Those who understand the seven elements that form the foundations of Teyvat can become conquerors. All of the elements react uniquely with one another, and utilizing these reactions is the core mechanic of Genshin Impact’s combat system. Each reaction has its purpose and place, and knowing what each one brings to the table is critical for forming your team. With this in mind, we’ll be going over the best and strongest elemental reactions in Genshin Impact, ranking them from least useful to most powerful.
In this guide, we’ll cover each reactions effects, when to use them, and how to get the most value out of them. We’ll start with the worst elemental reaction and work up to our #1 pick.
Foreword: New Elements
As of August 2022, Dendro was finally added to Genshin Imapct as a playable element, further expanding the list of elemental reactions in the game.
Dendro is particularly unique, as each of its elemental reactions can further combo into another unique reaction. We’ll be listing the secondary reactions under the initial one instead of as a separate reaction, given how they work.
While all seven of the main elements are now playable in the game, there’s speculation that miHoYo might add additional unknown elements further down the road. Namely the possibility of something akin to Light and Void, based off various bits of lore in the game. When the time comes, we’ll be sure to update this list.
Overloaded (Pyro + Electro)
Starting off our list is the most underwhelming reaction of them all, Overloaded. Mixing the two elements causes an explosion of Pyro damage. Despite its name and cool visual effects (who doesn’t like explosions?), it’s by far the least useful and arguably the most detrimental of the reactions.
First off, the damage from Overloaded can not crit. Given that most recommended team comps in Genshin Impact revolve around doing massive crit damage, this already severely weakens Overloaded’s usefulness. If that weren’t enough, only one instance of Overloaded can apply at a time. If multiple Overloaded reactions are triggered at once, only one will actually do damage.
While the reaction does have decent area coverage with its AOE explosion, it also tends to knock most small enemies away in various directions. Besides preventing you from setting up another Overloaded reaction (or any AOE attack) to hit all of them again, you tend to have to chase after the enemies that were sent flying. In Genshin, where grouping up enemies and nuking them down all at once is ideal, this becomes an obvious problem.
Overloaded is rather useful early on in the game when you’re still getting a hang of things, as it hits decently hard and you can use it to spread out enemies for some extra breathing room. It’s also capable of destroying Geo shields, but there are better ways of doing so (like just using a claymore).
At higher levels, Overloaded is mostly just a bonus reaction in certain team comps where you’re passively applying Electro/Pyro or the enemy is naturally infused with one of the two elements. You’ll notice this the most if you’re running characters like Raiden, Beidou, or Thoma.
As a bit of a niche usage, you’re more likely to stagger large enemies with this reaction than any other. Though that usefulness tends to be offset by challenging enemies being immune to CC.
Superconduct (Cryo + Electro)
Next on our list is the Superconduct reaction. Upon triggering this reaction, you’ll cause a burst of AOE Cryo damage from your target like an icy Overloaded.
However, Superconduct is ranked higher as it doesn’t knock away enemies. Additionally, two instances of damage can apply to enemies if multiple Superconduct reactions are triggered at the same time. Finally, it also reduces all affected enemies’ physical resistance by 40% for 12s.
This sounds great! Why is it ranked so low? Well, the base damage on Superconduct is rather low. Even triggering two instances of it will result in less damage than one Overloaded. Also like Overloaded, it can not crit.
Disappointingly, the resulting Cryo explosion also doesn’t apply Cryo to enemies. It would be infinitely better if it could cause chain elemental reactions, but sadly fails to do so.
Finally, the physical resistance debuff is somewhat unimpactful for most teams. Doing more physical damage is always nice, but physical damage builds underperform by a fair margin in comparison to more powerful elemental reactions. Plus, elemental damage, even if delivered via physical attacks, does not count as physical damage. A pity we know.
Superconduct largely only sees uses when you’re running a character centered around doing physical DPS. Typically such characters are running the Pale Flame/Gladiator’s Finale artifact sets and greatly appreciate the damage boost.
Otherwise, you’ll mostly only see the reaction occur as part of happenstance when the two elements are involved in the same battle. Just treat it as a little bit extra damage when auto attacking.
However, we do need to note that there is one rather strong team comp that revolves around Eula and Raiden that thrives off Superconduct. If you happen to have both characters, you might be able to do some serious work with this reaction.
Crystalize (Geo + Pyro/Hydro/Electro/Cryo)
A bit of a unique reaction, as Crystalize is a purely defensive reaction. It occurs whenever you use a Geo attack to hit an enemy infused with another element.
