ER sands is necessary, which isn’t a requirement in teams where Kazuha isn’t the only anemo unit, if players have enough ER subs on their EM artifacts, or if players have C1, which allows Kazuha to be run with less energy recharge since he can cast his skill more times. Without an ER requirement, Iron Sting will outperform Skyward Blade.
If using artifacts with mostly ATK% and Flat ATK substats rather than crit substats, the Summit Shaper can be about equal to or slightly behind the Jade Cutter if shielded. However, if using artifacts with mostly crit substats, the Jade Cutter will outperform the Summit Shaper. Generally speaking, the Jade Cutter will outperform the Summit Shaper, but the Shaper can actually be quite competitive with the Jade Cutter on a full EM build Kazuha.
Kazuha’s best 4 star option in a team where he doesn’t need much Energy Recharge, as it will allow Kazuha to buff his teammates more while also providing respectable damage. Iron Sting isn’t too far behind the 5 star weapons in an EM/EM/EM or ER/EM/EM build in terms of personal damage, while Kazuha’s support ability is greater with Iron Sting than with all 5 star options with the exception of Freedom-Sworn and Skyward Blade*.
*only if using Skyward Blade allows Kazuha to replace an ER sands with an EM sands.
The Favonius Sword is a good option if Kazuha needs more ER, as it allows him to run an EM sands instead of an ER sands. However, it does require Kazuha to invest slightly into crit rate in order to proc the Favonius Sword’s passive, which can only trigger on crit hits. Kazuha does alleviate this issue by having multiple hits on his skill, giving him multiple chances to trigger the passive.
Damage-wise, the Favonius Sword with an EM sands will deal comparable damage to the Iron Sting with an ER sands, assuming that the ER required for Kazuha is above the Favonius Sword’s substat (61.3%). The less ER that Kazuha needs below 160%, the less valuable the Favonius Sword becomes.
The Sacrificial Sword is Kazuha’s other 4 star energy recharge option for a sword. It can allow Kazuha to use less ER, as it will allow Kazuha to trigger his elemental skill more times in a single rotation. This increases Kazuha’s personal damage and can allow him to fit into rotations better. The trade-off is that more E casts also mean more field time, which takes away field time from DPS units. This isn’t as large of a problem for DPS units that have built-in downtime (Childe, Hu Tao) but can be an issue for other DPS units.
The other issue with the Sacrificial Sword is that Kazuha only deals one instance of skill damage (neither Kazuha’s Ascension 1 passive nor Midare Ranzan count as skill damage), meaning that at low refines, the Sacrificial Sword is unreliable, and even at higher refines, the Sacrificial Sword’s passive can fail to proc.
Lion’s Roar is a niche pick for Kazuha, as it is strictly worse than other 4 star options unless its passive, which increases damage against enemies affected by Pyro or Electro, can be maintained. Even with its passive up, it only deals slightly (around 4%, although this number can vary depending on substat distribution) more damage than weapons like the Iron Sting without the added utility that Iron Sting provides. Generally, Lion’s Roar is not worth using.
Dark Iron Sword
The Dark Iron Sword is Kazuha’s best 3 star option. It is competitive with Iron Sting (only behind it by 5% or so, but your results may be different) and can be a fantastic choice for players who want to save their sword billets and haven’t crafted an iron sting yet. However, the Dark Iron Sword needs Kazuha to trigger an electro-related reaction to activate its passive; without access to its passive, the gap between the Dark Iron Sword and the Iron Sting is larger (around 9%), so players need to set up a team that allows Kazuha to trigger these reactions to take full advantage of the Dark Iron Sword.
The Dark Iron Sword’s EM substat is also lower than the Iron Sting’s, meaning that it provides less team utility than the Iron Sting. However, the difference is small, so if players really want to save their sword billets, the Dark Iron Sword isn’t a bad choice.
Kazuha’s best weapon is usually Freedom-Sworn, but beyond that, it becomes difficult to rank the litany of other weapons that Kazuha has available to him. Kazuha can make use of more damaging weapons like the Jade Cutter or Summit Shaper to deal more damage at the cost of team utility, although using these weapons is likely not going to be worth it because
- Other units can make better use of them than Kazuha
- The increase in damage they offer is marginal
- The loss in team damage is likely greater than the increase in Kazuha’s personal damage. It’s usually better to just use an EM weapon or an ER weapon with an EM sands, such as Iron Sting/Favonius Sword/Sacrificial Sword.
