Full Noelle Guide: The One-Maid Army

written by JonahFarc#7056
edited by itskhoi#0013

 

artwork by Cupoi/吃咖喱的poi

 

Preface

Noelle is a fantastic character who fills multiple roles in a team comp, but is frequently misunderstood as a support or a bad DPS before C6. In reality, she’s an on-field carry that scales excellently with investment, providing great AoE damage and sustain for her team.

 

I am devoted to what I do, but make no mistake — I devote myself FREELY.

A maid, to me, is the most liberating job there is.

I’m a chef, a gardener, a warrior, a guide,…

I can be ANYTHING you need me to be!

– Noelle –

FAQs

Is Noelle playable as a main DPS before C6?

Yes, absolutely. She still serves her role well, however rotations will be tighter and obviously you’ll do less damage. However, her satisfying massive AoE swings and incredible survivability will still make her very much playable.

Is Noelle a good support?

Honestly, not really. Her shield only has 50% uptime and isn’t necessarily that strong. Furthermore, her healing requires you to use her shield meaning any time you spend healing eats into her shield time as well. Combining this with the fact she lacks the ability to generate energy for the team means she really doesn’t fit well as a support into most compositions. Her only real upside is that she’s guaranteed and free.

How does Noelle stack up against the more “meta” DPS characters?

Noelle obviously has mediocre single target damage and with her lack of elemental reactions or massive multipliers, she won’t generally be one-shotting enemies or anything. However, she excels at sweeping up large groups of enemies and in regards to DPS in AoE, her damage output is quite respectable. 

Should I level 90 my Noelle?

Noelle scales hard off her DEF and having a higher base DEF really helps her increase her damage numbers. It’s obviously your decision in the end, but in total, she gains a lot more from ascensions than most characters with a 15% increase from 80/80 to 90/90 and an 8% increase from 80/90 to 90/90.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Very large attacks, good AoE Damage
  • Extremely simple to play
  • Tanky and self-healing, no healer needed on the team
  • Attacks feel super satisfying. Seriously, just try it.

Cons

  • Relatively low single target DPS
  • Pretty lackluster as a carry without C5/C6
  • Cannot make use of any strong reactions to increase her Damage output
  • Despite being the “One-Maid Army“, Noelle requires solid battery units to maintain her uptime

tl;dr

Talents

Normal Attack: Favonius Bladework – Maid

Normal Attack: Performs up to 4 consecutive slashes.

Charged Attack: Drains Stamina over time to perform continuous spinning attacks against all nearby opponents. At the end of the sequence, performs a more powerful slash.

Plunging Attack: Plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along the path and dealing AoE DMG upon impact.

 

Noelle does 3 horizontal swings then a 4th vertical swing. For grouping reasons, using the first 3 attacks before dash cancelling (N3D) is usually optimal since the 4th swing often knocks enemies away. However, when prioritizing raw damage, use all 4 swings (N4D). Don’t use her charged attacks.

Elemental Skill: Breastplate

Summons protective stone armor, dealing Geo DMG to surrounding opponents and creating a shield. The shield’s DMG Absorption scales based on Noelle’s DEF.

The shield has the following properties:

  • When Noelle’s Normal and Charged Attacks hit a target, they have a certain chance to regenerate HP for all characters.
  • Possesses 150% DMG Absorption efficiency against all Elemental and Physical DMG.

The amount of HP healed when regeneration is triggered scales based on Noelle’s DEF.

 

Optimally, this serves as an animation cancel for after the first Normal Attack rotation or as an early trigger for Geo Resonance. Practically, you can just press it whenever and it’s fine.

Elemental Burst: Sweeping Time

Gathering the strength of stone around her weapon, Noelle strikes the opponents surrounding her within a large AoE, dealing Geo DMG. Afterwards, Noelle gains the following effects:

  • Larger attack AoE
  • Converts attack DMG to Geo DMG that cannot be overridden by any other elemental infusion.
  • Increased ATK that scales based on her DEF.

 

Normal Attacks during this period are counted as Normal Attacks, not Elemental Burst Damage. At Talent 9+ or C6, this allows you to convert fully to a DEF build. This effect triggers the healing from Breastplate so it can be nice to activate that first.

