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Kaeya Quick Guide

Updated for Version 3.5

Kaeya is a free 4-star Cryo Sword character that offers excellent Cryo DMG, off-field Cryo application, and batterying. 

The full-length guide (currently being updated) is available here.

Infographic

New Content

MikaMika is a 4-star Cryo Polearm character released in Version 3.5 who buffs Physical damage, increases Attack SPD, provides healing, and enables Cryo Resonance. He has very limited use with Kaeya outside of a Physical DPS playstyle, which is not covered in this guide.
Light of Foliar IncisionA limited 5-star Sword that is quite good for DPS Kaeya. Its CRIT DMG secondary stat, CRIT Rate passive, and good Base ATK make it a great stat stick for Kaeya. The Normal Attack and Skill passive buff provides little benefit since most of Kaeya’s damage comes from his Burst. Light of Foliar Incision is Kaeya’s best option in Reverse Melt teams.
C2 Description ChangeIn Version 3.3, the description of Kaeya’s second Constellation was changed. The Constellation has always worked the way it is now described.

New Description:
When Glacial Waltz is in effect, for each opponent defeated, its duration is increased by 2.5s, up to a maximum of 15s.
DendroWith the release of Dendro, Kaeya offers an interesting interaction in Bloom teams, colloquially termed “Fridge”. See the Fridge section for more information.

Playstyles

Quickswap/Off-field Cryo DPS

Kaeya is an excellent quickswap or off-field Cryo DPS due to his low field time, long Burst uptime, and incredible Cryo particle generation. In Freeze teams, Kaeya’s Burst deals significant off-field damage and maintains the Frozen status on enemies. Moreover, Kaeya’s Skill can battery his Cryo teammates. In Reverse Melt teams, Kaeya’s Burst and Skill both deal substantial damage and require little field time.

On-field DPS

Kaeya can also be played as an on-field DPS in Freeze or Superconduct teams. He can infuse his Normal Attacks with Cryo when utilizing Chongyun’s Elemental Skill, allowing him to act as an on-field Cryo DPS. Kaeya can also be used as an on-field Physical DPS without Chongyun. However, these options generally have lower team DPS than off-field Kaeya teams. On-field Physical Kaeya builds have the lowest DPS on average, and are not recommended.

On-field DPS Kaeya is not extensively covered in this Quick Guide.

Character Overview

Talent Priority

Burst > Skill (≥ Normal Attack)

Kaeya’s Burst provides the largest portion of his damage. Kaeya’s Normal Attack should only be leveled if used as an on-field DPS.

Talents

Normal Attack

Normal Attack | Ceremonial Bladework

Normal Attack
Performs up to 5 rapid strikes.

Charged Attack
Consumes a certain amount of Stamina to unleash 2 rapid sword strikes.

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

Kaeya performs a series of Sword attacks and teleports behind the target before his final strike. Kaeya possesses the highest Normal Attack multipliers in the game among Sword users; however, his low Attack Speed and lack of special mechanics on his Normal Attacks make him a less than ideal on-field Normal Attack carry.

Combos

Kaeya’s best Normal Attack combo is two Normal Attacks followed by a Charged Attack (N2C). It is not worth jump canceling at the end of the combo since doing so increases DPS by less than 1%. Other potential combos have lower DPS or require too much Stamina to be worth using.

Elemental Skill

Elemental Skill | Frostgnaw

Unleashes a frigid blast, dealing Cryo DMG to opponents in front of Kaeya.

A simple skill that deals Cryo DMG. In conjunction with his 4th Ascension Passive, it enables Kaeya to battery his Cryo teammates.

Elemental Burst

Elemental Burst | Glacial Waltz

Coalescing the frost in the air, Kaeya summons 3 icicles that revolve around him.

These icicles will follow the character around and deal Cryo DMG to opponents in their path for the ability’s duration.

Kaeya’s Elemental Burst is his largest source of damage. His Burst is fantastic for its off-field damage, Cryo application, and ability to maintain the Frozen status on enemies. However, its short range around the on-field character prevents Kaeya from working well with ranged or vertically mobile characters. His Burst can only trigger Cryo-related reactions on a third of its hits.

