by Vladone ツ#9281, Emiliabyss#1641, KB#1111
(Updated for Version 3.4)
Yelan is a 5-star Hydro Bow character who quickly became popular not only for her looks, but also for her strength and utility on- and off-field. With a playstyle similar – though not identical – to Xingqiu, Yelan finds herself in the flex spot of pretty much any team to bring value through the use of her Elemental Burst.
Why Play Yelan?
Yelan vs Xingqiu
It is fairly obvious why Yelan is often compared to Xingqiu to the extent of being called a 5-star Xingqiu – they have roughly similar Burst functionality, cooldowns, Energy generation and requirements, and even share the same Element. However, there are a few key differences:
- Xingqiu applies additional Hydro with his Rain Sword orbitals. Without the help of Constellations, Yelan cannot match or surpass Xingqiu’s Elemental application.
- Yelan lacks any defensive abilities. She doesn’t provide any of the micro-healing, DMG Reduction, or Interruption Resistance that Xingqiu does. In exchange, she offers potent offensive buffs to herself and/or her teammates, depending on gear.
- Yelan and Xingqiu’s personal damage are about the same. For example, a Constellation 0 Yelan with Aqua Simulacra deals comparable damage to a Constellation 6 Xingqiu with Primordial Jade Cutter. However, when accounting for Yelan’s 4th Ascension Passive, she contributes more to team damage.
Because of the reasons stated above, it is better to view Yelan as a potential partner for Xingqiu. Pairing them is surprisingly effective because they empower each other and deal more damage, making them one of the strongest and most flexible duos you can play.
For example, Xingqiu often carries Sacrificial Sword or Favonius Sword, which helps battery Yelan. With Constellations, Xingqiu also reduces Hydro Resistance, which buffs Yelan. Xingqiu provides defensive utility to cover for Yelan’s purely offensive playstyle. Both have similar cooldowns for acting in synchronicity. Together, the combined Hydro application is more than enough to ensure your favorite Pyro DPS Vaporizes enemies as frequently as possible, while also benefiting from Yelan’s A4 buff.
Importance of Pure HP Scaling
As already known, Yelan’s relevant Talents scale purely off Max HP, making it more important to raise her to level 90 than it would be for an ATK-scaling character.
This scaling is different from characters like Hu Tao or Itto who convert their HP/DEF into ATK then scale off ATK like usual. Yelan doesn’t convert stats — the ATK-scaling is replaced entirely with HP for her Skill and Burst. This pure HP scaling has both benefits and drawbacks when building Yelan.
Energy Recharge Requirements
Energy Recharge is a crucial part of building Yelan due to her reliance on her Burst for a significant amount of her kit’s damage. It’s important to Burst every rotation comfortably, and her requirements vary greatly – multiple variables factor into determining Energy Recharge requirements. The tables below attempt to cover some important scenarios. For more accurate values, use the Energy Recharge Calculator.
Keep in mind that the higher the Energy Recharge, the lower Yelan’s damage will be. While it will still be considerable, she won’t hit as hard compared to a lower Energy build. The reason behind this is stats balancing. If you need a lot of Energy Recharge, you will look for more ER substats to focus on instead of other offensive stats and vice versa.
The left column represents Yelan’s number of Skill uses in the rotation and the top row represents weapons or teammates that reduce Yelan’s Energy requirements. The following values are from the calculated averages of several team compositions.
No Favonius Teammate
1 Favonius Teammate
- Due to the Energy-rich nature of Taser teams, Yelan’s Energy requirements will lower. She can also afford to use only one Skill per Burst, even if she is the sole Hydro unit without Energy-reducing weapons.
- Using a Refinement Rank 3 Favonius Warbow or higher makes it possible to trigger its passive on both Skill uses, further reducing Yelan’s Energy Recharge Requirements.
- Sacrificial Bow (2 Skills) is assumed to be at Refinement Rank 3 or higher, as lower refinements may not allow rotations to line up due to the longer passive cooldown.
Let’s go get ourselves some answers.
You’re running cold; allow me.
