Table of Contents
xTuki | xツキ#4893
Alerine#1591, for the Lithic Thesis.
leeyuuh#4128, for notes on Diona, Qiqi, and Zhongli.
3.14#9270 for notes on Energy Management and Zhongli.
Poiyo#3488 and ioncy#5314 for notes on Energy Management.
JenjenJL#6582, muse#0188, Llamagician#8583, and Rich3331#9097 for edits and comments.
Memu#6453, for collision damage mechanics and video examples.
dri#1236, for contributing their artwork for the cover of this guide.
Anonymouse#6652, for contributing their artwork for the afterword of this guide.
Xiao Mains’ Alatus and Abyss Conquerors, whose on field expertise were invaluable.
Xiao Mains, for their constant input, testing, and feedback.
Xiao, for mentally supporting us while this guide was being made.
tl;dr Visual Guide
Xiao is a 5★ Anemo Hypercarry DPS. He takes up most of the team’s field-time on account of his long Burst duration forcing players to stay on him if they want to maximize damage. The average Xiao will generally be dealing most of the team’s damage, and so his teams exist to permit him to do damage by funneling energy to him for recharging his Burst, keeping him alive, boosting his damage, etc.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent AoE DPS.
- Consistent sustained damage over long Burst windows.
- Doesn’t require specific artifact sets to shine; substats are generally more important.Requires little team investment.
- Offers flexible team building while not competing for many popular supports.
- Plunges can constantly stagger enemies.
- Plunges can bypass Shieldwall enemies, such as Mitachurls, and easily break most shields in the game.
- His burst offers vertical maneuverability, allowing for better damage avoidance.
- Has a low skill floor which makes him straightforward to use.
- F2P friendly weapon choices are lacking.
- Requires batterying and careful energy management in combat scenarios needing more than 2 Bursts.
- Anemo DPSes have very few supports for buffering Anemo DMG or shredding Anemo Resistance.
- Enemies being knocked back from plunges can be annoying to work around. In general, good positioning is necessary for optimal DPS.
- Cannot be run as a Sub DPS or Support with other DPS options.
- Lacks Single Target damage.
- Constellations C2-C5 hold little value.
Is Xiao worth it?
Ultimately, our goal is not to convince you whether Xiao is meta or not meta, or that he is worth pulling or not pulling for your account. Instead, the reader should review Xiao’s strengths and weaknesses as detailed above and in our “Should You Wish for Xiao?” guide, and then draw their own conclusions whether he is worth your pulls.
C0 – C5
10AA > 8Q > 8E > 9Q > 9E
- Getting 7Q before 10AA is also an option if you want to reduce the HP drain during Xiao’s Burst.
- Levelling up past 7Q and 6E should mostly be done out of love for Xiao, as it is a minimal DPS increase.
10E > 8AA > 8Q > 9AA > 9Q
- Getting 7Q before 10E is also an option if you want to reduce the HP drain during Xiao’s Burst.
Why prioritize Normal Attack over Burst?
Xiao’s Elemental Burst only modifies and increases Xiao’s Attack Damage (it does not affect his Elemental Skill). However, you get better returns (i.e. higher modifiers) on Attack Damage per level invested if you directly upgrade the Normal Attack Talent rather than Elemental Burst. For example, leveling Xiao’s Normal Attack Talent from 9 to 10 increases the plunge multiplier by 7.6%, while leveling his Burst Talent from 9 to 10 only increases it by 2.4%.
Which constellations are worth it?
What Xiao comes with out of the box.
Offers everything you need to clear the hardest content in the game.
C1 – Dissolution Eon: Destroyer of Worlds
Xiao gains an additional charge of his Elemental Skill, for a total of 3 charges.
Literally one extra charge of his Elemental Skill over the span of an entire battle when using optimized rotations. Note that this constellation does not change the cooldowns of Xiao’s Elemental Skill, and so is a rather QoL upgrade in general.
Other Constellations (C2 – C5)
- C2 – When in the party and not on the field, Xiao’s Energy Recharge is increased by 25%.
- C3 – Increases the Level of Lemniscatic Wind Cycling by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.
- C4 – When Xiao’s HP falls below 50%, he gains a 100% DEF Bonus.
- C5 – Increases the Level of Bane of All Evil by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.
Unfortunately, none of these constellations contribute significantly to improving Xiao’s DPS or improving his gameplay. For this reason, we recommend players to either only pull for C0/ C1, or to fully commit to C6.
- C2 is inconsequential as Xiao should be on field as much as possible, especially when directly being funneled particles between Elemental Bursts.
- C3 does not impact Xiao’s plunge damage. It is only useful for C6 Xiao.
- C4 provides a DEF bonus which is useless in 99% of scenarios, especially since his most popular supports are generally Zhongli and good healers like Jean or Bennett.
- C5 is also not a big improvement since Xiao gains little overall DPS increase from Q levels due to oversaturated DMG Bonus% (see Talents section).
On Xiao’s C6 Constellation, Conqueror of Evil: Guardian Yaksha
With contributions from: Shintenzu#8454, Not Jan#2686, Bossam#4087
This section of the guide will present a list of in-depth pros, cons, and general notes about Xiao’s C6 constellation.
|Description||During Xiao’s Burst, if Xiao hits at least 2 opponents with his Plunging Attack he gains a charge of his Elemental Skill. |
Additionally, for the next 1 second, he may use his Elemental Skill ignoring the cooldown.
|Introduction|| This constellation entirely changes Xiao’s playstyle from plunge-oriented to that of Elemental Skill oriented, assuming that he faces 2 or more enemies. Instead of plunge spam, Xiao’s optimal attack string becomes “dash spam” that consists of a plunge followed by up to 4 Elemental Skills.|
However, while this constellation brings powerful upgrades, it is not without its detriments; hence, this section will cover some of his pros and cons in various aspects of C6 gameplay.
The sections are as follows:
‣ Constellations (what the road to C6 provides and its conditions)
‣ Gameplay (actual playstyle in practice)
‣ Supports (units and team comps)
“The limit to one’s power is self-destruction. Answer me.
-Xiao, Feelings About Ascencion: Climax
Offering a powerful increase and change in strength, C6 Xiao can be both a challenging and rewarding constellation for some. It requires much skill and knowledge to control and work around some disadvantages like auto-targeting, as well as still requiring high levels of investment; hence, it is not so much of a pay-to-win constellation as some believe it to be.
For these reasons, we recommend players to either pull for C0/C1, or to fully commit to C6.
Goblet: Anemo% > ATK%
Circlet: Crit Rate or Crit Dmg
There is no situation where running an ER sands is beneficial, because you lose too much in terms of damage. You should always aim to get sufficient ER% from substats instead. If you lack ER% and have trouble charging Xiao’s Burst, run Sucrose as a battery, ideally at least C1 or with Sacrificial Fragments if she is only C0. If you don’t have Sucrose, any Anemo battery or supports with Favonius weapons can help generate additional particles.
Anemo% vs. ATK% Goblet
Xiao possesses many sources of DMG Bonus (e.g. his burst multipliers), so while an Anemo DMG% Goblet is still preferable over an ATK% Goblet one, the difference between the two is not as substantial as it would be for other dps characters.
In team situations where Xiao receives many sources of ATK buffs (ex. Pyro Resonance, Bennett Burst, Noblesse 4-piece bonus, Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers, etc.), Anemo DMG% Goblets end up performing much better than ATK% Goblets. An Anemo DMG% Goblet is generally a better choice if running Xiao in teams where buffs are readily accessible.
