The free to play ARPG, Genshin Impact, has now been out for a while. As a gacha game, some of the frequently asked questions are about characters. Whether it’s about how to build them, how to team them up together, and more importantly, how they rank up compared to each other. Or in other words, Character Tier lists. The importance of tier lists in gacha games come from the limited access to characters. By merely playing the game daily, you are guaranteed some premium currency called Primogems to pull or to use on Wishes on banners.
But that’s it, the Primogems are a finite amount if you are a free-to-play player, so it’s important to do some decision making and think carefully before spending them. Even for those who decide to invest a little, it’s good to know which characters to go after and have a plan. At the very least, you want to spend them on characters that matter, or ones that will be beneficial to your team. We will help you answer these questions, with our Genshin Impact Character Tier List Anemo Swirl.
Genshin Impact Character Tier List: Swirl (Anemo)
To properly give every Character a fair chance of representation, I’ve decided to split characters by the roles they can play in a party, the most unique aspect of every character, and the elemental reaction they are capable of causing. Since most enemies in-game are either immune, resistant, or weak against certain elemental reactions, that would be the main focal point for our version of tier lists. Tier Lists can be slightly subjective at times, due to personal preference when it comes to playstyle, but we will way up the good and the bad in our rankings so you have a better understanding of how we got there.
We will take into consideration the amount of damage a character can inflict, the frequency of applying said element, and the accessibility of the character. So for five-star characters, we judge characters based on their Zero Constellation (C Zero). Any five-star characters that require more constellations to function will be ranked lower than characters that give their whole kit from the get-go. For four-star characters however, since they frequently appear in different banners with an up-rate, and are easier to obtain, they will be judged accordingly. This is why I’m ranking four-star characters based on what they can achieve with C1, C2, or C4, sometimes even on C6 performance in certain cases.
So while you navigate our tier list, note that it doesn’t represent the maximum potential of each character, but rather a sum of different factors including accessibility. Each of our tier lists may vary slightly due to their purpose to others, so read on for our Swirl list. With that settled, let’s get going.
What to use the Anemo Element for and How Swirl Works
Anemo harnesses the power of wind, and is the second neutral element in Genshin Impact, with the first being Geo. Neutral elements don’t have reactions that differ with every other element, but rather have one reaction that works universally. Regardless of what the other element may be, Anemo will always interact causing Swirl, and Swirl deals extra elemental damage and spreads the effect. So Anemo’s main function is to crowd control and boost team AOE. It generally seems like a support element, but that’s not telling the whole story.
The fact is that Anemo deals damage every time it absorbs another element, that alone gives Anemo good potential for DPS. It works especially well against groups of enemies because every Swirl affecting an enemy will hit other enemies in proximity. Effectively creating a vacuum and shotgun at the same time. Another thing to consider is that most Anemo Burst skills last for a good portion of time, making damage repeats several times. However, as most skills stay for a duration, as well as carrying out its job with the Anemo character switched out, it’s not common to play Anemo as a main carry. In the case of a pure Anemo Carry like Xiao, he relies on dealing direct damage without any reactions.
That being said, the strongest aspect of Anemo doesn’t come from the element bonus itself, but rather from Artifacts. It’s well established that Viridescent Venerer, the Anemo Artifact set, is the best support set in the entire game, while also working as a damage-dealing set for the Anemo character. It’s a strong mixture that’s hard to find anywhere else, and it deserves entire builds revolving around it.
The Unique Mechanic of Swirl
To explain the true strength of Swirl, think of a vortex that absorbs something and continues to swirl it inside. It’s still dealing wind (Anemo) damage, plus spreading the damage of the element it’s absorbed. So in an actual fight, if you use Anemo on an enemy affected by Pyro, you swirl Pyro and Anemo damage, and spread Pyro to other enemies. If you have Viridescent Venerer, you decrease enemy resistance to the Pyro element. Now you can deal more Pyro damage with your Pyro character, and Anemo character (Pyro done by Swirl). It’s one of the best damage gains you can possibly get, and it’s even better with Anemo character’s skills adding more bonuses on elemental absorption.
