When Zhongli was first released, fans were eagerly excited. He had everything to begin with, from his dashing outfit, his wise personality, his badass animations, but most notably his deep baritone voice that would make every male child wish that puberty had already occurred.
But the community felt disappointed when acquiring him. Zhongli’s fighting animation as seen in the trailers seems to make him a damage dealer type but when playing him in that role, he doesn’t offer the same amount of impact as Keqing, Diluc, and Tartaglia/Childe.
This would formulate the assumption that Zhongli is a support character where he is limited to shielding his teammates and petrifying his opponents and we confirmed this in our previous article. However, upon further investigation we realized that Zhongli is more than just an agent of shield especially when looking at the choices of artifacts, weapons, and synergies from genshin.gg.
Here are two highly recommended builds that bring the best of the Vago Mundo.
ZHONGLI AS SUPPORT
- offers an insane amount of survivability
- his Elemental Burst becomes a nuclear warhead
- flexible in terms of character selections
- when paired with Ningguang, the team’s resistance to interruption increases (Geo + Geo effect)
- limited in terms of weapons
- Zhongli’s poor physical damage (obviously)
- will require a 5-star damage dealer like Keqing, Diluc, and Tartaglia/Childe to maximize its potential (Razor is the best alternative)
- could be super expensive if you’re aiming for his healing ability
- his martial arts skills are only limited to a white belter in Cobra Kai
For players that already have a primary DPS like Keqing, Diluc, and Tartaglia/Childe, we recommend using Zhongli as a support. Zhongli’s basic offensive stats are inferior as compared to those mentioned earlier and he doesn’t offer any physical attack damage bonuses as well. Some would argue that Zhongli’s shielding and crowd control ultimate make him a solid support option but upon further investigation, Zhongli can be an insane damage dealer as well. We mentioned in our previous article that Zhongli may require constellation upgrades to reach his healing role, but we realized that he can actually be devastating without it.
We recommend the following builds to further maximize your experience.
When choosing artifacts, aim for those that will increase your HP and energy recharge. HP boosts your survivability as Zhongli’s shields absorb more damage with more HP, while energy recharge will increase the chances using your ultimate.
In the early game, we recommend using 2-piece Scholar and 2-piece Exile, where your energy recharge doubles to 40%. You may also try a 2-piece Berserker, specifically Berserker’s Rose and Berserker’s Timepiece as an alternative since they offer HP and energy recharge.
Upon reaching the late game, combining a 2-piece Noblesse Oblige and 2-piece Archaic Petra should be your primary choice as both will bolster the damage of your Elemental Burst, making every boss battle into child’s play. A 2-piece Retracing Bolide could be an alternative to further enhance your damage resistance.
This build hampers Zhongli’s weapons as he is discouraged from acquiring damage based items. Every 3-star weapon offers physical or CRIT damage, making them unreliable. You may start with a Halberd, but this shouldn’t be your main weapon.
Instead, aim for the Prototype Grudge or Favonius Lance as it allows you to increase your energy recharge. The former is easier to attain as it can be crafted from the blacksmith.
But ultimately, your Skyward Spine becomes the S-tier weapon given its energy recharge, 5-star rating, and area of effect damage.
As mentioned earlier, this build works well with another main physical damage dealer like Keqing, Diluc, and Tartaglia/Childe, but it can go bonkers when Keqing has equipped her Aquila Favonia which allows her to survive in every battle due to its healing effect combined with Zhongli’s shields. Your team will even survive more with Barbara or Jean healing the team. It’s time to say goodbye to the time wasting experience of visiting statues.
If you still insist of having Zhongli as your 5-star support, then going for Razor as your main DPS could also be an alternative as his damage tends to scale well in prolonged encounters.
To maximize the damage of his ultimate, Ningguang is a must have in your lineup. Her passive talent at Ascension Level 4, boosts Geo Damage to every character that passes through her Jade Screen which will transform your Burst into an atomic bomb.