However, if Xiao is used as a solo unit, or if he is on a team that does not have an array of buffs, ATK% Goblets end up only being slightly worse than Anemo DMG% ones. At that point, the substats on the goblets make more of a difference on damage output than the mainstat, so players who will be relying on Xiao’s damage as a solo unit should choose whichever goblet has better rolls.
Always confirm your own personal selections with a damage calculator or live damage tests (making sure to take into account team buffs as well).
Crit Rate vs. Crit Damage Circlet
In general, choosing between a crit rate and crit damage circlet depends solely on which stat you need more of. Generally, if using a crit rate weapon, you should use a crit damage circlet, and if using a crit damage weapon, you should use a crit rate circlet.
However, due to Xiao’s ascension stat being crit rate, it is possible to reach enough crit rate with artifact substats to run Xiao with both a crit damage weapon and circlet. Generally, we recommend reaching at least 65-70% crit rate before considering that option in order to ensure consistency in Xiao’s DPS.
Crit Rate = Crit Dmg > ATK % > ER %
Aim to increase Xiao’s stats according to the “golden ratio,” i.e., increase Xiao’s ATK%, Crit Rate, and Crit Dmg proportionately to each other.
Xiao comes with Crit Rate ascension, so Xiao requires less additional Crit Rate substats relative to other characters who do not have innate Crit Rate. However, Crit Dmg and Crit Rate should always be increased proportionately, following an approximate 1:2 “Golden Ratio.” For example, a Crit ratio of 80:160 offers more average DPS than a ratio of 50:220. Fortunately, Xiao starts at a baseline 24.2:50 Crit ratio, which is already approximately the Golden Ratio.
Unless you are running an ER weapon, all of Xiao’s ER must come from his substats. We will delve into how much ER you need in the teams section, but it generally ranges from 120-140% depending on your team comp, how your Xiao is built, and your personal ER experience.
2pc Viridescent Venerer / 2pc Gladiator’s Finale / 2pc Shimenawa’s Reminiscence
Xiao’s best and most general-purpose artifact set.
Prioritize 2VV over 2Glad due to the many external Atk% sources available to your team. If you can’t get both, then having one set is somewhat better than none at all.
Yup. Xiao doesn’t need artifact sets.
In reality, the DPS increases from the 2pc VV and 2pc Glad artifact set bonuses are marginal given the large amounts of Anemo DMG% from Xiao’s burst and the many external ATK% sources in game. For these reasons, breaking up artifact sets to use your best artifact pieces (in terms of substats) is reasonable, and even encouraged, especially given how difficult it is to farm Glad pieces.
4pc Viridescent Venerer
Doesn’t buff Xiao’s damage, but buffs Xiao’s supports that deal elemental damage.
While this build could prove potentially useful if you run Xiao with strong reaction-based supports, such as a Xingqiu and Xiangling vape combo, it’s much better to put 4pc VV on your Anemo Battery instead of Xiao. We do not recommend running Xiao as a 4pc VV enabling other characters’ DPS
Only recommended if you can clear every single Abyss Chamber in 1 Burst, which is unrealistic and not-future proof. Once you have to utilize a 2nd Burst, any combination of 2p VV/Glad/SR will outperform this set.
Seemingly powerful for Xiao at first due to its Plunge DMG Bonus %, but because the Buff only lasts about less than half of Xiao’s Burst; it is ultimately a DPS loss against 2p VV/Glad/SR.
2pc Noblesse Oblige and 4p Emblem of Severed Fate
Does not work with Xiao’s Elemental Burst.
Xiao’s Burst only transforms and modifies Xiao’s Plunging Damage, therefore he can not utilize the Elemental Burst DMG buff that is provided by 2pc Noblesse.
Baseline Stats Investment
Xiao is a Hypercarry, so the more you can afford to invest in him, the better. We recommend building Xiao at least to the point where he is able to clear most content in 3-4 Bursts with team support.
For specific stats, we recommend you don’t drop below 60% crit rate (aiming for 70% to 80% ideally) in order to ensure consistent crits in Xiao’s plunges. Crit Dmg and Atk should be scaled proportionately.
Despite Xiao’s nature as a Hypercarry, if Xiao is in a team with proper supports, his stats do not necessarily have to be highly invested in order to clear later Abyss floors. Indeed, proper Abyss knowledge and practice is just as—if not more—important than your individual character stats.
Here are some example clears of Floor 12 in Spiral Abyss with purposefully nerfed Xiaos:
1.5 Abyss Floor 12 Second Half, 9 Stars – No Reset, no Abyss Cards
‣ 1.88k Atk, 70/100 Crit
‣ Crescent Pike
‣ Level 10 AA Talent
1.4 Abyss 12-3-1 Xiao/Jean Duo w/ Xiao Lvl 1 Beginner’s Protector
‣ 1.3k Atk, 75/143 Crit
‣ Lvl 1 Beginner’s Protector
‣ Level 10 AA Talent
The table above displays Xiao’s total damage across a single Q window with high investment (25 perfect artifacts rolls distributed proportionately across Atk%, Crit Rate, and Crit Dmg). It does not factor in external buffs of any kind. If you’d like to see how the weapons compare with Bennett and/or TTDS in mind: please check out our Xiao Weapon Comparison sheet.
Other considerations for these weapons, such as ease of building, necessary teams, ER effects, etc., are not taken into account.
Hence, the numbers in this chart alone should not be used to create a weapon ranking. We highly recommend you read the following weapon-specific sections to understand their benefits and cons in depth. Furthermore, the best weapon for your Xiao will depend heavily on the artifacts and stats available to you.
To calculate your Xiao’s damage with different weapons (and artifact sets), please use our damage calculator.
5 Star Weapons
Jade Spear vs Staff of Homa
In actual practice, the average Xiao will find both weapons relatively the same in performance, to the point where picking one or the other is simply a matter of artifact selection, team comps, and the player’s skill. If a player has either of these weapons, there’s very little reason to be chasing the other outside of some niche scenarios.
|passive||On hit, increases ATK by 3.2% for 6s. Max 7 stacks. This effect can only occur once every 0.3s. While in possession of the maximum possible stacks, DMG dealt is increased by 12%.||HP increased by 20%. Additionally, provides an ATK Bonus based on 0.8% of the wielder’s Max HP. When the wielder’s HP is less than 50%, this ATK bonus is increased by an additional 1% of Max HP.|
|Substat||22.1% Crit Rate||66.2% Crit DMG|
|Pros|| || |
|Cons|| || |
Caveats of Homa <50% HP
To reliably activate Staff of Homa’s passive, Xiao will require one of these characters in the team to ensure you can stay under 50% HP:
- Zhongli: his shield allows Xiao to run without a healer.
- Diona: her shield allows for more infrequent healing, and because her healing requires staying within an AoE field, it’s easy to avoid over-healing.
- Xingqiu: for his minimal healing and damage reduction. However, this could mean taking Xingqiu away from a Pyro DPS team on the other side who needs him more.
- Noelle: her conditional healing makes her a viable solution.
- Barbara: she can be built with minimal investment to avoid overhealing, and can also equip TTDS to provide Xiao an Atk buff.
Furthermore, to ensure you can stay under 50% HP, you generally cannot use any of these strong and popular supports on your Xiao team:
- Bennett: while his Atk Buff is quite powerful, his healing ticks are both frequent and potent, so Xiao will often end up with over 50% HP while taking advantage of Bennett’s Burst.
