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Xiao Guide: Adeptal Guide to Conquering Xiao

artwork by prinzcake

Written by the Xiao Mains Discord Server

Last Updated: 07/25/2022
Genshin Version: 2.8
Original Document
For any questions or feedback, please visit the Xiao Mains Discord Server

Credits

Principal Authors

baeliph#8346
Orum#8459

Principal Theorycrafters

Active:
Coded#2644
Felician#5771
 

Former:
Pichu#0002
shdwbld1d515b#0081
xTuki | xツキ#4893

Contributors

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.
Sovereign#0911, for the C6 Guide.

Acknowledgements

prinzcake (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

Overview

Character Introduction

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Talents

Talent Priority

C0 – C5

NA

>

Q

>

E

10AA > 8Q > 8E

  • Getting 8Q before 10AA is also an option if you want to reduce the HP drain during Xiao’s Burst.
  • Leveling up past 8Q and 8E should mostly be done out of love for Xiao, as it is a minimal DPS increase.

C6

E

>

NA

>

Q

10E > 10AA > 8Q

  • Getting 8Q before 10E is also an option if you want to reduce the HP drain during Xiao’s Burst.

Why prioritize Normal Attack over Burst?

Leveling Xiao’s Normal Attack gives a greater DPS increase than leveling his Elemental Burst. Leveling his Elemental Burst only gives a small additive increase to his DMG Bonus% (which he already has aplenty). In comparison, leveling Xiao’s Normal Attack increases his plunge’s base modifier and leads to a significantly higher DPS increase.

Constellations

C0

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.

In optimized rotations, C1 only offers a single extra Skill charge between Xiao’s first and second Bursts. As such, C1 lowers the ER needs for Xiao’s second Burst, but largely does not affect gameplay outside of that. Hence, this constellation is mostly for quality of life rather than a noticeable DPS increase.

There are two reasons that C1 Xiaos are only able to use the extra Skill charge between his first two Bursts:

  1. Xiao can only prefunnel two of his Skills, so using the third skill before his first Burst is wasting that energy.
  2. Xiao will use all three Skill charges between his first and second Burst. Thus, after his second Burst, Xiao’s third Skill charge will still be on cooldown.

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.

  • 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).

For these reasons, we recommend players to either only pull for C0/ C1, or to fully commit to C6.

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.

DescriptionDuring 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 changes Xiao’s main damage source from spamming plunges to Elemental Skills, assuming that he faces 2 or more enemies. His optimal attack string becomes 1 plunge followed up by 3-4 Elemental Skills, heavily increasing his damage output.

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.
ProsCons
Constellations
  • One of the few C6 investments that changes the character gameplay entirely.
  • Allows Xiao a far more dynamic and aggressive playstyle, especially with aerial maneuvers.
  • Doubles Xiao’s DPS potential under ideal conditions.
  • C6 requires at least 2 enemies to activate, rendering it ineffective against single target / boss chambers.
  • Constellations per value is comparatively worse on average when considering the previous 5.
  • Demands high skill and proficiency when playing, and so does not make gameplay “easier” as opposed to other units’ high constellations.
Gameplay
  • Dash spamming can be used as a dodge mechanic while dealing damage, increasing Xiao’s motion value over time
  • Significantly lowers, if not removes, Xiao’s ER requirement if his last plunge is timed correctly.
  • Powerful in multi-target scenarios.
  • Auto-target can mess up dashes; in-built enemy priority and enemy movement RNG can lead to inconsistent results.
  • The need to plunge before dash spamming may mess up pre-prepared crowd control.
  • Vulnerable to enemy attacks even when spamming C6; midair recovery time is also hard to get used to.
  • High skill floor to use effectively.
Supports
  • C6 Xiao doesn’t stray too far away from usual Xiao comp building (Double Anemo-Zhongli-Flex)
  • C6 speedruns can better utilize buffers that have a short buff time for clearing content (Mona, Lisa, Sara etc) due to their dishing out damage in a small time frame
  • Major QoL in gameplay almost requires the use of Zhongli due to vulnerability between dashes
  • Stricter team building with less room for randomized supports.
  • Almost exclusively needs a good 5* (Jade/Homa/Vortex/Calamity) to make better use of C6.
Conclusion

“The limit to one’s power is self-destruction. Answer me.
Why do you persist?

-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.

As such, players that opt to pursue Xiao C6 all the way should now have an idea of how it is to play the character under these pros and cons.

For more details and gameplay tips, see: C6 Xiao Guide.

Artifacts

Main Stats

Sands: ATK%
Goblet: Anemo DMG% > ATK%
Circlet: Crit Rate or Crit DMG

ER Sands?

