Genshin Impact has released patch 3.4 and with the arrival of the new patch, annual events such as the Lantern Rite Festival are making a return and brand new characters are being introduced. The new characters introduced for this patch are Alhaitham who is known as the feeble scholar and Yaoyao who plays an important role in this year’s Lantern Rite Festival story. That being said, when looking at these new characters being introduced in the game, one can’t help but notice how the reception to these characters are all but positive. Currently, there does not seem to be any negative disposition towards how they play or their role in the story and events of the game. Instead, they are given a lot of praise based on both of these aspects. This is because when looking at these new Dendro units, it can be seen that their introduction into the game has had a positive effect on the game itself. These positive effects stem from different reasons surrounding the characters. However, between these two characters, it seems that a lot are hyped up about Alhaitham. Alhaitham is a brand new 5 star character from Sumeru. Currently, his banner is running and a lot of players, both hardcore and casual, really recommend him. This is no surprise considering who the character is. With that said, let’s get into why this guy is such a significant addition to the characters in Genshin Impact.
When looking at Alhaitham, most people that have played through the story will remember him as that man with the plan. His impact in the story cannot be overstated as without his plans and acting skills, the story would not progress the way that it did. From his initial introduction as the mysterious man from the Academia, Alhaitham had already begun to pique the interest of many players. This was further cemented during the time Alhaitham and the players traversed a desert to find out more about what was going on in the story. This all culminated when the plan of Alhaitham was acted out and it made everyone look like he had a handle on all their puppet strings. His plans were all made up of multiple layers and the acting skills he had during the time they were being executed could very well merit him an Oscar at this point. All in all, when it comes to how the story fleshed out Alhaitham, they did not simply state he was smart. Instead, they deliberately tried to subvert this expectation by making him mention over and over that he was nothing special. This expectation was then always exceeded each time he was on screen as he showed his intellect and cleverness each time he was part of the story. The way he was portrayed in the story really made players have a special place for him as without him, the story would have progressed very differently from how it played out.
The role of Alhaitham in the story not only cemented him as a solid character that a lot of the players loved, but it also set expectations for what his kit could be like when he would become playable. Because of how much planning and intellect he was able to show off during the story, many players expected that this would be reflected in his kit. A lot of the players expected that he would be an on-field damage dealer since a lot of the times he was in the story, he would often be at the forefront of the group he was with. He was the one always forming the plans so a lot of the players expected that he would be at the forefront of teams. At that time, it was especially hard to imagine considering that his vision is of the Dendro element and the Dendro element is known as a very support oriented element. Dendro was an element that other elements used to catalyze reactions. Another aspect that players seemed to speculate about was how difficult his kit would be to utilize as his character was very intellectual and that would most likely reflect in his kit. With all these speculations surrounding Alhaitham, many players were elated when his drip marketing was released by HoYoVerse and details about his kit were finally revealed.
Looking at the kit of Alhaitham at face value, it does not look any different to past 5 stars. Some people would even go as far as to compare him to other 5 star characters from the Standard Banner. However, at closer inspection, his kit has a lot of depth to it. The kit of Alhaitham revolves around the maintenance of his mirrors. When looking at the numbers from the different aspects of his kit, it can be noticed that most of the damage comes from his mirrors. To maximize the damage output, players need to maintain the maximum number of mirrors at all times. These mirrors can be somewhat considered as a reflection of his personality. They may not look like much and can be quite unassuming, but boy do they carry the majority of the damage dealt by Alhaitham.
The rest of his kit really makes sure to tell the players to focus on his mirrors as the main damage source. His Elemental Skill generates 2 mirrors on use while his passive talent generates a singular mirror upon executing a plunge attack or charged attack. His Elemental Burst uses up these mirrors or simply generates mirrors should the player have none. These design choices really make sure to focus on the important aspects of the character. The fact that there is such a cohesive design for his kit really shows how far the Genshin Impact team has come when designing playable characters. With that being said, the cohesion of this kit really lends itself to the next thing that makes Alhaitham such a great playable character. That would be the complexity of Alhaitham as a playable character.
When looking at the complexity of playing Alhaitham, it is difficult to point out what makes Alhaitham such a complex character to play. However, on closer inspection, the complexity comes from balancing the long cooldowns and high energy requirements he has in his kit. Ordinarily, this can seem atrocious to deal with but when looking at it from a team perspective, it makes a lot of sense. For one, the long cooldowns are there to balance out his mirror generation. When looking at the ways he generates these mirrors, there is a clear flow for how his mirrors should be generated and used. As such, he has what is called a rotation in his kit which really lends to his complexity. This rotation made a lot of players excited, especially the more experienced ones as there is finally another character that is skill expressive. The skill expression of Alhaitham is contained within how well the player could balance out the maintenance of his mirrors while also accounting for the other teammates. Considering his element of Dendro, a lot of people played around with other characters from other elements so as to play of his Dendro application. Many players then discovered that when he was played with different teams, his rotation would change and his mirror maintenance rotation would also greatly differ when with another team. This excited a lot of players as it really added to the depth of an already complex character. With that said, many had a verdict that he is one of the best additions to Genshin Impact if not, the best one so far in the 3.x series of patches.