- Jean: even though she is a great pick for Xiao as a healer, battery, and VV user, her initial Burst healing can overheal Xiao and put him at above 50% HP.
While you could purposefully underbuild these units to make sure Xiao stays under 50%, we do not recommend doing so, as their utility when built properly is too much of an opportunity cost.
Vortex Vanquisher and Calamity Queller
Both of these are good 5* options and are similar to each other, in that they boost Xiao’s ATK and have passives that also do so. Their performance should also be fairly similar.
Note that they are still overshadowed by PJWS and Staff of Homa due to their sole focus on ATK boosting. This makes them lose out on solo scenarios, and much more so when in teams due to the oversaturation of ATK and lack of Crit Value; to even try and compete with both Crit weapons requires you to possess improbable amounts of Crit Rolls on your substats.
|Passive||Increases Shield Strength by 20%. Scoring hits on opponents increases ATK by 4% for 8s. Max 5 stacks. Can only occur once every 0.3s. While protected by a shield, this ATK increase effect is increased by 100%.||Gain 12% All Elemental DMG Bonus. Obtain Consummation for 20s after using an Elemental Skill, causing ATK to increase by 3.2% per second. This ATK increase has a maximum of 6 stacks. When the character equipped with this weapon is not on the field, Consummation’s ATK increase is doubled.|
|Substat||49.6% ATK||16.5% ATK|
|Pros|| || |
|Cons|| || |
Comically named ‘Copium Spine’ by the members of the Xiao Mains Discord server. It is unfortunately the worst of the 5★ Polearms, and 4★ options such as Deathmatch, Blackcliff Pole and Lithic Spear often surpass it at higher investment builds.
That being said, if you’re a F2P player who happened to pull this weapon, it is simply better to stick with it rather than spending your Starglitter on Blackcliff Pole; if that is your situation, it is not worth pulling on a weapon banner for Lithic Spear nor even deciding to buy the Battle Pass just for Deathmatch.
|Passive||Increases CRIT Rate by 8% and increases Normal ATK SPD by 12%. Additionally, Normal and Charged Attacks hits on opponents have a 50% chance to trigger a vacuum blade that deals 40% of ATK as DMG in a small AoE. This effect can occur no more than once every 2s.|
4 Star Weapons
A 4★ Polearm of terrifying power, it is capable of rivaling and/or surpassing 5★ Polearms at higher refinements. That being said, we don’t recommend actively attempting to pull for this weapon, simply because Weapon Banners are a huge risk and a potential Primogem sink. Furthemore, it is also the most difficult weapon to build a team around, as many of Xiao’s best supports (not to mention all anemo supports) are from Mondstadt. Please check out Alerine#1591’s in depth Lithic Thesis, for team comp recommendations if you’d like to run this weapon.
|Passive||For every character in the party who hails from Liyue, the character who equips this weapon gains a 7% ATK increase and a 3% CRIT Rate increase. This effect stacks up to 4 times.|
Deathmatch vs Blackcliff Spear
In a way, the two can be considered 4★ versions of Jade Spear and Homa. In actual practice the two will likely not differ too much, simply because the main reason you pick either weapon is because they are excellent stat-sticks. If your artifacts rolled more Crit Rate substats, Blackcliff will likely be the best option for you, and vice versa with Crit Dmg substats and Deathmatch.
Because of this we advise you to pick whatever you can afford. Blackcliff Pole is essentially the only good polearm for F2P players, since Deathmatch is locked behind the Battle Pass and Lithic Spear is only available on limited Weapon Banners.
|Passive||If there are at least 2 opponents nearby, ATK is increased by 16% and DEF is increased by 16%. If there are fewer than 2 opponents nearby, ATK is increased by 24%.||After defeating an opponent, ATK is increased by 12% for 30s. This effect has a maximum of 3 stacks, and the duration of each stack is independent of the others.|
|Substat||36.8% Crit Rate||55.1% Crit DMG|
|Pros|| || |
|Cons|| || |
Favonius Lance makes a great transitional weapon for when Xiao, especially earlier in the process of building him. It offers a number of benefits:
- High base attack.
- Favonius Lance’s passive generates extra particles which can help to fund Xiao’s burst while players are still building him and are unable to consistently rely on HP threshold particles to fund his Burst.
- Even if Xiao is later transitioned to a better weapon (i.e., Deathmatch, Blackcliff), Favonius Lance can be transferred to other supports like Rosaria or Zhongli with ease.
Generally, we do not recommend staying on this weapon, since Xiao’s ER% needs should be ideally met with artifact substats, and can even be alleviated entirely once the player achieves enough DPS to rely on HP particles or only need 1-2 Bursts.
However, there are some merits to running an R5 Favonius Lance for an end game Xiao comp:
- R5 Favonius Lance can be used to battery not only Xiao’s own burst but also his Sub DPSes’ bursts too, allowing him to run more expensive Sub DPS characters like Xiangling without having to waste time batterying them.
- R5 Favonius Lance can enable Xiao to run teams without a dedicated Anemo Battery so that another Sub DPS or Support character can be used instead.
- The abundance of particles generated by an R5 Favonius Lance can enable continuous Xiao bursts, which can be beneficial for chambers with higher enemy HP thresholds.
- Note: These teams often require more invested Sub DPS units to make up for Xiao’s own decreased damage, so the overall team investment requirements will often be higher than normal Hyper Xiao teams.
Example R5 Fav Lance Clears:
2.3 Abyss 12-3-2 1:22- Fav Xiao / ZL / Barbara / Rosaria by leeyuuh#4128
2.3 Abyss 12-3-2 – 1:03 – 3 rotations – Fav Xiao with Geo Duo+Bennett by leeyuuh#4128
Other Polearm Options
Any other Polearms not mentioned here are considered suboptimal for Xiao, and should generally be avoided or only used until a more suitable Polearm can be obtained.
In this section, we will list all recommended supports that can be run with Xiao in a team. Our most highly recommended supports will have a ⭐ next to their names. If a character is missing from this section, it is likely because the benefits they provide are either too conditional or straight up anti-synergistic with Xiao’s playstyle.
All Anemo characters can serve as a battery with different levels of capability; generally speaking utilizing any is better than none at all.
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Buff (TTDS, 4pc NO)
‣ Sucrose is the best possible Battery one can have for Xiao. At C0 she will require Sacrificial Fragments, but at C1+ she can equip whatever Catalyst suits your needs (generally TTDS or Prototype Amber).
‣ While she doesn’t need to be built for a Xiao comp since her main purpose is TTDS and batterying, if using her in a comp with elemental supports, you can build her with full EM for some swirl damage.
‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 110 – 120%*
‣ Buff (4pc NO)
‣ Shred (C4)
‣ Jean’s main strength as a battery lies in her multi-purposeness, without messing with Xiao’s DPS.
‣ She can be built as a Sub-DPS, while still being an excellent Healer and good battery.
‣ 4p Ocean-Hued Clam can be just as good as 4pc NO with Burst DPS Jean. For details, please see this sheet.
‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130 – 140%*
‣ Buff (4p NO)
‣ Functions much like Jean, but requires some technique to battery Xiao properly. A short Hold Skill must be performed in order to hit an enemy with both the roll and the kick, generating 3 particles. If only the kick lands, only 2 particles will be generated.
‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130 – 140%*
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Shred (C2)
‣ While Venti is a pretty good Battery, his Elemental Burst can be detrimental for Xiao’s DPS against smaller enemies that are lifted up in his Burst.
‣ However, with proper rotations, Venti can offer powerful Sub DPS damage that makes up for this.
‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130%
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Generally not recommended; significantly stronger on teams where he can actually buff the main damage-dealers.
‣ With a Sacrificial Sword, generates a lot of energy and has great grouping.
‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130%*
‣ Shred (C6)
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Generally not recommended against early-game small mobs; only suitable for most non-stagger single target enemies instead.
‣ A Quick Hold elemental skill should be utilized to generate 3-4 particles instead of Tap, which only generates 2.
‣ Their Burst Shred can be useful against sturdier enemies that don’t get sucked in.
‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130 – 140%*
* Please note that the Recommended ER is assuming that only the battery in question and Xiao is generating energy. In a real game scenario, other characters will be generating particles and you’ll likely be fighting enemies that generate some particles. So the ER you’ll be needing for Xiao is slightly less than written.
‣ Buff (4pc ToM, 4pc NO)
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Healer (C6)
‣ Eye Candy
‣ Moral Support
‣ Xiao’s Savior
‣ Xiao’s best support. To illustrate: we recommend pulling Zhongli over a 5* weapon for Xiao.
‣ Zhongli’s shield offers Anemo Res Shred at C0, which no one else in game currently does.
‣ Zhongli’s shield also offers easy access to Geo Resonance.
‣ His shield is strongest in the game, allowing Xiao to resist stagger from enemies and focus on plunging safely.
‣ For the daring, you can even opt out of bringing a healer entirely by relying on his shield alone.
‣ Zhongli’s Burst can Crowd Control by petrifying enemies. If built, his Burst and Skill resonance damage can also deal notable Sub-DPS damage.
‣ Can run 4pc TOM or 4pc NO to buff his team.
‣ Buff (Geo Res)
‣ Premiere off-field Sub DPS.
‣ Decent particle generation through Elemental Skill (more than Fischl if she isn’t C6 and around the same if she is)
‣ Adds Geo Resonance to a comp for +15% Dmg when shielded.
‣ Has cheap F2P weapon options, including Cinnabar Spindle and R5 HOD.
‣ C4 buffs plunge dmg (~8% DPS increase for C0, ~1.8% DPS increase for C6). [Have a meme]
‣ Buff (Geo Res, 4pc NO)
‣ Crowd Control
‣ ⭐ only with Zhongli.
‣ If invested, can dish out considerable Sub DPS damage through their E and Q skills.
‣ Adds Geo Resonance to a comp for +15% Dmg when shielded.
‣ Crit Rate increased by 10% within Wake of Earth (Burst).
‣ Can run 4pc NO to offer Atk buff on Burst.
‣ Wake of Earth can help contain enemies.
‣ If used with Zhongli, can help proc 4pc ToM buff more effectively by expanding resonance area.
‣ If used with a built Zhongli, can deal passive damage through resonance ticks.
‣ Buff (TTDS, 4pc NO, Geo Res)
‣ Burst DPS
‣ Adds Geo Resonance to a comp for +15% Dmg when shielded.
‣ Can hold Prototype Amber for extra energy and healing on burst for your team.
‣ Can hold TTDS for ATK buff. However, in practice TTDS significantly lowers both Xiao’s energy management and Ningguang’s own damage potential drastically.
‣ Can be built as a Burst Sub DPS for extra damage.
Bennett is generally the only Pyro character we recommend running with Xiao. Xiangling and Thoma are generally only recommended to be run with Xiao if paired with Bennett so that they can offer Pyro Resonance and get some more energy for their expensive Bursts.
‣ Buff (Burst, 4pc NO)
‣ Elemental Burst offers fast healing.
‣ Offers Atk buff from both his talent and 4pc NO.
‣ Due to Xiao’s plunges knocking back enemies, it can sometimes be hard to stay within his circle at times.
‣ May be better utilized in reaction comps.
‣ Buff (Pyro Res & Guoba)
‣ Offers powerful off-field Pyro DMG through her Pyronado, which travels at ground level and is less affected by Xiao’s versatile playstyle.
‣ Often requires Bennett in the same comp to funnel her Burst due to its expensive energy cost.
‣ Even with Bennett, ensuring she has enough energy for continuous bursting without wasting time batterying her can be difficult. She is prone to extending your rotations.
‣ Buff (Pyro Res)
‣ Buff (15% Plunge DMG) (C6)
‣ Offers a considerably strong shield and functions as an extra source of Pyro Resonance
‣ Requires Normal Attacks in between plunges to keep up shield, which can be annoying to maintain.
‣ C6 offers an increase in plunge DMG
‣ Buff (4pc NO, Cryo Res)
‣ Provides a solid shield that is the most practical after Zhongli’s. Noelle’s shield is stronger, but has uptime issues.
‣ Solid healing, though ticks are slower than other options.
‣ Can consistently generate particles with Favonius Bow. Every paw from her Hold E has a chance to proc the passive, so even with low crit rate, the chance to proc the passive is high.
‣ Sacrificial Bow can also be used, though Cryo energy particles have less value to Xiao than Favonius Bow’s neutral energy particles.
‣ Has potential to battery other cryo supports in a double cryo team composition
‣ Sub-DPS (4pc Clam)
‣ Buff (Cryo Res)
‣ Provides more off field healing than Barbara or Diona at a much lower investment level.
‣ 4p Ocean-Hued Clam permits Qiqi to be a Sub-DPS.
‣ Only Liyue healer (for Lithic comps).
‣ No particle generation.
‣ Cannot hold TTDS. However, this can be remedied by using another TTDS holder, like Sucrose.
‣ Buff (Cryo Res, 4pc NO)
‣ Offers off-field Cryo DMG through her Burst.
‣ Consistent Cryo application allows her to maintain Cryo aura on enemies for Cryo Resonance up time (usually with Diona).
‣ When maximized, A4 passive shares an extra 15 crit rate.
‣ Buff (Cryo Res, Elegy)
‣ Far superior as a DPS in her own team.
‣ Wide Burst Range, Low Energy Cost and a 15 Second Duration makes her Sub-DPS role quite comfortable for Xiao.
‣ Buff (4p No, Elegy)
‣ Provides considerable Single-Target Sub-DPS.
‣ Can also be converted into a pure support build for buffing purposes
‣ Team Battery
‣ Far superior in her own team.
‣ Needs players to be mindful of burst costs and rotations to fully maximize her potential.
‣ When used optimally, discards the need of an Anemo battery and allows more buffers/utility units to be slotted in the team.
‣ Provides considerable damage as a sub-DPS.
‣ Provides considerable energy that rivals other Anemo battery when invested in ER
‣ Hence, requires heavy amounts of ER in order for them to function, as well as tighter rotations that allow less room for error
‣ Relying on EMC’s amulets for batterying is clunky and RNG dependent.
‣ Offers virtually nothing else to the table aside from energy.
‣ Sub-DPS (4pc Clam)
‣ Buff (TTDS)
‣ Can equip Prototype Amber or Everlasting Moonglow with 4pc Ocean-Hued Clam to deal passive bubble damage. She can proc 7 bubbles over her E duration.
‣ Can equip Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers to provide Atk buff (although it complicates rotations).
‣ Applies Wet to Xiao, making him susceptible to Freeze, Electrocharge, etc. Depending on the Abyss enemies, this can make her difficult to play with.
‣ No particle generation.
‣ Buff (Omen, 4pc TOM, 4pc NO)
‣ Omen can buff 2 of Xiao’s dashes and 3-4 plunges of his Burst. Useful for speedruns comps.
