Veteran players probably remember exploring Teyvat when we only had Mondstadt and Liyue to worry about. Peaceful regions with common monsters and simple puzzles to finish. I used to spend hours enjoying the serene background music and roaming in the wilderness like a free bird. The game was easy to explore, and there was nothing to fear. Just a harmless open world with versatile beasts wandering in the wild.
After a few updates, we were introduced to climate effects like the Sheer cold in Dragonspine and the Balethunder in Inazuma. It’s fair to say that the Sheer cold wasn’t a complicated mechanic because all we had to do was to find a heat source to reduce its accumulation. However, with the introduction of the Balethunder, things became a bit challenging.
I had to carry Electrograna to protect myself from harmful radiation effects, and It complicated the exploration in some parts of Inazuma. I won’t lie; my characters died, a lot. The Balethunder restricted me from exploring some area,s and I had to raise the Sacred Sakura tree’s level to enhance the Electrograna to finally pass through higher concentrations of the effect.
With the introduction of the Sumeru nation, I anticipated a similar expansion, but this time, it was rather unique. We are presented with two environment mutations, one being the Withering and the other being the sandstorm in the desert area. While the sandstorm is somewhat like the fog on Tsurumi Island, the Withering is rather unique.
A mechanic that can affect your whole team and push your characters to the verge of death is worth knowing. That is why in this Genshin Impact Withering Zones guide, I will discuss all the unique effects of this mechanic on your characters and share how you can protect them from its side effects.
The Withering, A Curse on Sumeru’s Beauty
The Withering areas have corrupted the very meaning of life. Devouring the life force from the usual flora of the ecosystem, these areas threaten the natural habitat and cause illnesses like Eleazor. The first time I ran into these areas, I immediately started looking for an item that could neutralize corruption. I’d call it my survival instinct because I faced the same issue with the Sheer cold in Dragonspine and the Balethunder in Inazuma.
Using the Dendrograna, I vanquished the corrupt branches and relieved the area of contamination. If there’s one effect that comes close to the Withering, that’s the contaminated dark mud of the Chasm. You have an indicator bar on your character’s health and can see the accumulation rate of the effect.
The Withering zones give me a pungent, suffocating vibe. A dark fog surrounding the environment that shelters lifeless creatures clogs your vision and emanates an eerie ambiance. I wouldn’t advise jumping into these zones unless you have a “Do or Die” mindset. It takes a strong resolve to clear these areas, and with enemies that can kill your whole party, the stakes spike high.
Though the players don’t interact much with the dark mud in the chasm, Sumeru occasionally makes the players engage with Withering Zones. In the archon quest, we had to remove the instances of the Withering from Irminsul. A tree with a vibrant appearance happens to be the center of Tevyat’s Ley lines’ memories.
Once we are finished with the Archon quests, we have to clear the corruption from the region in the Aranyaka quest and are given a task to find all the Aranara. A task which is not possible without encountering the Withering.
The Withering Mechanics
If there’s something I can relate the Withering to, it is the dark, contaminated mud in the Chasm. It affects your character with a stacking corrosion mechanic and debuffs them over time. However, the key difference between the dark mud effect and the Withering is the survivability factor. Only your active character perishes in the dark mud, whereas the Withering can kill the whole party.
While you are often presented with tutorials on the screen, some of the key information is always left out. The game doesn’t present the information in a succinct manner, and sometimes the interpretation is ambiguous. That is why it’s essential to know the intricate details of the mechanic to avoid failure.
- The initial value of the decay effect depends on the type of Withering area you are in. A crimson status bar on top of your health bar will represent the decay units that your characters have accumulated. The maximum gauge limit is ten units with an initial two or four starting values.
- Once your character is hit by a Withering branch or a Fetid Bough in the Withering zone, the decay bar will increase by one unit.
- Character’s resistances and maximum health reduce as you accumulate the decay effect on them. The Withering is a lethal climatic effect that can reduce physical and Elemental resistances and make your characters vulnerable to fatal attacks. The more the decay effect, the higher the debuff on your characters.
- An animation slowly influences the screen as you reach eight units of the decay effect. If the decay effect reaches the maximum value, the screen starts to amass a blurry animation, and all the characters perish after some time.
