The mystery woman of Liyue, Yelan, is a 5-star Hydro bow character in Genshin Impact. Her exact motives (and even her job title) are highly classified information. If we knew any of it, she might even have to kill us!

What we do know, though, is that she’s a pretty amazing character. She can fit into most teams in a variety of roles, and is valuable in a wide range of lineups. Today, we’re going over the best Yelan builds in Genshin Impact.

Let’s get started!

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Building a Strong Character: Yelan

If you’ve been reading our other Genshin Impact character build guides, you know the drill by now. To make sure everyone is on the same page, we assume everything is fully ascended and leveled. That means all talents will be unlocked and capable of being fully leveled. 

We also assume weapon refinement and constellations are at their lowest level unless otherwise stated. 5-star weapons and characters are hard enough to get once, so most players don’t spend much time trying to up refinement or constellations. Base refinement and constellations are still plenty useful, though, so don’t worry about those.

When building a character in Genshin Impact, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is your playstyle and how a new character may fit into it. Knowing what your current team lacks will help you figure out how to build new characters to fill those gaps. 

The second is the actual build itself — the materials you’ll need, the best weapons, and enough Mora to afford it all. While we can’t tell you the best build for your specific team, we can give you some options for different build types. Then you can try them out and pick whichever one fits best with your needs.

Now let’s get into those Yelan builds!

Best Yelan Builds: The Basics

Best Yelan Builds: The Basics
“Here comes the catch.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

When building Yelan, there are a few things that will be important regardless of build type. In general, weapons and artifacts that increase her HP will be important. Yelan’s Elemental Skill, Elemental Burst, and Charged Attacks scale with her max HP. If you’re looking to increase your Yelan’s damage output, the first thing you’ll want to do is increase her HP.

Her Elemental Burst, Depth-Clarion Dice, is a versatile move that has both damage and support potential. That means you’ll always want to prioritize it above her other talents. You’ll also want to keep it in mind when picking other characters, since it’s most effective when combined with characters that utilize rapidfire Normal Attacks over Elemental Skills. 

The rest of Yelan’s build depends on what sort of role you want to put her in. She can either be a high damage dealer herself or boost your party’s overall damage output. Before you get too far into comparing builds, though, make sure you have enough materials to actually get Yelan into fighting shape! 

Materials

No matter which of the Yelan builds you decide to go with, you’re going to need a lot of resources to actually get a usable character. Not only will you need hundreds of thousands of Mora, you’ll also need ascension materials, weapon materials, and items dropped by all sorts of enemies. It may take some grinding if you’re unprepared.

The toughest materials to come by are the ascension gem materials and the boss drop items. In order to get enough Runic Fangs to fully ascend Yelan, players will need to battle the Ruin Serpent over twenty times. It’s not the hardest boss battle, but it is located in the Chasm, so new players won’t be able to fight it right away. 

Ascension Materials 

To fully ascend Yelan, you will need:

  • 420k Mora
  • 46 Runic Fang (4-star boss drop)
  • 1 Varunada Lazurite Sliver (2-star ascension material)
  • 9 Varunada Lazurite Fragment (3-star ascension material)
  • 9 Varunada Lazurite Chunk (4-star ascension material)
  • 6 Varunada Lazurite Gemstone (5-star ascension material)
  • 168 Starconch (1-star item)
  • 18 Recruit’s Insignia (1-star enemy drop)
  • 30 Sergeant’s Insignia (2-star enemy drop)
  • 36 Lieutenant’s Insignia (3-star enemy drop)

For players having a hard time getting enough Varunada Lazurite — made even more difficult since the Ruin Serpent only drops Prithiva Topaz — Hoyoverse does allow conversions. If you have enough Dust of Azoth, anyway. 

You can make use of all the Prithiva Topaz by converting it into the needed Varunada Lazurite in one-to-one conversions. One Dust of Azoth can convert a single sliver into another sliver, three can convert Fragments, nine can convert Chunks, and twenty-seven can convert Gemstones. 

