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Genshin Impact Artifact Optimization Guide: Basic Practices and Advanced Concepts

Genshin Impact Artifact Optimization Guide

Genshin Impact artifact gearing. The unequivocal source of pain for an “end game” player and one of the most overwhelming aspects for most players when building characters. Artifacts have the ability to raise your damage floor by a significant amount, which is why they are very important and something that you can always improve.

On top of that, there are a lot of misconceptions about artifacts in general, along with the age-old question: Is this a good artifact?

In this guide, I will go over this question, and unpack its nuance as well as going over general practices/concepts on optimizing an artifact to the best of your ability in game.

What I will NOT be doing is telling you which artifact sets every single character needs as it depends on many factors. This guide is just looking at artifact evaluation alone in relation to character gearing and their respective builds.

While it is VERY true to say “just use the optimizer ”, (I use it myself occasionally) I feel there is also value in knowing yourself what makes an artifact better than others, to the point where you can combine your own thought process along with the optimizer for the best results. While it is very tempting to end this article right here and say “it depends”, I will try and explain WHY it depends.

Basic Practices and Concepts

Genshin Impact Klee Artifacts

Before we go into the specifics, let’s go over the basics in what you want out of an artifact and the options you have at your disposal. 

Main stats

While it might seem obvious, the first thing you should be wondering if an artifact is good or not is if the main stat on your Sands/Goblet/Circlet is viable on your specific character. With Flowers and Plumes, you can be slightly picky with their substats as they always have the same main stat.

Regarding your other 3 pieces, with some damage dealers/ carries, usually your Sands tend to be the most flexible of the two with your Goblet often being an elemental Goblet and usually Crit Rate/ Dmg on your Circlet.

For example with Xiangling, her main stat options for her sands are very flexible due to the fact she has a lot of external sources (weapons/ buffs) that can give you relevant stats (EM/ ER), which are all viable main stat options that she can benefit from. Essentially, this means you can figure out which stat you need for your sands by compensating for the stats you are lacking.

For example, assuming you factor in substat rolls, and an EM weapon, this means you can go for an Energy Recharge main stat OR more offensive options like an ATK/ EM main stat with an ER weapon.

Keep in mind you also have substats to factor that in as well. There are just plenty of combinations and this is an example for just Xiangling. There are a lot of other characters that are similar in this sense when it comes to main stat options. 

High Value Artifact Sets/ Resin Efficiency

It’s no secret that some artifact sets are just better than others. Artifact sets such as Emblem of Severed Fate, Viridescent Venerer, and Noblesse Oblige are all top tier sets that every account should have multiple sets of.

On the other hand, sets such as Archaic Petra or Thundersoother are very niche despite having their uses.

Emblem of Severed Fate

Genshin Impact Emblem of Severed Fate

Regarding the aforementioned top tier sets, Emblem is regarded as such due to many factors. Resin efficiency being one of them simply due to the fact of how good the 4 set bonus is for MANY burst supports/ damage dealers. Futhermore, it’s paired with Shimenawa, which is a fairly universal 2 set bonus and a niche 4 set bonus that can be used an alternative for some carries.

Viridescent Venerer

Regarding Viridescent Venerer, the domain itself is not very resin efficient due to being paired with Maiden’s Beloved but the VV set bonus is so strong, there’s an argument to be made that it’s very worth your resin investment.

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse Oblige is also arguably the strongest generalist support set with very simple conditions to achieve the team-wide buff that it offers. All that being said, currently Noblesse and VV are now in the artifact strongbox, giving you another avenue to access these amazing pieces.

Blizzard Strayer

The Blizzard Strayer set is also worth mentioning as the set bonus is just insane for freeze carries in general to the point that forcing the 4 set is viable. This viability aspect applies to the previously mentioned top tier sets as well.

Certain set bonuses are just too good to not have and provide high value to your teams. 

In-Depth Practices/ Concepts

This section will be going over what you need to keep in mind when judging/comparing your artifacts, as well as terms/concepts you may have heard of that you can incorporate in your own min-maxing journey to determine your best pieces in relation to the character.

Note that these are not end-all be-all rules to live by, but more so ideas to implement in your thought process when dealing with the never ending nuance to gear/stat optimization.

Stat Balancing  

A vague but general rule of thumb when optimizing your characters’ stats is striking a nice balance of everything. Besides exceptions like full EM builds, which generally only value EM/ER substats, your standard damage dealers will always perform better in their teams with a nice balance of ATK, Energy Recharge, along with your best possible Crit stats.

Crit, while multiplying your DMG, is still based on your total ATK/ multipliers for standard ATK scaling carries. Same goes for HP scaling carries, whether it be a conversion to ATK or directly scaling of HP stats, the principle still applies for HP.

A lot of people ask the question, “My crit ratio is insane but why is my damage still bad?” It’s simply a byproduct of lack of stat balancing. Hyper focusing on only Crit stats while neglecting other important stats will not only hurt personal damage, but hurt your team damage and performance.

EM is also very appreciated for more reaction based carries. An example would be characters and their damage coming from triggering amplifying reactions, (vape/melt) which appreciate EM substats. Same goes for Energy Recharge. Being able to comfortably burst consistently on your DMG dealers within a rotation is better for your overall team DPS output. Compare this to dealing with an x amount of downtime doing no damage due to an increased effort into funneling more than you normally would along with sub par Energy Recharge. 