Long-lasting skills with Swirl is also one of the best setups for amplifying reactions and can enable the normal, stronger version of the Melt or Vaporize. If you’ve been following our previous guides, you may have noticed that we’ve only made Reverse Vaporize Tier list and Reverse Melt Tier list, and the reason is that normal Melt and Vaporize are much harder to proc with consistency. Long story short, in a Normal Melt setup, the stronger element replaces the weaker element, and refuses to go away. So you start with reverse Melting your support damage, and not your DPS.
Long-lasting Swirl like Venti‘s elemental Burst mostly resolves that, because he can absorb the weaker element, and keep re-applying it constantly. You can then switch to your Stronger element character and start Melting or Vaporizing with the bigger multiplier. That’s the true power of Anemo. With that established, let’s get right into our tier list.
Venti (SSS Rank)
Honestly, if there were a higher rank than (SSS), I’d gladly give it to Venti. He’s the only character that plays like what I’d class as a six star character, and none of the current roster can come close to him. The Mondstat bard has much more than his harp hidden under his sleeves, and he does so much. In addition to everything the Viridescent Venerer set and what standard Swirl can offer, Venti has massive energy generation. This allows him to spam his Burst without investing in Energy Recharge, so he builds for DPS even if played as a support. He not only generates energy for himself, but restores Energy to all characters of that element absorbed in the swirl as well.
He has the best “gather” capabilities in the game, and because Anemo is a shotgun, this allows him to do massive amounts of damage. Gather is used as a useful Crowd control, and shuts down enemies entirely, making them unable to deal damage, nor move away. So you can maximize your damage output without worrying about dodging, or about enemies escaping the AOE. His Burst deals around 20 instances of Anemo damage, and 20 instances of absorbed element damage over a just 8 seconds. With bonus damage from skill modifiers to the corresponding element, that gets multiplied by bonus from Viridescent Venerer as well. Not to mention that he can cast it and switch out, giving field time for yet another DPS.
The benefits of using Venti don’t stop there, there are entire floors of the Abyss with unique obstacles Venti alone can counter. All tower defense, and all timed encounters can be surpassed by gathering all enemies and inflicting damaging to them all at the same time. However, miHoYo has been introducing new challenges with bosses that are invulnerable to Venti’s gather in the latest patch. That doesn’t reduce his value, but only makes characters from other elements a little more competitive when compared with him.
How Venti Fares in Comparison to Other Top (SSS) Rank
You could argue another (SSS) character like Diluc can do more impressive damage numbers compared to Venti, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, you can bring Venti into a Diluc team, and such a team would be even stronger. Even with Diluc missing some hits because enemies can fly so high, the overall team DPS will improve. You can also add Venti to almost any team, and it will be better, but the same cannot be said about Diluc, or Ganyu, or any other main carry for that matter.
As you see, you have to build a team around any main carry, but you don’t have to build a team around Venti. You instead replace any support in any team with Venti, and you get a similar or a better team. That’s why he’s so powerful.
Venti is a five-star character with his own time-limited banner, it has so far shown up twice in the game’s current life span. He’s the closest character to a “must pull”, and he’s very far from being “replaced” by any other character soon. In other words, his role will remain uncontested for a while, so he’s future-proofed.
As for the resin cost of building him, you have to farm for his set. However the good thing is that you don’t need strong stats to get him up and running, he can work with low-level Artifacts with bad sub stats, because most of his kit comes from set bonus and skill stats. So he’s cheap to start, and scales very well into endgame.
Ideal Venti Team
Believe it or not, there’s no ideal team for Venti. It’s the nature of the Anemo support behavior, so you don’t build around Venti, but around your main DPS, and then place Venti into the team. He also works with all teams, regardless of what their main reaction may be, so you can build team around them. If you need Melt for Vaporize teams, Venti can help. If you’re purely going for Electrocharged or Overload teams, Venti is a perfect pick. He can also be used in physical teams, quick-swap teams, or even damage conversion teams. Venti just works with anything, with the exception of against Geovishap and Abyss Herald enemies, which he can still DPS, but not use his gather.
One unique team that’s worth pointing out is an Overload team with Venti, Lisa, and Fischl, plus a Pyro character. It’s not the ideal team, nor the highest pure DPS team you’ll see in the game, but it’s one of the few teams that require Venti in order to function and would be impossible to build without him. Lisa is used here because of her frequent Electro application via her Burst, coupled with Venti swirling Pyro applying it as fast as possible to proc so many Overloads in a short frame of time. Both Lisa’s Burst and overload reaction knocks enemies back, but Venti‘s burst keeps them together, making it a deadly combo.