Ascension 1 Passive

Ascension 1 Passive | Cold-Blooded Strike

Every hit with Frostgnaw regenerates HP for Kaeya equal to 15% of his ATK.

Kaeya’s 1st Ascension Passive provides him with a small amount of healing upon using his Elemental Skill. It is mildly helpful in teams without a healer.

Ascension 4 Passive

Ascension 4 Passive | Glacial Heart

Opponents Frozen by Frostgnaw will drop additional Elemental Particles.
Frostgnaw may only produce a maximum of 2 additional Elemental Particles per use.

This Passive makes Kaeya the best Cryo battery for Freeze teams. Kaeya can lower his Cryo teammates’ ER requirements, especially if he funnels the particles to them.

Note that the in-game description is incorrect: Kaeya can also generate 2 additional Elemental Particles if an enemy is already Frozen.

Utility Passive

Utility Passive | Hidden Strength

Decreases sprinting Stamina consumption for your own party members by 20%.

Not stackable with Passive Talents that provide the exact same effects.

Kaeya’s Utility Passive is fantastic for the overworld. In combat, it provides a nice quality-of-life buff to characters that rely on frequent dashing or Charged Attacks for their combos.

Constellations

Constellation 1

Constellation 1 | Excellent Blood

The CRIT Rate of Kaeya’s Normal and Charge Attacks against opponents affected by Cryo is increased by 15%.

Kaeya’s 1st Constellation is only useful when played as an on-field DPS. His Normal and Charged Attacks have an effective CRIT Rate of 70% against Frozen enemies if he is holding 4pc Blizzard Strayer.

Constellation 2

Constellation 2 | Never-Ending Performance

When Glacial Waltz is in effect, for each opponent defeated, its base duration is increased by 2.5s, up to a maximum of 15s.

Completely useless in single-target, but absolutely incredible in AoE.

Constellation 3

Constellation 3 | Dance of Frost

Increases the Level of Frostgnaw by 3.

Maximum upgrade level is 15.

Extra damage to his Elemental Skill. Not much to say about it.

Constellation 4

Constellation 4 | Frozen Kiss

Triggers automatically when Kaeya’s HP falls below 20%:
Creates a shield that absorbs damage equal to 30% of Kaeya’s Max HP. Lasts for 20s.

This shield absorbs Cryo DMG with 250% efficiency.
Can only occur once every 60s.

Only benefits an on-field DPS Kaeya, since the incredibly situational shield only affects himself. The shield’s protection is quite low and basically useless for a quickswap or off-field playstyle.

Constellation 5

Constellation 5 | Frostbiting Embrace

Increases the Level of Glacial Waltz by 3.

Maximum upgrade level is 15.

This Constellation is better than his C3 since Kaeya’s Elemental Burst is his largest source of damage.

Constellation 6

Constellation 6 | Glacial Whirlwind

Glacial Waltz will generate 1 additional icicle, and will regenerate 15 Energy when cast.

Kaeya’s final Constellation is amazing. Its Energy refund reduces Kaeya’s ER requirement and allows him to prioritize damage-oriented stats. Moreover, it increases his Burst’s raw damage and Cryo application. Overall, it is a substantial boost to his DPS.

Artifacts

ER Requirements

Off-Field

Skill UsesSolo CryoDouble CryoDouble Cryo (Freeze)Triple Cryo
1230-285%170-210%155-180%145-160%
2195-230%150-190%135-160%120-140%
3170–200%135-165%115-130%115-125%

On-Field

Skill UsesSolo CryoDouble CryoDouble Cryo (Freeze)Triple Cryo
2175-185140-170125-130115-125
3140-150130-140105-110105-110

Assumptions: 20s rotation, average Particle RNG, C0 Kaeya. Off-Field Kaeya catches the particles from one use of his Skill. Double Cryo (Freeze) Skill hits 1 Frozen enemy.