Ascension 1: Devotion

When Noelle is in the party but not on the field, this ability triggers automatically when your active character’s HP falls below 30%: Creates a shield for your active character that lasts for 20s and absorbs DMG equal to 400% of Noelle’s DEF. The shield has a 150% DMG Absorption effectiveness against all Elemental and Physical DMG. This effect can only occur once every 60s.

 

Emergency shield. It’s nice, but you shouldn’t rely too much on it. It activates AFTER a hit so you can still get one-shotted.

Ascension 4: Nice and Clean

Every 4 Normal or Charged Attack hits will decrease the CD of Breastplate by 1s. Hitting multiple opponents with a single attack is only counted as 1 hit.

 

It’s okay but absolutely nothing worth thinking about. It’s called passive for a reason.

Constellations

Constellation 1: I Got Your Back

While Sweeping Time and Breastplate are both in effect, the chance of Breastplate’s healing effects activating is increased to 100%.

 

Makes healing consistent. Surprisingly nice, and makes Support Noelle at least somewhat a possibility.

Constellation 2: Combat Maid

Decreases the Stamina Consumption of Noelle’s Charged Attacks by 20% and increases her Charged Attack DMG by 15%.

 

The fact this damage increase is additive means her charged attacks are still not worth using outside of some niche scenarios.

DMG Increase: ~8% for Charged Attacks

Constellation 3: Invulnerable Maid

Increases the Level of Breastplate by 3.

Maximum upgrade level is 15.

 

3-level increase. You’ll get a tougher shield.

DMG Increase: 0.3%

Constellation 4: To Be Cleaned

When Breastplate’s duration expires or it is destroyed by DMG, it will deal 400% ATK of Geo DMG to surrounding opponents.

 

This is actually really good damage and is fun as well. It doesn’t snapshot, so make sure Sweeping Time is active when this effect triggers.

DMG Increase: ~8.5%

Constellation 5: Favonius Sweeper Master

Increases the Level of Sweeping Time by 3.

Maximum upgrade level is 15.

 

This is surprisingly a huge breakpoint for Noelle. At this level you can start DEF builds without having crowned Noelle’s Elemental Burst. This is a massive step for her.

DMG Increase: ~10%

Constellation 6: Must Be Spotless

Sweeping Time increases Noelle’s ATK by an additional 50% of her DEF. Additionally, every opponent defeated during the skill’s duration adds 1s to the duration, up to 10s.

 

Yes, we all know it’s big. Enables DEF build with even basically no burst talent levels. It also makes her burst extend from hitlag and such as well so her burst ends up lasting well over the 15 seconds even without a single kill. Massive damage increase and is where she really starts to shine as a carry.

DMG Increase: ~30%

Playstyles

Noelle has only 2 playstyles: Good and Bad.

 

  • Good is playing her as a Main Carry, which plays to her strengths as a mostly self sufficient carry that basically cannot die with a massive AoE DMG.
  • Bad is playing her as a Support where she is arguably the worst healer/shielder in Genshin Impact at the moment.

Main Carry Noelle

artwork by QuAn

tl;dr

Talents: Normal > Burst > Skill.

Artifacts: 4-piece Retracing Bolide or 4-piece Gladiator’s Finale. (ATK/DEF) Sands, Geo Goblet, Crit Circlet.

Weapons: Serpent Spine > Whiteblind / Skyward Pride.

Talent Priority

The general talent priority is Normal Attack > Burst > Skill.

However, the Burst should definitely be leveled to at least level 6 so that the attack conversion can actually be somewhat significant and at C5 it’ll allow switching to DEF build. Her Skill doesn’t REALLY need to be leveled but it can be nice to get it up a little so it’s harder to break.

Do note that, leveling up her Skill DOES NOT increase her C4 DMG.

Artifacts

or 4-piece Gladiator’s Finale/Retracing Bolide

Her best artifact sets are a tossup between 4-piece Gladiator’s Finale and 4-piece Retracing Bolide. The difference is preference, but Gladiator’s Finale does a little bit more damage while Bolide offers slightly better tankiness.

ATK/DEFGeo/DEFCrit Rate/Damage
ATK is better if Burst talent<9 and not C6. Otherwise, go DEF all the way.Geo will always do more damage, however DEF is only ~10% worse and is easier to get.Prioritize 1:2 Crit ratio

DEF/Geo/Crit: The most optimal and conventional build.

 

If you want to use a nonstandard setup, DEF/Geo/DEF is technically better than DEF/DEF/Crit. Though of course, they are both worse than conventional build.