Without him, the whole concept would fall apart, so it’s truly a team built around Venti. Fischl is there because she does damage every time an Electro reaction occurs, and there are a lot of reactions going on here. There is a similar team for Electrocharged reactions, with Hydro and Electro that also uses Lisa.
Jean (SS Rank)
The Acting Grand Master of the Knights of Favonius, Jean is the guardian of Mondstadt. She’s a healer who can use Viridescent Venerer at same time, which makes her a supporting act as two characters combined. She can gather enemies, similar to Venti, but has to be on the field to do so. On top of that, Jean can actually do some good damage as a main carry, or burst DPS. Jean‘s healing actually scales with the “Attack” stat, while she has some good modifiers on skills. So she can really do good damage while perfectly fulfilling the healer role.
When Abyss has an Anemo buff, she is simply one of the best characters in the game to tackle the Abyss with. But Abyss is situational and ever changing, and we evaluate characters in general here. So without such a buff, Jean still remains very strong as a character for the Abyss. Her Elemental Skill can gather, move, and throw enemies in the air. This technique can be taken advantage of, as you can knock enemies straight off of the map if the floor allows it. Even if the floor has walls and you can’t throw them out, you can still throw them high up to deal massive fall damage. Of course you can Swirl certain elements to bring down enemy elemental shields. Just make sure your Jean is a high enough level for all enemies (usually level 80 is enough), and she will do her job.
Jean also has a “healing bonus” as an Ascension stat, and she can heal with both her normal attacks, and Elemental Burst. So she has a much easier time healing, and also has room to build a proper offensive stat like Crit and Anemo/Physical damage bonus on her artifacts. Overall, Jean is the best multi-purpose character in the game. Even with a maximized team that kills enemies faster than enemies dealing damage to you, she’s still very valuable for her burst damage and the Viridescent Venerer massive buffs.
Jean is one of the hardest characters to pull, similar to Diluc, Mona, and Qiqi. None of them have their own Rate Up banner yet, so you only get them from the standard banner (which is not recommended using Primogems for). Or by failing the first 50:50 chance for the five-star pull in the up-rate banners of other characters. So you can’t target Jean in any way or form, and you just get her randomly, or you don’t.
But in case you get her, she’s worth leveling and investing, as her unique kit leaves her in a good spot, now and in the future. Some DPS carries can be replaced, with better and stronger DPS characters that come out in the future. But it’s harder to find a single character who can fulfill all these roles at once, and do them all efficiently like Jean.
In terms of builds, Jean is better suited to a weapon with either “Attack” or “Energy Recharge” as sub stats, so some four-star weapons do the job nicely. Then you usually build her with a full Viridescent Venerer set, which requires some farming and little more demanding than hybrid builds. You can look for typical DPS builds, with Attack/Anemo damage/Crit main stats, because Jean heals just fine and can enjoy more damage from Artifacts.
Ideal Jean Anemo Team
Jean can be built in several ways, and as a main carry she fits a physical build, which we will cover in a future superconduct tier list. But the easier build is a burst support, with Jean as the Anemo damage dealer. A setup using Jean in an Amplifying Reaction team, such as Melt or Vaporize, will be a good match. So make sure to Swirl the proccing element in the formula, so the party gets the damage bonus on the correct element. In a Reverse Melt party like Rosaria, Xiangling, and Kaeya, you will start with Kaeya‘s Cryo Skill, then swirl it with Jean, boosting it in the process. Then you can activate Xiangling Elemental Burst/Skill, and finally activate Rosaria’s and Kaeya‘s elemental Burst, for proper element order.
Another simple party for Jean would be to use a pure Pyro team, like Yanfei, Xiangling, and Xinyan. This team doesn’t care about elemental reactions, and just has Jean buff Pyro damage for the entire team. It embraces the fact that Yanfei cause so much Pyro application and that it’s hard to setup her for Melt or Vaporize. Instead, we use several burst and turret Pyro DPS, while relying on Jean to provide universal Pyro buff. One Pyro DPS can be swapped for Zhongli as well, for better debuff and shield.