An elemental crystal corresponding to the infused element will appear nearby, granting you a shield for 15s upon picking it up. This shield absorbs a set amount of damage, scaling with the level and elemental mastery of the character who formed the crystal. It’s also 2.5 times more absorbent against damage from the corresponding element (e.g. Pyro shield takes less damage from Pyro attacks, takes normal damage from everything else).
Unfortunately, no crystal will form if you hit an Anemo, Dendro, or Geo enemy. Though the Dendro case might change in the future when it’s introduced as a playable element.
As Crystalize provides no direct damage boost and arguably devalues building elemental mastery on Geo characters, it’s ranked lower amongst the elemental reactions. However, having access to a shield can be tremendously useful in tanking enemy attacks and being able to deal damage uninterrupted.
Crystalize is incredibly useful when dealing with enemies who are constantly infused with an element (like Slimes or Abyss Mage’s shields). Simply keep hitting them with a Geo attack to get access to an easy shield. Proper usage of these shields can basically make you uninterruptible and let you freely do your combo attacks without getting knocked around or having to dodge.
You can even have multiple Crystalize crystals laying around (they last for 17.5 seconds) and simply pick one up when your current shield expires.
Also, yes. The Crystalize shields do trigger the Geo resonance bonus if you have that active.
Burning (Pyro + Dendro)
While Dendro is now a playable element, Burning is arguably the most lackluster reaction involving it. This elemental reaction applies a Pyro DOT effect to affected targets and remains largely unchanged from when Dendro was still a far off dream.
Enemies that are Burning will emit a small aura of Pyro damage to everything near themselves. Given that Dendro enemies tend to be in grassy areas, you can expect everything nearby to start Burning. Said enemies will usually start panicking and trying to put out the flames.
While enemies are technically infused with both Dendro and Pyro simultaneously, introducing a third element will only cause a reaction with the Pyro part. Unfortunately, Burning also can not crit. Due to those reasons, Burning is a bit lower on our list.
Unfortunately, Burning is only really noticeable when it’s on your character. It can and will rapidly chew through your health. When this happens, either deploy a shield or quickly swap to another character (Burning doesn’t do damage to off-field characters).
You’ll primarily be using Burning to send Dendro-infused enemies into a panic or to destroy their shields. Yes, those wooden shields used by Mitachurls count as Dendro for this specific reaction.
While a team centered around Burning is viable, other reactions tend to be much more noticeable and deal damage more quickly.
Electro-Charged (Electro + Hydro)
Up next is Electro-Charged. This reaction occurs when you mix Hydro and Electro, applying a damage-over-time (DOT) effect to your enemies.
The DOT does a surprisingly decent amount of damage over its entire duration, ticking every second to deal more. Additionally, it will arc and deal damage to nearby Hydro-infused enemies, but won’t infuse them with Electro as well. Unfortunately, the damage from this reaction can’t crit, but makes up for it in other ways.
The biggest draw of this reaction is that it infuses both Electro and Hydro into afflicted enemies. This means you can trigger multiple reactions if you add a third element that reacts with both of them. Yes, this includes having Swirl apply both elements (more on that later).
With the addition of Dendro as a playable element, this becomes even more effective as a setup reaction, as triggering both Bloom and Quicken at the same time is rather potent.
As a DOT-based reaction, it can be a bit difficult to consciously register how much damage Electro-Charged is actually doing. You’ll mostly see its presence when fighting enemies near/in bodies of water, as you’ll end up electrocuting the area as well. It’s great for when you want to spread out the damage you’re dealing to all enemies in the surrounding area while still prioritizing a single target first, as the damage arcs back and forth between the afflicted.
However, its most impactful use is to set up a far more deadly chain of reactions due to its dual elemental infusion. Getting a Freeze/Superconduct, Vaporize/Overloaded, or Bloom/Quicken combo can be deadly if done correctly with certain team comps.
Frozen (Cryo + Hydro)
If this reaction were completely isolated, Frozen would be fairly low on our list. It does no damage upon triggering and simply “pauses” the enemy.
We say pause, as it does not stagger/reset the enemy’s action. If you freeze an enemy mid-swing, the attack will continue immediately from where it left off as soon as Frozen wears off.
Seems somewhat useless, right? The trick is that it’s one of the best reactions for setting up massive damage via Melt if done properly while providing just enough CC on the enemy.
Upon triggering Frozen, the enemy will be afflicted by the Cryo status for a few seconds regardless of how long the Frozen state lasts. You’ll have enough time to do with this as you wish. Additionally, Frozen enemies can be hit by a heavy attack (via claymore attacks, plunging attacks, explosions, and Geo damage) to trigger Shatter.