‣ Omen only lasts 5s. Requires building her with lots of ER to use consistently, sacrificing her own damage potential.
‣ Better suited for reaction-based team comps.
‣ Healer (Pseudo)
‣ Damage Reduction
‣ Provides stagger resistance and supplemental healing.
‣ Requires using JET or NA cancel between plunges in order to utilize as a proper Sub-DPS.
‣ Other DPSes (particularly pyro DPSes) can utilize Xingqiu much more effectively than Xiao can.
On Zhongli, Xiao’s Best Support
With contributions from: 3.14#9270, leeyuuh#4128, xTuki | xツキ#4893
|Shield Bot Zhongli |
(Recommended for Xiao)
|Description||A Zhongli whose sole role and purpose is to be a shielder, advised to get up to 40k+ HP. His Burst is ignored entirely.||Generally speaking, even a 20k-30k HP Shield is more than sufficient for nearly all content. Thus, you can trade extra HP for more damage on his Burst.|
|Weapon Choices||Staff of Homa*,|
Black Tassel, Favonius Lance
|Staff of Homa*,|
Any 5* Weapon, Any 4* DPS Weapon
|Artifact Main Stats||HP / HP / HP||HP / Geo DMG/ Crit|
|Zhongli’s shield offers insane value to Xiao. For that reason, we recommend building full HP Zhongli for Xiao. This is his most resource friendly and comfortable build when used in a Xiao team.|
However, if you already have an invested Burst Zhongli or don’t require that much HP on his shield, then it is fine to use Burst Zhongli, provided his shield is still maintaining maximum uptime.
Finally, Zhongli’s main stats are flexible. If you find your Burst Support Zhongli’s shield is breaking too often, for example, you can opt for a compromise such as HP/Geo/HP or HP/HP/Crit. This sheet by 3.14#9270 calculates Zhongli’s shield strength for different builds and investment.
*Due to the unique nature of Staff of Homa boosting both HP and damage, it is recommended as Zhongli’s BiS Weapon should you have the luxury to spare a Homa for him.
Zhongli’s Artifact Sets
4pc Tenacity of Millileth
With this set, Zhongli’s shield will be stronger, and he can also provide his entire team with an Atk buff. However, due to the small range of Zhongli’s pillar, this buff can be hard to rely on without C1 or another Geo support, as enemies will often move around or be knocked back by Xiao’s plunges.
4pc Noblesse Oblige
If you do not already have a 4pc NO user on your Xiao team, Zhongli can also be a suitable user of this artifact set due to the low energy cost of his Burst.
2pc Noblesse Oblige / 2pc Archaic Petra
This is the best set for Zhongli to maximize his Burst damage.
4pc Emblem of Severed Fate
Alternate set for Zhongli Burst Damage. Requires additional Energy Recharge investment to maximize passive.
Xiao is a hyper carry, meaning that he should be on the field dealing damage as often as possible. Consequently, his most synergistic supports will help ensure the following:
- Xiao has enough energy to ensure consistent Bursts.
- Xiao’s time on-field dealing damage is maximized.
- Xiao’s team rotations are kept as short as possible.
- Xiao does not die.
- Xiao’s damage in Burst is being supported by his team and for as long as possible.
To achieve these goals, we can generally categorize his supports into the following roles:
- Battery: Fund him energy for continuous Bursts
- Sub DPS: Offer off-field DPS
- Healer: Heal Xiao from enemy damage and Burst HP drain
- Utility: Buff Xiao’s damage, reduce enemy’s def/resistance, provide shields, or offer crowd control for easier AoE
That being said, there is no set formula for creating a viable Xiao team. As long as the first five conditions are met, then his supports and build can be flexed to meet individual enemy and Abyss chamber needs.
Due to Xiao’s ability to pre-funnel particles into his first Burst, Xiao can generally comfortably get his second Burst with some additional energy from his supports (especially if accounting for HP particles dropped by enemies). However, beyond that second Burst, Xiao will often require considerable energy to fund his subsequent Bursts.
This is the role of the battery: to generate particles using their own skills and then swap to Xiao so that their particles “funnel” into Xiao and fund his Burst. As Xiao will gain more energy absorbing Anemo particles than other elemental particles, we generally recommend Anemo batteries.
Note: If your Xiao team is strong enough to only require 1-2 Bursts to clear content, then you may not need to run a dedicated Anemo battery. For more energy mechanics, please see Energy Management.
Example Team Comps
Please note: many of these team comps are flexible, and many supports can be flexed in place of other options. Team comps in Spiral Abyss are also highly dependent per chamber. For specific team building advice, please visit Xiao Mains’ Discord and ask in the #questions and #spiral·abyss channels.
Xiao Random Bullshit Go Brrrrr
- Xiao Sucrose Bennett Zhongli
- Xiao Sucrose Fischl Diona
- Xiao Jean Zhongli Fischl
- Xiao Sucrose Zhongli Diona
- Xiao Sucrose Sayu Zhongli
Xiao Double Geo
A classic Xiao Comp featuring the very Archon that Xiao devoted his life to. Zhongli ensures easy access to Geo Resonance for a stronger shield and 15% DMG Bonus for everyone in the party. His shield is also one of the few sources of Anemo Resistance Shred that can potentially last for the entire duration of Xiao’s Burst. The main restriction of this comp is the necessity of a battery for the 4th slot.
Battery / Healer
- Albedo – Albedo is Xiao’s most comfortable sub DPS, having one of the few abilities that last for the entirety of Xiao’s Q Duration.
- Geo Traveler – With low investment provides 10% Crit rate, Crowd Control through caging enemies with the Q, and another construct for Zhongli’s Pillar to resonate off of. At high investments they can deal respectable damage.
- Ningguang – Provides considerable amount of burst DPS when built; also a possible TTDS holder albeit messing up both energy rotations and Ningguang damage.
Battery / Healer Options
- Jean – The perfect package, offering batterying, healing, and Sub-DPS damage. C4 Jean in particular shines in this comp and places it above the Sucrose variant in terms of team DPS.
- Sayu – Budget Jean option, offering batterying and healing for Xiao.
- Sucrose – While not a healer, recommended for players who can generally rely on Zhongli’s shield to stay alive as Sucrose offers lots of energy and the TTDS buff. Especially recommended for Homa users.
Xiao Double Cryo
A simple, non-Zhongli-haver friendly welfare Xiao comp that begins with pairing him with Diona. Diona will serve as a multi-purpose support with her shield, healing, battery capability through Favonius Bow and providing particles to the secondary Cryo character. A secondary Cryo will be inserted for Cryo Resonance, which will provide Xiao with 15% Crit Rate against enemies applied with Cryo.
- Rosaria – Decent on-field cryo application and crit sharing capabilities (up to 15%). With investment she can also be a strong Sub-DPS.
- When in a team with Xiao/Sucrose/Diona/Rosaria, this team has very little energy issues, making it comfortable and smooth to utilize. Sucrose’s Burst can absorb Cryo and spread the aura, allowing easier access to Cryo Resonance. Video example with Prototype Starglitter Xiao.
- Ganyu – Large-scale on-field cryo application and taunt. Her capability to self-funnel her Burst, makes her comfortable to utilize. She can be built entirely as a support, or as a fully invested Sub-DPS.
- Qiqi – Can be used to replace Diona if a shield is not needed. Her excellent heals can easily keep Xiao alive while also dealing Sub DPS damage via the 4pc Clam set. Her lack of energy can lead to uptime issues, which is why running her with a second Cryo is recommended.