Rolling for a 5-star unit is expensive – even more so when rolling for Constellations – which is why you should only roll for multiple copies of Yelan if you know you can afford it. Yelan works perfectly fine and performs incredibly well at Constellation 0, but of course, some players like to play with more power.
To keep it short, Yelan’s most worthy Constellations are her first and second, with the sixth also having a tremendous increase in damage.
A chest full of valuables… and a trove of potential clues.
In nearly all cases, substats are more important than set bonuses. While the damage difference between the ideal choice and alternatives are much greater in Yelan’s case, you should, as usual, use the Genshin Optimizer tool to figure out what build works best for your account.
IMPORTANT:It is NOT RECOMMEND to use more than two HP% main stat artifacts at once!Such a setup becomes the weakest combination of stats for Yelan’s damage.
- ER% (until you meet your threshold for Bursting every rotation)
- Tie between [CRIT stats (until a solid 1:2 ratio)] and [HP%]
- Flat HP
Many players focus on CRIT more than any other stat, often ignoring Energy needs and disregarding external buffs. In the case of HP% pieces, the difference between a CRIT% Circlet and an HP% Circlet with equal substats is only about 5%.
This can be compensated for if the substats on your HP% Circlet are much better than your CRIT% Circlet. Additionally, HP% Circlets have much less competition for characters who can effectively utilize them.
Without CRIT Weapon:
- Enough ER% to Burst every rotation
- 30k HP
- 60% CRIT Rate
- 120% CRIT DMG
With CRIT Weapon:
- Enough ER% to Burst every rotation
- 30k HP
- 70-75% CRIT Rate
- 140-150% CRIT DMG
But the truth… is still unknown…
The most important weapon stats to look for are CRIT, Energy Recharge, and sometimes HP, depending on what’s available. Naturally, Yelan’s signature weapon Aqua Simulacra is her best for personal damage, while Elegy for the End provides the most team benefit. Favonius Warbow, of course, is the ideal free-to-play weapon, generating particles and offering plenty of Energy Recharge to satisfy Yelan’s demanding needs.The next best alternatives are easily accessible through wishes and chests, namely Slingshot and Recurve Bow.
Remember, again, that Yelan does not benefit at all from the ATK stat on weapons.
Since Favonius Warbow is so strong on Yelan and is given for free just for completing Mondstadt’s story, all other weapon choices are niche options with caveats.
Who’s our target this time?
This section delves into the technical aspects of Yelan gameplay, highlighting key mechanics to keep in mind. Some concepts may be complex, but we’ve simplified them as much as possible and provided links to the KQM Theorycrafting Library for further reading. If you have any questions, reach out to Guhua in KQM’s help channels for clarification.
Rotation crafting techniques focus on taking advantage of Yelan’s entire kit to get the most out of her abilities. The following subcategories cover only general ideas, but of course, once you understand the basics, it is possible to make variations and adapt it so it fits your team and playstyle.
Maximizing Burst Waves
Yelan’s Burst is the vast majority of her damage contribution, so learning how to make the best use of this Talent is key to fulfilling her role as an off-field DPS.
Having a separate cooldown means that if Yelan uses a Normal Attack and Skill within 1 second of each other, the 1-second trigger rule will be ignored and two Exquisite Throw waves will be triggered instead of one. If you perform an N1 E N1 combo while the Burst is active, Yelan will trigger three Exquisite Throw instances within 1.5 seconds.Using two Skills per rotation (every 10s, near the beginning and end of her Burst) can add an additional wave trigger. At C1 or with R3+ Sacrificial Bow, you can trigger another Burst wave in the same rotation.
Balancing the Ramping Buff
Yelan’s Ascension 4 Passive provides an incredibly useful buff while the Elemental Burst is active. The closer you are to the end of the Burst’s duration, the more DMG% your active character gains, up to 50% DMG. For example, during the 15 seconds the buff is active, you will see a higher damage increase 10 seconds in than at 5 seconds.
Use Yelan’s Burst early into the rotation so that by the time your heavy hitter takes the field, they will have a larger DMG% Bonus for their DPS window. However, if you cast the Elemental Burst too early into the rotation, the uptime will not align properly with your on-field unit and the buff will end before you finish your combos.
