In Genshin Impact, there’s more to damage than just how hard a sword or magic spell strikes an opponent. Throughout your journey across Teyvat, you’ll come across many allies, enemies, and objects that make use of the elements.
These elements are essential, as weaving them together, you will be able to create various effects to help turn the tide of battle. These effects, called Elemental Reactions, can lead to additional damage and provide support invaluable ways. As someone who has delved deeply into the system, I can say that you’ll want to learn about Elemental Reactions at some point.
In this Elmental Mastery Genshin Impact guide, I will be discussing the basics of Elemental Reactions. Once we’ve gotten that down pat, we’ll move dive into Elemental Mastery, which is the crucial attribute that affects reactions.
What is Elemental Mastery?
Elemental Mastery is the value that determines the strength of your Elemental Reactions. The higher your character’s Elemental Mastery, the more powerful your Elemental Reactions become and vice versa.
Elemental Mastery can be obtained through weapons or artifacts. Some Genshin characters also have Elemental Mastery built directly into their kits.
What are Elemental Reactions?
Elemental Reactions happen when one of the game’s seven elements interacts with another unique element. This creates special effects that differ in function depending on how these elements are combined.
Here is an overview of the main elements that exist in Genshin Impact:
- Pyro (Fire)
- Hydro (Water)
- Cryo (Ice)
- Electro (Lightning)
- Geo (Earth)
- Anemo (Wind)
- Dendro (Tree)
Now, as an exercise, let’s try and create a reaction. Use a Hydro-based attack on an enemy (such as Barbara’s Normal attack). You’ll notice that the attack will apply for the Wet elemental status on them. Now that they are Wet try hitting the enemy with any element other than Hydro. And there you have it – an Elemental Reaction created, as simple as that!
Though this isn’t a universal rule, your general approach to triggering Elemental Reactions is to first inflict elemental statuses on enemies and then follow up with a different element.
Here is a list of possible elemental statuses:
- Pyro: Applies the Pyro status, which deals periodic damage for the duration of the effect.
- Hydro: Applies for the Wet status. No detrimental side effects.
- Cryo: Applies the Cryo status, which slows down your character’s overall speed by 15%.
- Electro: Applies for the Electro status. No detrimental side effects.
- Dendro: Applied by specific enemy attacks on your character. No detrimental side effects.
After applying a status to an enemy first, using a differing element will trigger an Elemental Reaction. Below is a list of possible outcomes:
|Pyro||Vaporize (1.5x DMG)||Melt (2x DMG)||Overloaded||Crystallize||Swirl||Burning|
|Hydro||Vaporize (2x DMG)||Frozen||Electro-Charged|
|Cryo||Melt (1.5x DMG)||Frozen||Superconduct|
Here is a description of each reaction and its effects:
- Vaporize: 2x/1.5x of damage dealt if Pyro/Hydro is applied first.
- Melt: 2x/1.5x of damage dealt if Cryo/Pyro is applied first.
- Overloaded: Inflicts AoE Pyro damage with an effect that can destroy Geo shields.
- Electro-charged: Inflicts Electro damage over time that also bounces to nearby enemies with the Wet status.
- Frozen: Enemy movement is halted briefly. Can follow up with the Shatter reaction by using a Claymore or Geo attack.
- Superconduct: Inflicts AoE Cryo damage and lowers target’s Physical resistance by 40% for 12 seconds.
- Swirl: Inflicts AoE elemental damage based on the target’s elemental status.
- Crystallize: Creates an elemental shard based on the target’s elemental status. When picked up, the shard becomes an elemental shield.
- Burning: Inflicts AoE Pyro damage over time.
- Shattered: Inflicts Physical damage and removes the Frozen status when hit by a Geo attack or crushing damage (Claymore).
Now that was a lot of info. Too much, even, one would argue, but Elemental Reactions happen so often throughout the game that it’s good to know how they work. Feel free to study this info if you ever find yourself confused.
I’ll admit that Elemental Reactions in Genshin Impact can get pretty complicated, so take things slow and play around with just a couple of elements to start. You’ll get the hang of things in no time.
Building Elemental Mastery
A higher Elemental Mastery stat will boost the effects of all your Elemental Reactions. Damage becomes higher, and shields become stronger. While there are many ways to raise this attribute, your best bet of doing so is through Artifacts.
Elemental Mastery can be found as a primary stat in three Artifact categories, Sands of Eon, Goblet of Eonothem, and Circlet of Logos. As it is among the main stats to be available in all three of these groups (similar to ATK%, HP%, and DEF%), Elemental Mastery is a flexible stat to mix and match.
In the Sands of Eon category, the unique primary stat you may lose out on by opting for Elemental Mastery is Energy Recharge. For Goblet of Eonothem, you’ll lose out on Elemental/Physical DMG%. Finally, Circlet of Logos will see you unable to obtain Crit Rate%/DMG% or Healing Bonus% should you equip an Elemental Mastery Artifact there.
