How to Play Xiao in Genshin Impact

BY TED

Ted

Writer and Storywriter

PUBLISHED 6 MONTHS AGO

Xiao is one of the illuminated beasts of Liyue, also known as the adepti. He may have the appearance of a young man, but Xiao has already lived more than two thousand years and is a formidable senior among the adepti.

How to Play Xiao in Genshin Impact

Before being heralded as the Conqueror of Demons and becoming one of the five foremost yakshas, this adeptus was held puppet by an evil god. It forced him to perform cruel and violent acts. During the Archon War, he was liberated by Morax, the Geo Archon who gave him the name “Xiao.”

Xiao did not become one of those deities to whom people pray for wealth and protection, nor did he become a mystical sage to whom pilgrims flock in search of divine wisdom. Xiao protects Liyue from the remnants of the defeated gods from the Archon War.

Gods are immortal, and even though Rex Lapis has defeated them, their power and hatred will always remain and spread like poison, relentlessly stirring chaos in the world. Xiao fights this war – a war that can never be won and will never end. It is also an invisible war that no one will ever witness or thank him for.

How to Get Xiao

Xiao is a 5-star character that can only be obtained by making wishes on a time-limited Character Wish Banner. This banner features a special 5-star character if that character is involved in the game’s current contents, like story quests and events.

As of the writing of this guide, Xiao has already had two banner reruns, making it a total of three banners where you could have made wishes to obtain a copy of this character.

To learn more about acquiring characters in Genshin Impact, please see our guide here.

Team Role and Party Composition

Main Damage-Dealer or DPS Character

Xiao is designed and will always be a DPS character or the one that deals damage to the opponent—an offense-type character. His kit even requires him to be on the field most of the time, so even randomly switching to your other characters may disrupt and cancel the effects of some of his talents.

As a DPS character, the other characters that should be in Xiao’s party can be both DPS and Support types. For support characters, healer and shield makers are suggested. The best healer to be paired with him is Jean due to her elemental skill that can be spammed, making her work, not just as a healer but also as a battery for Xiao and help him quickly gather Anemo elemental particles.

For a shielder, all characters that provide shield work well with Xiao. So far, Zhongli and Noelle have created the strongest shields against all elements; therefore, having them in Xiao’s party is a good choice. Thoma, Xinyan, and Diona can also take up the role of shielder in Xiao’s party.

Mona and Bennett, who both can increase the overall damage output of the team with their elemental burst talents, are also good support for Xiao.

Talents and Play Styles

Combat Talents

Normal Attack: Whirlwind Thrust

Xiao can perform up to 6 consecutive strikes with his spear with this talent. Holding down the button for this talent will make Xiao do a charged upward thrust that deals greater damage, but it will consume a certain amount of Stamina.

When this attack is used from mid-air, Xiao will plunge to strike the ground below. This will damage the opponents along the path and deal AOE damage upon impact. As of the writing, Xiao is the only character in Genshin Impact who does not take damage from performing plunging attacks.

Elemental Skill: Lemniscatic Wind Cycling

Using this talent will have Xiao lunge forward to deal Anemo damage to opponents in his path. This elemental skill starts with 2 charges and can be used mid-air.

Lemniscatic Wind Cycling can also be used in traversing or moving from one spot to another when used mid-air. This can also be used after a jump so that a low plunging attack can follow it for additional combo damage.

Elemental Burst: Bane of All Evil

When his elemental burst is used, Xiao will don his Yaksha Mask that set gods and demons trembling millennia ago. And in this state, Xiao’s jumping ability is significantly increased, as well as his attack AOE and attack damage.

The Yaksha Mask also converts Xiao’s attacks to deal Anemo damage, which any other element infusion cannot override. However, while the Yaksha Mask is on, Xiao will continuously lose HP, and the effects of this state will end once Ciao leaves the field.

While in the state of having the Yaksha Mask on, making plunging attacks is the best way to deal the greatest damage against opponents. Plunging attacks are easy to do in this state, thanks to the increased jumping ability.

It is recommended that Xiao has full HP before using his elemental burst. It would also be safer to have a shielder in his party and create a shield around him first before using the Bane of All Evil.

