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Venti was the first Archon I ever got when I started playing Genshin Impact in 2021.
I was at around Adventure Rank 40 back then. He was shiny, the Spiral Abyss catered to him with mob-infested floors, and he made exploration fun.
To keep a long story short, I enjoyed his playstyle.
I was even surprised to have won early pity and getting his (meh) Constellation 1.
I found fighting the mobs in the overworld to be a breeze (ehe) with his burst. At little to no investment, Venti was a beast.
But as the game progressed further into newer versions, and I got other 5-stars, I realised that it was harder and harder to fight with Venti as my support.
Why Venti, why?
I found myself using him more for his utility.
I realised how clunky he was to use, how his Elemental Skill press animation was such a detriment, and how his C1 did absolutely nothing for me except help me turn Timmie's beloved pigeons to fresh meat.
I also found myself stuck in the Spiral Abyss.
The other floors were a breeze with Venti, but the big Fatui enemies were suddenly an iron wall preventing me from entering the higher floors.
While Venti’s burst pulled them in, it could not stagger or control them. And since my character roster at the time was nothing stellar, it was a difficult challenge to overcome.
And since I’m not a credit card-swiping megawhale, I tried to do my best to get Venti the best gear that I could get.
All of the rare Stringless pulls I got ended up being refined for Venti, and I farmed the Viridescent Venerer domain for three months.
But my efforts into refining my Venti's build didn’t seem to do much.
By the end of Genshin Impact version 1, Venti just sat in Serenitea Pot at level 80, untouched.
It was clear enough, he had already been powercrept. That became even more obvious when Kaedehara Kazuha was released.
Now we all know what happened when Kazuha first debuted. People kept downplaying and hating his kit because he “couldn’t compare to a C6 Sucrose” and was just a "Canadian Aether".
All the vitriol had Kazuha looking like a disappointing introduction to the then-awaited character roster for Inazuma.
At the end of it all though, people took back what they said and began demanding for his rerun mere days after his banner ended.
I was lucky enough not to be deterred in getting him. I try to take Genshin Impact seriously, so I listened to the advice 'meta' players gave out in subreddits, guides, and YouTube videos, all of whom said to skip him and instead save up for Kamisato Ayaka.
But seeing Kazuha's design and learning about his lore made me want to pull for him.
I was also still nursing a broken heart from not getting Xiao during his first run and vowed to get all the Anemo characters (laughs).
I ended up ignoring the advice I got from my Genshin friends and syphoned my Ayaka Primogems and guaranteed banner character to get Kazuha.
And boy was it the best decision I ever made. (But don’t you fret, I still got Ayaka in the end after losing to Qiqi in her banner).
The early Kazuha days
After getting Kazuha like 80 pulls in, I had no clue how to build him.
Guides were dismissive and incomplete, the Genshin Impact subreddit had people complaining about his demo, and r/KazuhaMains was filled with complaints about the complaints.
After a full day of surfing the interwebs, I ended up just taking Venti’s Viridescent Venerer artifacts and giving them to Kazuha once I got him to level 90.
I read somewhere that the Iron Sting was going to be his best weapon, for those who steer clear of the weapon banner, so I crafted it and basically consumed what little Fragile Resin (and Primogems) I had left to level up everything else he needed.
But by the end of it, Kazuha was nothing short of a god... or more appropriately, the REAL Anemo Archon.
A bit over-the-top, I know, but casually running around the map and using Kazuha's skill instantly killed any unfortunate Hilichurls that crossed paths with me. The satisfying sound of the whirldwinds from his jump and plunge was music to my ears.
Kazuha isn't as good at crowd control (CC) like Venti, but it wasn’t a big of a detriment to me when I started using him in the Spiral Abyss.
With Kazuha in my team, I finally got over the hump, making short work of the wall I previously encountered when Venti was my Anemo support.
In the end, and after a lot of refining of my DPS characters, I ended up finishing the remaining floors in the Abyss in the same version I got Kazuha, with him as my only Anemo support.
Let me be clear. This is not to say that Venti is a mediocre character. He is far from mediocre or disappointing. His CC abilities can’t ever be surpassed.
But with the direction Genshin Impact has been going, Kazuha’s kit is only becoming better the further we get into endgame content. Here's why:
I just said that Venti’s CC burst is unsurpassable, but it actually has quite a few drawbacks.
Besides not being able to suck in larger enemies like the Fatui big boys, Mitachurls, Lawachurls, and shielded Abyss Mages, to name a few, it can’t draw in other enemies that are away from its vacuum.
Venti's CC isn't as constant as you would like either, as his burst has a cooldown of 15 seconds and an active time of 8 seconds, giving you at least 7 seconds of downtime.