There is no situation where running an ER% sands is beneficial, as it lowers Xiao’s Damage. You should always aim to get sufficient ER% from substats and/or utilize proper batteries in your teams. Please read our battery section for more information.

Anemo DMG% vs. ATK% Goblet

With Vermillion Hereafter

Anemo DMG% Goblets should always be used with this set.

With Any Other 2pc Combinations

When using 2pc combinations, prioritize substats when choosing a Goblet as ATK% Goblets are only slightly inferior to Anemo DMG% Goblets due to Xiao’s Elemental Burst already providing a large source of additive DMG Bonus%.

Utilizing ATK Buffers does not necessarily mean your Anemo DMG% Goblet will perform better, as many ATK Buffs in this game fail to last all of Xiao’s Burst duration. The only time where Anemo DMG% Goblets will be more optimal by a significant margin is if you use Bennett on your team.

For C6 Xiao, because of his reliance on his Elemental skill, Anemo DMG% goblets are more strongly favored over ATK% goblets. Xiao’s Elemental Skill does not benefit from the DMG Bonus% that his Burst provides.

However, always confirm your own personal results with a damage calculator or live damage tests (making sure to take into account team buffs as well).

CRIT Rate vs. CRIT DMG Circlet

Either circlet is viable on Xiao depending on your weapon and artifact substats. Regardless of whichever you pick, we do recommend at least getting ~70% Crit Rate on Xiao to permit consistent critical hits.

Substats

20-40% ER > Crit Rate = Crit DMG > ATK% > Extra ER%

Xiao is a relatively simple character whose damage scales purely from ATK, Crit Rate and Crit DMG (as well as DMG Bonus). While Energy Recharge may not affect his damage, a large chunk of his gameplay is reliant on utilizing his Elemental Burst, so obtaining ~20-40 ER% from substats can be invaluable.

4pc Vermillion Hereafter

Xiao’s Best-in-Slot Artifact Set.

Its effect is easily proccable by Xiao, and possesses more stat value than any 2pc combination. It is also one of the few Attack sources that lasts till the end of Xiao’s Elemental Burst.

For comparisons between 4pc Vermillion and 2pc sets: Vermillion Pain

2pc Viridescent Venerer / 2pc +18% ATK

Any combination of these 2pc sets will work for Xiao.

Comparison between VV/ATK and ATK/ATK depends entirely on your teams and the buffs provided to Xiao, please see the below sheet for more information. Generally speaking, however, you should prioritize better Substat rolls over specific set bonus combinations.

Xiao Set Comparison – Viri + Glads vs Glads + Shime

2pc Emblem of Severed Fate

Energy Generation is an important part of Xiao’s Gameplay.

The Stat Value of 18% ATK and 20% ER are virtually identical, making the trade-off fairly equal for those who want to reach a desired ER threshold. While the set on its own does not raise your Xiao’s damage directly, the extra ER% permits for easier energy management and rotations; the faster you get back Xiao’s Burst the better your overall DPS will be.

Conditional Sets

4pc Viridescent Venerer

Doesn’t buff Xiao’s damage, but buffs Xiao’s supports that deal Elemental damage.

4pc VV is viable for enabling high-damage Pyro/Cryo/Hydro/Electro damage dealers on your team, such as Xiangling, Raiden or Yelan; however, this requires high investment in these supports for it to be worthwhile. The inconsistency of Xiao’s Swirls also makes it less viable than 4pc Vermillion or 2pc combinations. 4pc VV will almost always be better to put on your Anemo battery instead.

Useless Sets

2pc Noblesse Oblige and 4pc Emblem of Severed Fate

Does not work with Xiao’s Elemental Burst.

Xiao’s Burst only transforms and modifies Xiao’s Plunging DMG, because of this he can not utilize the Elemental Burst DMG buff that is provided by any type of artifact set bonus.

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 that his team is able to clear most content in 2-3 Burst rotations.

Xiao deals the majority of his damage in his Elemental Burst, so make sure Xiao has enough ER to enable smooth Burst rotations. Because ER needs depend on team batteries and investment, we recommend you use the Xiao ER Calculator by 3.14#2780 for specific energy needs.

For DMG stats, we recommend getting at least 70% Crit Rate to ensure consistency in Xiao’s plunges. Then, you should start increasing Crit Rate, Crit DMG, and ATK proportionally to achieve a balanced stat spread.

Weapons

Summary


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 similar in performance. To the point that picking one or the other is simply a matter of whichever you pull first. Determining which is better for your account depends entirely on your artifact selection, team comps and skill.