As opposed to elemental damage, Shatter will deal a burst of physical damage. Unfortunately, Shatter doesn’t scale with physical damage (but does with elemental mastery), so it’s somewhat lackluster. However, it is one of the better ways to deal with Hydro shields, which are known for being notoriously difficult to break in comparison to other shields.
As we mentioned earlier, Frozen is most effectively used to set up Melt reactions due to how easy it is to maintain the Cryo status on enemies with Frozen. Additionally, you can use it to lock an enemy in place to either dodge an attack or buy some time to set up a more devastating combo.
Of particular note, there’s a team comp affectionally named Morgana (after the LoL champion known for her CC) that relies on perma-freezing your enemies and pummeling them without resistance. If you have Mona and Ganyu, we recommend looking it up.
And remember, destroy Hydro Abyss Mages’ shields with a Frozen/Shatter combo!
Swirl (Anemo + Pyro/Hydro/Cryo/Electro)
Now for the best elemental reaction in Genshin Impact for support and setup, Swirl. This reaction occurs whenever you use an Anemo attack on an enemy infused with another element.
The resulting Swirl absorbs the non-Anemo element and inflicts two instances of damage to the enemy.
The first is the Swirl damage itself, which scales with a character’s level/elemental mastery and can not crit. The second instance is the absorbed element, which can crit and scales with all the usual damage modifiers (attack, elemental damage bonuses, crit damage, etc.).
The absorbed element will also be applied to all targets hit by the Swirl attack and can trigger other elemental reactions (also scaling with the Anemo character’s stats).
Given that most Anemo abilities cover a large AOE area, it makes spreading elemental statuses incredibly easy. Even more so when you realize that the most popular Anemo characters also tend to have a vortex-like ability that pulls enemies close together for easy AOE attacks.
Further compounding Swirl’s effectiveness is the fantastic four-piece bonus from the Viridescent Venerer artifact set. Besides boosting your Anemo and Swirl damage, it also reduces the enemy’s resistance to the absorbed element by 40% for 10s! It’s so good that it’s considered the best artifact set for nearly every Anemo character.
There are two main uses for Swirl. The first one is to spread elemental status affects to multiple enemies (and usually group them up). The second is to apply the elemental resistance shred from the Viridescent Venerer artifact set.
This allows you to swap to your main DPS character on your team and follow up with another incredibly powerful elemental reaction (we recommend Melt or Vaporize in nearly all cases). Just make sure that character is the same element as the previously absorbed Swirl element.
Melt (Cryo + Pyro)
The next two elemental reactions really only differ on what elements are involved. Luckily, they’re easy to proc and are incredibly powerful damage multipliers.
This is one of two reactions where the order of elements applied matters. Ideally, you apply Cryo first then trigger the reaction with Pyro to get a 2x damage modifier. If you do a Reverse Melt, and apply Pyro first you’ll only get a 1.5x damage modifier.
Regardless of which order you trigger Melt, it will deal a large chunk of damage. At the very least, it’ll do more damage than any of the lower ranked reactions listed so far. Even better, the damage can crit and is affected by all the usual damage modifiers (attack, elemental damage bonuses, crit damage, etc.).
Damage. Melt is all about doing tons and tons of damage. Even though Reverse Melt does less damage, it’s typically more consistent in setting up due to the kits of available characters. However, in most team comps you’ll be triggering the reaction so often that you don’t care too much whether it’s a Reverse Melt or not.
A simple yet effective way to set up a standard Melt reaction with only free-to-play characters is to hit an enemy with Kaeya’s skill, then switch to Amber and land a charged up headshot on said enemy. Since headshots are guaranteed crits, you should see a rather sizeable chunk of damage.
Vaporize (Pyro + Hydro)
Up next is the previously strongest elemental reaction in Genshin Impact. While Vaporize is no longer the undisputed king in Genshin, it’s still incredibly powerful.
Nearly identical in both setup and function as Melt, we have to rate Vaporize higher solely because it’s easier to maintain Hydro status on enemies to set up another Vaporize reaction.
This is tremendously helped by the fact that Xingqiu and Yelan exist in the game and are incredibly good off-field Hydro appliers. Unfortunately, no equivalent exists for Cryo yet (Layla is good, but not on the same level).
Much like Melt, the order of elements applied matters.Vaporize has a 2x damage modifier if Pyro is applied first and Hydro triggers the reaction. If you do a Reverse Vaporize, where Hydro is applied first, the multiplier is 1.5x. Once again, the damage can crit and is affected by all the usual damage modifiers.