 

For substats, prioritize getting roughly 130% ER, then focus solely on Crit. Getting more DEF or ER can be nice, but Crit remains the main priority.

 

No other sets are nearly as viable. Let’s break them down altogether:

4-piece Noblesse Oblige/Emblem of Severed Fate

Her Normal Attacks during Sweeping Time still count as Normal Attacks. This affects basically nothing and is not worth using.

4-piece Shimenawa

More damage during her burst duration! However, long downtime and eating her already limited energy makes this an unfortunately bad set on her.

4-piece Archaic Petra

It doesn’t really help her personal damage much. While it can boost team damage, it doesn’t make up for her loss of damage. It’s not the worst here.

4-piece Lavawalker/Thundersoother

Usable for niche scenarios to optimize arbitrated things, but it’s rather difficult to maintain the auras and the benefit isn’t great or even better than the alternatives.

Pale Flame/Bloodstained Chivalry

Physical Noelle doesn’t work, I promise you. It’s only acceptable at best with Skyward Pride meme builds.

 

Literally any other set

No.

Weapons

Noelle’s BiS weapon is the Serpent Spine. It’s a no brainer here.

C6 Noelle Weapons:

Calculations use 25 optimal substats adjusted per weapon, DEF/GEO/CRIT, 4Glad and 140 ER.

WeaponR1 Diff from R1 WBR5 Diff from R1 WB
Serpent Spine (5 stacks)109.3%119.3%
Whiteblind100%109.5%
Blackcliff Slasher (1 Stack)100.6%102.9%
Skyward Pride98.3%110.5%
The Unforged96.1%103.0%
Wolf’s Gravestone95.4%101.6%
Lithic Blade (3 Liyue)92.7%101.9%
Prototype Archaic86.5%89.0%
Favonius Greatsword 85%85%

C0 Noelle Weapons (no crown):

Calculations use 25 optimal substats adjusted per weapon, ATK/GEO/CRIT, 4Glad and 150 ER.

WeaponDiff from R1 SS
Serpent Spine R5109.08%
The Unforged R5107.70%
Wolf’s Gravestone R5105.75%
Skyward Pride R5105.45%
Serpent Spine R1100.00%
Lithic Blade (3 Liyue) R599.42%
Whiteblind R598.16%
The Unforged R197.97%
Wolf’s Gravestone R197.00%
Skyward Pride R193.67%
Blackcliff Slasher R589.45%
Whiteblind R189.04%
Prototype Archaic R585.40%

Weapon Breakdown

Serpent Spine: No flaws. It’s a perfect weapon. Use it.

At R2+, it easily becomes Noelle’s BiS. Nolo contendere.

 

Skyward Pride: It is quite good for the first 8 hits, and then it isn’t. Only worth using at higher refinements for meme builds, which means it’s a terrible weapon for that much investment.

You could also use it if you somehow fail to roll any ER sub-stat.

 

Whiteblind: The F2P dream, it’s okay at everything, doesn’t really excel at much besides insignificant increases to tankiness and healing.

Make sure you do a few swings before using Burst so it will snapshot the stacks buff.

 

Favonius Greatsword: It’s good for solo Noelle at higher refinements, but will absolutely do less damage.

Not worth considering for damage, just for soloing. It’s fun but not great.

 

The Unforged: It looks so good! But it’s not that good. Only usable before the DEF threshold and even then, why not just use Whiteblind or Serpent Spine?

It’s unfortunate that you lost the 50/50 on whatever weapon banner you were pulling. But don’t put the copium on Noelle.

 

Wolf’s Gravestone: Same as The Unforged. Noelle doesn’t need more ATK.

 

Lithic Blade: If you have a specific Liyue comp it’s mediocre, but once again just use Serpent Spine.

 

Blackcliff Slasher: Again, it’s okay, but why not just use Serpent Spine or Whiteblind? Also, its cost for refinement is atrocious.

 

Rainslasher: Alright, you’re an EM shatter Noelle player. Go wild.

 

Katsuragikiri Nagamasa: It’s basically a bad Favonius Greatsword. It won’t allow for solo batterying so don’t waste your time with this.

If you need a F2P weapon, craft the Whiteblind.

 

Luxurious Sea-Lord: It’s absolutely not good. But the AESTHETIC! Who wouldn’t want to see Noelle swinging a golden glowing fish?

