Genshin Impact: Are Blackcliff Weapons Worth It?

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The Blackcliff series are weapons you can buy from the Starglitter Exchange of Paimon’s Bargain shop every other month.

All of these weapons share the same secondary stat and passive: CRIT damage and ATK%.

Although its CRIT stat gives a nice buff to your CRIT ratio, its passive is very inconsistent. Because of this, Blackcliff weapons are rarely the best 4-star weapon for any character.

But there are two instances where Blackcliff weapons are especially good:

  1. If you don’t have the better weapon options for your character
  2. If you want a universal weapon that most DPS units can use – it’s not the best, but it definitely works. A lot of characters can benefit from its CRIT damage stat

In these instances, Blackcliff weapons are worth it.

More about this series’ value and mechanics are explained below.


Are Blackcliff Weapons Actually Good?

Paimon’s Bargain shop selling Blackcliff weapons / Genshin Impact
Paimon’s Bargain shop selling Blackcliff weapons

Blackcliff weapons are good, but there are generally better alternatives.

At level 90, their stats range from 510 to 565 Base ATK and 36.8% to 55.1% CRIT damage. These are great stats that most DPS units want.

However, their passive is very inconsistent.

(1) Blackcliff passive (2) Beidou with 2 stacks / Genshin Impact
(1) Blackcliff passive (2) Beidou with 2 stacks

Blackcliff’s passive is called Press the Advantage. At Refinement Rank 1 or R1, it has the following effects:

  • After defeating an opponent, the character using this weapon gains 1 stack. Each stack increases their ATK by 12% for 30s.
  • A maximum of 3 stacks can be gained. Each stack’s duration is independent of the others.

Each Refinement Rank increases the ATK buff by 3%. At R5, each stack provides a 24% ATK buff.

In theory, this is really good – but not in practice.

Against content where there are only a few enemies, you will rarely get its ATK buff. And, against single-target bosses, you will simply never get it.

Because of this, Blackcliff weapons are just considered a stat stick. It’s good only because of its CRIT damage stat.

Even then, CRIT isn’t the only thing you want for your characters.

All characters prefer a mix of other stats like Energy Recharge, ATK, Elemental Mastery, and damage bonus.

Additionally, Blackcliff’s passive is especially bad for characters that can snapshot or usually stay off-field. This is further explained below.


Blackcliff Passive & Snapshotting

(1) Fischl casts her skill with 0 stacks (2) Fischl gains a stack / Genshin Impact
(1) Fischl casts her skill with 0 stacks (2) Fischl gains a stack

Snapshotting refers to abilities that can snapshot the character’s stats during their time of casting.

This also means that any stat changes that happen during their ability won’t affect their damage. So, if a character gains a Blackcliff stack during their ability’s duration, it still won’t affect their damage.

This is demonstrated by the photos above.

Fischl’s skill – Oz (the purple raven) – can snapshot.

In the first photo, Fischl casts her burst with 0 Blackcliff stacks. In the second photo, she gains a stack while Oz is on-field.

Because her burst can snapshot, the damage doesn’t change even after gaining a stack.


Blackcliff Stacks Off-field

(1) Xiangling’s skill defeating an opponent while off-field (2) Xiangling gaining no Blackcliff stacks / Genshin Impact
(1) Xiangling’s skill defeating an opponent while off-field (2) Xiangling gaining no Blackcliff stacks.

Blackcliff stacks can’t be gained while off-field.

This is especially unfavorable for characters with deployable skills.

Although they’re the ones defeating most of the opponents, they won’t benefit from the weapon’s passive.

This is demonstrated by the photos above.

In the first photo, Xiangling’s skill or Guoba defeats an opponent while Xiangling is off-field.

Because stacks can’t be gained while off-field, Xiangling doesn’t gain a stack nor an ATK buff. You can see how the second photo shows no stacks on the weapon.


Who Can Use Blackcliff Weapons?

Most DPS units can use Blackcliff weapons.

This is because Blackcliff weapons are essentially a CRIT damage stat stick.

Here’s a list of all Blackcliff weapons and their synergies with all the playable characters.

