New Genshin Impact character Raiden Shogun has followed in Zhongli's footsteps by setting off archon balance discussions almost immediately after her arrival.
Raiden has been out for less than a day, and while her fluid and flashy playstyle has won over plenty of players, some strange wording with her abilities has led to some awkward anti-synergy with other popular characters. Most notably, Raiden's inability to utilize the elemental burst of Beidou, a popular electro support character who seemed perfect for Raiden, has poured cold water on several would-be team compositions.
Developer MiHoYo explained how Raiden's abilities work in a blog post (opens in new tab). The issue is that the attacks in her elemental burst state don't trigger Beidou's elemental burst. This is apparently because "the attacks by Raiden Shogun in the Musou Isshin state [are] a special kind of attack," MiHoYo says. In a nutshell, while they use a normal attack moveset, they technically deal elemental burst damage. This means that while her burst attacks can be boosted through artifacts like the Emblem of Severed Fate and they can make use of elemental bursts like Xingqiu's, they cannot activate Beidou's burst as-is. It seems to be an issue of effects that trigger when you attack versus when you deal normal attack damage.
This difference is reflected in a recent change to Raiden's final constellation, which prompted MiHoYo to distribute 100 Primogems to all players as compensation. Originally, this constellation said that "normal, charged, and plunge attacks" in Raiden's burst state would reduce the cooldowns of her teammates' bursts, but it now specifies attacks "considered part of her elemental burst." This seems to be another way to tighten up the terminology around Raiden's abilities.
All of this makes sense on paper, but anti-synergy with Beidou in particular has become a major sticking point, both because characters like Xingqiu and Fischl work as you'd expect, and because the two characters would be great together otherwise. Beidou has a high-cost electro burst which not only benefits from the damage boost on Raiden's elemental skill, but also increases Raiden's own burst damage by providing stacks of Resolve – a new bonus which is core to Raiden's kit. However, with these two bursts divided by fine print, Raiden and Beidou make for a clunky combo. Beidou's not the only one, either. The Traveler's electro burst is also incompatible with Raiden's attacks, which feels odd given that they're both part of the Inazuma package.
Criticism of Raiden hasn't reached the level seen with Yoimiya, widely regarded as one of the weaker five-star characters, or the previous archon Zhongli, but the Genshin Impact community is still in a bit of an uproar. One of the top posts on the official subreddit (opens in new tab) focuses on the Beidou problem specifically, and it's flanked by PSAs (opens in new tab) warning players not to spend their pulls on Raiden if they were hoping to pair her with certain characters.
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