Now that it’s been over a year since Genshin Impact was released, players of the game have already settled into a well-defined meta that features only characters that fit into the game’s most efficient team compositions. Chief among these team comps is the famous National Team which originally consisted of Chongyun, Xinqiu, Xiangling, and Bennett.
As the game goes on and new enemies are added, meta team comps have changed to accommodate more powerful carries. Lately, National Team is divided into two main variants: Raiden National and Childe International which use Raiden Shogun and Childe as their main damage dealers.
That said, new enemies aren’t the only reason for meta changes. As miHoYo releases new characters and artifact sets, older characters get another chance to shine in a meta team or, at least, be usable.
While it’s hard to predict what new characters and artifacts we’ll be getting down the line, these characters that are currently in the game have a chance at being part of a future meta.
How about we chill with the Knights of Favonius’ cavalry captain for a bit?
As one of the three available starter characters, Kaeya gets most of his screentime as part of new players’ teams. Problem is, he usually ends up forgotten after the first few Adventure Ranks because many players opt to use the Traveler as an early DPS instead.
This has led to many unfortunate Kaeyas ending up benched in people’s rosters with little more than a Cold Steel to their name. Which is unfortunate considering that Kaeya has one of the highest Attack scalings in the game.
Not only is he a great Physical damage dealer, Kaeya has the added bonus of being a Cryo character. Thanks to his element, Kaeya already has half of what he needs for the Superconduct reaction baked into his kit.
Pair him with another Cryo character and give him the Blizzard Strayer set and you’re looking at a massive Crit rate stat increase. Oh, and that’s without accounting for Kaeya’s 15% extra Crit through his first Constellation and his self-healing mechanic.
Okay, maybe she isn’t that underrated, but it’s easy to forget Ningguang because she isn’t a 5-star DPS character. Don’t let her regal, feminine looks fool you. There’s a reason long-time players have lauded Ningguang as Genshin Impact‘s hidden 5-star.
Though her favorite superpower is clearly her status as the richest person in Teyvat and her iron grip on Liyue politics, Ningguang’s Geo vision gives her access to one of the most spammable bursts in the game. Even better, she’s able to scale well with all of the in-game content, making her a worthwhile investment when compared to early game DPS characters like Razor.
With an energy cost of only 40, Ningguang’s burst can be used at least once every rotation as long as you have enough Geo energy going around. Thankfully, this isn’t a problem for her as Ningguang is able to generate her own energy.
Furthermore, the Tianquan’s elemental skill produces a screen that when passed gives her a significant Geo damage boost. Couple this with a burst that shoots out projectiles that can deal up to 17k each and you’re looking at one of the most consistent DPS characters in the game.
Unless you’ve been playing the game for a while, it’s difficult to explain just how big of a jump Albedo made from being a B-tier sub DPS to one of the best off-field damage dealers in Genshin Impact.
When Albedo was first released, many players skipped his banner in favor of Ganyu, Xiao, and Hu Tao who were all released immediately after him. Shortly after, Albedo proved to be a decent sub DPS thanks to his elemental skill, Solar Isotoma.
When placed, Sola Isotoma generates a massive area of effect. Dealing damage inside that area causes the construct to deal Geo damage. Initially, the skill dealt minimal damage due to a lack of weapons and specialized artifacts for Albedo who, at the time, was one of the only two Defense scaling characters.
However, Albedo’s rerun came with a ton of upgrades for Monstadt’s Chief Alchemist. Not only did he receive a free 4-star sword tailored to his kit, but he also returned with the Husk of Opulent Dreams artifact set which rewarded his Defense-based kit. These days, it’s not uncommon to see Albedo’s Solar Isotoma deal 20k in damage per tick.
Lisa got the short end of the stick even if you compare her to the rest of the starter characters. While Amber has a dedicated fanbase, Lisa’s kit problems have scared away even the most daring Genshin Impact players.
If you play her after the first few Adventure Ranks, you can easily see why. Her elemental skill takes too long to charge, leaving her vulnerable to interruption and even death, a very likely possibility considering how fragile catalyst wielders tend to be in the game.
That being said, Lisa has her own strengths. For one, she has one of the highest normal attack scalings in the game making her a good early game DPS as long as you can keep her shielded. Later in the game, Lisa finds some use as a Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers carrier and Electro reaction enabler.
In fact, she’s one of the best support options in the game for Eula who needs an Electro user to trigger the Superconduct reaction. With the upcoming release of Yae Miko, who is also an Electro catalyst, we might just get a new artifact set that can do for Lisa what Husk of Opulent Dreams did for Albedo.
Care to witness the power that ended Haishan?
A year ago, most of the player base wrote off Beidou due to her unique kit. Prior to Yunjin’s release in 2.4, Beidou was the only character with an enemy countering mechanic. If you’re not familiar with what that means, basically Beidou’s elemental skill could be timed to the exact moment an opponent attacks her.
When activated upon contact, Beidou’s elemental skill deals a tremendous amount of Electro damage. Sounds cool, right? So why do people ignore Beidou so much?