To get Dust of Azoth, all you’ll need to do is purchase some from the Shop in the Paimon’s Bargains tab. 5 Masterless Stardust purchases 10 Dust of Azoth. Up to 1,000 Dust of Azoth can be purchased each month. 

Talent Materials

To fully level one of Yelan’s talents, you will need:

  • 1,625,500 Mora
  • 6 Recruit’s Insignia (1-star enemy drop)
  • 22 Sergeant’s Insignia (2-star enemy drop)
  • 31 Lieutenant’s Insignia (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 Gilded Scale (5-star weekly boss drop)
  • 1 Crown of Insight (5-star talent material)

If you’re having a hard time getting enough Gilded Scales from the weekly Beneath the Dragon-Queller Trounce Domain, you can also convert from other weekly boss drops. Using the 4-star Dream Solvent item, you can convert either Bloodjade Branches or Dragon Lord’s Crowns into more Gilded Scales. 

So long as the 5-star talent material is from the same boss, it can be converted into whatever talent material you need. Converting with Dream Solvent is also a one-to-one conversion. Unfortunately, Dream Solvent can only be obtained via weekly boss fights. As of Version 2.7, that does mean six chances to get at least one each week, though. 

Talents

Best Yelan Builds: Talents
“Game’s up, fun’s over!”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Regardless of which of our Yelan builds you decide to follow, you’ll want to level up her Elemental Burst first and foremost. Her Elemental Burst has huge damage potential for both her and other party members. 

Following her Elemental Burst, you can choose either her Elemental Skill or Normal Attack talent to level depending on what kind of role you want her to have. We’ll go over talent priority in each specific build later on. 

1. Elemental Burst: Depth-Clarion Dice

As we’ve mentioned before, the first talent you’ll want to level up is Yelan’s Elemental Burst. It doesn’t matter which of our Yelan builds you pick. Her greatest asset as a DPS character, sub-DPS character, and Support character is her Elemental Burst, Depth-Clarion Dice.

When using her Elemental Burst, Yelan strikes a pose and deals AOE Hydro DMG. She also creates a floating Hydro die called an “Exquisite Throw.” The Exquisite Throw follows your active character around and deals Hydro DMG based on Yelan’s max HP. Hydro DMG is dealt when your active character uses their Normal Attack and when Yelan’s Lifeline hits opponents.

Think of the Exquisite Throw as a Hydro construct that stays on the field for 15 seconds. While it has a high energy cost, it also deals high DMG and can boost DMG dealt by other DPS characters, since it’s not dependent on Yelan staying on the field. 

At talent Level 10, Yelan’s Elemental Burst deals 13.15% of her max HP in the AOE before her Exquisite Throw damage. Yelan’s passive talents Turn Control and Adapt with Ease both increase this damage either directly or by increasing her HP. 

2. Elemental Skill: Lingering Lifeline

Yelan’s Elemental Skill has differing importance based on what type of build you’re using, but is still a very useful talent to level up. 

When using Lingering Lifeline, Yelan creates a thin blue lifeline that wraps around enemies in its path. While creating a lifeline, Yelan also begins running faster than her usual sprint. At the end of her run, her lifeline explodes and deals Hydro DMG to enemies wrapped up in it. 

When holding Yelan’s Elemental Skill, her heightened speed lasts longer and she grows resistant to interruption. At talent Level 10, the DMG dealt to each enemy entangled in her lifeline increases to 40.7% of her max HP. 

Each enemy wrapped up in Yelan’s Lifeline also gives a 34% chance to reset her Breakthrough state.

3. Normal Attack: Stealthy Bowshot

Yelan’s Normal Attack fires off a series of four consecutive attacks. Her attack sequence will reset if interrupted. Where things get interesting, though, is her Charged Attacks. 

