Tier List, and the two can be read sequentially for a more holistic view on character roles when provided via the Tier List.

While the Tier List provides a very good general overview of where characters fall on the overall power curve, what it isn't directly intended to do is explain how to actually build team compositions around the role allotments, as given through the list.

"> Character Roles – Sons of Dvalin

Character Roles

Introduction

This guide is intended to be a supplement to our discussion on the Tier List, and the two can be read sequentially for a more holistic view on character roles when provided via the Tier List.

While the Tier List provides a very good general overview of where characters fall on the overall power curve, what it isn’t directly intended to do is explain how to actually build team compositions around the role allotments, as given through the list.

Put simply, the reason why it doesn’t do this is because the Tier List doesn’t provide enough depth knowledge of the character roles for this to be done. The roles need to be expanded upon for them to be used for this purpose.

What we’re going to do in our discussion in this guide is to break out the character roles further for the purpose of using them for team compositions. We’ll also throw in a few general principles that go hand-in-hand with this approach, and a few guidelines for players looking to round out some of a party’s common weaknesses.

As a quick reference, the Character Roles, as provided via the Tier List, are:

  1. Main DPS
  2. Sub DPS
  3. Utility

Character Roles, Revised

The version of the character roles assignment that we’re going to look at is a bit different from the Tier List’s, as outlined below:

  1. Damage
  2. Buff
  3. Debuff
  4. LCP (Lockdown / Control / Positioning)
  5. Healing

You may immediately notice that we’ve bridged the ‘Main DPS’ and ‘Sub DPS’ classes into a single role. Why this is the case will be explained in more detail shortly.

We’ve also taken the ‘Utility’ class and broken it out into each individual element that comprises it. While the ‘Healing’ role probably doesn’t come as a great surprise to anyone who’s been involved in our community for any length of time, the individual breakout of the other roles within Utility can be a bit of an interest topic to breach.

And breach it, we shall.

What’s important to understand with this revision is the principle that characters can have multiple roles at once.

A Quick Foreword About Damage…

The author’s perspective on damage is quite possibly the most controversial piece of information on this website, and bears a long-winded explanation to try and explain why we’re going to approach this the way that we are.

The fundamental reason why we’ve combined DPS classes into a single ‘Damage’ role here is that while the conventional approach of having Sub DPS characters serve as an elemental reaction- or combo-based setup into a Main DPS, that approach focuses heavily on how much raw damage each character has at maximum potential or to leave them as “fallback damage” in the event their Main DPS’s abilities are on cooldown, etc.

The conventional approach doesn’t focus much on optimizing the avenues and mechanisms by which characters can get baseline damage of varying kinds into play.

We don’t want to detract from the traditional character role separation, as it tops out the highest in terms of consistent overall damage output for a party, and tends to be the preferred long-term structure for well-optimized, well-farmed teams.

However, there is a second approach to building a party composition that doesn’t require anywhere close to the amount of farm or RNG needed to execute the tradition character role model. While this approach will likely serve as a “stepping stone” for many players en route to the more targeted approach of the traditional model, it easily provides enough damage to overcome any challenge the game presents them with (except for arguably the top tier of Spiral Abyss once you’re on par with its power plateau), for virtually any player, at any level. Put simply, it focuses on relying on the natural damage increase from elemental combo reactions, and the inherent control these reactions can provide as opposed to a rigid Main DPS / Sub DPS separation.

Due to there being a moderate amount of players in the community who have hit a point, either in the past or at present, where they’ve struggled with getting enough damage into play due to party-based considerations or RNG-based considerations, it’s the author’s personal outlook on party construction to err on the side of the alternative, reaction-based character role approach as it is a more universal strategy for the challenges that a broader audience of players face.

If you’re in search of structuring that leans in favor of the more traditional Main DPS / Sub DPS role allocation, our suggestion would be to find other resources on the Internet that cater to this allocation. There are many excellent guides available from other sources that do this very well, and our community has appreciated their influence on many of our playstyles and builds.

We apologize for any misunderstanding or confusion this has caused, and appreciate your continued patience and support.

Damage

Let’s start by looking at the types of damage that characters can have at their disposal:

Normal / Charged Attack

Classic, straightforward attack damage. Used for millennia; approved by Dvalin.

Regular, sustained use of this type of damage tends to be more common on characters that can deal elemental damage for their regular or charged attacks, due to the way that defense/resistance is applied differently for physical damage vs. elemental damage.

In short, elemental damage (in most practical use cases) scales much better than physical damage due to the inherent absence of such a thing as elemental defense.

Outside of elemental damage, or characters that have kits specializing in physical damage (as of Patch 1.4, this would be Xinyan and Rosaria exclusively), normal or charged attacks tend to be one of the lesser-used damage output mechanisms simply due to the inherent limitations physical damage has in terms of getting high damage numbers.