ATK 674 608
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
  • One of the highest base attack spears.
  • The passive is easy to proc and stacks ATK% and DMG%.
  • With Xiao’s Ascension Crit, you get a total of 46.3% Crit Rate.
  • It’s Xiao’s canon and sexiest weapon.
  • Massive stat stick that allows you to stack ATK% and Crit DMG%.
  • Taking advantage of Xiao’s crit rate ascension and artifact substats, you can run Homa and a Crit DMG circlet, gaining an easy 128.4% Crit DMG.
  • Flexibility with using either a Crit Rate or Crit DMG circlet.
Notes
  • Pre-stacking PJWS is a DPS loss, so players will only get the weapon’s full passive in effect after a few plunges.
  • Cannot use a Crit Rate circlet.
  • Reliably activating Homa’s under 50% passive may limit team comps.
  • For the reasons explained below, you can choose to use Staff of Homa while disregarding its 50% HP requirement.

Staff of Homa <50% HP

We do not recommend forcing a team comp where Xiao stays at <50% HP. The passive alone is not valuable enough to justify limiting your team options (e.g., not utilizing strong supports such as Bennett and Jean).

If you do want 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 safely:

  • Zhongli, for his strong shield to keep you alive in a healer-less team comp.
  • Diona, for her shield and healing with her Burst when needed.

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. 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 even more so when in teams due to oversaturation of ATK and lack of Crit Value. To compete with the lack of Crit Value also requires you to possess improbable amounts of Crit Rolls on your substats.

ATK 608 741
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
  • Stable ATK substat and passive that can be maintained comparatively easily.
  • Better in solo or mid/low investment due to well-rounded ATK% buffs
  • Very high base ATK that can enhance anything that scales off ATK% quite well.
  • Gives Xiao unconditional Elemental DMG Bonus in passive.
  • Does not require prestacking since non-prestacking performs similarly and does not obstruct energy management.
Notes
  • Requires Zhongli in order to be used effectively.
  • Relatively lower base ATK than Calamity which lets the latter receive a bit more ATK% buffs.
  • Will have less ATK buffs than Vortex due to its less ATK% multipliers in substat and passive

Skyward Spine

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.

ATK674
PassiveIncreases 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.
Substat36.8% ER
Pros
  • Gives a perfect amount of ER% so that you don’t have to build for any ER% substats.
  • One of the highest base attack spears.
  • Offers 8% Crit Rate.
Cons
  • Passive only triggers if using NA cancels between plunges, or the N1CJP combo and vacuum blades deal an insubstantial amount of damage.
  • No Crit Substat means you have to look for every source of Crit through Artifacts, making this weapon difficult to build around.
  • Generally the only benefit of this weapon is the high ATK and ER%. It provides comparatively little in terms of damage.
  • ER substats significantly lower the value of this weapon’s ER.

4 Star Weapons

Lithic Spear

A 4★ Polearm of terrifying power, it is capable of rivaling and/or surpassing 5★ Polearms at higher refinements by utilizing its passive stacks. That being said, we don’t recommend pulling for this weapon, because of how difficult it is to build a team around it. Please check out Alerine#1591’s in depth Lithic Thesis for team comp recommendations if you’d like to run this weapon.

ATK565
PassiveFor 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.
Substat27.6% ATK
Pros
  • High base attack for a 4* weapon
  • Passive and Substat gives both Crit Rate and ATK%.
  • Passive is unconditional in combat. It is always active and does not punish player mistakes.  
Cons
  • The passive is very difficult to build due to a majority of Xiao’s best supports being from non-Liyue nations.
  • Highly dependent on teammates and refinements; otherwise, you may find yourself lacking Crit Rate, making it difficult to farm artifacts for.

Deathmatch vs Blackcliff

Generally speaking Deathmatch is the superior 4★ weapon, with its unconditional passive and large amount of Crit rate. However, deciding between the two ultimately depends on what you can afford. Blackcliff is a true F2P Option, while Deathmatch requires you to purchase the Battle Pass.  

For F2P players, we also recommend Favonius Lance as a strong contender due to its high base ATK and ER oriented Passive and Substat. More information on this weapon can be read below.

ATK 454 510
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
  • Highest Crit Rate spear. With Xiao’s innate Crit Rate, you get an easy 61% Crit Rate.
  • The passive is easy to utilize, as it is constantly active.
  • Similar to Homa, it allows you to stack Crit DMG with enough Crit Rate substat rolls. Running a Crit DMG Circlet with Blackcliff grants 117.3% Crit DMG.
  • Also gives you the option to pick a Crit Rate Circlet.
Cons
  • Low base ATK for a 4★Polearm.
  • Cannot use Crit Rate circlet.
  • Artifacts must be Crit DMG substat heavy or else risk overcapping Crit Rate.
  • A very conditional passive that is generally inactive in Abyss Chambers where enemies have too high of an HP.