These are not the only ways to utilize Jean, she’s even more flexible than Venti, because she can heal. Even more, she can be used with Venti for Anemo resonance in quick swap teams, and make the entire party perform much better. But these are expensive combos that require several five-star characters, and free-to-play players will only get such a team after playing Genshin Impact for a long period of time.
Xiao (S Rank)
Xiao is an interesting case, as he’s the only Anemo character that doesn’t need to care about Swirl. The sole role for Xiao is as a main DPS, a selfish carry that takes all field time to himself. He’s also so selfish that he needs entire team builds for Anemo energy recharge, because he relies solely on his elemental burst to deal damage, and he doesn’t regenerate energy during his burst. The only solution to maximize his DPS is by generating a lot of energy from other team mates.
He enslaves all other Anemo characters, to work like batteries for him. But afterwards, he doesn’t really benefit from the Elemental Mastery that they boost, nor swirl they cause. The sole use he has for them is generating energy particles. This is very anti-synergistic, making team building feel underwhelming, and just boring in my opinion. He also drains HP to boost DMG, which makes him very vulnerable and needs extra protection. You are left in an awkward position where you need one healer, one shield character, and two Anemo support to generate enough energy for Xiao. Apparently, the player has to sacrifice one of these in favor of the other, so you will end up with a worse off performance than you’d like. He also has an upside-down gameplay that can make some people dizzy, and make others have fun. He’s such a dividing character Genshin players, so you will either love him or hate him.
Though Xiao compensates for these issues by the sheer amount of damage he deals, without any reliance on reactions. It’s a special case where the character’s main strength is also his main weakness. He can really do so much damage, especially with his signature weapon. However, these huge damage numbers can’t go higher, nor be boosted by team members. You can just take it for what it is. That’s why I wouldn’t rank him in (S+), as he doesn’t inspire players for better team building.
You need a good five-star weapon for Xiao to reach his full damage potential, and decent artifacts as well. He’s one of the easier characters to play, and the only thing you have to worry about while playing him is when you use his Elemental Skill. Otherwise, the whole playstyle for Xiao is to activate an Elemental burst, then to keep jumping and plunging into enemies.
As for a five-star character that might take up to 180 wishes to get, Xiao has a very limited use. He had his own limited up-rate banner, that came up once so far, and is expected to show up again in the future.
Ideal Xiao Anemo Team
Xiao really works well with Jean. Jean is the only Anemo character who can provide energy for Xiao and heal at the same time. That sounds good and all, until you realize that Jean is another five-star character, without an up-rate banner. So acquiring her is a gamble, and never guaranteed, even for insanely heavy spenders. Then you get to pick the third Anemo character, supposedly an Anemo Main character, or Sucrose. Then finally you use a shielding character like Zhongli who’s the best, but yet another five-star character. If you already got Jean and Zhongli, you better split them into two teams, it’s not ideal to dedicate them both in the same team. You’re better off building a four-star carry such as Ningguang, and save your money plus precious primogems by not pulling for Xiao.
You can use Diona for shields and healing, but she’s honestly not enough to keep up with Xiao‘s healing requirement. Bennett on the other hand provides only heals, not shields, so Xiao is still subject to instant death by higher level enemy attacks. So that brings us back to Jean, which is a very high requirement that no other character has.
Sucrose (A Rank)
Sucrose is like a hybrid between Venti and Albedo. She provides an Elemental Mastery buff similar to Albedo, and Anemo Burst with absorption power like Venti. So in theory she’s good for supporting Amplifying reaction teams. However, to provide an Elemental Mastery buff as strong as Albedo, Sucrose has to invest very heavily in Elemental Mastery herself, leaving her unable to deal damage. Sucrose also can’t regenerate enough energy as Venti does, and she has one of the highest energy costs in the entire game (80 energy for Burst). So that brings her rank even lower.
The problem with Sucrose is how she can’t do damage while supporting, so she might increase your hyper-carry DPS, but overall team damage doesn’t go far. Building around her Burst is much harder, and requires a very heavy investment in Energy recharge, along with EM. Also her Elemental Skill tends to have longer cooldowns, and only works in a quick swap team when she gets another charge from her C1. So the main use of Sucrose as a support boils down to enabling Mona to vaporize her Elemental Burst, for massive single hit damage. Or any similar one-hit strategy with a deliberate, slow strategy that involves normal Melt or normal Vaporize, like Barbara‘s charged attack combo.