Passive Talents

Conqueror of Evil: Tamer of Demons

With this passive talent unlocked, Xiao’s damage with opponents while in the effects of his elemental burst Bane of All Evil is increased by 5%. For every 3 seconds that the ability persists, Xiao’s damage is further increased by 5%, with a maximum of 25% damage bonus.

This talent suggests that Xiao should stay on the field up to the last second of Bane of All Evil for him to do the greatest damage he can.

Dissolution Eon: Heaven Fall

This passive talent enhances the damage of the Lemniscatic Wind Cycle. Whenever Xiao uses the elemental skill, the damage of the subsequent uses of the elemental skill will be increased by 15% for 7 seconds and has a maximum stack of 3. When a new stack is gained, the 7-second duration of this effect refreshes.

This effect suggests that after using the Lemniscatic Wind Cycle, it should be used again within 7 seconds for the succeeding use to have more significant damage.

Transcension: Gravity Defier

This is Xiao’s utility passive talent and is readily unlocked at character level 1. When Xiao is in the party, this passive talent decreases the climbing Stamina consumption of all the party members. This is a very useful effect when exploring the world of Teyvat, especially in regions where you need to climb up structures and land formations.

However, this effect cannot be stacked with other passive talents that provide the same effects.

Constellation: Alatus Nemeseos

Constellation level 1: Dissolution Eon: Destroyer of Worlds

Unlocking this constellation level will grant Xiao one additional charge to his elemental skill Lemniscatic Wind Cycling. You can then use the skill three times in a row.

Constellation level 2: Annihilation Eon: Blossom of Kaleidos

Xiao’s second constellation level increases his Energy Recharge by 25% whenever he is at the party but not on the field.

This effect is perfect with another Anemo character in Xiao’s party. He can quickly build up energy and have his elemental burst ready for use in just a short time interval.

Constellation level 3: Conqueror of Evil: Wrath Deity

Conqueror of Evil: Wrath Deity, Xiao’s third constellation level, increases the level of his elemental skill by 3 and upgrades its maximum level from 10 to 15.

Constellation level 4: Transcension: Extinction of Suffering

With Xiao’s fourth constellation unlocked, he will gain a 100% Defense Bonus when his HP falls below 50%. This effect is perfect when Xiao dons his Yaksha Mask while doing his elemental burst because the longer he stays in the Bane of All Evil state, the more he gains a damage bonus. Still, he will continuously lose HP, and Transcension: Extinction of Suffering will reduce the damage he takes.

Constellation level 5: Evolution Eon: Origin of Ignorance

Unlocking Xiao’s fifth constellation level, Evolution Eon: Origin of Ignorance, will increase the level of his elemental burst and upgrade its maximum level from 10 to 15.

Constellation level 6: Conqueror of Evil: Guardian Yaksha

Xiao’s final constellation level will enhance his elemental skill while under the effects of his elemental burst.

With this constellation unlocked, while Xiao is under the effects of Bane of All Evil, hitting at least 2 opponents with his plunging attack will immediately grant him 1 charge of Lemniscatic Wind Cycling. For the next 1 second, Xiao may use the elemental skill again while ignoring its cool-down time.

How to Build Xiao

Anemo DPS

As a DPS character, your main goal in building Xiao is to increase his overall output damage. Given the nature of his talents, you should increase his Anemo elemental damage first because his playstyle involves spamming his elemental skill and elemental burst as much as you can.

Xiao’s hidden ascension stat is Critical Rate, making it easy to reach a decent amount of 70% for more consistent critical hits. After that, you can build around 2,000 ATK for him and focus on Critical damage.

The physical damage bonus is a big no for Xiao; this is because when he is in the state of Bane of All Evil—his elemental burst—all his attacks will be converted to deal Anemo elemental damage, rendering the Physical damage bonus useless.

Weapon: Polearm

5-Star Polearms

Primordial Jade Winged-Spear

The Primordial Jade Winged-Spear (PJWS) is the best weapon for Xiao and is considered his BiS (best in slot) weapon. It is the most flexible polearm for characters that lean towards being a damage dealer.

With Xiao’s playstyle, which is high speed normal, charged, and plunging attack combos, he will easily trigger the maximum stack of the PJWS’s passive effect. Since the secondary of the PJWS is the Critical Rate bonus, having this weapon will be easy to build the decent amount needed for consistent critical hits.

Staff of Homa

This 5-star polearm has a secondary stat of Critical Damage, which will easily increase the overall output of any DPS character.

