Updated for Version 3.6
Ganyu is a 5-star Cryo Bow character in Genshin Impact who deals massive, sustained damage with her Charged Shots and Elemental Burst. She can be played in a variety of teams and playstyles.
The full-length guide (currently being updated) is available here.
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This guide provides an overview of Ganyu’s playstyles, Talents, and Constellations. Her best artifacts, weapons, and teams are separated under two sections: Freeze & Mono Cryo and Melt.
Table of Contents
|Layla||Layla has the second strongest shield available to Ganyu and generates a decent number of Cryo particles. While her damage isn’t the highest, it is better than most other shielders.|
|Nahida||Nahida provides Pyro application through Burning in Burnmelt teams. She grants huge buffs and lets Ganyu use Bennett’s buffs longer.|
|Dehya||Dehya’s kit alone is not enough to apply Pyro for Ganyu or act as the sole defensive role in Melt teams. However, Nahida and Bennett make up for these shortcomings.|
In Burning teams, Dehya can consolidate both the role of the shielder and the Pyro applier (in conjunction with Nahida), with distinct advantages over Thoma and Xinyan.
Freeze & Mono Cryo DPS
Freeze Ganyu builds use a Hydro unit to trigger the Freeze reaction. Her Freeze teams are extremely effective in multi-target scenarios due to the strength of Ganyu’s Elemental Burst. They make gameplay easier by immobilizing enemies, keeping them grouped, and preventing them from attacking. However, her best teams require multiple 5-star units and are less effective in single-target content or against enemies that cannot be Frozen.
Mono Cryo is an extremely flexible way to play Ganyu, which involves using Bursts off cooldown and Charged Shots whenever possible. The Mono Cryo archetype offers high single-target and AoE potential, but it is outclassed by Freeze in AoE and Melt in single-target. It still requires a shield in many scenarios.
These two playstyles have similar enough builds that they are grouped together in this quick guide, but please note their differences.
Melt Ganyu is a highly demanding playstyle that takes advantage of the Reverse Melt reaction to deal enormous amounts of damage by Melting both parts of Ganyu’s Charged Shot. However, Melt Ganyu requires very specific teammates with high Energy Recharge (ER) requirements to function. It also requires much tighter rotation management and mechanical execution compared to the more forgiving Freeze or Mono Cryo playstyle.
Xiangling, Sunfire, and Burnmelt are three variations of Melt Ganyu examined in this quick guide.
Ganyu’s long Burst duration makes her an excellent off-field support. While this guide does not cover this playstyle in-depth, we provide some thoughts and guidance on her different teams here.
|Cryo Teams||Ganyu’s support potential is best used in conjunction with other Cryo characters. This reduces her ER requirements and allows her teammates to take advantage of her Ascension 4 Passive’s Cryo DMG% buff.|
Often, you may find Ganyu still does more damage than the Cryo “carry”, with the exception of Ayaka who often out-damages Ganyu.
|Forward Melt||Her Cryo application alone is not enough to keep up with most Pyro DPS characters. While technically possible, support Ganyu is not great for enabling Forward Melt (especially with characters like Hu Tao or Xiangling). |
To address this problem, she can be paired with other Cryo units like Rosaria and Kaeya, who can both reduce her ER requirements and supplement her Cryo application.
|Superconduct||Ganyu can also apply Cryo for Superconduct, although this playstyle requires quite a bit of Energy Recharge to work effectively in most team compositions.|
|Fridge||Off-field support Ganyu can also be considered in Fridge teams (Bloom with Cryo) due to her personal damage. Pure Bloom, Hyperbloom, and Burgeon variations can all employ her Burst for solid, consistent damage. However, her Cryo application is still weak and sporadic which limits her ability to stop Burning from occurring in many Burgeon teams.|
Normal Attack | Liutian Archery
Performs up to 6 consecutive shots with a bow.
Performs a more precise Aimed Shot with increased DMG.