Elemental Combo Reactions

Elemental damage combos provide the easiest means of getting more damage into play. Combos increase damage without needing additional character levels, constellations, talent levels, weapon levels, or artifact levels.

Essentially, if you’re struggling to get damage into play and you’re not currently combo’ing heavily with your current squad, try implementing some quick changes to help combo more readily.

While a depth-level discussion of elemental combos has been reserved for our page dedicated to them, there are two basic avenues by which characters can get elemental damage into play. We’ll call them static and dynamic.

Static elemental damage is damage that can only be put into play when the respective character that’s generating it is actively the character in play. Characters whose skillsets consist purely of static elemental damage tend to fit better into being the culminating effect in an elemental reaction set, or they may simple be better suited to other areas than purely being just a elemental combo bot. Good examples of static elemental characters would be Keqing and Tartaglia.

Dynamic elemental damage is damage that can be put into play even after the respective character that’s generating it isn’t the active character in play anymore. Characters with dynamic elemental damage tend to be prime candidates for being the setup character in an elemental reaction set, as every subsequent character putting damage into the combo can do so repeatedly since there’s still an elemental damage source remaining in play for a short time. Good examples of dynamic elemental characters are Kaeya, Xiangling, and Xingqiu.

The conversation of static and dynamic elemental damage also applies a bit differently to Geo damage – because Geo doesn’t combo with other damage types to produce greater damage levels. Geo characters that possess dynamic elemental damage abilities (such as Albedo) tend to be geared more towards specific squad compositions that utilize their abilities to buff or supplement other character’s weaknesses. In other cases, Geo characters make excellent standalone damage dealers based off of their skill kits.

Buff

Put simply, a Buff-role character has abilities that are designed towards amplifying the attributes of your party members. These attributes can consist of ATK, DEF, Elemental Mastery, CRIT Rate, or CRIT Damage.

While Buff isn’t an essential party elemental to assure yourself of victory, it’s often a very good component to properly pair with a character whose damage output scales sharply off the attribute you’re amplifying.

Nearly every eye-catching damage output video for characters that can be found on the Internet involves a Buff-based setup into the character-in-question’s single-instance damage output.

The most common character used primary for their buffs is Bennett, although there are others, as well.

Debuff

Contrary to the Buff role, Debuff characters work by reducing enemy attributes such as DMG, ATK, DEF, or various resistances.

Debuff isn’t an essential role in party compositions, although it can readily aid in an organized strategy when it’s present. Some characters (such as Xinyan) have debuff abilities that naturally cater to the overall gameplan of what their kit sets them up to do, whereas others (such as Xingqiu) have debuffs that generically help the entire party.

It’s not uncommon to see similar videos to Buff on the Internet demonstrating a character’s damage output, and using a Debuff character into the main damage instance purely as a way to help get damage numbers higher.

LCP (Lockdown / Control / Positioning )

LCP can often be an extremely vital means of governing the overall flow of combat. While it’s a non-essential role in terms of party composition, it often makes the game substantially easier to execute on when it’s present.

This mechanic presents itself in what can mostly be lumped into three categories:

  1. Most Anemo characters in the game possess moderate LCP.
  2. Characters with means of distracting enemies also offer decent LCP.
  3. Using a Hydro / Cryo combo to freeze and re-freeze enemies.

As of Patch 1.4, the only Anemo character that doesn’t have LCP in their natural kit is Xiao; all other Anemo characters naturally have it. They all possess a means of repositioning or immobilizing large groups of enemies, and can often be used to quickly gain advantages that can’t be gained any other way (using Jean to pick enemies up and throw them into the water, etc.).

To a slightly lesser extent, the characters that have a natural skill ability that allows them to pull enemies’ aggro off of the party and onto something else (Amber, Mona, Ganyu, etc.) can be used for LCP as well.

No conversation on LCP would be complete with the perma-freeze mechanic that the Hydro / Cryo combo can be used for. All but the largest, most resistant enemies will be completely stuck in terms of this mechanic, and it’s a powerful way to prevent enemy forces that would otherwise be overwhelming, completely in check.

Healing

While this subject has made for an interesting conversation point in our community on several different occasions, the majority of us agree that healing is an essential Role in terms of everyday, normal party composition.

Generally speaking, there are three main healing mechanics that are present in Genshin, and some characters have more than one at their disposal:

  1. Attack-generated healing (Jean)
  2. Skill / burst single-instance healing (Barbara)
  3. Time-delayed multi-instance healing (Qiqi)

As a random comment in passing, you may notice that in spite of all the flak that Barbara receives among a decent percentage of the playerbase for this game, she actually possesses all three means of healing by default at Constellation 0.