Xiao Double Pyro
A comp that is heavily reliant on the usage of Bennett. Bennett is ideal for this comp simply because he is a Pyro Healer, and can battery other Pyro characters through his Tap Elemental Skill. A secondary Pyro will be inserted for Pyro Resonance, which will provide Xiao an additional 25% ATK. Note:
- Xiangling – On-field pyro application and considerable burst DPS. However her high Energy cost, and inability to generate many particles for herself, can make her difficult to use in a Xiao comp. It is recommended to build her with lots of ER, to minimize the field-time needed to utilize Bennett to funnel her Burst. Video example of Xiao / Sucrose / Xiangling / Bennett
- Thoma – Offers a strong shield that can maintain uptime throughout Xiao’s burst, as long as the player uses AA cancels between plunges. At C6, offers a 15% Plunge DMG bonus as well.
- Sucrose – As Bennett will cover the healing, you can opt to bring Sucrose for more particles and easy uptime on Xiao’s Burst. Building her with 4VV and full EM can also help shred Pyro Res and add some passive DMG via swirls.
- Jean – While pairing Jean and Bennett together leads to having two healers on the team, this is a common “Sunfire” comp. Jean can also utilize Bennett’s Burst to do significant Sub DPS damage with her Burst.
- Kazuha – While Kazuha is generally less recommended for Xiao as a battery option, he works well in a Double Pyro comp with Xiangling specifically due to being able to buff Xiangling’s Pyronado damage. His swirls also contribute meaningful DMG and help shield break certain enemies. Video example with Kazuha/Xiangling/Bennett.
Please check out Alerine#1591’s in depth Lithic Thesis. This document covers Xiao’s different Lithic team comps in detail, noting their tradeoffs and overall viability.
An unorthodox comp that features Raiden as a Dual-Carry and Team Battery. This opens up the option to run more energy-demanding supports, such as Xiangling, since Raiden is able to battery the whole team as compared to just Xiao. It also simplifies and leaves more room for error for players who are not as careful with their battery rotations. In that way, Raiden can act as a comfort pick over optimal DPS pick for Xiao’s team.
However there are a few caveats of-note when running Raiden alongside Xiao: Raiden’s burst damage buff doesn’t affect Xiao (even during Xiao’s burst, his damage isn’t considered burst damage). Raiden and Xiao’s overall damage can also both be potentially hurt as opposed to separating the two in their own teams, since they are both characters that want field time, but cannot actually benefit or synergise with each other, which is the main disadvantage of Raiden on Xiao.
- Xiao Raiden Bennett Zhongli
- Xiao Raiden Bennett Xiangling
- Xiao Raiden Ganyu Qiqi
Xiao Self Battery
This comp relies on Xiao either:
- Having C1 and enough ER and DPS to self-battery his second Burst and finish all enemies within the second Rotation
- Using R5 Fav Lance to battery himself, or having enough ER from an ER spear like Skyward Spine to rely on team and HP particles for Burst uptime.
- Xiao Bennett Zhongli Albedo
- Xiao Bennett Xiangling Zhongli
- Xiao Bennett Xiangling Xingqiu
- Xiao Zhongli Barbara Rosaria
This section will focus on team examples that provide less synergy or require much more advanced gameplay knowledge and techniques. Much of these revolve around using Xiao or one of his support units in an unorthodox way such that they synergize with each other.
The main concept of this team is to use Xiao as an enabling Anemo driver for Electro and Hydro Sub DPSes, enabling considerable Electrocharge and Swirl damage.
- Xiao Beidou Fischl Xingqiu
- Beidou + Xingqiu in particular can be a powerful duo, offering consistent elemental application for easy Electrocharge procs and personal Sub DPS damage. They also offer a degree of survivability due to the shield and damage reduction given by both units. Link to XM Discord video example; Downloadable video attachment.
- Xao Kazuha Fischl Xingqiu
- Xiao Xingqiu Fischl Barbara
The basic gameplay of Mono Pyro Xiao is quite simple: You never use your Burst, and instead you use a Pyro Infused JEP (Jump > Ele. Skill > Plunge) with Bennett C6’s Burst. These teams are generally just used for single chamber clears, scam damage showcases, or coping.
- Mono Pyro Xiao: Xiao C6 Bennett Kazuha Xiangling (Example by Memu#6453)
- Melt Xiao: Xiao C6 Bennett Kazuha Diona (Example by Shintenzu#8454)
- Generally just used for Big Funny PP Plunge as it takes setup.
Low Plunge vs High Plunge vs Plunge Dmg
Every character has three different plunge modifiers: High Plunge, Low Plunge and Plunge. The AoE Damage of Xiao’s Burst Plunges are scaled off High or Low Plunge Modifiers, depending on the height from which Xiao plunges from. In general, anything slightly above Xiao’s height will be considered a High Plunge. Video Example showing Low vs. High Plunge by Artesians#0002
High Plunges have higher modifiers than Low Plunges. While Xiao’s optimal DPS comes from frame perfect High Plunges, there is only a 1 frame difference between the two, and Plunging slightly too early can cause Xiao to do Low Plunges instead. Thus, it’s better to hit slightly late High Plunges consistently than to aim for frame perfect High Plunges and risk Low Plunges, which could hurt your overall DPS.
The third Plunge Modifier is known as Collision Damage. This damage only happens in situations where Xiao has direct contact with certain parts of an enemy, in which case you will notice an additional damage number. For more notes, please see our dedicated Collision Damage section.
N1CJP is an abbreviated form of Normal Attack 1 > Charged Attack > Jump > (High) Plunge. It is also known as JET for ease of naming.
It is a combo that cancels the animation for Xiao’s charged attack and allows Xiao to plunge enemies that he has knocked up. Currently, it is his highest MV/s combo while he is inside his Burst.
However, it should only be used on single (sometimes duo) target enemies. Otherwise, High Plunge spam is still his highest combo in AoE mob situations.
Auto Attack (AA) Cancel
AA Cancel is beneficial when using units like Xingqiu or Beidou, since the first swing of the AA has no hitlag, can be canceled out with a jump, and applies on-hit effects. Xiao’s N1 consists of two hits: a swing, and then a thrust with his spear. When using AA cancel, be sure to cancel out his N1 after the initial swing and before the thrust, as the full N1 animation has hitlag.
To AA cancel, hit the Jump and Normal Attack keys at the same time. Note: Doing this does not reduce Xiao’s plunge endlag or speed up his plunging speed.
Out of Ult Playstyle
You should be minimizing Xiao’s Out of Ult time as much as possible, especially in the context of Abyss. Thus, these combinations should be used sparingly.
While you should be minimizing Xiao’s Out of Ult time, there may be times where you don’t want to Burst with Xiao. For example, if you are playing Abyss and would like to save your Burst for the next chamber, you can use Xiao’s E dashes and Normal Attack strings to finish off enemies.
N1C is Xiao’s highest DPS Normal Attack string. The Charged Attack also helps keep some smaller enemies staggered. If you have an E charge, you can also use N1CJEP, which is N1C > Jump > E > Plunge. Video Example by Memu#6453
Xiao’s plunge has a surprisingly large AoE radius. In the example below, you can see that Xiao easily plunges all three Cicin Mages continuously, even while knocking them back.
Generally, positioning Xiao’s plunges fall into one of two strategies:
- Place him in the center of all enemies to hit as many as possible.
- Place him in line with enemies so that they are knocked back in the same direction.