In a full EM build, Kazuha does not need to prioritize leveling his talents, as the majority of his damage will stem from the reactions that he causes. In single target, this can be around 60% of his damage, while in multi-target, his reaction damage can be upwards of 75% of his total damage. However, his talents can still be leveled up somewhat (to around level 6), as they still affect the remainder of Kazuha’s damage.
Kazuha’s talent priority is as follows:
Elemental Burst (Kazuha Slash) > Normal Attack (Garyuu Bladework) >= Elemental Skill (Chihayaburu)
Kazuha’s most effective role is as a sub-DPS/support unit who can function well in both carry-focused and quickswap teams. His variable cooldown on his elemental skill (depending on if the player taps or holds it) allows for flexibility in which team comps he fits into, and his supporting tools are useful for nearly every team.
As a sub-DPS, Kazuha should be casting his elemental skill frequently. Whether he uses the tap version or the hold version will depend on the specific team, but generally Kazuha should use the hold version of his elemental skill if the main DPS unit is about to enter their DPS window in which they can’t be interrupted (i.e. Hu Tao’s skill duration), and can use his tap elemental skill in more quickswap-oriented teams.
Kazuha should also aim to be casting his burst off cooldown, because his burst is integral to the rotations of many teams, such as Ganyu Melt and Xiangling Vaporize (both national and Childe Vape).
As a main DPS, Kazuha will lag behind other main DPS units due to having lower multipliers on his normal attacks and having split elemental scaling (unless C6) because his normal attacks deal physical damage while his skill and burst deal elemental damage. He can function as an on-field carry in a Tazer team, but Sucrose will perform better than him in this role because of her ability to trigger more swirls than him.
If you want to play Kazuha as a main DPS, this guide isn’t meant to discourage you from doing so. Rather, it should serve to inform you that you will likely need much more investment into Kazuha than investment into other main DPS units to see the same amount of damage.
Constellation 1: Scarlet Hills
Decreases Chihayaburu’s CD by 10%. Using Kazuha Slash resets the CD of Chihayaburu.
Kazuha’s first constellation, Scarlet Hills, allows him to use less energy recharge in his kit, as it gives him an extra cast of his elemental skill after using his burst. This allows him to use more Elemental Mastery in place of ER; however, it runs into the same problem as the Sacrificial Sword: the more time that Kazuha spends on-field casting his elemental skill, the more field time Kazuha takes away from the team’s other units. This issue can be further compounded by the fact that Kazuha’s A4 buff lasts for only 8 seconds, meaning that any units which take advantage of Kazuha’s A4 buff will have their buff uptime cut short by Kazuha’s skill usage (assuming that Kazuha’s elemental skill usage does not refresh the A4 buff, which can occur in some rotations where multiple elements are being applied to enemies). Kazuha’s C1 isn’t bad by any means, but players should recognize that using the additional skill cast that it grants can be detrimental in some situations, and should try to work around those situations.
Constellation 2: Yamaarashi Tailwind
The Autumn Whirlwind field created by Kazuha Slash has the following effects:
- Increases Kaedehara Kazuha’s own Elemental Mastery by 200.
- Increases the Elemental Mastery of characters within the field by 200.
The Elemental Mastery-increasing effects of this Constellation do not stack.
Kazuha’s second constellation, Yamaarashi Tailwind, makes him strictly better at supporting reaction-reliant units, like Melt Ganyu and Vape Diluc, than Sucrose. His C2 buff alone is competitive with Sucrose’s EM buff (with Sucrose ahead if she can trigger her A1 passive in addition to her A4 passive and has more than 750 EM, or if she possesses more than 1000 EM). Sucrose gets the benefit of being able to use Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers, but this is more than matched by Kazuha’s A4 Elemental DMG% team buff (if Kazuha is using EM artifacts). Most units will gain more damage from Elemental DMG% than ATK%, especially if those units are already being buffed by Bennett or by other external sources of ATK. While Sucrose herself also possesses a source of Elemental DMG% through her C6, the method of activating the buff can be unreliable, and Sucrose’s elemental burst has its own drawbacks (sometimes knocking enemies away from each other, high energy cost) that make it less reliable than Kazuha’s Elemental DMG% bonus.
