Spiral Abyss (Floors 9-12)

Introduction

The higher levels of the Spiral Abyss are, for most players, the final frontier of Genshin Impact in the non-event single-player realm of the game left to be conquered. They present arguably the greatest point of contention for most, as well as a constantly-changing landscape of how the challenges are designed in terms of advantageous strategies.

Since Floors 9 through 12 of the Spiral Abyss change regularly, we thought it may be helpful for some to have a guide of general principles that can be used to overcome the Spiral Abyss’s toughest offerings, as opposed to a list of “absolutes” for overcoming the Abyss – since those “absolutes” are going to change regularly, and the general principles are actually more valuable as a whole.

In this discussion, we’ll take a look at some of the ins and outs of the Spiral Abyss’s cloudy end, approaches you can apply that can help you overcome it, and a general mentality to have in viewing it in the first place.

Core Mechanics

Upon analysis of all the iterations of the Spiral Abyss’s Floors 9 – 12 since Genshin Impact’s release, an observation that can be made is that Mihoyo tends to construct the intrinsic buff and playstyle mechanics for these floors around whatever the “flavor of the week” is with regard to the current or previous Limited Run Banners. In other words, you will be notedly more advantaged towards victory in the Abyss if you are able to obtain the characters/weapons in those banners, and play towards their more prominent mechanics.

Another point to touch on is that the Abyss at this stage is intended for high AR players, such as AR50 and beyond, and it’s not unheard of for players in the AR55-60 ballpark to have considerable difficulty defeating it. The author of this article is at AR55 at the time of this writing, and has never fully beaten the Abyss, although other members of the Sons of Dvalin play community have.

When you combine both of these principles together in tandem, it’s fairly understandable that there would be a number of people in the player community as a whole that spend little effort towards defeating the Abyss’s higher levels; it’s simply too far out of easy reach for many.

In a similar vein, the mechanics and characters that were well-utilized in previous iterations of the Abyss are likely to not be as relevant in the current iteration – meaning that if you were able to clear the Spiral Abyss effortlessly beforehand, it isn’t a “given” that you’ll be able to repeat the same thing now in the current iteration.

As a general guideline, we’ve assembled six principles of thought that will aid in overcoming the higher tiers of the Spiral Abyss, regardless of whatever mechanics are the “flavor of the week” for Mihoyo in building out its current iteration. They are listed in order of importance.

1. Place Strong Emphasis on Each Party’s Core Damage Dealer(s)

The biggest enemy you’ll tend to face in the Spiral Abyss is how quickly you can manage to defeat each enemy set, and having an extremely stacked, farmed 5-star damage dealer in your party for each side is a must. This criterium is actually so critical that if you’re unable to meet it, our recommendation would be to set lower expectations for your current Abyss run, if not holding off on it entirely.

General parameters for a core damage dealer would be:

  • Character Rarity: 5-star
  • Character Level: 80 (90 is preferred)
  • Weapon Level: 80 (90 is preferred)
  • Talent Levels: 6 (8 is preferred)
  • Equipment Buildout: Moderately-Honed

In terms of explaining the reasoning here, 5-star characters have an 8% increase in overall stat progression when compared to their 4-star equivalents in similar roles, as well as generally higher scaling on their skill percentages and damage potential. Character Level weighs in prominently to the math on things like Physical DMG dealt and elemental reaction DMG. Weapon ATK stat directly fuels your character’s base ATK stat, and having more is always better because your character’s entire kit scales off of it. Talent Levels provide greater damage, and lower cooldowns in some cases. Equipment buildout needs to be on-point from a primary stat perspective, and somewhat on-point for secondary stats.

For your party build, it’s advised to place at least 75% of the party’s total damage output in the hands of your main damage dealer, and scale their farm and buildout up to the point where they can rise to this need if they aren’t there already. The remainder of your party is then going to be “fire support” for this character in terms of healing/shields to keep them alive, elemental damage setup into combos, buffs/debuffs, and LCP (Lockdown / Control / Positioning).

This will require much heavier build prioritization and maximizing than you’d likely ever need in tackling the lion’s share of everything else Genshin Impact will place in front of you to overcome. The bar is raised in the Abyss – you’re in the big leagues now – and you’re going to need “big league” damage on tap.

2. Have a Wide Array of Leveled Characters to Pull From

While your core damage dealer is less subject to change due to fewer limitations being placed on them throughout the entirety of Floors 9 – 12, the squad complement for them is likely going to be alternated to a degree between floors to provide better means of overcoming different enemy shields, tackling specific concerns (sometimes literally!), etc.

This concern is normally addressed by having the stronger half of your overall character pool at a minimum of Level 70, and a few ‘extra’ artifact and weapon sets in reserve to give them a generic buildout to provide assistance on demand. Energy Recharge, Elemental Mastery, and Healing/Shielding mechanics tend to be fairly valuable here.