The first is useful when trying to hit many enemies at the same time, as in the example above. However, if the enemies are scattered in many different directions, the knockback will eventually push some of them out of Xiao’s AoE.
That’s when you can employ the second strategy. Instead of knocking them back in separate directions, you want to knock them back in the same direction. This way, as Xiao plunges towards the enemies who are knocked back, you can adjust Xiao’s plunging position by holding the forward key to make him go forward while jumping.
Another trick you can use in Abyss is to lure enemies next to the walls. Then, when plunging with Xiao, plunge the enemies towards the wall. As they will be backed up against the wall, they won’t be knocked back, allowing Xiao to plunge freely without having to reposition. This trick can also be useful to consistently hit collision damage on select enemies.
In Air Maneuverability
As mentioned in the previous section, you can hold a directional key in order to adjust the direction of Xiao’s jump before plunging. This can help him keep up with enemy knockback.
Another trick that can be useful is avoiding damage by hanging (or even gliding) in the air while enemies are attacking or damaging structures (i.e., ice cages) are beneath you. Then, when the coast is clear, you can initiate the plunge with Xiao and plunge safely without taking damage.
Momentarily gliding can also help you reposition Xiao more dramatically than just holding a directional key while jumping.
With contributions from: 3.14#9270, Poiyo#3488, ioncy#5314
How to Battery Xiao
Xiao is heavily reliant on his Elemental Burst, as his Normal Attack DPS outside of his Elemental Burst is significantly less than his plunges with his Burst. Therefore, it is crucial to understand energy management and keep Xiao’s Elemental Burst active as much as possible.
Funneling particles is the process of using generated particles from your supports, either via their Elemental Skills or weapon passives (e.g., the Favonius weapon series), and then switching to Xiao to “catch” those particles. Since an on-field character that absorbs the particles receives more energy than if they were off-field, this makes funneling particles into Xiao important, especially to minimize Burst downtime. Furthermore, Anemo energy particles will fund more energy than neutral or other-element particles, hence the value of an Anemo battery on Xiao’s team.
Due to the speed of Xiao’s Burst animation, Xiao is able to take advantage of something called pre-funneling.
When Xiao’s Burst is ready, before activating it, use 2 of Xiao’s Es. If done quickly, the energy particles generated by Xiao’s Es will not reach Xiao until after he has activated his Q, allowing him to pre-funnel those particles into himself to fund his next Q. Then, after Xiao’s first Q ends, you will be able to use his Anemo Battery’s Es and his own refreshed Es to generate more particles to get his next Q up.
If using Xiao’s dashes for prefunneling, do not E in the air, as the time necessary for Xiao to reach the ground (via plunge or otherwise) and activate his Q is too long and prevents pre-funneling. Thus, make sure to double E on the ground. Also, even if you have C1+, do not use all three of his E dashes, as there is only enough time to use his E twice before the energy particles reach Xiao.
Also, you are not just limited to Xiao’s own dashes for pre-funneling. For example, using two of Sucrose’s E Skills generates more energy than two of Xiao’s E dashes. In fact, with Sucrose in particular, you can actually prefunnel three Skills worth or energy particles into Xiao’s Burst by using Sucrose E > Xiao E > Xiao E > Xiao Q. Please see the video example below for reference.
|Xiao Double E||Sucrose Double E||Sucrose E > Xiao Double E|
|Burst Energy After Pre-Funneling|
Past your first and second Q, you will realise that you will need to manage your energy better or your burst uptime will be significantly reduced. For a lot of players they may end up absorbing too many particles than intended and hence reduce their burst uptime and CDS, to mitigate or prevent that, here is a video.
Using this trick can significantly increase your burst uptime and give you your second/third Q more easily.
Proper Battery Rotations
With contributions from: 3.14#9270
TL;DR: Swap through his supports to gain team buffs. Before bursting, use Xiao or his Anemo battery’s E skills to pre-funnel energy for his next Burst. Activate his Burst and destroy enemies. Rinse and repeat.
Rotations for Xiao’s teams are fairly standard. When entering a battle, first rotate through and cast any support/Sub DPs abilities, such as Fischl’s Oz, Zhongli’s shield, etc. Pay special attention to the interactions of your supports and buffs. For example:
- If any of your supports provide buffs for a limited time, such as Bennett with his Burst or a 4pc Noblesse Oblige user, prioritize swapping them in closer to Xiao’s Burst in order to apply the buff for the largest percentage of Xiao’s Burst
- For Thrilling Tales users, be sure to place them right before Xiao in your rotation so that Xiao is the one to receive the Atk buff.
- With Venti, it is often optimal to cast his ult first so that the duration will be somewhat used up once you rotate through your other two characters and get to Xiao.
Once all your necessary supports have been rotated through, you can swap to Xiao to pre-funnel and activate his Burst.
During his Burst, avoid using his E dashes, unless you have C6, as Xiao’s Es do not generate energy during his Burst.
After Xiao’s Burst ends, rotate through his support’s abilities once more. Use your Anemo Battery and Xiao’s refilled E charges to charge Xiao’s next Burst. Then, just like your first rotation, swap through your team members to apply any team buffs, generate particles for pre-funneling (if any Skills are up), and then Burst again. Repeat these steps until all enemies have perished.
General Rotation Managment
As a general rule of thumb, you should look at your Xiao team rotations through the following lens: if you find yourself wasting more time than ideal between Xiao’s Bursts, you should:
- Increase his team’s overall energy resources, such as swapping to more energy rich supports, weapons, or artifacts.
- Adjust your rotations to optimize for funneling and prefunneling energy to Xiao.
This rule of thumb should take precedence over any numeric ER recommendations, as those ER recommendations can change dramatically based on enemy and chamber conditions.
Xiao inherently possesses a lot of stagger in his kit. His Normal Attacks, Charged Attacks and Plunge Attacks can knockback enemies with ease. This permits him to CC some enemies by staggering them consistently.
His vertical mobility also plays interestingly with some mob AI, which can sometimes be of help and other times be detrimental.
Enemies with physical shields such as Mitachurls and Hilichurls go into a defensive mode, where they can block incoming damage. But when Xiao High Plunges, it forces them off of defensive mode, permitting Xiao to plunge through the shield.
Because Xiao’s plunges count as Heavy Attacks, and the Abyss Mage shields are neutral against Anemo, he can shred and destroy their shields on his own. However, doing so is often slow (often taking around 12 plunges), as Anemo is not effective against their elemental shields.
Thus, to take out their shields quickly, we recommend using Xiao’s plunges to swirl another element, preferably an effective element, onto their shields. For example, Xiao can plunge a Hydro Abyss Mage’s shield within Diona’s Burst field to swirl Cryo onto its shield. Applying other elements on their shields in this way will greatly speed up the shield breaking process.
During their Shielded Phase, Xiao is unfortunately unable to do much against these enemies without the aid of supports. One option is to use supports like Chongyun and Bennett C6 that override Xiao’s Normal Attacks in their fields. This way, Xiao can use his fairly fast Normal Attack string to apply a lot of Cryo/Pyro. However, there are characters who can apply these elements faster, such as Zhongli.
Xiao can stagger them quite effectively, and knock them into a corner or a wall for easier grouping. However, this can be a double-edged sword, as an imprecise stagger could knock enemies away instead of grouping them. Avoid plunging in between two enemies; instead, plunge in the region outside both enemies and rely on Xiao’s massive plunge AoE to hit both enemies. So we recommend utilizing Xiao to burst them down to their shield quickly, and then selecting supports to handle the shield breaking portion of the fight.
