Xiao, aka Alatus, aka Conqueror of Demons, aka the last of the Five Great Yaksha, aka — well. You get the point. Xiao is a complicated character who goes by many names. That’s why today we’re going over our recommended Xiao build!
Let’s lay out some ground rules so we’re all on the same page. Firstly, this guide assumes everything is fully ascended/leveled unless otherwise stated. That means all abilities — save constellations — will be unlocked.
As for constellations, we may talk about a certain constellation effect, but overall assume C0. 5-stars are hard enough to get the first time, so we aren’t here to optimize a C6 character you have to spend $500 to get.
Lastly, there’s no right or wrong way to play or even build a character. As long as you’re having fun, you’re playing the game correctly. This guide is just here to help give you some more direction if you don’t know what to do.
If you can’t get every part of your build perfect, don’t sweat it! You can always work on it more in the future as patches and new items come out.
Xiao Build: The Basics
Xiao is a powerful 5-star Anemo DPS character who also works very well as an exploration character thanks to his air dash Elemental Skill. The thing to be careful about with Xiao is that his strength lies in his Elemental Burst, which also drains his HP. That means it’s easy for Xiao to accidentally take himself out if you aren’t careful when playing him.
Despite his semi-complicated mechanics, it isn’t very complicated to make a good Xiao build. In general, you’ll want to up his ATK% and find a weapon that will increase his CRIT Rate or DMG. Unlike other characters, his talents don’t scale with other stats, so you can up his ATK% as much as you want without needing to balance a secondary stat.
Xiao’s artifacts should also primarily focus on upping his ATK% whenever possible. You can choose to balance him out with CRIT or Anemo DMG boosts, but that’s optional.
There are a lot of materials to keep in mind for a Xiao build. You’re going to need a lot of patience and even more Mora to ascend him, as well as his talents and weapons. We’ve broken down the biggest costs below so you can get ready to start grinding (and trust us, there will be grinding to do).
The hardest items to grind for Xiao are his character ascension gems and the boss drop items. It will take time and resin to accumulate enough to fully ascend him, so we recommend breaking up your grinding sessions.
While his character ascension gems can be converted from other ascension gems, there’s no replacing boss drop items, so you’ll need to be ready to fight the Primo Geovishap at least twenty times.
To fully ascend Xiao, you will need:
- 420k Mora
- 46 Juvenile Jade (4-star boss drop)
- 1 Vayuda Turquoise Sliver (2-star ascension material)
- 9 Vayuda Turquoise Fragment (3-star ascension material)
- 9 Vayuda Turquoise Chunk (4-star ascension material)
- 6 Vayuda Turquoise Gemstone (5-star ascension material)
- 168 Qingxin (1-star item)
- 18 Slime Condensate (1-star enemy drop)
- 30 Slime Secretions (2-star enemy drop)
- 36 Slime Concentration (3-star enemy drop)
When ascending characters, if you’re low on a specific element’s ascension gem material, you may convert one into another. Provided you have enough Dust of Azoth, that is, which can be purchased in the shop using Masterless Starglitter.
For instance, if you’re reaching the final ascension phase for Xiao and you’ve gotten the required final 20 Juvenile Jade but you’re short on Vayuda Turquoise Gemstones, you can exchange other gemstones for Vayuda Turquoise. The alchemy table allows players to convert slivers for slivers, fragments for fragments, chunks for chunks, etc.
The higher rarity the ascension material, the more Dust of Azoth you will need, but it’s a nice way to balance out stockpiled materials and eliminate the need for further grinding.
Now let’s talk about talent level up materials. You will need a lot of materials for a single talent so we will prioritize which talents to level up first later on. To fully level one of Xiao’s talents, you will need:
- 1,652,500 Mora
- 6 Slime Condensate (1-star enemy drop)
- 22 Slime Secretions (2-star enemy drop)
- 31 Slime Concentrate (3-star enemy drop)
- 3 Teachings of Prosperity (2-star talent material)
- 21 Guide to Prosperity (3-star talent material)
- 38 Philosophies of Prosperity (4-star talent material)
- 6 Shadow of the Warrior (5-star weekly boss drop)
- 1 Crown of Insight (5-star talent material)
Similarly to converting ascension materials, Mihoyo has provided a way to convert weekly boss drops needed for talent leveling.