Yelan’s Charged Attacks fire off an aimed attack with higher DMG than her Normal Attacks. When she spends five seconds out of combat, she will enter a “Breakthrough.” Her Breakthrough decreases the charge time for her next Charged Attack and also fires a “Breakthrough Barb” that deals AOE Hydro DMG. Just like her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst, it scales with Yelan’s max HP.

Yelan’s Breakthrough State is very valuable to builds where Yelan is dealing DMG herself rather than supporting other characters. The shortened charge time is very helpful for close combat where aimed shots are hard, if not impossible, to fire.

Weapons

There are a number of different weapons that can work very well with Yelan’s talents. Depending on which of our Yelan builds you choose, you may find one weapon more helpful than another. In general, however, the best weapon for Yelan will be her 5-star bow. 

We’ve also included some 4-star options below, and will go over which weapons are helpful in specific builds later on. 

1. Aqua Simulacra — 5-Star Bow

Aqua Simulacra- 5 Star Bow
“Busted.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

The best weapon for any of your Yelan builds is going to be her 5-star bow, the Aqua Simulacra. 

The secondary stat, CRIT DMG, increases Yelan’s CRIT DMG by up to 88.2%. That alone makes it a fantastic weapon. The CRIT increase is meant more for DPS and Sub-DPS builds over Support builds, but Support Yelans will still want the Aqua Simulacra for its main effect.

This weapon’s main effect, “The Cleansing Form,”  increases HP by 16%. It also increases Yelan’s DMG dealt by 20% when opponents are nearby. This DMG increase occurs whether she is on or off the field. That off-field DMG increase is a fantastic Support asset since it boosts the damage dealt by her Exquisite Throw even if she’s off the field.  

The balance of DPS and Support boosts make this weapon the ideal choice for any Yelan main. Unfortunately, it is a 5-star weapon, so it’s not easy to get your hands. Unless you’re playing at the right time and have enough primogems to burn, you’re better off choosing a 4-star alternative. 

To fully ascend the Aqua Simulacra, you will need:

  • 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 Gloomy Statuette (2-star enemy drop)
  • 27 Dark Statuette (3-star enemy drop)
  • 41 Deathly Statuette (4-star enemy drop)
  • 15 Spectral Husk (1-star enemy drop)
  • 23 Spectral Heart (2-star enemy drop)
  • 27 Spectral Nucleus (3-star enemy drop)

2. Stringless — 4-Star Bow

Stringless - 4 Star Bow
“Easy money.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

The Stringless 4-star bow actually works for multiple Yelan builds and is a solid choice for all of them. It is a straightforward weapon without complex effects to keep track of. 

The Base ATK is a respectable 510 and its secondary Stat, Elemental Mastery, increases Yelan’s Elemental Mastery by 165. The higher Elemental Mastery stat is great for players wanting to capitalize on Elemental Reactions.

The biggest reason to use the Stringless is its main effect, “Arrowless Song.” This effect increases Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst DMG by 24%. At higher refinement levels, the DMG boost can increase, all the way up to 48% at refinement Level 5. 

The Elemental Burst and Skill increase make this weapon valuable for both DPS and Support builds. Unlike the Aqua Simulacra, there is no stat increase for Yelan’s HP, so it’s not always the best option if you’re looking for higher HP in your build.

To fully ascend the Stringless:

  • 150k Mora
  • 3 Tile of Decarabian’s Tower (2-star weapon material)
  • 9 Debris of Decarabian’s City (3-star weapon material)
  • 9 Fragment of Decarabian’s Epic (4-star weapon material)
  • 4 Scattered Piece of Decarabian’s Dream (5-star weapon material)
  • 15 Heavy Horn (2-star enemy drop)
  • 18 Black Bronze Horn (3-star enemy drop)
  • 27 Black Crystal Horn (4-star enemy drop)
  • 10 Firm Arrowhead (1-star enemy drop)
  • 15 Sharp Arrowhead (2-star enemy drop)
  • 18 Weathered Arrowhead (3-star enemy drop)

3. Favonius Warbow — 4-Star Bow

Best Yelan Builds Favonius Warbow - 4 Star Bow
“It’s time to pull the trigger.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

The final weapon we recommend for Yelan builds is the Favonius Warbow.