This build revolves around hit-and-switch tactics. Zhongli pops out, summons his Geo Steele, then summons his shield, and passes the spotlight to your main DPS. I placed the Steele before the shield since the cooldown of the former is shorter. Once the cooldown of his shields are down, he returns to the battle and repeats the process.
When your Burst is ready, Zhongli should immediately charge in the battlefield and call in the thunder. It’s best to use it after going through Ningguang’s Jade Screen.
When a boss like Childe or Stormterror unleash their abilities, the player must instantly switch to Zhongli and activate his shield to lessen their damage. Try standing on Childe’s whale or Stormterror’s particle beam to see its effects. Chances are your jaw is already at the floor in admiration of his overpowered mechanics.
ZHONGLI AS PRIMARY PHYSICAL DAMAGE DEALER
- isn’t gacha oriented as his weapons are simpler
- you’re literally watching a martial arts film featuring Donnie Yen and Jet Li
- his damage is below par as compared to other 5-star damage dealers
- his physical damage doesn’t boast a wide area of effect
- limited in terms of character compositions
- doesn’t boast the same survivability as compared to his supporting counterpart
- his Elemental Burst doesn’t offer the same amount of damage as compared to his supporting counterpart
If your are blessed by the primogem gods where your luck only happens to run around acquiring Zhongli or if you’re a huge fan of martial arts films, then this build is suited for you. Zhongli may not be as devastating as the other 5-star damage dealers, but his base stats are better than every other 4-star character. One disadvantage is his lack of area of effect damage given his linear fighting patterns and the inferiority of his Geo Steel damage as compared to other area of effect skill based abilities. Since he doesn’t cover a huge area in dealing damage, the player should learn to fight like Muhammad Ali by repeating the phrase, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Here’s our recommendations when going for this build.
Damage + CRIT rates are going to be your main focus in this build. For starters, a mix of 2-piece Berserker, 2-piece Brave Heart, 2-piece Martial Artist, or a 2-piece Resolution of Sojourner are recommended.
Once you reach the late game, the player should transition to a 2-piece Bloodstained Chivarly and a 2-piece Gladiator’s Finale. A 4-piece Gladiator can also serve as an alternative.
If his supporting role is extremely picky with weapons, his physical damage version can use a variety of weapons. Zhongli can use any 3-star weapon as a starting choice, but a Crescent Pike is highly recommended due to its doubled physical damage and accessibility as it can be forged from a blacksmith. Other 4-star weapons aren’t advised as they don’t offer the additional physical damage that would benefit his attack speed.
You may also utilize 5-star weapons specifically the Primordial Jade Winged-Spear for CRIT damage or the Vortex Vanquisher for added sustainability, but his Crescent Pike is already sufficient due to the added damage. This ultimately eases the burden of most players.
Since his physical damage version doesn’t boast the same statline as compared to the other 5-star damage dealers, Zhongli is best used with characters that decreases the physical damage resistance of enemies. This could turn out to be problematic as players might be forced to limit themselves with superconduct oriented compositions. It isn’t ideal to focus on melting or vaporizing lineups as the added damage is only limited to non-geo based characters.
This limits the player to cryo and electro-based characters. You may explore on using Xinyan as a 4th option given the damage boost that she brings for the team. Since Zhongli DPS isn’t as tanky as his support counterpart, it’s best to bring a healer in your lineup.
Zhongli will be your focal point in every battle. You first begin by popping your cryo and electro-based characters to unleash their Elemental Skills or Burst. Once this is completed, Zhongli can finally make his grand entrance, unleashing a barrage of physical attacks. Be sure to use your shield or dodge any incoming attacks to protect Zhongli. Your Geo Steele could add damage especially against geo shielded Hilichurls. Once the superconduct effect expires, switch to your cryo and electro-based characters and repeat the process.
Now that we’ve assessed the various playstyles of Zhongli, it’s now up to you to decide on your preference. Just be reminded that your choice of artifacts and weapons will ultimately shape your build and choosing one is recommended to further maximize his potential. He may be a renaissance man due to his thirst for knowledge, but Zhongli’s words of wisdom would argue that being a jack of all trades and a master of none would never be an ideal philosophy in journeying the land of Teyvat.