With the 4-star drop Dream Solvent, you can convert weekly boss drop items into whatever item you need. The limitation on this is that you can only convert items into other items dropped by the same boss.
In Xiao’s case, if you’re out of the item Shadow of the Warrior, you can use Dream Solvent to convert either Shard of a Foul Legacy or Tusk of Monoceros Caeli into more Shadow of the Warrior. All three items are dropped by Childe in the Golden House Trounce Domain, which makes them compatible for conversion.
Polearm options in Genshin Impact can be a bit limited, but we have a 5-star option and a more easily available, free-to-play option so all players can find something that will work well with their Xiao build.
If you have neither of our recommended weapons, try finding a polearm with high ATK% and an effect that also increases ATK. Bonus points for weapons with a CRIT Rate or CRIT DMG increase and weapons with effects specific to losing HP.
Primordial Jade-Winged Spear — 5-Star weapon
The best weapon for Xiao is the Primordial Jade-Winged Spear. It’s a 5-star polearm that’s unfortunately only available in limited run weapon banners. It’s still one of the strongest polearms in the game, though, so it’s worth getting if you can.
Its main effect, “Eagle Spear of Justice,” increases ATK by 3.2% for six seconds and stacks up to seven times. After attaining the maximum number of stacks, DMG also increases by 12% as well. That means an ATK increase of up to 22.4%. That’s a huge increase for a weapon whose secondary stat is CRIT Rate.
The increased ATK% and CRIT Rate both work phenomenally well with Xiao’s kit and help him deal big damage to enemies. It’s also very helpful that “Eagle Spear of Justice” goes off when Xiao hits an opponent, rather than when he deals DMG to an opponent.
Since he can hit shielded opponents and still gain ATK increase stacks, he’ll be gaining power even while still hitting away at shields. By the time the shield is gone, the right Xiao build may just be able to take enemies out in one hit.
Materials needed to fully level the Primordial Jade-Winged Spear:
- 225k Mora
- 5 Luminous Sands from Guyun (2-star weapon material)
- 14 Lustrous Stone from Guyun (3-star weapon material)
- 14 Relic from Guyun (4-star weapon material)
- 6 Divine Body from Guyun (5-star weapon material)
- 23 Hunter’s Sacrificial Knife (2-star enemy drop)
- 27 Agent’s Sacrificial Knife (3-star enemy drop)
- 41 Inspector’s Sacrificial Knife (4-star enemy drop)
- 15 Recruit’s Insignia (1-star enemy drop)
- 23 Sergeant’s Insignia (2-star enemy drop)
- 27 Lieutenant’s Insignia (3-star enemy drop)
White Tassel — 3-Star weapon
Finding alternative weapons for Xiao is a bit tricky due to polearm availability being what it is. As of Version 2.7, our best free-to-play/non 5-star polearm recommendation is the 3-star polearm White Tassel.
As a 3-star weapon, the White Tassel is easier to get than 5-star options and its main effect, “Sharp,” increases Normal Attack DMG by 48% at full refinement. Its secondary stat is also CRIT Rate, though only increases CRIT Rate by 23.4%.
While the CRIT Rate increase isn’t great, the Normal Attack DMG increase at Level 5 Refinement is actually pretty good. That DMG increase to Normal Attacks can also apply during Xiao’s Elemental Burst.
This polearm is simple to use and very user-friendly, especially to players who don’t want to keep track of specific effects. It’s also handy for players who would rather just have passive effects that are always active.
One thing to beware when it comes to the White Tassel: Make sure you’re careful when leveling up weapons! It can be easy to accidentally consume White Tassel polearms in your inventory without meaning to. The best way to avoid this is to manually lock any in your bag as soon as you pick one up. That way you can still use other 3-star weapons to level up better weapons without having to worry about consuming any White Tassels.
