Genshin Impact: Albedo vs. Zhongli (Who’s Better?)

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Albedo and Zhongli are both limited 5-star Geo characters. Albedo is a strong off-field DPS, while Zhongli is the strongest shielder in-game. Their kits also provide extra utility for buffing teammates.

But when summed up, Zhongli is undoubtedly better than Albedo.

This is because a lot of Albedo’s value comes from having a strong synergy with Zhongli. Outside of that, he’s not great anywhere else. In contrast, Zhongli fits into any team.

If you need a shield, Zhongli will make your gameplay extremely comfortable – enough so that his teams rarely need a healer.

To further explain, let’s compare their pull values and how they perform in the two game modes of Genshin Impact: Overworld (Exploration & Co-op) and Spiral Abyss (Meta).

Note: All comparisons are made between C0 5-star and C6 4-star characters.

But first, let’s take a look at their character kits.


Character Kit Breakdowns


Normal Attack

There’s never an optimal use for Albedo’s normal attacks or NA. So it’s just never recommended to level this talent.

In contrast, Zhongli does have teams that make use of his normal and charged attacks.

In these teams, he’s considered an on-field Physical DPS. Although it’s not his best build and role, it’s still perfectly viable.


Elemental Skill

Albedo’s elemental skill: Solar Isotoma / Genshin Impact
Albedo’s elemental skill: Solar Isotoma

Albedo creates a Solar Isotoma that deals one instance of AOE Geo damage upon summoning.

Solar Isotoma has the following properties:

  • When opponents within its field take damage, it will generate Transient Blossoms – these deal AOE Geo damage. Its damage scales off Albedo’s DEF. These Blossoms can only be triggered once every 2s.
  • When a character is at the center flower of the Solar Isotoma, the platform will lift them up to a certain height.
  • This is considered a Geo construct. Albedo can only create 1 Isotama at a time.
  • Solar Isotama disappears after 30s or when it’s destroyed.

Holding this skill lets you adjust where it will be positioned.

This is the main source of Albedo’s damage. His Transient Blossoms deal really good off-field damage with a 100% uptime.

Zhongli’s Stone Stele resonating with other Geo constructs / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s Stone Stele resonating with other Geo constructs

Zhongli’s skill can create a Stone Stele and shield while dealing AOE Geo damage.

Pressing this skill creates a Stone Stele in front of him. If its maximum number is already on-field, pressing skill again will reposition a Stele to Zhongli’s location.

Holding this skill will cause the following effects:

  • If the maximum number hasn’t been reached, Zhongli creates a Stone Stele.
  • Creates a shield. Its damage absorption is based on Zhongli’s max HP.
  • Deals one instance of AOE Geo damage.
  • If nearby opponents have the Geo element, it drains a large amount of Geo from up to 2 targets. This doesn’t deal any damage.

Zhongli’s shield has 150% damage absorption against Elemental and Physical damage. Additionally, it shreds the Elemental and Physical resistance of surrounding opponents by 20%. This effect can’t be stacked.

Zhongli’s Stone Steles also have the following properties:

  • They are considered a Geo construct. They can be climbed and used to block attacks.
  • Deals continuous AOE Geo damage every 2s.
  • They can also resonate with other nearby Geo constructs – doing so increases their AOE.
  • Zhongli can only create 1 Stone Stele at a time. This number can be increased by constellations.

Elemental Burst

Albedo’s elemental burst / Genshin Impact
Albedo’s elemental burst

Albedo summons a burst of Geo crystals that deal AOE Geo damage. If his Solar Isotama is on-field, an additional 7 Fatal Blossoms will be generated. This also deals AOE Geo damage.

This burst costs 40 energy.

Zhongli’s elemental burst animation / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s elemental burst animation

Zhongli summons a meteor that deals massive AOE Geo damage. Opponents hit by the meteor will be Petrified – while under this status, enemies will be unable to move. The Petrification duration increases as you level this talent.

This burst costs 40 energy.


Passive Talents (Albedo)

Albedo’s crafting passive / Genshin Impact
Albedo’s crafting passive
  • Transient Blossoms deal 25% more damage against opponents with below 50% HP.
  • Using Albedo’s burst grants all nearby party members with 125 Elemental Mastery. This lasts for 10s.
  • When crafting Weapon Ascension Materials, Albedo has a 10% chance to double the product.

Passive Talents (Zhongli)

Zhongli’s ore refund passive / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s ore refund passive
  • When Zhongli’s shield takes damage, it will Fortify. Fortified characters will gain 5% increased shield strength. This can stack up to 5 times and last until the shield disappears.
  • Zhongli deals bonus damage based on his max HP:
    • Normal, charged, and plunging attack damage are increased by 1.39% of his max HP.
    • All of Stone Steles’ damage is increased by 1.9% of his max HP.
    • Burst damage is increased by 33% of his max HP.
  • When crafting Polearm weapons, Zhongli refunds 15% of the ore used.

Notable Constellations

Albedo’s constellation screen / Genshin Impact
Albedo’s constellation screen

Albedo’s most notable constellations are his C2 and C3.

