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    Genshin Impact Version 3.1 Banner Pre-Review

    In this pre-review, I will discuss my take on the upcoming banners in Genshin Impact Version 3.1 with the announcement of Cyno/Candace, Venti/Candace, Nilou & Albedo banners. I will discuss each character individually and then see how they might work in the game. So, let us begin.

    Cyno – Judicator of Secrets

    Cyno will be a new 5-star Electro element character that will be arriving at the beginning of Version 3.1. Visually he looks like an upgraded Razor but he does have his own characteristic. At higher levels, he will unlock Authority Over the Nine Bows passive which increases Cyno’s elemental skill and burst based on his Elemental Mastery. This might make building his a little hard as now you have to choose between Attack, Critical Rate and Damage, plus Elemental Mastery now.

    Next, let us look at his skill and burst. His skill Secret Rite: Chasmic Soulfarer is basically a thrust attack which deals Electro damage to enemies in a line. That sounds fine but that is not what this move is about because it has a different version while Cyno is in his Burst mode which transforms the Elemental Skill to cast an AOE Electro skill instead which also extends his burst duration. There is also a passive during his burst mode which creates an eye-like pattern called Featherfall Judgment and if you cast his Elemental Skill during that time, it will also create 3 extra Duststalker Bolt which each deal 50% of Cyno Attack as Electro damage.

    Cyno burst called Sacred Rite: Wolf’s Swiftness changes his attacks to Electro damage which cannot be overwritten. He will also receive bonus Elemental Mastery with an increase to resist interruption with immunity to Electro-charged damage. The passive Featherfall Judgement as detailed above will also be activated while he is in his burst duration.

    Weapon

    Weapon wise Polearm has a lot of choices, but his new Staff of the Scarlet Sands weapon should be his best in slot where it will use Elemental Mastery to boost his Attack. So, if you are planning to get Cyno, be prepared to get the weapon too as its passive is one that suits Cyno the most.

    Playstyle

    With what we know so far, it seems like Cyno will be an on-field DPS as switching out during his Elemental Burst will cancel it and with his burst costing 80 energy, it would be a waste to do so. What you would do is to have him start with his burst and then attack normally while using his Elemental Skill when the Featherfall Judgement passive is active. That is basically how he would play and seems to have a simple playstyle overall.

    Team Synergy

    Now let’s talk about his team. We all know that Overload is a very hard Reaction to play with since it basically sends your enemy flying away from you once triggered so Cyno would most probably fit into a Quicken or/and Electro-Charged team. Sadly, since his burst’s Electro damage cannot be overwritten, characters like Candace which in the same banner would not work with his since her burst also infuses weapons. Characters like Xingqui or Yelan which creates an entity that deals Hydro damage instead would work fine with Cyno. Last but not least to keep up with the Burst uptime for Cyno, we need a battery, and we have the best Electro battery Fischl. We can stack Energy Recharge but seeing as how we are already targeting Elemental Mastery also; it would be best if he would have a battery support instead. So, one of the best teams in my opinion for Cyno would be:

    • Cyno
    • Fisch
    • Dendro Traveler/Collei
    • Xingqui

    Rating

    Playstyle – 5/5
    Simple to execute and play. Just open his burst and use his Elemental Skill when the eye comes into view. With him being on the field for a long time, Cyno is really a beginner-friendly character.

    Built – 3/5
    Elemental Mastery Additional State makes it slightly harder to build)

    Weapons – 2/5
    Very little weapon suits him with Elemental Mastery. Pulling for his weapon is the best option

    Synergy – 3/5
    His Burst attack cannot be overwritten which causes a few issues but non the less there are alternative solutions though it does limit his synergy. Also he has to be on the field for a long period of time so her works less effective in a quick swap team.

    Overall – 3/5

    Cyno’s simple playstyle places him close to Raiden Shogun but because of his high Energy requirement makes him more reliant on an Electro Battery compared to how Raiden Shogun can basically be a one-man battery for her team. His skills also uses Elemental Mastery to increase damage thus getting the proper weapon and build for him might also be an issue. Prepare to build teams around him because he has a long on-field time.

    Candace – Golden Vow

    Coming together with Cyno and Venti banner in 3.1 is a new 4-star Hydro element character Candace, the protector of Aaru Village. She will be a Polearm user with a shield which is bound to her Elemental Skill. Being a Hydro user, most of her damage like other Hydro characters is tied to Health Points (HP). Seeing as how Hydro Resonance received a tweak in giving more HP, Candace looks like a good upcoming tanky fighter.