If holding Favonius Sword, Kaeya’s ER requirement is lowered by 15-25%. If another teammate triggers the Favonius passive once per rotation, his ER requirement can be lowered by about 15%. With Kaeya’s sixth Constellation unlocked, he refunds 15 Energy which lowers his ER requirements by 30-40%.

The Energy Recharge Calculator by Zakharov is available to calculate more specific Energy requirements for your given team and rotation.

Artifact Stats


Sands

Goblet

Circlet
ATK% (EM / ER)Cryo DMG%CRIT
Substats: ER (until requirement is met) > CRIT > ATK% (>= EM)

EM is only useful in teams where Kaeya can trigger Melt. CRIT DMG is preferred over CRIT Rate when holding 4pc Blizzard Strayer in a Freeze team. An ER Sands can be useful to meet Kaeya’s ER requirement on a support-oriented off-field build.

Artifact Sets

Freeze

4pc Blizzard Strayer (4BS)Kaeya’s Best-in-Slot artifact set in a Freeze team regardless of playstyle. 4pc Blizzard Strayer is always the best option if an enemy can be Frozen.
2pc NO + 2pc BSA good transitional set for Kaeya while farming for a good 4pc set.
4pc Emblem of Severed Fate (4ESF)4ESF is often hamstrung by Kaeya’s generally low ER requirements in Freeze teams. On the rare occasion where this is not the case, its value can increase — albeit not more than 4pc BS.
2pc ATK% + 2pc NO/BS/ESF/ATK%These 2pc/2pc combinations generally perform worse than 2pc NO + 2pc BS, but can still be used if they have better substats.  
4pc Noblesse Oblige (4NO)4NO is a good option for support-oriented off-field builds. An on-field Cryo DPS (like Ayaka) can appreciate its ATK buff. If no other teammate can hold 4NO in a Freeze team, then an off-field DPS Kaeya should hold it in order to maximize overall team DPS.

Reverse Melt

4pc Emblem of Severed Fate (4ESF)An excellent, resin-efficient option for Kaeya in Reverse Melt teams. Performs as well as 4LW at 120% ER and 10% better at 180% ER.
4pc Lavawalker (4LW)A great artifact set in a Reverse Melt team. However, it is only slightly better than 2pc/2pc combinations. If you don’t need any Crimson Witch of Flames artifact pieces, it is recommended to opt for 4ESF or a 2pc/2pc combination for improved resin efficiency.
2pc NO + 2pc BSA strong 2pc/2pc set combo for Kaeya in Reverse Melt. This set is also good in Freeze teams, which means it can be resin efficient if Kaeya is used on different teams.
2pc/2p Combinations:
BS, NO, ATK%, EM
Mixing 2pc set combinations is a cheap way to build Kaeya in Reverse Melt teams. Any combination will be only slightly worse (5-10%) than 4LW.

Weapons

Freeze

Mistsplitter ReforgedKaeya’s best option in Freeze teams because of its base stats and helpful passive. Mistsplitter Reforged is substantially better than other options if available.
Light of Foliar IncisionLight of Foliar Incision is Kaeya’s second best option in Freeze teams. Its CRIT DMG secondary stat, CRIT Rate passive, and good Base ATK make it a great stat stick for Kaeya. Its passive is useless in Freeze teams since Kaeya does not build EM. 
Haran Geppaku FutsuWhile its passive is mostly useless for off-field Kaeya, it is still an incredible stat stick. Haran Geppaku Futsu can potentially overcap Kaeya’s CRIT Rate.
Primordial Jade CutterIts secondary stat can overcap Kaeya’s CRIT Rate, but it is still a great option nonetheless.
Aquila FavoniaWhile its Physical DMG% substat is largely useless, its Base ATK and passive still allow it to surpass Kaeya’s free-to-play options.
Kagotsurube IsshinKagotsurube Isshin is a great free-to-play option that provides good ATK stats thanks to its secondary stat and passive. Players should use a Normal Attack before casting Kaeya’s Burst to snapshot the passive.
Favonius SwordOne of the best options for an off-field support build due to its ER stat and Energy particle generation. An excellent option when Kaeya’s ER requirements are high (above 160% ER). While Kaeya’s personal damage will suffer, his teammates have lower ER requirements which means they can build more offensive stats.
The Alley FlashThe Alley Flash is a good option in Freeze since it possesses the highest Base ATK among 4-star Swords as well as a good passive. Its EM secondary stat is useless, however. At R1, it is worse than Kagotsurube Isshin but better than other 4-star options. At R5, it performs on par with Kagotsurube Isshin.
Harbinger of DawnWith its passive up, R5 Harbinger of Dawn is a decent option. However, even when Kaeya plays as an off-field DPS, it can be difficult to keep his HP above 90%. Without its passive, Harbinger of Dawn falls far behind other Swords.
Amenoma KageuchiAmenoma’s passive helps offset high ER requirements in teams where Kaeya can use his Skill multiple times. Its stats are otherwise middling for a Freeze build.