It comes down to the rumors about Beidou’s energy problems. Though she does have a high burst cost, it’s nothing a battery character like Fischl can’t solve. If you need the extra character slot, her energy problems are easily remedied with the Emblem of Severed Fate set.
While all characters improve with additional constellations, Beidou’s first constellation drastically changes the ways she can be played because C1 allows her burst to generate a shield that scales off Beidou’s HP. Additional constellations like C2 and C6 open her up for use in Electrocharge teams with Hydro characters like Childe and Kokomi.
Who said a zombie can’t be cute and lovable?
Qiqi has gone through a lot of ups and downs in the Genshin community. Players’ understanding of the game was fairly limited at the time of her release, leading many to believe that Qiqi was one of the best 5-star characters because of her superb healing abilities.
This would have been true if Genshin Impact was any other game. But due to the fact that dodging allows players to avoid damage entirely, the need for a powerful healer is practically non-existent.
It didn’t help that Qiqi didn’t offer anything aside from healing, especially when compared to Bennett whose Fantastic Voyage provided damage boost and Xingqiu whose Raincutter enables Vaporize.
Qiqi could have been doomed to complete irrelevance but with the introduction of Rifthounds and the Ocean-Hued Clam artifact set, it looks like the meta is finally changing to favor dedicated healers.
Since Rifthounds deal true damage over time, they’ve made healers a necessity in Spiral Abyss. Meanwhile, the Ocean-Hued Clam set allows healers like Qiqi to convert excess healing to damage, giving them a secondary role as sub DPS.
Few 5-stars offer the level of utility that Jean does. It’s not that none of them serve multiple uses at once, but that none of them are capable of dishing damage, crowd control, generating energy, healing, and cleansing at the same time.
Jean does that — she’s the Swiss army knife of Genshin Impact. Her immense utility makes her the single most valuable 5-star you can have on your team during the early game. As you progress, Jean’s ability to heal and cleanse aura effects make her a fantastic option for teams that benefit from Anemo resonance.
She’s a highly popular support option for Xiao, who desperately needs the healing and energy Jean provides, and can easily fit into any multi-element teams thanks to the Swirl reaction.
With so many powerful DPS characters and supports sharing the same element, it’s no wonder that Chongyun gets overlooked. Chongyun initially enjoyed some popularity as a damage dealer for the original National Team composition, but he quickly fell off after the release of strong reactions-based DPS characters like Childe and the Raiden Shogun.
Despite this seeming fall from grace, the fact that Chongyun is a Cryo wielder gives him an edge in the meta as he’ll always be a possible teammate for another Cryo character for the sake of the resonance buff.
Aside from that, Chongyun’s main strength is his ability to turn anyone into a Cryo damage dealer. His elemental skill creates an area within which all damage is converted into Cryo damage.
The elemental infusion granted to every attack cast within his skill’s effect turns Chongyun into a powerful Freeze enabler, especially when paired with someone like Rosaria or his aunt Shenhe, pictured above on the right side.
Xinyan suffers a lot from her element and split scaling. Though her kit sounds amazing on paper, her use of Pyro instead of Cryo or Electro weakens her potential as a Physical damage dealer since she can’t directly trigger the Superconduct reaction.
Additionally, the separate scaling on her elemental skill’s shield and attacks leave her stats feeling so-so compared to if she had just been left to fully scale with Defense like Noelle. That said, Xinyan can easily benefit from the Attack stat boost granted by the Pyro resonance effect.
Plus, her later constellations are some of the biggest power spikes in the game. Where else are you going to get a 100% Crit rate increase at C2 and a 15% Physical resistance debuff at C4?
Much like Chongyun, Yanfei suffers from being a good character in an element packed with amazing characters. As a Pyro DPS character whose entire kit is centered around dealing damage with little support capabilities, she is forced to compete with the likes of Hu Tao, Diluc, Klee, and Yoimiya who are all able to deal more damage. But while Yanfei is outclassed in terms of damage scaling, she makes up for it with her smooth gameplay and consistent damage.
Yanfei’s damage is nothing to scoff at. Paired with Xingqiu, she’s a fantastic sidegrade to Klee. Her kit feels a little like Ningguang’s as she’s able to boost her own damage while she’s on the field. While Yanfei is notoriously fragile, her constellations give her a shield after her bust is activated which goes a long way in terms of survivability.
11. Sangonomiya Kokomi
Speaking of survivability, Kokomi is the queen of wars of attrition. Though she was slapped with the label of worst 5-star due to her inability to crit, the following months after her release showed that Kokomi doesn’t need to crit.
Her healing capabilities let your team face down any enemy without dodging or shielding which means you don’t lose damage during battle.
Not to mention, her jellyfish’s Hydro application is comparable to that of Xingqiu, making her an extremely versatile character with a potential spot in both Freeze and Electrocharge teams. Like Qiqi, she benefits from the Ocean-Hued Clam set which lets her deal additional damage even when off-field.