This all doesn’t even account for Kazuha’s ability to double-buff units with specific rotations (such as buffing both Childe and Xiangling in a Xiangling/Childe Reverse Vape team, which neither TTDS nor Sucrose’s C6 can do) or Kazuha’s greater personal damage as a support.
Constellation 4: Oozora Genpou
When Kaedehara Kazuha’s Energy is lower than 45, he obtains the following effects:
- Tapping or Holding Chihayaburu regenerates 3 or 4 Energy for Kaedehara Kazuha, respectively.
- When gliding, Kaedehara Kazuha regenerates 2 Energy per second.
- The energy gained while gliding is not affected by energy recharge.
The first part of this constellation can be used in conjunction with Kazuha’s first constellation to grant Kazuha a large amount of energy at once, allowing him to run even less energy recharge in exchange for using more damage-focused stats.
While the gliding effect of Kazuha’s fourth constellation has little practical use in combat, it can actually be useful outside of combat. The Spiral Abyss possesses a small slanted pillar that Kazuha can jump off of to glide, which allows Kazuha to (slowly) recharge his energy in-between abyss floors. The gliding ability can also be useful in the overworld, where Kazuha will be gliding to travel between locations pretty frequently.
Constellation 6: Crimson Momiji
After using Chihayaburu or Kazuha Slash, Kaedehara Kazuha gains an Anemo Infusion for 5s. Additionally, each point of Elemental Mastery will increase the DMG dealt by Kaedehara Kazuha’s Normal, Charged, and Plunging Attack by 0.2%.
Kazuha’s Constellation 6 allows him to function much better as an on-field DPS unit. As an on-field DPS at Constellation 6, Kazuha’s best build becomes more of a toss-up. His ATK/Anemo/Crit build pulls ahead of his EM/EM/EM build by about 6%, with this number increasing with the amount of external buffs Kazuha gets – with Bennett’s buffs, Kazuha’s ATK/Anemo/Crit build is about 11% better than his EM/EM/EM build. As such, the ATK/Anemo/Crit is competitive with EM/EM/EM in single-target situations, and can still be competitive in multi-target situations (without a significant amount of chain reactions).
Generally, Kazuha’s best build at C6 depends on his teammates; if Kazuha makes up the main portion of his team’s damage, he should use ATK/Anemo/CR in single target situations and multi-target situations without chain reactions or without a significant number of them, while, if Kazuha does not make up a significant portion of his team’s damage, an EM/EM/EM build may be more conducive to dealing more team damage. Kazuha’s EM/EM/EM build may also be better at C6 if his teammates can easily set up a large amount of chain reactions for him. Ultimately, the choice of which build to go with at C6 is highly dependent on the player and their preferred playstyle.
Notable Team Compositions
Kazuha can function as a good replacement for Xiangling in a Ganyu Melt team, which funnily makes Ganyu’s two most well-known teams – Morgana and Ganyu/Kazuha Melt – both teams which use three five star units. Xiangling typically has issues charging her burst in a Ganyu melt team, and needs high amounts of Energy Recharge and access to a significant amount of HP particles to reliably fund her burst off cooldown. Xiangling also has drawbacks for each of her methods of pyro application: her pyronado revolves around the active character, requiring Ganyu to hug enemies, and Guoba can struggle to hit multiple targets (or even hit anyone at all).
Kazuha avoids both of these issues by having a lower cost burst that is easier to fund, while also applying pyro in a massive area. Kazuha also buffs Ganyu through the 4-piece VV artifact set and his A4 passive, which is something that Xiangling cannot do. While Xiangling’s pyronado will stay on-field for longer, Kazuha’s buffs will strengthen each of Ganyu’s charged shots by at least 30%. As such, even though Ganyu will typically perform less charged shots in a Kazuha team than a Xiangling team, her (and her new team’s) overall DPS can be much higher.