As for Artifact substats, you cannot earn any Elemental Mastery if the Artifact already uses it as a main stat. However, Artifacts with different main stats, such as ATK, HP, etc, can still obtain Elemental Mastery as substats. Everything is randomized, unfortunately, but it’s something for those perfectionists out there.
Depending on how much Elemental Mastery your character needs, you’ll want to think carefully about which Artifacts are the optimal choices for your Elemental Mastery.
While not as crucial, weapons can also pump you with some Elemental Mastery. This may help if you’re not willing to skimp out on any of your Artifacts. However, whether the weapon has Elemental Mastery as its main stat depends on the weapon picked.
Since different weapons also have unique passive effects, you will have to be strategic in choosing a weapon that boasts the right synergy for your character. Some free-to-play examples of Elemental-Mastery-focused weapons are as follows:
Mappa Mare (4-Star Catalyst)
- 565 ATK
- 110 Elemental Mastery
- Passive: Triggering an Elemental reaction grants an 8-16% Elemental DMG Bonus for 10s. Max 2 stacks.
Iron Sting (4-Star Sword)
- 510 ATK
- 165 Elemental Mastery
- Passive – Dealing Elemental DMG increases all DMG by 6-12% for 6s. Max 2 stacks. Can only occur once every 1s.
Kitain Cross Spear (4-Star Polearm)
- 565 ATK
- 110 Elemental Mastery
- Passive – Increases Elemental Skill DMG by 6-12%. After Elemental Skill hits an opponent, the character loses 3 Energy but regenerates 3-5 Energy every 2s for the next 6s. This effect can occur once every 10s. It can be triggered even when the character is not on the field.
Other weapons are unfortunately gated behind the game’s Wish (gacha) system. If you’re eyeing a different kind of Elemental Mastery weapon, be sure to save up on your rolls!
Depending on your chosen ally, some characters will receive an innate bonus to their Elemental Mastery. You can raise this bonus by simply ascending the level cap of these characters up to Level 90.
Currently, Genshin Impact does not offer too many of these characters, but here is a list of available ones, rated from best to worst:
- Kaedehara Kazuha (115.2 Elemental Mastery at Level 90)
- Xiangling (96 Elemental Mastery at Level 90)
- Sayu (96 Elemental Mastery at Level 90)
- Lisa Minci (96 Elemental Mastery at Level 90)
Amplifying Reactions and Transformative Reactions
We’re entering some advanced territory here, but I think it’s important that we talk about Amplifying Reactions and Transformative Reactions. Some Elemental Reactions belong to one of either category, and their relationships with Elemental Mastery can be a little different depending on the group.
Comprised of the Melt and Vaporize reactions. These reactions appear as a multiplicative effect based on the damage of the Melt or Vaporize-inducing hit. As an example, if you hit a Frozen enemy with a Pyro attack for 200 DMG, you will get a 2x multiplier Melt reaction and instead deal 400 DMG.
Although Elemental Mastery affects Melt and Vaporize reactions, it does not scale as prominently as pure damage. As such, if you are creating teams with Melt or Vaporize reactions in mind, you should focus more on building damage than Elemental Mastery.
Consists of the Overloaded, Electro-Charged, Swirl, Superconduct, and Shattered reactions. Unlike Amplifying Reactions, the damage from Transformative Reactions is fixed and purely influenced by a character’s level and their Elemental Mastery. For instance, a Level 90 Sucrose with 817 Elemental Mastery may only trigger precisely 7229 damage on a Swirl, regardless of any outside factors.
When it comes to Transformative Reactions, Elemental Mastery is the only variable that matters. But be careful – while it may be tempting to make a pure Elemental Mastery build that’s focused on just triggering Elemental Reactions, this tends to lead to a DPS loss. As such, it’s best to look at your character’s kit as a whole and seek a proper balance between Elemental Mastery and other purposes.
Why Build Elemental Mastery?
Genshin Impact is a game that’s ruled by Elemental Reactions. Even if you aren’t trying to land them, they’ll no doubt occur naturally as you engage in battles. Just by using two characters of different elements, Elemental Reactions are bound to happen.
By building Elemental Mastery, you are also increasing the potency of these effects that occur while you are playing normally. Since Genshin’s Elemental Skills and Bursts run on their cooldowns, sometimes a solid Elemental Reaction hit can promptly make all the difference in clearing out enemy waves. Likewise, a powerful shield from a Crystallize reaction may spell the difference between life and death.
Best Characters for Elemental Mastery
As a general rule of thumb, the best characters for Elemental Mastery will be the ones that can dole out elements frequently and easily on demand. They’ll also ideally have passives or skills that benefit from Elemental Mastery.
Below is a list of some characters you should look into Elemental Mastery builds for:
Kaedehara Kazuha (Anemo 5-Star):
He has an innate Elemental Mastery bonus as well as an incredible passive that grants Elemental DMG Bonus to other party members each time he lands a Swirl reaction. The best part about this passive is that it’s a 0.04% DMG bonus for each Elemental Mastery point he has, meaning you can go all-in on this stat if you wanted to.