The Staff of Homa’s passive effect increases the character’s HP by at least 20% and provides an ATK bonus based on the weapon user’s max HP. Another effect is that if the character’s remaining HP is below 50%, the ATK bonus will be increased by an additional percentage of the character’s max HP.

Because Bane of All Evil continuously reduces Xiao’s HP in its duration, the maximum effect of the Staff of Homa will be triggered.

Calamity Queller

With this weapon’s secondary stat, Xiao’s maximum ATK will be greatly increased, and his elemental damage will also be increased by 12%. This makes this a great option for a DPS polearm-type character.

As part of this polearm’s passive effect, every time Xiao uses his elemental skill, he will obtain the Consummation, which will increase his ATK by 3.2% for 20 seconds. Consummation can be stacked up to 6 times, and with 6 seconds cooldown of Xiao’s elemental skill, the maximum stack of Consummation can be obtained.

4-Star Polearms

Deathmatch

This Battle Pass polearm is known for the high Critical Rate bonus it gives as a secondary stat. It can provide 36.8% Critical Rate at weapon level 90, much higher than the 22.1% that the Primordial Jade Winged-Spear gives.

This polearm can provide the highest possible Critical Rate from any polearm and can be considered as the 4-star version of the Primordial Jade Winged-Spear. It is a good alternative to a 5-star polearm if you are willing to spend real money and purchase the game’s Battle Pass.

Blackcliff Pole

The Blackcliff Pole is one of the best 4-star options for a DPS polearm user because its secondary stat gives Critical Damage Bonus. It also provides more attack bonus when the character using this weapon defeats an enemy.

With Xiao’s fast attacks and easy-to-spam elemental skill, using the Blackcliff Pole in situations with smaller and weaker enemies will maximize the weapon’s features.

This 4-star polearm can only be obtained by exchanging Masterless Starglitters in the Paimon’s Bargains shop.

Lithic Spear

This polearm is one of the 4-star weapons designed for characters hailing from the Geo nation. It has a secondary stat of ATK% Bonus and a passive effect that increases the weapon wielder’s ATK and Critical Rate by specific percentages for every character in the party from Liyue. This passive effect can be stacked up to 4 times.

Since Xiao himself is a character from Liyue, a single stack of Lithic Spear’s passive effect will be activated. The best way to maximize this weapon’s potential is to have other characters from Liyue in Xiao’s party. You can have Zhongli or Xhinyan as shield makers, Qiqi as his healer, and Xingqiu or Yun Jin as damage supports.

Wavebreaker

This polearm also gives ATK% as its secondary stat, and it has a passive effect that increases the damage of the weapon user’s elemental burst based on the maximum energy capacity of the party. For every point of the entire party’s combined energy capacity, at least a 0.12% increase in elemental burst damage is granted, and a maximum of 40% damage bonus can be achieved.

Royal Spear

ATK% is also the secondary stat of the Royal Spear. Its passive effect will increase the character’s Critical Rate when dealing damage to an opponent, and a maximum of 5 stacks of this bonus can be gained. However, if the character triggers a critical hit, all stacks of the Critical Rate bonus will be removed.

Prototype Starglitter

This polearm is a decent weapon for Xiao, especially when you cannot get any of the ones listed above. This can be obtained by crafting with the town smithy as long as you have the necessary materials.

This weapon’s secondary stat is Energy Recharge which can help Xiao spam his elemental burst. The passive effect of this weapon increases the normal and charged attack of the character after using an elemental skill. This effect can be stacked up to 2 times.

Since Xiao’s elemental skill, Lemniscatic wind Cycling has an initial charge of 2; you can easily trigger the maximum stack of Prototype Starglitter’s passive effect.

Artifacts for Xiao

Vermillion Hereafter

The 2-piece set of this artifact gives an 18% ATK bonus. With the 4-piece set, aside from the ATK% bonus, after the character uses an elemental burst, this character will gain the Nascent Light effect that increases ATK by 8% for 16 seconds.

When the character’s HP decreases, their ATK will increase by 10%. This further increase can be triggered once every 0.8 seconds and can be stacked up to 4 times. Nascent Light will be dispelled when the character leaves the field, and if an elemental burst is used again during its duration, the original Nascent Light will be dispelled and replaced by a new stack.