This isn’t a big problem when you’re fighting the standard Hilichurl or Treasure Hoarder mobs, as they pretty much disintegrate afterwards — but sometimes it also depends when you get to Swirl other elements that other CC-able characters are immune to.
Such is the case when Slimes get sucked into the vortex, you’re stuck seeing a barrage of immune rather than tons of damage numbers.
Another thing to think about is that the height of Venti's burst sometimes renders CC-ed enemies unreachable when trying to attack with shorter characters like Hu Tao (poor Walnut).
Kazuha’s CC may not be that much of a force of nature, but the good thing about it is that he can do it much more consistently than Venti, as his CC is through his skill.
Give Kazuha the Sacrificial Sword and you won’t even need to worry about cooldowns — but it’s pretty overkill as he has a short cooldown anyways.
In the long run, although Venti’s CC is more powerful because it can clear the area, Kazuha’s is arguably more convenient.
Kazuha's skill can even stagger newer, heavier enemies like the Kairagi or Nobushi, something that Venti couldn’t with both his skill and burst.
We all know in late game that support characters that buff damage are more valuable. This is more evident when we’re faced with bosses that have over a million HP (like the Raiden Shogun weekly boss).
The biggest difference between Venti and Kazuha in this regard is that Venti caters more to your energy needs with his high energy particle generation, while Kazuha’s kit is more towards amping up Elemental damage.
The most damage increase you can get from Venti is with Elemental Mastery, Swirl reactions, and the Viridescent Venerer 4-piece passive. He also only deals 50% elemental damage with any Element his burst has absorbed.
Venti's added elemental damage support capability is locked away behind his C6, Storm of Defiance, and even then it only decreases enemies’ resistances to Anemo and any absorbed elements by 20%.
Compare this lack of support buffing to Kazuha’s talent passive, Poetics of Fuubutsu, which grants party members an Elemental DMG Bonus of 0.04% with each point of his Elemental Mastery upon triggering a Swirl reaction to their respective element for 8 seconds.
So let’s say your Kazuha has around 600 Elemental Mastery, you’re already getting a 24% damage boost.
Stacking more Elemental Mastery on Kazuha only yields more damage boosts, and it’s easy enough to get when you give him Elemental Mastery artifacts and weapons.
This of course isn’t supposed to be much of a deterrent in using Venti. He’s by no means meant to be just a buffer.
But his energy recharge capabilities tend to pale in comparison to what other battery characters can already do, case in point: Raiden Shogun or Sucrose.
The 15 energy you get from Venti's passive after his burst doesn’t do much when your DPS character needs 80 energy to unleash their own.
So what’s in store for Venti?
In no way is Venti obsolete, at least in my account he’s still a beast to use in Spiral Abyss floors that need crowd control.
But we can’t deny the fact that the longer the game goes on, the more Venti loses more and more of his usability. Floor 12 alone has almost no enemies that can be easily CC-ed by his burst.
Personally, I think it would be high time that Venti’s kit was given buffs. Not big buffs like how Zhongli received after his controversial debut, but small buffs like:
Fixing the targeting mechanic of his burst where you can choose the direction of the vortex
Pulling bigger enemies in so they can be more vulnerable to cc
Reworking his A1 passive, which only gives you a wind current you can use for 20 seconds after using his skill
Leaning more into the utility aspect of his kit by making his A4 passive reduce skill and burst cooldowns by 10% — this is thematic too since Anemo Resonance reduces skill cooldowns by 5%.
We’ve seen HoyoVerse give a skill cooldown reduction talent to a 4-star character in Chongyun, surely they can do this for a 5-star character, and an Archon at that.
The logic here is that Kazuha is the ultimate Anemo damage/buffer while Venti is the ultimate Anemo utility.
This idea of Venti won’t make your team deal more damage through buffs like Kazuha does, but it will make your team deal more damage through his utility — making sure that your team will always have enough energy and your skills off cooldown to immediately get to your next rotation.
I'm not saying you should stop using Venti and pull for Kazuha to use him instead, though I'm not opposed to the idea. I mean, I myself did that.
It's hard to argue against Kazuha being the stronger character right now, but if you enjoy using Venti, then by all means use him to ehe your way to victory.
I just wish Venti will be in a better place meta-wise, fitting of his title as the Anemo Archon.
Genshin Impact is currently in version 2.7, which will run until 12 July. The upcoming version 2.8 will be released on 13 July and will feature reruns for Kazuha, Klee, and Yoimiya, the debut of Shikanoin Heizou, new skins for Diluc and Fischl, new events, and more.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.
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