While aiming, an icy aura will accumulate on the arrowhead before the arrow is fired. Has different effects based on how long the energy has been charged:
- Charge Level 1: Fires off an icy arrow that deals Cryo DMG.
- Charge Level 2: Fires off a Frostflake Arrow that deals Cryo DMG. The Frostflake Arrow blooms after hitting its target, dealing AoE Cryo DMG.
Fires off a shower of arrows in mid-air before falling and striking the ground, dealing AoE DMG upon impact.
Ganyu’s Normal Attack Talent consists of a 6-hit Normal Attack string that is very pretty but very rarely used. Her true strength lies in her Charged Shots.
Unlike most other Bow characters, Ganyu’s Level 2 Charged Shot is extremely powerful and has no ICD on either instance of damage, which allows her to trigger reactions on both hits. This is especially important for her Melt teams, as it enables her to Melt both parts of her Charged Shot.
Elemental Skill | Trail of the Qilin
Leaving a single Ice Lotus behind, Ganyu dashes backward, shunning all impurity and dealing AoE Cryo DMG.
- Continuously taunts surrounding opponents, attracting them to attack it.
- Endurance scales based on Ganyu’s Max HP.
- Blooms profusely when destroyed or once its duration ends, dealing AoE Cryo DMG.
The flower taunts all non-Boss enemies for 6s or until enough damage has been dealt to it, after which it explodes and deals another instance of damage. This Skill can generate a total of four particles per cast, two for each hit.
The taunt can group or distract enemies to a degree, but it is not a reliable source of survivability. The dash can be used to reposition Ganyu, allowing her to dodge enemy attacks or gain distance for Amos’ Bow stacks.
Elemental Burst | Celestial Shower
Coalesces atmospheric frost and snow to summon a Sacred Cryo Pearl that exorcises evil.
During its ability duration, the Sacred Cryo Pearl will continuously rain down shards of ice, striking opponents within an AoE and dealing Cryo DMG.
Ganyu’s Burst is an extremely important part of her kit, but it can be complex to use effectively. Her Burst lasts for 15s and drops 50 Ice Shards that deal Cryo damage in a small AoE, but not all Ice Shards necessarily hit an enemy.
Each Ice Shard targets a random enemy within its field that has not been targeted by one of the four most recent Ice Shards. If there are no such enemies, the next Ice Shard drops randomly within the field.
Ganyu’s Burst is particularly potent against multiple enemies grouped together, as its damage can scale quadratically. If three enemies are grouped, each targeted Ice Shard hits all three enemies because of its AoE, resulting in three times the amount of damage.
Quadratic Scaling Infographic
Ascension 1 Passive | Undivided Heart
After firing a Frostflake Arrow, the CRIT Rate of subsequent Frostflake Arrows and their resulting bloom effects is increased by 20% for 5s.
Ganyu’s Ascension 1 Passive Talent provides a significant boost to Charged Shots, making it particularly useful for teams that rely heavily on them, such as Melt teams. However, it is less beneficial for teams that rely heavily on Burst damage, such as Freeze teams.
Note that the buff only applies to successive Charged Shots after Ganyu’s first Charged Shot.
Ascension 4 Passive | Harmony Between Heaven and Earth
Celestial Shower grants a 20% Cryo DMG Bonus to active members in the AoE.
Ganyu’s Ascension 4 Passive adds value to her as a DPS unit and to any Cryo teammates. Additionally, Ganyu can snapshot the Cryo DMG Bonus onto her own Burst on the second rotation and onwards, assuming that the previous Burst is still active upon cast. The window for this is about ~17.5s.
Constellation 1 | Dew-Drinker
Taking DMG from a Charge Level 2 Frostflake Arrow or Frostflake Arrow Bloom decreases opponents’ Cryo RES by 15% for 6s.
A hit regenerates 2 Energy for Ganyu. This effect can only occur once per Charge Level 2 Frostflake Arrow, regardless if Frostflake Arrow itself or its Bloom hit the target.
