Genshin Impact Zhongli build guide: All materials, best equipment, roles, and teams
Zhongli made his initial Genshin Impact debut closer to the game's launch but has seen a few banner reruns since that December 2020 banner. While plenty of characters can feel a little easier to debate where they belong on tier lists, Zhongli regularly earns a spot at the top regardless of who you ask. He's versatile, great for sustaining, and I even recommend for players looking to mine ore quickly. As a result, Zhongli is a permanent staple in my party, along with plenty of others.
Regardless of early problems with the Geo element, Zhongli's synergy with other characters and MiHoYo's subsequent buffs have made him a powerful addition to your roster. So, if you've scored a lucky five-star pull of the Geo Archon, here's a rundown of how you can use Zhongli, synergy suggestions, artifacts, and other builds. If you're still scrapping together extra Primogems to try and pull him on a banner rerun, you can also pull up our Genshin Impact codes list for an easy few freebies.
- Playing as Zhongli
- Party compositions for Zhongli
- The Best Artifacts and Weapons
- Priorities for Leveling Talents and Constellations
- Zhongli Materials
Zhongli is wildly versatile, easily filling spots in your Genshin Impact roster as a support or DPS in a few ways. While your mileage may vary on damage as a main DPS on builds since it's a little more investment, Zhongli takes a hit like it's nothing. Regardless of the role you want to put him in, he still winds up wildly beneficial for shields and shredding resistance. In personal use, he's a character that's always in my party, so he winds up as more of a hybrid party member due to long-term investments. However, if you just got him, and you're limited on resources, Zhongli is a wonderful, and easy, support to build. DPS Zhongli is great too, but getting him there may take a little more from you.
How is Zhongli a good support?
Start giving Zhongli a bit of HP, and he becomes one of your best assets for keeping squishy characters alive. Using carries like Ganyu, Hu Tao, or other top-tier powerhouses still doesn't always make surviving easy. However, bringing out Zhongli and popping a Jade Shield by holding his elemental skill on your main DPS protects them against both physical and magic damage. That shield's absorption scales with Zhongli's max HP, and your protected character also ignores 20% of an enemy's resistance. Piecing together a Zhongli build that beefs him up with extra HP is easier since he's not fighting for CRIT and ATK bonuses only with other characters. This commonly gets him referred to as a "shield bot" in Genshin communities, and while it may not sound like a great thing, he's still very worth it in this context.
The elemental skill really does it all for him.Getting that pillar down in situations that call for clever placement can be a bit of a pain, and sometimes it may wind up useless if you aren't careful. His burst move can also be a little cumbersome when dealing with its slow timing, but it's powerful, and he's worth a little finicky gameplay
How does main DPS Zhongli work?
As your main DPS, Zhongli can focus more on his elemental damage through Geo resonance or physical damage. You may wind up with a much lower HP Zhongli taking this route, but those perks from his Jade Shield are anything but useless. Picking another geo character to pair the archon with gives your team the Enduring Rock Resonance. Not only is it a mega buff to already powerful shields from Zhongli, but those shields also grant 15% more DMG and any enemy hit sees their geo resistance cut by 20%.
Given that Zhongli synergizes well with other four-star characters, making the double geo a more achievable venture, and that he deals massive AOE damage, I've always favored this build of Zhongli. It does saddle you with a stricter team composition, but as I first built him, I found this version of Zhongli far more easier to build around and play. Physical damage Zhongli is great, and still quite popular, but the rest of his kit still felt a little more disappointing this way in personal trials. If you're eager to build your brand new Zhongli out the gate as a DPS, I recommend pairing him up with another geo character and favoring his pillar and planet burst.
Zhongli, Ningguang, Ganyu, and Bennett
This team is a personal favorite, making use of Zhongli and Ganyu, two characters that are easy and rewarding to invest in, and play nicely with each other. In my party, Zhongli deals tons of burst geo damage with Planet Befall and uses his shield to beef up an already powerful Ganyu. The added resonance from Ningguang and her burst is great, and Bennett is another utility staple. Ganyu can also use melt here. While a strong Zhongli here can act as a burst DPS and benefit from the geo resonance, you can also just build him straight support and enjoy a strong shield on Ganyu (or other carry). This team essentially breaks down into a formula staying focused on Zhongli, another geo character, one carry, and one support - versatility.