    Candace Elemental Skill is Sacred Rite: Heron’s Sanctum where she will use her shield in various forms. Tapping the Elemental Skill will make Candace rush forward with her shield and deal Hydro damage like a shield bash. Holding the Elemental Skill will put Candace into a defensive position where she will adsorb damage based on her Max HP. She will also start charging and when the charge is finished, and when the skill button is released, the skill duration expires, or when the barrier is broken, she will perform a leaping strike that deals Hydro DMG to opponents in front of her. At a higher level, she will unlock Aegis of Crossed Arrows where if she is hit while charging, the skill will charge instantly instead.

    Candace’s Burst skill is called Sacred Rite: Wagtail’s Tide where she will cast an AOE wave around her and infuse an active character melee weapon (Sword, Claymore & Spear) with Hydro Elemental damage based on her Max HP. Switching characters during the burst will cause the active character to create another AOE wave as they appear max up to 3 times. Seeing as how it infuses the weapon, there might be some issues like Cyno with his Elemental Burst Electro damage unable to be overwritten.

    Weapon

    Seeing as how she is also a spear user with HP scaling, Staff of Homa should be her best in slot weapon and maybe Black Tassel for F2P players if you plan on stacking her HP.

    Playstyle

    Candace seems like an off-field DPS with how her Burst can be shared between other melee characters in your team. With the creation of an AOE Hydro Wave every time a new character is switched into the field, a quick swap team made of melee characters might also be a good team. Her playstyle would be her entering the field and using her Elemental Skill to get some energy particles and cast her Elemental Burst and start switching between characters if there are multiple enemies or stick with your main DPS if there is only a single enemy to maximize your damage output.

    Team Synergy

    Seeing as how her Burst will react with other Elemental Damage, there are a few uncertainties on how her team will be. Given that Hydro Resonance now increases Max HP by 25%, you would like to pair her with another Hydro character to maximize her damage. Her Burst Hydro AOE also is great for dealing with multiple enemies so characters that can gather them up like Venti or Kazuha might be great. Depending on how her Hydro weapon infusion work and ICD, these is some of the example team she can slot in:

    Vape Team – Maximizing single damage for bosses

    • Candace
    • Yelan
    • Bennett
    • Xiangling

    AOE Electro Charge – For grouping multiple enemies

    • Candace
    • Kazuha
    • Fischl/Yae Miko/Dori/Kuki
    • Dendro Traveller/Collei

    Rating

    Playstyle – 4/5
    Her abilities might look simple but having to swap between team members might be a little tedious.

    Built – 5/5
    Should be one of the easier to build since many people have been keeping HP artifacts for other Hydro users

    Weapons – 3/5
    Not many weapons have HP scaling except Staff of Homa and Black Tessal.

    Synergy – 3/5
    How her burst works with other infuses would cause an issue to some team compositions. For example, if her Burst works with Hu Tao which will give her instant Vape Reaction, this would be one of the best synergies for her. Sadly, until she is released, we will assume that it does not.

    Overall – 3/5

    Candace looks like a solid pick overall and she seems to do everything but nothing big enough to stand out compared to other Hydro characters. She can fit in a few teams, but she still might look mediocre compared to our Hydro best boy Xingqui.

    Nilou: Dance of Lotuslight

    The other new 5-star which will be arriving in the second half of Version 3.1 is Nilou. She is a Hydro element sword user which has a weird fighting style which consists of a few battle dance stances. Being a Hydro character, it is no surprise that her skills scaled with Max HP so having double Hydro resonance is a good option for her team.

    Her Elemental Skill Dance of Haftkarsvar puts Nilou in the Pirouette State where using Normal Attack will cause her to enter the Sword Dance where her attacks will deal Hydro damage and the final attack will launch a slash called Luminous Illusion. Pressing the Elemental Skill instead in Piroutte State will cause Nilou to enter Whirling Steps stance instead where she will attack 3 times and with the final attack being an AOE Water Wheel which will then create an AOE Tranquility Aura which follows your active character applying Wet to opponents around you.