Favonius Lance

A 4★ weapon with a large amount of utility  At higher investments it is only slightly inferior to Blackcliff in terms of damage, making it an alternative F2P option for those who were fortunate enough to pull it.

ATK565
PassiveCRIT Hits have a 60% chance to generate a small amount of Elemental Particles, which will regenerate 6 Energy for the character. Can only occur once every 12s.
Substat30.6% ER
Pros
  • High base attack for a 4* weapon
  • Xiao has high chances of activating the passive due to his on-field playstyle.
  • At higher refinements, it reduces the ER needs of the entire team, giving more flexibility in supports.
  • Nullifies the necessity of building ER% on Xiao, permitting you to chase after damage oriented substats.
  • The passive permits for easier gameplay, as it lessens the necessity of funneling energy to Xiao.
  • At R5 it may permit no-battery teams.
Cons
  • Requires at least R3 to be utilized properly.
  • With less invested builds, it may be difficult for your Xiao to do relevant damage.

Example R5 Fav Lance Clears:

2.3 Abyss 12-3-2 1:22- Fav Xiao / ZL / Barbara / Rosaria by leeyuuh#4128
https://streamable.com/azp5xs 

2.3 Abyss 12-3-2 – 1:03 – 3 rotations – Fav Xiao with Geo Duo+Bennett by leeyuuh#4128
https://streamable.com/azp5xs 

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.

Supports

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.

Anemo

All Anemo characters can serve as a battery with different levels of capability; generally speaking utilizing any is better than none at all.

Sucrose

‣ Battery
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Buff (TTDS, 4pc NO)

‣ Sucrose is the best possible Battery one can have for Xiao. At C0 she should use Sacrificial Fragments, but at C1+ she can equip whatever Catalyst suits your needs (generally TTDS or Prototype Amber).

‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 120 – 130%*

Recommended Build

‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO, 4pc VV, Anything

‣ Mainstats: ER, EM, Anything

‣ Weapons: If C0, Sacrificial Fragments. If C1+, Thrilling Tales or Prototype Amber.

Jean

‣ Battery
‣ Healer
‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (4pc NO)
‣ Shred (C4)

‣ Jean’s main strength lies in her multi-purposeness. She can be built as a Sub-DPS, while still being an excellent Healer and good battery.

‣ 4pc Ocean-Hued Clam is a good alternative to 4pc NO for Burst DPS Jean. For details, please see this sheet.

‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130 – 140%*

Recommended Build (see Jean Build Comparison Sheet)
‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO, 2pc VV/Glad/SR, 4pc Clam

‣ Mainstats: ATK | Anemo | Crit

‣ Weapons: Any 5*, Amenoma Kageuchi, Favonius Sword, Festering Desire

Sayu

‣ Battery
‣ Healer
‣ Buff (4p NO)

‣ Functions much like Jean, but requires technique to battery Xiao properly. A short Hold Skill must be performed in order to hit an enemy with both the roll and kick to generate 3 particles. If only the kick lands, only 2 particles will be generated.

‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130 – 140%*

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc Clam, 4pc NO

‣ Mainstats: If non-C6: ATK/EM | ATK | ATK/HB
If C6: EM/ER | EM | EM

‣ Weapon: Favonius Greatsword (needs Crit), Sac Greatsword

Venti

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Crowd Control
‣ Shred (C2)

‣ While Venti is a decent battery, his Elemental Burst can hurt Xiao’s DPS against smaller enemies that are lifted up in his Burst.

‣ If you want to use Venti’s Burst for Sub-DPS damage, it should be used at the start of rotations to group enemies and minimize interference with Xiao’s plunges.

‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130%*

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 2pc NO/VV, 4pc VV

‣ Mainstats: ATK/EM | Anemo/EM | Crit/EM

‣ Weapons: The Stringless, Windblume Ode, Viridescent Hunt, Alley Hunter, Skyward Harp, Elegy for the End

Kazuha

‣ Battery
‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Crowd Control

‣ Does not buff Xiao’s Anemo DMG. Thus, should only be used if he can buff a strong Sub-DPS on the team.

‣ With a Favonius or Sacrificial Sword, generates a lot of energy and has great grouping.

‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 130%*

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 2pc VV/Glad/SR, 4pc VV

‣ Mainstats: ATK/EM/ER | Anemo/EM | Crit/EM

‣ Weapons: Sacrificial Sword, Favonius Sword, Any DPS Sword

Anemo MC

‣ Battery
‣ Shred (C6)
‣ Crowd Control

‣ Elemental Burst shreds Anemo Resistance at C6.

‣ Burst can be detrimental against smaller enemies as carries them away from Xiao. Thus, it should be used against sturdier enemies.