Ganyu’s first Constellation provides a great quality of life improvement by further decreasing her already low ER requirements in Freeze and Mono Cryo teams.
The Cryo RES Shred is also valuable, as it can boost both Ganyu’s damage output and that of her Cryo teammates.
Constellation 2 | The Auspicious
Trail of the Qilin gains 1 additional charge.
This Constellation grants more flexibility in timing Ganyu’s Ice Lotuses in rotations where she uses her Elemental Skill twice. It allows you to use her Elemental Burst earlier or skip waiting for her Skill to come off cooldown. The Constellation does not grant you an extra Skill use outside of these scenarios. While not game-changing on its own, its true value shines with Ganyu’s sixth Constellation.
Note that using the second charge of Ganyu’s Elemental Skill won’t refresh the buff from the 4pc effect of Shimenawa’s Reminiscence if it is currently active.
Constellation 3 | Cloud-Strider
Increases the Level of Celestial Shower by 3.
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
Decent damage increase for Ganyu in Freeze and off-field DPS teams.
Constellation 4 | Westward Sojourn
Opponents standing within the AoE of Celestial Shower take increased DMG. This effect strengthens over time.
Increased DMG taken begins at 5% and increases by 5% every 3s, up to a maximum of 25%.
The effect lingers for 3s after the opponent leaves the AoE.
Ganyu’s Constellation 4 is a strong addition to her kit. This Constellation is particularly useful in Freeze and Mono Cryo teams, but it is worthless in Melt teams where Ganyu doesn’t use her Burst. It becomes even more powerful if Ganyu can Burst off cooldown. In that case, the buff never expires, effectively being a 25% DMG Bonus for the entire team after the first rotation until the enemy dies.
Constellation 5 | The Merciful
Increases the Level of Trail of Qilin by 3.
Maximum upgrade level is 15.
Ganyu’s Skill is a small portion of her damage. Slightly more damage and taunt durability is nice but is rarely an important difference.
Constellation 6 | The Clement
Using Trail of the Qilin causes the next Frostflake Arrow shot within 30s to not require charging.
Ganyu’s final Constellation greatly increases her DPS potential within a short window of time. When combined with her second Constellation, it lets Ganyu fire off up to three Frostflake Arrows in quick succession. In sustained rotations, she can effectively gain an extra “free” Charged Shot for each time her Skill is used. This Constellation is especially good for speedrunning.
An additional benefit is that, with the removal of charging time, there is almost no chance that Ganyu is interrupted, which lets her do away with a shield.
Freeze & Mono Cryo
Freeze & Mono Cryo Talent Priority
Normal Attack ≥ Burst > Skill
The two most important Talents in Freeze are Ganyu’s Normal Attack and Burst Talents. Most of her damage comes from her Burst and Charged Shots.
Freeze & Mono Cryo ER Requirements
|With Venti||Other Anemo|
|Double Cryo (16s)||110-130%||140-170%|
|Double Cryo (20s)||100-120%||130-160%|
|Triple Cryo (20s)||100-110%||100-140%|
- Average particle generation
- Ganyu’s Skill used once per rotation
- Rotations with Venti already include his Energy refund and 1 teammate with Favonius
- Rotations with Kazuha, Jean, or Sayu have them holding Favonius along with 1 other Cryo teammate
- Rotations with Layla assume at least 2 volleys
- Teammate Favonius procs once per rotation
- An additional Favonius proc reduces stated ER requirements by 10-15%
Use the Energy Recharge Calculator by Zakharov to determine more precise requirements for your team and rotation.
Freeze & Mono Cryo Artifact Stats
|ATK%||Cryo DMG%||CRIT / (ATK%*)|
ER (until requirement) > CRIT DMG ≥ ATK% > CRIT Rate
In Freeze teams, Ganyu typically holds 4pc Blizzard Strayer, which gives her a massive amount of CRIT Rate against Frozen enemies. This allows you to focus on ATK% and CRIT DMG main stats and substats. While most Freeze teams don’t demand Ganyu to build a lot of Energy Recharge, some rotations and teams require more ER to function.