There is a very specific reason to use this bow over other 4-star options — Energy Recharge. The secondary stat of this bow can increase Energy Recharge by up to 61.3%. Its main effect, “Windfall,” also generates energy particles on CRITs. Each CRIT has a 60% chance to generate energy particles. Particles can be generated once every 12 seconds this way. The chance and frequency to generate particles improve with each refinement level, up to 100% every 6 seconds.

The Energy Recharge paired with the energy particle generation make the Favonius Warbow invaluable to Yelan builds that heavily rely on Elemental Bursts. Being able to quickly regenerate energy allows for more frequent Bursts, which can be helpful to all build types. 

To fully ascend the Favonius Warbow, you will need:

  • 150k Mora
  • 3 Fetters of the Dandelion Gladiator (2-star weapon material)
  • 9 Chains of the Dandelion Gladiator (3-star weapon material)
  • 9 Shackles of the Dandelion Gladiator (4-star weapon material)
  • 4 Dream of the Dandelion Gladiator (5-star weapon material)
  • 15 Chaos Device (2-star enemy drop)
  • 18 Chaos Circuit (3-star enemy drop)
  • 27 Chaos Core (4-star enemy drop)
  • 10 Whopperflower Nectar (1-star enemy drop)
  • 15 Shimmering Nectar (2-star enemy drop)
  • 18 Energy Nectar (3-star enemy drop)

Best Yelan Builds: DPS

Best Yelan Builds: DPS
“Looks like the situation has changed again.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

If you’re looking to deal high damage with Yelan herself, then a DPS build is the way to go. This build places the most importance on increasing HP and Hydro DMG to maximize the damage dealt by Yelan’s Elemental Burst and Exquisite Throw.

When using a DPS Yelan, her Charged Attack is important to keep in mind, as well as her Breakthrough. Watching for her glowing bracelet lets you know when she has entered Breakthrough. Managing her Breakthrough state will allow her to stand as a powerful DPS character even when she isn’t using her Elemental Burst. 

Weapons

There are a number of weapons which can work well with a DPS Yelan build, but let’s quickly go over the top two options.

As mentioned before, Yelan’s best weapon is the Aqua Simulacra. The HP increase directly influences Yelan’s Elemental Burst, Elemental Skill, and even Charged Attacks, which makes it great as a DPS weapon. The 20% direct DMG increase is also helpful for upping the damage done by Yelan’s Breakthrough Barbs.

If you’re unable to obtain the Aqua Simulacra, the Stringless is a great 4-star alternative that can be gained easily through wishing. While the Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst DMG increase doesn’t do anything for Yelan’s Charged Attacks, it’s still helping the strongest part of her kit. 

Stronger Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst attacks also mean fewer Normal and Charged Attacks anyway.

Artifacts

There are a few options for artifacts that will greatly increase Yelan’s damage dealing abilities. The best artifacts for Yelan as of Version 2.7 are actually from two different sets. Using two pieces from the 5-star Tenacity of the Millelith artifact set and two pieces from the 5-star Heart of Depth artifact set will directly boost two of the most important parts of any DPS Yelan builds.

The tenacity of the Millelith’s two-piece effect increases HP by 20%, and the Heart of Depth’s two-piece effect increases Hydro DMG Bonus by 15%.

For players wanting a 4 Star artifact set substitute, we recommend the four-piece Martial Artist set. This artifact set is especially helpful in boosting Breakthrough damage and Breakthrough Barbs. Its two-piece effect increases Normal and Charged Attack DMG by 15%, and its four-piece effect increases them by 25% for 8s after using an Elemental Skill.

Regardless of which artifact set your artifacts are from, there are certain stats you’ll want to focus on. While the primary stats for the Flower of Life and Plume of Death are locked, there are a few options for the other artifacts. 