Good Decent Not recommended No Synergy
Blackcliff Pole Xiao, Rosaria Raiden, Zhongli, Hu Tao Shenhe, Xiangling Thoma, Yunjin
Blackcliff Longsword Bennett, Kaeya, Keqing, Ayato Traveler, Xingqiu, Ayaka Kazuha, Qiqi, Jean Albedo, Kuki
Blackcliff Warbow Tartaglia, Sara Amber, Fischl, Ganyu, Aloy Venti, Yoimiya Diona, Gorou, Yelan
Blackcliff Slasher Diluc, Beidou Chongyun, Eula, Xinyan, Razor KaNoelle, Itto Sayu
Blackcliff Agate Ningguang Yanfei, Klee, Lisa, Yae Mona Barbara, Kokomi, Sucrose

Good means that Blackcliff is competitive with their best 4-star options.
Decent means that Blackcliff works well with the character, but it isn’t among their best 4-star weapons.
Not recommended means that Blackcliff can work, but there are much better options – namely, other gacha 4-star weapons, craftable weapons, or 3-star weapons.
No synergy means that the character won’t benefit from the weapon at all – or it’s one of their worst weapon options. These are usually characters that don’t scale off ATK or CRIT damage.

Additionally, below are some noteworthy synergies and comparisons for specific Blackcliff weapons.


Blackcliff Pole for Xiao

Xiao with Blackcliff Pole / Genshin Impact
Xiao with Blackcliff Pole

Blackcliff Pole is one of Xiao’s best 4-star weapons.

This is because he doesn’t have a lot of good 4-star weapons in the first place. His best options are only Lithic Spear, Deathmatch, and Blackcliff Pole.

  • Lithic Spear is a limited weapon that you can only get from the Weapon Banner. Assuming full use of its passive, this is Xiao’s best 4-star weapon. However, using its passive greatly limits his team’s drafting options.
  • Deathmatch is competitive with Blackcliff Pole, but it’s paywalled behind the Battle Pass. If you already have Deathmatch, then Blackcliff Pole isn’t worth buying for Xiao – the same applies vice-versa.

The Blackcliff Pole is easily the most accessible weapon among these three.


Blackcliff Longsword for Bennett

Bennett with Blackcliff Longsword / Genshin Impact
Bennett with Blackcliff Longsword

Another notable synergy is Blackcliff Longsword with Bennett

Because his burst provides an ATK buff that scales off his Base ATK, he gains a lot from Blackcliff’s high Base ATK.

A better invested Bennett will also benefit from the CRIT damage secondary stat. His burst has high multipliers, so a little extra personal damage is never bad.

However, Blackcliff Longsword does have some noteworthy competition – namely, Alley Flash and Prototype Rancour.

  • Alley Flash is a limited weapon that has the highest Base ATK among all 4-star swords. This is Bennett’s best 4-star weapon. However, this can only be gained by pulling in the Weapon Banner, so it’s inaccessible to most players.
  • Prototype Rancour is a craftable weapon that has the same Base ATK as Blackcliff Longsword, but its Physical damage stat and passive are useless for Bennett. But, if you use Bennett only as a dedicated support or healer, Prototype Rancour is good enough.

Blackcliff Agate

(1) The Widsith weapon (2) Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers weapon / Genshin Impact
(1) The Widsith weapon (2) Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers weapon

Blackcliff Agate is the least recommended Blackcliff weapon.

Most DPS catalyst users can still effectively use this weapon, but it’s strictly outperformed by The Widsith.

The Widsith is a 4-star gacha weapon. An R5 Widsith is basically around the same strength as a 5-star weapon – and sometimes even stronger.

If you have this weapon, then Blackcliff Agate is never recommended. Otherwise, Blackcliff is a decent alternative. But it will perform noticeably worse than Widsith.

Another notable weapon is Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers or TTDS.

This is a strong 3-star gacha weapon that can turn any catalyst user into a support. At R5, it buffs a teammate’s ATK by 48% every 20s.


Should You Buy a Blackcliff Weapon?

If you have no other alternatives, then yes.

Blackcliff weapons are good – they just have a lot of competition. So, if you don’t have the other better weapons, then they’re great options.

Just keep in mind that they’re quite expensive.

If you can wait until you get the better weapon options, then it’s better to save your Starglitter. They could be better spent on character constellations or fates.


Are Blackcliff Weapons Worth Refining?

Blackcliff refinement screen / Genshin Impact
Blackcliff refinement screen

Because of their inconsistent passive, they’re not worth refining.

An R5 Blackcliff weapon costs 120 Starglitter. This is effectively the same price as 24 fates.

So, if you prioritize pulling on banners over a minor weapon upgrade, then refinements definitely aren’t worth it.

Most weapons that outperform Blackcliff are gacha weapons. This means that you’re likely to get them and their refinements while you’re pulling in any of the gacha banners.

Additionally, much better items can be bought from the Starglitter Exchange – namely, 4-star constellations.

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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.