Furthermore, at C2 Constellations, he grants a further 200 Elemental Mastery to himself and party members in the vicinity of her Elemental Burst. When paired with a Viridescent Venerer set, his Swirl reactions will also debuff the enemy’s Elemental RES, making him the ultimate buff/debuff support.
Yae Miko (Electro 5-Star):
Though she doesn’t have an Elemental Mastery bonus, she does boast a passive that increases her Elemental Skill damage by 0.15% per Elemental Mastery point.
Since her Skill has her placing turrets down that automatically deal periodic Electro damage, she is an easy-to-use character that also effortlessly lands Elemental Reactions.
You may want to balance out her Elemental Mastery with other stats such as an Electro DMG Artifact. Still, there’s no doubt that Yae is a prime candidate for getting big damage off Elemental Mastery.
Sucrose (Anemo 4-Star):
As a Catalyst user, Sucrose has easy access to Swirl reactions on demand. Both her Skill and Burst also complement this playstyle. As usual, a Viridescent Venerer set works fantastic on her, but where she also shines is in some of her passives which favor Elemental Reactions.
Simply landing any Swirl reaction will buff her party members’ Elemental Mastery by 50, with her Burst also strengthening them even further by 20% of her own Elemental Mastery.
Sayu (Anemo 4-Star):
Sayu is a unique character in that she has a trait that allows her to heal allies whenever she triggers a Swirl reaction. Conveniently, her healing effect also scales with her Elemental Mastery.
By increasing her Elemental Mastery, she will then be able to double as both a pseudo-healer and Elemental Reaction support.
At C6 Constellations, her Elemental Mastery will also scale with her Burst, thereby increasing its damage and healing output.
Ningguang (Geo 4-Star):
Ningguang is popularly used as either a main DPS or sub-DPS, but if the damage isn’t a problem for you, her low-cost Burst and easy Geo access as a Catalyst user can turn out great. A Ningguang with high Elemental Mastery will not be doing much damage.
Still, you will instead gain access to frequent shielding in a battle that will help withstand damage and prevent your party from getting woefully interrupted.
Support Characters for Elemental Mastery
Some characters do not necessarily synergize with Elemental Mastery but are still able to buff the Elemental Mastery of other party members.
These support characters are great options to supplement with other characters that create Elemental Reactions.
Albedo (Geo 5-Star):
When Albedo uses his Burst, he increases the Elemental Mastery of nearby party members by a flat 150 Elemental Mastery for 10 seconds.
Since his Burst cooldown and energy costs are low, at 12 seconds and 40 energy, respectively, he can pretty much throw this buff out often to the benefit of other allies.
Sucrose (Anemo 4-Star):
As mentioned before, she has two passives that grant Elemental Mastery buffs to party members. While the first is a flat bonus, the other scales with her own Elemental Mastery.
Diona (Cryo 4-Star):
This may be a bit of an expensive option, but Diona at C6 Constellations greatly upgrades her Burst to buff any characters standing in its circle by 200 Elemental Mastery.
This circle also doubles as a healing circle, which puts Diona in a unique position of playing healer, shielder, and buffer all in one party slot.
Question: Should I focus on as much Elemental Mastery as possible for a character?
Answer: While this ultimately depends on your goals for the character and how they benefit from Elemental Mastery, the general answer is no. There are diminishing returns regarding how Elemental Mastery scales with Elemental Reactions. This means that the multipliers on Elemental Reactions will become less and less effective the higher your Elemental Mastery gets. If your character has a different stat that they may benefit from, it’s a better idea to focus on that instead.
Question: I have a lot of Elemental Mastery, but reactions are still not doing much damage. Why is this happening?
Answer: Elemental Reactions are calculated based on the character that triggers the reactions. If you have a high Elemental Mastery character, make sure this character is attacking an enemy with an elemental status instead of the other way around. If you cannot control who triggers the reaction, a solution can be to give other characters some Elemental Mastery themselves.
Question: I don’t have any Elemental Mastery on my character. Should I be focusing on it?
Answer: No, or at least not unless your character truly benefits from it. While Elemental Mastery affects an important mechanic in Genshin Impact, it is not at all crucial when it comes to succeeding at the game. Treat Elemental Reactions as secondary damage rather than a primary damage source.
Question: It’s too hard to land the Shattered reaction. Is this even viable?
Answer: Currently, you should not pursue Shattered reactions or any builds related to that. Shattered is the only three-step reaction process in the game, and is thus extremely difficult to pull off compared to other reactions.
Question: How do I use Dendro reactions?
Answer: At the moment, Dendro is only used by enemies and only features a Pyro-based reaction. This is likely because it is an upcoming playable element that is still in development. Once we get our first Dendro character, expect Elemental Reactions for Dendro to become more fleshed out.
Elemental Mastery is a stat that fundamentally goes hand-in-hand with Elemental Reactions. In practice, it’s a stat that affects all characters. Still, care must be taken to balance this out with core damage outputs and other sources of utility.
Elemental Mastery builds are the bread-and-butter for teams that want to deal with Elemental Reactions. But remember, while Elemental Mastery is handy in the right hands, it is rarely worth replacing your character’s main roles!