Iron Sting vs. Xiphos’ Moonlight (Genshin Impact)

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Iron Sting is a free 4-star craftable weapon, while Xiphos’ Moonlight is a limited 4-star weapon. These two have the exact same stats, but different passives. And because of that, Xiphos’ Moonlight almost always pulls ahead of Iron String. It simply has an overall better passive.

To compare, they have the following stats and passives at Level 90 Refinement Rank 1:

Iron Sting Xiphos’ Moonlight
Base ATK 510 510
Secondary Stat 165 Elemental Mastery 165 Elemental Mastery
Passive Dealing elemental damage increases all damage by 6% for 6s. Max 2 stacks. This can only occur once every 1s. The following effects will trigger every 10s:

  • The wielder gains 0.036% Energy Recharge for each point of Elemental Mastery they possess for 12s.
  • Nearby party members gain 30% of this buff for the same duration.

Multiple instances of this weapon can allow this buff to stack. These effects will still trigger even when the wielder is off-field.

Here’s a more detailed comparison of the two for a few notable units.


For Kazuha, Jean, Anemo Traveler

Kazuha, Jean, and Anemo Traveler with Xiphos’ Moonlight / Genshin Impact
Kazuha, Jean, and Anemo Traveler with Xiphos’ Moonlight

Xiphos’ Moonlight is undoubtedly the better weapon for Kazuha, Jean, and Anemo Traveler.

This is because they’re all Anemo users that scale off Elemental Mastery and need a bit of Energy Recharge. So they basically gain more from Xiphos’ passive than Iron Sting.

Swirl damage – aka these units’ main source of damage – only scales from Elemental Mastery and character level.

So although Iron Sting’s extra damage bonus is good, they won’t benefit from it at all.

Plus these units also need a bit of Energy Recharge for their bursts. Xiphos’ passive helps reduce their energy requirements.


For Nilou

Nilou with Xiphos’ Moonlight / Genshin Impact
Nilou with Xiphos’ Moonlight

Iron Sting and Xiphos’ Moonlight are very interchangeable on Nilou. So it’s best to just use whichever one you have or the one with more refinements.

This is because Nilou greatly benefits from both of them.

She scales well with Elemental Mastery, damage bonus, and Energy Recharge for her burst. Xiphos becomes more valuable the less Energy Recharge you have.

Otherwise, Iron String is great when you don’t plan on using her burst often – or if you already have enough Energy Recharge.


For Hyperbloom Kuki

Kuki with Xiphos’ Moonlight / Genshin Impact
Kuki with Xiphos’ Moonlight

Xiphos’ Moonlight is generally the better weapon for Kuki.

It helps her charge her burst faster for more Electro application, and it helps with her teammates’ energy too. Xiphos basically has a lot more utility and Elemental Mastery stats than Iron Sting.

However, Iron Sting is still a good free-to-play option for those that don’t have Xiphos.

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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.