Zhongli, Fischl, Eula, Diona
While double geo is one I always recommend, it's not necessary to make use of Zhongli. A physical Zhongli benefits from superconduct for physical resistance down. Eula's physical attacks also benefit here from the combination of Fischl. The goal is to really give Zhongli a cryo and electro character to work with, so you can mix that up as well and leave the third more flexible. In a similar composition, I've replaced Eula with Ningguang to benefit from the resonance and superconduct.
Priority stats: HP%, Geo DMG, Crit
Players only chasing his shields can go straight HP%, but geo DMG and Crit are great to get him bursting. You can make some sacrifices to HP% and balance it with damage here.
Polearm: Staff of Homa, Black Tassel
Staff of Homa is great, as it allows you to make your Zhongli more versatile in his roles. The extra HP and damage bonuses here come out on top for most roles, but Black Tassel is an easy solution for flat HP Zhongli.
Artifacts: (2)Noblesse and (2) Archaic Petra or (4)Tenacity of the Millelith
The Noblesse set provides additional burst damage through its bonus, while Archaic Petra gives Zhongli additional geo DMG. These are also great for just about all double geo compositions. The four pieces of Tenacity of the Millelith give you the increased HP and perks from his elemental skill in the form of additional ATK. You can't make use of this though if you aren't hitting enemies with Zhongli's pillar.
Priority stats: ATK%, Geo DMG, Crit
Zhongli's burst DPS can share overlap with support, favoring Geo DMG . Leaning more into the DPS main role, pick up pieces with ATK% and Crit.
Polearm: Staff of Homa, Crescent Pike
Staff of Homa is still the best choice for Zhongli when focusing on his geo burst. If you're going Physical, pick up the Crescent Pike.
Artifacts: (2) Noblesse and (2) Archaic Petra or (4) Pale Fire
As a bursty DPS, the Noblesse and Archaic Petra combo toe that line of using Zhongli as a powerful "support" doing high Geo DMG. With the right substats, you can favor his damage and have him lean into DPS. Pale Fire gives Zhongli the additional DMG bonus to physical attacks and it's arguably the best for him in terms of physical damage, but the Gladiator's Finale set works too and is much easier to acquire.
Zhongli's talent kit is full of good paths, with some only being "just slightly less optimal," but in most cases, there aren't a lot of bad choices. His constellations also have some incredible benefits, especially early on, but a couple may feel like disappointments when considering the Primogems it could take to get him there.
Zhongli's arsenal of talents is stacked. Dominus Lapidis, his elemental skills, is arguably the best thing in his kit, but his elemental burst deals incredible AOE DMG and a helpful status effect. Both of these talents benefit from his C1 and C2 respectively, so make sure you're prioritizing accordingly if you've gotten those perks.
Support Zhongli can ultimately go with either of his elemental skills first, but pure shield builds can go for Dominus Lapidis and then Planet Befall.
Burst Geo DPS Zhongli should prioritize Planet Befall, Dominus Lapidis, then Rain of Stone.
Physical DPS Zhongli is the only build to prioritize Rain of Stone first. Then Dominus Lapidis and Planet Befall.
Rain of Stone (Normal Attack)
- Normal Attack: Performs up to 6 consecutive spear strikes.
- Charged Attack: Consumes a certain amount of Stamina to lunge forward, causing stone spears to fall along his path.
- Plunging Attack: Plunges from mid-air to strike the ground below, damaging opponents along the patch and dealing AOE DMG upon impact.
- Every mountain, rock and inch of land is filled with the power of Geo, but those who can wield such powers freely are few and far between.
- Press: Commands the power of earth to create a Stone Stele.
- Hold: Causes nearby Geo energy to explode, causing the following effects:
- If their maximum number hasn't been reached, creates a Stone Stele.