Using the Burst too late is also not recommended. Casting her Burst too late may lead to the peak of Yelan’s ramping buff falling outside of your on-field DPS’s damage window, resulting in a loss of DPS potential.In some scenarios you will have to sacrifice a bit of Yelan’s buff uptime, but maintaining Hydro aura on enemies is a crucial factor and its importance shouldn’t be neglected. Yelan is not only about damage, but also about Hydro application.
Burst Synergy with Fourth Ascension Passive
To maximize Burst waves without sacrificing buff uptime, it is recommended to weave Normal Attacks between character swaps, Skill uses, and Burst uses before bringing the main on-field unit to the battlefield.
Weaving is very useful. It takes close to no time to do a quick Normal Attack, and then cancel out of the animation. This technique will trigger additional Exquisite Throws without having to worry about lengthening the rotation or wasting buff uptime.
To better understand the concept of weaving, let’s use the rotation Yelan Q E > Kazuha E Q > Hu Tao 8N2C as an example. By adding a few Normal Attacks between swaps and ability uses, you get Yelan Q N1 E > Kazuha N1 E Q N1 > Hu Tao 8N2C. In this case, three Normal Attacks were added which trigger three more waves compared to the initial rotation.
While weaving is useful, using it too much can cause problems. Remember that Exquisite Throws triggered by Normal Attacks have a 1-second cooldown. Using two Normal Attacks one after another, even with a character switch between them, has a very high possibility to trigger only one wave instead of the expected two.
In this example, the rotation is Yelan E Q N1 > Bennett N1 Q. Here, only a single wave was triggered despite using two Normal Attacks.
With rotation mechanics cleared, let’s focus on Yelan herself rather than the entire team. Even with Yelan’s very short field time, you can still maximize her damage by performing these recommended combos.
Q N1 E (N1)
This combo is the most damage-efficient, but it makes Yelan’s Energy Recharge requirements stricter. By doing this combo, you will trigger two (or three) Burst waves.
We recommend using this combo only if you can maintain Burst uptime without needing Yelan to catch the particles generated by her Skill. This is because an off-field Yelan will receive only 60% of the Energy compared to if she was on-field.
Very similar to the combo above, but triggers a single Burst wave. It is slightly faster than a well executed Q N1 E.
The most obvious combo to use. This combo trades some damage for Energy Recharge, as Yelan is able to catch her own particles during the Burst’s animation without delaying the rotation.
Q N1 E (N1) – swap ~10 seconds – E
Standard way to use her Elemental Skill twice in a rotation. Its viability is slightly restricted, as casting a second Skill often interrupts the main on-field unit. Nonetheless, there are teams where this works perfectly fine and is actually recommended. Use it where it is possible, but don’t force it.
C1 or Sacrificial Bow Combos
Q N1 E N1 E
The upgraded version of the most recommended C0 combo. This one allows Yelan to maximize damage and catch particles at the same time. Highly recommended if you are able to maintain Burst uptime easily.
E Q N1 E
As with the combo above, Yelan is able to catch particles from the first Elemental Skill, which allows for more buff uptime at the cost of a few Exquisite Throws. A balanced combo with good and efficient damage.
E E Q
Standard combo which allows Yelan to catch the particles from both of her Elemental Skills.
Q N1 E N1 E N3
Very efficient C6 combo which deals a very high amount of damage in a very short period of time. Not only does it allow Yelan to catch all the particles generated by her Elemental Skill, but the damage provided also makes it a solid choice for speedruns.
E E Q N4 or Q E E N4
An obvious combo which deals good damage. It is certainly not better than the one above, but still a solid choice which is also easy to perform.
The combos can also be adapted and have Breakthrough Barbs inserted between hits. Such an adaptation works, but it isn’t highly recommended. If you decide to play on-field Yelan, you should use N3D.
Pre-funneling is one way to manage Yelan’s Energy Recharge requirements, but it requires caution and understanding to perform reliably.
This mechanic exploits having all Elemental Bursts charged at the beginning of an Abyss Floor. A player can Burst immediately after Yelan’s Skill use in order to gather particles during the Burst animation. When using two Skills in a single rotation, this allows for pre-funneling.