All that being said, this balance is very character dependent, on top of external factors that you have to keep in mind when implementing this balance. Additionally, you can think of stat balancing as compensating for lacking stats within the context of the team you are using. 

External Sources of Buffs (Teammates/Weapons) 

Genshin Impact Bennett Birthday Artwork 2021

Teammates and weapons have a big influence in stat balancing and is always something to take into account when figuring out which stats you need more/less of.

For example, if you are using Bennett, which grants you a massive Flat ATK buff, and/or a Noblesse/TTDS holder on your team etc. These are all external sources of ATK which will compensate for your subpar ATK and allow you to focus more on Crit/ Energy Recharge/ EM substats instead of trying to get every single piece perfect.

This same concept applies to not only ATK but external sources of DMG%, Elemental Mastery, etc. Something worth noting is the relevance of Favonius weapons when managing your Energy Recharge and rotations. While nothing in this game truly FIXES your energy issues, Favonius weapons are a great external source of particle generation and can be a way to compensate for lack of ER/ particle generation. This in turn leads to smoother rotations/ less downtime which is invaluable for team DPS. 

The point is there are a plethora of external sources of stats you can gain besides just artifacts, which is always going to influence your artifact standards. You simply cannot optimize your artifacts for a character in a vacuum, without taking into account teams, weapons, rotation and external sources of buffs. 

Dead Stats and Substat Efficiency

The term “dead stat” is exactly as it sounds. A stat that is effectively dead on that artifact in relation to your character.

An example would be the Crit stat on Kokomi since, well, she can’t crit. Flat stats such as HP/DEF also are a dead stat to most characters.

Now why is this relevant? It is essentially a factor you should keep in mind when comparing artifacts.

Genshin Impact Emblem Circlet

For example, when comparing a DMG dealer’s artifacts like Xiangling, while a couple rolls into double Crit lines on an artifact with a roll or two into flat HP/flat DEF might seem enticing, an artifact with a single Crit line with Elemental Mastery, Energy Recharge and ATK% is just as good if not better, even if the rolls didn’t go all into Crit. There are simply more substats being utilized in the latter.

Basically, when evaluating an artifact’s value compared to another, keep in mind how many substats are being put into use; which is essentially what Substat Efficiency is.

That being said it is also very character dependent. Xiangling makes great use of EM in her DMG output, needs ER due to low particle generation/ high cost burst, and overall takes advantage of more stats due to how she is played in her teams. So when comparing artifacts, you must know what you want out of the character you are gearing and which stats allow them to perform efficiently in their respective teams. 


Crit Value 

If you are a High AR player, I’m sure you’ve heard of this term thrown around whenever artifacts are being talked about. For those who don’t know, Crit Value is defined as follows: “A way of quantifying the amount of investment into total CRIT on a character or artifact…” Basically it’s regarded as a way to measure how “valuable” an artifact is, based on its amount of overall Crit.

To calculate Crit Value: CV = Crit DMG + (CritRate * 2)

Crit as a stat is never inherently bad. It is VERY good and you should still want it on your pieces. It’s one of the stats that never truly diminishes/has any opportunity cost. (besides blizzard strayer Crit vs ATK% I guess etc.)

The problem lies with the term “Crit Value” and how it is perceived. More often than not, people use/promote Crit Value as the ONLY metric to value an artifact and not taking into account stat balancing contextual to your characters, teams, buffs, etc. That is in fact very bad and you could potentially be wasting good artifacts with useful substats that don’t have double Crit lines/meet your Crit Value “standards”. 

Substats or Set Bonus?

When gearing characters, should you aim to complete the 4-piece bonus, or settle with pieces with better substats?

Again, the answer unfortunately depends.

TLDR; they are both valuable and there is no point in neglecting one or the other. However, for the sake of answering the question, strong set bonuses (Viridescent, Instructors, Noblesse, etc.) are very strong to the point where forcing the set bonus can be viable.

Support Set Bonus over Damage

It is also worth noting that the majority of holders of the aforementioned sets are relatively perceived as “low investment” support units. Prevalent Noblesse users mainly require you to stack energy recharge for burst uptime to trigger the effect. VV users tend to only care about Elemental Mastery/ Energy recharge stats for swirl damage and sometimes burst uptime.

Overall, your supporting units will generally favor the set bonus over the substats when it comes to filling their role in a team, making it very role dependent.

For example, building damage on a support like Zhongli can be enticing, however his lowest damaging gear (favonius + 4 instructor) can provide more team damage overall compared to gear that is solely focused on his personal damage.

DPS Substats vs Set Bonus

Genshin Impact Blizzard Strayer

For DPS carries, it is contextual to their role as well. For example, 4 piece Crimson Witch holders ideally want the set bonus for reaction DMG/ EM value. However, obtaining a good 4 piece set is quite difficult, which makes a 2pc + 2pc option with far better substats more viable. In some cases a 2pc + 2pc is not too far off from a 4 piece in terms of damage for some carries anyways.

As you can see, it heavily depends. At the end of the day, think about the role your character fills in a team and ask yourself how impactful the 4 set bonus is to your team, along with what you currently have access to. 

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Genshin Impact Artifacts

In conclusion, artifact optimization overall is quite convoluted and very contextual towards many factors. Along with stat balancing, a rule of thumb is to think about what you lose vs gain when comparing artifacts/sets.

That being said, combining your own thought process along with using the optimizer is very satisfactory and will improve your endgame experience.  I hope this guide was informational and if anything, you learned something new to implement into your min-maxing journey!