‣ Burst requires high ER to use every rotation.

‣ A Quick Hold Skill should be utilized to generate 3-4 particles (Tap only generates 2).

‣ Recommended Xiao ER: 140 – 150%*

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 2pc VV/Glad/SR, 4pc NO

‣ Mainstats: ATK/ER | Anemo | Crit

‣ Weapons: Favonius Sword, Sacrificial Sword

* ER needs are heavily dependent on what team you’re running, what your rotations are like, and what enemies you’re fighting. Your mileage may vary, so please test your ER needs in game.

Geo

Geo supports are unique in that their utility and Sub DPS damage are often able to last for the majority or entirety of Xiao’s Burst. Furthermore, running two Geo characters on Xiao’s team gives him Geo resonance, which is a nice bonus to his DPS.

Zhongli

‣ Shield
‣ Shred
‣ Buff (4pc ToM, 4pc NO)
‣ Sub-DPS
‣ 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, even permitting healerless comps.

‣ 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.

Recommended Build

*Please see our Zhongli section for recommended builds.

Albedo

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (Geo Res)

‣ Premiere off-field Sub DPS; one of the only Sub-DPS whose Skill lasts the entirety of Xiao’s Burst duration.
‣ Decent particle generation through Elemental Skill (around equal to C6 Fischl)

‣ When paired with Zhongli, adds Geo Resonance.

‣ Has cheap F2P weapon options, including Cinnabar Spindle and R5 Harbinger of Dawn.

Recommended Build

‣ Artifacts: 4pc Husk, 2pc Husk/Petra/NO

‣ Mainstats: Def | Geo | Crit

‣ Weapons: Cinnabar Spindle, R5 HOD, 5* Weapons

Geo MC

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (Geo Res, 4pc NO)
‣ Crowd Control

only with Zhongli, who enables Geo Resonance

‣ If invested, can dish out considerable Sub DPS damage through their Elemental Skill and Burst.

‣ Crit Rate increased by 10% within their Elemental Burst.

‣ Can run 4pc NO to offer ATK buff on Burst.

‣ Elemental Burst 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO, 2pc NO/Petra/Emblem/Glad/SR
‣ Mainstats: ATK/ER | Geo | Crit
‣ Weapons: R5 HOD, Festering Desire, Favonius Sword, Any DPS Sword

Pyro

Bennett is generally the only Pyro character we recommend running with Xiao. Xiangling can also be a powerful Sub-DPS but should be paired with Bennett and/or Raiden to help with her expensive Burst cost and damage.

Bennett

‣ Healer
‣ 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO

‣ Mainstats: HP/ER | HP/Pyro | HP/Crit

‣ Weapons: The Alley Flash, Prototype Rancour, Favonius Sword, Any 5* Weapon

Xiangling

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (Pyro Res & Guoba)

‣ Offers powerful off-field Pyro DMG through her Pyronado, which travels at ground level.

‣ Often requires Bennett or Raiden 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc EoSF, 4pc CWoF, DPS Artifacts

‣ Mainstats: ATK/EM/ER | Pyro | Crit

‣ Weapons: The Catch, Any DPS Weapon

Cryo

Diona

‣ Shield
‣ Healer
‣ Buff (4pc NO, Cryo Res)
‣ Battery

‣ Provides a solid shield that is the most practical after Zhongli’s.

‣ Solid healing, though ticks are slower than other options.

‣ Can consistently generate particles with Favonius Bow due to her multi-hit Hold Elemental Skill.

‣ Has potential to battery other Cryo supports in a double Cryo team comp

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO, 2pc Maidens/ToTM, 4pc Maidens

‣ Mainstats: HP | HP | HP/Crit/HB

‣ Weapons: Favonius Bow, Sacrificial Bow

Rosaria

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO, 4pc Emblem, 2pc NO/2pc BS

‣ Mainstats: ATK/ER | ATK/Cryo | Crit 

‣ Weapons: Favonius Lance, The Catch, White Tassel

Qiqi

‣ Healer
‣ 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc Clam, 4pc ToM, 4pc Maidens

‣ Mainstats: Atk or ER | Atk | Atk/HB

‣ Weapons: Favonius Sword

Ganyu

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (Cryo Res, Elegy)

‣ Wide Burst Range and a 15 Second Duration makes her Sub-DPS role comfortable for Xiao even if not optimal.

‣ Requires Diona or Raiden in the team to battery her Burst if you want to use it every rotation.

‣ Ganyu’s Burst alone isn’t significant enough damage to be utilized as a Sub-DPS. We do not recommend pulling her for this purpose.

