If there’s one archon that can keep your team out of harm’s way and smash your enemies into pieces, then it would be Zhongli. The only question remains – how will you build him? The first most important thing to understand about Zhongli would be the general flow of his gameplay and what he offers for your team. And luckily, things aren’t that complicated since any fight you will start, you will generally want to do this by holding down his skill and getting that sweet Jade Shield activated, so that any nasty attack coming your way can get absorbed by the powerful shield. And it also helps that the pillars can block some of the projectiles, although they can get destroyed this way, so it’s usually better to bring the fights up close and personal while the pulsating damage from the construct can tick away and produce the much needed elemental particles to power up his burst attack.
And aside from this, the attack rotation as a support character will mostly be there to create as many pillars and just making sure to refresh the shield but if you decide to use him as your main damage dealer, then a full combo of his normal attacks is a good way to take care of most enemies.
But in essence, most of the details lie in the actual build you will be pursuing as well as the team you will be protecting with Zhongli, so getting a good overview of all the equipment choices is the best way to build this insanely powerful character. There are many ways you can build a strong and exciting version of our Geo Archon thanks to multiple strong weapon and artifacts combinations present in the game and with all things considered, you basically have the choice with either going for a support damage dealer build that can be further specialized into what’s known a Shield bot or if you’re in the need of a dedicated damage dealer, then pursuing his physical build could be for you. And the first thing to look at would be his weapon arsenal with one of the most optimal choices being either Deathmatch or Blackcliff Pole to get more of that critical rate or damage which works great for his support build.
Now if you want to use him as your physical damage dealer, then Crescent Pike would be the go-to weapon thanks to its great substat and passive performance.
And for those who simply want a budget option or love the idea of having more shield strength, a fully refined Black Tassel is actually one of the more popular weapons the Chinese community prefers to use in places like the Spiral Abyss. You could also use Favonius Lance or Prototype Starglitter for better Energy regeneration since it’s something Zhongli struggles with if you don’t use him together with another Geo character or haven’t obtained enough Energy Recharge from artifact substats. There’s also Lithic Spear if you’re planning to build a team of characters who all hail from Liyue and getting that extra critical rate from the weapon passive can help Zhongli produce more consistent critical hits from his burst. Finally, for 5-star weapons, Staff of Homa is hands down the best pick for him in overall performance, no matter if you use him as your physical damage dealer or support followed by Primordial Jade Winged-Spear and then Vortex Vanquisher.
Moving over to artifacts, there’s actually a lot of options to through and a very popular choice to go for is a mix of 2 set Archaic Petra and Noblesse Oblige which basically capitalizes on getting better damage output for his support build but if you’re stuck with bad substats you could also exchange one of the 2-sets with the newly released Tenacity of the Milelith, which gives extra 20% Health that improves his overall damage and shield.
But if you’re looking to get more than just damage out of his own talents, you then basically have 3 options: a full Noblesse Oblige for team-wide ATK boost after using his burst or going for the full Milelith set for the same ATK boost but with a different approach, since it will be your elemental skill that’s triggering the set bonus, not the burst. And from some initial testing, it does appear to be pretty consistent as long as you keep your fights or enemies within the pillars’ damaging range. And let’s not forget you can even swap out Zhongli to someone else and as long as the pillar lands an attack, you’re still getting the set bonus applied to the whole team.
Finally, if you want to boost your elemental damage dealer, getting the full Archaic Petra set could also be an option, just remember that Zhongli needs to be the one who is picking up the crystal off the ground. Now as for his artifact choices when it comes to the physical damage build, going for 2 Set Gladiator’s and Bloodstained Chivalry is going to be the most optimal approach which gets even more influenced due to the fact that you cannot get the 4-set bonus of Gladiator’s applied to the extra hits Crescent Pike produces which is why it’s better to stick with this layout.
Also, if you have good Retracing Bolide artifact pieces sitting in your backpack, using the full set on your main damage dealer build can be a good alternative, although there’s the same problem of Crescent Pike passive bonus which won’t benefit from the 4-set bonus. But once you’re done worrying about weapons and artifacts, the next step is to understand the stat priority and biggest takeaway here is that there’s more flexibility when it comes to his support side while as a physical damage dealer, it’s going to be a simple approach of using ATK% on Sands, Physical bonus on Goblet and Critical Rate or DMG on Circlet while as a support, besides the obvious replacement of Geo goblet, you can still use the same recommended main stats as you would with his physical build but you can also plug-in Health or Energy Regeneration for Sands or you could also go for more health even on his Circlet.