Just like Melt, Vaporize is all about damage. The beautiful thing about triggering Vaporize is that it doesn’t immediately clear the Hydro status from an enemy, allowing you get a second Vaporize off if you can quickly apply Pyro again.
As mentioned above, Xingqiu and Yelan are the premiere supports for applying Hydro, as their bursts can constantly apply the element without being on the field. Pair them with someone like Hu Tao and laugh maniacally as your enemies’ health bars vaporize before your onslaught.
And just like Melt, don’t worry too much about whether the reaction is a reverse Vaporize or not. With the frequency of attacks you’re applying, the enemy will be dead in no time.
Bloom (Dendro + Hydro)
Much like watering your plants, combining these two elements causes life to Bloom. In this case, it specifically causes glowing green Dendro Cores to appear on the field. They also quickly wither like house plants after 6 seconds…then explode.
Each Dendro Core is effectively a time bomb that deals AOE Dendro damage to everything in its surrounding, including yourself! Thankfully the damage you receive from your own Dendro Cores is reduced to only 5%, but you should still be careful.
Notably, only 5 Dendro Cores can exist at a time. The second you spawn another one, the oldest Core will immediately detonate. Given how many Hydro characters can function off-field, it becomes very easy to trigger Bloom in rapid succession and cause a cascade of Dendro explosions.
Even better, you can further enhance the damage and effect of the Dendro Cores by applying either Pyro or Electro to them.
Burgeon or Hyperbloom
If you apply Pyro to any of the Dendro Cores, it will trigger Burgeon. This causes an even more powerful and larger explosion than normal. As for applying Electro, it will instead cause the Dendro Cores to becoming heat-seeking missiles that lock on to the closest enemy.
Both secondary reactions deal the same amount of damage, scale with Elemental Mastery, and can not crit. However, due to how well they scale with Elemental Mastery and the frequency at which you can trigger the reaction, it more than makes up for the damage.
Though we do need to note that Hyperbloom is typically the favored of the two reactions due to the available characters that can trigger it. Currently, only Thoma is effective at triggering Burgeon, as he’s the only reliable off-field Pyro applicator. Additionally, Hyperbloom can be enhanced in a manner we’ll discuss just below.
While Bloom is already fairly good on its own, we ranked it as the second best elemental reactioin in Genshin Impact mainly due to the existence of Nilou. She has a unique mechanic that further amplifies the potency of Hyperbloom and lets you turn the battlefield into a non-stop fireworks show of Dendro damage.
When she’s placed in the right team (especially with Nahida), the sheer damage amplification goes through the roof. You’ll be constantly dealing damage on par with some of the best single target teams in a huge AOE radius.
However, you do require a rather specific team to achieve this. If you don’t have access to all the right characters, then Catalyze inches ahead due to being easier to setup.
Catalyze (Dendro + Electro)
Catalyze is currently regarded as being the best elemental reaction in Genshin Impact for good reasons. This elemental reaction is rather unique, as it has three different stages – Quicken, Spread, and Aggravate.
When you apply both elements to a target, it applies a Quicken aura to the foe. This reaction by itself does no damage, but it does set the stage for the next two secondary reactions.
Further Dendro or Electro attacks to said Quicken target will cause either Spread or Aggravate respectively. Both reactions deal extra flat damage to your attacks based off your Elemental Mastery. Even better, this extra damage can crit.
Spread or Aggravate
Besides the triggering element, there’s only one difference between Spread and Aggravate. Spread has a slightly higher damage multiplier of 1.25 compared to Aggravate’s 1.15 multiplier, technically making it the better of the two.
However, Electro characters tend to lean more towards Elemental Mastery builds, which can make Aggravate more potent in comparison. Additionally, there are some very strong characters who can apply Electro while off-field (namely Fischl and the Raiden Shogun).
Of course, if you set up a team around this reaction, you’ll probably be triggering both Spread and Aggravate at an incredibly rapid pace. At that point, the difference between the two becomes negligible.
This reaction is all about triggering the reaction back-to-back and ramping up the damage. While it may seem a bit weaker than Vaporize at first, the existence of characters like Raiden Shogun and Nahida allow you to trigger this reaction at an incomparable rate.
Even better, you can also trigger Bloom by applying Hydro to a Quicken enemy. If you run a team with an off-field Hydro applicator, you can take advantage of the two most powerful elemental reactions at the same time.
Join the High Ground!
And that’s it for our guide on the best elemental reactions in Genshin Impact. We hope you have a better understanding of the laws governing Teyvat as you go forth, Travelers! If you have any question or comments, please subscribe and leave a message below.