Rotation here: https://youtu.be/oR0NZQJMu8E
In this team, Kazuha functions as a buffer for both Xiangling and Childe. With the right rotation, he can buff both Childe’s hydro attacks and Xiangling’s pyro attacks, although the rotation can be a bit difficult to perform. While the buff utility that he offers to the team is around the same level (or even possibly lower) as the utility that Sucrose can offer to the team, his grouping ability is greater than Sucrose’s, which is invaluable to the team as Childe gains quadratic scaling on his normal attacks due to riptide when enemies are grouped.
There are many possible setups for this; one possible rotation is as follows:
- Childe Skill Stance Change (apply hydro to enemy)
- Kazuha Burst (infuse hydro)
- Bennett Skill
- Bennett Burst
- Kazuha Hold Skill
- Xiangling Skill
- Xiangling Burst
The timing on this rotation is very tight, and it is recommended to practice it a few times before utilizing it in combat.
The national team has a similar playstyle to Childe vape, and can even use the same rotation (with one added step). While his grouping might be a bit less valuable in this team due to the loss of Childe’s quadratic scaling on riptides, Kazuha can still function as a highly effective support. The rotation is as follows:
- Xingqiu Skill
- Kazuha Burst (infuse Hydro)
- Bennett Skill
- Bennett Burst
- Dash Back (prevents Xingqiu’s hydro orbitals from reapplying hydro)
- Kazuha Hold Skill
- Xiangling Skill
- Xiangling Burst
Again, the timing on this rotation is tight, so practicing the rotation is recommended.
Venti and Kazuha can play together well in an electrocharged team with Fischl and Barbara. While the theorycrafters at KQM haven’t yet worked out optimal rotations for this team yet, it generally plays very similarly to most Venti/Jean teams. Kazuha can make use of the 4-piece thundering fury artifact set in this team if Venti is using the 4-piece Viridescent Venerer artifact set, although it has not yet been calculated if doing so is better than using a different artifact set.
Freeze teams are one place where Kazuha can shine as a support. Since the freeze reaction is not affected by Elemental Mastery, Sucrose provides no benefit to freeze teams, and in freeze teams like Kaeya Permafreeze and Rosaria permafreeze, enemies need to remain on the ground so that Kaeya and Rosaria can hit them, rendering Venti less useful in team comps. Kazuha can buff both Cryo and Hydro easily due to his multiple 2U anemo applications, which make it easier to trigger double swirls on frozen with underlying hydro. (For an explanation of how double swirls work, check out this link.)
Another team where Kazuha works well is a mono-elemental team; the best element for this type of team currently is a pure pyro team. Venti can also be used in this team to create a pure pyro quickswap team.
Kazuha works well in this team because he can offer an elemental DMG% buff to all party members, and can do it relatively easily since the pyro element will near-perpetually be applied to enemies. One good example of a Mono Pyro team is Klee, Xiangling, Bennett, and Kazuha.
Notes on Specific Teammates
Kazuha does not work very well as a battery for Xiao; it is time-consuming to battery Xiao with Kazuha, and Kazuha’s double-skill cast is unreliable due to the RNG proc chance on Sacrificial Sword. In contrast, Sucrose with Sacrificial Fragments can battery Xiao much more easily and quickly. Sucrose also possesses the ability to pre-funnel for Xiao, which is something that Kazuha cannot do.
Kazuha can sometimes hit enemies in Venti’s burst with his elemental skill, but this is not consistent at all. Using Venti together with Kazuha can be done, but players will need to be careful to structure their rotations correctly such that Kazuha will be using his skill while Venti’s burst is inactive to achieve maximum damage on Kazuha.
If done correctly, Kazuha can infuse his burst with pyro from the self-pyro application that Xinyan provides when swapping with her shield. The timing for this is extremely tight, but it does allow players to infuse Kazuha’s burst without applying pyro to enemies (besides using Bennett in the same way).
Bennett and Chongyun
Bennett and Chongyun’s elemental infusion on their Burst/Skill respectively (when Bennett is at C6) can override Kazuha’s C6 anemo infusion while maintaining the DMG% bonus that Kazuha grants himself at C6.