After being leaked and teased for so long, Genshin Impact players are finally going to have their chance to wish for the 77th director of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor, Hu Tao.
The "Moment of Bloom" banner goes live at 6pm on Tuesday (2 March) for those on the +8 GMT Asia server, with Hu Tao headlining together with Xingqiu, Chongyun and Xiangling.
This might be one of the most worthwhile banners for Free-to-play (F2P) players to spend their primogems on, especially if you've been saving. And for whales, as long as you're not in the class that has already maxed out constellations on the banner 4* characters, you'll find a lot on offer, too.
Move over, Diluc?
First off, Hu Tao looks to be a fairly decent DPS damage dealer, though her playstyle might favour those who are more aggressive, with her HP consuming Elemental Skill and her attacks that reward players for keeping her at a HP level lower than 50%. To make the most of her Elemental Skill also requires the use of her charged attacks, which may not be something everyone feels at ease with.
That being said, Pyro elemental reactions like Melt and Vaporize are key to getting some really big damage numbers. For most F2P players, your Pyro DPS is still likely to be Xiangling, so getting Hu Tao will be a massive upgrade.
Her two ascension passives give additional Crit Rate, and more importantly, bonus Pyro damage when her HP is 50% or lower, though her first passive, an 18% chance to give a "suspicious" version of a dish, is really only for those who, for some reason, want a sus Jade Parcel or Adeptus Temptation.
While it does look like the Staff of Homa will be her best-in-slot with its HP-scaling bonuses, Hu Tao's ascension stat, Crit Damage, will also favour weapons such as the Primordial Jade Winged-Spear and Deathmatch from the battle pass, both of which have Crit Rate as their sub stat. Another potential contender could be the new Lithic Spear, which will give her added Attack and Crit Rate for each Liyue character that you field. It's also convenient that all the banner 4* characters are from Liyue...
For those who want to get more copies of Hu Tao, her Constellation 1 and 2 is looking like the sweet spot if you're looking to keep your budget somewhat more reasonable. Her C1 basically makes her charge attacks cost no stamina when she's activated her Elemental Skill, Guide to Afterlife, and entered her Paramita Papilio state, while her C2 increases the damage of her Blood Blossom (a status on enemies applied by her charged attacks) scaled to her HP.
For the leviathans and above, her C6 will pretty much give you a pass if you mess up her attacks and take lethal damage, preventing her from getting knocked out while at the same time increasing her resistances to 200% and Crit Rate to 100%. It can only happen every 60 seconds, but if you're the sort to mess up twice in 60 seconds, it might be a good idea to contemplate why you're spending money on a character you're not able to use well enough.
On to the other banner characters...
As mentioned above, the other three banner characters on the "Moment of Bloom" banner all hail from Liyue, so they'd complement the use of the Lithic Spear easily.
Additionally, Xingqiu is one of the best supports currently in the game, and his Hydro attacks mean triggering Vaporize will be easy. He can also work with a variety of other characters, so getting more constellations on him will be quite welcome. One thing to note, though.
Both his skill and burst create Rain Swords, which reduce the damage the active character takes, but also heal once you get his first ascension passive. Given that Hu Tao gets a huge Pyro boost when she's under 50% HP, this may call for some micromanagement.
Finally, Xingqiu has one of the best passive talents in the game - the ability to refund a portion of your materials when crafting talent books. Considering the vast number of these you'll need once you're looking to prep your characters for late-game content, that 25% chance to refund shouldn't be scoffed at.
Chongyun is one of the characters people initially slept on, though he has seen his use rise, especially with the arrival of the Blizzard Strayer set in patch 1.2.
However, one of the common criticisms of Chongyun is that his Elemental Skill, Spirit Blade: Chonghua's Layered Frost, turns all damage from Sword, Claymore and Polearm-wielding characters to Cryo, which leads to less damage if you're using an Elemental% goblet and frustration trying to trigger elemental reactions. It's the same problem a C6 Bennett has, except that you can choose not to C6 Bennett, while Chongyun's Cryo-infusion comes built-in.
With Hu Tao, however, her Paramita Papilio state specifically turns all her damage into Pyro that "cannot be overridden by any other elemental infusion". Melt away!
Finally, we have Xiangling. She's one of those characters that works well as a main DPS for those who don't have options, but still remains relevant as a support for those lucky enough to have a stronger Pyro DPS.
First, she is another Pyro character, which means you already get the Pyro resonance attack boost just by using her and Hu Tao together.
Secondly, her constellations just improve her support for other Pyro characters, and, you should already have at least two copies of her for free so far. For example. at C1, Xiangling's Elemental Skill Guoba Attack shreds enemies' Pyro resistance. Her C4 increases the duration of her burst, Pyronado, while her C6 gives all party members a 15% Pyro damage boost when Pyronado is active. Yep, that same Pyronado that her C4 extended the duration of. Just imagine the damage numbers Hu Tao could be rocking with Xiangling's Pyronado activated.
All in all, the four characters on this banner would make a fairly balanced team. With the Lithic weapons promoting the use of all Liyue team comps, don't be surprised if content creators put this one together for a showcase when Hu Tao drops later in the day.
For F2P players, every primo counts, so being able to make full use of every character on a banner is important. Even if they're not fielded together on the same team, each 4* on this banner can find a good spot in most team comps, making this a truly decent banner for F2P players to wish on.
There's never been a better time to join the Hu Tao nation.
GellyPanda is a casual gamer who occasionally dabbles into gatcha games.
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