Materials needed to fully level the White Tassel:
- 105k Mora
- 2 Luminous Sands from Guyun (2-star weapon material)
- 6 Lustrous Stone from Guyun (3-star weapon material)
- 6 Relic from Guyun (4-star weapon material)
- 3 Divine Body from Guyun (5-star weapon material)
- 10 Hunter’s Sacrificial Knife (2-star enemy drop)
- 12 Agent’s Sacrificial Knife (3-star enemy drop)
- 18 Inspector’s Sacrificial Knife (4-star enemy drop)
- 6 Recruit’s Insignia (1-star enemy drop)
- 10 Sergeant’s Insignia (2-star enemy drop)
- 12 Lieutenant’s Insignia (3-star enemy drop)
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of materials you will need to gather to fully level a single talent. We’ve prioritized them below in order of importance for your Xiao build.
(Keep in mind that you won’t be able to totally level any of Xiao’s talents until he is fully ascended and able to be leveled up to 90. You will also need to be at least Adventure Rank 25 to level up Talents at all.)
Bane of All Evil — Elemental Burst
Unsurprisingly, the first talent you’ll want to level up is Xiao’s Elemental Burst “Bane of All Evil.” Xiao’s strong suit is his Elemental Burst, so having that leveled first will have the highest return as far as DMG output goes.
In his Burst, Xiao puts on his Yaksha mask. While wearing the mask, Xiao’s jumping ability is increased, his attack AOE and DMG are increased, and his attack DMG is converted to Anemo DMG, which cannot be overridden by other elemental infusions. He also continuously loses HP.
The easiest (and most fun) way to use Xiao’s Elemental Burst is to take advantage of his increased jumping ability. By jumping repeatedly, Xiao is able to make plunging attacks and hit large groups of enemies with his increased AOE.
At higher levels, the HP drain caused by Xiao’s Elemental Burst is reduced (though only by a whopping 1%).
After Xiao’s burst, it’s kind of up to you which talent you want to level up next. We recommend his Elemental Skill “Lemniscatic Wind Cycling,” but depending on your weapon and artifact set, you may want to up his “Whirlwind Thrust” talent first instead.
Lemniscatic Wind Cycling — Elemental Skill
Xiao’s Elemental Skill is pretty simple. When used, he lunges forward and deals Anemo DMG to opponents in his path. The fun part though is that Xiao is one of only two characters who can use their element skill midair.
Being able to air dash makes Xiao a phenomenal character to use while exploring. He can glide further than other characters, recoup small amounts of stamina where others can’t, and even help you reach items that seem just out of reach. If you’re trying to track down one of the -oculus items for a Statue of Seven, for instance, Xiao is definitely someone you’ll want on your team.
Whirlwind Thrust — Normal Attacks
Lastly, we come to Xiao’s normal attacks. He performs up to six rapid hits when his attack is tapped, or he will thrust upward with his polearm when performing a Charged Attack.
While performing Plunging Attacks, Xiao deals AOE upon impact and doesn’t take DMG from dealing such attacks. Which is pretty nice considering he already loses HP while performing Plunging Attacks during his Elemental Burst.
Depending on your Xiao build, normal attacks could be very important to his damage dealing ability. Certain weapons and artifact sets will boost his normal attacks and make it worthwhile to level up this talent, though first priority will always be his Elemental Burst.
Arguably the most important part of any character build in Genshin Impact is the artifact set you choose. For Xiao, there are a few options for artifact sets that will work well with his talents and especially boost his Elemental Burst.
Regardless of which set you choose, there are certain stats you will want to prioritize for each artifact type. The first two artifacts, Flower of Life and Plume of Death, have locked primary stats. They only ever have primary HP and ATK stats, respectively. Their substats can differ, though.
The other three artifacts have varying main and sub stats. When choosing artifacts for Xiao, these are the primary stats to be on the lookout for:
- Sands of Eon: ATK%
- Goblet of Eonothem: Anemo DMG Bonus or ATK%
- Circlet of Logos: CRIT DMG/ Rate or ATK%
Sub stats are less important than primary stats, but in general, you will want to prioritize CRIT DMG/ Rate, ATK%, and Energy Recharge. Even if you manage to get an artifact with all the right stats, there’s no telling how the upgrades will affect its sub stats, though.
Finding the perfect artifact can take literal months and tons of grinding, so unless you’re a perfectionist, we recommend focusing on the primary stats first and foremost.
