Zhongli has had a very colorful history ever since he was released in Genshin Impact. From overhyped expectations leading to a rocky (pun intended) post-release, the Geo Archon has since risen in popularity as one of the most sought-after support units in the game.
Overview for Zhongli
Zhongli is primarily a defensive support character but can also be built as a burst DPS. Due to his element and kit, he can slot into pretty much any team composition you have, but he especially shines when in a team with a fragile hypercarry character that needs a bit more protection.
His normal and charged attacks deal pretty low damage, and is not really recommended to ascend unless you want to force a physical DPS build. Even using Favonious Lance on him doesn’t justify the materials you will need to increase ranks.
His Elemental Skill Dominus Lapidis, summons a stone pillar at a location. Pressing the ability summons the pillar which deals Geo damage in an area. The pillar resonates with other Geo structures that other Geo characters summon, increasing the effective range of damage.
Holding the Skill allows nearby Geo sources to explode, including previously-placed pillars. At the same time, Zhongli summons a shield with damage absorption that scales off of his Max HP. The shield decreases Elemental and Physical resistance of enemies in a small area by 20%
His Elemental Burst Planet Befall summons a huge meteor that strikes for massive Geo damage in an area. All enemies caught in the area of effect are Petrified for at least three seconds.
Since his passive ability increases his damage output based off of his HP, most will build Zhongli with massive amounts of HP. He can be very flexible with weapons and artifact main stats, depending on what you currently have.
Zhongli can be built as a shielder, as he has the strongest shield in the game. Able to withstand repeated attacks from enemies in the Spiral Abyss, a shielder build will allow you a lot of breathing room to stabilize or to just reposition your team. Having a sturdy shield will also lessen the number of times you need to dodge, allowing you to keep your DPS up.
Weapon: Black Tassel, Staff of Homa
4pc Tenacity of the Millelith
HP% headpiece (depending on lacking stat)
This build triple stacks HP% in order to give Zhongli the strongest possible shield at the cost of damage output. Having the Staff of Homa on this build is ideal as it gives extra HP% and damage but it’s not really needed. For substats, you would want to prioritize Energy Recharge, HP%, flat HP, then CRIT stats. This build is recommended for players who have a Zhongli and want to push for higher-level content to ensure fights go smoothly.
Weapon: Favonious Lance, Deathmatch, The Catch, Staff of Homa
4pc Tenacity of the Millelith OR 2pc Tenacity + 2pc Noblesse/Archaic Petra
GEO DMG% goblet
CRIT headpiece (depending on lacking stat)
The Burst support build swaps out two of the three HP% main stat artifacts for damage-oriented main stats to boost the power of Zhongli’s meteor. In this setup, Zhongli does more work for the team after summoning his shield. Be sure to include his Burst in your rotations to increase your DPS. This build works well against mobs of enemies, especially if you have an Anemo character that can group them together like Venti, Kazuha, or Sucrose. This build is recommended for more advanced players who are comfortable with their rotations and don’t need to rely on Zhongli’s shield as much.
The weapons he can use for the Burst build may vary depending on availability and what stat he is lacking. Energy Recharge is needed so Zhongli can keep spamming his Burst, so if your artifacts are lacking ER, you may want to consider using Favonious or The Catch. If overall damage is lackluster, Deathmatch can shore up your DPS while Staff of Homa is just the best in slot for him.
Weapon: Deathmatch, Calamity Queller, Primordial Jade Winged Spear, Staff of Homa
2pc Gladiator/Shimenawa + 2pc Archaic Petra
GEO DMG% goblet
CRIT headpiece (depending on lacking stat)
This is a pure DPS build for Zhongli. By maximizing damage main stats, you will see a significant increase in how hard his attacks hit. The only downside is that your shield will have lower toughness, so be sure to supplement with a healer or another shielder that can have other utilities in their kit to compensate. For the DPS build, you will need to level up your normal attack stat as well, which will demand more materials. Generally not recommended but definitely doable should you have no other main DPS characters in your lineup.
As mentioned, Zhongli is an easy character to include in many teams. His defense-oriented kit allows for a more comfortable battle experience, allowing you to go through mobs quickly.
Hu Tao is a great DPS character to pair with Zhongli. Since optimal Hu Tao damage rotations involve the use of dash canceling, having a tough shield will allow you to keep attacking with Hu Tao with little to no interruptions.
Eula is another DPS character that can benefit from shields and crowd control effects. Since Zhongli’s shield also lowers Physical resistance of enemies, having Eula with an Electro character to proc Superconduct plus the resistance shred will greatly increase kill speeds.
Ningguang is a good match for Zhongli. Aside from Geo resonance providing resistance shred and increased energy gain, her Jade Screen and his pillar resonate with each other, providing increased damage in an area.
Xiao is also another DPS that benefits from Zhongli’s shield. Remember that Xiao can get knocked out of his plunge attack animation but the shield prevents this, enabling you to continue dealing damage.
Itto, together with Gorou and another Geo character, would create a mono-Geo comp that has great sustained and burst damage, great survivability, and does not have any significant enemy types to avoid.
Bennett is a good support to use with Zhongli. The Geo pillar creates a solid anchor with which you can use Bennett’s Burst to provide healing, damage, and survivability for the rest of your team.
Zhongli is a very versatile defensive support. His strong shield and neutral element allow him to be slotted into teams very easily but at the cost of damage output. While he can be built to have increased damage, not all teams will need the benefits of a shield. He is a great addition for when you need to learn boss fight mechanics thanks to the protection that he offers. Exploration, puzzles, and most open world and end-game fights are trivialized thanks to Zhongli’s kit, and will likely see continued use especially when new areas of Teyvat are introduced into the game.