Reverse Melt

Primordial Jade CutterKaeya’s Best-in-Slot option due to its high CRIT Rate, good Base ATK, and decent passive. Primordial Jade Cutter is simple but one of Kaeya’s most effective options.
Mistsplitter ReforgedAn excellent option for Kaeya. Mistsplitter Reforged provides high Base ATK, CRIT DMG, and a helpful passive. Even without full stacks, it is highly effective.
Haran Geppaku FutsuWhile its passive is mostly useless for off-field Kaeya, it is still an incredible stat stick for Reverse Melt.
Light of Foliar IncisionA great stat stick for Kaeya. The Normal Attack and Skill passive buff offers little benefit since most of Kaeya’s damage comes from his Burst.
Lion’s RoarKaeya’s Best-in-Slot 4-star option at high refinements. Its passive is easy to trigger in Reverse Melt teams, which allows it to be incredibly potent.
Kagotsurube IsshinKagotsurube Isshin is a great free-to-play option that provides good ATK stats thanks to its secondary stat and passive. Players should use a Normal Attack before casting Kaeya’s Burst to snapshot the passive.
Freedom-SwornEven without its sigil buffs, Freedom-Sworn is a great stat stick in Reverse Melt teams. It provides slightly higher damage output than R5 Lion’s Roar.
Aquila FavoniaWhile its Physical DMG% substat is largely useless, its Base ATK and passive still allow it to deal similar damage to free-to-play options.
Harbinger of DawnWith its passive up, R5 Harbinger of Dawn is a competitive option. However, even when Kaeya plays as an off-field DPS, it can be difficult to keep his HP above 90%. Without its passive, Harbinger of Dawn falls far behind all other Swords.
The Alley FlashThe Alley Flash is a good option for a Reverse Melt build. It possesses the highest Base ATK among 4-star Swords, a helpful EM secondary stat, and a good passive. At R1, it is only slightly better than Kagotsurube Isshin. At R5, it is slightly better than an R1 Lion’s Roar.
Iron Sting, Toukabou Shigure, Xiphos’ MoonlightWhile their EM secondary stat and passives are useful, they are still worse than Kagotsurube Isshin in Reverse Melt teams. 

Please note that Blackcliff Longsword and The Black Sword are not worth purchasing solely for Kaeya since Kagotsurube Isshin is free and provides comparable or better damage.

Teams

This is not a comprehensive list of teams, and the inclusion or exclusion of any given team does not necessarily reflect its power level. This list is not ranked.

Freeze

Kaeya can work well in a variety of Freeze teams. His Burst can maintain the Frozen status on enemies, which allows Cryo teammates to make full use of the 4pc Blizzard Strayer artifact set.

As an off-field DPS, Kaeya can battery an on-field Cryo DPS with his Skill and deal a good amount of damage off-field with his Burst. For a supportive build, Kaeya opts for 4NO and Favonius Sword to maximize his Cryo teammate’s damage. For an offensive build, Kaeya holds 4BS and a more DPS-oriented Sword to maximize his personal damage contribution.

As a quickswap DPS, Kaeya and his teammates can take advantage of their relatively low Skill cooldowns and field time to lower their ER requirements. Moreover, his teammates’ frequent Skill uses help maintain crucial buffs and Frozen uptime.

