Genshin Impact: Is Zhongli Worth Pulling? (Pros & Cons)

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Zhongli is generally a recommended pull for most players. He has the strongest shield in-game, and it can completely remove the need for dodging or healers.

Zhongli’s a great unit at every point of the game and against most battle content — even against enemies meant to counter shields.

He’s essentially the best unit for comfort and defense.

But this also means that he’s less valuable to skilled players. If you already know how to dodge enemy attacks and use i-frames, Zhongli loses a lot of his value. These players will find more value in units that provide better damage or utility.

But still, Zhongli is a very nice unit to have.

His shield is a luxury option that allows for mindless gameplay – both in the overworld and Spiral Abyss. And even with late-game players, he’s still very often used.

Note: This is based on meta only. If you like Zhongli regardless of his power level, don’t let this stop you from pulling him.


Pros & Cons

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Cheap and easy to build
  • Strongest shield in-game
  • A universal support that fits into most teams
  • Has multiple builds: shield-bot, sub-DPS, and Physical DPS
  • In terms of damage and utility, other units are often better
  • Irrelevant to already skilled players

Zhongli Strengths

1. Cheap and Easy to Build
Zhongli with Black Tassel / Genshin Impact
Zhongli with Black Tassel

At Zhongli’s lowest point of investment, you can simply stack HP on your artifacts.

This immediately strengthens his shield enough to tank most enemy attacks in-game.

Plus, Black Tassel is a strong weapon option for his shield. This is a 3-star gacha weapon with an HP secondary stat – it’s very accessible to all players.

You can easily obtain it by pulling on any of the gacha banners.

2. Strongest Shield
Zhongli’s hold elemental skill forming a shield / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s hold elemental skill forming a shield

Zhongli easily has the strongest shield in-game.

It greatly increases team survivability and provides massive comfort to any team with him in it – enough that you often don’t need a healer. The only exception is against shield-ignoring damage like corrosion.

His big shield also makes your active character completely immune to interruption.

This is especially good for characters that spend a lot of field time and use attack combos – like Xiao, Hu Tao, and Yoimiya.

3. Universal Support
Zhongli’s resistance shred: indicated by the downward arrows on opponents / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s resistance shred: indicated by the downward arrows on opponents

Zhongli’s shield universally shreds 20% elemental and Physical resistance of surrounding opponents.

His universal shred is an unconditional damage increase. So aside from his strong shield, he also buffs the team’s DPS.

This makes him viable in almost every team – he isn’t always the best option, but he’ll perform great.

4. Multiple Builds
Zhongli’s sub-DPS build: 2-piece Archaic Petra and 2-piece Noblesse Oblige / Genshin Impact
Zhongli’s sub-DPS build: 2-piece Archaic Petra and 2-piece Noblesse Oblige

Zhongli has multiple builds that let him fill different roles in a team – namely a shield-bot, sub-DPS, and Physical DPS.

Here’s a summarized description of each build.

Build Description
Shield-bot This maximizes Zhongli’s shield strength by stacking HP on his artifacts and weapon.
He’ll deal very minimal damage, but his shield becomes very strong. You can easily tank most enemy attacks in-game.
Sub-DPS Zhongli’s stats are balanced between HP, Geo damage bonus, and CRIT.
This build has a weaker shield but a stronger burst. It lets him deal good damage with his burst while still having a decent shield.
Physical DPS His stats are focused on ATK, Physical damage, and CRIT.
Zhongli becomes an on-field DPS that deals Physical damage. His shield becomes significantly weaker, but it’s still viable.

Having multiple builds expands his playstyle options. But shield-bot is still his most popular and often optimal build.


Zhongli Weaknesses

1. Other Better Units
Alternative supports: Kazuha, Sucrose, Bennett, and Diona / Genshin Impact
Alternative supports: Kazuha, Sucrose, Bennett, and Diona

Damage-wise, Zhongli is rarely the best option. Most of his value comes from his strong shield – not from his damage buffs.

This is because other units are significantly better at increasing team DPS than Zhongli. This includes characters like Kazuha, Sucrose, and Bennett. They’re just strictly better at buffing damage.

The same applies utility-wise.

Although Zhongli’s the strongest shielder in-game, he’s not the only one.

For instance, Diona is a shielder than provides more utility – like healing, particle generation, and cleanse.

This makes her a better option for teams like freeze or Eula teams.

