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New Genshin Impact characters Yoimiya and Sayu revealed months ahead of their release

Genshin Impact update 1.7
(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Genshin Impact developer MiHoYo revealed two new characters coming to its open-world action JRPG: Yoimiya the pyro bow user and Sayu the anemo user. 

The studio casually released art of both characters, as well as a new look at the cryo sword user Ayaka, on Twitter. Importantly, it did so shortly after revealing the first of two character Wish banners coming in update 1.6, which launches this Wednesday, June 9. 

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Ordinarily, new characters aren't shown until the reveal stream for their respective update – we didn't see Kazuha until the update 1.6 stream, for example. However, we know that update 1.6 will start with a rerun of Klee and end with the release of Kazuha, which means Yoimiya, Sayu, and Ayaka won't appear until at least update 1.7, making these the earliest character reveals in Genshin's history – part of strategic "drip marketing," according to another tweet from the official account.

Update 1.7 won't arrive until approximately July 21 given Genshin's six-week schedule, so assuming they are next in line, these characters are pretty far away. That said, with MiHoYo breaking tradition and now revealing upcoming characters well in advance (seemingly to beat data miners and leakers to the punch), I'm confident we'll see Ayaka, Yoimiya, and Sayu in the next update, and for a few reasons – one being that I highly doubt MiHoYo would reveal 1.8 characters before 1.7. 

All of the five-star female characters released since launch have followed a pattern: a pyro user, then a cryo user, then another pyro, and so on. We've had Klee, Ganyu, Hu Tao, Eula, and now Klee again. Together with today's reveals, this suggests that Ayaka, who was playable in early Genshin beta tests and appeared during the update 1.6 stream to tease the upcoming Inazuma region, will be the first five-star released in update 1.7, followed by Yoimiya. That's just a guess, but it lines up with everything we've seen so far. 

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Sayu, meanwhile, is a bit of a mystery. She was first spotted in a months-old batch of datamined character models, and newly mined splash art shared by data miner Dimbreath suggests that Sayu is an anemo healer, with the HP symbols in her art mirroring those of the four-star cryo healer Diona. Reliable Genshin source Honey Hunter has labeled her a four-star claymore user as well, though this is unconfirmed. Let's also not forget that the new boss in update 1.6 uses anemo and cryo abilities, and presumably drops materials used to upgrade characters of the same elements. New characters are always tied to new bosses, so I wouldn't be surprised if this boss drops the items needed for Kazuha, Ayaka, and Sayu.

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With all of this in mind, there's a chance we'll see Sayu released as a new four-star alongside Ayaka or Yoimiya. Failing that, update 1.7 may offer three two-week banners instead of two three-week banners, with a 1.0 or rerun five-star getting a rate-up banner of their own between Ayaka and Yoimiya. This would line up with the banners in update 1.3, which sandwiched Keqing between newcomers Xiao and Hu Tao, as well as updates 1.4 and 1.5, which released the new four-stars Rosaria and Yanfei on reruns of Tartaglia and Zhongli respectively. Again, this is just speculation based on previous banners, so wait until we hear more from MiHoYo before planning your Primogem budget.  

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Whatever the banner lineup ends up being, it's exciting to see new characters and trace of 1.7 so early. Inazuma is slowly coming into focus, Genshin's one-year anniversary is coming up fast on September 28, and it's clear we'll have multiple new characters to play while we wait. 

The Genshin Impact Midsummer Island Adventure story quests were also revealed amidst all these announcements. 

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.