Vermillion Hereafter — 5-Star Artifact Set
When it comes to artifact sets, Vermillion Hereafter is the best for your Xiao build. It’s a 5-star set that’s actually his personal artifact set, too.
Its two-piece effect is simple enough. Like a handful of other artifact sets, it increases ATK by 18%. The four-piece effect is where things get interesting, so we don’t recommend mixing it, since you’ll miss out on the best part of the artifact set.
The effect gives characters a “Nascent Light” effect after using an Elemental Burst. Nascent Light increases normal ATK by 8% for 16s and further increases ATK by 10% when HP decreases, which is perfect for Xiao’s Elemental Burst.
The Nascent Light effect can stack up to four times and be triggered every 0.8 seconds, though the effect will be lost if the character leaves the field or uses another Elemental Burst.
Vermillion Hereafter is slightly more common than other artifact sets and, since its introduction in Version 2.6, has become more widely available through quest rewards as well as Spiral Abyss clear rewards.
It also has its own domain in The Chasm for determined players to grind in. It may take a while for new players to reach this domain, though, so we have some other suggestions for early game artifact sets.
Gladiator’s Finale — 5-Star Artifact Set
Xiao is one of the few characters who actually works very well with a Gladiator’s Finale artifact set. With the right artifact pieces, Gladiator’s Finale can be almost as good as Vermillion Hereafter.
The two-piece effect is actually the same as the Vermillion Hereafter’s set and grants an 18% ATK boost. The four-piece effect increases normal ATK DMG by 35% if the user wields a sword, claymore or, as in Xiao’s case, a polearm.
While we don’t recommend mixing artifacts sets for Xiao, it can be hard to get good four-piece sets. If you need to mix, then using both Vermillion Hereafter and Gladiator’s Finale isn’t a bad start. Both will still give +18% ATK for a total of +36% ATK, which is not bad at all for new players struggling to get five-star artifacts.
The nice thing about the Gladiator’s Finale artifact set is that it is a common artifact drop when facing off against bosses, weekly bosses, and even certain quest rewards. It won’t take long at all to accumulate a number of them just playing the game regularly. That means little to no grinding for artifacts, which can be a huge pain in the butt.
Berserker — 4-Star Artifact Set
For players who haven’t been able to get five-star artifacts yet, the Berserker set is a good substitute. It’s available as both three- and four-star artifacts, and pieces will even drop when fighting certain enemies like Mitachurls.
The Berserker’s set effects increase CRIT Rate by 12% at two pieces. Then increase CRIT Rate by another 24% when HP is below 70% at four pieces. The bonus granted by lower HP is another effect which works well with Xiao’s Elemental Burst.
The increased CRIT Rate compliments Xiao’s fast ATK SPD, too. This artifact set, when paired with a CRIT Rate weapon and Circlet of Logos with a CRIT Rate stat, will make for a deadly Xiao build that will CRIT like there is no tomorrow.
When you are working on your Xiao build, it can be hard to find the right team comp to support him. Despite being Anemo, his Swirl reaction capabilities are pretty low and we don’t recommend other characters with strong Elemental Reactions.
That being said, Xiao can work well with Geo characters and healers. Healers are very helpful when it comes to stabilizing Xiao. Having a healer on your team can mean being a little less cautious during and after using his Elemental Burst. You will be able to recoup his HP loss and not dip into the red.
Having Geo characters can also help by applying shields, which will increase Xiao’s time on the field and the damage he is able to deal. Be mindful of choosing a shield character over a healer, since Xiao will still lose HP even while shielded.
Characters who have off-field effects or can boost energy recharge are both helpful to have, since they work well to boost Xiao’s abilities. We would prioritize shields and healers first, though.
Example teams for Xiao may include Diona, who can both heal and shield, and Zhongli, who creates one of the strongest shields in Genshin Impact to date.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our recommended Xiao build guide in Genshin Impact! How does our recommendation stack up against your build? Let us know in the comments below, and check out our list of the best DPS characters in Genshin Impact! You can see how Xiao stacks up against other DPS characters in the game and what our number one overall is. Also, be sure to subscribe to be notified when we post more Genshin Impact guides in the future.