Based on the different types of healing you may have, it’s important to play your party around what you can have the downtime or sustain to be able to “get away with”. If you don’t have a strong means of LCP, it can be difficult to have enough time to use attack-generated healing from Jean, and a character such as Bennett might stand to be a better pick, just as an example.

Sample Team Build #1 – Putting it All Together

Alright. Hopefully you’ve managed to stick out a few pages worth of reading – because we’re going to put what we’ve just discussed into practice.

The goal with our first team composition is to build a general-purpose, everyday team that excels on as many fronts as it can, gets caught off guard by few-to-no enemies or situations, and has enough sustain to be able to last through nearly every encounter in sequence.

The squad I’m going to build with this is mind, is:

  • Fischl (Damage, physical and dynamic elemental)
  • Bennett (Damage, static elemental / Buff / Healing, time-delayed multi-instance)
  • Sucrose (Damage, dynamic elemental / LCP)
  • Ningguang (Damage, static elemental / Buff)

If we plug this into a quick chart matrix to see how things stack up, we get:

For this, I’m starting all stats that contain data at ‘2’ instead of ‘1’, since they present a moderate input to the flow of combat and I feel that the graph should reflect this as well.

What we’ve done here is take three characters that naturally complement each other extremely well in terms of creating elemental damage combos (Fischl / Bennett / Sucrose) with multiple dynamic setups into static damage. We have a character that’s capable of breaking shields or rocks (Ningguang) as well as dealing cooldown-independent damage. Needless to say, we won’t be starved for damage.

We have healing at our disposal thanks to Bennett, with LCP provided by Sucrose, and both Bennett and Ningguang providing various combat buffs. The only thing that’s missing from our ability landscape is Debuff, but it’s a non-essential at the end of the day.

This team would have no difficult overcoming most objectives they’d need to, and would struggle against few enemies or circumstances. Even with sub-optimal weapons or itemizations, they would be able to double back on the sheer amount of control and elemental damage they can maintain to defeat what they need to in the game.

Sample Team Build #2 – Checking All The Boxes (And Some We Shouldn’t Check…)

This time around, we’re deliberately going to give ourselves composition to meet all criteria on the options list, and give ourselves a handicap or two in an effort to try and prove a point.

We’re still going to give ourselves the option to have elemental reaction-based damage, but are going to weigh more heavily on the side of physical and static elemental. We also have Debuff this time, which was our deficient trait on Build #1. Our tradeoff for this is that we’re running Barbara as our Healer of choice, which gives us Elemental Resonance towards Hydro, but also a character that has no damage or utility potential when constructed with a Healer-class build. Having two physical damage dealers is another consideration.

The squad is:

  • Tartaglia (Damage, physical and static elemental)
  • Barbara (Healing, multiple formats)
  • Venti (Damage, dynamic elemental / LCP)
  • Xinyan (Damage, physical / Buff / Debuff)

Our chart now looks like:

Once again, starting stats at ‘2’ instead of ‘1’.

We’ve lost a little bit of our overall damage potential, since we have a character now that’s purely “administrative overhead” and isn’t largely contributing any damage to the party. We’re also more dependent on having a fairly stacked build on Tartaglia and Xinyan because they’re starting to drift back towards the traditional Main DPS / Sub DPS-based role separation in terms of what they’re enabled to do.

This teams tends to be more needy in terms of the equipment and builds they’d need to holistically execute. They also have less natural synergy because you have two characters (Xinyan and Tartaglia) that are basically bringing the same one-dimensional offerings to the table; this overlap likely means you may have to put one of them into a build category that they’re less naturally suited for as a setup for the other character’s kit.

What this build is meant to illustrate is the idea of pulling one of the 5-star characters you’ve been after for a while (Tartaglia in this example), trying to fit them into a pre-existing party, and the fit being less-than-optimal. We’ve probably all dabbled in this concept before at least once – the idea here is to show that while this can still work, it takes more build effort, items, and RNG to make it work on the same level as a more rounded team.

Everyday Tips

In the author’s take on things, four commonalities tend to exist among team compositions suitable for day-to-day tasks such as general world exploration, quests, and farming expeditions. While not absolutely essential, they tend to round out some of a party’s abilities and reduce the amount of situations you can be caught off-guard by.

  1. Always have a healer.
  2. Always have either a claymore-wielding character or Ningguang.
  3. Always have an archer.
  4. Elemental diversity, particularly among three characters favoring Overload, Superconduct, Electro-Charged, and Swirl elemental reaction types, is often a valuable thing for all but the most farmed of teams.

Conclusion

It’s our hope that this discussion 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