2. Less Useful for Skilled Players

Zhongli has very minimal value for already skilled players.

This refers to players who can already dodge most enemy attacks and effectively use i-frames. Skilled players gain very little from Zhongli’s shield.

Because of this, units with better damage or buffing gain more value.


Are Zhongli’s Constellations Worth Pulling?

C6 Zhongli’s constellation screen / Genshin Impact
C6 Zhongli’s constellation screen

Zhongli is a perfectly functional unit at C0. His constellations are decent buffs to his damage and utility, but they’re never needed.

Still, they can be situationally worth it. Here’s a closer look at each constellation to help you decide which ones to pull:


C1: Rock, the Backbone of Earth

This increases his maximum number of Stone Steles to 2.

This is a minor damage and AOE buff to his elemental skill. It’s most useful for DPS or sub-DPS Zhongli builds.

But in a shield-bot build, this constellation is irrelevant.


C2: Stone, the Cradle of Jade

Casting his burst now grants a shield to all nearby characters. This further increases his shield uptime which is a nice quality-of-life buff. This also works in co-op – thus letting Zhongli share his shield with nearby players.

It also encourages a sub-DPS build.

Zhongli’s burst has one of the longest animations in-game, so casting it is generally a DPS loss for a shield-bot build.

Since his C2 incentivizes you to use his burst, building damage becomes highly recommended. This turns his burst into both a source of damage and utility.

His shield does slightly weaken, but this is compensated by his burst often recasting it.

Note: C2 is a good place to stop pulling for constellations.


C3: Jade, Shimmering through Darkness

Increases his elemental skill talent by 3.

C3 further buffs Zhongli’s shield strength. It also increases his skill’s damage multipliers, but the damage increase is insignificant.


C4: Topaz, Unbreakable and Fearless

This increases his burst’s AOE by 20% and its petrification duration by 2s.

Zhongli’s burst is often considered a panic button.

His long burst animation enables a lengthy invisibility frame to dodge enemy attacks. Plus, his petrification ability stops enemies from attacking for a short period.

C4 is mainly a quality-of-life buff for this situation – it’s basically another form of defensive option.


C5: Lazuli, Herald of the Order

Increases his elemental burst talent by 3.

This directly buffs his burst damage. It’s a good damage buff for a DPS build, but it’s irrelevant for a shield-bot build.


C6: Chrysos, Bounty of Dominator

When his shield takes damage, 40% of that damage is converted to HP for the active character. Each HP regeneration can’t exceed 8% of that character’s max HP.

This is a nice constellation that further buffs Zhongli’s defensive abilities by making him a healer.

But it can lose value because of his already strong shield. It’s very unlikely for the character to take damage in the first place.

This healing can also be unfavorable to certain units that don’t want healing – namely, Hu Tao.


Staff of Homa vs. Vortex Vanquisher for Zhongli

Zhongli with Staff of Homa and Vortex Vanquisher / Genshin Impact
Zhongli with Staff of Homa and Vortex Vanquisher

Staff of Homa is Zhongli’s best-in-slot weapon, and it strictly outperforms Vortex Vanquisher.

This is because Homa simply synergizes a lot more with Zhongli’s kit, namely:

  • High Base ATK – Zhongli partially scales with ATK, so this contributes to his damage – it’s most valuable in a DPS build.
  • CRIT damage – Its 66.2% CRIT damage further buffs Zhongli’s damage. Plus it makes balancing his CRIT ratio much easier.
  • HP increase – At R1, Homa’s passive increases the user’s HP by 20%. Needless to say, Zhongli scales well with HP – both damage-wise and shield-wise.

Vortex Vanquisher is still a decent weapon, but it’s often outperformed by many polearms. Because of its ATK% secondary stat and conditional passive, Vortex is only viable for a Main DPS or Physical DPS Zhongli build.

It’s still not Zhongli’s best option, but it works.


Black Tassel vs. Favonius Lance for Zhongli

Zhongli with Black Tassel and Favonius Lance / Genshin Impact
Zhongli with Black Tassel and Favonius Lance

Black Tassel is good for stacking more HP, while Favonius Lance is good for energy regeneration.

If you’re already satisfied with Zhongli’s shield strength, you’ll benefit more from equipping Favonius Lance.

It’s simply a really strong weapon that helps charge your entire team’s burst.

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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.