This allows for more Energy generation for Yelan in your second rotation at the cost of losing lots of Energy generation in your third rotation. In short, it allows for short-term benefit at the cost of long-term consequences.
Players often underestimate the importance of Energy Recharge and rely too much on pre-funneling to recharge characters’ Bursts. Using this technique irresponsibly will lead to an inefficient build for Yelan. In a longer fight, the side-effects become prevalent when a character does not have their Burst ready when swapped onto the field, leading to a DPS loss.
The ideal use case for pre-funneling is when you know a battle will be over before the drawbacks occur. Keep in mind that Yelan’s Burst is her most important ability and it is crucial to make sure you can use it right when it is needed, without any delays. There are some cases, depending on build and team, that may require a pre-funneled rotation during a battle in order to maintain momentum with team DPS.
The following section covers aspects of Yelan’s kit which are related to Elemental Gauge Theory (EGT) and Internal Cooldown of Elemental Applications (ICD). Before proceeding, read the documentation found in the KQM Theorycrafting Library. It will be necessary in order to properly understand the following information.
The main focus for Yelan’s ICD mechanics is on her Burst waves. They help her maintain the Hydro aura, which is necessary to trigger reactions. However, making sure a Hydro aura stays on the enemy can be challenging.
Yelan’s Exquisite Throws come in waves of three hits of Hydro DMG, and each wave comes once per second. The projectiles in a single wave hit about six frames from each other.
Yelan has a unique ICD of every 3 hits and every 2 seconds, as opposed to every 2.5 seconds. Her Exquisite Throws apply a standard 1 unit (1U) of Hydro to enemies. When followed by Pyro attacks, the 1U of Hydro is enough to enable two Vaporize reactions before it expires. The trickiest part is to reapply and maintain the Hydro aura so you can constantly Vaporize with subsequent Pyro attacks.
One such case is using Yelan as the sole Hydro applicator for Hu Tao; at Constellation 0, Yelan (on her own) can struggle to provide enough Hydro for Hu Tao to consistently Vaporize all of her Charged Attacks.
Yelan’s projectiles, again, come in waves of three and apply 1U of Hydro, triggered once a second. Usually only one of the three projectiles will apply Hydro due to ICD. In short, you apply 1U of Hydro per second if the Burst waves are triggered constantly. Across three Burst waves, then, 1U of Hydro is applied each wave. Call this a “1-1-1 sequence.”
On rare occasions, the wave is triggered imperfectly and one of the Exquisite Throw waves applies Hydro twice within the same three projectiles, forming a 1-2-1 sequence. This may happen occasionally, but you should not rely on it.
In summary, a Constellation 0 Yelan fits into the reaction enabler role and can keep up with most Pyro characters to allow constant Vaporize triggers. However, Vaporize is not the only reaction that benefits from this.
It’s important to note that the additional projectile from Yelan’s second Constellation has no ICD. This means that it will apply 1U of Hydro every time it hits the target. With a 1.8 second cooldown, it can be triggered at least every other wave, resulting in a 2-1-2-1 sequence.
It’s time to pull the trigger.
Yelan is an extremely flexible unit and manages to perform well in almost any team. Flexible units allow players to easily choose a character for their team whenever there is an open team slot – a flexible unit can do their job in nearly all situations that benefit from them without restrictive caveats.
When building a Yelan team, you should first decide on an on-field DPS who performs Normal Attacks frequently. It is even better if the on-field unit scales well with reactions. Yelan performs especially well in Vaporize and Electro-Charged teams, but she can also be a solid option in teams like Mono-Hydro or Freeze.
As mentioned across the guide, Yelan has a lot of similarities to Xingqiu and team archetypes are no exception. She can blend in pretty much anywhere Xingqiu is an option. Being able to act as a second Xingqiu is incredibly valuable and owning both of them makes team building significantly easier for Spiral Abyss.
Besides the fact that Yelan works well as a Xingqiu replacement as stated before, they can do an unbelievable job together, with Double Hydro being one of the strongest and most flexible teams in the game. They can cover each other’s weaknesses, forming a deadly duo.