She also has an interesting main carry role in Electrocharged team, that relies on Beidou and Xingqiu to deal the damage off-field. It takes advantage of Sucrose range and attack speed to proc Beidou‘s damage as fast as possible. Sucrose boosts Electrocharged damage somewhat, but it is still worse than Childe Electrocharged teams. So Sucrose enables some fun builds, that’s far from the top DPS chart. She’s not the single best pick in any of the top DPS teams in my opinion.
Sucrose is one of the popular characters that showed up in several up-rate banners, so she is pretty easy to get. For effective use of Sucrose however you need at the very least a C1, but that’s about it. She provides a decent damage boost at C6, but you truly have better characters to chase for C6.
Sucrose builds are expensive, Resin-wise, because she needs heavy investment in both ER and EM. You can build her with cheap gear, but you wouldn’t get the desired effect until you fully gear her. However, her best weapon is Sacrificial Fragments, a four-star Catalyst that’s not too hard to obtain from four-stat off-drops.
Ideal Sucrose Anemo Team
As Anemo DPS, Sucrose is one of the lowest, she can get some numbers going but with a huge investment. But a similar investment in another character will yield better results. Since the meta has since moved away from Anemo, she has been in a less than favorable position.
The combo that benefits from Sucrose is a main DPS Mona team, with Xiangling and Bennett. This team is more tailored for single target bosses, and requires certain timing that is to maximize Mona‘s burst. It can also utilize Mona‘s charged attack to some extent. You might want to replace Xiangling with Fischl to cause Electrocharged first, to keep Hydro and Eletro on enemies, then proc both Vaporize and Overload. It’s one of the most complicated combos in the game, but if you can pull it off, it can be very strong.
Other teams that feature Sucrose is Chongyun in a Reverse Melt team, with Xiangling and Bennett again, but it’s also underwhelming. All reverse Melt teams can benefit from a second Cryo DPS or Zhongli, more than Sucrose.
Anemo Traveler (A Rank)
Similar to the Geo version of the Main Character, we rank the Anemo traveler as an A Tier. It’s one of the underappreciated characters, and most players neglect him or her. However, the utility the Anemo traveler brings is highly favorable in the Abyss. It’s easy to recommend the Anemo traveler on any floor that has a tower defense mechanic, because of the effective gathering Elemental Burst. Elemental Skill can also draw the aggro of enemies, so that’s one additional function.
But outside of tower defense in Abyss, the only serious usage for an Anemo MC is playing support for Anemo DPS like Xiao. Because C6 Anemo MC reduces the Anemo RES by 20%, to compensate for Viridescent Venerer not being able to reduce Anemo RES.
As you start the game with this character, whether male or female depending on which you decided to choose, this character is a given, making it a guaranteed character to have in your possession. You have to play all the early stages with the Anemo version until you reach Liyue, then you can change the element Geo at the Geo Statue of the Seven. By the time you finish the storyline you will have already unlocked C6 already. If you are free to play and tend to not to wish on every single banner, you will find you have a limited roster at your disposal. This means the traveler will become a must use when it comes to the Abyss end content.
Building the Geo traveler for damage is possible, but they are better suited for Energy Recharge builds, to spam their utility on cooldown. If you are determined for the DPS approach, the three-star weapon Harbinger of Dawn is a good burst weapon, paired with a Geo artifact set it’s pretty decent.
Ideal Anemo Traveler Team
If used for utility, you can use the traveler in any Abyss team, regardless of the main reaction you focus on. They can use Viridescent Venerer to boost any element, and just focus on gathering monsters. But if used for a proper support build, it’s best suited with Xiao, and probably Jean.
You’ve reached the end of our Genshin Impact Geo Tier List, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you’ve stayed this long, you might be interested in our Genshin Impact Guides. Be sure to check out even more info on our Genshin Impact Wiki. You can also keep an eye out for more Tier lists for Genshin Impact 1.5, as we will be releasing them regularly. Before you go, be sure to check out our Genshin Impact Character Tier List: Reverse Melt (Cryo) and Genshin Impact Pyro Vaporize Tier List (Pyro) for the ranking of highest DPS in the game.