  • With C2, triggering Transient Blossoms now grant Fatal Reckoning stacks. It has the following properties:
    • Casting Albedo’s burst consumes all Reckoning stacks.
    • Each stack consumed increases all of Albedo’s burst damage by 30%.
    • A maximum of 4 stacks can be gained. Each stack lasts for 30s.
  • C3 increases his elemental skill talent level by 3. This is a direct buff to his main source of damage.
Zhongli’s constellation screen / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s constellation screen

Zhongli’s best constellations are mainly for support roles.

This includes his C2 and C4.

  • With C2, casting his burst will grant a shield to all nearby characters. This is especially good for Co-op. It lets you provide consistent team-wide shields.
  • C4 increases his burst’s AOE by 20% and increases its Petrification duration by 2s. This significantly increases the utility of his burst.

In The Overworld


Exploration (Single-Player)

Zhongli’s mining ores with his elemental skill / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s mining ores with his elemental skill

Zhongli performs better than Albedo in single-player. Because of Zhongli’s strong shield, he entirely removes the need for dodging enemy attacks. He’s basically your most comfortable teammate ever.

He’s also the best character for mining.

Holding his skill can quickly mine a large AOE of Crystal Chunks and all other ores.

As for exploration, both their Geo constructs can help you reach higher and farther places when exploring. These can also be used to activate puzzles and pressure plates.

Additionally, Albedo’s Isotama can be placed in more out-of-reach locations.


Co-op (Multiplayer)

Albedo’s elemental burst animation / Genshin Impact
Albedo’s elemental burst animation

This game mode only lets you play 1-2 characters, so Albedo and Zhongli will be on-field very often. Since most of their kits focus on providing off-field support, their playstyles change in Co-op.

Still, Zhongli outperforms Albedo here.

This is because Zhongli has the option to become a Physical or Burst DPS. This means that you can sacrifice his shield strength for more damage. Even then, his shield will still be decent – enough so that he’s very self-sufficient in Co-op.

When built as an on-field DPS, Zhongli will deal more damage than Albedo.


Spiral Abyss (Meta)

Albedo and Zhongli are both meta characters – and they’re each other’s best teammates.

However, most of Albedo’s value is tied to Zhongli. He doesn’t have a meta team without Zhongli in it.

He can still fit into most teams – but he’s never the best option. There aren’t any other teams that need or prefer him as a teammate.

In contrast, Zhongli is the best unit whenever you need a strong shield or defensive option.


Albedo & Zhongli Teams

Albedo & Zhongli team example: Double Geo Xiao / Genshin Impact
Albedo & Zhongli team example: Double Geo Xiao

These teams are composed of:

  • Albedo
  • Zhongli
  • 2 other units

Their main synergy is the use of Geo Resonance.

Geo Resonance increases the team’s shield strength by 15%. Additionally, characters protected by a shield gain the following effects:

  • Increases damage dealt by 15%.
  • Dealing damage to enemies will decrease their Geo resistance by 20%. This lasts for 15s.

This buffs the entire team – especially Albedo and Zhongli. However, Albedo can also be replaced by other Geo units in this team.


Zhongli Teams

Zhongli’s best meta teams mainly use him as a shield-bot.

He’s just there for his strong shield and extra resistance shred. Occasionally, his burst’s Petrification is also helpful.

Outside of his meta teams, Zhongli can play other roles. He’s viable as a Burst DPS, Physical DPS, and Geo DPS – sometimes even all of them together.

1. Ganyu Melt
Ganyu Melt team / Genshin Impact
Ganyu Melt team

Ganyu Melt is composed of:

  • Ganyu
  • Zhongli
  • Bennett
  • Xiangling/Kazuha

Zhongli’s role here is irreplaceable. Most of the team damage is dealt with Ganyu’s charged attacks.

While in an aiming stance, Ganyu is very prone to interruption. Missing a charged attack is a sizeable DPS loss.

Zhongli’s shield completely solves this problem. He allows Ganyu to comfortably perform charged attacks even while being attacked by opponents.

2. Hu Tao Teams
Hu Tao team example: Overvape Tao / Genshin Impact
Hu Tao team example: Overvape Tao

Zhongli solves multiple problems that can happen while playing Hu Tao, namely stamina and HP management. His shield eases the need to dodge enemy attacks.

This gives Hu Tao more stamina for performing charged attacks instead of dodging or running from enemies.

Additionally, his shield greatly increases her survivability. Hu Tao needs to remain below 50% HP to deal optimal damage.

Running a healer will likely heal her past 50% thus resulting in a damage loss – Zhongli’s shield is a really good alternative.

He lets her comfortably stay at low HP without the risk of dying from an enemy attack.

3. Literally Any Team

Once again, Zhongli works anywhere. That’s it.


Who Should You Pull?

Zhongli’s idle animation / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s idle animation

Zhongli is the best option by far. And if you already have Albedo, Zhongli becomes an even better pull recommendation.

Because of how their teams work, Albedo gains a lot of value from Zhongli. Similarly, he loses a lot of his value without Zhongli.

In contrast, Zhongli’s value is very independent – he works great on any team and with any unit.

Even against content where Zhongli’s shield shouldn’t work (namely, shield-ignoring mechanics), it’s still very nice to have.

Zhongli will always be a good pull and a great unit.

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Maeri Mgdrg

Maeri is an avid gacha player currently in the clutches of Genshin Impact. She mainly focuses on character analyses, underlying game mechanics, and occasionally reading game code. She also yearns for the day that Dainsleif is finally playable.