Yelan Double Hydro
As mentioned before, Yelan unlocks one of the strongest and most flexible team archetypes currently found in the game – Double Hydro with Xingqiu. The Yelan and Xingqiu pair is an unbelievably strong team which can be paired with pretty much any other character and still deliver due to the high damage they provide together.
Double Hydro + Double Flex
The on-field unit can be whoever you prefer as long as they use Normal Attacks to trigger Yelan and Xingqiu’s Elemental Burst waves. The second flex spot can be a buffer of your choice or even another off-field damage dealer if that is what you desire.
This duo is so flexible it doesn’t have a specific requirement for the other two spots. It can literally be anyone, and the team sometimes even lacks a fourth or third party member altogether.
It is worth noting that the second Hydro spot is not limited to Xingqiu, other Hydro units can be used too. Additionally, even the other two flex spots can be occupied by Hydro units and form Mono Hydro teams.
Double Hydro Pyro Flex
Hu Tao is the preferred Pyro unit due to the flexibility she allows in choosing the last slot. Unlike the other options, Hu Tao isn’t that dependent on ATK buffs, which gives her a wider variety of options.
Yoimiya is also an exceptionally strong choice for the on-field Pyro DPS, and can sometimes excel where Hu Tao does not. For example, teleporting, flying, or fast-moving enemies like the Golden Wolflord, Thundering Manifestation, and widely spread-out mobs—especially groups of Specters.
In the case of Double Hydro with Xiangling and Bennett, it is important to know that Bennett’s Skill applies more Pyro and can remove the Hydro aura with a single hit. This can cause the Pyronado to not Vaporize and the reaction chain to break. To avoid this, you should use Bennett’s Skill after the Pyronado hits.
Double Hydro Taser
Electro-Charged teams are strong due to the rapid trigger of reactions produced by quickswap playstyles. In this team, Yelan also has the chance to be played as an on-field unit. It is recommended to do so only if you don’t have another alternative.
Double Hydro Dendro
Yelan and Xingqiu together in Dendro teams allows for a large amount of consistent Hydro application. In Hyperbloom teams, this can be a significant increase in single-target damage, although some Cores can be wasted due to Dendro Core ICD.
In Burgeon teams, Yelan can offer great single-target damage, and the team benefits from the Hydro Resonance provided by Yelan and another Hydro unit. In Bountiful Bloom teams, she can offer great off-field Hydro application along with on-demand AoE Hydro application with her Breakthrough Barb.
Nilou Triple Hydro
Yelan can synergize with Nilou teams thanks to her significant Hydro application rate, which allows for increased Bountiful Bloom generation. Similarly to Xingqiu, she can maintain Hydro aura for an on-field Dendro character like Alhaitham, which allows virtually all the Bountiful Blooms to be triggered by him.
Maintaining only 1 Mirror stack on Alhaitham offers Nilou teams with him a unique advantage over similar teams using Nahida—which apply too much Dendro, overtaking the Hydro aura. This allows Alhaitham to focus purely on an EM build, while Yelan, Kokomi and Nilou can forgo EM entirely for their preferred stats. Do note that both Nilou’s Water Wheel and Kokomi’s Bake-Kurage must be hitting the enemy as often as possible.
Yelan Solo Hydro
When it comes to Yelan being the only Hydro in the team, some difficulties emerge. Depending on who she is paired with, it can be somewhat of a challenge to play her, often due to her lack of defensive utility. This means that Yelan can fill the same role as Xingqiu, but she might not be as good as him from a comfort point of view.Keep in mind that when Yelan is the only Hydro unit, her Energy Recharge requirements skyrocket. To counteract this, you can use weapons like Favonius Warbow or pairing Yelan with characters like Raiden. For more details, read the Energy Recharge Requirements and Pre-Funneling sections.
Yelan Raiden Xiangling Bennett
Rotation by BowTae#0141
In this team, Yelan’s spot is usually occupied by Xingqiu, but her amazing performance here shows just how flexible she is and how big of an advantage it may be to have both Yelan and Xingqiu on your account. Yelan isn’t necessarily an upgrade to Xingqiu, but rather an alternative.
Yelan Raiden Kazuha Bennett
Rotation by mian#8650
A team where Kazuha’s Absorption mechanic is taken full advantage of. This “soup” of reactions deals damage by consistently triggering reactions using Hydro, Electro and Pyro.