- Don’t try to act smart and think that the decay effect will be nullified while characters have invincibility animations during their elemental bursts. The effect will stack up, and if you are already at the maximum limit, time to say goodbye to your characters because the clogged decay effect will apply once the burst animation finishes.
I wouldn’t rely on in-game tutorials to understand exploration mechanics because they don’t give enough information. Some explanations are vague and confuse the player more than clarify the concept.
Important Tangible Entities in a Withering Zone
Before I discuss the steps you need to take to clear the Withering, let me give you a quick overview of some new things you will see in the corrupted areas. I urge you not to skip this section because there is a bit of technicality involved when you try to remove the Withering from an area to clear certain objectives.
This isn’t Mondstadt or Liyue, where you can pleasantly roam in the wild. You are in Sumeru, where the wild beasts are hostile in nature, and safety is just a metaphor.
Candles and Flames of Life; Your Lifesaver in a Corroded Area
I suggest finding the Candles of Life and Flames of Life in the Withering zones to reduce the accumulation rate of the decay effect. Approach these Candles or Flames to deduct a unit from the decay gauge and continue your fight with the enemies.
You will also see the Flames of life that will spawn in the area and reduce the decay effect by one unit. These flames can only be consumed once, so it’s better to approach the Candles of Life for a better recovery.
I remember encountering a harsh Withering zone while searching for the Aranara in underground caves; ultimately, I cleared it at the cost of my three characters’ lives. These zones are hard, and you will get some stacks of the decay effect, but relying on the Candles or Flames of Life may save your life. In a way, Candles of life are a spin-off version of Dragonspine’s heat candles. Heat candles reduce the Sheer cold effect; Candles of Life reduce the Decay effect.
The Fetid Boughs in the Withering zones will attack you with sharp needle-like homing projectiles. These Fetid boughs are quite easy to identify as they have a circular structure with a dark crimson aura. The Fetid boughs will periodically attack you, whereas the branches will only attack as they are about to be cleansed.
You can clear these Fetid boughs with the Dendrograna, but I don’t think you should pay them much attention. Unless your characters cannot defeat the enemies faster, you should focus on neutralizing branches than Fetid boughs. However, if you want to opt for safer gameplay, it’s better to get rid of these Fetid boughs first and then focus on the branches.
Enemies In the Withering Zones
There are a few types of enemies that you encounter in these Withering zones. Due to the Withering effects, these enemies have increased resistance and possess unique buffs that make them more formidable.
I suggest applying the Dendro element or the Dendrograna will debuff them for a short period, which makes them vulnerable to more damage. My favorite character for this job is Nahida because of her ability to mark up to eight enemies at the same time.
Here’s a list of enemies that you may face in the Withering zones:
- Ruin machines like Ruin drake, Ruin guards
In case you want to use seed mirrors on top of towers, you need to clear the Withering zones first. Without clearing the corruption in nearby areas, you cannot activate the lens to find the missing Aranara.
Once you have cleared the Withering zones, I suggest finding all the Aranara to obtain 15 chests that are hidden in Sumeru. You can receive plenty of rewards just by exploring the region.
They are corrupt branches that you have to remove from each zone. With a tree-like appearance, these branches will have a dark crimson-colored aura around them and attack the player once they are destroyed.
Their ability to raise the decay effect on the player upon cleansing is quite annoying. With three types of attacks, it’s hard to dodge these branches’ final explosion, but there are a few things you can do to mitigate the incoming damage.
1. Near the branch: I wouldn’t advise going near the branch to make a charged attack to apply the Dendrograna. I use Bow characters to apply the Dendrograna to maintain a safe distance to dodge the branch’s explosion attack.
The branch’s blast radius can easily engulf your character to deal damage. I prefer to have some stamina approaching the branch so that I can immediately dodge after attacking with the Dendrograna.
2. Maintaining some distance: I’d call it a middle ground between the near and far version. Once you are near the branch, the explosion will launch three shots in the air that will land on the ground after some time.
These attacks are quite easy to dodge. Don’t look up in the sky; there’s nothing there. Pay attention to the ground; you will see circular indicators representing the shots’ landing area. Just try to avoid that area, and you will be fine.