The way Xiao’s elemental burst works will trigger the maximum effect of this artifact set.

Gladiator’s Finale

This artifact set is probably designed to fit characters with a playstyle similar to Xiao’s. Equipping him with 4 pieces of this artifact set will not only increase his ATK by 18% but will further increase the damage of his normal attacks by 35%.

After using his elemental burst, Xiao’s attacks will be converted to Anemo, and he can then do normal, charged, and plunging attacks that deal Anemo damage. With the 4-piece set of the Gladiator’s Finale, Xiao’s Anemo attack damage will be enhanced.

Shimenawa’s Reminiscence

Since Xiao’s playstyle involves a lot of normal, charged, and plunging attacks, the 4-piece set of this artifact can be a good choice.

Aside from the 18% increase in Xiao’s ATK, when he has 15 or more energy, she will lose 15 more energy after using an elemental skill, but the damage of his normal, charged, and plunging attacks will be increased by 50% for 10 seconds.

Echoes of an Offering

The 2-piece set of this artifact, like the two above, gives an 18% ATK bonus. If a 4-piece set is equipped, when normal character attacks hit opponents, there is a 36% chance that it will trigger the Valley Rite buff. This buff will increase the normal attack damage by 70% of the character’s ATK.

With Xiao’s play style involving normal attack combos, triggering the Valley Rite buff will not be a problem.

Combination of 2-Piece Artifact Sets

Viridescent Venerer

The 2-piece set of this artifact gives 15% Anemo damage bonus, which is good for Xiao, given that his attacks will be converted to deal Anemo elemental damage after using his elemental burst. However, equipping only 2 pieces is the recommended option, and using 4 pieces is not ideal for Xiao’s kit and build.

You can also combine 2-piece sets of Gladiator’s Finale, Shimenawa’s Reminiscence, Echoes of an Offering, and Vermillion Hereafter with the 2-piece Viridescent Venerer or with each other because each can provide an 18% increase in ATK, which is still decent for Xiao.

Artifact Parts’ Main Stat

Make sure to have a Goblet of Eonothem with Anemo Damage Bonus as its main stat for Xiao. You can then choose to have either Critical Rate or Critical Damage Bonus for the Circlet of Logos.

Character Ascension

The last Yaksha can be ascended up to 6 phases to reach the maximum character level, 90. When a character is ascended to certain phases, passive talents and special ascension stats will also be unlocked.

Ascension Materials for Xiao

Mora: 420,000

Juvenile Jade: 46

A Juvenile Jade is a dull crystal that contains the potential of vishaps to become a dragon. It is a crystalline substance that is precipitated within the bodies of vishaps. It is told in Liyue folklore that the vishaps will gather power over many years and after which the crystal will replace their original heart, turning them into a true dragon.

These dull crystals can be obtained by defeating the Primo Geovishap in its cavern in Tianqiu Valley.

Qingxin: 168

A translucent white flower that can only grow on the highest stone peaks of the Geo nation, this Liyue local specialty is commonly found in Minlin and Wuwang Hill.

Vayuda Turquoise

These are mineral crystals that can be obtained from boss enemies that manipulate the Anemo element. Boss enemies include the Anemo Hypostasis, Stormterror Dvalin, the Maguu Kenki, and Azhdaha.

You can also get these from quest and commission rewards, as well as by crafting them using the ones with lower rarity level.

You will need 1 Vayuda Turquoise Sliver, 9 Vayuda Turquoise Fragments, 9 Vayuda Turquoise Chunks, and 6 Vayuda Turquoise Gemstones.

Slime Condensate, Secretions, and Concentrate

These are the stuff you get from all types of Slimes when you defeat them. These are essences with slightly different properties after undergoing a few processing. The Slime Secretions and Slime Concentrates can be crafted via the crafting bench in the city.

The amount needed for each are as follows: Slime Condensate: 18; Slime Secretions: 30; Slime Concentrate: 36.

Ascension Phases

Ascension Phase 1

This first ascension will be done after the character reaches level 20, and they cannot proceed to the next level without ascending to the next phase. The character level cap will be increased to 40, and Xiao’s first passive talent, Conqueror of Evil: Tamer of Demons, will be unlocked.

