genshin impact zhongli

Genshin Impact’s Zhongli Isn’t Who I Expected Him to Be

I’m one of those people who gets very excited about new Genshin Impact characters. It doesn’t matter if they’re a four-star or five-star. I don’t care if they will make sense for my team. I like seeing the character designs, costumes, voice actor announcements, and lavish trailers, then seeing if I can find a place for them if I’m lucky enough to get one from the gacha. When I got Genshin Impact’s Zhongli, the latest new and limited five-star, I was psyched. There was a lot of hype around him ahead of launch and his moveset seemed pretty great and practical. Unfortunately, in practice he’s not what I expected at all. Not that it’s bad, but it is a reminder of what can happen with units in a gacha game.

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It’s a sentiment that probably isn’t unique, if you also play Genshin Impact and looked up or tried for Zhongli. Based on beta impressions of the character, his role in the story, and the fact that five-star characters have been rather impressive so far, people may have been under the impression that Zhongli might have been OP and a DPS sort of character without much effort. Which isn’t to say he isn’t. You can build him up as a damage dealer. But he isn’t as blatantly and immediately good as, say, a Diluc, Klee, or even Tartaglia. It takes some times to get comfortable with him.

genshin impact zhongli

My past polearm experience involved Xiangling, the four-star everyone can get for free. Her basic five-hit normal combo is pretty good, Guoba is great to set and use for constant coverage, her passives make her and Guoba even stronger, and managing to get her to Constellation 2 adds Implode for Normal attack combos. So I suppose I came in expecting him to be as easy to immediately use as her.

And in some ways, Zhongli is! Dominus Lapidis lets you quickly drop a Geo pillar, which will gradually deal environmental damage, provide a structure to hide behind or climb, and cause environmental interactions that can provide shields. You could even use it for a temporary jade shield and to deal AOE to enemies around Zhongli. And Planet Befall, his Elemental Burst, is fantastic. Even without extra Constellation unlocks or Ascensions, it deals an incredible amount of damage to a group of enemies, petrifies them, and even pairs well with Dominus Lapidis to deal even more damage.

But when it comes to general damage and normal attacks, he might not someone you have as your primary fighter. That’s the sort of role I wanted for him. I wanted him to always be around, with characters like Qiqi or Childe helping him out. Maybe with Beidou or Klee as a secondary damage dealer. He has a six-hit normal combo and charged attack that can be helpful and, if someone really put in an effort with equipment, could make him work for them. He’s not the “leader” for me, though. Rather, he’s the one to support everyone else. Which works for my main team sometimes, as he could help my Beidou, Childe, Klee, and Qiqi out a lot.

genshin impact zhongli

I suppose, in a way, it almost ironically suits his role in-game. Spoilers aside, in Genshin Impact’s story quest, we see how Zhongli was supporting people. Him being a protector where with a great elemental finisher tracks. The fact that someone would need to spend a lot of time and Mora to make him worthwhile is an amusing thought too, considering he’s broke and others foot the bill for his expensive tastes. Someone could make him work, even if he isn’t as immediately all-purpose as someone like Klee or overwhelmingly good like Diluc. You’re just stuck taking care of him.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pull for Genshin Impact’s Zhongli if you genuinely love the character or the story. What I am saying is, think about it, look at his moveset, take part in the in-game test run (and get its Primogems), and get feedback from fellow players you trust. He isn’t an instant and immediate hit like some of the other more obvious characters, like Childe, Diluc, Keqing, Klee, Qiqi, and Venti. Rather, he’s probably the first five-star whose banner you might want to skip.

Genshin Impact is available for the PlayStation 4, PC, and both Android and Apple iOS devices. The Genshin Impact Zhongli, Xinyan, Razor, and Chongyun banner will run until December 22, 2020.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.