3. Attacking from afar: My favorite type of attack. All you need to do is to grab the Dendrograna, switch to a Bow character, and shoot the branch. Once the Dendrograna hits the branch, it will launch three needle shots in an arc toward you. The more distance you have from the branch, the easier it is to dodge.
Have a safe distance, pay attention to the shots, and you can easily dodge them. Another way would be to dash out of their way. This would need a bit of responsiveness, but you can pull it off with some practice.
These three attacks are the ones that you should pay attention to while neutralizing the corrupt branches. I would put the Withering on the number one spot on my “Most hated climate effect” list.
How Do I Remove The Withering?
The Withering is a challenging thing to quell. You need to pay attention to enemies, dodge incoming attacks and save your characters at the same time. At times, it may seem like an impossible challenge, but once you grasp how the mechanic works, you will be wiping away Sumeru’s corrosion in no time.
1. Defeat existing enemies: Extra enemies won’t spawn until you nullify the corrupt branches. I like slaying the enemies roaming in the corrupt zones to easily operate in the area. Not only this gives you breathing room, but it also removes their interference in the neutralization process.
2. Spot corrupt branches: The Withering zone has corrupt branches that need to be removed to expose the tumor. The first thing I do while approaching a Withering zone is, follow the flow of the corrupt energy from the tumor to the branches.
These branches may sprout at unusual locations, but once you track their flow, you can easily find them. There will be a wave-like crimson red flow from the tumor to the branches that you could follow to locate these branches.
3. Neutralize corrupt branches: Once you have spotted the branches, find a Dendrograna. Grab the Dendrograna, and use your character’s charged attacks or a Bow character’s aim mode to hit the corrupt branches.
I favor using Bow characters to hit the corrupt branches. It helps to conserve stamina that could be used to dodge incoming attacks. I wouldn’t advise charging recklessly, as one wrong move may prove fatal.
4. Defeat summoned enemies: When you clear the area of corrupt branches, the tumor will spawn new enemies on the site who will have increased attack buffs and resistances. You can debuff them with the Dendrograna or Dendro attacks, but I recommend slaying them without using Dendrograna. .
Go all out, and don’t indulge yourself in debuffing enemies. Unless your characters are weak, you don’t need to focus on removing their buffs.
5. Remove the tumor: If you go near the tumor without neutralizing the branches, you won’t get an option to interact. Once you have vanquished all corrupt branches, the tumor will become interactive, and you can easily destroy it. Doing that will remove the corruption from the area and revert it back to lush green land with flourishing wildlife.
Once you clear the area, a short cutscene would focus on the area and indicate the cleaning process. An easy five-step approach is enough to eliminate these annoying Withering sites.
Locating Withering Zones in Sumeru
The Withering zones are tough to survive in. As someone who has maxed out characters with crowned talents, I reckon it’s not easy to clear some hard Withering spots. I’m still traumatized by one Withering zone in Apam woods that wiped out three of my characters in a blink of an eye.
Nonetheless, to clear the corruption from the lands of Sumeru and restore the beauty of the landscape, you need to remove these Withering zones. There are more than 50 Withering zones in the game, and possibly, with future updates, we might see more of them being added to the game.
You can refer to the Official Genshin Impact Online Interactive map to locate these sites and clear them of corrupt tumors. I suggest logging in to your account on the map and marking the completed ones.
It’s better to track your work than to start everything all over again to find that one last missing spot.
Nascent Withering Areas
You will come across unusual towers across Sumeru, with seed mirrors on their top. I found these mirrors while I was searching for the Aranara and saw some Nascent Withering areas. Unlike the Withering zones, these areas are in a pre-mature stage. It won’t be tough to clear these areas because these tumors are yet to sprout, so you can easily defeat the enemies and rip these corrupted outgrowths.
Once you defeat the enemies surrounding it, you can easily clear the area. In contrast to the Withering, these Nascent sites can be cleared by following simple steps:
1. Locate a tower with the seed mirror and press the activate option to look through the mirror. Don’t apply the Electro element on the seed mirror unless you want to find the Aranara.