 

Sacrificial Greatsword: It does allow double C4 explosion and double shield damage. And it’s definitely not worth using, even if you wanted Noelle to be a support.

 

Royal Greatsword/The Bell/Snow-Tombed Starsilver/Prototype Archaic

Entirely worthless. I refuse to elaborate.

 

Debate Club/Ferrous Shadow: Useful for before AR25 or so. After that, drop it.

 

Tech

Dragon Strike

Dragon striking is a cancel that allows Noelle to plunge without requiring a ledge or anything. This is done by dashing then jumping immediately after hitting an opponent. It is extremely hard to do without movement speed buffs and is not recommend to play around, but it is an option. If you plan to use it, using it on N1 is best damage while using it on N3 offers the least consequence for failing it. Example video here

Burst Extension

Noelle can gain a Burst Extension through being off field when her burst was supposed to expire. Example video here.

Support Noelle

artwork by QuAn

 

Seriously, just build like a main DPS and get at least a few swings in to heal. This way you still do damage. But if you REALLY wanna maximize just being a shield bot, here you go.

Talent Priority

E > Q ≥ NA

Why normal attack when you can press E and forget Noelle exists?

Artifacts

Doesn’t really matter, but 4-piece Archaic Petra can be nice for team buffs. Maiden’s Beloved if you really wanna heal and are allergic to additional & free DMG.

Run DEF/DEF/DEF or DEF/DEF/Healing Bonus

Weapons

Whiteblind: Great. More DEF, more heal. Good job!

 

Skyward Pride or Favonius Greatsword is also a fun option.

Team Comps

This section will cover team comps for main DPS Noelle only. Since support Noelle can be slotted anywhere, and it isn’t recommended anyway.

tl;dr

Run a battery: Geo Traveler/Electro Traveler, or C2 Ning, or triple Geo.

Viable Supports ordered by usefulness:

  • Basically any Geo units.
  • Beidou
  • Fischl
  • Rosaria 
  • Kaeya
  • Venti
  • Xingqiu

 

Note: Tier list generally doesn’t give you the full idea of a unit’s viability. But for the sake of simplicity, these units will be ranked based on their synergies with Noelle.

S: Excellent. These are the units you should go for first.

A: Good but can be somewhat replaceable.

B: Meh. Not bad, not good. And not important.

C: Not good. Only worth using under specific circumstances.

D: They are bad. You’re basically making things much harder for you.

F: Awful.

Battery Ranking

 

Geo Traveler

S+
Excellent Battery, easily generates enough energy for Noelle on their own. Has good damage, offers team buffs, and synergizes well with other Geos. Only downside is learning to use their skill can be somewhat difficult and frustrating. Very solid unit all around.
Strong battery, smooth rotations. Highly recommend.
Ningguang

A+
Great ability to solo battery at C2, however rotations can be awkward and getting used to using her can be a bit strange. She offers okay single target damage while Noelle holds down the AoE damage, but dual carry comps are just really not as effective. 
Strong battery, awkward rotations. Recommended if you’re not using GMC
Zhongli
S
Don’t even think about him as a solo battery. He will generate some energy for you and works nicely paired with Geo Traveler or Albedo, but he’s not able to fund Noelle’s burst on his own. However, he offers a very nice additional Geo Resistance Shred for the team and is a decent unit.
Bad battery, excellent support
Albedo
A+
Offers more energy than Zhongli but generally still not enough to solo battery. If you’re hitting a few thresholds, he can top you off though. He has nice off field damage and is ridiculously easy to use and build. 
Mediocre battery, but nice extra DMG
Electro Traveler

B
Holy shit, it’s an energy wonderland. They can basically nullify any ER requirements, right?
Well, not really. You still have to run an additional Geo to ensure resonance is active and they only offer energy to Noelle herself, which will hurt the rest of the team. They also contribute basically no damage.
Cool concept, good battery. But generally not worth using over GMC

Support Ranking

Fischl

S
Offers nice single target damage, some energy, and allows tons of crystallize. Her A4 does proc off crystallize as well. Solid off-field DMG. Excellent team DMG when pairing with Beidou and a Geo battery.
Very solid unit.
Beidou