In Mono Cryo teams, 4pc Blizzard Strayer and Cryo Resonance still provide a massive amount of CRIT Rate, though not as much as in Freeze. You should aim for around 50-65% CRIT Rate.
*ATK% Circlets are competitive in conjunction with CRIT DMG Bows in Freeze teams.
Freeze & Mono Cryo Artifact Sets
|4pc Blizzard Strayer (4BS)||The only set you should use for Freeze and Mono Cryo Ganyu builds. |
The free CRIT Rate provided by its 4pc set effect makes it the best option.
|2pc + 2pc|
BS / Noblesse Oblige (NO) / ATK%
|These combinations should only be used as transitory gear while you farm a 4pc Blizzard Strayer set.|
Freeze & Mono Cryo Weapons
|Polar Star||Polar Star is an excellent Bow as Ganyu can permanently maintain all 4 stacks. Unfortunately, the excessive amount of CRIT Rate becomes problematic in Freeze teams with 4pc Blizzard Strayer. If players have too much CRIT Rate in substats, other weapons will outperform Polar Star.|
|These 5-star bows perform well as stat sticks with passives of varying utility. Aqua’s and Amos’ passives change in value with range, while Thundering Pulse’s and Skyward Harp’s remain fairly useless.|
Overall, Aqua Simulacra is Freeze Ganyu’s 2nd best weapon after Polar Star, with the others following closely behind.
|Prototype Crescent R5||Craftable from the beginning of the game, it’s a decent choice that, regardless of its refinement, should be a baseline option. ATK% is significantly more valuable in Freeze, and Prototype Crescent provides an absurd amount of it.|
Prototype Crescent requires players to hit weak spots to activate its passive, and this is impossible at times. In these scenarios, it can be helpful to have a backup weapon like Hamayumi.
Here is a list of enemies and their weak spots.
|Hamayumi R5||Given that Ganyu uses her Elemental Burst, Hamayumi’s passive is less effective. However, it’s a better craftable option than Prototype Crescent if enemies lack a weak spot.|
|Mouun’s Moon||Mouun’s Moon provides Ganyu with a large amount of Burst DMG%, making it a good option in rotations where Ganyu is more reliant on her Burst than her Charged Shots. However, Mouun’s value varies widely depending on the team you use, as the passive is based on the Energy Costs of your characters.|
|Viridescent Hunt||Battle Pass-locked weapon. The passive provides additional grouping that can increase Ice Shard hits. However, the CRIT Rate can result in overcapping, making this weapon unremarkable.|
Notable Freeze & Mono Cryo Teammates
Freeze & Mono Cryo Teambuilding
Freeze is a classic Ganyu team archetype. The teams group enemies with Anemo characters, freeze them in place with Hydro characters, and then let Ganyu’s quadratic scaling do the work with minimal effort. They are particularly strong against scenarios with multiple opponents that can be Frozen.
As mentioned earlier, shorter rotations are preferred because Ganyu can snapshot her A4 Passive onto her Burst. However, they are harder to execute and require more Energy Recharge, especially for Mona. Nevertheless, rotations locked to 20s by units like Kokomi and Shenhe remain competitive because they bring their own buffs to compensate for the loss of Ganyu’s A4.
Example Freeze Teams
Mono Cryo teams, while not as reliable as Freeze teams, perform well against enemies that cannot be Frozen, such as Bosses. Many Freeze teams can swap their Hydro unit for a shielder like Zhongli or Layla.
The biggest strength of Mono Cryo is its flexibility, especially with Shenhe. They easily transition between AoE and single-target content, and they generate an immense amount of Energy. Shenhe teams can also transition between Burst-focused and Charged Shot-focused playstyles, depending on what you need.
Typically, Ganyu prefers another Cryo unit and an Anemo unit for the last two flex slots, but other options can work.
