Genshin Impact: Every Polearm User, Ranked

Split image of Rosaria, Thoma smiling, Raiden with purple yes, & Zhongli in Genshin Impact.

The Polearm is one of Genshin Impact\’s weapon types that provides a middle ground between the claymore and the sword. Though it currently has the least amount of characters, the announcement of Shenhe and Yunjin promises to add some variety to an already impressive lineup.

Almost every Polearm user is considered one of the strongest Genshin characters, with Hu Tao, Raiden, and Zhongli in particular often considered the best at their particular roles. Deciding which one to invest in can be difficult, especially for those who prefer free-to-play characters or players trying to decide who should get the precious Staff of Homa. And while many in the current Genshin roster are worth adding to a party, the overall utility of some characters is slightly more valuable than others.

7 Rosaria

Rosaria stands out not only because of her mysterious persona and \”goth nun\” aesthetic but also for currently being the only Cryo Polearm in Genshin. Rosaria shines with her Burst, which does AOE Cryo damage even while Rosaria is off-field. The attack\’s wide range can apply Cryo to a group of enemies, setting up multi-target elemental reactions. This makes Rosaria especially useful for crowd control, but her real utility comes with the Crit Rate buff she gives to the rest of her team. As Crit Rate can be a difficult stat to build, having easy access to a Rate increase can be indispensable.

Rosaria\’s Skill is a flashy two-hit backstab that deals Cryo damage and instantly puts the character in close range to the enemy, which can be useful for a team centering on close-range attacks and effects. However, the positioning of her Skill is not always ideal and can be difficult to use effectively, and it doesn\’t work at all against larger enemies like Ruin Hunters or bosses. This can limit Rosaria\’s overall effectiveness and drive players towards alternative Cryo characters.

6 Thoma

Thoma is an excellent Pyro Shield, a role that perfectly suits his love of caretaking. Thoma\’s strength lies in his ability to indefinitely maintain his shields if his Skill and Burst are timed correctly, providing his team with a consistent layer of protection–with a bonus resistance to Pyro damage. His shields also stack when refreshed with his Skill/Burst, adding its remaining \”health\” to the newly generated shield. Blazing Barrier\’s maximum Damage Absorption is based on Thoma\’s Max HP, meaning that, if built correctly, Thoma can generate some impressively powerful shields.

Thoma is hindered by his low base attack and abysmal damage scaling, which prevents him from ever fitting an offensive role. This doesn\’t diminish his utility as a shield Support, but it does make him less versatile. His more significant weakness is the high energy cost of his Burst, making it necessary to provide Thoma with plenty of Energy Recharge in order to maximize his shield uptime. This is far from impossible to accomplish, but it does mean Thoma is more heavily reliant on good artifact builds than some other characters.

5 Xiangling

Xiangling is a Pyro character offered for free with the completion of Floor 3-3 of the Spiral Abyss, which is appropriate considering her place as a mainstay in many Abyss team compositions. She has some of the fastest attacks in the game, giving her great mobility and making it easier to pull of combos. Her Burst is her real highlight, making her one of Genshin\’s best Pyro characters for enabling powerful reactions from off-field.

While Guoba does great AOE damage and his wide Pyro spread gives great opportunities for reactions, especially because he remains even while Xiangling is off-field, he can be difficult to control. His placement is often finicky, which can present some trouble when trying to perform chain reactions or focus on a specific target. He also easily lights the environment on fire, which can hurt the active character. Despite this, Xiangling\’s status as a free character with a powerful off-field Burst justifies her place as a cornerstone of the Spiral Abyss meta.

4 Xiao

Xiao is not only one of Genshin Impact\’s best characters but he is also an excellent Anemo DPS, boasting the highest base attack in Genshin and a versatile and unique playstyle. His Skill\’s dash attack grants him some of the best mobility in the game and can be used to close in on enemies, dodge at high speeds, chain plunge attacks from the ground, and in exploration as an air-dash or for easier climbing. The flexibility of his dash coupled with his base speed makes him capable of easy combos and excellent crowd control.

Xiao is especially notable for working well without much investment from a team to support him (tragically appropriate considering his backstory), and can do consistently high damage without relying on elemental reactions. His incredibly cool burst is a great source of AOE damage, boosting his already high Attack damage, applying Anemo to his normals, and giving him a massive buff to jump height for even stronger plunge attacks. It does do HP drain over time, which can be tricky to manage during combat. He also has, unfortunately, yet to be rerun, remaining an elusive Anemo powerhouse.

3 Raiden

The Electro Archon has a kit unique and impressive enough to suit her power and position, offering both high on and off-field Electro damage, Burst damage buffs, and incredible energy production for her team. While there are a lot of good \”batteries\” in Genshin, no one can outdo Raiden when it comes to charging her team\’s Bursts. Raiden\’s Skill deals AOE Electro damage in a coordinated attack with the active character, constantly providing an opportunity for elemental reactions, and gives a damage buff to their Bursts–perfectly enabling Burst-oriented characters.

Aside from her unmatched energy production, Raiden\’s kit is particularly impressive for its synergy. She buffs and recharges her party\’s Bursts, allowing them to be used more often and with a stronger payoff, and each Burst buffs her own Musou Shinsetsu. This even works in co-op, giving Raiden easy access to huge Burst damage pretty regularly. She does require more field time than some other Supports in order to fully maximize her energy production, but her personal damage output is solid and the Musou no Hitotachi sword technique is cool enough to be well worth it.

2 Hu Tao

Hu Tao is arguably the best DPS in Genshin Impact and is well known for her massive damage output and impressive base stats. She has the highest base HP and second-highest Defense, receives a significant bonus to Crit Damage with Ascensions, and offers a Crit Rate buff to her party. Her high HP provides a considerable damage bonus to her Skill and can easily be further boosted with artifacts. Even the health cut taken by her Skill pays off in the form of a Pyro damage buff when she\’s under 50% HP, letting her easily stack damage bonuses.

Hu Tao makes the most of elemental reactions, providing a baseline of high Pyro damage that can result in huge Vaporize or Melt damage with relative ease. Known as a \”high investment\” DPS, Hu Tao works best with certain Genshin characters and requires teams specifically designed around assisting with HP management and enabling elemental reactions. However, considering her superior damage threshold and combat abilities, she more than justifies some special attention.

1 Zhongli

Zhongli received a significant buff to his abilities after players noted that he didn\’t seem as powerful as he should be, and he emerged in the 1.3 update with an entirely revitalized kit. The new Zhongli was not only much stronger but quickly solidified himself as the best Shield Support in Genshin Impact. So far he\’s remained on his throne, providing a shield unmatched in durability and convenience, significant AOE Geo Damage, exploration benefits, and a debuff to enemy resistances.

Zhongli\’s Jade Shield is incredibly powerful for how simple it is to use–requiring no complicated stacking or even particularly well-built artifact sets. It has great base Damage Absorption, and the cooldown on his Skill is low enough that the shield can easily be maintained indefinitely. The protection this provides is one of the best Quality of Life boosts in Genshin, making boss fights and difficult combat much less intimidating. Zhongli\’s overall utility can not be understated, with even just the security offered by his shield alone making him incredibly valuable. When all his other abilities are taken into account, it\’s clear that his reputation is well-earned.

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