In general, you’ll want artifacts with the following stats:

  • Sands of Eon: HP%
  • Goblet of Eonothem: Hydro DMG Bonus
  • Circle of Logost: CRIT DMG

While the primary stats for artifacts are most important, you can still get some nice boosts in substats if you’re lucky.  You will also want HP% and CRIT Rate/DMG for DPS Yelan builds. The CRIT increase will directly increase her DMG output, and the HP% will increase her Elemental Skill, Elemental Burst, and Breakthrough Barb DMG. 

Talent Priorities

Since talents are difficult to level all at once, we’ve prioritized them in order of importance to DPS builds. 

  1. Elemental Burst
  2. Normal Attack
  3. Elemental Skill

After Elemental Burst, most DPS Yelan builds will want to prioritize her Normal and Charged Attack talent. While her Elemental Skill has high damage potential, the cooldown makes it inconsistent. The right weapons and artifacts will make her Charged Attacks more than worth leveling up this talent before her Elemental Skill. 

Team Recommendation

DPS-Team
“Who’s our target this time?”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Having the right team to back Yelan up will make her a powerful DPS that not even the Abyss Order will want to mess with. Pairing her with Anemo and Electro characters who can set off Electro-Charged and Swirl Reactions will allow her to deal big damage even while off the field and during her Elemental Burst cooldown.

Best Yelan Builds: Sub-DPS

Best Yelan Builds: Sub-DPS
“Quietly now.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Sub-DPS and DPS builds are not so different for Yelan. The biggest difference is whether you want to have a second damage-dealing character on your team that can take point when Yelan’s Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst are in cooldown. This build places much less importance on her Charged Attacks.

Weapons

The Aqua Simulacra and Favonius Warbow both have high damage potential and high support potential when off-field during Elemental Burst and Elemental Skill cooldowns.

The Aqua Simulacra works well in a sub-DPS build since its main effect works whether Yelan is on the field or not. Since she doesn’t need to be on the field, the best strategy involves switching to your primary DPS character after using Yelan’s Elemental Burst. You’ll be able to deal damage with your DPS while also gaining the 20% DMG increase from Yelan’s weapon at the same time. It’s a win-win.

As a 4-star alternative to the Aqua Simulacra, the Favonius Warbow is a great weapon for recouping energy quickly. The quick energy recovery means being able to switch to Yelan, pop off her Elemental Skill quickly, then Elemental Burst and switch to another character over and over with much less downtime.

Artifacts

Since being able to use Elemental Bursts are important for sub-DPS Yelan builds, choosing artifact sets that increase Energy Recharge is a good idea.

The 5-star Emblem of Severed Fate set in particular is a good option, since it also increases Elemental Burst DMG based on Energy Recharge. Its two-piece effect increases Energy Recharge by 20%, and its four-piece effect increases Elemental Burst DMG by 25% of Energy Recharge. A maximum of 75% bonus damage can be gained this way!

The Exile is a great 4-star alternative for players who haven’t found the right 5-star artifacts yet. The two-piece effect increases Energy Recharge by 20%, though it doesn’t increase DMG. The four-piece effect generates 2 Energy for other party members every 2 seconds for six seconds after using an Elemental Burst, which is great for your primary DPS. Note that this effect doesn’t stack.

For sub-DPS builds, you’ll want artifacts with the following primary stats:

  • Sands of Eon: Energy Recharge
  • Goblet of Eonothem: Hydro DMG Bonus
  • Circlet of Logos: CRIT Rate

As for substats, artifacts with Energy Recharge will be most helpful. HP%, CRIT Rate and DMG are good too.

Talent Priorities

Talent priorities are slightly different for sub-DPS builds compared to DPS builds. Sub-DPS Yelans won’t utilize their Breakthrough states as much, meaning Normal Attacks take a backseat. 