Example Mono Cryo Teams
Melt Ganyu Talent Priority
Normal Attack > Skill
In Melt, over 90% of Ganyu’s damage comes from her Normal Attack Talent (Charged Shots), making it very important to level. Her Skill does decent damage though, and the durability increase from Talent levels are much appreciated for the taunt. Even in teams where she uses her Burst, it does very little relative damage, so it can be ignored.
Melt Ganyu ER Requirements
Melt Ganyu builds do not usually require any ER since Ganyu does not use her Burst. In scenarios where she can use her Burst, building ER is still unnecessary since you do not need to use her Burst every rotation. Some ER may be necessary for 4pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence builds, however.
Melt Ganyu Artifact Stats
|EM > ATK%*||Cryo DMG%||CRIT|
Substats: EM (to 200) > CRIT > EM > ATK%
Generally, Melt Ganyu wants an EM Sands, Cryo DMG Goblet, and CRIT Circlet. EM is generally preferred since Melt Ganyu is almost always played with Bennett, who provides a massive Flat ATK buff.
*An EM Sands is significantly better than an ATK% Sands, unless Ganyu is paired with multiple Elemental Mastery buffers like C2 Kazuha with Nahida.
In terms of substats, you should prioritize raising Ganyu’s Elemental Mastery to 200 before focusing on CRIT. You should aim for a 1:2 CRIT ratio, taking into account Ganyu’s bonus 20% CRIT Rate on Charged Shots.
Melt Ganyu Artifact Sets
|4pc Wanderer’s Troupe (4WT)||Generally the BiS option. You can passively farm it by defeating Bosses, and it’s also available through the Strongbox, making it incredibly efficient to farm. The 2pc effect (80 Elemental Mastery) is very valuable, especially compared to the ATK% of 2pc SR. In addition, the 4pc set bonus is completely unconditional and applies to every Charged Shot.|
|4pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence|
|While this set deals slightly more damage than 4pc WT on paper, it has several drawbacks that make it a worse option. This set is more restrictive with both rotations and weapons (notably Hamayumi), and it requires you to fire 5 Charged Shots in under 10s to outperform 4WT — a feat which is almost impossible to achieve with a margin of error less than 0.07s.|
Nonetheless, 4pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence performs similarly enough to 4WT and can be farmed from the same Domain as Emblem of Severed Fate, making it a convenient set to farm.
|2pc + 2pc|
Blizzard Strayer / EM / ATK%
|These 2pc combinations are generally worse than the above sets but are close enough in performance that they could outperform the 4pc sets depending on their substat rolls.|
|4pc Lavawalker (4LW)||You can consider 4pc Lavawalker if you have no access to any of the above sets, or if your Lavawalker pieces are much better than your other available sets.|
|4pc Retracing Bolide (4RB)||4pc Retracing Bolide is an option if Ganyu is paired with a very strong shielder. However, it requires farming a generally Resin-inefficient Domain, as Retracing Bolide and Archaic Petra are quite niche sets.|
|4pc Gilded Dreams (4GD)||The additional 230 Elemental Mastery 4pc Gilded Dreams provides makes it slightly better than 2pc EM + 2pc EM combinations. Unfortunately, 4GD, much like 4SR, doesn’t always buff every Charged Shot because of the timing restriction on its set effect. |
Overall, 4pc Gilded Dreams is slightly better than 2pc combos, but is unremarkable otherwise.
Melt Ganyu Weapons
|Hunter’s Path||Hunter’s Path is BiS for Melt Ganyu in single-target scenarios but performs worse in AoE due to its passive. Its high CRIT Rate is greatly appreciated, and the passive synergizes well with Ganyu’s Melt builds. Note that Ganyu wants higher EM when using Hunter’s Path, aiming for 350-400 EM.|
|Aqua Simulacra||Aqua Simulacra is one of Melt Ganyu’s strongest weapons. Its low Base ATK is offset by Bennett’s buff. The range of the passive is usually not a problem in Melt because Ganyu needs to stay close to enemies anyways.|
|Amos’ Bow||Amos’ Bow has the highest Frostflake Arrow damage but slightly falls off in overall damage. It solidly beats out 4-star options. However, Ganyu’s close-range positioning in Melt teams makes it difficult to obtain the maximum bonus from the weapon’s effect. This usually results in either 0 or 1 Amos stacks on the Arrow (with an additional three on the Frostflake Bloom).|
|Good stat sticks for Melt Ganyu. |
Melt Ganyu cannot make full use of Polar Star’s passive since she normally doesn’t use her Burst for the final stack, nor can she make any use of Thundering Pulse’s passive.
