Genshin Impact players pleasantly surprised by Sumeru four-star character who doesn't suck

Genshin Impact
(Image credit: Hoyoverse)

Layla has finally come to Genshin Impact, and unlike Sumeru's three previous four-characters, she's actually not bad.

The ongoing rerun banners for Yae Miko and Tartaglia have Layla as one of the four-stars. After Layla's endearing role in the recent Pokemon-esque mushroom fighting event, plenty of people have pulled specifically to add the sleepy scholar to their roster. It's nice to see folks excited about a four-star for once after months of doomposting the decline in four-star strength. 

Layla's a Cryo sword user who summons a shield that periodically fires seeking projectiles. If her shield breaks, you lose these projectiles, which incentivizes building her for maximum HP. You can add more firepower into the mix with her elemental burst, but building Layla for full HP tanks her personal damage. Even so, a stronger shield means more protection for your team and more uptime on her Cryo shots, and this lets you trigger reactions like Melt more reliably.

The main competition for Layla's team slot is Diona, an old four-star whose skill also summons a strong Cryo shield while her burst creates a healing field. Diona has been a staple of many teams, especially Freeze, for over a year now, but Layla can actually compete. 

Layla's burst cooldown is shorter, for one, which means her abilities line up with faster team rotations. Freeze teams generally don't receive much damage since enemies often can't attack, which frees you up to build Layla as less of a tank to deliver non-trivial personal damage. She can also use the Tenacity of the Millelith artifact set to constantly buff your team's attack and shield strength. Her homing Cryo application works well with characters like Hu Tao and even Yoimiya too, especially with other characters like Kaeya and Rosaria in the mix. 

meltamiyabut_with_layla (opens in new tab) from r/Genshin_Impact (opens in new tab)

Layla isn't game-changingly amazing, but after Collei, Candace, and Dori, Genshin Impact fans are understandably relieved to have a genuinely solid four-star. Collei has the worst off-field Dendro application in the game and often whiffs with her skill, Candace is a strict downgrade to Yun Jin as a normal attack buffer and generally feels like a gimmick otherwise, and Dori's short uptime and low-impact kit make her hard to use in virtually any team. Layla has high uptime, a straightforward and valuable role, and good artifact support, which is at least something.  

Check out our Genshin Impact tier list for more details on how Sumeru's lineup compares to fan-favorites. 

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.