As an on-field DPS, Kaeya weaves uses of his Skill in between Normal Attacks to deal good damage. This playstyle generally deals less damage than other options, and is only worth considering with extremely high investment into Kaeya.

Notable Teammates

On-Field Cryo DPS Options:
Ayaka
Ayaka benefits greatly from Kaeya’s excellent batterying. Her tendency to stay close to enemies throughout a rotation means she synergizes well with Kaeya’s Burst.
Quickswap Cryo Options:
Rosaria, Shenhe, Chongyun
Rosaria is a great quickswap Cryo DPS partner because of her low field time, particle generation, CRIT Rate buff, and Elemental Burst damage.

Shenhe boosts Kaeya’s Cryo DMG substantially. She also enables Kaeya to frontload his damage, which can be useful for enemies with short DPS windows.

Chongyun’s 2nd Constellation reduces cooldowns, which enables 100% uptime on Xingqiu’s Burst. He also enables Kaeya’s on-field Cryo DPS playstyle due to his Skill’s Cryo Infusion.
Off-Field Cryo Support Options:
Diona, Layla, Qiqi
Kaeya’s Freeze teams generally do not require healing or shielding, since enemies are usually Frozen and thus cannot deal damage. These options also deal significantly lower damage than on-field or quickswap alternatives. Nonetheless, an off-field Cryo support can be used to sustain and buff the team with their artifacts or kits.
Off-Field Hydro Options:
Kokomi, Mona, Xingqiu, Yelan, Ayato, Barbara
A Hydro character is necessary to Freeze enemies. Kokomi, Mona, and Ayato can provide AoE Hydro application and team buffs. Xingqiu and Yelan are high DPS options for single-target situations. Barbara is a free-to-play option that can apply Hydro to enemies with her Skill at very short range.
Anemo Options:
Kazuha, Sucrose, Venti, Heizou, Jean, Sayu, Anemo Traveler
An Anemo character is necessary in Freeze teams since they provide additional Elemental application to help maintain the Frozen status, enable the 4pc Viridescent Venerer’s Elemental Shred, and group enemies with their abilities. Kazuha is notable for his Elemental DMG% buff.

In situations where Venti’s Burst completely lifts enemies, Kaeya should use his Burst after Venti’s Burst ends, since Kaeya’s Burst cannot hit fully lifted enemies within Venti’s Burst.

Example Teams

Kaeya (Off-Field) — Ayaka — Mona — Kazuha

Kaeya (Quickswap) — Rosaria — Kokomi — Kazuha

Kaeya (On-Field Cryo) — Chongyun — Xingqiu — Sucrose

Reverse Melt

Reverse Melt teams use Cryo abilities on a Pyro aura to trigger Melt. Xiangling’s Burst and Pyro-absorbed Anemo Bursts can provide enough Pyro application to allow a Cryo DPS to consistently trigger Melt on enemies.

Although Kaeya’s Burst can only trigger Melt a third of the time, he still provides good off-field damage and can lower his Cryo teammate’s ER requirement with his Elemental Skill’s particle generation.

Notables Teammates

BennettBennett provides a significant boost to the team through his ATK buff, healing, and potential contribution to Pyro Resonance. Bennett can hold 4pc Noblesse Oblige or 4pc Instructor to provide additional buffs to the team. When paired with Xiangling, Bennett can use his Elemental Skill to battery her.
RosariaRosaria contributes a high amount of damage and can trigger Melt on all ticks of her Burst. She also provides a substantial CRIT Rate buff to the team.
ChongyunThe Cryo Infusion from Chongyun’s Elemental Skill allows Kaeya to be played as an on-field Cryo DPS. Additionally, Chongyun’s Elemental Burst can trigger Melt on each hit, which leads to tremendous damage. Note that unlocking Bennett’s C6 prevents Kaeya from using Chongyun’s Cryo Infusion within Bennett’s Burst.
ShenheShenhe substantially buffs Kaeya’s Cryo DMG and triggers Melt with her own abilities. She also enables Kaeya to frontload his damage, which can be useful for enemies with short DPS windows. In turn, Kaeya can help lower her high ER requirements.
XianglingXiangling is a great choice due to her personal damage and Pyro application. She also benefits greatly from Bennett’s batterying potential.
KazuhaKazuha is an excellent pick due to the application from his Pyro-absorbed Elemental Burst, his 4th Ascension Passive, and 4pc Viridescent Venerer Elemental Shred. He also contributes a sizable amount of damage with his Burst and Swirls.
Sucrose / HeizouSucrose and Heizou are good options since they provide an EM buff to the team, group enemies, provide 4pc Viridescent Venerer Res Shred, and can hold Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers. While not as good as Kazuha, they are still perfectly viable options.
JeanIn a “Sunfire” setup, Jean’s Burst and Bennett’s Burst can work together to apply Pyro through rapid Pyro Swirls. Bennett’s Skill is needed to apply Pyro near the end of the rotation due to the short duration of Jean’s and Bennett’s Bursts.