2. Once you are in view mode, you can easily spot the Nascent Withering zones by focusing them into the lens. You can mark a maximum of two Nascent Withering sites with the seed mirror.
These sites aren’t tough to spot because they will emit a long black chimney-like smokey aura and have a crimson dark red appearance.
Corrupt sites are frequent in the Sumeru region, and you won’t have any problem identifying them. Soon they will appear on your mini-map as well.
3. After you mark the sites, Four-Leaf Sigils will spawn. You can transmit to the location with their help and defeat the spawned enemies to obtain a chest.
To remove the second Nascent Withering zone, you can backtrack to the same route and change your direction to the other site.
The Towers’ entrance might be blocked when you approach them for the first time. If you glide to their top, the entrance will be unlocked automatically. Otherwise, you would have to use the Dendrograna, burn the door, or light up totems to open the door.
Tips to Clear The Withering
There are plenty of Withering zones in the area, and it’s not feasible to dedicate a lot of time to clear these zones. While they pose a threat to Sumeru’s beauty, they cannot be ignored for long and must be disposed of quickly. Here are a few tips that I keep in mind while clearing the Withering zones:
- Prepare your elemental burst: Don’t dive into battles without charging your elemental bursts. Elemental bursts deal a lot of damage to enemies and can help the player deal a final blow
- Bow character: It’s better to use a Bow character to attack Withering branches. They can help you conserve stamina and maintain a safe distance.
- Dendro application: If your characters aren’t strong enough to wipe out enemies in a few seconds, you can use Collei or the Dendro Traveler to debuff the enemies.
- Watch your surroundings: Fetid boughs can perform a sneak attack on you while you face corrosive enemies. Either get rid of them or have enough spatial awareness to dodge their projectiles.
- Healers are indispensable: I don’t go into the Withering zones without decent healers. Barbara, Bennett, Jean, Kokomi, or Qiqi are good healers that can quickly heal your characters.
- Food buffs: Dishes that increase your attack or reduce stamina consumption are potent in a tense Withering zone. If you don’t have a leveled-up Bow character, you must use charged attacks to hit with the Dendrograna. Food can help you conserve some stamina.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Should I clear the Withering zones first or complete the Aranyaka world quest?
Answer: Finishing the Aranyaka world quest will unlock a lot of hidden areas on your map. If you are starting out your journey in Sumeru, you should focus on completing the Aranyaka world quest, including sequels to its sub-quests.
Question: Do Fetid boughs or the corrupt branches respawn if my character dies in a Withering zone?
Answer: Fortunately, they don’t. If your characters are very weak and you can only destroy one branch at the cost of your entire party, you don’t have to worry about their respawn. Once you vanquish a corrupted branch, you don’t have to redo the process.
Question: How good is the reward after I clear a Withering zone?
Answer: The rewards aren’t generous. You would get a chest after clearing a Withering zone, and that’s pretty much about it.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
I first learned about the Withering from the Aranyaka world quest, where the Traveler saved Rana, a forest ranger ambushed by wild mushrooms. The Aranyaka might be one of the longest world quests in the game. The Aranyaka world quest briefly explained the Withering and referred to it as Marana.
Having studied Sanskrit in the past, I immediately remembered that the Withering had something to do with death because it is the literal meaning of Marana. There are many terms in Sumeru whose meanings can be derived from the language.
While the game didn’t provide any leads on the forbidden knowledge that King Deshret shared with his subjects, it was obvious that weapons aren’t the most dangerous entities in Teyvat. Knowledge is power in this world. What lies beyond the sky is still unknown, and whoever tried to unravel the secrets met a perilous end.
Nonetheless, as the Traveler, I mean no harm to anyone and only want to find my other sibling. If I can do some good for people, I wouldn’t hesitate to take a step. Corrupt Withering areas, evil monsters, or devious scholars, I would take on anyone who would try to harm the innocent.
That was it for the Withering Genshin Impact Guide, and I hope to catch up with you in another guide in the future. Some amazing Dendro characters, like Collei, Tighnari, Alhaitham, and Nahida, can help you in your exploration. I urge you to read their character guides and build the best team on your account.