- Creates a shield of jade. The shield's DMG Absorption scales based on Zhongli's Max HP.
- Deals AOE Geo DMG.
- If there are nearby targets with the Geo element, it will drain a large amount of Geo element from a maximum of 2 such targets. This effect does not cause DMG.
- Stone Stele
- When created, deals AOE Geo DMG. Additionally, it will intermittently resonate with other nearby Geo constructs, dealing Geo DMG to surrounding opponents.
- The Stone Stele is considered a Geo construct that can both be climbed and used to block attacks. Only one Stele created by Zhongli himself may initially exist at any one time.
- Jade Shield
- Possesses 150% DMG Absorption against all Elemental and Physical DMG.
- Characters protected by the Jade Shield will decrease the Elemental RES and Physical RES of opponents in a small AOE by 20%. Effect cannot be stacked.
- Brings a falling meteor doiwn to earth, dealing massive Geo DMG to opponents caught in its AOE and applying the Petrification status to them. Opponents affected by the Petrification status cannot move.
- When the Jade Shield takes DMG, it will Fortify. Fortified characters have a 5% increased shield strength. Can stack up to 5 times, and lasts until the Jade Shield disappears.
Dominance of Earth
- Zhongli deals bonus DMG based on his Max HP:
- Normal Attack, Charged Attack, and Plunging Attack DMG is increased by 1.39% of Max HP.
- Dominus Lapidis' Stone Stele, resonance, and hold DMG is increased by 1.9% of Max HP.
- Planet Befall's DMG is increased by 33% of Max HP.
Arcanum of Crystal
- Refunds 15% of the ores used when crafting Polearm-type weapons.
While all of Zhongli's constellations may offer considerable increases to damage or shields, his C6 isn't great for the costs. It's only up until C2 that it really seems worth investing more pulls on Zhongli. His C1 is arguably the best the here for the cost. Your Zhongli will get an extra pillar to spawn with his elemental skill, completely changing his playstyle in some builds. His C2 can also give extra shields, and while you do get this from a skill already, the extra resource is nice.
C1: Rock, the Backbone of Earth
- Increases the maximum number of Stone Steles created by Dominus Lapidis that may exist simultaneously to 2.
C2: Stone, the Cradle of Jade
- Planet Befall grants nearby characters on the field a Jade Shield when it descends.
C3: Jade, Shimmering through Darkness
- Increases the Level of Dominus Lapidis by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.
C4: Topaz, Unbreakable and Fearless
- Increases Planet Befall's AOE by 20% and increases the duration of Planet Befall's Petrification effect by 2 seconds.
C5: Lazuli, Herald of the Order
- Increases the Level of Planet Befall by 3. Maximum upgrade level is 15.
C6: Chrysos, Bounty of Dominator
- When the Jade Shield takes DMG, 40% of that incoming DMG is converted to HP for the current character. A single instance of regeneration cannot exceed 8% of that character's Max HP.
If you're looking for an overview on everything you'll need to boost Zhongli, here's a couple of checklists that'll get him there. Below you'll find a handy shopping list of things to collect and farm - outside of EXP and Mora - that'll take your Zhongli to full ascension and a maxed-out talent list. We've also got a few handy links that'll direct you to locations for farming materials.
Total Costs for Zhongli Materials to Fully Ascend:
- Prithiva Topaz Sliver - 1
- Prithiva Topaz Fragment - 9
- Prithiva Topaz Chunk - 9
- Prithiva Topaz Gemstone - 6
- Slime Condensate - 18
- Slime Secretions - 30
- Slime Concentrate - 36
- Cor Lapis - 168
- Basalt Pillar - 46
Zhongli's Talent Book Total Costs:
- Teachings of Gold - 3
- Guide to Gold - 21
- Philosophies of Gold - 38
- Slime Condensate - 6
- Slime Secretions - 22
- Slime Concentrate - 31
- Crown of Insight - 6
- Tusk of Monoceros Caeli - 6