‣ Taunt from Elemental Skill may also be useful.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc NO, DPS Artifacts

‣ Mainstats: ATK | Cryo | Crit 

‣ Weapons: Elegy for the End, Favonius Bow, Any DPS Bow

Electro

Raiden

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Team Battery

‣ Please see more details in our Xiaoden guide.

‣ Enables Xiao to continuously burst with minimal ER requirements and provides flexibility with rotations by eliminating the need to funnel.

‣ Mitigates Xiao’s disadvantages against phased bosses and in energy-scarce scenarios.

‣ Allows Xiao to use supports and buffers with high burst costs.

‣ Even at C0, Raiden’s personal damage is worth the rotation extension.

‣ Raiden needs more investment than other battery options, especially Sucrose who only needs TTDS.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc EoSF

‣ Mainstats: ATK/ER | ATK/Electro | Crit

‣ Weapons: The Catch, Any 5* Weapon

Yae Miko

‣ Sub-DPS

‣ Acts as off-field damage dealer with E turrets.

‣ Convenient source of frontloaded Burst damage.

‣ Her high field time may be detrimental to utilize without proper understanding of rotations.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 2pc TF/Glad/SR/EoSF

‣ Mainstats: ATK | Electro | Crit

‣ Weapons: Widsith, Oathsworn Eye, Any 5* Weapon

⭐ Fischl

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (4p No, Elegy)

‣ Provides considerable Single-Target Sub-DPS.

‣ Can also be converted into a pure support build with Elegy and 4pc ToM for buffing purposes.
‣ Fischl’s C6 can be procced with NA cancels between Xiao’s plunges.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 2pc Glad/SR/TF, 4pc ToM

‣ Mainstats: ATK | ATK/Electro | Crit

‣ Sub-DPS Weapons: Stringless, Alley Hunter, Any 5* Bow

‣ Pure Support Weapons: Elegy for the End, Favonius

Hydro

Yelan

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ Buff (A4 Passive)

‣ Sustains Burst for most of Xiao’s fieldtime and provides DMG Bonus% from her A4 passive, making her a solid buffer and Sub-DPS.
‣ Requires using JET or NA cancels to utilize damage, but is easier to proc than most.

‣ Has high ER requirements to sustain Burst uptime; therefore may require Raiden or Favonius Weapons.

Recommended Build

‣ Artifacts: 4pc EoSF, 2pc NO/ToM/HoD

‣ Mainstats: ER/HP | Hydro/HP | Crit/HP

‣ Weapons: Aqua Simulacra, Elegy for the End, Favonius Warbow

Barbara

‣ Healer
‣ 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc Clam, 4pc Maidens

‣ Mainstats: HP | HP | HP or HB

‣ Weapons: Prototype Amber, Everlasting Moonglow, TTDS

Xingqiu

‣ Sub-DPS
‣ 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.

Recommended Build
‣ Artifacts: 4pc EoSF, 4pc NO, 2pc HoD/NO

‣ Mainstats: ER/ATK | Hydro | Crit

‣ Weapons: Sacrificial Sword, Primordial Jade-Cutter, Mistsplitter Reforged, R5 Harbinger of Dawn

On Zhongli, Xiao’s Best Support

With contributions from: 3.14#9270, leeyuuh#4128, xTuki | xツキ#4893

Zhongli Builds

Shield Bot Zhongli 
(Recommended for Xiao)
Hybrid Zhongli
DescriptionA 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 ChoicesStaff of Homa*,
Black Tassel, Favonius Lance
Staff of Homa*,
Any 5* Weapon, Any 4* DPS Weapon
Artifact Main StatsHP / HP / HPHP / Geo DMG/ Crit
Pros
  • Resource friendly, as it does not require optimal substats.

  • Most comfortable build for selfish carries like Xiao.

  • Can remove the need for a healer, allowing for more flexible team building.
  • Additional sources of Damage are always beneficial for clearing Abyss.
Cons
  • May render him less impactful in team comps dependant on his damage such as the Pillar Resonance / Microwave Team with Geo MC.
    • Zhongli’s Burst doesn’t do enough damage to justify its field time. Xiao’s Burst plunge rotation will often out-DPS Zhongli’s Burst.

    • To make Zhongli’s Burst damage worthwhile, you may need the Staff of Homa, which you will likely only have one and it will be given to Xiao.

    Conclusion

    For the average player, we recommend building full HP Zhongli. It is the most resource-efficient build that provides Zhongli’s main purpose to a Xiao team: his Shield.
     
    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#2780 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.

    Team Comps

    Overview

    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:

    1. Battery: Fund him energy for continuous Bursts
    2. Sub DPS: Offer off-field DPS
    3. Healer: Heal Xiao from enemy damage and Burst HP drain
    4. 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.