In most instances, depending on who your core damage dealer is, you likely already have a good idea of what mechanics synergize well with theirs and what other characters naturally contribute to their kits and gameplan, and you’ve planned around having at least one of them in the squad as well. That character is going to likely be somewhat static, and that’s great – but the remainder of the team complement is going to move around somewhat.

3. Prey Heavily Upon Enemies’ Inherent Weaknesses

Since you’ve looked through the enemies list ahead of time for each Floor of the Spiral Abyss before you took it on, you know what you’re going to be up against, as well as have a working knowledge of what naturally bodes well against them.

If you’re fighting Dendro Slimes? Use Pyro on them extensively. If you’re fighting large groups of medium-sized enemies? Consider an Anemo mechanic for crowd control. If you’re fighting a Ruin Hunter? Plan on having an archer to cripple its offensive capabilities.

In a similar vein to surveying your enemies and structuring your approach to dealing with them, also weigh the Leyline buffs/debuffs of the Floor. Is a specific mechanic going to be buffed? Strongly consider placing emphasis on that buff, then – because it’s a free power multiplier for the fight.

The additional passive effect that this mentality has is that it’ll increase the speed with which you can overcome the enemies in front of you. Time is a valuable commodity in the Abyss, and having a reserve of it available is a powerful ally.

4. Diversified Elemental Damage Is Key

Elemental damage is going to fundamentally scale better for battles in the Spiral Abyss’s higher floors, especially when your characters are outleveled by the enemy beyond what you can accommodate in terms of character progression.

As an example for this, if you’re running a Level 80 core damage dealer against Floor 12’s enemies, you’re going to be losing an average of 55% of your Physical Damage output potential to the enemy’s Physical DEF, and there’s little you can do to mitigate that aspect of things.

Elemental damage not only provides a scaling solution past this inherent limitation, but also the setups needed for elemental combo reactions and effects that may prove extremely useful in AoE damage, crowd control, shield dissolution, etc.

Diversification of damage also tends to be needed whenever the Fatui are involved in the Spiral Abyss due to the disparity present in what kinds of shields they run for defense – and the Fatui always seem to find their way into the Abyss in one fashion or another.

5. LCP Makes Difficult “Crowd Control” Fights Much Simpler

Lockdown, control, and positioning tend to be fairly pinch mechanics in terms of grouping enemies together for large-scale damage or in keeping them off of an objective you need to defend.

The Anemo Traveler, Sucrose, and Venti (as of Patch 1.4) are obvious picks for the crowd control and Swirl damage that they contribute to fights. Venti, in particular, has a kit that’s unlike any other character’s kit in the game – and he has terrifying amounts of lockdown at his disposal on a fairly decent uptime when itemized towards Energy Recharge.

The Anemo Traveler, interestingly enough, has just enough reach on their Elemental Burst that they can deploy it almost wall-to-wall in the floor chamber and pull in mid-weight enemies along the entire path from opposite ends of the room. This is one of the mechanics the Traveler is actually somewhat clutch on if you otherwise don’t have Sucrose or Venti, but want/need this degree of LCP.

A less often-mentioned means of LCP is the ability to pull aggro and congregate enemies using decoys. Amber, Mona, and Ganyu offer means of doing this, and can prove to be viable setups into an elemental combo or secondary effect once the time on their Elemental Skills expires. Ganyy naturally fits into this role fairly well, as she has enough damage with a honed kit to get into core damage dealer territory, as well.

6. Consider Having a Method of Removing Debuffs

Usually for at least one of the Floors between 9 and 12, there will be some measure of debuff mechanic as part of the inherent Leylines that weigh in to the level, although debuffs can be assigned by enemies as well.

There are some characters in Genshin Impact that have the ability to cleanse debuffs for party members, allowing you to quickly shrug off debuffs that would otherwise break a playstyle or mechanic that you’re using to overcome challenges. Characters that possess this ability (as of Patch 1.4) are:

  • Barbara – Elemental Burst (soft cleanse)
  • Bennett – Elemental Burst (hard cleanse)
  • Diona – Elemental Burst (hard cleanse)
  • Jean – Elemental Burst (hard cleanse)
  • Xingqiu – Elemental Skill (soft cleanse)
  • Xinyan – Elemental Skill (hard cleanse)

A soft cleanse will purge only enemy-generated debuffs, while a hard cleanse will purge both enemy-generated and leyline-generated debuffs.

Out of the above list, Xinyan finds an interesting play niche here because she’s the only character currently in the game that has a hard cleanse ability in an Elemental Skill. Because of this, she has the only means of hard cleanse that isn’t affected by the Electro Drain debuff that can play in to some measures of the Spiral Abyss, as well as Domains. Few things in the Abyss are more frustrating than the Electro Drain debuff, because it significantly hinders most core damage dealers’ ability to get damage into play; addressing it is often essential.

Conclusion

It’s our hope that this guide has been helpful for you, and you’ve found it insightful for your playstyle and general approach to the game.

We welcome comments or constructive feedback if additions or corrections can be made to to this content. Feel free to drop us a note with your thoughts.

Cheers,

The Sons of Dvalin community