The fact that you can only get one raises more questions for me, because how can you just craft one of them, when you can eventually craft at least one of each weapon type?
- Between the Prototype Archaic and Whiteblind, I would recommend Prototype Archaic if you want to destroy more enemies faster, while I would recommend Whiteblind if durability is more of a concern (Whiteblind works best with Noelle and Xinyan).
- As I tend to build characters that are naturally tank-y anyway, I tend to pick Prototype Archaic. But as mentioned, with Noelle (who can use DEF for healing and shield durability) and Xinyan (who can use DEF for damage output), Whiteblind works well too.
- As a side note, given that there are a couple of really good 3-star and 4-star claymores out there, I actually recommend trying out the Skyrider Greatsword (3-star) that’s in the Guyun Stone Forest, or the Snow-Tombed Starsilver Claymore (4-star) in Dragonspine and seeing if they suit your fancy.
- It might seem ridiculous for me to recommend a 3-star weapon, but honestly I’ve given it to my 50/50 Razor with a 50/50 upgrade level, and then compared it with a Prototype Archaic that’s 50/50, as well as a Snow-Tombed Starsilver Claymore, the damage isn’t so far off as to not consider it as a tolerable substitute while you don’t have the resources for it.
- Between Prototype Amber and Mappa Mare, I would recommend Prototype Amber if you want extra healing from Barbara OR if you want your catalyst users to do a bit of side healing (which is what my Sucrose does). Mappa Mare ideally works with those who want to take advantage of elemental mastery and elemental reactions, and do more damage overall (again, Sucrose takes the cake on this one, since her skills cover a wide area of effect, easily triggers the Swirl reaction regardless of element [which can add even more damage], and at constellation 1 can be spammed twice in quick succession).
- I think the only catalyst user I wouldn’t recommend either one on would be Ningguang because she’s a Geo catalyst user with a heck of a lot of offense [Crystallize doesn’t really add much to damage until you get the 4-piece set of Archaic Petra, and even then it’s kinda meh because it only affects elements that can be Crystallized… meaning it helps as a support for Pyro, Cryo, Hydro, and Electro characters, not Ningguang herself]. Instead, I’d recommend Twin Nephrite (3-star) or Solar Pearl (4-star, from the Gnostic Hymn) so you can equip a Crit DMG headpiece artifact for her and see the crits rain.
- Between Prototype Starglitter and Crescent Pike, the only time I’d recommend Prototype Starglitter is if your character is going to be primarily support — like if you’re just going to just pop out Xiangling or Zhongli (the only two polearm users at the moment) to bring out their skill/burst attack and then switch back to someone else. If you want DPS for your spear user, then Crescent Pike it is.
Now let’s assume that you have all prototype materials for them, but don’t have time to farm all the ores needed, so you can only craft one of those (or let’s say that you don’t have enough Geo sigils to buy more than one prototype in Liyue). My question would then be, “who are you crafting this for?” Because without knowing your team composition or your current gear, I could end up giving you the wrong piece of advice and make it difficult for you to craft any of these.
Without any information at all about your team comp or current gear, I am left with only guesswork, so the following is advice you can take at your own risk:
I am biased towards Prototype Amber because keeping the team alive is always useful regardless of who you give it to. Prototype Archaic isn’t far behind because it’s good regardless of who you give it to, but again there are free options in the game that make not choosing it not too big an issue. Same with the polearms: even if you don’t get either one, there’s always the Dragonspine Spear (which does require the polearm prototype, but if you’re including Crescent Pike & Prototype Starglitter I must assume that you already have one; if not, just complete the Frostbearing Tree’s wishes and you’ll eventually get one).
Overall, it’s really hard to get the “wrong” weapon crafted; just figure out who your main DPS character would be, who would benefit from what you’re crafting, and what you could do if later down the line you want to replace said characters with new members in your roster.