    Battery

    For more energy mechanics, please see Energy Management.

    Xiao is a character whose damage is reliant on the utilization of his Elemental Burst, for this reason we strongly recommend a battery to reliably obtain his Burst back. 

    The battery generates particles using their own skills and then swaps 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.

    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

    The basics of Xiao’s team is pairing him with a Battery and then two Flex characters, who you can pick from the Supports section above depending on investment or need. Note: Elemental Resonances are generally overrated and not necessary with Xiao, which is why it’s better to prioritize the character’s value in the team comp over resonances.

    Xiao

    Battery

    Flex

    Flex

    Examples

    • 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.

    Xiao

    Battery / Healer

    Zhongli

    Geo

    Geo Options

    • 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.


    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, batterying 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.

    Xiao

    Battery

    Diona

    Cryo

    Cryo Options

    • 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:

    Xiao

    Battery

    Bennett

    Pyro

    Pyro Options

    • 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

    Battery Options

    • 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.

    Lithic Teams

    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.

    Xiao Self Battery

    This is not recommended for the average Xiao player. Running no battery is an option for those who have invested in Xiao far enough that the time wasted on generating his Burst is of no-concern.

    The lack of a battery can also be mended with:  

    • 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.
    • Utilizing a team where off-field particle generation is possible, or using a team with multiple high-refined Favonius weapons. Utilizing Favonius weapons also requires you to invest in Crit Rate for your supports.
    • Generally requires Bennett in the team, as he permits Xiao to do enough damage within a singular Burst instance.

    Xiao

    Flex

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    Flex

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    Flex

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    Examples

    • Xiao Bennett Zhongli Albedo
    • Xiao Bennett Xiangling Zhongli
    • Xiao Bennett Xiangling Xingqiu

    Xiaoden

    Main Article: Alatus Umbrosa: The Complete Xiaoden Guide 

    Xiaoden refers to the concept of running Xiao and Raiden together in a dual carry team. Along with dealing her own damage during Burst, Raiden also serves as an additional damage dealer and battery for Xiao. 

    Long thought of as an inferior comp to traditional Xiao teams, the guide linked above presents a new light for why Xiaoden is not only viable but also competitive.
    Xiaoden’s strongest benefit lies in its continuity which most batteries fail to sustain. Therefore, as the following calcs show, it can be competitive with pre-existing batteries at two rotations, and can yield a 12-15% damage increase during the third rotation at a mid-high investment.

    Gameplay

    Attack Strings

    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.

    Collision Plunge

    Collision Damage is the name given to the last and third Plunge Modifier in the Talent menu, separate from Low and High Plunge. The third Plunge Modifier only appears in situations where Xiao’s plunging animation has direct contact with the enemy’s model, this additional number will be referred to as Collision Plunge Damage.
     
    To perform it, one simply has to hug the enemy and plunge alongside it. Making it one of the easiest Xiao’s techniques to learn, while also increasing damage in Single Target scenarios by a significant amount without any delays.

     

     

    An example is viewable in this video (by Memu#6453) where there’s an initial ~27k-28k Collision Plunge 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 High Plunge Damage.

    Additional Information on Collision Plunge

    While the technique is simple in execution, its utilization is entirely dependent on the enemy as all enemies have varying height models. As a general rule of thumb:

    • Tall enemies such as Lawachurls, Primo Vishap, Ruin Guard, Ruin Graders, etc. can be High Collision Plunged consistently without issues. 
    • Shorter enemies with high stagger, such as Geovishaps, Fatui Mages, Skirmishers, etc. are too short and move too often to be Collisioned reliably even with Low Plunges. 

    There are also enemies whose model height is dependent on their animations, an example is the Perpetual Mechanical Array. In its downed phase, it can only be dealt Collision Damage with Low Plunges.

    This sheet contains player found interactions with Collision Plunge on different types of mobs. Thank you Rhetorical#8956 for your bulk testing.

    JET (N1CJP)

    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.

     

    Normal Attack (NA) Cancel

    NA Cancel is beneficial when using units whose abilities require a NA to activate their ability. Since the first swing of the NA has no hitlag, it can be canceled out with a jump while still applying on-hit effects. Xiao’s N1 consists of two hits: a swing, and then a thrust with his spear. When using NA cancel, be sure to cancel out his N1 after the initial swing and before the thrust, as the full N1 animation has hitlag.

    To NA 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.

     

    Notice how only the first swing of Xiao’s N1 is shown in the animation.

