I feel like Zhongli plays a very niche role at the moment within the game. However, he is easily outclassed by a lot of characters. That can be easily fixed if he was at a higher constellation level, but that is hard to obtain for most players. He’s a great support character for Geo characters, but there aren’t a lot to choose from.
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This build focuses on Zhongli’s elemental burst damage output and nuking enemies around him. Zhongli’s skill set doesn’t allow him out to be the perfect main DPS for a team. However, his burst can become insanely powerful if it is built right because of its’ short cooldown and energy cost. This build relies on Zhongli’s Ascension 4 talent to boost his elemental burst and having two pyro users on the team to raise his attack. Ningguang will also be useful in raising Zhongli’s GEO DMG with her Ascension 4 talent. Zhongli’s elemental burst should be maxed out. Both his elemental skill and normal attack will be leveled up depending on your play style and what you like to use more.
For his recommended weapon, the Vortex Vanquisher is a 5-star weapon that will increase both his shield strength and attack when Zhongli hits an enemy. He can stack this buff up to 5 times, but they will only last 8 seconds each. This weapon gives Zhongli both defensive and offensive buffs, making it the perfect weapon for a lot of his builds.
The Primordial Jade Winged-Spear is another 5-star weapon that will work well with Zhongli because it will increase his Crit Rate and ATK. His passive skill can stack up to 7 times and will boost his elemental skill DMG if it’s at maxed stacks.
Zhongli also works well with the Favonius Lance because it can increase his energy recharge so he can build up his burst faster. Its passive skill will be helpful in a CRIT Build for him.
Another 4-star weapon you can use is the Royal Spear. This weapon boosts Zhongli’s ATK and has the chance to increase his Crit Rate. Prototype Grudge will also work fine with this build and increase Zhongli’s damage output after using an elemental skill. If you want to build him to deal more physical attacks, the Crescent Pike is a good option.
Zhongli’s artifact set should be a mix of the Archaic Petra and Noblesse Oblige. The 2-piece bonus for the Archaic Petra will grant Zhongli more GEO DMG, while the 2-piece effect for the Noblesse Oblige will increase his elemental burst. Both of these sets will allow Zhongli to deal massive amounts of Geo DMG with his burst. The stats you should focus on are HP% and Geo DMG. Zhongli’s Ascension 4 skill will boost his elemental burst damage by 33% of his Max HP. For example, if you have 20k HP on Zhongli, he will deal an extra 6600 DMG with his burst! Geo DMG will boost his elemental burst overall, so aim for a mix of the two. ATK% can help increase his overall damage output in his skills. Energy Recharge will also allow his burst to be used more often. Lastly, you can focus on CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG if you prefer a CRIT Build on him.
Zhongli’s main role is to provide support with his ability to create a shield and resonate with other Geo constructs. This build is a mix of Zhongli’s offensive and defensive capabilities with a focus on his elemental skill. For this build, Zhongli will require other Geo construct users to fully utilize his elemental skill. This puts a restriction on his teammates because of the lack of characters that can create a Geo construct. The last slot on the team should be reserved for a healer like Qiqi or Barbara in case the protection of his shield is not enough. Having a unit that can heal will make sure your character will never die. Zhongli can also be paired with a powerful DPS unit like Diluc or Childe that can make use of his Shield of Jade. The skills you should mainly focus on are his elemental skill and normal attack. Zhongli’s elemental burst is optional if you plan to use it often. You can also forego attacking with Zhongli and make him a full support character.
For his recommended weapon, the Vortex Vanquisher is the perfect weapon for Zhongli because it will increase both his shield strength and raise his ATK when he hits an enemy. This weapon provides a good balance between both his attack and defense.
The Crescent Pike can be used to increase Zhongli’s overall damage with his normal attack. This weapon’s skill pairs well with the artifact set to increase Zhongli’s ATK. This weapon can also be easily obtained through the weekly boss fights to increase its refinement level.
Other weapons you can use are the Deathmatch, Prototype Grudge, and the Royal Spear. All of these weapons will increase Zhongli’s ATK through their secondary stat or passive effect.
For his recommended artifact set, the Retracing Bolide pairs well with Zhongli’s shield strength. At a 4-piece set, Zhongli will gain both increased shield strength and 40% to his normal attack. The goal is to create a powerful shield that can absorb DMG while Zhongli can unleash a fury of attacks against the enemy. I recommend focusing on building up his HP% and ATK% to get a nice balance between his shield strength and attack power. You can also focus on Geo DMG to raise the damage of his burst and skill.