Skyward Harp has lower value in teams with multiple ATK buffs, but increases in value in teams with multiple EM buffs.
|Hamayumi R5||While it is the best 4-star and free-to-play option for Melt, it’s not much better than Prototype Crescent, so players shouldn’t craft Hamayumi if they already have Prototype Crescent. Furthermore, the set effect of 4pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence is antagonistic with Hamayumi’s passive, which makes it less desirable.|
|Prototype Crescent R5||Prototype Crescent remains a good weapon, but with the presence of Bennett, its passive is weaker. If you play Freeze a lot or use 4pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence, Prototype Crescent will be a better choice than Hamayumi.|
Here is a list of enemies and their weak spots.
|Viridescent Hunt||Battle Pass-locked weapon. The passive can help with grouping, but this isn’t as important in Melt teams. The CRIT Rate offered by the weapon is appreciated.|
Notable Melt Ganyu Teammates
Melt Ganyu Teambuilding
Melt teams are compositionally less flexible than Freeze teams. The first party member must be Bennett. The second character must consistently apply Pyro off-field, limiting this slot to just three options. The final slot is flexible, but unless you are speedrunning or have C6 Ganyu, it is heavily recommended to choose a shielder, preferably Zhongli.
This is the most common and accessible variant of Melt Ganyu, and it performs the best overall in terms of damage and ease of gameplay. Xiangling’s Pyro application is reliable and lasts a long time, and the team has an easy rotation. In addition, Xiangling’s damage is quite high, and she and Bennett provide Pyro particles for each other.
Burnmelt teams maximize Ganyu’s personal damage and have lower ER requirements compared to other Melt teams. On top of that, their rotations are simpler and Ganyu can fire Charged Shots from farther away. However, Burnmelt teams have one major problem — Burning is really unstable.
Any interference from non-Pyro Elements (including Dendro) can cause Burning to extinguish. For example, if you use Zhongli’s Skill, Ganyu’s Skill, or just mess up the rotation, Burning can fail to persist. Even performing your Charged Shots too slowly can lead to failure.
This issue can be solved by having an additional Pyro applier in the flex slot, but Burning still suffers from high variability in damage with even slight changes in rotation. For this reason, using Ganyu’s Burst is usually not recommended, even with supplemental Pyro application.
Overall, while Burning is the second most recommended Melt Ganyu team variant, it is highly unstable to play.
Sunfire uses the self-applied Pyro and Anemo from Bennett’s Burst and Jean’s Burst to trigger Swirl and apply Pyro to nearby enemies. Ganyu can use her Burst and even employ a second Cryo character without much trouble. Her Burst is free damage and provides a nice 20% Cryo DMG Bonus. However, you should Burst with Ganyu only when it is available.
However, there are three problems.
- The team is very Energy-hungry. Using Favonius weapons greatly alleviates this issue.
- This is peak “Circle Impact.” Pyro is only applied while Ganyu is within both Jean and Bennett’s Bursts. This severely limits your mobility.
- The damage and Pyro application uptime isn’t that great when compared to Xiangling and Burnmelt teams. Unfortunately, Jean’s Pyro application only lasts long enough for 4 Charged Shots, resulting in less damage.
Example Melt Ganyu Teams
Contributors: Prévisible#7440, Rare Possum#0511, irokei#6189, Nociii#0111, Casdela#5121, cote#4733