Now for substats themselves, just focus on getting Critical Rate or DMG as your main priority while also keeping ATK or Health depending on which build you’re using as your second goal followed by the rest of stuff like Energy regeneration. Finally, for his talents, focus on leveling his Burst if you’re going to use him as your support or if he is going to act as your main damage dealer, then higher Normal attack talent is the way to go. Of course, raise his elemental skill to level 6 at least to enjoy the massive shield he will produce.
So in essence, there’s two ways how you can build this Geo Archon and you can either go with a main damage dealer build that relies on physical attacks or you opt-in for the more popular support role with many artifact set choices available that also includes the newly released one that’s tailor made for Zhongli.
And because all of his talents scale with health, including the strength of his shield, you can further embrace his ultimate shielding capabilities and go for a budget version of fully refined Black Tassel and health stats. Either way, using him will make you feel invincible and it’s now time we take a look his team building capabilities. One thing is very clear about Zhongli – after 1.3 update he became ridiculously good for basically any team composition and that’s mainly thanks to several factors one of which includes the insane 20% reduced resistance of nearby enemies who are close to you when Jade shield is active.
Now couple this together with one of the artifact sets like the new Tenacity of the Milelith or Archaic Petra and you’ve got two active bonuses on the field that makes the enemies weaker and take more damage from the ATK boosts you provide for your team.
And as for some specific team compositions, Zhongli basically can be used as a plug and play team mate that only in very few situations won’t feel beneficial but even then, he works extremely well together with another Geo character because of increased frequency of geo elemental particles you’ll get to create, not to mention the Geo resonance itself and the crazy bonus it provides to your damage output, as long as you have a shield active. And someone like Xiao is going to love him since he does end up damaging himself more than he needs to because of his burst mechanic, so having Daddy Zhongli protect him from world’s harm thanks to the chunky Jade Shield will surely make the fighting Adepti feel invincible.
All in all, if Venti is considered the ultimate archon of crowd control, then Zhongli is the mastermind behind immortality and the chances of your team mates falling in battle drops significantly when this Geo archon is in the formation. There’s not that many characters in the game that can make you feel so powerful without giving you direct damage boost and that’s mainly thanks to Zhongli’s insane shielding capabilities which have been present since he got first unveiled during 1.
1 update but after he got buffed he is now basically someone that has very well-rounded design with one major thing being the shield strength itself.
Overall, Zhongli’s damage output is very strong whether you use him as your support or main damage dealer and thanks to his own ability to reduce enemy’s resistance coupled together with some amazing artifact set bonuses, you can enjoy several of his team-wide benefits by simply using a simple rotation of holding down his skill, getting the Jade Shield activated and throwing a boulder or two down onto your enemies. But even this Archon cannott escape some of the flaws and one of the drawbacks would be his lackluster energy generation where he needs to rely on the randomized elemental particles from his pillars so if you don’t use another Geo character or have good chunk of energy regeneration from equipment, you might end up producing less bursts than you would want to. There’s also the annoying thing with his hold skill, where the pillar appears right in front of you and you can sometimes end up accidentally climbing it which can occur more often for those who play the game on their mobile devices. Still, aside from these more or less minor problems, you’re basically looking at a character that will make your team’s life easier in a literal sense and with so many benefits packaged together into this one archon, you’re going to find it hard to play the game without the constant Jade shield that protects you from the world’s harm.
Now if only this shield could protect our dear Zhongli from bad spending habits. With so many different options to choose from, hopefully you managed to get a better overview of this loveable Geo Archon and at the end of the day, it doesn’t take that much to get him up and going since his main objective is to keep your team safe. But if you enjoyed this video, make sure to subscribe to this channel by hitting the bell notification on and don’t forget to gently press that like button. Making a video about a character always takes a lot of resources and time, so if any mistakes we’re made, make sure to check the pinned comment. Finally, you can get more bite-sized news and other stuff about Genshin, by following us on Twitter, link in the description.
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