First and foremost, this build is entirely theory crafting as currently I don’t have the resources, time, or resin (ehem…) to test this myself; Hopefully this build works in practice as much as it seems to work on paper with the correct artifacts.
Usually I see people running Kaeya as a support for his cryo procs and his elemental burst and I believe that he has more damage potential than Chungyun when it comes to normal attacks, perhaps even being on par or surpass Keqing in some situation if certain conditions are met.
Being that Kaeya is a cryo user, he has easy access to the “Shattering Ice” team buff which gives the team 15% crit chance whilst attacking enemies that are frozen or affected by cryo.
Kaeya’s 1st constellation further enhances this by adding an additional 15% crit chance on normal or charged attacks against enemies effected by cryo.
Effectively this gives Kaeya a base 35% crit chance just for using your elemental skill or burst and procing cryo on your enemies. Now how do we benefit from all this free crit chance? We give Kaeya a weapon! Now we have some nice choices in what we should give Kaeya but I personally believe that the best choice for this build would be “Harbinger of Dawn” (Much to f2p player’s delight).
Currently as of 1.0, the only sword in the game that gives crit damage is “Harbinger of Dawn.” The total amount of crit damage this weapon grants isn’t available on the wiki at level 60 and further but I would guess that it would be roughly 39% – 45% at level 70. Along with this, due to Kaeya’s elemental skill having built in sustain, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep your HP above 90% for the added 28% crit chance as long as you’re good with your dodges for a whooping 63% crit chance without artifacts on normal and charge attacks. Obviously, you’ll be trading away 79 base attack from a level 70 ‘The Black Sword.” (keep in mind that a level 5 refined level 70 “Aquila Favonia” might yield better results overall, but that’s only if you have one to begin with.)
So without artifact being thrown in, we have:
Now, obviously not every artifact is created equal. So theoretically you want to obtain a full set of 5 star “Gladiator’s Final” artifacts with the headwear having crit damage, the cup having physical damage %, and the hour glass having attack % with the substats ranked Crit DMG% > Atk% > Energy Recharge% > Crit Rate% > Flat ATK.
The reason you want more energy recharge over crit rate is because Kaeya’s elemental burst helps keep cryo on your enemies and is also a free source of continuous damage that has a 48% chance of procing a crit, especially considering that most elemental reactions remove the cryo effect from the enemy. Plus you don’t really need more crit chance unless you’re insane.
For your talents, you’re really going to want to upgrade Kaeya’s normal attack level first since it scales the highest out of all the sword users in the game as of 1.0.
Kaeya’s Normal attack scaling
Jean’s Normal attack scaling
Keqing’s Normal attack scaling
(Note: Kaeya has a lower flat atk bonus per level than Jean and Keqing)
I would recommend leveling your elemental skill if you wanna chunk HP bars first or your elemental burst if you want consistent high damage.
Lastly for team building I recommend:
Chungyun or Qiqi for the cryo team buff (Preferably Qiqi since she give more survivability)
Fischl for high dps and Superconduct procs for the 50% physical RES debuff.
Beidou for Superconduct procs and added survivability via her shield if you have it.
Mona for Frozen procs and her Elemental burst.
Barbra for “Thrilling tales of dragon slayers”, Frozen procs, and survivability.
Xingqiu for his shields and Frozen procs.
You could also get away with using Bennet > Xiangling to boost your ATK stat and cause Melt procs but I don’t recommend it since you’ll have a hard time keeping cryo on your enemies.
TL;DR The Build:
Optimally you want
Team: Kaeya, Fischl, Mona, Qiqi
Constellation 1 or more on Kaeya
Weapon: Refinement 5 “Harbinger of Dawn” or Refinement 5 “Aquila Favonia”
Artifacts: 4 set “Gladiator’s Final”
Main Stat: Crit DMG% / Physical Damage% / Atk%
Sub Stat: Crit Dmg% > ATK% > Energy Recharge% > Crit Rate% > Flat Atk
Normal attack talent > Elemental Burst Talent > Elemental Skill Talent
“Can I build this on Keqing?”
Yes you can build this on Keqing, but you might want to change your artifacts since this this is purely a basic attack build and Keqing likes to spam her burst. you’ll also want to bring 2 cryo members as well but you’d be losing out on elemental reactions which could net you less dps overall.
“Have you tested this and if so by how much?”
I’ve tested it briefly in its most basic state, I can’t say for certain how well it will preform with proper artifacts as I’m still Adventure rank 39 as of making this guide.
“Is this Kaeye’s most optimal build?”
Far from it. Most of this is based on theory crafting which I’m a big goober for from playing other gacha games and warframe. If you want to build him properly, you’ll need to focus on building him as a support unfortunately.
“Should I build this?”
I would only say to build it if you have nothing better to do, are willing to farm out the artifacts, and have an excess of materials that you can use for fun.
“Do I need to be max constellation Kaeya for this to work?”
Luckily, the only constellation you need for Kaeya is his first one, everything else is just added bonus to his kit focusing mostly on his burst which could to more damage.
“Won’t you just break enemies out of frozen with your basic attacks?”
Because Kaeya is a sword user, you can attack frozen targets as much as you want. The only way to break them out of being frozen is with claymores, elemental reactions, and charge attacks I believe.
“What if I’m fighting a cryo enemy?”
Because you’ll be mostly doing normal attacks on Kaeya which don’t have any elemental properties, you’ll be pretty safe using him on cryo enemies, just don’t expect his elemental skill or burst to do any damage. If anything, just switch to a different character or team.