If Xiao performs a high jump, which positions Xiao above the Ruin Guard, it’ll force them into missile mode. One can prevent this by only jumping while the Ruin Guard is performing other attacks.
If Xiao uses his Elemental Skill twice through the Ruin Guard’s weak points (the eye and the back socket), it’ll disable the Ruin Guard. However, you cannot use his Skill twice consecutively, as there is a cooldown. Instead, use his Skill once, let Xiao drop down, and then use his Skill again.
The Ruin Graders weak points are its eyes and its knees that are only exposed during specific attack movements. Its knees are fairly accessible for Xiao, as his Blurst Plunge AoE are capable of reaching them and staggering them. Because of this, it is the easiest Ruin Machine for Xiao to go against.
If Xiao performs a high jump, the Ruin Hunter will go into missile stance and position itself high up in the air, making it unreachable through usual melee attacks. Because of this, it is advised to spam low plunges, or force the Ruin Hunter’s missile animation through other methods and then shooting it down with an archer.
Alternatively it is possible to disable the Ruin Hunter by high jumping and using Xiao’s Elemental Skill to target its Eye. This however is inconsistent and may not work, so it is unadvised to even attempt in most situations. Video Example by Llamagician#8583 and Capt’n Rabbit#9104
There is one more advanced trick to more consistently take down Ruin Hunters. In Xiao’s Burst, jump slightly above the Ruin Hunter’s head and then open your glider, forcing it to enter its fly mode. The Ruin Hunter will then take off, causing a wind gust that will blow Xiao higher than the Ruin Hunter. From there, you can use Xiao’s E dash into the Ruin Hunter’s now exposed eye in order to take it down. Video Example by Aurora
Cicin Mages / Fatui Assassin
The Cicin Mages can be permanently staggered with the usage of Xiao’s Normal and Charged Attacks to prevent them from shielding. Video Example by Orum#8459
Xiao’s Burst plunges can also do the same. Video Example by Memu#6453
While Xiao struggles a bit to destroy the Fatui shields themselves, he can easily prevent them from getting the shields up in the first place by staggering them with just physical attacks or by utilizing his plunges during Burst. Video Example 1 and Video Example 2 by Memu#6453
Before their Elemental Infusion phase, the Geovishaps are prone to staggering and being knocked back. Which can be useful and detrimental; staggering them does permit you to prevent them from attacking you, however if there are multiple enemies it can be difficult to group them up properly. Because of their high stagger, it is advised to try and push them against a wall.
Their diving attack can be dodged with proper Burst Plunge-Jumps and/or abusing the iframes of Xiao’s Burst, this is because the Geovishaps only deal damage on us once they actually hit the ground. Video Example by JenjenJL#6582
Collision Hit Boxes (WIP)
If you’d like to help the development of this section, please DM or ping either Orum#8459 or baeliph#8346, or share your thoughts/findings in the Theorycrafting Channel in the Xiao Mains Discord Server
As mentioned earlier, every character has three different plunge modifiers: High Plunge, Low Plunge and Plunge. The third Plunge Modifier only happens in situations where Xiao has direct contact with certain parts of an enemy, which is why occasionally you’ll notice an additional damage number. The parts of the enemies will be referred as Collision Hit Boxes, while the damage itself will be referred to as Collision Damage.
You can see an example in this video (by Memu#6453) where there’s an initial ~27k-28k DMG when Xiao hits the top of the Ruin Guards, and then a secondary number 55k-70k when Xiao actually hits the ground and unleashes his Plunge AoE Damage. You can also hear a distinct sound when the Collision Plunge is performed.
What enemies have Collision Hit Boxes?
This section is still being developed, but here is a database of user interactions with Collision Hit Boxes. Thank you Rhetorical#8956 for your bulk testing.
If you can make Xiao have direct physical contact with an enemy, you’ll likely notice Collision Damage. The main problem is that many enemies are small and/or easily staggered, so it can be difficult for Xiao to hit their Collision Hit Boxes properly. So this technique isn’t relevant in many situations.
Larger enemies such as Azhdaha, Primo Geovishap, Geovishaps, Ruin Guards, Ruin Graders, Lavachurls, etc. possess a bigger Collision Hit Box so it is more reliable to hit them.
Collision Hit Boxes themselves don’t appear to be static, such as Ruin Guards’ Collision Hit Boxes disappearing when they’re deactivated. Or Ruin Hunter’s Collision Hit Box on its jets when it’s air-born.
There’s also unique situations such as Abyss Mage Shields possessing Collision Hit Boxes.
How is this relevant?
On enemies that Xiao can perform Collision damage on, it’s an easy way to increase his overall DPS by a significant amount. In regular rotations, spamming High Plunges is better than Low Plunges, but if one can reliably perform Plunge Collision Damage with Low Plunges, it would out-DPS High Plunges.
Here’s an example damage and DPS comparison of these different combos:
|Low Plunge Spam||16714.12||15428.42|
|Low Plunge Spam + Plunge Collision||25072.71||23144.04|
|High Plunge Spam||20877.58||16702.07|
|High Plunge Spam + Plunge Collision||29236.17||23388.9|
Once the guide is thick enough, we can eat it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. We hope that this has provided you with all the information you need to play the Eternal Yaksha Xiao.
If you have comments or suggestions for the guide, or wish to contribute to our Theorycrafting in the future, be sure to join the Xiao Mains Discord. We would love to have you there!
June 4th, 2021
- Guide published
August 8th, 2021
- Shimenawa added.
August 30th, 2021
- Ganyu as Sub-DPS.
- Removing Kazuha section, and rewording unrecommended batteries.
- Weapon Comparison Chart updated
- Added link to Weapon Comparison spreadsheet in Weapons and Resources
- Slight wording changes: Sub-DPS Section, ER Management and Anemo Battery.
- Updated talent priority.
- Visual guide updated with 2SR artifact set.
- Added Coded#2644 to Principal Theorycrafters.
- Removed one of Xiao’s Pros under Pros and Cons due to no longer being true
- “Because no enemies in Spiral Abyss have thus far been immune or resistant to Anemo Damage, Xiao has historically been and continues to be viable in all Abyss floors”
October 10th, 2021
- Added Emblem of Severed Fates to ‘Useless Artifact Sets’.
- Fixed issue with Engulfing Lightning’s positioning in the Weapon DPS Chart.
December 26th, 2021
- Added Sayu and Kazuha to the Anemo Battery section.
- Added extended Favonius Lance section and renamed Other 4* Options to Other Polearm Options.
- Sub DPS section: Moved Geo MC from Buffer to Sub DPS, added Rosaria, reordered characters, and edited details for Xiangling.
- Additional info added to the Team Comps introduction section.
- Added General Rotation Management section.
- Added two more example teams under Example Team Comps.
- Additional info added to C1, C6 and C2-5 sections.
- Updated Weapon Comparison Sheets to include improved stat distribution, Wavebreaker’s Fin and Calamity Queller.
January 5th, 2022
- Completely revamped Supports and Team Comps section
- Updated the Pros & Cons table and the Is Xiao Worth It? sections.
- Updated Zhongli section with weapons and artifacts choice
- Added C6 Pros and Cons table
- Added Calamity Queller section
Guide 1, courtesy of neocores#0784
Guide 2, courtesy of Kickenfire72#7667
Qingxin Farming Route
For farming Qingxin, we recommend using Xiao and/or Venti as there is a lot of climbing in Route 1 and a lot of gliding in Route 2.
Slime Farming Route
Please see the Teyvat Interactive Map.