Example Teams

Kaeya — Rosaria — Xiangling — Bennett

Kaeya — Shenhe — Kazuha — Bennett

Kaeya — Chongyun — Jean — Bennett

Fridge

Fridge is an interesting team composition that capitalizes on the unique interaction between Cryo, Dendro, and Hydro auras, which enables more Bloom and Bloom-related reactions to take place. Hyperbloom and Burgeon-focused Fridge teams deal higher damage than teams that rely solely on Bloom.

Kaeya is a good choice for Fridge teams because of his Burst’s high damage, long duration, and Cryo application. Keep in mind that Kaeya can apply too much Cryo with his Skill if used multiple times per rotation, which prevents Dendro Core production. He performs best with an on-field melee driver due to his Burst’s limited range.

Notable Teammates

Dendro Options:
Nahida, Dendro Traveler, Alhaitham, Yaoyao
A Dendro character is necessary for the Bloom reaction to take place. The Dendro character should always hold 4pc Deepwood Memories.

Nahida is an excellent Dendro support. She provides high AoE Dendro application, a powerful EM buff, and significant personal damage. Dendro Traveler is an excellent free-to-play option that can provide enough off-field Dendro application. Alhaitham is a potent on-field melee Dendro DPS that works well with Kaeya’s Burst. Yaoyao is a good option that can provide healing.
Hydro Options:
Xingqiu, Yelan, Kokomi, Barbara, Tartaglia, Ayato
A Hydro character is required for Bloom to occur. Off-field Hydro characters offer strong personal damage and let Kaeya or one of his teammates serve as the on-field driver for the team. On-field Hydro characters drive reactions while also providing potentially strong personal damage.
Anemo Options:
Kazuha, Sucrose, Heizou, Venti
In pure Bloom teams, Anemo characters provide Cryo and Hydro Shred through 4pc Viridescent Venerer. These Anemo characters also provide valuable grouping, team buffs, and utility. 
Pyro Options:
Thoma, Bennett
Burgeon Fridge teams require a Pyro character that can steadily apply Pyro to the Dendro Cores. Thoma’s Burst and Bennett’s Skill are great options for Burgeon triggers. While triggering Burning interferes with Dendro Core production, Burgeon teams deal incredible AoE damage with enough Hydro application. 
Electro Options:
Kuki Shinobu, Raiden Shogun, Cyno
Hyperbloom Fridge teams use an Electro character that targets Dendro Cores. Kuki Shinobu and Raiden Shogun provide consistent, periodic Electro application that is perfect for triggering Hyperbloom. Cyno can be played in a “Quickbloom” team that capitalizes on Aggravate and Hyperbloom DMG while using his Burst.

Example Teams

Kaeya — Nahida — Kokomi — Kazuha

Kaeya — Dendro Traveler — Xingqiu — Thoma

Kaeya — Alhaitham — Yelan — Kuki Shinobu

Credits

Contributors: irokei#6189, Casdela#5121, fourmana#0477, Jdha#2508, Luno#1337, Cuzimori#1535, jamberry#7142, Ai#7362, pweep#0150, Nikatosaurus#5639, idkanonymized#4166, Sew#2409

Team images courtesy of the KQM portrait generator.

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