    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

    Plunging Effectively

    Xiao’s AoE

    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.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li-GoA3nuxA

    Positioning

    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.
      • This is useful if the goal is to hit as many enemies as possible. However some enemies possess high knockback, which means after a couple of plunges they may be pushed out of Xiao’s Plunge Range.
    • Place him in line with enemies so that they are knocked back in the same direction.
      • This strategy is more beneficial for enemies with high knockback. You will slowly push them in the same direction, ideally towards a wall to reliably group them. You will be able to move forward while plunging to adjust Xiao’s position.

    For enemies with knock back, you can lure them towards the Spiral Abyss walls first before casting Xiao’s Burst. Then, you can use Xiao’s plunges to pin enemies against a wall.

    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. Video Example Compilation by Sohan#4543.

    Momentarily gliding can also help you reposition Xiao more dramatically than just holding a directional key while jumping.

    Energy Management

    With contributions from: 3.14#9270, Poiyo#3488, ioncy#5314

    How to Battery Xiao

    Xiao’s DPS is heavily reliant on his Elemental Burst. Therefore, it is crucial to understand energy management and keep Xiao’s Elemental Burst active as much as possible.

    Energy Management for Xiao comes with two basic techniques: 

    • Funneling: Catching the particles generated by another character’s Elemental Skill or Favonius Weapon, by quickly swapping to Xiao after you use their skill.
    • Pre-funneling: Using up to two of Xiao’s Elemental Skills and then quickly activating his Elemental Burst, allowing Xiao to refill his energy with his own self-generated particles. This technique is important for giving Xiao enough energy for his next Burst rotation.

    It is also important to understand the basic mechanics of how energy works in this game:

    • On-Field Characters get more energy from Energy Particles/Orbs than Off-Field Characters. This is why you should always swap back to Xiao to catch any generated particles when possible.

    Characters get more energy from same-element Energy Particles/Orbs. This is why Anemo batteries are generally preferred.

    Additional Notes on Prefunneling

    Do not jump before using two of Xiao’s Elemental Skills to prefunnel. By the time you drop to the ground and activate your Burst, the particles will have already been absorbed by Xiao.

    C1 Xiao owners should also be careful to not use all three Elemental Skills before Xiao’s Burst, as there is only enough time to use his Skill twice before the energy particles reach Xiao.

    Pre-funneling is not just limited to Xiao’s Elemental Skill. For example, Sucrose’s Elemental Skill animation is quick enough for her particles to be prefunneled alongside Xiao’s Elemental Skill particles. This permits you to prefunnel three Skills worth of energy particles into Xiao’s Burst by using Sucrose E > Xiao E > Xiao E > Xiao Q. Please see the video example below for reference.

    It is also possible to prefunnel two of Sucrose’s Elemental Skill particles, by dash canceling both of Sucrose’s E Skills to get all 8 particles. However this technique can be a bit more difficult to utilize while providing less energy, so we recommend the above rotation instead.

    Xiao Double E Sucrose Double E Sucrose E > Xiao Double E
    Burst Energy After Pre-Funneling
    (100% ER)
    Video Example https://streamable.com/x3k1bo https://streamable.com/4ugbbm https://streamable.com/oy5b3y

    If you are lacking energy for your next Burst, we recommend using your battery’s Elemental Skill to funnel Xiao’s Burst back and then restart the rotation. Redoing the rotation while your Burst isn’t full will result in wasted particles.

    Video example: https://streamable.com/24vqiq

    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 Burst first so that the duration will be somewhat used up once you rotate through your other two characters and get to Xiao.
    • With Raiden, it is recommended to go through her full Burst duration, since she has an internal cooldown for her energy share.

    Once all your necessary supports have been rotated through, you can swap to Xiao to pre-funnel and activate his Burst. Video Example: Start Rotations

    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. Video Example: Middle Rotations

    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.

    Afterword

    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! 

    Additional Resources

    Supplemental Guides

    Changelog

    July 22, 2022

    • Major edits to the entirety of the guide.

    June 4th, 2021

    • Guide published.

    August 8th, 2021

    • Shimenawa added.

    August 30th, 2021

    • Ganyu as Sub-DPS.
    • Removing Kazuha section, and rewording unrecommended batteries.

    September 13th

    • 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.

    January 19th, 2022

    • Updated TL;DR Visual Guide.

    February 4th, 2022

    • Added 2pc Emblem to Recommended Artifact Sets.

    February 26th, 2022

    March 16th, 2022

    • Updated Xiaoden section with Xiaoden guide.

    March 23, 2022

    • Added ⭐  next to Raiden in Supports and added Raiden under ER Sands? Section.
    • Added 4pc Vermillion Hereafter and updated the entire Artifacts section.

    June 17, 2022

    • Added Yelan to Supports.
    • Updated TL;DR Visual Guide.

    Appendix: Guides

    Materials

    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.

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