    After her complicated Elemental Skill, it is surprising that her Elemental Burst, Dance of Abzendegi: Distant Dreams, Listening Spring is quite simple. Nilou will case an AOE attack which scale with her Max HP and will apply a Lingering Aeon effect to all opponents hit. After a short moment, those enemies who have the Lingering Aeon will take another round of damage. It is as simple as that, there is no other way to increase the Lingering Aeon effect like Eula’s Burst as far as I know.

    Now Nilou has a passive called Court of Dancing Petals which will only activate if all your party members are either of the Hydro or Dendro element. Having this pre-requisite will cause Nilou’s third dance step of Dance of Haftkarsvar to grant all nearby characters with a Golden Chalice’s Bounty for 30 seconds. This buff will basically give all characters increase Elemental Mastery by 60 for 10 seconds and if they are hit with a Dendro attack, a Bountiful Core will be created by the Bloom Reaction instead of Dendro Cores. These Bountiful Cores will burst faster and has a bigger AOE.

    Weapon

    Obviously, the weapon Key of Khaj-Nisut which comes with her banner should be the best in slot as it not only increases her Max HP stat twice but also increases the elemental mastery which encourages. For 4-Star options, Sacrificial Sword or Iron Sting seems like a good F2P option. Sword as a weapon has a lot of options already so I sure equipping her would be an easy task.

    Playstyle

    Now Nilou has one of the most flexible playstyles and at the same time, the most restricted team. Her Elemental Skill allows her to easily deal with either a single enemy or multiple enemies which would be valuable if you are going to tackle the Spiral Abyss. She can cause quite a lot of Hydro Elemental Damage either with her skills or burst thus she would be an excellent Hydro applicator. She works more as a sub DPS by unleashing all her skills and then quickly swapping to other members to trigger elemental reactions.

    Team Synergy

    As stated above, she has one of the most restricted teams as her passive basically encourages you to have a Hydro and Dendro team. Can she work with other elements? Sure you can but without using her passive, I bet there are other better characters to fit that team spot. So here is my opinion of the best team for her:

    • Nilou
    • Collei
    • Dendro Traveler
    • Xingqui

    I think this would be one of her most optimised team if not then you can use her in a freeze team or vape team also as he applies a lot of Hydro but like Candace, I believe there are more suitable units than her to fit both freeze and vape team.

    Rating

    PlayStyle – 5/5
    Her playstyle might seem complicated but once you get used to it, it should be one of the most flexible playstyles in the game to date for handling both single bosses and multiple enemies in the Spiral Abyss.

    Built – 5/5
    Another easy to build as her skill scales with Max HP so building HP for Hydro should be easy for those who already did so for other characters.

    Weapons – 4/5
    Luckily her weapon is a Sword so she has a lot to pick from but her best in slot should be Key of Khaj-Nisut

    Synergy – 2/5
    Having her passive be totally reliant on a team composition really limits her options. Yes, you can use her with other elements but not using her key passive sound like not a worth deal.

    Overall – 4/5

    Overall, Nilou brings in a different gameplay since she has a great synergy with the latest element Dendro. There may be better team compositions in the future when more Dendro character arrives but Nilou alone has potential with her flexible playstyle which gives her a slight edge over other characters.

    3.1 Banner

    So far we know that there will be 4 banners with 2 being rerun characters. Those are:

    • Cyno/Candace
    • Venti/Candace
    • Nilou
    • Albedo

    So let us break down in my opinion which you should pull.

    Phase 1 will have Cyno and Venti with Candace being one of the 4-Star characters. Honestly, both are good options but this will slightly be in Cyno favour since Venti does fall out of meta with it only being used mostly in Freeze team with Ganyu or Ayaka.

    Phase 2 will bring Nilou and Albedo. Nilou is a great character but seeing her limited team synergy with Dendro element right now, she will have limited team options. Albedo on the other hand is great either in a Mono Geo team or within a Xiao team to boost the Elemental Damage output. If you are willing to take a risk, Nilou might have a brighter future as more and more Dendro characters are released to fit into her team.

    Closing Statement

    All three characters right now seem to be off-meta with maybe only Nilou who has potential. If you are looking to save primogems, it might be a good choice to skip this version’s banner. In the end, the choice is yours and please spend moderately if you wish to do so.

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    DeadlyRush
    DeadlyRush
    An old school gamer who plays every genre of games. Prefers games which are unique and innovative instead of just pretty looking. All he wants is content, content, content..... The more the better.

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