Materials: Mora – 20,000; Vayuda Turquoise Sliver – 1; Qingxin– 3; Slime Condensate – 3

Unlocked Talent: Conqueror of Evil: Tamer of Demons (1st Passive Talent)

Ascension Phase 2

Ascension Phase 2 can be reached at character level 40 and will increase the character level cap to 50. After this ascension, the character’s talents can now be upgraded or leveled up. Xiao will also unlock a special ascension stat on this phase, which is the Critical Rate Bonus of 4.8%.

Materials: Mora – 40,000; Vayuda Turquoise Fragments – 3; Qingxin– 10; Slime Condensate – 15; Juvenile Jade – 2;

Unlocked Special Stat: 4.8% Critical Rate Bonus

Unlocked Feature: Allows leveling combat talents from 1 to 2

Ascension Phase 3

After reaching level 50, Xiao can be ascended to ascension phase 3, increasing his character level cap to 60. The 3rd ascension phase will also double the Critical Rate Bonus special stat from 4.8% to 9.6%. Additionally, Xiao’s combat talents can increase up to level 4.

Materials: Mora – 60,000; Vayuda Turquoise Fragments – 6; Qingxin– 20; Slime Secretions – 12; Juvenile Jade – 4;

Unlocked Stat: Critical Rate Bonus increased from 4.8% to 9.6%

Unlocked Feature: Allows leveling combat talents from 2 to 4

Ascension Phase 4

At level 60, you can ascend Xiao to ascension phase 4 and upgrade his character level cap to 70. After ascending, you will unlock his second Passive Talent called Dissolution Eon: Heaven Fall, and all his Combat Talents can then be leveled up to 6.

Materials: Mora – 80,000; Vayuda Turquoise Chunks – 3; Qingxin– 30; Slime Secretions – 18; Juvenile Jade – 8;

Unlocked Feature: Allows leveling combat talents from 4 to 6

Unlocked Talent: Dissolution Eon: Heaven Fall (2nd Passive Talent)

Ascension Phase 5

The 5th ascension phase can be reached when Xiao is at level 70, and ascending will increase his character level cap to 80. His special ascension stat, Critical Rate Bonus, will be increased to 14.4% at this phase. Xiao’s combat talents will also have an upgrade to their level cap from 6 to 8.

Materials: Mora – 100,000; Vayuda Turquoise Chunks – 6; Qingxin– 45; Slime Concentrate – 12; Juvenile Jade – 12;

Unlocked Stat: Critical Rate Bonus increased from 9.6% to 14.4%

Unlocked Feature: Allows leveling combat talents from 6 to 8

Ascension Phase 6

Xiao’s final ascension phase is at level 80, and it will increase his character level cap to 90. His special ascension stat, the Critical Rate Bonus, will be increased to 19.2%, and his Combat Talents can now be upgraded to the maximum level of 10.

Materials: Mora – 120,000; Vayuda Turquoise Gemstones – 6; Qingxin– 60; Slime Concentrate – 24; Juvenile Jade – 20;

Unlocked Stat: Critical Rate Bonus increased from 14.4% to 19.2%

Unlocked Feature: Allows leveling combat talents from 8 to 10

Talent Level-Up Materials for Xiao

Building a character includes increasing the level of their combat talents, and each level will require certain items as materials for the leveling up process.

Aside from Mora and Slime excretions, leveling up Xiao’s combat talents will also need a few Shadow of the Warrior.

The Shadow of the Warrior was a fragment of the power of the Eleventh Harbinger when he unleashed the might of his Delusion. This item can be obtained when you defeat Tartaglia, AKA Childe, in the challenge of the Golden House Trounce Domain.

The talent books you will need for Xiao to master his combat capabilities are the ones of the “Prosperity” series, which you can obtain from the Taishan Mansion Domain of Mastery: Altar of Flames in Jueyun Karst, Liyue.

These books include the Teachings of Prosperity, Guide to Prosperity, and the Philosophies of Prosperity. The last two can be crafted using the crafting bench in the town.

Crown of Insight

Leveling a combat talent up from level 9 to 10 will need a Crown of Insight, a special item that can only be obtained as a reward from the game’s events.

Mora: 1,652,500

Slime Condensate: 6

Slime Secretions: 22

Slime Concentrate: 31

Teachings of Prosperity: 3

Guide to Prosperity: 21

Philosophies of Prosperity: 38

Shadow of the Warrior: 6

Crown of Insight: 1

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