It is worth mentioning that the Pyro application from Bennett’s Burst might interfere with the Hydro and Electro aura. To avoid this, you can simply weave a Normal Attack into your rotation (though only for pre-C6 Bennett).
Yelan Pyro Zhongli Flex
Yelan is able to enable all of Hu Tao’s hits to Vaporize even at Constellation 0, but you might encounter some difficulties. To facilitate this, you should start with performing the N1C combo on Hu Tao. Additionally, you can also use another character which helps maintain, or “protect”, the Hydro aura, such as Kazuha with his Hydro-absorbed Burst or Fischl.
Yoimiya in the Double Geo team can have shorter rotations resulting in higher DPS.
Yelan Hu Tao VV Vape
Rotation by Aluminum#5462
This is one of the most difficult teams you can play and requires a lot of skill to pull off. Your only defensive options are i-frames and well-executed swaps or combos. In exchange, this team has a short rotation with a high damage ceiling.
Take caution; there is tons of room for error and high-precision gameplay is required.
Hyperbloom teams can take full advantage of Yelan. Her Hydro application is appreciable for producing Dendro Cores but not too much as to lose Quicken outright. Her buff synergizes with Aggravate or Spread DMG from the on-field character. Finally, she contributes a healthy amount of her own damage, resulting in extremely powerful single-target teams.
There are a lot of good Yelan teams, and this section barely scratches the surface. If you want more details about possible combinations, we recommend reading a character specific guide for the unit you are interested in pairing Yelan with, or build your own team after reading the KQM Team Building Guide.
Additionally, KQM theorycrafters who participated in #tc-yelan have compiled a Yelan Team Rotations Sheet where you can find many more teams that have been explored.
Game’s up, fun’s over!
To sum up, Yelan is a powerful off-field DPS with plenty of flexibility to fit in nearly any team composition. She is also able to form one of the strongest team cores in Genshin Impact – Double Hydro. Her similarity to Xingqiu means that not only can you use this powerful composition, but you can use an off-field Hydro applicator for each Spiral Abyss team. This makes her an incredibly valuable unit to have.
When it comes to Constellations, Yelan benefits from them more than nearly every other unit in the game. They more than double her damage and make her an all-star unit for speedrunning.
In addition, viable weapons are cheap and accessible for competitive results, thanks to her lack of ATK scaling.
Even outside of Spiral Abyss, Yelan is one of the best units for overworld exploration, allowing you to save hours of gameplay with her Skill that allows for swift movement, especially after her first Constellation.
That said, while Yelan is a character who is beneficial for nearly any account, regardless of goals, she is not a must-pull, as Xingqiu is quite similar to her and easier to obtain.
Thank you dearly for reading all the way to the end of this guide. We hope you enjoyed the work that we have invested into this presentation.
- Yelan Mastersheet | Yelan Mains by Vladone ツ#9281
- Yelan Mastersheet by Emiliabyss#1641 and KB#1111
- Yelan ER by Saber#9529
Finally, a huge special thanks to all the people who contributed to the guide and spent this theorycrafting journey with us:
jstern25#1399, Aluminum#5462, Reens#9289, Peekays#2722, CC#5588, Phana#0420, ItzSomebody#0029, Nymous_SDG#2696, Adranelyne#0024, Kaleamaranth#6687, Luanjo#5886, murmandamos#3076, Xreejan#1180, Chymous (차임어스#6748), Sitri#9504, Ayzel#7399, zajef77#2838, Cuzimori#1535, Prévisible#7440, Spbm10#8189, jrm.spirit#2671, Cory#0004, mika#0069, Rinri#2313, alrex#8148, Nayde#0658, Luno#1337, 3b00d_09#2235, idkanonymized#4166, Eris#6748, Leah, acie#1290, Reimu#1626, xf3#3123, fritzzes#2211, fourmana#0477, an odd medium#6288, Saber#9529, LostGuide#4812
- KQM’s #tc-yelan – discord.gg/keqing
- Yelan Mains TC – discord.gg/yelan
- Yae Miko Mains – discord.gg/yaemiko