S
She’s great. With 160 ER she can solo battery herself and offers great AoE damage, synergizes well with Noelle. Also provides tons of application to crystallize everywhere. Requires some practice for her rotations.
A very good pick.
Rosaria
A
Allows up to 30% free crit rate from her and cryo resonance. Can be a fun build.
An absolute requirement if you’re going for Cryo Resonance.
Kaeya

A
He has nice Cryo applications to maintain for Cryo Resonance. Can be kinda fun for that reason.
Best second Cryo unit.
Raiden Shogun
A-
A decent gap filler for a Noelle build that has down times and can offer some extra off field damage. However, these comps are also expensive and aren’t particularly stronger.
Don’t really recommend this.
Xingqiu
B+
Very frequently paired with Noelle, mostly just decent at best. He offers okay single target damage, but being only single target and dependent on attack speed, he doesn’t offer much.
Not bad, but not great.
Bennett
B
He’s okay, but really doesn’t beat out too many other options and is way better for other teams. Decent for lectors however.
Not really worth using with Noelle.
Venti
B
Excellent Grouping, Noelle can hit in his burst if she jumps on most Geo Constructs. Just don’t run him full EM here. Can be fun.
Generally good character.
Mona
C+
Unless you’re doing Bounty plunge bonus Damage Per Screenshot showcase with Noelle.
Forget Mona.
Tartaglia
C
By far the best zero field time support, granting Noelle a single Normal Attack level.
Don’t actually use him tho.
Jean
C
Only really good with C2 and is just more for fun even there.
Not recommended. 
Ganyu
D
Not great. Her burst damage is okay but the application isn’t really high enough to maintain cryo aura for the resonance and can be hard to battery. Can help with heralds/lectors though.
Not a good cryo option.
Kazuha
D
Mediocre at best grouping, but nothing to swirl. He’s a pretty bench warmer.
Don’t use him.
Sucrose
D
Similar to Kazuha, grouping isn’t good enough to justify a slot.
Don’t use her.
Xiangling
D
Awful. She requires batterying, doesn’t get to react, and her skill is worthless here.
Absolutely terrible on Noelle comp.
Chongyun
D
The attack speed literally does not matter at all. Okay at best for lectors.
Not useful for Noelle.
Sayu
F
I really wanted her to work but she won’t.
Lisa
F
You might be thinking about the 15% DEF shred. But Lisa’s pitiful DMG output means she has no place here.
Not worth using.
Xinyan
F-
No.
Qiqi
F-
Hell no.

Example Comps

GEO MICROWAVE

Respectable damage output. Easy to play.
Fischl allows for consistent A4 procs and has very nice off field damage.

 

 

SHOCK ROCK

Good damage output.
Relatively straightforward and mostly just off field damage

 

 

SHOCK ROCKLI

Theoretically excellent team damage. But they either depend on kills for energy, or will require an absurd amount of ER that would eat into their damage.
Strongly recommended for events like Contending Tides, where ER requirement can be thrown out of the window. Example gameplay video.
Usually not very reliable in the Abyss.

 

 

I LIKE ROCK

Not very optimal in terms of DMG output. Only for Geo Simps.

 

 

THE OBLIGATORY BENNETT SLOT

It works, but it’s better to have Bennett on other teams that need him. Noelle doesn’t.
The “I WANT NOELLE HIT HARD OOGA BOOGA” kind of comp.

 

 

JONAH’S TEAM

Allows for the Zhongli/GMC combo and another unit that does further AoE damage. If Beidou has enough ER and can counter off cooldown, it’s not hard to maintain her burst. Not a common or particularly easy comp, but quite effective.

 

 

THE GEO-MC-WENT-ON-STRIKE COMP

No, it’s actually not a joke, Venti and Albedo are really good together.
It’s both fun and stupid, try it if you don’t believe me.

 

 

FROZEN ROCK

Crit mania. Plus 40% crit rate from Cryo Resonance, Rosaria, and Geo MC. It’s a lot of crit.
Kaeya and Rosa having to alternate bursts is the only slightly awkward thing.

 

 

NOELLE “DUAL CARRY

Decent team damage, requires a bit of practice to get Sara and Raiden’s rotations weaved in properly
It’s not bad but it’s not really better than any of the alternatives and requires investment into more characters.

 

Credit

 

artwork by StarlightCrys

  • Author: JonahFarc#7056
  • Edited & Transcribed by itskhoi#0013
  • Weapon calculations: JonahFarc#7056
  • Team comp images: muakasan#2792