  1. Elemental Burst
  2. Elemental Skill
  3. Normal Attacks

Elemental Skill is more important in sub-DPS builds than it is in DPS builds. Since Yelan will be spending less time on the field, her Normal Attacks have the least amount of importance here. Her Elemental Skill and Elemental Burst will be where most of her damage comes from, and will be the most interaction she has during combat. 

Team Recommendation

SubDPS-Team
“Let’s go get ourselves some answers.”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Sub-DPS Yelan builds work well in teams where you want Hydro applied. Pairing her with characters who can Vaporize or Freeze enemies will maximize damage, especially in teams with no other Hydro characters.  

Best Yelan Builds: Support

Best Yelan Builds: Support
“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Support Yelan builds are meant to quickly enter and exit the field without spending much time on it or directly attacking enemies. The most she’ll do is wrap enemies up in her Lifeline Elemental Skill to apply Hydro damage, then exit after using her Elemental Burst. Her build and attacks will do more to increase the damage dealt by other characters than the damage she deals herself. 

Weapons

Despite not being on the field as much, Support Yelans will still want the Aqua Simulacra if you can get it. Thanks to the 20% increase when off-field, Yelan’s 5-star bow is a great choice even for a support weapon. As of Version 2.7, it is one of the few bow weapons in the game that increases HP, which is an invaluable stat for Yelan.

If you can’t get it, the 4-star Stringless is a great alternative weapon. It increases damage dealt by Yelan’s Elemental Burst, which is where most of her Support comes from. The increased damage will transfer to her Exquisite Throw damage and in turn boost the damage dealt by your primary DPS characters. 

Artifacts

To maximize the support capabilities of this Yelan build, using the 5-star Noblesse Oblige artifact set is the best choice. It will not only increase Yelan’s Elemental Burst DMG, but other team members’ Elemental Burst DMG as well. 

Its two-piece effect increases Elemental Burst DMG by 20%, and its four-piece effect increases all party member ATK by 20% for 12 seconds after sing an Elemental Burst. Effect cannot stack.

A good 4-star artifact set alternative is the Instructor set. Its two-piece effect increases Elemental Mastery of all party members by 80, and its four-piece effect increases the Elemental Reaction capabilities of your team by 120 for 8 seconds after triggering one.

After you’ve picked your artifact sets, it’s time to pick specific artifacts. Overall, you will want artifacts with the following stats:

  • Sands: Energy Recharge
  • Goblet: Hydro DMG Bonus
  • Circlet: HP%

Substats for support Yelan builds are pretty standard. Focus on upping her Energy Recharge and HP% primarily. CRIT Rate and DMG substats are also good, but not as important.

Talent Priorities

Similarly to sub-DPS builds, Elemental Skill is more important than Elemental Burst for Support builds. Support Yelans will spend most of their time applying Hydro to enemies, rather than dealing damage directly with Normal Attacks.

  1. Elemental Burst
  2. Elemental Skill
  3. Normal Attacks

Since support characters don’t typically spend a lot of time on the field, it makes sense that Yelan’s Normal Attack talent is given the lowest priority. When playing a support role, it’s much more helpful to quickly deal high damage with her Elemental Skill and switch her out, rather than sticking around to make Charged Attacks.

Team Recommendation

Support-Team
“There’s a restlessness in the wind…”| Image: miHoYo via HGG / Devin Dornbrock

Support Yelan builds work well with most team comps. Making the most of elemental reactions, especially Swirl reactions, will work well, but you can really put her in most teams with little to no tweaking. 

Just keep in mind that her Elemental Burst works best when characters use their Normal Attacks and does not deal Hydro DMG when using other Elemental Skills/ Bursts.

Join the High Ground

Those are our recommended Yelan builds! Which build do you think is the strongest? Let us know in the comments below, and check out our Arataki Itto build guide if you’re looking for more Genshin Impact character builds. There’s more to come, so be sure to subscribe if you want to stay up-to-date on our character builds and other tips and tricks.

Happy gaming!

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